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#1 Edited by Little_Socrates (5718 posts) -

It's a lazy post-Thanksgiving Sunday, and I have a feeling a lot of us are feeling pretty relaxed and full of good food. Others are still chomping at the bit to discuss Game of the Year-type categories, including the oft-desired "2011 Game of 2012" award discussions here.

But let's look a bit farther back into yesteryear. I created a similar thread asking if we could "canonize" any of the best games of 2011, meaning could we name them as "all-time greats?" The general responses were either that Dark Souls (with a bullet!) and Portal 2 could deserve it, but it's "too soon to tell." specifically requested we go back to the beginning of the generation to try and canonize that.

So, we shall! 2005 marks the launch of the Xbox 360 and the NA launch of the PSP, and I feel comfortable calling that the "beginning of the generation." And, as Ryan pointed out on last week's Bombcast, there were some really strong games at the Xbox 360's launch. Looking at the line-up, these seem to be the strongest, in alphabetical order:

-Amped 3

-Call of Duty 2 (also on PC)

-Condemned: Criminal Origins

-Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved

-Kameo: Elements of Power

-Project Gotham Racing 3

The PSP also launched with Lumines: Puzzle Fusion.

But, of course, there were LOADS of other games released in 2005 as well, which defined most 2005 Game of the Year awards. The DS represents very well with four excellent titles releasing in the 2005 calendar year (only launching in 2004, as well,) but the main representation of great games in 2005 is the PS2, with loads of games to note. The PC sees two three very significant releases as well, though; here's the list of highly notable releases on a platform not launching in '05, in roughly chronological order:

-Resident Evil 4

-Battlefield 2

-Gran Turismo 4

-Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening

-God of War

-Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory

-Psychonauts

-Guild Wars

-Kirby: Canvas Curse

-Killer7

-Shadow of the Colossus

-Sid Meier's Civilization IV

-Guitar Hero

-Mario Kart DS

-Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time

-Animal Crossing: Wild World

I'm leaving out a few games that I don't think anyone will mention (Minish Cap and Soul Calibur III come to mind) but I think this is a relatively complete list of the most important games of 2005. But are any of the games from 2005, on or off this list, good enough to categorize as "all-time greats?" Are there any on the Xbox 360 or PSP? Unlike 2011, I don't think there'll be a strong consensus. There's a lot of really great games on this list, and I would struggle to pick any less than five, myself.

This is more about celebrating and thinking about how good modern games really still can be than it is about meticulously fighting each other on a question of rankings. Games are maybe one of the few medium where single-year comparison still makes a lot of sense, though we're definitely starting to see patterns emerging with the two-or-three year cycle most developers work under these days. But 2005 is a launch year, and one where some patterns are definitely broken.

If there's more decent response to this thread, maybe I'll make a similar thread for other years. While 2005 seems overflowing in choices and 2011 seemed completely sparse, there are definitely years in between where the choices become more obvious.

#2 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

Yea, that's enough distance for us to determine if these games are actually good or not. Lemme go through these and offer my two bits:

  • Great, I can't do dick about the first few games you listed. I'll have to look elsewhere.
  • RE4 was pretty cool from what I remember, but I should probably play through it again, just to be sure.
  • Same with Devil May Cry 3. I remember it being balls hard, but in a good way, if that counts for anything.
  • Same with God of War. I expect to see a pattern emerging.
  • Damn it. I have Psychonauts, and I really need to play it.
  • Canvas Curse? Good, but not an all-time great.
  • Mario Kart DS is straddling the line, as far as I can tell.

I expect a shave.

#3 Posted by Daneian (1251 posts) -
  • RE4 (revolutionized 3rd person shooters)
  • God of War (production value, epic boss fights, QTE's)
  • Geometry Wars (set XBLA and thus digital content on consoles)
  • Shadow of the Colossus (games as art debate)

Even though others are enjoyable, these are the ones that have had long reaching impacts on gaming.

#4 Posted by BeachThunder (12441 posts) -

I suppose my favourite form 2005 would be Psyhconauts; I didn't care much for the game play, but everything about the game was just so creative.

#5 Edited by Claude (16254 posts) -

Civilization IV is one of the best games ever.
RE 4 was a game changer.
Some damn good sports games came out that year too. MVP Baseball 2005 still is awesome.

#6 Posted by UitDeToekomst (750 posts) -

I agree with Civ IV. The pinnacle of the series (so far) and quite possibly the entire turn-based strategy genre. To be honest, very few - if any - of the other games listed did/do much for me. Never played Psychonauts, though. I'd like to give that a shot.

#7 Posted by Hizang (8532 posts) -

Resident Evil 4 is one of the best games of all time, nothing else stands out on that list.

#8 Posted by ThePickle (4169 posts) -

RE4 has already been crowned as one of the all-time greats. God of War and Guitar Hero were so influential it would be hard to ignore them. Pyschonauts will forever be a cult favorite and people will be playing Civ 4 on the moon colony.

#9 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (1186 posts) -
@Little_Socrates: Damnit now I have to watch Breaking Brad: Geometry Wars
#10 Edited by Jagged85 (173 posts) -
#11 Posted by SaturdayNightSpecials (2446 posts) -

Call of Duty 2 was Goddamn superb. The pinnacle of WW2 shooter campaigns as far as I'm concerned.

Shadow of the Colossus was flawed of course, but it deserves at least some of the reverence it gets. Even ignoring the idea of it being an art piece, it was a cool, unique idea mostly executed well.

#12 Posted by Winternet (8059 posts) -

Psychonauts and CIV IV are the only ones I would consider (but, of course there will be load of RE4 talk in here).

#13 Posted by MildMolasses (3229 posts) -

I don't think you even need to ask about RE4. It was heralded the moment it came out, and unlike a lot of games that get great initial praise, this seemingly still holds up. And not because of how it changed 3rd person shooters. If that were the case then we'd be talking about Kill.switch in those same tones, and we aren't

#14 Posted by Nottle (1915 posts) -

A few games aside 2005 didn't seem like a great year. Resident Evil of coure is one of the greatest games ever made, along with Shadow of the colossus. What was the best year for the PS2, gamecube, xbox, and Dreamcast era? 2004 seemed pretty good.

#15 Posted by Little_Socrates (5718 posts) -
@MildMolasses

I don't think you even need to ask about RE4. It was heralded the moment it came out, and unlike a lot of games that get great initial praise, this seemingly still holds up. And not because of how it changed 3rd person shooters. If that were the case then we'd be talking about Kill.switch in those same tones, and we aren't

This is interesting to me, as it's exactly why I felt it was appropriate to make this thread for 2011 first. It has happened that games are regarded that way, I agree.

@SaturdayNightSpecials, I appreciate your nomination of Call of Duty 2.

(typed from the mobile site)
#16 Posted by Vod_Crack (753 posts) -

One word:

F.E.A.R.

#17 Edited by Atlas (2457 posts) -

Today will be remembered as the day that I learnt that I don't have strong feelings about any game released in 2005. Seriously, I looked at the list, and...nothing. I was 16, and at pretty much the peak of my horrible adolescence, and 16 is also the year that British schools make their students sit the GCSEs, the exams which are the conclusion of secondary education. It was a rough year for me, and in terms of gaming I was pretty much just playing the same handful of GameCube games I'd been playing in 2004 - Harvest Moon, Mario Kart, Madden NFL 2005, Soulcalibur II etc.

My gaming golden age began a year later, and was triggered by the release of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, and ever since then I have a game of the year for every calendar year.

But I think the general consensus is that if Civ IV, Resident Evil 4, and Battlefield 2 haven't already been canonised, then it's past time they were.

#18 Posted by Chaser324 (6745 posts) -

@Daneian said:

  • RE4 (revolutionized 3rd person shooters)
  • God of War (production value, epic boss fights, QTE's)
  • Geometry Wars (set XBLA and thus digital content on consoles)
  • Shadow of the Colossus (games as art debate)

Even though others are enjoyable, these are the ones that have had long reaching impacts on gaming.

I agree with all of these, but I feel like you have to also include Guitar Hero. That game resurrected the rhythm game genre and expanded its appeal to a massive casual audience (for better or worse).

Moderator
#19 Posted by mosespippy (4468 posts) -

Looking over the list a few stand out but I'll start by saying Lumines was originally a 2004 release. I would canonize it but this thread is about 2005 releases so I won't make the argument here.

I've never played RE4 but I can tell it's importance even in the games that I play today. From all accounts it holds up and is well worth playing. It probably should be canonized but having not played it I can't say for sure.

Shadow of the Colossus deserves all the praise it gets. From the blend of gameplay, narrative and design to the artistic vision it is something to be lauded. It is one of the important games of all time and should be canonized.

I wouldn't canonize CoD 2 or GoW. CoD 2 was just a really good "yet another shooter" and GoW was just a really good "yet another action adventure". They may be the best at what they were, but what they were was a dime a dozen. They have been eclipsed since which makes them feel kind of average now.

Guitar Hero might have been very influential but it has also been eclipsed and likely doesn't hold up.

Looking over the full list of 2005 releases games that could come up in my opinion are:

  • Advanced Wars: Dual Strike
  • Nintendogs
  • Indigo Prophecy
  • We Love Katamari
#20 Posted by Hockeymask27 (3683 posts) -

RE4 but God of war was pretty dope.

#21 Posted by MikkaQ (10344 posts) -

I think Chaos Theory is one of the greatest stealth games of all time.

#22 Posted by MAGZine (438 posts) -

@Atlas said:

But I think the general consensus is that if Civ IV, Resident Evil 4, and Battlefield 2 haven't already been canonised, then it's past time they were.

i'm actually a little bit confused at this is the first mention of BF2. i mean, as good of games as the others listed are/were, i'm not sure you can ignore it.

#23 Posted by Little_Socrates (5718 posts) -
@MAGZine

@Atlas said:

But I think the general consensus is that if Civ IV, Resident Evil 4, and Battlefield 2 haven't already been canonised, then it's past time they were.

i'm actually a little bit confused at this is the first mention of BF2. i mean, as good of games as the others listed are/were, i'm not sure you can ignore it.

For some reason I got the Modern Combat subtitle mixed up, and I thought it was the bad console port a la Big Red One. BF2 should definitely be on the original list.

(from the mobile site, can't edit it)
#24 Posted by Krataur (411 posts) -

@Vod_Crack: Isn't that technically 4 words?

Civ IV easily gets a vote from me. I'd support RE4 as well, since while I wasn't a huge fan of it, it's clearly a highly regarded game that's stood the test of time.

I also want to mention TimeSplitters Future Perfect. One of my favorite FPS's of all time.

#25 Posted by Daneian (1251 posts) -

@Chaser324 said:

@Daneian said:

  • RE4 (revolutionized 3rd person shooters)
  • God of War (production value, epic boss fights, QTE's)
  • Geometry Wars (set XBLA and thus digital content on consoles)
  • Shadow of the Colossus (games as art debate)

Even though others are enjoyable, these are the ones that have had long reaching impacts on gaming.

I agree with all of these, but I feel like you have to also include Guitar Hero. That game resurrected the rhythm game genre and expanded its appeal to a massive casual audience (for better or worse).

I think Guitar Hero is a special case. It had a very large impact for a few years, but is more a snapshot of a moment in videogame history. Also, if memory serves, the music rhythm genre didn't explode until Guitar Hero 2 and was helped by the casual games boom brought on by the Wii, both of which disappeared as quickly as they came.

#26 Posted by pyromagnestir (4339 posts) -

KOTOR II was 2004. And unfinished. Either of those things should disqualify it from this list.

Shadow of the Colossus is my jam. And I also should get around to playing Psychonauts one of these days.

#27 Posted by Kaiserhawk (62 posts) -

Star Wars Battlefront

#29 Posted by impartialgecko (1689 posts) -

I think RE4, God of War and Geometry Wars are probably the most influential of those. I'd agree with Shadow of the Colossus as well. For me 2005 was a bit of an off year for videogames.

#30 Posted by Pr1mus (3952 posts) -

RE4 and Shadow of the Colossus here too for reasons others have already explained.

#31 Posted by ImmortalSaiyan (4702 posts) -

RE4 for sure. It is a absolutely fantastic game and one of my favorites. As other have mentioned Shadow of the Colossus and God of War could be supported on such a list.

I am assuming that Ninja Gaiden Black does not count as it is an update of the 2004 Ninja Gaiden game.

#32 Posted by Little_Socrates (5718 posts) -

@pyromagnestir said:

KOTOR II was 2004. And unfinished. Either of those things should disqualify it from this list.

Noted, the PC port launched in '05. Striking it from the list, adding in Battlefield 2.

@ImmortalSaiyan: NGB is a rerelease, yeah. If you wanted to canonize specifically that version and not Ninja Gaiden 1 in general, though, that would be fine. Is Sigma not better than Black anyways, though?

@Daneian said:

@Chaser324 said:

@Daneian said:

  • RE4 (revolutionized 3rd person shooters)
  • God of War (production value, epic boss fights, QTE's)
  • Geometry Wars (set XBLA and thus digital content on consoles)
  • Shadow of the Colossus (games as art debate)

Even though others are enjoyable, these are the ones that have had long reaching impacts on gaming.

I agree with all of these, but I feel like you have to also include Guitar Hero. That game resurrected the rhythm game genre and expanded its appeal to a massive casual audience (for better or worse).

I think Guitar Hero is a special case. It had a very large impact for a few years, but is more a snapshot of a moment in videogame history. Also, if memory serves, the music rhythm genre didn't explode until Guitar Hero 2 and was helped by the casual games boom brought on by the Wii, both of which disappeared as quickly as they came.

I simply think that Guitar Hero was very definitely surpassed by Guitar Hero II and III, along with the first two Rock Band games. There's an argument to be made for the setlist in GH1, but simply being important and seminal isn't necessarily enough to be canonized. Generally speaking, that was the major striking point against most of the 2011 games; that people believed they'd be surpassed by the next game in the series, whether that's Batman: Arkham 3 or TES VI. Again, we're talking about RE4 and not Killswitch.

#33 Posted by ajkent (36 posts) -

Let's talk Psychonauts for a second.

As far as I know, it received universal acclaim from everyone who ever played it. Many tend to use the term "creative" to describe the game, but I want to point out the immense variety (without spoiling):

  • The level design had a huge variety of physical layouts in one game - think of the difference between Baby Park and Rainbow Road in Mario Kart
  • Raz and the rest of the group were some of the most memorable characters I've even encountered.
  • The objectives varied widely from "run through the platforms" to "find the items to solve puzzles"
  • The art style was colorful and vibrant. Every area had a different look, but still felt cohesive.
  • The humor was sharp, witty, and always surprising.

But what should canonize this game is the fact that no one played it. For the first time I can really remember, this was a game that we all knew we should play, but simply never did. Killer7 (and Eternal Darkness two years before) were fantastic but not always played games for a particular subgroup of people. Psychonauts is a game that everyone has on their list.

#34 Posted by ImmortalSaiyan (4702 posts) -

@Little_Socrates: I never played all of Sigma so I can't say for certain but from what I did play I think Black is better. Some of the level design was changed in sigma, personally I think every time for the worse. At least up to chapter 7 or 8. They removed some puzzles and switched some item placement around. This messed with the pacing of Black. Non of the new chapters with Rachel were all that good as she was not very enjoyable to play and again, throwing her chapters in the main game messed with the flow. The new weapon and enemy type were not very good either.

#35 Posted by Aetheldod (3737 posts) -

Shadow of The Colossus its the game to canonize

#36 Posted by WMWA (1162 posts) -

God Of War, RE4, Shadow of the Colossus, and Guitar Hero for me. They all did something either revolutionary, or set the bar insanely high with people still cribbing some things from them to this day. I think we can discount whether or not the sequels were better for this argument

#37 Posted by ArbitraryWater (12134 posts) -

Resident Evil 4 is the obvious one. I'd have to think about it a bit more to include anything else.

#38 Posted by project343 (2838 posts) -

In order for me:

  1. Psychonauts
  2. Shadow of the Colossus
  3. Resident Evil 4
  4. Chaos Theory
  5. Guild Wars
#39 Posted by Little_Socrates (5718 posts) -

@project343 said:

In order for me:

  1. Psychonauts
  2. Shadow of the Colossus
  3. Resident Evil 4
  4. Chaos Theory
  5. Guild Wars

For the record, this would probably be my five in a modified order. I could see myself swapping Chaos Theory and Guild Wars for Civilization IV and DMC3.

#40 Posted by Slag (4899 posts) -

@Little_Socrates said:

There's a lot of really great games on this list, and I would struggle to pick any less than five, myself.

This is more about celebrating and thinking about how good modern games really still can be than it is about meticulously fighting each other on a question of rankings. Games are maybe one of the few medium where single-year comparison still makes a lot of sense, though we're definitely starting to see patterns emerging with the two-or-three year cycle most developers work under these days. But 2005 is a launch year, and one where some patterns are definitely broken.

If there's more decent response to this thread, maybe I'll make a similar thread for other years. While 2005 seems overflowing in choices and 2011 seemed completely sparse, there are definitely years in between where the choices become more obvious.

Oooooo fun topic. I've said a couple times in other places that it would be cool if GiantBomb had a "Hall of Fame" to go along with/replace GOTY.

I guess the main thing is what is your criteria to being considered "all-time great"? And what is the relative weightings of said criteria, e.g. how much should sales be weighted vs technological innovation. etc.

kinda hard to know what to pick unless you know how to judge them.

I do think the best games are in your list though.

#41 Posted by coaxmetal (1658 posts) -

there are some really good games on that list, RE4 probablt my favorite. But none of them deserve the title of "all time greats". The best games on the list are end of the ps2 generation titles.

#42 Posted by Milkman (17341 posts) -

Resident Evil 4 is the obvious one. Guitar Hero is another one that completely changed the landscape of the games industry. While not as revolutionary as a RE 4 or Guitar Hero, God of War will probably be remembered and Psychonauts will remain a cult classic.

That's all I got.

#43 Posted by DystopiaX (5364 posts) -

RE4, Guitar Hero for impact.

#44 Posted by bkbroiler (1642 posts) -

@MikkaQ said:

I think Chaos Theory is one of the greatest stealth games of all time.

Agreed. And no one gives the game credit for this, but it is so much fun to run around and just stab everyone you can in a level.

#45 Posted by MAGZine (438 posts) -

@Little_Socrates said:

@pyromagnestir said:

KOTOR II was 2004. And unfinished. Either of those things should disqualify it from this list.

Noted, the PC port launched in '05. Striking it from the list, adding in Battlefield 2.

@ImmortalSaiyan: NGB is a rerelease, yeah. If you wanted to canonize specifically that version and not Ninja Gaiden 1 in general, though, that would be fine. Is Sigma not better than Black anyways, though?

@Daneian said:

@Chaser324 said:

@Daneian said:

  • RE4 (revolutionized 3rd person shooters)
  • God of War (production value, epic boss fights, QTE's)
  • Geometry Wars (set XBLA and thus digital content on consoles)
  • Shadow of the Colossus (games as art debate)

Even though others are enjoyable, these are the ones that have had long reaching impacts on gaming.

I agree with all of these, but I feel like you have to also include Guitar Hero. That game resurrected the rhythm game genre and expanded its appeal to a massive casual audience (for better or worse).

I think Guitar Hero is a special case. It had a very large impact for a few years, but is more a snapshot of a moment in videogame history. Also, if memory serves, the music rhythm genre didn't explode until Guitar Hero 2 and was helped by the casual games boom brought on by the Wii, both of which disappeared as quickly as they came.

I simply think that Guitar Hero was very definitely surpassed by Guitar Hero II and III, along with the first two Rock Band games. There's an argument to be made for the setlist in GH1, but simply being important and seminal isn't necessarily enough to be canonized. Generally speaking, that was the major striking point against most of the 2011 games; that people believed they'd be surpassed by the next game in the series, whether that's Batman: Arkham 3 or TES VI. Again, we're talking about RE4 and not Killswitch.

You put BF2: Modern Combat on the list. Is this correct? Battlefield 2 and Battlefield 2: Modern Combat are vast different games.

#46 Posted by Chumm (246 posts) -

Jade Empire is a pretty glaring omission in this list, in my opinion. Also the 360 launch titles feel forced in the face of the rest of the list, Amped's cutscenes are amazing but beyond that the game is pretty average.

#47 Posted by Little_Socrates (5718 posts) -

@MAGZine: Gawdammit, so I was right the first time and just totally missed Battlefield 2. Edited to reflect your correction.

@Chumm: The year was chosen largely due to the launch of the 360 and PSP, but it's fair to feel that way.

#48 Posted by Claude (16254 posts) -
@Chumm said:

Jade Empire is a pretty glaring omission in this list, in my opinion. Also the 360 launch titles feel forced in the face of the rest of the list, Amped's cutscenes are amazing but beyond that the game is pretty average.

I had some MS Points and just bought Jade Empire. Never played it. Go figure. Thanks for reminding me.
#49 Posted by frankfartmouth (1018 posts) -

RE4, Shadow of the Colossus, and God of War would be the hall of famers to me. Civilization 4 would be on the bubble.

#50 Edited by Fredchuckdave (6164 posts) -

Resident Evil 4 is the best action game of all time that involves RPG elements. God of War is superb, but God of War II is better in most every respect, though its still just a slight upgrade over a fantastic base. DMC3 is the best technical DMC game but generally less fun than DMC4 and vastly inferior to Bayonetta. There's a lot of fantastic games that came out in 2006 and 2004 though so kind of a weird choice as opposed to just saying "What games from the previous generation are all time greats?" San Andreas, MGS3, God of War 2, Valkyrie Profile 2, Thousand Year Door, Final Fantasy XII (eh its debatable but its still better than most of the games listed that came out in 2005), Rogue Galaxy, Metroid Prime Echoes, Zero Mission, all sorts of games; but instead you wind up with this weird ass list. Resistance is better than any of the 360 launch titles, but it sure as hell isn't Mario 64 and launch titles are still dreadful.