[Up: Closed] NeoGAF GOTG |OT| Voting Thread (Generation 7: PS3 // 360 // Wii)

cormack12

Gold Member
Mar 21, 2013
2,657
1,065
685
#1
Results to follow











GAF. It is here. What a ride generation 7 was!

We have long disputed who would come top of a 'game of the generation' battle.

It's time to find out.


Rules
Deadline:
As per countdown timer below;

Minimum votes: You must vote at least three times;


Can I post my list/choices in the thread?
Certainly. I've hosted it like this mainly for the automation. It makes the demands on my time less. But also, I feel it might actually throw up more authentic results without people getting a flavour for the 2/3 titles that are leading. Having said that, please do share your list or partial list if so inclined, with your thoughts on the games.


Eligibility
To keep the list to a sensible level, the top twenty ranked games of each year (2005-2014) are being used as the game list. The full list can be seen below in order to formulate your votes before opening the form:

Advance Wars: Dual Strike
Alan Wake
Animal Crossing: New Leaf
Assassin's Creed
Assassin's Creed 2
Assassin's Creed Brotherhood
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
Bastion
Batman: Arkham Asylum
Batman: Arkham City
Battlefield 2
Battlefield 3
Battlefield: Bad Company 2
Bayonetta
Bioshock
BioShock Infinite
Borderlands
Borderlands 2
Braid
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons
Bully
Burnout Paradise
Call of Duty 4
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow
Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin
Catherine
Company of Heroes
Crackdown
Dark Souls
Dead Rising
Dead Space
Dead Space 2
Demon's Souls
Deus Ex: Human Revolution
Devil May Cry 3
Digital Devil Saga
Dishonored
Donkey Kong Country Returns
Dota 2
Dragon Age: Origins
Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King
Dragon's Dogma
Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
Elite Beat Agents
Fable II
Fallout 3
Fallout: New Vegas
Far Cry 3
Final Fantasy III
Final Fantasy XII
Final Fantasy XIII
Fire Emblem Awakening
Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance
Flower
Forza 2
Forza Motorsport 3
FTL: Faster Than Light
Gears of War
Gears of War 2
Gears of War 3
Ghost Recon: Advance Warfighter
Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective
God Hand
God of War
God of War 2
God of War III
Gone Home
Gran Turismo 5
Grand Theft Auto IV
Grand Theft Auto V
Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories
Gravity Rush
Guacamelee!
Guitar Hero
Guitar Hero II
Guitar Hero III
Half-Life 2: Episode One
Halo 3
Halo 3: ODST
Halo 4
Halo: Reach
Heavy Rain
Hotline Miami
Infamous
InFamous 2
Journey
Just Cause 2
Kid Icarus: Uprising
Killer 7
Killzone 2
Kingdom Hearts II
Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light
Left 4 Dead
Left 4 Dead 2
LittleBigPlanet
Lumines
Mario and Luigi 3: Bowser's Inside Story
Mario Kart 7
Mario Kart DS
Mark of the Ninja
Mass Effect
Mass Effect 2
Mass Effect 3
Max Payne 3
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
Mirror's Edge
New Super Mario Bros. Wii
Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
No More Heroes
Okami
Ouendan
Papers, Please
Persona 3
Persona 4
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
Pikmin 3
Pokémon X/Y
Portal 2
Psychonauts
Rainbow Six: Vegas
Ratchet & Clank Future
Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time
Rayman Origins
Red Dead Redemption
Resident Evil 4
Resident Evil 5
Resistance 2
Rock Band
Rock Band 2
Saints Row The Third
Shadow Complex
Shadow of the Colossus
Sleeping Dog
Spec Ops: The Line
StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty
Street Fighter IV
Super Mario 3D Land
Super Mario 3D World
Super Mario Galaxy
Super Mario Galaxy 2
Super Meat Boy
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Super Street Fighter IV
Tearaway
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
The Last of Us
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
The Orange Box
The Walking Dead
The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings
The Wonderful 101
The World Ends With You
Tomb Raider
Torchlight
Trials HD
Uncharted
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception
Valkyria Chronicles
Vanquish
Viva Pinata
Warhawk
Wii Sports
Wipeout HD
World of Goo
XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Xenoblade Chronicles
Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward

Can I update my vote?
As it's form based, no. You need to put your votes in one sitting.

Scoring
Scoring is based on user rankings on a simple ladder scale. Game in position 1 scores 10 points, game in position 2 scores 9 points...game in position 8 scores 2 points etc.

Results
I've chosen midweek as the end voting day, because hopefully that gives me enough time to do the laborious stuff and get the results up for the weekend.

Voting form
Closed


Happy voting. Look forward to the results! And the discussions below!!
 
Last edited:
Jun 3, 2013
4,945
2,233
425
Canada
#3
DMC 3 is elligible? I guess it's being done by year? Seems weird to have PS2 games competing with PS3 games for GOTG.

Also, SF4 and SSF4 on the list but no Ultra?
 
Last edited:
Jul 26, 2007
5,739
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540
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#7
Will give it some more thought before submitting, but I'll probably go with this:

1. Super Mario Galaxy
2. Mass Effect
3. Dark Souls
4. Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
5. Guitar Hero II
6. Halo 3
7. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
8. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
9. Super Mario Galaxy 2
10. Gears of War

Honourable mentions: Guitar Hero III, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Borderlands, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Heavy Rain, Portal 2
 
Likes: Raph64
Mar 19, 2013
21,665
669
460
Brazil
#8
I couldn't understand "You must vote at least three times; ".

BTW my list.

The Last of Us
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of Patriots
BioShock Infinite
Demon's Souls
Gran Turismo 5
LittleBigPlanet
Journey
Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King
Halo 3
Flower
 
#9
I think from the list in the poll I realized I never played a lot of what I know are really good prospects for best games ... But either way, here is my list and a brief explanation why I chose each game:

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
OMG, this was the best way to use the wii motion plus capabilities and a good way to combine the cel-shaded graphics from Wind Waker + Twilight Princess designs. I loved that the story is a little bit more complex than the other games and with more information about the beginning of everything.

Kingdom Hearts II
Any Kingdom Hearts game for me will always be good but this one is the best of all for now (hope KHIII overpasses KHII). Kingdom Hearts II fixed many of the problems KHI had (example: the frustrating camera) and had more hours of gaming and more story, plus more epic battles and Disney characters. Loved to play it.

God of War 2
I played God of War 1 and 2 nearly at the same time and it was a great experience. The incredible graphics and music coming from a PS2 console were a good revelation. The battles and the story were something really enjoyable too. I chose number 2 because I saw great improvements compared to number 1 and the final scene was amazing.

Resident Evil 4
I had some doubts when I saw RE4's trailer because it didn't feel as a Resident Evil game per se (too much action and daylight encounters with normal colonnial people acting like zombies?) but when I played it it felt refreshing and with really good smooth moves. The action scenes were really cool with the "press O quickly" thingie and stuff like that.


Super Mario Galaxy
OMG!!!!! This game was amaaazing! The first Mario game to have orchestrated music, really loveable graphics and a really original and fun gameplay. With Mario the story is something ignorable, during the first minute you forget why are you jumping from planet to planet because you simply don't care, you have fun since the beginning of the game. I think, this would be my second favorite Mario game after Super Mario World.


The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass
This is how you translate a Zelda Game to a Nintendo DS, really fun with his own gameplay style and using really well the touch screen. Lots of hours of fun and good graphics (I always thought chibi link's graphics were meant for portables).


Street Fighter IV
What can I say? It's SF and it was the continuation fo SFIII several years after ... and with really cool graphics and more muscles.


Pokemon X/Y
We always wanted the Pokemon to finally touch while battling, we cannot deny that. And having the first starters coming back with additional evolutions and a new type of Pokemon (fairy) was great! Plus finally complete 3D graphics and new ways to edit your character.

No More Heroes
Ubisoft surprised me with this original GTA like + lighting sword game and a antagoinst more than a main character. Actually, I don't like GTA to much because of the open world environmen it usually has but with No More Heroes it felt like a more guided game with really good battle scenes.

Mario Kar DS
Since Mario Kart 64 I hadn't enjoyed a game like this so much, I loved how it felt and all the scenarios it had from the others games and loved that they took off the 2 drivers cars because honestly it was a really bad idea in Double Dash. The only bad thing about this game was the online gaming, not so good.

And that's all! :)
 
Likes: Raph64
Jan 11, 2019
168
265
235
the Underground
#10
I think from the list in the poll I realized I never played a lot of what I know are really good prospects for best games ... But either way, here is my list and a brief explanation why I chose each game:

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
OMG, this was the best way to use the wii motion plus capabilities and a good way to combine the cel-shaded graphics from Wind Waker + Twilight Princess designs. I loved that the story is a little bit more complex than the other games and with more information about the beginning of everything.

Kingdom Hearts II
Any Kingdom Hearts game for me will always be good but this one is the best of all for now (hope KHIII overpasses KHII). Kingdom Hearts II fixed many of the problems KHI had (example: the frustrating camera) and had more hours of gaming and more story, plus more epic battles and Disney characters. Loved to play it.

God of War 2
I played God of War 1 and 2 nearly at the same time and it was a great experience. The incredible graphics and music coming from a PS2 console were a good revelation. The battles and the story were something really enjoyable too. I chose number 2 because I saw great improvements compared to number 1 and the final scene was amazing.

Resident Evil 4
I had some doubts when I saw RE4's trailer because it didn't feel as a Resident Evil game per se (too much action and daylight encounters with normal colonnial people acting like zombies?) but when I played it it felt refreshing and with really good smooth moves. The action scenes were really cool with the "press O quickly" thingie and stuff like that.


Super Mario Galaxy
OMG!!!!! This game was amaaazing! The first Mario game to have orchestrated music, really loveable graphics and a really original and fun gameplay. With Mario the story is something ignorable, during the first minute you forget why are you jumping from planet to planet because you simply don't care, you have fun since the beginning of the game. I think, this would be my second favorite Mario game after Super Mario World.


The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass
This is how you translate a Zelda Game to a Nintendo DS, really fun with his own gameplay style and using really well the touch screen. Lots of hours of fun and good graphics (I always thought chibi link's graphics were meant for portables).


Street Fighter IV
What can I say? It's SF and it was the continuation fo SFIII several years after ... and with really cool graphics and more muscles.


Pokemon X/Y
We always wanted the Pokemon to finally touch while battling, we cannot deny that. And having the first starters coming back with additional evolutions and a new type of Pokemon (fairy) was great! Plus finally complete 3D graphics and new ways to edit your character.

No More Heroes
Ubisoft surprised me with this original GTA like + lighting sword game and a antagoinst more than a main character. Actually, I don't like GTA to much because of the open world environmen it usually has but with No More Heroes it felt like a more guided game with really good battle scenes.

Mario Kar DS
Since Mario Kart 64 I hadn't enjoyed a game like this so much, I loved how it felt and all the scenarios it had from the others games and loved that they took off the 2 drivers cars because honestly it was a really bad idea in Double Dash. The only bad thing about this game was the online gaming, not so good.

And that's all! :)



On topic, my very personal list :

Super Mario Galaxy 1 & 2
Sonic Unleashed
Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing
Rabbids Go Home
Kirby’s Adventure Wii
New Super Mario Bros Wii
Wii Sports

I know I have an odd list of choices, but I played exclusively on the Wii back then :messenger_grinning_sweat:
 
Last edited:
Sep 4, 2013
1,065
586
385
#11
  1. GTA5
  2. The Last of Us
  3. Dark Souls
  4. Red Dead Redemption
  5. Forza Motorsport 3
  6. Battlefield Bad Company 2
  7. Deus EX : Human Revolution
  8. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  9. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
  10. Hotline Miami
Edit: I should add that I did not own a Wii that gen. I actually got one recntly but didn't come around to play it much yet.
 
Last edited:
Oct 17, 2011
8,822
592
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#13
Wii U, 3DS, GC, GBA and PS2 aren't seventh gen so I'm ignoring them.

For the sake of consistency I'm ranking them based on the current state of my top 100 even though I kind of feel like shuffling them a bit for the moment.
Same, shouldn't see Super Mario 3D World and the Galaxy games on the same list.

I didn't play as many games as I wanted last gen, but I do have my favorites,

1. The Last Story: Still the best RPG I've ever played. This game came out of nowhere and really felt like Final Fantasy creator's, Hironobu Sakaguchi, swan song (cause it was). The voice acting was a little off but the music was incredible. The gameplay was top notch and the story was so damn engaging. It's a game I wish got more attention than it did. I would definitely consider it best of Gen 7.

2. Team Fortress 2: To this day I still sit down at the PC and play a few hours of TF2. Mostly modded servers but hey, the modding community keeps games alive and well. I got it with the orange box, but it's free to play now and I highly recommend buying the game.

3. Portal: While Portal 2 has a bigger presentation, and more to do, Portal laid the ground work and just had a better overall feel than it's predecessor. Simple, fun and in ways addictive, Portal was a blast to play through, even with a campaign as short as it was.

4. Megaman 10: I never got to play 9 so I don't know if it was better, but this game didn't just attempt to recapture what made the classic Megaman series great, it met that expectation and in some ways made it better. Great level design and fun challenges to go through after beating the campaign, this was what I wanted from a Megaman game and then some.

5. Bayonetta: From the mind of the man behind Devil May Cry, Bayonetta takes the same hack'n'slash and run'n'gun gameplay and ramps it up even higher with more ridiculous moves than you can shake a stick at. A well implemented combo system makes the game easier to get into than DMC, and the game pushes you into learning it's dodge mechanics better by rewarding you with witch time if you get it right. A blast all around.

6. Batman Arkham City: A grand adventure as the dark knight, Batman: AC was engaging from beginning to end. With a story that feels like what All Star Batman should have been, a fighting system that really makes you feel like Batman and exploration o'plenty, Batman: AC will keep you busy in the best of ways through out the entire campaign and all it's side quest.

7. Dead Rising 2: Taking what made Dead Rising fun and making it much better, Dead Rising 2 gave you so much to play with and so many opportunities to use your "toys" it's hard not to have a blast with it. It isn't perfect and has it's glitches and announces, but working around those, it's a grand time to be had for sure.

8. Dead Space 2: The first Dead Space laid out the ground work for a great sci-fi horror game, but the second game took it to a whole new level. Adding more action while keeping the horror feel, the game sucks you into it's world so much better than the first by giving you better weapons and armor, but still making you feel overwhelmed and on your toes. The story was made much better with fewer surprised but more enjoyable characters. With lots to unlock, the game holds up great, but still had a let down of a multiplayer.

9. Metroid Prime 3: Capping off a great trilogy, Metroid Prime 3 wasn't as good as the first, but it definitely surpassed the second. Still having that feeling of Metroid while incorporating a decent story, Prime 3 was quite a fun romp through the multiple worlds it gives you. I still consider it one of the best looking Wii games out there, and it proved that pointer controls work amazingly for first person games.

10. Left 4 Dead 2: It's a fun co-op game that takes what the first gave us and makes it five times better.
 
Likes: AV
Jul 16, 2010
1,300
62
585
#15
Respect to Cormack for doing these polls and tabulating the results- you’ve injected new life into this place

My 10

Demons Souls
Dark Souls
Dead Space
Dead Space 2
Bioshock

Okami
The Last Of Us
Mass Effect 2
No More Heroes
Journey

Honourable Mentions:
Vanquish
Super Mario Galaxy 1 & 2
Wonderful 101
Bayonetta
Phoenix Wright
 
Last edited:

AV

Gold Member
May 31, 2018
1,219
1,578
350
#17
  • AV

    AV

Voted, edited post. Okay, this was tough, and that list has some glaring omissions, but I understand the need to trim it down. So, using that list (and ignoring games that shouldn't be on it like MGS3)...

1. The Orange Box - Almost feels like cheating including this, but it was released as a 3-in-1 package. The continuation of a legendary story? A modern multiplayer classic that's still active today? And Portal? It's not even a contest that this is #1.
2. Batman: Arkham City - Asylum is arguably better, but either one needs to be on this list. Changed third person action adventure games, for better or worse, near-perfect for a Batman fan.
3. Bully - One of my all time favourites, no game has ever nailed an aesthetic this well. Bully 2 and I can die happy.
4. Bioshock - Needs no explanation, it's Bioshock, and it's the best one by a wide margin.
5. Red Dead Redemption - It's hard to think about this after recently playing the second, but I always remember it making a big impact on me.
6. Ratchet & Clank: Crack in Time - Picked as it's a great representation of the franchise as a whole, and while not as many people played it, it's probably technically the best one.
7. Dark Souls - Actually a late addition for me, but the first half of this game is perfect, and it encouraged me to play every other Soulsborne game in a row.
8. Super Meat Boy - The tightest of tight platforming, I could pick up Super Meat Boy right this second and play for a while without even thinking about it.
9. Zelda: A Link Between Worlds - The best Zelda game on that list, even if it's on an old map. Fantastic all-round entry in a titanic franchise and possibly the last "real" 2D Zelda game.
10. Mass Effect 2 - The moment where Bioware "clicked" for me, the first was good, but everything in ME2 falls into place in a really satisfying way.

Honorable mentions / obvious inclusions in main list: Super Mario Galaxy 1/2, Portal 2, Guitar Hero as a franchise, Dead Space, Left 4 Dead 1/2, Skyrim, GTA 4/5, Uncharted 2, God of War, Gears of War

also, RIP [vis_name], you will be missed (but not really, you were an awful idea)
 
Last edited:
Nov 14, 2015
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#18
I am in just complete shock the trash Saints Row The Third made this list however the original Saints Row (a platinum hit) and the only Sainta Row with the greatest multiplayer ever, however did not make the cut for this voting list....disgusting
 

AV

Gold Member
May 31, 2018
1,219
1,578
350
#19
  • AV

    AV

I am in just complete shock the trash Saints Row The Third made this list however the original Saints Row (a platinum hit) and the only Sainta Row with the greatest multiplayer ever, however did not make the cut for this voting list....disgusting
We get it, you like Saint's Row, no need to post about it three times. If everyone on NeoGAF got their personal picks in there this list would be thousands of games long.
 
Likes: Helios
May 4, 2005
12,463
1,198
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Germany
www.gaming-universe.de
#20
Sonic Generations, Sonic Colours and Sonic Unleashed are missing.

EDIT: I see no additional nominations are possible. What a bummer, I cannot vote for one of my top ten favourite games of all time due to the pre-selection :(.

EDIT2: And for Fire Emblem, the list contains a GameCube and a 3DS release, but not the Wii and DS releases :(. I have somehow completed my vote, avoiding games not released in the generation mentioned and necessarily skipping a few favourites. It's a shame, really, because this gen also had quite a few gems that flew under the radar and which are usually fun to see how they place in such a voting.
 
Last edited:
Jun 25, 2015
2,728
911
300
Finland
#21
La-Mulana is not on the list...



That was my all time favorite video game until I played La-Mulana 2. Now it's the second best game of all time.
 
Dec 16, 2018
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#22
  1. Grand Theft Auto V
  2. God Of War III
  3. Super Street Fighter IV
  4. Uncharted 2 Among Thieves
  5. Max Payne 3
  6. The Last Of US
  7. Red Dead Redemption
  8. Dead Space 2
  9. Resident Evil 5
  10. Battlefield 3
 
May 26, 2011
12,617
1,107
690
#23
its really hard for me to remember that gen from a playpoint perspective. especially since i didnt own a 360. I'll try.

1. TLoU


edit: saw there was a specific list to choose from...

1. TLoU
2. Mario Galaxy
3. Bioshock
4. Red Dead Redemption
5. God of War 3
6. Dead Space 2
7. Uncharted 2
8. Hotline Miami
9. RE4 - (my first playthrough was on wii, also played on ps3)
10. Batman Arkham City

jesus that generation was SO long it could be a top 20 honestly. so many lovely games, that I just cant fit in my 10 or that I didn't even get a chance to play.


gone home but no geometry wars?!
 
Mar 26, 2010
2,358
65
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#24
I don't like determining eligibility purely by date and not platform. For this reason, I'm only selecting from the PS3/Xbox360/Wii/DS/PSP generation of hardware. You won't find any PS2 or WiiU games on my list. Okay, let's go.


1: Dark Souls - [PS3] I went on and on about my memories of playing DS when I talked about the remaster in my 2018 top 10 games of the year. So I feel a bit silly talking about the game at length again so soon. What do I do, just cut and paste the entry I wrote there? Or try and approach it from a different perspective? I think I'll just touch on a few things I didn't go in to much then.

I can still remember my initial disappointment with Dark Souls, because I was (understandably) comparing it to Demon's Souls. While Demon's Souls has a dream like beauty and mystique that chills your bones as you walk the ancient stairs of the Nexus, getting dumped at Firelink Shrine at the beginning of Dark Souls is pretty "meh" in comparison. I still remember standing on that cliff, looking at the grey horizon and thinking "this is supposed to be the new Nexus?" The highlights weren't bright enough, the shadows weren't dark enough, nothing stood out, it all looked flat, bland and generally underwhelming. I'm not saying that Dark Souls doesn't have its beautiful areas, like the sunset soaked Anor Londo and the hauntingly creepy ruins of New Londo. But the game is visually uneven, and a step backwards from Demon's Souls.

The characters and story also didn't quite measure up. The noble prince Ostrava ("That was a bold jump!") and despicable Yurt, along with the captive Yuria the Witch and others are part of an intriguing cast of npcs with fascinating stories and dialogue. The lore implications surrounding the Monumental, as he focuses on his meditation in the upper rings of the Nexus, his companions laying dead around him, are awesome. The tale of the maiden Astrea and her devoted protector, Garl, is a moving tragedy set in a swamp of blood and unthinkable abominations. Now, I'm not saying that you can't get some great dialogue from big Hat Logan or Quelana, or that Solaire's story isn't a tragic tale. The npcs and lore in Dark Souls are good too, I enjoy them. But they're not on Demon's Souls's level. Not even close.

So why then am I giving Dark Souls the coveted "Game of the Generation" spot? Because of the multiplayer, baby!

With the exception of not replicating the Old Monk boss fight, where a player can be another player's boss, Dark Souls improves on the co-op and pvp of Demon's Souls in every way, making for an endlessly replayable multiplayer experience. Healing and castings are handled better. The range of weapons is better. Covenants provide powers, motives and rewards that enrich competitive and co-operative interactions. And helping people take down those big bosses using different builds and playstyles remains fun and rewarding. Quick, cut off the boss tail and revel in the moment of blood soaked lag that ensues! Or feel the satisfaction of defeating a hacker - with infinite health even - by backstabbing him from such an angle that he goes flying off a cliff! That sweet multiplayer action keeps the game alive long after you've finished every npc's questline and explored every brilliantly interconnected location.

Look no further for the greatest game of the generation.

Dark Souls is the Dark Souls of video games.

Literally.


My first, most challenging and proudest platinum. I scrambled for my camera and took a photo as I achieved it.

2. Demon's Souls - [PS3] I kind of premature-elaborated on why Demon's Souls is so good already in the above post. But it bears repeating that what this game lacks in multiplayer refinements compared to Dark Souls, it makes up for by building an incredible dark fantasy world with fascinating characters where choices and mistakes have meaningful ramifications. The environments feel hauntingly beautiful and terrifyingly hostile all at once. The slow, eerie, sorrowful music that plays in the Nexus as you stumble around uncovering its mysteries is one of the most perfect tracks in the history of video games. And the Tower of Latria is one of the most stunningly dark and evil locations any game has ever had! Praying for a remake with dat giant archstone added. Umbasa.

3. X-COM: Enemy Within - [PC] I love me some turn based strategy. So the first time I played through Enemy Unknown I enjoyed myself a great deal. But I would probably put this game somewhere around 9th or 10th on this list based on that experience. It was only when I played Enemy Within on Classic difficulty, Ironman mode that the game's true magnificence dawned on me. That is to say, hard difficulty with an auto-save feature that prevents you from loading an earlier save file, forcing you to live with the consequences of all your decisions. Played in this way, the game is immensely exciting and the emotional highs and lows of success and defeat are both quite extreme, unlike the numb experience of simply loading a previous save whenever something inconvenient happens. The game is brilliantly designed to work extremely well when played this way. You can have a mission fare terribly, feel the absolute despair of losing your best soldiers, and then, with a series of brilliant decisions and a bit of luck, claw your way ahead again and feel like a total bad-ass after overcoming the odds that were stacked against you.

I've played some X-COM 2, and I like it fine. I'll probably go back and finish it someday. But if I'm choosing between returning to X-COM 2 or restarting Ironman mode on X-COM 1 for like the 50th time, the prospect of that 2nd choice has me salivating and rubbing my hands together with anticipation. A masterpiece of strategy gaming with interesting decisions to make around every corner.


Well, these graphics sure have aged quickly

4. Super Mario Galaxy 2 - [Wii] This game was released in 2010 with SD graphics...That's insane. You need to understand what an astonishing handicap that is to any game's reception. By the time Mario Galaxy 2 was released, playing a game that wasn't HD felt like playing a gameboy on the other side of the living room while wearing someone else's prescription glasses that have vaseline smeared on them. Yet it is one of the most highly reviewed games of all time! Fanboys and haters and everybody in between gave it 9.9s and 10s because the gameplay was just that phenomenal. Both the quality and variety of ideas in the game are astonishing. Mario Galaxy 2 will routinely introduce a new gameplay mechanic that you could build an entire game around and it will get used like, 2 or 3 times throughout the game, getting tossed aside to make way for the next brilliant mechanic. The post-game worlds are an awesome mix of nostalgia and challenge too. I've avoided going back to both galaxy games all this time because I keep hoping for a HD remake that will eliminate their one weakness. Make it happen Nintendo!

5. Batman Arkham Asylum - [PS3] This game owes a lot to Metroid Prime. I mean, a lot. Detective vision works just like Samus's different visors, and the meaningful backtracking where you revisit previous areas using new power-ups is extremely Metroidesque. The influence is clear, but what Arkham Asylum takes from other games doesn't really matter because what it brings to the table all on its own is so brilliant that people will be imitating Rocksteady's masterpiece for years to come. I'm talking, of course, about Batman's combat system. It's so ingenious it works for different types of players...A casual player can muddle through a battle and chain together a decent enough looking fight scene, while an expert player can go for a "flawless freeflow" combo and pull off a battle sequence so spectacular it looks better than a carefully choreographed fight scene from a movie. As you break a dude with a pipe's arm, throw a batterang at the hand of a guy reaching for a gun, then flip over a dude charging at you before banging 2 goon's heads together, you feel so cool you start to think to yourself: "Damn! Maybe I really am Batman!"

Every aspect of Arkham Asylum is lovingly crafted, with an immense amount of thought going into the secrets and riddles, as well as the well implemented backtracking, and even the game's little graphical details show extra care. I admit Arkham City has its moments, for sure...It's cool being able to fly around Mario World-style, and getting to play as Catwoman and all that, but the game falls into the usual open world trap of quantity over quality. For example, in Arkham Asylum, whenever you solve one of the riddler's riddles, you actually have to do just that, you're putting together some kind of puzzle. But in Arkham City, a lot of the riddles would be more accurately described as "collecting green shit." Arkham Asylum keeps everything about its design tight throughout, and that's why it's one of the greatest games of the generation.


"Born in a world of strife!...Against the odds...we choose... TO FIGHT!!!"

6. Xenoblade Chronicles - [Wii] Yay! I get to praise my beloved Xenoblade Chronicles! Happy day! To be honest, I didn't get far in the Wii version of this game. I dabbled, thought it seemed pretty cool, and then went and played Dark Souls for like, 2 years straight. But years later I spent hundreds of hours playing the 3DS version inside and out and now I completely adore Xenoblade. How else can I describe it except as one of the greatest jrpgs of all time? A likable party of heroes journey across a vast, beautiful world as they partake in a grand adventure. The music is superb, the battle system is awesome, there's towns and quests and treasure galore, and the story has many twists and turns along the way before it escalates to a cosmic scale in the grand finale.


One of the things that most sticks with me about Xenoblade is the great camaraderie and banter between the characters. It might seem like a small touch, but they support or joke with each other during and after battles in such a charming and convincing way. Other games do this well too, like Persona, but Xenoblade might be the best I've ever seen. Maybe it's just great writing and directing. Or maybe it's the refreshingly different British voices. But there's a special, jubilant feeling in air when you're in a big battle, rocking out to "You Will Know Our Names" with Riki babbling as he gets all hyped up. You unleash a huge chain attack, and just as you land a massive blow with one of your arts, those sick guitar licks start shredding hard in the background. "Reyn! Let's see what you're made of!" Shulk yells as you alley-oop the next turn to him, because it's Reyn time baby... Which means time to bring that monster crashing down! I've yet to play Xenoblade Chronicles 2, but I wish so badly that it was a direct sequel, so that I could enjoy the company of my Xenoblade Chronicles posse once again.


7. Valkyria Chronicles - [PS3] Back in the day, after major disappointments from Resident Evil 5 And Metal Gear Solid 4, whose immediate prequels I had dearly loved, I was beginning to feel like a dumbass for even buying a PS3. Valkyria Chronicles was the first game I got that felt like it validated the purchase of that insanely priced George Foreman grill looking monster, so this title has a special place in my heart. A Wonderful turn based strategy game set in a fantastical alternate WW1 Europe, Valkyria Chronicles has a beautiful art style that simulates shaded pencil sketches. The lovable cast is led by Welkin, a weird, unlikely hero who doesn't have a war-like bone in his body, but does have the strength of character and certainty of his beliefs to rise up and become a great general now that he has been called to do so.


8. Yakuza 4 - [PS3] This was my first Yakuza game. It's almost impossible to explain how much I love it. The game has its faults, and can feel boring for long stretches when you're looking for shiny objects in a car park or fighting a typical battle for the 50th time. But ultimately Yakuza 4 completely wins you over because it has something few games do: heart. It's got inspiring characters, fun mini-games, and so much flavour and personality as you enjoy the Japan night life that you can't help but fall in love. I was very reluctant to play Yakuza 3 after playing this, because it only had 1 playable character. One of the things that helped keep Yakuza 4 from becoming too stale was that you alternate between 4 protagonists with different personalities and fighting styles, so the prospect of playing a similar Yakuza game that only had 1 protagonist was concerning. But guess what? Yakuza 3 was awesome too! Again, it's all about heart. Looking forward to playing every other game in the series when I can get around to it.

9. Mass Effect 2 - [PS3] The Combat, the level design, and even the mainline story of this game strike me more as "adequate," rather than excellent. All my praise is reserved for the amazing supporting cast and their fascinating personal stories. Excellently designed characters like Jack, Thane, Garrus, Mordin and Legion are a constant source of juicy dialogue, refreshing perspectives, and humour as you interact with them on the Normandy or accompany them on missions. This aspect of the game is absolutely top tier, and the "getting the band back together" feeling of cruising around the galaxy and recruiting these stand-out characters is unparalleled in all of video games.

10. Fallout 3 - [PS3] This is a tough one, I almost didn't wanna put it on the list, so strong are the mixed emotions of love and hate I experienced playing this game. But the way people feel about Bethesda right now, after the absurd debacle that was Fallout 76, is the way I've been feeling about them since Fallout 3 and Skyrim. See, I played those games on the PS3, and the PS3 versions are so broken I really feel it shouldn't have been legally possible to release them in that state. I'll explain. What happened was that the game ran fine in the beginning, but over time, as you interacted with the environment and characters, every small alteration you make to the game's world was saved, and as they added up it made the game perform worse and worse. So by the time I completed Fallout 3 (Yes I completed it like this) it was running terribly, constantly chugging along with severe lag and frame rate issues. It's like being gaslighted, as things subtly go from fine to unbearable. So that's awful, but I don't really wanna give Bethesda a pass even putting that aside. The broken quest lines and weird glitches, the idiotic combat where you just run backwards while frantically attacking (once you run out of VATS AP,) the shallow copy-pasted npcs, all these things left a bad taste in my mouth even then. I guess there was a time when people thought these things were the price you had to pay to experience a game with the scope, ambition, and freedom of a massive Bethesda style world. But with Breath of the Wild, Nintendo has proven once and for all that you can have an enormous world where you can go anywhere and do anything, and it can be polished to a fine sheen, with great combat and the types of charming characters and attention to detail you would hope for in a smaller, more focused triple A title.

Well that's a detailed indictment of Fallout 3, but now how can I justify letting this game hang with the top 10 of the generation? It all boils down to one crystalized moment of pure gaming bliss. It was early on in the game. I had left the vault and found Megaton, but that was about it. I was still trying to figure out how to play and wasn't well equipped at all. I can't remember if it was for a quest or I just went out exploring, but I stumbled on a decrepit old convenience store and was snooping around inside. It was pretty clear that I was way out of my depth as I crept through its dusty aisles - all I had was a BB gun and another old gun with no ammo, so I was really struggling to get past the enemies. I was drinking irradiated toilet water to stay alive...things were looking grim. Grim to the point where I was expecting to die and planning to load an old save game from before entering the convenience store when I did so, so I could go in a different direction because I clearly didn't seem ready for this right now. Anyway, lucky me, I found a treasure stash with a freakin' LASER PISTOL.

Just as I'm crouched down behind a bench, clutching my prize, a group of Mad Max-looking bad guys file in, chatting about their nefarious deeds. Looking back, the timing of their arrival was too perfect. These raiders are probably scripted to enter shortly after you find this treasure cache, or something like that. Whatever the reason, the tension rose as they appeared and I realized I would have to slink past them to escape the convenience store...or go through them. Turns out my little laser pistol was more than up to the task, and I was giddy with joy as I not only took down these creeps but saw them disintegrate - in slow motion - into piles of red dust! What a thrilling turn around. Just minutes before, any one of them could have probably handled me...Hell, I had been reduced to drinking radioactive toilet water! But suddenly I was a pew pewing death machine and these nasty punks were getting epic slow-mo lasered to death. I had lot of fun moments in Fallout 3, like bopping to "Bongo, bongo, bongo I don't wanna leave the Congo" and getting plasma rifle headshots on Super Mutants in Vats. But nothing will stick with me like that personal moment, where my convenience store haul turned my situation from desperate survival to sudden empowerment. Just the memory of how I felt blasting my out of that corner brings a smile to my face. And on the strength of that memory alone, I'm listing it as one of the top 10 games of the generation, despite the game's many flaws.


Well that's my list. Unfortunately, Yakuza 4 was not among the options, so I added Super Mario Galaxy 1 to my votes to make up 10. Now for some insanely good honourable mentions. Man, I could go on and on at length praising some of the games below as well... Must have been one hell of generation.

x. Super Mario Galaxy [Wii]
x. Mortal Kombat [PS3]
x. Uncharted 2 [PS3]
x. Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch [PS3]
x. Tactics Ogre: Let us Cling Together [PSP]
x. Yakuza 3 [PS3]
x. Kirby: Canvas Curse [DS]
x. Elite Beat Agents [DS]
x. Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn [Wii]
x. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess [Wii]
x. Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia [DS]
x. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Portable [PSP]
x. Rhythm Heaven [DS]
x. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance [PS3]
x. Bayonetta [PS3]
x. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney [DS]
x. Ouendan [DS]
x. Contra 4 [DS]
x. The Last of Us [PS3]
x. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption [Wii]
x. The Walking Dead [PS3]

If you liked reading, we actually did a similar thread for the previous generation in 2015. Here is my post from that thread:

My Neogaf GotG DC/PS2/GBA/GC/XBOX Voting Thread Post
 
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