Hello, my name is Chuck and I am the great and powerful do-gooder here at Counter Attack. Because I am a fan of communication and being open and having a nice back and forth with readers I thought it would be a decent idea to try to put thought to keyboard and come up with a Top 10 Games of All Time list. Not only does this give you a glimpse into our horrifying minds here at CA!, but it also, perhaps, gives you some perspective on where we come from in terms of games and what qualities we look for in a title. I have said previously that I always prefer a great story in a game, but as you will see from my list, I also have had some truly memorable experiences due to great multiplayer, and of course the ability to go back to a game consistently is not to be taken lightly. Now onto my 10 favorite games of all time…
“Chucks Top 10 Games of All Time”
10.) Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2
When Geometry Wars was included as a small little minigame within Project Gotham Racing 2, I found myself playing the minigame more than the actual racing title I had purchased. It was addictive and totally retro in a way not seen before, so when the sequel came out on Xbox Live Arcade in 2008 I was quite happy to purchase it immediately. Featuring amazing but simple graphics, incredibly addictive gameplay, a terrific soundtrack, and even awesome multiplayer features; Geometry Wars Retro Evolved 2 was the complete package, and a game I still go back to today. You will be missed Bizarre Creations.
9.) Advance Wars
One of the best strategy series ever, period, accept it. When this bad boy came out in 2001 it took over my brain. I needed to play this game, I needed to build up my army and battle it out in brilliantly simple, yet indepth, battles. A long single player campaign was partnered perfectly with an epic multiplayer component that allowed for me and my friends to pass the system back and forth every time we were on the bus to and from school. Why in the hell there hasn’t been a 3DS effort is beyond me, I would buy a copy for everyone I know! From the first to the last, each Advance Wars game is amazing.
8.) The Witcher 2
In a time when developers and publishers are constantly trying to simplify and grab the “average” consumer, CDProjekt Red are out there making a series that still beats with the hardcore PC heart of old. Keeping the depth of early RPG’s but blending it with the unbelievable stories, player choice, and technology of today, CDProjekt have created one of the best RPG’s in years, and one of the best games of all time. With characters you can believe in and a world that truly feels alive, you will root for Geralt and wish for him to succeed, no matter the cost.
7.) Rise of Nations
You don’t always have to evolve and create new things, sometimes you just have to do what everyone else is doing, but better. By being one part Age of Empires, Civilization, and finally Empire Earth; Rise of Nations rose above them all. Everyone disagrees, but this time they’re wrong. When taken as a whole, with its expansion pack Thrones and Patriots, there is no other RTS I would rather play. A brilliant sense of scope, huge variety, and a staggering amount of depth, Rise of Nations is the best RTS of all time. Suck it Ensemble and Blizzard.
6.) Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Before Bioware completely took over the console RPG space they first dipped their toes with a brand new Star Wars title for the original Xbox. This was unlike any Star Wars game I had ever played, or any licensed game for that matter. A seemingly perfect voice cast? A plot that changed with the decisions I made? Awesome lightsaber battles? Characters I actually cared about? Oh yeah, and an awesome story with a twist that blew my mind. This would forever change my perspective on narrative driven RPGs, which until this point, was primarily governed by anime characters and over the top stories.
5.) Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
When Symphony of the Night launched in 1997 it took a series I couldn’t care less about and made it into one of my favorite franchises of all time. Gone was the traditional side scrolling level by level nature of its predecessors, replaced by the perfect blend of Castlevania and Metroid. The “MetroidVania” was born. Mixing gothic themes, RPG leveling, and addictive exploration; Symphony of the Night changed the game. What would come after would continue the greatness, with some of the best entries in the series hitting Nintendo’s handhelds.
4.) Perfect Dark
Rare will be remembered for Donkey Kong and Goldeneye 007, but real first-person fans should remember them for the incredible Perfect Dark. This was the last hurrah for the dying Nintendo 64 and the system couldn’t have been sent off any better. Although Goldeneye gave console owners a taste of a real first-person shooter, Perfect Dark gave them their first awesome first-person shooter. This was a game that had it all, an interesting world with a compelling story, terrific graphics, incredible guns, and oh yeah, absolutely unbelievable multiplayer features! This game was so fleshed out and pushed the Nintendo 64 to its absolute limits that most of the package was locked out unless you had the Nintendo Expansion Pack for your console. Most games today still don’t offer half of what Perfect Darks multiplayer delivered; you could make your own gametypes and your own bots, complete with their own personalities! And save them for use anytime! Even the XBLA HD rerelease kept out most of the features. Amazing game.
3.) The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind
Though Bioware showed me what a story driven RPG could be with The Old Republic, Bethesda showed me what an open world RPG could be with Morrowind, and it was glorious. The Elder Scrolls 3 was unlike any game I had ever played. The world Bethesda provided to players was massive and exceptionally detailed, to a degree never before seen. I spent hundreds of hours with my Khajiit, I had several different homes across the world of Morrowind, each with painstakingly placed items I had collected on my travels. I created spells that allowed me to breath underwater, to shoot fire from my hands, and even to fly into the clouds and across the continent. I fought vicious beasts of all shapes and sizes and I even talked to a Mudcrab that sold me gear; Morrowind had it all. To this day The Elder Scrolls series has not reached the same heights as it did with its third entry, Oblivion was a disgrace while Skyrim was a nice step in the right direction, but I still long for a trip back to Morrowinds shores.
2.) Red Dead Redemption
Rockstar Games is a truly special developer, they not only deliver games of unprecedented scope, but they consistently deliver games of unparalleled quality. They also do all of this while sticking to their own rules. Rockstar takes its time with their titles, not afraid to spend years creating the perfect violent world for GTA, then switching gears and allowing you to play as a kid in a boarding school. So of course leave it to the mad geniuses at the studio to deliver the first real western to gamers in 2010. Like Morrowind before it, Redemption delivered an experience nobody had played before, sure it borrowed heavily from GTA, but this was still an exceptionally detailed living and breathing virtual world. John Marston has gone down as one of my favorite characters ever in gaming and why the hell Rob Wiethoff has such a short resume on IMDB is beyond me; the guy was perfection in his portrayal of this guilt ridden cowboy. As always Rockstar delivered a long but engaging story that was at times horrifying, touching, funny, and depressing. Add unbelievable graphics, gameplay that was enjoyable as hell, the best horses in videogames and even a logical reason as to why you continue the adventure when all is said and done and dammit Red Dead Redemption goes down as one of the best games of all time.
1.) Super Mario Bros. 3
You can’t beat a classic and thats exactly what Super Mario Bros. 3 is. This redefined platforming when it originally released in Japan in 1988, then when it came to the US in 1990 it showed me what true fun was in gaming. Super Mario 3 trumped every aspect of its predecessors, not only enlarging the scope but polishing every single element of its play to damn near perfection. I cannot count how many times I have purchased this game on another platform. From its great art style to its unbelievably catchy music that is still ingrained into my mind to this day, Super Mario Bros 3 is endearing as hell. Its the gameplay however that is the real star, anyone can pick up this game, from casual to hardcore, and have a terrific time with it. Whether you are flying with the Tanooki suit or hopping around as a frog, or even jumping around in a giant boot, Super Mario 3 is just plain fun! I can pick up a NES controller to this day and instantly be whisked away to the world of these two crazy plumbers and have a giant smile on my face the whole time. All of this charm and brilliance makes Super Mario Bros 3 the unquestionable greatest game of all time in my eyes.