Video games have both become much more advanced and much more common in the past couple of decades. The hobby has evolved from a niche interest to an integral part of popular culture. Beyond that, many would argue that it is now as much a legitimate art form as movies or novels. However, for this article, we will be focusing on video games as entertainment media; therefore we will not be talking about those aspects of gaming that make them into an art form.
Of course, there are more video games than anyone could play in their lifetime, let alone rank their favorites in any kind of order. So our list is pretty basic: these are our top ten favorite video games of all time. Since this writing crew enjoys many different types of video games, we have tried to cast a wide net with our selections.
10) “Borderlands 2”
Blending first-person shooter mechanics with RPG elements, “Borderlands 2” is an immensely satisfying and addictive game. The cel-shaded graphics give the game a comic book feels which makes the violence all the more comical and fun. The characters are also incredibly well written and likable, especially Claptrap (voiced by the always amazing Anthony Azizi). There are just so many things to do in “Borderlands 2” that it’s hard to put the game down.
9),8), 7) “Portal 1,2 & 3”
Few video games make you think as much as “Portal.” Developed by Valve. “Portal” tasks the player with using a gun that shoots portals to navigate through rooms and solve puzzles. Along with its engaging story and fun narration, “Portal” manages to be both challenging and incredibly rewarding. Its sequel, “Portal 2,” is also worth your time if you like what you see here.
While most of the games on this list are single-player experiences, they can’t all work without another important element: multiplayer. Games like these need something competitive or cooperative to do. When you’re not playing by yourself to keep players coming back for more. Here are three favorite multiplayer games in order from least favorite to most favorite.
6) “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe”
One of the most popular party games of all time, “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe” is a racing game that anyone can play. With characters and tracks from across the entire Mario franchise, it’s no wonder this game is so beloved. The addition of anti-gravity racing to the mix makes for even more chaotic fun.
5) “Halo: Combat Evolved”
The original “Halo” was one of the first console FPS games to really take off. It also featured one of the earliest and most well-done online multiplayer modes in console gaming. While later entries in the series may have added more features and depth, nothing beats playing “Halo: CE” with a few friends on LAN
4) “Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare”
Speaking of LAN parties, nothing brings people together quite like a good old “Call of Duty.” The fourth installment in the series was by far the best, with its tight gameplay, modern setting, and addictive multiplayer. While later games in the series may have added more bells and whistles, nothing beats the original for pure competitive fun.
3) “Super Smash Bros. Melee”
Few video games are as iconic as Nintendo’s “Super Smash Bros.” series. The original game was a hit on the N64 for its simple yet deep fighting mechanics. However, it was on the Gamecube that the series reached its peak with “Super Smash Bros. Melee.” With an absurdly large roster of characters, an incredibly well-made single-player mode, and one of the best local multiplayer experiences ever created, “Smash Bros. Melee” is a must-play for any Nintendo fan.
2) “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt”
No list of favorite video games would be complete without at least one RPG. And while there are many great RPGs to choose from, our favorite is “The Witcher 3.” With its massive world to explore, interesting characters, and challenging combat, “The Witcher 3” provides dozens of hours of entertainment. CD Projekt Red knocked it out of the park with this one, and we can’t wait to see what they do next.
For our number one spot, we had to go with “Persona 5.” The latest entry in the Shin Megami Tensei spinoff series is an absolute masterpiece. With fantastic art direction, engaging combat, and a deep social simulation aspect, “Persona 5” is unlike any game that’s come before it. It’s so much more than just another RPG; it’s the pinnacle of game design. We can’t wait to see what Atlus does next.