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  1. I've done this in a rush, frankly. I know I've missed some games that are important to me, but in the spirit of getting something in, here's my list. 1. Shadow of the Colossus 2. Deus Ex (video game) 3. Portal 2 4. Half-Life 2 5. Shenmue II 6. Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge 7. System Shock 2 8. Control (video game) 9. Planescape: Torment 10. To the Moon 11. Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn 12. Spec Ops: The Line 13. Elden Ring 14. Gone Home 15. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 16. Mass Effect (video game) 17. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End 18. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 19. Rocksmith 2014 20. Total War: Warhammer II These might not be the best games of all time, but they are my favorite games of all time (leaving aside the fact that I've almost certainly forgotten a few.) I guess I tend to like games that make me feel something, that draw me in with an atmosphere, a story, or by putting me in a particular situation, rather than ones where they enjoyment lies in pressing the buttons or performing the video game's prescribed tasks efficiently. Shadow of the Colossus A beautiful game. Not just to look at, but in every way concievable. The game puts you in the shoes of a tragic villain, who commits terrible deeds out of desparation in an attempt to do something that they think is good. The colossi are magnificent, and the battles with them suitably epic. The fact that inbetween these battles, there is very little else but exploration of a vast foggy land is genius. There's still nothing else like it. Deus Ex From the very first level on Liberty Island I was hooked, I knew this was a game that would stay with me until the day I die. It wasn't the first game that gave you branching paths and different ways to accomplish your goals, but it's possibly still the best. It's also probably the best cyberpunk story ever told. Portal 2 Not many games succeed in being funny, but Portal 2 certainly does. The dialogue that never fails to surprise, the absurdity of the level design, with it's ridiculously vast chambers miles underground, the characters, and the general air of gleeful malice - all are perfect. The fact that the core game is the most perfect puzzle game ever concieved also helps. Half-Life 2 Still my favorite first person shooter ever. You tend to forget the sheer variety of it, with the tense shoot-outs in the streets, the glorious crazed boat chases, complete with explosive physics-based slapstick, and of course the sheer terror of Ravenholm. No wonder Valve never finished the series - they knew they couldn't top this. Shenmue II I just love spending time in the world of Shenmue, and with it's wonderful characters. It was a toss of a coin whether it should be this game or the first one, but I went with this one. I'm still vacillating, though, because the first game had Nozomi, the kitten, the trawling of bars for sailors, and didn't have the box-shifting with that twat Delin. However the second game had Ren, crumbling tower-blocks, some great chase sequences, and the duck racing. It also solidified Ryo's character not as a driven hero, but as a complete idiot. He's surrounded by characters telling him that what he's doing is stupid, but he still plods on his ill-concieved path to certain doom. What a dolt. Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge Another funny game, maybe the funniest ever. Great puzzles, great characters, great spitting contests. The first and third games in the series sit here with it in spirit, as they're all fantastic. System Shock 2 The game that made me realise that I was a pathetic insect. Partly because Shodan pointed it out to me, and partly because I genuinely spent half an hour while playing it crouched behind a barrel because I was scared that there was a rumbler down the hallway. Control A mind-twisting story set in a stunning environment. The setting is a star here, a physics-defying sprawling office building, which combines the familiarity of the mundane with an incredible sense of wrongness. Then within this, there are the touches of humour, the brilliant use of music, and the fun psychic powers. It can get a bit frustrating from time to time, but overall it's a brilliant game, and a throwback to when games could be superb self-contained (largely) linear single player experiences. Planescape: Torment Just wonderful writing. There are several novels worth of dialogue in this game, all serving to tell the tale of the Nameless One. There's not much more to say - it's a great story, a great setting, solid 1990s D&D game gameplay, with the clever addition of the main character being unkillable and endlessly respeccable. It still stands up today and it has an enhanced edition available. Play it if you haven't already done so. To the Moon There are very few games that have made me cry, because I'm so butch, but this is one of them. No combat, not really any puzzles, just a wonderful, heartbreaking story told through the medium of a NES-era RPG. It's just so sad. <sob> Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn Lots of games try to cast the player as a conflicted chosen one, who wields an emerging mysterious dark power and may use it for good or evil, but none do it as well as the Baldur's Gate series. You're the heir of the god of quite literally murder. You also hang around with a good-natured warrior with a pet hamster named Boo, who he conceals about his person in mysterious circumstances during battle. The characters are brilliant, the writing up there with Planescape: Torment, and the D&D combat satisfyingly explosive. Spec Ops: The Line Few games talk to the player about video games so eloquently. The Line is sometimes spoken about as a clever anti-war shooter that's a bit average as a game, but this is, frankly, horseshit. First of all, it's actually really good as a game - it has intense gunfights and absolutely stunning environments. It's also not quite an anti-war game - it's an anti-war-game game. It's explicitely critical of the Call Of Duty sort of game, of those types of games' glorification of armed conflict and the asinine "moral choices" they give players. There's a moment where the player is confronted and trapped by a crowd of angry civilians who are quite justified in their desire to rip the main character limb from limb, and how you react to this will tell you stuff about yourself. At the end the game's villain essentially addresses the player and questions their insistance on pushing forward. Literally pushing the stick forward. A misunderstood masterpiece. Elden Ring I've tried with Souls games in the past, but I've always bounced off. To blame the difficulty would be a red herring - my problem was more with how repetitive these games would get. You'd find yourself wasting time making the same run from a bonfire down the same corridor towards the same death. The difficultly isn't the punishing thing - it's the boredom. Elden Ring fixes this by giving you possibilities. You can go off in another direction. Any other direction. Since it came out, I haven't played anything else. When I'm not playing it, I'm quite often browsing the wiki or watching youtube videos with guides to builds. No game makes you feel like a warrior like Elden Ring does. When you down a difficult boss by timing a dodge and strike perfectly, it makes you feel like a skilled fighter, in a way that no other game manages. On top of the satisfying combat, the variety and strangeness of the world is frequently jaw-dropping. It would probably be higher in my list if it wasn't for some technical flaws. It's such a shame that such a wonderful game can be damaged by something as stupid as an anti-cheat system, but for me and many others, it is. I don't know why this is, and why it doesn't affect everyone, but for some of us, every time the anti-cheat phones home to the server, the game freezes for a second, then catches up with a few frames of speeded-up motion. Try timing a dodge against the Fire Giant with that happening. I should get an extra achievement for beating that guy in those circumstances. It's cost you a shot at the number 1 spot, Elden Ring. Gone Home I love Gone Home. I don't know if most people dismissed it as another walking simulator, or fixated on the trick it pulls by invoking horror games, but I doubt if anyone else has included this in their top 20. It's in mine though, for how affecting the storytelling is, and how passionate and human the sentiments are. It also intruduced me to the song Complicated by Heavens To Betsy, which is now one of my favorite songs, but that's by the by. I don't think there are any other games about the Riot Grrl movement, but on this showing, perhaps there should be more. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Yep, it's the twist. Wow. The most impactful moment in video games history (stick that up your recharge socket, Aeris.) But even leaving that aside, it's an amazing, epic story, arguably the best story ever told in the Star Wars universe. And it has HK-47, meatbag. Mass Effect (video game) I've gone for the first in the series because it's just about my own personal favorite, above the botched landing of the third and the somewhat intersticial second, although I absolutely love both of those. I love the fleshing out of Tali's character in the second game for example. This has the moment when the Normandy leads the fleet in to save the Citadel, as well as the coolest moog music, and the introduction of all the great memorable sci-fi settings and ideas. Nothing else in the series quite matches up to how it feels to explore the Citadel for the first time. The game's biggest flaw, and one it shares with KOTOR, is the way your two tag-along crew members stand behind you on either side all the time. It just looks so stupid, especially in cut-scenes when Shepard sits down. Bioware still do this, as far as I know. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End Epic set-pieces, witty wise-cracks, blockbuster fun, and a genuinely emotional ending. What's not to like? The Uncharted series is a lot of fun, in spite of it's main character, Drake, being history's most prolific murderer and destroyer of historical sites. I wonder if his glib uncaring attitude to the lives of men who have simply been employed to guard a museum will be captured in the film. The action and parkour sequences are fine, but the real fun of these games is the crazy scenarios they put you in - leaping from truck to truck in a wild chase through a third-world town, riding a collapsing building down to the ground without getting squished by a giant bell, that sort of thing. Then there's the ending. Arguably the most perfect ending to a video game series ever. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild The first few dozen hours perfectly capture the feeling of setting off on an adventure. The fun settings and characters, and just the joy of traversing the world are all lovely. Then there's the puzzle dungeons, which both present a challenge and teach the player how to approach situations in the overworld. It's all close to perfect. I have a feeling some people will have a problem with it being so "low" in my list, but this is a list of all the best games of ALL TIME so even being on the list means it's a masterpiece. It just doesn't mean as much to me personally as some of the other games above it. Rocksmith 2014 A personal choice, but this game got me to pick up my guitar again for the first time in years, and rekindled my love of playing the instrument, as well as teaching me a few new songs. I learned how to play every note of Motorcycle Emptiness during lockdown thanks to this game. Total War: Warhammer II I haven't played enough of the third game to know if it surpasses this, so perhaps if Elden Ring hadn't got it's teeth into me, that would be here instead of this. For me, the Warhammer series are the best of the Total War games. They add a lot to the actual battlefield sections, especially if you're the kind of person who doesn't know what a halberd actually is. This game is twice what it was at launch, as it now includes the Mortal Empires campaign, which adds the map from the first game onto it's own to create the most massive, excessive map ever seen in a TW game, and a campaign that will last hundreds of hours, and which I reckon might be virtually unwinnable, but in a good way. A few that were close but just missed out: Mario Odyssey - The best Mario game, and something I bonded with my son over. Great controls and levels, and an admirable level of sheer silliness. Red Dead Redemption - So much atmosphere. Wonderful exploration, some stunning moments, and a great ending. Metroid Prime - The most chilled game ever. I still listen to the soundrack, especially Phendrana Drifts. Wind Waker - Perhaps this should be in instead of Breath of the Wild. BotW is objectively a better game, but this feels like a slice of pure joy. The Witcher 3 - Great writing, stunning worldbuilding. However, I never finished it, not even close. The combat is not great, and the game kept putting combat roadblocks in front of me. One of them eventually stopped me completely. Slime Rancher - My son and I rinsed this, finding every collectable, reaching spots on the map you probably weren't supposed to be able to reach. Not a complex game, it's sort of slight in terms of being a farming simulator, but it has huge pink cats that bounce around and swamp you. Beat Saber - Sheer VR joy. Half Life: Alyx - Sheer VR terror. Bioshock - Still an epochal journey through one of the most memorable game settings of all time. Elite Dangerous - Astonishingly immersive. It misses out because there is simultaneously too much and too little to do in the game. X-Com: Enemy Unknown - An amazing update to a series. Other games have tried to replicate it's tactical play, but none have quite captured the sheer tension, or the tragedy of losing your favorite Argentinian sniper, who you've had in your team from the first mission. Shadowrun Dragonfall - Kind of a cross between the RPG storytelling of Baldur's Gate and a watered-down version of the combat from X-Com. Surprisingly amazing. Day of the Tentacle - There's essentially nothing to choose between this and the Monkey Island games. This is very funny, and the time-travel shenanegans of the puzzles is incredibly clever. Prey (2017) - A forgotten one that I'm editing in. This is like Arkane's love letter to the System Shock and Bioshock series' and it's completely wonderful. No other game has given me such an overpowering fear of mugs. Tie Fighter - This might have made the top 20 but I forgot about it, goddammit. Incredible gameplay, and the storytelling is quite something too. The betrayal mission is an early example of what immersive video game storytelling could be.
  2. 1. The Last of Us Part II 2. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 3. Elden Ring 4. Red Dead Redemption 2 5. Battlefield 1 6. Resident Evil 4 7. Bloodborne 8. Journey (2012 video game) 9. Super Mario Odyssey 10. Tetris Effect 11. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain 12. Death Stranding 13. Final Fantasy VII 14. Rez (video game) 15. Shadow of the Colossus 16. Half-Life 2 17. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim 18. Mass Effect 2 19. Grand Theft Auto V 20. Final Fantasy XIV I haven't compiled a list like this for maybe 10 years or more, so it was an interesting exercise and particularly notable for how it made me realise that my assessment of older games has changed quite drastically in that time. A pretty significant number of former sacred cows have fallen off my all-time list, as I think by modern standards they just don't hold up as well as your memory would like to think they do. With that said there are still a few that have held their spell after all these years and here's some condensed thoughts on each one: The Last of Us Part II - quite simply the single most gripping and absorbing experience I've ever had with the medium. The entire thing from start to finish is a coiled spring possessed of a grim tautness and foreboding tension that is almost unbearable. The absolute pinnacle of what a modern AAA blockbuster video game can be, and from its peerless technical mastery and acting performances to its sublimely engineered and utterly brutal combat encounters it stands alone in my estimations as the most memorable video game I've ever played. A truly stunning work that left me emotionally exhausted, reeling in awe at what I'd just played, and stayed with me for weeks after. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - completely redefined what an open world game could and should be. When Nintendo had seemingly run out of variations on the 3D Zelda game template that Ocarina of Time had laid down 20 years ago and the series was in dire need of a shake-up, they produced this masterpiece that in one fell swoop solved pretty much every problem that open world games had struggled with for years and showed everyone else how it should be done. Very rarely a game comes along that plants a flag in the ground from which all others are measured and this will absolutely walk this poll with good reason. Elden Ring - always wary of recency bias rearing its head, but after 250 hours across two playthroughs with wildly different builds I have little doubt that Elden Ring's effortless vault into the very highest echelons of my all-time list is firmly deserved. I'll expound on it in greater detail come the GOTY awards at the end of the year, and although it's not without its flaws, its highs and triumphs are almost absurd in their brilliance. A distillation of Miyazaki's game design genius honed across the last decade into an experience that exceeded all expectations and will hugely influence the medium for the next decade to come. Red Dead Redemption 2 - you'll notice a common theme of the 'immersive experience' being a primary factor in how highly I personally rate games (my deep love for video games extends primarily from their utterly unsurpassed ability to transport me to a world away from the often trying travails of modern life) and Rockstar's Western epic stands alone in this regard. Its depiction of the vast, majestic American wilderness is perhaps the most extraordinary achievement in video game history, crafted with a richness and attention to detail that is genuinely staggering to behold in its soaring scale and bucolic beauty, and whose authenticity prompted me to roleplay the character of Arthur Morgan in a way that no other game has ever achieved. It's a game that greatly rewards those who fall fully under its captivating spell and who engage it at its own very particular and languid pace. The apotheosis of the video game as lived experience. Battlefield 1 - in terms of hours played this would beat all the others on my list combined with ease. No other game has so consistently provided me with such guaranteed fun across literally thousands of matches for coming up to 6 years now. I know people who worked on this and it was a true labour of love that took a hitherto unexplored real life conflict in video games and crafted a visual and aural experience that brought the thunder and fury of its mud-splattered battlefields to often terrifying and overwhelmingly frantic life. The chugging, mechanical brutality of the era of the birth of modern industrial warfare that it depicts provided a genuinely visceral ordeal that for me is by far the best multiplayer experience I've ever played. Most would probably pick BF4 as the pinnacle of the series but the historical setting, evocative map design, and more measured gunplay that the early 20th century weapons demand combine to create an ebb and flow and quite beautiful feedback loop that for me is unsurpassed. I can't adequately convey in words how incredible some of the truly desperate yet mighty battles that I've had in this game over the years have been. The day the servers are finally switched off will be a sad one indeed because it's increasingly apparent that DICE will never reach such heady heights again. Resident Evil 4 - still to this day the best pure action video game ever made and one that shook up the series in ways that rippled throughout the video game landscape for years afterwards. It's absolutely relentless in its brilliance, has so many moments of sheer unbridled joy and gory fun, and is the embodiment of a game made by a developer who understood the language of video games and how to entertain the player at every conceivable turn. Bloodborne - Miyazaki's eldritch masterpiece that drew on the Cthulhu mythos as its inspiration, painted a wonderfully evocative Victorian gothic horror upon its architectural canvas, and pummelled the player with a vicious demand to take the fight to its many gruesome terrors in a much more aggressive manner than its forebears had ever made you imagine possible. In terms of its all-killer-no-filler consistency this is probably FROM's most accomplished game and on balance I think it has the best line-up of bosses they've thrown in the way of the player too. Journey - if I had to pick one single ineffable moment that stayed with me more than any other in over 30 years of playing video games it would undoubtedly be the final bittersweet farewell I bid to the silent and unknown stranger at Journey's end. We met unbidden near the very start of the game and in cautious but reassuring steps, accompanied by plaintive yet somehow encouraging song, carried each other throughout the epic and unforgettable trek towards its final, celebratory and triumphant ascent towards the beacon of shimmering light that had stood beckoning on the horizon from the very first moment. I often wonder whether that unknown partner holds the memory of what we went through together in the same melancholic regard as I do, or whether they merely shrugged their shoulders and carried on with their day without so much as a cursory thought. I guess I'll never know, and that's what makes Journey such a uniquely beautiful and unforgettable experience. Super Mario Odyssey - the moustachioed mascot of an entire medium just has to be in here somewhere and although any one of 64, Galaxy or Odyssey could comfortably make this list I'm gonna go with with the most recent entry because I think it combines the truly, utterly, superlatively and incomparably sublime control that only a Mario game provides with a joyous compulsion to explore and tease out every last drop of discovery and reward from its many and varied levels. It's fucking Mario man. He is video games. Tetris Effect - there is only one truly perfect video game that cannot be improved in any way and that game is Tetris. With that said I don't care about T-spins and combos and high scores and leaderboards one iota. What places Tetris Effect on my list of the all-time greats is the way in which Mizuguchi took that most simple of concepts and rulesets that are embedded into the consciousness of just about anyone who has ever played a video game and fashioned it into a truly transcendent visual and aural experience that is at turns meditative and contemplative, dreamlike and ethereal, running the gamut of human experience from our origins in the oceans to the stratosphere above before one final metamorphosis into a form beyond our imagining. To perceive those seven geometric shapes falling into a well that elicit the titular psychological response, and recognise that something truly beautiful could be crafted from it is a level of artistic genius that I can barely comprehend. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain - apart from 4 they're all masterpieces in their own way, but I rate MGSV as the ultimate sandbox game. The amount of tools that the game gives you and the frankly absurd amount of possible permutations that you can then create from their use is unmatched. Beneath all the portentous philosophising and wordy treatises on the perils of a nuclear-armed world, the Metal Gear games have always been gloriously silly and MGSV is the most riotously bonkers of the lot that positively revels in its own absurdity. Death Stranding - and here he is again. I'm an unashamed Kojima fanboy and think that video games are lucky to have him, and so I really can't think of another huge budget AAA game that took such incredibly bold steps to craft an experience that is so completely and utterly unique more than Death Stranding. I've never played anything remotely like it either in tone or execution. As I mentioned earlier, I'm an absolute sucker for immersive experiences and atmospheric worlds so I guess this was always going to be my jam, but deftly picking my way down the faltering scree under the cover of heavy timefall rain towards a vast expanse of black volcanic ash stretching to the horizon, while the plaintive tones of a post-rock soundtrack completed the mournful scene was a thrill that I can't adequately convey in words. The core gameplay loop of traipsing across the United States recast as a post-apocalyptic Iceland delivering packages sounds about as dull as you could possibly imagine, and yet it's one of the most arresting and compelling things I've ever played. It's truly beautiful to behold in its vast and barren bleakness, twisted and unsettling to experience in its narrative weirdness, ineffably compelling to play as its rhythms veer between serene solitude and frantic horror-fuelled tension and I loved every single second of it. Final Fantasy VII - perhaps the one allowance that I make to unashamed nostalgia in my list, this holds a unique place in my heart as the game that redefined what a video game could make me feel and expanded the horizons of just what they could be in the future. Its translation by modern standards is absolutely dreadful and some of the overtly anime stylings would these days have a much harder time of passing muster in my affections, but FF7 will always remain as the first game that I truly lost myself in and its iconic characters and music just can't be dislodged from the fondest banks of my memories. Rez - not as transcendently bewitching as Tetris Effect perhaps but no less a work of artistic genius for that, Rez was my first introduction to Tetsuya Mizuguchi's unique artistic sensibilities and boundless imagination for the fusion of sound and colour by way of synaesthesia and absolutely fucking banging tunes. It came just at the point when I was falling headlong into the world of electronic music, a relationship that has grown and strengthened with every year since and has in many ways come to define my life, and it remains a stunning illustration of how technology and futurism and Kandinsky and video games and the fervent mind of one of Japanese video games' most incomparably creative auteurs can combine into something that defies all explanation. The giant running man loping across the screen above your head as thumping techno slammed into your ears before the refrains of Adam Freeland's Fear launched your mind into the great beyond felt like truly epochal moments that I don't think will ever be matched. Shadow of the Colossus - the vast, soaring beauty of its barren, windswept plains and the bewildering scale of the unforgettable colossi as they slowly turn their ancient and somnolent gaze towards you remain the calling cards of a game that captures a sense of lonely isolation in a hostile land better than any other ever has, and illustrates a purity of design that has stood the test of time with ease. It remains one of gaming's most truly memorable experiences, played out on one of its most evocative landscapes and suffused with a bleak and mournful air that is rare indeed. Half-Life 2 - its impact really cannot be overstated and playing this as a student late into the night when I really should have been studying felt like some sort of epiphany. Stepping out onto the streets of City 17 for the first time was a jaw-dropping moment, and yet it was but the first of many to come. The incorporation of physics into not only its game world but the manner in which you interacted with it represented a paradigm shift, and the sheer life that Alyx and Dog possessed flew off the screen and helped to create a singularly arresting and engaging experience. Someone earlier in this thread said that the reason Valve never made you-know-what is because deep down they knew they wouldn't be able to top the impact of this and I completely agree. Still the best single-player FPS campaign ever made? I struggle to think of another that has ever lived up to it. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Bethesda Game Studios feel like they have a reputation to retrieve these days but let's not forget just what a marvel and phenomenon Skyrim was upon release. It's certainly showing the somewhat clunky trappings of age these days in terms of its underlying mechanics and limited combat, but the snowbound reaches of northern Tamriel are just as rewarding to explore as they ever were. There's a staggering amount of content to be found and it could fairly be said that he who is bored of Skyrim is bored of life itself. It's a game that got me through a particularly brutal breakup and what was, looking back through the snowy mists of times long gone, probably the low point of my life, which is not to say that it's here purely on the merits of self-pitying nostalgia, but because its world is so enriching and immersive a place to explore that it could manage to engage and beguile in such seemingly bleak circumstances. Mass Effect 2 - because Mordin. Grand Theft Auto V - let's be honest, others have tried but nobody comes close to Rockstar. There really is nothing quite like venturing into one of their peerless worlds for the first time, and even a decade on I'm quite certain that I could comfortably navigate Los Santos and its surrounding environs from memory alone, which is not only remarkable when you consider its sheer size, but ultimately a testament to the masterful skill with which it was crafted. Yes, Vice City had the pastel suits and legendary soundtrack but go back and play it now and it's a tiny play area and handles like shit. GTAV still rocks and still has the ability to create sheer chaos out of thin air using some sort of lawless voodoo. For all the well deserved criticisms of their restrictive mission design they're still the masters of the freeform playground that is bound only by the player's imagination if you really wanna let rip, and there is absolutely nothing in all of video games that can come within a hundred miles of the titanic presence of a new GTA game when it lands. Final Fantasy XIV - I cancelled my sub a couple of years ago because I just don't want a single video game taking up that much of my time and I felt like the predictable content schedule had long become stale, but for the 3 years or so that I played FF14 it gave me some of the most memorable moments in my personal video game history and secured some lifelong friends among the people who I met when playing it. The ultimate exemplar of a triumphant victory snatched from the jaws of defeat, Naoki Yoshida and his team of probably frighteningly overworked developers have over the last decade crafted something that will go down in the annals of video game legend. Among all the juvenile anime fluff there's some of the best storytelling that the RPG genre has ever produced and at their best the dungeons and raids are absolute masterpieces of MMO design. It represents a small little chapter in my life that I will always look back on with fondness, and made me grateful that if only for a relatively short time I got to experience the uniquely shared and social charms of an MMO at the height of its powers.
  3. 1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2. Elden Ring 3. Dark Souls 4. The Last of Us Part II 5. Shadow of the Colossus 6. Super Mario Odyssey 7. Half-Life 2 8. Final Fantasy VII 9. Mario Kart 8 10. The Last of Us 11. Inside (video game) 12. God of War (2018 video game) 13. Return of the Obra Dinn 14. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker 15. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater 16. Resident Evil 4 17. Hollow Knight 18. Portal 2 19. The Witness (2016 video game) 20. Half-Life: Alyx --- Feeling cute, might delete later, etc. Top five are a dead cert, but it's very difficult to rank the others. As ever, I'm caught in a quandary as to whether 'Best' means 'Favourite', 'Most important', 'Most significant to me personally', etc. And it's tough to separate my feelings about them when I played them compared with how I'd feel about them now. FFVII, for example, was the greatest story ever told in 1997; playing it through again a few years back, it's a tyre fire. Same for SotC - who would want to play the PS2 original now, with that frame rate? Still, thanks for doing this @Benny! I love a good list. I expect Elden Ring to take first. --- Comments: 1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: Still the best game I've ever played, five years after it first came out. The essence of adventure distilled. 2. Elden Ring: From Software's magnum opus. A bewildering, sprawling, sublime, epic masterpiece. Mind-meltingly ambitious. 3. Dark Souls: Back when we did the games of the decade, I said that this was the most influential game of the last ten years. Nothing has changed. 4. The Last of Us Part II: The most engaging narrative in a videogame I've ever experienced, and one which could only be told as effectively as it is through a videogame. 5. Shadow of the Colossus: Name me a game with a more evocative atmosphere. I'll wait. 6. Super Mario Odyssey: The best game ever made with 'Mario' in the title. Breathtakingly inventive and rewarding, from moon one to moon nine hundred and ninety-nine. 7. Half-Life 2: My favourite first person shooter. We're coming up on two decades since its release and it remains an absolute banger. 8. Final Fantasy VII: The biggest 'heart pick' in my list, but I couldn't keep it out of the top ten. Instrumental in my love for videogames and my tastes in fiction generally. I first played it when I was seven years old and I've been hooked on this wonderful medium ever since. Cloud coming down the stairs in Shinra HQ on the motorbike is one of the formative moments of my childhood. How could anything else possibly ever be as badass? 9. Mario Kart 8: The best racing game ever made. The fact that it's still a bestseller and that extra content is being added to it eight years later is testament to its enduring brilliance. Even when it drives you insane, it's still some of the best fun you can have with a joypad. 10. The Last of Us: I think the sequel improves on it in more or less every way, and yet it's still good enough to sneak inside my top ten. 11. Inside (video game): Brooding, shuffling, snorting, irrepressible menace that just builds and builds and builds. The ending is positively ejaculatory. 12. God of War (2018 video game): Story, world-building, combat, presentation, exploration and scale coming together beautifully to make a perfectly polished blockbuster experience. 13. Return of the Obra Dinn: An astonishing work of artistic vision. Completely unique and wholly satisfying. 14. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker: My favourite game from the Gamecube era. A masterclass in animation and charm. 15. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater: Such drama! Such gravitas! Such campness! Achingly cool and goofy as fuck at the same time. Kojima's best game. 16. Resident Evil 4: Tighter than an El Gigante's boxer shorts. Not an ounce of fat on it. A 15 hour rollercoaster ride comprised almost entirely of one incredible set piece after another. 17. Hollow Knight: The best thing to come out of Dark Souls' and Metroid's combined legacies. Unbelievably ambitious and brilliantly executed. 18. Portal 2: Valve took the deliciously tantalising feeling of looking behind the curtain from Portal 1 and then made a feature-length game out of it. Plus, they added Stephen Merchant. How could it not be one of the best games ever made? 19. The Witness (2016 video game): "Hey, this pattern on the pavement here looks pretty familiar. I wonder what happens if I take the cursor and --. Oh. Ohhhhhh." 20. Half-Life: Alyx: Sheltering behind a crumbling pillar, ejecting your gun's magazine with one hand while grabbing another from your backpack with the other, jamming it home, pulling back the chamber, taking a breath, jumping out from cover and shooting three combine soldiers in the head in quick succession, all from the comfort of your own living room, in your pants, will be the coolest thing you'll ever do in a videogame.
  4. 1. Dark Souls 2. Final Fantasy VII 3. Street Fighter II 4. Super Mario 64 5. Elden Ring 6. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 7. Bayonetta (video game) 8. Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade 9. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain 10. Astro Boy: Omega Factor 11. F-Zero X 12. Super Metroid 13. Super Bomberman 14. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night 15. Invisible, Inc. 16. Suikoden II 17. The Witness (2016 video game) 18. The Last Guardian 19. Celeste (video game) 20. Returnal (video game) I don't know where to put Elden Ring yet. It may end up at the top of the pile.
  5. Quite a few changes from last time (I think!) - created a top 30 so might be a couple of changes later: 1. Nights into Dreams 2. Rez (video game) 3. Shenmue (video game) 4. Phantasy Star Online 5. Sayonara Wild Hearts 6. Halo: Combat Evolved 7. Streets of Rage 4 8. Spelunky 9. Bloodborne 10. Ring Fit Adventure 11. Sonic Mania 12. Persona 4 13. Elden Ring 14. Tetris 15. Dragon Quest XI 16. Bayonetta 2 17. No More Heroes (video game) 18. Policenauts 19. Wii Sports Resort 20. Ico Write-Ups Below: 1. Nights into Dreams (No change) 2. Rez (video game) (Up 1) 3. Shenmue (video game) (Up 3) After playing Shenmue III and many Yakuza titles, the elements that make the first Shenmue become ever more precious. A good example is the level of detail in things - you can go to the convenience store and buy various items (batteries, food) but I always enjoy buying the cassette tapes. They have a bunch of made up artists and cassette artwork. I play them and enjoy having these items to purchase. They don't give any intrinsic game value or a 1/20 to a game achievement. I can give some of the food to the orphan cat later. Ine-san is going to be upset I have come back after its got dark again. 4. Phantasy Star Online (Up 22) Having regular access to this again has definitely influenced this years placement. The only online RPG that doesn't demand you devote all your time to it. The gameplay loop has aged incredibly well, and now has a feeling of early-internet days when I play online where everything felt so much friendlier and unfamiliar. 5. Sayonara Wild Hearts (NEW) Pure distilled videogame enjoyment - it is such a perfect mix of lots of things I really like - pristinely produced pop-music, Minter-esq tunnel shooters, arcade sensibilities, and a non-verbal storyline which ties everything together, beautifully. It doesn't waste your time, it feeels magical and leaves me fulfilled and happy to be alive. 6. Halo: Combat Evolved (Up 2) 7. Streets of Rage 4 (NEW) The best Sega revival ever - adding synchronicity and combo's to the best game to punch folk to. Nevermind that the soundtrack is absolutely pitched perfectly between modern electro and classic house without falling into generic EDM. Rising up! 8. Spelunky (Down 6) 9. Bloodborne (Down 4) 10. Ring Fit Adventure (NEW) "Would you like to change the difficulty?" No - this is fine. Yes, Tipp happy for you to keep asking. "Keep your posture straight! Three, Two, One, Go!" - Oh, this is familiar - I'm rocking back on my heels in time before we start - and I am pumped up! To exercise. And level-up! No to planking. Yes to squats! 11. Sonic Mania (Down 7) 12. Persona 4 (Down 5) 13. Elden Ring (NEW) A impossible task to place on the list. All I can say is that I have played for over 100 hours and it is very clearly a masterpiece of world building and game design. Utilising open world setting without losing the intricate pacing and location design - it is incredibly impressive. 14. Tetris (NEW) (Note placement based on Tetris 99) There has been a lot of really great takes on Tetris in recent years (Puyo Puyo Tetris, Tetris Effect) but Tetris 99 does something unthinkable, taking a very modern online game-type and makes it its own. Now Vs Tetris isn't something particularly new, but it has been something I have never really been interested in. By bringing Tetris online the modern ruleset finally makes sense with its rewards for t-spins essential for competitive play. It also helps that Tetris 99 is developed by Arika, who really understand how to make fast tetris gameplay feel amazing. 15. Dragon Quest XI (NEW) Finally, a modern JRPG that feels like the very best of the SNES heyday. It was inevitable too - Yuji Horii has been making this game for longer than anyone else in the industry, Toriyama's timeless design, someone on the soundtrack. It had been far too long since DQVIII - a title that brought the art alive, an incredible English dub - but was hampered by the PS2 hardware. DQXI is really great at bringing the small stories alive - visit the town, get to know the folk, help them out. The big picture stuff can wait. Epic. 16. Bayonetta 2 (NEW) So a completely unconstrained Bayonetta, ends up feeling very much like a Treasure game. Style and scale off the charts. 17. No More Heroes (video game) (Up 17) 18. Policenauts (Down 6) 19. Wii Sports Resort (Up 65!) This vastly increased placement deserves an explanation. I think the further we move away from the Wii era, the more I miss it. I've always valued invention over perfection and the Wii era is really messy throw-things-at-the-wall era. Wii Sports Resort is the pinnacle of motion gaming and one of only a handful of games that utilise the Motion Plus (do not get me confused I think Wii Sports is 'not good'). The 'Sport' part isn't the draw (this is not Ring Fit Adventure) but the simple blend of pick-up arcade challenge mixed with very well executed control playstyles which draw you in. All tied together into the Wuhu Island experience. 20. Ico (Down 9) 21-100 (New since 2017 in Bold)
  6. 1. Elden Ring 2. After Burner: Climax 3. Star Wars: Squadrons 4. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater 5. The Last Guardian 6. Tetris Effect 7. Demon’s Souls 8. Superhot VR 9. Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening 10. Final Fantasy VII 11. Chaos: The Battle of Wizards 12. Soulcalibur 13. Wipeout HD 14. Bumpy 15. Lemmings 16. Bubble Bobble 17. No Man’s Sky 18. Um Jammer Lammy 19. Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe 20. Rez (video game) Edit - finished the full list now, interesting that NMS has dropped way down my list after it has had so many updates - basically I feel like I have lost touch and don’t know it well anymore. Also I bumped off FFXI which was on my 2017 list, because when I read my text from last vote I had just as much negative stuff to say about it as positive. Also I have grudgingly swapped Elden Ring and Demon’s Souls positions - I was giving Demon’s extra kudos for it all being the first time as opposed to following a formula, plus I haven’t finished ER yet. Last night’s session on ER was a wake up call though. It’s surely going to end up as my favourite.
  7. 1. Breath of the Wild 2. Elden Ring 3. Resi 4 But still looking forward to results in full.
  8. 1. Advance Wars 2. Tetris 3. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 4. Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn 5. Spelunky 6. Elden Ring 7. Return of the Obra Dinn 8. Rez (video game) 9. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past 10. Resident Evil 4 11. Final Fantasy VI 11. FTL: Faster Than Light 12. XCOM: Enemy Unknown 13: Stardew Valley 14: Divinity: Original Sin II 15: Dark Souls 16: The Witness (2016 video game) 17: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim 18: Super Monkey Ball 19: Rock Band 20: RollerCoaster Tycoon
  9. BotW will win, again. Resi 4 and DS1 will rate highly as usual. Elden Ring looks like it's going to do well though. The changes and new entries further down are always more interesting.
  10. I am excited to see the final list! Top 4 has to be Breath of the Wild, Elden Ring, Resident Evil 4 and Bloodborne from a quick glance... But we will see soon enough! Thanks so much @Benny for running this!
  11. 1. Elden Ring 2. Hollow Knight 3. Guilty Gear Strive 4. Slay the Spire 5. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 6. Disco Elysium 7. Rhythm Tengoku 8. Doom (2016 video game) 9. Civilization V 10. The Last of Us 11. Super Mario Odyssey 12. Kentucky Route Zero 13. Ultrakill 14. Control (video game) 15. Tokimeki Memorial (video game) 16. Mushihimesama Futari 17. Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan 18. Chrono Trigger 19. Final Fantasy Tactics 20. Celeste (video game) Only 20 choices is hard! I will do some explanations at some point if work eases up. Feel a bit weird about putting so many new games in there, but I think that's what's feels right at the moment. Strive was a bit of a difficult choice for me, considering the amount of love I have for SFIV, but think Strive deserves as much recognition as possible for the superb rollback netcode implementation. Also fuck it, I made my way out of pools in Evo last year, I'm allowed to like this game best! The other big difficult choice was Ultrakill as it isn't even finished yet but my god I just love it so much. I've never felt so fucking cool playing a shooter and I reckon the scope you have for player expression likely eclipses even DMC and Bayonetta, which is why neither of those series made my list, though I dearly love entries from both. Longlisted games:
  12. Is that because single-player adventure games tend to lack long-term appeal? I'm also not seeing as many votes for, say, Mass Effect 2 or Skyrim, as I would have expected. It's only really the Zeldas that tend to last the test of time in lists like these (and even then, only a couple of classics from the series), and most people seem to be picking more replayable fare in general, stuff they genuinely revisit time and time again. I'm sure Elden Ring will do really well this time around, but less so in five years' time.
  13. 1. Elden Ring 2. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 3. World of Warcraft 4. Final Fantasy VII 5. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt 6. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 7. Super Mario Galaxy 8. Bloodborne 9. Half-Life 2 10. Metroid Prime 11. Resident Evil 4 12. Portal (video game) 13. Halo: Combat Evolved 14. Ico 15. Super Mario World 16. Yoshi's Island 17. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past 18. F-Zero X 19. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim 20. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End Honourable mentions in no particular order:
  14. 1. Dark Souls 2. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 3. Super Mario World 4. WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgames! 5. Ico 6. Final Fantasy VI 7. F-Zero X 8. Metroid Prime 9. EarthBound 10. Mario Kart 8 11. Super Monkey Ball (video game) 12. Yakuza 0 13. Resident Evil (2002 video game) 14. Resident Evil 4 15. Super Metroid 16. Tetris Effect 17. Rez (video game) 18. Shadow of the Colossus 19. Hollow Knight 20. Elden Ring
  15. Tentatively... 1. Elden Ring 2. Fallout 3 3. The Last of Us 4. Championship Manager 97/98 5. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare 6. Resident Evil 4 7. Mario Kart 64 8. Bioshock 9. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island 10. Half-Life 2 11. The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind 12. Peggle 13. California Games 14. What Remains of Edith Finch 15. International Superstar Soccer 64 16. Mass Effect (video game) 17. Destiny 18. Dishonored 19. The Witcher 3 20. Ico Bubbling under, but might make the final cut - Singularity, Binary Domain, Goldeneye,
  16. Top 20 games that I instantly think of without dwelling on it too much. 1. Bloodborne 2. Mass Effect 2 3. Batman: Arkham Asylum 4. City of Heroes 5. Tetris 6. Super Mario Kart 7. Horizon Zero Dawn 8. Fallout 2 (1998) 9. Planescape: Torment 10. Kirby's Epic Yarn 11. It Takes Two (video game) 12. Laser Squad 13. Civilization IV 14. Street Fighter II 15. Dead Space 16. SimCity 2000 17. Excite Truck 18. Star Wars: TIE Fighter 19. Thunder Force III 20. Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory Rationale for a few: Bloodborne is the greatest game of all time and it's not even close, it even makes Elden Ring look rubbish. Kirby's Epic Yarn is the best game ever for playing with children. It's cute. It's fun. They can't die. They can't cause you to get stuck on the level causing endless frustration. It's perfect. Also the art style is the best, it's so far the only Kirby game I have ever enjoyed. Laser Squad got picked ahead of XCom because it was amazing for it's time, far more so than XCom. Excite Truck an outside pick but it was great. I love racing games where the terrain deforms and launches you into a massive jump while you're driving a truck and there's not many games that fit that category. City of Heroes ahead of any other MMO because there was brief period where the balance was ridiculous. Some archetypes were godlike and others abysmal, everything was a confusing mess and it was amazing. My regular group had a tank called Mr Amazing, that's how amazing everything was. Amaze. ET because it was the only online shooter I ever really got into. I loved it though, kill a dude. Knick his uniform, sneak in through the backdoor and blow up a base. Fantastic!
  17. 1. Elden Ring 2. Dark Souls 3. Minecraft 4. WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgames! 5. Super Mario Bros. 3 6. The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 7. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 8. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past 9. Elite (video game) 10. Super Metroid 11. Metroid Prime 12. Pikmin (video game) 13. EverQuest 14. Dragon Quest XI 15. Yakuza: Like a Dragon 16. Tetris 17. Fallout 3 18. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim 19. Red Dead Redemption 20. Advance Wars OK, had a crack at this, although I can't really meaningfully rank them against each other. These are all games that have had a massive effect on me. They're all joint number #1 to me, probably weighted a bit towards how fresh in my mind they are. Twenty isn't nearly enough either. Couldn't fit in Animal Crossing, Mario Galaxy, Paper Mario, Persona 5, Wind Waker, Ocarina of TIme, Portal, Witcher 3, No Man's Sky, and loads more. Not many of the JRPGs I love quite make it to the list, as few of them stand out individually, even though I love the genre as a whole massively. I've probably forgot loads of Spectum, NES and SNES games I loved at the time (oh crap, R-Type on PC Engine!). Also, @Benny, could you possibly check I've got the names right for Dragon Quest XI and Wario Ware? The Wario Ware one looks like a bit of a mouthful, even though its from the wiki page. The DQXI wiki page title doesn't have the subtitle, but the first line of the entry does include the subtitle. Wasn't sure which way to go. Thanks.
  18. Can someone point out any obvious errors. Ta. 1. Manhunt (video game) 2. Bloodborne 3. Batman: Arkham Asylum 4. Freedom Fighters (video game) 5. Metroid Prime 6. Portal (video game) 7. Return of the Obra Dinn 8. Astro Bot Rescue Mission 9. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim 10. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 11. Demon's Souls 12. Halo: Combat Evolved 13. Cuphead 14. Tetris Effect 15. Dungeon Master (video game) 16. Resident Evil 4 17. Super Mario 64 18. Picross S 19. 1942 (video game) 20. Star Wars Battlefront (2015 video game) Manhunt One of those games that was divisive at the time but I played it to completion three times over and it left a lasting impression. Bags of atmosphere, stealth that worked and gunplay that rivaled anything in its day. Bloodborne The sort of game that stays with you in your dreams. An aesthetic like no other and lore that compelled you to play on. Better than Elden Ring, in my opinion (which hasn't made it into this list due to me only hitting the half way point). Batman: Arkham Asylum This came out of nowhere from a relatively unknown developer and has been influencing videogames ever since. The detective mode is basic by today's standards but it's been copied by everything from Horizon: Zero Dawn to Days Gone. The way areas unlocked was sublime and the combat remains magnificent. Collecting the Joker tapes became an addiction. I can't wait to replay this soon with the Remastered version. Freedom Fighters Another game I played three times over. Just when you felt things were becoming stale IO would ramp up the level design and add another layer of complexity. This needs a sequel, but I'd be happy with a remaster. Metroid Prime Another game that oozes atmosphere. I struggled with the last couple of bosses but it gave me that punching the air feeling that i've only experienced with the Dark Souls games. Portal The sequel may have more depth and complexity but this was the one that pulled at the heartstrings. A genuinely fresh take on the physics/puzzler. Plus that song. Return of the Obra Dinn Shows that new ideas are possible in this brilliant art form of ours. I was absorbed and impressed from the first moment to the last. Outstanding music too. Astrobot Rescue Mission The kind of game that makes you grin from ear to ear. Surprised it hasn't made more lists. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim The type of game you don't complete, but experience over and over again. Remarkable that it still has a hold over people a decade after release. I'm looking forward to playing it on Switch sometime soon. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild It was a close call between this and Ocarina but while I feel Ocarina has more charm this undeniably has greater depth and breadth. I'm half a century old and getting a bit cynical but this took me right back to being a goggle-eyed, impressionable teenager. Demon's Souls Sacrilege but I prefer this to Dark Souls. Fantastic monster design, tough as nails and moody as hell. Became an obsession for a good three months. Halo: Combat Evolved I will put it bluntly: this shat on all other FPSs when released. So many good times were had. Cuphead I wasnt expecting much from this but I became so addicted it gave me RSI. Wonderful visuals married to an old school design mechanic that was right up my street. Tetris Effect Perhaps the purest form of videogame ever created, the VR version helped me through some tough times and is just a sublime and trippy celebration of Pajitnov's original. Dungeon Master For a D&D fan this was like going from soundless black and white to audio, colour and 3D in one giant leap. The puzzles were magnificent and it had better jump scares than any horror movie I'd ever seen. I reckon it would still hold up today. Resident Evil 4 Beautifully constructed, atmospheric and easy on the eye. It was an absolute blast playing this again on Oculus Quest 2. Super Mario 64 It remains my favourite Mario game. The exploration, the magic, the sense of wonder. Picross S Hours I've plunged into this series. Utterly absorbing. 1942 I still play it today. More than nostalgia this is the ultimate 2D shooter with a charm and escalating level design that keeps me coming back again and again. Star Wars Battlefront I had to include a multiplayer shooter and when I really think about it this is the one that I sunk most hours into. Those silly bottlenecks in the Death Star still make me chuckle. An honourable mention must go to No Man's Sky, Inside and The Witness.
  19. 1. Bloodborne 2. Returnal (video game) 3. Elden Ring 4. The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 5. Ninja Gaiden Black 6. Resident Evil 4 7. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island 8. Super Metroid 9. Dead Space 2 10. Prey (2017 video game) 11. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice 12. Dead Space 13. The Last of Us Part II 14. Half-Life 2 15. The Last Guardian 16. Astro Bot Rescue Mission 17. Metroid Prime 2: Echoes 18. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze 19. Super Mario 64 20. Rez (video game) I'll do the Wiki check later and a little write-up for the top five.
  20. 1. Halo: Combat Evolved 2. Resident Evil 4 3. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 4. Elden Ring 5. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 6. Bloodborne 7. Metal Gear Solid (1998 video game) 8. Half-Life 2 9. Super Mario World 10. Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening 11. Metroid Prime 12. The Last of Us Part II 13. Shadow of the Colossus 14. Mass Effect 2 15. Super Mario Odyssey 16. Shenmue (video game) 17. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion 18. Ōkami 19. Ridge Racer 6 20. Viewtiful Joe
  21. 1. Slay The Spire 2. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 3. Elite Dangerous 4. Wipeout 2097 5. Satisfactory 6. Hitman 3 7. Tetris 8. Super Mario 64 9. FTL: Faster Than Light 10. Red Dead Redemption 2 11. Minecraft 12. Elden Ring 13. Grand Theft Auto V 14. Driveclub 15. Surviving Mars 16. Doom (1993 video game) 17. Into the Breach 18. Mario Kart 8 19. Super Mario World 20. F-Zero Commentary: Special Mentions to:
  22. 1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2. Sea of Thieves 3. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare 4. Streets of Rage 2 5. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim 6. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 7. Hades (video game) 8. Halo: Combat Evolved 9. Grand Theft Auto V 10. Assassin's Creed Odyssey 11. Mass Effect 2 12. Red Dead Redemption 13. Super Mario Galaxy 14. Forza Horizon 5 15. Spider-Man (2018 video game) 16. It Takes Two (video game) 17. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves 18. Mario Kart 8 19. God of War (2018 video game) 20. Doom Eternal Here's mine. I think I'm the first person to include Sea of Thieves which I always think is criminally underrated, especially now there's SO much content that's been added since launch. BOTW is streets ahead of anything else IMO. Confession: I have never once played any Souls game, and I don't yet have Elden Ring. Going by some of the big open world games on my list, I *think* I'll really enjoy it so I intend to give it a go later this year so I don't completely miss the hype train when the GOTY 2022 thread starts. 1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Well - it's just timeless, isn't it? Since the last voting in 2017 I've upgraded from a Wii U to a Switch and played it all over again, finding areas I never discovered the first time around. I'll never forget a line from the IGN review which sums up why I love this game so much: "if you think something might work, it usually does'. It's a behemoth of a game which has had so much love, care and attention sprinkled over it. 2. Sea of Thieves I'll always keep coming back to this because every time I take a break and return, new stuff is added which enriches the gorgeous world even further. The devs have done a wonderful job of improving and expanding the game. Sea of Thieves is so special because no 2 sessions are the same. You've no idea what will happen when you first set sail from an outpost - be it PVP, PVE, something combining both, making friends with random crews, epic sea battles etc etc. This also rated so highly on my list because now, my son joins me as my crewmate and there's something very special about connecting with your offspring in a hobby you both love. 3. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare The game that got me into online shooters and very very late night with little sleep. Shame the franchise has gone downhill so much since - sometimes less is more. 4. Streets of Rage 2 12 year old me couldn't believe how much a sequel could improve over the original, and it still plays well today - the proof of this was how well received the excellent SOR4 has been - a game that replicates the feel of a game that's pushing 30 years old. Yes, SOR4 improves a lot over the previous instalments, but it was back on the Megadrive where my true love for this series began. 5. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Got massively into this when it first came out - talking to friends about their own Skyrim adventures the next day just made me thirsty for more, and I couldn't stop playing this until I'd hit the 1000 achievement points mark. 6. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic No-one has ever done Star Wars as well since Bioware's effort back in 2003. Not even Fallen Order which was okay, but the incredible characters and immersive environments of KOTOR were so good - backed up by one of the greatest Star Wars stories ever written - means that KOTOR has to sit high up on my list. 7. Hades (video game) I genuinely doubted the RLLMUK hive mind on this one. "No way could such a simple concept be THAT good", I thought. Well blow me sideway because it IS that good, and it really isn't that simple a concept either, not when you get into it, learn the very precise skillsets needed for each weapon, against each enemy type, combined with each boon etc etc etc. Before you know it, you're 50+ runs into the game, bedtime passed long ago and you still have another 5 runs to attempt. Maybe 10. 15....? Everything about this game oozes class and now it's on Game Pass with that lovely sweet 60fps, it's even better. 8. Halo: Combat Evolved A series I love has never actually managed to improve on this incredible introduction. I adored playing it back on the MCC and really hope that at some point, 343i can recapture the feeling of scale and story that the original Halo brought to the table. 9. Grand Theft Auto V I bounced off GTA IV somewhat, but loved the story and mission variety of the sequel, particularly the 3 main characters (as awful as they were as human beings). The presentation of San Andreas is one of the best sandboxes in video games, and I was surprised how fresh and polished it looked when I played through it again last year when it arrived on Game Pass. 10. Assassin's Creed Odyssey By far the best entry in the series which is mainly due to the fact I'm a nerd for Ancient Greek history and architecture, but also because the protagonist Cassandra (if you played as the Alexios, delete your save file now and restart the game - thank you) is very awesome too. Yes, this is gigantic and yes, there can be daunting with all the icons, side quests, main missions, points of interest etc etc but if you love the world, love the lore, love the combat and love exploring, the huge scope of the whole thing is the absolute opposite of a turn-off. Worth mentioning the superb DLC which is well worth checking out. 11. Mass Effect 2 My favourite entry in the series got a 2nd play through with the Legendary Edition last year but this is all about the first time I played this epic space adventure, the delightful supporting cast and one of the most daring and emotional missions I've ever played through. 12. Red Dead Redemption Although I'm still to play through RDR2, the original remains an all time favourite because the atmosphere it created works perfectly with the engaging story, beautiful landscapes and perfectly pitched music. The moment I reached Mexico and Jose Gonzalez' tremendous musical number playing in the background remains an all time favourite gaming highlight. 13. Super Mario Galaxy I loved Odyssey but I think the original Galaxy game was the one Mario game that made me realise how perfect he is for 3D platforming. I also think this is the cleverest Mario game, a title that properly utilised the Wii's control system and made for hour upon hour of smiling. 14. Forza Horizon 5 Had to include a Horizon game - this title above any other has shown just how impressive the Series X is. Mexico is the prettiest Horizon location yet and whilst the formula remains the same as it's been throughout the series, I think the 5th title looks, sounds and plays better than any other. 15. Spider-Man (2018 video game) The first (and to date ONLY!) game I've achieved a Platinum Trophy for. The best superhero game out there, with a story as good as any of the MCU films, which is joyous fun from the first moment. New York is gorgeously realised and it's so easy to forget what specific mission you're doing by getting completely carried away with swinging between skyscrapers, plummeting towards the sidewalk before shooting back up and over another tall building - it's incredibly satisfying. The fact that combat and stealth missions are just as fun makes it even better. 16. It Takes Two (video game) I played this with my 11 year old daughter and we had SUCH a laugh together. Each level manages to offer something completely different in terms of game mechanics, it looks beautiful throughout and of the 6 people I know who have played through it (including us), every one of us has a different favourite level. Didn't really like the story but that's easily forgiven when the journey itself was such great fun. 17. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves Uncharted 4 was in my previous list, but having played through them all again, I think the 2nd game holds up the best. It improves massively on the original, with those great set pieces in particular. 18. Mario Kart 8 Knocking every other MK game further down my ratings, this is an absolute triumph, particularly on the Switch with a room full of friends. Visually it's incredible, but Nintendo have managed to absolutely nail the drama and excitement of each race. And I absolutely LOVE the battle modes. Glorious, glorious chaos. 19. God of War (2018 video game) I really liked the original GoW games and wasn't sure if I'd like the new, Nordic setting for the PS4 version but wow - I couldn't have been more wrong. The superb performances from both Kratos and Atreus, the brilliant combat, the gorgeous environments, the scale of the platforming sections all merge to make an experience that just feels absolutely bang on the money, wiping the floor with all the previous instalments in the series. 20. Doom Eternal Originally, the 2016 Doom reboot was sitting in 20th place, but good old Game Pass treated me to Doom Eternal which I found to be the next step up from the crazy carnage of it's predecessor. The lore, the bombast, the cool platforming sections and the huge amount of collectables mean it's a lot deeper than the insane bloodbath it might appear to be. I was also constantly amazed how on earth the Series X never suffered with drops in framerate or slowdown even during the most chaotic of moments. It's technically stunning!
  23. 1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2. Elden Ring 3. Final Fantasy VII 4. Minecraft 5. World of Warcraft 6. Stardew Valley 7. Fallout 3 8. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 9. Super Metroid 10. The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker 11. Metroid Prime 12. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past 13. Mario 64 14. Final Fantasy VI 15. Red Dead Redemption 2 16. Suikoden 2 17. The Binding of Isaac (video game) 18. Mass Effect 2 19. Super Mario Galaxy 20. Super Mario Odyssey
  24. 1. Elden Ring 2. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 3. Super Mario World 4. Super Street Fighter II Turbo 5. Super Mario Galaxy 6. Super Mario 64 7. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past 8. OutRun 2 9. Tetris (Game Boy video game) 10. Quake III Arena 11. Rez (video game) 12. Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan 13. Returnal 14. Dark Souls 15. TxK 16. Wii Sports Resort 17. Doom (1993 video game) 18. Mario Kart 8 19. Sega Rally 20. Rhythm Tengoku
  25. My list. Cheers for sorting @Benny! 1. Dark Souls 2. Red Dead Redemption 2 3. Mass Effect 2 4. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 5. Super Mario Galaxy 6. Final Fantasy VII 7. The Beatles: Rock Band 8. The Last Guardian 9. Outer Wilds 10. Resident Evil 4 11. Rez (video game) 12. Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty 13. Mario Kart 8 14. Halo: Reach 15. Grand Theft Auto IV 16. Titanfall 2 17. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze 18. Returnal (video game) 19. Battlefield: Bad Company 2 20. Elden Ring
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