Hello, Javy Gwaltney here, Associate Editor for Game Informer. I currently putting together a series of deep dives into my ten favorite games of all time. You can read all about the origins, as well as the beginning of the series, here.

This week we’re going to be talking about my #6 pick: Wolfenstein: The New Order. Feel free to leave comments below and thanks for reading. Be sure to come back next week on Wednesday at noon CST for #5.

Originally when I planned out this list Wolfenstein:TNO didn't have place on it. I would have put it more at #11 or #12 because I wanted to balance historical importance with my own personal preferences. I couldn't honestly call Wolfenstein:TNO one of the 10 greatest games ever made from a historical perspective. One of the best first-person shooters of the past decade, without a doubt, but one of the best games all time? I was hesitant.

However, I recently revisited both The New Order and  standalone prequel The Old Blood after the announcement of Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus and revaluated just how much the game meant to me personally. It still wouldn't fall within a historically important top 10 list but with the exception of a certain sci-fi adventure game we'll be talking about in a few weeks, no game has affected my career and my analytic abilities more. I've spent hours playing The New Order, going through the game 20 times. I've written about its keen handling of disability and about its marriage of old arcadey shooter with current shooter mechanics. I've done a full playthrough commentary. Hell, I've even written a chapter in a book about it. 

I love Wolfenstein: The New Order, a game about taking the world back from the Nazis in an alternate The Man In The High Castle-inspired timeline, in spite of its flaws. And it's got some really big ones, like three long levels that are clearly just there to pad out a game that's already 10 hours long without them. Some of the shooting arenas can become ridiculously repetitive toward the end, and good lord, the Laserkraftwerk as a puzzle-solving device is just the worst. And let's not forget the questionable execution of the level where you sneak through a work camp.

And yet The New Order shines in a way that no other first-person shooter has. The strong emphasis on having a diverse cast of disabled people and people of color fighting back against a fascist regime is already a noteworthy story, not to mention the cast is incredibly well-written. Whether we're talking about Caroline, bound to a wheelchair after a war injury but vicious and intelligent, or Bombate, who fought the Nazis when they invaded South Africa in this timeline, or Klaus, a former Nazi trying to atone for his sins by fighting as part of the resistance, every character is memorable.

And then there's BJ Blazkowicz himself, a bold new vision of literally the first first-person shooter protagonist ever. Even before the action in The New Order has properly begun, BJ is a divided man. He's tired of fighting, of the war, of watching his comrades fall one after another. However, there's also a primal part of him that loves it-- after all, it's as buddy Fergus says: BJ was born to kill Nazis. This divided personality is further enhanced by the divide that exists between old-school first-person shooter gameplay (like non-regenerating health and a lack of bullet drop) and more modern shooters as well, like the RPG-lite perks leveling system. The game's attempts to be Tarantino levels of wild and wacky while also being a somber story about war embody this divide as well.

It's a crazy $@#!#$! game, y'all. Between conversations about faith and the cruelty of man, we have action set pieces on the moon and in nazi space museums. What I love most about Wolfenstein: The New Order is its unbridled ambition; this is a video game that wants it all, come hell or high water, and it comes shockingly close.

For more on Wolfenstein:TNO , you can read the column I wrote on the game here or check out my full playthrough and commentary of the game here.