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Top Ten Video Games of All Time

Sam Brind holds a master's in physics with theoretical physics (MPhys) from the University of Manchester.

10 Best Video Games Ever

A quick disclaimer that this list is based on my personal opinion and only contains games that I have played and completed. Feel free to leave your thoughts and your own lists in the comments.

10. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

The game that launched the call of duty series into the mainstream juggernaut that has been unstoppable ever since. However, almost all players agree that the first modern warfare is the high point of the series and one of the greatest shooters of all time. The multiplayer was the major improvement that kept everyones attention but there was also a hugely impressive single player campaign. The setting of modern warfare provided a fresh and gritty feeling and the story was packed with standout moments (who can forget the nuke or all ghillied up). The gameplay was super smooth and set the new benchmark for FPS gameplay. Multiplayer was a revolutionary experience introducing now staple features such as killstreaks, perks and custom classes. The multiplayer captured a huge number of fans and turned to be a highly addictive experience that is fondly remembered by all players.

9. Super Mario Galaxy

One of a handful of standout games on the Nintendo Wii. It successfully adapted mario's well known fun platforming gameplay into a space setting. The game consisted of varied mini planets with interesting features and also a kind of gravity. Although it retained the same basic mario story of rescuing the princess from Bowser it still felt original and kept the most important feature of mario games, fun. A key thing to note is also how the game pushed the underpowered Wii hardware to produce a vivid and beautifully stylised universe.

8. God of War 2

I knew that I had to include one of the games from the god of war trilogy. Each god of war game provides a bloody hack and slash epic that brings greek mythology to life. The first god of war introduced the mechanics and setting and god of war 3 rounded off the trilogy with a jaw dropping level of scale. I have selected the second game for this list as it provides the best all round experience and was a fitting swansong for the PS2. The graphics are stunning, the bosses are impressive and the combat is brutally satisfying.

7. The Walking Dead: Season One

A surprising hit from 2012 that took an acclaimed tv show and adapted it, using Telltales point and click formula, into an engrossing and emotional videogame experience. The story is split into five short episodes. You control Lee and have to protect a young girl, Clementine, during the zombie apocalypse. Although there are a few technical issues, the artstyle is stylised and the story is thoroughly engaging with rounded and varied characters. The gameplay is made up of a combination of QTEs, point and click gameplay and plot choices for the user to minorly affect the story. If you aren't emotionally affected by the time you reach the end then you have no heart.

6. Super Mario Bros.

Nothing really needs to be said here does it? An absolute classic that cemented super mario as a gaming icon, Shigeru Miyamoto as a great director and even helped rescue the gaming industry. The game perfectly blends fun and accessibility with varied gameplay and a challenge to master. It has been remade and released on a multitude of platforms ever since and will be enjoyed for generations of gamers to come.

5. Portal 2

A unique experience that combines witty, charming characters and mind bending puzzles to create an amazing game. The brilliant concept of portals and their effectiveness in creating entertaining puzzles are retained from the original portal but a story has now been built around the puzzle rooms. Therefore, the game shines on two different levels: the puzzles are challenging but not frustrating and the story is entertaining with a humorous script and great voice acting (particularly from Stephen Merchant).The game also includes a well fleshed out and highly enjoyable cooperative mode that expands on puzzles found in the single player.

4. Fallout 3

Set in the aftermath of a nuclear war, fallout 3 is focused on the wasteland around were Washington DC used to be. The gameplay merges FPS mechanics with in depth RPG mechanics. Although the game is hampered with a wide range of bugs and some plain graphics in places it stills stands as one of my most enjoyable gaming experiences. It is a truly vast game with a large map and a long list of side quests. The quests have multiple different paths for completion that helps prevent the game from ever feeling like a grind. There also bits of dark humour that prevent the game from ever getting too dark and depressing. The combat may be a bit rubbish but lets face it blowing off limbs in V.A.T.S. never gets old.

3. Tetris

A pop culture icon and the pinnacle of puzzle games. Tetris is just stacking blocks in an organised manner but it does it perfectly. The game mechanics are smooth, with a level of challenge for any player and also brilliantly addictive. A measure of this games success is the fact that people are still addicted to the game, with no major changes to the gameplay, over 30 years since its initial release in 1984 and will continue to be for the foreseeable future.

2. Bloodborne

Not for the feint hearted, bloodborne is an evolution of the famous 'souls game' formula from legendary director Hidetaka Miyazaki. A truly confusing game in the sense that there is no clear story, with it left to your imagination to describe the gruesome gothic setting that your stuck within. The details of the story are pretty insignificant as the gameplay is where this game shines, its silky smooth and perfectly tuned for brutal fights with a multitude of disgusting creatures. Yes the game is as hard as you've heard and you will die over and over again but it never feels unfair and the satisfaction at the end of each boss fight is unlike anything else in gaming. If you need help you can always call for assistance with an inbuilt cooperative system that fits in with the games mystery. The bosses are all magnificently tense fights with intense combat that require concentration and mastery of the game mechanics.

1. BioShock

In my opinion the best atmosphere and setting of any game; Rapture, an underwater dystopia that went horribly wrong. The art style is beautiful and the sound design is unnerving. The story and characters carry some deep themes and keep you engaged in a thrilling story. It is also unobtrusively told, with no forced waiting in cutscenes and the majority of the backstory being fleshed out through audio logs scattered throughout the environment. To focus on just the setting and narrative does a disservice to some very solid combat mechanics. There are a small range of guns but they are introduced at a pace that keeps it fresh and the main thrill comes from the unique plasmids (special powers such as shooting lightning bolts, fire, telekinesis etc.). The icon of this game are the big daddies and they definitely don't disappoint: fast, aggressive and highly damage resistant. These big daddies are essentially mini bosses that are scattered liberally throughout the game and require a thoughtful approach to successfully bring down. If there is anyone that still hasn't played this game, do so now and prepare for one of the most absorbing adventures in games.

Honourable Mentions

  • Batman Arkham Asylum
  • Pokemon Red/Blue
  • Doom
  • Goldeneye 007
  • Resident Evil 4
  • Uncharted 4
  • God of War 3
  • Shadow of the Colossus
  • Super Smash Bros. Melee
  • Space Invaders

© 2016 Sam Brind