Top 10 Games of Last Generation
With the Xbox One and Playstation 4 released in most countries at this point, next-gen gaming is upon us. Despite many games continuing to release over the next several years on current-gen consoles many developers will be switching their sights to next-gen. With that in mind here are my top 10 games of last generation (so far) that I’ve played owning an Xbox 360.
10) L.A. Noire
Sneaking in at #10 is L.A. Noire. While lacking many of the extra activities of GTA or Skyrim that makes open world games feel truly alive. Credit must be given to L.A. Noire for its innovative gameplay, excellent facial animation and a faithfully recreated 1940’s Los Angeles. I’d never played a game like L.A. Noire before and found the investigatory sequences a breath of fresh air. The game’s biggest strength though is its story. Cole Phelps is an excellent detective, driven and ultimately flawed which makes him human above anything else. L.A. Noire was a standout surprise for me.
Possibly the only game I would have banked on making this list before its release, Skyrim did what Oblivion did at the start of the generation by crafting a beautiful world to explore dungeons, fight strange creatures and create a character that was unique while showcasing the hardware to great effect. With the addition of dragons and using their souls for powers while refining the already well liked formula, Bethesda again delivered one of the best games this generation. I can’t wait to see what’s next.
8) The Wolf Among Us
While it was a tough choice between The Wolf Among Us and The Walking Dead, this game won out as it refined The Walking Dead mechanics a notch and personally has a much more immersive feel to it. Bigby is a great character and I eagerly await the final two episodes. The characters are all fantastic and I’m a big fan of how it utilizes the stereotypes of these characters. I’m hooked on the story and if nothing else Telltale games have shown this generation how good episodic gaming can be when done right and handled properly.
7) Batman: Arkham City
Another close call, this time between Arkham Asylum and Arkham City. Ultimately Arkham City wins out as it contained so much more fan service including Easter eggs, Riddler challenges, side missions, a fantastic plot and, as a big Batman fan, this game delivered in so many ways. Not afraid to make a bold ending Rocksteady is hard at work on the next-gen Arkham Knight and I can’t wait to see what’s next for these established characters.
6) Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
Without a doubt one of the best first person shooters ever released, the Call of Duty series has followed the same winning formula to this day. An explosive and action-packed campaign is only one highlight amongst a fantastic multiplayer that was so much fun to play with friends. At the time its mechanics were a welcome evolution of the first person shooter and was highly popular. Having jumped onto an Xbox 360 a while after its initial release, this was one of the first games I purchased and didn’t regret it along with…
5) Halo 3
Arguably the best in the Halo series, this was the first Halo game I played and I was blown away by it. The campaign took you to strange and foreign locales that were as beautiful as they were fun to blast through especially in co-op. The story and its cliffhanger added a fantastic sense of adventure and anticipation for its sequel. On top of this was forge mode, a creative tool to build your own maps and gameplay sessions and an addictive multiplayer. I spent many hours playing this game with friends and trying for that pesky Vidmaster achievement.
4) Red Dead Redemption
My first Rockstar game on this list, Red Dead Redemption told the tale of John Marston, an outlaw forced to hunt down his old bandit buddies to save his family from the clutches of the government. The Old Wild West open world was stunning and filled with interesting characters and locations. Such a background led to some truly emotional moments from the ending to the moment you enter Mexico. The story of John Marston was captivating and easily one of the best told stories of this generation.
3) Grand Theft Auto V
Sequel to the excellent and well received GTA IV. Grand Theft Auto V once again raised the bar for open world gaming. Rockstar once again created an expansive world filled with life and vibrancy like never before. Instead of revolving around one main character, the game had 3 main protagonists from the aspiring Franklin, the weary Michael and the insane Trevor, there was never a dull moment in Los Santos. Improved customization, weaponry and driving were all highlights to a truly incredible world. And while the online section began poorly it continues to improve and will certainly be one to watch in the future.
2) Assassin’s Creed 2
Assassin’s Creed 2 is often held up as the best AC game and rightly so. Following the exploits of young Ezio Auditore, the story revolves around a coming-of-age story for the young Florentine as he’s introduced to a world of Assassins and Templars. Improving upon the original in every way, Assassin’s Creed 2 allowed us to explore Florence, Venice and other areas of Renaissance Italy in style with minimal modern-day interruptions. This game is a brilliant example of how to do an action-adventure game right.
1) Mass Effect 2
As another sequel that built and improved on the original, Mass Effect 2 not only firmly established the franchise as an excellent role-playing science-fiction rollercoaster but also my highlight of this last generation. The player choice, the detailed universe, the impact of the choices you make, fun gameplay and emotional storytelling sealed Mass Effect 2 as my favorite game of this last generation.
What are your favorite games of this generation? Let me know in the comments.