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:
Halo 3/ODST/Reach – Same reasons as Halo 2: I cannot stand the online portion and the single player installments just don’t sit well with me.
Gears of War 1-3 – Have not played 3, but the first two were actually enjoyable offline titles. Online though, not so much. The 1 second delays of Gears of War and the repetitive nature of the roll and shotgun techniques in Gears of War 1 and 2 were a turn off. Horde Mode was a good time though.
Batman Arkham City – At first I thought this was the cream of the comic book tie in crop, but after I sat back and thought about it, it was far from it. Nearly every villain was shoehorned in for the sake of being in the game, the length was rather meager (to me), the ending turned me off, and there was absolutely no reason for me to ever play it again. It’s worth playing once for sure, I’ll give it that.
Batman Arkham Asylum – Unofficial number 26, and that alone makes me wish I made a top 26. I still feel that I enjoyed it more than its sequel, which again, is worth playing once.
One of the first truly addicting games of this current generation, Oblivion opened up a fascinating new world to console gamers, where Morrowind on the Xbox seemed to struggle with doing. A lush, beautiful game world all around with so many side quests all around you, Oblivion was a literal sandbox for players to play around in. There wasn’t much that you couldn’t do in game outside use the restroom and polish your nails. What sold Oblivion, much like every other title within the genre, is the fact that you could skip storyline quests for a long while, chasing after each and every side quest available. A large game world with plenty to see and do, Oblivion is still a must play title, years after its release.
Heavy Rain received some backlash from gamers about plot holes, the controls and so on, but none of that really affected my investment and engrossment into the experience. The closest example to an interactive movie that I’ve seen, Heavy Rain followed a handful of characters through the game, with no way of loading the game if one character died. If they died, they were gone for good and the storyline alters accordingly. The developers once said that Heavy Rain should only be played once and never again, forcing players to stick with the choices they made and have a deeper impact and meaning overall, and I kinda agree. It should only be played once, but more importantly, it should be played once.
I’m still a bit shocked that Skyward Sword is this low on my list, but if it made the list in the first place, then there’s a significant reason why. I completely fell in love with and appreciated the sword mechanics that Link possessed, which even an infant could find easy to use. The visual presentation was stellar in its own right, the music was enjoyable, and there was an actual storyline that didn’t feel like an afterthought after time had passed. Zelda fans should have bought this long ago, but gamers in general should invest their time and money into Skyward Sword.
The fact that the Metal Gear franchise never really latched onto me as a whole (MGS1 wasn’t bad, MGS2 felt horrible and MGS3 had some brilliance to it) is unusual. The fact that the one Metal Gear Solid title that many of the fans of the series did not appreciate as much was the one I enjoyed the most, says a bit more about my tastes in general. I guess I enjoy copious amounts of exposition around every corner. But everything just seemed right with Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, from the audio/video, to the controls, to the stealth as a whole. It did reignite an urge to give this franchise another try, which has been put on my long queue.
As much as people rag on UMVC3, I still can’t get enough of it. Yes it’s brainless at times, but finding that one team to carry you through each battle is satisfying as all hell, especially if you’re like me and have had a tough time choosing the right characters. The online quality is pretty much abysmal, the extra modes out of the box were meager (Heroes & Heralds did add quite a bit of value though), but offline multiplayer is still as chaotic and addicting as anything out there. It’s inevitable that another version will be released sometime down the line, but I’ll be milking every second out of Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 while I can!