Not too long ago, #7favegames was trending on Twitter. After several days of collecting my thoughts and such, I decided I’d compile my seven favorite games. Keep in mind with lists like these that personal preference holds greater significance than a more objective analysis(hence the title “favorite” not “best”). Also, it’s important to remember that sometimes your mood can impact the experience of a game so this isn’t my definitive list for eternity, but these are my favorite games as of right now.
7. Dungeon Travelers 2: The Royal Library and the Monster Seal
RPG’s are my favorite genre. There’s something about the consistent progression and management of skills/abilities that triggers the OCD within me. Deep RPG elements are the most satisfying mechanics to manipulate and understand in a game. Spending half an hour in menus, carefully comparing stats and deciding which skills benefit which class the most is compelling enough to save an otherwise mediocre game.
It’s a saving grace then that Dungeon Travelers 2 is one of the deepest rpg’s you’ll ever play with an insane amount of customization and malleability for different playstyles, but the game surrounding these elements is nothing to scoff at. Dungeons quickly become engaging tests of endurance and path-finding while the game’s characters and writing ooze self-aware humor. Dialogue scenes never overstay their welcome unlike a lot of other rpg’s(I’m looking at you Trillion: God of Destruction). Dungeon Travelers 2 provides perhaps the most gratifying role playing experience you’ll ever have on a handheld.
6. Dead or Alive 5: Last Round
Fighting games aren’t known for being accessible. As a person that doesn’t have the time or desire to become a high level pro at something like a Blazblue, DOA 5 is the best fighting game to jump into. Fighters tend to have this issue whereby they’re either too difficult or they’re too easy. Dead or Alive 5: Last Round captures the perfect balance between accessibility and depth.
Anyone can press buttons and make impressive things happen on screen, helped by the fast paced nature of combat and fluidity of the animations. It’s the only fighting game I’ve been able to enjoy on a surface level while still having enough depth that I can pursue when I find myself bored with the core mechanics. It’s a game I’ve sunk over 600 hours into and with the upcoming Mai of King of Fighters fame being added to the roster next month, there will be many more hours to come.
5. Gears of War 3
Of all the triple-A shooters to release on last gen consoles, Gears of War 3 is one of the best. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the original game. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that the first game is mediocre, but Gears of War 2 revitalized my interest in the series while Gears of War 3 was the bonafide masterpiece the franchise needed. I couldn’t begin to tell you how many hours I wasted away playing through the campaign, competitive multiplayer, and horde modes. From my personal experience, Gears of War is the only trilogy to get better with each installment culminating in the tightest and most satisfying shooter experience of the last console generation.
4. Sonic The Hedgehog 2
The original Genesis sonic trilogy(counting Sonic 3 & Knuckles as a single game) is one of the best trilogies in gaming with Sonic 2 being the peak of that series. Few platformers since have been able to capture the personality of Sonic 2. The music and level design remains unmatched by modern day platformers.
3. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
The Witcher 3 succeeds as an open world game where countless others fail. While most other games use an open world design as a crutch to fill the map with copy/paste mission types for no reason other than to fill the map with icons, The Witcher 3 fills even the most insignificant and repetitious of missions and missions types with meaningful context that adds a lot to the world. It’s probably the best designed open world game of all time.
2. Shadow of The Colossus
Shadow of The Colossus is a difficult game to talk about. To describe it on a mechanical level wouldn’t do it justice. It’s the kind of experience that isn’t comprehensible until you play it. The game’s ability to carry so much emotion through its use of minimalism isn’t very common in the industry. If you want something that will stick with you for years to come, Shadow of The Colossus is that game.
1. The Last of Us
I won’t go on heaping mountains of praise upon this game as by now, you’ve probably heard everything there is to hear. As an overall experience, it is the best game Naughty Dog has put out and despite its strong narrative and characters, also contains a surprisingly quality multiplayer component that remains contextualized within the game world. It is one of the best examples of what video games can be as a medium for storytelling. It was a huge risk for a triple-A first party developer to go from the bombastic action of Uncharted to the pared back intimacy of The Last of Us, but it paid off.