####Okay, so even though this topic has been beaten to death, I'm sure, I'm going to ask it one last time...
What do you believe to be the 10 best games ever made?
Now, wait! Before you answer, let's clarify. I am not talking about cultural influence, the impact it's had on the industry, etc. While these can certainly be qualifications, I want you to make your choice based on games that you personally love and would not do without, even if other people think they are complete trash. Also, if you like, give a brief description of why you love each game that you do. If you don't feel like typing out all 10, feel free to add any that come to mind.
I'll start us off! Here are 10 of my favorite, most played, most enjoyed games of all time, in no particular order:
Number 10: Diablo 2
In the last few years I haven't been a PC gamer at all. However, when I was younger, I spent a good 5 years of my life playing Diablo 2. Even though I haven't touched the game in a long time, I have to give credit where credit is due: you don't play a game for 5 years and not like it. Diablo 2 had a unique, dark ambience and vibe about it that I haven't found in any other game. Combine this with the ridiculous amount of character customization, extra things to find and do, and the fun PvP, and you've got yourself an excellent game. Even as shitty as they are, the graphics hold up well over time, and still evoke the same sense of wonder, curiosity and gothic darkness that they have for almost 15 years.
Number 9: Timesplitters: Future Perfect
Another game which I haven't even touched in awhile, yet it is so ridiculously good, it deserves a mention. While most people don't even know the name, TSFP, for me, even more than Timesplitters 2, perfected the Goldeneye-style shooter on consoles. It took elements of games like Halo, Half-Life, Perfect Dark, and yes, Goldeneye, and fused them together into a a real gem of a game. The shooting and gameplay was tight, the multiplayer arcade mode and challenges were excellent, the amount of features and customization were immense, and of course, the game had a feature found in almost no other game: a truly excellent, drag and drog mapmaking feature, on a CONSOLE GAME! Just astounding. Still as fun and frantic today as it was in 2005. I can't tell you how many hours I spent playing this game, either by myself just making maps and mucking around, or with friends, depriving ourselves of sleep and loading up on horrid pizza and store brand soda, just to keep playing through the night. TSFP was an amazing game that will always live on in my heart as one of the last truly arcade-like FPS games, and perhaps, the very best one.
Number 8: Resident Evil 4
For me, Resident Evil 4 started it all. It simultaneously gave me a supreme love for gorey action, third person shooting, and survival horror. With some of the tightest controls of its time, graphics that still look amazingly life-like even today, and one of the best campaigns in any game, Resident Evil 4 really had it all. I have to mention again, the graphics in RE4 are just insane. Even though it definitely shows its age, when I look at RE4 today, I am still truly impressed by how amazing the game looks. There are games made today which don't include the amount of sheer nuance and refinement present in RE4, both in its graphics and gameplay. RE4 was both the definitive game of the RE series, and quite possibly one of the best games ever made by anyone's standard.
Number 7: Gears of War
Without Resident Evil 4, there would be no Gears of War. Hell, Cliffy B said it himself. However, with that being said, Gears of War stands on its own merits. Gears of War could be described as a tactical shooting game, but it would be best described simply, as badass. No game ever made you feel like such an overpowered S.O.B. until Gears of War. You were a giant warrior, in giant armor, with a giant gun, killing giant aliens. What more could you want? Perhaps some of the funnest multiplayer known to man? You've got it. Gears of War was a great singleplayer experience, especially with a friend, but online is where the game found its meat and potatoes. With its "elimination" style gameplay, few games can match the visceral, fast-paced, blood-pumping action of Gears of War. While subsequent entries in the series were good, specifically Gears of War 2, they never felt as tight, arcade-like, or simply fun, as the original. Gears of War will always stand at the top of the stack for me, in terms of competitive games. It was simply one of the best.
Number 6: Quake 3: Arena
Quake 3 Arena really needs to explanation or introduction, but I might as well give it one. Quake 3 Arena is essentially what would happen if you took Doom, made it multiplayer focused, and then took every aspect of it and injected it with the highest grade heroin known to man. Quake 3 is the definitive, classic arena shooter. Few games have proven to be as balanced, as fast-paced, or as fun as Quake 3. Quake 3 is the go-to game for settling bets and proving who has the better reaction time (or at least, who spends more time looking at Hentai and touching themselves). Quake 3 is a classic, and even games like Unreal Tournament can't hope to match up to the balanced weapons, expertly designed levels, and quick action of Quake 3.
Number 5: Warhawk
Here's another title some of you may not even be familiar with. Warhawk is an interesting game, because really, there isn't anything else like it. But there doesn't need to be. While games like Halo, Call of Duty, and yes, even Gears of War, will try to put you in the shoes of a soldier on the battlefield, it always feels fake. You always feel like you're just moving through a series of set pieces, taking down enemies, but never actually participating in a real, coherent battle. What you do in games like those has very little impact on the outcome of the "war" so to speak, but in Warhawk, the game IS a war. You play as a semi-cartoonish little soldier who can be outfitted with a variety of weapons and gadgets, and your objective is to fight alongside your team mates in large, 32-person wars that span across absolutely GIGANTIC maps (seriously, they're the size of small countries). The best part? You can also hop into Humvees, tanks, and of course, the most awesome fighter jets ever, Warhawks. Utilizing all the tools of the battlefield, you and your team mates can crush the opposition, stealing tactical vantage points, items, and flags along the way. Warhawk is one of the few games that truly makes you feel like you're a soldier in a war, and your impact can either mean nothing, or everything. This is the soul of Warhawk, and the reason it is so fantastic.
Number 4: Halo 3
Halo 3 is one of those rare games that just seems to get it all right. While there will always be criticisms you can make, such as certain guns or vehicles being unbalanced, or even the lack of offline multiplayer bots (which isn't even common, anyway), you cannot deny the sheer excellence of the game. Halo 3 offers a well-thought campaign, a brilliant, classic multiplayer mode with a plethora of different options, and the excellent forge mode where you can create your own content. Few games are as feature-rich and well constructed as Halo 3. Halo's gameplay is in fine form here, and the amount of wasted nights spent playing Halo 3 with drunk buddies are too many to count. Hell, even the graphics are pretty good.
Number 3: Demon's Souls
If you consider yourself a serious gamer, you should know about Demon's Souls, but if you don't, let me tell you, it is badass. Demon's Souls is sort of like what would happen if you combined Diablo 2 with one of the 3D Zelda titles. It's so much better than that, however. The game is dark, gothic, and at times, even disturbing and scary. However, what makes it so brilliant is the atmosphere. The atmosphere of demon souls protrudes through every aspect of the gameplay, and makes the entire experience one you won't forget. From the small ambient sounds, to the well-voiced character, and even the strange, wondrous environments and creepy lighting effects, Demon's Souls leaves you with an aural feeling completely its own. Not to mention, the controls and combat are as tight as can be, the levels are incredibly well designed and each present unique obstacles and enemies, and the progression of your character is unique and fun.
Number 2: Killzone 3
Boy, I'm asking for it with this one, but hear me out. Some will disagree, but I find Killzone 3 to be better not only than the normally preferred Killzone 2, but also better than most blockbuster titles like Battlefield, Crysis, Far Cry, and even Halo. What are my reasons for this? Well, they go like this: gameplay, graphics, and multiplayer bots. Killzone 3 perfected everything wrong with Killzone 2, and overhauled it with far superior graphics and controls. Additionally, the new abilities and weapons you have at your disposal are ridiculously cool. Plus, can you say flamethrowers, jetpacks, and GIANT MECHS? This game is after mine own heart. It really couldn't get better... Except for the fact it has multiplayer bots. I'm a huge fan of bots in games, because it's nice to know that even if the internet goes down, or when you're getting the shit kicked out of you, that you can go and enjoy the multiplayer experience by yourself. It also serves as an excellent training mode and a way to extend the multiplayer features far beyond the lifespan of the online servers. Killzone 3 has everything that a game needs to be great, and while you can fault it for whatever you may, it looks great, plays great, and sounds great. Killzone 3....Is great.
Number 1: The Legend of Zelda: the Wind Waker
I'll never understand the hate for Wind Waker. It seems to be one of those "love it or hate it" things, but I've always been in the former group. Wind Waker, to me, is the first Zelda game that really seemed like an adventure. In prior installments, all areas seemed very connected and reminiscent of one another, I always felt like I was playing an action/platformer game and I was never taken out of that mindset, but with the Wind Waker, the game was epic, grand, and truly enthralling. Finding some small, almost invisible island and finding a hole on it that leads to an ancient battleground filled with giant demon warriors is about one of the coolest experiences I've found in gaming. The wind waker draws you in and doesn't let go. The art style, the combat, the exploration, the wonder and curiosity- it is just so grand. Wind Waker will always be my favorite Zelda game, and one of the best games I've ever played in general.
What about you? What are your favorite games, and why?