The Greatest games of all time
Griffon explains why he believes the following 15 games are the greatest games of all time – in his very humble opinion.
15 – Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII
It’s a prequel for a spectacular game. I know how the story has to end. And yet I am intrigued throughout the game and was even surprised a time or two. This game is also what gives me hope that Square Enix can still produce a great Final Fantasy title. The combat is simple yet fun and although the quest system is repetitive they offer enough insight into smaller characters to make it worth the time to finish most of these quests. But the true power of this game comes from its story. Though anyone that knows FFVII knows how it ends, it is still a powerful journey. And of course, the way a certain battle element is designed to feed into the end run of the game… seriously, that is one of the most powerful moments in Final Fantasy history.
14 – Tales of Symphonia
An addictive battle system, skits, great characters, and an art style I find endearing… there is a lot to this game, or most Tales of games for that matter, to love. It also happens to be one of the few reasons I still fire up the Wii/Gamecube anymore. The story is more or less “stock” RPG but in the end that doesn’t matter given the cast of characters is well developed and is just fun to watch interact. You can even affect some of the interpersonal relationships between Lloyd, the main character, and the rest of the crew. It lends itself to repeat runs just for that.
13 – Devil May Cry 4
Possibly the last true Devil May Cry game… and really, it is between this one and the first DMC game to which is the best of the series. The battle system is surprisingly deep with the combos and reward system worked around it, but it isn’t necessary to master in order to progress through the story which I find is the selling point to the series. It is over the top, fun, and steeped in lore. This game delivers on all fronts and even introduces an interesting new character that works surprisingly well in Dante’s stead for the half of the game you don’t play as Dante. If DMC4 is the last true Devil May Cry I think I can be fine with it… really just hope the new “DMC” doesn’t somehow ruin the series.
12 – Persona 3 FES
It’s ATLUS… that’s the first thing that needs to be said. They are masters of eccentric stories centred around mythological characters in unique interpretations of their place in the universe. That pulls me in personally right away. Add to this a wonderful cast of characters within a social system that is surprisingly deep and then a great story and you have a game that is special. This would be higher on my list if not for ATLUS loving to make their games harder than many games… it doesn’t get to the point of tedious difficulty, but it can be unforgiving if you are careless. One thing to note… this is the FES version that includes an additional story mode that adds to the original story. This expansion helps to clarify some of the lore and events in the story. But… it is far more difficult than the original.
11 – Megaman X
The best SNES game ever created. Yes, better than Super Mario World or Final Fantasy VI and even Super Metroid. There was just something to this game that is so addictive and induces so much nostalgic hits that I can’t help but love the game. It is a typical Megaman game, but the controls are crisp, the story is surprisingly good, and the darker aura to the series really just helped this game to distinguish itself from its series.
10 – Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
The best MGS game. Yes, I said it. This is the best MGS game. I enjoyed the story and loved the hints at the deeper conspiracy before the latter two sequels ended up basically ruining the potential that had (and I like the last two games just to be clear, just felt it got convoluted and confusing). And I am one of the few that didn’t really mind playing as Raiden most of the game. The setting in this game was perfect as well and the battle system was actually quite fun and intuitive. Taking it all into account, I could have been happy if MGS2 had been the final game in the MGS saga.
9 – Chrono Cross
Let’s see… great music, lots of character, an intricate story line, and just that special nostalgic feeling every time you play it. I prefer this game to its predecessor for many reasons, but mostly for a better narrative and better characters. The world was splendid and I can honestly say I wouldn’t mind living in a few of the towns in game because they were so charming. The biggest draw to the game though is a fantastic ending system where you can see multiple outcomes in a new game plus feature that allows you to challenge the final boss whenever you please. The variation this allows is intriguing and it is just a fun little quirk that I haven’t really seen before or since in a new game plus feature.
8 – Uncharted 2
Awesome and fun story… check. Great platforming in a 3d world… check. Wonderful characters… check. Crisp gunplay and awesome event battles… check and check. Seriously, this game sells itself just off of the basis of having a fun story and great characters. But you add in everything else and you have an instant classic on your hands. And really… train sequence. Does anything more really have to be said after that?
7 – Oblivion
Wonderful open world that is just fun to wander in and do nothing else… what more do you need? The story was good and the game had some interesting side quests that really helped fill out the world. The music was fantastic. The expansions were out of this world. But all that is secondary to the simple fact I’ve plugged in over a thousand hours mostly wandering the world and looking at the wonderful sights.
6 – Final Fantasy IX
Great characters in a great story buoyed by wonderful music and filled out with some of the best side quests in gaming… there isn’t much you can say about FFIX to someone that has never played it. It takes everything and melds it into one awesome game that just has that special something that elevates it above so many other games.
5/4 Mass Effect 1 and 2
I am one of the few it seems that loves both ME games equally. For everything that ME2 might have changed in a negative manner from ME1 they had something they did absolutely right. I prefer the customisation, the romance scenes, the side quest format, and the Mako from ME1 while I prefer the shooting, the loyalty missions, the Normandy, and the DLC from ME2. I love the characters from both and really really hope I can have a happy ending with Ash and Miri come ME3. And while the story in ME1 is “deeper” in one sense, I enjoyed the story in ME2 just as much surprisingly. Hopefully, ME3 takes the best of both worlds…though can the world handle that much awesome?!
And the first of the three way tie for greatest game of all time…
1 – Tales of Vesperia
Great characters, good story, deep combat system… but what elevates this game so much higher than other Tales of games is the superior skit system and several defining moments within the story. While much of the story is again “stock” RPG, there are several moments that have stuck with me and I look forward to every playthrough. These moments are often helped by an outstanding soundtrack that I wish was easier to find. And this game is long and has an intricate side quest system that rewards players with costumes and awesome skits that just add so much to the experience. And of course there is the new game plus feature that is standard in Tales of games… I personally start from scratch just to experience the skits in context again but it is a nice feature.
1 – Final Fantasy X
Until ToV this was easily the greatest game of all time. There was no question in my mind. This game has the best story in gaming and one of the best in entertainment period in my mind. It is touching and emotional. There are several moments that stand out, but the ending sequence alone is enough to illustrate how powerful this game’s story is. The cast of characters doesn’t fail to impress either. Quite simply put they are some of the most memorable characters in gaming and don’t really fall into the RPG trap of being too clichéd or emo. Then there is the soundtrack which is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, in gaming. Actually, just some damn good music period. The only negative about this game… it might be the last great mainline title in the Final Fantasy franchise.
1 – Dragon Age: Origins
I saved this for last just because this one might be pulling ahead now. While the story is typical fantasy fare and the soundtrack is good but not on the level of fellow Bioware title Mass Effect, it is the characters and the sheer amount of choice offered to the player that make this game one of the greatest ever. The characters are not only well developed and fun to watch, you can actually take several different approached and effect their opinion on the player and their eventual futures. Even without the romance that is an awesome feature, but add in 4 romanceable companions that all have their strengths and appeal and you have a game that screams to be replayed over and over and over… and over and… yeah, okay… I admit it… I have eclipsed the reasonable amount of playthroughs on this game and have entered creepy addict territory. I need my fix!