I was talking about this with a friend the other day because I had just finished Saints Row The Third, which is an amazing game, and we also started talking about Borderlands because Borderlands 2 is coming out. So I thought, what the heck, everybody loves lists. I am going to sort of "cheat" here because I love so many games, and many game series hold strong similarities/storylines across multiple releases.
For example, Gears of War. Gears of War is a fantastic game for multiple reasons, but if I had to pick one as my favorite it would have to be Gears 3 because of all the technical advancements, new weapons, new modes, and 4 player co-op. But all of this would not be possible without the technology of the first game and updates in Gears II. Now story may not be the strongest point in the franchise, but the characters are likeable, and I wouldn't love the characters in Gears 3 as much if I hadn't played the first two games. So if you ask me, it is impossible to love Gears of War III without putting the other two on the list. And who would like the first game, but then hate the next two? It wouldn't make sense for the franchise.
On the other hand, it would make sense for a series like Final Fantasy, which also contains some of my favorite games. Final Fantasy games are generally not connected, except for their very specific sequels, and there are certain games in the series I loved, and some I only liked. I got into the series semi-late so the early ones I have never played. And as a gamer I find it near impossible to play games from 15 or so years ago that I never played originally back in the day. There is no nostalgia keeping me interested. (At this point I went on a tangent, as I tend to do, and got bored writing and didn't know where to finish my thoughts. I wrote a bunch of stuff that I have since edited out and may contribute at some point if I ever figure out where I was going with it.) Anyways, the list. This is probably in no real particular order, it would be like saying which one of my children's I love the most...I have no real kids btw.
1. Borderlands - An RPG First-Person shooter with style, comedy, addictive gameplay, loot, and 4 player co-op? And DLC that didn't blow? Sign me up please!
2. Elder Scrolls: Morrowind, Oblivion, Skyrim - The only three I've played, I would say over 500 hours of my life, probably more have gone into these games. They have their obvious faults but there is something in the human brain that makes them addicting.
3. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 - This is a game I played over and over and over. Because back in the day, I couldn't get a new game every week. We were lucky to get a new game once a month or two. And by new I mean used, or at a garage sale, or new maybe for a Birthday or Christmas.
4. Earthworm Jim - Hilarious characters, addictive gameplay, with excellent music, especially for the time.
5. Final Fantasy VII and VIII - I would probably put VIII before VII because it was the first one I played and I loved it, first RPG I ever played too. IX disappointed me. X might go here as well, but I haven't played it in so long I'm not sure. Still have to finish XII and not sure I'll ever play XIII.
6. Resident Evil 4 - Not only one of my favorite games, but I believe one of the greatest games ever made. The Wii version to me is the perfect version. The action is fast, looks great for the system, and you experience real suspense. The story is well...not important. Solid voice acting. And the Merchant. Gotta love that guy. Oh, and all the guns are useful, some games, this isn't the case.
7. Assassin's Creed Series - 1 was amazing, II was better, and even Brotherhood can stand on its own. Still have to play Revalations. One of the strongest stories for a video game. You care about the characters and the connections between past and future. This series truly makes you feel like a badass without any real superpowers.
8. Uncharted Series - the prettiest games, with amazing voice acting, most cinematic sequences, with awesome platforming and fun combat. Most movie like experience in games you'll ever have, and not in a bad way.
9. Gears of War series - addictive co-op play, looks pretty, Gears III upped the ante with 4 player co-op and improved horde and multiplayer.
10. Mass Effect Series - Must plays of modern consoles. Fantastic story, advances in gameplay with every iteration, makes you care about your actions and other characters. Strongest story in Mass Effect 2. Three obviously had a disappointing ending but still worth playing.
These are all games that could have been number 11, or had some glaring faults that kept them out of the list.
Bioshock, Demon's Souls, Halo Series, Dragon Age Origins Ultimate Edition, Mount & Blade, God Of War series
I probably forgot something that I'll have to add/change later. Ok, peace out everybody who doesn't read my rantings.