"I remember standing in line on November 14, 2001 for the launch of the Xbox and contemplating which games to buy to complement my new system. I hadn’t played a first-person shooter before, but all the hype surrounding this game “Halo” was simply too much for me to ignore, and thus, it became one of the first games I owned on the system.
While not much of a looker these days, in the early 2000’s Halo was the pinnacle of console graphics. The game’s single player campaign was relatively standard fare, but kept things feeling fresh by continually mixing narrow corridors with expansive outdoor environments. We were also introduced to the smart-talking, never-back-down protagonist Master Chief, who instantly became an iconic figure in the gaming world. Where the game really shined, however, was in its multiplayer aspect. With the no-frills pistol at its helm, the game seamlessly straddled the line between casual fun and competitive balance. Along with the sort of map design most games only hope to achieve, Halo cemented consoles as a viable option for tournament shooters.
When every subsequent game released in a genre is coined as a “____-killer” it’s safe to say that game has set a new standard in what the genre is capable of. This is precisely what Halo did to the FPS genre. While other games may have been more cerebral or had more a more creative arsenal of weapons, the way in which Bungie put the whole package together was something to admire." -- Written by PlayCrackTheSky (originally nominated by cheese_dragon)
"Despite the fact that its release was a long, drawn-out process, like staring at the mail slot because you're waiting for a pair of glorious X-ray specs to slide through, Half-Life 2 proved to be worth the wait. Unlike X-ray specs, that is.
There's no danger about claiming that Half Life 2 is one of the most well-known and well-loved video games in the history of video games, scoring many perfect review scores. It gave us more of the same, yet successfully mixed things up story-wise (though I'm firmly of the belief that Valve is desperately avoiding devising an explanation for the G-man) and the overall gameplay and shooting breathes new life into games of the First-Person Shooter variety. Puzzles are sometimes challenging, but never frustratingly so; although first-person platforming never really works.
It's evident that Valve intended that Half-Life 2 be a very planned out, carefully scripted and linear experience, and that's part of why it's so enjoyable. Numerous play tests ensured that the finished product was fun for all, including the two extra episodes bundled with the famous “Orange Box”.
The Gravity Gun was fun to use, and became your sole alien-killing weapon in later episodes after the game built up your skills in using it. The physics are entertaining and there is always variety throughout the game. Characterisation and dialogue was done masterfully too; Alyx being an extremely popular character among players. Additionally Gordon Freeman is one of the most popular video game characters of all time, despite seemingly being a mute - and let us not forget about that funky music. " -- Written by Stalolin (originally nominated by drizzt48)
"What do you get when you add American 1930s culture and a nuclear winter? Why of course Fallout 3. It transforms the world we knew into a desolate waste land unsuitable for living. Within the waste super mutants who wanting nothing more then to rip you limb from limb and being abducted by aliens await you.
You start Fallout 3 by being born in Vault 101, one of the many vaults around the world designed to keep its inhabitants safe during a nuclear winter. From the very beginning you mold your character the way you want it to be, from facial features to skill trees Fallout 3 offers a large variety of customization and that alone can keep you captivated for hours if you choose to seek it. Fallout 3 uses a quest system for you to accept and carry out quests which is done in a way that is great for new comers and pros alike.
Fallout 3 has a different approach to combat. You can go in guns blazing, hoping to win the engagement or alternatively you can pick your shots with “vats”. Vats is a targeting system that allows you to pause game play, queue up shots and then carry out those selections in a slow motion cinematic. Both styles work well within Fallout 3 and appeals to both the hardcore FPS players and the more strategic, slow moving RPG players.
In a nut shell Fallout 3 is an action RPG that has FPS combat elements. It has a rich, deep story that will last you 30+ hours along with hundreds of side quests that will last you 100+ more. Fallout 3 is an experience you will want to go back to time and time again due to it’s fantastic story and overall game play." -- Written by Human_killerx
"The beauty that is Final Fantasy VI comes from the depth the creators put into the world. Every character who joins the party has an interesting, yet believable history. They all have their own ideals, and stick up for those beliefs even if it means leaving the party in order to achieve this goal. The music in this game fits the scenes perfectly. The main villain is one of three main villains who define the Final Fantasy series, and for good reason. Without spoiling it, he's one of the few villains who actually changed how the world functioned.
Battle mechanics took hints from its predecessors and resulted in the most involving and rewarding battle system for any of the pre-PS1 Final Fantasies. Like in IV, every character fulfills a unique role, but through the use of artifacts and Espers, the player is able to develop characters to either enhance their inherent strengths or make up for their weaknesses. Yet in spite of the Espers, most people swap around party members, allowing them to experience each characters fighting style. Espers allow every character the chance to learn to use magic, which can be helpful during the periods of time where you're trying to save money for a party-wide equipment upgrade or during the portions where you don't have access to a "true" mage party member.
Of all the games in the series, this was the only installment to be given 2 full years to develop the musical score (as opposed to the traditional 1 year). There's hardly a single song in the entire game I find annoying to listen to. Indeed, after several playthroughs I still eagerly await certain scenes because the music matches the mood perfectly." -- Written by negi_magician (originally nominated by HumanAllToHuman)
"The Metal Gear Solid franchise is the most renowned Stealth-Action game series in video game history. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is the third installment, and it gives everyone who plays it an extraordinary gaming experience.
In 1964, during the height of the Cold War, you assume the role of Naked Snake, a CIA operative on a mission in the heart of a jungle to rescue a defecting Soviet Scientist Nikolai Sokolov, who is secretly developing an advanced nuclear-equipped tank called the "Shagohod". Your mentor, idol, and mother-figure, known as The Boss, is an esteemed World War Two veteran and legendary soldier on the battlefield – until she defects to the Soviet Union. She gives two nuclear warheads to the sadistic, Stalinist GRU Colonel Volgin. He proceeds to fire one into the heart of Russia and frames the United States for a nuclear attack. Thus the mission begins to; rescue Sokolov once again, take out Volgin and The Boss, along with her esteemed Cobra Unit, ultimately preventing World War Three.
At its heart, MGS3’s gameplay is that of the first two. Snake must move undetected through hostile, enemy-filled environments. It is important to avoid confrontations and use the weapons and items you find to get through the game. However, this time Snake is in the heart of a rainforest in the 1960’s – an enormous change for the series. Using the environment is key to avoiding detection, and gadgets from the previous games are replaced with their 1960 counter-parts. As well as this, many new aspects of gameplay are introduced such as a camouflage system, an improved hand-to-hand combat system known as CQC, and a treatment system.
The enthralling story, improved stealth game play and a cinematic experience makes Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater one of the best games of all time. What a thrill it is to play." -- Written by arpan_2708 (originally nominated by Ace_Of_Spadez_)
“All life begins with Nu and ends with Nu... This is the truth! This is my belief! ... at least for now."
"Coming in at number five is Chrono Trigger, the first game of Squaresoft’s long-forgotten Chrono series. With character designs by Dragonball legend Akira Toriyama and a beautiful soundtrack composed by the renowned Yasunori Mitsuda, Chrono Trigger was a miracle in its own right, combining some of the best talents in the video game world for one amazing game. The game’s plot revolves around silent protagonist Crono and his friends embarking on a journey through time in order to save the world. What set Chrono Trigger apart from many RPGs of its era was its real-time battle mechanic, which allowed the player to see and therefore avoid enemies on screen, and the ability to combine attacks for more-powerful combo attacks. The graphics were some of the best on the SNES, with each era perfectly designed and illustrated to give the player the impression of a fully living, breathing world. And of course the soundtrack, widely considered one of the greatest of all time, adds a sense of scale and emotion to the story that gives it a magical and timeless quality. The addition of the “New Game +” option, which allowed the player to restart the game with characters with the same levels and items from the end of the previous play-through, was also a huge innovation that gave the game an immense amount of replay value. Finally, the ability to experience several different endings by completing the game at different points in the story added even more reasons to revisit the game. Although the Chrono series was revisited in 2000 with the underrated masterpiece Chrono Cross, the series has lain dormant for a decade since, prompting many to wonder if we will ever see another sequel to one of the greatest games of all time." -- Written by VladGuerrero (originally nominated by HumanAllToHuman)
"I don’t play Pokémon Pearl anymore. I don’t play Pokémon Ruby anymore. I do, however, still pop Pokémon Crystal into my GBA and level up my Typhlosion. Why? Because the second generation of Pokémon games remains the most nostalgic to me. I think this is the generation of Pokémon that really sent it into phenomenon status. Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal evolved the series a lot, improving most aspects of the game. Menus and PCs were easier to navigate. The graphics and sprites were more detailed. And the game just seemed smoother. This is why many people consent that this is the best generation of Pokémon. To this day, Pokémon Crystal is one favorite Pokémon game and is one of my favorite RPGs.
The biggest addition to these games is that of 99 new Pokémon. This added new levels of depth to the game that was not seen in the first. No longer could you just go through and catch the Pokémon quickly, this time it’s a full blown ordeal. Another addition that I happen to really like is how this time around the legendaries were integrated into the story of the game. In Red and Blue, the legendaries were just fun things to go and collect on your leisure. Now, they’re big parts of the game. In Red and Blue, you just went through the Elite Four and caught all the Pokémon, now you get the chance to get all the Kanto badges over again.
These games have made a big impact on my life as they were some of the first games that I played. I know these are also the feelings that many other people share. The bottom line is that these games are imperative in your collection. Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal are three of the best games of all time." -- Written by RedHairVegeta (originally nominated by highwind07)
"To me, Star Wars games have always been hit and miss. This one is a definite hit. Everything that makes Star Wars great is in this game. The story is epic, the battles are cool, and the characters are interesting. Bioware's standard of moral choices functioned very well in this game. Who doesn't want to be a badass Sith Lord? I know I definitely did! Racing across the galaxy in various planet orders offered unique cutscenes and dialogue on each gameplay. Knights of the Old Republic controls well, maintains intriguing all the way until the end and offers great replayability, a trait in my opinion is lacking in a lot of modern games. KotOR remains to me one of the best single player experiences I have ever had." -- Written by briguyw
"I hardly play video games anymore; in fact, I haven't turned on my Xbox 360 in a month aside from occasionally watching Netflix. That's now, but in my childhood my nintendo 64 was on at least 3 hours a day. In retrospect, my childhood obsession with videogames was sort of sad, but my nostalgia overload when it comes to OoT is so great that I can't help but still love it.
I think my love for this game can really be summed up with the moment you first step on Hyrule Field. It's just so overwhelming to suddenly find this massive world which you can explore. At that point in time, I had only played random sidescrollers on my NES. To find out that a world like Hyrule could actually be created and virtually explored was just mindblowing to me.
For probably hundreds of hours, I slaved over the temples, found secrets, fished (I even managed to catch that ultra rare fish once), rode my horse, received the Biggoron's Sword, got all the masks, collected Gold Skulltulas, stabbed chickens, smashed pots, played mini-games, and I even attempted to make songs with the Ocarina. This was before I had found Gamefaqs, before my attention span towards video games was slim. I did it all on my own, and I enjoyed every second of it." -- Written by ThomYorkeIsDead (originally nominated by Ace_Of_Spadez_)
"'Nintendo's Best in Four Player Action!'
Having to follow up the original SSB would be a hard job for Nintendo but they did an amazing job. With the likes of Mario, Link, Kirby, all your other Nintendo favorites, and even the well forgotten Pichu, it turned out to be arguably the greatest game on the GC. Who honestly doesn't want to beat down on their least favorite character like Ganondorf with the likes of Link or Zelda? There are so many great new additions to this game that it's almost impossible to cover them all in one write-up! Introducing new tactics like wavedashing and side B specials and new modes like Adventure and specialized melees, the game had something for everyone. It landed especially well on the competitive scene and has stayed as a prominent player for almost the past 10 years for primary reasons like a wonderful game engine and great competitive meta-game.The game itself has sold over a million copies, it proved a widespread success for the already so successful Nintendo, and cemented Super Smash Bros. as one of Nintendo's staple series." -- Written by TWEWY_Addict (originally nominated by Blue_Target)
Method: First, each board was solicited for a list of nominees. Each user was allowed to submit up to ten games for the nominations list. The purpose of the nominations list was two-fold: first of all, to give users a chance to nominate games they would like to write for if they won (nominators were given 'first dibs' on write-ups), and secondly, to have a public list of potential games. The second is to guard against a voter suggesting a game late that many previous voters would've voted for had they thought of it.
Then, the games (248 total) were entered in a large week-long poll. Users were allowed to vote for up to four games. Then, the top vote-getters from that round (35 total) were entered into a final poll, where users were allowed to vote for up to three games. The vote tallies of the two rounds were added and the initial round votes served as the tie-breaker.
With that, the Top 12 games were announced and write-ups were solicited. Nominators had first refusal to write-ups; then, any user on the board could claim one game they wanted to write for. Write-ups were collected, added to the list and posted.
Full Results: 35 total games made the final voting round. They are, in finishing order:
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4, Team Fortress 2, Super Mario Galaxy 2, Metroid Prime, Super Metroid, Metal Gear Solid, Shadow of the Colossus, Starcraft, Super Mario World, Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Mass Effect, Resident Evil 4, Final Fantasy 7, Okami, Silent Hill, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Warcraft 3, Final Fantasy Tactics, Jet Force Gemini, Deus Ex, Pokemon Diamond/Pearl/Platinum
DDJ's Brief Analysis: Notice something missing again? That's right, Final Fantasy 7 misses out on another list. In this case, it made the final voting round, but didn't come near making the Top 12. With the first four lists now posted, it's now evident which games made every list: Ocarina of Time and Chrono Trigger. The Current Events list itself is interesting for its modern slant: it lists several games in the more recent generations (Knights of the Old Republic, Half-Life 2, Halo), as well as a couple extremely recent releases (Fallout 3, Mass Effect 2). The genre slant is different as well, with only two traditional RPGs and five shooters of some kind.
This initial run of the polls has comprised five boards, and the fifth result is a bit of a surprise: it should hopefully be posted sometime in the next couple weeks. After that, I'll be starting a new batch of them. Have a board that you think is active enough to put together an interesting list? Drop by the A-10 Attack! board and let me know.
List by DDJ (10/06/2010)
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