Published on November 8th, 2013 | by Staff3
Top 50: The Top Ten Games of The Generation
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 conclude the countdown by revealing games 10 through 1.
10. Battlefield: Bad Company 2
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare ignited a chain reaction seen throughout shooters since its release; addicting level up mechanics became the norm for multiplayer first-person military shooters. Quick reflexes were required to compete online. Battlefield: Bad Company 2 changed that with its support actions. Now, even people who didn’t have the best aim could come in, topple buildings (being the first big release to include destructibility at scale), and heal/supply ammo to teammates and still have a great time. Bad Company 2 solidified DICE in the console markets as a big contender. Maybe not big enough to topple the Call of Duty phenomenon, but Bad Company 2 is one of, if not the, best first-person shooter to come out on multiple platforms.
~ Don Parsons
9. Red Dead Redemption
Burnt out on Grand Theft Auto IV and having a general distaste for Westerns spelled my avoiding Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption for quite some time. Eventually though, the praise for the game’s story, its improved controls, and a stand-alone expansion pack that introduced zombies into the old west, brought me to John Marston and I was pleasantly surprised. It was a step up over GTA IV in every way and for the first time ever in one of Rockstar’s open world games, I became attached to the main character and cared about his story from start to its rather atypical finish.
8. Grand Theft Auto V
GTA V smashed sales records and took the entire gaming community by storm. WIth a massive, detailed world with plenty to do, this was the definitive open world experience. The game was also Grand Theft Auto to the core, with awesome vehicle action, crazy missions (chain gun bank robbery? yes please) and a character, Trevor, who epitomizes the essence of GTA action. Also included was a three pronged campaign in which you could switch characters at any time, allowing a player to find that his characters indeed had lives even when he wasn’t in control of them. The jury is still out on GTA Online, but the potential seems limitless (provided Rockstar can sort out the remaining bugs). Of all the titles on our list, this is the one whose place in history still lies undetermined. But it is certainly worthy of all the praise it has received to date, and of a place in our top ten.
~ Tony Odett
7. Gears of War
Somewhere along the way, Marcus Fenix, his band of burly bros, and their creator, Cliff Bleszinski, became the poster children for what a segment of the gaming populace felt was wrong with the industry. Too much killing, too much brown, too much macho, too much of everything, if Gears of War had it, someone somewhere probably thought there was too much of it. It was a game that thrived on excess and exaggeration: the epitome of cool. You don’t get the derision of the gaming community without building a massive fan base first, and you don’t build a massive fanbase without making a pretty kick-ass game. And that is what Gears of War was, and still is. If Cliffy B got anything right with Gears, it was that he knew it had to be fun, both alone and with others, and his team nailed it. They nailed it so hard that everyone came out chasing after them, and guess what? They’re still chasing.
~ Chris Scott
6. Assassin’s Creed II
Ubisoft saw the potential in the 1st Assassin’s Creed game and just ran with it in AC2. Just about everything had improved dramatically. The story, the graphics, the gameplay…it was a huge leap for the franchise. You play as Ezio, one of my personal favorite protagonists in video games, as he looks to to find a way to extract revenge with a little help from such historical figures like Niccolo Machiavelli and Leonardo da Vinci. Add in the gorgeous Italian setting and this is a must-play game. Sure the franchise has gotten into a groove of churning out yearly installment over the past couple of years but as far as Assassin Creed’s games go, AC2 is the the cream of the crop.
~ Cyrus Fayazi
5. Halo: Reach
When one hears the name Halo, one understands what that means. There is a level of commitment and respect that goes into each and every title in the franchise and no matter who is doing the work on the game, be it Bungie, 343 Industries, Ensemble Studios, Certain Affinity, or any other developer that has touch the series in any way, when a game bears the Halo tag, players everywhere know it is going to be an excellent experience. The one game where the ball could have been dropped though was Halo: Reach. Bungie had bought themselves back from Microsoft and could have dumped out any old thing to fulfill the contract with them but they didn’t. Instead, with Halo: Reach they delivered the best Halo game to-date and in doing so solidified themselves as one of the most trusted developers in the industry.
~ Chris Scott
4. Fallout 3
It takes a special game to be so championed when that game is riddled with bugs. To overcome such a problem, said-game must have a deep, rich world filled to the brim with people to meet and places to explore. I spent 40 hours in Fallout 3, and loved every minute of it. And then I restarted my game and spent another 90+ hours exploring the post-apocalyptic world. Fallout 3 is one of those games where you are going to go finish one more mission before bed, see a blip on your map in the distance, and decide to go see what it is – only to discover you spent four more hours than intended chasing more rabbit trails. It’s a lovely problem to experience.
~ Don Parsons
3. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Maybe it was the beautiful, snow-covered world. Maybe it was the massive giants and their mammoths, taking swings with giant axes at whatever was in their path. Maybe it was dragons, sweeping down from the sky, killing without mercy, engaging me in deadly battle. Maybe it was a seemingly infinite world, with more to do than I could ever have imagined. Or maybe it was the ability to mold my character, however I wished, to work on the skills that I wanted, and to earn the right to be called a dragon born. Skyrim is the very definition of a can’t-put-down game, addicting and captivating. The main quest told a wonderful storyline, and the factions each had a tale worth knowing as well. But, for those hunters of lore and treasure, the tale was merely a footnote, as they easily left it behind to explore a world that was worth the trip. This is the one of the very rare games that I had to set an alarm to stop playing, because once I found myself in Skyrim, I never wanted to leave.
If I had to describe Bioshock in one word, it would be immersive. Rapture was a place that sucked you in from the moment you stepped foot inside its submerged halls. It was a place that revealed the lost grandeur of a utopian society gone horribly wrong. It was a place filled with mystery, and a place that you wanted to explore to figure out what happened. But outside of its setting, it was also a game that questioned the relationship between the gamer and the game. Who is really in control? You or the game? And because of this question Bioshock pushed itself above other games and made people think about games on a higher level than they had before.
~ Chris Scott
1. Mass Effect 2
I have a distinct memory of myself when I finished Mass Effect 2 for the first time. This is odd for me, as I finish a lot of games, and while I remember the endings, I typically don’t think about what I was doing as the credits rolled. But as the supposed suicide mission was completed, I sat, staring at the screen. I was dumbfounded, trying desperately to process what I had just now experienced. It wasn’t just the ending- it was the wonderful characters, the loyalty missions with their stark choices, and the amazingly painted world in which it all took place. It was a universe my own hand had effected playing a different game, where my decisions made imprints in so many ways. It was the lifeless body of Jack, the character I couldn’t understand, couldn’t reach at the levels of the others, whose blood was now on my hands. And it was my Shepard, the realist, not good, but not necessarily evil, a reflection of my own beliefs tossed into a game world, pursuing a mission how I personally would have done so. As I stared at that screen, I pondered the question that I’m not sure I had even asked myself while playing any of the other hundreds of games I’d played over my lifetime:
Was this the best game I’d ever played?
And then I started a new game. I just had to play it again.
Mass Effect 2: our game of the generation.
~ Tony Odett
Those were our selections, what are yours?