The Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 generation is in its final act and so I thought it would be fitting to look back at some of the greats of this generation and give them a little more love. Each week I will deliver you 5 more games on my list and while I am sure there will be much debate, I can honestly say that I have thoroughly thought these games and their position within the list through. So I give you my Top 25 games of this generation…so sit back and enjoy the trip down memory lane with me, and if you haven’t played one of them do yourself a favor by picking them up and giving them a rightful spin.
25) College 2k7
Before you ask me how a college basketball game could make the list, and then not to have it be College 2k8, let me just say relax…there is method to my madness. College Hoops 2k7 came out on the ps3 back in March of ’07 and to me nothing can touch it in the terms of pure college fun. Not only does it have my favorite college player of all time in J.J. Redick (bring on the hate) on its cover, it just plays a great game of hoops.
I don’t think there has been a better career mode in sports and yes I still think this. Sure 2k8 made some great tweaks to it but 2k8 just failed in gameplay for me and for that I couldn’t get deeply involved with the career. What I am talking about is the ability to become a coach at some low end school and then earn your way to offers from other prestigious schools over time. For some reason the entire package or combination of great basketball gameplay, college atmosphere, and deep RPG like career mode just worked and I have probably invested more time with this game then any other game this generation.
Don’t get me wrong basketball games have advanced a ton over the years but until 2k gets off their butt and makes a new college basketball game, College 2k7 is where I will be each year fulfilling my college basketball fantasies.
Still the most fun online multiplayer I’ve had this generation is one the first exclusives Playstation 3 ever had. Yes, I am talking about Warhawk, the game where you were just a single soldier on a huge online battle field, but depending on your skill, one could turn the tides of war. The game had no single player mode and so you were basically thrown in with the “online” wolves in a sink or swim type of scenario.
If you invested enough time though in the maps, the vehicles (in particular the warhawks), and the various powerups and weapons you could have a blast. There was nothing like defending your flag against an onslaught of enemies, or having a Top Gun like experience in the skies over head facing off in a dog fight of warhawks.
Eventually there were multiple DLC packs, each definitely worth the price of admission to those of us who were already invested into the game. The only real gripe about the game was with the stats and trophies, as they just kept getting reset by Incognito Entertainment. I have yet to play its successor in Starhawk but as far as I am concerned Warhawk was ahead of its time and still remains one of the best showcases for how an open-world multiplayer game should be.
23) Assassins Creed Brotherhood
Have you ever wanted to explore the beautiful city of Roma? Have you ever wanted to climb your way to the top of the Colosseum and then take a leap of faith into a nice plush hay stack? If so, then Assassins Creed Brotherhood is where you will find it. Brotherhood is the follow up to Assassins Creed 2 and of one of the most beloved characters of this generation, Ezio Auditore. After the destruction of Ezio’s home villa, it is your job to go on the offensive and seek revenge for the attack. You will only be fighting with Ezio in Roma, but to say that only having one city is repetitive I would say you are completely wrong. Roma is a huge sprawling center of all types and having the ability to free run throughout its many boroughs, and climb the many towers, is a level of fun and almost peacefulness that one doesn’t get in games very often. Yes, there are still the occasional miss guided leap to ones death, but all in all Assassins Creed Brotherhood is a finely tuned piece of art.
One of the greatest features of Brotherhood is in the Sons of Romulus missions in which you go underground to unravel a deep mystery under Roma. The thing that makes these missions stand out is that you are focused on the traversal of various indoor spaces as opposed to the outside world and its the puzzles of getting from point A to point B that is the biggest challenge. There is an introduction of a multi-player that frankly I couldn’t stomach much after only an hours or so of playing so take that for what its worth. Prepare yourself though if you are going to pick of Brotherhood, especially if you have a little OCD or collectivitis (need to collect everything in a game) because if you do expect over 40+ hours of gameplay.
22) Dragon Age: Origins
The first of a new fantasy IP, Dragon Age Origins is 3rd person overhead RPG created for RPG lovers by RPG legends. The game doesn’t hold your hand but instead drops you into a world of dragons and magic, lore and mystery, and it does so in a way that makes this old time gamer happy. Yes, the game is supposedly more enjoyable on the PC, but being that my PC couldn’t handle the game I had just as much fun as my PC brethren did but on the comfort of my couch. The game is huge and the story fully developed. As you play through Dragon Age Origins you will quickly understand that this game and its world were developed by people who love what they do.
I probably spent over 100 hours playing through Orgins in the end and that doesn’t even include the various origin stories that I did prior to choosing my final protagonist, an Elf Mage. In fact just figuring out which player type and back story you want for your character is more gameplay than many single player games have. The game is huge and the characters full of life and mystery. I have deliberately stayed away from story spoilers here as Dragon’s Age Origin is a game that, if you love RPG’s at all, needs to be experienced fresh and hands-on.
21) Alpha Protocol
Sold as the Espionage RPG by Sega, Alpha Protocol tried to do something different by combining classic RPG elements, 3rd person stealth-action, and a multifaceted storyline set in a modern day Spy thriller. While highly anticipated by me and much of the gaming world, Alpha Protocol faced a number of issues both technically in-game and with missing multiple release dates. None the less Alpha Protocol was a game that I just could not put down, not once but twice and in back to back succession, which is saying a lot for me especially with the game length reaching 15+ hours. The biggest draw for me was playing out different scenarios to see how the story would play out depending on my choices. I would say that Alpha Protocol’s player choices had more impact on story and how the game was played than the Mass Effect games or any other for that matter. Depending on who you sided with or killed, and what order you took for missions, you may find yourself in completely different locations and with different missions, enough so that both play through’s for me played out totally different.
I will say this though, the gameplay is not perfect, especially if you go in guns blazing… but if you decide to play as a stealth agent with a silenced pistol, and you love RPG’s and spy thrillers, you are going to have a blast. Let me also warn you to not read any reviews before hand as I would suggest experiencing the game with a fresh outlook not tainted by poor reviews and certainly not spoiled with any story elements.
Disclaimer: This best of list is one I wrote many years ago for one of my old websites that no longer exists.