End break music! Okay here I'll finish up from my last blog post with years 2000-2009, if you didn't read part one now's a good time to do so, don't worry, I'll wait....
Okay you done? Let's continue.
2000- Skies of Arcadia ( DC)
2001- Final Fantasy X ( PS2)
I'll probably catch some flak for this but in my opinion Final Fantasy X is probably the last truly good Final Fantasy. People may argue that point with me for two possible reasons, the first reason is that they think the last good Final Fantasy came before Final Fantasy X and the second possible reason is that they somehow think Final Fantasy XI and XII qualify as good. Don't get me wrong, I played the last two Final Fantasies and many of the spin offs all while scoffing at them, which I think only proves what a fanboy I am, but it's all beside the point.
Back when the PS2 first came out, this was the game that most of us looked forward to along with Metal Gear Solid 2 and it was mostly due to how gorgeous it looked. I liked the story and the gameplay plenty, I was even fond of the music, but I think this is one game that sold me mostly with looks alone.
2002- Resident Evil Zero ( GCN)
Okay I'll admit, I haven't always been the rabid fan of Resident Evil that I am, in fact I was too downright terrified of the games to play them, up until this point and with some assistance from a game that will be showing up later that should be no surprise. Resident Evil Zero was the turning point for me where I really started to enjoy the classic Resident Evil formula. It's definitely not the scariest or even the hardest game in the series, in fact it's kinda easy. What it is is a good introduction to the series for new players like me. Also is it just me or do Billy and Rebecca seem like the only smart protagonists in the series, it's a zombie outbreak people, stay the fuck together!
2003- Fire Emblem: Blazing sword ( GBA)
Alright, last Fire Emblem I promise, but this one's possibly the most important since it marks Fire Emblem's first entry into the western market. This is easilly one of the best games in the series with incredibly strong characters and a great story, it also has some beautiful artwork that's used to tell certain sections of the story. Most people will be familar with the protagonist from the previous game in the series, Roy, which was the game that introduced me to the Fire Emblem series. This game stars Roy's father Eliwood and in my opinion it features a stronger storyline. If you're looking for an introduction to the Fire Emblem series this game is definitely where you should start.
2004- Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater ( PS2)
I've managed to get this far without mentioning Metal Gear Solid, which is impressive since I'm a big fan of the series, I was however saving myself for this, my favorite game in the series. For starters, being a stereotypical brit who likes vinegar on his chips and a nice cup of tea every now and then, I'm a sucker for James Bond. This game has a better James Bond style storyline than any of the actual James Bond games and even features a James Bond style intro sequence. Aside from that it's got some of the best characters in the series and generally speaking manages to avoid the mindfuck plot twists found in the other entries in the series.
2005- Resident Evil 4 ( GCN)
Okay I admit it, somewhere along the way we hopped on the train to Obvious Town, but Resident Evil 4 really is one of the best games ever and it's what really got me into the Resident Evil series. It's more action focused and if I'm going to play a game that's scary that's kind of how I want it. It's got some great atmosphere and at times succeeds in being one of the scariest or at least one of the most tense entries in the series. It also has some great unlockables and secrets that make it satisfying and well worth it to play through multiple times.
2006- Dead Rising ( Xbox360)
Perhaps I'm a sucker for killing zombies because I hate the lazy bastards but aside from that Dead Rising does feel significant for me. It's a game that truly manages to do a good job replicating a zombie outbreak, for starters there's going to be tons of the buggers and secondly you're going to have to make the choice to save yourself and let others die or rick your life to help people. I personally enjoy the fact that there's a lot more in this game to find than you might think and it's great to see the effects different weapons have on zombies (I still think it's hilarious to break plant pots over their heads.)
(Honourable mention, the game I would like to put in this spot but I've barely played: Okami)
2007- Mass Effect ( Xbox360)
You may think we're still on the train to Obvious Town, but think about it, Call of Duty 4 came out this year aswell and I'm not putting it in this spot, do something about it! In all seriousness though I'm a pretty big fan of Star Wars and Star Trek (if being a fan means I watched the original series and next generation and refuse to watch any further) and Mass Effect generally feels like playing a truly interactive version of those. I enjoyed the character interaction and feeling like I was actually having an influence on the story and my character's actions. I admit the combat was a little clunky in spots, but I very much enjoyed it for what it was.
2008- Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 ( PS2)
Train to Obvious Town? Well, the Endurance Run aside, this is still a pretty niche title outside of this particular website, which is a shame because it's one of the best examples of story telling I've seen in ANY medium. I love the characters, I love the music and I love the story and the relavant message it tries to get across, it truly is a masterfully crafted package. For the people who have only seen the Endurance Run I highly recommend playing it for yourselves, it's really something that should be experienced first hand.
Okay, we've made it to this year and it's hard to pick just one game from this year, not least of all because it's about that time of the year when everyone'll be talking about what was their personal game of the year. In the face of such a choice, for me it has to be something that holds an actual personal significance for me, something that I've been waiting for for a very long time and that I expect to be playing many years down the line...
2009- Street Fighter IV ( Xbox360, PS3, PC)
Yeah I'm gonna call my personal game of the year Street Fighter IV. This was the game I was by far the most hyped about this year, I got the collector's edition, all the clothes packs, all three of the official controllers made by mad catz and I just bought it again for the Xbox360 just so I can play against a different set of people. This game is excellent, I'd go so far as to say the best fighting game ever made. It's created a new generation of fighting game fans just like Street Fighter II did years ago and it's something I've always wanted to see make a comeback. Personally I can't wait for Super Street Fighter IV next year.
So that's a it, a favorite game for every year I've been alive. I was lucky to be introduced to this medium at a very young age and it's been with me for pretty much my entire life, which I'll always be thankful for. I'd be interested to see what this list would look like in another 22 years, whether games continue to evolve as a medium and an art form as they have been doing. I for one can't wait to share years 2010-2032 with you someday.