All Time Favourites

getting addicted to making lists, so here's my favourite games ever/right now. i had to choose the bestof games in a series which stings, especially for zelda and metal gear, but otherwise it'd be about 5 franchises here and ico. i apologise for all the swearing; i'm passionate

List items

  • obvious choice, but why lie on a list that only i'm gunna read. this is the game that got me seriously into games. megadrive days were child's play. the first hit, the strongest hit. i lost two hats from them flying off my head at the master sword and sheik moments. the first game i ever played with completely absorbing atmosphere and characters i cared about. incredible, like cocaine for lonely kids.

    Also:

    Majora's Mask, Wind Waker, Link's Awakening DX, Minish Cap.

    most of the zelda games hit highs in one way or another, part due to the strength of the original formula, part due to nostalgia. today, zelda is nintendo's saving grace.

  • so close to first place. i know Sonic 2 inside out, must have played this fucking game at least 50 times through. sensory overload when it came out, eater of attention span. perfect symbiosis of music, visuals and gameplay.

    Also:

    Sonic 3 & Knuckles and Sonic 1.

  • talking about atmosphere, i think this is the closest i've ever come to being overwhelmed by a game. there's such craft in its subtlety; delicately placed pieces of narrative, both textual and locational, and sound design put this game on an eerie island of its own. the sense of scale and the cohesive, circular feeling of navigating your way through a huge empty castle with a silent ghost girl, i've never felt so isolated in my life. except maybe when walking around in fallout 3. and in real life for the past 25 years.

  • joint with its sequel but this came first. it's nuts. metal gear is so cool, cyber sci-fi visuals, cool guy dialogue, solid gameplay, thousands of tiny touches that make it feel rich with character and elaborately fucked up. kojima is a master of bizarro sexy pseudo-western mystery. there's nothing like the Metal Gear series. roll on 5.

    Next Best:

    MGS2, 3 and 4.

  • yep well, mario. the N64 was the first console i had when my brain was starting to realise critical thought, and zelda & mario were there to greet me and then numb it completely. you can't think about this game and not hear the stupid fucking bouncy music in your head and see the bright blue and green of the Old Days. undiluted fun, tight as shit. nintendo at their best.

    Next Best:

    Super Mario Galaxy

  • i'm not sure what it is that makes me enjoy this game so much. i'm pretty sure it's the combination of the stark aesthetic/colour scheme and the satisfaction loop of becoming increasingly more adept at sliding under shit and running up walls. it's probably not too far off getting good at tony hawk's or something. too short, and the story is total bunk, but i don't care. can't believe you could buy it for a fiver a year after it came out, though it meant i got it dirt cheap so

  • what a game. the soundtrack still gets play. i remember distinctly how cool i felt first driving past the beach, with billie jean coming on the radio under a hued pink sky. GTA3 nailed the premise and gameplay, Vice City built on it and nailed the miami vice, scarface aesthetic that i've got no perspective on. mostly though, it's GTA, it's the freedom of uncensored stupid fucking violence in a real setting. every person who plays games plays GTA, there's a reason for it.

    honourable mention to GTA4 multiplayer and the countless hours i spent doing absolutely fuck all on it.

    Also:

    GTA San Andreas, GTA 3, GTA 5, GTA 4 multiplayer.

  • if you've played parappa, you'll know why it's here. had my fingers crossed for years for a conclusion to the trilogy saga. coolest game on this list, catchiest soundtrack.

    Also:

    Parappa the Rapper 2

  • tony hawk's's were all good pre-THUG 2, but i reckon this one hits the equilibrium of controls, soundtrack and level design to the most bodacious degree. rockabluntical multiplayer too.

    i always forget what shill-ass brand-sacks they were though. check it out spiderman, my plain white t shirt says nokia on it. if only we knew, activision.

    Also:

    All of them pre-THUG 2.

  • pretty much The Gameboy Game. tetris never cut the mustard with me, pokemon outstayed its welcome. this game was charming as hell and got the balance of variety, platform puzzle difficulty and fun just right.

  • never gone so hard and deep on a game. or so OCD. vast, dense, lonely, personal, and the first time i ever experienced real player agency. after hitting megaton i walked west and ended up in a supermarket full of bandits, got my ass handed to me, but finally chiseled through them after 3 hours. that feeling that i was doing what i wanted, as dumb as that choice was, was defining. my favourite game of the last generation, just for how much it gives to you if you put the time in.

    i will always remember my megaton house and the world's hottest collection of unused weapons and armour, lost to my brother's 360. rest in digital pieces.

    beats New Vegas by virtue of 3 being my first time around.

    Also:

    New Vegas

  • the best 'real' world so far. handsome, incredible use of technology makes travelling the landscape an actual experience, if you're so inclined. i think the sound design in Red Dead is the strongest on this list. it's pretty much perfect. premise and dialogue distinctly rockstar class, and GTA 5 would look nowhere near as hot without it. great, great game.

  • i only got as far as the xbox 360 version, i think that it never getting updated was a blessing in disguise, even though my guess is about 2 people play it weekly on the 360 now. the hats thing is balls out stupid though, i can't believe it.

    since playing TF2 i've never had the kind of dopamine-spiking camaraderie fun of getting a half smart group of strangers to work together and chisel through another team after a 45 minute stalemate. the class system is diverse and methodically cohesive, it's crazy, no idea how you begin to design something like that.

    the only problem with games like this is that they live and die on playing with people who weren't born a total muggins, a dice throw to say the least. writing about it makes me want to play it.

  • the creme of the creme of psychological horror. completed 3 a week ago, this still kicks it. amazing design in every aspect, except maybe controls, but you know. it's a malicious dream-like game that creepily takes advantage of the dissonance of being both character and audience in playing a videogame.

    Also:

    Silent Hill 3.

  • rare at their best, this is why n64 fans still lament the microsoft move, despite how excellent viva pinata and nuts & bolts were. charming as shit, top class game design with a daft british sentiment, smart and subtle music transitions too.

  • only played this recently but it's excellent. obtuse sensibility

  • spiritual predecessor to Parappa. boldly & distinctly of a very cool and weird time for kids' entertainment - attitude, visuals, music all mega funky to the max. recommended good co op fun for two people who can't face growing up.

    just read about the people who made it, they went bust after TJ&E 3. one guy now runs a coaching business out of the toejam and earl studio. that sucks.

  • Dead Space 2 takes the modern horror design plan one step further towards fighty action, but the setting, lighting and pace keep an iron fist on maintaining an ice thrill in the fear of the unknown. anticipated with promise and fear what was gunna happen next until the very end.

    Also:

    Dead Space

  • sold on this game before i played it. the game achieved its goals of visual, music and gameplay synthesis with unique and groundbreaking flair. shame the sit-on vibrator never made it over here.

    Also:

    Child of Eden.

  • wii version specifically.

    Also:

    RE 5

  • premium co-op experience on megadrive. mouse and duck fucking with each other for the greater good - killing a giant magic dog man. move over streets of rage.

  • i like scary games. i could hypothesize why but who cares, i like the rush of fear, and you get it most concentrated through videogames. or by doing things you've never done before in real life but that's a step too far for old Giantbombiscool.

    anyway, project zero (fatal frame in the US)'s distinctly japanese deftness at foreboding atmosphere and piecemeal respite kept me white tense pretty much all the way through. the story is also surprisingly good and nasty if you take the time to read and listen about the ghosts and events of Himuro mansion. recent replays have highlighted how fucking old-game-japanese it is through its terrible english voice acting, but it's not enough to stain this class A horror.

    Also:

    Project Zero/Fatal Frame 2.

  • donald duck in his own game. the concept of going back to levels you'd already been to was totally alien to me, so i was stuck for about a year, but after getting over that fucking building in duckburg this game was a ton of frustrating fun.

    there's something cartoon circus nightmarish about the music though. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_AQEXZyAjs

  • looking at this list, this is the second heaviest RPG on here, and it's barely an RPG.

    Also:

    Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door

  • bold, involving journey. an entire universe that felt connected and alive outside of wherever Shepard happened to be, which is a rare and precious thing in games, & gave you just enough agency to feel like you were making a real impact. inevitably, the ending was never going to live up to expectations, but the time spent getting there is pretty unforgettable.

    Also:

    All of 'em.

  • all i remember about this game is how crazy it was, and what a surprise

  • balls out nutso in tricks and tracks, a sentiment in sport game design that's kind of gone by the wayside.

  • it's so pretty and accessible at first, then just keeps impressing and opening up on you. or closing up, depending how you look at it. referential and self-referential, a grossly introverted game, sort of like a person you admire for doing what they want and succeeding while pissing you off with their fucking obtuseness. i had to look to a walkthrough for a good chunk of the anti-cube puzzles because they are total nonsense and not for humans. amazing ending.

  • i've tried to stay away from recent games in this list for fear of catching the zeitgeist, but i think Gone Home deserves a place; it's the first time a game has made me feel personal empathy, rather than a sort of calculated videogame 'that's sad for you, how do i get the best stuff' pathos. maybe because there's no stuff to get. a genuinely impressive feat of storytelling told only through exploring and understanding, one of the most human games i've ever played.

  • rented this out ten times from blockbusters (RIP) to complete it. just a

  • this list has highlighted what a disney kid i was, but whatever. this game ticked a ton of disney boxes simultaneously, and i loved it, minus all the weird japanime melodrama. 2 was complete gabbo nonsense though.

  • WORK YA BODY WORK YA BODY. WORK YA BODY WORK YA BODY.

  • film: the game. though if these were films they'd probably be quite shit. as they are - games - they're intensely well-crafted visual feasts made by people who know exactly what they're doing. this entry's for all 3, they're all pretty much the same, well good. playing uncharted 1 on a huge tv in a small room was the first time i was really sold on HD gaming, now I insist on maximum Ps.

  • fun ass co op brawler. definitely wouldn't be as engaging without the film, but what a cool fucking film. rockstar & the warriors is a pretty perfect pairing.

  • i could not give less of a shit about the ongoing chronicles of Person Man, but the gameplay of the Halo games is just so tight. i think pure attrition brings this game into my favourites list, as it was one of the few games i could play with my xbox friends club so had to get sickly good at. this is mostly here because it brought me closer to my friends, through warthogs, through co-op game breaking, through cyberbullying children much younger than me. hockey on the action sack playlist in halo reach was so much fun, +1 if you agree.

    Also:

    Reach, ODST.

  • you go so fast in this game, and through underwater tubes and crap. with cheats you can go 999km/h. suck it, mirror's edge.

  • budget japanese twin peaks.

  • the king of character action as far as i'm concerned. dante is less of a rockin' badass than when we first met in hindsight, and i was generally quite shit at the game, but the set up, aesthetic and pace of DMC's action set a Stylish precedent.

  • the joy of trick dunking a golden basketball on fire. did anyone ever not play as the chicago bulls?

  • expertly walks the line between mondo-dumb and compulsively freaky, harvester has to be played to be understood. it's shit, weird, and hilarious. better with a friend.

  • i got this game with my megadrive in a custom silhouette-over-african-sky box, probably the only reason it's on this list. disney games in the megadrive age were genuinely fucking great though, and this one was fun, mixed it up, matched the colour and hit the scenes of the film, and had a 16-bit version of the soundtrack. never completed it though, might be shit at the end.

  • Also:

    They're all good.

  • a slew of text which

  • fuck racing games, but i got heavily addicted to this one and had a blast, especially barreling through the rally section. ironically, i'm shit at all other rally games.