Daniel Tack's Top Five Games Of Last Generation

by Daniel Tack on Jan 01, 2015 at 08:00 AM

As the PC editor, picking my top 5 games of last generation goes a bit outside the console realm, allowing inclusion of PC titles released in the window of the lifetime of those systems. That said, there are some cross-platform selections on my list as well.

5. Portal

Portal was a lot more than an awesome puzzle game, it was a brilliant proof-of-concept that showed us that first-person puzzlers were not only a viable alternative to fast-paced FPS titles, but they could intrigue us with unique stories along the way too. While it’s easy to consider Portal 2 as the pick here for adding a layer of polish and the outspoken Cave Johnson, the first title was the one with all the impact.

4. League of Legends

While it’s hard to imagine a world without MOBAs right now, once upon a time there was just League of Legends and Heroes of Newerth if you were looking to get a MOBA experience outside of custom Warcraft III maps. While Heroes of Newerth played things real close to home with a DOTA-esque experience, League changed quite a few things and became the genre frontrunner. While we’ve got tons of options today for our MOBAs from Blizzard’s Heroes of the Storm and Valve’s Dota 2, League of Legends was the impetus for many developers to take notice of the team-based player-vs-player genre.

3. World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King

The MMORPG would probably still be a niche core market without Blizzard’s juggernaut coming into the fray and continually redefining things over the years, from the hardcore raiding that defined vanilla WoW and The Burning Crusade to modern innovations like the looking for group dungeon finder, flex raiding, and cross-server play.

2. Team Fortress 2

While there are plenty of amazing first-person shooters to pick from over the course of last generation, Team Fortress 2 brings the fun with easy to hop into gameplay and team-based tactics. Whether you were just popping into a random game and tinkering up a turret or sniping from afar or partnering up for some classic Heavy/Medic action with friends, collecting hats has never felt so right.

1. Dark Souls II

I’m often placed in situations where I’m asked to explain my love for From Software’s Souls games, and it can be summed up in a single word – experience. The Souls titles feel like incredible experiences on-top of their great combat and incredible environments, giving players a real sense of accomplishment after they overcome boss after boss, challenge after challenge. The Souls games make me feel like no other when it comes to toppling a frustrating foe or simply putting the lore together from a random assortment of item descriptions. So why did I pick Dark Souls II over say, Dark Souls or Demon’s Souls? While I consider Dark Souls II to be every bit as challenging as Dark Souls (with the possible exception of Ornstein and Smough), it provides a smoother difficulty curve for new players to get into what is often regarded as a rather inaccessible series. Instead of wandering around blindly looking for a bell and possibly wandering into Blighttown or the Catacombs during your first moments in Dark Souls, Dark Souls II provides players with a more structured beginning that’s more conducive toward reaching that point where the Souls games “click” and you stop regarding them as frustrating, tough-as-nails games and start seeing them as opportunities to overcome impossible adversaries.