Our Top 10 Games of All Time

Bryson: I’m 22 now, which makes me feel really old for some reason. No longer being 21 makes me feel more like an adult than ever before.

Hayden: 22? Wow, that is old. I mean, I was 22 when I got married…five years ago. I guess that means it’s time for you to start making some major life decisions.

B: No…what this really means is that it’s time for me to update my Top 10 Games list.

H: That sounds fun. I think I will join you, so our readers (reader?) can have a more refined, mature list.

B: Right. Well, anyways, for clarification, these are our PERSONAL Top 10 list. This list isn’t based on merit, ratings, or any of that. This is just Bryson’s and Hayden’s favorite ten games of all time.

H: Yeah, and believe it or not, there are quite a few games we haven’t played, so don’t get offended if neither of us list your favorite. Instead, just drop a comment below and let us know what we missed!

*SPOILER WARNING FOR ALL GAMES LISTED*

Bryson’s 22 year-old list

10: Mario Kart 8

mariokart

The latest and greatest instalment in the Mario Kart franchise, Mario Kart 8 is not only the best game with the Mario Kart name but (in my opinion) the best game on the Wii U. The graphics are stunning, each course takes my breath away every time I see it. The character roster is expensive, even though the addition of every Koopaling was questionable, and the game features some of the best DLC any game has ever had. The addition of Link and Animal Crossing characters onto the roster was a very welcome surprise for any long time Nintendo fan.
9: The Walking Dead: Season One

walking dead

This game fluctuates on and off this list consistently. It has found its way back on, however, because I recently played through Season Two of the franchise and it reminded me how much I truly loved the original season and made me want to play it all over again. The relationship between Lee and Clem is a beautifully told story, and by the end of the game I was an emotional wreck. Technically the game doesn’t run the best. It freezes frequently the cutscenes and audio don’t match up all that well, but with all of that being said, it’s still amazing which speaks to its storytelling and voice work.
8: Uncharted 4

uncharted

The most recent addition to this list, Uncharted 4 is unlike anything I’ve ever played on a video game console before. The graphics are simply stunning, the storytelling is entertaining and enjoyable, and the characters are so easy to identify with. The environments made me really look back and think about how much better video games have gotten graphically over the years, and how it’s really only up from here. And the gameplay is also fantastic, but I guess it’s easy to look past that when you can’t stop staring at the graphics.
7: Pac-Man Championship Edition DX

Pac-Man-Championship-Edition-DX-Boxart

As probably the most random entry on this list, I feel like it is necessary to say that I’m honestly not a huge fan of the original Pac-Man arcade games. Probably because I’m awful at them, but mostly because I never feel like I’m having a good time playing them. Championship Edition DX is a whole different story. It’s a completely different take on the classic concept, where instead of taking out ghosts one at a time you get them to follow behind you for as long as possible before turning the tables and downing them all at once. The gameplay is fast paced, the different art styles are all appealing, and I got really, really good at it. It’s one of only a few reasons that I will still boot up my PS3, just to play Pac-Man.
6: Kingdom Hearts 2

KH2-cover

I have been waiting 11 years for Kingdom Hearts 3. 11 years. That number honestly makes me feel sick to my stomach. However, this also means it’s been 11 years since Kingdom Hearts 2 changed my life. The mixture of Disney with the world of Final Fantasy knocked my socks off in the original Kingdom Hearts, and the second instalment of the series was bigger and better than the first. There were so many worlds to explore and characters to interact with, and when you mix that with some of my favorite style of gameplay in video games to date, it’s a recipe for a Bryson game. I’ve started piecing together an article about Kingdom Hearts 3, which is something I have a lot of feelings towards, so look for that in the upcoming weeks. Just know that this series, no matter how mistreated it gets, has a special place in my heart.
5: Yoshi’s Island

yoshi

 

Yoshi has always been, and probably forever will be my favorite Nintendo character. Whether I’m getting ready to play on an oversized game board, play a myriad of sports, or even beat the living hell out of other famous Nintendo mascots he is my go to. And it all started with this game. I was too young and missed the SNES era, so I originally explored Yoshi’s Island on my GameBoy Advance, and I was blown away. It is some of the best side scrolling platforming that you can play, and the graphics are gorgeous for being a SNES lifecycle game. Just take a look at the new Yoshi’s Island for 3DS, somehow the graphics of the original surpass the newest addition to the series. What that speaks to more is neither here nor there, just really a testament to what a technical marvel the original game was.
4: Batman Arkham Knight

batman-arkham-knight-premium-edition-two-column-02-ps4-us-24apr15

I know, I know, I hated the repetitive tank battles too. But looking past that, Arkham Knight has one of the best told stories in a videogame to date. The intertwining of the Joker through the entire narrative led to not only of my favorite video game stories to follow, but just straight up one of my favorite in all media I’ve consumed. There are so many villains and storylines to follow, and even more if you stuck around for the DLC pack that added four more storylines into the already packed narrative. The gameplay was as smooth and crisp as ever. The scale of the world seemed perfect for a game of its size, and I didn’t want to put it down. Rocksteady’s Arkham series is one of my favorites of all time, and this game was just the icing on the cake. I man, if one of your first lines of dialogue is “This is how it happened, this is how the Batman died” I’m all in. You had me at Batman, which I guess isn’t really helping my case, but anyways. On to number three.
3: Super Smash Bros. Brawl

super smash

If I had a dollar for every hour I played this game through my High School career, I probably wouldn’t have to work for a while. I know Brawl isn’t the best installment of the Smash Bros series, but it is undoubtedly the one I’ve played the most and by far my favorite. Nearly every Friday night during our High School career my best friends and I would pile in a theatre room in my friend Mat’s basement and we would play until the next day came. Tournament mode was always our go to, we would each pick a certain amount of characters and go at it for hours. I love Melee, and to the day it’s still the best one in the competitive circles, and the new one for the Wii U is fantastic and I’m a big fan of all the changes they made, but Brawl will always have a special place in my heart because it will always be associated with my friends and the endless hours we poured into it.
2: Super Mario Galaxy 2

TM_Wii_SuperMarioGalaxy2

What can I say that hasn’t been said about this game? The Mario Series is one of the most respected in the history of gaming, and this game is the cream of the crop. It has everything you’d want out of a Mario game. It has a variety of different worlds, all that fit in the pantheon of the Mario formula. The use of gravity and the planet based system adds to the depth of the platforming and adds extra challenge to levels that are already fairly difficult. You get to ride a Yoshi. You get to play as Luigi. And the later levels in the game would give even the best Mario players a run for their money. It’s also crazy how beautiful the game is considering it came out on the Wii, a console that notoriously had a hard time running games with very solid graphics that weren’t on a 2D field.
1: Pokemon Heart Gold / Soul Silver

poekmon

If you know me, you probably assumed that a Pokemon game would be on the top of my list. It’s my favorite game series of all time. The show consumed my childhood cartoon watching. I still play the card games religiously, and I don’t apologize for any of it. I love the world of Pokemon, and Heart Gold / Soul Silver are by far my favorite games that GameFreak has put out. When I was young I was blown away by Gold and Silver. Being able to play not only through a whole new world, but the original from Red and Blue, is something we still haven’t seen in any other Pokemon game since. In Heart Gold and Soul Silver the graphics are so crisp and clean, the original tunes sound amazing, and it is exactly what you would want out of a remake because it made the game better, and it would be silly to not pick the better version of the same game.

If you want to read about my love of Pokemon you can read that here. I think that will probably sum up why this game is at the top of my list.

Hayden’s old man list

10: Sanitarium

Sanitarium_Coverart

A PC point and click adventure that will truly mess with your head. Sanitarium is my favorite game from the horror genre. Since the gameplay was so simple, the plot and storytelling is what moved this game forward. It also featured some great puzzles that were hard to figure out, but not so bad that you went into rage mode. Sanitarium was recently released on Android and iOS, and I would definitely recommend anyone picking this game up to play on the go.
9: Timesplitters 2

timesplitters

The Timesplitters games were the last to be built on the famed Goldeneye engine. Timesplitters 2 was really the first FPS that I really enjoyed playing for more than a weekend with my friends. It had a good-sized, goofy story mode that allowed players to jump all over time. This resulted in a ton of guns, from old school German lugers to futuristic plasma cannons. But what really makes this game stand out to me is the frantic arcade battles versus bots. Game modes included deathmatch, capture the flag, and more.
8: Super Dodgeball

Super-Dodge-Ball-image

My favorite NES game ever. This game featured 10 different countries that each had their own strengths and weaknesses. Every player on each team also featured a unique special move. Pretty deep mechanics and features for a game released in 1988 (even before I was born), if you ask me.
7: Tecmo Super Bowl

tecmo

Hands down, the greatest football game of all time. If I had continually updated rosters on Tecmo, I would never need another copy of Madden for the rest of my life. It is truly a straight-forward master piece. And it would be remiss to mention this game without talking about the greatest video game (and real life) athlete of all time: Bo Jackson.
6: Fallout 3

fallout

While compiling this list, I told myself that I couldn’t feature the Fallout games and the Elder Scroll games. So when I had to make a choice, I went with Fallout 3 and New Vegas over Oblivion and Skyrim. With any pushing, I could probably be persuaded either way. Anyways, there are few things I love more than going about the post-apocalyptic world doing good and restoring some semblance of society into the once-glorious USA. My love of these games even prompted me to not purchase Fallout 4 until I finished my thesis. Talk about self-control…
5: God of War

God-of-War-1-Hydra

I will never forget the awe I felt the first time I fought the Hydra in the original God of War. This single game got me hooked on the entire franchise from that point on. The internal battle that rages in Kratos is both exciting and heart-wrenching. This game and its sequel look amazing for how old they are, and luckily for us, they have been remastered multiple times so pretty much anyone can get their hands on a copy of this classic. And come on now, nothing is more exciting than killing a mythological being. Especially a god.
4: Tekken 3

tekken

In my opinion, one which I share with many others, Tekken 3 is the greatest fighting game of all time. The gameplay holds up very well even today and many of the characters use the same animations and moves in the latest installments of the series. What made the game so great in my opinion is the two additional modes: Tekken Force Mode and Tekken Ball. Force Mode was essentially a beat’em up adventure take on the game. Tekken Ball, my favorite, is Tekken’s take on volleyball. The robust roster of characters pushed this game over the top and is one I still play to this day.
3: NBA 2kAnything

2k

Okay, okay… I knoe that saying an entire line of video games is one of my top 10 is kind of a cop out, but hear me out. Overall, I have poured more hours into sports games than any other genre. I mean, I’m a sports guy, so naturally I love my basketball and football games best. The NBA 2k line of games are not just great because of the basketball game play, but also because of the My Player and General Manager modes. Being able to control every aspect of an NBA franchise is a dream come true for a guy like me, from drafting, to game plans, to developing and scouting talent, I love it all. I cannot wait for 2k17 and the all-new expansion franchise additions to GM mode.
2: Borderlands 2

 borderlands

I don’t think a game has ever taken over my life quite like Borderlands 2 did. It is the only game I’ve gone to the midnight premiere for, and it was really released at the perfect time, as my wife was pregnant with our first child and just entered into the “zombie stage” of pregnancy where she just wanted to sleep all day. This left me to explore the world of Pandora for hours on end. I loved the original Borderlands, and the second improved on it in every possible way. The perfect blend of FPS and RPG, this game will undoubtedly provide hours and hours of entertainment. It doesn’t hurt that its developer, Gearbox Studios, continues to support Borderlands 2 today…four years after its release.
1: Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic

kotor

 

I had to put KOTOR first on my list because it is the one game that not only has great gameplay that holds up today, but the nostalgia that accompanies it is overwhelming. I have vivid memories of going out and buying this game with my older brother, making a pact that we wouldn’t play it without each other until we beat the game, then promising to not play the sequel until we could play it together (a promise that I failed to keep). I even wrote about this game, and its upcoming mod, a few weeks back. For those of you who haven’t played KOTOR, if you enjoyed Bioware’s Mass Effect or Dragon Age series, you have KOTOR to thank as it really paved the way for those games to enter development. I have really enjoyed this game more than any other up to this point in my life, which is evident in the fact that I have purchased it on every available platform: Xbox, PC, Mac, Android, and iOS. And if it’s released again, I will buy it again.

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned to Culture Phenoms for all things Pop Culture. Follow @culturephenoms on Twitter and like the Culture Phenoms page on Facebook.

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