Even though it has been years, Ragnarok Online is still my first love in MMORPGs. It's the game that popularized the genre here in my place, and Myung-Jin Lee's artwork amazes me until now. Moreover, Sound Te MP's soundtrack is thoroughly underrated.
I am completely obsessed with Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army. It's not perfect, but then again, who wants perfect? I found most of its imperfections to be quite charming. The main character is a silent protagonist with at least three character interpretations for each action (The fourth bullet in the random thoughts section on my contributor's page has the implied interpretation as well as being possibly his brand of humor - sort of a "I wonder how she'll react" form of amusement.), thus giving him character while leaving it open for the player at the same time. The NPCs are far, far from the Welcome to Corneria types, having full-blown character development while at the same time providing information, and sometimes-painful Lampshade Hanging (The Daidouji butler, Nakamura, says at one point that he "must have fainted from overwork" and he "would be ashamed to face the spirits of the Daidouji ancestors", which jars rather lightheartedly yet painfully with the conditions of game over.) There isn't a character in the game I dislike (even those I don't like I feel would detract from the game if absent), and each location has its own charm. I seem to find something new every time I pick up the game. On top of all that, the 20's-style localization is very charming - I would take it over Atlus' normal honorific use any day. ...Sorry, did I gush a bit too much? My page has more, even...
Hey hey hey! As the troper who created the Raidou page, I agree with you on all fronts—I have yet to play a Megaten game that disappointed me. Matter of fact I'm playing it again cos of the save bonus that will be featured in King Abaddon. I appreciate what you've done for the page! Nothin' wrong with spreading the Megaten love. ^_~
Screw the segue about being disappointed that Ratchet & Clank isnít here, yetóIím glad to have the honor of adding it myself! The early games were awesome in their own rights, but the Future trilogy never fails to bring out the squealing fangirl in me. Tools of Destruction was an absolute joy when it first came out and hasnít gotten old, yet. Quest for Booty was short, but it carried the fans over until A Crack In Time, which would have been worth the wait, even without QFB. Itís hard to decide what the best part is: characters or story. Tachyon, Sigmund, Orvus and Alister were all great characters, but if ACiT is, indeed, the last Ratchet and Clank game weíre going to get (barring spinoffs and crossovers) the series ended on a perfect note.
This has been one of my favorite series for as long as I can remember. The weapons are unparalleled, the story is epic and the characterization is amazing. All hail the R.Y.N.O (and II, 3, IV, V) wielding lombax.
Here's the first poster back to add more to the pile: as someone who had been around the media block a few times, I was automatically suspicious of Azimuth, and expected him to pull a Face-Heel Turn or die. Upon going through the game again, it's only just occurred to me how brilliantly the predicted face heel turn was carried out. I was watching that lombax like a hawk the entire time, and simply let my guard down after defeating Nefarious, assuming him to be the final boss and, by extension, expecting the game to end directly after his not-quite-death. The fact that they managed to surprise even a few of the (slightly) Genre Savvy players makes it even more awesome than it already was.
I used to love the original Rayman game so much that I played it from start to finish sixteen times. While I still enjoy it, I don't love it quite as much these days - but I sure have warm and fuzzy memories of the time it was the greatest game ever.
I think the original Rayman was already a fantastic side-scroller, but Rayman 2: The Great Escape not only completely defied Sequelitis, but improved on the original in many ways without rehashing it, and it resulted in one of the finest linear 3-D platformers of the late 90's. It does everything right—the difficulty, the pacing, the level layouts, the characters, the presentation, the boss fights, the gimmicks, the music, it is a masterpiece of 3-D platforming. I loved it so much as a kid, when my N64 save battery broke, I played through the entire game in one sitting, up until the wee hours of the morning, just so I could beat the game for the first time!
Then there's Rayman Origins. The game not only successfully returns the franchise to its side-scrolling roots, but adds its own unique embellishments such as being able to run on walls and bounce off enemies, not to mention its lush hand-drawn sprites and artwork, amazing stage layouts, addicting gameplay and catchy music. Its also rare to find a side scroller than can make swimming seem truly enjoyable! And it even brings back the insane difficulty of the original game in several levels!
Recettear - You know those JRPG's where you go to item shops in further cities to beef up your stats? You're one of those shopkeepers, and you get to gouge the customers for what they got and can allow, and you can even commission an adventurer too. This game has charmingly funny moments, plenty of replayability after beating the main story, and a top-notch localization by Carpe Fulgur.
Red Dead Redemption. Rockstar did it. They made a game genre that was rapidly dying out and made an amazing, wonderful game out of it. The story, the characters, the dialogue, the gameplay, it's all been perfectly implemented into simply the best Western game ever made. It can be, in turns, awesome,hilarious,terrifying,heartwarming and incredibly sad. The dialogue is always witty and frequently poignant, and the music is unparalleled. Whether riding through Mexico listening to Far Away and feeling like king of the Goddamn world or watching the end credits while Deadman's Gun plays in the background and actually feeling for the main character, which so few games manage to do, what with silent protagonists and all. The gameplay is as smooth and elegant as activating Dead Eye, lining up a bunch of headshots and watching the fireworks, and to top it all off, the most wonderful, beautiful Downer Ending you could ever have hoped for.
Red Steel 2 can be best described as a roller coaster, while the ride is kinda short, it's one of the most exciting and funtastical things on the planet, and after it's over you'll definitely want another ride,and another, and another...
Repton series, especially number 2. Best puzzle games ever. (Twenty-four years old and still going strong.)
Robopon. A Mons series with robots that manages to be highly entertaining and playable. I still love my good ol' Golden Sunny from the first game. And it had an awesome villain in Dr. Zero!
Rock Band advanced my interest in and understanding of music a hundredfold. It showed me how the different instruments fit together, and it made me want to learn how music works. That, and it's the perfect stress reliever: it being a music-playing-simulator-thing (with music I'm actually familiar with, an attribute that most rhythm games cannot claim) makes it more engaging than any fun-but-insubstantial casual game, so it actually holds my interest, but quickplay mode requires no commitment to a larger goal, so there's no pressure. Also it has a nifty character creator.
Rockman 4 Minus Infinity is quite possibly the greatest ROM Hack of all time. The creator worked five years just to get it to 0.01, and boy does it show! There's tons of new enemies, level gimmicks, boss patterns, weapons, music, homages to other video games... it's just really, really awesome from beginning to end. Only Brutal Mario can rival its level of coolness.
Ridge Racer. Just Ridge Racer. It's my favorite game series of all time: amazing scenery, addictive gameplay, exciting races, fabulous cars, catchy music... And cars based on the Devil and the Angel. You just can't get any awesomer than that.
Rune Factory was initially billed as "A Fantast Harvest Moon", a title it lives up to: take the things you loved about the Harvest Moon series (the farming, the fishing, the ladies, etc.), add a healthy does of combat and dungeon crawling, and you have Rune Factory.
RuneScapeis easily my favorite game. Yes, really. It has the best quests of any MMORPG, and they are my favorite part of the game. The quests are funny, awesome, heartwarming, (often in rapid succession), and the team making them obviously cares about them. No quest is just a half-assed thing thrown together in 10 minutes, requiring you to kill a bunch of monsters or collect a bunch of items. Even the quests explicitly about killing monsters in their names (Dragon Slayer, Vampire Slayer, Demon Slayer) have a story, and the content of them isn't just 'go kill the dragon/demon/vampire'. And these are just the low level starter quests. Some of the tougher quests can get to the degree of immersion that you react and feel as your character does. For example after the War God that the cave goblins used to follow announces that he will destroy them utterly, I felt a real sense of urgency as I went around their city, collecting things to put in a time capsule so that some remnant of their civilization survives. The entire time, the music playing sounds so urgent (and it's called Demise of the Dorgeshuun (the name of the cave goblin people), no less), really adding to the atmosphere. When I was done with that, I teamed up with Zanik, the Chosen Commander of the War God to fight against him. In the throne room of the Big High War God, he gave her, (and by extension the entire Dorgeshuun people,) one last chance to join him or die. She denied him, and then the obligatory boss fight started. We slowly whittled down his health, and just as she was about to fire the crossbow that would disrupt his divine energy flow (effectively banishing him), he broke it with his mace, and as she tried to gather up the pieces, the statues themselves came to life and attacked us. I kept fighting the War God, hoping she would be able to fend off the statues and reassemble the crossbow. Then her health bar hit zero and she keeled over. Despairing, I killed the rest of the statues, picked up the pieces of the crossbow and remade it, got the War God's health back down to zero, and as he gloated about how easily he had defeated the Chosen Commander, and I stood no chance, I fired the crossbow at him, banishing him. Easily the most intense (in-universe) boss fight I've ever had. And Zanik was still on the floor. I tried talking to her, but she gave no response. I selected the 'wait' option in the dialogue options box, and eventually she woke up. I told her we had won, and she destroyed the pendant that gave him power on our plane. We left the Throne Room though the portal, back to the goblin city, and were hailed as heroes as the Triumphant Reprise / Crowning Music of Awesome played. An amazing end to an amazing quest series.
Sailor Moon: Another Story is, in an era where licensed games were not exactly very good, a very addicting, compelling RPG with its own story that doesn't try to hijack old plots, but still manages to include old favorite characters. In addition, it also manages to mesh the continuity from both manga and the anime without utterly wrecking both.
I played this on a SNES emulator. It made me interested in the anime. Really well-made game.
Grim Fandango: a film noir/black comedy set in the Mexican afterlife, and a puzzle adventure game to boot? Kickass! Wonderfully scripted,challenging puzzles, masterly atmospheric, and beautiful graphics... I could go on and on.
Grim Fandango wins off the cuff by having what is probably the single most creative premise in the history of video games; a travel agency in the 1950's Aztec afterlife and all the insane corruption that surrounds it. And to stack all the great plotlines, memorable characters, funny lines, top-notch voice acting, and inventive puzzles on top of that is almost disquieting.
Psychonauts was the best game never played. An epic, original adventure with colorful levels so awesome you actually want to not save so you can play through them again and again. Not only that, it presents a lot of deep and scary themes most other writers won't even think about touching (animal cruelty, burning orphanages full of children, maternal suicide, etc.).
The thing I find most impressive about it? It's one of the most irreverent, darkly-humored, hilarious, not-a-moment-of-it-too-serious-for-its-own-good games ever... and it manages to pull off one of the most genuinely moving and heartwarming game endings I've ever seen. It beautifully subverts one of the more overused plots (and itself!), and does so in a way that perfectly fits both Raz's character and doesn't break the tone of the game. It's kind of funny that it's not a kid's game, because its aesop wouldn't be out of place in one. Y'know, even when your parents punish you and "stop you having fun," and even if they make mistakes, they still love you to death. They're probably not evil.
Where to begin with Brutal Legend? You play as a Heavy Metal Roadie who uses The Power of Rock to defeat an evil army of 80's Hairbangers, Emo Goths, and Sadist Demons, with Jennifer Hale and Jack Black, and all sorts of Metal Gods including Ozzie Motherfucking Osbourne voicing the main heroes with Tim Curry as the Villain, all the while being the most badass motherfucker in a Medieval Fantasy Metal setting that is completly fucking awesome. And not only that, the gameplay is incredibly satisfying as well, with brutal gore in the melee combat, and surprisingly well done RTS gameplay. Oh, and not only that, but this game is also freakin' hilarious. Oh, and not only that, but it's soundtrack is the most METAL THING IN EXISTENCE!!!!1!
Seconded. Tim Schafer is a genius. Every single one of his games is gold. (well, I haven't played the Monkey Island series or Full Throttle, but I know they're good) Psychonauts, Grim Fandango, and Brutal Legend are my favorites though. My least favorite would have to be Costume Quest, but I still enjoyed it nonetheless.
Shadow of the Colossus. Where to start. Epic Boss Battles, Epic Soundtrack, insanely well done Scenery that one could get lost in, a very well developed world, a hero given a sword at the beginning and, for once isn't an Instant Expert with it upon acquiring it, well done bosses that make her quiver in both being in the shadow of pure awesome, and seeing a creature so massive, that it could possibly knock over the starting shrine with ease, 'victory' music that makes the players think 'Dear God what have I done?', a plot that runs deeper than the game itself... Oh, and a loyal horse.
Am I the only one who HASN'T played Shadow of the Colossus? I just can't find that game ANYWHERE! AAAAAGGGGHHHH!!!
Shadow Of Rome, an underappreciated gem of the 128 bit generation. Sooo many people bashed it for the stealth segments in between the gladitorial matches. Never mind that the stealth segments were very short and easy, (dumbest guards in history, knock a guard out and he's out forever) and the ratio was something like "3-4 arena stages, 1 stealth stage." And SHOCK...I actually liked them. Having Agrippa rip apart gladiators for a few missions and then sneakily guide his friend Octavanius around to help uncover the conspiracy was a satisfying way to do things, like The Hardy Boys with decapitations. And the arena missions were incredibly fun, with a scoring system not based on combos but on the myriad horrible ways to maim and kill enemies (something like 150 different ways) it's one of the ONLY action games I've ever bothered to go back and get a pefect rating on every stage, it is just that fun. AND the story is damned good, with some great twists and epic boss fights. What more can I say about a game where there's a score bonus for killing an enemy while he's pissing himself with terror?
I couldn't agree more; for those who want visuals, the buildings have very realistic designs to them, plus you must not forget being able to see them at night. For those who want to know about the challenge, there's plenty. Also, with the help of Rush Hour, the expansion pack, you can do more to enhance your cities and even drive in them.
Don't even get started on all the building mods you can find out there; there's just simply some amazing work...
The Sims = Pure crack in video game form, and it's so fun in the process. Sure, the constant line of expansion packs are annoyingly expensive and the game's glitches can drive you crazy, but there's something just so fun about guiding a pack of computer people into a happy life (or ruining it, if that's your thing...). You really get attached to these guys, even when they do the most phenomenally stupid stuff.
Skullgirls! Beautiful art, fast-paced and engaging gameplay, wonderful music, and not to mention the GLORIOUS fanservice. There's also an easy way to break out of long combos, so it adds an innovative new balance to the fighting game genre.
Any adventure/escape game made by Mateusz Skutnik is made of awesome. I just re-played the Daymare Town series again for the umpteenth time and the the dreary, disturbing and downright claustrophobic atmosphere still gets to me. There's at least one moment in both games guaranteed to make you jump. The Submachine games are a masterclass of atmosphere, storytelling and puzzle design.
Proud to complete the triad of Sony mascots (the others being Jak and Daxter and Ratchett And Clank), the Sly Cooper games are amazing. The characterization is deep and complex, the heists are a joy to pull off, and I love the the intro and outro scenes for every level. Add it all up and you get my most favorite game series. The only problem is the fact that development on Sly 4 is indefinitely postponed.
I don't care how stupid, clunky, simplistic, cheesy and eye-searing it is, I love and will always love Space Channel 5.
Spelunky. Beautifully 8-bit graphics, the randomizer, and some of the catchiest music ever. Awesome.
Hell yes. It's amazing how coherent the level design manages to be while still being randomly generated. Not to mention getting to The City of Gold makes for an awesome challenge while never feeling too frustrating... well, unless you get really close and then die, but that's to be expected. The sheer number of things to do and choices to make is awesome, too, and never feels artificial.
No matter what the haters say, Spore is awesome. Nothing beats the joy of watching your little fishy cell thing eventually grow into whatever bizarre creation you want, and then eventually wear clothes and build cities to your liking. This even makes it fun to come back to it again with a different kind of creature, a different story, and overall a different experience. And the space stage is huge. Really huge. I can't even comprehend how long it would take to finish it. Yes, the individual stages aren't all that sophisticated, but that's what dedicated-genre games are for!
Agreed. Its only crippling flaw (apart from that one thing that we don't talk about) is that it could have been better.
And that is what expansion packs are for: to supply the "better".
Except when the expansion packs are made up of things that was taken out of the main game before release. The only thing that stops Spore from being one of the best games of 2008 is all the meddling on the part of EA. I can't understand the reasoning behind screwing around with such an awesome game.
I agree. Although it isn't mind-blowing, the Core game is a nice distraction. The real appeal of Spore, however, is the Creators, especially the Adventure Creator. You wouldn't believe what kinds of things people have made in that game.
Its spinoff, Darkspore, is pretty decent too. You can even turn off the blood in the settings so that the kiddies can play. Even though the creature designs are preset, you can still use paint and detail parts to make them more or less unrecognizable. And it has the Catharsis Factor!
My first game was the original Spyro the Dragon, and after all these years it's still fun. That has to count for something.
StarControl 2. Just ... an epic, sweeping plot, super snappy writing, voice acting bouncing between hilarious and terrifying, and the very real feeling of racing against time to bolt together an alliance against ultimate evil while at the same time working desperately on archaeological mysteries. Lots of games can make you feel like you're Captain Kirk; this is the only one I've ever played that made me feel like Captain Picard.
StarCraft. For competitive play alone it's so good it became a national sport (in korea). For custom play, there is a mapmaking community that is still churning out new and occasionally unique gametypes, let alone maps and sequels within them, to this day. Best RTS ever? certainly gets my vote.
I always thought that Blizzard could never make a game better than Starcraft. Enter StarCraftII.
Star Trek: Voyager - Elite Force deserves special mention. Despite being based on the underdog of the Star Trek verse, it manages to include a compelling plot, top-tier graphics for its era (which are still visually impressive even today), and was very well received. All this, and it was a Star Trek FPS.
The Suikoden series. Sure, it's not as graphically flashy as the Final Fantasy series, and when its bad it tends to really suck, but when it's good, it's like William Shakespeare. Rarely is there a game that let's you invest so much into your characters or which lets you feel just how high the stakes are when you're fighting a war. This game does not pull its Player Punches...
Indeed sir indeed! Seconded most emphatically! The fact that every game is set in the same continuity with a plethora of little easter eggs for the committed fan is merely icing on the cake! It's the closest thing to an interactive fantasy book, which in my mind is a strength of the series. The story telling is refreshing as well, no saving the world from evil gods here, its plots are grittier and more down-to-earth then the surface appearance would have you think.
Super Robot Wars Original Generation is the most amazing and badass strategy game I have ever seen, every playable character does something awesome, every playable character gets developed, you have romance, you have drama, you have comedy, you have a character who wants to make love to two robots! The plot is deep, the enemies characters don't all meld together, the plotting makes sense, the character designs are varied so even with a huge cast its easy to tell characters apart. That's not even getting started on mechas, even the grunt suits are badass, the Gespenst Mk II M is more badass than most prototype mechas in other series. Then we have the music, the sheer amount of music you get is amazing, I love the themes for the characters like Sanger, and Lune, and with each new game they just keep adding them.
Best of all... between the good guys, there are no Scrappies! Those who are obnoxious usually mends their way in the end (most of the time), or just join the bad guys. How can a cast of Loads and Loads of Characters be so lovable while delivering an epic cliche done right?
System Shock 2. I played this before Half-Life — I couldn't be bothered beyond the part with the stacking-crates 'puzzle'; SS2 had spoiled me. Why would I want to be limited to standard weapons when I could have Psychic Powers AND three/four different types of weapons? Why did I have to be left to work out "stack crates to reach a ventilation shaft" when my mysterious Mission Control or a log or a ghost could have told me? Why couldn't I upgrade my abilities to hack the security system or improve my weapons? Where's my inventory with all the items with funny and plausible descriptions? Is the Big Bad just going to wait there until I get to it? What it had over its contemporaries,more than anything else,was atmosphere. The story (your character has no other clues apart from the logs of the vanished crew; superlative voice acting and sound editing),the soundscape (the ever present hum of the ship,the skin-crawling chittering of the spiders,the unnerving whir of a security camera) and the not knowing what was behind the next corner all conspired to reassure you that they were out to get you and you were never safe (see its entry in Nightmare Fuel Unleaded). SS2 just had more.
The Tetris: The Grand Master series takes the most popular puzzle video game in the world, reinvents it, and makes it new, innovative, and addicting once again...but NO, The Tetris Company decided this was evil, and now TGM will never see a console release. What's TGM ACE?
The Game Boy versions too. I've owned Tetris DX for over a decade and it still gets playtime. And then you've got Tetris DS's Catch, Mission and Touch variations on the formula that open up even more possibilities.
I will maintain until my death that Thief - the whole series - has the greatest stealth gameplay there has ever been, and that Looking Glass Studios were geniuses gone far too soon. Nothing else captures both the tension and the exhilaration that are vital to a stealth experience so perfectly, the sound and lighting are both wonderful and necessary, and the whole thing is brought together by the dark fantasy/steampunk twist, portrayed with storytelling devices unique to games. And Robbing the Cradle is, bar nothing, the greatest level design and horror storytelling in a single game level - nearly equaled by House of the Widow, a mission based around grief that succeeds almost too well in evoking it.
There are no words to do justice to the old-school awesome sauce that is TIE Fighter, so I will merely point out that Thrawn is your boss, and DARTH VADER is your wingman.
I know it's an 8-bit iOS game that doesn't even have a page here, but I freakin' love Tiny Tower. It's astonishingly cute, and the Tower feels more and more real the more it grows. Putting a bitizen in their Dream Job feels more than a little significant; even though they don't talk, I never felt that the bitizens were just binary pseudo-people. They felt genuine, with last names, birthdays, and aspirations. It's like SimTower for iOS! And I love it so much.
The Total War series is one of the finest PC game series around. The strategy involved in real time battles with thousands of units is fantastic and the campaigns are seriously addictive with a lot of options, not to mention the graphics for both have been pretty darn impressive in the later installments. And the latest installment will finally allow naval battles as well. It is going to be awesome, even though the earlier games are already awesome. The development of your faction characters through your actions is great as well, with a hugely diverse bunch of traits, negative and positive, that can occur through inaction as well as action.
To the Moon is one great game! From start to finish, it captivates you with its great characters, amazing storyline and just overall cool graphics (Yes, I DO think they're cool!) and gameplay. I really like the way the characters interact, the futuristic yet still realistic setting the game is in, the scientific way everything works, the emotion the game plays with, whether it be humor or sadness, the way the game sets up everything and the ending... The ending is just PERFECT!!! So, go play it! NOW!!!
Touhou is a great series, especially considering that nearly everything is made by just a single man. The gameplay is simple to learn, yet takes immense skill to master. The multitude of characters are all charming in their unique ways, the spellcard patterns and backgrounds are gorgeous (if distracting) to look at, and the music is simply fantastic. The fandom is bustling with vitality and creativity, and the many unofficial Touhou spin-off games like Megamari and Touhoumon are a treat to play as well. So, despite the countless times I've been frustrated on my 1CC attempts, I can't help but gush about Touhou.
OHMYGOD YES. I only ever played pieces of Undefined Fantastic Object (and stopped quickly- reports of its difficulty are not greatly exaggerated), but the music of the WHOLE SERIES is nothing short of brilliant. ZUN is a musical genius.
The Ultima series — especially the second trilogy. It wasn't a simple matter of gathering up every MacGuffin, beating up monsters, and tackling the Big Bad ... in fact, IV has no Big Bad, V's can't really be beaten in combat, and in VI you ally with him and broker a peace. The real goal of each game was to achieve your aims while remaining Lawful Good in the face of constant temptation, using what may still be one of the most sophisticated Character Alignment systems in gaming.
I absolutely love Um Jammer Lammy. The game is incredibly addicting, and even though I got frustrated with it sometimes I never gave up because it was so fun. And plus the music is awesome, too.
Uncharted. What's not to like about gorgeous jungles, tall mountains, deep caves, paradise on earth, and exploding your way through it? Seriously, train level=best game level ever, better then my long time favorite Stone Tower Temple in Majora's Mask. It combines gorgeous visuals, incredible soundtrack, and a fight to the death with an attack helicopter over a Himalayan valley. Incredible.
Hopping around Tibetan mountains to search for a lost city with a couple of intelligent and insanely hot ladies, solving ancient riddles, gunning down evil mercenaries, and cracking hilarious jokes throughout? Hell yes.
In a world where most first-person shooters are realistic and tactical, Unreal Tournament (emphasis on Unreal) stands counterpoint. My personal favorite in the series is Unreal Tournament 2004, but the others are certainly worth a look. Lightning-fast action, ridiculously awesome weapons, humongous battlefields, full bot support, a metric ton of excellent and free user-made content, and several wildly diverse game modes make this a truly Epicgame.
Why isn't Valkyria Chronicles on here? The game is incredible! Awesome plot, quirky characters, and unique gameplay are an understatement.
Vampire: The Masquerade Ė Bloodlines is another gem, one of very few games where you can take a role of the Vampire, drink blood, lurk in the dark and kill other vampires. It has amazing story too. I wish there were more games about vampires.
If we can list online games here, let me say that Vision is the absolute best "escape the room" game on the Internet. It's got beautiful graphics, puzzles that are actually logical and solvable without a walkthrough and make you feel like you've actually accomplished something when you've worked them out, a satisfyingly long playing time that throws Chekhovs Boomerangs at you very effectively, and almost no Pixel Hunting (you just have to remember to search the tops of furniture and the gaps between them). Even if you don't like the escape-the-room genre, this one is well worth playing through, and has a lovely hint-through at Jay Is Games for those who need help but don't want to be completely spoiled.
I played through Vision almost a year ago with a couple friends. Best. Night. Ever. (okay maybe not quite) Every puzzle presented is completely legitimate and engrossing, and when I finished I could only stare at the final image contemplating the game I'd just played.
Warcraft II is one of the most atmospheric games ever, with its awesome music, fantastic voice acting and compelling (for it's time) plot. Warcraft III is the best RTS ever made, with the greatest story ever told in a videogame. The only reason Warcraft: Orcs and Humans is not here is because I've never played it.
World of Warcraft. No other game has kept me entertained for four years. Especially the expansion pack worlds are so incredibly varied and beautiful that sometimes I just want to move permanently to Nagrand or Terokkar Forest.
And, say what you will about MMORPGs, it's just an excellently built RPG. The one to entertain the most players ever. The one to achieve an unprecedented level of immersion. Just. Plain. Fun.
Over the past 8 or so years, I've played 3 Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games, Guild Wars, WoW and City of Heroes'', and WoW is by far my favorite. I started almost exactly 5 years ago and I'm still going strong, a core raider in my 25 man guild in ICC, and I just love everything about the game (well, most of it). The thing I love best is how Blizzard really does listen to its player base.
I liked Warcraft itself, and when I found out about WoW i was more than happy. But what takes the cake is that you can jump in this game XD
Say what you will about it. Say that something missing, a class is messed up, the system is outdated, the graphics are bad, etc. I still enjoy playing World of Warcraft. The regions each have a different personality and section of lore, where any adventurer/myth-fan/histroy-fan/general wanderer could simply lose themselves in. The water-ways of Howling Fjord? The Shimmering Flats at night? The Hinterlands? It all seems beautiful. The playable races have their own part of lore and own culture. Playing as a Troll is more fun. I enjoy making new characters and going through those 80 levels again. (I do groan when it comes time for Outland, but that's a different story.)
Wild ARMs. A Japanese RPG series set in The Wild West. And although there are typical fantasy-style tropes involved as well, it was probably the fact that the protagonists are more likely to wield guns than swords that drew me to the series in the first place. I can't even describe what it is about the games that I love so much, as they are, for the most part, rather typical Japanese RPGs. It's likely because the story draws me in every time, and the characters are some of the most memorable in history - every single party member undergoes a huge amount of Character Development. If nothing else, the series invests a huge effort into making the player love the characters, and by god do I ever. The fact that most of them use guns and several more have cowboy motifs is icing on the cake.
The Witcher. It was one of the few games when I really had to think about my decisions as the main character. I literally spent 5 minutes thinking about who might be right at the end of the first arc, leading to a very satisfying scene when I learned that the decision was right (but others can find the other choice to be equally satisfying...). Also the Big Bad had the most convincing arguments I've ever heard in a video game.
X-Com UFO Defense (or Enemy Unknown, depending on where you're from) is one of the greatest games of all time. It was released in 1993, and it is still regarded as one of the best PC games ever. Everything about it is ahead of its time: fully destructible terrain, complex stats for your soldiers, awesome base building, etc. Also the research system is impressive and it is very fun to see what cool new weapon or device your scientists have unlocked now. The best part is that X-Com delivers an incredibly enjoyable challenge, and is very difficult at times, but it manages to be fun enough to prevent you from smashing your computer in frustration, and instead to keep trying different tactics until you win. It's a shame that there have been no remakes of this game that fully capture its glory.
Why in Bionis's name hasn't someone else brought up Xenoblade on this page?! It has breathtaking Scenery Porn (especially for a Wii game), very interesting characters, kickass music, and, simply put, is one of the best RPGs in recent memory.
Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery EP is honestly one of my favorite games ever. I don't care that it's more of an 'interactive experience', for me it was perfection. And as someone who had listened to the soundtrack many times before finishing the game I did not expect the transmission song to be used like that; it surprised me and gave me goosebumps and ooh I just loved everything about the game. Logfella was great to talk to and the ending was amazing.