With the next-gen consoles already released in most parts of the world, we decided to render our verdict on just what game was the best in this current-generation of gaming.
Now, before you start scrolling down to see who wins, it’s important to note that these things are subjective. So, if your best game isn’t part of the list or didn’t win, that doesn’t mean “we suck” or your preferred game was bad. This is, after all, subjective.
So, just how did we come up with a winner? Each staff member was allowed to choose three games and award each game with a point value of 1-3, with 3 being the highest. Once we’ve collected everyone’s choices, we added up all the numbers and the one with the most points won– simple as that.
Assassin’s Creed II (3 points): It’s a shame that the Assassin’s Creed series has somewhat lost its charm since it became an annual franchise, but Assassin’s Creed II was one of the landmarks of this generation in terms of storytelling and visuals. The character Ezio was well-constructed and the writing was excellent.
L.A. Noire (2 points): Is one of those games that you’ll remember long after you play them. The era, the music, everything was perfect. Team Bondi did a remarkable job in recreating 1940s Los Angeles.
(Note: Team Bondi developed L.A. Noire and was published by Rockstar. I updated my previous statement to clarify this).
Heavy Rain (1 point): is more of an experience that is worth having. It’s truly unique and makes best use of emotion-based gameplay.The story is absorbing and the visuals add to it. The game is one damn good reason to get a PS3.
The Last of Us (3 points): Possibly the best campaign I have ever played and actually moved me and made me feel, rather than just consistent shoot festivals just waiting to get to the next section. I wanted to know the people and the world.
Uncharted 2 (2 points): The most cinematic game I have ever played and it felt like I was playing a movie the entire time and it kept me hooked to the screen at all times
BioShock (1 point): This game really caught me off guard when it was released and there was nothing else like it, the atmosphere, the action and the big daddy’s, so it have saved a place in my heart.
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (3 points): Think back to 2007, when it wasn’t cool to hate Call of Duty. After the frankly terrible Call of Duty 3, Infinity Ward hit a home run with this terrific first-person shooter. It was fast and frantic, and dangerously addictive. 360NOSCOPES4LYF!
Rock Band 2 (2 points): I poured hours and hours into this game. Playing with friends was always a blast, and playing alone taught patience and perseverance. For those who rocked, I salute you!
Portal 2 (1 point): Exactly what a sequel should be. It took everything awesome from the original, and wove it into an absolutely excellent second instalment. Here’s hoping Valve quickly learn how to count to three!
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (3 points): What can I say about this game? It’s referenced in my book , which speaks volumes to what I think of the shooter. It saw me through some of my most depressed days, it was simply game changing, it reformed the whole FPS genre through the online matches. I managed to get every golden gun (properly, not through cheating…) It’s really sad to see the servers ruined.
Pokemon X & Y (2 points): Has always been a favourite game of mine, and X really took the series a step forward. The added online abilities and customization (though limited) was a much needed addition.
Heavy Rain (1 point): Was a great example of how games can focus on story telling with simplistic gameplay, with all the might of a big publisher behind them. It was “AAA-quality” graphics that met unique storytelling and melded it superbly.
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (3 points): This generation[s Halo. It took the industry in a new direction from the popular open world GTA-type style games, sci-fi shooters and JRPGs of last generation and made this a shooter generation.
Gears of War (2 points): Ushered in a new popular genre with third-person shooters and action games. Also sold a shit ton of Xbox 360s and was this generations first “system seller” It also made the Unreal 3 the must have engine of this gen.
Red Dead Redemption (1 point): If only Rockstar could figure out the shooting mechanics of their games, this would have been my number one pick for game of the generation.
Minecraft (3 points): Never in the history of the industry has a game captured the imagination of people like Minecraft. Fully mod-able, customizable, collaborative and accessible. Don’t even think this game is on it’s way out yet – it’s still spawning rip-offs and homages and hasn’t even hit all the consoles and hand-held platforms yet.
Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (2 points): The only single player game that I’ve played for over 200 hours, this amazing venture by Bethesda redefined the FPS/RPG genre with it’s immersive gameplay, immense world and seemingly unlimited quests and missions.
Portal 2 (1 point): I’m gonna agree with Mack-Daddy on this one – it was everything a sequel should be. Everything from the story to the sets was flawless and the co-op mode was a brilliant addition that added some extra fun with a friend. Other game devs should take note of the voice acting here too – subtle and effective.
Mass Effect (3 points): Never has a game truly made me feel like I was a part of a sci-fi universe like this one. The engrossing characters, fleshed out lore, incredible dialogue, and beautiful art direction had me hooked from the very beginning. I truly felt like I was on a voyage through the galaxy, landing on various planets, exploring barren wastelands, frozen tundras, skytowers, etc. The sheer amount of detail put into the codex and kickass species of aliens introduced me to a new world. Though the sequels continued the legacy of the first, nothing tops my experience of trekking through this game for the very first time.
The Last of Us (2 points): The brutal reality that Naughty Dog brought to life in this game was another of my favorite experiences this generation. The combat was so violent and in your face, but it worked perfectly in the world. The world felt alive, but it was both the awesome attention to detail in this world coupled with the outstanding acting from Troy Baker (Joel) and Ashley Johnson (Ellie) to create the perfect mix. Seeing the two characters develop and their fondness to each other grow felt almost unmatched in any other game. I can’t wait for a sequel.
BioShock (1 point): Being a spiritual successor to System Shock, I expected a lot from this one, and it delivered. If you noticed my previous two games, there’s a trend here. I love engrossing and immersive worlds. Rapture felt like an actual place built under the sea in an alternate 1960. It came to life through the brilliant audio tapes left around the city, the architecture, the gloomy atmosphere, and most importantly the characters that inhabited it. It didn’t hurt to have fine first person shooting combat.
Dark Souls (3 points): Immersed in style and depth, Dark Souls throws players into a world where nothing is given and everything is earned. The story of Dark Souls is told through fragmented dialogue from untrustworthy characters and fragments of related information from item descriptions, eschewing traditional brunt exposition. The gameplay interacts incredibly with the lore of the game, with multiplayer occurring both at the player’s behest and to their ire at times. With dozens of involved communities for both single and multiplayer Dark Souls will remain a game others will fail to emulate for some time to come.
Journey (2 points): A testament that quantity does not equal quality. With a playtime that could charitably be clocked at two hours, Journey is simply an obligatory experience for any individual looking to see the potential for beauty in modern gaming. Amazing visuals combine with a brilliant score to create a game that can pull a player in to a dying and mysterious world. The multiplayer shines brightly in Journey, creating bonds between players that many gamers previously thought impossible.
Portal (1 point): Responsible for the creation of a new internet culture and language, Portal combines compelling gameplay with infectious humor. Using two colored and linked portals to solve puzzles the player continues through a darkly amusing lab, guided by a charming but psychotic artificial intelligence.Omnipresent phrases like “the cake is a lie” and a near-legendary ending theme demonstrate the depth at which Portal penetrated gaming consciousness, eventually spawning a full-game sequel.
Assassin’s Creed III (3 points): Assassin’s Creed III was one of the most dramatic, game-changing additions to the AC franchise. Not only did this game literally take players into a pivotal revolutionary era in history, it also addressed a significant part of Desmond Miles storyline and introduced a remarkable Native American lead character. The DLC for The Tyranny of King Washington did not disappoint, and PS Vita users had the glory of an introduction the first lead female character, Aveline de Grandpré, in Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation.
The Last of Us (2 points): Out of all of the game releases this gen had to offer, this game had one of the most poignant storylines. I was amazed by the amount of detail that was reflected in the environments. I felt that this game was able to capture a sense of realism that I hadn’t experienced previously; it was incredible. There was a great amount of character development in the relationship between Joel and Ellie and both voice actors did an amazing job in representing their characters. I am definitely looking forward to the release of a sequel in the future.
Call of Duty Black Ops 2 (1 point): The game was great when it was first released, but the subsequential DLCs and map packs, paired with numerous bugs reduced the quality of gameplay. It was an enjoyable game for me upon initial release but very short-lived compared to other CoD releases and competition from games such as Battlefield.
The Last of Us (3 points): What else can be said of Naughty Dog’s latest that hasn’t been said? The Last of Us just might be the pinnacle of Naughty Dog’s robust gaming history and is a new benchmark for narrative-driven games. If there’s a game that needed to be played from the previous generation, this might just be it.
From the gameplay mechanics humming with the atmosphere, and the story making you care about the in-game characters; The Last of Us managed to do this and then some. Simply put: it makes you care about games like never before.
Mass Effect (2 points): BioWare’s sci-fi RPG managed to do one thing that stood out to me this gaming generation and that is, cement Western studios as the top dogs when it comes to RPGs. In previous gaming cycles, Japanese studios lorded it over with Final Fantasy, Dragon’s Quest and the like. Now, though, BioWare has been one of the main catalyst in making us want to play Western-developed RPGs and there might not be a higher honor than that.
Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead (1 point): While some might argue that Telltale’s The Walking Dead adventure games are not really “games” but movies, there’s no denying its appeal. It shocked people not so much with gameplay innovations, but with how much depth the characters had and how much each episode meant to the players.
If that still doesn’t convince you how good it is, just think back earlier this year when The Walking Dead mopped the floor with almost every “big” game and ran away with a ton of Game of the Year awards from different publications. Yes, it’s that good and it deserves to be nominated for bringing the once-dead genre back to life once more.
So, after the votes have been tallied up, the winner with 10 points is: The Last of Us!
Naughty Dog’s third-person survival game ran away ahead of the pack to be the Pixel Enemy staff’s choice as the game that defined the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii era.
Runner-up: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (9 points)