Word of warning: These games are ranked in no particular order on quality because they are far too different from one another. It would be the equivalent of comparing apples to oranges. The criteria for a game to be on this list are simple: i) I have played it to completion ii) It stuck out from the other games in terms of exceptionalism. That means that if I haven’t played Apex Legends, I won’t be including it in the list. It’s only fair because I would have no basis for judging it. Under each one I will highlight one thing that makes it stands out the most as to have an edge compared to other games that I have played. With that said, let us jump right in.
Bloodborne is the culmination of years of souls-like prowess concentrated into a single donut shaped saucer called a disc. It is the pinnacle of action-RPG and the closest anyone has gotten to Lovecraftian horror since Lovecraft himself. Compelling lore with extremely tight gameplay makes Bloodborne one of the most prized experiences of the decade. Everyone that can get their hands on it should get it. If you think it’s too hard and drop it, that’s fine but be aware that it is your loss.
Kingdom Come: Deliverance
Kingdom Come: Deliverance is a AA game created in 2018 by Warhorse Studios. It features unparalleled historical accuracy compared to any medieval set game. This is reflected in the environment, the language and the core gameplay itself. Though the game came out to mixed reviews due to the bugs, Warhorse studios have long since ironed out most of the kinks, creating one of the most authentic medieval experiences that anyone could have wished for.
Nier + Nier: Automata
The king of contrived story-telling, Yoko Taro destroys the battlefield with these two installments into the Nier franchise. The word ‘contrived’ typically has negative connotations. However, with these games, once you get it -you get it. The themes surrounding these games are typically philosophical and thought provoking. Themes are reflected in gameplay and story elements. Yoko Taro, with these two games, proves that story, music and atmosphere alone can lead a game to critical acclaim. That being said, the game play itself is quite passable so let it be known that I am not defending walking simulators or interactive story games.
Dark Souls + Franchise
FromSoftware is the leader of modern day action-RPG’s. First came Demon’s Souls with its cult following. Then came Dark Souls. And from that came a whole new genre, completely revolutionizing the way RPGs were meant to be played. No more were the days of being spoon-fed; Miyazaki of FromSoftware knew what gamers didn’t know they wanted. Thus came Dark Souls with it’s tight gameplay and innovative story-telling structure. Even now, the echos of Dark Souls still rings in new titles such as Respawn Entertainments Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order.
Mass Effect 2
Bioware’s last good game, Mass Effect 2 was the ultimate gaming experience for the PS3 era. I remember playing this game repeatedly and never getting tired of it. Such a shame that the IP and Bioware have since deteriorated to a shadow of its former self. Nevertheless, Mass Effect 2 is a must play for any western RPG fan.
Super Smash Bros: Ultimate
Since the disaster of Brawl, Nintendo have taken a step back and reassessed their true demographic. With this reflection came the newest entry of Super Smash Bros. Nintendo brought back many mechanics present in Melee as well as increased gameplay speed. With this caused a competitive scene to arise, allowing Nintendo to capitalize on the competitive infamy of Smash Bros Melee. I’m surprised they took this long, but they did it and that is what matters.
Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen
A flawed masterpiece. A contrived story and mixed bag story that I have learned to love. Music that is amongst the best. RPG Gameplay elements that completely dominates the playing field. Dragon’s Dogma is what I consider the essential experience for all RPG fans. A must play. I can’t quite explain it without ruining the magic, but you must play it. Trust me. A shame that it came out alongside Skyrim, otherwise it would’ve gotten more attention.
A reboot of the old-school Doom, This game holds true to many design philosophy of the original game and gave gamers a dose of what they’ve been craving. Uncontrolled, balls to the walls, high-octane action. Doom is the peak of this decade’s first-person shooters. And while this is a bold claim, I must remind you that this is a personal opinion and personal preference to how I feel FPS should feel like. Play Doom.
Minecraft (Official Release)
Meme worthy yes, but Minecraft defined a generation and showed the world that a small time indie developer can make it in this harsh capitalistic world. Minecraft is THE indie game.
No other game has gotten as close to souls as Nioh has gotten. It combines high-speed gameplay with Ninja Gaiden style combos on top of a Diablo style loot game. This game is a must play for any souls fan. With Nioh 2 coming, definitely have this series on your radar.
F*** Bethesda, F*** Skyrim.
F*** Bethesda, F*** Skyrim… again
That is all folks. Have a happy new year.