Well, I've gained a little inspiration from a few fellow GameSpot friends, so I've decided to make a list of my 10 favorite games of the previous generation. I initally wanted to make a top 10 all-time favorite list, but I just couldn't; it was way too hard. Maybe after making a few of these lists, it would be easier... I will see, I suppose.
Now, this list was extremely difficult to compile, since I've played so many games in my time, and have been into gaming over a decade (that's long for a 16 year old!). There are quite a few games that I would have liked to make this list (so I may make other lists, I suppose...) but for now, I guess this will have to settle. Here goes...
Honorable Mention: Kessen (PS2)
I decided to bump this up to an honorable mention; it was initially in the 10th spot, but I had to add in a game last minute that just couldn't be left out.
Kessen was the first RTS I ever played, and was what really got me into the genre. It was also one of the first games I ever played on PS2, so to have been privileged enough to experience it at such an early time was truly a pleasure. In addition to introducing me to the world of RTS games, the game captured my attention and interest on many different levels, which is why I respect and remember it so much. Not an amazing game, but a great game nonetheless, that also happened to introduce me to the RTS genre.
10. NBA Street Vol. 2 (PS2 and Xbox)
Sports games of the previous generation were mostly great. They lived up to the standards they should have (much unlike the current generation), and actually improved each year they were reitereated. I had a tremendous amount of fun with last gen's basketball and soccer games (minus FIFA Street), but NBA Street Vol. 2 takes the mighty, ultimate cake. Why not the first one, or Vol. 3? Because Vol. 2 contained the best pluses the franchise had to offer, and it did it well. The game amounted to nothing but endless amount of fun for me and the many people I played it with, and it truly showed me that button-mashing could have structure, and even better yet, that it could be seamlessly incorporated into a sports game. Well done, EA Sports BIG.
9. MX Superfly (Xbox)
Ever since playing Grand Turismo 3 (my very first PS2 game; it came with the console as a bundle), my perception of racing games completely changed. The depth and breadth of GT3 was something I had never experienced before, and actually made racing games one of my favorite genres - and it still is. MX Superfly was something very different for me, however. It wasn't the first motocross racing game I had played, but it was the first to actually be fun and addictive. It's grea modes, controls, and game environments make this game one of my cherished ****cs.
8. Sonic Adventure (Dreamcast)
This is by far my favorite 3D Sonic game, and granted me a great deal of fun and playing time during my time with the Dreamcast console. The game's story, gameplay, and features were all top notch, and this game was the first great adventure game I had played since games such as Crash Bandicoot.
7. Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction (PS2)
When I think of "last-gen" and the genre of action adventure, this game is among the first, and most memorable, to come to mind. This game blew my mind on so many levels, it's hard to discuss. Those who have played the game need no introduction to its fantastic assets, and those who haven't truly missed out on a tremendously fun, intriguing, and different action game. I wanted to put this game higher on my list, but despite the indisuputably nostalgic memories it has given me, it was not as good as some of the other games I had played last generation.
6. Burount 3: Takedown (PS2)
While Grand Turismo 3 got me into racing games, Burnout 3 made me fall in love with them. Having not played the previous Burnout games, 3 was something very new to me, and showed me the more extreme, intense sides of racing games that I hadn't ever experiened prior. At first, the game was one kind to me, and seemed very weird. But once I came to grow very fond of all the unique features it had to offer, I got hooked. I spent 200+ hours with the game, and I remember I had achieved full completion in the game, which is something I hadn't done with many games last gen. Burnout 3: Takedown fills lthe owest slot of the better half of my top 10 games of last gen for this main reason: it showed me something that games such as Grand Turismo 3 could not - that racing games could be both unrealistic and fun.
5. Rayman 2: Revolution (PS2)
I'm actually very disappointed that I couldn't have positioned this game higher, because I absolutely love it. The reason the games below took priority over this one is because I am a huge admirer of the games' franchises as a whole, while in contrast, I don't have much fondness for this game's franchise in terms of this gen (then gen before this one would be an entirely different story!) Anyway, about the game.
Rayman 2: Revolution was my third ever PS2 game, and was my first adventure game on the console. Because a long period of time existed between the time I got another game and the time I had gotten this one, I was able to spend quite a bit of time with the game - and oh boy, did I love every second of it. The game had me hooked from the start; the captivating, fun platforming gameplay was something I had not experienced since the Crash Bandicoot days - and, at the time, it felt even better than the CB days, because I spent so much time with it. This game is easily one of my favorite adventure games of all time, and it certainly took my interest in gaming up a notch from when I was younger.
OK; I need to take a breather... things are getting very tough for me here. Picking my top 4 is so difficult... but oh well; it's got to be done. Here we go...
4. Tony Hawk games (various consoles)
I'm sorry, but I couldn't pick a single favorite Tony Hawk game from last gen. Most of them were all just so good and unique in their own way that I couldn't muster up the audacity to pick a single one. So what I will do instead is list them in order of my most favorite to least favorite:
- Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2x (Xbox) and Underground (Xbox) [tie]
- Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 (PS2)
- Tony Hawk's American Wasteland (PS2, Xbox, and again this gen on Xbox 360)
- Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 (PS2)
- Tony Hawk's Underground 2 (PS2, and Remix on PSP)
I never played Proving Ground, even though it was actually released during this generation, and I played Project 8 very briefly on PS2, but never went back due to lack of interest in it.
The Tony Hawk games have been with me since the very first one on PSOne, and I've grown to be an avid fan of the game's addictive gameplay. There are so many good things I could say about some of the older Tony Hawk games, but I cannot bring myself to discuss them all. What I will say, though, is that all of these Tony Hawk games brought me some of the most memorable experiences I've had in gaming (final parts of Underground 1 and 2, anyone?), are also what have kindled and shaped my long love and respect for the sport of skateboarding, which was initiated by the first Tony Hawk game.
Sorry guys, but a tie is coming up...
3. MDK2 (Dreamcast) [tie]
This game was by far the most intriguing, fun action game I had ever played. In addition for developing a massive appreciation for the games genius attitude and flow, I actually learned quite a bit from the game as well. In addition to being very fun and captivating, the game is outrageously funny, and that did a lot to help make the game's experience that much more adherable. The game was among many other action games that I had played in the past, but because of its unique sci-fi aspects and gameplay, it was the one that really stood out for me.
It's good to know that Mass Effect won't be the first BioWare game I've played, if you catch my drift. 8)
3. Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow (PS2 and Xbox) [tie]
I don't even know where to begin with this epic game (and franchise!).
Splinter Cell (the first one) was the very first game I played on Xbox, and it was what made me truly appreciate the console, and its advantages over the PS2. It was one of the games that made me eventually start playing my Xbox more than my PS2, even though I had obtained my PS2 console about five years before I did my Xbox. I never had the opportunity to solely experience a Metal Gear game during previous generations, so besides playing SC: PT on a friend's Gameboy Advance one summer, Splinter Cell 1 was my first true stealth game experience. Ubisoft nailed the gameplay so well, and it definitely showed when I feel into a deep fondness for pretty much every aspect of the game. I still love it to death today, and have played all the games in the franchise to death. Chaos Theory and Double Agent were both great, but I've found the gameplay and story of Pandora tomorrow was by far the most memorable. I really do hope Conviction will not disappoint one of my most intense game desires...
2. Ratchet and Clank: Going Commando
If my life were threatened with the task of describing the Ratchet and Clank series in one word, I would definitely have to say "stupendous". And even that would be putting things very, very mildly. I will not even attempt to explain why this game gets my number two pick , but I will explicitly say that in terms of a great combination of depth, humor, and innovation, this series cannot be matched in any way. Why did I pick Going Commando over the other three (or four; did they port Size Matters to the PS2?) possible choices? Because Going Commando, in my opinion, had the best weapons, story, environments, and characters out of all the other games.
I will request a drum roll from my favorite drummer for my top game of last generation...
1. Grand Theft Auto III (PS2)
Grand Theft Auto is one of my favorite franchsies, and Rockstar... oh, I just love Rockstar. My favorite game of last generation was destined to be a GTA game from the start, and, quite honestly, it was always likely going to be III, and not the other two. But why?
It's indisputable that Vice City and San Andreas made massive improvements to the GTA franchise, and both were incredible games that are unique and special in many different ways. But what really, really sets Grand Theft Auto III apart from VC and SA is its overall grandeur.
And no, I'm not just talking about the fact that it and Halo: CE walked over the gaming year of 2001. I'm talking about the game's unique features. And the most important and obvious one, of course, would be that it revolutionalized the genre of sanbox-****action-adventure games. This genre, along with platformer games, was one that really had my attention at the time, since I wasn't much of an RPG buff (hadn't played much else besides the previous gen's Zelda: OOT). So when I was first exposed to Grand Theft Auto, it instilled feelings of satisfaction that cannot be expressed with words. And, since I was quite young at the time of first playing the game, many of its aspects were very blown up and fantastic for me, which really helped make the experiences I had with the game that much more impacting on my gaming life. In addition, I personally prefer Liberty City, III's soundtrack, characters, and story, and best of all... the fact that the protagonist of the game, Claude, doesn't speak in the game. I had, and still do, find that to be very, very cool. :P So all those reasons are why GTA III gets my top pick.
Well, that's my list fellas... I hope you enjoyed my insight, and the mini look into what I was mostly up to during the last generation of game consoles. My best of thoughts aren't in this blog post, since it is late where I am and my mind is not in the best state of functionality, so I apologize. I may make a Top 10 90's Gen games list, or even one for this generation, but I don't know; I'll have to see how that goes.