Welcome to the ultimate showdown: Which video game is the finest of all time? With so many games vying for the title, no one can seem to agree on which one is deserving. There is something here for everyone, whether you love first-person shooters, simulations, or even turn-based strategy games!
So be ready to participate in this exciting conversation as we go through some of gaming’s greatest rivals.
(Also, this content may have some spoilers.)
1. The Mass Effect Series
One Redditor posted, “The Mass Effect series was free on Playstation Plus this month, and I tore through them like there was no tomorrow. I downloaded them thinking I was getting them for my husband because he likes shooters, and I don’t. I got so into them. The decision-based gameplay is right up my alley. The graphics are beautiful even after the almost 20 years old original, the voice acting was top tier, and I got strongly attached to my crew. I replayed the final battle in the second game three times because I wanted to save my favorite players. The third one legitimately made me cry a couple of times, especially when Mordin sacrificed himself to save the Krogans. ‘Had to be me. Someone else might have gotten it wrong.’
“When I made the final decision, I wept to watch the end credits. All while playing, I knew I was drawing closer to the end, and I was searching to see if the game devs were continuing the story somehow, but when I finished, I was like, there’s no FKing way to pick that storyline back up. It’s over for Shep. I have never felt so strongly about any video game. I have hours and hours of Elder Scrolls under my belt, but those games didn’t have anywhere close to the visceral impact Mass Effect had on me.”
Another user shared, “I am the very model of a scientist salarian. The first time you laugh, it’s all smiles! Second time… 🙁
“But I agree! I didn’t get a chance to play it until about a year ago. I bought LE when it came out and binged the first one in about three days. I started the second one but ended up putting it down for almost a year (I got really salty about losing my entire squad!). Then I finished the second two games in about a week or so. Really been itching to play it again, but maybe when I know I’m strong enough to make different decisions :).”
2. Super Mario Bros.
One Redditor shared a nostalgic story: “Every so often, I see this question posted, and there are many good answers to incredible games. People list games that mean a lot to them, whether by story or gameplay, but in my head, I think of the most impactful.
“On September 13, 1985, Super Mario Brothers were released on the console known as Famicom, which would later become the Nintendo Entertainment System. It wasn’t the most intricate game, but it gave Nintendo a face for its home entertainment system. Arcade games had already gained popularity at that point. However, there was no icon for gaming at home. Mario gave a face to a generation of gaming. It is a fact that every single gamer knows today. Inadvertently sparking the beginning of the console wars. He is proof that competition sparks innovation. In my eyes, the world of gaming is what it is today because of Super Mario Brothers.”
Another Redditor responded, “I absolutely loved Super Mario Bros as a kid. I remember one Christmas, I woke up, and there was a massive bag of toys for me to open. The first one I opened was Super Mario Bros 2, and I played it for probably over an hour before I even opened my other presents because it was so great.”
“Had a similar experience with my brothers. We never had money, but our parents decided to surprise us with an NES, which came with Duck Hunt and SMB. The five of us were literally absorbed for days, staring at our old wooden box that passed as a color TV back then,” a third commenter added.
One user shared, “Half-Life was revolutionary when it came out. It also spawned Counter-strike. So many hours put into those games back in the day.”
“Half-Life not only spawned CS but every Valve Game can be attributed to the success that Half-Life had due to what a commercial success it became. It allowed Valve to fund future projects and the teams Valve works with to make new games like Turtle Rock, to name one external team. There are literally hundreds of mods that were released for HL1 that people still play. The same can be said for HL2. Looking at you, Garry’s Mod.
“Valve also designed the HTC Vive and had HTC produce it. Then followed by the Index. They launched the only competitor Oculus ever really had in space.
So, without HL, there would be no Gmod (or Rust), CS, Team Fortress, & Ricochet, to name a few. I’d love to dive deeper into the roots, but I think what you’ve posted doesn’t begin to scratch the surface of how large of an influence Valve has in the industry. How many games came to be because they decided to launch Steam and give indie devs easy access to the gaming masses? Without Half-Life, the world would be a vastly different place in the realm of gaming,” a second user added.
Another commenter responded, “Man, I remember before Counter-Strike, the mod creator made a mod for Quake called ‘Navy Seals,’ I exchanged a few fanboi emails with him about it, then forgot about it. When Counter-strike for Half-life came out, I recognized his work (the gun models). And thoroughly enjoyed the game. When I saw how big CS became later, I wasn’t surprised.”
“In terms of what people can do with it despite its overall simplicity, Minecraft. Good for all ages and different levels of creativity and has been used to emulate other games, create scale models of star trek ships, create adventure or mystery stories, horrors, or just a place to diggy diggy holes, then stick 8 TNT under your friend’s house.
“Edit: Like others, I no longer play, but I’m happy to see so many agree with me. It’s full of happy memories, and I think if I ever got back into it, I’d find some means to find joy again. There are games I enjoy more, but Minecraft is so popular because it has a near-universal appeal,” one user posted.
Another commenter shared, “I use Minecraft as part of my job as an English tutor for kids. As someone who is about to finish the senior year, I feel like educators are really missing out on the potential the game has for learning complex subjects in easy [ways].”
5. Portal 2
A user shared, “Portal 2… The story, the gameplay, the music, the visuals, and the voice acting are all literally perfection. Not sure I’ll ever quite recover from Wheatley’s joyful to evil laugh or Cave Johnson.”
“The bean counters told me we literally could not afford to buy seven dollars worth of moon rocks, much less seventy million. Bought ’em anyway. Ground ’em up, mixed’ em into a gel. And guess what? Ground-up moon rocks are pure poison. I am deathly ill,” replied one Redditor.
6. The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time
According to one of the Redditors, “The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time. Water Temple still haunts me to this day, but it was a phenomenal game for its time.”
Another user responded, “The water temple is somewhat annoying, but if you approach it methodically, you get through easily. Lower water. Check all rooms and all four compass directions. Raise water. Check all rooms possible. Raise water. Check all rooms possible—shadow link. Now you have the Longshot. You have to Lower the water again and go to the room with spikes, then Raise the water and do the Boulder hall. Then Rise to the top and fight Morpha. It’s a pain, but there is a method. They fixed the issue with the key, so you no longer render your save useless.
“Edit: apparently, there were a couple of issues with the keys. The one I was referring to was that you could use a small key in the wrong spot, and if you saved after that, you had to start a brand new save.”
One Redditor posted, “I used to play this for hours. I had to stop because I developed a heart condition, and the game was simply too exciting for me and would raise my resting heart rate to 140 bpm. That, and I started playing it in my sleep and couldn’t get the song out of my head.”
“Seeing the game you played in your head is actually named after Tetris. It’s called the Tetris effect,” another user replied.
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