My 50 Favorite Video Games of All Time. (Part 4/5)

  Any Gamer ran rattle off a “Greatest Games of All Time List” and most of them will probably look pretty similar. I’ve never been a fan of objective lists for subjective content. One person’s “Amazing” is another’s “Mediocre”. So with that being said, here’s a list, in no particular order, of my 50 favorite video games of all time.

-Rome: Total War-

PC

rome-total-war

Developer: The Creative Assembly

Publisher: Activision, Sega

Release: September 22, 2004

Metacritic Rating: 92/100

I love a good real-time strategy game. I’ve fallen in love with  quite a few including Age of Empires, Command and Conquer, Halo Wars, and Age of Mythology. But I think the series that I’ve enjoyed the most has to be Total War, in particular Rome: Total War. I’ve poured countless hours into this game, and when I say “countless” I mean 436 according to my Steam account. Ending every session with “Just one more turn.” would, inevitably, result in sitting up weary-eyed at five in the morning, trying to capture one more settlement. Medieval 2: Total War is an extremely close runner-up for my favorite in the series, but there was just something special about Rome. The gameplay is definitely flawed, especially the A.I., and the graphics are pretty dated. But there’s a certain nostalgic charm that this game delivers that is difficult to duplicate.

-Left 4 Dead 2-

PC, Xbox 360

left 4 dead.jpg

Developer: Valve Corporation

Publisher: Valve Corporation

Release: November 17, 2009

Metacritic Rating: 89/100

There a few things more fun than killing zombies with friends, and in an era when couch co-op was being phased out, Left 4 Dead was a celebrated release. So celebrated that, exactly a year later, a sequel was released. Now, many could consider Left 4 Dead 2 more of an expansion than a true sequel, considering its similarities to its predecessor and the rushed release. But the game was still damn fun.

-Portal 2-

PC, Xbox 360, Playstation 3

portal-2

Developer: Valve Corporation

Publisher: Valve Corporation

Release: April 19, 2011

Metacritic Rating: 95/100

Another Valve title. Another amazing game. Portal was unlike anything I’d ever played. It was challenging, addicting, humorous, and overall just extremely enjoyable. Portal 2 upped the ante in every single way. The addition of co-op, and a fleshed-out story alone made it a “must purchase”. In an year with some amazing titles, including Skyrim, Portal 2 set the bar. Plus it has one of the best (definitely one of my favorite) endings in gaming.

-Bioshock-

Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC

bioshock

Developer: 2K Boston, 2k Australia

Publisher: 2K Games, Feral Interactive

Release: August 21, 2007

Metacritic Rating: 96/100

Anyone who has visited Rapture can attest to the brilliance of this game. From the moment your plane crashes into the ocean and you swim through the fiery wreckage you can just feel that something special awaits you. Roaming through the derelict submerged city is equal parts creepy, thrilling,  and intense, and I’ll never forget the first time I battled a “Big Daddy”.  The world is so immersive and the gameplay is so sharp that it’s impossible to deny this as one of the greatest games ever made.

-Super Smash Bros.-

N64

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Developer: HAL Laboratory

Publisher: Nintendo

Release: January 21, 1999

Metacritic Rating: 79/100

Flipping a coin. Rock, paper, scissors. Super Smash Bros.  There are not many better ways to settle a dispute in my book . This game, alongside Mariokart 64,  is an absolute “must-have” for any Nintendo 64 owner. Whether it’s “Break the Targets”, “Board the Platforms”, the single-player arcade mode, or classic multiplayer, this game packs an insane amount of replay value into relatively limited modes. There’s an incredibly satisfying feeling in making it all the way to Master Hand without losing a life on “Very Hard” mode. Or smashing your friend with the “Homerun Bat, and sending them rocketing off the screen. Or getting thrown off the map only to double-jump and just manage to grab ahold of the edge again.  I don’t think there’s a game that I have more fond memories of.

-Super Meat Boy-

PC, Xbox 360/One, Playstaion 3/4

smb

Developer: Team Meat

Publisher: Team Meat

Release: October 20, 2010

Metacritic Rating: 87/100

During a late-night Netflix binge I stumbled across a documentary named Indie Game: The Movie. The film focuses on the development and release of independent games Fez, Braid, and Super Meat Boy. Now, I had already played the two former  games, and enjoyed both quite a bit, but hadn’t yet tried the latter. So immediately after the movie ended I did.  Super Meat Boy was exactly what I was expecting: fast paced, incredibly difficult, insanely addicting, and super fun. Speeding through the elaborate deathtrap-like levels bounces from engaging to frustrating to rewarding. While the game seems almost maddening at times, it never feels cheap, and, after throwing down the controller in anger, it’s almost impossible to not pick it back up.

-The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt-

Xbox One, Playstation 4, PC

witcher3

Developer: CD Projekt RED

Publisher: CD Projekt

Release: May 19, 2015

Metacritic Rating: 91/100

I had heard of the Witcher games and books prior to playing The Witcher 3, but hadn’t yet jumped into that universe. But the hype was unavoidable, and I eventually caved and bought in. In terms of gaming, that was one of my best decisions. The Witcher 3 is one of my favorite games of all time. The graphics are absolutely incredible. The characters are endearing. The story and lore are captivating and rich. I’ve heard complaints about the combat system, but I had no issues with it and found it to be pretty enjoyable. Even the side-quests are rewarding and fun. Plus there’s the in-game card-game “Gwent”, which I quickly found myself consumed by. There’s just so much content and so many game-changing decisions that the replayability  here is undeniable. The DLCs Hearts of Stone and Blood and Wine are amazing and totally worth the purchase as well.

-Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic-

PC, Xbox

kotor

Developer: Bioware

Publisher: LucasArts

Release: July 15, 2003

Metacritic Rating: 93/100

Come on… it’s Star Wars, and truly at its best too. This RPG thrusts the player into a perfectly crafted original story that ranks as one of the finest in gaming history. Once again, Bioware created a world that has impactful consequences and memorable characters. This game would be fantastic with any other setting, but throwing in the rich and, usually underused, Star Wars lore bumps this title up to an all-time classic.

-Bejing 2008-

Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC

252px-beijing_2008_boxshot

Developer: Eurocom

Publisher: Sega

Release: July 8, 2008

Metacritic Rating: 60/100

I should preface with this: this game is definitely not for everyone. Players rhythmically press buttons and flick the analog sticks to run, jump, swim, shoot and perform in hopes of achieving a medal. The 100- meter-dash consists of alternating between the A and B buttons as fast as possible. The 400- meter dash? The same thing except four-times longer. Never before have I physically taxed myself playing a video game. But it was so damn fun. It was a weekly ritual for my high-school track team to meet up on weekends, each pick a country, and try to win the most gold medals over the course of an evening. Again, if you’re not a track fan you probably won’t find much in this game to enjoy, but it certainly has its market.

-Red Dead Redemption-

Xbox 360, Playstation 3

reddead

Developer: Rockstar San Diego

Publisher: Rockstar Games

Release: May 18, 2010

Metacritic Rating: 95/100

This game is a masterpiece in every sense of the word. The score is some of the most beautifully composed music in game history. The combat is realistic and captures the “gunslinger” vibe so many other games tried and failed to achieve. The world is alive with gorgeous scenery and sound design. To date this is Rockstar’s best game, and that’s quite an achievement.

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 5

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