Favorites

This is a list of games I consider my all-time favorites. They may not all be the best games, or even necessarily good games, but for one reason or another, I enjoyed my time with them enough to include them on this list.

List items

  • Quite possibly my all-time favorite game. When I first played through it, I found the stories and characters within moving on a level that few games have matched, and a mix of gameplay styles that remains unique to this day. The PS2 sequel was a travesty, but the original PS1 release will remain a favorite in my heart.

  • I first beat this game before Jeff and Vinny began their Endurance Run. Its gameplay, refined and improved vastly over its predecessor, makes it more engaging, but what really makes it stand out are its murder mystery storyline and fleshed out cast of characters.

  • One of the defining games of my childhood and adolescence. Final Fantasy VI took storytelling in games to reaches I had never seen before, and shaped the way I thought about game narratives for years to come. This is one game I would kill to see a remake of.

  • And speaking of remakes, the DS version of Final Fantasy IV is an incredible game in its own right that does perfect justice to the original. And even though the original SNES incarnation that was released in the U.S. was neutered in terms of difficulty and content, I still fondly remember playing that game when I was a kid, before the internet and ignorant of the changes that had been made.

  • One of the most unique games out there for the DS or any other system, this game demonstrated that Square Enix still had its touch at a time when many were questioning the company's ability to develop new original properties. Not only is TWEWY original, its gameplay is perfect for handhelds and its story is surprisingly deep.

  • An RPG in an epic scope that almost didn't come to North America. It has one of the most breathtaking worlds seen in any RPG of its generation or any other.

  • The game may be short, but it came out at a time in my life when I desperately needed a pick-me-up. The story it tells of a man dreaming, asleep on his death bed, may be heavy-handed at times but is also intensely moving. No matter what flaws this game has, I just can't bring myself to criticize it.

  • While Persona 4 improved on a lot of aspects introduced in Persona 3 and Persona 3 FES, it was Persona 3 that introduced me to the Megami Tensei franchise and helped reinvigorate my interest in the genre. Its tone may be darker than that of P4, and its characters may be more depressing, but the gameplay and story kept me hooked for the whole ride.

  • The sequel to Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, Radiant Dawn is an incredible experience that puts some welcome twists into the standard Fire Emblem formula, making for an at times unpredictable experience with all of the challenge that I wanted.

  • One of the best games on the GameCube, Path of Radiance is an excellent strategy RPG that tells one of my favorite stories in video games with a cast of interesting, memorable characters.

  • This remake of the original Metroid is also my favorite game in the series. More fun and less frustrating than Metroid: Fusion, I really enjoyed the content that was added post-Mother Brain, as well as the light story elements.

  • This is the game that convinced me that it was time to get a PS3. A masterpiece of gameplay and storytelling that ties up the story of Solid Snake nicely, making references to moments and characters from throughout the series. Snake went out on top.

  • One of the best adventure games I've ever played. Hotel Dusk is a well-told, well-paced mystery filled with interesting characters and makes great use of the DS's capabilities. I'd love to see further adventures of Kyle Hyde.

  • Another RPG classic, I love this game's style and gameplay. Its story and characters may not be the strongest, but the way that the story is told and the characters are presented still manage to make them interesting, and the incredible replay value offered with the myriad endings made it one to continue playing over and over again.

  • No two ways about it, this game is unapologetically batshit crazy. The combat may be shallow, but when you're confronted with the bizarre cast of characters, ridiculous jobs, and quite possibly the weirdest ending in any game ever, its hard not to like this game. Also, you save the game by taking a dump. That rules.

  • My favorite game in the Warriors franchise, Samurai Warriors 2 added enough tweaks to the formula to make things feel fresh, all set against the backdrop of Warring States Japan. Also, few games have made me laugh as hard as I did the first time I played through Nene's Dream Stage. That was just...special.

  • OSU!

    The first rhythm game I was ever able to get into, Ouendan is crazy from start to finish, with its over-the-top characters, ridiculous scenarios, and a great mix of Japanese pop music. Along with its solid, easy-to-learn gameplay, there's a reason that this game became such an import darling.

  • OSU!

    Second verse may be the same as the first, but Ouendan 2 was a great refinement of the formula.

  • OSU!

    This English-language spin-off of the Ouendan series may not be as batshit crazy as its Japanese counterparts, but the spirit is still there, complete with a battle against a magma golem and a musical fight to the death against music-hating alien invaders.

  • Another favorite of mine from Square's SNES library. Its colorful world and addictive combat were fun from start to finish. I downloaded the game to play through again on the Wii's Virtual Console, and it's still got the touch. Now if I could just find two friends to play the game with that wouldn't act like total asshats...

  • I probably played this PC game more than I did any other. Its mix of strategy and turn-based combat might have been daunting had I not had the strategy guide to back me up when I was a kid, but in retrospect, this game helped shape my fondness for turn-based games.

  • My entry on this list specifically concerns the SNES version of SimCity, which was not only easy to pick up, but fun to play. I admit to using the million-dollar code a lot, but when you didn't have to worry about money, it made it a lot easier to build a bustling, thriving metropolis only to watch it be torn asunder by the disasters at your command.

  • An incredibly fun fighting game starring characters from the rosters of both Capcom and the animation studio Tatsunoko Production. It's crazy fun, frenetic, and never takes itself too seriously. An absolute blast in every way.

  • A risky endeavor in the gameplay department that paid off, Other M is a fun action-adventure with the most in-depth story of any game in the series, offering fan service aplenty and plenty of twists and turns along the way.

  • A fun game with a beautiful story that does Kid Icarus more justice than the original NES game could have possibly deserved.