Xavier Woods is by far the greatest human being of all time. This moniker was emblazoned upon his soul from the time he graced the world with his presence. He was born in a barrel of butcher knives and raised in a forest fire, making him tougher than mama’s old leather shoes. But the great thing about this humble gentleman is that he cares for all living beings and treats them with respect. He once saved a bus full of children from a burning building. After leading a long life of rescuing damsels and defeating dragons he turned his eye to the WWE. Now he is a sports entertainer (which is a fancy word for wrestler/role model to the kids) and he is smashing faces on TV every single week. Woods is also unique in that he has not one but two degrees, a masters, and is currently working on his PhD in educational psychology. He has both brains and brawn, plus his mustache game is always on point. If it were to ever be "off point" then it would clearly be an impersonator and they would be sent to Aperture Science Laboratories for human trials. You can follow Xavier's many adventures by tuning into WWE programming each week, and by following him on Twitter.
10. Papers, Please
This is a game that I acquired after an outing with a group of gamers that I was lucky enough to meet earlier this year. As we walked aimlessly around whatever city we were in, I was told about a game where you check passports to let people into a country covered in snow. When it was first explained to me I didn't quite understand, but when I got home I made the leap of faith and bought it. At first it's quite easy. You learn what to check for on the passports (such as age, home country, etc.) and it's easy at first so I wasn't impressed. But then you can make a choice. You can either stop or you can turn the lights off, crank up the AC and immerse yourself into this world. I chose to pretend I was actually checking passports in freezing weather... weird, I know. As you get deeper into the game and let yourself go, things get more complex and you start to stress as you check information and start making mistakes and bombs start going off. Terrifying! But overall this game is really fun. A solid time burner and helped me with a good number of airline layovers.
Now I know if anyone is actually reading this then they are likely freaking out 'cause GTA is so low on the list, but let me explain. This game is on the list because it's GTA and by default it's fun and has sweet gameplay. My issue with it is that when I play any type of video game that has side missions, I love to do all of the side missions before I actually get to the story. My thinking, which is backed by years of gaming, is that when you complete side missions then you ought to get things that will then make the game easier. You may rid the forest in the top left corner of the map of brutal monsters and you'll get a new sword. You may use a car to ride in circles in an underground parking lot to kill 50,000 zombies and you'll get the Mega Buster. The point is that if the player puts in extra unnecessary effort, the game will reward them for doing something that they clearly did not have to do in order to beat the story. Now, GTA V had a ton of side missions and as I began to complete them I noticed a small trend. The person in charge of these side missions would always explain how your payment would come once you are done with all of the missions. This created even more incentive to finish these missions because money in GTA is quite helpful. But once you finish all of these side missions you are not compensated. Sure you got to see a sweet cutscene and then level the person who did you wrong. But I want money! I can't feed my baby off sweet cutscenes! COMPENSATION! If I'm in the same shape that I was when I started, then there was no point in going through the process! And then the online didn't even work.
Eventually they fixed that and it was fun, but the lack of caring about the player in the main story aspect really made me feel like I played the game for no reason at all. With that rant said and done, it was GTA, so it made the list. Oh and the music on the funk station with Bootsy Collins was siiicckkkkk.
8. Pokémon X/Y
Two more Pokémon games?!?! I may have been outside of GameStop at midnight with at least 300 other grown men waiting to grab this gem. Not sure how many times I'll buy the same game for a handheld but these revamped Pokémon games always seem to get me. First off I snagged the sweet custom Pokémon 3DS with this as well and I don't regret it a bit... well maybe a little but only 'cause the Zelda one is soooo hot.
Pokémon Y is a solid addition to the Pokémon lineage. You do your normal Pokémon activities--catching, fighting, and whatnot--but the coolest thing to me about this version is the camera angles. I know it seems small but during the battles there are a ton of different camera angles that are cycled through and look as if they are handhelds due to the movements that they make. Stuff like this goes a long way with me.
Overall, it's Pokémon. If you've played one then you've essentially played them all, other new cool little aspects of it that were added were there training system where you can increase you Pokémon’s potential stats. New Pokémon (the pokèrap is so long now), and a few twists in the story to give it the feel of a new game. I like the O-Powers too! Being able to jack your stats up for a short time is pretty cool and was used quite a bit. I give it a thumbs-up.
7. Tomb Raider
Oooooo Miss Croft....
I am a sucker for Dynasty Warriors in any form. And speaking of the same game over and over again, man this one takes the cake (but the cake is a lie--mind blown). This beat-'em-up is a must every time a new one drops. There is a new mode in this one where you build a town with your fight winnings, which is really fun. It's great to play by yourself and even better doing sick joint attacks with your player two if you're lucky enough to have friends who like to senselessly mash buttons as well. The music in the game is amazing as usual and it's beautiful as well. I totally recommend going and grabbing this game for some mindless fun.
5. WWE 2K14
Ahhhh you probably thought I'd put this as number one 'cause I work for them. Well it might be next year as long as I'm a playable character. But for now I'll keep my biases out of this. As far as wrestling games go this is by far the best series that's out there. Now now now, all you Fire Pro kids relax. I love that too, but there's no online and being able to pick it up and just play is not in the equation with Fire Pro. While I would love to see a mash-up between the two games and styles (dreamy fanboy type stuff) that's not happening anytime soon. WWE 2K14 is a really solid game, though; the WrestleMania mode is one of the premier aspects. You get to fight through all of the greatest WrestleMania moments, which are recreated beautifully. It's also great because it teaches these new kids about the sweet stories that they had no clue ever occurred. Now 10-year-olds know about all of Randy Savage's sweet WrestleMania matches, which brings a tear to my eye. The create-a-wrestler is amazing as usual as well. The detail that you can get into is ridiculous! If people take the time to sit and learn to use the drawing tools then the options are limitless. The gameplay is great too. It's a ready solid wrestling game that I think even non-wrestling fans would enjoy playing.
The only FPS on the list and that's for good reason. This game was able to take what seemed like a million different times and aspects and melded them together into a coherent and extremely interesting world. It took me a while to realize the racial overtones in the game. There is the obvious one in the beginning but you are unaware how much of a leverage point it is through the entire story. Reading through the history and all of it is really interesting and I'm huge on long drawn out stories about characters. Essentially I'd have the BioShock book on tape if it was out there. Anyway, this game looks amazing, the gameplay is amazing, the story is amazing, and the ridiculous advertisements and posters along the walls throughout the game just put it over the top for me.
Considering that I am a Shadow Runner in a fantasyland while in my buddy’s living room, I felt obligated to buy this from Steam. And good lord am I glad that I did. This game is unreal... if you are into Shadowrun. I would imagine that playing a game set in rundown cities, using technology wired into people's brains, mages, dwarfs, elves, explosions, gun fights, and sweet sweet magic is kind of a niche audience. OR NOT! If you're into RPGs then I'd check it out not only because of the great story that it begins with, but because this is a fan-made and fan-altered game. By that I mean fans can create their own stories and put them out into the system for other people to download and play. Ummm, replay value: Through the freaking roof! Amazing Game!
Wow. Naughty Dog lined up its crosshairs and hit the bull’s-eye with this one. This is not just a video game. This is a beautiful, fully immersive experience. It feels as if you're playing a movie. There's suspense, action, drama, great acting, and zombies... so many zombies.
There are times where you feel as if you are actually walking through these zombie-infested areas and could possibly be bitten at any time. Besides all of the great game attributes of this masterpiece, there are certain things in the story that will put you on the floor. I jumped, screamed, and then at the end I broke. I walked out of my room, sat in the kitchen and poured myself a bowl of Cocoa Krispies. I just sat in astonishment. It felt great to finish the game but there is something that happens that just really makes you think about life and I'm still not really over it as I write this months later. I can't go into detail without spoiling so if you've played it then you know what I mean. If you haven't then it's time to play this game and find out what kind of person you really are. The Last of Us made me search my soul for answers about my life. Play it.
Saints Row always comes with the ridiculousness but this installment was by far the most insane. Being a huge fan of GTA, Saints Row is basically a caricature of GTA, and I love that about it. And unlike GTA, as I performed the side missions I was granted new abilities which helped me burn through the story mode. One of the coolest things about this game was the super powers that you are granted as you advance. To be honest I rarely used any sort of vehicle since I could run and fall with style everywhere I wanted to go. It made me feel like I used to when I would sling around in that old Spider-Man game. So awesome. The enemies and the allies all have their own stories that are hilarious and play off each other so well. The music is perfect and being able to make your own radio station is always helpful. Feeling like you have as much custom control as possible is what makes a game more fun to me. Rather than being constricted to the confines of someone else's vision, you can make the game what you want it to be. Also, customizing your character and all of your gang is awesome as well. Saint Row 4 is the best game I played that was released in 2013. Go play it!!
BEST GAME EVER: Mario Kart: Double Dash!!
This is an objective statement. Mario Kart: Double Dash!! is the greatest game of all time. I am using this article as my forum to let everyone know that I am the greatest player on the planet. I am willing to play anyone who doesn't believe me, but trust me... you will not be pleased with what happens to you.