100 Greatest Video Games Of All Time (20 – 1)

Hey there dudes and dudettes. This week we’ll conclude the top 100 greatest video games of all time list. I hope you’re as excited as I am to reveal the top 20. And as always, this list is my personal opinion and as such does not reflect any real statistics and it’s highly possible that you’ll disagree with me here and there. Feel free to post any comments in the comment section below, any feedback is always appreciated! Remember to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more updates and content. Also, as a little extra to end this list I’m adding trailers for each game as well, to add some more context.

Now, let’s get this show on the road shall we?

20. Spider-Man 2

These games are adaptations of the film Spider-Man 2. The PS2, GC and Xbox versions of this game have the feature of allowing the player to free roam around Manhattan, Roosevelt, Ellis, and Liberty Islands. The home console versions were also innovative in that physics-based algorithms simulated Spider-Man’s web swinging in three dimensions, creating a new game mechanic unlike the traditional jumping or flying of previous titles. The other versions of the game feature more linear side-scrolling and platform sections.

While street thugs only have handguns, machine guns, crowbars and their fists to protect them, the super-villains and their minions have their various unique powers and weapons that they use to either steal, cause terror or defeat Spider-Man. At the end of the game, it becomes possible to unlock a warehouse in which the player can again fight thugs and villains such as Shocker, Rhino, Doctor Octopus, and an additional boss, Calypso, who is not found elsewhere in the game.

The player has the ability to choose either to go on with the storyline or swing around the city. The player can explore Manhattan, Roosevelt Island, Ellis Island, Liberty Island, and a mysterious label on the map over the water claiming “Governors Island” with a couple of side quests for the player to complete. The player can do random tasks to earn “hero points,” which must be accumulated to continue with the plot and are spent on upgrading Spidey’s skills.

While not a particularly good game (mediocre graphics, limited side missions) this was pretty good for a movie adaptation. I didn’t care much for the story or missions, but I could spend hours swinging through New York. This is certainly one of the more enjoyable games I have in my collection.

19. Jak III

Like its predecessors, Jak 3 takes place in an un-named fictional universe created by Naughty Dog specially for the games. Specifically, it is set in the New World, its time frame placing it around 300 years after the events of the first game. Jak 3 largely focuses on the Wasteland, a large desert only briefly referred to in the previous entry in the series as being completely uninhabited and inhospitable.

Spargus City, a large settlement within the Wasteland bordering the ocean, is where the game officially begins, and serves as a hub for the player, where new weapons and upgrades can be earned, and most missions are given out. Later on, the plot shifts focus to Haven City, a sprawling metropolis which was the central locale in Jak II, though the size of the area is only a fifth of the Wasteland. Some levels from the previous game are radically altered (Haven Forest, Metropolitan area) or removed entirely (like the Arena, Bazaar and farm district in Haven City), while others are added (New Haven City), branching off from Spargus and the Wasteland and Haven.

Like its predecessor, the gameplay of Jak 3 is a blend of platforming, driving, and gun combat. The player is led through the story as they complete missions, assigned by the various characters in the game. Missions can consist of anything from defeating particular enemies, reaching a specific location, or completing a puzzle. With the exception of timed or otherwise linear missions, the player is free to explore the game world as they see fit. Special machines set up around the levels also assign short, non-plot-related tasks; for some significant missions, guns are a reward for completing the task. Precursor orbs can be found in mysterious places, not after completing missions.

Cheats, made available as the player progresses, can upgrade weapons, flip the game world around into a mirror image of itself, or grant the player invincibility. After the game has been completed, the Hero Mode option is made accessible, which, when purchased, allows the player to re-play the game at a harder difficulty level. As Precursor Orb count is not reset, and the orbs are regenerated at their original locations, the player is able to regather orbs that he or she had already collected the previous time they played through the game. Collecting all 600 Precursor Orbs has some cosmetic effects on Jak’s appearance, but has no effects other than this. In H-ero Mode, Jak also keeps all twelve of his weapons.

There are some differences between Jak 3 and Jak II. Most notably are the changes undergone by Haven City . While Jak II provided the player with four different types of guns, Jak 3 expands on the concept with two additional modifications for each type, ending with a total of twelve weapons. Also, the ‘Dark Jak’ form, introduced in Jak II, which allowed the player to transform into a more powerful version of Jak, is countered by a ‘Light Jak’ form that mainly focuses on defensive abilities. As well as the hover vehicles within Haven City, Jak can drive a variety of off-road vehicles in the desert.

18. Assassin’s Creed 2   

Assassin’s Creed II is a Historical third person action-adventure video game developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft for Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3. It is the second video game installment of the Assassin’s Creed series, and is a sequel to the 2007 video game Assassin’s Creed. The frame story is set in the 21st century, with player-controlled protagonist Desmond Miles escaping from Abstergo Industries with an employee, Lucy Stillman, after being forced to relive the genetic memories of ancestral assassin Altaïr ibn La-Ahad through a machine known as the “Animus”. After escaping from Abstergo, Desmond enters a device which is more advanced than the original Animus, the Animus 2.0, and relives the genetic memories of ancestral nobleman Ezio Auditore da Firenze, who lived during the Renaissance period of the late 15th century in Italy. The player controls Ezio, who becomes an Assassin after his father and brothers are murdered by a traitor to their family. While controlling Ezio, the player can explore game renditions of Italian cities, regions, and landmarks in open world gameplay.

Assassin’s Creed II takes place in an open world with nonlinear gameplay, allowing the player to roam freely within several regions throughout late fifteenth-century Italy such as Venice, Florence, Forlì and the Tuscan countryside. The Animus 2.0, a new version of the machine of the same name present in Assassin’s Creed, provides in-game context for changes and additions to several game elements. A database is also available, providing extra historical information about key landmarks, characters and services that the player encounters. The health system has been made more dynamic, with synchronization to the Animus and causing the character to recover only from minor injuries. More grievous injuries require visiting a street-side doctor or use of medicine (which can be purchased from doctors or found on bodies). The combat system is more complex than that of its predecessor, with the ability to disarm opponents using counter-attacks while unarmed. If the player steals an enemy’s weapon, it is possible to follow up with an attack that instantly kills the enemy. Da Vinci provides the player with specialized weaponry, such as the dual hidden blades, poison blade and the miniature wheellock firearm, which are all based on schematics found in Altaïr’s Codex pages. Generic swords, cutlasses, maces, axes and daggers can all be purchased from vendors in each city or otherwise looted from corpses (some items, such as spears and brooms, cannot be acquired from vendors). In addition, players are able to purchase artwork for their villa, obtain new armor as the game progresses, and even dye Ezio’s clothing with a number of different colors. Other equipment includes larger pouches to carry more throwing knives and medicine. Six additional weapons can be unlocked by connecting a PSP with Assassin’s Creed: Bloodlines to the PS3.

17. Mass Effect 2 

This sequel of the aforementioned Mass Effect betters the original by leaps and bounds in every way, graphics, story, playability, mechanics… everything.  I was stunned playing this lengthy and immersive delight.  I couldn’t believe how great it was.  The opening sequence alone was a jaw dropper (I won’t divulge it to those who haven’t played it yet) and worth the price of admission.  The characters in this game are the best I’ve ever seen and you can choose to play a part in the lives of each and every one of them.  Not only are their stories realistic, but they are also voiced wonderfully as well… by big name actors, e.g., Martin Sheen as the Illusive Man.  What I can’t get over about this game is how EVERY scene is different from the smallest side quest (of which there are tons) to the biggest mission, each background is detailed lovingly and unique to the task at hand, which makes it a priority to finish every single one of them.  From beginning to end this massive sci-fi adventure captures your imagination.  I can’t wait for the third and final(?) installment.  This is the “Empire Strikes Back” of video games.

16. Star Wars: Knight Of The Old Republic 1 & 2  

The best of all Star Wars games by far, KOTOR 1 & 2 captured the magic of this greatest of all sci-fi franchises as no title before did.  One of the reasons is because unlike the rest, these were RPGs instead action adventures.  The character development went beyond anything accomplished prior to it.  It was also the first game that introduced the Light/Dark component in which the decisions you made during the game put you on the path of a Jedi or the evil Sith.  This game’s system is based on Wizards of the Coast’s Star Wars Roleplaying Game, which is based on the d20 role-playing game system derived from the Third Edition Dungeons & Dragons rules. Combat is round-based; time is divided into discrete rounds, and combatants attack and react simultaneously. However, the number of actions a combatant may perform each round is limited. While each round’s duration is a fixed short interval of real time, the player can configure the combat system to pause at specific events or at the end of each round. The Light/Dark alignment system tracks actions and speech—from simple word choices to major plot decisions—to determine whether the player’s character aligns with the light or dark side of the Force. Generosity and altruism lead to the light side, while selfish or violent actions will lead the player’s character to the dark side, which will alter the character’s appearance, turning their eyes yellow and their skin pale. Non-combat interaction with other characters in the game world is based upon a dialogue menu system. Following each statement, the player can select from a list of menu responses. The dialogue varies based on the gender and skills of the main character.  To me, KOTOR and its sequel are equally as good and therefore they stand together as one. 

15. Resident Evil 4  

The greatest of the Resident Evil series, the greatest survival-horror game and one of the greatest games of all time. period. RE 4 was a masterpiece in every way.  Originally intended to be a Game Cube exclusive (The GC sported the best graphics of any version… it’s the one I played it on as well) it was announced right before the release that PS2 would be putting it out as well.  The design and sheer beauty of the graphics are top of the line and set the standard for all games to follow.  They still remain among the greatest.  The player controls Leon S. Kennedy from a third-person, over-the-shoulder perspective during a mission to rescue the daughter of the President of the United States, Ashley Graham. The gameplay focuses on action and shootouts involving crowds of enemies in large open areas. The camera is focused behind Leon, and it zooms in for an over-the-shoulder view when aiming a weapon. The addition of a laser sight adds a new depth to the aiming, allowing the player to aim in various directions and easily change their placement at any time. Bullets now affect the enemies specifically where they are shot: shots to the feet can cause enemies to stumble, while shots to the arms can cause them to drop their weapons.  Another new aspect of Resident Evil 4 is the inclusion of context-sensitive controls. Based on the situation, the player can interact with aspects of their environment: kicking down a ladder, jumping out of a window, or dodging an enemy attack. There are also dynamic cut scenes, in which the player must press buttons indicated on-screen to execute actions such as dodging a falling boulder or wrestling an enemy to stay alive. These are often incorporated into the game’s many boss battles, where the player must avoid one-hit kill attacks. The Wii version expanded on this concept slightly by including a quick Wii Remote shake as a possible context sensitive action.  Capcom added new content made specifically for the PlayStation 2, which was later incorporated into the PC and Wii releases. The largest addition is Separate Ways, a minigame which revolves around Ada Wong’s involvement in Resident Evil 4 and her connection to Albert Wesker, a former member of STARS, who is now attempting to revive Umbrella. Ada’s Report, a five-part documentary, analyzes Ada’s relationship with Wesker and his role in the plot. Other unlockable content in all versions included The Mercenaries minigame, new costumes for Leon and Ashley, new unlockable weapons and a Movie Browser.  Just an incredible game.

 

14. Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne   

Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne is a third-person shooter video game developed by the Finnish Remedy Entertainment and produced by 3D Realms. The game is a direct sequel to Max Payne. Video game critics gave Max Payne 2 generally favorable reviews. Praise focused on its action and story, while criticism targeted its short length. Despite the positive reception, the game sold poorly.

Max Payne 2 is a third-person shooter, in which the player assumes the role of Max Payne for most of the game, but plays as Mona Sax in several levels. Initially, the player’s only weapon is a 9mm pistol. As they progress, players access other weapons including handguns, shotguns, sub-machine guns, assault rifles, long-range rifles, and hand-thrown weapons. To move the game along, the player is told what the next objective is through Max’s internal monologue, in which Max iterates what his next steps should be.

When first played, the game only offers one difficulty level that is adjusted on the fly if the game is too difficult for the player. For example, if the player’s character dies too many times, the enemies’ artificial intelligence is made less effective, while more health in the form of painkillers is made available. After completing the game once, other difficulty levels are unlocked. Two special game modes are also activated: New York Minute and Dead Man Walking. In New York Minute, the player is given a score based on the time taken to complete each level. The Dead Man Walking mode places Max in one of five scenarios, in which he must survive for as long as possible while fighting off endlessly respawning enemies.

Similar to its predecessor, Max Payne 2 allows the player to enable Bullet Time, a mode that slows down time, while still allowing the player to aim in real-time, to give the player more time to determine what they want to do. In this mode, the screen’s color changes to a sepia tone to act as a visual cue for the player. When in use, the Bullet Time meter will decrease until it is either empty or the player disables Bullet Time mode. The meter will eventually increase when not in use, but can be replenished more quickly by killing enemies. To simulate the Bullet Time effect, Max can also execute a shoot-dodge maneuver. When the maneuver is performed, Max jumps in a direction specified by the player, and although Bullet Time is activated while Max is in mid-air, this will not deplete the Bullet Time meter. The combat system has been improved for Max Payne 2; the player can now arm Max with a secondary weapon such as a grenade or Molotov cocktail, and when near an enemy, Max can hit them with his weapon as a melee attack. AI players occasionally come to Max’s aid, although their death does not affect the gameplay or story.

The film noir setting combined with a compelling story that is shown as comic panels make for a game that keeps you clustered to your chair. Not to mention the humorous references (Captain Baseballbatboy!) throughout the game make this a very good, although underestimated title.

 

13. Final Fantasy VII

The seventh (and BEST) installment in the Final Fantasy series was a groundbreaking title. Among other achievements, this game is the first in the series to use 3D computer graphics, featuring fully rendered characters on pre-rendered backgrounds. Set in a dystopian world, Final Fantasy VII’s story centers on mercenary Cloud Strife who joins with several others to stop the megacorporation Shinra, which is draining the life of the planet to use as an energy source. As the story progresses, the situation escalates and Cloud and his allies face Sephiroth, the game’s main antagonist.  Noted for its graphics, gameplay, music and story, FF VII is acknowledged as one of the greatest and most influential games of all time.  It was the first game I know that was HUGELY anticipated.  There was a line around the block when I first picked this up.  Like previous installments of the Final Fantasy series, Final Fantasy VII consists of three modes: an overworld map, field maps, and a battle screen. The overworld map is a 3D model, featuring a scaled-down version of the game’s fictional world which the player navigates to travel between the game’s locations. As with preceding games in the series, the world map can be traversed by foot, on chocobos, airship, or submarine. On field maps, characters are directed across realistically scaled environments, consisting of 2D pre-rendered backgrounds which represent locations such as towns or forests. The battle screen is a 3D representation of an area, such as a building’s interior or an open grassland, in which the player commands the characters in battles against CPU-controlled enemies. While characters are super deformed on maps, the character models are more realistic and normal-scaled in combat. Final Fantasy VII is the first game in the series to have character models with fully-rendered polygons, rather than 2D sprites. Initially, the player is restricted to exploring the city of Midgar, but as the game progresses, the entire world becomes accessible to the player. Progression through the game’s storyline is largely developed by way of scripted sequences, although pre-rendered cinematic cut scenes sometimes also advance the story.  The story was at the time, one of the most immersive and intricate that I’d ever experienced.  It set the bar for all RPGs that came after it.  None of its sequels or prequels have bettered it.  It stands on its own above most RPGs in history.  This was a mammoth game.

12. Duke Nukem 3D 

 Ah, Duke Nukem. The foul mouthed king of badassery. As a first-person shooter, the gameplay of Duke Nukem 3D involves moving through levels presented from the protagonist’s point of view, shooting enemies on the way. The environment of Duke Nukem 3Dis highly destructible; most props can be destroyed by the player. Duke Nukem 3D features a stunning array of weaponry. Weapons include the “Mighty Foot” (a basic kick attack), a pistol, a shotgun, a chain gun (similar in design to the Nordenfelt gun), a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, pipe bombs, freeze- and shrink-rays, laser trip mines, and rapid fire rocket launchers called the “Devastator”.

Other items can be picked up during play. A portable medkit allows players to heal Duke whenever they choose to. Steroids speed up Duke’s movement, as well as instantly reversing the effects of the shrinker. Nightvision goggles allow players to see enemies in the dark. The “HoloDuke” device projects a hologram of Duke that can be used to distract enemies. Protective boots allow Duke to cross dangerously hot or toxic terrain. Where progress requires more aquatic legwork, scuba gear (an aqua-lung) allows Duke to take longer trips away from air. Duke’s jetpack allows the player to move vertically.

Duke Nukem 3D is set on Earth “sometime in the early 21st century”. The levels of Duke Nukem 3D take the player outdoors and indoors through rendered street scenes, military bases, deserts, a flooded city, space stations, moon bases and a Japanese restaurant.

The game contains several humorous references to pop culture, like some of Duke’s lines that are drawn from movies like They Live, Evil Dead II, Jaws, Dirty Harry, Pulp Fiction, and Aliens; the mutated women begging “Kill me” are also a reference to the latter. The player will encounter corpses of famous characters such as Luke Skywalker, Indiana Jones, the protagonist of Doom, and a smashed T-800. During the second episode, the player can see The Monolith (from 2001: A Space Odyssey) on the Moon. The game cover itself is a parody of Army of Darkness, while Duke poses as Ash Williams.

There is little story in the game except for a brief text prelude located under “Help” in the Main Menu, and a few cutscenes after the completion of an episode. The introduction establishes that the game picks up right after the events of Duke Nukem II, with Duke returning to Earth in his space cruiser. As Duke descends on Los Angeles in hopes for a vacation, a blast rips through from unknown hostiles and critically damages Duke’s ship. While sending a distress signal, Duke learns that aliens are attacking Los Angeles and have mutated the LAPD. With his plans now ruined, Duke hits the “eject” button, and vows to do whatever it takes to stop the alien invasion…

11. Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare File:Call Of Duty 4 MP Screenshot.jpg

The game’s move to modern warfare introduces new weapons and technology to the Call of Duty franchise, including the M14, M4A1 carbine with SOPMOD accessories, M40A3 sniper rifle, the M203 grenade launcher, the AN/PEQ-2 target pointer for use in conjunction with night vision goggles, the MP5SD submachine gun, the AK-47 and AK-74u variant, along with new anti-vehicle weapons, such as the FGM-148 Javelin anti tank weapon and the FIM-92 Stinger hand held surface to air missile launcher. Weapons from fallen foes can be picked up to replace weapons and ammunition in a player’s arsenal. Players also have additional abilities, including a grenade launcher attachment, Claymores with tripwire-like detonation, C-4, and the ability to call in air strikes and an attack helicopter.

The gameplay of Call of Duty 4 shares several features with previous iterations of the franchise. Once again, players fight alongside AI-controlled teammates. They help during the game’s missions by providing suppressive fire, shooting enemies, and clearing rooms for entry.

A character can be positioned in one of three stances: standing, crouching, or prone; each affecting the character’s rate of movement, accuracy, and stealth. Using cover helps the player avoid enemy fire or recover health after taking significant damage, as there are no armor or health power ups. When the character has taken damage, the edges of the screen glow red and the character’s heartbeat increases. If the character stays out of fire, the character can recover. When the character is within the blast radius of a live grenade, a marker indicates the direction of the grenade, helping the player to either flee or toss it back to the enemy.

As for the campaign, you take on the role of various characters during a single-player campaign. The characters’ involvement in the plot occurs simultaneously and overlaps the events in the game. As such, the player’s perspective changes from one character to another between missions. after you beat the campaign you can unlock cheats such as unlimited ammo by collecting “enemy Intel.”

Each mission features a series of objectives; the player is led to each objective with the HUD, which marks its direction and distance. Some objectives require that the player arrives at a checkpoint, while other objectives require the player to eliminate enemies in a specified location, stand their ground to defend an objective, or plant explosive charges on an enemy installation. After the credits, a special epilogue mission is unlocked for play, featuring a four-man squad retrieving a VIP from terrorists who have hijacked an airliner. The SAS rescue the VIP and escape before the plane is destroyed.

What really made Call of Duty 4 shine was its multiplayer. Call of Duty 4 features team-based and deathmatch-based multiplayer modes on various maps. Each mode has an objective that requires unique strategies to complete. Players can call in UAV reconnaissance scans, air strikes, and attack helicopters, when they achieve three-, five-, and seven-enemy kill streaks respectively. A game ends when either a team or player has reached a predefined number of points, or the allotted time expires in which case the team or player with the most points wins. If the points are even when the time expires, Sudden Death mode is activated in which there is no re-spawning and the team who either has the last man standing, or achieves the objective first are the winners. If the player is in either of the two matches, then there is an Overtime match, in which the next team to win is rewarded the victory.

The player’s performance in the multiplayer mode is tracked with experience points, which can be earned by killing opposing players, completing challenges, completing objectives, or by completing a round or match. As the player gains experience, they advance in level, unlocking new weapons, perks, challenges, and gameplay modes. The highest obtainable level is 55, but on the console versions of the game, the player has the option to enter “Prestige” mode, which returns their level to one and removes all accumulated unlockables. This process can be repeated up to 10 times with a different insignia being given each time. I mainly chose this CoD because all the sequels are just variations to what Call of Duty 4 started.

10. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves 

The Unchartered series, starring Nathan Drake (ancestor of Sir Francis Drake) has become the signature series for the PS3.  Its unbelievable graphics and innovative design schemes are peerless.  Basically, it’s a reset of the classic title, “Tomb Raider” with a male protagonist, which, to my mind, is a great thing since that series has majorly gone downhill in the last decade or so…   The debut Unchartered: Drake’s Fortune centered mainly in the jungle.  It was gorgeous and had an interesting story, but it did suffer slightly from a few minor gameplay mechanic issues (namely the annoying axis controlling of the grenades).  The second title, Among Thieves, released incredibly less than two years later, not only took care of any technical issues, but also took the graphics five steps forward, the design TEN steps forward and the story, backgrounds and character development TWENTY steps forwards.  In every way, this game is far superior to the first.  It’s just a completely blow away game.  Not giving away too much of the plot, this game will take you from the jungles of Borneo to the snowy mountains of Tibet on an incredible quest for a magical place… all the while fighting against forces led by one of the most despicable villains you will ever encounter in a game.. The AI is incredible; the enemies act intelligently, and the characters you will be fighting WITH don’t get in your way and act on their own realistically making it feel like you’re on a real journey imbued with a sense of purpose… The runaway train scene alone (in which you jump from car to car all the while fighting maniacal soldiers) is worth the price of admission… add to this a full online Multi-player mode and you have one of the best deals in the gaming world. 

09. Halo: Combat Evolved File:Halo.jpg

As a first-person shooter, Halo: Combat Evolved has a gameplay fundamentally similar to that of its peers, focusing on combat in a 3D environment, and taking place almost entirely from a character’s eye view. The player can move around and look up, down, left or right. The game features vehicles, ranging from armored jeeps and tanks to alien hovercraft and aircraft, many of which can be controlled by the player. The game switches to the third-person perspective during vehicle use for pilots and mounted gun operators; passengers maintain a first-person view.

The player character is equipped with a damage-absorbing energy shield, in addition to hit points. The shield’s charge appears as a blue bar in the upper-right hand corner of the game’s heads-up display. When the shield is fully depleted, the player is highly vulnerable, and further damage is applied directly to the character’s health level. Critically, the shield will recharge if no further damage is sustained for a brief period.

Halo‘s arsenal consists of weapons from science fiction. The game has been praised for giving each weapon a unique purpose, thus making them useful in different scenarios. For example, plasma weapons need time to cool if fired too rapidly, but cannot be reloaded and must be discarded upon depletion of battery. In contrast, conventional firearms cannot overheat, but require reloading and ammunition. Players may carry only two weapons at once; thus, a strategy is required when using and selecting firearms.

Halo departs from traditional FPS conventions by not forcing the player character to holster their firearm before deploying grenades or melee-range blunt instruments; instead, both attacks can be utilized while a gun is still equipped, supplanting or supplementing small-arms fire. All weapons may be used to bludgeon enemies, which allows the Master Chief to silently kill opponents without alerting other nearby enemies. The Chief can also carry up to eight grenades at a time: four fragmentation and four plasma grenades each. Like the game’s other weapons, the two types of grenades differ; the fragmentation grenade bounces and detonates quickly, whereas the plasma grenade adheres to targets before exploding, sometimes with blackly comic results.

The game’s main enemy force is the Covenant, a group of alien species allied by belief in a common religion. Their forces include Elites, fierce warriors protected by recharging energy shields much like the player’s own; Grunts, which are short, cowardly creatures, usually led by Elites, and who often flee in terror instead of fighting unless an Elite is present; Jackals, which wear highly durable energy shields on their arms; and Hunters, large, powerful creatures with thick armor plates that cover the majority of their bodies.

A secondary enemy is The Flood, a parasitic alien life form that appears in three main variants. Infection Forms, the true form of the Flood, are fragile and do little damage individually, but often travel in swarms of several dozen. Combat Forms result from humans and Covenant Elites who have succumbed to the Infection Forms, and have hideously deformed bodies. Bloated Carrier Forms are the result of an aged or unused Combat Form and serve as incubators for new Infection Forms; when wounded or near a potential victim, they explode to damage other nearby life-forms and to release their spores, thus perpetuating the life cycle. Battling the Flood, Covenant and human forces are the Sentinels, robotic drones designed by an extinct race called the Forerunners. Sentinels lack durability, but use powerful beam weapons and are immune to infection by the Flood.

The artificial intelligence in Halo has been favorably received. Enemies take cover and use suppressive fire and grenades. Some enemies retreat when their superiors are killed. The player is often aided by United Nations Space Command (UNSC) Marines, who offer ground support, such as manning gun turrets or riding shotgun while the player is driving a vehicle.

So why this game instead of Halo 3 or Reach? Well, because the sequels are just variations on a theme, whereas Halo Combat Evolved revolutionized the FPS genre and created the massive fanbase for the other Halo games.

08. Red Dead Redemption File:RedDeadRedemptionGameplay.jpg

Red Dead Redemption is an open world game. Players can interact with the environment and engage in combat with enemies, using various firearms. Different breeds of horses are the main forms of transportation, which come in a variety of quality. These horses must be tamed, however, in order to use them. Swimming is not an option, as the protagonist John Marston cannot swim — he will drown if he ventures too far into deep water.

In addition to following the main storyline, players can take part in random events they encounter as they explore the West. These include public hangings, ambushes, pleas for assistance, stranger encounters, “ride-by” shootings, and dangerous animal attacks. For example, if a group of people ride into town firing guns in the air, the player can kill them, and will receive a bonus of honor and fame. Players can also take part in optional side activities including duels, bounty hunting, herb collecting, gambling, and hunting animals for pelts, meat and other various items.

Red Dead Redemption makes use of a morality system where players have the ability to gain positive or negative ‘honor’. Some of the ways to gain positive honor include taking an outlaw alive instead of killing him, or saving a kidnapped innocent. Negative honor can be gained for committing crimes including killing or robbing civilians. This works along with another system, ‘fame’, showing and governing how people react based on Marston’s honor status. If Marston has negative honor, lawmen and civilians will usually say obscenities to Marston and feel insecure around him; lawmen will even threaten to kill him next time they see him. If he has positive honor, lawmen and civilians will usually greet him and feel safe around him. As Marston’s fame and honor increase bounty hunters think twice about attempting an arrest and people turn away from his criminal behavior. Marston can, however, prevent his honor or fame from being altered with a bandana.

Combat and gunplay are major parts of the game. Gunfights in Red Dead Redemption are conducted using a third-person system. The player can take cover, target a specific person, blindfire, and free aim. Individual body parts can also be targeted, in order to take targets down non-lethally, who can then be lassoed and hogtied to capture individuals alive. When the player shoots an enemy, the game engine uniquely creates the AI reactions and movements. John Marston can choose from period-accurate weapons including revolvers, pistols, lever or bolt-action rifles, knives, explosives, lassos, mounted gatling guns, shotguns, sniper rifles and cannons.

The plot itself is pretty compelling and starts as follows. In the year 1911, John Marston, a retired outlaw formerly of a gang led by Dutch van der Linde, is taken away from his wife Abigail and his son Jack by government agents. The agents tell Marston that he will be reunited with his family if he hunts down the remaining lead members of his former gang. Left with no choice, Marston travels to the territory of New Austin to capture or kill one of his old friends, Bill Williamson, who now runs his own gang of bandits out of Fort Mercer. Marston confronts Williamson, only to be shot and left for dead outside the fort. A rancher, Bonnie MacFarlane, finds him wounded, and brings him to a doctor to be treated.

07. Gears Of War 2 

Gears of War 2 is a third-person shooter video game developed by Epic Games with lead design by Cliff Bleszinski (CliffyB). It is the second installment of the Gears of War series. The game expands technically on the previous game by using a heavily modified Unreal Engine 3 engine. The development team also brought in comic book writer Joshua Ortega to help write the plot for the game.

Gears of War 2 is a third person shooter with an emphasis on the tactical use of cover, and retains much of the same gameplay from the first game. The player, playing as either Marcus or Dominic in the campaign mode, or as any of the human or Locust characters in multiplayer mode, can only carry a pistol, one type of grenade, and two other weapons at any time, though they may swap these for weapons found in strategic locations or left by downed foes. Each weapon can be used for normal fire as well as for melee attacks; the game’s signature Lancer, an assault rifle mounted with a chainsaw bayonet, can be used to instantly kill foes. The game introduces the ability to engage in chainsaw duels should the player attempt to chainsaw an opponent also using the Lancer; the player is presented with a controller button to press rapidly to try to win the duel. Gears of War 2 rebalances the power of the existing weapons while introducing five new ones: a flamethrower, a chain gun, a mortar cannon, a “Gorgon” Pistol, and the Ink Grenade. The chain gun and the mortar are heavy weapons, forcing the player to move at walking speed while carrying it in both hands. The Gorgon Pistol is an SMG-like handgun that fires four eight-shot bursts per magazine. The Ink Grenade doesn’t damage with its detonation, but instead temporarily poisons the area it was thrown, making it very useful for driving enemies out of cover. Grenades can be planted on walls or floors as proximity traps that go off when an enemy nears, and have the ability to kill foes when they go off.

The player’s health is represented by a red “Crimson Omen” that fades onto the screen the more damage the player takes; staying out of the line of fire allows the player to recover their health. Depending on the game mode, if the player takes too much damage, they enter a downed state where they can crawl around the map to get out of battle and seek help. During this time, a fellow teammate can revive him, an enemy may brutally execute the downed player, or the player may bleed out if too much time has passed. The player can also grab a downed character and use them as a meatshield, allowing the body to absorb damage but forcing the player to use a one-handed pistol. Explosive weapons will simply destroy the character they strike. Like its predecessor, Gears of War 2 features an optional mature content filter, which, when active, makes blood appear as sparks and removes harsh language from the dialogue. Furthermore, progress towards most of the Xbox achievements for the game can be earned in either campaign or multiplayer modes.

Gears of War 2 features an upgraded multiplayer mode that allows up to ten users to simultaneously play in teams of five-on-five. Gears of War 2 includes most of the multiplayer modes, including Execution, Warzone, Annex and King of the Hill, and adds in three new modes. Guardian is a modified version of Assassination from the original Gears of War, but allows players to continue fighting after the leader has been killed, but losing the ability to respawn. Wingman splits all ten players into five teams of two, where both members of a team play as the same character. Submission, formerly known as Meat Flag, is a version of capture the flag in which players attempt to “down” an enemy controlled by the game’s AI and move its body to their team’s base or objective to earn points. The 10 maps shipped with the game originally are Avalanche, Blood Drive, Day One, Hail, Jacinto, Pavilion, River, Ruins, Security and Stasis A Halo-like matchmaking system has been utilized for the online multiplayer Players can now engage in multiplayer scenarios with any combination of human players and artificial intelligence controlled by the game, with the ability to set the AI’s intelligence level. Horde is a new co-op mode for five players, fighting off waves of attacking Locust together, with each wave becoming more difficult. Horde Mode does not feature bot support as in competitive multiplayer, and can be played alone.

Gears 2 set an extremely high standard for the sequel, Gears of War 3, which is set to release somewhere in 2011. Gears 2 is, together with the Halo franchise, the game that put the Xbox 360 on the map.

06. Batman: Arkham Asylum File:Batman stalk.png

Ah, a game that combines 2 of my passions, video games and comics. Batman Arkham Asylum is the first successful comic-to-video-game adaptation on the next-gen consoles.

Batman: Arkham Asylum is played as an over-the-shoulder, third-person perspective action-adventure game. The player controls Batman as he makes his way around the island and structures of Arkham Asylum. In addition to running, jumping, and crouching, Batman is also able to glide from heights using his cape and use his grapple gun to ascend short heights or escape to gargoyle statues. To track Joker and other enemies, the player can switch in and out of “detective mode”, which activates special visors in Batman’s cowl. In this mode, most of the game world is rendered in darker colors, but objects of interest and people are highlighted, including limited x-ray ability to detect the location of people. Special objects with which Batman can interact, either directly or using various gadgets gained over the course of the game, are also highlighted. In some sections of the game, the detective mode is augmented to detect compounds, fingerprints, and other clues, which are used to direct the player to the next location to explore.

Gadgets include the batarang, an explosive compound sprayer and detonator, grappling gun, and a frequency scanner that can be used to overload security panels. Some of these can be used both during normal exploration of the game world as well as in combat. The game world, though presented in a linear path, allows for exploration at any time, and recently-acquired gadgets can often be used to access areas that were previously inaccessible. Exploration of the world is encouraged by items and clues left by the Riddler for Batman to find; in addition to objects to be collected, some of the Riddler’s riddles require the player to seek out a certain area related to the answer to a riddle and scan it with Batman’s visor. Solving these riddles unlocks additional content for the game, including challenge levels that test the player’s skill at the game’s combat system, as well as character bios, patient interviews, and detailed character trophies. Riddles, as well as defeating foes, also yield experience points, which can then be spent on several possible upgrades to Batman’s arsenal, as well as his health and abilities, at any time.

The game uses a “Freeflow” combat system, accomplished by using three primary buttons: attack, stun and counter to emphasize the primarily physical system of combat that Batman employs. Additionally, Batman is able to use Batarangs and his Bat-Claw as supplemental combat tools that can extend combos. Countering opponents’ attacks can also extend a combo; a brief indicator is shown when playing at Easy and Normal difficulties to indicate when an opponent is ready to attack. By chaining regular and counter-attacks in combos, the player can build up a special experience point multiplier, which increases further if timed well. When this surpasses a specific threshold, the player then has access to an additional special attack that can quickly take down a single foe. Batman can take damage from his foes, and can be knocked out or killed should it fall too low; when combat is completed, Batman regains a portion of his health relative to the experience earned in combat. As the game progresses, Batman battles against opponents with knives and stun rods that require different tactics to deal with, as well as “Titans” that can be ridden on to attack other enemies. Certain enemies will also try to obtain weapons.

The player can also employ “Predator”-type tactics through stealth to tilt the odds to their favor. This includes silent takedowns by sneaking up on foes, dropping from overhead perches and snatching a foe into mid-air, or using the explosive compound to knock foes off their feet. Some areas feature sections that require the player to employ these tactics to avoid alerting Joker’s henchmen and failing to meet an objective. Harder areas, such as the “Extreme” challenge maps, put explosives on gargoyles generally used to escape out of sight, requiring players to find other means of taking down opponents with stealth.

The story of Arkham Asylum could easily be adapted into a movie as it’s quite good, and manages to capture the darker side of the DC Universe really well. The game starts with Batman escorting The Joker to Arkham Asylum. Due to a recent fire at Gotham City’s Blackgate Prison, many members of the Joker’s gang have been temporarily relocated to Arkham. As Batman accompanies the guards taking the Joker inside, the asylum’s security is overridden by Harley Quinn, allowing the Joker to escape and take control of the facility. Batman quickly realizes that these events have been part of the Joker’s plan and that the Joker had bribed a security guard to help him escape. The Joker threatens to detonate bombs scattered around Gotham City should anyone attempt to enter Arkham, forcing Batman to work alone; however, Batman is able to rely on Commissioner Gordon and other loyal guards after Batman is able to free them. Additionally, Oracle is able to guide him through the asylum over the radio. Batman is able to gain access to an adjunct of the Batcave on the island.

Batman eventually learns that the Joker is seeking a chemical called Titan that is being produced at the asylum. The compound is based on the Venom drug that gives Bane his super strength, though the Titan formula is much more potent. The Joker plans to use the Titan formula on the various Blackgate inmates to create an unstoppable army, as well as on Poison Ivy’s plants, which mutate and take over the island. He also plans to dump the Titan-production waste product into Gotham’s water supply.

Batman, after defeating several enemies, is able to return to the Batcave to create an antidote to Titan, but only has enough time to synthesize one dose before Poison Ivy’s Titan-infused plants destroy the Batcave’s computer. After destroying the mutated plant life and defeating Ivy, the Joker invites Batman to his “party”, where Batman sees the Joker holding Scarface, sitting on a throne of mannequins. The Joker then reveals that he has recaptured Gordon and attempts to shoot Gordon with a Titan-filled dart. Batman jumps in front of it, taking the injection himself. Batman attempts to resist the change, after which an upset Joker to shoot himself with the Titan gun, becoming a massive monster. In his new form, the Joker proudly displays himself to news helicopters. He tries to persuade Batman to stop resisting the Titan formula and change into a monster, saying it is the only way to defeat him. Batman refuses, and uses the antidote on himself. The Joker, amazed at his decision, attacks Batman directly. Batman defeats him by covering his glove in explosive gel and punching Joker fiercely in the jaw. The Joker reverts back to his original state and is taken back to his cell, and armed Gotham police officers slowly regain control of the asylum.

Batman then hears over a police radio that Two-Face is robbing the Second National Bank of Gotham, so he summons the Batwing and flies back to Gotham. Following the credits a metal box stamped with the word Titan is seen floating in the water of the Gotham Harbor, and a villain’s hand rises from the water and grabs the box.

This game truly is one of the masterpieces of this generation. It manages to suck people into its story through really good gameplay, fun mechanics, great fights, the stealth sequences and the amazing voice acting by none other than Mark Hamill as The Joker, and Kevin Conroy as Batman, both are tied very closely to a realistic Batman experience.

05. Metal Gear Solid 4 

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots has the distinguished honor of gaining the title of best Metal Gear Solid to date. Metal Gear Solid is one of the few series’ that managed to get several games in this Top 100, which shows the extreme quality of the series and its creator Hideo Kojima. Metal Gear Solid 4 is set five years after the Big Shell incident (depicted in Metal Gear Solid 2), in 2014. The world economy is based on continuous war, fueled by Private Military Companies, which constitute the majority among nations’ armies. Snake accepts a request by Roy Campbell to terminate Liquid, with Otacon and Sunny providing mission support from the Nomad aircraft. Amazing graphics, fabulous (and abundant) cutscenes and gameplay that lets the player decide between sneaking or attacking. This game shows what can be done on current-generation hardware.

04. God Of War 

As a third-person camera game, the player controls the character Kratos in a combination of combat, platforming and puzzle game elements. The player typically has to navigate Kratos through a long series of tests, trials and mazes to reach goals.

Kratos’ main weapons are the Blades of Chaos, with secondary weapon the Blade of Artemis also being acquired. Magic is also acquired, with four different attacks being available: Poseidon’s Rage, Medusa’s Gaze, Zeus’ Fury, and Army of Hades. The relic Poseidon’s Trident is also obtained, which allows Kratos to breathe underwater. Kratos also temporarily wields the Blade of the Gods during the final fight with Ares.

A special ability called “Rage of the Gods” is also acquired, which provides temporary invulnerability and increased attack damage. It can be recharged by killing enemies.

Health and Magic upgrades – Gorgon Eyes and Phoenix Feathers respectively – are found throughout the game in chests. Six of each are needed to upgrade the Health and Magic bars respectively. Other chests found in the game, containing orbs, are marked with a corresponding color for the orbs (green, blue, and red). Green Orbs replenish health, blue orbs replenish magic and red orbs provide experience, which in turn allows the upgrading of magical abilities and weapons.

Red orbs may also be collected by killing foes and destroying certain inanimate objects. Combat includes a quick-time feature, which is initiated when the player has weakened a stronger foe and a icon (the circle button on the controller) appears above them. The player then presses the corresponding button commands appearing on screen, with success ending the battle, and failure usually resulting in damage. A “grab” maneuver is also available for use on minor foes that yields experience points in the form of red orbs.

A quick-time sex mini-game is included (an encounter with two hand maidens on Kratos’ ship). A Challenge mode (ten trials called “ Challenge of the Gods”) is also included in the bonus features, which unlocks secret costumes and behind-the-scenes videos.

Kratos is a warrior in the service of the Greek gods of Olympus. It is revealed (via a series of flashbacks) that Kratos was once a captain in the Spartan army. A fierce warrior, Kratos led his army to several victories, until finally overmatched by an invading horde of barbarians. Outnumbered and on the verge of being killed by the Barbarian King, Kratos called to the God of War, Ares. Kratos promised to serve Ares if the god would spare the Spartans and provide the power to destroy their enemies.

Ares hears Kratos’ prayer, and bonds the “Blades of Chaos” (a pair of chain blades and forged in the depths of Tartarus) to his new servant. Kratos then returns to the confrontation with the Barbarian King and decapitates his foe. A victorious Kratos then wages war against all of Greece, and eventually leads an attack on a village occupied by worshippers of Athena. Ares tricks Kratos by placing his wife and child in the village, whom Kratos accidentally kills. Although Ares intends for this act to make Kratos the perfect warrior, Kratos renounces his servitude to Ares. The oracle of the now destroyed village curses Kratos, and the ashes of his family adhere to his skin, turning it ash-white. Now the “Ghost of Sparta”, Kratos is plagued by nightmares of his horrible deed and commits to ten years of servitude to the other gods of Olympus. Eventually tired of his servitude, Kratos summons Athena, who states that if Kratos performs one final deed—the murder of Ares—he will be forgiven for the murder of his family. Athena assigns Kratos to destroy Ares because Zeus has forbidden divine intervention.

After killing the Hydra on behalf of the god Poseidon, Kratos is guided by the goddess Athena to the city of Athens, which is under siege by Ares’ minions. Kratos battles his way to Athens’ oracle, but not before also having a strange encounter with a grave digger, who encourages Kratos to continue with his task. Finding the oracle, Kratos learns the only way to defeat Ares is to locate and use Pandora’s Box, a legendary artifact which can give a mortal the power to kill a god.

Entering the Desert of Lost Souls, Kratos is advised by Athena that Pandora’s Box is hidden within a temple chained to the back of the Titan Cronos – a punishment inflicted by Zeus for Kronos’ role in the Great War. Kratos summons the Titan and climbs for three days before reaching the Temple entrance. Overcoming an array of deadly traps and an army of monsters, Kratos eventually finds Pandora’s Box. Although successful, on leaving the Temple with the Box Kratos is murdered by Ares, who is aware that his former servant has succeeded. As a group of harpies take the Box to Ares, Kratos falls into the Underworld. Kratos, however, battles his way through the underworld, and with the aid of the mysterious grave digger, who states that Athena is not the only god watching over him, escapes and returns to Athens.

Recovering Pandora’s Box from Ares, Kratos opens it and uses the power to become god-like. Despite Ares’ best efforts to destroy Kratos both physically and mentally (including being stripped of the Blades of Chaos and all magic) Kratos survives and kills his foe with the Blade of the Gods. Athens is saved, and although Athena states that Kratos’ sins are forgiven, the gods cannot rid him of his nightmares. Kratos then attempts to commit suicide by casting himself into the Aegean Sea, but Athena intervenes and brings him to Mount Olympus. As a reward for his services to the gods, Athena provides Kratos with a new set of blades and Kratos becomes the new God of War.

Great gameplay, music, , voice acting, story and the unique Greek mythology setting earned this spot a well-deserved in the top 5.

03. Goldeneye 007  File:Goldeneyeemulated4lw.jpg

GoldenEye 007′s menu system is presented as an MI6 dossier. Four save files are available to track the player’s progress through the game’s twenty missions, each of which may be played on “Agent”, “Secret Agent” or “00-Agent” difficulty settings, with higher difficulties requiring the player to complete additional and more complex objectives. M, Q, and Miss Moneypenny provide background information on the chosen mission and its goals.

Once a mission is completed, the player may either continue progressing through the story or choose to replay a previously completed level. Completing certain missions within particular target times enables the player to unlock bonus cheat options which make various changes to the graphics and gameplay, and upon fully completing the game on the 00-Agent difficulty level, an additional “007” setting allows the player to customize the challenge of any mission. When a player chooses the “007” setting, they are presented with a screen entitled ‘SPECIAL OPTIONS:’. There are four options on adjustable horizontal bars. The ‘Enemy health’ and ‘Enemy damage’ can be adjusted between 0 and 1000%. The ‘Enemy accuracy’ and ‘Enemy reaction speed’ can be adjusted between 0 and 100%.

The player’s initial weapon in most missions is James Bond’s Walther PPK, called the PP7 in-game. Most of the game’s firearms are modeled on real-life counterparts (although their names are altered), while others are based on fictitious devices featured in the Bond films, such as the Golden Gun and Moonraker laser. The weapons vary in characteristics such as rate of fire and type of ammunition used, and inflict different levels of damage depending on which body part they hit. There are no health-increasing pickups in the game, although armour vests can be acquired to provide a second health bar. Stealth is an important element of the game: in order to avoid gunfights with multiple opponents, it is advantageous to eliminate soldiers and security cameras before they spot or hear the player. Certain weapons may be powerful enough to shoot through doors and helmets but are very loud, while others incorporate suppressor or telescopic sight attachments to aid the player in killing enemies discreetly. Also, hiding behind doors and columns is often necessary.

Some gadgets from the James Bond film series are featured in the game and are often used to complete particular mission objectives; for example, 007’s in-game watch includes the laser from the GoldenEye film, the remote mine detonator from GoldenEye and Moonraker, and the electromagnet from Live and Let Die.

The multiplayer mode features all of the characters in the game, including enemies and civilians. At first, only 8 characters are available, with 25 more becoming available as progress is made through the game. A button code allows players to temporarily unlock another 31 characters, all but two of them likenesses of the programmers.

As with the selectable characters, only a few arenas are available at first, with more becoming available as progress is made in the game. There are eleven arenas and a “random” button that chooses the level randomly. The multiplayer-only arenas are: Temple, Complex, Caves, Library, Basement, and Stack. Several arenas are taken from the single player mode, with alterations such as restrictions on which sections of the map can be used – they are the Facility, Bunker, Archives, Caverns, and Egyptian.

The multiplayer mode features five general scenarios, within which options such as weapon schemes may be altered. Weapon selections in the multiplayer mode are grouped by type, such as pistols, automatics, and explosives. Other selectable weapon schemes focus on weapons not frequently found in the single player mode, such as laser guns, throwing knives or the one-hit kill Golden Gun. The “Slappers Only!” setting removes all projectiles, limiting players to hand-to-hand combat. Also, when a player slaps, it’s only viewable from the first person perspective. When viewed through the third person, the other player would seem not to be throwing a punch.

  • Normal: A basic free-for-all deathmatch mode, in which players attempt to kill their opponents as many times as possible within a set amount of time. This mode can also be played in teams of 2 versus 1, 2 versus 2, and 3 versus 1.
  • You Only Live Twice: Similar to Normal mode, except players only have two lives before they are eliminated from the game.
  • The Living Daylights [Flag Tag]: In this adaptation of the playground game “Tag”, a flag or “token” is placed in a fixed location on the map. The player who holds it the longest wins the match. A player cannot use weapons while holding the flag (although it is still possible to slap), but can still collect them to keep opponents from stocking ammunition.
  • The Man With the Golden Gun: A single Golden Gun is placed in a fixed location on the map. Players must locate and obtain the Golden Gun, which is usually capable of killing opponents with only one shot regardless of where they are hit, even if they are wearing body armor. After a player acquires the Golden Gun, others are able to see him or her indicated by a blue dot on their radar. The player with the Golden Gun is unable to pick up body armor while opponents can. The only way to obtain the Golden Gun after its removal from the spawn point is to kill the player holding it and retrieve it from where the player dropped it.
  • Licence to Kill: All attacks, including “slapping”, will kill opponents in one hit. This mode cannot be played in teams, unlike the other scenarios.

Easily one of the best shooters to date. This game set the standards for a lot of games that came after it, although not many have met them.

02. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion   File:ElderScrollsOblivionScreenshot11.jpg

Oblivion incorporates open-ended (or “sandbox”) gameplay. The main quest can be postponed or ignored for as long as the player wishes to explore the expansive game world, follow side-quests, interact with NPCs, slay monsters and develop their character. The player is free to go anywhere in the realm of Cyrodiil at any time while playing the game, even after completing the main quest. The game never ends, and the player may build up the character indefinitely. The fast-travel system used in Arena and Daggerfall makes a return in Oblivion. When the player visits a location, it appears as an icon on the game world map. From then on, the player can travel to this location instantly, though the in-game time is adjusted to reflect the length of the journey. However, the player cannot initiate fast-travel if they are in combat or inside a location. The game regards the player to be in combat when a creature decides to attack the player, regardless of whether the player can see the creature or not.

Character development is a primary element of Oblivion. At the beginning of the game, the player selects one of many human or anthropomorphic races, each of which has different natural abilities and customizes their character’s appearance. A perpetual objective for players is to improve their character’s skills, which are numerical representations of their ability in certain areas. Seven skills are selected early in the game as major skills. Each time the player improves their major skills by a total of ten points, they level up; this provides the opportunity to improve their attributes. Attributes are more broad character qualities, such as “strength” and “willpower”, with minor skills within the qualities, such as “blade” or “destruction”. The game rewards the player with “perks” when the player reaches either 25, 50, 75 or 100 points in a single skill. The game’s 21 skills fall evenly under the categories of melee, magic, and stealth. Melee skills are used almost exclusively for combat and incorporate armor and heavy weapons like blades, axes, maces, and hammers. Magic skills rely on the use of spells to alter the physical world, to affect the minds of others, to injure and debilitate enemies, to summon monsters to help fight, and to heal wounds. Stealth skills allow the player to crack locks, haggle for goods, use speech to manipulate people, and apply cunning in combat (through the use of a bow or in the way of a sneak attack). The spells, weapons, and other tools such as lockpicks that a player needs to employ and enhance these skills can be purchased in shops, stolen from NPCs, or found as loot on the bodies of foes or in dungeons.

Oblivion is played in either a first- or third-person view. The player may also change the difficulty at any time from the pause menu. At all times the player is required to monitor their HUD, which provides information about the character’s health, magicka, and fatigue. Health is depleted primarily through combat and can be restored by spells, potions, or resting; the loss of all health results in death. Magicka allows for and is depleted by the use of spells; it is rejuvenated naturally over time, but it can be restored in similar ways to health. The character’s effectiveness in combat and general efficiency are functions of fatigue. In the wilderness and during quests, the player is pitted against a variety of enemies, including standard fantasy monsters (e.g., imps, goblins, ogres) and animals (e.g., bears, lions, wolves). Enemies become stronger and weapons and armor more effective as the player levels up. This game mechanic, level-scaling, was incorporated to maintain a constant and moderate aspect of difficulty. However, level-scaling, combined with the leveling system has received criticism, as it has the potential to unbalance the game; characters with major skills that increase on an involuntary basis, such as athletics (by running) or armor (by being hit in combat) can find they level too quickly, making the enemies proportionately harder than intended. Oblivion’s predecessor, Morrowind, also had a level-scaling system on creatures but kept legendary items (e.g., Umbra and Lord’s Mail) static; that is, attainable by any character of any level.

A major focus during Oblivion‘s development was to make the gameplay simpler and more balanced than it had been in Morrowind, particularly with respect to combat. The skill system is similar to Morrowind‘s, but in Oblivion there are fewer skills. The medium armor, unarmored, and spear skills are removed altogether, the short blade and long blade skills are condensed into a single blade skill, and the axe skill is merged with the blunt skill. Mastery levels, which give skill-specific bonuses when the player reaches milestone levels, were introduced in Oblivion. The combat system was revamped, with the addition of power attacks (endowed to the player with the attainment of mastery levels) and the removal of the separate styles of melee attacks present in Morrowind. Ranged attacks were changed so that hits are based on the player’s firing skill rather than the character’s numerical skill level. Spears, throwing weapons, and crossbows were removed in favor of the bow; the choice came from a desire to “get the feel of ranged weapons as close to perfect as possible” as the Havok physics engine allowed. Morrowind‘s passive block skill became an active gameplay mechanic in Oblivion: activated by a button press, it causes enemies to recoil and be left open for a follow-up attack. Enchantment as a skill by which items are imbued with special powers was not carried over from Morrowind to Oblivion; items are instead enchanted through plot-specific processes or enchantment in the Mages Guild. The ability to “forget” (discard) spells was also not included. Most of these changes were received well. GameSpot commended the strengths of the game in each area, finding the game’s melee combat “faster and smoother” than Morrowind‘s, the stealth combat “at least as satisfying” as the melee combat, and the magic combat diverse and uncomplicated.

In terms of plot, Oblivion is not a direct sequel to The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind or any other game, though references place the plot several years after the events of Morrowind. Oblivion is set in Cyrodiil, a province of Tamriel, the continent on which all the games in the series have taken place. The plot begins with the arrival of Emperor Uriel Septim VII (voiced by Patrick Stewart), accompanied by a trio of Imperial bodyguards known as “the Blades” at the Imperial City prison. They are fleeing from the assassins of the Mythic Dawn, a Daedric cult, who just recently murdered the Emperor’s three sons. The emperor and the Blades head to the sewer that leads out of the city, using a secret entrance that by chance is located in the cell occupied by the player. The player follows the party into a series of catacombs. There, the group is attacked by the Mythic Dawn, who are staved off by the Blades. Meanwhile, Uriel Septim entrusts the player with the Amulet of Kings, an ancient artifact traditionally worn by the Septim emperors of Tamriel, and orders the player to take it to a man known as Jauffre. Immediately after the emperor gives the amulet to the player, an assassin ambushes and kills the emperor before being defeated. The sole surviving guard, Baurus, explains that Jauffre is the grandmaster of the Blades and can be found at Weynon Priory. The player then proceeds to the open world of Cyrodiil to start the adventure.

Oblivion features the voices of Patrick Stewart, Lynda Carter, Sean Bean, Terence Stamp, Ralph Cosham, and Wes Johnson. The voice acting received mixed reviews in the gaming press. While many publications praised it as excellent, others found fault with its repetitiveness. The issue has been blamed on the small number of voice actors and the blandness of the dialogue itself. While it certainly took away a lot of the game’s flair by the limited amount of voices, it’s still one of the best games ever made. I spent so much time playing this, and replaying it (which isn’t something I do very often). Awesome soundtrack too!

01. The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time

Ah finally, the number 1 video game in my book: the amazing Ocarina of Time.  So much has been said already about this title that to add to it would seem redundant but I’ll press on anyway.  OoT has been ranked numero uno on countless “best of” lists and there is a reason for it.  When it first came out it blew people away with its numerous side quests, gorgeous graphics, and the huge expansive overworld “Hyrule Field”.  Nuts and bolts-wise, Ocarina of Time is an action-adventure game with role-playing and puzzle elements. The player controls Link from a third-person perspective, in a three-dimensional space. He primarily fights with a sword and shield; he can also use projectile weapons, bombs, and magic spells. The control scheme introduced techniques such as context-sensitive actions and a targeting system called “Z-targeting”. In combat, Z-targeting allows the player to have Link focus and latch onto an enemy or other objects. When using this technique, the camera follows the target and Link constantly faces it. Projectile attacks are automatically directed at the target and do not require manual aiming. Context-sensitive actions allow multiple tasks to be assigned to one button, simplifying the control scheme. The on-screen display shows what will happen when the button is pushed and changes depending on what the character is doing. For example, the same button that causes Link to push a box if he is standing next to it will have him climb on the box if the analog stick is pushed toward it. Much of the game is spent in battle, but some parts require the use of stealth. Exploration is another important aspect of gameplay; the player may notice inaccessible areas and return later to find them explorable after obtaining a new item.

The epic dungeons and music only add to the game’s awesomeness. My favorite part of the game was the inclusion of Epona the Horse that you acquire in the game… It was the first game I’ve ever seen that really got horse riding down perfectly…

 

Well, that concludes our top 100 greatest video games of all time. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I have, and don’t worry I have a new series in the making that you might like as well. As always, leave your comments in the comment section below.

Previous top 100 posts can be found here (39-21), here (59-40), here (79-60) and here (100-80)!

/Niels

~ by Niels Van Hellemont on April 30, 2011.

12 Responses to “100 Greatest Video Games Of All Time (20 – 1)”

  1. There are definitely some great games on here, but where are all of the pre-PSX titles?

  2. i’m oddly suprised at your top 100 list. Granted it’s not what I would of chosen but regardless there are some good titles on there. I probably would of put Half Life higher on that list. That being said top 100 is completely subjective. I’ve played a great deal of the games that are on that list and enjoyed them all. Great set of articles.

    • I’m also glad to see that you put Goldeneye up near the top. Alot of people don’t realize how revolutionary Goldeneye was to the industry and shooters on console. It was probably the first time a shooter had a measure of success on any 3d console system from the first person perspective.

      • Thanks for the replies, and yeah this list is completely subjective. The reason why I chose mostly newer games for my top 20 is because they were released in a period where I came to value other things as in earlier games.

        And I have to say that I’m more a fan of games in this day and age than older games since games these day are more sophisticated and have so much other things going for them.

        Another reason is that I used most of the games that I liked and played in the posts before the top 20.

        As for Half-life, I didn’t really enjoy it as much as other people have apparently. It’s definatly a good game, but not good enough for me personally to earn a higher spot on my list.

        Thanks for your comments though, they’re always appreciated!

  3. I’m not sure how old are you because it seems every generation has it’s own set of top games. I started gaming back in 93 and was predominatly a PC gamer until the advent of the modern system. Even still I mostly game on the PC. Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II and Half Life were the biggest titles of the day and were for quite some time. By the way I’d like to chat with you about a couple of things. If you could email me at thsoundman@thegamersblog.com I have a few questions I’d rather not put up on your boards. Thanks!

    • I’m turning 21 this year, and I really only got into gaming around 1997, so I only really started to appreciate the value of a game a couple of years later when the PS2 generation arrived. I played a lot of retro games though, but certainly not all, only the really classic ones.

  4. No worries, I was just curious. I did see that you listed more older games earlier in the list, so at least they weren’t omitted entirely. Lists are always fun to read… perhaps I will work on my own someday, although there are still so many games I need to play.

  5. [...] of  The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time. You might recall that Ocarina Of Time was the #1 game on my top 100 list of greatest video games of all [...]

  6. Excellent finale to a great rundown, I’ve enjoyed each section immensely. Without a doubt my own choices would differ but more in terms of positions on the countdown than the games themselves as it’s a superb collection of titles you’ve come up with. Great article from start to finish.

    Just a shame it’s over.

  7. [...] title as lead developer in this field. Their other Star Wars project Knights of the Old Republic is still appearing on more than one ‘best of’ lists. Is it any surprise that this game serves as the basis for BioWare’s newest Star Wars [...]

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