I’m slightly torn on this current generation of games. I recognize the number of behemoths that have emerged, from the sequel realm, to the original IP’s. For some reason though, the overall fun factor when compared to any other generation, seems a bit meager. I can’t put my finger on exactly why I feel this way. It’s definitely not due to the over saturation of rhythm based titles, Call of Duty titles and other, mostly Activision milked franchises (I have a few of those on this very list). It seems as if the extra polygons and processor power didn’t replicate the kinds of games that feel ageless. Even the previous generation had a number of those, including Crazy Taxi, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Persona 4.
Whatever the case might be, there were still the standouts in this current generation, regardless of whether they feel as timeless as the previous generations. Lets take a look at my Top 25 Current Generation Games:
A little bit of disclosure – I did some quality assurance testing on the single player portion of Homefront, which was why I never wrote a review for it (I didn’t want any kind of conflict of interest questions to pop up.) The thing is, even if I didn’t have any kind of hand in helping shape the single player game, I still would have been engrossed with the storyline, not to mention a multiplayer game that I still swear by over the likes of Call of Duty and Battlefield. The ending might have been lackluster and the weapon variety might have felt a bit too similar in terms of power and handling, but I genuinely appreciated the total package offered by Homefront, and it still saddens me to see Kaos Studios shuttered based off the lukewarm critic reviews, despite shipping a few million titles early on.
Speaking of another lackluster ending to a fine game, Borderlands fed off that “loot whore” side of me that seems to captivate me to any kind of grindfest games. Sure, weapon variety in the end was plentiful, but a lot of the differences between certain weapons were minute at best. That didn’t stop me from soldering through the single player game, as well as jumping online to team with three other players in some of the more chaotic, yet hard to put down multiplayer action. To say that I cannot wait for Borderlands 2 is a massive understatement, as it’s probably on my top three most anticipated releases of 2012.
Before zombies in video games became the most obnoxious addition to a game (not to mention a cheap cop out in terms of creativity) Dead Rising was lighting up my life. With a mega mall at his disposal, photojournalist Frank West had an innumerable amount of weaponry and replenishment items at the tips of his fingers. Why some of the human bosses took a ton of bullets to fell, I couldn’t tell you, but with so much available to see and partake in, Dead Rising proved that it was one of the last zombie based games that players should give a damn about.
For a while I thought Grand Theft Auto IV was the pinnacle of sandbox titles. While it’s a glorious title in its own right, it did fail to topple San Andreas in the end. The game world was a blend of commendable performance and impressive visuals, and Niko Belic was probably the most enjoyable character the franchise has introduced. The DLC stories available added more charm to the package as a whole. For the time being, it’s probably the best game of its kind in this generation of games.
Burnout Paradise broke the mold of the stereotypical racer and took its focus to an open world setting. The result was nothing short of a thrill around every corner. Being able to drive to certain blocks to initiate certain challenges was a brilliant move, along with the seamless multiplayer integration added. Put together some gorgeous graphics and top notch vehicular controls and you have what’s still the premiere racing game this generation has to offer. It’s dirt cheap nowadays too, so there’s no excuse for you to skip out on a trip to a true Paradise City.