Reggie’s Top 25 Favorite Videogames of All-Time #5-1
It’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty…my top five favorite videogames of all-time. Coming up with a best 25 was hard to do since I have been twiddling my joystick for quite some time now…since Atari – get your minds out of the gutter! I can bet with quite certainty that some of my favorite games are long forgotten and left off this list, but for the sake of picking 25 games I looked at the ensemble of consoles and PC games I played over the years. I think I captured the breadth of my favorite games across a spectrum of genres. To put them in order was another task all-together since each game provided a different experience at a different point in my life. So, I would place less emphasis on where the game is on my list and pay more attention to the fact that it made my list at all. Of all the games I played in my life narrowing my favorites down to 25 speaks volumes of the game’s impact on me. Enough rambling, let’s get on with my final five!
5. Resident Evil (Generic) – Multi-Console
Do you think that 23 Resident Evil games (including remakes) have watered down the franchise? I think so. Despite what the game has evolved to over the years, several of these games provided countless hours of horror & fun over three consoles: Xbox 360, Playstation, and Nintendo Gamecube. The games that entertained my psyche are Resident Evil, Resident Evil: Director’s Cut, Resident Evil 2, Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, Code Veronica, Resident Evil Zero, Resident Evil 4, Resident Evil 5, Operation Raccoon City, and Resident Evil 6. Though, I have to admit the latest of these games since RE5 have been lackluster and disappointing, I keep playing them for some reason.
It was early on that I found horror gaming fun. I remember playing that first Resident Evil game in a room full of grown men jumping when dogs would crash through windows and zombies would come out of nowhere about to make that fatal bite. The puzzles could be seriously challenging at times especially on Code Veronica. The suspense was fantastic and the story was pretty deep even for the time…1996 for the first release. The voice acting was a bit weak in those days, but overall it provided a unique and fun gaming experience. It was probably the first time where the player would sit and watch a story play out with the characters on scene. By now we are all pretty much desensitized to these kinds of games and it’s harder to become scared though some games still do it well. Resident Evil has morphed into more of a Call of Duty meets zombies and for that reason the game is more action based and much less suspenseful. Also, the creators seem to think that by making the big boss as big as possible is somehow supposed to impress us. I once heard bigger is not necessarily better. Perhaps the creators should not try so hard to make a final boss so big. I keep hoping the franchise will return to horror and puzzle solving vs. fast-action shooter style. Nevertheless, for what the game did for me in those early years warrant a high placement on my all-time list despite the fall of a great gaming experience in recent years.
4. Command and Conquer: Red Alert (PC and Xbox 360)
This was among the first PC games I ever bought. Overall, it’s easier and more fun to play on PC because it genuinely requires a mouse. If you played Starcraft, Age of Empires, or Diablo then you know what I am talking about. Though on consoles it still works, mouse clicks make things a bit easier to move an army across the screen. This real-time strategy game has a pretty simple story…U.S. vs. the Soviet Union…the epic battle that never happened.
You typically start each level with a certain amount of money and a construction yard. From there you are required to harvest (for more money) and build barracks, war factories, power plants, and so on – enough to sustain and build your force. You defend your base until you are ready to attack. Though some levels are quite easy, they offer a great opportunity to practice for the more difficult levels. In some cases the later levels can take an hour or more especially if you lose personnel and equipment along the way. The thing I liked about this game is that there is no set method to be victorious in battle. If you lose, you know to try something else…another strategy or perhaps loading up on armor instead of personnel or going for an air assault to weaken the enemy. Engineers can steal buildings or destroy them if you can manage to get them behind enemy lines. A cool element about this series is that you get to choose which side you want to control and when it’s all over you can do it all over again on the other side. Both the U.S. and the Soviets have specialized weapons which is cool because it enables essentially a second play through with a new military skill set. You are only limited by your creativity and the money you earn through harvesting locally. This game has seen many different versions. I played the second and third installments of Red Alert and also Tiberian Sun, Tiberium Wars and some of the expansion packs as well. Playing online was fun because the AI factor is gone and there is no way to predict what a real person is going to do.
3. Bioshock and Bioshock Infinite (Xbox 360)
I left out Bioshock II because it was ultimately a continuation of the first game. It didn’t suck, but lacked creativity. So, let’s talk about the first and third game of this strange story. I first caught a glimpse of Bioshock when I saw it as a playable demo with Xbox Magazine. It was so fucked up and twisted I just had to play it. Seriously, the story takes place in an underwater city called Rapture where things went astray…seriously astray. And anytime you throw the term rapture into the mix you know nothing good is going to come out of it. And there you are, the survivor of a plane crash fighting for survival trying to save the little sisters…or not save them. That’s actually an option that determines the end of the game. If none of this makes sense you will have to play the game and even then it might not all sink in. Anyway, when it was released I gave it a go and it pretty much blew my mind especially with the ability to utilize a truly unique set of weapons. One of my favorite was hypnotic (don’t remember the exact name) where you threw the spell at a bad guy and they would attack the nearest person. It was funny to watch as they weakened each other thus making it easier for me to move in and wipe them out. The game doesn’t take too long to beat; about 8-10 hours.
Bioshock Infinite is the third in the serious and takes the story to the skies…yeah, a floating city in 1912 and just when you thought things got confusing with the first game, they got even more confusing here. At some points I got a bit lost on the story, but overall it was a gem to play. In fact, the story did not follow Bioshock or Bioshock II, but the gameplay and weapon options are similar. This story deals with a utopian city in the sky where the founders strive for purity, but the Vox Populi represent the common people which of course causes friction. As Booker DeWitt, you are on the search for Elizabeth who has been held captive for most of her life. Why? It’s because she has the ability to manipulate rifts in the space-time continuum which could ultimately cause the demise of Columbia, the floating city. Are you confused? It’s a tough story to follow, but damn fun to play. If you are up for head-scratching story lines, unique weapon capability, and all around craziness that somehow makes sense in the end, these games are for you. Oh, and for an AI Elizabeth…she did an awesome job staying out of your way and helping you when you need it.
2. Portal 2 (Xbox 360)
First, I have to thank Matt for telling me about this game. Thank you Matt! This game is a straight up puzzle solving game with a story line as well…one loaded with sarcasm and dark humor it will have you literally cracking up. This is one of the few games in recent memory where I found myself actually excited and eager to get on and play when spare time allowed. There isn’t anything about it I do not like. You play as a test subject that must find your way out of rooms using your portal gun while listening to a pleasant sounding robot that is following your every move and completely belittling you. Is she deceiving you or helping you? As you would guess, the puzzles start out with relative ease, but over time they get so difficult that I had no doubt that the creators are sick individuals. But, I prevailed and was able to apply critical problem solving skills to get through some of the later levels and finish the game. Portal 2 isn’t about just the puzzle; there is a story that goes along with it and some side missions that take you out of the rooms and back in to achieve a greater goal for which I am not going to spoil the ending. The best part of this game was having my kids watch and in some cases figure out how to negotiate a puzzle before I could. There is also co-op mode where you can help each other through a puzzle with up to four portal holes to strategically place and make your exit. Portal 2 was both challenging and a laugh out loud experience. If there is a 3rd game on the horizon it will be a launch day purchase.
1. Super Mario Bros. (Nintendo)
It’s all about the plumber. Though I don’t play this game much anymore; it’s simply because I do not own a Nintendo Wii, though my kids have hand-held Nintendo devices. This game reeks of nostalgia more than anything. When I was a kid I would go to the arcade as much as possible. For those of you that do not know what that is, it’s a place that housed videogames where you would insert a quarter or two and play a game. I played all kinds of games; racing games, pinball, and shooters of all sorts. Then there was Super Mario Bros. You’d be surprised how long one could play with a quarter. Needless to say, there was always a line to play this one. Then, in the mid 80s the Nintendo console was out and what game came with it? Yeah, you should guess none other than Super Mario Bros. Remember when a console would come with a free game? Too bad that doesn’t happen much anymore on the initial launch. Nintendo still does it. As far as I am concerned, the introduction of the Nintendo console is where the good old arcade started to die. That thing you inserted a coin into was now in your home on this little gray box. Finally, the graphics of that huge arcade game made it home and from that point, consoles packed more punch and power than arcade games ever could. And for me being a young teenager, I lost myself in these games…simple games.
Since this release I played Super Mario Bros 2 and 3 and also the New Super Mario Bros 1 and 2 on the Nintendo 3DS (helping my kids play them). It’s all about saving that stupid princess who not knows a thing about stranger-danger. Despite the silliness of the story, the side scroll game was always fun and at times very challenging. You would probably think some big budget game like Call of Duty would be number one here, but it has to go to thee game that solidified my love affair with console gaming. And since the original Nintendo, I owned most consoles from Playstation, Playstation 2, Xbox, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, and the short-lived Gamecube. And I owe it all to the little mushroom stomping, flower eating, turtle squashing, high flying, penguin suit wearing, coin-hoarding plumber and his brother who has no real purpose in life other than playing co-op.
Posted on July 31, 2013, in Reggie's Top 25 Video Games, Videogames and tagged Action, Command and Conquer Red Alert, Horror, Portal 2, Puzzle, Resident Evil, Strategy, Super Mario Bros, Survival Horror, top 5, Videogames. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.