Top 100 Favorite Games of the Seventh Console Generation

Feel like this is a pretty good time to start doing this, here within the next couple of months I'm going to be upgrading to the newer consoles, so thought it would be a good time to start ranking my favorite games of what was the seventh console generation. Now, just for my definition of what the console generation was, I started it at the DS. That was the newest system to start bringing around new game play changes and concepts. So games included in this list are from one of the following platforms: Nintendo DS, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3, iOS or facebook. I consider the start of the new generation with the release of the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita, as well as the new consoles PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, so games on those consoles will not be represented here.

I know there will be a few stragglers in there, I'm playing South Park: The Stick of Truth, for instance as I write this list and it fell in the cracks of what I defined the generations by, so for games like that, should they be worthy, I'll go back and edit this list as necessary, but any games that are cross-platform will not be on this list.

Now, to make this really clear, this is not a list of games that I consider to be the best of the generation. There are people who think about games on a far deeper level than I do, or are far better at games than I am to talk about that particular list. I am an average in terms of skill gamer and I've rage quit many a game out of frustration.

This list is the 100 games that I had the most fun with, or that moved me the most, or that I enjoyed the game play concepts the most, or all of the above, whatever the reason is for a game being included on this list, I'll try to have some sort of justification for the game being on here and then I can be judged accordingly. So with that said, here is my list of Top 100 Favorite Games of the Seventh Console Generation

List items

  • This is a huge surprise to me, before I wrote anything down, I was sure that the #2 game on this list would end up on the top of the list, no questions asked. Juggling all of the topics in my head that I mentioned in my intro to this list, Red Dead Redemption was the game that came out as being most worthy of being at the top of this list.

    Another concept that came in to my head while putting this list together, was how did gaming evolve during this generation, what stopped any of these games from being playable of a PlayStation 2, for instance and for me, RDR was again, a perfect example of that. Is it the best playing game, the best playing shooter? Not in my opinion, but it took a very popular genre from the Sixth Console Generation and refined it, modernized it into being more playable. Accessibility was a key concept in gaming this generation and RDR was just a more accessible game than any game Rockstar had made before, in terms of game play. But it also had that haphazard style that everyone loved about the PS2 Grand Theft Auto's, that ability to be able to sit down with your friends and talk about the crazy adventures you had in the world that Rockstar created and that formula was perfected with RDR, I think.

    Game play aside though, there was not a game that hooked me more this generation. I'll never forget the moment, riding through an open plain and a thunderstorm hit, that was one of the first times when I felt like I was in a new generation of consoles. There is just so much to do, from pulling over to the side of the road to help a damsel in distress only to find out she's robbing you with her gang and then you're in a gun fight. To hunting out in the wilderness, to working on Bonnie's farm, there is just so much to do in this game and here's the key, all of it was so much fun.

    Then there's the story, there are so many powerful moments held in John Marston's journey in the Old West, to me and I know this is a cliche, but this was one of the first games that I could start to hold the plot up to other mediums and compare it to and it held up not only favorably, but was better than a lot of them. There are just so may good moments in this game, some of them the gamer may never run into, some of them will forever be etched in to my head, like the moment where *that song* starts playing in Mexico to John Marston's final shoot out, to the moment where the title card shows up on screen and you finally understand who the Redemption was for. Such an amazing game, one that I will go back to for the rest of my life.

  • There is so much I could say about this game and I could spend half of my time defending the game from the detractors it has, but I won't, instead I'll talk about why I love it maybe I'll convert a few people, maybe not, don't care but I LOVE this game.

    Something that popped up big time this generation, as graphics began to reach a place of not being realistic, but having a sort of realness to them, was the idea of ludonarrative dissonance. There is one game in particular on this list that got hit with these accusations hard, but for those not in the know, what it means is a video games story is telling you one thing and it's game play is telling you something else. That is not the case in BioShock Infinite and I feel like most people don't get that. Booker DeWitt is not a nice guy. He's not only done horrible things, he is continuing to do horrible things. He is the definition of a sociopath, I think the voice work by Troy Baker makes you empathize with him, it's certainly a good performance, but that doesn't make Booker a good guy and neither does any of his actions, present in the game or only talked about.

    I love that about the story though, because the whole game you're wanting to pull for the guy, you're wanting him to be able to pay back the debt and get the girl and then the game pulls the rug out from under your feet. Oh wait, no, you're the bad guy. Not only that, but you're just a bad person in general.

    The real star of the show here though is Elizabeth, voice acted by Courtnee Draper. Elizabeth is the heart of the game and while the game concepts behind her character aren't as deep as the initial trailers showed, the aspects that are there in the game are good enough. Her character arc and relationship not only to Booker, but to Songbird and Comstock are the most interesting things about the game.

    I found the combat in the game the most satisfying of the series, the combination of standard first person shooter game play, mixed with the Vigors and then adding in the skylines? The combat is so satisfying and so much fun. I'm not sure I enjoyed and appreciated the combat fully until the first DLC Clash in the Clouds hit and it made me realize how much depth there was to it.

    Such a fun game and while it doesn't realize the fullness of it's potential, for what it is there I appreciate it and have so much fun every time I load it up. And the ending, oh man, it's easily one of the best endings in gaming that I can think of and the concepts it presents (there's always a lighthouse, there's always a man, there's always a city and constants and variables) for the future of the franchise blew my mind. The storyline in general caught me in the way that Lost caught me, I theorized for months about the minutia about the plot of the game in a way that has only happened to me with one other game, Shadow of the Colossus, which just so happens to be my favorite game and should tell you how highly I think of Infinite.

    * Just a quick side note, I am one of those people that think Burial at Sea props up the franchise and in particular the first game to the detriment of Infinite so while I enjoyed parts of the DLC (stealth game play, Paris, Courtnee Draper's acting) in my head the DLC will be nothing more than an alternate reality side story.

  • So if you can't tell, I love the BioShock franchise, it's easily my favorite franchise that came out this generation and seeing the initial trailers of this game is what made me want to pick up a 360 in the first place, it was such a step up from the previous generation in terms of game play concepts and presentation, that's not a jump that I've seen from any game of the current generational switch and that's one of the primary reasons I haven't made the jump yet. In spite of my thoughts of the return to Rapture in Burial at Sea, my initial voyage to Rapture will always be one of my fondest gaming memories. From the moment Jack Ryan arrives at the lighthouse until he meets fresh air again with the Little Sisters (or not, depending on your ending) it was just an amazing, unique world that I loved every second of my first play through. So many memorable moments, the descent into Rapture, seeing the first Little Sister and Big Daddy, meeting Sander Cohen, coming face to face with Andrew Ryan and Would You Kindly and the repercussions of what that meant and it's critique of video games as a whole was incredible.

    I have the same critiques most people have of the game: weak gun play, a poor third act and relying on a "final boss" the way the previous generation of games did. Other than that third act, they're really minor quibbles I have with the game in the big picture, BioShock is still one of the most unique games this generation held for us, one that held a little too tightly to the browns that were so easy to fall back on with Unreal Engine 3, this game brought us a vivid, realized, fairly cohesive world held together by a great team at Irrational Games. May they rest in peace!

  • I don't know that I've ever seen a title that describes a product more accurately than Journey did. Playing through Journey, you are going to go on a Journey. Not only the journey where you start in a desert and end at a mountain, but you're going to go on an emotional journey too.

    The reason Journey is emotional, is not only because of what it's about (the journey of life) but that emotion comes directly from one of the aspects of game play. One of the best things this generation has done, via the stable online play PSN and Xbox Live provided consoles, is take what is seemingly a single player game and turn it into a one on one multiplayer game. At random moments while playing, you'll come across another player who is playing the game. At that point, you have a couple of options. First option, you could ignore the player and continue on your journey alone or you could press a button. Pressing that buttons makes your journeyer use the games made up language. There's a possibility then, that you and that other player could play through the game together and like I did on my first play through, I met a player and we used the speech button to create a system of language. Pressing the button once meant one thing for instance, pressing it twice meant "Look over here!", three times it would mean something else like "Danger!" and so on and so forth, but I know for me, there were times when I would lose sight of the other player and I would start to panic, wondering where my fellow traveler was and then feeling joy when I saw them again and we would reunite, both of us spamming the speech button with joy.

    One thing I think is fairly dead is the argument that games are not art and I think that Journey is one of the shining examples of the art. Graphically it's a gorgeous game, the art design is amazing, but it's the whole package that makes the game art. It's also the one game that most reminds me of Shadow of the Colossus from this generation from a design and storytelling aspect, while being it's own unique thing as well. So between this and another game that is on this list, I will always buy whatever thatgamecompany is working on, such amazing artists working over there!

  • This, is really, really interesting to me. So I played through The Last of Us back when it came out, I went to a nearby Redbox from my apartment at the time, picked the game up and over the next several days, played through the entirety of it, rushing through the game so I could be part of the conversation. And I hated it. I mean, I appreciated aspects of it, I loved the opening scene, as most people who play through The Last of Us do and I appreciated the acting from Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson, I appreciated the writing from Neil Druckmann, especially strong for a video game. But as a whole, I loathed the experience of playing the game and it furthered a theory I had at the time about how gaming really was on a terrible track of having the only way interact with the environment was to shoot stuff, I felt annoyed that I couldn't have five minutes of peace in the game without running into a combat encounter and that reached a boiling point for me, during the last level where you're trying to get Joel to Ellie before a potentially deadly surgery can happen, only to have to fight about twenty to thirty guys before you can reach her, killed the emotion and tension of that scene for me and led to me frustratingly having to replay that level several times over.

    So what happened? I'm not sure, to be honest with you. I was annoyed as The Last of Us got game of the year after game of the year awards for 2013 as it beat my choice for game of the year, Bioshock Infinite, pretty regularly. I would read articles and watch YouTube videos about why The Last of Us was disappointing and sit there nodding my head in agreement. Then a lot of talk about The Last of Us as Game of the Generation started happening, which annoyed me to no end. But here we are. I suppose it might have been the positive reaction to the DLC that might have got me to start to rethink my opinion about the game. Or maybe when Area 5's wonderful documentary, Grounded: Making The Last of Us was released for free on Amazon? Regardless, so I went and got a copy (new, wanted to make sure Naughty Dog got some portion of my money) of the game and began to play through it again. Slowly and methodically, over the course of about two weeks, as opposed to days. And now the game is number nine on this list, honestly with the potential to go higher.

    Everything clicked for me on my second play through. Combat encounters that annoyed me to no end on my rented play through, I had fun trying out different combinations and mechanics the second play through. The game play is just so good to me now, I don't know how it happened, what clicked in my head, but I enjoyed fighting my way through the world, both the humans and the infected, where I think the only enjoyment you could say I got out of the game originally from playing through it was the infected.

    I mean really, I just sound like every one else who loves this game, though while I'm not quite ready to say it's the game of the generation, I've done quite a turn around on the game. I don't think there's enough there for me to ever like it more than Infinite, the story, which I love, didn't hook me the way Infinite did, but I'm certainly open to it. You just can't say enough about the writing Neil Druckmann did for this game, I know it's a cliche at this point to say this, but the quality of the writing really is up there with the best of other mediums. Not to mention his direction to the actors, I know they're going to make a movie out of The Last of Us now, but it's not going to top what is in this game performance wise. It's just not. Troy Baker, while he was a pretty good actor before, I like him a lot in Infinite, is amazing in The Last of Us. It's one of my favorite performances I can think of, in any medium and Ashley Johnson (better know as the Captain America saved me! girl from The Avengers) is really, really good too. And the world building is just great, everything makes a logical sort of sense and that cohesion between everything, is really what has turned me around on the game and yeah, I'm going to be playing through it again several times and it's the thing that is going to push me over the edge of upgrading to PlayStation 4. I do still feel the same way about the final combat encounter that I felt initially, it really ruins the pacing of the moment for me and I feel like the A.I. does not act the way it does in the rest of the game in that scenario (watched some guys through listen mode just standing around), but really, that's such a small part of a really big (and wow, AAA games just aren't this length any more) campaign. Such an achievement though, Naughty Dog really outdid themselves here and I can't wait to see what they have in store next!

  • This is such a cheat, so in fairness to the other games on this list I couldn't just make this game number one, but the quality is there in The Orange Box for it to easily be number one on this list. I'm going to break the games apart and say a little about each one of them separately, to give each one a little time to shine.

    Half-Life 2 - So The Orange Box was my first run in with this game and while it had aged *slightly* by the time I got around to playing it in terms of design, it held up better than almost every other FPS from the previous generation (Halo being the only exception I could think of) and became one of my favorite games while playing through the game for my first play through. I do think the gun play is slightly weak, in comparison to games like the Halo series, but the shooting feels more satisfying than say, the BioShock series.

    So many amazing moments in the game though: arriving and escaping City 17, Ravenholm, The Coast and bridge (had huge vertigo crossing the bottom of the bridge and those cursed barnacles (ughhhhh) didn't help matters any!), controlling the antlions and finally, getting to use the most satisfying gun in gaming that's not named the BFG9000, the Gravity Gun just led to some of the most amazing moments in gaming.

    Half-Life 2: Episode One - Probably the one game from The Orange Box that I have the least to say anything about, probably the biggest positive I have to say about it is Alyx Vance. They perfected her A.I. in this Episode and to date, I don't think a computer controlled A.I. plays better than Alyx does. Oh and the trick she pulls on you in the tunnel, that got me so good!

    Half-Life 2: Episode Two - I don't care how often or strung along we gamers are, but Episode Two is the reason why I still want and yearn for an Episode 3/Half-Life 3. As good as the vanilla Half-Life 2 is, Episode Two is even better. Alyx is an even better companion here, the gun play is really, really good for the first time in the series. Again, so many great moments: Alyx getting wounded (don't think I've ever been so shocked by a game before) and teaming with the vortigaunt to save her, getting into the antlion nest, defending the vortigaunt's while they heal Alyx (which may just be my favorite game play moment this generation!), "prepare for unforeseen consequences", running into an Advisor, arriving at White Forrest, D0g fighting a Strider (!) and the attack on White Forrest which again is another moment where the gun play really shines and then finally, that ending. Just please Valve, give us gamers something, some hint that Half-Life 3 is on the way, please please please!

    Team Fortress 2 - So, caveat, but as with most games on this list, I played this on a console (360 in particular) so I'm maybe not the best person to talk about this game, but I can say that I probably played it for about a year straight and enjoyed my time with it thoroughly. I love that death match doesn't really exist and it forces you to play a team game, which I mean, the word team is in the title, so that should give you some kind of clue as to what you're in for here. All of the classes were so much fun, though my favorite was probably the Spy. Just trying to convince the other team that you were on their side while leading them to a trap or ambush from your team is just genius multiplayer design. But yeah, Team Fortress 2 is one of my Top 5 favorite multiplayer games this generation and again, seeing as how I played it on consoles should say something. I want to check out the PC version, but it just sounds unrecognizable to what I've played (hats!?) and given the skill level of the players that are there now I'm sure, I'm pretty unlikely to do so.

    Portal - Probably the most charming game on this list and I don't know that it created a genre, but it certainly popularized a genre, First Person Puzzle Shooter, we'll call them. Just an absolutely, amazing game that has an objective and superbly accomplishes that objective without overstaying it's welcome. GlaDOS is one of the best characters of this generation, as well as the companion cube is and the turrets are pretty great too. I love the hints that Portal is somehow tied into the Half-Life universe, but yeah, Portal is just an amazing, small game than anyone remotely interested in playing a video game should try out. It's so accessible and is one of the funniest games out there. So if for some reason you have yet to try Portal, definitely check it out!

  • Looking back at the Seventh Console Generation, it really was the generation of the zombie, wasn't it? I mean, things started out light with The Last Guy on PS3, but by the end you had some major game of the year/generation contenders, but for pure zombie action, there was none better than Telltale's first Season of The Walking Dead. It's not only a great game, it's, in my humble opinion, the single best piece of media tied to The Walking Dead franchise. Better than the comic and way, way better than the TV and to date, the best thing that Telltale has done.

    They single handily brought back the Adventure Game genre with this series too (yes, I know they were making adventure games before this) but the way that they modernized them so masterfully, was just really, really cool. The twitchy game play is fun, but forgiving enough to never get in your way of the enjoyment of the story, which is the real reason why you're here.

    I feel like this is something the TV show doesn't get, but in The Walking Dead, you shouldn't even really care that there are zombies. The human drama is the story in this franchise and the journey that Lee and Clementine go on together, is just so, so good. Sure, there are a couple of missteps along the way, as there are in most game stories, but they never lose sight of what is really important in the story, the pseudo-father/daughter relationship between Lee and Clementine, which is so effective, probably the most effective one on one relationship I can think of in gaming (yes, I know there's another one out there most people would think of instead, I think Lee/Clementine is more effective though). They do a really good job developing the emotional connection to the two characters and I won't lie, the final scene between Lee and Clementine is the most emotional I've ever felt in a game. Both as Clementine is reluctant to shoot Lee and Lee is telling Clem that she'll be fine without him, oh man, the room got a little dusty.

    I feel like that's the highest compliment I can pay the game, it really made me feel in a way that no game has before and vaulted Telltale to one of my favorite game developers.

  • The Gears of War franchise is the one reason I don't care that Konami hasn't been able to get their stuff together and come out with a new, modern Contra game. Because, I feel like Gears of War is exactly that and to me, the series was perfected in Gears 2. Yeah, yeah, MARIAAAAA and all of that stuff, I feel like we all should give Epic a good pat on the back for trying their hand at an, uh, epic, story and I think for what it is, it's passable, but unlike the last couple of games, I'm here 100% for the game play. I loved the roller coaster feel of the levels and I think the level design is perfect, great moments of tons of action going on, then quiet moments that allow you to catch your breath after a huge fire fight.

    Then there's the multiplayer, which I played quite a bit of and I liked it, though I wouldn't ever say I loved the multiplayer, to me where the game really shined and brought something that nearly every game with guns has stolen since, is Horde Mode. Oh man, Horde Mode. Between my sister and I co-oping through Horde Mode and my Cousin and his friend co-oping through Horde Mode, I've played hundreds of hours of it. To me, this is where the multi of Gears matches the fun of the single player campaign. The weapons all feel great, the Locust all present a decent challenge, the in-game currency to upgrade your Horde Mode maps was addicting, I just had so much fun playing this game. I'm sad Epic has moved on from the series, I can see why they did, but man, for this one game, it took me back to co-oping through Contra III: Alien Wars with a good buddy, but also gave me great new gaming memories to cherish!

  • So showing this list to my wife Britt, her first question looking at it was, "Wow, really, Peggle up there with those other games? Above The Last of Us, really?" and it's made do a lot of pondering as to what it was with Peggle that clicked with me. So I'm a total rage gamer, I've mellowed out quite a bit, but it is not uncommon to hear me yell out something along the lines of, "WHAT!? ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?? THAT IS RIDICULOUS, WOW!" and before controllers cost $60 each, I've been known to spike controllers on to the floor. Yeah, I've mellowed down, but I think every rage gamer needs a game that they can go to when they've beat their head against a hard part of a game enough, when they've gotten stuck and are not going to beat a specific point of a game that moment, or if online gaming isn't going particularly well for them that day, that they can go to, still be playing a game, but just relax, have fun and remember why it is that they like gaming.

    Peggle is that game for me. It's easily Popcap's best game, though they are represented again on this list, but I just love it. It calms me down, whatever the reason is that I need calming, be it rage gaming or a difficult day at work, I can come home, bust a few pegs and hear Ode to Joy play with rainbows and sparks flying all over the place at the end of a level, it's just so satisfying. Sure, Peggle is not the deepest game, though I would argue that there is a lot of skill necessary and if you don't play with the guided arrows, even more so. You need to know a lot about the physics of the game to be any good at it and I'm proud to call myself a competent Peggle player. Casual gaming was a huge development this generation, with phone games coming into prominence in a huge way, changing how we think about portable gaming and for me, it's games like Peggle with decent mechanics that I enjoy over a good majority of casual games out there. A lot of times, I'll sit down to play Peggle, meaning to play it for five or ten minutes later and then I'll look up to find an hour has passed. So that kind of game, where you can just get lost in having fun playing the game, is my favorite kind of game and that's the reason why Peggle is on this list!

  • Yeah. I'm one of *those* people. I'm the person out there that absolutely loved the first Mass Effect and pretty much did not care at all for the sequels. That's a little hyperbole, I played through the second game and I guess had a decent time with it, it never clicked for me and as a whole, the series has not clicked for me in the way that the first game did. I absolutely loved my time with this game and as a result, will always be interested what BioWare is doing, even if I'm not so interested in the direction they've been headed as of late.

    I guess the thing for me, is that the slightly deeper role playing mechanics of the first game have to be the reason why I enjoyed it so much over the rest of the series. That stuff is kind of still there in the sequels, but it's hidden in sub-menus and really has no bearing on the actual game play the way it does here. Really what I loved about the first game though was the feel of the game, it was pretty much Star Trek: The RPG. Which I grew up on Trek and have always envisioned a Trek RPG in my head and well, it's always pretty much just the way the first Mass Effect turned out. I really did enjoy the world building in the game too, learning about all of the different species of aliens was always interesting and the plot as a whole was really interesting and let's face it, Saren is the best villain of the series and how all of that ties together was just such an interesting start to the franchise. So I'm still hopeful about Mass Effect, I hope the jump to the current new consoles is good for the franchise, I just have less and less hope with each released game.

  • I know I'm in the minority on this one, as a lot of gamers have Resident Evil 4 as the top game of the Sixth Console Generation, but for me, the addition of co-op made Resident Evil 5 my favorite game of the series.

    The story is kind of whatever at this point, you're only there for the individual crazy scenes that happen the same way you are for the Metal Gear story at this point, but I did feel like they did a decent job wrapping up the previous five (Code: Veronica included) games in the series with this one.

    I liked that Capcom stuck to their guns and didn't exactly modernize the controls. One of the main reasons Resident Evil 6 didn't do a whole lot for me was the same-y feeling of the controls for a third person action game. That's one of the things I love about Resident Evil 5, for better or worse, they make you learn their game. I tried co-op with my wife and she just could not stand the controls after more modern games like Gears of War. Janky controls are almost a staple of the Resident Evil series to me though and I just love the feeling in 5 when you nail the controls, they're perfect for the game play.

    I'm torn as to whether or not I enjoyed soloing through the game, or co-oping as I did with my cousin. On one hand, the game is clearly designed with co-op in mind and while Sheva as controlled by A.I. is competent, she doesn't feel as if a human is controlling her and having that helps when you ramp the difficulty of the game up. On the other hand though, I enjoyed playing through the game at my own pace.

    I just loved the feel of the combat of the game though and again, how satisfying it was to nail the controls and become good at the game. The level that sticks out in my mind is a series of raised platforms, there is a mix of human enemies who are trying to snipe you and reapers, who are basically large cockroaches, who if they get close to you, kill you with one stab of their pincers. The feel of nailing that level is easily one of the most satisfying game playing moments I can think of and is a great example of the excellent combat in this game!

    My only worry with the series is the continued move away from being survival horror. Ammo is plentiful in this game, as is health and the focus is way more on action and 6 went further in this direction. Hopefully the success of The Last of Us shows other developers and publishers that gamers still want a difficult game with enemy encounters with low inventory and we eventually get another great Resident Evil game!

  • Naughty Dog were definitely one of the developers who grew the most in the Seventh Generation and I feel like this game is where they did a majority of their growth. Just to spoil something, this is the only Uncharted game on this list. The first game is decent, the third game is a bit of a mess I think and the Vita games I don't as a part of this generation, but if it wasn't for The Last of Us, Uncharted 2 would have been Naughty Dog's masterpiece.

    So this was the game I was referring to when talking about ludonarrative dissonance and probably the biggest culprit of this generation, if not ever in gaming. On one hand, Nathan Drake during cutscenes is a charming, affable, good lucking every day kind of guy. He's the guy all guys would want to be and all women, well, he would flirt with all the women at the very least. All of that usually comes from the cutscenes of the game, during the gameplay, Nathan Drake becomes a murdering psychopath. Whereas I think Bioshock Infinite and The Last of Us solve this problem, by making the characters you are playing despicable people, for Nathan Drake it totally seems out of character. Throughout the series, he probably kills near 1,000 people. There are times you can use stealth and not kill someone, rather you can just knock them out, there's also times where you grab a dude, throw him off a ledge to plunge to his death hundreds of feet below. It's all in the spirit of the genre, the people who defend Uncharted would say. I don't buy that know if I buy that necessarily, I think you could combine the number of kills James Bond and Indiana Jones have made total and it wouldn't match the kill count of one Uncharted game. Could be wrong about that, but it certainly seems that way.

    Okay, so I'm being really negative for a game that is number twelve on this list, I would say that Naughty Dog completely nailed the feel of pulpy adventure stories and brought that world to gaming with this game. It's something that's been a little lost with all media here recently, so it was cool to see it come back in such a big bad way.

    The characters are so great, Drake, Elena and Chloe are all characters that fit in their respective genre so well and the performances by Nolan North, Emily Rose and Claudia Black were at the time the game was released, some of the best performances gaming had seen. Richard McGonagle as Sully and Graham McTavish as Lazarevic are great as well, the way Naughty Dog is able to get great motion captured performances is easily one of the things they're best at.

    I'll say in spite of my feelings of the ludonarrative dissonance in the game, the gameplay is pretty fun. I don't think that the third person shooting in the Uncharted series is the best gaming has to offer, Gears of War easily tops it for me, but it is pretty fun and the melee combat gives you some good variety to the combat. So yeah, going to be interesting to see post The Last of Us what Naughty Dog will do with the Uncharted series, hopefully after the third game, they get things back at the level this game was, because when they hit, they're some of the best game makers out there!

  • Unlike the Uncharted series, where the first game was decent and you would expect the sequel to be better, the first Assassin's Creed had some good concepts, but as a game it was fairly rote and generally just not fun to play, so when I heard good things about the sequel, I was pretty skeptical.

    And very glad to be proven wrong, Assassin's Creed II took everything that was decent about the first game and made one of the best sequels from the Seventh Generation.

    In future sequels they would kind of ruin the many aspects of the series, I'll kind of go through those one by one and explain why Assassin's Creed II nailed all of that.

    First, the modern day stuff. For this one game, they made everything really, really interesting. They free Desmond from the pretty boring room of the first game, tie the gameplay (combat and the parkour movement) to Desmond's sections of the game and they tied the Ezio Animus sections of the game brilliantly into the modern day Desmond sections through the secret "The Truth" sections, giving you more backstory for the universe. I think the Minerva stuff all really worked well and made me super interested in where the story of Assassin's Creed would go, only to be let down by the story in the next couple of games.

    Moving on to the main protagonist of Assassin's Creed II, Ezio. Where Altair just really didn't work as a protagonist, Ezio is one of the better protagonists of this generation, so much so that they dragged his story along further than it should have been and luckily, they look as if they're starting to find some characters to match his charisma finally with Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag (I unfortunately have not played it yet, but I wouldn't qualify it for this list any way, since it is on eighth generation consoles). Where Desmond segments are interesting, Ezio completely steals the show.

    Next up is the location and side stuff, where the first Assassin's Creed and the Holy Lands were kind of a bore to explore, getting to explore Italy during the Renaissance period is just a complete joy and again, for this one game, I absolutely loved exploring every bit of each area to find all of the secrets and getting the hidden items. I think further entries in the series didn't innovate this idea enough, but the capper to this is "The Truth" video segments and getting to piece that stuff together was just so cool.

    Finally, the combat, which does Batman combat better than Batman games of this generation. When you get in a flow and you're stabbing, shooting, countering all within moments of one another, well to quote the late great Ryan Davis, that feeling of "Uh uh uh uh uh" of stabbing dudes is just some of the most satisfying combat of this season and probably the closest I got to the same feeling I got with the PS2 God of War games.

    I'm so cautious of each successive Assassin's Creed game, which I'm sad about because of how much I love this game. I think Brotherhood did a lot right in terms of innovating and making things feel fresh and then each successive game did less so. I know they're not going to, but it would be nice if Ubisoft took a couple year break to regroup, they clearly can still make great Assassin's Creed games given the reception to IV, but there is no reason to play each game, especially as they come out, when I know I can wait for a Black Friday sale and pick up the game cheap. It's sad, but if they added a little bit of demand, that feeling of you don't know what you've got til it's gone, I think that would tremendously help out the series, they could regroup and make a game that reminded everyone of why Asssasin's Creed II was such an amazing game.

  • Batman games were so hit and miss before the Asylum games, that I'm kind of baffled when the reception to Origins was "Meh, I don't want to play another one of those". Sure, to me, City had some missteps and I'll talk about those when I get to that game, but in terms of great Batman games, we really don't have a lot to choose from and Arkham Asylum is the best of them, in my opinion.

    The only real negative thing I have to say is that the story is just kind of there for me, a stitched together plot to give me moments to play as Batman, which is about all I could have hoped for. It was smart grabbing a bunch of the Batman: The Animated Series crew, including Paul Dini (who was the only real let down from TAS crew) to give longtime Batman fans a hook.

    Man oh man though, those Batman moments. Getting to call in the Batmobile, gliding around and then just beating up the denizens of Arkham Asylum is just so satisfying.

    While the combat doesn't quite reach the levels of Assassin's Creed II for me, it's pretty close and it really put The Dark Knight Trilogy to shame when it came to showing how Batman should fight. It just feels so right for the character and is just so much fun to play. The stealth elements work, though not as much as the combat and it's a little baffling as to why Batman can be killed by bullets, when he's clearly wearing a ton of armor, but hey, that's video games for you.

    The stand out moment of the game for me, was the first Scarecrow scene. I always loved his episodes of The Animated Series and felt Batman Begins let the character down slightly, but Arkham Asylum just nailed it. Not only do they perfectly mess with Batman the character, they mess with the player in great ways during that sequence. I really don't even want to spoil it other than to mention it's there for those who haven't played it, but I can say I thought the game was majorly glitching out on me and it actually reminded me heavily of another one of my favorite gaming moments, fighting Psycho Mantis in Metal Gear Solid.

    So yeah, while I can see why Rocksteady would want to move on from the series after Arkham Knight, I really hope that Warner keeps refining Batman and keep making these games!

  • Probably one of the two most important games of this generation, to me is also one of the best games. It's the best of the Call of Duty games, easily, in my opinion and defined what a Call of Duty game was, in the same way Assassin's Creed II defined that series, almost to the detriment of the rest of the series (though, thankfully I think Call of Duty has had more bright moments outside of this game).

    One of the reasons I'm kind of bummed that Titanfall is Xbox One exclusive (I don't have any intention to pick one up any time soon due to Microsoft's treatment of hardcore gamers since the launch of Kinect and if I do pick one up, it will be second hand) is that these guys (now Respawn, formely Infinity Ward) just get multiplayer gaming on consoles. Adding stuff like the perks, was obviously a genius move considering nearly every other game developer ripped that off for their multiplayer, but it felt so rewarding for the gamer. Even when you weren't doing so hot in the standings, you felt like you were making some sort of progress and that just kept you wanting to play the multiplayer. I do feel like the series would go on to design better multiplayer maps, but it's really just a personal preference, but for everything multiplayer alone that Call of Duty 4 brought to gaming, it is incredibly important.

    That's not even counting the great single player campaign. I was a little disappointed with Infinity Ward's follow up, I feel like Treyarch became the better developer in the series (due to many reasons, of course the biggest being that the Infinity Ward that made Call of Duty 4 and and Modern Warfare 2 no long exist as we knew them) but Call of Duty 4 defined what a Call of Duty game should and could be. There are so many amazing moments: the nuke detonating, the Lockheed AC-130, infiltrating the boat, but the highlight of the game to me was the Pripyat level. The combination of the atmosphere and stealth/sniping gameplay is just incredible and that is easily one of my favorite levels of this generation and help make Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare one of my favorite games of this generation!

  • Including Shattered Memories, there have now been four attempts at rebooting the Silent Hill series post Team Silent at Konami, the main plan seems to be to outsource the series and see what team comes up with the best idea. Shattered Memories was the second attempt by Climax, the developer to reinvent the Silent Hill franchise and for the most part, it's easily the most successful of the post Team Silent attempts at Silent Hill.

    To be honest, I'm not sure how I feel about the Silent Hill series post Team Silent. There's a pretty fantastic documentary series on YouTube called The Real Silent Hill Experience, where some pretty hardcore fans of Silent Hill look at and dissect everything related to the franchise and point out what works and what doesn't, for the most part, I ended up agreeing with their opinions, but on the other hand, I've had such an amazing time with this series that I would love to see it continue.

    Shattered Memories is, to use a famous movie term, a re-imagining of the original Silent Hill game. In that it takes the basic plot and tells it in a different way and the things that it does with that plot, where you find that the daughter of the character the gamer has been playing the entire time, Cheryl, is actually grown up, not the seven year old that Harry is looking for and is reflecting on her relationship with her father with her therapist.

    That idea, that core concept, is brilliant and has easily been my favorite thing post Team Silent. The core gameplay, you realize at that point, all tie into that idea. The whole game the therapist has been talking to you via a first person perspective and you think he is either talking to Harry, or the player and he asks you questions and depending on how the player answers the questions reflects the relationship between Harry and Cheryl.

    Then there's the combat, or lack thereof. I'm a huge fan of Survival Horror where your character either can't fight back, or is weaker. That's how the enemies in a horror game should be, they should make you want to run. However, the design was a little lacking in the creatures, which was slightly disappointing considering that has been one of the best aspects of the series when Team Silent controlled and I feel like, given the nature of the story, Climax could have done a better job with that.

    I don't know where Silent Hill should go from here, Downpour was a bit of a mess on the technological side and again, on the creature design, but for the most part, Climax nailed what Silent Hill should be with Shattered Memories, maybe it would be worth handing the franchise back to them and see what they can do with it?

  • Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction was sadly the first and to date, only Ratchet & Clank game I've played the entirety of it. I'm looking to rectify that with my backlog, but it's easily Insomniac's best game. I'm not crazy about the Resistance series, I find them pretty lackluster as FPS games, so I was pleasantly surprised at how great Tools of Destruction was.

    First, the presentation is second to none. It's easy to see why Ratchet & Clank are going to star in their own movie and hopefully Insomniac is rewarded with getting to help develop the movie, the cut scenes in the game are so entertaining and such a joy to play through.

    One bad thing about the Seventh Console generation was mascots starting to go away. It's a really bad sign to me, because mascots draw in kids. Kids grow the industry and become your future. Thankfully, the Ratchet & Clank series, along with Mario and Sonic games (whatever the quality) are still around.

    The platforming in the game is so much fun and as a shooter, it's more satisfying than any of the other Insomniac shooters that I've played. I love the dynamic of switching between Ratchet & Clank for the different types of gameplay and really, I have no excuse, I need to get to playing the rest of the series pronto!

  • If you had told me, when my then girlfriend, now wife got me an Xbox 360 that one of my favorite games was going to be a Pac-Man game, I would have thought you were crazy. It's awesome that they were able to make a great Pac-Man game, I'm a little flabbergasted as to why this hasn't been ported out to more consoles, seems like a loss of easy money on Namco's part.

    For a Pac-Man game, it's gorgeous though and when you get one of the power ups, turn around and eat all of the ghosts, it's one of the more satisfying moments I can think of from this generation.

  • It's weird, but with every Halo release this generation, with the exception of ODST, I wanted to say that the newest release was my favorite Halo game from the generation. However, when putting together this list, Halo 3 is the game that stuck out the most to me in terms of not only my favorite level design, but it had my favorite game play moments and my favorite multiplayer, which is the bread and butter of the Halo series.

    The one negative thing I would say about the game, is that it looks like a slightly better original Xbox game, especially when you compare it to it's contemporaries like the first Gears of War and Bungie was always pretty bad at designing humans in the series.

    Halo 3, so far in the series, reminds me the most of Halo: Combat Evolved, which is still my favorite game and one of my favorite games of all time. The combat feels dynamic and aside from the first game, is the most satisfying in the series. The multiplayer was so great and aside from the game below, I probably spent more time with it than any other game on this list. It's the last time a Halo game felt perfectly balanced with the multiplayer to me and man, just writing this, I miss that feeling of being excited about a new Halo game coming out. I was excited about 4, but it didn't sustain and given my current feelings about Microsoft, I don't have any intention of getting a One any time soon. I don't know, maybe Destiny will fill this spot for me, but that will always be weird and a bit sad to me. Some of my favorite gaming memories are from this series and it's sad to not feel that way about it any more. Wow me 343! I want to believe!

  • I'm kind of baffled Titanfall got all this attention for being an online only shooter. Left 4 Dead and Brink (not as memorable of a game) kind of beat it to that punch. Sure, there was a single player option in Left 4 Dead, but whoever played the game that way had to be a sad and lonely person. Left 4 Dead was at it's best when you were playing with your family/buddies and just having an absolute blast killing zombies together.

    I'm a little baffled that Valve has seemingly walked away from it and they never did what I wanted them to do with it, which was release DLC campaigns, make Left 4 Dead a platform the way the Rock Band games were a platform and support each game for at least several years. I do feel like that time has kind of passed, zombie games are starting to feel a little tired (and cordyceps are kind of better than zombies, BOOOM), but man, in the moment, playing Left 4 Dead was so much fun. I'm definitely going to pick up another 360 (RRoD victim) at some point and get together the old crew and kill some zombies for old time sake!

  • The Room is exactly what iOS games should be, it's suited perfectly to the platform. I'm not usually a huge fan of puzzle games, I'm not very good at them for the most part. Braid is a game I can think of as an example, where I just wasn't good at figuring the mechanics and tricks of the game out.

    The Room doesn't have that problem, because of the hint system. Any time I began to struggle with one of the puzzles and I did give it the ol' college try, the hint system would pop up and I would use it. It took a genre of gaming that I never had a lot of fun with and it was an absolute blast for me.

    I love the atmosphere of the game, it's very Lovecraftian, with things that should be left unspoken notes laying around, devices that should not be messed with and a hint at the very end of the game that there was something more going on. I've downloaded the sequel, have yet to really delve into it, but I'm looking forward to seeing where it goes from here.

  • I can't lie, while the rest of the world is in love with the 3D Mario games, they don't do a ton for me. Galaxy is as much as I've enjoyed a 3D Mario game. I'm not sure if it's the mechanics that just don't click for me, but I've tried all of the 3D Mario games and I just never end up having fun with them.

    So when Nintendo took the series back to it's 2D roots with New Super Mario Bros., while adding modern day game mechanics and for me, this was the best Mario game since Super Mario World. Things like giant Mario were so much fun and had the feel of old school Nintendo and reminded me of why I loved Nintendo as a kid.

  • This was such a great idea, I was so bummed when Microsoft decided to cut the program. 1 vs. 100 took the TV game show and brought it to the gaming world, tying it together with Microsoft's then new Avatar system. Depending on when you would play you got different perks, different rewards like Microsoft Points and that was just such a brilliant idea. My wife and I would play this game, almost nightly for several months, the same way we would watch a popular game show on TV. It was event gaming and hopefully someone takes this idea and runs with it, getting rewards like points to buy other games by playing other games is so much fun.

  • If you can't tell, I loved the Gears of War series. Gears of War 3 is the best that Epic did when it came to telling a story and I feel like it held up to the majority of other games stories (the game below is an example of that) and maybe even a little better. Epic threw everything in to this game and it was such a fun game to play, the combat is so much fun, the variety of the different guns are great to test out and figure out which gun is the most fun for you. The moment where Dom dies was effective, even if the character himself really wasn't anything to write home about. It might have been the use of the instrumental of Mad World, but that's what I mean, it's more effective than anything else Epic has done story wise that it worked for me.

    Horde Mode here was a better version of the Horde in 2, though I'm not sure if it was over saturation, but I just didn't play it as much as the one from 2. Adding things like points to buy upgrades for your team was a great move, like Left 4 Dead, writing about it makes me want to play it more. It's a great conclusion to the series though for Epic, so I'm interested to see what Black Rock has in store for the franchise!

  • I feel like I was one of the few people who was on board with this game from the very start. From the release of the Game Informer that spilled the beans on the game, through the initial e3 trailers, everything just clicked for me and I was ready to move on from the previous style of Tomb Raider games, so everything about a reboot just made sense to me.

    For the most part, it was a really successful reboot. They actually made Lara into an interesting character, someone who had a decent personality besides snark and the voice acting/motion capture by Camilla Luddington was very good. The game was rightly called an Uncharted clone, though I only think so in terms of the platforming and climbing. The actual gameplay, the shooting is so much more satisfying in Tomb Raider and like Resident Evil 5, it's a game I love solely because of the gameplay. Sure, the actual tombs in this Tomb Raider are scarce, but that was never the complete appeal of the game to me and I feel like they'll fix that for the sequel.

    Where the game let me down, was the plot, but I shouldn't have been surprised. The plots of Tomb Raider games have always been pretty garbage and the actual plot here falls right in line with the series. Where the story caught me though, was Lara and her relationship with Sam. A compelling case can be made that this relationship is exactly the kind of thing Amy Hennig talked about, where most people started to talk about how Lara and Sam must have had some kind of romantic relationship, I just thought of them as really good friends, the kind of friendship that Frodo and Sam have in The Lord of the Rings and that aspect of the story hooked me.

    So yeah, this was a huge step in the right direction for the franchise, I was so happy to see a lot of people eating crow on this game and I can't wait to see what Crystal Dynamics has in store for us with the new generation!

  • Generation of the Zombie continues, with what probably has the cutest zombies of all the games on this list. While Plants vs. Zombie didn't quite reach the highs of Peggle for me, I mean, it's in the Top 50 on this list, so the way Popcap makes games really resonates with me (oddly enough, I've never played Bejeweled, so I think I need to rectify that). We've all played a million tower defense games at this point, right? So the real draw for me here was the art style. Such a fun game though, haven't really played any of the sequel, some of the free to play hooks sound a little iffy to me.

  • Man oh man, Metal Gear Solid 4. Metal Gear!? Metal Gear! I refer to the Bombcast Game of the Year Deliberations for when this game came out as to why the game is so awesome, but it is. I feel like this is probably one of the more underrated games on this list, because in spite of how awesome it is, Grand Theft Auto IV beat it for game of the year pretty handedly and in my opinion, undeservedly.

    So full disclosure, this is the only (full) MGS game that I've beat. I've beat Ground Zeroes, but I don't think that counts really. So that may be why I have so many fond memories of the game. The game play worked for me in ways that the series never really did before, moving to a third person perspective, instead of top down, I think was the right move. While the game doesn't play as well as Ground Zeroes, I feel like it's far better than what came before it (Subsistance plays the same way though, right? Need to try that out). It's fun to either sneak your way through the game, or use the CQC or the gun play.

    The shining light of the game is just the amount of insane things that happen during the game though.

  • I'm not as dire on the future of Halo as a lot of fans are, I think 343 made some missteps with the multiplayer, but the single player campaign they got right and they got the relationship between Chief and Cortana right, which to me, is the core of the series.

  • Not going to lie, just like The Last of Us, this is another game that I initially blew off during my original playthrough of the game. Unlike The Last of Us, during that playthrough, I didn't bother to finish Dishonored. Played about an hour, to two hours of the game and decided that the comparisons to Bioshock were far off and I just wasn't interested in the game as a whole.

    Caveat, as of this writing, I haven't finished the game yet (though I am at the spot that most people seem to think is one of the best missions of the game, the costume ball), so I suppose this game could drop down further on this list, but just like The Last of Us, for whatever unexplainable reason, I found myself wanting to give the game another shot and I'm so glad I did. Unlike The Last of Us, Dishonored doesn't have the critical acclaim behind it, seems like most people dislike the narrative which, while it isn't The Last of Us or Bioshock quality, I think it's better than most claim it is. But to me, Dishonored gets the one thing right that video games should get right and that's the game play. It baffles me that the game has such a huge amount of options on how to tackle any given mission. The amount of options, ways to go through the level and complete the missions is insane.

    So Arkane nailed the gameplay and they nailed the art style I think, so for any flaws the narrative has, I think the game holds up its end of the bargain in other areas pretty well and as for this game, it's so much fun to play and I cannot wait to see what Arkane has for us this next gen!

  • It is, sort of fun to say, isn't it?