Thursday, March 07, 2013

What Are The Best Games Of This Generation?

Does it make the cut?
A recent post on Neogaf got me thinking about my favorite games from this generation. I was surprised at how difficult it turned out to be. I struggled to narrow my extensive list of quality titles down to five. I'm still not sure I'm completely happy with my list.

The problem? I left off a number of games I played for days. What is the best way to determine a top 5 list? 

The main problem is this: I can distinguish between games/movies I love and games/movies that are expertly crafted/well-made. They don't always have to be mutually exclusive, yet sometimes they are. Let's look at the original Pirates of the Caribbean. I absolutely love watching that movie. I could watch it many times and still enjoy it. With that being said, I'm fully able to recognize that it's not the greatest movie ever made. It's not even the greatest movie I've ever seen, personally. But how does one weight enjoyment v.s. quality?

Oscar worthy? No. Great popcorn flick? Absolutely.
So we are left to decide how best to rank games. I've come to believe top games should be both fun and well-made. The difficulty arises when you have a game you played far more than any others, but it may not be the most polished game out there. There are two games I spent more hours playing this generation than any other: Skyrim and Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2.

If reviewing those games though, they would not be at the top of my list. Both have their own set of technical issues and shortcomings; however, the fun factor was enough to keep me playing for hours on end. When it comes time to rank my favorite games, do I go by play time or how I would review each game? I ended up asking myself this question: if you could only have played 5 games from this generation, what would they be?

Couldn't have a top 5 list without it.
With this new qualifier, Skyrim, Journey, and Heavy Rain earn immediate spots. The latter two made me feel certain emotions I never have before while playing a video game. Heavy Rain will stick with me forever because of the choices I made to impact the story, whereas I'll never forget Journey because of the almost-spiritual experience it evokes. Skyrim earns its immediate spot because no game has ever pulled me into its world more. Within a few hours of starting the game, I wanted to go everywhere and explore as much as possible. 

After that, it gets more tricky. I'm still leaving off a number of incredibly fun games and a wide selection of polished games as well. One spot is almost assuredly going to Infamous 2 or Batman Arkham City. I platinumed both titles and enjoyed every minute of each.

The final spot? I'm still left with the entire Uncharted series, Red Dead Redemption, the Mass Effect series, Portal 2, Far Cry 3, Dishonored, the Call of Duty series and Super Mario Galaxy. Wow. That's no easy task. I can't imagine having missed any of those games this past generation. I'm narrowing it down to Uncharted 2, Red Dead Redemption, and Mass Effect 2 because they each had polish, amazing stories, and incredible gameplay. Truth be told, you can't go wrong with any of them, but I will have to say Uncharted 2 by an ever so slight margin. 

Takes the final spot in my top 5.
I'll leave you with my top 10 here (just because I have to give these other games recognition somehow). 
  1. Journey
  2. Skyrim
  3. Batman Arkham City
  4. Heavy Rain
  5. Uncharted 2
  6. Mass Effect 2
  7. Red Dead Redemption
  8. Infamous 2
  9. Portal 2
  10. Modern Warfare 2
What are your favorite games from this generation? Is it as hard for you as it was for me? 

3 comments:

Tyler Skiles said...

Great read! It is so hard I left so many great games off. Really just based it off the games that I had the most fun with and/or completely got lost and immersed in. Also cannot believe how many downloadable titles are on mine.

1.) Red Dead Redemption
2.) Heavy Rain
3.) Borderlands 2
4.) Super Meat Boy (Main reason I miss my 360)
5.)Portal 2
6.)Rayman Origins
7.)Uncharted 2
8.)Dead Space 2
9.)Limbo
10.) Pac-Man Championship Edition DX

Jonboy said...

It was so much harder than I expected. Those are all equally deserving! I still need to play Dead Space and Limbo.

Did you ever get around to Journey?

Tyler Skiles said...

No I still have not got around to Journey I hope to play it soon! I had the hardest time leaving LBP2 and The Walking Dead off my list.

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