And here we are in the Top 10. It’s been a long time coming!
#10 – Worms 2: Armageddon (Xbox Live Arcade, 2009)
No matter how many times you play Worms, it doesn’t get boring. It requires strategy, forward planning, patience and skill, and hilariously those are four things my brother has none of.
So though I’ll play this online against friends a lot (the plan is to have a couple of games later on tonight, in fact), whenever my group of friends actually gets together, we put this on. And my brother goes into a strop as he inevitably kills his own worms by mistake straight away.
What a buffoon.
Worms deserves its place on this list for more than just that though; it’s an enduring classic, and this particular version is the best one. There have been subsequent releases that have tried to take advantage of 3D and give different worms different abilities, but to me, that’s messing with a formula that works.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
And Worms 2: Armageddon is anything but broke.
#9 – Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (Xbox 360, 2006)
So while many other games from the same series have been lumped in together in single entries, I think Oblivion deserves its own place on this list, rather than it being in there with Skyrim.
Oblivion was the first game I ever played on a High Definition TV, and so the clarity and beauty of graphics and just the general depth of the game blew me away.
Unlike in Skyrim, I barely touched the main storyline. The fun for me was doing all the side quests and guild stuff. Sure, the voice acting was so repetitive that it began to grate after a very short while, but that was only a small problem on the whole.
On my recommendation, my friend went and bought the Game of the Year Edition, but got bored whilst still in the opening dungeon.
I suppose there’s no accounting for taste.
#8 – N+ (Xbox Live Arcade, 2008)
At the completely opposite end of the spectrum from Oblivion is N+, one of the most minimalistic games released in the last 20 years.
You control a stick man and try to get him from the entrance of a room to the exit.
Like so many other games on this list, it’s both highly addictive and utterly frustrating. I remember holding a sit in when my brother and best mate were trying to watch a film, and saying nobody was going anywhere until I’d completed the last level.
Hundreds of goes later, I was about to throw the controller away, before my brother took over and completed it in a matter of minutes.
Not my proudest moment!
#7 – de Blob 2 (Xbox 360, 2011)
Perhaps a surprise entrant in the Top 10, de Blob 2 is one of the few games on this list that I never owned, but instead rented from LoveFilm.
What was described as a relatively ordinary 7/10 platform game was for me the best game of 2011. The colour, the charm and the gameplay were just tremendous.
Unlike so many games that try to be a narrative masterpiece, or take themselves far too seriously, de Blob 2 was fun.
That’s all you need.
#6 – Quarrel (Xbox Live Arcade/iOS 2011)
Combining Risk with Countdown, Quarrel is a game I play almost every day. It’s my number #1 go to game on mobile platforms, and yet also can be enjoyed online using the Xbox 360.
A test of my word skills and an easy way to kill time (the moment it’s half time at the football, Quarrel goes on and the 15 minutes fly past) it’s endlessly enjoyable.
#5 – Football Manager (PC, Various)
Now I know what you’re thinking; I’ve got Football Manager so high on this list because I work for the company that makes the game.
But this isn’t product placement; I have Football Manager here because it deserves to be here. It’s a tremendously deep game – easily deeper than anything else on this list – and it the most detailed Football and Management game there is.
I work for Sports Interactive because I love the product, not the other way around.
So why isn’t it number 1 or even the best football game on my list?
Simple; unfortunately for me as the guy who inputs all the Scottish info into the game, part of the challenge has long since gone. I know who to buy if I want to do well, so the mystery of the game isn’t there for me now.
Plus, I – like everyone else at SI – know it can still be improved year upon year
#4 – Call of Duty Franchise (Xbox 360, Various)
As much as the single player mode of this game is average at best, the online Multiplayer element of Call of Duty is still the number one way of gaming with more than one other person.
With new maps and new versions of the game coming out all the time, it doesn’t get boring, and the score streaks and rewards system makes putting the hours in worthwhile.
When we have the time, my friends and I will play this game for hours on end.
And that doesn’t look like changing any time soon.
Perhaps the ultimate COD experience for me was when both myself and my mate were off work with the flu. With nothing to do but sit down in our own living rooms recover, we ended up playing COD for about 12 hours a day for 3 days straight.
It was a throwback to our teenage years with Goldeneye.
Awesome (and a bit sad).
#3 – Little King’s Story (Nintendo Wii, 2009)
One of the most underrated video games of all time, Little King’s Story is a game I have waxed lyrical about on this blog since day one.
What more can I say about it? It looks, sounds, plays and controls brilliantly.
If you haven’t heeded my words by now, I guess you never will, but in case you’ve only just stumbled upon this blog recently, I’ll say it again…
Buy Little King’s Story!!!
Only, buy it for the Wii – the PS Vita version lacks the charm of the original.
#2 – FIFA (Xbox 360, Various)
As much as I love Football Manager, nothing beats actually controlling the players on the pitch.
While you can come across some weirdos and rage quitters online, and while the offline mode can be a bit mundane, there’s no better game to play with a friend (assuming he both likes football and is of a similar standard to you) than FIFA.
Though I’m still waiting on my friends to get their arses into gear and buy either their PS4s or PS Plus accounts and therefore, FIFA 14 has yet to get as much use as I’d like, FIFA 13 summed up the near life-long gaming war I’ve had with my best mate in regards to football games.
A year’s worth of playing it, amounting to what must be a good 100-150 games and our record ended in a tie. We won, drew and lost the same amount of games.
And to me, that’s as good as it gets.
#1 – Red Dead Redemption (Xbox 360, 2010)
When it’s all said and done though, one game stands out as the best game of the generation and that is Red Dead Redemption.
GTA is such a frustrating game because despite it being ridiculously overhyped, bizarrely popular and Rock Star Games’s favourite child, Red Dead blows it all away.
I’ve never been the sort of person who wants to 100% a game, especially when to get 100% you have to do the most menial and almost autistic things.
But I wanted to do that – and I did do that – with Red Dead Redemption.
After playing through the excellent story mode with its fresh and interesting setting, I wanted to roam the lands, killing off specific animals, picking the right flowers and winning all the card games. To me, that was single player gaming at its best.
Sure, over the years I’ve had more utility and probably more enjoyment out of some of the other games on this list; after all, once you 100% Red Dead, it’s done forever.
But as an individual title and a single game in its own right, this was the best.
If only GTA could match up to it, then it might be worthy of the hype and sales figures.
And so that’s it…
So that’s the list. Do you agree of disagree with what’s on it? Remember, I haven’t played every single game out there, so this is just my opinion on the ones I have played.
Let me know what you think.
And if you want to check out the previous entries in this series, they can all be found in the Article Index.