20 – Mass Effect
I never understood the appeal of Star Wars, at least not until I played Mass Effect. Complete immersion in a world, a universe that Star Wars fans feel, is what they experienced after my first two missions.
19 – Minecraft
Yes, someone is trying to recreate the continent of Westeros from Game of Thrones in Minecraft. Yes, someone else made a scale replica of the spaceship Enterprise, but I think it’s more fun to do something more humble in your private or shared world.
18 – Half life
Half Life 2 managed to create the blueprint for the modern single-player shooter and be the watermark of the genre. He was the first and possibly still the best at what he does.
17- Half Life 2: Episode 2
Episode 2 does everything perfectly. You have an adventure in a mining complex with a hilariously tame Vortigaunt companion, a frenzied last battle against hordes of lion ants, an ambush where Combine troops destroy a mansion around you, and a battle with a legion of Striders.
16 – BioShock
To this day, horror games remain little more than jolts and sudden explosions of sound, Bioshock’s submerged grave of forgotten dreams and broken promises constantly creates an environment far more uncomfortable than any blood-soaked or zombie wall. ginormous could wait.
15 – Diablo II
I love the aesthetics of Diablo II, which makes me feel like I’m living in a world of miniature models like the one that was once used to create cinematic effects.
14 – Portal 2
It’s more fun and even more endearing than its predecessor, inverting several new types of puzzles that make the Porta pistol look even more amazing.
13 – Earthquake
Quake is not, it is a phenomenon. Without it, TF2 would not exist. Drilling fields with nine-inch nails and destroying Shamblers with four rockets is just as much fun now as it was in ’96.
12 – Mass Effect
Two years have passed and I still cannot hear the name of Shakerspeare or any reference to his work without the voice of an Elcor reciting the most moving verses of the village coming to mind.
11- Counter-Strike: Source
It’s one of the few modern multiplayer shooter games that doesn’t ring bells and whistles when you walk; no cover system, iron sights, kill streak rewards, air strikes, vehicles or anything unlockable, just you, some ballistic weapons, level geometry, and some grenades.
10 – Star Craft II: Wings of Liberty
The way the armies animate and express the intentions of the players shows the careful thinking of Blizzard and Frankensteinian craftsmanship; they infuse life and true personality into models of unity. Without the ease of observation of 5C2, it would be simply a game, not a rising culture that anyone can participate in.
9 – Civilization 4
. It’s still the pinnacle, and it’s just as good today thanks to two things: various satisfying paths to victory, and the modifiability that gave us gems like Fall From Heaven. As Civilization V demonstrated, Firaxis broke the mold after making this one.
8 – Weapon 2: Operation Arrowhead
What’s more a PC than an open litter box that pays tribute to your ideas? Arma loves freedom as much as Minecraft, requires more synchronized teamwork than Classic Rainbow Six, and with a native mission editor is more modifiable than Half-Life.
7 – Elder Scrolls IV
There are those who brag about freedom and player choice, and then there’s Oblivion. Freedom “is putting it too lightly. Do you want to ignore the main quest and kill everyone in Cyrodill? Do it. Do you want to spend 300 hours collecting Daedric weapons to display in your corpse-filled mansion? No problem.
6 – World of Warcraft
There was a time, during the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, where raids were the most fun to have in any game. Delving into Ulduar, which is still the best dungeon the WoW team has ever created, was an adventure you’ve been looking forward to all week. The fights felt tough but the mechanics understandable. One had him split up half his team to hold a gladiatorial arena, the other to execute a glove of baddies to knock a boss off his pedestal.
5 – Dragon Age: Origins
Dragon Age took all the cliched fantasy motifs and deliciously twisted them. Instead of beautiful castles full of nobles, we got dirty, racist cities populated by selfish elves and morally corrupt dwarves, and it was amazing. Each of the peers in your group had their own agenda and motivations, and often featured opposing characters only to hear them joke and push each other.
4 – Fallout 3
Most people watch the puppet show, but all I see is the strings. Fallout 3 brought the magic back to games, giving me this giant universe full of personality to live in. I still go back and roam the landscape when I need an escape. Most importantly, however, it taught me a very valuable life lesson: the rule of tunnel snakes.
3 – Team Fortress 2
TF2 is Valve’s invincible lab rat. It was released as an expensive reboot. Since then Valve has made it free, quintupled the game’s arsenal, added crafting and item trading, opened it up to community-designed items, hosted two Australian Christmases, and updated it a staggering 267 times.
2 – The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Skyrim is a haven for RPG players. My current character is a bit crazy and loves to punish NPCs. I love the way Skyrim feels like an immersive collaboration between me and the world.
1 – Portal
Many games can be described as “groundbreaking puzzles,” but Portal’s ingenious mechanics are not the crux of its greatness. It exploits the unique qualities of interactive media to tell a perfectly paced story with original aesthetics and a nuanced mix of humor and gravity.