60) Mass Effect 3
Completing Commander Shepard's story was a big ask, and at the end of the day, I feel like Bioware really did deliver a stellar game that built off of everything I enjoyed from Mass Effect 2) and gave me an ending to an absolutely spectacular space opera. I really liked how 3 added to and refined to the cover-shooting mechanics in 2 (for those of you unfamiliar, Mass Effect is a third-person action RPG series), plus allowing me to continue all of my ship (the Normandy)'s crews' stories, often to heartbreaking, and in some cases satisfying conclusions before the big ending, was exactly what I wanted.
Now, I do have to say something about Mass Effect 3's original ending, and the furor around it: I...was not crazy about the fact that the game (which was so heavily built on choices, and your choices altering the outcomes of the story) basically dictated three, largely underwhelming endings, regardless of how you played...but at the same time, I don't think there was a way that it could have ended that satisfied everyone--I felt, as soon as I was done (or even after going back to see the Extended Cut endings) and I had made my choice (woo! synthesis!) that the ending did not matter, but it was the journey of Mass Effect 3 that continues to ring in my head as one of my favourite games.
Plus, I still totally have a thing for Tali'Zorah.
59) Medal of Honor: Frontline
I always enjoyed the Medal of Honor series of WW2 First-Person Shooters, and Frontline is a game that I played so many times, over and over again, because I just liked it that much. The game starts with you (Lt. Patterson from the OSS) as part of Operation Overlord (D-Day) and then you work your way through Nazi Occupied Europe in order to stop the Nazis from putting an experimental jet fighter into service. I don't know what it is about Frontline that has always worked for me so well, even when compared to the others, as it is essentially linear, FPS, with really solid (if not to Call of Duty-level) mechanics....but I knew that Frontline had to be on my list: it's too big a part of my gaming heritage not to be.
One of the most influential video games of all-time, and one of the pillars that established the First Person Shooter as a genre, Doom is just one of those games that every shooter fan needs to play at least once. Doom has you playing a Space Marine (who has no name, but colloquially became known as "Doomguy") stationed on Mars when, thanks to some corporate shenanigans with teleportation, you now find yourself needing to fight demons from hell, who have found their way onto Phobos and Deimos...and then for good measure, you go to Hell itself to finish this nonsense off.
The speed, the variety in weapons, the fun, sorta-3D level design (with the simple goal of "find the exit"), and even the crazy evil (totally D&D inspired) enemies, Doom is simply one of the best games ever made...and I loves it.
Oh, and I suppose I should say that as of writing this list, I have not played the 2016 Doom yet, but I plan on starting it in the next few days...and am pretty damn excited.
57) Grand Theft Auto V
It's hard to argue with the fact that Rockstar Games is one of the very best game developers in the world today (not the best, in my opinion, buy we will get to that later), and their most recent release, the crazy huge, open world, third-person action game Grand Theft Auto V essentially proves that to a T. The game is pretty much a pseudo-California world for you to move around in, giving you three different characters to engage with (all of whom are very different, and excellently portrayed...not to mention fun in their own way), and huge amount of things you can do outside of the actual story/missions....
I don't know about you guys, but there's just something about having a Rockstar Game kicking around that is great--maybe you don't play it all the time, but it's something that you always feel like you can go back to. V is essentially standing in for the Grand Theft Auto series on this list (as it is my favourite of the bunch), but I spent a tonne of time with San Andreas and IV as well: and there are those days where some friends would come over, we'd order pizza, grab some drinks, and just hand the controller around and do crazy things (or sometimes just go bowling and listen to the music). I love the fact that Grand Theft Auto V expanded on that and gave me the ability to just play tennis, and a whole round of golf...or go online and race Mini Coopers around with my friends, and when I wanted to, there was always a compelling story to pull me back in for some epic solo heists.
There's a reason that Grand Theft Auto V made $1 Billion dollars in it's first three days after release, and it remains one of the best, and the best-selling games of all-time.
Plus there's a weird yoga mini-game in it...
56) Child of Light
Child of Light is something of a combination of a side-scrolling platformer and a classic RPG that came out for the PS4 (XB1, PS3, XB360) in 2014 created by Ubisoft Montreal as a sort of...indie/art game....and it is gorgeous. Child of Light feels like you are playing a beautifully illustrated children's book, as you are Aurora, a young girl who wakes up in the strange land of Lemuria where she must bring back the sun, the moon, and the stars (all captured by the Queen of the Night) so she is able to go home. Everything has a hand painted feel, the music is entirely done by the superbly talented Canadian singer/songwriter Cœur de pirate...
Oh, and did I mention that the entire game is written in iambic pentameter? Yeah, my being a classical theatre geek made that the cherry on top of an stunningly wonderful little game.
55) Star Wars Battlefront 2
Star Wars Battlefront II is another one of those games that came out while I was in University that I ended up playing the hell out of, both by myself, and with my friends. There was a time when I knew almost every map of this game inside and out, and there would be times when I would have a break before a rehearsal or class or something, where I would wander home and play through a Galactic Conquest, just because I could.
Battlefront II was Star Wars battles in a box--essentially you played either first or third-person shooting, either in the campaign (of a man who was both at times on the Imperial, and Rebel sides), or (my favourite) the Galactic Conquest, a game mode where you would pick one of the sides (from either trilogy of Star Wars films) and you would fight to conquer planets, and eventually eliminate the other faction. There were space battles, there were heroes, there were endless waves of bots (when by yourself) to fight...I absolutely loved it.
I did dabble with the recent Battlefront, but to be perfectly honest, despite the fact that it was goregous, and fun to play, the lack of any single-player content lost me: I liked playing it online, but, no Galactic Conquest? Not for me.
54) Alien Isolation
This should come as no surprise to anyone who knows me, or has been reading theguysfrom.com for any length of time (as I gushed about this game in an article once already)...but yeah...Alien Isolation appealed so hard to the Alien fan that I am (it is my favourite movie of all-time after all) in pretty much every way possible.
I think there must be a difference in the game when it comes to playing it on the hardest possible difficulty, as I have spoken to some folks since my original article came out, and they mentioned lulls that I never had (stuff like "then you walk through there for like 5 minutes"...which I know I didn't do because walking would've meant death...), and I know that it's not perfect, but it's a great survival horror game, set on a creepy as hell space station (that has the same, utilitarian design you can expect from the Alien franchise), that for me, was an experience I could not get enough of.
The first video game to be exported to the West from the USSR, one of the best pure-gameplay experiences you can still have in gaming, a game that has been re-released, and re-made, and re-set upon essentially every home console that has ever been made (I have Tetris Ultimate on PS4 which has a cool co-operative mode, but is missing the original song, which is blasphemy)...it's a game where you are using random blocks to build solid rows and "Tetrises" and you are trying to set high scores...what else can I say?
52) Infamous 2
Infamous 2 was an absolutely amazing PS3 game that continued its' unique superhero story, and wrapped it up in a really entertaining way. Infamous and Infamous 2 revolved around Cole MacGrath who has electricity-based superpowers that allowed you to move around and fight in a fun, open-world city (in third-person). Within this was an interesting, character driven story (with a strangely black-and-white karma system) that allowed you to grow Cole into the paragon of justice, or the evil supervillain to end all supervillains you wanted, unlocking karmic-informed powers as you went, and in 2, you were faced with trying to stop the super powerful Beast.
The game moved the setting from "Empire City" (essentially a generic, slightly empty feeling Northeastern city), to "New Marais" (aka New Orleans...sorta), and that change really gave the game a great new atmosphere, and (thankfully) allowed Cole to bypass his nemesis: the chain link fence--if you haven't played the first one, it was strange to be a superhero who could use electricity to glide around a city, and not be able to climb a chain link fence). However, having thwarted this inanimate foe, you were now faced with the dangers of water and swamp traversal, which felt better contextually.
Infamous 2 is an excellent achievement and a game that, if not for the occasionally strange camera, and the addition of a bit of diversity in combat, would have been much, much higher on this list. I really hope the Infamous series is not over (after Second Son on PS4)...
51) Silent Hill 2
Despite the sometimes janky controls, Silent Hill 2 is such an amazing survival horror game that, for me, it just misses out on the Top 50. Not specifically a direct sequel to Silent Hill, but returning us to that same foggy American town, Silent Hill 2 is incredibly creepy, and I would say a fair amount smarter (with a little bit less horror) than the original game. Silent Hill 2 really focuses you more on the psychological horror, as you are moving (in third person) the main character through this crazy, monster-filled town looking for your deceased wife, and solving puzzles, all the while, the story unfolds slowly so that you come to realize that not everything is as it seems.
Silent Hill 2 is one of the very best horror narratives to ever be in a video game, and is still one of the greatest horror games ever made.
We just hit the halfway point in my list, and I just have to say thank you for sticking with me this long. Next week we will be starting out on my Top 50 Video Games of All-Time, and I hope you are looking forward to talking about more great video games.