Games of the generation: Stephany waxes poetic on her five favorites

Tuesday, 5th November 2013 12:49 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

What were the games of the current generation? VG247′s staff pick their highlights of the past 8 years ahead of the PS4 and Xbox One launch. In this entry, Stephany becomes a bit misty-eyed over the sunsetting of one of her favorites.

We’re dedicating this week to VG247′s personal games of the generation. We’ll post a different team member’s list each day, so stay tuned to see what we all thought. Here’s Dave’s top five from yesterday.

I don’t like lists. I never have, and I especially don’t like lists in which one thing is rated best over another. This is because I am of the opinion something is automatically “the best” if you enjoyed it.

It’s like with any entertainment medium, really: how can Exile on Main St. by The Rolling Stones be any better than Led Zeppelin 4? Why is Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan considered a classic on many so called “best of lists” yet Young Frankenstein isn’t? How can Oscar Wilde be one of the most quoted authors in history, yet I never hear anyone quote David Sedaris?

Favoritism is subjective, after all. What a person enjoys is based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions; therefore, an opinion on something is not “wrong” whether you agree with it or not.

Still, I am loathe to suggest that one thing is better than the other, because the world don’t move to the beat of just one drum. What might be right for you, may not be right for some.

Now that I have my qualms about creating such a list out of the way, I will give you a rundown of the five games that “meant” the most to me this console generation. Just remember: you’ll have yours, and I’ll have mine – and together we’ll be fine.

5. Red Dead Redemption

Second time was a charm for Rockstar Games with Red Dead Redemption. Sure it had a few issues: donkey ladies, flying deer, cougar men, weird things happening whenever a train was involved. None of that mattered despite how hilarious or frustrating some of the issues were. It was one of the most fun open-world games of the console generation, from my point of view.

As someone who played Red Dead Revolver and found it lacking in many respects, I was hesitant to don the cowboy hat and spurs once again to go kill desperados, chat with saloon girls, and help a few ranchers sort their personal problems. However, I relented, and I’m damn happy I did.

No other game out there thrusts you smack-dab into a Sergio Leone film like Red Dead Redemption; no other game out there allows you to live vicariously through the actions of a Clint Eastwood-type as he rides the range, skinning critters and taming wild horses. It was a gem of a game.

Sure, some thought it became boring after a while, but I relished the times I put off completing a quest just to explore the game world on my Kentucky Saddler; bask in sunsets; feel the tinge of dread when spotted by a mountain lion.

Pure bliss it was, and I sincerely hope Rockstar plans on giving the franchise another go sooner rather than later, now that John Marston’s story has concluded.

4. Demon’s Souls

If CD Projekt RED set a precedent for RPGs on PC with The Witcher, one could argue that From Software did the same for consoles with Demon’s Souls.

Sadistic, frustrating, enraging, and utterly brilliant, Demon’s Souls was the dark fantasy action-RPG to play in 2009. Not only was the game overtly challenging, the gloom and doom permeating Boletaria and its surrounding landmarks was rather gorgeous – even with the evil fog squatting over it.

The demons one had to fight weren’t in any way cookie cutter; sure you could button mash but unless you wanted to die for the umpteenth time a bit of strategy paid-off (roll you fool, roll!).

Considered a game for the rather hardcore at the time, Demon’s Souls’ brutality gave those who played it the reputation of being masochists. Maybe so, but there was no greater feeling of accomplishment than when, finally, you killed both of the those goddamned Maneaters. Too bad I didn’t think to watch YouTube videos showing me how to best the beasts: it would have saved me a few tears, and I wouldn’t have felt compelled to scream obscenities, scaring my poor dogs in the process.

If you can harness a bit of calm in order to keep from snapping your DualShock 3 in half or throwing it into the driveway, starting your car and running it over time and time again until it is nothing more than black, plastic chunks in your driveway – Demon’s Souls is a truly satisfying game.

3. Rock Band 2-3

Guitar Hero 1-3 were, and still are, some of my favorite games. They were innovative. They allowed you to imagine, for just a few measly minutes or hours at a time that you were, well, a Guitar Hero. The soundtracks were fabulous and varied, and each spawned many a YouTube video featuring players showing their shredding prowess with Through the Fire and the Flames, by Dragonforce. You know, because being able to play a guitar really, really fast automatically means you’re great, right? But I digress.

While Guitar Hero brought me joy over the years, nothing could compare to the fun I had with Rock Band 2 and Rock Band 3. I missed out on the first game, so Harmonix, you will have to forgive me for the lapse: I made up for it with the next two iterations.

The reason why, for me, the Rock Band games can be considered games of the generation, is not only due to their innovation; the jobs the game created for peripheral companies; or the way the games brought various artists into the living rooms of an entirely new generation of players – it’s because the game’s co-op creates a sense of comradery instead of competition.

Rock Band not only altered the video game industry, but the music industry as well. Because of Rock Band, many bands and unsigned artists found success by being included in the games or as DLC. Established acts with included tracks in games like this experienced sales increases of up 300% at retail. For fun, next time you log into iTunes, have a look at one of the titles included in a Rock Band game. I guarantee it is one of the most popular songs listed for the artist.

People who had never picked up an instrument in their life became interested in drums, guitar, and the keyboard, after playing Rock Band. The impact on the rhythm-action genre was phenomenal: many, many a company created titles in the genre just to ride the same wave of success.

I have spent many an evening over at my friend Ron’s house playing Rock Band with him, his wife Anita and our mutual friend Stephen. What better way for four friends who are all music buffs, as well as avid gamers, to spend their time? Yes, we are well aware we are not in rock band; we aren’t playing real instruments; we aren’t entertaining a real crowd. That’s beside the point: we are enjoying two of our favorite things with one another while having a few drinks, some laughs, and few heated discussions on why RUSH is/isn’t the be-all and end-all of classic, progressive rock. Hint: it’s not.

Some of the most enjoyable evenings of my life have been spent at that house: and I owe it all to Rock Band. While Harmonix has sunsetted the game, and gutting me in a way, my rag tag troupe and I still fire the game up on occasion – and we probably will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

2. BioShock

You’re walking along a corridor in a decrepit, underwater city. Up ahead, you will have to make a choice. Do you go left? Or do you go right? Around the right corner, you can hear a demented Splicer mumbling to itself. It sends shivers up your spine. You have no desire to face another one of Rapture’s deformed, genetically modified citizens so soon. Best make a left instead.

The hall is more of a glass tunnel, providing you a glimpse of the ocean. You can see fish swimming among the ruined buildings jutting from the seafloor. As you slowly make your way up the dim walkway, you step over detritus strewn across the floor, mixed among the possessions of those who did not survive the Rapture Civil War. They were the lucky ones.

Up ahead in the distance, you can hear a Little Sister singing. She is gathering ADAM from a corpse. You need to tread lightly, because where there’s a Little Sister there is most always a Big Daddy.

This, my friends, is BioShock. A game I have probably replayed more than any other single-player game in my collection. I think I am on my fifth playthrough. Maybe it’s sixth. I’m not quite sure.

Not being a massive fan of shooters, the game being described as such almost put me off. I’m glad it didn’t. I don’t really consider it a “shooter” in the truest sense of the word anyway; you do a lot more than shoot people.

There are machines in which to craft spare parts you gathered into weapons; you can hack machines; you can take pictures for “research”; use turrets to aid you; buy Plasmids to give you special attacks which can be used in combination with your weapons. See, there’s more to do than just shooting. BioShock Infinite? Yeah, it’s more of a shooter.

Plus, there’s nothing like the sense of impending doom I felt the first time I heard Big Daddy bellow. And even with subsequent playthroughs, the first time I encounter him, I’m yelling “oh shit, oh shit!” out loud.

BioShock is a great game, and should be considered one of the best of this generation for that reason alone. But there’s another reason too: it provided players with a very controversial moral dilemma. Do you harvest the ADAM from the Little Sisters, killing them in the process? Or do you use the special Plasmid Brigid Tenenbaum gave you to destroy the slug inside, gaining only a partial portion of the ADAM?

I’d like to think the majority of players saved the little girls, but that’s the whole point of choice isn’t it? I’m pleased to say my choice gave me a rather fulfilling conclusion when I reached the end of the game. A game, that I have to say, ranks up there among my most favorite games of all time next to The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, and the next game on my list.

1. The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim

Here, there be dragons. Lots and lots of goddamned dragons dropping out of the sky when you least expect it. Killing Khajiit traders carrying a bow you wanted along with your horse because it decided to fight instead of flee with it’s tail tucked between its legs like a real horse would. Damn you Todd Howard; but oh, how I love you for it!

Let me tell you something you may not know about me: I am obsessed with The Elder Scrolls. Not in the sense I am with Tolkien, but close. I own a copy of each game on multiple platforms and I have devoted hours upon hours of my life to each copy. I can’t seem to keep from it. I may need professional help.

You see, it all started with my friend Matt who was the first among us to have a computer. He was the one who introduced me to SimFarm, and then complained when all I did was play it when I came over instead of participating in drinking games based around Star Trek. The biggest mistake he made, though, was introduce me to The Elder Scrolls: Arena and The Elder Scrolls 2: Daggerfall.

Sure, I enjoyed both Arena and Daggerfall enough, but I didn’t have a computer of my own, so my gaming mainly focused around Nintendo consoles until PlayStation 2 was released a few years later. Therefore, I put the series out of my mind best I could – but on occasion it would itch the back of my mind.

Sometime in early 2002, I heard a new Elder Scrolls game would be coming out. I can’t recall what magazine I read it in, and I can’t recall the images shown other than the logo. I do remember feeling both elated and disappointed at the same time, because while I finally had a computer, it would not be able to handle a game with specs greater than what was required to run Deer Avenger or Elf Bowl. I also knew it would be released on Xbox as well, but I had no intention of ever purchasing an Xbox. I even laughed at Microsoft when it came out. (Look who’s laughing now, right?)

In 2003 when I was Christmas shopping at Best Buy I saw an Xbox bundle on sale with a copy of Knights of the Old Republic. There, next to the massive, heavy box in the aisle, was Morrowind – an angelic beam of light shining down from the heavens upon it. Turns out it was just the florescent lighting in the store acting up, but I digress. I bought the Xbox bundle under the premise of it being a Christmas present for my long-term partner, along with a copy of Morrowind to go along with it.

Hundreds and hundreds of hours later, I still have yet to finish the game on my original Xbox. I have since purchased it for PC and, again, have yet to finish it after hundreds of hours. Same with The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion, and the game I mentioned at the onset of this rambling life story: Skyrim.

It’s because of my love for Morrowind, which made me want to write sonnets in homage to Todd Howard and Ken Rolston and walk down the aisle someday to the title track, that I adore Skyrimh. And it’s not because of the tried and true mechanics and skill traits you find the game: it’s the lore; the story; the feeling you get the first time you look upon The Throat of the World; it’s the music composed by Jeremy Soule; it’s – well – everything I ever wanted or loved about the RPG genre all rolled into one lovely package.

Skyrim, to me, is the game of this console generation, for all these reasons and more. It’s a never-ending adventure in a living, breathing, gorgeous open-world full of fantasy, dragons, magic, and mystery. It’s glorious, and I love it. I plan on firing it up again over Christmas break once I bravely crack the seal on my Elder Scrolls Collection.

It is, my favorite game of this generation, bar none, and I am not in the least bit ashamed to admit it.

When compiling this list, I had a bit of a hard time excluding other titles I felt worthy of being included. Had it been a top 10, five others would have been included. Honorable mentions in no particular order: Borderlands 2, Dead Space, Fallout: New Vegas, Resident Evil 4, and Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune.



  1. KineticCalvaria

    RDR… Great choice Steph, not so sure about Rock Band being on there, I would say Guitar Hero was more influential but otherwise a very good list.

    I certainly think that RDR is incredibly influential on Open World titles, it’s probably my favourite game this generation.

    #1 1 year ago
  2. Ireland Michael

    If these lists prove anything, it’s just how diverse video games have become in the past decade, whether it’s hardcore skill based titles, casual games, or exploration and story driven experiences.

    Great list. Can’t disagree with any of it.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. DSB

    Totally safe, totally hipster. But that’s a rock solid list if I ever did see one.

    @1 If we’re being pedantic though, Guitar Hero is a last gen game.

    #3 1 year ago
  4. Joe Anderson

    Great list Steph. I knew you wouldn’t let me down.

    #4 1 year ago
  5. Erthazus

    Good list and is totally safe I agree.

    From this list Bioshock 1 is the most ambitious. Everything else depends on your taste and your precious memory.

    Not really sure that I can love Skyrim but as Stephany mentioned “It’s because of my love to Morrowind”… Yeah. Same goes for myself and for me SKYRIM was a step back in every way and I still played the game.

    My favourite game is Red Dead Redemption. It is amazing.

    #5 1 year ago
  6. Joe Musashi

    @2 Agreed.

    Hardly any of those would be my choice. But then, I’m not Steph.

    PS+ has given me RDR which I’ve yet to even start.

    Bioshock I’ve beaten and feel it is one of the most overrated game series I’ve ever encountered for so many reasons.

    Skyrim (and WRPGs in general) is soulless, empty and devoid of any compelling reason to play it. I’ve started that game 3 times and given up 3 times.

    The Rockband/Guitar Hero games passed me by. I tried out Guitar Hero in the previous gen and it didn’t click. I’m probably not very musical. I’m nuts for the Ouendan games on the DS though (probably the only games that use all the DS’s USPs in a meaningful rather than gimmicky way).

    Regardless, all those games have been well received by a percentage of the gamer demographic so my personal enjoyment of them (or lack thereof) is not a statement on the games themselves – or those that enjoy them.

    What might be right for you, may not be right for some.

    What you talkin’ ’bout, Nunneley?


    #6 1 year ago
  7. VibraniumSpork

    @1 To my mind everything that Guitar Hero did, Rock Band did that much better. Better UI, much better list of DLC tracks. Having said that, I loved the smaller band-centric GH games. Played the hell out of Guitar Heroes Aerosmith and Beatles :D

    @2 Great point about diversity. This gen has to have gotten more people playing video games than ever. Just Dance has had a similar effect to Guitar Hero/Rock Band in my household. Most of my friends don’t care about BF/GTA/AC or whatever…pull out Just Dance though and everyone’s down for a few hours of (admittedly sweaty) gaming.

    #7 1 year ago
  8. Clupula

    Interestingly, I found Red Dead Redemption really boring at first, but, once it got to Mexico, I was hooked.

    The first few hours I had to force myself to keep playing because it just wasn’t grabbing me.

    #8 1 year ago
  9. VibraniumSpork

    @8 The same. Once the Jose Gonzalez track kicked in when you trotted over that hill into a blazing sunset and open prairie though? Whoo boy…smitten.

    #9 1 year ago
  10. Max Payne

    I would only put Assassin Creed 1 or 2 instead of Rock Band

    #10 1 year ago
  11. DrDamn

    Great point, this generation has been phenomenal for diversity.

    #11 1 year ago
  12. Clupula

    @9 – Yeah, that seems to be the moment the game takes a monumental leap forward. I had the game for months before I got up to that point, but once I did, I didn’t stop playing for a long time.

    #12 1 year ago
  13. Dark

    Great list.

    #13 1 year ago
  14. Clupula

    Yesterday, in Dave’s article, I posted my top five games for this gen.

    5. Resonance of Fate
    4. Super Street Fighter IV
    3. Bayonetta
    2. Batman: Arkham City
    1. Valkyria Chronicles

    But if it was a top 10, RDR would be #7.

    6. Infamous 2
    7. Red Dead Redemption
    8. Dead Space
    9. Yakuza 3
    10. Mass Effect 2

    #14 1 year ago
  15. SplatteredHouse

    Steph, on Skyrim: “it’s the lore; the story; the feeling you get the first time you look upon The Throat of the World; it’s the music composed by Jeremy Soule; it’s –” all but the gameplay? Because, those things Steph mentioned I thought were all very well done; beautifully realized and presented. But after all it’s a game. It has objectives and a selection of pursuits (which, in theory, can be altogether ignored) but, the game that exists around all the lovely, is unfortunately formulaic and, too often, one note.

    I have played most of the core game, and once I realized the “scope” of its ambition to allow me to play my character (Dragon Age leaps by it with ease on one of its core tenets. And, I’m talking about Origins, and Awakening, to a lesser extent) I was set right off it, and the rails its ride runs on grew visible. The result leaving a dull trudge of grind. I still haven’t bought any of the expansions, so disappointed I was at its unwillingness to let my character grow, to offer any meaningful progression (oh, you got a house! Now, you got a buddy. When you’re not home, she’ll growl at passing guards!) even within the confines it has, as a game, it seemed limited.

    #15 1 year ago
  16. Obernox

    @14 hows Resonance of Fate? i’ve been meaning to pick it up, but lost interest due to my ridiculous backlog.

    #16 1 year ago
  17. Clupula

    @16 – I will say it has a battle system that is NOT very accessible and the in-game instructions do a piss-poor job of explaining it to you. It’s an awesome, innovative battle system, but you will have no idea what you’re doing unless you look online for some better instructions on how it works. You’re going to have to learn the in’s and out’s of it. And the story can best be described as different from other JRPG’s. For the first half of the game, it’s not so much one big cohesive story as it is almost like a tv show about these three characters and their wacky adventures.

    Then the story kicks in about halfway through.

    Also, one of the characters is voiced by Nolan North doing his Nolan North voice.

    If you can get past those two things, it is such a fun game and the way the story is structured really does make you care about them by the time the story does kick in.

    #17 1 year ago
  18. Darkfield

    Excellent list, Dave should take notice :D

    Mine though:
    1. Mass Effect the first one
    2. Dark/Demon’s Souls
    3. Red Dead Redemption
    4. Witcher 2
    5. Fallout New Vegas

    #18 1 year ago
  19. fihar

    It’s nice that you put both Souls and Skyrim together in the same list although those so-called “hardcore” Souls fans might have to burn you at a stake for doing so.

    If we’re being subjective, my top 5 would be:
    5. Professor Layton and the Unwound Future
    4. L.A. Noire
    3. Burnout Paradise
    2. Elite Beat Agents
    1. Dragon Age: Origins

    As for BioShock, I felt that the game lost most of its steam after the amazing encounter with Andrew and the corresponding plot twist.
    At the time, I thought that the Would You Kindly thing was just one of Atlas’ quirks, I totally didn’t expect it as being integral to the plot, which completely blew my mind.
    Rapture is a great place to get lost in and the scattered audio recording fleshed it even more, especially the one that hinted on the main character’s origins, but I felt that it was a game of two halves, with the second being drastically inferior than the first.

    Still, good list although somewhat predictable and I liked that you took a completely different approach compared to Dave.
    Can’t wait to see the rest.

    #19 1 year ago
  20. Ireland Michael

    @16 The story is almost completely non existent for the majority of the experience, and the gameplay is poorly explained and nigh impenetrable if you just want a casual experience, but it’s alright if you’re willing to stick it out,

    #20 1 year ago
  21. Junior

    Dave’s pick from yesterday made me buy Braid and I was very pleased.

    Thank you for your picks Stephany. I will try RDR, Skyrim and Demon’s Souls. I really do not like fps and music games so I will have to pass on those

    #21 1 year ago
  22. Ireland Michael

    I’m genuinely amazed when I hear that there are people who still haven’t played Red Dead Redemption. You are seriously denying yourself one of the best gaming experience of this generation if you haven’t played it yet. There isn’t a single game out there with better atmosphere.

    #22 1 year ago
  23. Junior

    Ireland Michael, I was addicted to to Final Fantasy XI online for ten years. The PS3 launch and first few years left me with a sour taste on my mouth. I was completely put off.

    It wasn’t until 3 years ago that a friend loaned me Uncharted 2 and I was hooked again.

    Then again, I play a lot less today (quit ffxi when they launched their last game breaking expansion), got hooked on working out, playing volleyball and taking 2-month vacations to Brazil.

    #23 1 year ago
  24. OwnedWhenStoned

    Skyrim: I think I’m going to go back and play that properly this winter too.

    Never did finish RDR either… hope the weather is awful this year.

    #24 1 year ago
  25. Ireland Michael

    @23 Get it as soon as you can. You won’t be disappointed.

    Let us know what you think of it on the forums when you do.

    #25 1 year ago
  26. Telepathic.Geometry

    Officially better than Dave’s list. ;D

    #26 1 year ago
  27. YoungZer0

    @16: The battlesystem is pretty unique, as is the art-direction.

    You’ll have to pay attention to the combat and some quick reflexes are also needed than in most JRPG’s. The combat is very demanding and you often times need to improvise. As mentioned it was rather poorly explained and you need to either figure out most of the stuff on your own or read up on it.

    The story didn’t get anywhere when I stopped playing the game, but that wasn’t the reason why I stopped. While the game is often fun, you’ll have to grind. A LOT. I looked up some walkthroughs on how to grind faster but even that didn’t help much. I simply stopped there.

    It also has random battles, which I wish games would completely get rid off, because they are terrible. Collecting credits and all that isn’t that useful either because most of the good gear can’t be bought.

    The art-direction is pretty good though. Wish more JRPG’s would be like that.

    @22: Word.

    #27 1 year ago
  28. Stephany Nunneley

    @3 I wouldn’t say it is a “safe” list. I don’t play many games on consoles. If this were a PC list it would have been a much different list.

    @4 Thanks! Glad you liked it! :)

    @6 So happy someone “got” that! :)

    @15 I didn’t feel that way. Of course, I had to make this a bit short otherwise people wouldn’t had read it, but I enjoyed the crafting system in it – especially potions; the various ways in which you could “thrum” at enemies; the random encounters; being able to be a werewolf etc. I really enjoy games where I can explore, explore, explore.

    The Rock Band games are very “party” oriented. IMO you won’t find a better one out there – and since the games combined my love for music and games into one and allowed me to have fun while doing it with my best friends, well, lets’ just say I have a massive soft spot for it. I loved the GH games and with GH3 we’d all take turns with it – passing the guitar back and forth. But I love to sing, so RB was the clear winner in my book.

    I don’t like to say something is better than another. Everything is good in it’s own right. These were just the games which “stuck” with me the most, I reckon.

    Anyway, I am happy you all are enjoying these lists! :) Pat, Sam and Brenna are coming up soon!

    #28 1 year ago
  29. Clupula

    @27 – Personally, I miss random battles in JRPG’s. I hate having to actually go run into an enemy to get into a battle.

    #29 1 year ago
  30. DSB

    @28 I’m yanking your chain, but arguably those are all “distinguished” entries :P

    If you had said like.. Crackdown or Just Dance, you might’ve had some detractors.

    I don’t even know what I’d pick myself.

    Bioshock is a must. It just had that cinematic Levine touch. It was Hollywood quality.

    Civ 4, deffo. That’s really the most awe-inspiringly perfect strategy game since the original. I defy you to ruin that one for me.

    The original Mass Effect? I dunno. It was an awesome game, but so many of the things it did were lost with the sequel, and the ones that survived were misappropriated when Bioware started caring more about production values than the substance of their games.

    Portal 2? I dunno, because I’d basically be picking it for the same reason I picked Bioshock. It was a Hollywood quality game. Superb writing/acting.

    Maybe The Wolf Among Us. Which would be a little wild, given that it’s only one episode so far, but it’s an amazing take on a “lost” genre, using an IP that’s a lot more interesting than ye olde zombie comic.

    Oh! And The Witcher 2. For showing us that action RPGs don’t have to be dumb.

    Bit of an overlap between Mass Effect/The Witcher 2 and Portal 2/Bioshock, but that’s probably the best I could do on the spot.

    Forgot the Arkham games… Fack.

    #30 1 year ago
  31. Dragon

    “random battles in JRPG’s”.
    Please, no. I know why I rage quit Persona 1. Sucked all the enjoyment out for me.

    #31 1 year ago
  32. Bomba Luigi

    That list is much more one I would agree. Rockband is the only Thing here I don’t care.

    I couldn’t really pick 5 Games from this Generation, there were too much great Games. But 4 of these Games would probably End up in a Top 10 Spot when I would try to make a List.

    #32 1 year ago
  33. Clupula

    @31 – You should never ever, ever play the original Phantasy Star games.

    #33 1 year ago
  34. Dragon

    I wont. I really don’t like playing old games. No nostalgia from me.
    One of the reasons I will play (almost) every single game I want on this gen, and only then move on to next.

    #34 1 year ago
  35. SplatteredHouse

    @28 I like the exploration in games plenty too, and also that was true of Skyrim, but unfortunately I found with Skyrim that the exploration didn’t raise my experience playing the game. It added to points that I then had to select from and add to other sets of skills, and…bleh.

    I was pleased to find some interesting locations, but scant few of the game’s location had sufficient presence to captivate.
    It was mainly when the storytelling, and the narrative of those locations I most liked – when the parts of the game came together to offer something extraordinary, and interesting – that I reveled in exploring.

    Examples: Mountain of statue to Boethiah, and associated questline; the full extent of the Northern ice crevasse/lighthouse mystery; abandoned wreckage of a boat in the icy reaches; the companions of Whiterun (prior to its underwhelming conclusion, whereby the questline just stops, as if its rope has just been cut.) I felt with that one like okay, now this thing happened, but what’s the consequence, the outcome…What can I do now, with this thing that I have acquired, in the vein of what I have enjoyed doing?

    To which the game held its hands aloft, and returned a puzzled expression, and sighed ‘try over there?’
    But, sure Steph. I appreciate now, that you were going for brevity in the piece, so didn’t detail your impression for the gameplay experience. Thanks for explaining.

    I have been enjoying these lists :) I like them because it is nice to see talk about games from the perspective of a fellow player, moreso than a news post.

    #35 1 year ago
  36. FragileSurface

    I’m very happy to see the Rock Band franchise listed. Between the three iterations I have spend many many hours and just as many dollars. It still blows my mind that they released weekly content every week for FIVE YEARS!! Here’s hoping for RB4 at some point.

    #36 1 year ago
  37. Sadismek

    @22 I agree, it should be in every gamer’s home (eh, I’m probably over-doing it, but it’s soo great!). I’m just planning to sit and have a third go at it, even though my backlog is huge, I haven’t finished GTA V yet and the Steam Autumn and Winter sale are looming over us.

    If I were to come up with a list myself, I’d definitely crown Red Dead Redemption as the undisputed winner.

    The Witcher 2 would come close. What an atmospheric game that was. And a well crafted RPG too.

    Oh! Crusader Kings II, I’m a big fan of lore/fiction, messing up with the royal houses from Europe is a time sinker :P. (I still don’t know what the hell I’m doing half of the time, but that’s part of the fun)

    The Wolf Among Us is giving me good vibes as well, but I’m not sure… I want to play the rest of the episodes before I can make up my mind. Same goes for GTA V.

    #37 1 year ago
  38. DSB

    @22 Isn’t there, Michael? Isn’t there?

    I don’t know. Looking at some of the older or newer westerns out there, or reading something like Blood Meridian (which I am masturbating to every night right now) Red Dead Redemption wasn’t the consummate western universe.

    At least not to me. There was too much repetition along the way, and not enough of those scenes that are so badass they collapse your chest cavity. You can only do the same firefight or horserace so many times, right?

    The first time I played it, I actually gave up on the game, because it made me do chores around the farm. I was bored outta my skull.

    That kinda holds it back a little bit. But I agree, it’s an amazing game, it belongs on peoples lists (even if it’s not mine) and it’s really a case of the Housers restraining themselves just enough not to ruin it along the way. Which is impressive to me. I really wish the same had been true of GTA V.

    #38 1 year ago
  39. RussellGorall

    Safest list ever.

    #39 1 year ago
  40. The_Red

    Kudos to Stephany for Demons Souls.
    Dark Souls is great but Demons… that IS the game of a generation.

    #40 1 year ago
  41. Stephany Nunneley

    @39 Is that supposed to be derogatory comment? I have no idea what you or anyone else means by “safe”. Therefore, what would constitute “unsafe’?

    If I wanted to be “safe” I would have catered to fan-favorites like Mass Effect or Infamous – neither of which I have ever played – or perhaps Dragon Age or Dragon Age 2? Both of which I played on PC by the by.

    Again: I play mainly on PC. We are talking console games in these lists as a new generation is approaching. If I had played more on consoles, again like I stated in @28, it would have been a vastly different list with The Witcher 1 & 2 on it as well. ;)

    #41 1 year ago
  42. Ireland Michael


    I was referring mainly to games. Gaming still has a long way to go to match up to other media (and literature has the benefit of imagination), but as far as gaming goes, it’s up there for pure atmosphere.

    #42 1 year ago
  43. DSB

    @42 I’m not gonna argue against that, but I thought it was a critical oversight that there wasn’t more of that – basically – macho bullshit.

    Like the dude walking in on another dude in the bath (this sentence is going places!) and telling him he owes him money or something, or that he’s gonna kill him, and then the dude in the bath pulls his gun out of the water and shoots him in the face.

    To me those little scenes are like the heartbeat of a western.

    Cormac McCarthy is quickly becoming the beastest writer in the world to me, so it’s not like a game would ever compete there, but I do think Red Dead Redemption is a little light on the feel. It’s close, but not quite to me.

    #43 1 year ago
  44. kezwar

    Good list, but I just realised that TLoU doesn’t feature on either yours or Dave’s list…shocking.

    Only Kidding :p

    Here’s mine:

    1) The Last of Us
    2) Bioshock
    3) Skyrim
    4) Demon’s Souls
    5) Bayonetta

    #44 1 year ago

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