I've been kind of sick, and way to into my second play through of Mass Effect 2. But a lonely Friday night I made myself continue this list!
Heavy Rain (Quantic Dream, Playstation 3, 2010)
Heavy Rain is great for three reasons. The first is because the story is really good. Second, because the story is so good, and so well told, that if you go through the game you realize that you don't do much else than pressing buttons at the appropriate time. A game must have a great and capturing story to pull something like that of. That brings me to my third reason, the way the story is told, and the fact that you can play through it more than once, with different results. It made at least me want to play through once again directly afterwards. Your characters might even die mid-game and never return. I am curious how David Cage will top this, but he have certainly made one of the most interesting games of this era.
Ratchet and Clank 2: Going Commando (Insomniac Games, Playstation 2, 2003)
Ratchet and Clank started my hardcore era, the game was hard and unforgiving, I had never encountered anything like it before. The mixture between platformer and action was well balanced, at least in the first two games. The second game was the high point of the series, and still is. Where the later games tended to be drawn more to the action, the second game did everything right. With great voice actors to great characters and a fun script, Ratchet and Clank 2: Going Commando (got to love the puns in the sub title) managed to entertain me for month.
Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis (LucasArts, PC, 1992)
This is the story they should have adapted to a motion picture. Established mythology, intriguing story and Nazis by the dozen. The expanded mythology of Atlantis is amazingly well done and I almost believed it myself, this must be where Atlantis lies. The fact is that Himmler is said to have conducted an expedition to find Atlantis by the time the game took place. This accuracy and the fact that it's one of the few point-and-click games that I have managed to beat without checking GameFAQs or similar, makes this that I believe to be the greatest story featuring Indiana Jones. And it's an epic tale indeed.
Beyond Good and Evil (Ubisoft Montpellie, GameCube, 2003)
Beyond Good and Evil remains one of the best and gripping games I have played. The characters are truly amazing and you feel for every single one. The game is well done and the world is a scary 'big brother sees you'-type of world and it all just fits great. I played the HD version a couple of month ago and the game still holds up as a great game. The game is short though, I'm interested in the sequel, I just hope that the next generation of consoles gives Michel Ancel what he needs for one. This is not something you can miss.
Gears of War (Epic Games, Xbox 360, 2006)
Gears of War makes me feel like I can kick the living shit out of any person or creature being dumb enough to cross me. In the game, just holding the gun and empty an entire clip, close up, in the stomach of an unsuspecting Locust feels like Bad Ass candy. The game itself is great as well, the cover system is brilliant. They where first, but what sets them apart from so much else is the fact that I feel so great playing it. I can do it, I'll empty every clip I have to bring everyone down, that's it, with enough bullets everyone goes down.
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (KCEJ, Playstation 2, 2001)
This is where we understood that films and games could go together. Playing MGS 2, I was blown away by three thing, and three thing was in constant discussion. The story was complex, I needed to pay attention to not miss anything. The gameplay was smart and well done, attacking your enemy straight on was not the best of plans, ever. The enemies, the bosses, the characters they inhabited was done with finesse, and are memorable. Three things was discussed, the realism of the weapons (did a lot to improve the realism and the feel of the game), the length of the film sequences (so long, but probably necessary) and the fact that the main score was composed by Harry Gregson-Williams (the only man better than him in the film-businesses is Mr Zimmer himself). with all this combined I didn't even care that Raiden was such a pussy-ass.
Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Nintendo EAD, GameCube, 2006)
I only played this game on GameCube, frankly, I don't see how it could be much better on the Wii. Link's last adventure on the GameCube was dark and all through a great experience that gave us little new but still managed to entertain as Zelda has a tendency to do. That's probably it though, Legend of Zelda is a concept that is worth playing over and over and over again.
Bioshock (2K Boston, Xbox 360, 2007)
I did not like Bioshock 2, it's not interesting. Bioshock was interesting. The city of Rapture is the best city a game has yet to offer, the story and the atmosphere when you control your character is just great, they manage to capture so much emotion, I don't even know what makes this so great, and the sequel not. It's the same world. There is a sequence with a piano (you know) that I just find the most bizarre scene in a game ever. I look forward to playing Infinte, where the old developers are back. I think it will have a lot to offer.
Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings (Ensemble Studios, PC, 1999)
Oh the nights I have spent playing this classic game. Oh the times I have faced defeat, only to enter 'how do you turn this on' on the cheat screen and summoned bullet firing cars to turn every enemy into nothing but rubble and meat. The game was entertaining and I played it so much, with friends and alone, the campaign, several times. Age of Empires II doesn't hold up as well as it used to, but it's still a wonderful game to play. And it's a bit nostalgic as well, I have to admit.
Tales of Symphonia (Namco Tales Studio, GameCube, 2003)
One of the last JRPGs before they started to become worse and worse. Basic wonderful JRPG story, basic amazing JRPG characters and a non-regular wonderful real time battle system. released in the same time as Star Ocean III, this was what I thought that every JRPG was going to be like, gone was the random encounters and turn based fighting. Oh how wrong I was. But then and there, Tales of Symphonia gave me hope for an era where the Japanese RPG was going to evolve and grow stronger.
Places 40-31 soon!