#1 The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64)
This may seem predictable, but Ocarina of Time changed the world of video games forever. It has one of the best story lines ever implemented into a video game and it makes you feel like you really are Link trying to save Hyrule from the clutches of evil! With a game this revolutionary, how could it not be #1?
#2 Super Smash Bros Melee (Gamecube)
When the original Super Smash Bros came out on the N64, people knew something incredible had been created, but no one ever expected an even better sequel. I remember the feeling of pure joy when I heard this game was being developed. With beautiful graphics and an impressive selection of characters, Melee has stood the test of time as one of the best Gamecube games ever made. My brothers and I still play it whenever we get tired of playing Brawl!
#3 Dead Space (Xbox 360)
When I first played this game I was blown away by everything about it. The music, the sound effects, the lighting, the weird freaky aliens (Necromorphs); everything works together so well, causing an overwhelming sense of fear no matter where you are on the USG Ishimura. Anywhere you go there’s bound to be lights flashing, pipes bursting open, doors opening for no reason. Accompanied by an eery over-the-shoulder third person perspective, you’ll be on your toes the entire game. If you like sci-fi horror games, I highly recommend Dead Space!
#4 Mario Party 2 (N64)
I love all of the early Mario Party games on the N64, but Mario Party 2 is definitely my favorite. It incorporates the classic games from the original Mario Party that everyone loves, while also adding in an awesome selection of new games that are sure to end friendships…
#5 Assassin’s Creed (Xbox 360)
This game is a gem, especially because of how ahead of its time it was when it was released. I loved playing through the game as Altair, trying to unravel the mysteries of the Templars, and even the occasional segments where you play as Desmond. Combined with a sweet combat system and the ability to climb EVERYTHING, Assassin’s Creed makes you want to be Altair. The open world scheme allows for free reign over when and how you want to take out your target, which allows you to plot, explore, and get lost in the beautiful world of Assassin’s Creed.
#6 Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II – The Sith Lords (Xbox)
When I first started playing this game I was addicted. Within the first four days of owning the game I played almost 68 hours, which means I only slept about four hours in four days. Basically, this game is incredible and one of my all-time favorites. The world is expansive, the character development is brilliant, and you get a lightsaber…can’t beat that!
#7 The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Wii)
Skyward Sword is on this list for a very important reason. Aside from having an incredible story line, this is one of the only Legend of Zelda games with in-depth character development. While I was playing this game I REALLY wanted to save Zelda because they depicted Link and Zelda’s friendship (maybe more) early on in the game, which made me actually want to save Zelda unlike other games where she has about as much character and emotion as a dead fish. Miyamoto, incredible job with Skyward Sword!
#8 Left 4 Dead (Xbox 360)
This game is by far one of the most fun games I’ve played on the 360. It’s packed full of zombie-slaying action, dimly lit levels, and a great cast of characters with their very own set of punch lines. It’s honestly a treat to play online with friends no matter how many times you’ve gone through the levels. Plus, if you get tired of playing as the humans you can play as the zombies in versus mode. With its replay value so high, this game never gets old, which is why I still play it!
#9 Halo Reach (Xbox 360)
This is definitely my favorite Halo game in the series and part of my reason for that is due to the fact that you aren’t Master Chief. Instead you got to be…well…you! Don’t get me wrong, I love Master Chief and I can’t wait for Halo 4, but I love this game’s story and how it places you in a team of Spartans. The armor customization is just phenomenal and it’s brilliant how it carries over between both the campaign and multiplayer online. In other words, Bungie went out with a bang.
#10 Banjo-Tooie (N64)
There are so many things that make Banjo-Tooie an incredible game. The overworld is brilliant, you get to transform into things like a washing machine that shoots out socks and underwear at enemies, and the worlds themselves are designed to perfection. Rare did an incredible job with this game and pushed this sequel into a category all by itself.
#11 Super Mario 64 (N64)
This game is basically my childhood wrapped up in a game cartridge. I remember being in elementary school and daydreaming about getting home to play this game. With stunning graphics and an intricate overworld, Mario 64 is without a doubt a Nintendo classic.
#12 Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast (Gamecube)
If you want to feel like Chuck Norris with a lightsaber, then this is the game for you. Kyle Katarn is the most kick ass character in the entire Star Wars universe. This guy doesn’t take anyone’s crap and that’s what I like about him in this game. He is even the inspiration for my Xbox live gamertag (Katarn24). The dialogue in this game is witty, slaughtering storm troopers with your lightsaber feels amazing, and the force powers look and feel great when you use them. The controls are a bit difficult at times, but overall this game always puts a smile on my face.
#13 Bioshock (Xbox 360)
I didn’t end up playing this game until last year, but I’m glad I did. I’d always heard good things about it, but I had no idea how amazing Bioshock was until I played it for myself. The idea of making an entire city under the ocean called Rapture was genius. Additionally, the 1950’s overtones make for an extremely eery environment in which an entire playground of traps and enemies dwell. With such a unique world and an extremely original combat system, Bioshock is truly one of a kind.
#14 Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES)
Some of my first video game memories are of this game. It practically sparked my love for video games. With awesome power-ups, incredibly diverse level design, and a few secret whistles, this game put Nintendo on the map big time. Something else I really admire about this game is that it’s just tough enough to make you want to keep playing. With each run through of a level you get better and better until you can finally reach a checkpoint or the final castle in the world. Mario Bros. 3 will forever be one of my favorites.
#15 Red Dead Redemption (Xbox 360)
I almost forgot about this game because it’s been a while since I played it, but it would be a crime for it to not be on my top 15 games. Rockstar really went above and beyond with this game. It is graphically stunning and the story screams western originality. The world itself is expansive, which allows for ample exploration time and even when you think you’re out of things to do, a side mission will pop up somewhere. The main character, John Marston, was developed exceptionally well, which is essential to player interest. Definitely a great game.
#16 Pokemon Red Version (Gameboy)
Pokemon Red Version started off a chain reaction of Pokemon mayhem in the western hemisphere. There’s just something so special about this game. The possibilities are endless when it comes to raising your team of Pocket Monsters and you’re sure to end up playing countless hours as you work your way up to the Elite Four. This game is nostalgia at its finest. I wish I hadn’t sold my gameboy now…
#17 Heavy Rain (PS3)
There aren’t too many PS3 games that I’m crazy about, but this game is absolutely stunning. It’s a murder-mystery where the outcome is dependent upon the decisions you make within the game. The dark atmosphere and the multiple character plot lines will spur you on to play for hours at a time. Because of the vast amount of possible decisions you can make throughout the game, you’ll end up wanting to play through the game again just to see the other outcomes. Aside from being a bit slow at times, this is one of the best games I’ve ever played.
#18 SSX Tricky (Gamecube)
For me, this is the game that got me psyched for the launch of the Nintendo Gamecube. It broke down the barrier between physics and snowboarding by granting complete control to the player. The trick sets themselves are spectacular, but the environments are what pushed this game over the top for me personally. With big air jumps that are sure to turn your stomach upside-down and an impressive selection of playable characters, SSX Tricky will forever be a Cube classic.
#19 Fable III (Xbox 360)
Similarly to Kotor 2, I racked up an impressive amount of hours on this game within a very short amount of time. I just love a game that allows you to decide your own destiny, whether it be good or evil. The combat system isn’t anything special, but battling through waves of enemies with either magic, a gun, or a melee weapon ends up being quite rewarding because your character is affected by whichever combat method you use most, as are your weapons as well. If you haven’t played Fable III yet, I suggest you give it a go.
#20 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Xbox 360)
I tried to shy away from the Call of Duty series due to their primary focus on online play, but Modern Warfare 2 is an exception. The hype for this game was HUGE. Modern Warfare had sparked a revival in the COD series with sleek weapon design and the concept of killstreaks, so it was only natural for people to be excited about its sequel. Everything about this game took an already brilliant concept to a new level. The COD series since then has seemed a bit bland and repetitive, but MW2 showcases the intuition of Infinity Ward.