Since the beginning of time man has wondered which are the ten greatest video games ever to walk this earth. That’s where I come in. Using my vast knowledge amassed in my lifetime of video gaming pursuits, I’ve decided to compile this list of must-play games for those that are uninitiated. In this list I’ve decided to only choose one game from each franchise, focusing on the one that either had the biggest impact on the games industry or was perhaps just the greatest execution of the premise. While no one man’s list could ever truly be considered definitive, I believe you would be very hard-pressed to find any inaccuracies within mine.
10) Gears of War: Judgment
The original Gears of War was a landmark of console-based multiplayer gaming, and in many gamer’s eyes a perfection of the over-the-shoulder third-person shooter gameplay that was first popularized in Resident Evil 4. The story of Marcus Fenix (voiced by John DiMaggio) and his gang of penises in armor trying to take out the alien race that destroyed their planet, more as an act of revenge than a hope for survival (until they needed to make a franchise out of it). There will be many people out there that believe the first or second installment to be the pinnacle of the franchise, but personally I just don’t see it. Those games came out a long time ago and since then, games have only gotten prettier. Since Gears of War: Judgment is the latest installment of the franchise, it would stand to reason that it looks at least a little bit better than the original two, which earns it this spot on the list.
9) Mirror’s Edge Catalyst
Mirror’s Edge was a critical darling that found an avid fan-base that only grew after it’s initial release in 2009. It was also a commercial flop. This left many fans wondering if they would ever get a Mirror’s Edge sequel and, even if they did, would there be any money in it? 7 years later Ubisoft finally answered those questions with a, “Yes,” and an, “No.”
Fans and critics alike were overwhelmingly disappointed in the sequel, citing that the combat wasn’t up to snuff, the character models seemed outdated and the story and subsequent missions you undertook to accomplish your goals were drab, dull affairs that never really went anywhere interesting. While I personally never played the game myself, I thought the half of the trailer I watched seemed more interesting than what I knew about the first game, which is nothing, earning itself the #9 spot.
8) Pokemon GO
Choosing the best made Pokemon game was a difficult one for me personally. I love the Pokemon games. Always have, always will. Each time a new one comes out I’m catching Pikachus and Squirtles until I can’t tell a Psyduck from a Magikarp. Making me choose my favorite one is like asking which of my children I don’t want to kill; it’s just so hard to pick one! Even so, this choice was something of a no-brainer.
My time with Pokemon has always been great, but with Pokemon GO it’s just a little greater. Forget about the social aspects or going outside, I hate that part, my interest in Pokemon GO is in the gameplay changes they’ve made to the core franchise. No longer do you have to pit your Pokemon against other Pokemon in a turn-based battle system that has both math and reading. Now all you need to do to catch Pokemon is tap your phone’s screen a few times! That’s it!
Cutting right to the core of what’s fun about Pokemon while cutting out all the fat, Pokemon GO is the go-to Pokemon game for old fans and new fans alike.
7) Final Fantasy X-2
A sequel to the tenth installment of a franchise called “Final Fantasy” turned quite a few heads when it was announced but the product more than spoke for itself when it finally released. A direct sequel to a Final Fantasy game was unheard of at the time and with good reason; it sounded stupid. Not only did the entire concept of making a sequel to a sequel that wasn’t even technically the next game in the franchise sound stupid, it was also a sequel to a game that ended with a pretty clean break considering [spoilers] the main character died at the end of Final Fantasy X. All of this nay-saying did not, however, stop Square from making what I believe to be the best game in the entire franchise.
Final Fantasy X-2 takes place just seven thousand years after the events of Final Fantasy X in a dystopian future where clothes have special transformative powers and people live forever. This is why Yuna, Riku and new character Payne decide to take it upon themselves to try all these clothes on and fight the government, because government is bad.
There is also, thankfully, no Blitzball to be found.
6) Legend of Legaia
This game was like Final Fantasy but with karate instead of other stuff that wasn’t karate.
5) The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
I will often hear people fighting over whether Ocarina of Time or A Link to the Past are the greatest offerings in the Zelda franchise, and while I will hear you out, know that as I am listening to your argument I will be thinking about how ignorant you sound, making a mental note to myself to not respect your opinions in the future. I will wait patiently for you to stop flapping your gums and when you finally do I will say, calmly and with an air of well-earned smugness, “What about Skyward Sword?”
Your face will fall as it all goes through your mind. “How stupid could I be?” you’ll rightly say, “The 2-hour tutorial, that weird bird thing you ride, the open world thrown away in lieu of the ever-popular hub world? Ocarina of Time looks like somebody shoved shit into your N64 and hit the power button compared to Skyward Sword!” At this point I will allow you to apologize and kiss my ring, though you must never speak to me again.
4) Super Mario Sunshine
Mario has been a staple of console gaming since, well, the very inception of console gaming. The pudgy plumber has gone on many trips to the Mushroom Kingdom to save his damsel in distress but since only one could make this list, you don’t really have much of choice than to go with Super Mario Sunshine.
Shigeru Miyamoto, Mario’s creator, had always said that the original vision he had for Mario was a guy that didn’t like art and would try to destroy it everywhere he went. At the time of Sunshine’s creation, Shigeru had become enamored with Ray Bradbury’s novel Fahrenheit 451, a book in which the main character is tasked with the job of burning books with a large flamethrower. While Shigeru knew that the flamethrower would be out of the question as an accessory for the kid-friendly Mario series, he figured water could fuck up people’s art just as bad and got to work on what he at first called the Reverse Flamethrower, later renamed F.L.U.D.D.
The game was both a massive commercial and critical success leading the Gamecube to dominate the home console market for the sixth generation, falling only behind the PS2 and Xbox respectively.
3) Grand Theft Auto 2
The arrival of 3D gaming was hard on the Grand Theft Auto franchise. After several attempts with Grand Theft Auto 3, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Grand Theft Auto 4 and Grand Theft Auto 5, it finally seems that the once mega-successful franchise will never get another worthy sequel.
The original Grand Theft Auto was a critical success but commercially didn’t fair quite as well. The sales weren’t terrible, mind you, but they were nothing compared to Grand Theft Auto 2. In the entirety of Grand Theft Auto‘s lifespan, the game only accumulated 14 million dollars in sales while the sequel sold 2,000 units within it’s first 2 years, making it to date the fastest sold video game of all time. Leaving many to wonder why Rockstar ditched the top-down view for the 3D approach all those years ago. Why fix something that isn’t broke? Following the across the board critical and commercial failures that have haunted the Grand Theft Auto franchise since its change to 3D, it is unclear if Rockstar has any plans to continue the franchise.
2) Resident Evil: Code Veronica
After 3 massively successful Playstation games, the franchise that introduced the concept of survival horror to video games was becoming all-too predictable. With the release of the sixth generation of consoles, Capcom knew that it was time that the Resident Evil franchise receive a much-needed overhaul. So they got to work on Resident Evil: Code Veronica.
Code Veronica is known to Resident Evil fans as the game that redefined the series and shaped it into what it is today. While the follow-up, Resident Evil 4, would go on to make more money than Capcom had ever seen and go on to reshape the way we think about third-person shooters going forward, Code Veronica had a man that was pretending to be a lady.
The idea of a man dressing up as a lady being a major plot twist might seem quaint now, but at the time of the game’s release, 2000, people didn’t actually know that a man could wear a woman’s clothes. Many of the younger readers out there might not know this, but before 9/11 people just assumed that if a man were to try to wear a dress the clothes would reject his body and he would die. It was a simpler time and, in this writer’s opinion, a better one.
1) Metal Gear: Snake’s Revenge
As a massive Metal Gear fan it wasn’t easy to choose just one entry in the series to put at the top of this list. Do I choose the game that made the most impact on the video game industry as a whole or do I choose the best story? Or perhaps the game that holds up the best, stands the test of time? There were no easy answers, but I knew that, if anyone was up to the task, it would be me. So after spending a great deal of time reading up on how to do math, I put together an extremely complex cluster of algorithms that work together to formulate the ultimate opinion on the greatest Metal Gear game every made.
That game, you of course know already, was Snake’s Revenge.
The only Metal Gear game with zero involvement with Hideo Kojima, Snake’s Revenge told the story of protagonist from the first game, Solid Snake, getting revenge. The gameplay was a departure for the series, focusing on action over stealth and basically being a completely different game altogether. Had I chosen the game myself instead of relying on a complex algorithm, I would have perhaps chosen a more traditional example of a Metal Gear game, like Metal Gear Ac!d.
Well, that’ll do it for my top ten games of all time! Feel free to post below your top ten games of all time and I’ll reply with the reasons you’re wrong!