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Your top video games

Posted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 5:24 pm
by M.Steiner
[Edit: Your top games list can be your top 5, top 10 or whatever is easiest for you]

I don't recall us ever having a thread like this so thought it'd be fun to start one!. Should be interesting seeing how much our lists differ from one another and may also give some of us some a few different games to look into which we've never played before and probably should ;)

I do tend to find it difficult trying to play old titles unless they're something I'm replaying and already have fond memories of unfortunately. I wouldn't consider myself a graphics whore or anything but if a game looks or plays very outdated I do struggle to motivate myself to play through as I find it too distracting, because of that I don't usually bother trying tbh.
That being said if there are some games listed which don't look too dated enough to put me off It'd be great to try some when the upcoming release schedule quietens down again enough to fit them in, hopefully there will be some games listed that you guys haven't played either ^^

So here's my list.

#1 - Final Fantasy VII
Surprised? :p
I'll always have a soft spot for FFVII as it was the first Final Fantasy title which introduced me to the series and one of the first RPGs I experienced too. Awesome story, one of the best casts of characters and my no1. video game soundtrack too. Bloody brilliant.
Oh and the materia system was the best out of all the FF titles I've played, don't care what anyone else thinks! :p :)

#2 - Metal Gear Solid
This game pretty much redefined the genre on its own.
I remember playing a copy of this before it came out over here on a little portable tv and in black & white too. None of my friends had ever heard of it at this point but all of them wanted to play it once they'd seen it. Absolute masterpiece.
For me the MGS series is probably one of the only game series which has always continued to impress me and I've been a fan for nearly 15 years. As much as I have loved other franchises like Final Fantasy, Silent Hill, Resident Evil, Splinter Cell etc over the years the same can't be said for those. Resi Evil brought it back with the amazing RE4 but nowadays they're not what they were.

#3 - Shenmue
Amazingly innovative game which was years ahead of its time. Those of you who were wise & lucky enough to play this (and Shenmue II) back when it released will no doubt hold it dear to your heart. - Shenmue also held the title for being the most expensive video game ever created up until that time and for nearly a decade afterwards, this was until GTAIV dethroned it in 2008.
Sadly this shares a similarity to Bloodlines. Far too few people experienced it at the time and it suffered poor sales. It is a travesty that this series hasn't been completed and that some gamers probably haven't even heard of it let alone played it. Very sad but I will never lose hope that we may, one day, get a Shenmue III heh.

#4 - Silent Hill 2
Genuinely unsettling, incredibly atmospheric and with one of the best mature stories you're likely to find in a video game.
Yes it is part of the horror genre but for those who never played it this was not some dumb zombie shooter like you'd find today, far from it.
Also noted for its amazing soundtrack by Akira Yamaoka. One of these pieces of music runs through the intro above, have a listen. The game just would not have been the same without his genius imput.

#5 - The Witcher
From my favourite game developers, CD Projekt RED. For a long time a lot of people overlooked this one or gave up on it before the story really got going but I happen to think it's one of the best RPGs there is personally.
Ofc it had a few flaws, like it wasn't the most optimized title ever and there were a few bugs here and there but it was a masterfully written & told story which only got better as it went on.
I found it quite hard picking between TW 1 or 2 for this tbh as I consider both games masterpieces and both are 2 of the best when it comes to story and choices as far as I'm concerned. Decided on TW1 mainly because of the different size in gameworld but the twist near the end was pretty epic too.

I won't list any notable mentions as I could go on forever but these are what I consider to be my top 5 without listing several games from the same series (MGS3, FFVIII etc too for example).
Don't be offended if some of your favourite games are nowhere to be seen btw, maybe they are in my top 10 or further up my list. Either that or maybe I haven't played them ^^
What are yours? :)

(Note to Anny: emoticons are still not all appearing for me in Firefox when youtube vids are included in a post, unless I force refresh)

Re: Your top 5 video games

Posted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 7:38 pm
by Anubis
Interesting idea. You're right that I don't think we have ever had a thread like this before. Might be interesting indeed :)

I've always found it difficult to quantify a "top x" of games, because it's never really clear to me what approach to the list I should take. Do you approach it with the view of "the best games I've ever played", or alternatively with the view of "the games which have meant the most to me and been most important to me as a gamer"? It's a very subjective thing as to which of those should comprise a "top x" in my opinion.

In the case of this thread, I've gone for the latter - the games that have shaped me as a gamer and that I have and will religiously go back to time and again. In some cases I have played better games since (I've put a few of those "better games" into an "Honourable mentions" list at the end), but despite arguably being more flawed in various ways the games on this list are those that I think are dearest to me.

So with that in mind, here's my list:

#1 - Final Fantasy VIII
I suppose this is probably just as unsurprising as MS picking FF7? :)

Not only was FF8 a superb RPG and the best in the franchise by a long way (imo), it will most likely always top my list - because in so many ways it became me. Whilst I'd grown up with games and had notably dabbled a lot in LucasArts adventure games in my youth, FF8 was the first real game that I played seriously for anything other than the laughs. It's also probably the first serious game I ever finished, even though it took me months to do it.

I don't really think I was ever a gamer until I played FF8 - I played games when I wasn't doing other things, sure, but it was never really a serious thing. FF8 not only changed that completely, but it also revolutionised games in my mind - showing me that they could tell serious, deep, fantastic stories rather than just being filled with cheap laughs and/or platforming. I am a staunch RPG gamer to this day, and that's down to FF8. In many ways it's the root of everything for me as a gamer, and my tastes, likes and dislikes can pretty much all be traced back to FF8 in one way or another if I stop to think about it. It was that important a game for me.

It's also the game I most religiously replay to this day.

#2 - The Curse of Monkey Island
Again, probably not a surprise to most people. The Curse of Monkey Island was probably the best adventure game that was ever made (and still is), and is up there with FF8 as a defining game in my life. I remember that I didn't actually get the game until about a year after it released, but I had the demo installed for that whole year and I played it to death - must have beat it upwards of 30 times before I got the full game. I can't think of another game I've ever played that I would have abused a demo of to such a degree.

It was probably CMI that most firmly cemented me into the adventure genre, a genre which is still dear to me to this day. Most of you probably know how big a statement that is, considering how big a genre fan I am! Hillarious, engrossing, a game that has stood the test of time, and still as hillarious when I play it these days as it was in 1998. What can I say? Without CMI my childhood would have been a lot less fun, and I'd probably not be a follower of the adventure genre at all. It's a very important game to me.

#3 - Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords
The above video contains huge spoilers, but expresses the game much better than the intro. Don't watch if you don't want spoilers!

KOTOR 2 was probably the first RPG that I played which revolutionised the way I looked at the RPG post-my introduction to it through FF8. There were a lot of good RPGs I played in the intervening years, but none of them really did well anything other than "good vs evil". KOTOR 2 turned that upon its head. It was a game that actively deconstructed its source material and explored the darker, deeper areas of an accepted licence that no-one else would touch. It gave you choice in an RPG which still wasn't overly common in RPGs that I had played in those days, and also gave you the ability to manipulate and influence your companions however you desired (the first I'd encountered that - which was really well done and impressive). Above all, it was a grey story - it was a real story. No more "boy saves the world" as BD likes to put it, which was truly great to see.

It is an unfinished game, yes. The final level of the game is incredibly unfinished. But despite all that, KOTOR 2 remains probably the best Star Wars game ever made and a truly great example of the RPG genre. It was a landmark for me personally as described above, but I always felt it was one for the genre too. It did things differently, and many of the concepts that it embraced have now become important in modern games too. Obsidian did a fantastic job with this one, and it's yet another that I'll religiously go back to time and again.

#4 - Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne
Probably the first game to broaden my horizons beyond RPGs. Max Payne 2 remains one of the best story driven games I've played, and although it's short what's there is amazingly good. Before I played it, I'd pretty much exclusively limited myself to RPGs and MMOs for a good few years, and it was incredibly surprising to find that an Action/Adventure game - a shooter nontheless - could have such as strong and engrossing a story as some of my favourite RPGs. After I played this I began to view other genres with a bit more respect. FPS' aside, I don't really spend time doubting now that games of a certain type can have engrossing stories - that's the legacy of Max Payne 2.

Whilst I don't replay this as religiously as the above, I still come back to it every so often. Still probably the best non-RPG game I've played. I really wish Remedy hadn't done Alan Wake and had built more on this franchise, as Max Payne 2 really was a bar that has yet to be passed.

#5 - Freespace 2
Whilst this game remains to date the best space sim that was ever produced, and had a really great story, that's not why it's here. FS2 was the first game that really made me reach out beyond its SP campaign - reaching out not only into MP, but also into an online community. It was through FS2 that I met StormRider, who brought me to the SSC (and thus here). It was through this place that I got into web design, which is now my career, and through the time spent here that I found there was far more to games once you reached out beyond the game itself, and I became a much more serious gamer as a result. In short, whilst it didn't shape my taste in games like FF8 did (though if FS3 ever came around I'd be all over it) it DID shape my attitude towards games as a whole. In many ways it shaped me in ways beyond games, and for that reason it will always be one of my most important games.

It's only once every few years that I replay in honesty, but every time I do the game gets that much better thanks to the stunning work of the guys at the SCP. Probably due a replay sometime soon in fact!

Honourable Mentions

L.A. Noire - Probably the best story driven game I've ever played bar none. Would definately have made the list if I'd taken the alternative approach mentioned above.

Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines - One of the best RPGs ever made. Unfinished (and unplayable) without the community patch, the game was still a masterpiece. It's a tragedy that Troika collapsed.

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings - Set a new standard for RPG games. CD Project RED truly are the masters of that genre.

M.Steiner wrote:(Note to Anny: emoticons are still not all appearing for me in Firefox when youtube vids are included in a post, unless I force refresh)
Still need to find time to look into that. I've been very focused on my AG rebuild lately. Leave it with me :)

Re: Your top 5 video games

Posted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 3:20 pm
by M.Steiner
Interesting list though I kinda expected the first 2 hehe ;)
Speaking of Max Payne 2. Whilst I wouldn't personally list it as one of my top games for any reasoning (even top 20) I decided to replay both that and the first game before MP3 was released and was quite surprised by how much I enjoyed it this time around. Probably because for many years I considered it a bit of a let down after the first game but going back to it after all these years I kinda viewed it differently. Has aged quite well too :)

As for honourable mentions. hmmm tricky lol
So many titles I could list here which are either in my top 10, games which jump to mind straight away for whatever reason or awesome games I've just played recently...
I'd definitely agree with all 3 on your list. L.A. Noire is one of only a few games I've ever bought several copies of, since I originally got it day 1 on its console release simply because it was one of my most anticipated games of the year and I had absolutely no intention of waiting to see if it would come to PC lol. Thankfully it did!

Heavy Rain is one that springs to mind. I'm not sure how far up my list this one would go just yet. Right now I'd say it'd definitely be in my top 10 but since I played it recently it's a little hard for me to judge it properly as it's still fresh in my mind. It's not perfect but I adored its approach to interactive storytelling. When you guys get a PS3 for Beyond/The Last of Us or whatever this is a must play, best way I can describe it is a mix of Fahrenheit & L.A. Noire.

Older titles I find hard to narrow down tbh but as well as the ones you listed I'd say (in no particular order); Resident Evil 1 & 4, Half-Life 2, Deus Ex, Ico & SotC, Mafia, Thief 3, Hitman Blood Money, Uncharted 2, Bioshock, Warcraft 3...... I could go on and on and that's not including the other MGS games, FFVIII, Silent Hill 1 or Shenmue 2 lol

C'mon. Lets see some more lists :thumb:

Re: Your top 5 video games

Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 1:39 am
by Ozone
Had to give this some though, cuz as I'm in my 40's, the first game I ever played was a lunar lander simulator on a Texas Instruments calculator which used slim magnetic strips fed through the side of the unit (this was a calculator). The game was simply called lunar lander and the screen flashed numbers in sequence, something like gravatational pull, vertical speed, horizontal speed, fuel left, weight of lander, the waited for you to input the engine thrust, then the direction(s), and continue till land or crash (a bunch of 0's across the board).

So that goes to #1 cuz at 10 years old or so, it was totally fragging fascinating.

Then #2 to the Atari 400, then 800. Was addicted to 'Star Raiders'. B&W, bitmapped, but it incorporated not only battle, but maps, views, hyperspace, refueling, base ships, etc...

Then #3 to a home built Amiga, and 'Space Hulk', a warhammer game in '93, loses by a nose to the original 'Syndicate'... ... re=related

Number 4 would be the original 'Deus Ex'. Actually ran a clan for it, website and all, 50+ members, bitch keeping track of scores and the like but loved it none the less, plus, first real true multiplayer modifiable shooter, /drool... ... sults_main

Then, many moons later, I played WoW on the PC/Mac (was a Euro Beta tester). I know it's cliche', but I played for years, first with the Euro group for 2-3 years, then with the US for 2ish. I left when I felt it was getting saturated and repetative, but have to admit I loved it when I was playing. Yet, it doesn't make my favs.

Last is a 3 way debate, Mechwarrior, Dragon Age: Origins, and Mass Effect Trilogy
Can't decide there...

Woulda been easier to do a 10 best, specially for us old guys who's hips are about to break. ;)

Re: Your top 5 video games

Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 6:56 pm
by Rock-n-Roll
I fall into Ozone's age bracket where a top 10 would be easier. I'll have to give this some thought and I don't think I would be able to put them in any particular order.

Re: Your top video games

Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 7:32 pm
by M.Steiner
Feel free to post a top 10 (even in no particular order) if that's easier for you guys (you too Oz if you wanted to edit some other titles in). All is good :thumb:
Ozone wrote:Then, many moons later, I played WoW on the PC/Mac (was a Euro Beta tester). I know it's cliche', but I played for years, first with the Euro group for 2-3 years, then with the US for 2ish. I left when I felt it was getting saturated and repetative, but have to admit I loved it when I was playing. Yet, it doesn't make my favs.
Yep. I feel the same about both WoW & Neocron pretty much. I wouldn't put either in my top 5 based on the games themselves but when it comes to experiences; with the group in general, clan op wars, instance runs etc both of those would be at the top of my list. My best online memories are from both of those games. Good times :)

Re: Your top video games

Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 9:12 pm
by Anubis
Top 10 would be harder for me taking the approach I did :lol:

I'll leave mine as is I think :)

Re: Your top video games

Posted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:41 pm
by Kon
I saw a thread like this on another forum last night and it got me thinking. As I got to sleep I settled on what I thought was a fairly definitive list, so I'm bumping this for my thoughts.

#1 - The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
It's hard for me to decide between this and Freespace, but as time goes by, I've come to realize how special this game really is. It was the first RPG I really enjoyed, and ever since then I've been trying to find games that have recaptured the same feeling of wonder I felt upon playing Morrowind for the first time.

Like many games, it took me 3 years to complete the main quest. The difference is, I barely ever quit playing in that time. I've easily logged more hours into this game than probably all other games I've ever played, combined. And that is no exaggeration. When I first picked up the game, I was simply in awe of the diversity of things that fill this vast sandbox world. There are a multitude of factions and characters with their own quest lines. With 4 political factions, 5 professional guilds, 2 religious factions, and a multitude of other questlines, you can truly create your ideal character. This truly is the most immersive world in gaming, with a great variety of terrain and cultures to explore.

At the outset, the story may seem a bit cliche, but things progress into one of the most unique storylines I've ever seen. If the player endeavors to look into the immense details and backstory provided by books and NPCs, the story becomes even more enriched. Sometimes I still like to stop by the Elder Scrolls wiki and read some of the ingame books.

#2 - Freespace 2
The original Freespace was the first 3D game I had. It was really something amazing, and I played nearly every day after school for some years. Freespace 2 kicked things up a notch in every regard. Plot, mission structure, scale. Oh, and beams. Seeing as I was 7-8 years old when these games came out, I didn't fully appreciate the darker, more intricate storyline of FS2. I preferred the original game, on the basis of the ship design and the soundtrack. Luckily for me, FS2 is a game with infinite replayability.

Freespace doesn't require the same time investment as RPGs like Morrowind, so I've been able to reinstall the game on a whim many times, sit down with my trusty joystick, and shoot some red dots. Every time I feel the urge to fly into the void once more, there are a multitude of new and exciting campaigns for me to experience for the first time, courtesy of the amazing community. The community is what really made the game, and why it was the first game where I became invested in multiplayer. I have FS2 to thank for my presence here in SSX, something which has profoundly shaped my gaming time through the years, as well as my experience of the internet in general. Freespace is the only game on this list that still has a lasting place in my life, and I hope it stays that way for many more years to come.

#3 – Medieval 2: Total War
When I got this game in late 2009, it single-handedly revitalized my interest in RTS games. Over the years I had grown tired of what I used to consider my favorite genre. I was never a huge fan of resource gathering, build orders, or many of the other old conventions. Medieval 2 was my first Total War game, and its emphasis on tactics and actual strategy allows you to focus your attention on the only resource that ultimately matters: manpower. After a few hours of play it becomes fairly easy to keep your economy in check. The campaign is really about managing the makeup and positions of your armies on the Civ-style world map.

When armies finally clash, you're treated to the finest experience in all of strategy gaming. Place your armies in an initial formation, and shuffle around to counter the enemy's maneuvers. Guard your flanks and hold your line at all costs as hundreds of men are caught in the midst of chaos. The game's morale system is ingenious, and I've won many of my finest battles on the back of superior morale management. There is nothing in gaming quite as sweet as turning the tide of a losing battle after killing the enemy general and watching his forces flee back out of your city gates.

#4 – Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne
As I just mentioned, I'm not a huge fan of traditional base-building RTS games. I was never any good at that bit, to be honest. Warcraft III had great lore and a great campaign to tell the story, but I often had to resort to cheats to get through. In multiplayer, I lost almost every single ladder game I played over the years.

Despite these shortcomings, I never quit playing the game. I stuck with it as a go-to game for 3 or 4 years. This was due mostly to the game's incredible map editor, which allowed for easy, light-weight modding. Multiplayer became a world of infinite possibilities as total conversions could be easily transferred P2P as map files. Tower defense and DotA got their start here, along with countless other mods spanning every conceivable genre and play style. Now that I think about it, the only reason I quit playing was because my GPU died.

#5 – Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3
The actual intro is just a collection of RL footage, so I picked a video which highlighted why the game is great.

Some people may knock me for this choice, but the Tony Hawk games were a huge time sink for me growing up, and a passion that I shared with many of my friends. Indeed, many of my friends today bring up Tony Hawk whenever the discussion turns to video games. My obsession with these games led to a couple years of horrible RL skating, which got me meeting people who would in turn introduce me to things that would have a big impact on my life.

The third game was the best in the series. Some features were added, but they didn't go overboard like in later games. Everything that was there was perfectly implemented, and it boasts the best maps in the series. There's not a single THPS3 map that I don't love. What more is there to say? It wasn't the most hardcore game ever, and it had no story whatsoever, but damn, was it fun. I think it may in fact be responsible for my love of open-world games. I strongly preferred the Free Skate mode to the two minute challenges.

Honorable Mentions

Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines – The best linear, dialogue-driven RPG out there. It really got me immersed, and I really cared about my favorite characters. This is also the only game I've played where you can truly have whatever skill combination you want without gimping your character at all. Truly one of the best games of all time. It's a shame that the development process was hell, and that the game was rushed and released in such a poor state.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – The worthy successor to Morrowind. Interesting setting, great faction dynamics, much-improved AI, and most importantly, a diverse and engaging world. I had my doubts after Oblivion and Fallout 3, but Bethesda really brought home the bacon with this one. That Thanksgiving holiday, I spent an alarming amount of time on this epic journey. It was such a pleasure returning to Tamriel that I didn't want to leave! I still haven't come close to seeing all there is to see. I'm very excited for the DLC (the only time I'll ever say this), but I'm waiting for the GOTY Edition.

Cyber Nations – When the GPU died on my old PC, I dropped Warcraft for this. Before CN, I had always thought browser games sucked. It didn't change my mind. The political meta-game was one hell of a trip, though. It became a daily addiction for three straight years, and I paid on and off attention to my nation for another two. I never thought I would find anything quite like it again...

EVE Online – ...Until I played EVE, anyway. It has the meta-game insanity of CN, the hardcore clan-based PVP of Neocron, and the player-driven economy of...EVE. Truly no other game in existence is such an amazing and complete multiplayer sandbox. In EVE, the players really do craft the world. The definitive MMO. Perhaps the best endorsement I can offer is that Neocron felt like half-baked crap after playing EVE.

The Longest Journey – This past year I've been having the best gaming experiences I've had in a long time, as I visit the classics of the adventure genre, which so unfortunately passed me by when I was young. I am only now playing through this game, but I can already tell you that it is the best. This is the first non-first person game where I feel deeply immersed in the world. Despite April being an "non-embodied" character with a set appearance and personality, I still feel a deep connection with her. It's definitely different from how I usually feel playing RPGs, though. This is more akin to reading a good book where you really feel for one of the characters.

Re: Your top video games

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:30 pm
by Anubis
Bit of a necro, but with the #GameStruck4 hashtag blowing up on Twitter today, I ended up digging around to find this after I'd posted mine.

Pretty cool to see this list marries up exactly to what I posted, and my reasoning is still totally unchanged too. Guess I should be pretty happy with my list haha, though maybe I'd change some honorable mentions in hindsight!

How has anyone else's list held up over time?

Also, Kon, I can't believe I never noticed you listed Tony Hawk 3! That game was my addiction back in high school! Need to get my PS2 back out now you've reminded me :lol:

Re: Your top video games

Posted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:37 am
by M.Steiner
My list has held up pretty well too, actually! FFVII managed to remain in my #1 slot for years & years but was ultimately dethroned by The Witcher 3 in 2015 which has remained there ever since. As far as open world RPGs go it is unbeaten imo.

Metal Gear Solid, Shenmue & Silent Hill 2 would still follow those two I think.
I'd love to see MGS & SH2 given similar remake treatment to this years Shadow of the Colossus from Bluepoint.
M.Steiner wrote:It is a travesty that this series hasn't been completed and that some gamers probably haven't even heard of it let alone played it. Very sad but I will never lose hope that we may, one day, get a Shenmue III heh.
Funny reading these lists back now when we're now getting Shenmue 1 & 2 on PC/PS4/XB1 this year, Shenmue 3 not long after, and a remake of FFVII lol :D

As for #GameStruck4. I'll have to have a think on that one as my top 5 games of all time may not necessarily match 4 of the games I'd say helped define me.
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