21
Dec
07

GOTYs, replays, and my all time Top Ten.

Honestly, all the excellent games that were released this year, made it a tough year to decide on the Game of the Year. I personally think this is be the best year for video game software ever. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare still tops my list as GOTY. But, since reading that Game Informer picked BioShock, I’ve been thinking about playing through the dystopian shooter again.

I’ve commented on BioShock briefly before. I’m still of the opinion that it lacks a truly addictive element. I also had premonitions about the game’s major plot twist early on, which I think kind of ruined it all for me. But, I’ve been thinking about playing through the game again, this time rescuing all of the Little Sisters. I’d like to see the “good” ending. I definitely stopped harvesting the kids after a certain section near the beginning of the final act, which I guess says something about the game’s ability to tug my heart strings. The thought of playing through BioShock again got me thinking about some other excellent games I want to experience all over again.

Oblivion for instance. A friend of mine has picked up EQ2 and the look and feel of that game reminds me a lot of Oblivion. I’m left with a hankering for first-person fantasy kick-assitude. Plus, I haven’t played the expansion pack yet, and I bet the mod community has done some really cool stuff since I last played the game about a year ago. I’ve also installed a new video card since then, so I bet the game would look even more gorgeous.

I also just finished playing through EarthBound for the sixth or seventh time. This was the first video game I was really and truly passionate about. I think it’s one of the reasons I became such a huge gamer. I sank countless hours into EB when it first came out for SNES. I found the graphical style really appealing, and I love that it’s set during the 1990’s instead of high fantasy. The main characters were just four kids with extraordinary power. I guess I felt I could relate to that. On my first play-through, I never did beat the final boss Giygas, since I never never figured out the “have Paula pray nine times” trick. Giygas scared the shit out of me (I was only 10 years old), so it was a struggle to face him over and over, and lose every time. I played that last area over and over again, leveling all of my characters to their max level. I eventually became so frustrated and discouraged that I gave up trying. It wasn’t until a couple of years later that I discovered the secret and finally finished the game. That boss battle still makes me anxious even to this day. When I play through the game these days, I cheat. I love the challenge of the game, but I don’t really have time to sink 20-30 hours into a game I’ve beaten legitimately.

Now, I’m playing through Chrono Trigger again.

All of this reminiscing about and re-experiencing older games got me thinking that I should compile a list of my favorite games. I think I’ve been doing this gaming thing long enough now (15 years, give or take) to compile something relatively accurate. So, here goes:

Drivel’s Top Ten Favorite Video Games

Format: Rank-Game Name-Platform played on-Year of North American Release-Developer-Publisher

1. EarthBound – SNES – 1995 – Ape, Inc., HAL Laboratory, Inc. – Nintendo

2. Kingdom Hearts – PS2 – 2002 – Square – Square

3. Final Fantasy X – PS2 – 2001 – Square – Square Electronic Arts/Disney Interactive

4. Chrono Trigger -SNES – 1995 – Square – Square Soft, Inc.

5. Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars – SNES – 1996 – Square – Nintendo

6. Duke Nukem 3D – PC – 1996 – 3D Realms – Apogee Software

7. Team Fortress Classic – PC – 1999 – Valve Corporation – Sierra Entertainment

8. Xenosaga Episode I: Der Wille zur Macht – PS2 – 2003 – Monolith Soft – Namco

9. Star Ocean: Till The End of Time – PS2 – 2004 – tri-Ace – Square Enix

10. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare – PC – 2007 – Infinity Ward – Activision

You may notice the trends in the above list. Square dominates my top ten because I sank hundreds of hours into all of their games on this list. Why? Because I cared about what happened – the story drove all of those titles and Square made me care about the characters. The non-RPG titles on the list are shooters that were pure fun for me to play.

Anyway, I welcome comments, and if you’d like to post your top ten in the comments, please feel free to do so. No flaming!

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