The Grumpy Old Gamer’s Top 10 Ever

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“Man, that was the best game ever.” I’ll bet you’ve said that a few times, but as soon as someone else mentions a game, you either agree, or think of a better one, right? Every day gamers are having this discussion. Websites and magazines publish their lists of the best games ever. Best game of this era, or that era. Best game on x console, or handheld. It gets to be a lot to handle. It’s a real pain…

Well buckle up, because this is “The Grumpy Old Gamer’s Top 10 Games of All Time!” I will list the games in my own order, with a brief explanation of plot and console.

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10. Super Mario Brothers. This game is truly iconic. An entire series of games grew from the seed that was SMB. The Nintendo Entertainment System was so monumental in my childhood, and many others. Every 2D platformer released after had to live up to the standard set here for story and playability. 2 brothers who happen to be plumbers, set out to rescue a princess from an evil villain.

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9. Metroid 2 The Return of Samus. This was a Gameboy game that I was obsessed with. I got it for Christmas, and played it, replayed it, and played it again. I beat it so many times, because it was so much fun. A vast improvement over the first Metroid, even in monochrome. Hunting down Mother Brain and her minions is always a blast.

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8. Super Metroid. Another example of the sequel excelling over its predecessor. Take the awesome gameplay, and atmosphere of M2, but add full color and even more processing power. Another multi play through game, that I’ll still pick up today. This was one of the titles that really showed what the Super Nintendo was capable of.

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7. Gears of War. This selection is really more of the all-encompassing full Gears series (well, 1-3 anyway). A game that started as a 3rd person shooter the really got elevated throughout the series to the point that instances in 2 and 3 even broke this old man’s heart Marcus Fenix and Delta are the gaming definition of squad goals. You even get an awesome droid in these games. The world of Sera has been overrun by the Locust Horde after a decades long war. Humanity is on the brink of extinction, and you will help decide their fate. An Xbox 360 masterpiece.

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6. Dead Space. One of only a handful of games that ever made me jump. You are Isaac Clarke, space engineer headed to the USG Ishimura a “Planet Breaker” class mining ship that sent out a distress signal. Your girlfriend is a crew member, and will show up on occasion to help you (you later will question how that was possible). The ship is overrun by necromorphs (think the scary space equivalent of Zombies) that can only be killed through “strategic dismemberment.” SPOILER ALERT, the chapter names give a major reveal if you read just the first letter. This was a highlight (For me) of the 360/PS3 generation.

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5. The Legend of Zelda, A link to the Past. Man, was the Super NES a great system. Another highlight for me during that generation was this game. I LOVED this game. Top 5 placeholder easily. Now, to be fair, the early days of LoZ were “Quest for the legendary weapon, find Ganon, fight him, save the princess.” However, being the first Zelda game after the NES gave way to the SNES, it was a keeper. So full of secrets, and exploration. It was an amazing game, and holds up extremely well even today.

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4. Mortal Kombat. Street Fighter 2 revolutionized arcade games, fighters in particular. For anything to stand out from the leader, they had to bring something we hadn’t seen before. Along comes Midway, and they bring us Fatalities. Parents, senators, teachers, everyone was up in arms about the “Extreme Violent content.” While gamers were just happy to play it. It had the awesome quality of control SF2 had, with the digitized graphics and violence we craved. The arcades were the place for this one. There were home ports that were met with success, after you dealt with control issues and censorship. You choose your fighter, and compete in a tournament for the fate of Earth Realm. Shang Tsung was a major challenge, being a shapeshifter who could take on the look and attacks of any fighter. Goro was a walking mountain with 4 arms. The sequel was even better. The rest? Not so much. Quality really dropped off after 2.

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3. Fallout 4. Say what you will, this was my first and best real exposure to the Fallout franchise, and I have been hooked ever since. VATS is an awesome way to increase the damage you do to enemies, even focusing on separate limbs to increase damage or limit the enemy’s movement. The story, a father looking for his missing son, really struck home for me as a parent. The story is well done, so many twists and turns. Different groups to join, or not. Chances for better weapons, armor, and accommodations really set 4 apart from the rest. PC, PS4, and XB1 single player’s rejoice. The added mod support really breathes new life into it as well.

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2. Bioshock. Any listener of the podcast knows The gang and I are big fans of the Bioshock series. I’m focusing on the first installment. I saw some ads for it, and decided to take a chance. The opening cinematic sold this game for me many times when I worked at gaming stores. The gameplay is tight, and the storyline is awesome. You survive a plane crash only to get to a lighthouse and head down to the underwater city, Rapture. You meet splicers, Big Daddy’s, little sisters, and Andrew Ryan himself among many others. I first played this game on release for the XBOX 360(PC also), but it later was released for PS3 and later gen games as a collection.  You cannot go wrong with this game. Now, would you kindly move on to #1?

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1.The winner, and champion of the G.O.G.’s Top 10 games of all time is a cult favorite. Master minded by the man himself, Hideo Kojima, I present to you: Snatcher for the Sega CD. Imagine Terminator and Blade Runner got drunk, hooked up, and had a child. Snatcher is it. You play the role of Gillian Seed, amnesiac Junker (Runner) hunting down Bioroids (Snatchers) humanoid robots that can take on the appearance of their victims by removing their skin. You have a little helper name Metal Gear (See what they did there?), and you go to work. This game was a sleeper hit, originating in Japan as part of the Policenauts series. Snatcher for the Sega CD is the only version ever ported to the US. It was amazing. A point and click adventure with Light gun shooting elements. You can usually find a copy on eBay for around $500. Thank God for emulation…

Well, there you have it, the Grumpy Old Gamers’ top 10 Video Games of all time. Thanks for reading. Now, GET OFF OF MY LAWN!

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