what are your top 10 games of all time? Name one game per franchise

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Ah hell- why not.

10: Interstate '76
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Who would have thought that taking the ridiculous concept of car combat, giving it a gritty story of redemption and revenge, a Mechwarrior powered damage and weapon system and just about the coolest game soundtrack ever would result in just about the most groovy game you could imagine? This was the full package- a sprawling singleplayer campaign (split into 'scenes'), various one-off missions to test your mettle, and an instant action arena mode against any combination of heavily armed cars, busses and trucks you could imagine, all on giant sprawling maps of the U.S. Southwest. Twenty one years later, and it is still the king of car combat perfection. Twisted Metal doesn't even come close.

9: Operation Flashpoint: Game of the Year Edition
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There may be prettier war sims, with higher stakes, shinier equipment, and more fist-bumps, but this pioneer of open world warfare from 2001 is still the closest I ever want to get to real war. The first game in what would become the ARMA series, OpFlash took everything you knew about war games and threw it out the window. You could be cut down in a single burst of fire. Enemies could -and would- engage you from distances of 300m or more. Tanks were machines of nigh unstoppable death for soldiers caught in the open.

It also let you lose. A lot. War games generally had you follow a linear string of victories until the game ends. In OpFlash- there were missions you would not win. Missions you could not win no matter how much the game dared you to try. The utter indifference the game shows to the death of the individual soldier resonates deeply. And when I found, in one mission, the enemy had shifted the front line so rapidly I was now miles behind enemy territory, alone, struggling to get to an extraction point before enemy patrols and helicopters spotted my terrified lump of squishy flesh to obliterate with fire and steel... I felt a fear no game had given me before. That's when I was hooked. Flashpoint has a quiet earnestness to it, a certain soul that ARMA has never understood. It was a clunky and somewhat jagged looking miracle- a blend of 'show don't tell' conflict wrapped up in a huge world sprawling with bases, vehicles, buddies and satchel charges. No other game has you so alert while crawling under bushes at night, ready to plant your charge near the patrolling tank you're praying to everything you believe in doesn't spot you in the darkness...

8: Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven
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This game has, in my opinion, the best story ever told in an interactive medium. Ever. Fully fleshed out characters making difficult decisions based on their environment and having to live with the consequences. No other game on this list so comprehensively transports you to another time and place as this masterpiece. The cars are sluggish and have terrible top speeds, but I didn't care. I savoured every minute of the experience, and try to play through this game about once every year- retracing the steps of Tommy Angelo- the cabbie that fell from grace into the life of a 'made man'. It's also notable for actually giving you all kinds of optional missions to do in freeroam. Hard to believe this came out in the same year as Vice City.

7: Deus Ex
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Perhaps an odd choice for me considering I didn't grow up with it. I only played it for the first time about 5 years ago. But- since I was around when UT'99 came out and in general I couldn't care less about graphics, I was able to dive straight into the story and incredible level design. Everyone always praises the seamlessness of Half Life's design, but I think Deus Ex really perfected it, with a finely balanced set of rewards for exploration without ever treating you like an idiot. This was the only game I've ever played where I found myself playing all through the night on a level... that I had already completed. That's how good this game is at sucking you into the story.

6: TIE Fighter
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The first PC game I ever bought, TIE Fighter set the bar for space combat so high that some would say it still hasn't been surpassed. Whirling through a giant space furball with lasers flying everywhere and giant cruisers and destroyers drifting past your cockpit viewport entirely upside down as they maneuvered around the battle got my blood pumping so much, that I'd often switch it off only to find my entire hand had cramped up from clutching the joystick so tightly. It's exploration of the Empire's point of view as a Galaxy wide peace keeping force is made so believable in its realisation, it could be argued that their depiction in this game is even more fleshed out than even the Star Wars movies allowed. A good story wrapped up in an outstanding handling flight simulation- TIE Fighter isn't just one of the best Star Wars games of all time- It's one of best games of all time- period.

5: Battlefield 1942
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It seems so bizarre the way all people seem to talk about with the latest Battlefields is the balancing: Buff this, OP that... how can DICE still be struggling with all that when they basically knocked it out of the park with the first Battlefield? You think behemoths are impressive? Try giving both sides a full fleet to use, with fully pilotable destroyers, submarines, battleships, aircraft carriers and planes themselves. You think flying in a 2 vs 2 dogfight is intense? try 32 aircraft duking it out at once over the skies of Coral Sea or Britain. In a time before ironsights and weapon customisation, DLC or player progression or all that other utterly useless padding, Bf 1942 just worked. It was well balanced, had wonderful variety in weapons, vehicles, terrain and armies, and is a joy to play. Not to mention mods could completely transform the game, providing the genesis for the Battlefront series, BF: Vietnam, and BF2 with Desert Combat. If Battlefield ever returns to the pitched land/sea/air warfare of WW2, it can't come fast enough.

4: Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction
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As much as I'd like to give this spot to The Saboteur for its excellent gun combat, great stealth and humour, Mercenaries takes the honour as its wiser, more serious older brother. It's still not very serious, but it's depiction of a modern warzone is captivating. Different nations seek to carve up the territory, journalists try to get to hotspots to get good footage, and nobody wants to be seen publicly stepping on too many toes. Enter you, the mercenary that can do everyone's dirty work for them, and get paid handsomely for the trouble. Probably my favourite sandbox, Mercenaries just oozes atmosphere, in no small part thanks to the outstanding soundtrack by Michael Giacchino- mixing bold korean drums with tense strings and haunting chorale during the quieter moments. It's an all-out action game and no mistake, but underneath is the impression that this is a world torn apart, with everyone trying to just do the best they can with the resulting situation. Also, it's refreshingly hard at times. Mercs expects you to learn the tools of your trade and will test you, to the very limit. But when you're perched ontop of a mountain range, using your binoculars to scope out the base you'll soon be attacking... it's just pure magic, especially for players that can think outside the box in their approach to objectives.

3: Crimson Skies
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Somewhere between the hardcore hair pulling simulations like IL-2 Sturmovik and the super arcade laziness of Rogue Squadron, there exists a sweet spot where you're given the full range of controls over your vehicle, but aren't punished if your revision on stall speeds and weight-to-thrust ratios isn't on point. In this sweet spot proudly sits Crimson Skies- the finest arcade flight combat game ever made. And no, not the Xbox sequel, I'm talking the PC original here. There are no other flight combat games with this much charm, sass, derring-do and reckless abandon as you, Nathan Zachary, lead your merry band of sky pirates through a story that progresses from light hearted treasure hunting to deeper double dealings and corporate conspiracies. You'll cross paths with a range of memorable characters both friend and foe, and marvel at the inventive alternate-world designs as they swoop and zoom between colossal zeppelins that open their gunports to trade broadsides just as the Spanish Galleons of old used to. Once again, a full range of instant action challenges await you, and each mission ends with newspaper clippings of the action you'd just lived through. Between that and the swashbuckling action music that gives way to a swinging 30's jazz when you complete your objectives, Crimson Skies is a taughtly paced, expertly designed and utterly charming aerial romp. Just play it.

2: Driver: You Are the Wheelman
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Speaking of that sweet spot between realism and pure arcade handling- what Crimson Skies did for aircraft, Driver did for cars. There's been precious few times where I've played a game that felt like it was made just for me, but Driver is special like that. The car handling perfectly evokes the overpowered, fishtailing car chases of 70's crime movies, and when the cops start chasing you and the music changes, you know it's about to get messy. It's still the most fun I've ever had in a game version of a hollywood car chase. What really elevates the game to legendary status however, is the Film Director mode. Every time you hit the streets, all your actions are recorded and can be played back. Not just like a replay, but you can pause the action, place your cameras, switch between the point of view of different cars in the chase, and have the whole chase play out like your very own car chase movie. For every hour I spent actually playing the game, I probably spent another 5 in the director mode. We need more games that can do this.

1: GoldenEye
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I love shooters. I love realistic tactical puzzle solvers like Operation Flashpoint. I like fast paced twitch shooting blastfests like Unreal Tournament and Quake 3. I like shooters you play with your friends like PUBG, and ones you play by yourself, like Far Cry. 1st person, 3rd person, PC or console, I can find plenty to like in a whole range of shooters.

But if I had to pick just one? It would be Goldeneye.

It's a toughie. I mean, Perfect Dark improves on it in nearly every way, with multiplayer bots giving PD a near infinite amount of arena replayability. But there's one place Perfect Dark didn't top Goldeneye. Didn't come close. The singleplayer.

On paper, there are many things about Goldeneye that shouldn't have worked. Levels were designed before objectives, so there are rooms and hallways with no use for the mission. If an alarm is triggered, some levels will spawn infinite waves of guards to track you down- Forever. Sensitive mission equipment often sits close to things that blow up, and everything in the game can blow up. There's no crosshair while you're moving. The small team of 7 (!) people that made Goldeneye were mostly first timers making it up as they went along, and as a result there are a lot of things in Goldeneye you don't see anywhere else.

But that's what keeps me coming back. Take the mission where you start unarmed in a prison cell. If you're crafty you can find some throwing knives, for silent takedowns. But the guards patrol on a completely randomised timeline. You may think the coast is clear because someone passed, only to find as you duck across the hallway that another is only 6 paces behind the first. It's these 'oh crap' moments that force you to improvise that continue to surprise and delight more than 20 years after the game released. We all have our favourite shooter, and usually for very specific reasons. I don't think I'll ever see a shooter made again with the same creative mindset Goldeneye was forged under, so for the time being, GoldenEye remains my favourite game of all time.

Hawki:

My experience with Castlevania is pretty miniscule, but I thought that 3 was pretty universally regarded as being the best of the original NES games?

Well, I'm a big fan of the series and I think 3 was the best of the original NES games. It had multiple characters and choices of levels. However, while they are both very difficult I can see people getting frustrated easily at 3. The lack of mobility or ability to attack on the stairs mess you up frequently - even more than in 1 because of the enemy placement.

Squilookle:
Ah hell- why not.

snip

A couple things.

1. Where the hell is Freelancer on this list? If there's an arcade space-sim that deserves commendation, it's that one, and besides MAYBE Elite Dangerous, there hasn't been a single game that's truly taken its place since. And not to mention, Freelancer literally revolutionized space-sim control and allowed people with just a mouse and keyboard to adequately control a ship.

2. Mercs has some amazing open-world mission design, but what I remember it most for was its almost flawless Merchant of Menace system. The only game that's kinda done that since is Just Cause, and even then, you can't order any airstrikes in that game so it's undeniably worse. And you know what the sucky thing is? Unless you have an Original Xbox or PS2, you can't play Mercs anymore.

3. If you're gonna praise Goldeneye over Perfect Dark for emergent gameplay then you should have placed Far Cry 2 way ahead of it. FC2 is the undisputed king of that.

Smithnikov:
Castlevania 1 has a place in my heart, but 3 did just about everything that made 1 good even better. I regret nothing!

Hawki:
My experience with Castlevania is pretty miniscule, but I thought that 3 was pretty universally regarded as being the best of the original NES games?

dscross:
Well, I'm a big fan of the series and I think 3 was the best of the original NES games. It had multiple characters and choices of levels. However, while they are both very difficult I can see people getting frustrated easily at 3. The lack of mobility or ability to attack on the stairs mess you up frequently - even more than in 1 because of the enemy placement.

A lot of casual fans consider Castlevania 3 to be the best of the NES games and sure, it's a lot better than Castlevania 2, but anyone who's actually familiar with game design will tell you that 3 suffered significantly from its focus on trying to be "bigger" than the first game. Multiple playable characters! More levels! Branching paths!
Except those playable characters are horribly unbalanced compared to one another (Grant is pretty much always useless, Alucard makes some sections easier but is completely helpless in other sections, Sypha can be either the best or worst character depending entirely on her subweapon, and Trevor is basically the only one who's actually good for the most part), only about half of the levels are actually designed well (fuck the Abandoned Mine in particular), and even the best levels lack the polish of those in the first game, and the branching paths are a neat idea but end up just exacerbating the problem. Remember all those weird random platforms and candles lying around in a lot of the levels that there's no way to reach? That's kind of a great microcosm of how messy the design of Castlevania 3 really is when you actually look at it.
The game as a whole is just bloated.

Kotaro:
A lot of casual fans consider Castlevania 3 to be the best of the NES games and sure, it's a lot better than Castlevania 2, but anyone who's actually familiar with game design will tell you that 3 suffered significantly from its focus on trying to be "bigger" than the first game. Multiple playable characters! More levels! Branching paths!
Except those playable characters are horribly unbalanced compared to one another (Grant is pretty much always useless, Alucard makes some sections easier but is completely helpless in other sections, Sypha can be either the best or worst character depending entirely on her subweapon, and Trevor is basically the only one who's actually good for the most part), only about half of the levels are actually designed well (fuck the Abandoned Mine in particular), and even the best levels lack the polish of those in the first game, and the branching paths are a neat idea but end up just exacerbating the problem. Remember all those weird random platforms and candles lying around in a lot of the levels that there's no way to reach? That's kind of a great microcosm of how messy the design of Castlevania 3 really is when you actually look at it.
The game as a whole is just bloated.

"Casual fans" Lol! I think you are being biased there mate towards your own preferences and opinions. I'm hardly a casual Castlevania fan, just because I haven't played the 3D ones, and I prefer Castlevania III! Everything you said there is only objective to you. It's another case of you interpreting your own frustrations with the game as problems, like you did in my other thread with Circle of the Moon (but let's not start THAT one again). ;)

Kotaro:

Smithnikov:
Castlevania 1 has a place in my heart, but 3 did just about everything that made 1 good even better. I regret nothing!

Hawki:
My experience with Castlevania is pretty miniscule, but I thought that 3 was pretty universally regarded as being the best of the original NES games?

dscross:
Well, I'm a big fan of the series and I think 3 was the best of the original NES games. It had multiple characters and choices of levels. However, while they are both very difficult I can see people getting frustrated easily at 3. The lack of mobility or ability to attack on the stairs mess you up frequently - even more than in 1 because of the enemy placement.

A lot of casual fans consider Castlevania 3 to be the best of the NES games and sure, it's a lot better than Castlevania 2, but anyone who's actually familiar with game design will tell you that 3 suffered significantly from its focus on trying to be "bigger" than the first game. Multiple playable characters! More levels! Branching paths!
Except those playable characters are horribly unbalanced compared to one another (Grant is pretty much always useless, Alucard makes some sections easier but is completely helpless in other sections, Sypha can be either the best or worst character depending entirely on her subweapon, and Trevor is basically the only one who's actually good for the most part), only about half of the levels are actually designed well (fuck the Abandoned Mine in particular), and even the best levels lack the polish of those in the first game, and the branching paths are a neat idea but end up just exacerbating the problem. Remember all those weird random platforms and candles lying around in a lot of the levels that there's no way to reach? That's kind of a great microcosm of how messy the design of Castlevania 3 really is when you actually look at it.
The game as a whole is just bloated.

You ain't wrong, but I'll still say that for me the end product was greater than the sum of it's parts.

You might fault me for nostalgia as well, since I played these games when they were brand spanking new (Hell, the original Castlevania was second NES game I ever picked up right behind Ghosts n Goblins), but I put what I put on this list based on the experience I felt when I found them.

1. Superman 64
2. Yooka-Laylee
3. Metroid: The Other M
4. Candy Crush
5. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
6. Star Wars Battlefront II (2017)
7. I Wanna be the Boshy
8. Master of Orion III
9. Destiny 2
10. Drake of the 99 Dragons

RedRockRun:
2. Yooka-Laylee

Yooka-Laylee wasn't that bad. :(

I don't have the order for them, but they're in the top ten.

MDK2
Mafia
Diablo 2(+Lords of Destruction)
Red Alert 2(+Yuri's Revenge)
Warcraft III(+Frozen Throne)
Tales of Vesperia
Call of Duty 2
Assassin's Creed 2
Baldur's Gate Dark Alliance(throw in Dark Alliance 2 in there too, why not)
Mass Effect or Dragon Age Origins depending on my mood, currently, more towards Origins

10) Soul Calibur
9) Neverwinter Nights
8) Star Wars: TIE Fighter
7) StarCraft
6) The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
5) Portal
4) System Shock 2
3) The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
2) Thief II: The Metal Age
1) Wing Commander: Privateer

I'll preface my list by noting that a lot of these games are not so much objectively great games as they are games that were significant to my gaming history that stayed with me. These are in chronological order from oldest to newest, because if I tried to order them by preference my head would explode.

1. Karate-ka (1984) - Probably the first game I ever got seriously into, and the first game I ever beat, this side scrolling fighting game was my jam in primary school.

2. Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar (1985) - My first ever CRPG and the game that got me into the genre that has been my favourite ever since. I was still a kid and had no idea what I was supposed to do, but the scale of the world was amazing at the time.

3. Rastan (1987) - Sidescrolling platformer Conan knock-off on the SEGA Master System. I played this for hundreds of hours and beat it numerous times, despite it being pretty challenging.

4. Mechwarrior (1989) - My intro to one of my favourite series in both videogames and P&P rpgs. This mech sim provided an
impressive amount of player choice and "roleplaying" for such a relatively primative game.

5. Eye of the Beholder (1991) - One of my all time favourite CRPGs. A school friend and I played this every weekend for months and still never managed to finish it. I bought it again recently on GOG and started it again, but have yet to actually finish it.

6. Street Fighter 2 (1991) - I remember when SF2 arrived in my city and drew people like no other game before it. Local arcades, video stores, and take away shops that had one were always packed, with people lining up to fight each other. SF2 began my love of fighting games.

7. Wolfenstein 3d/Doom (1992/1993) - I'm counting these together because they pretty much existed in the gaming landscape at the same time. These were the grand daddies of all FPS games, and my first foray into multiplayer and the games that made me a PC gamer.

8. Syndicate (1993) - Distopian scifi is one of my favourite things, and Syndicate combined it with great tactical gameplay that kept me playing for hours.

9. UFO Enemy Unknown aka X-Com: UFO Defense (1994) - Probably my favourite strategy game to this day. I spent many a frustrating evening beating my face against it.

10. Tenchu: Stealth Assassins (1998) - I love a good stealth game, and I also love fuedal Japan, so Tenchu was right in my wheelhouse. Remains one of my all time favourite games.

11. Hitman 2: Silent Assassin (2002) - Another favourite stealth games, I spent dozens of hours mastering each level and perfecting each kill. Contributed significantly to a relationship break-up, but I still have fond memories of it.

12. Dead Space (2008) - I normally don't like horror games, but I do like dark scifi, and DS knocked it out of the park with its design, atmosphere and intriguing story (even if it did all go off the rails in the sequels).

13. Infamous (2009) - A highly enjoyable comic book inspired open work action game that I spent several weeks binging, and which I have returned to from time to time.

14. Dragon Age Origins (2009) - My favourite Bioware game by far and probably my favourite game of all time, DAO hits the perfect balance of storytelling, characters, and gameplay all in one to produce a game that has stuck with me like no other.

15. Red Dead Redemption (2011) - I normally dislike Rockstar games and open worlds, but RDR managed to overcome those hurdles by making me engaged by its story, characters, and setting/world building, something GTA has consistently failed to do.

16. The Last of Us (2013) - I love story and character driven games, and TLoU hit those elements better than pretty much any other game I have played. 10 playthroughs later, and it still grabs me with its incredible atmosphere.

17. Bloodborne (2015) - The game that made me finally "get" the Souls genre. Combining Souls combat with Lovecraftian horror produced an incredible experience.

18. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (2015) - Pretty much the pinnacle of the story/character driven style of action RPG. It managed to achieve an incredible level of quality in its content, and then somehow maintained that level for 150 hours.

Honorable mentions:

International Karate Plus aka IK+ (1987) - Precursor to what would become fighting games, this side scrolling multiplayer martial arts game was all kinds of fun with friends.

Golden Axe (1989) - Classic side scrolling multiplayer beat 'em up ripe with fantasy tropes. Great fun with friends.

Another World aka. Out Of This World (1990) - Sporting incredible animations for its time, Another World was a short but highly enjoyable side scrolling shooter/puzzler/platformer for the Amiga that really grabbed me.

The Secret of Monkey Island (1990) - One of the classic point-&-click adventure games and easily the funniest.

Wings (1990) - A WW1 flight sim/rpg/arcade game. It shouldn't work, but it does.

Mega Lo Mania (1991) - A quirky RTS game for the Amiga, I spent hours battling friends in this game.

Turrican 2 (1991) - A fantastic metroid-like for the Amiga, with quite possibly the best videogame soundtrack ever.

Diablo (1996) - Blizzard's classic isometric action RPG. Great solo or multiplayer.

The Longest Journey (1999) - One of the last of the point-&-click adventure games, it features a strong story that is
both whimsical and poignant and fantastic voice acting.

Manhunt (2004) - Infused with Rockstar's dark humour, this slightly mind boggling survival horror game blew my mind and I continue to be baffled as to how it was ever even made and released. Extremely worth playing even though I had to evade the ban in Australia to get it.

The Punisher (2005) - Awesome third person shooter that really wore its comicbook origins on its sleeve, right down to the comic sans font on all the in-game text.

Call of Duty 3 (2006) - CoD before it jumped the shark.

Wolfenstein The New Order (2014) - Who ever imagined that BJ Blazkowicz would become an empathetic protagonist?

RedRockRun:
1. Superman 64
2. Yooka-Laylee
3. Metroid: The Other M
4. Candy Crush
5. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
6. Star Wars Battlefront II (2017)
7. I Wanna be the Boshy
8. Master of Orion III
9. Destiny 2
10. Drake of the 99 Dragons

If you really want to do troll picks then you might want to replace Advanced Warfare with Ghost since Advanced Warfare is actually pretty good. You might also want to specify the story of the Other M since the gameplay worked but everyone hated the story.

Worgen:

RedRockRun:
1. Superman 64
2. Yooka-Laylee
3. Metroid: The Other M
4. Candy Crush
5. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
6. Star Wars Battlefront II (2017)
7. I Wanna be the Boshy
8. Master of Orion III
9. Destiny 2
10. Drake of the 99 Dragons

If you really want to do troll picks then you might want to replace Advanced Warfare with Ghost since Advanced Warfare is actually pretty good. You might also want to specify the story of the Other M since the gameplay worked but everyone hated the story.

Replace Other M with Hunters.

'Nuff said.

Arnoxthe1:

Squilookle:
Ah hell- why not.

snip

A couple things.

1. Where the hell is Freelancer on this list? If there's an arcade space-sim that deserves commendation, it's that one, and besides MAYBE Elite Dangerous, there hasn't been a single game that's truly taken its place since. And not to mention, Freelancer literally revolutionized space-sim control and allowed people with just a mouse and keyboard to adequately control a ship.

Simple- I can't include a game I've never played.

I had a quick look at some retrospectives and it looks pretty good (some of that soundtrack gives me goosebumps), but here's the thing: I like my space well scripted and utterly chaotic, delivered in short bursts. I've never really been one for the Star Trek style slow plodding, exploring and discovering. The only game that managed to get me to enjoy that was Star Control II. All I want from a space sim is WW2 in space, and that's exactly what TIE Fighter delivers in spades. Giant, twisting, objective based space battles, and I love that shit.

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Also if your spaceflight is controlled with the mouse of all things, you might as well just play Asteroids.

2. Mercs has some amazing open-world mission design, but what I remember it most for was its almost flawless Merchant of Menace system. The only game that's kinda done that since is Just Cause, and even then, you can't order any airstrikes in that game so it's undeniably worse.

I preferred infiltration to airstrikes wherever I could get away with it, but I'm with you about Just Cause. Never have I seen a battle of sequels so comprehensively flip the tables over which series was getting better. If anyone can one day top Mercenaries 1 though, hands down it's going to be Avalanche Studios.

3. If you're gonna praise Goldeneye over Perfect Dark for emergent gameplay then you should have placed Far Cry 2 way ahead of it. FC2 is the undisputed king of that.

Hahaha- yeah no. While I'll admit FC2 was at its best when I was trying to clear out missions using nothing but a silenced pistol, and no game tops it for 'guards getting slowly more terrified as you whittle them down,' FC2 has far too many flaws holding it back from greatness. Not enough variety either. Both FC3 and 4 learned from 2, and are far more emergent. Not least because FC2 only putting herbivores in as the wildlife is basically a waste of time. Besides, when I have to handicap -myself- to get the most out of a game, then it's not performing at peak performance. Goldeneye delivers more thrills by knowing exactly what to give you, what obstacles to put in your way, and avoiding dumb design decisions such as giving the main character malaria and not allowing them to stock right up on pills, or letting weapons degrade but forgetting to give us any way of repairing them ourselves.

I'm seeing you critiquing other's lists a fair bit in here. That's fine and everything, but when do we get to see your top 10?

RedRockRun:
1. Superman 64
2. Yooka-Laylee
3. Metroid: The Other M
4. Candy Crush
5. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
6. Star Wars Battlefront II (2017)
7. I Wanna be the Boshy
8. Master of Orion III
9. Destiny 2
10. Drake of the 99 Dragons

We get it. You're edgy. Now run along.

Squilookle:

2. Mercs has some amazing open-world mission design, but what I remember it most for was its almost flawless Merchant of Menace system. The only game that's kinda done that since is Just Cause, and even then, you can't order any airstrikes in that game so it's undeniably worse.

I preferred infiltration to airstrikes wherever I could get away with it, but I'm with you about Just Cause. Never have I seen a battle of sequels so comprehensively flip the tables over which series was getting better. If anyone can one day top Mercenaries 1 though, hands down it's going to be Avalanche Studios.

The great thing about Mercenaries was that you could do both infiltration and airstrikes; you could sneak in and set up the beacon or whatever, and then run away without anyone knowing it was you as everything blows up in the background. I did every single mission without the faction knowing it was me and some of the missions were damn tough to pull that off and the game felt like a puzzle game at times. Mercenaries was the game that made me start hating open world games way back then because it showed me what an open world is supposed to be like and it literally ruined GTA and all Rockstar games for me.

Squilookle:
if your spaceflight is controlled with the mouse of all things, you might as well just play Asteroids.

Haha. Yeah, no. Trust me. It's really damn good.

Squilookle:
While I'll admit FC2 was at its best when I was trying to clear out missions using nothing but a silenced pistol, and no game tops it for 'guards getting slowly more terrified as you whittle them down

If the game is too easy, you really need to bump up the difficulty at least by one notch. I know that Normal for me is now too easy but Infamous is where you're now pretty much as weak as everyone else, health wise, so that may be too much.

Squilookle:
FC2 has far too many flaws holding it back from greatness. Not enough variety either. Both FC3 and 4 learned from 2, and are far more emergent. Not least because FC2 only putting herbivores in as the wildlife is basically a waste of time. Besides, when I have to handicap -myself- to get the most out of a game, then it's not performing at peak performance. Goldeneye delivers more thrills by knowing exactly what to give you, what obstacles to put in your way, and avoiding dumb design decisions such as giving the main character malaria and not allowing them to stock right up on pills, or letting weapons degrade but forgetting to give us any way of repairing them ourselves.

You call them flaws but all these things are actually what enhances the emergent elements over even Far Cry 3 or later. You can't make a game about improvisation if the game never, you know, makes you improvise and adapt. If it never puts you in an uncomfortable position due to your actions. And that's the thing. It's FAIR. If your weapon starts breaking down on you, it's YOUR fault for not replacing it earlier. If you start falling down in battle due to malaria attacks, it's YOUR fault for not taking the time to manage it. Get spotted? Your fault. Get flanked? Your fault. Get your Jeep blown up? Your fault. You didn't watch these things so the game mercilessly (yet fairly) punishes you for it. This is why I say that Ziggy's Mod is pretty much non-negotiable in playing Far Cry 3. Without it, it's too easy and thus, the game lose a lot of its edge.

Squilookle:
I'm seeing you critiquing other's lists a fair bit in here. That's fine and everything, but when do we get to see your top 10?

Well, for two reasons. One, I don't think anyone here cares about it. And two, I don't know if I can do it. There's SO MANY games that deserve at least a mention.

Well now, in no order as I will write them as they come to me.

10. Battlezone 2: Combat Commander
9. Command and Conquer: Red Alert
8. Machines: Wired For War
7. F.E.A.R.
6. Goldeneye 64
5. S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call Of Pripyat - Misery Mod and The Armed Zone
4. Mass Effect
3. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
2. Mechwarrior 3
1. Halo: Combat Evolved

A mix of old and new(ish) titles that hold vast nostalgic value and/or games that I play to this day and still legitimately enjoy.

Arnoxthe1:

Squilookle:
I'm seeing you critiquing other's lists a fair bit in here. That's fine and everything, but when do we get to see your top 10?

Well, for two reasons. One, I don't think anyone here cares about it. And two, I don't know if I can do it. There's SO MANY games that deserve at least a mention.

I care to see it, but yeah... there is so many it is hard.

And Squilookle, our lists only had one game in common. But yours was so good otherwise (and I liked Vigilante 8 well enough) that I just picked up Interstate 76 on gog because I never had played it.

Saulkar:
2. Mechwarrior 3

Yay, someone else has played MW3!

Kyrian007:
I care to see it, but yeah... there is so many it is hard.

Ugh. Alright... I'll do my best. So these games are not only my absolute favorites, some of these are also incredibly ground-breaking when they first came out. They are ordered by those two things.

10. Perfect Dark

Goldeneye was very necessary for console FPS' but Perfect Dark, well, perfected it. Or at least, got it as perfect as you can get using a controller with only one analog stick. It's at #10 though because unfortunately it doesn't hold up all that well today, but it still has a place in my heart and it was my introduction to the "Multiplayer Suite" that we would later see again with Halo and other games. (More on that later.)

9. Project M v3.6

The best fighting game I've ever seen. Ever. A logical culmination of the groundwork that Super Smash Bros. and Super Smash Bros. Melee did before it. Anyone can play it too, but only an absolute demigod of games can truly master it. The skill ceiling is pretty much non-existent. Unfortunately though, Nintendo decided to be FUCKING DICKS and waved their big lawyer cock around and forced the PM team to shutdown operations. THANKS, NINTENDO. Fuck off.

8. Star Wars Jedi Knight 2: Jedi Outcast

Although Jedi Academy would later add to the Jedi Knight multiplayer scene and be the final game to go to for this sort of thing, Jedi Outcast did all the groundwork first and also outclasses it with a better single-player portion. Besides that, it has the best "Star Wars/Jedi" gameplay I've seen and is just generally a really outstanding third-person slasher outside of Ninja Gaiden.

7. Banjo-Kazooie

This is the game that first taught me to dream. Well, maybe not the FIRST. Super Mario 64 got there before BK, but like Perfect Dark, it perfected the formula. BK and its sequel, Banjo-Tooie are so successful because they give us these massive worlds to explore that are built around, and this is actually VERY important, consistent and awe-inspiring themes. Add a creative and freeing moveset to this and some humor and you have one of, if not the best platformer around.

6. Neverwinter Nights: Diamond Edition

Getting into the RPG genre a bit now finally, we have NWN, which captured me deeply when I first played it. I think this was actually my first formal introduction to the D&D universe and I was blown away. The ONLY complaint I have with it is that the first part of the first campaign is kinda long, but after that, it quickly picks up. Neverwinter Nights, and by extension, D&D, also has some of THE COOLEST spells I've ever wielded in an RPG. Notable ones include the Shapechange spell where I could turn myself into an almost unstoppable adult red dragon and the Gate spell which ripped three huge stone spikes out of the ground, forming an infernal portal and summoning a badass balrog to the Meteor Shower spell. (self-explanatory.) And THEN there was the multiplayer. A full DM client AND mini-persistent worlds AND a fully-featured editor? Yeah, this game was ahead of its time.

5. Timesplitters 3: Future Perfect

The Perfect Dark team, not satisfied with making Nintendo 64 awesomeness, decided they were gonna be even MORE awesome and made Timesplitters 3. A game that was actually BETTER than Halo CE/2 in many ways. It was so PACKED full of features and content, it was mind-boggling. So many weapons. So many characters. So many maps. So much to do. And the campaign is great too. You don't need to play any of the past TS games in order to enjoy it. And it has a huge and accessible level editor inside it. Holy hell! The monumental triumph that is this game was incredibly unfortunately only matched by its failure to sell. And it's so sad that it didn't. And it's even more sad what happened to Free Radical. The team behind the TS series. FR deserves so much fame and recognition for this game but instead, they got crapped on and mishandled by some of the biggest publishers. I don't know if I'll ever be able to forgive the gaming industry for what happened to them.

4. The Elder Scrolls: Arena/Morrowind/Skyrim

I don't think these games need any introduction. They are some of the ONLY quality fantasy sandboxes around. However, I'm sorry but I don't think I can pick any one of the three. Please don't make me do it. They're all equally important and great in their own way.

3. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

I remember distantly when OoT first came out. It was the shit. You were cool just to own it. People came over to play it. To even watch it being played. And looking back, it's no surprise why. Nintendo took the formerly 2D Zelda games and utterly KNOCKED IT OUT OF THE PARK transitioning it from 2D to 3D. It's so good, I think it still holds up well even today, and it's one of the games alongside Banjo-Kazooie that first taught me to dream. OoT may have been when I first decided I wanted to be a game designer.

2. Halo 3

I also remember, this time vividly, when Halo 3 first came out. And when it did, it was, again, the SHIT. Some of my absolute fondest gaming memories are sitting around with my friends and/or high school classmates just having so much freaking fun playing Halo 3 splitscreen. This game was and is still to this day the pinnacle of console shooters, topping a ton of PC shooters and making AAA games today look like fucking amateur hour. OoT was when I first wanted to be a game designer but Halo 3 brainwashed me for a while into a Bungie fanboy for good reason. I wanted to work there for so long. I read their blog posts and mailroom posts on their website regularly. But then... Destiny/Activision happened. And soon, one of the dearest game studios I've seen got corrupted into another souless husk. So when I say what I'm about to say, you know I mean it.

Go to fucking hell, Activision. And take your shitty Destiny with you.

1. Unreal Tournament: GOTY Edition

If there was ever a game that I could call flawless in almost every sense of the word, this would probably be it. UT99 is FAR more than just an arena shooter. Underneath the guns and the violence is so much more than that. The sounds. The menu. The bot AI. The maps. The music. The gameplay. The mutators. The damn server browser even. Everything utterly perfect and so well thought out and so well implemented and so functionally POWERFUL. And the editor, when it first came out, was HANDS DOWN the best and most fully-featured level editor anyone had ever seen and would see until maybe the Crysis days. Maybe. I know it was a common thing in the modding circles that the editor was seen as the pinnacle of level design tools. Still kinda is with the UE4. But anyway. This game was so good that Quake 3, the game everyone was looking to at the time, just about got its throat slit by it. I want you all to think about that for a good long while. This game comes out of nowhere and almost UNSEATS id. The king of FPS gaming at the time. And the mod system is still so good to this day. When gaming was still derping around with its clunky modding, Quake 3 included, UT99 came in and fixed EVERYTHING. It showed everyone how to do it. And it has to this day some of the best map design I've ever seen anywhere ever. And the music. THE MUSIC. Everything so damn good. *begins to salivate* But yeah. There isn't a single thing I can complain about UT99 with. Not a single thing.

-

Oh gosh. I missed so many games already. Crysis. Aliens vs. Predator 2. Riven. Burnout 3. Garry's Mod. And most recently, Dust: An Elysian Tail. Just to name a few. All of these and more are very standout titles that I just simply didn't have the room for. *sigh* Well, I think this list is as good as I can make it so I'll just leave it like that.

This list is going to seriously date me. Oh, well.

Ms. Pac-Man - I always play this arcade game anytime that I see.
Tetris - I don't think you can call yourself a "gamer" if you don't like this game.
Defender - I played the Atari 2600 version of this game nonstop when I was a kid.
Gauntlet - All I got to say is, "Please don't shoot the food."
Halo: Reach - It's hard to pick against the first Halo game. I'm going with this one, because the story is so good.
Portal - This game is simply brilliant.
Burnout: Revenge - Any game that makes someone who hates racing game, become obsessed with this racing series is doing something right.
Bloodrayne 2 - Yeah, I know it's simply a mediocre game. It's a sexy, mediocre game.
Doom 3 - Realistically, it's not that hard to have a flashlight being used while shooting. However, as a game mechanic, having to choose to see what is going on and defending yourself from what is going bump in the dark was an awesome, horror game experience.
Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance - It's hard to pick just one MK game. This one was the one I felt that the got all the parts right.

Close Combat: ABTF (RTT)
Jagged Alliance 2 (Turn based tactics)
Bloodborne (ARPG)
Final Fight (Beat em up)
Ninja Gaiden 1 (NES) (Side Scrolling action?)
Burnout: Revenge (Racing game for non-racing game fans)
Monster Hunter (any one really) (Action Adventure)
Master of Orion (4X)
Fallout 1 (true RPG)
Perfect Dark (Shooter)

Arnoxthe1:

6. Neverwinter Nights: Diamond Edition

Getting into the RPG genre a bit now finally, we have NWN, which captured me deeply when I first played it. I think this was actually my first formal introduction to the D&D universe and I was blown away. The ONLY complaint I have with it is that the first part of the first campaign is kinda long, but after that, it quickly picks up. Neverwinter Nights, and by extension, D&D, also has some of THE COOLEST spells I've ever wielded in an RPG. Notable ones include the Shapechange spell where I could turn myself into an almost unstoppable adult red dragon and the Gate spell which ripped three huge stone spikes out of the ground, forming an infernal portal and summoning a badass balrog to the Meteor Shower spell. (self-explanatory.) And THEN there was the multiplayer. A full DM client AND mini-persistent worlds AND a fully-featured editor? Yeah, this game was ahead of its time.

If you like magic based stuff in RPGs and lookingfor positively the best wizardly stuff, I suggest Mage: the Awakening (2nd Ed.) if you're looking at an RPG that caters specifically to spellcraft stuff. Being able to modify spell power, heighten it, shape it, and everything. Wrapped up in very, very cool worldbuilding second only to old World of Darkness stuff.

And certainly not the tropish; "wizards can't take a punch" garbage. More the; "this wizard can mutate fangs and claws and tear out your spleen", or "This wizard can manipulate fate that can allow them to parkour that shit over the cityscape, while manipulating time around you so you get hit by that bus chasing them down...", or "this wizard can pull off a 2km long shot with a magically crafted bullet fired from a murder spirit-bound rifle they built and bound spirits into themselves ..." types of wizards.

Either that or Changeling. nWoD Changeling is probably the best rpg and best 'magic' in a rpg I have ever played. Plus who doesn't like a story with inhuman, frightening Fair Folk and their twisted cadres of formerly human slaves and escapees twisted by their exposure to Arcadia. Living as if betwixt two worlds of one of insane metaphysics and themundane reality of modern urban cityscapes?

Goblin markets where you can trade even your memories for strange, double edged tools and 'contracts' that both empower and yet restrict you. Strange beasts, and different worlds. Terrifyingly inhuman fairies and running as far and fast as you can away.

Changeling might be a bit hard to adapt to a videogame format. That being said they really need a Werewolf and Mage game based on the WoD/CoD rpgs.

A turn-based rpg of any Mage release would be wicked, assumingthey give the same amazing degree of spellcraft manipulation. That being said, having a whole of 8 different choices to make when casting a spell just so that it works exactly as you like, and how many targets, and the area of effect, and how much spellpower behind it might be a bit of a slog ...

A Werewolf tactical RPG could offer the same depth, same awesomeness of """magic""" that would put 3.x to shame, however.

The """spellcraft""" stuff available to werewolves regardless of build is better than 3.x ... in terms of coolness of effect and complexity and depth of meaning. You can be that bad ass Rahu Blood Talon, and youstill have access to """magic""" ... just that it has a very specific bent of Mr/Mrs/Ms. Murders-a-Lot.

Like picking up a sedan and one-shotting a hunter with it through what are called "gifts". Always fun when you turn some upstart hunter into human gravy via 1 ton of tossed steel and glass.

The biggest disappointment of D&D is the fixation on classes and levels. Hit dice is a fundamentally bad RPG holdover. A 0XP WoD character can have the same 'hitpoints' as a 50XP character. But then again, characters who really want to trick out their characters to the point where they can seriously take a beating can take the tools, the merits, and simply boosting their stamina so that hypothetically they can have twice or more the effective 'hitpoints' as either that 0 or 50XP character.

It's just that that other character will be spending their XP elsewhere and being better at other things...

You can easier die in WoD, but at the same time it's your fault if you do. Unlikein D&D even in 3.x where they tried to mollify that idea of having no control, with so many basic save or die because I did a thing. In order to 'do that thing' in WoD, typically you have toset up the opportunity first ... or being tricked out to make that situation of 'doing a thing' actually occur.

After playing a shitload of RPGs, I feel like D&D magic systems are just atrocious.

Crushing that Hunter with a car involved me investing in the right things with XP, and luring some of their group out onto the street so I could ambush them. And it just so happened the street had really good improvised munitions like said sedan that I knew could one shot a hunter with them at range with my gifts.

Because silver blades hurt and I'd rather thin the herd first before my packmates and I engaged them proper.

But I haven't played 5th ed yet, so I can't definitively state that ....

KissingSunlight:
Gauntlet - All I got to say is, "Please don't shoot the food."
Halo: Reach - It's hard to pick against the first Halo game. I'm going with this one, because the story is so good.

You should play Gauntlet Legends on a spare N64 if you have one. It's one of the best co-op games I've played. But that's the big problem. You have to have an N64 or else forget about playing it. N64 emulators universally seem to hate GL's guts.

I was actually somewhat bored with Reach's campaign. At least until the end. Lone Wolf. Now THAT was an ending. A truly amazing sendoff for Bungie and Halo.

So long, guys... After Destiny, it looks like Halo: Reach was the very last time we would truly see you.

Addendum_Forthcoming:
If you like magic based stuff in RPGs and lookingfor positively the best wizardly stuff, I suggest Mage: the Awakening (2nd Ed.) if you're looking at an RPG that caters specifically to spellcraft stuff. Being able to modify spell power, heighten it, shape it, and everything. Wrapped up in very, very cool worldbuilding second only to old World of Darkness stuff.

snip

I should have said, NWN has the best spells I've ever wielded in a video game RPG.

But yeah, Mage does look interesting actually. Keep in mind though, magic in D&D is more limited than it would be in a separate magic focused pen-and-paper RPG because D&D needs to be at least somewhat restrained because they need to balance ALL the classes together. Not just have some magic-wielding classes reign supreme. And even with that, in 3.5, magic could still be OP'd as hell as long as you weren't dealing with some ridiculous Spell Resistance. (Thank goodness they tossed that SR crap in the trash where it belonged for 5e.)

5e I think is actually the truly definitive D&D edition, incorporating all the best elements from all the past editions. 4e was indeed a mess but surprisingly, they really got their heads out of their asses for 5e. Outside of 5e, if I had to pick a favorite edition, it would be Pathfinder. But the problem with Pathfinder and 3.5e by extension is how utterly long combat takes. 5e fixes this for the most part while still allowing for great build customization.

Arnoxthe1:

KissingSunlight:
Gauntlet - All I got to say is, "Please don't shoot the food."
Halo: Reach - It's hard to pick against the first Halo game. I'm going with this one, because the story is so good.

You should play Gauntlet Legends on a spare N64 if you have one. It's one of the best co-op games I've played. But that's the big problem. You have to have an N64 or else forget about playing it. N64 emulators universally seem to hate GL's guts.

I was actually somewhat bored with Reach's campaign. At least until the end. Lone Wolf. Now THAT was an ending. A truly amazing sendoff for Bungie and Halo.

So long, guys... After Destiny, it looks like Halo: Reach was the very last time we would truly see you.

I used to play Gauntlet at the arcades when I was a kid. It was a great experience to have random people coming up and join you in the game.

The ending of Halo: Reach is one of the best endings of all time. I liked the campaign, because I read the book before I played the game. So, I was more concerned about what happen to the squad during the game.

I haven't played Destiny yet. I do have a copy of the game. However, I haven't been enthusiastic about playing, because of all the stuff I heard about the series.

KissingSunlight:
I haven't played Destiny yet. I do have a copy of the game. However, I haven't been enthusiastic about playing, because of all the stuff I heard about the series.

Destiny is basically Borderlands reskinned. Except without any splitscreen capability. And Destiny 2 is basically a cashgrab.

Kyrian007:

Arnoxthe1:

Squilookle:
I'm seeing you critiquing other's lists a fair bit in here. That's fine and everything, but when do we get to see your top 10?

Well, for two reasons. One, I don't think anyone here cares about it. And two, I don't know if I can do it. There's SO MANY games that deserve at least a mention.

I care to see it, but yeah... there is so many it is hard.

And Squilookle, our lists only had one game in common. But yours was so good otherwise (and I liked Vigilante 8 well enough) that I just picked up Interstate 76 on gog because I never had played it.

You're in for a hell of a treat then- Interstate and Vigilante 8 share the same universe, and same cars- even a crossover character or two!

Much like Crimson Skies though, while the console version is a fine game that gives you a quick fix, the PC original has waymore depth to it that really gets you invested. Word to the wise though- depending on your setup, I'76 has a few issues with running smoothly, however the top thread in the GOG forum for Interstate basically lists everything you could want in fixing up this or that issue, if one appears at all.

Definitely worth it though.

As for Far Cry 2 being fair? C'mon- FC2 wouldn't know what fair is if it came up and rubbed it's face in it.

Deus Ex
Chrono Trigger
CSS
Mass Effect 2
KOTOR 2
GTA V
Mario 64
Gran Turismo 2
Portal 2
Talos Principle
The Witcher 3

My new top

The banner saga

The banner saga 2

PUBG

Dead by dealight

RTG games

Diablo 3

The Witcher 3

Guns of boom

TARKOV

HUNT

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