We all have our favourite games. We all like different games for many different reasons. Whether it’s for the amazing story, the awesome characters, the super tight controls, or just because it entertained you, each game you have played has impacted you and the way you choose which games to play. This is my list of my top 10 favourite games of all time, for now. This list will use the traditional top 10 format, only games I’ve played (duh) and only one game per franchise.
I would put the honourable mentions here, but doing so would give away parts of the list ahead of time, so I’m going to put them at the end.
10) The Legend of Dragoon
Starting off the list is a cult RPG classic from the PS1 era, The Legend of Dragoon. I was introduced to this game on two separate occasions, but it wasn’t until the second time that the game really stuck with me. The first time I saw this game in action was when I was visiting my cousin, and he was playing the game. The second time was through a very good friend of mine, and it was this time that I played through the game myself. Legend of Dragoon was nothing like any RPG I had played up to that point. With it’s unique combat system, interesting characters, and engaging story, this game had my attention right from the opening cutscene. It had it’s cheeseball moments here and there, mainly in the cutscenes, and in some of the voice acting, but the overall package was enough for me to overlook those. A classic title that is deserving of my number 10 spot.
This spot was a tough decision. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to put Bayonetta or Devil May Cry 3 here, as they are both extremely fun games with an intuitive combat system and interesting characters. I eventually decided on Bayonetta for one reason: it’s over the topness. Bayonetta took the DMC formula and ran with it, and kept running. Each level manages to out do the previous level in terms of scale, with the bosses spread out through the game being absolutely gigantic. Most of them don’t even fit on the screen most of the time! On top of all that, add in the title character and her cast of supporting characters, all of which have various complexities and nuances to them, and you have a fun game that isn’t afraid to venture into the absurd, and my spot for my 9th favourite game.
8) The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
And here is the obligatory Zelda mention. This game is fairly low on the list because it hasn’t aged quite how I hoped it would have, but it also had to be on this list because this was the first game I ever beat on my own. I don’t feel like I really need to say much here, everyone more or less knows this game, everyone knows why it’s good, and anything I would say here has already been said a million times.
This game on the other hand, I could talk about forever. This entry is a bit of a sentimental one. I stumbled across this game when I was about 13 years old, which was an extremely difficult time of my life. I managed to find some solace in this game, and to this day I can still remember most of the details despite only ever playing through it fully one time. The characters are very unique and interesting, the story is very complex and compelling, and will keep you invested all the way through. Also the main character uses a spear as their main weapon, which was a fresh departure from the usual heroes wielding swords cliche that is present in many RPGs. You would only be doing yourself a favour in playing this game.
6) X-Men Legends
Continuing the trend of RPG games on this list, this game is here purely for the fun factor. Being able to build your favourite four person team from a diverse X-Men cast, each with their own uses and abilities, was extremely fun. The story wasn’t anything to write home about, but the combat system and the sheer variety of characters made this game notable enough for me to remember it years after playing it. It also had a great deal of replayability thanks to it’s wide cast, as well as the fact that many characters had alternate outfits you could unlock. A fun experience all the way through, this game doesn’t quite make the top 5.
All of the top 5 are in my list mainly for one or two moments in the game that had an extremely big impact on me as a gamer, so from here on out there may be some spoilers. This is your one and only warning.
5) Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
Taking the number five spot is the story of Big Boss, in the prequel to the original Metal Gear Solid game, which has since developed it’s own franchise basically. While I enjoyed MGS 2, it wasn’t exactly what I was expecting as a follow up to the classic that was the original MGS. Making the third game a prequel was a smart move on the part of the developers, and they sure as hell delivered. There was three moments in this game that I can still remember to this day, which is why this game is in this spot. The first one was the boss fight against The End, an ancient and legendary sniper who more or less (in the world of MGS) pioneered the art of sniping. In your battle with The End, it’s just you, him, and a wide expanse of forest. Using your wits and your own trusty sniper rifle, you are pitted one on one against one of the most memorable bosses in the entire franchise. I spent a good 3 hours on this fight the first time I played through the game, and I even went so far as to make a separate save file just so I could fight him any time I wanted.
The second moment was the “fight” with The Sorrow, the ghost of a spirit medium who passed away prior to the events of the game. He shows up at various parts in the game, usually as a sort of guide, but the moment that sticks out the most for me, and I’m sure many other people who played this game, was the scene in the river where he brings back the spirits of every single person you killed in the game up to that point. It was an extremely unsettling and eerie scene, and one that I wasn’t expecting at all. It really made you think on your actions, and gave some send of responsibility for the countless guards you may or may not have needlessly slaughtered on the way.
The final scene that stuck out was the final battle against The Boss, your mentor who you believe betrayed you. I won’t go into too much detail on this one on the off chance that there is someone out there that doesn’t know the details behind this battle, but those of you who have played the game know exactly why I mention it. And if you don’t this scene alone is worth playing through the game.
4) Shadow Of The Colossus
There is precisely one moment that hooked me on this game. After sitting through a 15 or so minute cutscene, you get on your horse, and begin to travel the expansive, beautiful, empty landscape. You go towards where the guiding light of your sword points you, and come across a sheer cliff. Having no other direction to go, you begin climbing it, serving as a little tutorial as you climb. Then, as you reach the top, you hear those thunderous footsteps, followed shortly afterwards by your very first sighting of one of the many Colossi you will face throughout the game. And that was the exact moment that I still remember the most vividly to this day. That one moment, of seeing that first Colossi, and figuring out how to take it down, is the biggest reason why this game rests so high on this list. Because if it wasn’t for that single moment, I wouldn’t have continued the game, and I wouldn’t have gone on to experience one of the greatest games that I had ever played.
3) Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core
Apparently I just really like prequels. In this prequel to the classic RPG Final Fantasy VII, you play as Zack Fair, the mentor and friend of fan favourite (or unfavourite, depending on where you are on the scale) Cloud Strife. Anyone who has played the original game will know how Crisis Core ends. And it is precisely for that very ending that this game is my 3rd favourite game of all time. I enjoy when a game can make me feel emotional. When a game can tell it’s story so amazingly well that it causes me to tear up, I will instantly appreciate that game. The ending of Crisis Core achieved that in spades, and it did so in such an amazingly heartwrenching way, that it didn’t even matter that I knew how the game was going to end before I even went into it. I don’t want to go into too much detail, as you really need the entire experience of the game to understand the impact, but anyone who hasn’t played this game and was a fan of FFVII, you owe it to yourself to play this game.
Taking the runner up spot is another cult classic title, though it’s probably a bit more popular now thanks to the inclusion of the lead character Amaterasu in Marvel vs.. Capcom 3. I really wasn’t sure what to expect out of this game when I first picked it up. I was a little late to the party on this one, as I didn’t play the game until some time after the game was released. This entire game was memorable to me, and it all culminated in it’s final boss. In the marathon of a final boss that was Yami, everything you have done in the game up to that point is driven home in the climax. The final battle starts with you losing all of the powers you have accumulated to that point, and you have to slowly earn them back. As you regain access to your powers, the battle becomes more and more engaging and frantic, until you reach the final form, when you regain the first ability you had in the game, the ability to make the sun rise, and engage in one of the most epic boss fights in video game history, set to one of the most triumphant video game themes ever composed. Once again, if you haven’t played this game, you are only doing yourself a service in doing so.
1) Chrono Trigger
Anyone who has known me for any amount of time saw this one coming, but for those of you who don’t know me, Chrono Trigger is my favourite game of all time. I have beaten this game more times than any other game I have every played, and I have owned it on every single console it has been released on. This game is single-handedly responsible for me becoming as much of a gamer as I am today. Before this game, I played video games, but I didn’t really think about them all that much. After playing Chrono Trigger, I was a different person. I know that is kind of clichéd to say but whatever. The characters, the music, the story, the bosses, the numerous endings (both serious and silly), the time travel, everything that this game did was excellently executed. It went at a nice, unfrustrating pace with little filler, to the point where even the side quests were actually relevant to the overall scheme of the plot. If I was told I had to chose one game for the rest of my life and only be able to play that game, I would choose this game without hesitation. To sum up, the one moment in this game that made me love it and warrant putting it on my top ten favourite games of all time, is the entire game. From the moment I picked my lead character’s name, right down to the final line of the credits, there was not a single moment in this game that I do not love.
HONOURABLE MENTION: My honourable mention for this list is Radical Dreamers, the first sort of sequel to Chrono Trigger, which also became the foundation for what would become Chrono Cross. If not for the one per franchise rule, this game would have been right between Crisis Core and Shadow of the Colossus. While it was never released in North America, there are ways to get a translated version of this text based adventure, and playing this game gave me a better appreciation for the franchise as a whole.
That’s my list, I hope you enjoyed it. I apologize for disappearing for a couple of weeks, I hope that this will make up for it and I’ll be back next week with a super super sized edition of Free Games Friday.