By lordofultima 12 Comments
10. Killer 7
Nintendo Gamecube, 2005
This game is insane. Killer 7 is criticized often for just about everything, but that's what makes it all the more compelling. The story is a smorgasbord or eastern and western influences, with seedy biblical and political undertones that make it one hell of a ride. Of course I'm probably reading too far into this. You take on the split personalities of a man named Garcia (spoilers?), all of which are different assassins. There's a dude in a gimp suit, tons of blood, and some of the weirdest game play you've ever seen. I really am trying to explain this, but it's not working out. Maybe that's why I love it.
09. Vagrant Story
Sony Playstation, 2000
One the eve of the PS1's destruction came a bizarre RPG with a chaining-combo system the blew my mind. I never thought it would be so awesome to play a dude names Ashley, but it was just that. The story is presented in a very mature fashion ala Final Fantasy Tactics, and even features the same musical composer to boot. What ultimately sets this game apart from every other title of its time is the way that it approaches game design. There is no interaction with people or shops, and instead heavily focuses on the dungeon crawl, complete with weapon customization and strategic puzzle-solving.
08. Silent Hill
Sony Playstation, 1999
This is an interesting game in an interesting position on this list, because as a whole I can say that I don't enjoy Silent Hill very much. This may sound weird, but what I love about Silent Hill and the sequels to follow is that it creates unease and restlessness. It was probably the scariest game of its time, and ranks up high in the sheer amount of "holy shit" moments. Everything about this game makes me glad I'm not playing it right now, but at the same time I kind of want to go play it. Sure, you found a giant can of light bulbs and a pyramid head raping a mannequin in Silent Hill 2, but nothing beats butcher-knife wielding babies.
07. Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn
This was a case of right place right time for me, as I had never played anything like Baldur's Gate before -- any American RPGs for that matter. Everything about this game just blew me away, the zany characters introduced right at the offset, including a man that carries a rat in his pocket, The micro-management of party members, that sheer openness and mass customization available, and the massive amount of time investment. It's a D&D game, not that I'd ever notice because I was never into that sort of thing, and I never was again after BGII. Maybe because we've moved on from those conventions, or maybe just because I have yet to seen it done better than Shadows of Amn. I rest my case.
06. Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
Sony Playstation 2, 2001
I'll be the first to admit my blind allegiance to anything Metal Gear, yet lately I've actually gotten a mind of my own, and can detest over the final entry in the series all I wish. This doesn't change the fact that MGS2 completely blew me away on every sensory level possible. I was WAY into MGS1, but not to this level. By the end of the game I felt that my outlook on humanity had changed, and that most people aren't so bad, even if they have mechanical octo-arms and are hell-bent on killing their own son. The triple-double crossing of just about everyone, naked cartwheels, and all that fuss about A.I. and Solid Snake Simulations, and oh man Revolver Ocelot, his last awesome rendition before he was turned into Liquid Snake for whatever horrible reason Kojima decided.
Stay tuned for my top 5!