Without any immediate games reviews ready to go up I wanted to do something a little different, so I thought why not list my top 10 games of all time, that’ll be easy right? No, the answer is very much no. Having been gaming for the better part of my life, starting on PC with Command and Conquer, Tomb Raider and H.E.D.Z. I’ve since gone through several other platforms including and in order:
Gameboy Colour, Playstation 1, Gameboy Advance (SP), Xbox, PSP, Xbox 360, Nintendo DS, Playstation 3, Xbox One, Playstation 4 and PC through it all.
So I’ve got a few games to choose from……
Before I start as well I’ve put down a few rules for myself:
- 1 Game per Franchise – ie. no listing Mass Effect Trilogy as one spot, or listing each individual game in 3 separate spots.
- No Games I haven’t Played – Seems a silly one but I’ve enjoyed several games as simply a viewer.
- Give A Reason – mostly so everyone can see the at least the big reason why.
While I’ll list them 1-10 this won’t be by order of precedence, simply a top 10 in any order. Here we go:
1. Guild Wars 2 – Blasphemy I hear you say, that doesn’t say World of Warcraft the King of all MMOs! You’d be right to say that, it isn’t, thankfully. Never did I have the funds for a subscription MMO back in the day so I opted for Guild Wars The Complete Collection towards the end of that games life, this introduced me to the world of Tyria but it was Guild Wars 2 that kept me. Scrapping the overly complicated bars and bars of abilities to a bare few varying by weapon and class it became the easiest and most accessible MMO to filthy casual like myself. My main character (a Norn Ranger) recently celebrated her 5th in game birthday, during the course of those 5 years we’ve fought dragons, saved continents and are currently tackling a very pesky god. To go without mentioning the social aspect would be criminal, in earlier years I spent time as a Guild Recruiter and Leader and while I didn’t make any friends for life I still had a few along the way. Despite the numerous other MMOs I’ve played over the years Guild Wars 2 is the only one that keeps pulling me back, here’s to another 5 years!
2. Halo 3 – This was a close fought duel between Halo Combat Evolved and 3, while CE redefined the shooter genre 3 for me was always the pinnacle of that goal. Halo 3 found the perfect balance between a satisfying ending to the original Halo trilogy story, while improving on the multi-player precedent set by Halo 2. Though for me I think the most enjoyable part was that they perfected the Halo theme with a full orchestra, if you don’t believe me just listen to Halo 3 : One Final Effort.
3. Far Cry Instincts Predator – Ah yes the bewildered looks, the spin-off of the console spin-off of the original Far Cry – sticking you in a jungle full of super powered creatures hunting you down (wonder where it got its name….). Ok yes the single player was a bit naff and nothing like the original Far Cry by that point, but the map maker was superb for its time – before my days of Garry’s Mod this was the go to for home-made maps and game modes. The highlight of these for me was a Prison mode where players took the roles of inmates or guards, the goal, to escape or prevent it. This led to some exceptional bait and switch tactics as we endeavoured to dupe one another through our headsets – sure the guards could just execute the prisoners and win but they didn’t, a bunch of people got together and played a self enforced game mode without being a dick, you don’t get that as much these days.
4. Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 – Beat ’em up get more points, beat ’em up get more points and so on and so on. Yes there wasn’t much to this game, adapting the popular Marvel Civil War storyline to a series of increasingly difficult smash through levels and bosses. The highlight here for me was my guild, after playing fairly consistently before joining one I was ranked about 25th in worldwide high scores (on PSP) I joined the 3rd highest rank guild and climbed my way to no.8 before joining the No.1 Guild made up of the Top 10 players. It was a great community which made the endless points grind (using Deadpool’s broken infinite spin attack) so much fun!
5. Mass Effect 3 – Now for some more controversy (forgetting Andromeda) the widely regarded disappointing end of the Mass Effect trilogy. So why is no.3 my favourite? Well let’s clarify that Mass Effect is my all time favourite trilogy (sorry Halo), while Mass Effect (1) has the best story but its game play is every player’s nightmare, Mass Effect 2 has the best characters, weaker story and much more basic rpg systems. Mass Effect 3 has the balance, tight game play with a satisfying rpg system, a good mix of characters and story – despite what others make of the ending I found that it never disappointed me in that way, my most recent play through made that final choice all the more satisfying for me. Even after all these years I still find something new in the series to surprise me, and I still find that opening hour to be one of the most powerful video game story telling moments of all time.
6. Dragon Age : Origins – From one Bioware game to another, this time delving into the dark fantasy of Thedas. The one thing Bioware got spot on across both franchises is the importance of good characters and Orgins introduces us to some of the best of them, from sharp wit of Claudia Black’s Morrigan, Alistair’s dry sarcasm, the secretive Leliana to the chicken stomping Shale there is a character for everyone to enjoy, it’s why I keep coming back!
7. Tales From The Borderlands – The only Telltale or Borderlands game to make this list, Telltale took the bonkers world of Borderlands and actually gave it a good story to go with it, something only Borderlands 2 had vaguely succeeded at. The continuation of Handsome Jack’s character came to the delight of all the game fans, but Telltale made him all the more charmingly evil, solidifying his place as one of the greatest video game characters of all time (a list no doubt for another time).
8. Half Life 2 – It’s pretty much of everyone’s list right? There’s a good reason for that, back when Valve still made games they REALLY made games, introducing whole new ideas that nobody had dared before and that started with the Gravity Gun, the most fun gun of all time. Add some fantastic level design, graphics ahead of the time and well written characters to bounce off the mute Gordon Freeman, and what you have is a recipe to create the biggest cliffhanger of all time (yes I know that was Episode 2 but it all started somewhere!)
9. Civilization 5 – My first real foray in to the Civ franchise, despite an utter annihilation a IT teacher gave us in a Civ 4 lan game (in school). Naturally I jumped straight into a random start game, who am I? None other than Gandhi and a few hundred turns later the Supreme Military Dictator of the World – after that how could I not want to do it all over again?
10. Pokemon Red & Blue – The game of my childhood, as I set off on my first Pokemon adventure with my trusty Bulbasaur I was hooked in an instant. Whether it was catching, training or battling with my trusty Pokemon, collecting and trading with friends or thrashing the Elite Four once again my suped up level 100 team stayed with me for a long while afterwards.
Not everyone could make this list, I dare say I’ve criminally forgotten a few but here are a few honourable mentions:
Bioshock, Burnout Paradise, Spyro Year of the Dragon, Prey (360 edition), Test Drive Unlimted 2, Fable 3, The Elder Scrolls IV : Oblivion, Medieval.
So let’s hear your thoughts on the matter, does my list sicken your indie loving soul, or perhaps I’ve picked the wrong game in a series? Whatever it is see me in the comments!