12. Tales of Symphonia (Gamecube)
Oh I went and did it. Put a JRPG on my list. I have just caused the apocalypse. Tales of Symphonia is a game I used to play religiously for a couple of reasons. One, its story was very good and well told. Two its characters were all pretty cool in their own ways. Three, the gameplay was perfect. Four, it's graphics were really nice. Five, I wanted to figure out when the hell those anime ****cutscenes that are advertised on the back of the box would come into play. I don't know why I was obsessed with this game more than I was with Final Fantasy, but I just felt that this game topped all the 3-D Final Fantasy games. It is one of the most fun JRPG's I have ever played.
11. Team Fortress 2 (PC)
Team Fortress 2 is the greatest multiplayer game ever. It's focus on team based action and helping each other makes it all the better. All of its ****s are cool and well ballanced, it's cartoonish graphics are wonderful, its gameplay is easy to get used to. It's the perfect multiplayer game. Yes, better than Unreal Tournament. But there is no single player and I'm not as much a multiplayer sort of guy. But this is definately a game all multiplayer kind of people can enjoy.
10. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (PS2)
Vice City is my favorite Grand Theft Auto game for a reason. First of all, it's totally eighties look is great. It's radio is the best of any Grand Theft Auto game and it's story mode is the least boring and stupid story of the GTA games. Yes I have played San Andreas and I hated it's look, it's feel, the characters were all lame and I really didn't feel for the character, nor could I put myself in his shoes. GTA4 just sucked. But this game was perfect. I could put myself in my characters shoes, though Saints Row 2 was even better in making me feel like I was the character. And that level of immersion is something more game companies should strive for. The story of this game was good, the comedy was funny, and everything about the game worked.
9. Devil May Cry (PS2)
Devil May Cry has the most over the top action of any PS2 era game. It's characters are crazy, the action is crazy, the bosses are crazy, the bad guys are crazy. The game is fairly short, but it totally makes up for it in totally kickass action. From shooting enemies while they are in midair, to the great swordplay, I loved this game. It is not scary at all, and should not be considered scary. Devil May Cry is still a very good game.
8. Max Payne (PC)
Max Payne is the story of a cop vs. the world. The story is where it is at in this game, which doesn't have cutscenes but comic book panels instead. The art is beautiful. The game itself has the graphics you would expect from a game almost ten years old. But they are actually pretty good still, and the game is highly detailed, though a lot more rundown looking than most games. It is hard at some points and contains bullet-time, which leads to some kickass moments. One of the best parts of the whole game is toward the end when it breaks the fourth wall hilariously. There are then some very psychological moments that are very hard. Ultimately, this is a game that I couldn't put down. Great fun.
7. Battlefield 1942 (PC)
Battlefield 1942 is a very fun game. It allows you to choose a **** and then try to get rid of the opposing army by capturing command points and killing them off. The maps help make this so much more fun, allowing you to use a wide variety of tactics to battle the opposing army. It's one of those games you cannot stop playing because once you start, you get so excited by all the action. This game is full of cool moments if you play like a madman. Kamikaze-****flying into enemy ships, parachuting out at the last second, and standing on the boat as your airplane explodes sure is one of the great moments of the game. Online, the game is wonderful as well. This is one of the few games I can say is constantly fun.
6. Dragon Age Origins (PS3/X360/PC)
My favorite role playing game of all time, this is the story of the fall of the Grey Wardens, and their subsequent return to power. It's a story that is so immense and immersive, that just one playthrough is not going to let you experience the whole game. So many branching paths, hidden quests, and different ways to customize the characters make it one of the most replayable games ever. The whole game is totally dark. There is never a happy moment and you will find yourself laughing when after every battle you are covered with the blood of your enemies. Sure the graphics of this game are nothing to shake a stick at, but graphics are not a way to evaluate a game. As long as you can see what is going on and enjoy the game, then why care about the graphics? It doesn't have a lot of really "WOW!" moments besides some of the boss fights, but the story is something that you can not forget. Immersive, violent, and full of great plot twists and other such things. It is a fantasy based more in Midievil Europe with all characters carrying British, Scottish, and other accents along those lines, making the game all the more charming. It's funny at points, emotional at points, and never has an RPG been as immersive and had so many consequences for your actions.
5. Resident Evil 4 (Gamecube)
Allow me to take you to my twelth year of life. I bought this game due to rave reviews across the board. I grabbed it not thinking it would be too scary, it's a game right? So I got it and played it one night with the lights off. I entered the village the first part of the game, and hid inside a house, barricading myself in there as the zombies came at me. Next thing I know, out of nowhere, a man wearing a potato sack over his head and carrying a chainsaw cuts my head off from behind me, and my neck spurts a fountain of blood. I pretty much crapped myself. First of all, I didn't understand that games could be as bloody as Resident Evil 4 was, and I didn't know what I was getting myself into. Three years later I put the disc back in and fired the puppy up, having grown the cahones to try again. I was immediately assaulted by the amazing atmosphere of the game, something very few games have. It's creepy as hell atmosphere emanates out of the television screen and into the room you are playing it at. It was bloody, violent, disgusting, and is ultimately the most amazing survival horror game ever. The graphics are amazing, the bad guys are scary, and the bosses are scary, and the whole package does what it should, scare you. All of the boss fights are very memorable. My favorite moment of the game is when the villages big cheese's body is cut in half and he starts swinging around on a barns rafters without legs, a spine dangling from that giant wound. The ending isn't as intense as the rest of the game, hell, it's actually laughable compared to the horror of the rest of the game, but it is an amazing game. Buy it.
4. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (PS2)
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is one of the greatest story telling accomplishments ever. Hideo Kojima wrote one of the most emotional, powerful, historical, and gosh darn perfect stories to ever come to the video game world. It details the Cold War perfectly, creates characters that are so great and diverse, and the gameplay isn't bad to boot. It is a bit more involved than a usual game of its kind because you have to go into a lot of menus to heal poisons and change camo. But it is still so fast paced and exciting. The greatest part of the game is the powerhouse ending. Defeating one boss leads to an amazing motorcycle chase sequence, leads to a battle with a proto-type Metal Gear and ends with an emotional boss fight with Snake's mentor, The Boss. The game is so well put together, and I can't stop raving about it, even three years after I played it. The boss fights are diverse and very fun, and the whole game is so memorable that you won't ever want to stop playing.
3. Splinter Cell (Xbox)
Splinter Cell is a franchise that I fell in love with for quite a few reasons. First of all, its story is great. I loved every minute of its story. Even better were the characters. Lambert was the quintessential boss, but Sam Fisher was the quintessential badass. His gravely voice just made him a complete badass the first time you heard it. One of the best parts of this game is the fact that it wants you to slowly progress. It is not a jump in and shoot everyone in sight sort of game, this is a game where you need to carefully plan your moves. Avoiding detection is a major thing in this game, which means you will have to patiently hide in the dark for most of this game. And while this can be boring for some, to me, it is perfect. Planning every move you make carefully is fun. Trial and error. Beating the game is a very great feeling because it really is a hard game. Some parts may be easy, but others are very hard. Despite the fact it looks like an action game, it is also cleverly disguised as a puzzle game. One really tough level, CIA HQ in Langley, is the major level where slow progression and thinking ahead really proves useful. It's sequel, Pandora Tomorrow, got the formula completely right and to me is superior, but for the sheer fact that this is the first in the series and one of the best games ever made, I say this is number three. Less than five bucks at Gamestop. Grab it.
2. Unreal Tournament (PC)
Unreal Tournament is one of the greatest first person shooter experiences I have ever had. Picking this game up for five dollars at Gamestop, I had remembered my fathers obsession with this game when it originally came out in 1999. Getting into it, you start off slowly rising up the ranks in a tournament of death. You have to get a certain amount of frags per game to win. You combat AI enemies that start at just positvely stupid and work their way to so hard you can't get past this level. And that's what happened with me. The game was perfectly balanced until the end when the final four levels, excuse my language, rape you so hard you have to give in. I ended up quitting because I couldn't beat the AI. So single player is very solid with some amazing maps, some of my favorite weapons in any game, and enough bloody action to keep you playing. Who can forget the level in which you can kill people who are going for the rocket launcher in a room that is pressurized? By pressing a button, you can watch your enemy expand and explode. But then you move to the multiplayer aspect and will be amazed to see that this old game has a decent sized community for a game as old as it is. There are clans, there are around 1200 people playing at one time, and it's seriously enjoyable. To add to that, you can make your own maps and it has led to some of the coolest maps I've ever seen. People even invent their own game modes and this adds so much to your enjoyment. While getting into the clans can lead to some problems (the clans are very competitive for the stupidest reasons. I even found myself fighting a clan of twelve year old girls...don't ask), it's a very solid experience that, even after eleven years, provides new content almost daily.
1. SAINTS ROW 2 (X360/PS3)
Ye who opposes ultra violent video games be warned! Saints Row 2 is very, very violent and has a very dark comedy **** But the thing that I love about this game over every other game out there is the complete freedom to do what you want. Sure, Grand Theft Auto allows you to shoot people on the street, but does it openly want you to do this and encourage it? The minigames of Saints Row 2 is where the came really shines. Everything from Fuzz, in which you act like a cop and have cameras follow you around and you are demanded to take out criminals in overly violent ways (I.E take out the pack of skaters with C4, take out the streaker with a chainsaw). Or the most notorious and exciting minigame of the whole game, Septic Avenger, in which you help relators take out the competition by shooting feces at buildings, people, and everything else in the city. Cops chase you, and spraying their cars with poop until they can't even drive is so much fun and so hilarious, even after twenty or thirty times. The story itself should take you about twelve or fifteen hours depending on how much time you spend doing minigames and running into people and sending them flying into the air with your car that can be upgraded with spikes jabbing from the hibcaps so as to stop cars to your sides in their tracks. The games story mode is so much fun with so many great locales for the battles and so many hilarious deaths and characters. This is one hundred percent better than Grand Theft Auto and in this time when realism is something so many game developers are striving for, this game is a breath of fresh air. Being able to streak through town, throw people ten feet through the air, and buy a hot dog suit and battle rival gangs makes this the kind of game you can't stop playing. Sure the graphics aren't that great and there are quite a few glitches, but this game is otherwise my favorite experience in my years of gaming. Buy this game. It's less than twenty dollars at Gamestop and is a worthy investment, especially if you enjoy co-op and want to terrorize the fictional city of Stillwater with a buddy.
I hope you enjoyed this list!