Today is National Video Games Day (Monday, September 12) and here at Gamify, we would be amiss if we didn’t take this opportunity to shine a light on some of our personal favourite games of all time.
If you like to play video games, then submit your own games list in the comment section at the bottom of the page. With that in mind, let's take a look at our Video Game Day favourites.
#10 Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 (2000)
While the original Tony Hawk Pro Skater pioneered a new wave of home console gaming, fast-forward a few years and Tony Hawks 2 came out to have even better graphics, soundtrack, character roster, and controller mechanics. This game is a shining example of how to make a strong follow-up game.
While the series has continued to suck the life out of the formula, I think we can all collectively agree that THPS2 was, and still is, the perfect skateboarding game. In fact, it’s so great that it has recently undergone a remaster (if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it).
#9 Metal Gear Solid (1998)
Where do I begin with this one? Metal Gear showed me that video games can convey a story in ways that cinema simply cannot. Espionage stealth games were not on my radar at this point in my life, I never knew how fun it could be to sneak around an enemy facility like I was Luke and Han on the Deathstar.
Metal Gear Solid is the reason why we have such cinematically beautiful cutscenes in every modern game. Hideo Kojima pushed the limits of what the original Playstation console was capable of with this game.
#8 Tekken 3 (1997)
Tekken 3 was a grand achievement in the fighting genre, as it provided a playing style that allowed for moves to flow and blend together to create a devastating combination, instead of the more arcade-style moves from titles like Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter.
While each new instalment building upon and improving its gameplay, Tekken 3 is regarded the foundation which all later games in the series have been built upon.
Everyone has their go-to character of choice, with their own unique fighting style. Mine is the Tae Kwon Do student, Hwoarang
#7 Grand Theft Auto V (2013)
GTA V is the best-selling game of the last decade, with over 130 million copies sold! and for good reason.
If Grand Theft Auto V is known for anything it’s for being the gold standard in which we measure all other sandbox games now.
Grand Theft Auto V’s Los Santos feels so authentic due to the sheer level of detail put into every square inch of the city and surrounding countryside. 7 years after its release, it still has a highly active online presence.
#6 COD Modern Warfare 2 (2009)
MW2 was my introduction to the competitive world of online gaming. While the campaign has some iconic moments such as the ‘No Russian’ mission. The online play remains as a cornerstone of modern gaming, in fact, it also underwent a recent remaster.
Come for the story mode, stay for the online multiplayer.
#5 The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998)
This game is a time machine.
If you ask anyone that loved this game as a kid if they still own their 64, most of them will say yes, followed by, “I keep it around for three reasons; Mario Kart, Smash Bros. and Zelda”. I have friends that often unpack their 64 and play through this game. They should rename this game “Nostalgia: Window of Time”.
This game is a trailblazer for the sandbox game. What was possibly going to be a castle based game with level portals (much like Mario 64), persevered and became so much more. This game isn’t just a personal favourite but an integral pillar in the medium of video games.
To everyone who loves adventure games, Ocarina of Time is your birthright.
#4 Red Dead Redemption 2 (2018)
One of gaming’s greatest open-world achievements, Red Dead Redemption 2 somehow delivers an even higher level of quality and detail than GTA V.
A beautiful ode to an ugly era, this epic tale showcases life in America’s unforgiving heartland. This game proves that the sandbox formula was made for an Old West adventure game.
With nearly endless emergent gameplay opportunities. Its slower pace allows us to binge on the world like a virtual museum.
#3 Uncharted 4 (2016)
Uncharted 4 is all the better because of its predecessors. This game is a beautiful bow-tie at the end of an epic adventure across multiple quests. It showcases the growth and maturity of all the key characters in the series, along with conveying the true weight of the stakes throughout the story.
All that being said, the game mechanics and capabilities are greater, the gaming system in which it is played is superior and the detail on this work is unparalleled.
Very few game titles have a final entry that perfectly bookends a series like Uncharted, this game manages to balance a big, epic adventure with intimate character moments.
#2 PUBG (2017)
PUBG, also known as Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds is the latest game to revitalise a stagnant genre.
Run-and-Gun style games can grow stale quite quickly. I’ve always longed for a game that rewards tactical play, and PUBG delivers.
The fact that respawn functionality is not available causes you to play smarter and with caution.
Everyone who parachutes in on PUBG is there to be #1, and our office loves playing the mobile version. No joke, we play in a squad every lunch around the conference table.
PUBG is for the players.
#1 The Last of Us (2013)
For anyone who doesn’t “get” gaming, The Last of Us is the game I suggest they play. This is a heart-pumping tale, one that's packed with action and excitement, grim realism, and bucket-loads of emotion.
The world-building in this game is unmatched, with subtle hints of “non-story” elements scattered across the game. You gather story details of characters you will never meet, painting a bleak picture that your journey through this dystopian world is just one example amongst many others that weren’t as fortunate.
This game is an instant classic, with Oscar-worthy performances, a beautifully melancholic soundtrack, stunning imagery and strong character arcs. The Last of Us is a shining example of an epic journey, bookended by two of the most experimental openers/endings in gaming history.
So that's our list. If you want to put forth your own top 10 for this year's National Video Games Day, then please enter it in the comments below.