#1 Posted by benspyda (2030 posts) -

I just recently made a list of games that came to mind that I immediately fell in love with last generation. I've realised that despite enjoying a lot of games last gen there is a certain style of game that I get completely got caught up in more so than others.

So name a few games in recent memory that you have become completely absorbed into and couldn't put down. What is it about the game that made you feel that way about it?

#2 Edited by benspyda (2030 posts) -

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

I don't like being told how to live my life, thankfully Skyrim has no intention of forcing anything down my throat. A giant dragon saves your life, destroys an entire town and then it's up to you. Some people found this part of Skyrim daunting, but I found it to be the greatest gaming experience of my life.

Over 500 hours in and I still regularly take holidays to Skyrim and thanks to steam workshop support, there is always something new to see.

#3 Edited by TheManWithNoPlan (5212 posts) -

My love for the Pokemon franchise goes beyond it's mechanics and seemingly innocent aesthetic. Ever since I was a kid Pokemon has meant more to me than that. It's what a lot of people like to call gaming comfort food. I'm 19 years old, so I was around 2 or 3 when the original Gen 1 games came out. I was introduced to it by my cousin from what I remember. Obviously as a kid that young I didn't approach the game the way I would as an older gamer. I didn't break down it's simple mechanics as being too easy. I didn't bash the game for having a barely existing story and I didn't approach it the same way most people too old to care do nowadays.

The Pokemon games were more to me than a simple Jrpg. It was a grand journey that took me through my childhood and several generations of games. Whenever I was going through difficult school or home life it was a positive escape. I could stop being a chubby kid bullied at school and become my alter ego as a Pokemon trainer extraordinaire. I could escape my fairly abrasive parent's arguments by continuing my journey to catch em all and beat the elite four.

This took me to around the age of ten (Right after playing and loving the Gen 3 games), when I stopped being actively interested in the franchise. I only rediscovered my past love with the release of Pokemon Heartgold and Soulsilver back in 2010. A remake for the ds of my favorite game in the series. I can't express how much I enjoyed replaying those games. I think I put in around 150 hours by the end of the game. Of course it doesn't take that long to beat the game, but collecting and perfecting a team made up of my favorite Pokemon kept me going for a while.

All in all, I can still go and play any of the Pokemon games and instantly revert back to being that chubby kid from the late 90's and early 2000's. I can still find that childlike wonder and happiness I harbored as a kid. In fact, as far as I remember, my first memories of playing a game period was Pokemon blue. Either that or frogger on the Genesis...yeah, I had a Genesis in the late 90's. I have no idea how, but It was my first console.

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A lot of what I expressed here can also attribute my love for the first two (1 and 2, not chain of memories) Kingdom hearts games. A lot of what most people, including myself to some extent, now consider to be cryptic Jrpg bullshit, didn't even cross my mind at a younger age. There was an strong sense of mystery, atmosphere and adventure to the Kingdom hearts games. They were something I could explore and try to understand. They were a challenge I could accomplish. It wasn't bullshit back then. It was adventure.

And I know they're generally considered easy games, but when I was a kid they were super difficult. I remember the string of boss fights near the end of two took me weeks to get through. Kingdom hearts was basically to me at a younger age, what Dark Souls is to me now. I know a lot of gamers don't understand why so many people like the franchise, and I specifically remember Jeff being terrified and severely confused when people flipped the fuck out when KH3 was announced at the Sony conference last E3, but it's pretty simple why. I may be wrong, but I believe it's because people grew up with it and directly associate it with their younger gaming memories. Nostalgia, yes I know being nostalgic for a Ps2 game may seem crazy, but that's where we're at nowadays. Gaming's been around for quite a while, and kids continue to grow up with different generations of consoles.

I've had quite a rocky past with Dark Souls. I've gone from being mildly interested to wholly disinterested to being madly in love. Despite my shaky beginnings with the game, I came to love Dark Souls for it's tough but fair mechanics, haunting atmosphere and it's great execution of the underdog to champion formula.

Many a time I came across a seemingly insurmountable obstacle, but after enough perseverance I accomplished what at first I thought nigh impossible. I never actually thought I'd beat Dark Souls, until I finally did around late last year. Let me tell you, I've never felt such a rush with a game as I did beating Smough and Ornstien, and eventually Lord Gwynn.

The world is an interconnected wonder, the combat system is made to make every encounter meaningful, and no matter what level you're at or equipment you have, if you're good enough, you can make it all the way through the game. The overwhelming sense of satisfaction and accomplishment you get making your way in a Souls games is why I absolutely love the series.

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#4 Edited by Zevvion (1830 posts) -

========== XCOM: Enemy Within ==========

I had put over 300 hours into Enemy Unknown before the expansion, Enemy Within, came out. I never thought they could've improved the game so much in an expansion. It's not so much Enemy Within in particular, as Enemy Unknown already obviously had my focus. But it is just that much better to reignite the flame of love I had for the game. I still play Enemy Within to this day, nearing the 200 hour mark. Which would mean a total of 500 hours of play. I love the strategy layer, I love the tactics. I love the advancement of technology and skills. I love how your soldiers are valuable and you might actually choose to abort a mission to keep your soldiers alive. There is no game I can think of where I ever aborted instead of taking a huge risk. XCOM had me invested in my soldiers.

A lot of criticism that the game has received, is something that I actually enjoy. By the end game, if you played well, your soldiers will be very powerful. It is very rewarding to destroy those aliens that frightened you so earlier on. Due to better equipment, amazing skills that your experienced soldiers developed... I love this game. It is one of my favorite games of all time.

========== Dark Souls II ==========

It's a shame that this game only just released, as calling it one of my favorite games of all time will sound disingenous. But, that is what it is though. I've finished the game 4 times as of this writing. Making my way through the 5th time. I am addicted to this game. It is flat out amazing. The series is known for being punishingly hard, but it actually isn't. What it does is offering you a real challenge without holding your hand. Once you understand the game and you pay attention, you will make it through the game not dying much. Once your attention drops, you'll die. At first, when you don't know what you're doing, you'll die. Your first time through the game is a right of passage. If you make it through, you can now start playing the game seriously.

Difficulty can be seen in a lot of different ways. Everyone can finish Dark Souls II. Not everyone can do it without dying that much. Without losing your souls that often. Without wondering if you should have done something different. This is where I get most of the enjoyment from. Discovering everything. Doing a playthrough where I feel in complete control after I did a playthrough feeling like everything could kill me. When I got there, I was still having a lot of fun, even though the game wasn't that challenging for me anymore. It's that point that it's become easy, because I became great. The game didn't back down for me, I conquered the game. Also, as a bonus, the story is really, really great. You won't understand much of it having finished it once. You probably still won't understand it having finished it twice. But it's there. And it is decyfered by the community itself, as many tiny pieces form the story.

In case you wondered, yes, I've also played Dark Souls and yeah, I do love that game as well. I played that for a bit over 200 hours. It is a very hard choice and on some fronts I do like Dark Souls better than Dark Souls II, but I like Dark Souls II better overall. Reason being the PvP in DSII is more enjoyable for me. Which, by the way, the online systems in DSII are amazing. They enrich the experience. I love every part of it. Being invaded, invading sinners, being summoned to protect the bell and of course, putting down my summon sign to help others defeat bosses. Besides that, NG+ in Dark Souls was a bit of a joke. It was very, very easy. Much easier than the first playthrough. In DSII, NG+ is actually harder. They account for your level and equipment to a much greater degree. They place more enemies and phantoms in places you don't expect them. In fact, I almost died on the tutorial level in NG+. The story also receives more attention in NG+. It is truly a great experience. It's up there with XCOM for me, if not a tad above it.

========== Mass Effect 3 ==========

Okay, let's get real. It's almost impossible to like a game in the Mass Effect series without liking the others to some extent. It is as true a trilogy as trilogies are. Each game on its own is it's own thing and can be played as such, but the game reaches its highest point if you also played the others and had your choices carry over. While I like all three, if I had to choose one, it had to be ME3. The combat system, the actual gameplay, reached its high point here. While it was possible to play the game on the Insanity difficulty before, it was much more of a skill and tactical game in ME3 to play it that way. Combo's of your powers mattered more. More combo's were possible. It was more fluent, faster and had higher impact.

I do also like the focus on the squad members in ME2, but ME3 didn't leave that behind. They just focused on less characters which was disappointing, but they still very much mattered and were fleshed out. I know I'm one of the few, but as I can share my opinion here, I actually really liked the story in ME3. I thought the reveal where the Reapers came from and what their intentions are actually was believable compared to how it was set up in the first game. Yes, the ultimate ending left me a bit disappointed, but a couple minutes of dialogue could have changed that for me. Most importantly, I thoroughly appreciated how they managed to address nearly every major side-story that the series had told. The genophage, the Quarian / Geth war, Mordin's dilemma, Anderson's legacy, the Illusive Man's vision... it was all very well handled. Might I add... All of it. I was really impressed and never imagined they would do all that.

Lastly, the multiplayer was straight up amazing. It still is. It's been a couple months since I last played, but I intent to pick it up again at some point. It is the best 'horde' type multiplayer I have ever played. The different difficulties also allowed for so much. On Bronze and Silver, you could just solo for a while, which could be a lot of fun. On Gold you had to use team work. Sticking together. On Platinum, you would even need to use powers in combo in order to be successful. This was where I was amazed the most. Teamwork reached a level I had never experienced in a game before. Not to mention it was a lot of fun unlocking new things. I hope the next Mass Effect game will also feature this type of multiplayer.

========= Final Fantasy X =========

Not sure what to say here. Final Fantasy X is just the best JRPG I have ever played. Overdrives are awesome, the characters were cool, even though I know few people agree with me on that. The story was very impactful for my 14 year old brain. Leveling and maxing your characters was fun. Creating your own armors was a lot of fun. Acquiring the Celestial Weapons was... shit; let's be honest. But using them was cool.

And you know what? Blitzball was a good idea that worked really well. I sometimes just play the game for Blitzball. Even though the world is actually liniaer, they sure made me feel like I was in a world with freedom. I found the world very believable. I'm not the biggest lover of traditional fantasy (orcs, wizards and miedival times), but I really like the type of fantasy in FFX. Oh, the summons are also cool.

I just really liked the game and still play it about once every two years to completion and including the Dark Aeons and Penance.

There are more games I really like, but I'm done writing for a bit.

#5 Posted by benspyda (2030 posts) -

@themanwithnoplan: I started playing through Kingdom Hearts 1 again and initially I was worried as the early portion of the game made the combat seem so much more brain dead than I remembered. You mash attack to counter enemies and you mash attack to kill enemies. That was all you got. But now I'm getting more AP to add skills like dodge roll, I'm getting way more into it again. It's still not very deep but I love going to the different disney themes worlds.

I did really enjoy a couple pokemon games back as a kid but I have been unable to enjoy a pokemon game since Silver and Gold. I guess not ever having that much interest in the Pokemon cards or TV show, I was a DBZ kid all the way, is why I have such little nostalgia for the series.

#6 Posted by fisk0 (3849 posts) -

In recent memory, the only one I can think of is last year's Rise of the Triad, which I think is fucking fantastic. All the weapons (most of them variants of rocket launchers) are ridiculous, and the community are constantly putting out new, fantastic maps that usually capitalize on the best, dumbest features of that game, including Trackmania style unlicensed popular music. Recently we've also been getting remakes of Goldeneye 64 and Sin maps.

Other than that I keep falling back to the original Descent, Command & Conquer, Hexen and Wing Commander, all of which I adore for various reasons.

#7 Posted by crithon (3075 posts) -

MGS3 especially the 2004 version without the right stick camera. It was frustrating first time playing, and actually took me 2 weeks to finish it because it'd be something really just different to take in. Like understand how to fight the Fury, or the specific timing on the Boss counters, or just understanding that the D pad was actually the slow walk so you can avoid being heard. But like after a while of thinking there's only one way, and then discovering there's multiple paths was when the game just open up to me.

#8 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11466 posts) -

Have I ever told you guys about Temple of Elemental Evil? Oh, I have? Twice? Whoops. That game is such a weird, singular thing that I can't help but be fascinated by it, even despite its obvious flaws. I can't think of any other game with such slavish devotion to recreating the pen and paper experience. Baldur's Gate 2 may still (and forever) be the king of Dungeons and Dragons CRPGs, but it's not nearly as crazy. (I also love BG2, but everyone loves that game)

I also think Fire Emblem is pretty dope. I don't know if you've heard that from me either.

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#9 Posted by tourgen (4427 posts) -

I remember playing thru Dead Space twice, back-to-back. The lighting and environment design was awesome in that game. The character controls and encounters were pretty good too.

I love exploration in games so Mass Effect and Demon's Souls really grabbed me too. Both were pretty singular experiences. Not many games like them get made. Skyrim too somewhat, but the environments are so similar and copy-paste that I left it not feeling as good about it as the others.

#10 Posted by Aetheldod (3509 posts) -

Half Life 2 and its episodes Its the finest fps ever , no matter what the haters say

Metal Gear Solid 3 Snake Eater Best metal gear and the Boss and Big Boss are the shit ... so its Eva <3

Demon´s Souls Dark Souls 1 & 2 Never though that these games would be of my liking also love how dark and cryptic and atmospheric they are.

Xenogears robots cool battle system also soylent green ... need I say more?

Brutal Legend Only game to heve ever made justice for heavy metal

Ace combat 4 -5 and Zero the Belkan war ... these have such amazing stories also love how by the end of the games your enemies know who you are and fear you , also the music is magnificent

Final Fantasy Tactic Medieval stories had never been as good and cool as in this one.

#11 Posted by falserelic (5312 posts) -

I'll just talk about Warframe since it's the most recent. I've been playing the shit out of this game, and just having a ball trying out different characters (AKA Warframes). At the moment I'm in the process of upgrading my newest Warframes Ash, Loki, Oberon.

Ash is a Stealth character. I don't have him at he's full potential yet, but he's a nice break from the assault characters

Very fun Warframe to use. He's got some kickass abilities, and a devastating slam attack. You'll feel like a badass each and everytime you use it.

Like Ash, Loki is a stealth Warframe. I had him for free at first when I first played the game, but deleted him because I didn't find him to be fun. After playing the game for months and watching vids of Warframe about Loki. I decided to buy him and give him another chance. So far I'm finding him to be more fun then ash. Since I have more knowledge about the game from months of playing. I found a good use of how to improvise with he's skill set.

#12 Posted by believer258 (11628 posts) -

@falserelic: My brother has put something like 150 hours into Warframe over the past several months. I'll try it someday, I just don't have time right now.

Skyrim is probably the game I'd point to for this, if we're confining everything to the generation that just got wrapped up. The world, the freedom, the aesthetics, the somber but beautiful tone permeating the whole thing - all of that just appealed to me so much, and at the right time in my life.

I've been replaying Mass Effect 2 on the PC. I haven't played it in about two years and never on the PC, so it's pretty fresh now and I'm liking it more than I ever have. I kinda rushed through it the first two times I played it, so this time I'm taking it slow and it's pretty great. I liked it a lot then and I'm liking it even more now.

Chrono Trigger, Super Metroid, Crash 2 and 3, and SMT Nocturne are all games from older generations that I constantly praise. You guys should try all of them. On the PC front, Half-Life and Doom never get old. It seems like I wind up playing through Half-Life every single year for some reason.

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#13 Posted by SgtSphynx (1262 posts) -

Vagrant Story - I value story over gameplay, if a game gives me a good story, or even if it's just a compelling or interesting story, that game is more likely to stick with me. In Vagrant Story's case, the story is great, and I like the gameplay. Another thing that I love in games is exploration, in this case the city of Lea Monde is put together in such a way that it feels like an abandoned city and exploring it was a lot of fun. I really want another Vagrant Story, or at least a remake with updated graphics.

Lufia 2: Rise of the Sinistrals - I will admit that the story in this game isn't the best, but I still love it. The characters are great. The Ancient Cave. And it has one of the best soundtracks ever in my opinion. And some of the remixes are phenomenal.

#14 Edited by benspyda (2030 posts) -

Souls Games

Like Skyrim, the souls games throw you into an unknown world with little guidance and yell out, VENTURE FORTH! The result being a sense of discovery and wonder like no other. The vast amount of weapons and builds allows me to return to those dark worlds over and over.

They're not "difficult games", they're just different. FROM SOFTWARE must just like the idea of trial by fire.

Bravely Default

I like making my numbers high. Bravely Default is happy to oblige me by giving me the tools to min-max to my hearts content. Yes, it's kinda like being tricked to play a math game, but making a dual katana wielding spell fencer who's specced to crit and target elemental weaknesses, is why I play games.

#15 Posted by TheManWithNoPlan (5212 posts) -
@benspyda said:

@themanwithnoplan: I started playing through Kingdom Hearts 1 again and initially I was worried as the early portion of the game made the combat seem so much more brain dead than I remembered. You mash attack to counter enemies and you mash attack to kill enemies. That was all you got. But now I'm getting more AP to add skills like dodge roll, I'm getting way more into it again. It's still not very deep but I love going to the different disney themes worlds.

I did really enjoy a couple pokemon games back as a kid but I have been unable to enjoy a pokemon game since Silver and Gold. I guess not ever having that much interest in the Pokemon cards or TV show, I was a DBZ kid all the way, is why I have such little nostalgia for the series.

I did the same thing when Hd remix came out last year. Just like you I thought the combat, at first, was a lot simpler (or as you put it, more brain dead) than I remembered, but it developed enough depth as the game went on to keep me having fun. The more skills you get, the crazier and fancier the combat looks. It's certainly fun to watch when you're eventually flying across the arena taking out baddies with all sorts of acrobatics.

I really hadn't played the game for years, so I was initially apprehensive about going back and it not holding up. It's certainly not as deep as I remember it being as a kid, but the novelty of exploring different Disney worlds definitely still holds up. I'll probably go through 2 again when it's Hd re release comes out.

As far as pokemon, I can definitely understand not having as much nostalgia as someone who was way into the show and trading cards. I was obsessed for most of my childhood. By the way, I was a Dbz kid too. So, "Internet high five!"

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#16 Edited by leafhouse (133 posts) -

No game before or since has felt as great to me as The Witcher 2 did. The combat felt fresh, the narrative was deep, the characters were one of a kind made even better with great voice-acting.

#17 Edited by Karmosin (210 posts) -

Persona 4 (both golden and original)

Well... Yeah. This was bound to happen. I do not praise this game as mindlessly as I used to though. It's not perfect. It is however a awesome game with fun mechanics, an interesting and engaging story that gives the spotlight to the greatest strength of the game, it's characters. And this is probably the closest I've felt to a bunch of polygons with textures ever. So many fun, sad, tough, akward moments are experienced with the crew, and when the game ends, you kinda feel like the main character. You're going away, but you'll come back and visit them again, many times... Seriously, I've beat the game like 4 times now and I just keep coming back.

The Megaten series.

I've always been interested in mythological stuff. Demons, angels, creatures all of it. The fact that Shin Megami Tensei-games are kinda like pokémon, but with demons is already attractive enough. Put on that then that it's one of the few JRPGs, alongside the persona-series, that I really enjoy playing. Mixing and fusing demons is addicting as hell and there's alot of depth to that system. The stories in the games are often very spartan in their presentation but for example SMT: Nocturne have a great story.

One of the main strong points for the series for me are Kazuma Kanekos demon-designs. The man has such a talent for creating bizarre and creative designs without striving too far from the source. My main inspiration when I draw and the series wouldn't be the same without him. Were sad to hear that he didn't come back for SMT4, seriously what is he doing right now?

Anyway, yeah. The Megaten-series. It's awesome.

#18 Edited by bigjeffrey (4771 posts) -

Alan Wake

I love just about everything about Alan Wake the great episodic format, fantastic VO (especially Alan Wake's), it also has the best atmosphere out of any game i've ever played. Definitely my favorite game of the past generation. Fucking night springs son.

Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne

Amazing writing, fucking great presentation of the story. Fantastic gun play. Fake TV shows are my weakness more games should have them.

Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 FES

why? Cause of Waifus

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#19 Edited by bluefish (427 posts) -

Seeing as Alan Wake has already been spoken for:

I could name Bioshock or Mass Effect 2 but I gotta throw one out to-

I fuckin' love this game. It's oozing with dark, strange personality and handles in a way contrary to most action-shooters. Little needless details fill up and fill out the world; from being able to watch hours of tv (from classic movies to '60's cartoons), collectibles being random phone numbers that (when taken to a payphone) call someone out there in the city around you who always has something to say about random f**king phone calls, to the fact that (when duel weilding) each pistol has it's own bullet trajectory. It's one of the few only shooters that makes you look at street signs to know how to get where you're going, that gives you side quests in the subway stations, that lets you watch a whole movie sitting with your girlfriend while at the same time letting you brutally impale people with demon arms...

all the while this guy talking right... in... your... ear...

voice clips and quotes

#20 Edited by BBAlpert (1369 posts) -
Orcs Must Die because it's like The Castle Doctrine but with less permadeath bullshit and more actual rad castles.

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#21 Edited by BabyChooChoo (4280 posts) -

Sanctum 2 was one of my favorite games to come out last year. And, to be honest, I never really considered exactly why until now...

Something about it just clicked with me. I'm not even really a huge fan of tower defense games or first-person shooters. There have been some I've enjoyed obviously, but that combination doesn't exactly get my heart racing, ya know? I bought it on a whim and had plenty of other games to play at the time so I don't think I liked it so much because I was "starved" for games to play either. It was just...fun. Being a tower defense game, the game is ultimately as hard as you wanna make it. The game does throw a few twists at you, but none of them ever felt cheap to me. Any time I lost, I felt like it was 100% completely my fault. The game gives you lots of options between the towers, characters, guns, and perks so you can experiment and handle each situation in your own way rather than by what some designer wanted you to do exactly. It isn't particularly ground-breaking in any area, but it has just enough personality in all the right places that it just stood out to me. This is one of those cases of a game knowing exactly what it wants to be and just doing that really, really well.

*insert segway here*...

This game will forever be an anomaly to me. Like..I don't really hold any love for Sega. I've played a few Sonic games and what not. Phantasy Star Online (which isn't even represented at all in this game) and JSRF are a couple of my favorite games of all time and I really liked Burning Rangers, but I still don't consider myself a Sega "fan." This game wasn't even on my radar. Saw it pop up in a Steam sale and figured why the hell not?

What in the actual fuck? Why is this game so good? Like..."way better than Mario Kart" good? Good as in "good for any game" good and not "for a kart racer" good? To say I had a blast playing this would be an understatement. I was like one big ass child the entire time I spent with this game. I already told the story on here once or twice, but when I played that Burning Rangers level and heard Chris' voice on the comms, I lost my shit. I jumped up and started laughing and screaming and had the duuuuuuuuuuuumbest grin on my face. This game right here. This fucking Sonic kart racing game got a reaction out of me I don't think I've had in years. Games still get me to react in other ways all the time, but few...very few...have made me feel like a kid again when everything was fucking awesome.

It looks like a fucking dream. The music is so damn good that I listen to it on a regular basis. It's gotten me to go back and play some old Sega games I've never touched before. It was brilliant. It's easily one of my favorite games this generation and possibly of all time. It didn't make my top 25 list, but I think it makes my top 50 games of all time easily and I've played a lot of fucking games.