Friday, November 8, 2013

The Top Games of the Seventh Generation

In one week the second console of the eighth generation will launch. Now that most of the noteworthy games of this past generation have already released, SuperPhillip Central would like to take the time to make mention of the top games released on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Nintendo Wii home gaming consoles. The type of game that makes our list must have one or both of these requirements: 1) It was influential, ground-breaking, or revolutionary, and 2) It was one of the best games released this generation. If for some reason you disagree with a game on this list or wish to add some of your own suggestions for games to add, please leave us a comment below.

Super Mario Galaxy (Wii)

While not very influential or really revolutionary, Super Mario Galaxy sent the Super Mario universe into the stars, full of planetoids both large and small to fully traverse every inch of. Super Mario Galaxy was a highly creative game with some genre-defining level design, bombastic soundtrack, and great visuals for Wii standards. Though we prefer Super Mario Galaxy 2 to the original, there's no doubt that Super Mario Galaxy had most of its players seeing stars and loving every second of it.

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (Multi)

Call of Duty was a relatively successful series for Activision prior to the fourth installment of the series. Then, like a grenade, the popularity of the series suddenly boomed. Past Call of Duty games focused on World War II scenarios, but Call of Duty 4 set its ironsights towards a much more modern era of combat. It was Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare that started the insane popularity of the Call of Duty brand that has made hardcore and casual players enjoy playing together for an entire generation now.

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3)

The original Uncharted was a fun but flawed action-adventure game featuring a very charismatic main character, Nathan Drake. However, it wasn't until Naughty Dog's second attempt at the series that not only presented a tremendous action-packed, adrenaline-filled roller coaster of a ride, but it gave players the feeling of playing a genuine Hollywood blockbuster. The train sequence to this day is still one of the greatest gameplay sequences of this generation, and Uncharted 2 delivered moment after moment of pure gaming ecstasy.

The Last of Us (PS3)

The second title on this list from Naughty Dog released this past year. It featured two totally different characters coming together for one cause-- survival. Using a captivating and compelling story-driven campaign, full of hostile humans, infected poor souls, and cannibals, Joel and Ellie were in for the fight of their lives. Utilizing stealth and third-person action, a proper gameplay balance was achieved, making The Last of Us one of the tensest games to come out this past generation, and one of the most excellent.

Grand Theft Auto V (PS3, 360)

Looking back, we were swept up in the hype of Grand Theft Auto IV, and in retrospect, that game disappointed us. That was why we were weary of being interested by its sequel, a trip back to San Andreas (though in a completely different form). Liberty City was claustrophobic compared to the vast expanses of San Andreas, offering Los Santos and the boondocks of Blaine County, cementing Grand Theft Auto V's game world as our favorite open world destination of this generation. Grand Theft Auto V offered more methods of fun and less realism, something that made us grow a distaste for GTA IV. Earning $1 billion in such a short time span is no easy task, but Grand Theft Auto V is a game that definitely deserved those dollars.

Wii Sports (Wii)

Many criticize the Wii as a system that people simply played for this next game and put in their closets. However, if that were the case, then how does one explain the fact that the Wii sold the most software this past generation? Regardless, Wii Sports was a game that easily portrayed its brand of fun. It was simple to show someone swinging the Wii Remote like a tennis racket, and this led to boatloads of cash for Nintendo. Wii Sports may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it not only brought more people into our hobby (which isn't a bad thing, people), it became so popular that even Nintendo's competition wanted in on that Wii user base. (Editor's Note: Wii Fit could also be added to this list.)

LittleBigPlanet (PS3)

Creation in video games wasn't something new that LittleBigPlanet brought to the industry. No, the level of customization that LittleBigPlanet possessed was what was something new and exciting. The ability to create incredibly detailed 2 1/2D levels and objects, customizing every facet to the finest detail, and hopping online with some buds to play other crafter's creations were all novel concepts at the time for PlayStation 3 owners. We know we've spent hundreds of hours tinkering and messing around with the tools and options that were readily available and accessible to us.

Minecraft (Multi)

An independent game developer success story, Minecraft was a game with a somewhat simple premise: you went around a randomly generated map, chipping away blocks for materials, while trying to keep your hunger and health levels up. The creative mode was where the true fun began, allowing players to fly and move to and fro without worry of such trivial things like health and hunger. Proficient players could build some incredible, jaw-dropping creations with their expertise. The novelty and popularity of Minecraft made it a cinch to include it on this list.

Dark Souls (Multi)

Demon's Souls introduced the hard-as-nails risk/reward gameplay to players, but Dark Souls, the game's spiritual successor, turned the difficulty and entertainment levels all the way up to 11. The main gameplay concept that brought over two million players to purchase the game was its incredible challenge. The strict penalty for death forced players to be much more careful with their planning and strategies towards dungeons, enemies, and bosses. Every experience was a tense as the last, and with the quality of Dark Souls, there's no wonder why we've made a special spot for it on our list.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Wii)

While not the grandest Legend of Zelda game to exist, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword finally realized the potential of motion controls on Wii for an action-adventure game. Controlling Link's sword through careful movements of the Wii Remote Plus made you feel like you were an extension of the green clad hero. Each item in the game had its own motion controlled movement to utilize to create some engaging gameplay. The dungeons were well designed, boss battles were actually challenging for once, and the soundtrack was one of the series's best. ...What's that, Fi? No, we didn't mention you for a reason.

Rayman Origins (Multi)

If you're looking for pure platforming bliss, look no further than the uber-colorful Rayman Origins. Don't let its cute and whimsical exterior fool you-- Rayman Origins is as tough a platformer as they come. The game allowed up to four players to explore the game's masterfully designed areas, searching for Lums, swinging across chasms, running along walls, riding Moskitos, and jumping off the heads of enemies. With dozens upon dozens of challenging levels, a gorgeous hand drawn art style (using the then-new Ubi Art engine), and an eccentric soundtrack, Rayman Origins is a must-play for platformer fans-- heck, just fans of genuine fun in general.

Batman: Arkham Asylum (Multi)

Become the Dark Knight in one of the first truly sensational licensed superhero games, Batman: Arkham Asylum. The game contained a terrific combo-based combat system, letting players feel every punch and kick that the caped crusader unleashed on foes. Both Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill returned to their roles as Batman and Joker respectively, making many Animated Series fans like us gush with delight. Set up like a Metroid game in some regards, earning new gadgets allowed Batman access to new areas. Perhaps if there's one thing that Rocksteady got wrong with Arkham City, it's that the boss fights were rather weak, specifically the final confrontation with the Joker. Still, even with any flaws, Batman: Arkham Asylum flies much higher than most other superhero games.

BioShock (Multi)

Few times has a demo sold us on a game. Actually, usually they do quite the opposite. Regardless, with BioShock the demo absolutely made us run to our local store and pick the game up. The opening just oozed with atmosphere, but don't worry-- BioShock wasn't all style and no substance. The game had an impressive mix of first-person shooter action, RPG elements, and a morality system that altered the experience. Rapture, as a setting for the game, continues to astound and amaze us-- It's such a marvelously mysterious place. If you're thinking about checking out this spiritual successor to System Shock, would you kindly try it out?

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