List items

  • Mass Effect 2 was an easy choice for my #1 spot for many reasons, but there really isn't much left to be said about it.

  • I've logged well over 200 hours in the northern reaches of Tamriel and I honestly wish their had been more DLC. I'm gonna miss my wood elf rogue for the next few years.

  • Rock Band is special. For a long, long time, it was the go-to game whenever people were over or even when I lugged it all to someone else's place. So many great memories from the series as a whole (including playing on stage at Harmonix's PAX Rock Band night twice), and RB3 really was the culmination of everything that is/was great about music games. Also, on a personal level, I never could get good at Guitar Hero, but, somehow, I learned to play drums quite well, which allowed me to finally join in and contribute.

  • I love Assassin's Creed. Yeah, all of it. Even the first one. Yep, even III. While I will not argue with anyone who says Brotherhood is the best, I went with II because A) it's really great, B) it was was such a huge leap over what was presented in the first game, and C) that mindfuck at the end!

  • I played the last 80% of Uncharted 2 in one sitting that ended somewhere around 3:30 AM. For one, there was no real stopping point, but I didn't want to stop anyway. Just amazing from beginning to end.

  • I'm an MK from the beginning. My late best friend and I used to make index cards with moves lists on them and take them to the arcade while trying to figure out fatalities and whatnot. This was a pre-Internet world, you fetuses! And MK9 just tapped into all that nostalgia by masterfully retelling MK 1-3 with some crazy twists and turns. MK9 also sets the standard in terms of single player content in fighting games.

  • Everything about Dragon Age Origins was right up my alley. I played through all of the origin stories, but ended up spending the majority of my time (over 100 hours) as the city elf. Side note: Leliana's voice.

  • Fable II is probably the closest Peter Molyneux has come to achieving his grandiose visions and promises. It's such a whimsical, goofy, and sometimes dark world to be in and just downright fun to play.

  • I didn't really have much interest in The Walking Dead until someone told me that the main character was from my hometown of Macon, GA and that most of the first episode takes place there. Well, I'm glad someone told me that, because that was a hell of a ride for the six months or so that those episodes covered. Is it weird to like a game so much when all it does is kick you in the teeth every 20 minutes? Oh well.

  • It's astounding that such a small crew of people could come right out of the gate with their first game and make something this incredible. Every aspect of this game is excellent; the combat, the story, the narrator, and especially the soundtrack, which I still listen to often.

  • I had never played Civ before. I'd heard all the warnings, but despite that, I fell into that black hole. Hard. Who knew that taking a west African war lord to space would be so fulfilling?

  • "So, the makers of Sly Cooper are making an open-world super hero game? Alright...I guess." That cautious optimism turned into one of the first few great experiences I had on PS3. Any game that get me to start playing it again after I finish has to be high on my list.

  • Just...just pure joy. Simply fun at every turn. It's what video games were meant to be. It's also the only Wii game (of the forty I own) to make the list. Sorry, Let's Tap.

  • I got into Borderlands late because I had bought some other game that week. I can't even remember what that game was now. Borderlands strikes a chord with that loot lust that so many of us have and it's insanity flavored humor is (usually) quite funny. I probably played more hours of the sequel, but the original is more memorable for what it did.

  • Red Dead Redemption is another game that I had no real intention of buying prior to its release. The western motif just didn't seem that interesting to me. I bought it anyway and fell in love with it.

  • At the end of 2005, I was out of a job. That went on well into 2006. During that period, playing Animal Crossing became a daily ritual. I hadn't played the GameCube version, but I quickly fell in love with the laid back nature of the game.

  • As someone who bought one of those weird-ass, pyramid-shaped PC game boxes for the original Tomb Raider, I wanted this reboot to restore my faith in the franchise. People had some superficial complaints (in my opinion) about this version of Tomb Raider, but I loved it. The brutal death sequences did feel out of place, but everything else was great fun and I can't wait to see what they do next.

  • I love puzzle games. I love RPGs. I bought this game twice (PSP then XBLA) and dumped dozens of hours into both. I S-ranked it on XBLA including the expansion. I'm not sure you understand how much time that takes!

  • I got into Journey late, but that worked out pretty well. About halfway through, I ran into someone who clearly had played it before. I think he/she realized I was new and guided me through finding stuff and kept me safe (mostly). It was a great experience and then...that ending. That ending!

  • I'm one of those people that are upset that Burnout is for all intents and purposes dead. But, I'll tell you a secret...Need for Speed is basically Burnout now. I know! It's crazy! It's not exactly the same, but it's close enough. And the cops vs. racers esthetic Hot Pursuit has never worked better. As someone who doesn't play online very often, I had a blast playing with random people for extended periods of time in HP.

  • While GTA5 is not the transcendent, groundbreaking game that some of its predecessors were, the sheer level of detail in the world of Los Santos (and the surrounding area) is simply incredible. I completely ignored the online features, but I did 100% the single player (which does not actually mean I did everything...I know, it's weird) and had a ton of fun the whole way through.

  • I bought four games at launch, but it wasn't long before my PSP became a $250, dedicated Lumines machine. Honestly, I never got very good at it, but I never stopped loving to play it. It was also the only random encounter I had with another person with a PSP for multiplayer. A guy at the Atlanta airport saw me playing it and asked if I wanted to play. That was pretty cool.

  • Yeah, I'm digging pretty deep for this one. But, based on the rules I set for this list, turns out that BF2 qualifies. I'm not a big shooter guy, but I dumped countless hours into BF2 primarily as a commander. Finding a good helicopter pilot, then just hiding out in the back dropping supplies while the pilot flew around capturing points. I've never been great at FPS multiplayer, but BF2 gave me the means to contribute.

  • I think many people got stuck on the whole "you can't die" aspect of the gameplay and completely missed the fact that "PoP 2008" is a stunningly beautiful, incredibly fun to play open-world action-adventure-platformer. It saddens me that this version of Prince of Persia never got a sequel (yet?). Also, Elika.

  • I have an unexplainable, unconditional love for this game. For someone who was terrible at Geometry Wars, I will argue that this was the best game on Xbox 360 for the first four months of the system's life (GRAW and Oblivion). The later levels are devilishly difficult. It used achievements extremely well at a time when most games didn't know what the hell they were doing. And the multiplayer was surprisingly fun. Why did we never get a sequel, Garage Games?