10. Rome Total War
. The Creative Assembly. 2004. PC
Rome Total War
blends RTS, Turn Based Strategy and historical events seamlessly. I would be lying if I told you that I did not spend countless hours of my high school years playing this game late into the night. Taking control of civilizations such as the Greeks, Egyptians and Celts and resisting the expansive Roman Empire, whilst building your own is easily one of my favourite experiences in gaming of the past decade.
9. Killzone 2. Guerrilla Games. SCE. 2009. PS3
The opening cut-scene is what ushered in the era of current generation for me. It made me realise that I needed a Playstation 3. Everything looked so realistic, so unbelievably tangible that I knew I would be missing out on something if I did not take that leap. Not only is it the best looking, most realistic and fluid game I have ever played, but it also has the gameplay to match. Killzone 2
is the best first person shooter ever made.
8. Super Smash Bros. Brawl
. Sora Ltd., Game Arts. 2008. Wii
I really need not speak of the quality of this game. Not only is it one of the most accessible fighters around, but it is simply one of the best as well. In some ways I feel like anyone not in college at the time of this game’s release really missed out on what it has to offer. The competitive scene is intense and it is everywhere. You need only look into every third dorm room to get your game on. Super Smashed Brothers, quickly became a choice drinking game in my dorm…take a shot when you die and hope, for sobriety’s sake, that someone doesn’t kill you before you finish it.
. That Game Company. 2008. PSN
is the game in this list that I’ve probably played the least. It is also the most unique, peaceful and tranquil experience I have had with a game. It is not something I play all the time, but rather something that cleanses, calms and reinvigorates me. I believe many of us play videogames to escape from reality and relax, and that is exactly what Flower
6. Bit Trip Beat
. Gaijin Games. 2009. Wii-Ware
Bit Trip Beat rocked my world.
The bright colours, trippy visuals, catchy music, and addictive gameplay seamlessly blended together to create a masterpiece. Feeling nostalgia for the 8-bit era? This game and its subsequent sequels will melt your heart, and provide countless throwbacks to your youth. For $6.00 there is no excuse not to own this game if you have a Wii. If you don’t have a Wii, this is the reason to get one.
5. Resident Evil GCN Remake
. Capcom. 2002. GameCube
The GameCube Remake of Resident Evil
introduced me to a series that, over a short period of time, I have become enamoured with. The visuals, the creepy camera angles, the restricting control scheme, the haunting score, incredible timing, so-bad-its-good dialogue, and ability to scare you when you felt safest all make this game fantastic. An hour after putting that disc in for the first time, I was alone, in the dark, trembling. I had to turn the system off. I was a bundle of nerves. I had just been introduced to not only the most visually beautiful games I had ever seen, but also the most frightening.
4. Metroid Prime
. Retro Studios. 2002. GameCube
is one of the best critically received and best selling games of the previous generation and resurrected a series that had been dormant for nearly a decade. Metroid Prime
not only brought Metroid to 3D, but also the first person perspective. This caught criticism from long time fans. However for players like myself, experiencing Metroid for the first time, Metroid Prime
was absolutely phenomenal. Visual effects such as seeing Samus’ hand in X-Ray, and watching water, or melting snowflakes running across her visor were nothing short of breathtaking. This goes above and beyond the standards of even today’s most visually impressive titles. An epic adventure, with a quiet story, upon its completion I could not help but think that Metroid Prime
, in many respects, beat The Legend of Zelda
at its own game.
3. Resident Evil 4
. Capcom. 2005 GameCube
This was an easy choice. Resident Evil 4
has received significant critical acclaim, winning countless awards, and gamer’s hearts the world over. It catapulted the TPS genre and breathed new life into the Resident Evil series. It is easily one of the most memorable and enjoyable experiences I have of gaming in the past decade. I loved this game so much I bought it twice. Motion controls and IR pointing made an amazing experience even better. The outstanding visuals, the brilliant gameplay, the haunting score, classic campy story, the epic campaign, and the brilliant bonus content truly makes this game deserving as one of the best games of the decade.
2. No More Heroes
. Grasshopper Manufacture. 2008 Wii
If the phrase “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” ever applied to a videogame it would be Goichi Suda’s No More Heroes. No More Heroes
combines fun and addictive gameplay, a unique and catchy soundtrack, intuitive controls, biting satire, distinctive visuals, and one of the most exceptional and well written stories ever told in the medium of gaming. The climactic ending is one of my favourite moments in gaming, and is something that I revisit often. It is interesting that nearly every part of this game left room for improvement, but the finished product is an absolute masterpiece.
1. The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask
. Nintendo EAD. 2000 Nintendo 64
The oldest game on this list is also simply the best. Majora’s Mask
is by far the darkest, most solemn, most versatile and oddest Legend of Zelda title ever made and it is better for it. Nintendo made Clock Town come alive for me. Majora’s Mask
’s precursor, Ocarina of Time
, is considered by many, not only the pinnacle of the Zelda series, but one of the greatest games of all time. Being the follow up to such a game, Majora’s Mask
had a tough act to follow. Despite all this, Majora’s Mask
managed to shake off the tropes of its pedigree to tell an enchanting, dark and enthralling story.
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