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What has two thumbs and likes lists? THIS GUY! To celebrate being chosen by Game Informer as one of the elite eight (thanks, guys!), I decided to celebrate by writing a blog that I've been thinking about for quite some time - my top 10 favorite games of this generation.
#10 - Brütal LegendA perfect combination of three things I really like: Jack Black, metal, and video games. The voice acting in this game is top-notch, which gives it a lot of character. I thoroughly enjoyed exploring this heavy metal fantasy world - the soundtrack alone had me playing for several hours at a time. Though it was "brutal" on the harder difficulties, I appreciated the creative implementation of real-time strategy. This game made me laugh, but it also made me feel epic (in a way that only heavy metal themes can.)
I laughed so hard the first time I did the mosh pit move. There was only one guy with me, so it was just the two of us headbanging. "Oh man, that was awesome. Let's do it again sometime."
#9 - Braid"Run, jump, grab, and manipulate time. That's a classic formula that's been used over and over again. Wait, what? Manipulate time?!?" Though it's certainly not the only game to ever manipulate time, Braid makes manipulating time a natural response of your fingers and brain, like jumping or grabbing. The puzzles in this game are brilliant, and the ending is even more brilliant - an unforgettable moment in gaming history.
"Wait, haven't I done this before?" No, you haven't.
#8 - Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The GameBeat-'Em-Up was one of my favorite genres when I was a kid. I never thought I could love a modern attempt at the genre as much as I love the SNES classics, like Final Fight and Turtles in Time. I was proven wrong when I played this game. Between the old-school game references, the level-up system, the solid controls, the beautiful 8-bit graphics, and the addicting chip-tunes music, this just might be my favorite Beat-'Em-Up game of all time (don't tell the Turtles.)
To read my review of this game, click here.
I don't think I've had more fun playing this genre, and I was OBSESSED with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles when I was younger (and I still love them today.)
#7 - Red Dead RedemptionI think cowboys are cool but to be honest, I’ve never been into westerns. I watched a few John Wayne movies with my dad when I was younger, but that was about it. When I saw the final trailer for this game, it really grabbed my attention (ironically because of the “outlaw” aspect – robbin’ trains and what not.) When I played it, I really connected with John Marston, a former outlaw trying to leave his old life and be a new man – a better man. Like Braid, it has an ending I'll never forget.
For more on how this game impacted me, click here.
The hunting in this game alone was worth the purchase to me. I spent hours just enjoying the hunting side-missions. I got chills nearly every time I heard a cougar, and my heart would race when a bear killed my horse and I had to run for my life.
#6 - Uncharted 2The Uncharted franchise has the most personality I’ve ever seen in a video game. The voice acting is some of the best I’ve heard since the Metal Gear Solid series, and the wide range of emotions that each character expresses (verbally and physically) helps draw you into this fascinating story. Uncharted is truly the Indiana Jones of video games, and not just by treasure hunting alone. The cherry on top – Uncharted 2 has the best console graphics I’ve seen so far (with the exception of Crysis 2.)
Uncharted 2 was a non-stop thrill ride, I enjoyed every minute of it.
#5 - Castlevania: Lords of ShadowAs someone who still hasn’t played the God of War games (I plan to soon), I knew this game’s combat was derivative, but it was new to me. Currently, I’ve never played a more epic game. Seriously, nothing I’ve played has been more epic than Lords of Shadow. Riding beasts, slaying vampires, climbing titans… the game is pure awesome. If I told you any more about it, I’d spoil it for you. By the way, the ending to this game is the greatest video game ending EVER. It will be tough to top, in my opinion.
To hear the Robot in the Corner crew talk to GI’s Tim and Dan about this game, click here. To read my review of this game, click here.
This is the first and only Castlevania game I've played (so far), but I did know that the series was traditionally known for having vampires and castles, so I was pretty pleased when I finally got to a castle - with vampires. The game was great up to that point, but it just got better from there.
#4 - Super Meat BoyThis game is the greatest tribute to old-school games AND indie games, period. I liked it so much, I got 100% on it – TWICE (Xbox 360 and PC.) Don’t rag on me for braggin’ about it – the achievement specifically states that you’re supposed to brag. Ask anyone who listens to our podcast – I like Super Meat Boy.
Super Meat Boy is literally dripping with charm. This might be the most infectious cartoon smile I've ever seen. Ugly, but somehow charming.
#3 - Batman: Arkham AsylumThis one really took me by surprise. I kept seeing reviews and articles that said there was finally a good Batman game. I first took this as “good for a Batman game.” After a few friend recommendations, I checked it out for myself, and I now know that it’s not just good for a Batman game, it’s a GOOD GAME. I love Batman. I love stealth. I love 3rd person combat. I love captivating, open-world environments. I love Batman: Arkham Asylum.
Batman is my favorite character (Shhh, don't tell Solid Snake.)
#2 - Portal 2Valve outdid themselves with Portal 2. Outside of the novelty of shooting portals for the first time, Portal 2 is better than its predecessor in nearly every way. They took a game that seemed impossible to top and topped it. It’s also the funniest game I’ve played to date – some of the best video game dialogue I’ve ever heard. Lastly, it has the best co-op I’ve played to date – unlike any co-op I’ve played before. As Game Informer said on their podcast, you don’t just work side-by-side, you work together. Portal 2 has changed the way we look at co-op games.
As much as I laughed at Cave Johnson and GlaDOS, Wheatley stole the show. HILARIOUS.
#1 - Metal Gear Solid 4Metal Gear Solid is my favorite franchise. Though the 3rd game is a close second, I think this is the best in the series (at least today, I go back and forth at times.) If there was ever a franchise that brings out my inner fanboy, Metal Gear Solid is it. Though I’ve played many awesome games and discovered many more awesome characters, Solid Snake is still my favorite (non-licensed) video game character. Metal Gear Solid 4 did a great job of adding a lot of clarity to the bizarre story. I didn’t think it was possible, but after playing this game, the Metal Gear Solid saga actually made some sense. I was OK with it being confusing, but I appreciated the unexpected inclusion of explanation. Stealth is my favorite genre, and I’d say Metal Gear still does it best.
There is still nothing more satisfying to me than unlocking the stealth camo in the Metal Gear Solid games. I love it!
What about you: What are your favorite games of this generation? Are any of these on your list?