Every major gaming milestone in my youth has felt like the high water mark for gaming. When I turned in my Colec-O-Vision for an NES, my mind was blown. Suddenly, we had more than just one or two pixels. Not many more, mind you, but enough that we could finally tell what we were looking at. I thought that was it, I thought it would never get better.
Then the Genesis came along. I popped in Sonic, and was floored. That, to me, looked like perfect Saturday morning cartoon aesthetics, and I was convinced that was that. Gaming had maxed out. Hey, I never said I was a smart kid.
Anyways, I think you get the point. Regardless of what I thought, there was no high water mark. The water kept getting higher and higher. The thing is, for the first time in forever, I am just not that impressed with the evolution of console systems. You can look at Call of Duty: Ghosts to see why. I swear to you, you play PS3 and PS4 copies, side by side, and only the most fevered fan of gaming will notice the slight difference between the two.
Don’t get me wrong, by the end of this gaming generation I am sure games will be massive and super shiny and all that other impressive shit, but so far, I have seen nothing that beats any of the games I am about to mention.
I, of course, am a writer, so I actually have no money for an Xbox One/PS4. The truth is, for the first time in all the generations of new systems coming out, I really could care less. I just feel like the biggest leaps and bounds that have happened in console gaming have already happened. As stated earlier, I was AWED when games went from sprites to polygons. That, to me, was a huge leap. Hell, I can still remember my genuine and palpable awe when I first saw Sonic Adventure on the Dreamcast. But that awe is gone in me. Shiny and better-looking is too shallow a hook to draw me in, and even if that were it, the new systems have yet to draw me in on even those aspects.
Don’t get me wrong, I know I made a list about next gen games I want to play, but that doesn’t mean I will pay hundreds of dollars to feed that urge. On top of it, why do I need those consoles when I have these six amazing games from the current generation? Games that are still, pretty much, perfect. In my opinion, anyway.
I am sure you will all take to the comments and let me know my choices suck and I should be stabbed in the throat for them, but I stand by my picks.
So here you go, 6 games from the current generation of consoles that I’ll always remember, in no particular order.Next
Red Dead Redemption
Do I even need to say anything here? I mean, just take a minute to soak in the epicness that is that photo. What you’ll see if John Marston about to knife a bear to death, all up close and personal. If you did all the challenges in this great game then you know that knife fighting bears was just another day in the life for John.
It would have been one thing if the game was just fun, which it was. But it was so much more than that. Every single aspect of Red Dead Redemption, from the soundtrack to the dialogue, was perfect. It did not feel like you were playing a game. It felt like you were in the Old West (do people still call it that?) and you were just doing all you could to get back to your family.
By the way, I can’t be the only person who was really happy to see them die in the Undead Nightmare DLC, right? I mean, your son was a whiny bitch, and your wife was a whiny bitch. Poor John did all that for THEM?
Oh, and I want to end this entry with a wishful prediction. This character and game is so beloved, that I bet when we get a sequel, we actually get a prequel and get to play as John back when he was a bad guy. Come on, would that not be the best thing ever?Previous Next
Say what you want about the glitches. Say what you want about how it was like “Skyrim without guns.” Say it had no place being a first-person-shooter. Say ALL those things. Go ahead, do it. I don’t care. Fallout 3 blew my mind and is one of the best games that this console generation has to offer. It is honestly incredible.
First and foremost, I really loved the V.A.T.S combat system, and across 100+ hours I never grew tired of blowing apart a skull in slow-motion and watching the eyeballs and skull bits fly away, all high-def and super slow, of course. I also loved the story, the amount of freedom it allowed the player, and just the decrepit, hopeless feeling that roaming around a burnt and broken Washington gave the player. The world that Bethesda built for the game is truly a sight to behold and for those who really enjoy exploration, you will lose hundred and hundreds of hours to Fallout 3.
On top of all that, Liam Neeson plays the main character’s Dad. If you think that is not a win, you must be a commie. Wait, can people still be those?Previous Next
Oh, this one is bound to piss some people off, but as you know, I am fine with that. So fine, in fact, that I used this game as my lead-in pic. Take that!
Limbo may have been an Indie game, and it may have been a downloadable game, but that gives it no less right to be on this list. It truly was fucking spectacular. Not only did the gameplay harken back to my platforming and puzzle solving days of yore, but the visual style and ominous tone of the game was quite unlike anything I had ever seen or played before.
In one felt swoop, Limbo reminded us that the best games didn’t have to boast massive polygon counts or be 60 FPS to really compel us and draw us in. This was simplistic, minimalist game design, and that is what earns it a spot on my list.
Limbo reminded me that left-to-right gaming still works, even after all these years, and that art design is hugely important when it comes to smaller games.
With franchises like Halo, Call of Duty, Assassin’s Creed, Battlefield and more all vying for our attention over the past couple of years, Limbo left me more impressed than almost anything else I played during this console generation.Previous Next
Far Cry 3
Far Cry 3 was what I like to call a “perfect storm” gaming experience for me. I knew I would like it, but I had no idea just how much I would love it. I honestly consider this to be the best FPS I’ve played in the last five years. Yes, I said it. Bring on the hate mail. Oh, and all that stuff about how the game has racist undertones of a white guy coming in and saving and slaughtering a whole island of dark skinned, indigenous people….well, you seem to have missed the whole point of the game.
Remember what I said about Shoot Em Up? How it was satire and parody, and worked so well on so many levels that people completely missed the point? Yes, this is the game version of that, 100%. Far Cry 3 made fun or tropes and video game ideas, all while giving them to you so perfectly and polished that you had no idea they were mocking what they were doing.
Also, the entire game was a not-so-veiled allegory for Alice In Wonderland. A character who LITERALLY falls into a strange, new world, and needs to adapt and overcome to survive that (often, insane) world that seems to focus around them. On top of that, Vaas was one of the best bad guys ever committed to gaming (and yes, it was unforgivable that they kill him halfway through the game and replace him with a much more generic antagonist). But even if they lost you there, they won you back with Blood Dragon, right? Pretty much the greatest DLC (stand alone DLC?) I have ever played. Ever. Honestly.Previous Next
The BioShock Series
I know putting the entire series on this list is kind of a cop out, but it is really hard to pick a favorite among BioShock and BioShock Infinite. I say that because BioShock 2 can go fuck itself with a giant, red, wrench. Not because it sucked, but it clearly was BioShock 1.5 and could have easily just been DLC.
But BioShock and BioShock Infinite both awed me, and for different reasons.
BioShock broke my next-gen hymen at the time, and was the sole reason I bought an Xbox 360. The game was all-encompassing. The world of Rapture felt real, and it also felt, at all times, like it was about to implode in on itself. The game set the benchmark really high, really early on in the last generation. Don’t even get me started on that plot twist. That was my Fight Club gaming moment, and even though it was all spelled out for me, it blew my mind and melted my face.
But then, the series reached that same height with Infinite.
What I loved about Infinite is how much care and concern went into all aspects of it. That game was one of the most profound and epic stories ever committed to polygon. We’re talking about alternate universe theories. String Theory. Ideas of death and reincarnation. Issues of race and social standing. BioShock was genius, but Infinite was literally that, Infinite, and I have a feeling that small discoveries will be made for years to come about that game.
I will tell you this right now, in all confidence. If there ends up being a next-gen BioShock announced, then I will DEFINITELY buy a next-gen system, because these games are the high water mark of the whole medium.
Hey, someone had to say it. Might as well be the guy that most of you hate already.Previous Next
Grand Theft Auto V
That’s right, kiddies. I begin the list and end the list with a Rockstar game. Why? Because Rockstar are, without question, the greatest game developers of all time. Hands down, without question. Their ambition was always impressive, but with Grand Theft Auto V, I truly believe they finally may have perfected their formula.
I played Grand Theft Auto V religiously, as you all know from this article and from how accurate this article ended up being, and it exceeded all my expectations. Not only that, but Rockstar gave me a game that I would have never thought a current-gen system could run.
Every single thing from the gameplay to the mission structure was perfect. As a matter of fact, it was SO perfect, that most people tell me they were sad when it ended, and wished it was longer. Yes, a GTA game FINALLY achieved that. It had no single mission that was so hard or frustrating that you would get stuck on it. Every character was brilliant in their own right, and the flow of the game was remarkable. On top of that, the game brought back one element that had been missing in the past few entries: fun. GTA V is the most fun I have ever had in an open world game, period.
My one complaint for Grand Theft Auto V is so insignificant that I don’t even want to say it, but I will, just to give you guys even more reason to hate me. I genuinely felt that 90′s rock and alt rock in general was not represented in the radio selection. Outside of that, everything, including the music they DID put in, was awesome. Except for that Spanish station. What a fucking waste. No offense to our one Spanish reader. Hey Juan, holla!
Now it’s your turn. Tell me, are you mad I didn’t include one of the Halo games? Maybe a bit pissed no RPGs were represented on this list? Maybe a should have had more than one indie game? What about the first two Batman games? What about any PS3 love? What about WAAAAAHHHH? Listen, I had to pick six, but I love hundreds. Also, I don’t have a PS3, so suck it, or buy me one. Your choice.
Okay, enough nit picking.
What are your favorite games from the current console generation? Take to the comments section and let me know.Previous