So yesterday I decided to take part in the current event going around on Twitter, the #7FaveGames tag, being sure to include my wonderful wife, and mutual friend in it:
As the day progressed I saw more people take part in this mini trend, and I started noticing a few things.
I decided to do a little research, and clicked the #tag to see what others have chosen. What I found was very interesting.
Firstly, certain games were very popular and common, The Last of Us, and Overwatch being two I noticed the most, the former being to the degree that a notable number even listed that one game 7 times, as if it was the only one worthy of mention.
I have been told by a lot of people that I overthink a lot of things, and I am certain that this is one of those times. But I got thinking:
Just what qualifies as a fave game?I realised that in my head, I had created three categories:
1). 7 Best Games. Games which no matter how old they are, you will still happily play them now. Time has proven to you that they are not a passing fancy.
2). 7 Best Memories of Games. Games which you haven't played in likely ages, but have extremely good memories of.
3). 7 Games You Currently Love. You are really enjoying these games at the moment, and like a childhood summer, you want it to never end.
I realised that I answered as 1). That I looked at games I have played so much, and how many years later their age hasn't done them a disservice. Let me break it down for you:
SNATCHER - A game I played on the Sega CD as a child. I would say I have a lot of nostalgia about this game, but as a personal rule, I dig it out every 3 years and play it through. This is a game which I know I could play it today and would be exactly as I remember. To me it has everything in it, and is probably the best game ever made.
Psychonauts - Another game I play very regularly. It's graphics are cartoony and almost ageless as a result, but it's voice acting and great imagination means I can, and do, regularly replay this game which is roughly 10 years old.
Quake 4 - My go to game. Again we're looking at roughly a decade old release, but whenever I want to play a shooter purely to feel like a Grunt, this is my go to. I probably play this in it's entirety at least once a year.
Life is Strange - This shouldn't fit into my rules. It's too new. Time hasn't proven if it will stand up. However it's emotional impact was so huge, I couldn't not.
DMC - Devil May Cry - Quite literally the greatest action platform game I've played. Again, I replay this semi regularly, and at roughly 3 years old, it's on it's way to proving itself.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution - As with DMC, I have played this game over and over, and it always is enjoyable, and at a year older than DMC, it's seriously on its way to proving it's placement.
The Secret World - Been playing this for a good 3+ years as with the recent above games. In time will it continue to be what I would say is currently the best MMO out there? I don't know, but I hope so.
Why did I chose to go this route, and not the one that so many others did about the games with the best memories?
The answer is simple. Because memories lie.
We wash over the bad parts, focusing only on the good. Graphics are often crisper and more vivid. Controls are smoother. Gameplay is more fun.
If I had completed this list about 2 years ago, I would have included the Legacy of Kane games in the list. The story was one of my favourites, and I remembered how I loved to play each one from start to finish.
- Then 2 years ago I re-bought them on Steam and tried to replay them all.
The controls were almost unusable by today's standards, the graphics which had once tried to look bright and smooth, we're now dull and blocky. The only saving grace was the quality voice acting.
I always say that you can never go back, and I mostly stand by this. So often going back and playing the older games you have such fond memories of, reveals those memories to be rose-tinted nonsense. Where playing it now makes you realise how much more enjoyable the modern standard is.
But I do not think you 'shouldn't' go back.
Quite the contrary. You shouldn't not play older games out of fear that you will ruin your old memorises. After all, to me, the idea of memories that you can't challenge for fear they won't stand up to scrutiny are pale ones indeed. You need to test and scrutinise them. You have to revisit old games and pit them against new ones.
Some you will find are just as enjoyable now as they were back then, and those are memories that you should hold onto. Others you will find were based on little more than youthful ignorance and pure rose-tinting, and really why hold onto those memories, when you can acknowledge that you enjoyed the game at the time, but know that playing it now is no longer fun.
Lastly, the lists about current games being played, yes I'm looking at you Overwatch.
To those who want to include these games from the last 6 months, maybe even 1 year. Sure you may be loving the game now, but what about in another 6 months, 1 year, 6 years, 10 years? Will you still think it is one of the best games? Or will it just be something that you played a lot of for a few months and then dropped, never to play again?
I'm sure some games out currently will fall into the former, but I have a terrible feeling, considering how fickle many of us gamers are, that most will be the latter.
I need to also say, before I finish for the day, there are a number of other games that I also wanted to include in my list but just couldn't push them before the other 7.
Oddworld - Stranger's Wrath
World of Warcraft
Aliens: Colonial Marines
System Shock 2
Resident Evil 6
Hunter: The Reckoning - Redeemer
Aliens vs Predator (2010)
Condemned: Criminal Origins
FEAR 2: Project Origin
Enslaved: Odyssey to the West
Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth
Mortal Kombat 3
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
Dragon Age: Origins
Mass Effect 2
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War 2
Omikron: The Nomad Soul
These are in no particular order, and while I would love to go into further detail I am afraid the list is far too long to do so.
Know only that I think each and every one of these games are fantastic, and already are passing the test of time.
If any of these are games you have yet to play, then I urge you to seek them out and try them.
But sadly I am now out of time. Until next time, stay safe, and be excellent to each other!
- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley