Hiya. I enjoy a good all-time list, sometimes one finds an interesting recommendation for the next game, especially if you like myself don't mind playing ancient games (i played Half-Life 1 for the first time only a couple years ago...instant top ten!).
What's yours? Be as detailed or as minimal as you like, you can include a series of games as one if they have an obvious unifying arc or are otherwise very related (like with the Mass Effect trilogy or the run of PS2 Pro Evos). They can all be recent if you feel ancient games don't age well (whereas I genuinely would rather play Turrican than most of the FPS's out today).
It has to be ten, tho'...some of your favourites are gonna just miss out, resist the temptation to 'honorably mention' haha
Here's mine, yous played them all?
10. X2: die Bedrohung/the Threat (PC)
Very chill yet involving space sim, and with epic dogfights too if you want. I ended up re-colonising a destroyed star system, took me several weeks of gameplay, and it had nothing to do with the game's story. Also replaced the soundtrack with a big selection of drum 'n bass cuts. This DIY vibe really suited the huge mostly-empty cosmos as playground. Gorgeous wow ambience when flying by massive ships. I realise X2 has been overtaken these days, but as I haven't got round to any of the successors it's X2 that cements a place in my all-time favourites.
09. Turrican I and II (C64)
They don't make them like this anymore...not just a sideways-scroller shoot'em-up but an up/down platform-explore-'em-up too. Excellent weapon selections make battling the varied hordes hugely satisfying. Large complex levels add to the fun challenge. I and II are largely indistinguishable, both perfect. I never got round to III but will one day!
08. Portal (PC)
Those brilliant "aha!" moments when you solve a fiendish level is unmatched in the world of puzzle-gaming. [SPOILER: Glados going insane and hunting you down outside the puzzle-rooms cements Portal's place in my top ten]. I also enjoyed the sequel but the first one is distinct and superior so the sequel doesn't get to tag along.
07. Half-Life (PC)
The spiritual successor to Turrican: crunchy varied weaponry, silent protagonist, lots of exploring and jumping with enjoyable quieter moments as well as the fun shooting mechanics, experiment-gone-wrong-causes-alien-invasion, the whole place explodes at the end. I haven't included the sequel as it's distinct, and it's not as varied. The original has Xen, the absolute highlight of the entire HL-series. Look forward to Black Mesa's Xen when it's finally ready!
06. Tomb Raider III (PS1)
I already loved the first one's loose open feel, and liked II's tighter action-orientated statement. III was the ideal marriage of the two: it has epic tombs to explore, and lots of great gunplay, plenty of varied environments from the jungle to Area 51 and lots in-between. I never played IV, but the Steam version is on my to-do list. The middle-trilogy of Legend/Anniversary/Underworld aren't as essential but still very enjoyable. The modern reboot meh...too emo. III is the finest Tomb Raider, so it gets a spot here.
05. Rollcage (PS1 and PC - caned the game on both platforms)
The greatest racing game ever...and I've played all the others, nothing comes close, not even Rollcage II or Grip. For some mysterious reason not even the original developers understand how the first Rollcage had absolutely amazing physics which somehow aren't quite replicable. Playing in first-person view is a must for ultimate immersion. You get mad unique races every time. It takes a lot of practice to master but extremely rewarding feeling when winning at the locked expert difficulty setting. Fantastic power-ups, clever Ai and a timeless selection of creative memorable tracks (racetracks, i mean...the music is so-so, i turn it off as the sound-fx are great).
04. Pro Evolution Series 1-5 (PS2)
I spent so much time on these games it's not even funny. Highlight was playing team co-op as a weak team like the default Master League side or in an international competition with a lowly nation, playing against the computer on unlocked 6-star difficulty. EPIC challenge and hugely-positive 2-player fun as you're on the same side.
03. Amnesia: the Dark Descent (PC)
Easily the scariest horror game ever. Must-play late at night with decent sound. This game was so influential it didn't just spawn a mass wave of survival no-weapons horror games, it also ignited the very popular Youtube Let's-Play culture, catapulting many youtubers to virtual stardom. It astounded me, masterful stuff. Frictional Games are quality, keep an eye on 'em.
02. Mass Effect trilogy incl. Leviathan DLC (PC)
Proper epic sci-fi space opera. Lovingly-created universe, more interesting than Star Wars/Trek. The trilogy has a truly incredible 'head-canon' ending. I do believe some of the team did intentionally put elements of that disputed ending in there, but that the chaos of 100+ people working on tight deadlines meant it never became official. Unfortunately as it wasn't made clear the ending(s) taken at face-value appear somewhat mild. Head-canon wins! Regarding all 3 games represented here, they're all roughly the same quality-wise and obviously from a gameplay and narrative perspective they make one über-epic experience. Andromeda? No.
01. Final Fantasy VII (PS1)
Mass Effect came close to toppling a game which has been my number one for 22 years now. If you asked every passionate gamer worldwide what their number one favourite is FFVII will consistently be up there, so hardly a controversial choice. Just that there's actual magic in it. I don't mean game magic, I mean actual indefinable magic where all the elements come together to create an astonishing work of art. Still addictively-playable and as emotive as ever today. Subsequent Final Fantasies were good but not magical in that sense, tho' I still have XII to-do so you never know.
Soz for long post, be happy to read yours, cheers!