Updated: Aug 9
(as of March 2021)
What better way to kick off the site and introduce myself than a look at my personal favourite games of all time. And by all time I really mean more like post 2000, once I was old enough to know if the controller my brother had given me was actually plugged in or not. These should provide a nice microcosm of my tastes and how they align with yourselves.
I should preface this by saying this was originally planned as a top 10 but trying to choose ONLY 10 of these was simply impossible. I also tried to limit this to one pick per series to get as many of my favourites a mention as possible. So, without further ado, here are the undisputed official greatest games ever made.
Need for Speed Underground 2, Inside, Portal 2, Alan Wake, Urbz, The Simpsons Hit and Run, Goldeneye,
25 - The Secret of Monkey Island
Kicking things off with some swashbuckling. These point and click adventures have charm and humour in abundance and it’s silly tone works perfectly for me. The running gag of Stan the salesman’s shirt is still so good and as a side note I really wish I could actually buy one. The creative fun puzzles and fantastically written stories and characters are a complete joy and make this easily one of my favourites.
24 - Rayman Legends
The recent Rayman games have to be some of the most underrated platformers ever created. Rayman Legends has one of my favourite art styles ever in games, fantastic tight platforming coupled with interesting world design and the incredible soundtrack is the cherry on top. The only negative I can think of is that its been 8 years, where is the sequel Ubisoft????
23 - Batman: Arkham Night
I’m a big fan of batman and I’m a big fan of these games. The combat is what makes this a cut above the rest, it’s incredibly satisfying pulling off combos and timing counters. I also really appreciate that they incorporated Batman’s detective prowess into the gameplay so heavily as it’s often an overlooked side of the character. The cherry on the top is the performances by the quintessential Batman and Joker, Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill respectively.
22 - God of War
Sony and Santa Monica studios took a gamble with the 2018 iteration of God of War and it paid off spectacularly. The series always had great combat but the change in direction in storytelling and combat style helped give it a new lease of life. This was one of the best cinematic gaming experiences I’ve had with moments that made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.
21 - Mario Odyssey
Somehow Nintendo are able to keep knocking it out of the park with Mario, Cappy was such a clever addition and I could just run around New Donk City all day. There are obviously so many games from this series I could of picked but I feel the latest has been their best to date, although I would love to revisit Galaxy as I never gave that a proper look.
20 - Resident Evil
The scene were you first see a zombie in the hallway and it slowly turns it head towards you may have been my first ever exposure to horror and it scared the life out of me. Then I got the Gamecube remaster and that same scene hit me all over again and I turned the game off and didn’t want to play anymore. Resident Evil is great. I have since managed to brave my way through the series and I cannot wait for Village. Bring it on.
19 - Ori and the blind forest
Before even playing this game I was in love with it. The art style and vibe pulled me in from the first time I saw it and I was delighted that the platforming gameplay matched that same standard. The touching story and incredible soundtrack also deserve special mention. Its like playing a painting.
18 - The Last of Us part II
To be honest I didn’t really enjoy playing through the first Last of Us. I found the gameplay frustrating and clunky and I really had to push through it in order to see the excellent story that was being held back. With the sequel they made a much better game. Whilst fundamentally the same, the gameplay is refined and improved upon in pretty much every way. Personally I enjoyed the story for the most part, although I thought the way they handled choice in some key moments was poor and they didn’t stick the ending this time around. All in all, an incredibly well crafted game.
17 - Halo
Boasting possibly the most epic video game music of all time, Halo is a fantastic, revolutionary and genre defining series. The first one for me is still my favorite, the sense of wonder the world gives was just as magical when i finally played it for the first time, many years after release. The biggest highlight though is the fantastic co-op campaigns, which there aren't enough of in modern gaming.
16 - Nintendogs
How haven’t they made a switch edition of this yet? NINTENDO PLEASE BRING THIS BACK!
15 - Fable 2
I love the vision and ambition of this game, the story it aims to tell and how much freedom it tries to offer the player. All the RPG elements pull together really well to take you along the story and I really enjoy the mix of combat and spells. I can’t wait to see what the next Fable will be like, if they can double down on player choice and really let you shape the story it could be something even more special.
14 - Rock Band 4
It was a toss up between this and Guitar Hero 3 for me but as a drummer at heart there could only be one winner. They’re not just excellent rhythm games but actually gave me a greater appreciation for music. Who doesn’t want to unleash their inner rockstar.
13 - Call of duty 4 - Modern Warfare
Sometimes I just want to switch off my brain and enjoy a blockbuster. That’s what this series does better than anyone. Explosive, fast paced fun. The first one of the series I played was COD 2 which was a very good World War 2 game in it’s own right but when Modern Warfare came out it felt so fresh and revolutionary. There are a lot of great games in this series but COD4 still has the best campaign to date and some iconic multiplayer maps. A genre defining FPS and one of the most significant games ever made. 12 - Gears of War 3
It popularised the genre of cover shooters and still to this day does it better than anyone. There is just a satisfying weight to everything, especially the lancer. Also the overall Gears story is so much better than it has any right to be. The original trilogy did such a great job of ramping things up and evolving over time, then ultimately wrapping up in a very satisfying way. I would love to see them take a few more risks now and change up the formula a bit more but I can’t deny they are still fun as hell.
11 - Football manager
As well as being the best sport simulator going, it is also one of the best multiplayer games I’ve played. I’ve sunk thousands of hours into this series in network games with my dad and they just seem to get better and better every year. EA and 2K could learn a lot from these games.
10 - Stardew Valley
Therapeutic is the best way I can describe Stardew Valley. It perfectly balances giving you new tasks so you are always progressing while giving you the space to move at your own pace, chill on your farm and hang with friends. I can quite happily sit on this game for hours doing very little at all and it would be time well spent.
9 - Wii Sports
Probably one of the most important games ever made for being so easily playable for so many people. This game defined the Wii console and the bowling alone would be enough to get this on the list. Iconic.
8 - The Witness
A genius concept. The way it takes a seemingly simple dot and line puzzle format and expands on it in the most surprising ways left me in awe at times. Each little breakthrough I made along the way when I figured out a solution give me a sense of accomplishment that no other game has matched. A truly memorable experience that anyone who likes puzzle games should give a shot.
7 - Breath of the Wild
Confession; despite owning Nintendo consoles all my life this was somehow the first Zelda game I ever played. What an introduction it was though! It creates a sense of exploration that’s unlike any other open world game I’ve played. It’s got a mix of combat, puzzles and secrets that just keeps you wanting to search every inch of the game you can find and then rewards you for your exploring in surprising ways.
6 - Mass effect 2
What an amazing series. A character driven space RPG with high stakes and a gripping story that really gets you invested. The way the second game in particular explores this world and enables you to develop relationships with all those who live in it is fantastic. The choices you can make along the way make a real difference and give it incredible replay value. I cannot wait for the remaster to experience the fully story from start to finish once again.
5 - Assassins Creed 4 - Black Flag
Yo ho yo ho, its the pirates life for me. I enjoyed this game so much I did my dissertation on Piracy. I’ve had a lot of fun with this whole series over the years, with the fantastic Ezio trilogy and now with their new direction since Origins. Black flag though connected with me in a completely different way. It’s the only game I’ve 100% completed and even then I didn’t want to stop playing. I could sail the seas and listen to my crew singing for hours, waiting to see what appears on the horizon.
4 - Witcher 3
For me a perfect RPG needs to have a world which sucks me in and characters that feel worth caring about. The story has to be strong enough to pull me through the countless hours of quests. The combat has to be satisfying but also fun to shape towards the way you want to play, and crucially the choices have to feel like they truly matter. Witcher 3 is as close to a perfect RPG as I’ve ever seen. The world feels alive and the game has so many moments, both big and subtle, which show the impact you are having on the people around you. It’s a fantastic game and well worth playing through to the end of both main dlc.
3 - Metal Gear Solid 5
Confession time again. MGS 5 was the first game in the series I played. They’d slipped under my radar until I watched the excellent play through of all the games by Giant Bomb prior to its release. Some of those prior games are arguably better to watch than play anyway with their story, equal parts amazing and bonkers, being the real reason to check them out. With 5 however its the gameplay that’s the star. They really perfected the loop of sandbox areas and giving the player the freedom to sneak or attack their way through as they please. The progression of your mother base and your guns and gadgets make each mission feel like you're working towards something in a really satisfying way. It’s well-documented the issues around the seemingly unfinished story which does leave you wondering what could have been, but the final product is still must see nevertheless.
2 - Bioshock Infinite
You may have deduced from some of my picks that narrative is the strongest factor in pulling me through a game, and no game has had me thinking about the plot long after the credits have rolled like this one. The whole series has the strongest sense of tone and atmosphere I’ve ever experienced. The worlds these games are set in are simply incredible and so well realised. The city in the sky is a wonderful place to explore and live in, albeit not quite as novel as Rapture which preceded it. It does more than make-up up for it though with the story. I don’t want to go into any of the details of it here, only that it both pulled on my heart strings and left my jaw on the floor. The perfect example of why Video Games are such a unique medium for telling a story.
1 - Red Dead Redemption
The best game of all time. Separating this and RDR 2 was the real challenge here but the first just edges it due to being a bit less bloated. It’s quite simply a masterpiece and my appreciation for it has only grown over time. Every aspect of the game has such an unbelievable attention to detail, it makes the whole game such a joy to experience. It plays out like a love letter to spaghetti westerns , packed with brilliant set pieces and gunslinging, outlaw shooting, cowboy hat wearing action, all set to a soundtrack which is evocative of the great Ennio Merricone scores. But where this game really stands apart for me is in the quieter more thoughtful moments, especially when travelling the fantastic landscapes where you can really just take everything in. From start to finish it is simply the greatest game I have ever played through and is still the benchmark for any games I have played since. The talented folks over at Rockstar sure do know what they’re doing don’t they.