Now that I’ve finally made the step into the present console generation I’ve had a moment to ponder the previous generation and my experiences with the consoles. The last console generation lasted nearly a decade and during that time many amazing games were released.
What follows are ten of my personal favorite games from last generation, in no particular order (this list is fairly fluid and shifts around a bit, except for the top of the list anyway). It goes without saying that for a game to be included I had to play it. That means certain games that are arguably “the best game ever” are not included because I never played them. In short, even if they are great games, games like The Last of Us are not included because I never got around to playing them. Also no Wii titles are included because, well, I barely touched the thing and when I did it was Wii Sports for a round of golf or tennis with my kids.
So with no further delay, here are ten of my favorite games from last generation.
I love all three games in the Dead Space series but I feel #2 was the one that got it “most” right. It had the perfect scares and environments of the first one and a fair bit of action without making action the main focus like the 3rd installment did.
I will always have fantastic and/or awful memories of Dead Space 2, especially the “eye/needle” scene. Of all the horror/action games I played last console cycle the Dead Space trilogy defines the genre but #2 was definitely my personal favorite.
The Metal Gear Solid series has been one of my favorites ever since the first MGS game came out on the PS1. I’ve played and replayed the games in this trilogy countless times, the crazy and sometimes incoherent story never ceasing to entertain me.
It took me most of the generation but last year I got my hands on this game and couldn’t wait to dive into it. It was bittersweet to see the Solid and Liquid Snake trilogy come to an end but it couldn’t have been a better final piece.
Battlefield 3 makes the list simply because out of all the competitive multiplayer games I played last generation I spent the most time with this one.
The single player campaign was absolutely nothing to write home about but the hundreds of hours I spent playing with my friends merits this entry.
Tomb Raider was a series I stumbled across in the PS1 era when there was nothing at my neighborhood rental joint that I was looking for. I put that disc in not knowing what to expect and was blown away but the 3D world, adventuring in (for its time) stunning environments and mythological themed puzzles.
Years later I was skeptical of this reboot, obviously the graphics were amazing but I was wary of the game-play, especially after reading early previews. While not a perfect game it certainly was a blast to play and rightfully belongs on this list.
Here we have another middle entry in an excellent trilogy (a theme I think). Mass Effect 2 took everything I loved about the first game (the quests, the squad-mate relationships, the action) and got rid of what I hated (the Mako).
This whole game centers around building a team for a “suicide” mission against a seemingly unbeatable enemy. In my opinion it has the most rewarding game-play, your success hinging on earning the trust of all your squad, and has the best boss fight in the series against the Human-Reaper.
Like Dead Space the entire series is solid though and easily could occupy three slots on any favorites list.
While obviously similar in style to the Tomb Raider series, I feel the Uncharted series does enough of its own thing (well the first two games do anyway, I never got to #3 but that’s a story for another post) to merit entry on this list.
Much like what happened with MGS4, I didn’t get to the Uncharted games until last year. I enjoyed the first one but #2 was where the series hooked me. From the epic, must see opening sequence on the derailed train to the closing credits I was on the edge of my seat.
Arguably my favorite genre in any medium is anything post-apocalyptic. When I read what the Fallout series was about I knew if I ever got my hands on it I would be in love.
Unfortunately I didn’t get to play any of the original games but the moment I started seeing Fallout 3 coverage I was anxious to dive into the irradiated wasteland found within.
Roaming the ruins of Washington DC, fighting mutants, Raiders and Deathclaws while finding pockets of civilization was nothing short of heaven for me. I spent hundreds of hours playing the game, completing the game and its DLC at least 3 times. It’s needless to say I am definitely itching for more Fallout.
What can be said about Rockstar’s epic Western that hasn’t already been said?
The game is amazing. It introduced the new standard of gunplay in Rockstar’s games. It had a beautiful open world and a mostly entertaining story that ended in one of the most shocking scenes of any game on either the Xbox 360 or PS3.
Once again the 2nd entry in a series makes my favorites list. Arkham City took everything that was awesome about Arkham Asylum and expanded it. The game world was huge and full of thugs and members of Batman’s rogue’s gallery.
The main story which saw the end of one of the best rivalries in popular fiction and the side quests letting you hunt down various supervillains within the confines of the super-prison. The graphics were beautiful and the game-play was nearly perfect. I’ve played through the game a number of times and it never gets any less gripping than it was the first time through.
I almost consider this my favorite game of the generation but there is one even better.
I had only briefly dabbled in Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion but I immediately fell in love with the world of ES5: Skyrim. In all I have probably spent nearly a month of real time in the game, playing it again and again with different races and classes of characters.
The world was huge, populated by trolls, vampires, the undead and of course dragons. I can’t even begin to calculate how many times I found myself standing over a fallen dragon, absorbing its soul or how many times I found myself sneaking up on an elk with my bow drawn while I calculated just where to aim.
The game was beyond brilliant and I could easily pop it in right now and dive right in again. In fact apart from the upcoming Fallout 4 I am most looking forward to the eventual ES6 (ES Online I don’t really count even if it is an entertaining game in its own right).