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OFF THE TOP OF YOUR HEAD - What are your top 20 games and why?

Leo9

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Dec 23, 2020
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Kotor 1, 2
Starcraft 1,2
Homeworld 1,2
Haegemonia: Legions of Iron
Nexus: The Jupiter Incident
Mass Effect 1,2,3
Dragon Age;: Origins
X2: The threat,
X3: Reunion.
 
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Drizzlehell

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Dec 24, 2020
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I'm not gonna list individual games in a series because that would feel redundant, so I'm just gonna list the name of the franchise where applicable, or a specific game from the series that was more important for me than the others. That should be enough. The TOP 5 is kinda in order, but after that it's just random titles that popped into my head:

1. Doom
2. Silent Hill
3. Mass Effect
4. Homeworld
5. Knights of The Old Republic
6. Halo
7. Dragon Age
8. Return To Castle Wolfenstein
9. Quake
10. Alien Isolation
11. Need For Speed Underground
12. Grand Theft Auto 3
13. Jedi Knight 2
14. The Witcher 3
15. Uncharted
16. Metal Gear Solid
17. W40k Dawn of War
18. Fallout 3
19. Bioshock
20. Call of Duty

These are all games that somehow influenced me over the years or resonate with me on an emotional level. Not necessarily because of the writing and the story but for various reasons that would be too long to list. But just as an example, Doom series has always been hugely influential for me in terms of my gaming tastes, as well as learning about game design, serving as an inspirational success story for the company that made it, or just being so damn fun. To the point where I could fire up any Doom game at any time and have a blast with it 100% of the time. The latter is true for pretty much any game/series in this list.

Contrast that with a series like Silent Hill that resonated with me primarily due to how expertly it manipulated you on a psychological level to instil a sense of dread and scare the fuck out of you. Silent Hill 2 was also a very emotional experience for my teenage self, and I remember falling in love with the series to the point of obsession. It's also significant because it helped me find a community of like-minded people, many of which I'm still friends with to this day. It started out with passionate discussions about the lore behind the series on some small message board in a forgotten corner of the internet, but in time it bloomed into one of the seminal periods of my life. And all this thanks to a little PS1 game that could...
 
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mxbison

Member
Dec 9, 2020
796
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In no order:

Street Fighter 2
Dark Messiah of Might & Magic
Fallout
Half-Life
Dota 2
WoW Vanilla
Metal Gear Solid
Tony Hawk 3
Valkyria Chronicles
The Last of Us 2
God of War 3
Uncharted 2
Hades
Persona 5 Royal
Cup Head
Rayman Legends
Assassins Creed 2
Batman Arkham Asylum
Half-Life: Alyx
Astro Bot: Resuce Mission
 
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8BiTw0LF

Member
Jun 5, 2013
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No particular order:

Tetris (GB version)
Super Mario Bros 3
Mega Man 3
Monkey Island
Alien Breed: Special Edition
Lotus Turbo Challenge 2
Street Fighter 2
Doom
Mortal Kombat 2
Metal Gear Solid
Gran Turismo 3: V-Spec
Burnout 3: Takedown
GTA: Vice City
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Gears of War 2
Fable 2
Halo Reach
Destiny
Apex Legends
Returnal
 

supernova8

Member
Jun 2, 2020
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These are not really in order, just off the top of my head the few games I enjoyed enough to either play through to completion or play for many many hours than other games (I usually have a low attention span). Also I'll count games in the same series as "one" to fit more games into the 20:

01. Metal Gear Solid 1 & 2
02. Wind Waker
03. Pokemon Red/Blue
04. Gran Turismo 3/4
05. Breath of Fire
06. Advanced Wars 2
07. Full Spectrum Warrior
08. Tekken Tag Tournament
09. Broken Sword
10. FIFA 2001
11. Perfect Dark
12. Half Life 2
13. Constructor
14. Republic: the Revolution
15. World of Warcraft (the original and up to maybe Lich King)
16. Dark Age of Camelot
17. Grand Theft Auto 3
18. Battlefield 2 and Battlefield 4
19. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
20. Counter Strike Source

(I get the feeling nobody is actually reading each other's list so seems a bit pointless but hey)
 
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Cutty Flam

Member
Dec 3, 2019
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Without much thought going in this will be my list

  1. TLoZ: OoT
  2. Paper Mario
  3. TLoZ: MM
  4. Super Mario 64
  5. Resident Evil
  6. Halo 2
  7. Shadow of the Colossus
  8. Mario Party 2
  9. Mario Kart 64
  10. Resident Evil 4
  11. Super Mario Sunshine
  12. GTA: Vice City
  13. GTA: San Andreas
  14. Halo 3
  15. Super Mario RPG
  16. SSX Tricky
  17. Yoshi's Story
  18. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater
  19. TLoZ: BotW
  20. TLoZ: TWW
 

k_trout

Member
Apr 25, 2013
1,231
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585
dromazone.bandcamp.com
death stranding
system shock 2
deus ex
nier automata
generation zero
inside
portal 2
oblivion
machinarium
alien isolation
stalker soc
half life 2
hl alyx
doom 3
quantum break
counter strike source
halo 1 ctf
crysis
hellblade
xevious

in no particular order
 

Gameplaylover

Member
Jul 26, 2021
1,173
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365
I'll stick to Pc this time:

Dungeon Keeper 1 + 2
Starcraft
Command and Conquer Series
Emperor: Battle for Dune
Theme Hospital
World of Warcraft
Zoo Tycoon 1+2
Forza Horizon 5
Day of the Tentacle
Sam and Max
Total War Series
Monkey Island 1-3
Chivalry
Blake Stone
Evil Genious
Blood
Shadow Warrior 1
Duke 3D
Doom 1+2
Wolfenstein Series
 
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Ozzy Onya A2Z

Member
Apr 16, 2012
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There are so many games I've left out but stuck to off the top of my head -


1. Halo 2, literal gaming crack. I was so addicted.

2. Apex Legends, gaming meth. I am addicted.

3. Mario 64, changed everything.

4. Destiny, best PvE game going.

5. Forza Horizon 5, this is how you execute on developing a fun game to supreme polish.

6. Rayman Legends, simply one of the best platformers ever to play coop and I/family have revisted for years and years.

7. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, needs no introduction.

8. Street Fighter II Turbo, the real first game to be in the arcade and at home on consoles to blow up your gaming life. What a game.

9. Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2, so many stoner days with friends taking turns and killing each others combos and high scores day after day.

10. Mario Kart 64, 4 player couch mayhem and so many sore arms and friends made. If you didn't play MK64 you didn't enter our house back then.

11. DOOM 2016, I'd post DOOM or Wolfenstein for their innovation in the gaming landscape but DOOM 2016 is something else and just shows how great an update to timeless games can be. The pinnacle DOOM on display.

12. Star Wars Fallen Order, engaging, fun mechanics, solid story and just super fun with things not overstaying their welcome in any game elements e.g. planet environment, boss battle, mechanics, backtracking, enemies. It all just flows so well and it executed incredibly well.

13. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, being a pirate the game. ACIV just drips atmosphere from the ship's hull to the sunsets and seeing an island/village to attacking a fort while just wishing to go sailing and listen to another sea shanty. Jaw droppingly good.

14. Deus Ex: Human Revolution, another fine example of modernising a brilliant game original and executing so very well. Awesome game world.

15. Max Payne 3, the attitude and mechanics interplay so well with Max.

16. Goldeneye 007, I know you can hear the music as soon as you read this.

17. Cuphead, what a passion project and so unique in the gaming world. A tough competitor to play but so rewarding. Hella fun in coop too.

18. Command & Conquer: Red Alert, the classic RTS.

19. MS Flight, my daughter and I just love going for flights around the world. A masterpiece.

20. Pac-man, pure gaming design and fun gameplay that stands the test of time and always will.


Special mentions for leaving them out:
GTAV, TIE Fighter, King's Quest, Baldur's Gate II, Perfect Dark, Diablo II, Tetris, TMNT arcade, Simpsons arcade, Top Spin 4, Mechwarrior 2, Wave Race 64, Halo 3, Banjo Kazooie, SMB3, Speedball II, KOTOR, BFII
 
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SpiceRacz

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Feb 27, 2017
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Hazuki Dojo
9. Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2


King's Quest, TMNT arcade, Simpsons arcade, Top Spin 4, Wave Race 64


respect GIF by Jaz Dhami
 

Kaachan

Member
May 20, 2021
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No particular order for this list

Final Fantasy VII
Final Fantasy X
Final Fantasy IX
Suikoden II
Chrono Trigger
Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate
Monster Hunter Rise
Shadow of the Colossus
Secret of Mana
Demon's Souls Remake
Okami
Half-Life 2
Onimusha 2: Samurai's Destiny
Resident Evil 4
The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind 15
NieR: Auotmata
Heroes of Might & Magic III
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Paper Mario
 
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Ellery

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Feb 17, 2019
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Manches, Amsterdam, Berlin
Disclaimer : I only pick one entry of my favorite series for this list. Otherwise I would end up with two or three gaming franchises that hold multiple positions in this list and bloat it. I also didn't include multiplayer games since it is extremely hard to rank them properly compared to single player games.

1) The Last of Us Part II



My personal best game of all time. After two decades a game finally was able to overtake Final Fantasy VIII and Zelda Ocarina of Time which I thought was nearly impossible. At some point you have to realize that gaming feels different when you are older and more mature. The magic of being 10 years old and discovering the greatness of Video games can't be repeated. But TLOU2 was just the most impressive achievement in video game I've evern seen and even with nostalgia googles on I had to be open minded about the absolute masterpiece that this game is.
The technical side and animations of this game is basically perfect including the accessibility options for a wide variety of gamers was an absolute breakthrough and I am glad that Naughty Dog went the extra mile to make this enjoyable for as many gamers as possible. It was heartwarming to see youtube videos of blind people being able to enjoy the game.
The emotional side, story, voice acting and gameplay were top notch. A bold sequel that doesn't play it safe and ruins itself in stagnation like many other franchises that have become formulaic and boring like assembly line work.
After playing The Last of Us it is hard to get into another game for a while. The same happened to me in 2013 and 2020. Not easy to follow that up for any game and it shows the big difference in talent between Naughty Dog and other studios.
The one thing I have to critize is the pacing. The game could've been a little bit cleaner. It is quite big with 30+ hours for a wide linear game.

2) Final Fantasy VIII



It wouldn't have matter much which Final Fantasy entry I put in here since whether it is VI, VII, VIII, XI or X there are so many fantastic Final Fantasy games from the golden era that are 10/10 games which take you on an amazing journey to be immersed in.
Final Fantasy 8 is my personal favorite and the OST is one of the big reasons for it. It is still the very best soundtrack of any video game I've ever listened to. Balamb garden and experiencing this world as a SeeD was one of the most memorable gaming experiences of my life and it was on my top spot for 20 years.


3) The Legend of Zelda : Ocarina of Time



When it comes to the best video games of all time it is impossible to ignore Zelda OoT. It rightly deserves to be the top spot on many lists and the influence of this game doesn't need to be emphasized any further. And on top of that there is also Majora's Mask for the Nintendo 64 which is nearly equally as impressive for a lot of different reasons. A game with a lot more depth than people give it credit for and one of the most underrated gems in video game history.
Christmas time plus a new Zelda game in 1998. It doesn't get much better than this.

4) Silent Hill 2



The true masterpiece of gaming. The one game that I think basically everyone loves, but it still being underrated and doesn't get enough praise for the absolute genius that went into designing it. When I first played it and was a lot younger I wasn't quite sure what it all meant, but playing it again and again over the years and diving deeper into it and understanding it is where the true masterclass of this game lies. Back then it was still an amazing game, but now that I understand it I fully appreciate it. A must play game that rewards you tenfold for playing it again and again and taking it all in.

5) Dark Souls



FROM Software is probably the most influential developer of the last decade when it comes to amazing gameplay and combat. A revolutionary break from many other games of that time which tried to establish quick time events and other nonsense. They have an amazing track record whether it is Sekiro, Bloodborne, Dark Souls 1-3 or Demon's Souls. Miyazaki is the man and I love him very much. It showed that he wasn't the director for Dark Souls 2.
Dark Souls ultimately takes the top spot over Dark Souls 3, Sekiro and Bloodborne for me, because of the level design, size and variety. The benchmark for how the feedback for combat should feel.

6) Metal Gear Solid

It pains me to only put this on six since MGS is probably the gaming series that I love most and I worship Kojima. So many excellent games in that series and I include V to that, because there is too much surface level hate for MGS V from people that don't understand the meaning of that game. In a top list of so many 10/10 games it seems to be ranked low, but I basically appreciate MGS 2 and 3 as much as I do 1.

7) Super Mario 64

Too many great Mario games and I have to play a couple of them including Odyssey. Gabe Newell's favorite game is an all time game and cements the N64 as one of the console with absolute masterpiece games that will still be relevant for generations to come.

8) God of War 2018

During a time where I felt that games wouldn't make me feel like they did back then I was wronged by God of War. What an absolute astonishing game that doesn't set a foot wrong and made it clear that the PS4 generation had so many great exclusive games which kept getting better with each year. Can't wait for Ragnarok next year.

9) Resident Evil 2

This was one of the hardest picks for me since I do love so many entries of this franchise. The original playstation games are my favorites, but the remakes are amazing too and for many RE4 is one of the greatest games of all time. While I don't agree with that since I love the fixed camera angle tank controls from the PS1, I do have to agree that it is a great even though it was the beginning of the end for those older games. They are still going strong with 7 and 8 and we do kinda have to forget 5 and 6.

10) The Witcher 3

Open world and DLC done right. It was extremely easy to immerse and spent many hours on this game. It never felt like a chore, a problem many open world games battle with, and the DLC was a great example of how you should add content to your game.

11) Portal 2

I love puzzle games and this is probably the best one. At least on top of my head. I desperately want another Portal game.

12) Half Life 2

Revolutionary PC game and each time it is being mentioned the pain of now having a proper third one hurts more.

13) Mass Effect 2

SciFi space opera with great gameplay and story. Love it and hope to have some time soon to play through the Legendary Edition.

14) Slay The Spire

Genius roguelike card game that is extremely rewarding and addictive. Just one more run to finally beat Ascension 20.

15) Hollow Knight

It took me a long time to finally play it, but it was well worth it. Great combat and gameplay in a beautifully created world. Hope to get some Silksong news soon.

16) Uncharted 4

They finally improved the A.I. so combat and stealth feel much better. On top of that an amazing story to the most mature entry of the series. I love all the Uncharted games, but Neil Druckmann gave this game a lot more substance. Feels good to play, looks beautiful and kept me interested throughout. Great game. Same goes for The Lost Legacy.

17) GTA Vice City

I spent countless hours cruising in this game and listening to the music. Maybe it is not as good as San Andreas or V, but for me personally I spent quality time with this game.

18) Tony Hawk' Pro Skater 2

My very first tendinitis from gaming. That says enough about this game. Great times we had back then trying to beat each other's highscores.

19) Bioshock

Brilliant atmosphere in an interesting world that keeps you well entertained and admiring.

20) Ori And The Blind Forest

I 100%'d both Ori games and this beautiful game keeps on delivering. One of many games of the last 5-10 years that give me high hopes that we get good games in a world where many bid budget AAA games start to struggle for quality.
 
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Rubicaant

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Apr 24, 2012
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EverQuest
Final Fantasy IV
Final Fantasy VI
Final Fantasy VII
Chrono Trigger
Secret of Mana
LoZ:Ocarina of Time
Soldiers of Fortune II
Call of Duty 4:MW
BioShock Infinite
The Witcher 3
Dark Souls
Metal Gear Solid
Portal 2
Star Wars Jedi Knight 2: Jedi Outcast
Super Mario World
Contra 3
Aliens Vs. Predator 2
Tekken 3
Tenchu: Stealth Assassins

Mostly they are the best games because they are the games i played as a kid. Nostalgia is funny that way.
 

RetroAV

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Dec 25, 2019
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Although I love both Chrono Trigger & Final Fantasy 6, there's no way I can give the edge to Chrono Trigger. Fighting Lavos over and over and over again...I just got tired of it. Chrono is still great, but Final Fantasy 6>Chrono Trigger.
 

cartman414

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May 3, 2006
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Super Mario 64 - This game not only inspired just about everything that came after it, it informed 3D game design as a whole. It's remarkable that Nintendo didn't just make a competent translation of Mario to 3D, they fucking nailed it on their first try. It's as important to the history of video games as the original Mario Bros imo. Never has a game felt like such a gigantic leap from one generation to the next. Sometimes I feel like I'm still playing video games purely because I'm chasing the feeling this game gave me when I first experienced it.

Shenmue - This game really stretched the boundaries of what the medium was capable of. It feels dated now, but it pushed the industry forward as much as any other game at the time. I bought and played through it shortly after launch and I'll probably never play it again. It was a special experience and I think I need to preserve that memory as it was.

Super Mario Galaxy - Galaxy is perfect. Nothing about this game should have worked. Mario in outerspace? Manuevering Mario around 3D spheres with a fucking nunchuck and remote? Bizarre physics and camera angles that are almost nausea inducing? Nothing about this game is conventional and yet, it not only works, it's maybe, the best 3D platformer game ever made. Nintendo swung for the fences here and that's when they're at their best.

Mega Man 2 - This one is hard to articulate why it's so special. Mega Man 2 is not exceptional in that the level design is pretty simplistic. The bosses are not crazy difficult. It's visually inferior to some of the later MM games on NES. You can really breeze through it if you know what you're doing. With all that said, to me it's Mega Man in it's best/purest form. It's simplistic like the original without the insane difficulty and more interesting levels. It doesn't hurt that it has one of the best soundtracks ever.

Chrono Trigger - Not a lot to be said about this one. Chrono Trigger nails every aspect of a great RPG - story, characters, dialogue, battle system, etc. The story moves along at a brisk pace and can be completed rather quickly. Chrono Trigger is the perfect RPG with all the fat trimmed off.

Virtua Tennis - In typical Sega fashion, they took a very simple concept and made it incredibly deep yet accessible. This is still the gold standard of tennis games. Sega released several sequels and none of them have touched the original. I still to this day cannot beat the final challenge in the world tour mode, yet I'm still playing through it annually and I will probably never stop.

Castlevania SoTN - Super Metroid set the standard and SoTN elevated the genre to another level - Larger map, more enemies, voice acting, experience system, more items, etc. Several have come close, but none have achieved the level of SoTN.

Donkey Kong 94 (GameBoy) - Donkey Kong 94 throws you for a loop - It quickly goes from the original 3 levels of arcade Donkey Kong, into a really challenging puzzle platformer. There's 50+ levels here and the game is constantly throwing new mechanics at you. It's an incredibly challenging and unique take on my favorite arcade game of all time.

Fallout 3 - I will never get tired of wandering the wasteland.

Super Mario Bros 3 - Super Mario World is overrated.
Nice list. Though SotN is IMO a little overrated. Castle is too backtracky on top of having too many long corridors. Aria/Dawn of Sorrow cut the fat. Super Metroid meanwhile had far better progression and gave lots of shortcuts.

I'll include brief reasons as it would take way too long otherwise.

1. Ninja Gaiden Black (XBox) - It's the perfect action game. Great combat, controls, levels, aesthetic, and sublime music.
2. Morrowind - GOTY Edition (XBox) - This was previously my favorite game ever. It might still be. Probably clocked over 1,000 hours.
3. Deus-Ex (PC) - See: avatar. JCD is a badass. Great story and amazing music. Great freedom.
4. Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo/HDR (PC/XBLA) - My crowning achievement in gaming as I have beaten some famous players before.
5. Star Wars: KOTOR (XBox) - Still the best plot twist in gaming.
6. Ultra Street Fighter IV (X360/PS4) - I really didn't like the focus attack at first but the whole game REALLY grew on me. Also, it has Dee-Jay.
7. Nioh (PS4) - Spent about 500 hours grinding for loot.
8. Dragon Age: Origins (X360) - Just a superb RPG. I miss this style of RPG games.
9. Street Fighter X Tekken (X360) - Possibly the best roster in a fighting game ever.
10. Donkey Kong Country (SNES) - My favorite platformer.
11. Virtual Pro Wrestling 2 (N64) - Another timeless wrestling game.
12. Shenmue 2 (XBox) - A real adventure. Amazing music, story, and one of the best bromances in gaming.
13. Resident Evil 4 (PS2) - The essential third-person action title. I beat it at least 5 times.
14. Super Mario World (SNES) - Its a perfect platformer and still holds up.
15. Perfect Dark (N64) - The controls have aged poorly but the gameplay still holds up.
16. Yakuza 2 (PS2) - I love the story.
17. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (XBO) - I've never seen a game with better attention to detail.
18. Super Mario 64 (N64) - I still remember playing it for the first time.
19. Donkey Kong Country 2 (SNES) - Another perfect platformer.
20. WWF No Mercy (N64) - A timeless wrestling game that is still amazing.

There are so many games that could easily make this list. And really, up until making this list I had Morrowind as my #1. It might still be, I don't know.

Play the Baldur's Gate series and Planescape: Torment if you haven't already.
 
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Archaic101

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Dec 28, 2016
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Mass Effect 2
Street Fighter 2: CE
Baldur's Gate
Civilization 2
Super Mario Brothers

X-com (original)
Batman: Arkham Asylum
Planescape: Torment
Superhot VR
Halo 2

Last of Us
Metal Gear Solid
God of War (PS4)
Joust
Unreal Tournament

Half-life
Injustice 2
Amplitude
Twisted Metal 2
Max Payne

Deus Ex (original)
Mortal Kombat 9
Super Mario Maker
Ms. Pac Man
Assassin's Creed 2