In my opinion, good, quality, and legitimately fun games are hard to come by. While I generally complete the main portion of most games I start (meaning I don’t try for 100% completion) many times I find myself playing it as a chore after a certain point. If I wasn’t so OCD about finishing things, I’d probably play even fewer games every year than I do now. In this run-down, I will go over what I think is the best/most-fun game in every genre, one that I came back to because I WANTED to and not because I felt I had an obligation to beat.
Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG)
I put this category first for the sole reason that if I divided a pie chart symbolizing all the time in my life I’ve ever put into gaming, into the genres listed in this article, MMOs would be the largest piece of the pie. This is not uncommon I believe, as the genre is basically designed to be a time-sink, but nonetheless fun if you’re the type of person who enjoys this sort of thing.
Unless you’re forcing yourself to play a certain MMO for some friends’ sake, generally the MMO you’ve spent the most time on is probably your favorite. For me, this game just barely beats Phantasy Star Online 2 in hours played. Guild Wars released right around the same time as World of Warcraft, and was somewhat overshadowed by it. I actually bought Guild Wars on the day of its release, for reasons I’m not going to get into here i, but let’s just say I had no idea what the game was about at all.
I’m going to be fair here, Guild Wars sucked at release. I played this game for not even two weeks and got really bored, really fast. I actually got into World of Warcraft right around this time……. and that game also didn’t work for me. Guild Wars and World of Warcraft both had consistent expansions after release which improved both games considerably, the difference being that Guild Wars got better and better with each expansion until it hit its peak at its last expansion Eye of the North, while World of Warcraft peaked at Wrath of the Lich King and then became a more watered down and linear experience after that.
I could go on for a LONG time about everything that Guild Wars did right that we’ve never seen again in any other MMO (even in Guild Wars 2), but I’ll just keep it short. Guild Wars developed a system that didn’t require almost any level-grinding and allowed for players who only wanted to play PvP get straight into it. It had an interesting and concise story. It had memorable characters and settings, and different paths that would let you choose different story-lines on future characters. The concept of going out in the world to capture elite skills from bosses, putting together a custom build team which either you or an AI could control, and developing many different class combinations and skill possibilities kept the game interesting and fun for an unheard of amount of time. This doesn’t even take into account the in-depth PvP options Guild Wars had to offer.
I’m going to stop here, because I could write at least 4 times as much on this game, but I need to move on. Let’s just say there are plenty of reasons why Guild Wars is my favorite MMORPG of all time.
Western Role-Playing Game (WRPG) [Single Player Story Based]
The Mass Effect Series
This game kinda just wins by default because it’s the only WRPG I’ve ever played, but it’s a fantastic game. Not only does it win this category, but it is also one of my favorite game series of all-time. Sci-fi universe, intricate story, great characters and engaging combat; there’s not much else I need to say here.
Japanese Role-Playing Game (JRPG) [Single Player Story Based]
I don’t play many JRPGs, only because they usually take so damn long and if there’s one thing I HATE it’s leveling characters in a single player gameii. With that being said, I still have played a handful of them, so there’s a winner with actual thought put behind it.
Tales of Xillia 2
I know few will agree with me, and that’s alright as this is sort of a personal bias on a certain setting that really clicks with me. Tales of Xillia 2 can be played without playing Xillia due to the vast amount of lore available that goes into the events of Xillia, both in text and in dialogue, but to me you’re only doing yourself a disservice by skipping Xillia. In Xillia 2 you play as Ludger, someone who’s thrown into chaosiii, and has no idea what’s going on. Along the way you meet up with all of the characters from Xillia and get wrapped up in their relationships and struggles. This concept of being an outlier, or bystander of sorts, surrounded by something much bigger, is just a very fascinating plot to me. Much like the Danganronpa series, the second game in the series is a better game only because the first game lets you appreciate it more, and helps build the experience into something greater than it would otherwise be.
For this I’m actually going to separate it into two winners
Best Story: The Halo Series
Best Multiplayer: Titanfall
There was really no way around this, I could not choose one over the other because they’re both the best for very different reasons. Halo revolutionized the FPS genre, is still going, and no other FPS has even compared when it comes to creating an on-going story like Halo is. I’ll admit, Halo: Reach kinda took the series down a notch iv, and actually I was almost not going to play Halo 4 because of it, but I did and I’m glad I did. Halo 4 is the best game in the series v, and completely re-vitalized my interest in the story. Now here I am eagerly awaiting Halo 5.
Titanfall is a winner for being the best on the opposite side of the spectrum. This game took the best parts of the fast action-paced type of FPSs in the market now, then took a more fluid and polished MechWarrior, sat them in a room with a brick of Viagra, and resulted in the most fun FPS multiplayer experience I’ve ever had. viTitanfall proves to me that other companies can do more with their games, but decide not to…. or something. The parkour aspect, combined with the mix of pilot and mech fighting, concise weapon typesvii, and ability to mow down NPCs during your search for enemy pilots, make this game the only FPS I can bring myself to play at any given moment. On that note, I can’t wait for Titanfall 2.
Before I go further in this category, I want to point out that I do actually enjoy Third-Person Shooters more than FPSs, but I’ve yet to find a TPS that really blows me away. I’ve played plenty of fun ones, but yet to see one that shows promise in the future of its genre. With that said……..
Metal Gear Solid 4
This game is both my favorite MGS game in the series, and probably the most fun TPS multiplayer game I’ve ever played. That is of course until the game got quickly ruined by the online community and lack of support by the developer. As riddled with problems as MGS4 Online was, I think if Konami’s support is strong enough, MGS5 Online can be everything the former should have been.
Hold on…… actually I’m only saying this because I love the concept and the main character, Kat, so very very much. But honestly I haven’t even beaten the game because I don’t want it to end. Once we get confirmation of Gravity Rush 2 I’ll probably feel more inclined to finish it. Let’s choose something a little more objective……
Tomb Raider (2013)
Back in 2014 I played a whole bunch of games, big titles that had been GotY contenders, or had raving reviews, or were free on PSN+viii. Out of all of the games I finished, Tomb Raider was the only game that actually made me want to get home and get to the game ASAP, the only game that I did all of the side content for, and the only game I didn’t want to end. Unfortunately, like many adventure games today, it was barely 15 hours long ixand my enjoyment came to an end. Everything about that game really struck with me, the survival setting, the puzzles, the characters (especially the new Lara Croft), and the ability to play the game the way you wanted when it came to combat. While I did play this game “for free” through PSN+, I definitely would have paid money for it had I known how great it was, and I’m definitely getting the sequel now on day one.
The Bayonetta Series
No game has ever had the presentation, and sheer awesomeness (actually MGR:Revengeance was close) as Bayonetta. Bayonetta’s sassy charm combined with the ridiculousness of her “clothing” coming off as you used more and more powerful skills, was a fantastic touch to an already enthralling action experience. In addition, the soundtrack to these games were far and above the best that any action game (that I’ve even seen) has had. Cinematic fluidity, relatively high replay value, and the most refined action game-play I’ve ever experienced makes The Bayonetta Series the best action series ever made.
The Persona 4 Arena Series
Look, me and Brian already wrote a very long article on this game. I don’t need to say anything else.
Dance Dance Revolution
I’m not going to lie, I still play this game regularly, and even though I choose this game for this category, I love so many rhythm games. I am a competitive gamer; between MOBA, Card, Fighting, and Strategy games, I love to develop skills as I play games. The challenge of becoming a better player to overcome difficulties, and my love for music, lend to rhythm games being one of my Top 3 favorite types of games.
Dance Dance Revolution, as it’s name implies, revolutionized and ushered in the era of rhythm games we live in now. Sure we have Guitar Hero and Rock Band, but would those games have come to be so soon if DDR had never come to America? I can’t say for sure, but I believe the rhythm genre would have had a harder time gaining exposure without it. Let’s not even go into the plethora of rhythm games available in Japan and Korea, and we also don’t need to talk about how much money I spent on them while I was over there.
The Portal Series
If there was ever a combination of perfection and brilliance with concept and writing, it’s the Portal series. It’s hard for me to SAY why this series is so good, so you should go play them both NOW.
Sonic Adventure 2 Battle
I could have said just Sonic Adventure 2 but Battle added some fun stuff and was on the Gamecube, so it’s just a strictly better upgrade. There are only a handful of games I’ve ever 100% completed; this is one of them, and I WORKED FOR THAT SHIT. The game has a cheesy story like all Sonic games and some of the programming wasn’t on point which led to weird situations and badly timed voice clips, but the rest of the game more than made up for it. Who doesn’t like rolling around at the speed of sound?
I used to play a bunch of soccer games when I was younger, but to me sports games are a time-sink that I could be spending on an MMORPG, so I don’t play them anymore, so on that note:
International Superstar Soccer 64
I guess it’s only fair that I go this far back in time in at least one of these categories. I’m sure I could ask many people about their favorite games and there would be plenty of choices on the SNES and Sega Saturn, but those people are stuck in the past and too attached to nostalgia. Anyways, this is probably the only sports game I spent any sort of decent length on before I realized I preferred to play other games more. Yay Soccer!
Ok, I’m about to be the biggest hypocrite right here, but let’s talk about an OLD ASS RTS:
This game was fun as hell both single and multiplayer. You controlled one of four tribes each with a different color and name; my handle “Chumara” actually comes from the yellow tribe in this game. This is probably why nobody has ever recognized it before, which is fine, I’ll take credit for originality until somebody calls me out on it. Each tribe has a shaman that can cast spells ranging from shooting a fireball, to summoning a volcano or ravaging demons. If your shaman ever died, they would be resurrected in due time, and the speed at which your spells charged up was dependent on how big and happy your tribe was. One thing that was unique in this game was the ability to terraform the land using spells to create walls, trenches, etc to protect yourself or gain access to hard-to-reach areas. Just that alone made playing this game for hours on end in single-player such a blast.
I could go on for awhile on this game as well, but I think it’d be more interesting to see some gameplay of it:x
Remembrance #1: The AI was dumb as hell in this game
Remembrance #2: The units made funny sounds in this game when hit with spells, especially the shamans.
Remembrance #3: Terra-forming was REALLY fun
This category is similar to sports, for the same reason I explained in sports. I have played a handful of racing games though, and I have a clear conclusion:
Project Gotham Racing 3
I’m not sure why this game was more fun than any other, it felt very natural and it managed to keep me entertained longer than any other racing game. The drifting had a balance between RidgeRacer‘s “Look at my car drifting perpendicular to the road” and Forza‘s “Were you trying to drift? I wasn’t sure”, and the graphics looked quite nice for its time. There have probably been several better racing games since then, and maybe my choice would be different had I kept up with the genre, but until then, this is my choice.
I feel like at some point I’ll remember a game that should have taken one of these spots, and hell some of these were close and difficult choices, even if I made it seem otherwise, but there must be a winner!