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Published on November 6th, 2013 | by Chris Scott

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Top 50 Games of the Generation: 30-21

With less than two weeks until the Playstation 4 launches, the sun is setting on the current generation of consoles. As such, we here at Critically Sane have sat down and came up with the fifty games we felt were our collective favorites. Some of these titles defined the generation for us, while others were just damn fun to play. One thing they all have in common though is that they are all great games in one way or another and deserve to be on this list. Today we continue the countdown by revealing games 30 through 21.

Games 50-41

Games 40-31

Games 20-11

Games 10-1

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30. XCOM: Enemy Unknown

X-Com was a blast from the past, a hard core strategy game remade for a modern audience. With top notch animation and a deeply engrossing customization system, the game was a widely adored game in a genre that doesn’t often see titles gain popular acclaim. X-COM made humanity’s fight for survival against the invading alien horde engrossing and deeply personal, an achievement for a game built around dynamic storytelling.

~ Tony Odett

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29. The Walking Dead

Based off the popular comic book series, the Walking Dead game was one of the biggest surprises of 2012. If we are being perfectly honest, the controls and gameplay were nothing to write home about but the story is really where this game shined. Telltale Games did a fantastic job of telling a dark, twisted story about a rag-tag group of survivors trying to do exactly that, survive.  The characters are very well written and you really did feel uneasy with every difficult decision in the game and the consequences thereafter. At times, I really felt Lee’s struggles and his drive to protect Clementine at all cost. The Walking Dead may have sacrificed gameplay for storytelling and while some may frown upon that, there’s no denying the high praises it has received. We can only hope Telltale Games will continue raising the bar with season 2.

~ Cyrus Fayazi

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28. Portal 2

Portal had an ingenious concept combined with great humor. Portal 2 expanded on that concept and fleshed it out into a full game. While staying true to the spirit of the original, Portal 2 adds hours of content with an entertaining storyline, consistently funny lines from GLaDOS and Wheatley, and increasingly intelligent puzzles. The separate co-op campaign featured truly mind-melting puzzles that forced you and your buddy to combine the power of your brains and still probably come up short.

~ Jeff Derrickson

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27. Heavy Rain

I don’t like quick-time events, so imagine my surprise when I fall in love with a game built around them. Heavy Rain, outside of a few instances of weird voice acting, had such a gripping story that I couldn’t set the game down. The twist at the end was the best part, as it caught me by complete surprise. Without a doubt, this is a top-tier Playstation exclusive with heavy emphasis on narrative and storytelling, and a game that anyone who appreciates the latter should play if they have not already.

~ Don Parsons

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26. Plants vs. Zombies

I always buy games on a very particular schedule (mostly because I am OCD). But after playing the Plants vs. Zombies demo, I had to purchase the game instantly as a reflex action. A tower defense game built around some quite simple concepts, Plants vs. Zombies has personality coming out of its… flowerpots. Between the zombies’ quest to eat your brains, the massive variety of plants and strategies to stop them, and that wild man, Crazy Dave, this was a small title that deserves big praise.

~ Tony Odett

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25. Diablo III

Following up a cult-classic like Diablo 2 would be no easy task for Blizzard, but they managed to meet my high expectations. Loot is back and better than ever, and watching my warrior transform from a lowly barbarian to a mighty, armor-clad machine of destruction was a highlight of my year, if not a major highlight of this console generation. Seeing a Diablo game back on consoles, too, and working more properly than the original, was a dream come true. I commend Blizzard for delivering such a prime example of top-notch gaming.

~ Don Parsons

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24. Burnout Paradise

Criterion got everything right in Burnout Paradise. A beautiful and diverse open world, over 100 events, tons of unique cars, drop in-drop out multiplayer, a phenomenal soundtrack, delirious wrecks and most importantly, high speed racing that controlled beautifully. They even supported the game with a year’s worth of free updates and downloadable content, something that kept the community going strong well after release. Other games have attempted to replicate its model with varying degrees of achievement but none have come close to recreating its successes, making it stand as one of the best racing games, not just of this generation, but of all-time.

~ Chris Scott

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23. Peggle

PopCap Games has built a company off of creating simple games overflowing with charm and Peggle is the game that best showcases this. Based on Pachinko, Peggle has players aiming a ball at colored pegs in an effort to clear as many of them off the board to maximize points, ultimately attempting to clear it fully and have Ode to Joy played. It is mostly random, requires very little skill, and still manages to be one of the most fun games released. The only explanation for all of this is that PopCap makes games using witchcraft and unicorn blood.

~ Chris Scott

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22. Halo 3

Having not owned an original Xbox I didn’t understand the Halo phenomenon. I didn’t know anything about the fight, let alone if I wanted to finish it but if you had an Xbox 360 you had to have this game. And when I got Halo 3, everything clicked. From its well paced narrative, smartly designed sandbox encounters, full campaign co-op, and the exceptionally fun, competitive multiplayer, it had everything I ever wanted in a shooter and it did it all on a console, controlling precisely how I wanted it to. I went from skeptic to fanboy instantly, and I’ve never looked back.

~ Chris Scott

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21. Mass Effect

The final run in Mass Effect- battling on the outside of a glass elevator while a massive space battle takes place above you, remains forever etched in my memory. Mass Effect remains the definition of flawed masterpiece, a game that, in spite of some annoying issues, was able to paint a universe and tell a story that drew players in to continue. This effort spawned a series that largely defined the entire console generation, and of course brought my bad-ass Shepard to being.

~ Tony Odett

Come back tomorrow for the reveal of games 20-11.

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