Video games have always been something near and dear to me. At 30 years old, that leaves me with 25 years or so of gaming under my belt. From NES to PS4, video games is a HUGE part of my life.
Back when I was a tiny little lad, mum had an Atari console. I had to be about 5 years old when I got my first NES console. I remember going to those old video rental stores to rent video games on a regular… From “Super Mario Bros 3” to “Darkwing Duck” and “Duck Tales” to “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”. Not too long after that, countless hours were spent playing Super Nintendo. “Mega Man X”, “Super Mario World”, “Kirby All-Stars”, “Killer Instinct”… the list goes on and on. That only led to one of my favorite Christmas presents of all-time, the Nintendo 64. To me, that is still the greatest console ever created. N64 had an amazing game library, ranging from fantastic adventure games to super fun party games. Currently rocking my PS4, nothing has changed for me. More years have gone by, more games have been played, more games will be played.
With so many games to look back on, making a top whatever list can be a tough task. But, here it goes… MY 10 favorite video games/franchises. This list will be in no particular order, because that’s a whole other monster to tackle.
Mega Man X.
Platform: Super Nintendo
I remember the Christmas I got X for the SNES like it was yesterday… along with my first ever “Spawn” action figure. X was a damn near flawless platformer, let alone game in general. The gameplay was kick ass and smooth. It never felt impossibly difficult but was always challenging. The bosses were so cool. And the music might be some of the best in any game ever.
Even the remake/remastered version for the PSP, “Mega Man: Maverick Hunter X” was just as amazing.
20 years plus, and it’s STILL very much playable. You will always see this game in my Virtual Console library.
Not being the biggest fan of first person shooters, the Borderlands games are gems.
First off, it’s a cell shaded game. In an era where games like “Call of Duty”, “Halo” and “Battlefield” reign supreme, taking a step away from the “realistic” graphic style was a huge risk on Gearbox’s part. Not that cell shaded games aren’t beautiful, but this generation of gamers would probably shy away from the cartoony style of Borderlands.
Don’t be mistaken by it’s fast paced, FPS outer shell, Borderlands is an RPG at heart. Allowing you to select from different character types and building them up to your liking. You’ll also see yourself clocking in hours upon hours of gameplay between story missions, side missions and LOTS and LOTS of looting.
Borderlands also delivers on the promise of hundreds, maybe even thousands of guns.
Platform: Nintendo 64
I did mention that I’m not the biggest FPS fan, and I stand by that. Not many FPS games have had be glued to my seat for hours on in. Not that they’re bad, I just don’t feel it’s necessary for EVERY game on the market to be an FPS.
Goldeneye was one of those many N64 games that kept me in front of the screen for a VERY long time.
The single player story mode was intense, fun and challenging. The story follows the events of the “James Bond” film of the same name. The single player also had tons of replay value, especially if you were trying to unlock all the cheats and extras.
The multiplayer was SOOOOO much fun. With a bunch of different maps and gameplay options to choose from. This game definitely had me, my brother, cousins and friends playing literally all day long… Unless someone tripped over the controller wire. Yeah, remember that?
Marvel Vs Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes
There are a lot of fighting games that deserve a top 10 spot, but this game was something special.
You had “Marvel Vs Street Fighter” and “Marvel Vs Capcom”, which were dope games in their own right, but MvC 2 might just be the holy grail of fighting games… in MY opinion. Sure there’s “Street Fighter 2” and “Mortal Kombat”… even “Soul Edge/Calibur”, but those games didn’t pit you in fast paced 3-on-3, tag team style battles, with 56 characters to choose from, ranging from Spider-Man to Ryu to Pyslocke to Mega Man.
Even if they’re stellar, I don’t see future installments of MvC being anywhere near as good as MvC 2.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
Platform: Nintendo 64, 3DS
This game is often called the greatest video game EVER. I really can’t argue with that. Just another testament to how amazing the N64 console was, and how much attention Nintendo puts into their main players (Mario, Link, Kirby, Pokémon, Donkey Kong, etc).
With a compelling story, amazing graphics (for it’s time), tough challenges and a large world to explore, Ocarina of Time definitely deserves the title of Best Game Ever. Mind you, the game came out 19 years ago, and it’s still very much playable till this day.
My main advice to you, is if you HAVEN’T played Ocarina of Time yet, find some way to play it NOW. You can buy it for the Nintendo 3DS ($30-40 on the eShop, for the 3D version) or on a Wii/Wii U console ($10 in the Virtual Console, for the original N64 version).
Grand Theft Auto Franchise.
Those who know me, definitely know how much I love the GTA franchise, and most Rockstar Games for that matter. “Bully”, “Manhunt”, “Max Payne”, “Midnight Club” and “Red Dead” are all games/franchises that should be on this list as well.
Since the PS1 days, when the GTA madness had a top down view, I was hooked. When they announced GTA 3 for the PS2, I lost my shit, and there was no turning back. Now, we’re at GTA 5, and I almost literally play the game ALL the time.
Rockstar is a company that takes it’s games VERY seriously. As opposed to releasing a new installment of any particular game every year, like most companies, they’d much rather take their time and give us the most expansive, innovative gaming experiences to date… Something most companies don’t do. That’s a huge reason why GTA games will always be on my must buy list and quite frankly could very well take the #1 spot on my best game/franchise of all-time list.
Their single player campaigns are always deep and entertaining. Never feels like you’re doing the same thing over and over again. When they decided to add 3 main characters to the main story of GTA 5, I was kind of skeptical, but they totally delivered something special. Each character’s unique personality, story and “abilities” perfectly contrasting the other’s.
And when you add an online world that has been going strong for 3 plus years, and expanding more and more, the GTA franchise is a must for my top 10 list
WWF: No Mercy
Platform: Nintendo 64
I was always a big wrestling fan, so naturally, this would make the list! Having been a huge fan of the previous installment, “WWF: Wrestlemania 2000”, (which should very well be on this list), No Mercy was a MUST buy. Shit! I traded in GOLDENEYE, to get this bad boy.
Actually, No Mercy was the game that really changed my perspective on fighting games… They became boring fast. No Mercy was more than just two players mashing buttons till the one player’s health bar was depleted. There was more strategy involved in this game, much more to do… in and out of the ring.
The gameplay was very smooth and
seemed to run almost flawlessly. When you compare it to the clunky pace and ridiculously tedious controls of WWF: Warzone or Attitude, No Mercy was miles ahead. The crazy part is, even with the amazing technology and engines that games run on today, none of these current wrestling titles can match the level that No Mercy played at.
With the amazing gameplay, came a LOT of characters, a pretty vast character customization (ESPECIALLY with the move sets) and loads of match types, which could also be customized, allowing players to turn their matches into NO DQ matches, submissions only, etc.
Again, another N64 game that’s over 15 year old and is STILL playable till this day.
Shadow of the Colossus.
Platform: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4
At a glance, this game would seem like a boring, lifeless game, but Shadow of the Colossus is the total opposite.
Yeah, the game is pretty much, search for a monster, slay said monster. There’s just one thing, these monsters are COLOSSAL! I’m talking about 30… 90… 200 feet tall! Just take a 4-6 inch action figure and stand it at your feet and you can get an idea of how big some of the monsters are in this game. Discovering these beasts makes the long, tedious searches worth your time. The sheer beauty of these colossal creatures never takes away from how terrifying they are. Finding a way to climb onto each of them to slay them was a journey in itself.
Shadow of the Colossus is a game that was WAY ahead of it’s time.
I’m taking about the Red/Blue, Gold/Silver, Sun/Moon games… You know, the traditional RPG games, where you actually capture, train and evolve Pokémon. Not those OTHER games.
It’s hard not to get excited whenever a new installment of Pokémon is announced.
Pokémon started out with players capturing Pokémon, training them and defeating Gym leaders to collect enough badges to compete in the Pokémon League and be crowned a Pokémon Champion. Over the years, the game has evolved into much more. Some installments have thrown a “Save the World” story into the mix. Breeding Pokémon and making sure they’re happy and fed has become a staple in the franchise, adding more life to the monsters you’ve captured and depth to the game.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sold my handheld console, just to have to buy one all over again because a new Pokémon game was hitting the shelves. Whether it’s a brand new title or a remake/reimagined version of a previous title, I’ll always love this franchise.
Super Mario World: Yoshi’s Island
Platform : Super Nintendo
As much as I wanted to put “Super Mario Bros 3” on this list, Super Mario World takes the cake.
Maybe it was the addition of Yoshi… Maybe it was the cape power-up… It’s hard to put my finger on why this game has always been one of my favorite games EVER. One thing I could tell you, is that this game was all types of fun and all types of challenging. The level designs were cool and made for some fun memories.
Yet another killer game from good ol’ Nintendo, that will always be in my game library in some way, shape or form.
With all the years of gaming and the MANY games I’ve played, I feel like this list can always change. Perhaps I’ll have to bump this up to a “20 Favorite” list. If you haven’t played any of these games, I highly recommend that you find a way to play them!
What games are on your 10 favorite?!