Since Chuck compiled his list a couple of months ago I have been pondering, pondering what my own “Top Ten Games of All Time” would be. Those that know me would probably name off ten RTS games and say “These are it… right?” Well they are WRONG! Though it is true that I may not enjoy the gameplay of other genres as much as strategy and puzzle, but few (and I mean FEW) have found themselves into my heart. The games that do make it into my Top Ten either have amazing multiplayer, paved the way in graphics during their time, or held my attention with storytelling. Simply put they were just amazing! So dive in and take a look at my Top Ten List…
“Randys Top 10 Games of All Time”
10.) Team Fortress 2
The game that introduced me to the Steam world. I bought The Orange Box with the sole purpose of playing Half-Life 2, included were two games that I had no knowledge of; Team Fortress 2 and Portal. Little did I know that I would spend most of my first year in college LAN-ing Team Fortress 2. What captured me the most were the nine character classes and the roles they fulfilled. Graphically Team Fortress 2 looked brilliant, the art style brought the characters and maps to life and the quirky nature of the characters at points had me laughing. MEDIC MEDIC MEDIC!
9.) Dawn of War
My dad bought me a brand new laptop(I think it was a Toshiba) and I had asked him to buy me a new game along with it. As I strolled down the PC game aisle I locked eyes with Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War Gold Edition, which included the expansion Winter Assault. The Warhammer 40k universe was something I heard whispers about, with Dawn of War I blew that door wide open. The story was nothing amazing, if anything it was generic; Aliens are attacking, we must destroy them! It was the multiplayer aspect that kept me glued to the screen. The battles were either quick or long epic fights of destruction. Infantry flying miles when hit by an artillery shell, the blood soaked ground after multiple armies clash in melee . All the races felt entirely different from one another, at the end of the series Relic Entertainment added five new factions on top of the original four, ending with a whopping nine different factions. To say the least it was never balanced, but always enjoyable.
8.) Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker
My favorite Zelda on a console. Yes I have played the others, but without a doubt Waker is still my favorite. Once again it was time to save Zelda, was I up for the task? YES! This time we took to the seas and I was happy. At that age I was big into ships and the open sea, sadly I couldn’t swim(still can’t). So when I heard Link would be traveling by boat and control the wind, I was sold. Flipping through magazines I also fell in love with the art style. The cartoony presentation and cel-shaded graphics were something to admire and drool over. It was colorful and full of life. Tingle, Tingle, Kooloo-limpah!
7.) XCOM: Enemy Unknown
The infamous game I rated as a 7.5 and even had it as my contender for “Game of the Year” last year. Chuck will never let that one go…the truth is I LOVE this game. I played the original X-COM: UFO Defense when I was younger but it never stuck with me for whatever reason. What kept me from saying XCOM was a nine or even a ten were the numerous amounts of bugs I ran into during my play and navigating the map was at times frustrating. The other minor issue was that co-op didn’t exist. The story itself was ok but it was all about the gameplay. First you had to manage your team, base, resources and upgrades. Managing your team also got personal, as you can customize the way each of them looked and even name them, so over time I grew attached to the older members and shed a tear for each that died. Finally the gameplay. I cherish tactic games done right and XCOM was done right. The fact that it was done with a futuristic military style made it even better. I spent hours upon hours maneuvering my team as a tight unit, I think I need to go back and play…
6.) Civilization II
Civilization, perhaps the holy grail of turn-based 4X games. To many gamers Civilization IV was the best, I however never spent as many hours on Civilization IV as I put into Civilization II. My first time playing Civilization II was spent playing the World War 2 scenario. It’s June 1940, the Axis forces are conquering France, the Atlantic ocean was covered with naval ships, advanced flight has yet to be discovered so tri planes dominate the skies. You have the chance to play as: The Allies, Axis, French, and Russians. Of course I sided with the Allies for my first playthrough and man it’s a good thing I was not commanding officers for the Allied units back then. Those scenarios inhabited the game and brought it to life. From the Battle of Actium to War of the Worlds scenarios, you’ll tell yourself “Just one more turn.”
Four hours of free time, that is all you need to enjoy one of the best games of this generation. If you don’t own a PS3, buy one or borrow one from a friend. As someone who doesn’t have a PS3, I borrowed Mr. Zodl(Chuck)’s PS3 and dove in. Where to even start, the music, the gameplay, the art style, or the interesting multiplayer? Hmm… I’ll start with the multiplayer, one of the most compelling features. If you don’t know, in Journey a random player will appear in your adventure and the only way to communicate with them is through a series of sounds. What’s even more interesting is that they never hinder your enjoyment but only enrich it. Visually you will never look away, the lighting, sand physics, and the interaction between you and the world is just splendid. While journeying you are guided by a breathtaking score and perfect sound effects. If you have yet to play Journey then you are missing out on an amazing title.
4.) Company of Heroes
I have always been a substantial World War II nut. Sadly the WWII FPS’s at the time weren’t exactly what I was looking for in a WWII game and the few RTS titles also weren’t that amazing. On September 12th 2006 Company of Heroes was released. This game changed my world on how an RTS should be played. First the graphics for its time stood out, especially for an RTS title, add advanced physics, and the cherry on top; the semi realism. Like in Relic’s Dawn of War games, artillery shells will fling units sky high, the battlefield would change into huge craters, and houses where you had infantry guarding would be reduced to rubble. As mentioned before the semi realism made for fantastic gameplay. Units communicated back to the player if they were pinned down, suffering casualties, or reporting on the turn in battle. Also hearing artillery fire in the distance or up close was fantastic. Finally in a RTS title tanks felt like tanks, small weapons fire from infantry did nothing, either you come in with sticky grenades, C4, anti tank, or your own tank; they would rule the battlefield.
3.) Starcraft 2
Friends closest to me will tell you “This is the only game I see Randy playing.” Of course they are not far from the truth. As I watch pro players participate in tournaments, I in turn go and practice for hours upon hours the different tactics they employed in a match, just to raise my skill ceiling. For those that do not know, before Starcraft 2 was released the majority of the RTS players were looking for a game that would unite them all in competitive play. Command and Conquer Generals held the title for awhile, Starcraft 1 was still around, but too many didn’t look that great. Warcraft 3 had a scene but died in the west, while China semi resurrected it and Company of Heroes was just too random of a game to be an eSport. But finally Starcraft 2 was released and all of us came under one banner. Multiplayer wise SC2 is one of the hardest games to play, but one of the best eSport titles to watch. As for story it’s subpar but Blizzard does an amazing job with making each mission unique. Now excuse me I need to go and watch a match.
2.) Warcraft 3/DoTA 1
I grew up watching my older brother play Warcraft 3 for hours on end and finally, when he left home, he left me Warcraft 3. For the first two years of owning WC3 I had no access to the internet, so I spent hours playing the single player campaign and grew to love the characters and lore surrounding Warcraft. It’s still one of the best single player campaigns for an RTS title to date. The gameplay was a hybrid of RPG and RTS, since your hero(es) could level up and equip items it added another layer of complexity to it. Now I lump DoTA 1 into this because, well without Warcraft 3 there would be no DoTA 1. Years after I had an internet connection the mod DoTA raised in popularity. With that came another complex game of teamwork, hero management, and one of the most competitive games around. To this day I have yet to play any multiplayer game longer than I did with Warcraft 3/DoTA 1… the number? Seven years of my life! 😀
1.) Portal 2
I LOVE THIS GAME!!! If I could make my room look like this I would. First I’ll say I don’t like that the main character you play as doesn’t speak, as in every Valve game…With that out of the way! The story is fracking amazing, the way the characters interact with each other is brilliant and the story keeps you moving. The twists and turns of the story and of course one of the BEST endings I have seen. The gameplay is perfect, puzzles aren’t too difficult, but leave you satisfied once you have solved them. Co-op is completely separate from the single player, so you dive into more complex puzzles and with four portal guns think of the possibilities! Also, later on Valve added in a map editor, so users could make their own portal maps and share them with others to try and solve! All in all this game is one of the best and the excitement I got from playing Portal 2 has yet to be matched.
Command and Conquer: Generals
Sins of a Solar Empire
Mass Effect 2