So with the recent greatest game of the decade thing going on at gamefaqs.com, I thought I'd make my top 10 games of all time list. It was mad difficult, yo!
I picked only one game from my favorite series as to make the list more diverse, because the top 5 would be pretty boring.
And also, one should understand when looking at this list, that I owned as a child, a Sega Genesis, N64, Gamecube, Wii, Xbox 360, Gameboy, Gameboy Advanced and DS (I also had a friend with a Dreamcast). So that is why any NES/SNES games of PlayStation exclusives (well there is one....).
10. Tetris- Well, it is just a casual-ish puzzle game and that's it. But it is so fun and addictive, plus its one of the all top top selling games, just because it has been around for soooooo long and has had sooooo many iterations. This is sort of a position for any of those first games that popularity, like Pac-Man or Pong, of which Tetris was da best.
9. Pokemon- As great as Pokemon is, it only fits in the number 9 spot. When I started thinking of the greatest games ever, Pokemon didn't immediately come to mind. I think the one real negative aspect is that it so time consuming if you want to beat it 100%. I have been able to catch'em all only in 1 game (crystal version), and it bothers me, that it still required trading. Otherwise it seems to be the only game focused on animal cruelty and "dog-fights". You capture some wild animals and contain them in a ridiculously small space. Then you force them to fight other people's animals, and the winner gets paid straight ca$h, homie. You can also force them to breed and such. But it is fun to try to get them all, being a sort of completionist, in games at least. So when a game with new Pokemon comes out, it is always exciting. Looking forward to white & black.
8. Batman Arkham Asylum- This was a tough decision, as the Metroid Prime games are also amazing, but they fit in the same genre as Batman does. It is one of my more favorite genres, adventure games. It isn't too open, as say Fallout, where you really can do anything, and not advance the plot, or too linear a say Sonic the Hedgehog (just go left to right). There are story missions, which slowly unlock you more accessible areas, and each area is full of somewhat hidden collectibles. The beat-em up combat is pretty simplistic in AA (compared to Metroid Prime), though it does get quite challenging on the hard difficulty, when surrounded by lots of enemies. Also another important part of an advneture game such as these, is the visuals. Both AA and Metroid Prime are gorgeous. And both games both have a good story. It isn't amazing, but it's solid. I probably pick AA over Metroid Prime, because I haven't played the latter in such a long time, maybe if I had the chance to play it again, I'd flip-flop.
7. Portal- This game first came out as part of Valve's The Orange Box, which I disqualified from this list, since it is more of a compilation, than a game in and of itself. Portal is one of the greatest puzzle games, that actually required some cognitive thinking. Also the use of physics-bending Portals. It features the greatest [not from my favorite game series (as not to spoil the number one spot)] villain in all of video games: GLaDOS. She is just hilarious, and a lot of the funniness is dark humor, the best type of comedy. It also features some memoarble things, such as "the cake is a lie" and of course the Weighted Companion Cube, one of the greatest "inanimate objects" of all time. The main problem with the game is that it is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too short. A lot shorter than that way anyway. So hopefully the upcoming sequel will be able to retain the first game's greatness and just add some length to it.
6. Jet Grind Radio- To be honest, I haven't played this game in forever, but with rumors going around that it might be coming to the Xbox Live Arcade eventually, it rekindled my memories of this fantastic game. It is a cell-shaded (best art in video games, period. parenthesis) rollerblading game, where you tag stuff (graffiti the walls and such). There are also races and other challenges. But it is a unique genre of games, with a great art, solid gameplay, and if I remember correctly, a great soundtrack.
5. Metal Gear Solid 3- Metal Gear Solid is one of the most solid game series. From the first game to the last, all of them are great. But not having a lot of access to a PS1, I wasn't able to play the first one all that much. And also not having access to a PS3 that much, I have only been able to play about 30 min of MGS4. So that leaves MGS2 and MGS3, both of which I have done multiple playthroughs. And MGS3 wins out, not because of Raiden from MGS2 (he wasn't as bad as people make him out to be), but because of the immersiveness of MGS3. It takes place mainly in a forest, so you have to use camouflage to slip by unnoticed, and eat some animals every once in a while to restore your stamina. It is a lot more stealth focused than MGS4, and the stealth aspect of these games has always been the drawing point for me. The Boss fights are also great, withe memorable characters like The End (who you could beat, by not playing the game for a week, since he is old, and falls asleep and dies or sth. Hilarious) and The Fury.
4. Simpson's Hit & Run- A game that probably won't make it to too many people's top lists. It is basically GTA meets the Simpsons. You can't shoot hookers or anything in this game, but you can carjack someone, then run someone over with your car, and then get out and beat the crap out of old ladies on the street. All the while staying in the Springfield, with its art and humor. And it is hilarious. 'Nuff said.
3. SSX 3- So one day, long long ago, I decide to rent something from Blockbuster, and the game that got picked was SSX Tricky a snowboarding game, with one of the greatest opening sequences of all time. It was a fairly linear racing game that featured a wide variety of unique characters. It had a white hip-hoper, a supermodel, a psychopath, etc. And as you progressed you earned more stats for speed, air, edging, etc. It kinda reminded me of 1080 Snowboarding for the N64, but it featured insane tricks and stunts. Why not jump of your board in midair and perform a double backflip. or Pull of a 1280 front flip whilst doing the worm? Then a few years later, I discover its sequel and purchase it. And it blew my mind. It retained all the tricks, while adding a few extra, and kept the core characters, with some old one missing, and some new ones. One big addition was the customization- you could change their Über move set and their clothing, which is somewhat unique with each character (with each one having some unique items). And then, instead of linear races, it was an open-world, well more like open-mountain game. BAM! The only open-world snowboarding game in existance, and it is superb. You can race, or go to trick events, where you rack up a high score, or you can just go to the top of the highest peak and go all the way to the bottom of the mountain. Which is about a 30-minute ride. All whilst enjoying one of the greatest video gamesoundtracks ever, featuring Basement Jaxx, IMA Robot's "A is for Action", and Swollen Member's "Deep End". And the songs had effects: if you are in the air, the vocals, or bass may go away, only to return once you land.
There are also collectibles around the mountain, and some other challenges (like get from point A to B with under 10 sec air time).
Also it looks fantastic.
Anyways, it is very deserving of the number three spot, and I am surprised that this game isn't as well known as the greatness that it is.
(Also you can unlock special characters, like a Yeti, a Robot, or a Cow.....yes, a snowboarding cow).
2. Phoenix Wright: Trials and Tribulations- So this is probably a love it/hate it type of game. It is a text based point and click adventure where you are a defense attorney. There is cross-examination and some investigating. So there is a lot of reading.....a lot. But luckily the game is hilarious, and the cases are elaborate and interesting. I pick the third game in the series, since it has a better overarching story relating the early cases with the later ones. You play as Phoenix, who is one of the greatest video games characters ever (especially in the Apollo Justice game, where he is older and more nonchalant). The entire cast of characters is unique and interesting. Featuring some great names, like Sal Monella, Luke Atmey, etc.
The entire series is fantastic, from the first Phoenix Wright, through Apollo Justice and Miles Edgeworth. Really isn't much more to say: unique gameplay, diverse cast, hilarious dialogue, interesting cases.
And the greatest game ever made is:
1. Fire Emblem- It is a game in the greatest genre, turn-based strategy. That genre is surprisingly lacking any games. There is only civilization and some rpg, though there the turn order is subject to change, and it isn't truly turn-based (and of course some simple puzzle games, but those don't count), and of course the saving grace, the Fire Emblem series.
Due to the lack of release in the US, the first game to be released in the Western world is called just Fire Emblem, but is the seventh in the series, so for clarity, I will call it FE7 from now on.
FE is a turn-based strategy game, with one main difference to such games as Final Fantasy and the lot, that if a character dies in any level, they are actually dead. There is no reviving. It makes the game difficult for perfectionists like me, who don't want a single character to die, so the entire level must be restarted following one characters death. Also, all the characters have a personality, so you don't want them to die. The personality mainly comes out through support conversations. When two characters are standing next to each other when the player's turn ends, they gain a support point. With enough of those, they can have a support conversation, and then of they are within 3 squares of each other, they get stat boosts. Characters can only support with certain other characters, and up to 3 times with one other person. The conversations themselves provide a lot of backstory and depth to the characters, and more often then not, are quite funny. Almost all the characters are interesting, even the bosses, who you mostly meet for just that one level, but even then they all have a personality, from Batta to Glass to Sonia. Then there is even an awesome villain who you don't get to fight (aww, man).
The story is somewhat generic, but the characters are unique enough and there are enough tweaks to the evil-guy-wants-to-take-over-the-world-and-good-guys-must-defeat-him formula to make it interesting.
Why this game over the rest of the series. Well I haven't played FE1-FE5, but as I understand it, they don't have supports, so the characters are a lot blander. We'll skip FE6 for now. FE8 had a much more uninteresting story and cast of characters. Also it was a lot easier. It featured characters promotion customization possibility, though that change was sort of unnecessary. FE9 was back to the greatness of FE7, with an extra bonus of skills. But once of again the characters weren't as interesting (maybe it's just my nostalgia talking there....but w.e), and there was no support viewer. In FE10 anybody can support with anybody, but the conversations are generic. And it had a horrid 4 part structure for its story. But at least it had the FE9 support viewer, which makes sense. And FE11, which is a port of FE1, which was just disgusting. No supports, too many characters, and all of them without personality. I didn't play past the 8th level due to the disappointment. And now FE6. It is as great as FE7, and more difficult, which is good. It lakced a support conversation viewer though. But the main issue is the fact that it was never released in English. I was able to play a ROM of it with translation, but there were glitches/bad translation that ruined the experience. If it were to be properly ported to the US (with a conversation viewer), it might actually be better than FE7.
Also FE7 had side-chapters which could be unlocked by filling certain conditions. FE8-FE10 lacked these. And in FE6 they were required to get to the final boss. And in FE11, you could get to them, if you had less characters in your party, aka you don't recruit them or they die. Why reward failure? Also none of them had Serra, the greatest video game character ever. I wont go into detail about it, one must play the game to grasp her epicness.
That is probably not enough praise for this awesome, awesome game. But I'll stop it there.
So as you can see from the lack of military shooters or racing games, that I like unique games; games which give an experience that I can't really get from any other game. Also humor is important. As in a movie, if it is too serious it isn't as enjoyable.
In my game of the decade bracket final is Fire Emblem vs Bioshock, because Fire Emblem eliminated the likes of Phoenix Wright, Jet Grind Radio and such. (SSX 3 isn't in the bracket which is shocking to me, because that game, is as specified before, amazing).
Other honorable mentions:
Halo: Reach/ Halo 3
Plants vs Zombies
Road Rash II (GEN)
Super Smash Bros. Brawl/Melee
The Sims 3
Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures (GEN)
Pokemon Snap (N64)
Also, check out the rest of my blog at reigntall.blogspot.com