With the Wii U kicking off the next generation of gaming I thought it would be fun to do this. The games donít have to be in a specific order, mine arenít, but it would be nice if you provide some justification as to why youíre picking the games youíre picking.
THIS IS MEANT TO BE 100% BIASED, YOU DONíT HAVE TO CHOOSE GAMES OBJECTIVELY. At least I wonít. Maybe you wanna include Lair on your list because it reminds you of when you got married, doesn't matter. That will make things more fun. Anyway, here is my non-ordered list:
Super Mario Galaxy
I will never forget the first time I played through this game. The ďwowĒ factor was so big, I still get dťjŗ vuís of that feeling to this day every time I boot up the game. It gave me exactly what I wanted Ė an entire game based around Super Mario Sunshineís non-fludd levels. Iíve wanted this kind of streamlined approach since Mario 64 and it was awesome to finally play it, with such grand gameplay creativity and production values to boot.
This is a game that does something very specific for me, it satisfies me at a very basic, primary level. It lets me live out a fantasy that Iíve had ever since I was three years old watching Detective Conan. And isnít that what interactive entertainment is all about? Iíve always wanted to be a detective, and this game pulls that off flawlessly. I love how my attention to detail (not the game's, but my own) is always rewarded. Itís an enormous experience that Iíve played multiple times and will continue to play throughout the rest of my days.
Bioshock is the most immersive video game Iíve ever played. The city of Rapture captivates me like you wouldnít believe. Iím a huge sucker of underwater settings, canít get enough of them. Bioshock is an absolute joy - I love the setting, I love the gunplay and I love the plasmid mechanic. Every moment of this game was beautiful to me, and the sequel, while not as good in my opinion is also awesome. The combination of old-timey jazzy tunes and gruesome violence grabbed me since I saw the first trailers for the game.
This is one where Iím definitely alone, but Sonic Generations is a game Iíd been waiting to play for over a decade. For a life-long Sonic fan like myself, itís not just a love letter, itís a sex letter. Nate, I love you but I donít wanna hear it, this game perfected the Modern Sonic mechanics and made them super enjoyable. The gameplay rewards players who can blast through the courses without losing momentum and flow. When you get hit, itís frustrating not because you took damage, but because Sonic came to a hault. Itís similar to Mirrorís Edge somewhat, or keeping a combo alive in Tony Hawk, except way more frantic. The levels (all throwbacks to my entire life) look super slick, and this adrenaline-filled half-platformer/half-racer where twitchy fingers and quick reflexes are the key to victory was a joy from beginning to end. And Classic Sonic, while not as awesome as its Genesis counterpart (not because of the controls mind you, but because of the level design which isnít as solid and doesnít feature as many awesome gimmicks in the stages) feels just like I left him. I needed to play Generations before I died, and thankfully I did.
I love this game to death. Itís amazing. Lightyears better than Portal 1, and thatís saying something. I donít even need to comment much, just play it and youíll understand how Portal 2 takes an absolutely brilliant gameplay idea and builds an entire game around it, with said idea never getting stale and with new surprises at every turn. And then when I thought I couldn't like the game any more I played Co-Op with my non-gamer ex-girl, which is a memory that I will carry with me to the rest of my days. She doesnít like video games, not even Wii Sports, but Portal 2 captivated her. In her words, ďI wish I could buy a Portal gun in real lifeĒ.
Here is la 5 in no special order - although I was lazy and copied my images/reasons from other thread of mine...
Donkey Kong Country Returns. Challenge was back in a big way - and so is 2D platforming. Wonderful.
The Last Story. As the final Wii game added to my collection - I was very pleased with this title. I found that even though the story was a bit on the 'typical' side - it still drew me in and that's what won me over.
Xenoblade Chronicles. Another huge RPG game - and it's for Wii. Play it now.
Super Mario Galaxy 2. What else can I say about this game? It's awesome!!
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. I stil think so highly of this game - it was overall, a perfect game to play. Way to go Zelda.
I'm going to exclude handheld games for now, that would require way too much thinking...
1. Uncharted: Drake's Fortune Sure this game suffers from uncanny valley issues and boring gun-fights that overstay their welcome, but all in all I fell in love with the story and characters and the spirit of adventure the game embodies. Plus, more than any other game I played this generation, this one gave me that "holy shit, we've reached a new level of what's possible in video games" feeling, like when I played Super Metroid for the first time.
2. Burnout Paradise Most fun ever? Maybe... just maybe. The ultimate sandbox.
3. Super Mario Galaxy Joy distilled.
4. Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion This game let me live out my high-fantasy fantasies in a humongous world of adventure.
5. Excite Truck Even moreso that Wii Sports this game defined the Wii launch for me, I played it for hours, days, weeks. So. Damn. Fun. To this day I haven't played another racing game with jumps big enough to satisfy me, Excite Truck spoiled me!
Man. Too many games for me to even attempt to narrow it down to five. I will say many of you have great lists, the OP included. Just goes to show how far the industry has come as a whole. I think more good games are now coming out across all platforms monthly than used to come out in a calendar year. It's insane.
Super Mario Galaxy was my 2007 GotY. At the time, it was a mind-blowing experience that completely redefined the 3D platformer. Some of the most brilliant level design in gaming, breaking away from the "different" Sunshine and making a classic Mario game that combined the best of old and new, into an experience that, 5 years later, is still the gold standard.
1b. Super Mario Galaxy 2
My 2010 GotY, I look at Galaxy 2 as a continuation of 1, hence the cop-out that I have them tied for first. In a lot of ways, 2 is the better game, but it wasn't quite as jaw-dropping as the first one was when it came out.
3. Portal 2
2011 GotY, and for a minute I considered putting this at #1. It's that good. Brilliant puzzle design, hilarious and smart dialogue, a well-crafted and presented storyline. As much as I enjoyed the first one, it was a prototype for this one, which is in a completely different league. Taking a wild guess and solving a puzzle by redirecting fluids through tractor beams, not believing for a second that it would actually work, and then having it end up working, is just an example of how this game provided some of the most satisfying gaming moments of the generation.
Would have been 2007 GotY, if not for Galaxy. One of the most atmospheric games of the generation, if not the most atmospheric. Like Portal 2, great implementation and presentation of the storyline, and the end result is one of the most memorable experiences in years.
5. Dead Space
1-4 was easy, but I had a tough time picking #5. Ended up going with Dead Space, my 2008 GotY, mostly because I love survival horror and after the death of Resident Evil as a competent franchise, Dead Space was a pleasant surprise. Some of the best usage of lighting and sound, and it's this game above all others where I am so glad I have HDTV and surround sound. As far as atmosphere goes, this game rivals Bioshock closer than probably anything else.
Next 5 out: Red Dead Redemption, Deadly Premonition, Donkey Kong Country Returns, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Batman: Arkham Asylum
5 more great games, and I could have put any of them at #5 without any second-guessing.
Going by my ratings (which I may agree or not agree with now that I'm looking back at them):
5. Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess - the best Zelda game of the post N64 era 4. Super Mario Galaxy - the best Mario game since forever 3. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves - the Michael Bay movie of the videogames medium 2. Bioshock - the world of Rapture was the most fascinating fake location I've ever traveled in a 3D videogame ever 1. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots - the best videogame soap opera of this generation