In the last section of our Shadow’s Sixty countdown we crafted dungeons and bombs, we fought gods and demons, and we explored Seattle. Things are just getting even more exciting! Epic loot, ancient dungeons, explosions, an intriguing musical experience, and even the rise of the horror genre await you below… if you dare to look.
48. Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls (PCS3/PC/Xbox 360/PS4/Xbox One)
Diablo 3’s first expansion, Reaper of Souls, is a perfect example of a developer recognizing their mistakes and correcting them. Diablo 3 was a mess when it first came out… but Blizzard recognized that, shifted their vision, and made a ton of important changes. And now, it is the most enjoyable and satisfying loot-based action RPG I’ve ever played.
They’ve made the gameplay fast and dynamic, the loot system really pushes home that feeling of power, and they’ve done a great job of implementing a feeling of progression. It’s not perfect, but they’re consistently making improvements to all aspects of the game and it is one of the best ways to spend a lazy afternoon or let out your frustration after a tough day at work.
47. Resident Evil (PS1/PS3 – as PS1 Classic)
Resident Evil wasn’t the first horror game ever made, but it was the first one to really make the genre a known quantity in the gaming sphere. The game did so many things so well, for its time. They scripted rooms for multiple visits, used mechanics and camera angles to create a situation where corners became as terrifying as they should be if you were really in that mansion, and really built tension through scarcity and unpredictability. You could go through the same hallway a few times with nothing happening… and then suddenly, a window breaks or a closet springs open. It’s a great horror game, awkward though it is to play nowadays. In fact, the awkwardness really proves to be part of its charm, as a more realistic control system or more forgiving camera angles may have proven to remove the game’s tension.
46. Rogue Legacy (PC/PS3/PS4/PSVita/XBO)
The Rogue-like is one of the oldest videogame genres, yet also one that did not have terribly much prominence until very recently – thanks to the rise of the Rogue-lite. You see, Rogue-like games offer difficult, randomized dungeons that you must complete in a single life. A daunting prospect for many… but when you add in a small element of permanence, it suddenly becomes far more approachable. And that permanence is the most common distinction that marks a Rogue-lite from a true Rogue-like. Rogue Legacy does this in one of the best ways I’ve seen, by allowing you to gradually obtain permanent power increases through equipment, runes, unlocked classes and levels.
While you’re still starting over each and every time, you gradually get stronger and, as such, can gradually make progress into even the most difficult parts of the dungeon. But that alone was not enough to bring this game to greatness… what really makes this game spectacular is the tongue in cheek sense of humour and variety. Every time you die, you pick the next descendant in your family tree, and each character has a distinct combination of class and traits. Now, when I say traits, you might be thinking ‘good with a sword’, but Rogue Legacy means ‘dyslexic’ or ‘color blindness’. And these effects have a real effect on how the game plays. It’s a great twist.
45. Tomb Raider (PS3/X360/XBO/PS4)
When Crystal Dynamics set out to reboot the venerable classic Tomb Raider series, they had quite a task ahead of them. I mean, Lara Croft was an icon, and her games were among the most well-known around. So rather than reinventing the wheel, they moved in a more relatable direction. They created an origin story for Lara that sees her shipwrecked on an ancient island that was home to the ruined remains of the lost Kingdom of Yamatai. The game’s story was unpredictable, exciting, and created amazing moments to develop this fledgling archaeologist’s career.
Yes, we get to meet Lara before she is the hardened Tomb Raider, back when she’s just an ambitious and eager archaeologist desperate to make her first big find. Sadly, the world has something more… sinister… in store for her, as she is forced into a series of situations that threaten to break her, unless she can become strong enough to overcome them. Her growth marks an accomplishment for action games and movies alike, as it is the first time I can recall an action hero having such a believable vulnerable period.
It, of course, goes without saying that the action is good… but it was a huge surprise, and a very welcome one, how good the character development was.
44. Sound Shapes (PS3/PS4/Vita)
Sound Shapes is one of those games that is extremely hard to describe. It was one of the incredible indy games that came out during 2012’s ‘revolution’, and it is one of the most unique platformers in gaming history. In Sound Shapes, you play as a little round character traversing through various musically themed worlds. Music is absolutely integral to this game, and various elements of the game will trigger along with the music, and sometimes hitting certain parts of the stage will even cause extra layers to be added to the level’s music.
One of the things that makes the game so unique is the level creator. You can build your own levels and submit them for everyone to play… but also, the creators reached out to various musical artists, composers, and game developers and asked them to create music and levels for it. There’s a compilation by Beck for example, that integrates the lyrics of the song into the level in a really fascinating way.
43. Ratchet and Clank Future: A Crack in Time (PS3)
Ratchet and Clank Future: a Crack in Time opened me up to a whole new world. A world in which Lombaxes beat things with wrenches, in which you were wrong each and every time you thought ‘oh things can’t get weirder or more awesome than this’, and in which one could truly become Lord of the Dance… or at least ensure nobody ever danced better than you by forcing them to dance with a Groovitron and letting your adorable little mechanical friend blow them up with lasers.
Sure, you’d expect this much craziness to come with fun gameplay and shooting systems… that’s only natural. But what you might have not expected are a variety of intriguing and thought-provoking puzzles involving clones, switches, and several other interesting mechanics. Overall, this game deserves its spot, and if it weren’t for just how many ridiculously awesome games exist out there, this game would probably be higher on this list.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading these as much as I enjoy writing it! It’s a ton of work to narrow down, but it’s been a great experience so far and I’m excited to share more as we get closer to the coveted top regions of the list!
Are there any games you’re surprised to see at this point of the list? What do you think is going to be in the next segment? Please let me know in the comments below!