40. Assassin’s Creed Revelations – Ubisoft (PS3, 2011)
Hook blade, Ubisoft, where did it go? Sliding across the rooftops of Constantinople, launching myself up eavestroughs with the all-too-satisfying hook blade is still one of my favourite ways to navigate open world games. The fact it never made a reappearance in the series is a shame. I love Revelations because it wrapped up three character’s stories at once: Altair, Ezio and Desmond. These three Whitey McStubblies were finally put to rest in a not entirely satisfying conclusion but none the less a conclusion I was happy to see.
39. Spore – Maxis (PC, 2008)
My childhood friend Will was the one who got me hooked on Spore back in 2008. A big science nerd himself, Will pitched Spore to me as a great way to explore the concept of evolution in a fun game. I got into Spore hardcore. It really felt like Civilization for creative types. And as a child I let my imagination run wild in that creation screen. I made so many weird and wacky monsters, cars and buildings. I watched my one cell organism evolve into a space travelling species. That’s pretty freaking awesome.
38. Pikmin 3 – Nintendo (Wii U, 2013)
This was another game that I played through in its entirety with my Dad next to me on the couch helping me strategize, pointing out things I overlooked. Together we explored the various gorgeous environments, beat all the bosses and found almost all the fruit. I had a blast playing Pikmin 3 and I loved every second. The game drips with style and I loved crawling over the miniature wonderland with my loyal Pikmin pals and tossing them to their deaths.
37. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End – Naughty Dog Inc. (PS4, 2016)
As I’ve written before, I have a strong love/hate relationship with Uncharted 4. On the one hand, it is without a doubt the most technically impressive video game I’ve ever played. On the other, it features a story that sorely missed the mark of who these characters are and what and who they’ve been growing into over the past five Uncharted games. Drake is a selfish, lying dick and the addition of his brother voiced by the Tom Cruise of video games, Troy Baker, felt forced and was indicative of the huge shift in direction that occurred mid development. I enjoyed my time with Uncharted 4 and the conclusion was absolutely perfect, but missteps with the characters I loved so much make it much less special than it should’ve been.
36. Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time – Sanzaru Games (PS3, 2013)
I waited 8 years for this game. The series of my childhood was Sly Cooper and the moment I saw the teaser at the end of The Sly Collection for a fourth instalment in my favourite franchise I screamed and leapt off the couch. I poured over every screenshot, every interview, every trailer and even bought the Ratchet and Clank HD collection just to get the Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time demo that came with it. I got my phone taken away in math class because that was the hour the embargo on reviews lifted. And when the game finally released I relished in the faithful return to my childhood friends. Sly and the gang were back and I was in love.
35. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD – Nintendo (Wii U, 2013)
I never played Wind Waker on the GameCube but as an unfortunate Wii U owner, I was looking for anything to play on my console. So I got Wind Waker HD having always wanted to try it, and I quickly discovered it was one of my favourite Zelda games of all time. I loved the open sea and, once again, Pirate themes throughout the gorgeous cell shaded, flooded world of Hyrule. I loved it so much I went out and found the collector’s edition so now I have two copies for some reason. It’s a really special game and indicitive of Nintendo’s ability to sometimes wow and surprise players.
34. inFAMOUS – Sucker Punch Productions (PS3, 2009)
Standing in EB Games with my Dad I looked up at the television playing ads for upcoming video games and saw the Sucker Punch logo flash up on screen. I knew they were the studio responsible for Sly Cooper, my favourite series of all time so I was immediately interested in whatever was coming next. That’s when I saw Cole McGrath fly off a rooftop just like Sly did. But instead of floating down to a graceful landing he gathered momentum and lightning bolts to crash down in an explosion of death and destruction. I took my sweet time playing through inFAMOUS, completed every stunt and collected every shard for that sweet platinum trophy.
33. Super Smash Bros. Wii U – Nintendo (Wii U, 2014)
This is probably the most played game of the past few years of my life since coming to university. My friends and I play Smash for Wii U religiously. It’s so easy to pick up and play and now with 8 players, the only limitation we sometimes run into is controllers. All the new characters from Capcom are great and really round out the roster to make it feel like a more authentically Nintendo cast. Having organized a Super Smash Bros. Wii U tournament it’s easy to see why people love this game so much. I think this will be a game that will always come up with friends for years to come.
32. Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number – Dennaton Games (PS4, 2015)
Hotline Miami blew me away the first time I played it. When I heard there was a sequel coming with a stage creator I was stoked. And while they never actually delivered the stage creator the rest of the game was still more awesome Hotline Miami action. I loved the crazy cast and bigger and badder stages made the fast past action chains I pulled off feel even more impressive than ever.
31. Mass Effect 2 – BioWare (Xbox 360, 2010)
The best Mass Effect game, obviously, is Mass Effect 2. The Cerberus corporation’s quest for galactic domination had me hooked from the first cutscene. The cast of misfits and mess ups is my favourite party from any RPG I’ve ever played. I would’ve done anything to keep this crew of lovable space friends together. Mass Effect 2 shed all of the cumbersome and complicated traditional RPG nonsense that always bothered me. Instead, it became a tight, challenging RTS third person shooter. I loved it.