A list of my 10 favorite video games!
The games in this list mean a lot to me in several different ways. Some of the games distracted me during difficult times of my life while others spurred my imagination and challenged me. But all of these games offered enjoyment, entertainment, and created lasting memories. For each game I have decided to share a memory or some thoughts regarding my experiences with the games and sometimes where I was at personally when I played. Having said that, this list was undeniably compiled based upon the quality of the games and my experiences with them. Video games have, and continue to be, an influential aspect of my life, and I would like to share that.
I have debated the order of these games and I am still not satisfied with the list which will probably change over time if I am being honest. 😛
Note: I will update this list at the end of 2017 due to so much gaming goodness this year.
10: Until Dawn
Until Dawn simply offers a fun horror experience where you dictate who lives and dies. The game is intentionally cheesy in a good 80’s horror film way and surprisingly works. I rapidly developed love/hate relationships with several of the characters and played through several times to manipulate certain relationships and to keep everyone alive in spite of the would be killer.
09: Far Cry 4
While I was sooooo excited when this game was announced, it is basically a rinse and repeat of the formula that made Far Cry 3 so successful. However, that is not to say that Far Cry 4 is not a good game. What Far Cry 3 did well FC4 improved upon in small ways while taking place in a beautiful setting and adding a few new features. Arguably the story was improved upon from the last title and several significant female characters were included (a mentionable step forward for Ubisoft). FC4 is a solid title in the fps single-player genre and is part of a franchise that has helped to keep single-player shooters alive and well.
08: Fallout 4
Fallout 4 is my first and only Fallout game. I had very few expectations going into this game other than expecting it to be awesome which it is. Fallout 4, while weak on story and some character development, shoves you into a gritty world where radiation is a threat and what remains of humanity is even deadlier. For me, the journey through Boston and all my stops along the way was far more important and impressive than the story’s conclusion. Fallout 4 is the kind of game where you sit down to play for an hour and then look up to see that half the day has passed you by. I experience so many little things in this game that I will not soon forget.
07: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Similar to Far Cry 3, Skyrim is another game I played on PC that renewed my passion for PC gaming. While I was admittedly late to the party in regards to playing Skyrim, that did not temper my excitement and enjoyment for the game when I finally did get to play it. I won’t debate the difference between Skyrim and Oblivion (plenty of others have already done so sufficiently) but in some ways I enjoyed Skyrim slightly more and slightly less than Oblivion. Skyrim made some much needed improvements (hello caves) while presenting a vast and moody open-world. I spent many hours absorbing the gorgeous countryside and history of this fantasy world.
06: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Where do I start? Mechanically, graphically, and just generally speaking, MGSV is an excellent game. Here’s what I love: it runs well on console, the game looks good, the maps are sizeable, the world is realistic, the weather is somewhat dynamic, the gunplay is solid, and I like the selection of companions and that they are not pointless (I’ll try to hold back my disappointment regarding one of said companions being stolen away…). HOWEVER, what the heck happened to the story? What is the story? Just to be clear, this was my first time playing a Metal Gear game, and I know about the whole debacle between Kojima and Konami, but that is no excuse for a half-baked story. Regardless of the issues some have with the story, MGSV is solid (heh) in nearly every regard. There were moments where I felt sad and even upset by what happened in the game. It’s just that good.
05: Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
The fourth installment of this franchise is what finally sold me on the idea of being a stealthy assassin. I loved the locations, sailing the high seas, plundering as a pirate, and chasing shanties down. Pirates!!
04: Tomb Raider (2013)
Tomb Raider is a solid game with the best female protagonist around. I absolutely love the reimaging of Lara Croft who is, now more than ever, presented as a fully realized character. She’s strong and emotional, uncertain and assertive, physical and at times weak. Lara represents the paradox of humanity. Too much? Okay, I’ll move on. But seriously, Tomb Raider successfully reinvigorated a franchise starring a powerful female protagonist. It’s a game that men and women can enjoy equally because at the end of the day it is a solid adventure game that happens to star a realistic female character.
03: Far Cry 3
Before Far Cry 3, I was never a big fan of first-person shooters. I’m more of a single-player girl and do not particularly enjoy the stereotypical online fps players. I discovered Far Cry 3 through my favorite YouTuber at the time, TheRadBrad, and could not wait to play the game. The only problem was that at that time I only had a poor laptop for school. I had wanted a gaming rig for awhile and Far Cry 3 only added to my motivation for saving up. Eventually I bought my dream PC and installed my first game: Far Cry 3. I love Far Cry 3 because of the tropical setting, the open world, and the fact that it is primarily a single-player game. The story and characters are kind of meh, but the mechanics, guns, and challenges are simply fun which is why I have beaten the game several times.
02: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
I so badly want to place The Witcher 3 at #1 but something is holding me back. I am not sure I can identify what that something is, but I think it has to do with the nostalgia I have for Oblivion. Anywho, W3 is a superb example of an open-world rpg. The world and its stories unfold beautifully around Geralt. I love the dynamic weather, the music, the balance between magic and swordplay, the characters, and the story. W3 offers such a rich experience I recommend any rpg fan give it a go. The people at CD Projekt clearly put their passion into this game and it shows in nearly every element of the Northern Kingdoms. There is plenty of praise for W3 and I cannot say enough to do it justice. Without a doubt 10/10.
01: The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
Where to begin? I played Oblivion during a time of my life when I was uncertain about a lot of big life stuff. I was attending college, uncertain about my major and future when I walked into Wal-Mart one afternoon and meandered through the video game aisle. Almost immediately Oblivion Game of the Year Edition jumped out at me, and I read the blurb on the back of the box. It was onsale for something like $20 and I figured “why not?” Soon it was installed on my laptop and I was immersed in a deep fantasy world full of history, intrigue, and danger. I even remember sitting in my car waiting between classes traversing the country-side on my steed. Oblivion not only sold me on the Elder Scrolls as a franchise but it made me a fan of Bethesda and opened doors to other fantasy and open-world games over time like The Witcher 3. I don’t feel the need to sell Oblivion simply because so many others have written about it and presented their own rankings of The Elder Scrolls games. For me, Oblivion will always stand out as one of the best open-world experiences of my gaming adventures.
Honorable Mention: The Last of Us
The only reason I have placed The Last of Us in the honorable mention spot is because I have never completed the game. Sad, I know. I started playing tLoU in the middle of one of my semesters during graduate school so that’s my excuse for not completing it. If it wasn’t for that, tLoU would comfortably place in my top five. While I have not completed the game, I have watched several complete play throughs of the game. tLoU is an emotional and human experience that many games attempt but fail to achieve. Its level of quality places it on a very short list.