So there’s this post going around on Twitter (as they do) talking about people’s top 5 video games, and I thought; why not blog about it? Then you can all silently tut and judge my taste in games.
I have given this some thought. See, I grew up with some amazing games in the 90’s. My very first console was a Master System with the original Sonic the Hedgehog. So I’ve been around, I’ve watched and experienced games evolve from tiny pixels to the ultra-realistic graphics of today. The gaming experience itself has also changed and evolved, and it’s a little unfair to compare my favourite games from my childhood to the past decade or so.
But I do like a challenge, so for my ultimate top 5 games of all time I mean ALL TIME! No cheating, no backsies. Here we go!
5. Death Stranding
So this has been one of my more surprising favourites of the past decade. When I first saw THAT E3 trailer from years ago, I had the same reaction as most people; that this game made absolutely no sense. And yet there was something about it that drew me in. When I bought my PS4, Death Stranding came with the console so after playing the games I actually wanted to, I decided to give it a go.
And boy, was I glad I gave it that chance. On the service, Death Stranding looks like a glorified if not overly complex walking simulator, and if you break it down to the bare bones, then I guess you could describe it as a parcel delivery game. But it really is much more. Never have I played a game which managed to horrify and relax me at the same time. The world is beautiful and haunting and full of surprising depth. The story and characters were incredibly well done with some fantastic acting.
Death Stranding really stuck with me. It’s become a bit of an obsession. And thus it deserves a spot in my top five.
4. Skies of Arcadia
I grew up with a big love of SEGA RPG’s from games like Shining Force and Phantasy Star. I debated which SEGA RPG deserved this spot; Panzer Dragoon Saga or Skies of Arcadia. Both have unique battle systems that involve flying, and both featured amazing fantasy worlds and captivating stories, but Skies of Arcadia wins for me; it’s in my name, after all!
What I loved about Skies of Arcadia was the sense of exploration and hope. So many fantasy stories tend to edge into the darker and grimier side of fantasy these days, and so I appreciate tales where the good guys are good and they’re fighting to do the right thing. Skies of Arcadia really captures that noble bright feeling for me. I also absolutely love stories of adventure, and nothing spells adventure like flying your airship around the world and making discoveries along the way.
I’m hopeful that one day SEGA will release a HD remake of Skies of Arcadia. When that happens, you’ll hear me screaming.
3. Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (& Knuckles)
Sonic the Hedgehog was the first video game I ever played and was the game which propelled me into gaming and ultimately led to me studying game design at University. I won’t bore you all with my Sonic trivia, but these games and this series does have a special place in my heart. Whilst I like some of the newer Sonic games like Sonic Generations, Sonic the Hedgehog 3 remains my absolute favourite. The level design and special stages were perfect. Ice Cap Zone anyone?
It was the first Sonic game in my mind to introduce a narrative story in the shape of Knuckles the Echidna. My teenage self loved that. And the soundtrack was phenomenal. It awakened by deep love for video game music.
Of course I’m cheating a little bit, because to get the full Sonic 3 experience you need to combine it with Sonic & Knuckles which is technically a separate game. But Sonic 3 & Knuckles was a masterpiece of a game.
2. Stardew Valley
I’ve always been a massive fan of the Harvest Moon and Rune Factory games. But Stardew Valley puts all of them to shame. This game was developed by a Harvest Moon fan. Literally ONE GUY made this whole amazing game and it really is one of the best indie games I’ve ever played.
Everything about Stardew Valley is perfect. It includes all of the best bits of the Harvest Moon and Rune Factory games without being overwhelming, from marriage systems to fishing and mining and story events. It’s received numerous free updates and content to keep the game fresh since its release and is worth a purchase for that reason alone. Gotta support indie devs!
And if that wasn’t enough for me, Stardew Valley also supports modding, and as you’ll see below, I love being able to mod my games. I have sunk so many hours into this game and will continue to do so.
1. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Can you believe this damn game is almost ten years old? And yet I keep coming back and playing it and playing it. Okay, mostly modding it to be fair. The Elder Scrolls series will always have a special place in my heart. Oblivion would have taken this spot a decade ago, as I played that game so much my disc snapped in half. Skyrim replaced that hole in my heart and it’s still great to play even today, especially since it has been re-released on everything!
Lots of people will boo me and say The Witcher 3 is a better game, and in many ways it is, but I personally don’t think you can compare the two. Skyrim is a true role-playing adventure. I can be whoever I want, play however I want, and thanks to the modding community, those possibilities are endless. Coming back to Skyrim is like coming home. I have played Elder Scrolls Online as well, but it’s not the same experience as a single-player game.
The only thing that will stop me playing Skyrim is the next Elder Scrolls title…
There we have it! My top 5! Any surprises in there for you? If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll have expected Skyrim, I’m sure 😉
For a cheeky runner up, I’ll say that my favourite Zelda is Ocarina of Time (I LOVE IT) and my favourite Final Fantasy is VIII, but they don’t quite meet my top 5. Maybe my top 10!
What’s your top 5?