Okay, you’ve read the title, so you know you’re about to get bombarded with a whole lot of geeked up nerdiness, right? Seriously though, I thought I’d try some a little different for this post. you’d have to be hard to impress to not love at least one game that’s floating out there in the world somewhere. The awesomeness of video games, especially in the 21st century, is something to be marveled at. You have different platforms, different genres, a multitude of graphic styles, several consoles, and all of this is put together in so many combinations to create a new way of interactive storytelling all for your pleasure. Who doesn’t like to be immersed in a great story? There are so many to choose from, it’s hard not to be a gamer fan these days.
One thing that has driven the game craze exponentially, is the leaps in technological advancements. We have come a long way since the days of the Odyssey, Atari, and Activision over 45 years ago, to the next generation of gaming in 2019. From 8-bit to 4K resolution, and now, you can even throw on a pair goggles with handsets, and virtually log into games. The Future is here my friends! Thanks to the marketing push to create the next best thing, PC’s and consoles alike are constantly neck and neck (and sometimes at each other’s throats) to out do each other. This growth has also been greatly complemented by these advances with better hardware, software, compact designs, near limitless storage, and processing speeds.
For me to go out and buy one of these awesome games, it needs to have very good innovative design and storytelling. I love to see a great use of imagination, and it applies to all things that interest me in games, movies, and books. Like I stated previously, interactive storytelling to me, is just so compelling. With a good storyline, well-built environments, and relatable characters you’ll basically be controlling a playable movie. Now with innovative design, this is something that grabs my attention, like a flag blowing in the breeze that makes a game stand out from the others. There is so much packed into video games these days that makes them so intriguing. User adaptability and the option to have all these add-ons and downloadable content really drive these creations to the edge.
So, how do I compile a list of my ten favorite games, with all these things to take into consideration? Well, it’s certainly not easy to narrow it down to just ten, let me tell you! I will have to list a few noteworthy, or “honorable mentions,” at the end, that’s for sure. I have eliminated pretty much any sports videos games though, so I apologize if you’re a sports game fanatic. I have nothing against them and enjoy playing them, but like I mentioned previously, my favorite games have a story to tell me. Also, my list is limited to the 80’s and forward (PC, Nintendo, Playstation, Sega, and Xbox games). If I still have your attention, here are my top 10 video games of all time!
- Doom (Original version, PC)- I still remember the day I was at the Marine Exchange store in Norfolk, VA., getting a haircut. Afterwards, I was browsing around in the music and computer area. I was flipping through some floppy disc game demos (If you don’t know what I am talking about, ask your dad or mom), and came across a game from ID software that said Doom: Episode I. Well, it certainly wouldn’t be on the list if I didn’t spend the rest of my allowance on it. I brought this bad boy home, showed it to my dad and brother, and we were hooked. For me, this was that pivotal game that really started the drive to what we have now in the first-person shooter genre. The graphics were solid for the times, the sound effects were cool, but then you had all the secret stuff hidden in each level. I can’t tell you how many times me and my brother stayed up on the weekends replaying each level to get all the secrets and the best time. And then they came out with an extra episode a year later, and with it, we got “the cheat codes”.
- Super Mario World (Super Nintendo)- Come on now, what kind of kid from the 80’s would I be if I didn’t have this game on here. Great animation, a hero driven story to save the princess… again, and you get to ride a little dinosaur! To top it off, you have all these different themed worlds within the game world, with a mini boss fight in each one. One of these years, Princess Peach is going to invest in some pepper spray or defense classes to prevent this from happening again.
- Sonic The Hedgehog (Sega Genesis)- This is another side scrolling game like Super Mario world, but it is so unique with its character and design concepts. With the Evil Dr. Robotnik trying to take over the world Sonic lives in, you are off zooming around to collect all the rings you can and beat all the baddies. Trying to find all the hidden TV’s that give you extra coins, shield, or the shoes that give you super speed could be a challenge. This game had replay value set high when I was a kid, always trying to beat the zone’s best times and find other hidden paths built into each zone you cleared.
- Final Fantasy VII (Playstation 2)- alright, so before this game came out, I was never a huge fan of the role-playing game types. I had a friend that would play this, and after he beat it, he let me borrow the game and the walkthrough. I thought I was too cool for the walkthrough book. Needless to say, I was proven wrong rather quickly. This was the first game that I play with had so much depth to the story. After getting my butt whooped numerous times, I finally got accustomed to the turn style play and how to utilize my team’s strengths in the fights. Pretty soon I was staying up well past midnight trying to level up my characters more, so I could beat the game. I loved how the background was built for all the different characters; you really felt like you were the main character, Cloud. Then tragedy hit, the boss Sephiroth kills Aeris! Okay, so I’m not even going to lie; first time I cried a little over a video game. I made sure to put the beatdown on Sephiroth in the end for that one!
- Gears of War Franchise (Xbox 360 – Xbox One)- I can’t even begin to describe my love for these games. I stood at a midnight release outside of Game Stop for at least three out of five of the Gears games with my brother, and for me it was well worth it. The story behind these games runs deep… Like underground-Locust hive deep. The way the backstory was built up in this world at war with itself and its inhabitants, is like a battle driven military conspiracy soap opera for guys (and girls) that involves not so alien, aliens. This was one of the first, third person shooters that keep me and my friends up all night with the different multiplayer modes to wreck “noobs” on. I’m pretty sure my wife has a picture of me playing online in my game chair while I was cradling our first-born baby boy, and I was holding a bottle in his mouth with my chin. Yeah, that’s daddy-gamer dedication right there folks. How could I not be completely enthralled with the expansive and dilapidated environments, incredible game mechanics and A.I. combatting, and the colorfully witty smart mouthed COG soldiers of Delta Squad?
- Myst (PC) – Okay, So I don’t remember all the details to the storyline of this game, but it made to my list for the groundbreaking game design and interactive puzzle games to solve. I must admit too; this game was quite beautiful for coming out on PC sometime in 1994. What I do remember, is that you had two brothers who were trapped in books and blamed each other for the father dying, and the father made all the books that you can use to travel to Myst, and the other areas in the game. The game was a conundrum of sorts, as it was so simple in design, sophisticated in its interactivity, and complex with its puzzles and riddles to solve.
- Minecraft (All Platforms)- I’ve been hooked on this game since 2013; a little over a year after it was released on the Xbox 360. At first, I thought survival mode was dumb, as I didn’t appreciate the time it took to gather resources to build what I wanted. So, a good bit of my first few years was simply in creative mode, because obviously, I like to think I’m creative. I’ve built crazy huge castles, mountain sized statue replicas from the Lord of the Rings movie, and multiplayer mini games I love to play with my kids. Here lately, I have finally slowed down a bit, so to enjoy the finer things in Minecraft; exploring, resource gathering, and unlocking achievements. Watching the updates for this game create a more and more beautifully blocky world, with growing environment adaptations, adding new block patterns & shapes, and giving the players a variety of skin and texture packs has been just awesome! I don’t see this game slowing down anytime soon either. There are tons of different merchandise out there, and too many youtubers uploading and live streaming their own gameplay and experiences with friends for viewers to join! Minecraft is set in stone on my list of favorites for a long time. The creativity that you experience in the game is literally of your own design (your builds, not the game itself)!
- The Last of US (PS3, PS4)- This game is like a conglomeration of my favorite things all in one great package; horror style, shooter style, and movie style gameplay. Look, I warned you all at the beginning that I’m big on story and creativity, and this game is bursting at the seems with both. Following Joel and Ellie on their journey through the apocalyptic ruins and infected humans was certainly a roller coaster ride, to say the least. The growth and bond that you see these two characters go through is both heart warming and tear jerking. I really thought it was going to be a crappy ending there for a short time (and if I’m spoiling the game for you, it’s well deserved! You should’ve played this game by now you bum!). I don’t scare too easy, as I’ve numbed myself with years of watching all types of horror movies, but there were definitely a few good startles the had me on the edge of the couch. Especially in those areas where you had to sneak past the heavy infected areas. If you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t experienced this masterpiece yet, do yourself a favor and dive into this one. The sequel is set to release later this year.
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (all platforms)- I didn’t get to play this game when it originally came out, but I remember my brother talking about it all the time. I finally picked the up the special edition they released for the Xbox One. The universe that has been created in the amazing fantasy world within the elder scrolls is layer upon layer of scary medieval style genius. The menu game mechanics with all the different tracking and upgrading options was a cool feature and I also liked that there was a large variety of gear, jewelry, and weapons that could add to your attributes. Plus, what is cooler than being a dragonborn? A human born with the soul of a dragon! You could get lost in the beautiful landscape drudging through hundreds of hours of gameplay trying to complete al the side quests on this winner!
- Horizon Zero Dawn (PS3, PS4)- Honestly, I’m running a bit low on adjectives, so if I sound like a broken record, I apologize. With that said, you need to seriously play this game if you haven’t already. You can’t compare this to anything else out there really, it’s just too unique of a game. The backstory in this game is something that you could almost see happening in our own future the way it is told and presented to you as more details of the past is uncovered with the quest you take Aloy on. This girl has it rough growing up and is one tough cookie for this hardened world overrun by machines. The compelling journey you take Aloy on locks you into your seat as you explore all the diverse wilds in this massive open world. I cannot wait until a sequel comes out!
Honorable Mentions that didn’t make the cut:
Call of Duty franchise, Battlefield franchise (including the Bad Company campaigns), Wolfenstein (The old school and new), Tomb Raider (Newer versions), Portal, Half-life, Dead Space, F.E.A.R., Far-cry franchise, and Assassin’s Creed Franchise to name a few.
So, there you have it; my top 10 favorite video games of all time. I hope you may have had the opportunity to play some of these games over the years. If you didn’t, that’s okay too, as a lot of these older games are available as retro downloads now. If you think there are some better games that you’ve played, and I didn’t even mention it, please let me know in the comment section below. Keep in mind though, we all have different likes and dislikes. I Hope you enjoyed getting some vintage throwback games to remind you of your childhood. Now get out there and get to gaming!