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.
I came across La Mulana after seeing a couple of screen shots of the game and seeing some comments on them saying that it was pretty much Dark Souls if it were a side-scrolling Metroidvania type game. Well I absolutely loved Dark Souls and I love me some Metroidvania games, so without further contemplating on picking the game up I didn’t hesitate a moment to add it to my video game library. Little did I know that underneath the spectacular 32 bit pixel art graphics that caught my eye lay a game which invokes video game sadomasochism on levels I never thought could exist. Now, I love me some difficult games and obtuse puzzles, but holy hell, nothing could have prepared me for the insane difficulty of La Mulana. But somehow, midst the bouts of wanting to bash my face into a wall and smash my gamepad to smithereens exists a game of such high quality and scope I could not, even for a second think about abandoning it without solving all of the puzzles of the ancient ruins of La Mulana and see the game through to the end. Alls I gotta say is my utmost thanks goes to the people who wrote up the infinitely useful La Mulana Wiki page. Without them I would have never gotten to experience one of the most ingeniously crafted games I’ve ever played without having to get checked into a looney bin.