By lordofultima 30 Comments
So here we are, my top five is finally upon us. It's going to be pretty predictable if you know me, but that's sort of what makes me, ME. But first, I thought I would discuss a little on the games that you didn't see on the list -- they just missed the cut.
Close, but no cigar
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (PC)I really put a lot of time into this game, and it's first on my list for "new" games that might have been included on a "top" list. I've played through it numerous times, investing 40-60 hours each time. I absolutely love The Dark Brotherhood and Thieves Guild quest-lines.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64)Cue the upset fanboys. I loved this game, and it was probably my favorite N64 game ever, but even that's not enough to make it. I regardless had a wonderful time playing through this game multiple times.
Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse (NES)My second-favorite Castlevaina, and not quite enough for this list. I remember the super-difficulty and the wonderful soundtrack, and the different characters and paths you could take through the story.
In The Hunt (PS1)This game was a great metal slug clone except for the fact that you were in a submarine the whole time. I really enjoyed this back in the day and would love to find a copy of it, but it fell just short of this list.
Clock Tower (PS1)This is a similar case to Silent Hill, in that I didn't really enjoy the game at all. I was always on edge, and a crazy man with giant scissors was chasing me around everywhere. Probably the scariest game I've ever played.
...and now, on to the show!
05. Rainbow Six: Raven Shield
There is nothing quite like this game, and there probably never will be. This is my counterstrike essentially, albeit much more tactical, and even less noob-friendly. I don't really like MP shooters that have a respawns, I probably will always hold a grudge against what Rainbow Six has become because of this. The single player let you completely plan out every action your team was going to take, but it was the multiplayer that brought me into competitive gaming. It didn't require ridiculous reflexes, just a steady shot or two and a bit of patience. Memorizing the map layout and learning of the advantages of each teams spawn, peeking around corners, switching to single shot, all of this is just too much to type here. I was in some clans over my long tenure with Raven Shield, made tons of friends, had a great time...it was one of the coolest moments in my life. I almost feel sorry for all the people who played this on the Xbox. Almost.
04. Final Fantasy VIII
Sony Playstation, 1999
A lot of people will say FF6 or 7 was where it was at, maybe even 10. But they're wrong of course. Final Fantasy VIII was such a huge step above its predecessors it's not even funny. No more popeye arms, shallow main characters, or magic points. The Junction/Draw system of FFVIII was one of the most criticized elements, yet it probably contributes to the sheer amount of fun I had playing this game. I loved being all powerful, junctioning 100 full-lifes and 100 ultima's to my stats to make me absorb every magic type. I loved the massive story and the emotional stages that the main character Squall went through over the course of the game (I could somehow relate in 1999), and man -- I LOVED the card game. I still can't get enough, I still play the game through once or twice a year, it's still THAT GOOD. The music was probably the absolute best thing however, and is Uematsu's best work to date for sure. Lots of warm melodies complete with acoustic guitars, and hard-hitting synths for those intense moments. The entire atmosphere of this game is just great. <3
03. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Sony Playstation, 1997
You knew it was coming, but you didn't know when. This is probably (one of) the most replayable game(s) of all time. I love pretty much everything about Castlevania, I even will go as far to say that I really liked both N64 incarnations. But Symphony of the Night just can't be beat on any level. The great second-castle twist was a nice surprise when you thought you had beaten the game, and Alucard's badass persona made every minute worth it. The game controls like a dream, there's tons of secrets to be found, and I just feel awesome knowing the game like the back of my hand. There was a great musical score to accompany all of this, and I'll be damned if that colosseum music doesn't make you want to dance. The fact that this game still looks good today and can be completed in 8 hours makes it so easy to keep playing, which I probably will for the rest of eternity.
02. Diablo II
Did you forget about Diablo? How could you?! This was the first PC game I bought when I got my Pentium III 933 Mhz Dell back in 2000, and man what a great choice. I had played and near-beaten the first game cooperatively on PS1 back in the day, but that game was almost a pile of shit in comparison to the sequel, despite it still being amazing. There's just something about the Diablo universe that compells me, to return over and over again. The ominous Tristram theme grabs you the instant you enter the world, you get to choose from five very different classes, fight your way to the depths of hell, and kill satan. Pretty awesome. The multiplayer was where it was at, where I'd take my Necromancer and duel Barbarians to the death (thanks Iron Maiden) and eventually started running an underground trade with duplicated Stone of Jordans (I played open b.net, fo sho). And overall, I just had a great experience with my real-life friends, which is irreplaceable at this point in my life.
01. Final Fantasy Tactics
Sony Playstation, 1998
Other games on this list may shift up or down over the course of my life, but I can pretty much guarantee that FFT will be my favorite game of all time, for all time. My infatuation with tactical RPG's has grown tremendously over recent years, and I owe it all to the best one there's ever been. I play this game pretty often, even today, starting up new files -- and I outfit my guys the same way every time. I just build everyone to that Knight/Samurai/Ninja hybrid class that seems to walk all over everything in this game (Ninja two-sword ability + Knight Swords + Draw-out Samurai ability). The music is once again one of the high points, introducing me to a great composer who would go on to make music for Vagrant Story and Final Fantasy XII. I really loved the story, even though everyone says it was translated badly and made no sense on the PS1, I understood it completely. It was also where I got my old game handle "Velious" from. Wiegraf transformed into a demon named Belias, but the mistranslation was Velius, which I misspelt by adding an O, which then people online would call me an Everquest nerd, despite me never playing it. It's sort of like my name LordofUltima, where people think it has something to do with the Ultima games, but sure enough I couldn't care less about them.
Check back tomorrow for my top 5 AWFUL games!