Tom’s Top Ten…Video Games

Been a few weeks since I last did a Tom’s Top Ten so fear not, there’s a new one below as I pick my Top Ten Video Games. I’ve played a lot of them over the years and there’s a good selection of old, new and…I’m not sure if there’s any other way to group them. So read on and read the list, innit?

Video games have been in my life for a long, long time – I think it might be at least 20 years or so ago when I got my first console; one of the original Playstations with Tekken 2 and Actua Soccer. Then I also got a Nintendo Game Boy that came with Tetris and a Mario game, because that’s all you get on those Nintendo consoles.

Played a lot of games on both consoles and, in fact, there are a couple of games on this list which originally came out on them. Probably down to some sort of sentimental reason but it’s not as if they’re bad games anyway and I’d still put them ahead of many, many games that have come out between then and now.

So, my console history would read something like;

Playstation > Gameboy > Playstation 2 > Sega Dreamcast (I was that guy) > Nintendo Gamecube > Xbox 360 > Nintendo DS (somewhere) > Nintendo 3DS >  Xbox One > Wii U > Playstation 4. Plus the odd PC game I could get my laptop(s) to run but none feature on here, so balls to the PC.

Only main omission there would appear to be the Playstation 3 and the original Xbox. I guess I missed some really good games on them but, for the PS3 at least, there’s the opportunity to play remastered/remade versions of the really good games so there’s always that.

Anyway, I’ve babbled on enough and you’re all here to see the list…so here goes, my Top Ten Favourite Video Games. At least as of right now, in future this could change…

TEN – Animal Crossing: New Leaf
Nintendo 3DS

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Kicking this list off with a strange choice you may think? But, no, I don’t think it’s weird at all. Not all video games have to be all shooty-shooty, stabby-stabby, killy-killy to be fun. Games you can just enjoy, laugh at and just genuinely have fun with are essential these days, at least in my eyes.

That’s where Animal Crossing: New Leaf comes in. I was torn whether to include this one or Wild World; probably played WW a lot more and did a lot more in it, but New Leaf was just an improvement in every single way. More animals to interact with, more things to do, more places to visit and most importantly, more debt with Tom Nook. Damn robbing raccoon.

It’s just one of those games you could just play for ages and chill with – the background music helping that. After a while it does get a bit repetitive but that’s only after a very long time playing the game. Not many other games give you so much bang for your buck than an Animal Crossing game.

NINE – Pokemon Red
Nintendo Gameboy

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Nineties kids know all about the Pokémon craze, unless they lived under a rock and I’ve opted for the game which started it off at number nine in my Top Ten list. Again, like Animal Crossing before it, I got many, many hours of enjoyment out of Pokémon Red – yeah, I went for Red because it’s my favourite colour…and it had Charizard on the front. Easy choice.

There probably aren’t many games that I have invested hundreds of hours into but Pokemon Red was definitely one of them. Until my brother deleted my save file which had 150+ hours saved on it – well, he’s no longer with us so that’s what you get.

There have been bigger editions of the game containing many hundreds more Pocket Monsters but, for me at least, Red is king and always will be. 151 is enough to try and round up!

EIGHT – Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
Playstation 2

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Hands up who played GTA San Andreas when under 18 years old? So, that’s pretty much every single living person in the whole world then. Well, I was amongst them and I have no regrets – I don’t recall having ever mugged a person, hijacked a car or shot someone with a rocket launcher in real life, so I think I must be safe.

Back in the day, GTA: San Andreas was groundbreaking in terms of video games and what they were capable of. The map was humongous and there was so many side-quests to do, even choosing to hit the gym or allow your CJ to become a mess of an individual…fun times.

It’s fair to say the game hasn’t aged well, especially in comparison to GTA V – which I enjoyed but not as much as I enjoyed San Andreas, but it was a great game when it first came out and I have many fond memories of it. Hence why it’s sat here at number eight on my list.

SEVEN – Crash Bandicoot
Playstation

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I mentioned in my Tom Plays: Ratchet and Clank article that Crash Bandicoot was, and still is, one of my all-time favourite platformer games. Or words to that effect. Anyway, it’s on this list and in at seven. So it’s obviously very good.

I can recall playing this game at a pretty young-ish age and loving it. I can also remember playing it when I was a bit older and managing to get really, really far without losing a single life. At that age, it was a pretty good achievement I would assume. I don’t know, it’s not like we had achievements/trophies to compare ourselves with our peers and randomers around the world.

Still, I’m hyped for the remake that’s coming sometime this year. Definitely will be buying because not only does it include the original but also Cortex Strikes Back and Warped. All three are awesome games and I can’t wait to play them all again…remastered, obviously. Like everything is these days.

SIX – Burnout Paradise
Xbox 360

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There were a few racing games that I considered for this list – really, really enjoyed the likes of Gran Turismo, Wipeout and Formula One 95 on the Playstation and they’d have been relatively obscure and old games to have included. More recently, as in made this century, I was definitely considering adding one of the Forza Horizon games because I’ve had a lot of fun playing them.

Eventually though, I settled on Burnout Paradise. I had never played any of the Burnout games prior to this one as they didn’t really appeal to me; crashing into everything to score points, lame. Burnout Paradise came out as an open-world thing with a sprawling environment to race in and explore to your hearts content.

Plus, racing around listening to Avril Lavigne’s “Girlfriend” blaring out the car radio. That deserves a spot on this list for that alone.

FIVE – Mass Effect 2
Xbox 360

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Mass Effect has been out for 10 years this year and, I’m sad to say, I haven’t ever got to the end of it despite several attempts. It’s just so clunky and I just got bored with it if I’m being honest. So, perhaps it’s strange to see Mass Effect 2 appear on this list?

Well, maybe. But everything that I didn’t like in the original, seemed to be fixed in the sequel and that increased my enjoyment in the game by a million times. Maybe a slight over-exaggeration but it was just better in every single way. Better character design, better graphics, better gameplay, better story.

I’ve always wondered how much I have missed out on by not having a character that goes through the entire trilogy but I honestly can’t force myself to play #1. Hyped for the new one that’s coming out soon though, hopefully that’ll be more like ME2 and 3…but with a better ending.

FOUR – The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker
Nintendo Gamecube/ Wii U

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I wondered when it would be that I would find a spot for a Legend of Zelda game on this list and which one I would choose; that was obvious though, Wind Waker is most definitely my favourite entry in the series and it’s not even close to be honest – I just love the art style, the story and the music is awesome…name me a better instrumental in a game than the “Ocean Song” you get when you’re sailing. I’ll wait.

I originally experienced Wind Waker on the Gamecube and loved it back then and then when I picked up a Wii U a few years back and there was a promotion to get a free game and I saw the HD version of this game available, it was probably the easiest decision I have ever made in my life.

There’s a new LoZ game coming out soon but I’m not sure it’s worth buying a console just to play that…no matter how tempting. However, if it is better than Wind Waker, then I might have to reconsider that stance.

THREE – Life Is Strange
Xbox One/Playstation 4

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I wrote a fuckload of words about Life is Strange on my blog a couple of months back and made it known that this game is one which I quite simply adore. The storyline is gripping, the environment is immersive, the characters are brilliant and the game’s soundtrack is phenomenal. Not to mention the game just looks really, really different and that helps make it stand out.

Only 3rd spot in my top ten though? I mean, it was a very tough list to compile and I’m pretty sure I’ve probably missed off something that I’ll kick myself for forgetting but I’m happy with putting Life is Strange this high up because it’s really one of the most emotional and gripping games I have ever experienced.

Seriously one of my all-time favourite games…and, when I first played it, I never thought I would say that. Guess it’s what happens when you give something a chance, who knows you might actually like it.

TWO – The Last Of Us
Playstation 4

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Yeah, I’ve done a Tom Plays article on The Last of Us recently because I had only just had the opportunity to play the game for the first time ever. There was a lot of hype about the game when it first came out and I was happy to discover that, not only did it live up the hype, it exceeded said hype. A phenomenal game.

The two main characters in the game, Joel and Ellie are excellently written and superbly voiced over. The story never gets boring…in fact, when you think it might be heading into a quiet lull, it pops back up and slaps you in the face. Don’t think I’ve played many games that have had me feeling like that, but The Last of Us most definitely did.

I can only imagine how ahead of its time it felt when it first came out on the Playstation 3, because the remastered version I got to enjoy was a special experience and one which I don’t think will be topped for a very long time. Video games, man. I honestly can’t wait for Part II…whenever that sees the light of day. Suffice to say, I’ll be getting that son of a bitch on release day.

ONE – Final Fantasy VII
Playstation

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Speaking of games that were ahead of their time when originally released brings us nicely onto my number one video game of all time. You hear that many people consider FF7 to be their favourite video game they’ve ever played that it’s not exactly a surprise pick any more. But I don’t mind sharing my love for Final Fantasy VII, because it was a phenomenal game and still is.

Whether it’s the sadness you feel when Sephiroth kills Aeris or the joy you experience when you’ve finally seen off the evil, long-sword-wielding bastard, Final Fantasy 7 is one of those games that has everything you want in a game; strong characters, a brilliant and sometimes emotional storyline, challenging moments throughout and also side-quests to pass the time with…breeding chocobos anyone? Or spending hours upon hours in the Golden Saucer arcades.

With them remaking/rebooting/remastering FF7 in some way, I’ll definitely be heading back to Midgar and all those places once it comes out.

Anyway, that’ll do for another Tom’s Top Ten. Maybe let me know what you think???

T.

 

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