Welcome to the part 2 of my top 10 games of all time list! And sorry for taking so long to finally finish this. Back then, just after I finished the first part I got kind of busy IRL… then I lost all my drive to write this… then I got pretty sick… and now I’m still not feeling well but hey, I've finally managed to write this!
So, I know that splitting a top 10 list in two parts doesn’t seems to make much sense. I mean, 10 games doesn't make it such a lengthy list right? So why did I dedicated a whole new cblog just to talk about my #1 game of all time? Well, the answer is actually pretty simple, it is because…
Yeah… sorry, but not sorry. I always had a real hard time picking up just one favorite game ever and I love those 4 games equally, I simply can’t choose one of them over the others. But I’m really glad I did this approach, as back on the first blog I got 3 extra game slots that ended up being used by some games I knew I really liked but never thought too much about how much I actually liked them, so I found out a few surprises about my tastes while writting it. Besides, the games from the first part of the list were much more interesting, as this one got a lot of your usual everyday “best game of all times” candidates.
So, without further ado, here are my four #1 games of all time:
While I do consider Sonic 2 being the best Sonic game overall, I do like S&K a bit more. Sonic 2 is a better “complete package”, but I enjoy S&K level designs a lot more, being to me the pinnacle of the series in that aspect (disclaimer: I'm not considering Mania as I've played it only yesterday and it is too soon to form a definitive opinion about it).
Every single level S&K has tons of personality and is stuffed with lots of fun gimmicks to interact with (yes, even Sandopolis act 2). The visuals are colorful with a ton of details and beautiful art, the level designs are some of the very best from the classic era and the soundtrack is pure musical joy.
And I know it was meant to be the second half of Sonic 3, but back when I was a kid I had a bootleg copy on a regular non-interlocking cartridge, so I’ve always played it as separate game. And even after playing S3&K as an adult I still think S&K is by far the better, funnier and most polished half.
Legend of Zelda may probably be my favorite series, so of course I had to include my favorite Zelda game here.
While Ocarina of Time laid down the basis of the 3D Zelda foundation, to me this one got as good as a game could be using that classic formula. It got the best non-motion-controlled combat system of the series (I haven’t played BotW yet), it gave you lots of freedom to explore relatively early on the game, it had an intriguing plot and one best art directions in any game ever, ever. I mean, holy heck this game looks GOOD!
One aspect that seems to be really divisive among the players was sailing, and I happen to be the type of person who loved it. I adore wandering aimlessly in open world games, so naturally I loved sailing and exploring the great sea. And something almost magical happened exactly when I was starting to get a bit bored of sailing: that was the exact moment I found the quick travel thingie, which made sailing fun once again. I didn’t even mind that dreaded triforce shard hunt, to be honest.
The combat felt the deepest ever in the series until Skyward Sword. The only sad part is that this amazing combat system was tied to an really easy game, with the only really challenging encounters I can remember being the Darknuts and the final battle against Ganon (my favorite final boss battle in the series, by the way). And a really neat thing on this game is that most of the tool items had some use in combat! Using them all was so much fun.
Finally, one fact that is almost CRIMINAL is that The Wind Waker was the last mainline game with Tingle in. And I love Tingle and he is totally adorbs/creepy on his Wind Waker self. Koolo limpa.
The original Binding of Isaac was released in a weird period of my life. Back during that time, video games weren’t feeling special anymore and I couldn’t feel the drive to play anything. Then I started playing Deus Ex and got madly in love with it. Then BoI released and I got even more madly in love with it and stopped playing Deus Ex until got good enough to finish Isaac, and only then I went back to Deus Ex. Both games lit once more the raging flame of my video game passion, but the one that really left me the stronger impression was Binding of Isaac.
A few months later we got Wrath of the Lamb, an expansion that took what made the base game good and pumped it to eleven: more bosses, more angst (the good kind), more religious references, more cool items, so I ended up playing it to exhaustion. Afterwards we got Rebirth: the same good ol' game but bigger, better and with tighter gameplay. But while the gameplay and visuals were clearly improved and I enjoyed the new soundtrack more than the original one (even if took me some time to realize/accept it), in some ways the game started a little bit bloated: some of the simpler items from the original game started to feel underpowered and useless, playing without a web browser tab opened at the wiki to check out item effects was really hard, and all that content felt like too much things to handle at the same time.
And then after a while we got Afterbirth. The game got even more “bloatier”, but dammit! - to me this is the best this game ever felt. The new items were really creative, the new alternative floor themes were nice and had good music and I got my new favorite playable character (the Keeper).
So the reasons why I love this game so much is because it is really fun and feels like something really special. Great tone, cute+gross art direction, a bunch of religious references, great gameplay, incredible soundtracks, and also the way the narrative tone is implemented through this game’s visual and mechanical design is just superb.
Back in December 2015 I ended up buying Undertale, after being constantly pressured by folks here at Dtoid. They kept telling me how amazing the game was while another IRL friend kept telling me that "it was one of the best things he ever played and I definitely should grab it", and so I finally did it once Steam christmas sale started.
During my first half hour with the game my thoughts were “heh, this is a pretty charming game, but it isn’t as good as I was expecting”. But then the first true boss fight happened, and what happened during that moment really surprised and touched me. Then after I left the first area the game kept getting increasingly better and better and better, until it exploded into a critical mass of pure videogamistical joy during the every single one of the main final boss fights.
I believe this is easily one of the most important video games released on these last years: it uses the video game as a medium to tell a story in a way that could not be told in the same way in any other media format. And on top of that it is packed with a really fun combat system that keeps breaking and expanding its own rules from time to time, specially during the many great boss fights. This is a master class of great narrative in games and good game design, so I really hope this game becomes more and more influential over the next years.
I’ve heard the writing and sense of humor can be kind of a “love or hate it” thing, and I’m one of those who absolutely love it. The characters have incredibly colorful and distinct personalities, and by the end I really liked them all. Well, at least most of them. But whether you like the writing or not, something I believe it is hard to disagree is how amazing the soundtrack is. Toby Fox is more of a musician than a game developer (although he faked it well enough to finish this incredible game), and holy heck he really did a hell of a soundtrack this time.
And finally, I really like how the multiple ends are divided in 3 main paths. I won’t spill the beans about plot details, but the only thing I’ll say is that one of these paths was, easily, the most emotionally draining videogame experience I ever had in my life.
So that’s it! I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did writing it. Feel free to post your own favorites on the comments, and also feel free to take your time to talk about how my taste in videogames is amazing/awful/ok.