Published on November 5th, 2013 | by Staff11
Top 50 Games of the Generation: 40-31
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 start the countdown by revealing games 40 through 31.
40. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit
Criterion’s first take on Need for Speed took the series back to basics. There was no pointless open world. You chose a track and played as either a cop or a racer, and it was a ton of fun whether you played solo or online. It also felt a lot like Criterion’s own Burnout series, which is a great thing, considering Burnout 3: Takedown is the greatest racing game ever made. (If only it had Crash Mode!) The innovative Autolog feature integrated a social media experience into the game, challenging you to compete against your friends’ best performances without having to play with them at the same time. It was a brand new type of multiplayer experience that caught gamers’ attention and continued in future games like the reboot of SSX.
~ Jeff Derrickson
Sony had some hit exclusives before inFamous released, but most of them were shooters. Resistance, Killzone, and Uncharted, all sent the player on a direct path from point A to point B, guns blazing. inFamous still had shooting, in a way, but dropped you into an open world. The key element to this game was traveling around the series. The story way okay, the art style was pretty neat, but what sold me on inFamous was how fun it was to travel around the open city. Grinding edges of buildings and power wires was an experience to behold.
~ Don Parsons
38. Civilization V
While Civilization IV provided nice fan services for longtime Civ players, it really bloated the series, exchanging playability for detail. Civilization V brought the series back to the masses, offering a modern look and accessible gameplay. It truly reached its potential in its subsequent expansion, offering a game that scratched the conquest, research and commercial itches all at the same time, providing players with reasonable endgames that did not focus on conquering the whole world. Civilization V is a triumph, offering a package satisfying to both fans of the original and players completely inexperienced with the series.
~ Tony Odett
37. Dead Space
Tension is the most important ingredient to a horror game and too many so called horror games this generation have forgotten that fact. Electronic Arts’ Dead Space isn’t among them, instead redefining the survival horror genre for this generation. Taking the haunted house formula applied to a space setting, a la Alien, Dead Space created an interesting setting where the player instantly felt uneasy and then used excellent sound and lighting to make things super tense. The result was a game that was effective in creating a scary atmosphere. Developer Visceral Games then layered over an innovative HUD and smart gameplay elements, like dismemberment, making one of the best playing horror experiences of all time.
~ Chris Scott
36. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood
Since Assassin’s Creed II, the Assassin’s Creed franchise has become a series of incremental changes, with each new entry refining elements or adding new features in the hope of making a better product. While ACII stood out as the game that made the series into the blockbuster franchise it is today, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood was the title that nearly perfected the series formula. It refined the stories to be more cohesive, the combat to be more fluid, city management to actually mean something, and, most importantl,y introduced the assassin recruiting and guild management elements to the series. Oh and it also introduced the critically acclaimed multiplayer to the series that certain people fall all over.
~ Chris Scott
35. Lost Odyssey
At the start of this generation Microsoft made a huge push for the Japanese market. As part of that push, they courted developer Mistwalker to contribute a pair of Japanese role-playing games to their line-up of exclusives. One of those titles, Lost Odyssey, still stands as one of, if not, the best JRPGs released this generation featuring beautiful visuals, a memorable story, and interestingly wonderful active combat system. Considering its lineage, it is no surprise that it feels a lot like a Final Fantasy title, but what is surprising is that is better than any game this generation that bore the Final Fantasy moniker.
~ Chris Scott
34. Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
As you escaped the jail, created your character and finally stepped out into the lush, massive world, you knew next-gen gaming was finally here. Whether you were a melee guy, a sorcerer or even a thief, there were endless possibilities to enjoy the game and none ever felt wrong. The towns were massive and full of NPC’s with plenty of side missions such as class guilds and even an arena mode to keep you busy. Fear not though, as the main story was very well written featuring such great actors as Patrick Stewart and Sean Bean. There were many great games that ushered in the 7th generation of consoles but Oblivion stood above all of them.
~ Cyrus Fayazi
33. Pac-Man Championship Edition DX
With the medium maturing at such a quick clip, much of our attention turns to narrative, voice acting, visuals, and how they interact together to make us feel something. Because of this we often forget that games are still games and more than anything they need to play well. Quite possibly no game took this more seriously than Pac-Man Championship Edition DX. Refining the already great gameplay of the original Championship Edition, DX took everything to the next level making it faster and tighter than ever before. Not only did CEDX make Pac-Man as a property relevant again but it also made score chasing arcade games meaningful as well. Now for their next trick, can we get a Ms. Pac-Man Championship Edition DX please?
~ Chris Scott
32. Deus Ex: Human Revolution
Boss battles aside (and the newest edition fixed that issue entirely), DE:HR was an engrossing look at our near future. Adam Jensen starred as a protagonist who could act however the player wished, in a game that finally lived out the promise of the original Deus Ex. The noir elements of the storytelling combined with that “Play As You Wish” freedom to offer this generation one of its finest action RPGs.
~ Tony Odett
31. Super Mario Galaxy 2
Super Mario Galaxy was a great game. It was Nintendo doing what Nintendo does best, making whimsical, fun games. Then came Super Mario Galaxy 2, a game that took what was great about its predecessor and ramped everything up to 11. It was more colorful, more inventive, more challenging, and more fun in every way. It took the bar that Super Mario Galaxy had set for 3D platformers and raised it to a height no other game has come close to since.
~ Chris Scott
Come back tomorrow for the reveal of games 30-21.