I was reading Retro Gamer and this month to celebrate their 150th issue they have created the top 150 games ever list, as voted for by the public. Looking through the list I realised that I had played 107 of the games listed and completed 28, which doesn't sound like much but not all the games on the list can be competed e.g. Tetris, I'm not trying to justify myself here but merely stating facts.
In the last year I've completed many games including Wolfenstein: The New Order, Assassins Creed: Black Flag, Super Mario 3D World, Monument Valley, New Super Mario Bros WiiU, Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze, Muramasa:The Demon Sword, Asura's Wrath, Broken Sword 5, Everybody Has Gone to the Rapture and Rayman Legends. Not bad for someone who has had a baby, moved to the countryside, got a new job and passed his driving test! Below I've put my favourite 10 games down, they are not in order. Let me know what you think and send me your top 10.
Gaming in the early oughts was all hip and cool. The PS2 epitomised what was edgy and unique about gaming but Ico went for a different tack entirely, seeking to provide an emotional connection between characters in the game. The fact that the two main protagonists couldn't speak to each other yet depended on each other to get through the huge castle brought home the fact that they needed each other more than ever.
I had played Metroid 2 on my Gameboy but had never really got into Metroid, that was until I bought a Gamecube. Metroid Prime blew my mind with all the little details and the excellent cutscenes. The world felt so immersive and open and the music was phenomenal. I recently revisited it again and can confirm that it is still amazing.
Beuatiful animation, witty dialogue and a conspiracy theory featuring a shady organisation. This game seemed like it was made for me. I had played bits of it on the Gameboy Advance and a few different systems but the iOS Directors Cut which contained all the voice acting and animation was the game that won its way into my heart.
Shadow of the Colossus
After the masterful Ico I was waiting with bated breath for the followup and bought SotC on the first day of release and I was not to be disappointed. The game shared a similar style to Ico and explored the concept of what we would do to save the one we love. The art style was phenomenal and the story-line was told through minimal dialogue. The different colossi all have their own traits and personality and as I killed them with my final blow I had a sense o remorse; who was the real monster here? This game was the original boss rush before it became a thing in gaming.
Super Mario Bros.
The original SMB is a masterclass in design, a fact highlighted by the recent release of Mario Maker where people have had a tough time creating well designed levels. The game was so innovative at the time and I remember fondly the first time my friend and I discovered the warp zone pipes in world 1-2, we thought we'd hacked the game! After so many years this game is still the greatest platformer of all time, well in my opinion at least.
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening
I got a Gameboy in the early 90's and this pocket sized Link adventure stole hours of my time. The fact that they got so much out of a tiny Gameboy cartridge astounds me. I liked the world that this story was set in and the strange characters and situations Link got himself in. I remember being stuck for a while as a character demanded 'vittels' and as a 14 year old I didn't know what that was! This game is a stone cold classic and the fact that the creators cite Twin Peaks as an inspiration makes it even more cool.
Super Mario Kart
For the ultimate multiplayer game the original Mario Kart is hard to beat. The pure unadulterated fun is hard to explain to the uninitiated but many a night and morning was spent around a friends house playing this one.
Resident Evil 4
The Resident Evil series was in something of a rut. The games were all extremely successful and playable but merely iterated on the previous games. Resi 4 changed all that with the innovative (at the time) over the shoulder camera. The tank controls remained but rather than frustrate they added to the tension and atmosphere. I revisited this game a couple of years ago on the Wii and it stands the test of time well, but considering that it was made on the Gamecube originally and that was over 10 years ago, this makes me feel very old indeed.
Final Fantasy 7
Prior to FF7 I had had very little exposure to Japanese RPG's (my first experience being Phantasy Star on the Master System and Zelda on my friends NES). When I saw the cut-scenes and heard the music I was sold and over the course of a month during a University term I played the game to completion. At the time Sephiroth and Cloud seemed like the coolest of characters. Having played all the Final Fantasy's up to 13 I think my favourite one is 6 (which I played retrospectively) but this one is the one that will stick with me due to it being my first.
Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
This is a legendary game and for good reason. Nintendo knew how to create a hub world way before most studios and the fact that they did it with such style is a testament to its game design. The first time I came across Hyrule Fields my mind couldn't comprehend how vast and open it was, looking back it isn't as impressive but for the time this was a huge achievement. This game has stuck with me and I recall it very fondly.