So we've hit that point again where I ramble on about my favourite games, and try to narrow it down to the top titles. It's been a while since I have done this last, but I'm not sure if much has changed. This time however, I have attempted to narrow the top games to specific titles, rather than just a series in general. So, here we go!
1. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
The Elder Scrolls series will always be held highly in my books, but Oblivion has something that the others do not: it was my first Elder Scrolls game.
I first played Oblivion nearing the release of Skyrim, and I was instantly lost into a massive RPG world unlike any I had ever seen before. I remember the open cities, the NPCs going about their daily lives; I remember Sparky, my first ever video game horse! Obviously there had been Epona and such, but this was MY horse. I remember Sparky's death in the mountains near Bruma 70 hours into the game, and the funeral I performed for him: the funeral consisted of 2 torches and a cloth over his head, but was a funeral nonetheless.
To cut it short, this was the first RPG that really made me a part of the world it offered, and the first one I really felt like I lived in. I never loaded it up with the intention of check-listing quests, or pushing forward with the story; I only ever loaded it up to see what it had to offer me that day, and where I felt like exploring. It is truly the best and most innocent experience I have ever had with an RPG.
2. Dark Souls III
My first experience with the Souls series was Dark Souls II many years ago, and it was a short-lived experience: I sold it the next day.
But alas, I returned to the series a year later, in an attempt to push myself as a gamer, and I love the series more than most nowadays. Dark Souls III in particular stands out to me because I love its story, its tragedy, its world, the boss designs, the atmosphere; I have completed Dark Souls III a total of 3 times, and would happily sit down and do so another 3 times. Everything about this action RPG draws me in, and I love exploring its decayed world and overcoming each of its trials. On top of this, it is much faster than the previous titles in the series, which is both a pro and a con: It's good because it allows you to execute much faster moves; it's a con because it allows enemies to execute you much faster.
Either way, the challenge is not lost in this game, and it will test you in all of its secrets and surprises. If you haven't played Dark Souls III, or any of the Souls series for that matter, I can only recommend you go do so right now.
3. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
I have loved the Legend of Zelda series for many years, but never did I anticipate Breath of the Wild. The latest in the series is massive and inviting, offering you a free world to explore however you wish.
On day one of the Nintendo Switch, I was sat with my new console on a new adventure. I knew that Breath of the Wild would be good, but it instantly made its way into my top list of games. I already have a soft spot for open world games, so havng Breath of the Wild took that experience to a whole new level, somehow playing in a way that no other open world game had seem to have done before. Sure, it had its cliche features, such as climbing towers to uncover the map, and acquiring gear to survive new environments, but the whole experience just seemed fresh. I personally love the climbing mechanic, as parkour is already fun in game, but when you can literally just latch onto any surface and climb...yes please.
Another great thing is the story: The Legend of Zelda is well known for its "Good Guy save the Princess from the Bad Guy" scenarios, and whilst this game threw in some twists and new ideas, the baseline was still there; now this is not a bad thing, as I love how one of my favourite games of all time, released in 2017, still focuses on the "Good Guy Bad Guy Princess" story.
If you haven't played this game, I say go do it!
4. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
I have never played the first Witcher game, and I played the 2nd game years ago on the Xbox 360, but I was very excited for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt in 2015, and rightly so. The game looked to be a brilliant, expansive RPG with a story to rival all others, and it definitely delivered on that front: the game is now widely held as the "King of RPGs", only really challenged by the liked of Skyrim.
Although I do love Skyrim, I would have to say that Geralt's third adventure of monster-hunting is certainly my favourite RPG of all time, by focusing so much on the characters and their story. There are other games that I enjoy in the same way, but none have those kinds of characters, who are just so brilliant and real.
I have played this game to completion twice, and also the DLC. Not only would I recommend buying the base game for at least 100 hours of an experience, but also the DLC will add so much more: Blood and Wine itself could be its own massive game.
Now as you would expect me to say yet again in a list of my favourite games, and is not really necessary but I will do so anyway: I highly recommend you play this game if you have any love for RPGs, well-executed stories, memorable characters, massive open worlds, medieval fantasy, gritty detective work...yeah, even gritty detective work.
Go play it now.
5. God of War (2018)
Finally, we have a newcomer to the list: never have I before played a God of War title, and I probably won't go back as I'm not the biggest fan of hack-slash-quick time event games. However, the new God of War released on PS4 is truly something special. I started this game and got so lost in its world, its lore, its characters and its journey. The father-son adventure offered us characters like I've never seen before, and the story itself is absolutely amazing; not to mention the stunning visuals of the world, definitely the best PS4 graphics I have ever seen.
The setting is something I absolutely adore, delving deep into Norse Mythology and all of the Gods and Realms to accompany it. I even learnt how to read and write in Elder Futhark runes just because of this game, and purchased Norse Mythology written by Neil Gaiman. I was completely lost in the game, and sat there until I had achieved the Platinum Trophy, and I would very much love to do it all again. I also then bought the Collector's Edition of the game, complete with Statue, Map, and Norse Figures.
I cannot recommend people play this game enough: No matter what games you're into or what stories you enjoy, just play this one. I can't wait to see where the series takes us next, and what more we'll see in the Norse world it has given us (Asgard Please!).
Bonus No.6 - Hollow Knight
I'm sorry but I've just finished the amazing Hollow Knight, and it would break my heart to not include it in my favourite games; this title offered me so much more than I thought it would, and I am so lost in the Kingdom of Hollownest and all of its characters. the story is absolutely breathtaking (especially the 'True Ending') and I can't wait to go further and further into the DLCs.
Honestly, if you have a Nintendo Switch (or PC) I just have to say go place this game! Just do it, you will not be disappointed. It's a challenge that I am so glad to have overcome, and I can't wait to see what the developers do next.
Well there we have it, my top games of all time! I will of course update the blog if a new game ever makes it into the ranks, and I would certainly welcome a new addition. I'm very excited to see where games take us next, and to see what new experiences we get out of the future.