Bryan's Top 10 Favorite Games of All Time (2017)
Here's another list that was tough to put together - my all-time top 10. I put 2017 in the title because I'd love to revisit this list and see how it evolves or changes in the future seeing as one inclusion came out in the second half of 2016. You'll notice some of these games aren't individually reviewed here, and the ones that are might not be perfect 10's. That's because these games transcend a rating for me and remain my personal favorites even with any potential flaws. I only have two rules for this list. One game per series on the main list and one game per series on the Honorable Mentions list. Just a small note on the Honorable Mentions list: They aren't - and have never been - in any special order. Maybe I'll start listing them in order in the future. Alright, let's get to it!
#10 - Titanfall 2 (PlayStation 4)
Oh my gosh, I did not know what I was getting in to when my brother bought a copy of this game for me on PC (Origin) during a 50-percent off sale. Turns out I loved it so much I had to share it with the whole stinking universe. Playing on PlayStation 4 is my machine of choice because I can play it with everyone (my wife, my best friend up in Ohio, and my brother) at the same time, but don't get me wrong PC has the best performance and looks if you have the rig for it (plus PC allows me to play with my best friend here in Virginia). I'm curious to see where Respawn Entertainment takes the series and if Titanfall 2 remains on this list as time goes on.
#9 - Minecraft (PlayStation 4)
I know this is the only entry on the list I'll get any flak for, but darn it all I can't help it. I'm the kind of person that operates best when there's no stress, and Minecraft melts away my stress like butter on a hot pan. There's something so addicting about starting a new world and having nothing and building a huge base from it. Also, if you have friends to play with making a huge world together and keeping it around is the most satisfying thing. I moved from Indiana to Ohio then to Virginia a few years back, and one of my most favorite Minecraft "seeds" (worlds) is one that a few old friends and I put together back in the day. I still visit and add to it.
#8 - XCOM 2 (PC - Steam)
Here's another game that came out just last year. It was honestly a bit of a battle between XCOM 2 and its original predecessor, XCOM: Enemy Unknown. I ultimately decided on this entry because I have much more time in it, the built-in Steam Workshop support makes it easy to switch up certain gameplay and aesthetic elements, and it's much more polished. The joys of this game coming from starting off a fresh campaign on the hardest difficulty with perma-death turned on and seeing how far you can go. I did in fact end up beating the game with more then a few casualties on this difficulty but I haven't yet tackled the Long War 2 Mod (review forthcoming).
#7 - Borderlands (Xbox 360)
The first Borderlands hold a very dear place in my old gamer's heart. I got it as a birthday gift from my then-girlfriend, now-wife and I played the heck out of it. It was the first game I reviewed here on The Level Lounge and inspired this whole site. Yes, Borderlands 2 is bigger and badder, but this started that whole series. It was the first game of its kind and to be honest I was a sucker for cell shaded graphics. I've beaten Borderlands so many times and every single character I've ever played for some reason has been Roland (the soldier). Somehow I can't bring myself to play through with another one.
#6 - Persona 4 Golden (PlayStation Vita)
Surprise, another gift from my wife (I'm starting to think she knows me better than I know myself). To be fair, we both loved Persona 3 Portable and clocked 60-hours each in it so the (kind of) sequel was set to be a hit for us. Persona 4 Golden took me about 80-hours to get everything on the hardest mode and I was ready to jump back in for the platinum trophy pretty much right away. The music in the game was the absolute best and it showed what the PlayStation Vita could do, even though Sony has all but given up on the platform here in the states.
#5 - Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus (PlayStation 2)
The first game in the Sly Cooper series has always been my favorite. It was something I had not seen before and it was one of the games I always played when I would go to my grandparent's on my dad's side in Ohio (I lived in Indiana at the time) because they had a PlayStation 2 and I could stay up as long as I wanted. I played it again on the Sly Collection for the PlayStation 3 and it was just as awesome as I remembered it being. While it's unfortunate that Sucker Punch moved on to other projects - effectively handing the Sly Cooper series to Sanzaru Games - I'll always remember them as the developers that created such a masterpiece.
#4 - Bloodborne (PlayStation 4)
Bloodborne is one of the greatest games of all time. I always find myself coming back to it, and I can't get enough. Trying out new builds, playing through with friends, it's all great. There's not one area in the game I don't like. Well actually, the two sharks in The Old Hunters DLC almost drove me insane to be fair but that was one tiny optional area that I could probably have a much easier time with now. If you haven't tried Bloodborne yet, it should be on the top of your to-do list. Also before you ask - yes it is worth buying a PlayStation 4 just to play this game. While you're at it pick up some other exclusives!
#3 - Pokemon Red Version (Game Boy)
Pokemon Red Version was the first role-playing video game that I played over the course of a long time. I believe I put well over 40 hours on the original cart, and so much more time on the Nintendo 3DS eShop re-release that dropped in the last couple of years. There's a certain charm in the old games looking back at them. I get that my nostalgia goggles have a lot to say about it, but even taking a step back I see a game that surpassed other games (especially on a handheld) in scale. I don't revisit the original so much because there's a new entry in the series every couple of years, but after the mediocrity that was Pokemon Sun, the beginning was a breath of fresh air.
#2 - Banjo Kazooie (Nintendo 64)
Speaking of games I played a lot as a kid - Banjo-Kazooie got the most playtime of them all. No matter how many times I beat it, I love going through and getting 100-percent at least once every few years. Thanks to its inclusion on the Xbox 360 Xbox Live Arcade and its addition to Rare Replay, I'll never have to say goodbye! I remember the feeling of total freedom I got once I unlocked the move that allowed you to fly all around the levels. Now, some of the platforming didn't age well (I'm looking at you, Click Clock Wood) but most everything else is still as fun as I remember.
#1 - Resident Evil 4 (Game Cube)
And here we are. My all-time number one favorite game is easily Resident Evil 4. There's no contest. I had this on my Game Cube as early as 2005, and always listened to Augustana's All the Stars and Boulevards when playing it. For some reason that melancholy sound mixed well with the game. Leon Kennedy was so cool back in the day and the story was so edgy, though somehow now Leon is cheesy and the narrative is campy as I'll get out, but I love it regardless albeit for different reasons. It's still one of the scariest and most challenging survival horror titles out there and I recommend every gamer play it at least once.
Well that was indeed a tough one! It was interesting to dig in and think about and to finally get something written down. I always found myself saying "Oh yeah, that's in my top 10." but had never actually made said top 10, even though I've been writing these lists for a couple of years now. Fun fact: The earliest game on this list is Pokemon Red Version (1995), and the latest is Titanfall 2 (2016). Games are great, and if you're a true fan of video games you know as well as I do that the newest and shiniest games often times don't hold a candle to the older ones. Give me your top 5 or so in the comments!