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The Greatest Games of This Generation - Voting is Closed

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1. Red Dead Redemption purely for the experience and scope. Nothing to touch it. As of today ;)

2. Oblivion which I enjoyed more than Skyrim

3. Forza Horizon more polished than a pair of army boots

4. GTA 4 some criticised the graphics, but again the scope was excellent

5. Condemned was a really well executed , genuinely scary and a truly original experience

6. Dishonored another original experience tackled how you choose, mostly

7. Animal Crossing a new leaf the game many bought a 3DS to play

8. Outrun New Arcade fantastically recreated for this generation

9. Little Kings Story deserved to be bigger. Wasn't doh.

10. Singstar made a big impact. Enjoyed by many!

Wiper - if any of these do not count. Drop me a line please and I'll swap one out. Thank you

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1. Super Mario Galaxy

2. Left 4 Dead 2

3. Rock Band 3

4. Battlefield Bad Company 2

5. Batman Arkham Asylum

6. Deus Ex Human Revolution

7. Bayonetta

8. Call of Duty 4

9. Grand Theft Auto 4

10. Project Gotham Racing 4

No doubt I'll change my mind on these, so are they open to edits or are you processing them as you go?

1st edit: forgot about Batman and Deus Ex.

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1. Guitar Hero 3 - My favourite rhythm GAME by miles. I put that word in capitals because future GH/RB titles kept trying to be more and more "realistic", requiring you to become a terrific drummer or vocalist. This was also one of the last games to have a largely fixed setlist, so from a social viewpoint, everyone was playing the same songs, trying to beat each others scores, not just spunking £££ away on DLC. Great times.
2. Call of Duty: Black Ops - purely here because of the AMAZING zombies mode ... the rest is disposable. BLOPS2 was also excellent for zombies, but the single-and-multiplayer aspects were just so unbelievably awful that I couldn't bring myself to include it too.
3. Mirrors Edge - Fabulous controls, fabulous graphics and sound. Time trials were a hoot. A great game. I just can't fault it, and it annoys me when people rubbish it because of "poor combat", which you are supposed to avoid anyway, and makes up about 2% of the whole affair.
4. Blur - Mario Kart vs PGR? SOLD. It has to be in the top five. When you can roll across the line in second-last place, and STILL be grinning as you look forward to the next race, you know it's something special.
5. Portal 2 - A superb puzzle game and story. Everyone knows why.
6. Trials Evolution - More time trial fun. I always maintain that great controls are the basis of a great game. Even fairly average games can become something special when the controls feel good. Fortunately, Trials ain't average. The presentation was amazing, the tracks were mental fun, and yes, the controls were spot-on. "Just-one-more-go" gaming at it's finest.
7. Halo 4 - My FPS true-love. I read the novels. I am a Halo geek. Why this isn't the most popular multiplayer FPS is beyond me. It is light years ahead of COD.
8. Lost Planet - A rock-solid third-person shooter. Giant mechs, even bigger monsters, and (another) race against time to stop yourself freezing to death made this one of my favourite shooters of the generation. It was even quite good fun online, a place I rarely venture into. Shame about the sequels.
9. DJ Hero - Many said the sequel was an improvement, and it almost is. It certainly has better presentation, and a couple of nice extra gameplay mechanics, but I just thought this one was a better challenge, and I love a challenge.
10. Gears of War 3 - I loved all three, but the online mode in this iteration was easily the best. Shame everyone jumped ship a few months later for COD.

All played on 360. I've just belatedly started Halo Reach though, which looks like a contender.

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1. Dark Souls

2. Halo 3

3. Minecraft

4. Borderlands 2

5. Halo Reach

6. Portal 2

7. Burnout Paradise

8. Rock band 3

9. Arkham City

10. Binding of Isaac

Ordering them got difficult, but i'm pretty happy with that.

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1. Rock Band 3

For me, the absolute pinnacle of the genre. RB3 is so embarrassingly full of stuff to do that I honestly think I could play it forever. I've never even touched Pro Guitar in the hundreds of hours I've played, and the idea that there is a whole chunk I've never even seen is a little bit terrifying. But aside from the sheer volume of content, the core game played alone or with friends is utterly beautiful. Wish fulfilment at it's finest; you get these brief moments where you're transported out of your living room and planted on stage at Wembley Stadium. It makes the talentless talented, it turns a group of drunken mates into a well oiled rock machine and it turns songs that you'd never choose to listen to into all time favourites.

2. Portal

The only game I've ever finished in one sitting. Just perfectly designed, every part is so elegantly put together it's difficult to think of anyway in which it could be improved (and I'd argue, that Valve struggled too). It has this incredible foreboding, cold atmosphere that combines with the brilliant script to create a really rather unique feel. It's frightening and hilarious and has moments of blind panic juxtaposed with quiet, head scratching contemplation. I'll never be able to recapture that wonderful afternoon, but I daresay I'll be firing this up for another run for years to come.

3. Geometry Wars 2

The beautiful burning neon, the abstract angular ships, the warping thumping soundtrack, the fine line between pad throwing frustration and fist pumping elation; it occasionally feels like this was designed just for me. The fusion of order and chaos, the bright electro future styling and the one-more-go-ness are all right up my street. There's so much variety in here too. And it was a revolution in online leaderboards (having your nearest friend teasing you in the top corner). GW2 hates me and my stupid human brain and inaccurate thumbs but I will always love it.

4. Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan

Played at the highest difficulty levels, Ouendan is like a tiny dance as your stylus hops, leaps and slides across the touchscreen. The music and sound is (naturally) spot on as your bangs, whistles and shouts add to some J-Hip-Pop-Rock that you've never heard of but will be singing for weeks. Meanwhile, in your periphery a middle aged guy has a fight with a fifty foot mouse. Add in one of the most touching moments in gaming and a truly epic ending and you have a game that combines it's compulsive, rhythmic score chasing with a totally charming and lovable feel.

5. Super Mario Galaxy

An absurdly imaginative and inventive game that somehow managed to find a way to evolve a genre that had found itself in a bit of a creative cul-de-sac. This was Nintendo back to it's blistering, trail blazing best. The charm, the laughs, the squeals of surprise and the simple joy of movement all wrapped up in a beautiful orchestral score and some of the best visuals of the generation (showing in one flourish that brute power is not necessary when you have great design).

6. Super Meat Boy

Much like Geometry Wars, Meat Boy doesn't suffer fools gladly and it's easy to find yourself in 'The Restarting Wheel of Self Hate'. It's a million defeats, a foot stamping on your face, a tiny moment of glorious victory, and then your back again. And you'll keep coming back. Tight controls that do exactly what you want, hundreds of secrets and a brilliantly designed difficulty curve all mean that even though you've been banging your head against a brick wall for two hours, there's probably several other walls that require your attention.

7. WipEout HD

Buttery smooth, gorgeous visuals and those curvy, borderline sexy racing lines create a game that will have you perched on the edge of your seat with your heart pumping, your pupils fully dilated and your hands nearly white from the force with which you're holding the pad. Also, I think Zone mode may have permanently damaged my brain.

8. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

The term 'rollercoaster' is often overused for games and films, but it's difficult to think of a better way to describe Uncharted 2. Slow considered build ups, moments of calm and then utter bedlam. The shoot outs are varied and require changing tactics on the fly, it looks ridiculous and some of the set pieces (my favourite being the helicopter attack on the tower block) are absolutely jaw dropping. It's pretty funny too.

9. Blur

This totally consumed me for an entire summer. A racing game with a dash of the Geometry Wars style and a cracking soundtrack, it also actually made me play competitively online (which is something I nearly never do). Gutted we'll probably never see another; it was just a few tweaks away from something truly special.

10. Virtue's Last Reward

Completely resurrected my interest in long, story based games it's pretty difficult to talk about why this it's good without giving the game away. It tells a tale that could only be told in videogames and had tons of moments where something fell into place and sent a shiver of excitement down my spine. Complicated, clunky and only revealing it's hand after the first ten hours and three odd endings, I can't think of anyone I know that I can genuinely recommended this to. Regardless, I love it. Love it.

Honourable mentions: Bayonetta, Vanquish, Pacman CE, Braid, Journey, SSFIV, The Walking Dead, Nuts and Bolts, Skyward Sword, Animal Crosssing: Wild World, Bejewelled Blitz, Arkham City, Dead Space, Motorstorm: Pacific Rift.

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1. Super Mario Galaxy

2. Super Mario Galaxy 2

3. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

4. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

5. Motorstorm: Apocalypse

6. Mario Kart Wii

7. Pikmin 3

8. Flower

9. New Super Mario Bros U

10: Metroid Prime 3: Corruption


I didn't include any remake or HD version, but the phenomenal quartet of quality

Metroid Prime Wii

Shadow of The Colossus HD

Ocarina of Time 3DS

and Oddworld Stranger's Wrath HD

all deserve a place on that list.

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A thing to point out with many of these is that it's not just about the quality of the games themselves, but what they've meant to me over time of the generation, memories, and just feel good stuff in general. A could be be technically pretty good (Twilight Princess, Halo 3) but it does nothing to me if I just wasn't feeling it or problems in life, that week and month or whatever, just led me to not enjoy it as much as I might have. For example, in Twilight Princesses case, because I'd gotten the Wii so much later (well, by that I mean 6months after release) and being the large Zelda geek I am I couldn't stop spoiling myself + friend over co-op would spoil stuff on top of that, well, even with any spoilers left I wasn't exactly thrilled playing by the time I did. That coupled with getting used to Wiimote controllers, I suppose.

10. Gears of War

Taking RE4's covering template and going overboard with it, the main joys of what was done well with the first Gears is it's multiplayer and co-op.

360 was already leading to be a success in the online space but I don't think it was until Gears that it really proved it's point home. Most of my fondest co-op memories are with this game, especially when played on the highest difficulty. The number of times I had to hear 'Dom! Use your position!' over and over at a certain checkpoint was both frustrating yet hilarious. It made the campy-ness more campy. And it took us time investment, which was certainly worth it.
Meanwhile from the multiplayer side of things, although the host always had a shot advantage, it was still fun as hell and the options felt limitless. It may certainly not have been the first of it's kind but the fact I could just rush like a madman and chainsaw just for the hell of it, priceless.
Might be a little foggy to remember now but despite the browny-ness, it was certainly considered a looker when Gears first came out.

9. Braid

Started the Indie revolution.

Beyond the puzzles themselves, the beautiful artwork and music, the mystery of Braid (and the secret stars) left me pondering for many months long after it's release. Of course it wasn't too hard to tie it to atomic bombs not too much after (though it's not a single story, much like a Braid) , and quite a few regarded it as pretensious in it's so-called hidden storytelling, but it still did something very rare in Video gaming, and I appreciate Mr Blow for doing so.

8. aaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! for the awesome

Very rarely these days do I enjoy anything first person. This game managed that, plus has tons of off the wall humor and general amusement. You can tell just from the title of the darn thing.

It's one of the freshest felt things I played this generation, and I love it to bits.

7. Super Meat Boy

Slop slop slop slop splat.

N+ but more towards retro and a lot more character, were my first thoughts when I played this, but it turned into something deeper then I thought it would. I'd be lying if the creators story of how they even got this thing out didn't affect me at all, long before indie game the movie, but it's first few months of release and all the way to christmas, where I couldn't really afford getting anything that year (or perhaps, I don't remember any big christmas stuff coming out that year), Meat Boy was a joy to continue to improve in, despite the countless number of splats. It's something where it's not necessarily the difficulty you get enjoyment from, but your patience feeling rewarded for learning the ins and outs of that level completely, and doing it fast for that rank time.</p>
The Steam version walks all over the 360 original of course, but nonetheless, 360 was where I played it most.

6. Rock Band 3

I was rubbish at Guitar Hero 2, the first of the music plastic games I got into. Medium was still entertaining enough to continue on with the games that followed, no more GH but certainly, did follow Harmonix to see what they'd do. It's worth noting that I don't think Rock Band 3 is as good as Rock Band 2.

Rock Band 2 allowed you to play song packs in it's own menu thing, and you'd be able to see how much of it you've starred though that menu. Bought a new pack? It would be there. This is something RB3 lacks, and a couple other things I can't remember but did annoy me at the time. RB Beatles also proved how amazing pre-set backgrounds could be if they continued with that sort of thing, they didn't.
The reason 3 is on this list and not 2 or Beatles is simply song selection. Support for 2 would stop, anything ranking-wise would be dead and obviously future music releases would head to newer things also.

I can just about manage Hard these days, and the number of hours I've spent on the series overall is countless. Still amazing winter holidays material, and it's the biggest crime Harmonix, at least currently, has dropped it dead in the water.

I'm sure theres folks that loved Pro-modes inclusion, as well. I got the Piano, barely learned it but it was still fun, and that's what counts.

5. BIT.TRIP Presents... Runner 2: Future Legend Of Rhythm Alien

You'd think the release of a sequel to a endless running game wouldn't be very good. Gaijin Games mentioned in the making of the first game that whilst it could have even more moves and things of that nature, the testers found it too complex, it was just too much, so they stepped back, and that was Runner 1.

The other scary thing about the existence of a Runner 2 is the fact the BIT.TRIP series till this game shared the 4bit game style. Not 8bit. 4bit (or at least, a mix of both). If it was going to continue that tradition it would have had the same small scale niche of the previous titles + what warrants it's existence questions. Because hey, to those that care, BIT TRIP has a story, the Runner segment had already been told.

So I was quite horrified at first as to what they were going to do with this. It turned out lovely, of course. Fresh modern graphics and music style, new moves that don't add over-complication (dance haters be damned, it's optional for high scorers), and doesn't damage the overall plot in any way. Whilst one could still be upset it didn't follow the classic era graphics, it's still a very minor complaint as the game itself goes straight back to it 4 worlds in.
In fact, despite the fact the game has more moves then the original, it took a step backwards in level difficulty. Be it due to level length (usually) and the checkpoints.

The only reason it's above the first for me is most probably the music overall.

4. To The Moon

It was recommended. It was on Steam Sale. I bought it, I played, I cried for hours afterward. I played it again the following day.

It's not really a game, truth be told, just a very well constructed story in the classic RPG era viewing plane. Though considering many so-called AAA titles are exactly this as well these days (a plot you are hand-holded through throughout) it's not much of a complaint, as it's one of the most memorable games I've had the pleasure of experiencing. If only more titles had this much feeling. It continued to prove how much indie devs have achieved.

3. OSU!

Just to be clear, I'm talking about the free title for PC/Mac, not the DS games or the western EBA. Whilst I've loved those too, this to me completes the evolution of it. Hundreds of tracks. Chatrooms. Worldwide and country based rankings, graphs, amazing/cool community on the forums, create your own beat maps/send it for submission. Play vs others in real time. Play 2 other modes that are non-OSU related but still rythem games......so...much....muchiness...

When a title screen alone gives you joy, I think I know I'm onto a winner.

After my MMO game playing on PC's mostly came to an end (outside of EVE), this is one of those titles (alongside good old Worms Armageddon) that make PC game playing after a long terrible day, so relaxing. I'm thankful for the fans like myself keeping it alive.

2. Super Mario Galaxy

There honestly isn't much to say here that any on this forum at least don't know already. A return to form for Mario gaming. Wonderful space setting and amazing Koji Kondo composed music. One of the main reasons the sequel can't match it is because it came second.


At the tail end of 2009 I was depressed. Much of what I was trying to do to stop that wasn't helping. In fact I was considering maybe gaming isn't a thing to me anymore (because at the time I was simply not getting any joy out of anything but sleep, I suppose)

This game changed that.

Now of course there was other little things helping my mood (like this forum) but this games general loveliness helped fix things for good.

It may be just one sided pong with pretty colors and music, but whatever works, eh? It's certainly not the most progressive game of the generation, nor the most demanding or even at all a new concept, but the game I'll personally remember most from the generation? One that means most to me? I believe so.

Thanks for reading.

Very hard leaving Dead or Alive 4, Ridge Racer 6, Torchlight and Rayman Origins out. Also notable mentions to Cave Story+, Limbo, DLC Quest and Chime. Pac-Man Championship Edition, Geometry Wars, World of Goo. Space Giraffe, Viva Pinata, Super Hexagon. And 360's version of Uno.

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1. Oblivion

2. Ghost Trick

3. 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors

4. Red Faction: Guerrilla

5. Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts

6. Fallout 3

7. FEZ

8. Fable 2

9. Bioshock

10. Deadly premonition

Special mentions for The Saboteur, Alice: Madness Returns, Valkyria Chronicles, Rayman Origins, Final Fantasy Theatrhythm and Skyrim.

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I'll just do a top 5 for now.

1. Bayonetta

2. Super street fighter iv

3. Super meat boy

4. Mass effect 2

5. Fifa series. I hate to put this in for some reason but it really did come on leaps and bounds mid gen and pushed football games forward.

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1 The Orange Box

2 World of Warcraft

3 Skyrim

4 Red Dead Redemption

5 Call of Duty 4

6 Mass Effect 2

7 Bioshock

8 Uncharted 2

9 The Walking Dead

10 Shadow Complex

No doubt I'll refine this list when I have thought about it for a bit.

Edited by Nayson
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8 Years of games, including DS? Oh god. OH GOD. This will probably need re-doing at some point.

1) Persona 4 Golden

In all honesty, this is more of an apology than anything else - After swearing off JRPGs due to a glut that occured during the PS2 era that almost sent me into a coma, this title just comes up, slaps the taste out of my mouth, and causes me to play 120 hours of it before even playing this masterful revamp for another 120 hours.

As a JRPG, it has everything I want - a compelling storyline and plenty of light drama on the side, likeable characters, irresistible pacing, a battle system that cuts out all the bollocks and tedium while rewarding you for smart play, and the scope to mix and match abilities to the point of obscenity. As a remake, it offers more twee storylines, gives me more tools to change how I use characters and abilities, makes the customisation I loved in the previous version more user-friendly, and ultimately breathes all this into a lovingly restored game, visually speaking.

It's basically the best JRPG I've played in over a decade, made better.

2) Fallout: New Vegas

I loved Fallout 3. However, I've played New Vegas so much that I've actually got the New Vegas Medical Clinic run down as a science. I generally know the route to get into New Vegas from the start of the game in a matter of minutes, because I use bullshit sneak tactics to steal NCR gear and ride the monorail. I'm of the persuasion that uppercutting Freeside thugs using VATS so they reel backwards into the dumpster behind them is a fucking art form.

New Vegas might have not brought the environment, but by fucking god did they bring the hours of gameplay that I poured dedication into and cherished because it was so damn enjoyable. And then they brought the environment anyway, because the course of DLC Obsidian provided should be defined as the absolute gold standard of this generation.

3) Forza Motorsport 3

Waahhh, but Forza 4 came ou-Yeah, shut up. That doesn't have the full Rally Di Positano, Sidewinder, and neither did it provide Porsche cars without spending an assload of money. It's also not the game I threw hundreds of hours of my life away on due to the excellent on-line events I played with friends before it became a super-serious clusterfuck, so there's that as well.

Fun and games aside, it really was one of those 'Holy shit, how how HOW is this coming from my console' moments during the generation, especially when you put it up to Forza Motorsport 2. Which was good, but in the face of how fucking godly FM3 looked alongside actually being able to wreck your car, it ultimately got shat on from a great height.

4) Borderlands 2

I love Diablo, and I also love shooting things in the face, so the marriage of the two worked rather well in the original Borderlands, alongside the rather good downloadable campaigns. Of course, it wasn't a surprise that I loved Borderlands 2 more, which simply gave more of the same in greater quantities. Whether it was activating your ability to use two plasma cannons at the same time or using a fully-automatic sniper rifle that set people on fire, there was more than enough gung-ho action to keep me and three friends going through the main campaign.

What WAS a surprise was how gorgeous and varied the environments were, how the storylines entwined with the shooty-bang-bang action wasn't afraid to take a turn into some grim territory in stark contrast to it's predecessor's light-hearted commentary, and how well it subtlety changed a seemingly comical thorn in your side into a bonafide menace over the course of your stay in Pandora. And it's things like that which has made it a rather endearing game.

5) Path of Exile

Surprise! The 'Official' release of this game is in late October, so it now qualifies in this generation. As a result, it's one of my favourite games of this generation.

I've written tomes about this game already, which is testament to how much time I spent with it. Originally, I was disappointed with the opening areas and underwhelming starting drops, only for it to slowly unravel and reveal itself as an absolute behemoth of a Diablo clone, ultimately becoming a title I would gladly put alongside the pinnacle of Action RPGs, Diablo II/Lord of Destruction.

In these sorts of games, endgame is absolute king, and PoE delivers - a currency system that's based around trading items and never requires money drops, Weapons and Armour that can be flexed using said currency items all the way to Unique levels, Legendary Items that actively make you think about creating new characters to take full advantage of their properties, a versatile gem and socket based system to level and customise your attacks with specific qualities, and a passive skill tree that... well, just look at the fucking thing.

Yet, deep at the heart of it all, is a pleasant little team of developers down in New Zealand. And it's shone through since I started playing last June - It's been really neat to read all the Developer's diaries on how they was progressing with the game, active discussion on their forums about which skills are working and which are not, and even to where the lead developer, Chris Wilson, takes time to actually play as other people's builds for a weekly video series and realise that

. Hell, they were so proud of the game coming from New Zealand, that the premium pet you got when you bought your way into the Closed Beta was a little Kiwi bird that waddled around behind you as you was killing mountains of enemies.

Ultimately, the game gave Diablo II fans what they really wanted - a game dripping with dark, brooding corridors filled with enemies that could probably kill you very quickly if they ganged up on you, an item and customisation system that encouraged players to play the game in thousands of ways and pour their creativity into their builds, and ultimately develop a core community that loved the game and thrived on ongoing events such as Hardcore Races and Leagues, just like Diablo II.

Did I mention it's free? Yeah, it's Free. And unlike most F2P models, 95% of the microtransactions are visual customisations or effects, and the other 5% is more stash tabs if you're a genuine pack rat. Every bit of the core game requires nothing to pay. Go and have a try of it on Steam, when it arrives on October 23rd.

6) Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney

If you told me 14 years ago that I would be singing the praises of a game where you play as a lawyer dramatically interrogating the living fuck out of zany-looking folk, Teenage Siri would have regurgitated tea back into a Sephiroth head-shaped mug.

Fortunately, I grew up, and it turns out I quite like just sitting back and enjoying a good yarn, and this was the defining games from a system that really did bring home the bacon in terms of more unique, passive experiences. An absolutely compelling game, and one which I only want to forget because I want to play it with new eyes all over again.

7) Rock Band

I thought Guitar Hero was great. SURPRISE: I love playing a game like Guitar Hero where it's the whole fucking band, allows all my friends to play together, and then just goes right ahead and pumps hundreds of DLC tracks that caters to everyone's tastes. It's the perfect party game.

8 ) Project Gotham Racing 3

The game that heralded the start of next-gen for me - and, if I recall correctly, WAS the first next-gen game I bought. And for good reason - I still freshly recall jumping on a 360 booth, and driving around that incredible London backdrop to The Streets while strictly keeping to in-car view, just watching how the car rattles around you. It also helped that PGR is simply a great arcade racer, to boot.

I'm getting tired now, so these games will be elaborated on later, but for now:

9) Journey

The videogaming equivalent of The Snowman, and a game which made multiplayer a more innocent, curious thing than what you experience in most modern games. Just using simple chirps and singing to get someone's attention and show interest was actually enthralling.

10) Super Street Fighter IV

A game that not only displayed how 2D fighting can be brought into the modern era, but also paved the way for a lot of things - an interest in classic IPs revitalised correctly instead of terrible rehashes, an increase in availability of decent arcade hardware like sticks in a lot of domestic countries, and ultimately the resurgence of Fighting Games as a whole including the rise of the FGC. For all the shitty decisions Capcom's made recently, there's still that urge to say thanks for providing a clarion call of sorts.

I'm putting Super as the poster game of the series, and this is totally not because of a secret campaign to consolidate all the SF4 entries into one title. It's totally because it brought a load of Third Strike characters back into the game but made them rubbish, and also because Juri Han is FIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIITTTTTTTTTTTTTT.


Saint's Row 2, Virtua Fighter 5, Pure, Fable 2, 50 Cent: Blood On The Sand, Blue Dragon, Ridge Racer 6, Forza 4, Battlefield 3, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Portal 2, Tetris DS, Osu! Tatake! Ouendan!, Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, Alice: Madness Returns, Beatles: Rock Band, Fallout 3, Phantasy Star Universe: Ambition of the Illuminus, Saint's Row 3, Jump Super Stars, Perfect Dark (Practically a remake due to 60FPS), Spec Ops: The Line, Bastion, Crackdown, Crackdown 2, Halo 3, Mirror's Edge, Civilization V, Amped 3, Mario Kart DS, Oblivion, Skyrim, Torchlight,


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10. Deadly Premonition

9. Gears of War

8. Catherine

7. Bayonetta

6. Dead Rising

5. Mirror's Edge

4. Valkyria Chronicles

3. Dark Souls

I should say something like "a brutal, masochistic pleasure", but I can't help feeling that the difficulty of the Souls games has been overstated, simplifying the game's genius and doing From a disservice. Dark Souls is certainly very challenging in parts, yes, but it's hardly on a par with something like an arcade shooter or a grand strategy game on the higher difficulties (two things I'm rather hopeless at, should you think I'm trying to come across all hardcore). If Dark Souls' difficulty was a shock it was only because we'd been numbed by this gen's onslaught of easy action games with constant checkpoints, regenerating health and objective markers (not bad things in themselves, as Halo showed, but too often used to the detriment of tension and exploration). In ignoring these trends and continuing on in the vein of their earlier dungeon crawlers, From simply struck a much better balance than most modern games, giving death some actual consequence and leaving much to the discovery of the player.

All this would have been nothing without the game's weighty, methodical combat, the brilliant environments, and the incredible enemy designs that intimidate and fascinate in equal measure (has there been a better enemy in all of videogames than the Black Knight?) Then there is the continuous, open world: the different areas of Lordran feeling like more than just a sequence of distinctly themed levels. It's a wonderful sensation when you stumble across a shortcut connecting areas that you'd assumed were quite distant, the elegant design constantly forcing you to revise the mental image you'd made of the world.

2. Far Cry 2

Far Cry 2 is in many ways the real successor to GTAIII, bringing its open world structure to the single-player FPS at a time when everyone else seemed intent on taking the genre in an ever more linear direction. Like GTAIII, the missions did get repetitive after awhile (go here and kill someone/blow something up), but given the myriad ways you could approach them, it hardly seemed to matter. "Approach" is certainly the pertinent word here, for the beauty of Far Cry 2 lies as much in planning the mission (your route, your mode of travel, the weapons you'll take, the time of day) and actually getting there as it does in executing the objective. Once you understand this, you realise how shortsighted all those complaints about respawning guards were; without that persistent threat, travel would be far too easy and devoid of tension, and there'd be little reason to venture off road into the wilderness, where in your solitude you experience some beautifully atmospheric moments.

The shortsighted criticisms gave us Far Cry 3: an uneasy compromise of a game, similar to GTAIV in neglecting many of its predecessor's virtues in favour of a greater emphasis on narrative. As with GTA, then, it's likely going to be the task of another developer of another series to take the template further: a Far Cry 2 with just as much freedom in completing missions but with a greater variety of them, and Deus Ex style plot non-linearity to match.

1. Vanquish

If Gears of War took the third-person shooter to new heights, Vanquish strapped a jet-pack to it and blasted it into the stratosphere. For a game that was so ostensibly macho, you sure did spend a lot of time in Gears cowering behind cover, popping out only to take cheap pot shots while the enemy fire relented. In Vanquish, the cover is there more for the enemies sake than than yours. You don't hide from gunfire, you turboboost straight into it, picking out headshots while you're at it and dodging rockets with somersaults. If cover does have a use, it's as a vault to leap over in slow-motion, firing off shots with your sniper rifle in mid-air.

Each level is beautifully designed, with a particularly staggering amount of detail put into the sprawling backgrounds that can easily be missed amongst the hectic action. The story is brilliant -- a Tom Clancy esque Cold War epic but with space colonies and killer robots thrown into the mix -- providing much-needed respite between the action without ever overstaying its welcome. Even the QTEs are great!

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No doubt I'll change my mind on these, so are they open to edits or are you processing them as you go?

You can feel free to edit up until the deadline (well, you can keep editing beyond that if you like, but I won't take any notice of it) - I'll be taking all the results once the deadline is met.

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1. Red Dead Redemption purely for the experience and scope. Nothing to touch it. As of today ;)

2. Oblivion which I enjoyed more than Skyrim

3. Forza Horizon more polished than a pair of army boots

4. GTA 4 some criticised the graphics, but again the scope was excellent

5. Animal Crossing A New Leaf. The game most bought a 3DS for

6. Dishonored an original experience tackled how you choose, mostly

7. Test Drive Unlimited 2 Very ambitious if ultimately broken. Spent a lot of time with this.

8. Outrun New Arcade fantastically recreated for this generation

9. Little Kings Story deserved to be bigger. Wasn't doh.

10. Singstar made a big impact. Enjoyed by many!

Wiper - if any of these do not count. Drop me a line please and I'll swap one out. Thank you

Assuming that by Singstar you mean the PS3 version, that's fine - the only one I'm not clear about is Outrun - do you mean OutRun 2006: Coast to Coast, or OutRun Online Arcade?

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I'm personally not sure 3DS and Wii U should count as this gen, but as per the OP's rules, here's my ten. On another day maybe as many as five of these would be different.

1. Super Mario Galaxy

2. Vanquish

3. Fire Emblem: Awakening

4. Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan

5. Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Trials & Tribulations

6. Yakuza 4

7. Pikmin 3

8. Binary Domain

9. Fable II

10. Assassin's Creed II

Yeah, I wasn't quite sure whether to include the Vita, 3DS and Wii U or not, but the handhelds comfortably pre-date the end of the generation; the Wii U is more questionable, but then I realised that nobody except Scott would consider putting a Wii U game in their list anyway, so included it.

8 Half Life 2 (yeah, I question your 2005 cutoff point for PC games. Surely DX9/shader 3.0 stuff from late 2004 kinda defined what AAA graphics would look like this gen so why cut the first landmark title off?)

Sorry, but I wanted to make sure there was a hard and fast rule for PC games, and making sure none come from the year before the 360 was released is the easiest method I can think of (rather than saying "anything from 2005 and beyond, or games which look like they could have come out in 2005". You can feel free to pick one of the Episodes, but I will ignore this vote otherwise (and shuffle the other you've games listed up accordingly).
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EDIT: removed Lumines (as technically it was 2004 for a start, and Mirror's Edge replaced it). Top 10, for Ypres:

01. Super Mario Galaxy

02. Portal

03. Crysis

04. Journey

05. Vanquish

06. Mirror's Edge

07. Rock Band

08. Super Street Fighter IV

09. Pac-Man Championship Edition

10. WipEout HD

Reverse order:

10. WipeOut HD [PS3]
Although its never been my favourite genre - racing, that is - the best ones give you a thrill that's unmatched by almost any other game type. Anti-grav adds precariousness to the racing mix, making WipeOut my favourite racing game series of all time. HD is (on balance) the best WipeOut game created and deserves to be more lauded than it is. Studio Liverpool still need to exist.

09. Pac-Man Championship Edition
This'll possibly remain absent from a lot of people's lists as you don't really understand it until you play it, and even then you sort of take it for granted: it revolutionises the wakka-wakka chap whilst changing almost none of the fundamentals: things shift over slightly to accommodate more speed, a better scoring system and (naturally) improved graphics, but it takes a while to appreciate how perfectly the combo systems been built, the layout of the pills, the structure of the mazes and the variant game types. Am I saying its a better game than the legendary original? Dya know...? Yes. Yes I am.

08. Super Street Fighter IV [PS3 or 360]
Its not as good a game (or as lovely looking) as Street Fighter III: TS, but that's like comparing yourself to a model and saying you're Quasimodo. The best fighting game of a generation, the SF series is always that miracle blend of both incredibly deep and accessibly fun, even if you're toilet at it (like I am).

07. Rock Band [PS3 or 360]
Choosing one of the plastic (guitar) fantastics is almost impossible, but Rock Band was the great evolution for me, and the only game I've ever played for more than 100 hours on that uses a non-standard peripheral. Playing some of your favourite music and nailing it is a transcendental experience.

06. Mirror's Edge [PC]
I started playing this a week ago! Because I'm insanely cheap, I waited until I could grab this in a sale for buttons, and by eck, it's amazing. I understand the controls won't click for everyone - and it demands a lot of patience from the player to understand the flow - but once you connect with the world, it's a completely new experience. In an era that gave us lots of iterations and improvements, Mirror's Edge stands out as a true groundbreaker.

05. Vanquish [PS3]
When I was young, I never expected games to be 3D. I envisioned that sprites would get as good in real time as they were in Dragons Lairs scripted footage, but not 3D. With the move to polygons I thought I'd lost AAA arcade gaming forever; I thought I'd never see what made games like Data Easts Robocop or Capcoms Aliens vs. Predator so brilliant successfully translated into a 3D game. For me, Devil May Cry did this and restored my faith; Vanquish perfects it: its the best old-fashioned arcade game, translated into 3D, ever made.

04. Journey [PS3]
I'm not sure how to describe how deeply gorgeous and moving this game is. Artistically, it's perfect. I cant conceive of how it could be improved in terms of aesthetics. Emotionally, it packs the biggest wallop I've ever felt in electric ludo-land.

03. Crysis [PC]
I get genuinely upset when I think about how this franchise has been diluted by its sequels (OK so yep, I'm a bit pathetic) and its (by all accounts) AI-intellectually-challenged console releases. If you have the means, you owe it to yourself to play the loveliest, cleverist-ist, Predatoriest FPS ever created, on a master race machine. Second only to Halo, for me.

02. Portal [PC]
...this is a triumph...

01. Super Mario Galaxy [Wii]
I cant believe a Wii game the console I used least this generation by a chucklesomely vast margin has topped my list. But Galaxy is so stunning I cant imagine putting anything else in its place. After the epoch-making Mario 64 it was difficult to see where to go to make things better; to make them fresh and unique all over again. And indeed, Ninty failed with Sunshine and trod water with New SMB.

But ah, Galaxy.

It uses all the fantastic aspects of 64 and adds sophisticated gravity mechanics its a game in love with possibility and exploration and never lets you down. The sequel is more a continuation of the first game than anything; both should be owned by anyone even vaguely interested in games.

Edited by Treble
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1. The Last of Us
2. Skyrim
3. Uncharted 2
4. Batman Arkham City
5. Red Dead Redemption
6. Heavy Rain
7. GTA V

8. Mass effect
9. Super Mario Galaxy
10. The Walking Dead (the telltale game one)

Pretty tricky to come up with 10. I'm sure ill edit this, I've missed out MGS4 , PGR, Forza, gears of war. All sorts

The top two were easy though. The last of us is one the best games ever let alone this gen and skyrim was as epic as it gets.

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