So, I got inspired by IGN's staff picks for personal favorite/best-games-of-all-time type lists I thought I'd make one as well. I set certain parameters for my list. First parameter is that if there are multiple games in the series only one game could make the list (the one I thought was the best for whatever reason). This was tough for several reasons, there are several games that I just absolutely adore multiple games in the series (Batman, Assassins Creed, Uncharted, Burnout). I picked the game that really stood out to me the most. Yes, often times a sequel will be better but when taking story, gameplay, impact of game for it's time, originality, quality (for its time) Second parameter is that I must have played (and beaten) the game (duh). Yes, this might seem quite obvious. There are a number of games that I've heard good things about and might have even purchased them because I had never gotten around to playing them but if I didn't beat it I won't list it.
Battle Tanx: Global Assault
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
12. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
I am not a RPG person. If anything I prefer action/adventure games with RPG elements. But Skyrim is almost more than a game, it's an open-world sand-box where you can do pretty much whatever you want. Want to be a knight? Go make armor? Do it. Train to be a magician? Do it. Want to focus on side quests? That's fine. Want to do the main story? You can do that. Skryim is a special game and for good reason.
11. Soul Calibur II
Soul Calibur II was the game I played at my friends house on his Playstation 2. It was a local-multiplayer chaos each and every time it was played. This game got more use in my GameCube each time I had a friend over than any other game. It was the sort of game that got over-played until homework was overdue and friendships were beginning to unravel. It is a well balanced fighter and one that a newbie can pick up with relative-ease. It is the sort of game that shows what fighting games have the potential of being and it has solid single player options to prove its worth.
10. Star Wars Episode I: Racer
I still remember the summer I mowed lawns all summer saving up for an Nintendo 64. After playing Smash Brothers, Tony Hawk, Star Fox 64, Mario Kart 64 at various friends and relative's houses I knew I had to get myself an Nintendo 64. I ended up picking up a console bundle that included Star Wars Episode I: Racer. I didn't even know if I'd like the game. I spent hours playing that game working to earn upgrades with different racers. I spent hours memorizing tracks so I could achieve gold medals. I raced against friends and family in multiplayer for hours. I loved this game and it occupied many hours of my N64's time.
9. Star Fox 64
Star Fox 64 was a game that sold Nintendo 64s. It was fantastic-tight-arcade-on-rails space shooting experience. The single player was challenging but I played for hours trying to perfect each and every mission. The multiplayer was of course a huge reason as to why this was a must-own in every N64 collection because it was tons-of-fun with friends as well. The bosses were tough and I saw a lot of Game Over screens during my time with Star Fox but it was one of the pinnicles of gaming experience and it's a real shame that Nintendo has milked Mario but failed to give us a new Star Fox.
8. Assassins Creed II
I would have never thought I would enjoy stealth games or games where you are tasked with following some guys talking meanwhile avoiding being spotted. But Assassins Creed II has a story-line that makes all these menial tasks interesting. There are tombs with puzzles (not as good as Uncharted) and collectibles to boot. The free-flow climbing, roof-top-running, combat is all very well done. Even though I sometimes criticizing the series for the dumb-modern-day-sci-fi-story-line, the "assassins claw" controls and the yearly-milking of the series, there are far more reasons to love the assassins creed series then to hate it. Assassins Creed II from a story perspective and game-play perfections as well as innovations stands as the pinnacle for most people when it comes to Assassins Creed and for good reason it is probably the most-beloved Assassins Game to date in spite of what has been hailed as the runner up of best AC games in the well-done Pirate Simulator: Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag.
7. Uncharted 3
It was a tough decision between Uncharted 2 and Uncharted 3. Uncharted 2 was my first Uncharted experience on my Playstation 3 and one had my girlfriend and I staring at the TV screen for hours like we were watching a movie. Uncharted 3 makes the list because it was the most fun. Uncharted 2 had fantastic story and pacing but Uncharted 3 just topped it in nearly every single way. The gameplay is just perfect and the visuals are stunning and of course the sound and music are just breath taking. It's the Uncharted series that has proved that video games can be cinematic.
6. Donkey Kong 64
The first sandbox-open world type game I had ever played. The numerous puzzles and side-quests and collectibles is overwhelming. The number of Kongs you could play as. The big-open-hub-world. The levels, the bosses, the Krazy-Kong storyline. It was all so mind-blowing to me at the time. I loved every minute of it (and boy did I spend a lot of my minutes with Donkey Kong 64). I don't think I spent much of my free time doing much else after the I got my paws on Donkey Kong 64.
5. Burnout Paradise
One of the first games I picked up for my Playstation 3. I had loved Burnout on my GameCube and suspected this looked amazing. I never knew a racing sandbox game could be so much fun. The DJ from SSX3 spent many hours announcing songs while I drove around Paradise City doing and seeing everything there was to do and see. It was an addiction that kept me up to the late hours of the night racing, rampages, busting gates and signs like there was no tomorrow!
4. The Last of Us
This was my most anticipated game of 2012-2013. It ended up being my personal game-of-the-year for 2013. Even from the early demos Naughty Dog showed at E3 I knew it had the potential to be one of the best games I had ever played. The story was so gripping. The survival-scavenging-sandbox-collecting and puzzle solving game-play was absolutely perfect. It was the game I played through twice without breaking for another game in-between. It was a game I spent hours thinking about after I was done playing. It was terrifying and thrilling. It was so exciting to upgrade and to craft-modify weapons. Every aspect of this game was perfect.
3. Red Dead Redemption
I didn't pick up Red Dead Redemption until a few months after it had been released. Between the GTA comparisons and the hype I was convinced it was going to be a good game. But once I picked it up on sale and popped it into my PS3 my jaw dropped. I didn't stop playing for a week. The open world that felt so-real, so-alive, I was immediately sucked in. The horse travel, the dust, the hunting, I almost forgot to do missions there was so many things to see and do in Red Dead Redemption. It had a fantastic story and I was so upset when it all ended.
2. Star Wars Rogue Leader
I got into video games because of Star Wars. Rouge Squadron was one of the reasons I knew I needed to get the first console I ever owned, a Nintendo 64. Rouge Leader was the reason I knew I needed to pick up a GameCube on launch day. I barely had enough money for the system, a memory card and two games but Rouge Leader was the only game I knew I HAD to PLAY. It was my favorite game on the GameCube. I remember just how blown away I was by the graphics and the sound. LucasArts & Factor 5 really knew what they were doing when it came to making Star Wars arcade video games. It was challenging but I played missions over and over until I mastered them. I spent many hours playing this game over-and-over and over again.
1. Batman Arkham Asylum
Batman Arkham Asylum was one of the first games I played on my new PS3. It was also one of the reason I bought a PS3. It was love at first sight. You actually felt like Batman in this game, the game-play mechanics were just right. The combat was superb. The collectibles, the secrets, the unlocks, the metroid-style game-play-it was all just perfect. This game represented a pinnacle in video games for me.