Happy International Video Game Day! There are two questions that I get asked on an almost daily basis from both new and old gamers: “What’s your favorite game?” and “Can you give me a list of recommendations?” I love love love talking about video games; when someone even mentions the hobby, my ears perk up and my voice gets even more annoyingly high-pitched. And, the conversation usually ends with me rambling like a complete moron.
So guess what? In celebration of International Video Game Day, I’m here to provide you with the answers to these two frequently asked questions. I didn’t want to have this article drag on forever, so I had to omit a few — but for the most part, these are my go-tos! I tried listing games for everyone, including those who are new to video games!
The Arkham Series
There’s a heavy emphasis on Arkham Asylum and Arkham City here. I have played and enjoyed the entire series, including Arkham Origins, but nothing has beat the original and its sequel. Hell, I’ve played Arkham Asylum more times than I can count.
See, I’m a pretty big Batman fan. I love Bruce Wayne, the Batfam, the villains, and my absolute favorite character, Alfred. A lot of my spare time revolves around the DC series: comic books to tv shows and movies to, of course, video games.
I find it a bit ridiculous how vividly I remember the day I was introduced to Arkham Asylum. It was around the time that instead of exploring video games, I spent a majority of my time only playing Fallout 3 and binge-watching Degrassi: The Next Generation. But, I took a break from all that to re-enter society and visit Best Buy; who, in August of 2009, had a demo display of Arkham Asylum. Instantly, I fell in love and knew that I had to purchase the game. And alas, my obsession with my favorite game was born.
There’s so much to love in the Arkham series, and honestly, not a lot to hate. For me, all of the character portrayals were impressive. especially since Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill reprised their roles as Batman and The Joker. Combat was simple, but flowing and fun. And, I just absolutely loved the storyline.
My only complaints are based on Arkham Knight — where I was absolutely tired of the Batmobile, the jumpscares, and a few plot twists (that just.. weren’t.. that.. great).
To start with, I would like to thank Rockstar Games for their recent announcement that L.A. Noire is getting remastered for the newer systems. L.A. Noire is one of the few reasons that I keep my PlayStation 3 plugged in, and soon, I’ll be able to play it on my PlayStation 4. Hashtag blessed.
This is always the first game that comes to mind when asked what my favorite game is. I remember how different it felt when I played it upon it’s original release. I loved the concept of solving cases and interrogating suspects, although let’s be real — I’m bad at reading poker faces and figuring out who’s lying. I also remember how impressed I was by the MotionScan facial capture system.
Also, I just really really love Cole Phelps.
I don’t understand why this game doesn’t get talked about more, and I’m hoping that once it gets remastered, more people will give it a try!
Until Dawn isn’t necessarily my favorite game, but it’s something that I recommend to just about anyone who is new to video games. Why? Because it plays just like a cheesy horror film. There’s not much video game to it — besides wandering around, QTEs, and collecting collectibles. You are in charge of these characters lives, and it’s up to you to help them make it. And to me? That’s pretty damn cool. I love games where you choose a character’s path and how a story goes.
I’ve played this game a few times, and have watched others play this game, because every playthrough is different (well, okay, maybe not every, because you can completely replicate past playthroughs if you want, but what’s the fun in that?) And, I’ve honestly never grown bored of it.
I also absolutely love the cast in this game, and I’m sure everyone can pick out a few familiar faces, such as Rami Malek (Mr. Robot, Need for Speed), Hayden Pantettiere (Nashville, Scream 4), and my favorite, Jordan Fisher (Liv & Maddie, Teen Wolf, Grease! Live).
If you’re not big into video games, you like horror, or you just want something chill — I highly recommend Until Dawn!
Telltale Games are also perfect for those that are new to video games, as again, there’s not much video game to it. I have played a few of these games, and own more that I still have to play, and I absolutely loved them. They have a game for just about anyone — Game of Thrones fans, The Walking Dead fans, Batman fans, Guardians of the Galaxy fans, and more. Plus the art design is absolutely gorgeous, and the stories are just so good.
And these games can also be played on mobile devices! So again, even if you’re not into video games or are new to them, you can definitely give Telltale games a chance by playing on a device you’re most likely well accustomed to!
If you haven’t played a Telltale game, I strongly recommend my favorites, The Walking Dead series or The Wolf Among Us (based off of the comic series Fables).
Saint’s Row 3
As soon as your customized Boss jumps into the car with Pierce and starts singing What I’ve Got by Sublime at the top of their lungs, I knew this game was going to be amazing. I’ve played 2 and I’ve also played 4, but Saint’s Row the Third will always be number one for me.
This game plays very much like the Grand Theft Auto series, with of course, a few differences — mainly being that Saint’s Row is absolutely ridiculous. But it’s this out-of-this-world aspect that makes Saint’s Row fun and addicting. I mean, at some point, you’re thrown into a Tron-like stage — that doesn’t happen in every game.
I strongly recommend Saint’s Row the Third to anyone that’s searching for a good laugh and an insane gaming experience.
Silent Hill 2
Silent Hill 2 is often found on Best Survival Horror Games lists and it’s been this way since it’s release in 2001. Den of Geek considers it to be the ‘Gaming’s Most Intelligent Horror Story‘, and many sources have considered it to be the most disturbing video game ever made. I’ve played several survival horror games, and I’ve enjoyed a few, but none of them has been as memorable as Silent Hill 2.
If you’re into horror and have yet to play Silent Hill 2, please do yourself a favor by picking it up. It’s eerie, thought-provoking, and in general, a brilliant game.
The Uncharted Series
Oh, Nathan Drake. Probably one of my favorite video game characters of all-time, besides Chloe Frazer (who can also be in found in the franchise). Uncharted is a series, that no matter how many sequels, I’m never disappointed. I’ve enjoyed every single entry, including the newest that came out last year.
Uncharted is a series that I believe anyone can get into. The gameplay is amazing and feels very fluid, the characters are fun and very well-developed, and just the act of exploring makes this game enjoyable. Uncharted is one of the main reasons why I originally chose PlayStation over X-Box, and it’s a decision I don’t regret.
Life is Strange
Out of all the episodic games, I’d have to say Life is Strange is probably my absolute favorite. I loved the supernatural feel of Max Caulfield’s rewind ability, the idea of, like in previously mentioned games, controlling what direction the story goes, and the relationship between Max and Chloe Price. I felt like the character development was so amazing that I got attached to just about every character (besides.. well.. you know.. spoiler). Also, that soundtrack is hella.
Assassin’s Creed 3
My relationship with Assassin’s Creed is very shaky. I loved some, hated others; Assassin’s Creed 3 was definitely one that I loved. Even days after beating it, I found my thoughts traveling back to Connor Kenway. This is an Assassin’s Creed game that I plan on replaying again and again in the future, unlike the others that I have beat and pushed to the side.
The Assassin’s Creed series isn’t for everyone though. I’ve met people who absolutely loved the games, and people who just couldn’t deal. I still recommend trying them — there’s nothing more fun than sneaking around, and using the blade against the enemy when it’s least expected. But, if the older ones don’t do it for you, than try checking out Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate, which definitely has a different feel.
God of War 3
The God of War series is completely new to me, and I’ve really only had a chance to play the third one so far, but it didn’t take me long to figure out why this franchise is so iconic. I’ve read several articles about how Kratos isn’t the best character, mainly because his whole point is revenge and that’s about it, but I actually really enjoyed playing as him. I loved the combat and just the lore behind it all. I’m really looking forward to seeing another side of Kratos when the new God of War is released!
Again, I had to omit a few recommendations — but here are some honorable mentions: Far Cry 3, The Last of Us, The Mass Effect Trilogy, and Fallout 3! I hope everyone is enjoying International Video Game Day!