29 votes

What are your top three favorite games of all time?

Why?
What do they have over others you've played?
Do you ever think they'll be replaced/surpassed?

64 comments

  1. [8]
    hungariantoast Link
    Honestly, this is a hard question to answer and my answer for it will probably be different depending on which day you ask me, especially the order of the games, but today it feels like this: The...

    Honestly, this is a hard question to answer and my answer for it will probably be different depending on which day you ask me, especially the order of the games, but today it feels like this:

    The first and second spots are probably obvious to anyone who has paid attention to my interactions here on Tildes, but they're Dwarf Fortress and RimWorld, in that order.

    I just have a thing for base building sandboxes and both games execute these concepts really well. They're arguably the best games of the genre, both made by excellent developers, and have excellent communities surrounding them.

    Dwarf Fortress offers a simulation experience like nothing else. I can't think of any other game where I can generate a world as detailed and living for thousands of years, before hopping in and being a part of it. Dwarf Fortress is also a very reactive game in that things happen for a reason. Your mayor didn't go insane and cave in that dwarf's skull because the game randomly gave him bad thoughts and flipped his "insane" switch.

    No, your mayor hates purring maggots and the engraver who hates your mayor made sure to engrave purring maggots all over the mayor's office, then your mayor got caught out in the rain, stung by a bee, his sock is old and worn, and everyone keeps coming to him to complain about their equally shit life and finally the stress reached the threshold specific to his psychology and he broke in a way that was reactive to what pushed him over the edge.

    Congratulations, he smashed in the skull of his husband in the meeting hall and the rest of the population saw the act, the body, and the cleanup. More dwarves will now go insane and destroy things or become depressed and kill themselves.

    Also, a wereass has arrived. Now you will know why you fear the night.

    RimWorld is a little bit more random than Dwarf Fortress with things happening less because they were determined to happen that way and more because the game generated them like that. Frankly, this is fine. RimWorld is one of the best games ever made, in my opinion. Your colonists have enough variation and uniqueness to keep everything interesting and, as I'm always fond of saying, RimWorld is really more of a storytelling simulator than a base building survival game. I mean, the game literally has you pick between three storytellers (AI directors) that decide when, how, and why things happen to your colony. The game has literally been built from day one to act out interesting stories.

    Aside from that, RimWorld's art, user interface, and light learning curve are all things it has that Dwarf Fortress doesn't.

    Which brings me to the problems.

    Dwarf Fortress is hard to get into. Maybe if you're a terminal dweller you'll feel right at home, but for most people born in the 90s and later Dwarf Fortress is a downright alien experience the first time you see it, let alone try to play it. Eventually though, either through practice or graphical tilesets, the game's art and user interface can be bent to your will. It's keyboard based controls are equally strange and difficult at first, but with practice you'll be slinging out orders and setting up workshops faster than you could ever dream using RimWorld's interface. Still, the game suffers from performance issues and really requires hefty CPU and RAM specs to keep things running smooth. I'm using a Ryzen 2700X and DDR4 3200MHz and I only get forty frames per second with around five hundred creatures on the map, with some pathfinding optimizations built into my fortress design.

    So yeah, prepare for FPS death if you cannot temper your expectations. Thankfully the game allows you to set hard limits on population and map size, but it's still an issue.

    RimWorld, for its beautiful interface and easy approachability, doesn't have nearly as much content to entertain you with. Don't get me wrong, you can easily spend fifty hours playing RimWorld and still not beat the game or explore everything there is to do, but you'll struggle to say the same after one hundred hours. Also, despite having less overall detail and certainly simulating fewer things, RimWorld can't support nearly as many entities on the map at once at the same frames per second that Dwarf Fortress can. Don't expect to have three hundred colonists surviving as a sizeable community any time soon, this ain't that game.

    Don't get me wrong, RimWorld not supporting as many actors in terms of performance as Dwarf Fortress isn't a huge issue. In Dwarf Fortress, you're allowed to lose fifty dwarves and still have a thriving fortress. RimWorld is designed differently, with each colonist being significantly more important, but it can bog down under the weight of its own gameplay systems (Large, laggy raids immediately come to mind).

    Also, as a by-product of the fact that RimWorld is a simpler game than Dwarf Fortress (despite carrying more meaning in each of its details), that also means it's a shallower game over all. The game can become dull if you don't install mods. I love the game to death, and I put a dozen or two hours into the game before touching mods, but to hold your attention for any significant amount of time, you're going to need to turn to the mod community to add new content.

    Okay, but what about number three?

    Honestly, I don't know. It either comes down to Fallout 4 or Insurgency.

    I love Fallout. It might be my favorite video game series, and Fallout: New Vegas will always be my favorite Fallout experience, but it just doesn't hold up today. Fallout 4, for all of its shortcomings in RPG elements, storytelling, and quest design, is still a damn fun game that I've sunk over one hundred and fifty hours into.

    Unfortunately, as fun as vanilla Fallout 4 is, I would have never played it for as long as I have if it weren't for the mod community. Don't get me wrong, a strong modding community is a huge plus for the game overall, but I feel like Fallout 4 needs that community to be a remotely playable game over one hundred hours in. There's also the issue of Bethesda. I really, really don't like Bethesda.

    Personally, now that I've written that out, I'm leaning towards Insurgency. Let's see how it does.

    Okay, for those that don't know, Insurgency is a first person shooter built using Valve's Source engine. It's a really nice game in that there's no grinding, no leveling, you just join a match and have everything accessible immediately. Want to strap a red dot on your M4A1? Go for it. You bought the game, you earned it.

    I get that to some people, the grind in games like Battlefield or Call of Duty is a part of the fun, but it isn't for me, and Insurgency rejects those concepts for an incredibly fun and immersive experience. The PvP is hard if you're playing against competent players, but it feels good to do well, because you know that everyone is on the same footing as you. No player paid forty dollars to get all the kits without leveling for them.

    PvP isn't where the game shines for me though. Nope, I prefer the cooperative game modes.

    For those who don't know, Insurgency's cooperative mode pits a team of (usually) eight players against a large number of AI opponents. The difficulty of the AI ranges predictably from easy to hard, and can offer a good challenge to players. It gets better though.

    Insurgency supports custom maps and modified servers and has Steam Workshop integration. What this means is that, if you get tired of burning through the mediocre bots in the game's vanilla cooperative mode, you can hop on a modified server where the AI is turned up to eleven and there are more of them. Running in a lobby with sixteen other competent players and losing to the bots is actually funner than it sounds. It's not everyday that you get to have a challenging cooperative experience with decently nice players. The only thing that comes close in my experience is Arma, which admittedly, probably goes above and beyond what Insurgency offers, but with much more involvement, realism, and cost.

    I'm not a big first person shooter fan. I'm not even the biggest multiplayer fan these days, but most modified, cooperative servers on Insurgency are operated by benevolent admins and populated by nice players. The lack of toxicity is half the reason I still play the game so much.

    In fact, now that I'm sure Insurgency has stolen my number three spot, I think I'll go play it. Proof reading be damned.

    9 votes
    1. [3]
      cfabbro (edited ) Link Parent
      You and I have pretty similar taste in games it seems, though I have never played Insurgency. Rimworld, Dwarf Fortress and the Fallout games (originals + tactics + 3 + New Vegas but not 4) are...

      You and I have pretty similar taste in games it seems, though I have never played Insurgency. Rimworld, Dwarf Fortress and the Fallout games (originals + tactics + 3 + New Vegas but not 4) are definitely in my top 10 games, as well the Elder Scrolls games too.

      However I would probably put Rocket League (the only competitive game I have ever really enjoyed since the Quakeworld or TF2 days) as my top game, and Paradox's EU4 and CK2 in 2nd and 3rd position. Topico 3, Medieval II: Total War, Civ 3 and all the classic CPRG games (Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale, Arcanum, Pillars of Eternity, etc) would probably be somewhere in the running as well though.

      I really, really don't like Bethesda.

      I suspect Zenimax is more to blame than Bethesda for most of the recent ills, but they are practically one and the same at this point I guess, so the distinction might be moot these days. :/

      p.s. Great descriptions of Rimworld and DF, too. :)

      5 votes
      1. [2]
        hungariantoast Link Parent
        We do seem to have similar tastes and I've got to ask, what's your opinion on Paradox's DLC policy? My understanding is that they ship out so much DLC to make continued development of their titles...

        We do seem to have similar tastes and I've got to ask, what's your opinion on Paradox's DLC policy?

        My understanding is that they ship out so much DLC to make continued development of their titles tenable, instead of having to immediately run from sequel to sequel, but it makes getting into their games or staying up-to-date with them quite an investment.

        Honestly, I just don't know how I feel about it. I certainly don't blame them for it, because the way they do it makes sense to me, from a distance anyways, but it makes me less enthused to keep up with or buy titles from them.

        And that's coming from the person whose most played game is Hearts of Iron III.

        I also sort of feel the same way about Total War games as well. I own all of them up to and including Attila, but just kind of stopped being interested once I realized how much money it would cost to get Warhammer and its DLC.

        3 votes
        1. Zeerph Link Parent
          As someone who has played Paradox games since Hearts of Iron 2, their games are broad, but with little depth upon release. I do remember that upon release of some of their latest games, like CK2,...

          As someone who has played Paradox games since Hearts of Iron 2, their games are broad, but with little depth upon release. I do remember that upon release of some of their latest games, like CK2, the only thing you could play were the Christian monarchies and I remember just waiting around for a while to do much of anything. And for EU4, I couldn't even get into it until after a few DLC/patches added some content besides map painting. To be frank, their games are rather bare without all that DLC (especially Stellaris) and if they can pump out more than two expansion packs like they did for their earlier games, why not help them fund it?

          All those DLC and patches help expand the game and increase replayability and that's definitely the metric that Paradox is going for. All the development time that the studio puts into these games needs to be compensated somehow. The other options would be to keep releasing sequels and the occasional expansion and dropping support of old titles after a year or so. But, with the immense expandability of grand strategy titles, why should Paradox not take advantage of that?

          but it makes getting into their games or staying up-to-date with them quite an investment.

          I'm not sure why this is an issue, yes they add changes to the DLC that are useful in the game (so people will buy them), but they don't push an update that stops you from playing lest you have bought the most recent patch. If you were forced to purchase all the DLC to be able to play the game, then OK, sure, I can see that argument, but customers are not forced to do so, and they even get to play on free patches that add some things to the game.

    2. [3]
      hamstergeddon Link Parent
      I was going to ask for your thoughts on FO76, but judging by your thoughts on FO4 needing mods to be playable, I think I know the answer :P Personally I really enjoy it because it fills the void...

      I was going to ask for your thoughts on FO76, but judging by your thoughts on FO4 needing mods to be playable, I think I know the answer :P Personally I really enjoy it because it fills the void left by two games I've played the most -- WoW and FO4. There's enough MMO grindiness in 76 to keep me playing and enough of what I loved about FO4 there to keep me interested while I do it. The main storyline is sloppy, but the overall lore is really fascinating. It's been really cool experiencing post-war USA so close to the bomb drops (I think it's like 30 years?).

      But anyway, FO4...My main character went Minutemen and I've RP'd the hell out of being the General. There are some great mods for that faction and I went all out building up The Castle. Especially had a fun time building a little studio around the Radio Freedom hut (complete with TV cameras, soundboards, and a waiting area for guests). It's just such a fun little faction. It's rooted deep in American history and imo, they're the only morally acceptable faction in the game that stands a chance of fixing it. Especially if they partnered with the Railroad (also deeply rooted in US history, which I love) to bring equality to freed synths.

      5 votes
      1. [2]
        hungariantoast Link Parent
        (This comment reads kind of harsh, and I'm sorry for that, but I feel it expresses my opinion of Fallout 76 as honestly as possible.) I've never played Fallout 76 and I probably never will unless...

        (This comment reads kind of harsh, and I'm sorry for that, but I feel it expresses my opinion of Fallout 76 as honestly as possible.)

        I've never played Fallout 76 and I probably never will unless I somehow get a free copy as part of a promotion or something.

        Even if I ignore all the issues and controversies surrounding the game, it still just isn't something that I'm interested in. I've never played a Fallout game and thought "yeah, this would be fun with fifteen other players trying to kill me." I would have 100% been behind a two or even four player cooperative experience in an actual Fallout world, but 76 ain't that.

        And because having other players running around doesn't appeal to me, there doesn't seem to be a single thing remaining in Fallout 76 that's worth my time. Everything I have seen about the game looks empty, and I can only imagine how quickly I would get bored and give up if I was playing alone.

        My point is, it seems to me that Bethesda created a game focused around multiplayer, which I hate, and there's next to nothing of substance left if you remove that, so there's next to no reason for me to buy the game.

        Basically, I bought Fallout games because they're typically a great singleplayer experience. Bethesda ripped that aspect out of 76 and replaced it with something I loathe.

        Of course, I've never played Fallout 76 before, so if I'm wrong about this or you have a different experience, let me know.

        4 votes
        1. hamstergeddon Link Parent
          I agree that Fallout doesn't need multiplayer, and aside from a handful of fun, but accidental, encounters I haven't really utilized it. I don't like PVP and shy of the last quest none of them...

          I agree that Fallout doesn't need multiplayer, and aside from a handful of fun, but accidental, encounters I haven't really utilized it. I don't like PVP and shy of the last quest none of them require co-op. Those accidental encounters were all a case of someone showing up to do a daily quest I was already in the process of doing. So for me I play it like I did FO4, where exploration, the lore, dungeon-crawling, etc. are my focus. It does get a little frustrating where multiplayer mechanics limit the experience. For example, you're severely limited in size and complexity for your CAMPs (functionally similar to FO4's settlements) and that's really annoying because of how much I enjoyed building in FO4.

          But anyway, while FO76 is definitely built around multiplayer, it can be played like a singleplayer game. But it's totally understandable if some of the sacrifices made to accomplish multiplayer would put you off on the game entirely.

          3 votes
    3. Keegan Link Parent
      I own the first Insurgency and it's a blast. For how much I got it for (~$1) it was definitely worth the hundred or so hours I have in it, and I would have paid the full price if I knew how good...

      I own the first Insurgency and it's a blast. For how much I got it for (~$1) it was definitely worth the hundred or so hours I have in it, and I would have paid the full price if I knew how good it was.

      I've been looking at Insurgency: Sandstorm, and am going to get it once I upgrade my PC, because last time I checked it had some very bad performance issues and stuttering, even on beefy PCs, so mine wouldn't really keep up that well.

      1 vote
  2. [4]
    SuperGracchiBros (edited ) Link
    My number one by far is Journey. The sheer visual beauty of certain scenes made me tear up. No other game has done that. The music is amazing, I still listen to the soundtrack sometimes. I firmly...

    My number one by far is Journey. The sheer visual beauty of certain scenes made me tear up. No other game has done that. The music is amazing, I still listen to the soundtrack sometimes. I firmly believe that it's a perfect game.
    Assassin's Creed II is a distant second. While the game hasn't aged very well, when it first came out I was instantly drawn into the world. Great music, great settings. The art style was distinct in a time when most games were grey and brown. Just exploring the maps, especially Venice, was so fun. The first open world sandbox game that truly drew me in.
    Wolfenstein The New Order is third for all the good all-American Nazi shootin' you do.
    Honorable mention to Skyrim.

    11 votes
    1. [2]
      Micycle_the_Bichael Link Parent
      Have you played flower or abzu? I picked up all 3 in a value pack for ps3 about a year back for $20. Great decision.

      Have you played flower or abzu? I picked up all 3 in a value pack for ps3 about a year back for $20. Great decision.

      5 votes
      1. SuperGracchiBros Link Parent
        I've played both. Flower I wasn't the biggest fan of. I liked Abzu. Watching the fish swim around was really nice and meditative.

        I've played both. Flower I wasn't the biggest fan of. I liked Abzu. Watching the fish swim around was really nice and meditative.

        4 votes
    2. deck Link Parent
      I loved Journey. I also got really emotional for some reason and started to cry and I couldn't figure out why given that there is no dialogue. Beautiful game.

      I loved Journey. I also got really emotional for some reason and started to cry and I couldn't figure out why given that there is no dialogue. Beautiful game.

      4 votes
  3. [2]
    Whom (edited ) Link
    I'm going to do games that I primarily enjoy for the single-player, since my thoughts on multiplayer games get...complicated and confusing for me: Dark Souls This is my favorite piece of art,...

    I'm going to do games that I primarily enjoy for the single-player, since my thoughts on multiplayer games get...complicated and confusing for me:

    Dark Souls

    This is my favorite piece of art, period, and while it's always possible for it to be dethroned...my #2 isn't remotely close and I really can't imagine what something better would even look like. I like it for all the reasons every other pretentious nerd on the internet does, but I'll also say that I played it at the worst time in my life and if you read it as a depression allegory (which I absolutely did), every fucking detail of that game fits it perfectly and powerfully and I'll never forget that. I regularly cry just thinking about any detail of Dark Souls. I wanted to edit and expand this more since I feel bad giving no detail at all but I'm crying typing this, it's too much.

    Dark Souls III

    This game means less to me than the first game on a personal level and much of why I adore it is "oooh, more of what I love from these games in general!" I will throw in that this is, imo, the greatest spectacle gaming has to offer and I went to spend the rest of my life just staring at it.

    Fallout: New Vegas

    This is the best realization of one of the main things I want from RPGs: Meaningful dialogue with extensive choices that both is influenced by my character and has influence on the world outside of it. Some may say the first two games are better in that department (I disagree), but I think the feeling of engaging with dialogue like that is many times more powerful in a game that has more room for being a lifestyle or just a place to hang out, if that makes sense. Planescape: Torment may have more detailed dialogue and aim for being more "literary," but as a player I'm placed so distantly from it all that it could never feel as good.

    I also enjoy the morality of the Fallout setting. I'm a person who only really plays perfectly good and moral characters, and these are games where every major faction is some variation of "destructive as hell and/or evil" and I need to carefully manage how much I can justify interacting or cooperating with what factions and when. Just a wonderful dynamic I have never seen done as well outside of this series.

    There's lots of other things to it...I love it on a purely mechanical level, I love the sheer creativity in quest writing, I love the companions, I love the music, I fucking LOVE rural Nevada, I love shitty decaying Americana, I love retrofuturism, I love the optimism of the post-post-apocalypse that's buried under the brutality of it all, I love it all.

    And yes, I'm so bad with other people that my main power fantasy is the ability to speak well :P


    Note that I'm in the middle of Demon's Souls right now (finally bought a PS3 just for this!) and I'm trying out Sekiro and it's looking like those could take my #3 and #4 spots, so it might be From games across the board pretty soon :P

    I have some more interesting picks for favorites if I talk beyond just my absolute tip top favs, I swear!!

    9 votes
    1. Staross (edited ) Link Parent
      Agree on DS1 & 3, other games never captivated me like they did. My number 3 would be Dota 2.

      Agree on DS1 & 3, other games never captivated me like they did. My number 3 would be Dota 2.

      2 votes
  4. papasquat Link
    Really difficult one. I would have to say : Grim Fandango - Probably the most unique story I've ever seen in a videogame. The tone of the game is executed perfectly. If you pitched me a Nior story...

    Really difficult one.

    I would have to say :

    • Grim Fandango - Probably the most unique story I've ever seen in a videogame. The tone of the game is executed perfectly. If you pitched me a Nior story starring a travel agent in the underworld set against the backdrop of dia de los muertos (Mexican day of the dead), I would say that's the dumbest thing I've ever heard, but this game manages to tie every single element together perfectly. I don't even like adventure games much, but the art, the music, the acting, everything about this game works so perfectly well together that I still think about it probably weekly, 21 years after I first played it.
    • Deus Ex - I don't think there's a single player game since that's offered you as many ways to tackle problems. Virtually every encounter in the game could be bypassed via stealth, taken head on with heavy weapons, talked your way out of, hacked to let robots and sentry guns deal with it. The story is great, the factions are not what they seem at first glance, there are difficult choices to make, and the world feels believable even though the graphics sucked, even at the time.
    • Tribes - It hurts my heart that a new one of these hasn't been released and hi-rez drove the franchise into the ground. A game far, far ahead of its time. When DICE was boasting about how MASSIVE their battles in their latest battlefield game, I always silently chuckle to myself, having played games with 128 players in them back in 1998. The movement was so unique and fluid, the skill cap was so high, and the game had more mechanical depth than any shooter I've played since I think. Unfortunately I don't think we'll ever see anything like it again.
    7 votes
  5. [3]
    mrbig (edited ) Link
    I'm severely ADHD, and because of that the type of games that I play is limited by my attention span at the time, and sometimes this goes against my own taste. Example: I'd love to finish The...

    I'm severely ADHD, and because of that the type of games that I play is limited by my attention span at the time, and sometimes this goes against my own taste. Example: I'd love to finish The Witcher 3, but I just can't get through it. Sometimes I can't play any game at all. Here are my favorites:

    1. Portal 2

    The only puzzle game I ever loved and finished. Portal 2's puzzles are fair (no gotchas, no pixel hunting), challenging, stimulating, visual, truly three dimensional and do not require memorization nor any "neurotypical intuitions" I don't seem to possess. Apart from that, it's a brilliant game in its own right, with a wonderful story, beautiful graphics and super interesting concepts.

    1. Far Cry 3

    I don't think this game should be in any list of "best games of all time", I just love the shooting mechanics and how I could approach every challenge in different ways that suited my play style. It just clicked.

    1. Hotline Miami 1 and 2

    This game is crack for my ADHD brain. Great music, skippable story, quick rewarding action, small levels, no crafting, no (true) leveling, NO BULLSHIT: just a never-ending flow of delicious 2D violence.

    I feel like this list don't make justice to my past, though, so I'll include a BONUS RETRO LIST!!!!

    1. Grand Theft Auto 1 and 2

    I played these games so much! Back in the day I didn't care much about "beating" games, I just liked doing random missions and creating 2D chaos all over town. Much fun was had! I'm actually old enough to remember my skepticism about the novelty of 3D GTAs...

    In many ways, Hotline Miami is a major development of this game's on foot combat.

    1. Doom and Doom 2

    This game was one of the main reasons I failed 7th grade. Yummy yummy violence. My feeble little brain couldn't handle it.

    1. Quake

    I was never much of an online player, but I played the hell of Quake's campaign. The shotgun felt so satisfying. Then I got to a scene where I met a bunch of prisoners in various stages of torture/decomposition whatever. They were begging for me to kill them, so I did. It was very disturbing and I stopped playing it for a while after that.

    6 votes
    1. [2]
      Whom Link Parent
      Curious, does that mean you didn't love / finish the first game? If so, what makes 2 work for you and not 1?

      The only puzzle game I ever loved and finished.

      Curious, does that mean you didn't love / finish the first game? If so, what makes 2 work for you and not 1?

      2 votes
      1. mrbig Link Parent
        After starting with Portal 2, I never put much effort on Portal 1. Probably because visuals are very important for me, and the "downgrade" was a bit hard on my eyes.

        After starting with Portal 2, I never put much effort on Portal 1. Probably because visuals are very important for me, and the "downgrade" was a bit hard on my eyes.

        2 votes
  6. cwagner (edited ) Link
    Pathfinder: Kingmaker it's relatively recent, but I have over 700h in it. It's such an amazing and deep game. It has its bugs and problems, but there is so, so much to do and it simply feels like...
    1. Pathfinder: Kingmaker it's relatively recent, but I have over 700h in it. It's such an amazing and deep game. It has its bugs and problems, but there is so, so much to do and it simply feels like a better Neverwinter Nights.

    2. Civilization V with the Vox Populi mod. 1,253h played. The game is amazing thanks to fixed AI and balance. It's a good game without it, but the mod makes it great.

    3. Slay The Spire a really creative and new rogue-lite deck building game. 553h played. Nowadays I mainly try the daily challenges, but sometimes when I have little time and just need some distraction I hop in for a quick run. My best EA buy ever.

    edit: spelling

    6 votes
  7. [3]
    nothis Link
    It's been ages that I replied to a thread like this, heh. I don't think I can "rank" games, really, it barely ever makes sense (is Civilization "better" than Tetris?), but I think I have decided...

    It's been ages that I replied to a thread like this, heh. I don't think I can "rank" games, really, it barely ever makes sense (is Civilization "better" than Tetris?), but I think I have decided on the top two: Braid and The Witness.

    As evident from every second comment I post on here, I've grown into a hopeless fan boy of Jonathan Blow over the past few years and fell deep into the puzzle gaming rabbit hole. While there are games that are longer or that I had more "entertaining" experiences with, if we're doing "best", I simply think those two games are the best designed games of all time. He's really onto something. It's like Jon Blow games are made with an understanding of the interactive part of videogames that is unmatched and while other famous designers stumble their way to something great through gut feeling and user testing, he's on another level, making sense of what a game is on a deeper level than pretty much any other game out there, including games I love. I've watched most of his talks on youtube and I haven't found a game designer who can articulate the core of what makes a game engaging on this level and you can feel that in his games.

    6 votes
    1. [2]
      Deimos Link Parent
      Have you played Baba is You yet? A couple of my friends that are really into puzzle games have been really enjoying it.

      Have you played Baba is You yet?

      A couple of my friends that are really into puzzle games have been really enjoying it.

      3 votes
      1. nothis Link Parent
        Ohhh, yes I have! :D It's pretty amazing!

        Ohhh, yes I have! :D It's pretty amazing!

        1 vote
  8. yumiris Link
    Picking three favourites ended up being a pretty difficult task! The games I've played are pretty different from one another, so it's essentially comparing apples and oranges. NieR:Automata ended...

    Picking three favourites ended up being a pretty difficult task! The games I've played are pretty different from one another, so it's essentially comparing apples and oranges.

    NieR:Automata ended up being the top favourite of mine. It's easy to overlook it as a fanservice-y game with graphics that aren't something to write home about (in comparison to what you get from Triple A games). Though, like many Automata players say, it's the furthest thing from that once you've played through the game.

    I found the existential storyline, blending of different genres (RPG, hack and slash, bullet hell, etc.), brilliant soundtrack, and melancholic atmosphere, to be absolutely fantastic. On top of that, it's an outstanding example of a video game that makes use of its medium to the fullest potential. It demonstrates it through the little details in the UI and through, well, moments that will leave an incredible impact on you if you are an emotional and existential type of person.

    The game isn't without flaws, particularly when it comes to its difficulty system. In the prologue, hard mode is too hard, and overall, normal mode is rather easy. The game gets too easy the more you level up, to the point where I had to make a program which lets you reduce your level back down for the sake of raising the challenge again.

    As mentioned at the start, some people could be put off by the "fan service" and somewhat budget graphics. In actuality, though, the fan service is rather minimal and is especially overshadowed by the gameplay and story itself. For me, the atmosphere made up plenty for the lack of 3xA eye candy.

    Nevertheless, the game shines in the aforementioned departments. Of course, there is an inherent bias to my choice. Hack n' slash and bullet hell are among my favourite genres. Orchestral soundtracks are my cup of tea, and I'm fond of dystopian settings and melancholic atmospheres. There are plenty of games that match my preferences; however, Automata somehow fulfils all of my tastes, so it's subjectively perfect for me.

    I'd actually discuss this in deeper detail, but I'm afraid of potentially spoiling. If anyone here is up for discussing just about any aspect of Automata, do get in touch with me!

    5 votes
  9. knocklessmonster (edited ) Link
    I didn't grow up with video games they way some people did. I had very limited availability with them, and I don't exactly look at them as purely nostalgic, but tend to compare older and newer...

    I didn't grow up with video games they way some people did. I had very limited availability with them, and I don't exactly look at them as purely nostalgic, but tend to compare older and newer games evenly.

    Kirby's Dream Land I first played this game when I was like eight. My brothers and I got a bunch of game boy games from a neighbor, and this was one of them. It took me forever to beat it the first time, but it's one of those games that's just fun.

    DOOM (the original idtech1 games) These games are so great because they're still effectively in development, or rather, re-development began in so many different forms, with TCs, mods, expansions, and all sorts of craziness. The recent game felt very close, but the original has a way of requiring movement in such a way that it's almost a dance across the levels that even more intense games like HACX or Brutal Doom build from.

    Portal 2 Mike Morasky made this game. It is the only video game I've felt compelled to buy the soundtrack to (I got the 2-disk "Songs to Test By" because it's amazing. It enriches the game experience. It has physics puzzles, large spaces, the slight quirkiness that the Portal series. This is one of those games I think of as just perfect. Portal Stories Mel gets an honorable mention because it felt like Valve would have made it if they had the story idea, and I beat it before they added the easy mode (used walkthroughs on like 5 puzzles).

    5 votes
  10. [2]
    st6 Link
    In order: Night in the Woods, Bloodborne, Rimworld. Rimworld I have 177 hours (and counting) in this game. It's really fun, and I hate it a lot. There's nothing quite like getting a good colony...

    In order: Night in the Woods, Bloodborne, Rimworld.

    Rimworld
    I have 177 hours (and counting) in this game. It's really fun, and I hate it a lot. There's nothing quite like getting a good colony running, and there's nothing quite like that entire colony dying to a pack of manhunting chinchillas. Recommended.

    Bloodborne
    A masterpiece of a game. Even though I've done challenge runs long enough to burn myself out on it, I still love it all the same. The fast-paced gameplay, the infuriating difficulty, and the dripping atmosphere are jointly what make me incapable of shutting up about this game. Highly recommended if you own a PS4.

    Night in the Woods
    This game holds a very special place in my heart. The town and the people within it, despite literally being furries, feel more human than the characters in any movie I've seen or any game I've played in years. There isn't much gameplay to speak of but I don't see that as an issue. Buy this game.


    I haven't played Sekiro yet, but I've heard it shares and expands upon a lot of Bloodborne's qualities. I'll update this post after I get around to it.
    Honorable mention to The Beginner's Guide, a more serious game from Davey Wreden, creator of The Stanley Parable.

    5 votes
    1. vivaria Link Parent
      Scrolled through looking exactly for Night in the Woods! I find I don't really play NitW as a traditional "game" but more as a visual novel + life simulator. It takes the autonomy of a game like...

      Scrolled through looking exactly for Night in the Woods!

      I find I don't really play NitW as a traditional "game" but more as a visual novel + life simulator. It takes the autonomy of a game like Animal Crossing (allowing you to walk around town, talk to folks at your leisure, and explore side stories that aren't necessary for the game to progress) but wraps that autonomy in a overarching story that's subtly guided on rails. I found that way of storytelling to be much, much more immersive than other games I've played.

      Both Undertale and Celeste have shot for similarly emotion-packed tales, but I found the actual gameplay to be disruptive to the storytelling. I came for the feels, not the RPG/Platforming elements! Dying over and over to a challenging stage in those games wrecked my immersion, which is a problem I never had with Night in the Woods.

      It's a very cozy game with charming visuals and a warm soundtrack. It's both comforting and cathartic to play because of the way it relates to what it feels like to go through your early 20s. Will recommend a billion times over.

      4 votes
  11. dominantp Link
    Quake 2 - LAN parties, decent multiplayer, and extensive modding community, skins and maps. Hell people were producing talks shows inside the quake 2 engine. The demo scene was crazy too. Lithium,...
    • Quake 2 - LAN parties, decent multiplayer, and extensive modding community, skins and maps. Hell people were producing talks shows inside the quake 2 engine. The demo scene was crazy too. Lithium, LMCTF, Rocket Arena 2 were my main jams.

    • Civilization 5 - I've played all the civ's since civ2 but civ5 I put an insane number of hours into.

    • Minecraft - Resisted minecraft for many years, but some friends setup a vanilla server when they started putting villages. Later I found FTB Ultimate and it was a whole new game. Project Ozone 2 titan mode is probably my fav mod pack.

    5 votes
  12. welly Link
    Zelda - A Link To The Past Gauntlet (at the arcade, when there's four people playing) Possibly any one of the Doom series. These are the three games I've probably put more time into than any...
    • Zelda - A Link To The Past
    • Gauntlet (at the arcade, when there's four people playing)
    • Possibly any one of the Doom series.

    These are the three games I've probably put more time into than any others, other than a FPS shooter that I played in the late 90s that the name escapes me.

    5 votes
  13. Thrabalen Link
    Master of Orion II. Still the ultimate 4X game. I still go back and play it on occasion, and it's almost 25 years old. City of Heroes. The best MMO ever. It got right what so many got wrong....
    1. Master of Orion II. Still the ultimate 4X game. I still go back and play it on occasion, and it's almost 25 years old.
    2. City of Heroes. The best MMO ever. It got right what so many got wrong.
    3. Marvel Heroes. I thought I hated ARPGs until this game came along. I streamed it several times a week for two years.
    4 votes
  14. deck Link
    This is such a difficult choice. There are a few ways to measure this for me, so I'm just going to name three favorites versus top 3. I think my big measure usually is story, though I also love...

    This is such a difficult choice. There are a few ways to measure this for me, so I'm just going to name three favorites versus top 3. I think my big measure usually is story, though I also love strategy games like Starcraft.

    Favorite in terms of memory is this old MUD I used to play after high school called DragonRealms. I feel like that was more for the memories I made with people than the gameplay itself. I thought having so much detail in a text based world was interesting though.

    I think for major studios, The Last of Us was a great experience. Wonderful story, a new IP which was great and just overall a great game.

    Pyre from Supergiant is a favorite too. Supergiant in general is always an instant purchase from me. I love how different each of their games are. Pyre stands out because the gameplay mechanics were so weird. I remember hating it at first and I think this one gets props for making me do a complete 180 by the end of the game.

    4 votes
  15. Loire Link
    How do you begin to choose just three games when you've grown up with them? There's no way I could list just three regular games so I'll stick to a smaller genre. I don't really play video games...

    How do you begin to choose just three games when you've grown up with them? There's no way I could list just three regular games so I'll stick to a smaller genre. I don't really play video games anymore but these three probably had the biggest effect on me:

    Final Fantasy 11: I grew up on the Final Fantasy series so when the first MMO came out I had to give it a go. Instantly hooked. The world was expansive and beautiful, the story engaging and exciting, the community vibrant andnsocial, the difficulty forced teamwork and friendships that lasted for years. Played through to Wings of the Goddess before finally moving on. Should they ever release ansingle player version, I could see myself diving right back in.

    Star Wars Galaxies: How does one begin to explain the pre-NGE Star Wars Galaxies experience to someone who never played it? A true Icarus. An open world where you could be whatever you wanted, a crafter, a dancer, a smuggler, a rifleman, a bounty hunter, a Teräs Käsi master, a mayor. Explore the greatest planets in Star Wars canon, build cities that could surpass the NPC cities. Depleting resources that must be explored for and surveyed before extraction. Join the empire, join the rebellion. Kill a Krayt Dragon. Do work for Jaba the Hutt. Fly your own personal space ship and engage in space battles. Discover the secrets of the Jedi and explore the long and mysterious path to opening the Jedi/With classes. And when a Jedi or a With appeared, everyone on the planet would show up to witness the rare event.

    EVE Online: The big boy of open world MMORPG's. Market dynamics no other game can boast. Massive thousand person battles over territory. Stunning sci-fi graphics. Corporations, player guilds that actually mean something more than a chat window. Real loss upon death that had a real world monetary and value, a loss of time and work that made everything feel so much more important.

    4 votes
  16. [4]
    nic Link
    Stockfish (chess) Pacman GTA III Stockfish is unbelievably strong. Pacman has an ageless appeal that will never be surpassed.
    1. Stockfish (chess)

    2. Pacman

    3. GTA III

    Stockfish is unbelievably strong.

    Pacman has an ageless appeal that will never be surpassed.

    4 votes
    1. [3]
      jenz Link Parent
      Stockfish is not a game. The game would be chess

      Stockfish is not a game. The game would be chess

      1 vote
      1. [2]
        nic Link Parent
        Does it really matter?

        Does it really matter?

        5 votes
        1. jenz Link Parent
          Well, I'd say yes. It is chess that deserves credit as a game, while stockfish does a very good job at playing that game with you.

          Well, I'd say yes.

          It is chess that deserves credit as a game, while stockfish does a very good job at playing that game with you.

  17. [3]
    gpl Link
    First of all, I really have enjoyed reading everybody's writeups thus far and it has given me a bunch of games to check out. Dwarf Fortress I have been meaning to for a while, but after reading...

    First of all, I really have enjoyed reading everybody's writeups thus far and it has given me a bunch of games to check out. Dwarf Fortress I have been meaning to for a while, but after reading other replies I want to give Rimworld a shot too. Anyway, my less than comprehensive list and explanations:

    Rome: Total War
    I probably have more hours in this game than any other. I played it quite a bit when I was growing up with my brother and I have very fond memories because of that. It also ignited an enduring interest in history. But beyond that, the game is just plain fun. I think the Total War series handles the divide between macro- and micro- strategy the best out of the big RTS names, in that it has its Campaign map with entirely different mechanics than its battle map, each of which are individually very well done. I do admit that some aspects are lacking; diplomacy has always been pretty bad in TW games, and while it has improved since Rome, it is not much better. When I return to it these days I usually install some mods that add to the complexity, and the modding community for R:TW is great. The newer games have never quite lived up to Rome in my eyes.

    Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
    This was the first game I got with Xbox Live, which gave me a lot of joy playing with friends. I was also really, really good at COD 4, which usually isn't true for me and shooters, so it was nice to be among the best of my friends. Online gaming was a whole new experience for me and COD 4 stands out due that nostalgia factor (Halo 3 coming in close second). The story in COD 4 was really unlike other games I had played up until that point, and it honestly felt like you were playing out a movie with an intricate story line. I just have really fond memories of this game.

    Minecraft
    I keep coming back to Minecraft, sometimes taking years long gaps, but its always just as fun if not more when I come back to it. I recently installed mods for the first time which has really changed how I play. Its the perfect game to play on a lazy weekend without many goals. I always liked open world games, and honestly its hard to think of a more open ended game than Minecraft.

    Honorable mentions
    Fallout 3
    Wind Waker
    Harvest Moon: FOMT

    Current plays
    Legend of Zelda: BOTW
    Stardew Valley

    4 votes
    1. [2]
      apoctr Link Parent
      The only thing that sucks about modded Minecraft is dealing with updates. Either stay behind a few versions to keep all your mods working and miss out on new vanilla features, or update to the...

      recently installed mods for the first time which has really changed how I play.

      The only thing that sucks about modded Minecraft is dealing with updates. Either stay behind a few versions to keep all your mods working and miss out on new vanilla features, or update to the latest version and wait months in vanilla for your favourite mods to update :/.

      2 votes
      1. gpl Link Parent
        Yeah, I'm a couple of versions behind which is a bit annoying but worth it. I usually play on a private server with one of my buddies, and the problem we were running into is that we would start...

        Yeah, I'm a couple of versions behind which is a bit annoying but worth it. I usually play on a private server with one of my buddies, and the problem we were running into is that we would start playing again after a long break, get a good week or two in and build an awesome fort and such and then lose interest. The game simply isn't that challenging for two people even on the hardest difficulty. Mods give us a challenge and a reason to keep playing, so that alone is worth missing out on updates imo.

        2 votes
  18. Don_Camillo Link
    There was a time i had favourite games. Now i have factorio. Never played a game as long and as intense. After years of playing it regulary and 1000s of hours sunk into, it still captures my mind...

    There was a time i had favourite games. Now i have factorio. Never played a game as long and as intense. After years of playing it regulary and 1000s of hours sunk into, it still captures my mind as nothing else.

    I started playing it as everybody seems to do, just put down belts and assemblers. Then i tried to bring order into the mess and my factories looked like computer chips. I got bored of that always the same and hyper efficient type of factory. Now i just build this huge mess of a cancerlike blobb and enjoy the shit out of the puzzle aspect of "i want to put this belt right here though the middle of the messiest part of my factory“ and spend hours figuring it out.

    Syriously, dont play that game. It will never let you go again ;-)

    4 votes
  19. balooga Link
    Lots of good recommendations in this thread, I especially want to call out Fallout: New Vegas and Grim Fandango as excellent choices. I have a lot of love for old LucasArts adventure games,...

    Lots of good recommendations in this thread, I especially want to call out Fallout: New Vegas and Grim Fandango as excellent choices. I have a lot of love for old LucasArts adventure games, particularly the Monkey Island series. I also want to shout out to the Uncharted series, which isn't on my list, but was a blast to play.

    Skyrim: I had never played an Elder Scrolls game before but I dove deep into this one. I love the richly detailed world, the lore, the magic and crafting systems, the factions, the surprises to discover. It's so much fun to just pick a direction and explore. It's not a perfect game by any measure, but no other game before or since has captured my attention and held it as long as Skyrim. Unfortunately Bethesda's track record has not been great the past few years, so I'm immensely concerned about the fate of TESVI. Only time will tell.

    Command & Conquer: Yuri's Revenge: I'm sure the claim will be contested, but I think this is the greatest RTS of all time. I love the wacky alternate-timeline technology and B-movie motif. It's fast, funny, carefully balanced and can be pretty challenging too. Even though it's almost 20 years old, with CnCNet and a little finagling you can get it running on modern hardware, and there's still an online community of players to skirmish with.

    Sonic 3 & Knuckles: Kinda cheating by calling this a single game, but the Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles cartridges for Sega Mega Drive / Genesis famously connect to form an expanded single experience and it is sublime. The controls are tight, the graphics are 16-bit masterpieces. The sense of speed is fantastic. Soundtrack is some of the best video game music ever composed. Level design is also brilliant. I can't really think of any faults, except for maybe that the game never properly shows how to control those spinning cylinder platforms in Carnival Night Zone.

    4 votes
  20. emnii (edited ) Link
    Three is tough. I reserve the right to change these at any time. Doom 2 - This game is so engrained in my teenage years that I can't choose anything else. I spent countless hours playing custom...

    Three is tough. I reserve the right to change these at any time.

    • Doom 2 - This game is so engrained in my teenage years that I can't choose anything else. I spent countless hours playing custom maps and TCs. It was endless fun and still a great game. There are a lot of great FPS games but none will ever stick to me like Doom 2.

    • Castlevania: Symphony of the Night - Could swing back to Super Metroid depending on mood, but Symphony is a game that feels great to play any day. I've played a ton of great Metroidvanias since, but none have stuck with me like Symphony. I can hear the soundtrack just thinking about it.

    • Freespace 2 - "I never signed on for hunting Shivans." If I wasn't playing a FPS or Metroidvania, I played some sci-fi sim, whether a mech game or space fighter and Freespace 2 is the best of those. I came to it long after it was released and essentially given to the community for free by the developers, and I found a gorgeous space fighter with a great sense of scale. Like Doom 2, it's got countless community made missions and expansions and it's a damn shame we'll probably never get another one as good as this.

    3 votes
  21. [3]
    a_wild_swarm_appears Link
    Wipeout on PlayStation - Wipeout changed EVERYTHING. Wipeout 2 refined the first one perfectly, the graphics, the ship handling, the speed! And the music is amazing. So many firsts with Wipeout. I...

    Wipeout on PlayStation - Wipeout changed EVERYTHING. Wipeout 2 refined the first one perfectly, the graphics, the ship handling, the speed! And the music is amazing. So many firsts with Wipeout. I would consider it an almost perfect game, if there is such a thing. Later versions messed up the game mechanics IMO, the ships didn't have the raw power of the first two, they somehow lost the sense of speed. Pity.

    X-COM 2 - Man, I cannot get enough of this game. Turn based strategy game. You invest so much in the characters, then they get taken out by a bit of shrapnel or something. And it's brutal! This game doesn't give an inch. You die A LOT.
    The story is epic, the game mechanics are brilliant, and after the very first level there's no hand holding. This game is a challenge. Playing in Iron Man mode is something to be experienced. Excellent, Excellent game.

    Subnautica - current favourite, mellow, relaxing, and most realistic experience of being under water I've ever seen in a game. Great survival game. Just a pity it doesn't have LAN co-op so I can play with my kid.

    3 votes
    1. [2]
      cfabbro (edited ) Link Parent
      Oh man, Wipeout 2097/XL was my jam and the soundtrack was so incredible I actually bought the album (and still have it). So many amazing 90s electronic artists were featured on it: Future Sound of...

      Oh man, Wipeout 2097/XL was my jam and the soundtrack was so incredible I actually bought the album (and still have it). So many amazing 90s electronic artists were featured on it: Future Sound of London, Chemical Brothers, Fluke, The Prodigy, Underworld, Daft Punk, Orbital... so good! Album LFTL

      And yeah, XCOM 2 is a really great game too, especially with the Long War 2 mod installed. I still go back and play it (and Enemy Unknown/Within) every once in a while when I get the urge for some tactical turn based combat.

      p.s. Have you ever watched Beaglerush's XCOM runs? If not you should check them out. He is insanely skilled at the game and I learned a lot from watching him.

      3 votes
      1. a_wild_swarm_appears Link Parent
        Haven't tried that mod, I'll check it out. The videos too!

        Haven't tried that mod, I'll check it out. The videos too!

        1 vote
  22. lepigpen Link
    Fallout: New Vegas (hands down the best Fallout. I love 3 and like 4. The originals are great but I'm not inspired to play them as much because of the genre/platform. Haven't touched 76 and won't...
    1. Fallout: New Vegas (hands down the best Fallout. I love 3 and like 4. The originals are great but I'm not inspired to play them as much because of the genre/platform. Haven't touched 76 and won't touch it. But New Vegas was just perfect. The DLC were heavy hitting except for Honest Hearts which was less heavy but more aesthetic and refreshing. The systems Obsidian put in and the story/dialogue is just God tier.)

    2. World of Warcraft (kinda weird to say it now given the state of the game, but Mists of Pandaria was legendary for me. Class design was great. Loot systems were nice and easy then. Story was fun. Music was God tier. Timeless Isle was also God tier gaming content. SoO was a great raid despite people hating how long it was current content. I didn't mind the dailies and content lull I thought MoP was 9.5/10 awesome, and playing WoD and BfA just confirms how awesome it was)

    3. Call of Duty Black Ops 1 (shout out to BF2 and BF3 but Black Ops 1 was peak shooter design. great campaign. great multiplayer. video recording features. zombie mode. the gambling game modes where I would go around knifing in gun game or tomahawking in sticks n stones just to be an asshole. the killstreaks and equipment were balanced but still fun and customize-able. MW2 was a killstreak mess. COD4 was fun but a bit too basic. and MW3 and BO2 were a mess of equipment and killstreaks as well. Only Black Ops 1 well and truly struck the balance between simple and complex. The only killstreak I'll never enjoy because it's difficult to counter is dogs. You can counter blackbirds with jammer equipment or counterUAV killstreak. you can counter helicopters with missiles or just hiding from them. but Dogs you would inevitably be stuck somewhere up high hiding from them and then enemies shoot you anyway. dogshit killstreak and it's a shame they still have it in BO4 lol)

    3 votes
  23. [4]
    mbc Link
    Virtua Tennis is the purest form of man vs. man competition I've ever experienced in video games. It's easy to understand how to play and rewards skill. Prior stuff like fighting games always...

    Virtua Tennis is the purest form of man vs. man competition I've ever experienced in video games. It's easy to understand how to play and rewards skill. Prior stuff like fighting games always seemed to favor those who could memorize the moves. Virtua Tennis is just tennis.

    Doom. It blew minds when it came out and it is still awesome.

    Tony Hawk Pro Skater. My hands hurt from playing. It's so good.

    3 votes
    1. [3]
      mbc Link Parent
      I just came back to this post to see if I remembered to put NBA Jam on there. I didn't, and now I'm trying to decide if it is better than Tony Hawk. That's a tough one. Consider it the honorary...

      I just came back to this post to see if I remembered to put NBA Jam on there. I didn't, and now I'm trying to decide if it is better than Tony Hawk. That's a tough one. Consider it the honorary runner up.

      1 vote
      1. [2]
        balooga Link Parent
        NBA Jam is a great multiplayer experience and THPS is better for one, I think. To be fair, I did play a lot of horse and graffiti in Tony Hawk, but the real fun of that one for me was career mode....

        NBA Jam is a great multiplayer experience and THPS is better for one, I think. To be fair, I did play a lot of horse and graffiti in Tony Hawk, but the real fun of that one for me was career mode. So I think it's a bit of an apples-and-oranges comparison.

        1 vote
        1. mbc Link Parent
          Yeah, I think I made the right choice putting THPS in there as #3, but man, in the NBA Jam heyday, that game was huge. I wonder how many quarters (and dollars!) went into those machines. If I ever...

          Yeah, I think I made the right choice putting THPS in there as #3, but man, in the NBA Jam heyday, that game was huge. I wonder how many quarters (and dollars!) went into those machines. If I ever had the money and the space in my house, there'd be an NBA Jam machine in it.

          1 vote
  24. Elronnd Link
    Portal, no question. The first one. This is a bit of a controversial opinion. Not that portal is good—I don't think anyone will contest that—but, rather, that it's the best. The popular opinion...
    1. Portal, no question. The first one. This is a bit of a controversial opinion. Not that portal is good—I don't think anyone will contest that—but, rather, that it's the best. The popular opinion seems to be that it's a cute, well-designed puzzle game that set the stage for portal 2. It's a bit like borderlands in this respect. I must say, I will not deny anyone the right to that opinion, I personally quite liked portal 2. (It's definitely top five, but I wouldn't say top 3.) BUT. No game has ever made me feel the same height of emotion and tension as portal did, near the end. None. Where portal is subtle and mysterious, portal 2 feels blatant and a bit fan-service-y. I really felt, in portal, that I had no idea what was coming next, that I was completely engrossed and very, very nervous. And when the ending came, it was the most beautiful, agonizingly euphoric release of tension I have ever felt.

    And it's boring.

    I do not consider this to be a flaw, but it's the reason it's not as popular as it could be, as other games are. Portal is boring to play. You have to walk through these chambers, and solve boring puzzles on a flat background. This causes fatigue. In the witness, players complained that the puzzles were too hard. Once final game art was made, and once the game started to look pretty, complaints stopped. This is because now, when walking from puzzle to puzzle, players had something pretty to look at in the background, and their brains got a chance to rest. In portal, no such thing. It's a boring game to play, and people don't like boring things. I don't like boring things. But it has to be boring. If it were exciting, you'd emotionally engage with it, and you would notice your emotions, and you would notice the tension building. As is, it slowly builds, you don't even notice it but it builds and it's awful but it's amazing the way it builds. It's not a horror game. If it were a horror game, you'd get scared, you'd be feeling your emotions, and you'd know what they were, you'd know that they were scared. But it's not. And the tension keeps building and you're not even aware of it—maybe you're aware, but you're not aware that you're aware, and all this time there's this something, you're not sure what, welling up, and you don't even realise how tense you were until you get to the end, and it all releases.

    And that is the single greatest video gaming experience I have ever had.

    #2, of course, is factorio. It's engaging, engrossing even, in a way that rimworld, stardew valley, and even civ have never been able to capture. Of course, I try not to play it these days because it takes too much time and interferes with my studies.

    As for #3, I'm really not sure what to put here. I briefly played gta v, and in that time I think it was one of the most impressive storytelling experiences I've ever had, I really felt like I was in a city, doing things. But, on the other hand, I only briefly played it and I don't know if it starts to get 'stale' after a while, if you start to see the systems. There also is, as previously mentioned, portal 2, which is a very nice game, although it is a bit long and the puzzle design starts to get slightly stale after a while. But the environments are very nice even if gameplay at one points is nothing more than 'look around, very carefully and closely, until you can see the tiny patch of moonstone-concrete'—that's fine, because the point at that point is not puzzles, but to create a modicum of engagement so you can appreciate the environments. Or I could say undertale or doki doki literature club—two very similar, very well-written games that manage to brilliantly capture everything that is right with postmodernity.

    An honorary mention goes to dwarf fortress, which I'm sure is brilliant, but which I can never seem to get into.

    As for other games that I might start to like in the future: I've heard many good things about the witcher 3, and would play it if my computer weren't so bad. Same goes for breath of the wild and gta v. There is also god of war, and red dead redemption 2, which sound quite nice, except I don't have a ps4 nor an xbox. Another game which I find fascinating is eve online. The idea that an economy and social hierarchy in a game could be so complex and engaging sound really cool, and I would quite like to be a part of it except I don't want to make the time investment now that's needed to get on a level plane with all the people who are really "doing" the social structure and the economy.

    3 votes
  25. temporalarcheologist Link
    Sly Cooper 2 on the PS2. it's a fun platformer with different styles of gameplay and lots of content. it's probably been surpassed by other platformers by now but it's what I'd play all throughout...
    1. Sly Cooper 2 on the PS2. it's a fun platformer with different styles of gameplay and lots of content. it's probably been surpassed by other platformers by now but it's what I'd play all throughout elementary school and I still come back to it.

    2. Garry's Mod. it has such a huge and long-lasting community that has been pushing out content regularly for well over 10 years, you can build almost any contraption you can think of or get immersed in the multiplayer having heated arguments with 12 year olds from across the world about where you're allowed to build. I don't think there will be a true successor any time soon with the longevity of its engine and its endless stream of content.

    3. fallout 1. I only played it for the first time last year and it's just one of the most solid RPGs I've ever played, the characters are interesting, the gameplay is challenging, and the story is put together very well. each fallout game since has built on the original formula but a few have taken major steps backward, I think fallout 1 is great just to see how the basic structure of a post apocalyptic crpg can work very well with very few drawbacks compared to the Bethesda's buggier recent entries.

    3 votes
  26. vili Link
    Republic of Rome is hands down my favourite board game. 4-6 players take the roles of political factions in pre-imperial Rome. It has a very unique gameplay system where the players work together...

    Republic of Rome is hands down my favourite board game. 4-6 players take the roles of political factions in pre-imperial Rome. It has a very unique gameplay system where the players work together to keep Rome afloat and safe from external threats while each tries to manoeuvre themselves to a position where they can take total control over the Republic, basically becoming Caesar and ending the Republic. It's a co-operative game where all players can lose but it's also a cut-throat competition where only one player can win. Just like real-life politics.

    Our group gets together once a year to play and over the years our games have taken anywhere between 4 and 18 hours to complete. This year's game, which lasted for 14.5 hours, was actually the first one in ten years where someone won. There was much jubilation. Then again, there was also 12 bottles of wine, two warm meals, lots of snacks, a sauna, and all the other standards that we arrange for our annual games.

    Will RoR ever be surpassed? It definitely should be. Frankly, I'm a little surprised that this 30-year-old game hasn't been bettered, although there are a couple of designs inspired by it which I haven't tried yet and have heard good things about. RoR's rules are unnecessarily complicated and inelegant, the latest edition's board and cards have numerous mistakes, a full game can take a long time to finish, and as a player you can end up in a position where you are out of the game for hours, with very little to do. But that's what the wine, the grapes, the cheese plates and the great company are there for. And despite its dated design, it is an absolutely unique experience, if you do it right.


    Emlyn Hughes International Soccer is probably my most played computer game. I'm not sure if it's my favourite one, but it's something that I have kept coming back to over and over again, so it might well be. I own six Commodore 64s just so that I can play the original for years to come. Back in the early 2000s I even tracked down one of the programmers and visited his home (yes, I was invited). You could say I have been obsessed by this game.

    Why? It may not be the kind of simulation that games like FIFA or PES attempt to be, nor does it showcase the arcade perfection of the Kick Off and Sensible Soccer series. But it's a brilliantly tactical game. A game of skill and precision. And one where you can score a goal with your heel. Or the back of your head. Or your butt. If you are good enough, that is. It may not look like much, but there is a lot of complexity and elegance in its simple systems.


    2300 AD is my all-time favourite role playing game. It combines hard scifi with a brilliantly outdated early 80s vision of what the future would look and act like. Our group practically ignored the handful of alien species in it and concentrated on the geopolitical struggles between the French and German galactic empires. That is, until we ultimately got caught up in the Kafer war, came in contact with a space-time continuum portal, and things got a bit complicated towards the end. Years later, as I was watching the end of Interstellar, my brain went "yup, been there, done that".

    Every pen-and-paper role playing game is of course only as good as its game master and players. We had a great group and a game that lasted for about six years (while we also played a parallel fantasy game campaign). I have many great memories from that imaginary world. Actually, whenever the first winter frost comes with its peculiar smell of half frozen ground, I for some inexplicable reason think of Beta Canum Venaticorum, a particularly interesting system found in the French arm of the galaxy. I'm not sure why, but that's what happens.

    As a rules system, 2300 AD wasn't particularly innovative or interesting. As was usual with our role playing games, we did a good job of ignoring the rules and concentrating on the story and the world. Will it ever be surpassed? Probably not for me, as I haven't had a role playing group for over a decade now and can't really imagine being able to find one any time soon.

    3 votes
  27. zptc Link
    Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri/Alien Crossfire The best turn-based strategy game I've played. Not as polished as later Civ entries, and maybe there's some nostalgia involved here, but the depth of...

    Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri/Alien Crossfire

    The best turn-based strategy game I've played. Not as polished as later Civ entries, and maybe there's some nostalgia involved here, but the depth of strategy allowed made the game very engrossing for me.

    NFS Most Wanted 2005

    The best cop chases in any game ever. No nostalgia factor here; I reinstalled the game late last year (after being disappointed by Payback) and for the most part it still holds up.

    Portal/Portal 2

    It's hard to even describe why I like these games so much, but reasons would include puzzle design that strikes the right balance between difficulty and frustration, a tone of humor I quite enjoyed, and the way it takes a fairly simple basic mechanic and comes up with so many ways to employ it.

    3 votes
  28. zertox Link
    So many to choose from. I'll pick ones that I'd pick up again today. Asheron's Call: This introduced me to MMORPGs. You had to figure out spells by trying out formulas and you had to find the...

    So many to choose from. I'll pick ones that I'd pick up again today.

    1. Asheron's Call: This introduced me to MMORPGs. You had to figure out spells by trying out formulas and you had to find the spell components. You could be whatever you wanted to be. WoW felt very limiting to me, although the environments looked nicer.
    2. Fallout 1: The theme and the feeling of really having to survive a post-apocalyptic world.
    3. Trespasser: The promise of the game was appealing, but I was kind of disappointed that a lot of the promises were not possible (Multiple ways off the island, like building a raft and float away). In the end, it was a great experience as a big JP fan. Instead of playing it I watched a playthrough a few weeks ago.
    2 votes
  29. Douglas Link
    Half-life (and all of its mods) for being the first game I'd ever played with an online gaming experience; it had a terrific single player campaign, but also opened its mod box to everyone for a...
    1. Half-life (and all of its mods) for being the first game I'd ever played with an online gaming experience; it had a terrific single player campaign, but also opened its mod box to everyone for a wonderland of user-created content. All of those compressed sound effects and Quake 2 graphics just fill me with nostalgic joy; and I think I'm fortunate(?) enough to be in the first generation that gets to re-visit places I'd spent a lot of time in as a kid and they haven't changed at all whatsoever. It's surreal-ly appealing.

    2. The Last of Us for being the first game that showed everyone the untapped, dramatic storytelling potential video games have (especially when backed by a huge budget). Less about shoot this person, move over here-- but also not an RPG. It struck a balance of a linear story with enough microcosms of decisions to make that you never felt the rails of the story. I firmly believe the story of that game is not one that could've been as effectively told through any other medium.

    3. SOMA for similar reasons to TLOU; it was the first horror game that turned hypothetical, existential questions that are easy to answer for fun and walk away from, and put them into a story with the decisions in your control. It was probably the most powerful sense of dread and insight I'd felt in a long time.

    2 votes
  30. [4]
    Akir (edited ) Link
    Well obviously the first game on the list would be Minecraft fieldsweeper. With variations in difficulty options, it just doesn't get old. You just get better at it. Second place has to go to an...

    Well obviously the first game on the list would be Minecraft fieldsweeper. With variations in difficulty options, it just doesn't get old. You just get better at it.

    Second place has to go to an entire category: Pinball. It's hard to find a bad pinball game, but my personal favorite is Carnival. Pinball games are on a whole different level when compared to video games. It's such a tactile experience to play a pinball game; it's as if the machine becomes a part of your body as you fight to launch the ball to your intended target. The fewer fancy effects the more tactile and engaging it becomes, so even with new innovations you aren't really improving over the basic gameplay mechanics that became standard more than half a century ago.

    Third on the list is Virtua Fighter. Not the first game, but the series as a whole. While you can argue that the last game was the best from an objective standpoint, I love everything about every game in the series. I particularly enjoy the fact that there isn't really anything supernatural in the gameplay, so you don't get cheesy fireball moves from across the arena. It's one of the only fighting games I've played where the outcome of the game seems completely fair; if I lose, it's not because of some glitch or balance error, it's simply because I wasn't as good as my opponent.

    Sega isn't interested in continuing the series because, let's face it, you can't improve on perfection. But Tekken is a good second choice.

    2 votes
    1. [3]
      balooga Link Parent
      Re: Your #1 game: Do you mean Minesweeper? Have you played Virtua Fighter Kids? One of my favorite (completely goofball) games for the Sega Saturn. Fighters Megamix was also an outstanding spinoff...

      Re: Your #1 game: Do you mean Minesweeper?

      Have you played Virtua Fighter Kids? One of my favorite (completely goofball) games for the Sega Saturn. Fighters Megamix was also an outstanding spinoff game featuring the VF cast.

      1 vote
      1. [2]
        Akir Link Parent
        I did. Fixed it. Virtua Fighter Kids is literally the only VF game I haven't played. It plays like VF1, doesn't it? I'm not a huge fan of Fighters Megamix, though. It's not a bad game, but I don't...

        I did. Fixed it.

        Virtua Fighter Kids is literally the only VF game I haven't played. It plays like VF1, doesn't it?

        I'm not a huge fan of Fighters Megamix, though. It's not a bad game, but I don't like crossover fighters in general. Even though I love every one of the characters and properties represented in Megamix, crossover games always seem inconsequential to me.

        1. balooga Link Parent
          VF Kids is a clone of VF2 with big-head models and pitch-shifted voices. There are also unlockable CG cutscenes for each kid character. It's been years since I played (I don't have my Saturn...

          VF Kids is a clone of VF2 with big-head models and pitch-shifted voices. There are also unlockable CG cutscenes for each kid character. It's been years since I played (I don't have my Saturn anymore) but IIRC the stages were also kiddified (just a background swap, I think). The music may have also been redone. It was a pretty silly game but it ran silky smooth and made for a lot of fun in my high school years.

  31. [4]
    TheMuffinMan Link
    I'm really sad to have not seen Hollow Knight mentioned anywhere, because that is absolutely my favorite game. The art and music is breathtaking, the combat and platforming are succinct and...

    I'm really sad to have not seen Hollow Knight mentioned anywhere, because that is absolutely my favorite game. The art and music is breathtaking, the combat and platforming are succinct and satisfying, and the world, story, and characters are enjoyable and make you eager to learn more. My next two are pretty hard to pin down and would likely change depending on the day you asked me, but right now I'd probably say that Battlefield 4 or Zelda Windwaker would be them. Honorable mentions are the latest God of War, Dark Souls, Metroid Prime, Age of Empires II, Halo 3, Zelda BotW, Cuphead, Fallout NV, or Horizon Zero Dawn.

    2 votes
    1. [3]
      Papaya Link Parent
      I love Hollow Knight but I hate the metroidvania style. Being lost or having to explore in a platformer is extremely tedious to me. I wish the game was more linear, with a more challenging level...

      I love Hollow Knight but I hate the metroidvania style. Being lost or having to explore in a platformer is extremely tedious to me. I wish the game was more linear, with a more challenging level design to compensate. My ideal game would be a mix between Celeste and Hollow Knight.

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        TheMuffinMan Link Parent
        I can see that, I felt that way to some degree but I loved the way the map was set up, and how it lent itself to stumbling upon secret rooms and bosses. Trekking around the world got old...

        I can see that, I felt that way to some degree but I loved the way the map was set up, and how it lent itself to stumbling upon secret rooms and bosses. Trekking around the world got old sometimes, especially when I wasn't sure where to go, but I felt like they designed the layout well enough to let you discover it naturally. I did have to use some outside resources to track some things down after I finished, but I was glad for the experiences I got from just playing it blind for my first run. Currently sitting at 111% completion (out of 112%), but I almost don't want to get the last percent because it means I've officially beaten it, haha.
        Celeste is really good, I haven't had a lot of time to really delve into it, but I did try it out and had a pretty good time. Think I set it down around level 4, but I have every intention to beat it at it's fullest! Finding the Pico 8 was awesome, beat the whole thing in one session and was too burnt to finish that level after, had to take a break!
        Have you tried Shovel Knight? I've been watching it for some time, from what I've seen it may be close to what you're describing. It's level based with platforming and combat, but I haven't looked too far past that to avoid spoiling it. Anyways, if you haven't tried it, you may enjoy it!

        1 vote
        1. Papaya Link Parent
          Oh I really did not like Shovel Knight. Here are my main problems with it : The level design is pretty bad for a platformer. It almost feels procedurally generated. I wasn't impressed by any of...

          Oh I really did not like Shovel Knight. Here are my main problems with it :

          • The level design is pretty bad for a platformer. It almost feels procedurally generated. I wasn't impressed by any of the rooms in each level. What I want is to feel like the developer is constantly testing me, making me become better or introducing new platforming elements. In Shovel Knight, the challenge feels inconsistent to me and some of the rooms really have no thought put into them.

          • The colors. Oh god do I hate these flashy colors. Pixel art is getting really tiring as it is, but coupled with these atrocious colors, it becomes even more redundant. The shades of yellow and blue are especially ugly.

          Other than those two points, the game was ok. The controls were tight and the music was alright.

          2 votes
  32. Funny-name Link
    This is a hard question but here is my list. A hat in time It's an amazing platformer that will most likely be surpassed as it has it's problems, but it's just so much pure and innocent fun at a...

    This is a hard question but here is my list.

    1. A hat in time
      It's an amazing platformer that will most likely be surpassed as it has it's problems, but it's just so much pure and innocent fun at a decent price.
    2. Super Mario Odyssey
      I think Odyssey will be surpassed, because I though Mario 64 wouldn't be surpassed then Odyssey came along.
    3. The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild.
      It's tons of fun at the start, but you can't really repeat the experience of learning everything if you play it a second time.
    1 vote