Wade Wojcik's Top Five Games Of Last Generation
The seventh generation of video game consoles was an era that rivaled the golden age of the late ‘90s. Though I could only afford a Wii at the time, I eventually got an Xbox 360 and was able to be a part of some great new franchises. And while I didn’t get to play all the best games from this nine-year timespan, here are the ones that affected me the most.
5. Battlefield 3
To me, the most striking aspect of this game initially was the combination of motion capture and photorealism. I’ll never forget how the first few minutes of released gameplay looked remarkably like a first-person movie. When I finally got my hands on the game I breezed through the single-player campaign (what little there was) and became hooked on the matchmaking experience. There’s nothing like the first time you load up in a helicopter with five other soldiers and ride along side U-boats, jet fighters, and tanks while you storm the beaches of the enemy team. The variety of weapons and equipment, level design, difficulty of driving a vehicle, and team tactics kept me playing this game for many epic matches.
4. Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm
Blizzard has always been one of my favorite developers. The studio knows how to blend story and gameplay in a way that keeps gamers like me coming back for more. I was a big fan of Wings of Liberty, but its sequel had a much more personal and emotional story. The relationship between Raynor an Kerrigan has never been so powerful, and I loved it. I’m also really big into competitive RTS games, and have sunk hundreds of hours into its fantastic multiplayer mode.
3. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
I loved Wind Waker like any other gamer, but Zelda fans still wanted that darker, more realistic game. This was it. With fabulous dungeon designs and the incredibly cinematic cutscenes, there was a lot to love. The game boasts the finest horse riding mechanics in a Zelda game, and Midna is still the best companion for Link I’ve ever seen. And who doesn’t love snowboard races with yetis?
2. Halo 3
If you had an Xbox, you had Halo 2. That’s just a fact of life. We all played it to death, and craved the next installment. The hype surrounding Halo 3 was unreal, and I was every bit as swept up in it. Yes, the campaign felt a little short, the end a little abrupt, but damn was it fun. Its story, sense of atmosphere, and superior matchmaking keep Halo 3 my favorite entry in the franchise. This is far and away the game I’ve invested the most time into competitive multiplayer.
1. BioShock Infinite
This game put a spell on me. I don’t think I’ve ever been so emotionally moved by another piece of gaming fiction. The first BioShock didn’t appeal to me when it released due to its horror-like atmosphere. But Infinite bridged that gap and took me completely by surprise. The city of Columbia, and more importantly the character of Elizabeth kept me up without sleep until I was able to finish it. Ken Levine and the rest of the team at Irrational created a world that felt real and lived in, but also dream-like and terrifying. For giving gamers one of the most beloved female characters, I give my top spot to BioShock Infinite.