I have a confession to make, I love video games. When I was a kid, I always thought I would outgrow video games, now that I am an adult (in theory) I am still waiting for this to happen. In fact, I probably appreciate them now in a bigger way then I did when I was young. In all fairness, I am a first generation, gamer. Just a few of the systems I have owned are the venerable Atari 2600, the Sega Master System, the Commodore 64, the amazingly fast 486 PC, Playstation, Xbox 360, Xbox One and various computers and laptops over the years.
Clearly video games have been a big part of my life (sadly). Which at times leads me to wonder, with all this gaming history, what exactly are my favorite games of all-time? Picking out your favorite games is a difficult endeavor, like trying to pick your favorite movie or song, however, I have narrowed it down to my top three. Please note, for the sake of my sanity I am focusing purely on consoles. One day I will get around to a PC list but for now let’s get started with just consoles. Here we g
Silent Hill – The original Silent Hill is hands down my all-time favorite console game. Up until that time horror games really weren’t a viable genre. Sure, we had Resident Evil but that was about all there was. Silent Hill changed everything. Not only that but it has been incredibly influential in the gaming community for its originality and truly horrifying game play. It is the H.P. Lovecraft of the horror game community. Walking alone in a mysterious town covered in fog with strange creatures attacking you is just the beginning for oh, once those sirens go off, things get real creepy, real fast. Why are you walking through an elementary school soaked in blood, or a hospital crawling with monster nurses twitching and jerking their way towards you, and who is the mysteriously Dahlia who keeps appearing across your path. Silent Hill took horror to a whole new level and showed the gaming world just how good the genre could be (I still see cosplay of the pyramid head monster from Silent Hill 3 at nearly every major convention). Me and my buddy were so into this game that at night we would turn off the lights, light a candle and play during thunderstorms. Yeah, I think I am still in therapy for the experience
Bioshock – The original Bioshock comes in at a solid number two on this list. Not only did it give us the greatness of Big Daddy’s and Little Sisters (which I also still see as cosplay) but this game was a true game changer as well. The ability to set people on fire, electrocute them in water, and an ending that blows your mind all make this game great. But the thing I love the most about it is the depth this game possesses. I love anything that explores philosophy and challenges us to think and Bioshock does just that. Bioshock takes the controversial and complicated philosophy of Ayn Rand and explores just what would happen if a society fully embraced her teachings. For the record, what happens is not good. The underwater city of Eden was built as a place with no government regulation and no societal restrictions. Scientist are able to research whatever they want (including experimenting on people), industry is taken over by the mob and art descends into the realm of the macabre. Essentially, Eden spirals out of control and ends up an obscene, drug addicted society where there is no justice and morality. Whatever an individual wants to do they can and they will get away with it. Yeah deep stuff coming from a video game.
Red Dead Redemption – This is hands down one of the most fun games I have ever played. Rock Star took their Grand Theft Auto model, applied it to the wild west, and the result is an inventive, original, action packed game that will keep you coming back for more. The plot is relatively straight forward. A former bandit gunman goes good, settles down with his wife and kid and tries to live peacefully. Of course, this doesn’t happen when the government kidnaps his wife and son and forces him to confront his old gang in order to get them back. Sounds like the old west all right and it is. But the game play is so open, so well done and so much fun it easily makes my top three games. Like that horse tethered in front of the saloon? You can steal it. Want to cheat in poker? Go for it, but be warned if you are caught you will probably find yourself in a showdown at high noon. I also like the constant theme that our past can catch up to us, our actions can often have consequences, and that sometimes we have to take steps to make amends, to make things right, even if it is difficult to do. Red Dead Redemption 2 comes out in the fall I personally can’t wait.
So there you have it, what I consider to be my top three video games of all time. A couple of games that deserve honorable mention are Final Fantasy XII and Golden Eye, both great games that could easily fit into this list and by the time it is done Battlefield 1 may be on this list.
So then, what are your favorite games? Feel free to let me know!
You can follow Jefferson @nerdsinrecovery.
P.S. If you want my Xbox gamer tag hit me up.