With a bit of a lull before my Persona 5 review next week I figured I’d re-visit what my top 25 games of all time were. It had been a long time since I’d evaluated what were my favorite games ever were so I figured it would be fun to list them. NOTE!!! This is purely subjective and I’m sure I’m not including some great games that people feel like might be this game, or that game but understand this is a list of games that I’ve played to completion (if that is even possible for some of them) and some that my younger years were built on. Its also fun to see these lists from our different writers as you discover what we really like and how that aligns to yourself. Caboose’s top 25 should be out sometime shortly after this one as others will also follow right behind. Also if the game has been reviewed on our site I will tag each game with the review.
XCOM 2 – One of the best Tactical Turn Based Strategy games I’ve ever played. It took what made XCOM:Enemy Unknown/Within great and built upon that to make an even more spectacular game. On top of that Firaxis officially supporting mods like Long War made this game even better with so much value in play. Review: http://fg-2.com/2016/03/16/review-xcom-2/
Remember Me – One of the richest and most unique stories I’ve played in gaming. With the added gameplay mechanic of altering people’s memories of events to change their opinion of you it just made the game even better. Add in a fantastic soundtrack and setting and you have an amazing game that I feel like everyone must play. Review: http://fg-2.com/2014/07/08/review-remember-me/
Company of Heroes – At the time of CoH’s release there weren’t too many real time strategy games that weren’t either fantasy, scifi or old world history. So for a World War II RTS to come out was a risky decision but did it ever pay off. One of the most tactically engaging RTS games I’ve played that have incredible amount of detail and sound.
Star Wars Republic Commando – A Star Wars game that isn’t about Jedi? Who would have thought it would be one of the best Star Wars games even with its dated graphics. The story was interesting and in my opinion showed a part of the clone wars that we didn’t get to see or hear about much until the Clone Wars TV show came around. On top of that the shooting, the squad gameplay mechanic and action scenes were all a blast to play. Its unfortunate that the game never got its sequel as Lucasarts shut down right as they were beginning preproduction. Maybe EA will re-approach the series since they own the gaming rights for Star Wars now.
Advent Rising – Though this game is dated graphically and even gameplay in some aspects what truly stands the test of time is its story. Written by Orson Scott Card, author of the Ender series, it was intended to be a trilogy and even though it never became so, Advent Rising had one of the best stories of any game I’ve played. Though the fighting and the shooting were a little clunky the it was still a lot of fun to use your powers or shoot the enemies in various well designed set pieces.
Super Smash Bros Melee – A game that defined my childhood; friends and I would spend many hours playing Melee. The countless battles in Hyrule Temple’s chaos zone, the countless entertaining moments of me pika-screwing myself, the moments just go on. On top of that it is still one of the most played games in the competition scene which speaks volumes to how fantastic it was.
Halo – A game that changed the console multiplayer environment, that (like Melee) sculpted my childhood; Halo was an absolute blast to play not only in the various multiplayer modes and custom matches we played but also in its well told and voiced story. I would remember the countless hours a friend and I would spend at night trying to beat the game on legendary when we were younger. Microsoft found a real hit in this with Bungie and I’m glad it was as good as it was.
Doom (2016) – I never really got the chance to play the original Doom as I was only 7 at the time it came out but I did get to play it later in life and though it was somewhat dated I enjoyed what I played. Enter in the “sequel” from 2016 that updated the various fast paced demon slaughtering gameplay with some more modern design choices and you have one of the best games of all time. It is unfortunate that the MP was outsourced and not done by the id themselves however the SP is absolutely fantastic and that Mick Gordon soundtrack is the tits. Review: http://fg-2.com/2016/06/22/review-doom-2016/
Tales of Vesperia – Berseria that released this year came very close to being the better game of the series but even though Berseria had a darker story it still wasn’t as well written as Versperia’s. On top of that Vesperia had some of the most interesting characters and character interactions I’ve seen in games. The writing felt natural and engaging along with a fun combat system that hasn’t really been improved upon until Berseria.
Sid Meier’s Civilization V – One of the best strategy games of all time, Civ V improved on just about every aspect of Civ IV especially after Gods and Kings and Brave New World expansions came out. Civ VI improved a lot on top of Civ V but unfortunately it is still missing a lot of features that could make it surpass V. So for now Civilization V is my 16th favorite game of all time.
Alien Isolation – My personal 2014 GOTY even though we as a site voted for Shadow of Mordor. Alien Isolation took the look, feel and intensity of the original Alien movie and put it into a fantastic game. Everything about this game was so well done that I would replay different parts of the game just because I enjoyed it so much. If you are an Alien fan this is a must play. Review: http://fg-2.com/2014/10/15/review-alien-isolation/
Battlefield 2 – Battlefield 2 is the best multiplayer shooter I’ve played. All the battles running through Karkand to steal the MEC tanks or the blackhawk flag captures. The map design, the large and modded servers, the gun play and even just playing with friends in a squad. This game was fantastic and everything that I could have wanted in a multiplayer shooter. Now Battlefield 4 has done a lot to improve on a lot of features that BF2 made great but for me Battlefield 2 still takes the cake.
Warhammer 40,000 Dawn of War 2 – I should preface this as I’m a huge WH40K nerd and love anything to do with the lore although Games Workshop has tried to make all of us hate it. DoW2 took the cover and squad mechanics of Company of Heroes 2 and applied that to individual Space Marine control. It took the original Dawn of War and put it on a smaller more micromanagement scale as each marine had specific skills that would help you while fighting the WAGHHH, Tyranids, Eldar and the Chaos. Throw in a really well done co-op and you have one of my favorite strategy games of all time.
Bioshock Infinite – Of the three Bioshock games this was by far my favorite. It took the gunplay from the first game and the magic powers (Vigors) from the 2nd and combined it into a steampunk world that was filled with questions of what would have happened if the patriotism and militant Christian “utopia” concepts in the 50 and 60’s continued to thrive on their own. There are all sorts hidden messages along with a story that is really well written to boot. Review: http://fg-2.com/2014/03/14/review-bioshock-infinite/
Divinity Original Sin – Although D:OS is a part of a series (prequel to Divinity) the kickstarter and subsequent game sort of came out of nowhere. A fantastic RPG that did a great job with character interactions and CRPG mechanics. The combat was a blast to play even though there were lots of options to just avoid it altogether. Review: http://fg-2.com/2014/08/04/review-divinity-original-sin/
Final Fantasy VI – Final Fantasy VI is just one of those games that last a lifetime and is my favorite Final Fantasy. The characters, the story, one of the first time you see decisions that outcome your game, a slot machine and even fantastic side quests that make you want to complete the game to 100%. FF6 is probably one of the last original Final Fantasy designs but it was the best of the first 6 and in my opinion has not been surpassed by any of the others. The art of the sprites was so well done for the time and though the remake got rid of them I still highly recommend everyone play FF6 if you can get your hands on it. With the remake coming for FF7 I can only hope they perform the same treatment for six.
Guild Wars 2 – The first Guild Wars changed the world of MMOs by introducing instanced zones that allowed for a way to only have to buy the game and continue to play without having to pay monthly. On top of that the lore of Guild Wars was so rich and well done that they had to do a lot to make Guild Wars 2 even better. Though they lowered the insane amount of skills available to players to design their characters they made each skill more unique which improved the combat greatly. On top of that the huge constant content updates makes GW2 a fantastic game to come back to without even having to worry about having to re-subscribe to play again. If anyone ever gets on you are more than likely to find me running around on Tyria with you. Review: http://fg-2.com/2016/01/22/review-guild-wars-2/
Majora’s Mask – This might not be most people’s pick for best Zelda game but this is my absolute favorite and an easy choice for one of my top 10. The story went to places that Shigeru Miyamoto had never gone before with Link being dead already and in purgatory. The temple and world designs were fantastic (except the water temple like usual) and the having different masks change the gameplay and puzzle solving added a lot to the game. I’m kind of a sucker for dark storylines and Majora’s Mask is no exception.
Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II – Thank the gods for allowing Obsidian and Chris Avellone work on KotoR 2 as they made one of the best written Star Wars stories and RPGs of all time. Their ability to paint a grey area between the light and dark and make you question really what are the Jedi made for such an interesting story. Along with that they were able to design a improvement over the original KotoR that made the game an absolute blast to play.
Starcraft – The original Starcraft was essentially my entire early teenage years along with Counter-Strike. I spent so many hours playing tower defense, 4v4 BFG, DBZ mode and even replaying the campaign over and over again. Blizzard created an amazing RTS with the best rock, paper, scissors design of units in that any unit had other units in any other army that could beat the other. It was so well balanced it is no wonder it spawned the E-Sports world that we know today. I’m sure Games Workshop is still eating themselves over pulling their IP from Blizzard at the time.
Half-Life – Half-Life completely changed the world of shooters by introducing a way to tell stories through playing. On top of that it had an easily modifiable engine that introduced the world to games like Team Fortress Classic, Counter-Strike, Day of Defeat and Deathmatch Classic. Although it is dated by today’s standards it is a game that caused shooters to be designed the way they are today. Forgetting Xen, the level design, the soundtrack, the fun of running around shooting all types of enemies, the story; it was all fantastic.
Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion – I’ll have to confess, this was the first elder scrolls I ever played and thus holds a special place in my heart. The vast world, the various quests, dungeons and caverns you can go in, the amount of things you can do including closing countless oblivion gates allowed me to play countless hours of this game. Oblivion also had one of the best “DLC” expansions ever in shivering isles. With all the mod support as well to improve the graphics even now the game can look quite impressive.
Half-Life 2 – I thought about combining the two half-life games into a series but that would be a disservice to both games as they are both very revolutionary on their own. HL2 took the narrative through gameplay design even further and introduced one of the best stories in all of games. On top of that it introduced the gravity gun which was an integral part in various puzzles and gameplay events. HL2 also had some of the best object physics that I feel like recent games have gone away from due to the sheer power required in order to do proper physics. The source engine was and is still a beast 13 years later which powered each of the HL2 episodes, Portal 1 and 2, TF2, CSS/CSGO and countless other mods that make this one of the biggest and best games to ever be released.
Mass Effect 2 – Mass Effect 2 took all the features that were great in 1, improved on them and got rid of the things that made the first feel like a slog. This game is absolutely fantastic, the story, the side quests, the characters each feeling real and different in their personalities, the loyalty missions, the final suicide mission, the gameplay, the universe. The only down side to this game is there was a bit of grinding with the searching for resources otherwise this is one of the best games ever.
AND FINALLY…. MY NUMBER 1 GAME OF ALL TIME:
Yes I know this game just came out, but that just goes to show you what an amazing job Yoko Taro and Platinum games did with this game. Everything here is an absolute treasure of a game from the world, to the individual side quests, the main story, the different endings, the detail in the animations of fighting, the characters, the soundtrack. I don’t think I can praise this game enough for what it does for not only being an amazing game to play but what a form of art it is. You can read more about how I felt about the game in the review here: http://fg-2.com/2017/03/22/review-nierautomata/