Unrivaled hardware power, motion controls, indie games. These all gained recognition during this era. For those who don’t know what I’m covering, the 7th generation of gaming includes games from the Nintendo Wii, Sony PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC between 2006 and 2013. Just so you know, a lot of my personal favorites didn’t make the cut, just to show how tough it was to decide. I gotta start out with some honorable mentions that either I wanted to play, or played yet couldn’t include. I’ve ranked 10 other games based on their critical acclaim, popularity, and impact.
Mass Effect 1-3, Fallout 3 and New Vegas, Grand Theft Auto 5, Dark Souls, Gears of War, The Walking Dead Season One, Wii Sports, Crysis, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Dragon Age, Assassin’s Creed II, LittleBigPlanet, God of War 3, Alan Wake, Bioshock, Far Cry 3, StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, Guitar Hero, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Bayonetta, The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings
Combining all the block-building goodness from Legos and Lincoln Logs, Minecraft is the indie game to end all other indie games. There’s no end goal in the game, but the main source of fun lies in creating, hiding, fighting, and surviving. What’s unique about Minecraft is that with each playthrough, the world is randomly generated, so you can many different experiences.
9: Red Dead Redemption
There were a lot of open world games this generation set in a variety of locations, but RDD takes the cake for moving to the Wild West. As John Marston, a former outlaw, you must take down the members of your former gang so your family can be released from the government. The attention to detail is superb, with great graphics and stunning landscapes. With a plethora of side-activities, excellent voice-actors, addictive gameplay, and a fantastic, dynamic soundtrack, You’ll feel like you’re actually riding on a horseback.
8: Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
Say whatever you want about the current state of the franchise. The 4th game, however, is in a league all on its own. The cinematic single-player campaign has you play as different soldiers around the world trying to stop Russian Ultranationalists. The revolutionary multiplayer allows for building a lucky killstreak against several others online. The game also pulled a huge shocking moment when the Nuke went off in the story, allowing for total investment in the story and for Call of Duty 4 to make it’s case as the best in the franchise.
7: Batman Arkham City
The Caped Crusader is locked in an free-roam prison, loads of fan service included. There is also a Catwoman storyline that is just as interesting, as you get to see things from her point of view. Now that he’s freed from the linear design of Arkham Asylum and has more gadgets and abilities than ever, Arkham City proves to be one of the best superhero games ever made. Most importantly, the game really made you feel like you’re Batman. I am hopeful for the upcoming Arkham Knight.
6: The Last of Us
Naughty Dog applied all of their lessons from the Uncharted franchise to deliver one of the best zombie narratives in years. As Joel, a man who has lived through more than one should ever have to, players must escort a young girl Ellie across a post-apocalyptic United States; she may or may not be the last hope for humanity. The gameplay is unique and realistic. Finding scattered weapons and ammo to upgrade, make your own weapons from scrap, then use them against the zombies or humans, all having sophisticated A.I. In an emotional and unforgettable journey, The Last of Us holds the high honor of being the PS3’s best exclusive title.
5: Halo 3
Reach and 4 were awesome games in the franchise. But I’m going with the third installment for one reason: it uses it’s co-op in a smart manner. Taking control of Master Chief as well as the Arbiter, you and a large group of human soldiers must destroy the Halo Ring that’s defended by the Covenant, while also dealing with the parasitic entity called the Flood. Meanwhile, the multiplayer has never been more epic. The best features of it were the Forge, where you can create your own maps, and Theater Mode, allowing you to watch a replay of your matches. Not too bad.
4: Bioshock Infinite
While the first Bioshock was groundbreaking and amazing, Infinite literally soared the franchise to new heights. You play as Booker DeWitt, a former Pinkerton agent who must save a woman from the city of Colombia to wipe away his debt. Like Bioshock, Infinite can be considered as one of the strongest arguments for video games as a form of art. Mainly because of it’s colorful graphics and beautiful art design. As players progress through the story, they witness the use of potent themes such as bigotry and the concept of alternate universes. You’ll never forget the thought-provoking ending.
3: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Introducing us to a richly-detailed world, massive in scope and scale, Skyrim throws players into the shoes of the Dragonborn, a mortal who’s tasked with preventing dragons from destroying the land. The bulk of the game comes from it’s dynamic and diverse quests, from helping a stranger deliver some letters to joining the Nord Resistance against the Empire. This, along with exploring the vast world around you, creates extremely deep replay value, and gameplay that can suit anyone’s needs, set to the tune of a phenomenal symphonic soundtrack. There’s always something you haven’t done yet in Tamriel.
2: Super Mario Galaxy
The iconic plumber completely wowed me again. This game, along with it’s also highly regarded sequel, introduce new mechanics like gravity while moving across floating planets. The mechanics are very precise, taking you from one gorgeous planet to the next. Topped with an amazing soundtrack, excellent graphics, and an almost perfect camera system, this is as close to perfect as any platformer can get. It’ll be a while before any other game in the genre can reach that status.
For the sake of avoiding backlash, I may as well count the second game and the Orange box up here as well. Portal is one of the funniest games you will ever play on your P.C. The game is packed with memorable puzzles, and some hilariously snide lines from the A.I. Glados. Sure, it is short, but that’s good length for a game like this, so that it never overstays it’s welcome between you and the ending. A fantastic blend of fun and creativity, Portal is mindbogglingly perfect from start to end, and few games in history will ever leave you so satisfied when you finish. (Insert “Still Alive” here)
Do you by any chance agree. Given how many incredible games were released during this generation, it’s likely I missed a few a your favorites. Let me know what they were in the comments, and be sure Like and Follow my blog for more posts.