In Honor Of National Video Game Day; What’s Your Favorite?
In honor of National Video Game Day I've decided to indulge my passion a little bit and maybe you'll enjoy it. I have been a gamer since I could hold the Atari paddles and face off against my dad in Frogger. What that means is that I am in the unique position to have played on almost every single gaming system that has been available for in home use since the 1980's. And boy, have there been some good ones. My early years were spent heavily invested in to the Nintendo scene, and it wasn't until my friend got an original PlayStation that I realized there was more to gaming then just Nintendo. But I digress, today is NOT about the system, but rather the games played on them. So, today, I will attempt to make a top 10 list of my ALL TIME GREATEST GAMES EVER PLAYED, with one exception; I have to have beaten them. So with out delay lets get into this (and hey, some of these are part of amazing series but I'm looking at individual games)
Yes, that Asteroids. It was my first taste of video games, so it has to be on the list. This is the epitome of a nostalgic pick. By far the worst game graphically and pretty much all around, the simplicity of the game it kept me busy for literally hours through level after level. And flying across the screen and showing up on the other side was a new twist I had never realized was possible in gaming; a continuous playing field so to speak. As stated earlier the only reason this made the cut was because this was my introduction to games; this pick could have easily been Mrs. Pac-Man, Frogger, Centipede, or Pong.
9) Grand Theft Auto 3
This was my GTA O.G. I never played the original top down game, but this one rarely left my PS2 back in the day. We had all the codes to; infinite ammo, all weapons, God mode. And who could forget scooping up a new ride just to die laughing listening to the awesome "local" radio stations. This game was killer all around for its innovation, game play, story, and humor.
8) NFL Blitz N64
I had to put one sports game on here and this was the one. For years I've poured hours in to Madden, FIFA, WWF/WWE games and more. And Blitz just beats out WCW/NWO Revenge (Sorry Hulkster). This game was the perfect party game! Four controllers, 2 teams, and loads of trash talk. This game can make a pack of 13 year-old boys put down two cases of Mountain Dew; easily.
7) Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
It was gonna make the list in some way shape or form. Resident Evil has only made 1 or 2 games that I call questionable; otherwise there isn't a bad game in the entire series. RE7 was a return to what made the original RE's work so very well. Thrilling, gruesome, and intense. These stories always excite the survival-horror and narrative aspects, which are favorites of mine. I mean if the story isn't any good, why play the game. I could have easily placed Resident Evil 2 (N64) and its remake in this spot as well.
6) Dark Souls
What can I say, I'm a glutton for punishment and Dark Souls provides that. The only video game series that I ever felt refused to hold your hand, which I both loved and hated it for. Difficulty that was unimaginable for me, at that time, from any game I had ever played to that point. Big shout out to Creator Hidetaka Miyazaki, of FromSoftware, and publisher Bandai Namco Entertainment. The Dark Souls series began in 2011 and has seen two sequels, Dark Souls II (2014) and Dark Souls III (2016). Other FromSoftware games, include the OG Demon's Souls, King's Field, Bloodborne, Sekiro, and, the game that has recently consumed all my playing time, Elden Ring. I also could have also put Diablo 2 in this spot. Easily one of, if not THE best PC Games I've ever played.
Yes, I still have it! And yes, my wife and the kids still get beat up on by the old master! What can I say, I spent many college years in Mario Kart tourneys with some of my closest friends. We were highly competitive, both in racing and in battle (me; not so much in battle). I got this game one Christmas morning in the 90's and it has never left my collection. It's just as good to play today, as it was then. This pick could have easily gone to Goldeneye 007. Both games I own are completely worn out and only work if you use the "blow" method on them. Old school gamers, you know exactly what that means.
4) God of War
Here's the remastered trailer. This game series was, and continues to be, the perfect combination of action-adventure, platforming, hack and slash, and narrative; with an amazing collection of gods and monsters to pull from in Greek Mythology. The newer iterations of the series are now looking in to Norse lore and mythos. Each new game is as good as the last in this series and is a must play.
3) Batman Arkham Asylum
Best super hero game ever made; Period. Hands down, no exceptions here. Everything you loved about batman from the comics, movies, and animated series is here. I'm of course talking about the ultra talented group of voice actors Kevin Conroy (Batman), Mark Hamill (The joker), and Arleen Sorkin (Harley Quinn). Story wise, this game starts an incredible series which eventual brings Arkham City, and all its baddies, to life in a gritty and more mature way. For the amount I played it, I could have also put Halo 3 here, the online multiplayer was the greatest thing ever, and the Master Chief storyline is good too.
I used to be an adventurer, but then I took an arrow to the knee... now, I just sit around and play video games. If you get that joke, you're in good company. Some late college and into the early years of my marriage, many nights were spent holding my daughter Hayden and playing hours of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. I was the Dragonborn. This game just could not be beat for graphics, playability, story, and fun. With a seemingly endless map full of mountains, dragons, dungeons, caves, characters, wizards, elves, and magic; what's not to love about Bethesda's masterpiece. Other possible picks here could be Elder Scrolls: Oblivion or even Fallout 3, all Bethesda games. I even could have put the original Doom here; the first PC game I ever played.
1) The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Of course its going to be number 1! Did you see my other picks. You knew it was coming. Yes Ocarina of time is easily the single greatest game of all time. This game is nostalgic so it gets that pick. It's also the greatest game i n the entire Zelda series, and that is truly saying something as there has not been a Zelda game made that wasn't a 9/10 or better when it was released. In fact, this game is so good, my teenage daughter now has it on her Nintendo DS system and as you can see from the newly revamped trailer you can also get it on the Switch. Other honorable mentions for this top spot would have been Super Mario Bros. 3 from NES.
So that's it for my top 10... but what are yours? What games did I leave out that should have made the list? What games should I play or revisit next? Leave a comment on my Facebook post and tell me how dumb (or awesome) my picks were and maybe yours will make a future article.
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