Going Gold

Going Gold: Going Gold's Purely Arbitrary Games of the Decade

Christian Ward | 30 Dec 2009 21:00
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Resident Evil 4 - 2005

Few teams would have been brave enough to rip up what had been one of gaming's winning formulas. Fewer still would have been capable of making the replacement not only good, but a work of inspiration that continues to revolutionize the action genre nearly five years later.

It's the standout moments of Resident Evil 4 that linger in the memory - the music that plays in a save point, the first time your head is lopped from your body with a chainsaw, the epic battle on the lake. But what makes RE4 so successful is its near-perfect pacing. From the opening village to the final all-out assault and every roller coaster turn in between, it constantly keeps the player on their toes, and never outstays its welcome.

Perfect it isn't - the plot is confusing, the dialogue hammy and the inventory system needlessly complex - but these are nothing more than scratches on the frame of the Mona Lisa. Resident Evil 4's influence continues to extend deep into this generation - so much so that I reckon if RE4 came out today, it would still be better than any other action game on the market. You might even say that "I'd buy it at a high price."

Nintendogs/Brain Age - 2005

Fair enough, this one is outright cheating, but the two games belong in a set. I couldn't pass up the opportunity without tipping my hat to what will shortly be the best-selling game platform of all time, the Nintendo DS

As pieces of software, they do not appear to be exceptional. Nintendogs is the reworking of the familiar Tamagotchi theme. Brain Age seems like it belongs in a remedial classroom. But together these two titles, released over a one-month period in Japan, propelled the DS from an underpowered machine relegated to the back-shelves to a worldwide phenomenon that indelibly changed the gaming audience. If that doesn't deserve recognition, I don't know what does.

Wii Sports - 2006

The game that launched a thousand Wiis, and burned the topless towers of the self-righteous hardcore. I will, like Wii Sports itself, keep this simple. Whatever you think of the Wii or its bundled software, know this: more people had fun with Wii Sports, and therefore with videogames, than any other title this decade. Just think of it as the Harry Potter of videogames - so long as it gets people into the medium, that's a good thing, right? People of different generations, gathered around the TV, bonding over videogames. That's the goal. And Wii Sports has succeeded like nothing before it.

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