With Next-Gen consoles the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 just around the corner and a new generation of games on the horizon, we took some time out to think of the games which have really made us sit up and take notice of them, whether for their great gameplay or innovatory. With so many games which could have made our Top 10 Games of this Generation, we regrettable had to leave out so many cracking games, but we will try to justify why these games have been our favourite of this generation!
State of Decay – (Nominated by Stephen Jackson)
State of Decay took on something which we haven’t seen done before, and offered something completely new and fresh to the Zombie genre. It gave players an open-world to survive in, where you need to loot resources and keep your survivors happy to stay alive. Add in the ability to build facilities and improve your home-base, and you have a terrific survival simulator. Despite being an Xbox Live Arcade game, it can easily hold its own against the big boys, and you can only imagine how much better it would have been if it was a fully fledged title. The folks at Undead Labs have raised the bar for the genre, and they did a terrific job.
One of the best games of 2013, and of this generation.
Halo 3 – (Nominated by Matthew Harrison)
Without a doubt, my favourite game of this generation. I started playing Halo with Combat Evolved at the very young age of 7.
Since then I’ve played, and loved, every Halo. However, I think Halo 3 was the peak of the series. It brought to an end my favourite gaming trilogy of all time in an absolutely amazing way. It was also the first game that I played the multiplayer of a game. I had to go round to my mates house to do it, because I didn’t have Xbox live.
Halo 3 was great in many ways. Great gameplay, great story and a great multiplayer. But I’ll always remember the great memories I have of playing it with both my mates, and my family.
Far Cry 3 (Nominated by Andrew Vallis)
Far Cry 3 is one of the few games that did Open-World RPG right! The random and interesting scenarios that can develop just while running around this games huge world is awesome! A very good balance was struck between exploration, collection, and story. You find yourself not feeling *forced* into doing story missions, but instead continually getting distracted by everything around you. One moment you can be heading over to a hunting grounds to skin a leopard for your crafting progress, and then all of a sudden you find yourself silently sneaking around an Outpost, picking off the Pirate Guards one by one.
That brings me to the combat in this game, oh how good it feels! No matter your play style, you can find your own here. Sniping from a distance, timing your shots to make sure none of the guards notice their fellow soldiers falling, or sneaking in and stabbing them all. If you like you can even just run in guns blazing, though I find you miss out on a fair bit from playing like this. The stealth elements are a bit average, but the game does utilize stealth and sight as part of it, and it does feel very satisfying to take out an outpost without getting noticed or even heard.
The final thing I’d like to mention about Far Cry 3 is the character design. No other game has made me love and hate the villain so much. I won’t talk to deep into this, as it would contain spoilers of the story line, but to say it simply; Vaas is beautiful. The character design efforts put into making his personality deserves its own rating, as its done fantastically. You get informed on his back story, and learn who he is as you play the game, and the whole time his crazy personality just adds so much more emotion to the story. This game is worth playing just to see the scenes Vaas is in.
Portal 2 – (Nominated by Jozef Wotawa)
There are not enough words in the English dictionary to describe how good this game is. This game will be remembered as one of the greats, to me it’s the complete package. With its challenging, but delightful puzzles, combined with its gripping and clever story that’s filled with very entertaining characters, this game has everything. An epic masterpiece that some games can only aspire to be.When I first put in the disk for Portal 2, I didn’t know what to expect. I’d come into the game blind as I had never played its predecessor, so the world of Portal was strange and unknown to me. However, buying Portal 2 was one of the best decisions I had ever made. Due to me not playing the original Portal, this game was a completely brand new experience to me. The gameplay was a breath of fresh air. I had never felt so immersed in a game, and this led to me playing for 10 straight hours when I first purchased the game. Hours well spent I say!All-in-all, this game is fantastic. If you’ve never played this game I suggest you go out and buy it. You have one hell of an experience waiting for you.
Uncharted 3 – (Nominated by Cailum Reay)
Released in 2011, Naughty Dog’s linear action adventure game rings true to the essence of its predecessors whilst establishing a new theme for the story involving the father son relationship of Drake and Sully. This third entry in the series sets to view Nathan’s life, from his troubled rooftop upbringings in Colombia and his adoption of the Drake family name, to his desperate need to prove himself, despite all the worried claims from his companions. It’s a game that rings true to all the excellent game play third person shooters had come to attain, whilst burrowing itself a new found level of character development, making each plot beat and exotic destination feel just that more special.
Although relatively short (around 8 hours) and cumbersome at times (the straight and narrow path can be weary), the game provided a unique and challenging villain, a new treasure hidden as the lost city of Ubar and some of the best cinematics in a video game I’ve ever witnessed. Some things in that game, be it walking through the desert, tired and weary, or riding on horseback amiss a number of armored vehicles out to get you, transpired to me like few games have this generation. Sure, the cynics would disagree with Uncharted 3 topping its predecessor, but it was the only one that truly made me feel that Drake wasn’t little more than a 3D one-liner machine and truly gave him depth, more so than the romantic subplots of his previous escapades provided.
Red Dead Redemption – (Nominated by Zach Waller)
It was one of, if not thee most realized gaming world ever. The scenery, the characters, the story, everything about it was amazing. John Marston is one of the most compelling characters ever seen in a video game. It also had the best pure gameplay in a Rockstar game ever in my opinion, it was responsive, without a rocky camera and just fun to play. I remember just riding around on horses taking in the incredible detail the world had to offer. Just a jaw-dropping experience and the current standard for open world games in my honest opinion!
Dark Souls – (Nominated by Christopher Howell)
A game all true gamers must play. This game challenges your confidence in your gaming abilities, breaks you down, then builds you back up as a better gamer. Combine the punishing, but fair difficulty with amazing art style including armor that doesn’t turn into bikini’s when your female character wears it, interesting weapons like zwei-handlers and spears(Something that 90% of games don’t include) and a very interesting world in general, from the majestic city of giants Anor Londo, to the mystical Crystal Cave. From the horribly brutal, disgusting, and laggy Blighttown, to the hellish Lost Izalith.
From the otherworldly Ash Lake, to the site of the final battle, and the origin of the game’s world, the Kiln of the First Flame, every location is extremely interesting, and the background and lore to every place and every item in game just begs further exposition. Even the site of the Four Kings boss battle, The Abyss, which is just a black empty room where your depth perception is wildly warped is an interesting location that warrants further exposition. The boss battles, every one of them are truly epic, and are some of the most memorable boss battles I know. I could go on for hours about the lore, and the symbolism of fighting to protect or destroy the first flame, and every other little thing about this game. It is not just my pick for best game of this generation, but for best RPG ever released.
Fallout 3 – (Nominated by Stephanie Watel)
Fallout 3 is my favorite game of this generation because it encapsulates everything that a Western RPG should be. It presents the perfect balance of roleplaying elements, allowing the player to create someone that they can relate to and admire whilst playing the game, a character that’s very human-like rather than fantasy. The wasteland is a place that sends chills down your spine. It looks like home, desecrated by war, rather than another planet or world.
The entire game is something quite relatable, regardless of the politics. It evokes a spectrum of authentic emotions, from relief to excitement, curiosity, fear, anxiety, and heartbreak. Few games in this generation have made such a profound impact in so many ways. Every time I started a new file, it was like a new adventure each time, and there were many moments I wanted to relive over and over, such as leaving the vault for the first time. While many post-apocalyptic games have popped up on the market the past few years, none I tried left the same mark that Fallout 3 did. And for god’s sake, Liam Neeson is your father.
Bioshock Infinite – (Nominated by Stefan Richings)
Bioshock Infinite is simply a masterpiece. Not a direct sequel to the first two Bioshock games, Infinite takes you out of Bioshock and up into Columbia, and the world of Columbia is beautiful. Giving the impression of an incredibly free, sprawling world in what is ultimately a semi-linear game. A story that will involve you like never before, even if the ending leaves you desperately confused, you’ll never have enjoyed confusion so much.
A much improved combat engine and control system comes alongside this beautiful world and this game (alongside The Last of Us) redefined how AI in a game SHOULD work. Elizabeth is arguably one of the most useful and loveable companion characters to ever created, and never once got in my way. One hell of a game, that everyone should play at least once. Ken Levine is a genius.
The Last of Us – (Nominated by Stephen Jackson)
The Last of Us was something special. A game which was not only brilliant for it’s gameplay, but what captured players most of all was it’s story. Naughty Dog created a true masterpiece, a masterpiece in which you could get just as much enjoyment watching it as you could playing it. The last of us is no doubt a work of art and as such if you own a Playstation 3 or only know someone with one, you must play this game.
Joel and Ellie were two of the most likeable characters we have had the privilege of playing for a while, if not this generation. Death lurks around every corner, and it’s survival of the fittest.
If you haven’t experienced The Last of Us, you need to…