Shadow’s Six: Favourite Games of the Generation

So it’s time for our final PS3/360 roundup article leading into the next generation’s launches over the next two weeks… so if you can tear yourselves away from Blizzcon, here’s something for you to read in your downtime: my favourite games of this generation. This is one of the hardest lists I’ve ever written, and it took quite a lot of thinking to cut the number down to 6. So let’s get started.

6) Uncharted 3

The Uncharted series is one of those legendary game series. Everyone includes one of the Uncharted games in these top lists for obvious reasons. Uncharted is to video games what Indiana Jones was to movies. The perfect mystery adventure. The series keeps going, and keeps getting better. Many call Uncharted 2 the pinnacle, but I’ve always felt that Uncharted 3 offered such an expansion of the gameplay content and such an intriguing story that I’ve been drawn to it.

If you haven’t played an Uncharted game you really should… and the best part: every Uncharted game is its own story so there’s no huge investment. You can just jump in and play Uncharted 3.

5) Darksiders 2

When I played Darksiders, I was intrigued. It was the best Zelda style game I’ve played in ages… but the combat was a little clunky and the environments a bit repetitive.

Then Darksiders 2 came out… and they fixed these issues. The environments were gorgeous and varied, Death was a little bit faster than War, and the gameplay felt truly engaging. But that’s not all… they also implemented a very interesting and fun loot system that allowed you to customize your own playstyle.

It truly was the Zelda game I’d been waiting for, but it was also an exciting action RPG… and I loved it. If you want a good loot experience, a good action rpg, or just a good game… this one is a great choice.

4) inFamous 2

And we move onto inFamous… Cole McGrath’s story is one of the best superhero stories I’ve ever experienced. The first inFamous game started a great story, crafted a great origin story but it did have some flaws. But then the sequel came out and they truly realized what a sequel was meant to be. inFamous 2 is the quintessential sequel – every aspect of the first game was improved, and it created the only game I’ve ever played enough to platinum.

Not only that, but this game’s endings are the best endings I’ve ever seen in a game… it’s worth playing just for the story and the endings, even if you’re crazy enough to not enjoy the gameplay.

3) Rayman Origins

Rayman Origins was clearly a passion project. It is an example of a game not designed to get an audience, not designed to appeal to the lowest common denominator, not designed for any other reason than to create something fun. They created this as a labour of love, and it works.

When I played Rayman Origins, it was just pure and utter joy. Fun was the name of the game, and even when I was playing harder levels and losing every 5 seconds, I was still just plain having fun. It’s not the world’s best story, but it doesn’t really matter. It’s fun, and once you get into it… the fun overrides any other concerns.

2) The Last of Us

And here we have a very unusual juxtaposition. We move from a game purely designed to be fun to a game that was designed with an absolute opposite goal. Fun was not the objective in this game, you will not feel good during this experience… but it is probably the best designed game I’ve ever played.

Every aspect of this game is highly deliberate, highly structured, and does not care the least bit about whether you agree with it or not. This is not a story about your decisions, it’s not a game about giving you power or control… it’s about giving you the ultimate post-apocalyptic experience.

I cannot recommend this game for everyone… but if you have some pretty strong emotional fortitude and a desire for a game that does some truly unique things in storytelling and has one of the most moving and emotional opening sequences in gaming history, you should be ashamed if you haven’t played this yet.

1) Journey

This was a tough call. My top three were all very close. In fact, last year’s Rayman ORigins was my game of the year… but the more time passed, the more I thought about it, I felt Journey was the most unique and fascinating game I’ve ever played. This experience transcends what ‘game’ typically means and provides an experience unlike anything else.

The sad part about this game is that there’s so little you can say about it… the good part is that once a person plays it, no words need to be said.

 

If you’ve enjoyed these articles, you can check out my previous Shadow’s Six articles by clicking on the series link below. Also, next Tuesday we will be honoring Blizzard Entertainment in our next Most Anticipated of 2014 article.

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