With 2014 over, it's time for me to update my list of top 10 favorite games. This is my personal favorites and will likely be different than your lists. These are the games that have stuck with me over the years. I still play them even after so many years. The order of these games is based on both the experience I had when I first played them and how they have held up over the years. For this list, I only picked one game from each series. For example, I love the Assassin's Creed games, but I can only put my favorite game from that series on my list. This year, two new games have joined my exclusive list. My list starts from #10 and moves down to #1 for my favorite games. Warning, there may be some spoilers.
10) Call of Duty: Black Ops. I know what you're thinking. Why is Call of Duty on your list? It's on my list because I have invested more hours into this game than any other. Hundreds of hours invested, and that's only for zombies. Yes, I love zombies mode. It's fun. I have fond gaming memories of playing zombies with a group of friends surviving the horde together. It was fantastic. I still play it with friends. The multiplayer is great to, but it's nothing really special. The campaign really stuck with me. It is still my favorite Call of Duty campaign. But it is zombies mode that really put this game on my list. I'm sure you disagree, but this is just my opinion. It's only number 10, there are 9 other games that I enjoy much more.
9) Batman: Arkham City. It's Batman! I love Batman. Always have and always will. The gameplay is fantastic: the combat flows, the navigation is smooth, and the stealth is challenging. This game is great through and through and it all takes place in a atmospheric open world. The boss fights are a real stand out in this game, but really every part of this game is fun. I had a blast playing it and still do.
8) The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings. This is the only Witcher game I played since the first was not released on consoles, and it is fantastic. The combat is challenging and tactical, the questing is excellent, the world is immersive, and the non-linear story is top-notch. It is a very thought out game that excels at everything it seeks to accomplish. On top of that, the decisions you make throughout drastically change the game. The different results of your decisions are so different, it's like there are two different games with two different stories in it based on your decision. That provides so much replay value.
7) Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor. A new edition to my list, Shadow of Mordor redefines the open world genre by fundamentally changing everything with the new addition of the nemesis system. It changes how you approach everything. It makes the game frustrating and difficult in the best kind of way. It's brilliant. Surrounding all of that is a solid game with excellent combat, stealth, and exploration. There is so much replay value as you create your own stories. I have had so many conversations about this game with my friends. We each have different stories to tell about it, and it's fantastic. Shadow of Mordor is truly the first next-gen game and will no doubt inspire developers to adopt this revolutionary system. I can't wait for a sequel.
6) Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood. Assassin's Creed is one of my favorite video game series. I love traveling back in time and exploring these different historical cities and experience history unfold even if it is changed to fit the overarching narrative. Brotherhood is still my favorite of the series. Although ACII was an excellent game and is arguably the best, I have invested more hours in Brotherhood than any other AC game. Rome is a beautiful city and there is so much to do in it. This was the first game I played where I wanted to complete absolutely everything. Every side mission, every building purchased, every flag and feather found, every puzzle solved, and so on. I loved it. The story wasn't the best, but I greatly enjoyed having a strong focus on the Borgia family. They make great villains. I still remember how my jaw hit the floor with the game's ending. I was speechless. Along with all of that, there was the great multiplayer. Back then, it was new, fun, and unique. I enjoyed it so much. This was before it got tiresome with the sequels. That is why Assassin's Creed Brotherhood was my 2010 Game of the Year.
Alright, the top 5 are the heavy hitters. These are the games I have never gotten tired of playing. These are the games that hold a special place in my gaming heart.
5) BioShock Infinite. Wow. This game is amazing. Easily the best story in a video game I have ever experienced. I thought about this game for months after completing it. It was that good. I still think about it sometimes. I am really lost for words when I try to describe what makes it special because everything about it is special. I love this game. It is the best first-person shooter game I have ever experienced. That is why BioShock Infinite was my 2013 Game of the Year.
4) Dragon Age: Inquisition. There is so much this game does right. Great characters, great world, great story, great graphics, great gameplay, great questing, and so on. I love everything about this game. I spent over a hundred hours just in my first play-through. Making decisions has meaning and consequences. There were so many times where I simply didn't want to choose because it was such a difficult decision. I completely explored ever region and completed every quest, and I'm still ready for more. It was with a heavy heart that I choose this game over Dragon Age Origins, but Inquisition really earned its place on my list. Many fans may disagree, but I love this game nonetheless. That is why Dragon Age: Inquisition was my 2014 Game of the Year.
3) The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. This game is truly fantastic. You can easily spend hundreds of hours into it without even realizing it. You can play an all nighter and not even realize that you forgot to sleep. It's not the game's size that makes it great, but it's the fact that the world is filled with so many wonderful, memorable things to do. I still have gotten nowhere close to completing all the quests. It's that big. You will forget about the real world when you play this game. That is why The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was my 2011 Game of the Year.
2) Mass Effect 3. This game is the definition of epic. Although many fans hated this game simply because of the game's ending, I still loved the incredibly emotional and epic journey that led up to the game's less than desirable conclusion. Never have I been so emotionally invested in a game's story. I cared for every single character. When certain characters die or don't die, it hit me really hard. I really felt the weight of the galaxy as I tried to fight an impossible war. Along with the epic story, the combat is extremely fun and the questing is still excellent. This is one of the few games that I have completed 100%. Every mission, side mission, and every collectible. The entire year of 2012, I thought about how epic this game is. That is why Mass Effect 3 was my 2012 Game of the Year.
1) Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. This game holds a special place in my heart. I remember first playing it when I was 11 years old. It seriously took me 2 years to complete it. I wish I was exaggerating. This game doesn't hold your hand and flash lights in the direction you are suppose to go. It is true exploration. It felt so real as a result. I love everything about it. It was the first game where I got to make decisions about being good or evil. I remember the first time I decided to go evil and mugged an old man. I felt so guilty. I couldn't believe that I actually did that. It was truly something special. Sure, it's like bread on butter nowadays with RPGs, but back then it was really special. On top of that, the story was excellent. I still remember my reaction to the big reveal in the game. SPOILER. I was shocked for well over a week when it was revealed that I was Darth Revan. I was speechless. SPOILER OVER. I could probably write a book about how much I love this game. I remember taking a break from it after completing it. When I broke my shoulder several years later and was forced to rest, I cracked open this game and played it on my Xbox. It was still a great game. I still play it at least once every year. This is the game that has stood the test for time. Why this game is number one instead of the other BioWare games on the list is because KOTOR preceded all of them. It was the first BioWare game I played, and it was the best. That is why Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is my favorite game of all time.
I hope you have enjoyed my list. If you haven't played any of the games on my list, particularly the top 5, I highly recommend them. They are great solid games and are worth at least a try. What are your top 10 favorite games? Remember, you can only choose one game from each series. That provides more variety in your list. Where there any games that came out this year that made your top 10 list?