Dave’s Top 10 Games of All Time

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With big games such as GTA V and Battlefield 4 coming out this year, possibly the next generation of consoles too, I got thinking about past games and consoles and what they have given me over the years. I got wondering, why do I love gaming so much? That inevitably led to me compiling a rough ‘Top 10 Games of All Time’ list but I quickly realised that to cram 15 years of gaming into a top 10 list would be near impossible. That’s why the ‘Honorable Mentions’ section is towards the bottom; still doesn’t include every game I love, far from it, but it’s a semi-rough list. I honestly could post a top 100, but I haven’t got a spare week free and neither have you, so 10 it is! I feel it’s a reasonable number anyway, it allows for somewhat loose critical thinking when choosing.

Reading that last part back after finishing this post, to be honest, I’m lying. This was quite hard to compile!

Something I will try to avoid is including games just for the nostalgia I associate with them but I’m keeping no promises, sorry! Who knows, maybe it’ll make this post a more interesting read.

I’ll be writing a brief summary of what I like about each game, then that’ll be followed up by any criticisms I have.

So sit tight, this is a long one. Hope you enjoy reading it.

 

Mirror’s Edge (2008) -

What better way to start it off than with Mirror’s Edge. Hinting at my #1, what makes this game so special is the ambience that it possesses. If you’ve played Mirror’s Edge then you’ll know what I’m talking about. Never has a game had both the relaxed feeling along with the sense of “Hurry the f*ck up before you get caught.” It’s such a deep game. Innovative is the word I’d use to describe Mirror’s Edge. It’s parkour/free-running is something only the Assassin’s Creed titles can execute as well. The soundtrack is there if you pay attention it’s atmospheric to say the least and one of my favourite musical scores. Huge replayability too. “Ok so now I kinda know the layout of the level I wonder how fast I can complete it” is something I had thought to myself on several occasions. Speaking of the level design, it’s near perfect. Even though the most obvious routes to take are highlighted in red or blue you’ll find yourself shying away from those. It shows you the way to go but encourages exploration. Exploration (in relatively small areas) is the key to Mirror’s Edge. It opens up doors to an array of different paths. Even if you don’t intend on playing the game that way you’ll still notice these things. After playing through the game over ten times I still haven’t found about 90% of the secret satchels!

Criticisms: The controls are a little buggy at times and it’s a short, short game. I’d say around 5 maybe 6 hours to complete it in a single sitting. Still one of my most cherished games though.

Red Dead Redemption (2010) -

Most of you have had the pleasure of playing this. Most of you know how good it is. It’s fun multiplayer, it’s map which consists of mostly desert and trees and who could forget it’s long, detailed and emotional storyline. The exceptional soundtrack is engrained into my memory too.

This is where a few of you may not want to read on, here is where I talk about the story. Almost 3 years after release, I think it’s safe to. If you haven’t played Red Dead Redemption yet though, then I advise you to skip to #8.

[SPOILER WARNING]

Who else didn’t expect John Marston to die? Who else was wondering “How is he gonna get out of this barn?” Who else was shocked beyond belief when that fat, waistcoat wearing Sheriff that you had worked for and helped in the past had his small army riddle John Marston full of bullets? I’d be surprised if you didn’t agree with all of those things. Red Dead Redemption delivered one of the most satisfying moments in gaming for me too… killing that no good dirty coward. Wasn’t that great playing as his son in the end but who cares? Riding up to that Sheriff as he was fishing and then confronting him was gripping to say the least. If you have played RDR then tell me, how did you kill him? What weapon did you use?

Criticisms: There were some parts of this game that I didn’t like though. A couple of characters were pretty bland, John Marston’s partner didn’t suit him at all I mean I can’t even remember her name (Grace?), the Bonnie MacFarlane relationship should’ve been presented in a better way (I know I wasn’t the only one who was hoping Bonnie and John would end up having a good ol’ fling), John’s son, Jack, was pretty irritating and so was the cover system. The multiplayer? The only thing I didn’t like there was the way in which you could join your friends, it was a little confusing to me but that’s it.

Halo: Combat Evolved (2001) -

I still have my copy of the original Halo. I acquired it when I swapped my copy of Hitman 2: Silent Assassin with my next door neighbour. Not a bad swap, eh? I had been playing the demo for about a year (back when demo’s were included with the magazines everyone’s mother used to buy them) and was hooked. The demo mission was ‘The Silent Cartographer’, the mission that features the well-known “Let’s hit it boys!” Having played the demo for about a year straight I was starting to get a bit bored with it, so that’s when we swapped the two. I’m glad that I did too, I’m a huge Halo fan, I’ve followed it since the original Combat Evolved. You can go here to see a breakdown of my love for the Halo series.

Criticisms: None.

Battlefield 3 (2011) -

Battlefield 3 is a game I’ve spent over 400 hours playing. That’s a lot for me. Before I bought it back in October 2011, I hadn’t touched any FPS game since Men of Valor or maybe one of the old Medal of Honor‘s. I had been playing the Halo games since release but in my eyes, it’s an Arena game more than an FPS. I approached Battlefield 3 almost like “Let’s see what the draw to this genre is still, let’s see how it compares to the older FPS’s.” What was also a huge thing and which led me to actually go out and buy the game was the way DICE and EA advertised it. Having not played Bad Company 2 or any of the other Battlefield games, this was all new to me. The focus on tactics and the role each class played was something I had never seen. The realism in the campaign footage before release was also a massive incentive.

Before purchasing the full game though I was playing the public BETA. It was hard. I had literally no idea what I was doing. Shooting the moving billboards on Metro or charging forward into the enemy spawn, basically being the biggest noob in the world and a hinderance to my team. Now though, after a year and a bit and after 3 or 4 expansion packs, I can’t get enough. Battlefield 3 makes it into my list due to the ridiculous amount of hours I’ve put into it’s online multiplayer and continue to do so.

Criticisms: Oh look, another bug. Oh look, overpowered weapons. It feels like Battlefield 3 was pushed out of it’s virtual womb too fast. There’s bugs now that have been around since release and it’s just unacceptable. I still can’t play on Operation Metro, in any game mode, on a ticket count over 200% because I freeze right at the end of the round and I literally mean right at the end before my XP and unlocks can register. DICE can be blamed for some of those things (altering stats on weapons each patch and the whole AC-130 thing) but most of the blame falls to EA (financially restraining DICE in what they can and can’t do in each patch; each patch apparently costs £30,000 to put out). The campaign was also a bit unimpressive, not as bad as other people have said but at the end of the day it’s stopping you from jumping into the brilliant multiplayer.

Colin McRae Rally (1998) – 

The very first Colin McRae game. Forget the ridiculous DiRT titles, this is what it’s all about. I remember my brother getting this Christmas morning. The excitement in the house was intense. Brought the PlayStation downstairs and sat playing this all day. In it’s time this was a game with the graphics of dreams. The sound effects as you go splashing through wet mud or the hatred you instantly had for those crippling ditches made this a massively enjoyable split-screen experience. The cars it included were among some of our favourites too, the Escort RS Cosworth always being our first choice. Each stage was a pleasure to play. You could be drifting through slippery mud roads on a rainy English day in a Lancia Delta Integrale then be going over absolutely insane, orange and dusty hill jumps in Indonesia in a MkII Ford Escort. The game was brilliant. The nighttime stages were actually challenging and each stage also held it’s own form of charm and replayability. One of my favourite PS1 games that’s for sure.

Criticisms: None.

Enter the Matrix (2003) -

One you probably didn’t expect to see. Enter the Matrix is a marmite game to the people who played it – you either love it or you hate it. I loved it. Right here, is where I spent most of 2003. The story wasn’t too impressive, but the fight scenes and how the system performed was enough to cement this game as one of those I love. I must’ve replayed through the game at least thirty or so times. Going back to certain missions and toe-slapping an unlimited amount of guards out of the way was just so much fun. It’s no surprise though, the choreography for those fighting animations was done by the person who had worked in the actual Matrix film series.

Criticisms: Admittedly it was a rather bland game in terms of colour. They could’ve eased up on the green tint a little and could’ve made each level stand out from the last one. Those are little issues though and take next to nothing away from the game.

Crash Team Racing (1999) -

Another one on my list mostly based on the nostalgia it brings back. Crash Team Racing on the original PlayStation was one of those games that could light up any room full of people. Playing this with family members back in the day is one of the best memories I have in gaming. Other than it’s brilliant gameplay and surprisingly well balanced characters, Crash Team Racing had one of the most fun character line-ups I’ve ever seen. Forget the “story mode”, it’s a split-screen multiplayer game and nothing else. If you ever feel like wasting an afternoon in the best way possible then grab a friend, sit down and have hours of fun.

Criticisms: Story mode is an afterthought (is that really a criticism in a game like this though?) They decided to put it in so I guess it is.

Paperboy (1991) -

Ever wanted to play a game with challenging levels and harmless fun? Paperboy delivers those two things in bucket loads. The aim of the game is simple, throw papers at people’s houses… how hard can that be? Well, after the aptly named “Easy Street” level, sh*t gets real. There’s steroid infected dogs to contend with that’ll chase you a good amount of each level, clumsy builders, open manholes, cars not stopping and so many other things. Of course you’re able to speed up and slow down when you see fit but that’s not easy when delivering papers, especially when you throw in poor controls.

My parents used to play this game, that says it all really.

Here’s a short review of the game. It goes into greater detail and features the second level, “Middle Road” and also showcases some of the events I’ve mentioned.

Criticisms: Controls aren’t awful but they certainly aren’t great. Training course at the end of each route was a bit wearing and a chore after a while.

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (2002) -

Vice City. Everyone loves Vice City. The setting of Miami, the main protagonist Tommy Vercetti, the vibrant and unique characters everywhere you looked, just so many great things. Best Grand Theft Auto game for me, by far. The missions were brutal, the cars were epic. The atmosphere leading up to missions (and even in between) is on par with GTA IV‘s. Remember that this was before Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

San Andreas had the chance to improve on Vice City but just didn’t in my opinion. The main protagonist, CJ, was hard to stand for me. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas focused on the other side of crime, street crime, and I wasn’t too into it. Grand Theft Auto has always been about the more underground side of crime, the goings-on that people don’t see. That’s what makes GTA IV so good to me. San Andreas though was a lot more elaborate. More elaborate than Vice City? Of course not, but Vice City was in the only era that could support it, I mean it was set in the 80’s after all. Vice City could pull off the ludicrous K-CHAT radio station, it could get away with samurai swords and purple dildos. Sure, San Andreas was a fun game, no, a great game, but in my opinion it doesn’t match. Some of the missions go too far and they don’t match CJ’s personality. San Andreas has Vice City beat though when it comes to exploration post-story. That’s understandable though given the size of the map.

Vice City is a masterpiece. It’s such a polished and real game. Vercetti is as unpredictable and hard-nosed as any other GTA protagonist. The final mission is superb and the overall style and feel of the game is something I’ll never get enough of.

Criticisms: Map didn’t offer much after the story was complete but the fun cheats helped there. The RC races were a little boring.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution (2011) -

Some of my fellow forum members may have already guessed that this would be #1 or #2 on my list. This game near floored me at the main menu. The soundtrack is one of if not the best things I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing. Let me give you a quick backstory. I had never played the original Deus Ex (which is regarded as the best game of all time to some) and hadn’t even followed this game before release at all. The thing which sparked my interest in Deus Ex: Human Revolution was the advert that was played on my TV. That advert is just behind the 2007 Assassin’s Creed advert, that featured the song ‘Teardrops’ by Massive Attack, as the best advert for a game I’ve seen. Now I know the advertising and marketing isn’t really a factor when it comes to games, other things too, but those two just sucked me in for some reason. The songs used fit perfectly. So after seeing the DE:HR one, I instantly wanted to buy this game. I had also heard that it was a superb game anyway, I didn’t just go off the commercial don’t worry!

Back to what I love about it. As I said, the soundtrack is a killer. Other than that, the overall ambience of the game. The feeling of sadness that gradually builds up as you play, I like that. Not too many games have done that for me. Yeah sure you can have a brilliant story, soundtrack and amazing protagonist (like Red Dead Redemption did) but the setting has to be just right for it to truly hit. In Deus Ex: Human Revolution, the setting is perfect. The human race has evolved into a semi-augmented science marvel. The story isn’t a full 10/10 and the boss battles are a little forceful (in my opinion people have been a bit too dramatic when criticising those) but it doesn’t matter. The level design is perfect, the colour palette is fitting to the environment as it’s a nighttime game and manages to not be overwhelming in the slightest and one of the most important things… it’s not an easy game.

To me, Deus Ex: Human Revolution is so strange. It’s almost a puzzle because I still haven’t worked out how a game can intrigue and inspire me so much so quickly. I’ve definitely played through it more than ten times, still haven’t worked it out. I really could go on for days when speaking of DE:HR. I hold it in such a high regard and I highly recommend it.

The only game that has a chance of comparing to it is Cyberpunk 2077, but that’s 2 years away!

Criticisms: Fast-travelling to the next area could’ve been a little better. Boss battles were a bit of a cop out and didn’t always fit your play style.

 

Of course I couldn’t just end it here. Obviously as it’s a list of ten a plethora of games are pushed out and don’t get in so here are my honorable mentions:

Speed Freaks pretty much sums up the Summertime to me. Me and my brother used to play the demo of this for hours each day. I said “demo” because I never actually owned the full version. Same as Crash Team Racing only with fewer characters and less detail. Sweet intro though.

 

 

Halo 2 was bound to be in here. The second best Halo game after Combat Evolved. Yet again another great story, brave good additions after the first Halo (dual-wielding weapons) and not nervous of following such an historic game. Solid title.

 

 

 

The original Worms on Sega Mega Drive. Ah the good ol’ days! Nel and Didge, the two hardest worms ever. The Worms titles these days are a far cry from this one.

 

 

 

 

Another game where I had no idea what to expect. Obviously the name ‘True Crime: Streets of L.A.‘ gives it away somewhat but still… who am I kidding? I knew what I would be getting and I wasn’t disappointed. Catching criminals while exploring was a bit of a nightmare though.

 

 

 

Midnight Club II and Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition… is there anything Rockstar can’t do? Both games had good soundtracks and a lot of city to explore. Although Midnight Club II didn’t feature too much car customisation (in fact I think it was only the HUD you could customise) it was still a sound game and so much fun. Next in line for the series was Midnight Club III: DUB Edition and they didn’t slack off when making this. Car customisation was there and was very deep. You could pretty much change everything and, providing you had the money, you could leave the garage with your ideal car. There were some interesting cheats in both games too!

There we have it. Those are my personal favourites and yes, I’m positive I’ve missed out some absolute beauties but those are the ones that sprung to mind. Now that I think about it, I can’t believe I forgot to mention PaRappa the Rapper, Assassin’s Creed, Toejam & Earl III, Mortal Kombat 3, the original Need for Speed: Most Wanted and how I didn’t officially include GTA IV in all of that I don’t know!

So what are your personal favourites? Comment below and let me know, would love to hear them!

 

Author: Davekraft View all posts by

16 Comments | Open Mic -- Say What You Feel

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  1. By Christian M. on 02-06-2013 11:59

    What!?! No Call of Duty!?!? ()

    Very nice list Dave, I still have to try Deus Ex, but I'll get to it eventually.

    Reply

  2. By JakeyBoyC on 02-06-2013 14:40

    Vice city, definitely one of my favorites :D

    Reply

  3. By JustAndrew on 02-06-2013 15:03

    Originally Posted by Christian M.:
    Quote What!?! No Call of Duty!?!? ()

    Very nice list Dave, I still have to try Deus Ex, but I'll get to it eventually.

    cod sux newb plae rael gaemz.

    Good list, Dave. I mean it's not you saying, "These are the definitive best games." it's your favorites, and you did a good job explaining yourself and what you liked. I was surprised to see Deus Ex: HR as # 1. I don't know why though.

    Reply

  4. By DJ Lime on 02-06-2013 15:17

    Great to see some of the older games in your list, and not CoD.

    Also you can't go wrong with MC3 Dub edition. (^.^)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VB2035YLKR8

    Reply

  5. By Davekraft on 02-06-2013 15:24

    Originally Posted by DJ Lime:

    I can't believe I never thought to try that.

    Reply

  6. By pdxdylan on 02-06-2013 15:46

    Even though it didn't make the list, True Crime was one of my favorites.

    Reply

  7. By |Venum| on 02-06-2013 17:13

    Most of these just seem like Nostalgia more than the game, but none the less it's your opinion.

    Sad to see no MGS games or Zelda games mentioned :(

    Reply

  8. By Davekraft on 02-06-2013 20:51

    Originally Posted by |Venum|:
    Quote Sad to see no MGS games or Zelda games mentioned :(

    Never played a Zelda game. Only played a little bit of one of the old MGS'.

    Reply

  9. By Gilbert on 02-06-2013 21:18

    No Tomb Raider games? No Gran Turismo? No Sonic? No Super Mario World?

    Reply

  10. By Davekraft on 02-06-2013 21:26

    Originally Posted by Gilbert:
    Quote No Tomb Raider games? No Gran Turismo? No Sonic? No Super Mario World?

    I had originally put Tomb Raider IV: The Last Revelation in there but it got squeezed out. Gran Turismo, that was another game I grew up with. I had plenty of Sonic games on the Mega Drive, didn't leave too much of an impact on me though and I hate Mario. The only Mario I own is the one on the '86 Gameboy.

    Reply

  11. By Porecomesis on 02-07-2013 19:44

    Originally Posted by Gilbert:
    Quote No Tomb Raider games? No Gran Turismo? No Sonic? No Super Mario World?

    I think you'd have an existential crisis if you knew what games I've never played.

    Reply

  12. By Cruzito_Rivera on 02-07-2013 20:11

    Not a bad game on there to be honest, all great choices and I was especially surprised at your "Enter the Matrix" pick. I remember playing that game so much, definitely one of my all time favourite PS2 games. Even though Mirror's Edge has been around since 2008, I still haven't had a chance to actually play it.. Although it does look like a really interesting game.

    Reply

  13. By Davekraft on 02-07-2013 20:49

    Originally Posted by Cruzito_Rivera:
    Quote Not a bad game on there to be honest, all great choices and I was especially surprised at your "Enter the Matrix" pick. I remember playing that game so much, definitely one of my all time favourite PS2 games. Even though Mirror's Edge has been around since 2008, I still haven't had a chance to actually play it.. Although it does look like a really interesting game.

    Right?! Do you remember the sorting office mission? Neverending guard spawner, spent a good 100 hours just on that room because it was so much fun. You should definitely play Mirror's Edge while you have the chance. I only bought it last year, got it for about 3.

    Reply

  14. By Versi~ on 02-16-2013 06:21

    No Max PAYNE?

    Reply

  15. By Davekraft on 02-16-2013 10:38

    Originally Posted by Versi~:
    Quote No Max PAYNE?

    Only played Max Payne 3. Will be getting around to Max Payne 1 & 2 soon though, I know they're good games.

    Reply

  16. By M4TH3W on 05-26-2013 20:48

    I love that you put Colin McRae Rally on the list. I'm pretty sure that was the first, or one of the first, games I ever played. I feel like going hunting and seeing if I can find the old Game Boy Color and the game's cartridge.
    I have to say though, maybe it's because I didn't play it when it first came out, but still: if you put Vice City on a list of best games of all-time, I would think San Andreas would be on that list as well, or even GTA III because of how revolutionary it was.

    I like the list though. It's more of a personal list than a list of the same old games everyone puts on their "best of all-time" lists.

    Reply