I was going to wait until the Okami blog was finished to start this, but everyone else has talked of their favorite video games, but I haven't ever mentioned mine. I've talk about my favorite franchises, but not the particular games I like. Well...Shit, I've got time to kill, and I need something to do while I run through Okami to finish the blog, so here's my top 20 favorite video games. Yes. I'm going by listing from least favorite to my all time favorite.
Please don't complain if there isn't a game you like on here. I have played hundreds of games in my life. You can tell from my blogs that I'm probably the most hardcore gamer you've ever met. It was really difficult to narrow the vast amount of video games I've played in my life to these 20 games, because I've probably played more games than the rest of this site's memberbase combined. I originally thought about making this a damn top 30 list. But if there is a game you like, I've probably played it. And I probably like it. But these are the 20 I've picked from the two decades I've lived as a hardcore gamer.
Number 20: Freedom Fighters:
Anyone who knows me knows I'm a sucker for stories of overcoming tyranny. Freedom Fighters is the ultimate simulation of that.
The game is set in a What If scenario where the Soviet Union strengthened itself as a superpower, and the Cold War ended in favor of Communism. Due to this, the sweeping Soviet Machine conquers the world, and is now approaching America's borders. At the start of the game, the Soviets attack the US and conquer it within a month's time. (Okay, normally occupying a country takes longer than that, but we'll let it slide.)
You play as a civilian thrown into a conflict between the Red Army and a band of resistance fighters in the heart of Manhattan, which has become the base of operations for the Communist invasion. The game progresses with you combatting the enemy through geurrilla warfare, attacking key areas of their power over Manhattan, mostly through occupying their many footholds and strengthening the resistance's hold over areas of the city.
What I think is cool about Freedom Fighters is the approach to the combat. They could have gone the typical route of most shooters and make you a one man army, or a 3 man squad of badasses, but they didn't. Much of the game relies on stealth and teamwork with the fellow resistance members, and attacking through hit and run tactics rather than attempting to take the superior Soviet forces on directly.
You know, how an ACTUAL rebellion is fought? Not that Homefront crap.
Freedom Fighters had an interesting idea in that you could not face the Russians head on. You'd get slaughtered that way. Instead, you had to plan attacks strategically, and weaken their defenses.
The game operates on a level select system, but with a catch. Actions you take in one level will affect another one. For example, there is a mission where the Resistance has to attack a key Soviet supply route. Problem is, there's a helicopter that'll reduce you to lead filled slabs of meat if you get too close to the base. So you must retreat back to the resistance base and pick another mission. During your next mission, you will run across a helicopter landing zone, and guess what? There's that frickin' helicopter from the last mission! Pop some C4 on that bitch and blow it. When you get back to the other mission, there will no longer be a helicopter waiting to attack you.
This was cool as it required you to think about your path, and made you work on hitting targets to soften up the enemy's defenses, further immersing you into the rule of a resistance fighter. Which hey, works for me.
Now, if this game sounds like my cup of tea, why isn't it higher on my list? Well, one reason. No sequel. Freedom Fighters ended on a cliffhanger, where the Resistance has annihilated the Manhattan Occupation, taken back the city with a powerful militant force rallied under you, and the Russians are running for the hills. All over America, inspired by the Manhattan Resistance's victory, rebellions are igniting like wildfire in every major city. But you get an alert that the Russian army is sending a new force from the motherland to fight the uprising and reclaim the US.
And the game just ends there. Right before the resolution, leaving you with only questions about the ultimate fate of your Resistance buddies. So because of this, I have to rate the game pretty low for the dead stop it just takes. It just makes a great experience have a disappointing payoff.
There was an idea for a sequel, but it got shafted in favor of working on the Kane and Lynch series...Yeah, those really shitty co-op games nobody liked? Ain't that a bitch.
Number 19: Borderlands 2:
You know what's funny? I fucking hate the original Borderlands. But after a month of playing this game with my best friend, I adore this one.
The quirky humor, unbelievably chaotic combat, and the witty dialogue, alongside my own immature and just downright stupid interactions with the person I consider to be my brother has made my experience with Borderlands a precious one indeed. So, despite how I despised the first game as a bland, generic shooter with a boring plot, this game changed everything that held the first game back, and with my buddy at my side, I have to say, I cherish every moment I play this anarchious mess of dirty humor, wierd scenes, and downright brainless bro-time.
Normally I stray away from party-based shooters, but the moments I've shared with my friend, the dialogue which I'll admit, has me in stitches sometimes, and the memorable quests in the game, may have me trying them out more often.
I don't always play Co-op games, but when I do...I prefer Borderlands 2.
Number 18: Tomba!
This game is weird as shit, but god, is it fun.
Don't worry, I'm not surprised if you don't know this game. But man, do I love it. The game is basically the adventures of a pink haired jungle boy on a quest to get his golden bracelet back from the evil Koma Pigs.
Yeah, you think that's weird? I ain't even gotten to the shit about the laughing flowers, hat wearing mice, flying dogs, and the leaf butterflies.
So Tomba plays out as a side scrolling platformer with the use of computer generated backgrounds and 2D sprites to make a very colorful world. Although what's interesting is the progression in this game. There's no real narrative. The entire experience is just a bunch of sidemissions that form together into one story. A couple even involve a run through a field of flowers and mushrooms that randomly laugh or cry depending on the mushroom you pick up. Another involves finding out what to do with a Koma Pig you shrank with a Peach Flower tree that "farts" a gas that for some reason shrinks pigs. Each mission was memorable and zanier than the last. This was certainly a strange game, both in atmosphere and design.
And I loved it.
I played the hell out of Tomba as a kid. Hell, I was that age where I'd pretend to be this character in this world. Yeah, I was a silly child. But the bizarre, kooky world of Tomba was an unforgettable experience. And when I saw it for download on the Playstation Network...Well, you can imagine my reaction was nothing short of flipping my shit over it.
I loved it back then, and I love it now.
Number 17: Spyro 3: Year of the Dragon
Number 16: Mega Man Legends
Number 15: Knights of the Old Republic:
Number 14: Valkyria Chronicles:
Number 13: Assassins Creed: Brotherhood
Number 12: Okami
Well, as critical as I've been of Okami, I have to say, it has earned this spot. No, I don't think Okami is a perfect game, but that doesn't mean I don't like it.
I told you all, I'm a sucker for Japanese art and mythology, and that might be the only reason I like this game, but...Dammit, Okami, you've convinced me.
However, you're still only Number 12 because of your flaws.
Number 11: Ico
This spot was a difficult choice between this game, and it's brother title Shadow of the Colossus. And don't get wrong. Shadow of the Colossus is an amazing fucking game. I praised the game to death in my review. But when it comes to the two of them, I'm looking at which one stuck with me more. And Ico won between them.
I've already written a review expressing my thoughts on this game, so I'm not going to really repeat myself.
I originally played this game as a demo, and I immediately fell in love with the story of two childen desperately trying to escape this massive castle and the shadow creatures that live inside, and forming a friendship despite the fact that they don't understand eachother's language. There's truly a lot to appreciate here. For one thing, it's an escort quest game where you don't actually want to fucking strangle the escortee...There's a lot of reliance on Ico and Yorda's actions in their friendship as opposed to just random dialogue between them, because again, they cannot understand eachother. The concept was pretty original for it's time. Not to mention, there's a lot of character to this game. It's dark, mysterious atmosphere, the bizarre enemies, and the characters themselves.
Yorda is probably my number 1 favorite character who I can't frickin' understand, too!
Ico's a good game. I hope you try it out.
Number 10: God Hand
Number 9: Monmusu Quest:
...Don't even act surprised.
Okay, you've heard me go on about Monmusu Quest. I mentioned the protagonist in my favorite Heroes blog, and I mentioned the antagonist in my Villains I hate blog. What is this game?
Monmusu Quest is a game done in the style of a typical Japanese RPG, with a more adult twist. But that doesn't necessarily make it purely a porn game. Due to site guidelines, I am only going to talk about the non-H stuff.
I really only got into this game admittedly because a friend of mine started talking about it during an instant message conversation. And I figured, after hearing a little about it, that eh, I'll try it out. Humor him. I mean, what harm could playing something so silly really cause?
Boy, did I really jump to conclusions on this one. This is what they mean by don't judge a book by it's cover.
The story is about a boy named Luka who is chosen to be one of the goddess Ilias' heroes, and is sent on a quest to slay the Monster Lord and ending the feud between monsters and humans. Along the way, he meets with and basically is unwillingly stuck with the company of a monster girl named Alice, who decides to follow Luka after he states that his true goal is to seal co-existance between the feuding monsters and humans. Later on, it is revealed to Luka that Alice, who he has befriended in his travels, is none other than the Monster Lord. So he comes to see that this great and powerful evil abomination is not really that Ilias made her out to be. But even still, his duty as a hero of the Goddess demands he still stop her rampaging servants.
There's a surprising amount of depth in this game. While it starts off as a typical parody of JRPGs, it focuses on a plot of things. Prejudice. The damage of jumping to conclusions. The dangers of idealistic extremism and how it blinds people's moral judgement. The errors of forcing your will on people. Embracing your morals in a world where society demands the opposite of what you personally think is the right goal. Forging your own path instead of living in the shadows of what's expected of you. There's even a section with a war where Luka mistakenly sides with and aids an army who later abuses and horrifically tortures their victims, thus learning that not all conflicts have a just and right side. Which is actually a topic that not a lot of people consider these days.
The game gets surprisingly philosophical and talks about a lot of topics that really make you think, and stick with you.
Aside from that, it is a very fun and challenging game which mirrors, in many ways, the style and atmosphere of our very own Final Fantasy series. With fun enemy designs, and difficult boss fights, it really sucks me in in a way that most older JRPGs did. And I admit to feeling a little nostalgic playing this game.
I also like the fact that the game's main antagonist, the very person you've been told must be defeated is instead your character's friend and (Rather predictably) love interest. That was a pretty interesting twist on having a partner. And it makes for some really amusing dialogue.
All in all, a fun game. I will perfectly understand if you don't want to play it, and I can see why you might not want to. Because all this aside...it's still a game where game overs get you *Censored* by a monster girl.
Number 8: Saints Row 2:
Number 7: Street Fighter 2:
Good lord is Street Fighter a popular game. I know people who absolutely despise fighting games who still admit they adore the Street Fighter series. It's like there's a gene in people's bodies that forces them to love this game.
I officially hereby dub it the Hadoushoryusyogafire gene.
I'll be honest here. Not that big a fan of fighting games. But I love me some Street Fighter. I don't know what it is about this game. Is it the great characters? The music? The fact that I get nostalgic every time someone shouts "Yoga fire!" or "Sonic boom!"?
Probably all of them.
I had the fortune of having my first big experience with Street Fighter on an arcade machine. An Arcade machine which, incidentally, had one of those buttons you press to get extra credits so you don't have to put coins in. That was great.
But I just loved how all these interesting characters, and the fact I could make this petite little chinese girl beat the crap out of a giant green monster. Or the fact that the game has the personification of AMERICA! (Fuck yeah!) as one of the roster members.
Given the fact that I didn't need to pay to play this game, I wasted several hours of many days of my childhood just playing the shit out of this thing to the point I once actually thought I broke the machine. Heh.
Since then, I went about my life as I grew up, and it wasn't until years later that a miracle happened. I was at work, taking samples of agricultural plants to be used in nutrient samples back at the lab I worked at, and then...I saw it. Something grey laying on the ground. What the shit was it? I had to know. And there, in the shade of the grapes, I saw...
A FREE COPY OF STREET FIGHTER 2 FOR THE SNES LAYING RIGHT AT MY FEET!
No seriously...I'm not making this up, I swear.
I brought it home, got out my old SNES, and tried the game. Sure enough, this little bastard still worked. So for days, I felt six years old again. It was great.
I still have that SF2 cartridge, and I can revisit this game any time I want now.
Number 6: Chrono Trigger:
Number 5.5: Kid Icarus: Uprising:
I don't care if this is cheating, I like this game, and I want it on this list!
Number 5: Final Fantasy VII
Well, you had to know this would pop up eventually on this list. Final Fantasy 7 is confirmed to be my favorite Final Fantasy, and it has made it into my top 5 favorite games.
I could have copped out and just made this number 1, but I'm not going to pretend this game isn't without some serious flaws. Like bad writing for example. Choppy graphics. Random difficulty drops where the game becomes pathetically easy, and the certain pink clad flower girl.
But I look upon those flaws and still embrace this game. It was my first JRPG, and I still look on it and see an unforgettable journey in this game, accompanied by corny, but lovable characters, and an amazing soundtrack to carry you on your way. It was the first time I experienced a video game that focused more on story than gameplay, and it gave me a new outlook on the possibilities of gaming.
I absolutely love this game. I love the soundtrack, the characters, the world...sure, the writing's kind of sloppy, and yeah, I don't think Sephiroth is all that great, but I found it to be a fun game regardless. And hey, I even keep some FF7 merchandise around. Like my Cloud poster. Hi Cloud! *Waves to the poster*
With some better writing, maybe this game could have easily made Number 2, or hell, maybe even Number 1. But as it stands, it's not perfect. But it's precious to me as a gamer.
Number 4: Metal Gear Solid
Number 3: Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
Number 2: Metroid Prime
Number 1: Locke's favorite Video Game of all Time.
Alright, sorry I didn't post this up originally, but I needed some time to honestly think about what my favorite video game actually is. I've played many video games, so I needed to think.
There's a lot of good games here. Metal Gear Solid. Assassins Creed. Legend of Zelda. Metroid, what could possibly be my favorite game? That was the question I needed to ponder over.
I took a journey to the mountains and consulted with the monks, who aided me with a ritual that would bring out my experience with video games and show me the truth. The game I adore above all others. And that game is finally revealed to the public. It is...
Mega Man X.Actually, there really was no question. I fucking love this game. I talked about it in the Nostalgia Corner, saying I consider the game to almost be perfect. The one game I have ever made that claim for.
And for good reason. I played this game recently, and holy shit, it's aged amazingly.
But to be honest, when I first played Mega Man X, I was 5 years old, and I adored it. I wouldn't stop playing this game. I pretended to be X, I went on several adventures with my imagination, pretending to be the awesome fighting robot and hunting Mavericks. This game WAS my childhood.
And I'll admit, I still act like a five year old when it comes to this game. I love it that much. I'm not even ashamed to admit I have a few MMX fan characters. And hell, I even have action figures of the two protagonists, which I've posted to the right there.
If there is one game I will go straight up fanboy over, it's Mega Man X. Although you might be wondering why I considering the Legend of Zelda my favorite series. Well, there's a couple reasons. While this is my favorite video game of all time, I'm not a big fan of a few of the sequels. This game was just too good when it came out, and the rest of the series doesn't really live up to it.
But this game...Hoo, this game. Where do I start? The epic music? The awesome boss designs? The story? I don't even know.
How about a little story? This game's theme is about growing and becoming stronger. This is represented through one of the villains, Vile, who is the first boss in the game. Vile is impossible to beat. He is much too strong for you to defeat.
Later in the game, your strength is shown through you having to fight Vile again. And this time, you're supposed to shown you've grown up and become stronger. Sadly, as a kid, I never managed to beat him. (Hey, just cuz the game's main focus is getting strong enough to beat guys like Vile doesn't mean he's easy.)
I abandoned the game for a while, and eventually came back to it as a high school student. I was more mature, and a more experienced gamer. So when it came time to show my strength to Vile, I wrecked him.
That stuck with me my whole life. A game about growing up, becoming stronger and wiser, and demonstrating your newfound power, I could only beat as an adult. I'm sure that wasn't the game designer's intention, but the motif of the game had a particular impact on me through my experience.
And thus, I felt one with X. He couldn't beat Vile as a young and naive warrior, and I couldn't beat him as a child. But we both grew stronger, and we finally, as a team, destroyed that purple bastard as mature, wiser men!
Now what else do I like about this game? Well, the soundtrack is just unforgettable. It's hard to describe music, but all the music just builds adrenaline and the desire to push farther to overcome the boss.
I also like Zero, and how the game displays him as something to look up to. He reminded me a lot of my own brother, who I also looked up to.
Although my brother's gender was a little more obvious.
But probably the best thing about this game is just how awesome it all felt. For the SNES, there was some serious badassery going on here. The Mavericks look intimidating, the pixelated explosions just feel powerful, and then there's Sigma.
Oh god, I could go on about my experience with Sigma until my fingers drop off. I'll just say, what an amazing boss to end off the game, the ultimate test of how far you've come.
There is a remake of this game, and yeah, I have that, it's pretty good too. Definitely fixes a lot of issues with the game I mentioned in the Nostalgia Corner. You might be wondering what I think of that.
Well, I think it honors the game very well. But it wasn't the Mega Man X I grew up with. The SNES version was. And thus, I'll always look to that game with a loving heart.
Mega Man X is my favorite game of all time. And that's saying a lot given the entries on this list and how much I adore those too. But this game? This game's been with me my whole life, and it's theme perfectly played with my young and adult experiences with it.
Once again, I'm Locke, and I thank you for reading this blog. I hope to know what your favorite games are as well.