I've been gaming since I was a toddler running through the colorful levels of Super Mario World. But many games have come and gone in my 21 years of living, and I'm going to tell you which ones made the biggest impact on me. These are my 5 all-time favorite video games...ever. Here we go.
5) Mega Man X - This was the game that introduced me to a whole new level of gaming. Before, it was simply "get the high score" on the arcade machines, as far as I knew. With Mega Man X, I had a ton of fun blasting through the bad guys, defeating the 8 maverick bosses, and powering up with every single upgrade I could find. X and Zero are both awesome characters as well. And the backstory of robotic warfare coupled with the need to become stronger was more than I expected as a kid. This game makes you feel powerful in a fun, engaging way.
4) Metroid Prime - This was the game that got me into the first-person shooter genre. Funny, seeing as how Metroid never started as one to begin with. A sci-fi action platformer series that redefined both the platform and 2D adventure game, and now it made the jump to 3D in a whole new perspective? And it worked! Searching through Talon IV is a visual marvel and mystery all in one. The action is tense and exciting without sacrificing challenge. The first-person platforming was kept simple, but provided for interesting exploration challenges. The story is kept to a minimum, but could be fleshed out by discovering all that the world had to offer, and that made things even more interesting. I've yet to see another FPS game like it, and that's a real shame.
3) Shadow of the Colossus - How the hell can a game that only features boss fights possibly be any good? Simple: make the bosses as epic as possible while giving them emotional weight. That's exactly what this game does. With a powerful yet subtle story about a man desperate to save a woman he loves, this tale absorbed me with its beautifully bleak landscape, incredibly realistic controls, and 16 astounding bosses to fight. It made you feel significant to take down a beast that would barely register you as dandruff, only to be saddened by the fact that such a beast never even bothered to hurt you in the first place. It takes a strong game to make me feel guilty, and Shadow of the Colossus did just that.
2) Xenogears - I love JRPGs, but many suffered from one problem: stale combat. Xenogears changed things up with two things: a combo system and gear (mech) battles. Both of these mechanics gave this genre a much needed twist, and it made every enemy encounter that much more impressive and entertaining. Add to it a sweeping story that combines religion, philosophy, and existentialism, combined with an amazing cast of well-developed characters, and you get one hell of an entertaining and gripping roller coaster ride.
1) The Last of Us - This game made me cry, and very few games managed to do that to me. It was hard to help Joel and Ellie along on their journey with all the hardships they faced along the way. Combined with brutally realistic combat and witnessing humanity at its darkest and most primal state left me not engaged by "fun" but rather a gripping tale. I created every impact of combat. I made common conversations happen within a grim situation. I felt what Joel and Ellie felt as they both grew, and most of all, it reaffirmed some of my beliefs in life and humanity, even amidst all the depression and hopelessness. This game marries story and gameplay perfectly, in my opinion, and it's the main reason why I love this game more than any other.