Published on November 4th, 2013 | by Staff9
Top 50 Games of the Generation: 50-41
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 50 through 41.
50. Alan Wake
In 2003 Remedy Entertainment brought Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne to gamers with Rockstar Games and then disappeared for the next seven years. When the studio finally reappeared, they did so with one of the best horror titles of the generation, Alan Wake. Taking obvious inspiration from the works of Stephen King and the cult classic television show, Twin Peaks, the game put players in the shoes of the eponymous Alan Wake as he worked through the dark mystery set in a sleepy Northwestern town. While the gameplay was nothing special, it held everything together enough for players to experience the great storytelling and memorable characters, and ultimately end up here on our list of greatest games of this gen.
~ Chris Scott
Before Braid, Xbox Live Arcade was mostly known for games like Geometry Wars and Texas Hold Em. Braid ushered in a new era. It proved that XBLA could be a viable platform for titles that were deeper than a typical arcade game and that a $15 downloadable game could compete for greatness with big budget $60 retail releases. A 2D puzzle platformer, Braid features beautiful hand-drawn artwork and unique, mind-bending time mechanics. The ability to rewind time allows you to correct mistakes, and as you progress further into the game, it leads to some of the most difficult, head-scratching puzzles of this generation. Its narrative aspirations feel a bit pretentious in retrospect, but it was fun discussing the puzzles and the meaning behind the story back when it released in 2008.
~ Jeff Derrickson
48. The Last of Us
There were many great female characters this generation but I’m not sure any of them were as memorable as Ellie from the Last of Us. Funny, witty and a badass in her own right, Ellie is one of the many reasons this is a must-play game. Naughty Dog always has created phenomenal set pieces and the Last of Us is no different. Combine that with fantastic voice acting, graphics and gameplay and it’s easy to see why this is one of the top games of 2013. Not to mention, it has a great and surprisingly deep multiplayer which still doesn’t get the credit it deserves. Still aren’t convinced? Play the 1st 20 minutes and enjoy one of the most emotional introductions in gaming today.
~ Cyrus Fayazi
47. Bioshock Infinite
Bioshock is one of the top franchises this generation and the 1st one is arguably one of the greatest games this generation, if not ever. So you may understand my confusion when Irrational Games announced the next Bioshock would not be in Rapture, the iconic city of the 1st two games, but in a city that hovers in the sky known as Columbia. Yet Ken Levine and his team did a fantastic job in immediately setting the dark, twisted tone as you explore the city and realize not all is right in Columbia. What awaits you is a story filled with lies, deception and an amazing ending will be a subject of conversation for some time to come. While the gameplay could have used a bit more polish, the railing system in the game is fantastic and really encouraged players to use different tactics to defeat the enemies. Booker and Elizabeth are two wonderfully written characters that keep you invested in the story and whether you are a fan of Bioshock or not, there is still something for everyone to enjoy in this 1st person shooter.
~ Cyrus Fayazi
46. Batman: Arkham City
Some games are just hard to follow-up. Batman: Arkham Asylum was one of those games. I was both excited for and dreading the sequel, Katman: Arkham City. Luckily, Arkham City was just as much of a gem as its predecessor. It took the phenomenal storytelling, the top-notch fighting, and the dark tone of Arkham Asylum and expanded the setting. There was now more to do instead of simply playing through the narrative arc, but the story was so well written that I simply wanted to keeping going. Floating through the city and fighting random clusters of criminals was a great way to keep your fighting skills polished, too. Arkham City is also one of those games where the ending didn’t disappoint, a rarity in narrative driven games.
~ Don Parsons
45. Europa Universalis IV
Paradox Development Studio has been getting a lot of press of late. Last year, the studio finally showed it had come of age with the excellent Crusader Kings II. But Europa Universalis is the game that built Paradox, and EU IV is considered by many in house to be the developer’s magnum opus. Portraying the eras of great turmoil, strife, colonization and discovery in an accessible, compelling and addicting way, EU IV is a must play game for any strategy gamer.
~ Tony Odett
44. Grand Theft Auto IV
This generation didn’t truly begin until Rockstar put its stamp on it and showed us where it was going. Although smaller in size than San Andreas, GTA IV’s Liberty City was the most incredibly detailed open world ever conceived at the time of its release. Niko’s pursuit of revenge and the American dream provided sharp commentary on modern America, and the storytelling was much more mature than previous GTA titles. The world and the mature narrative were a sign of things to come in Red Dead Redemption, L.A. Noire, and the industry as a whole. Games can tell great stories now, and GTA IV stands out as a turning point that got the ball rolling.
~ Jeff Derrickson
43. Sleeping Dogs
Sleeping Dogs came out of left field for me. I had my eye on the game, and sure, I was a little excited for it. I loved True Crime back on the Playstation 2, so having a new game like it had my attention. What I was not expecting was a gripping story about an undercover cop who was trying to appease two sides of the law, all the while trying to pursue his own agenda. The story in the True Crime games was not their selling point, but Sleeping Dogs, the spiritual successor to True Crime, made the story the centerpiece. Combat was fun, albeit Batman did it better, and the open city was beautiful. But if there’s one reason everyone should pick up Sleeping Dogs, it should be for the narrative.
~ Don Parsons
42. Call of Duty: Black Ops
I am not a conspiracy nut like a few others I could name, but I really got into how Call of Duty: Black Ops weaved its tale of the secret history of the 1960s, throwing together John F. Kennedy, Castro, and a Soviet prison revolt. The story tested the limits of sanity under pressure, and possessed writing and dialogue that well surpassed any other game in the series. This was the most compelling Call of Duty narrative, and the single player campaign was excellently designed. The multiplayer was a solid change of pace, pulling us out of the WW2/Modern rut and taking players somewhere else entirely.
~ Tony Odett
If how much loot in a game was a measure of how awesome it would be, Borderlands would be up amongst the cream of the crop. The amount of guns Borderlands throws at the player is simply stupid. It never gets old killing hordes of enemies because of that, too. There’s always a new gun, so when you have to backtrack, you have a new gun to fiddle with. That is, until you kill something with a better gun. Really, outside of the loot, Borderlands had an inherent accessibility to gamers who didn’t usually play shooters. My wife is not the only person I have heard of that doesn’t like shooters but loves Borderlands. Being as it’s split screen, it’s easy to get them to try it without dropping $60 twice for two copies. I love shooters and I love loot, so you can imagine where Borderlands sits on my list. I’m very glad Gearbox blended those two things together, and did it so well.
~ Don Parsons
Come back tomorrow for the reveal of games 40-31.