It’s been a little over a month since the dawn of the new console generation, but our last-gen consoles aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. So, in honor of those consoles, I’ve decide to reflect on the best games, moments, and advances of the last console generation!
10. The Move to HD
Probably one of the most obvious and least appreciated advancements of the last generation was the jump to HD. Playing on your living room tube TV while praising Halo: CE‘s amazing 480p definition would be something that would be laughed at nowadays. The jump from SD to HD was made frighteningly apparent to anyone who tried to read any text in Dead Rising or Gears of War for their brand new Xbox 360 in 2005, and now anything under 1080p is being considered “archaic.”
9. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
Undoubtedly the FPS that set the standard for all multiplayer First Person Shooters this generation, the first Modern Warfare is a game that is loved by millions of gamers worldwide and one that could not be absent from this list. The controversy surrounding this game is almost as popular as the game itself, where many people believe that Call of Duty‘s run away success is stagnating the genre and causing developers and publishers alike wanting to capitalize on the game’s proven formula. But no matter what you believe, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare will go down in gaming history as one of the best FPS’ of all time.
The FPS That Defined the Generation
8. The Perks of Playstation Plus
Playstation Plus, for those who don’t know, isn’t know for its reliability or its services, but rather it’s known for its perks. Perks that Microsoft and Xbox Live are finally starting to match, but to a much lesser extent. What I’m referring to are the amazing AAA games offered to PSN members for FREE each month! Quality titles such as Uncharted 3, Bioshock Infinite, and DmC, ALL of which are current high quality titles that any gamer would love to play!
7. Naughty Dog
Speaking of Uncharted, this generation of gaming can’t be discussed without honoring who’s possibly the most achieved and beloved developer in the industry, Naughty Dog. From the first Uncharted which was released for the Playstation 3 in November of 2007, all the way to last year’s The Last of Us, Naughty Dog has only cranked out gem after gem this generation and has proven that even new IP are a risk that are well worth the reward. Naughty Dog is an example of a developer who knows games and the gamers that play them, and they NEVER disappoint. Crash Bandicoot would be proud!
6. Xbox Live Doin’ it Right
My preferred online service for gaming has ALWAYS been Xbox Live. What XBL lacks in the free games department, it makes up for in every other aspect; From stable servers to eight person party chat, XBL is what all other online services should strive to be. Unlike Playstation and the Wii, Xbox Live servers are ALWAYS available for any game (barring titles from EA; who insist on using their own servers). I can go back right now and play Perfect Dark Zero, a launch title for the Xbox 360, and will assuredly have a server to play on (people to play with is another story). This isn’t the case for PSN and the Wii online service because their services are free, so once a new game comes out the older ones lose all support. This is due to XBL’s mandatory $60/year subscription plan, but is also proof that the old saying “you get what you pay for” rings true.
Another one of this Generation’s must play franchises is Bioshock (except Bioshock 2, but that was made by a different developer). Bioshock doesn’t do too well at excelling in the combat area, but what it does do is introduce you to worlds and characters that capture and immerse you in ways that most games can’t. From the dark and disturbing world of Rapture, where ADAM junkies ran rampant, to the beautiful and seemingly benign Columbia, Bioshock‘s world offer a rich and deep lore that will have you scraping for audio logs and exploring every environment to further educate yourself on the universes that will leave pondering about things that came before and things that will happen after. Bioshock is a series that needs to be played to truly appreciate everything it offers, and what it offers is everything!
The Series That Set The Standard for Setting and Atmosphere
4. Mass Effect
Brought to us by the studio responsible for the original Knights of the Old Republic, Mass Effect is in every way what gamers want from a sci-fi action RPG. From the very moment you sculpt your Commander Shepard you’ll become obsessed with furthering the story line, romancing your crew mates, and stopping the Reapers at all costs. From the very beginning, Mass Effect has you traversing the beautifully realized Milky Way Galaxy, in what might be one of the best and most elaborate sci-fi universes ever created. Mass Effect will go down as one of the must play franchises of the last generation, and BioWare’s dedication to their games and franchises is the main reason why!
The Franchise That Defines What World Building Really Is
3. Continued Support for Games
Another feature that is taken for granted by both gamers and developers, continued support for games via the internet means our favorite games have increased longevity and can be improved during the course of their lifespan. Unfortunately for us, this also means that unfinished games can be shipped to retail with the hopes of day one patches fixing bugs or imbalances, all for the sake of meeting release deadlines and pleasing share holders. But that’s focusing on the negative, post-release game support has had many GOOD effects on gaming and being able to further the stories for the games you were most invested in, or adding some extra maps to matchmaking to make the fight seems fresh, and not to mention patching any bugs or balance issues that were accidentally missed!
2. The Walking Dead
Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead is the digital embodiment of EVERYTHING a game should be. The Walking Dead is the perfect interactive experience that can properly invest you in a way only a video game can. With characters you genuinely come to care for and choices that can cause you to lose them in the blink of an eye, The Walking Dead will leave everyone who plays it with the same feeling of satisfaction and a desire for more. The game will introduce characters you’ll love and ones you’ll hate all with the purpose of testing your humanity, sometimes leaving you contemplating if you should do what’s best for you, your group, or Clementine. Telltale has done excellent job in creating one of the most amazing franchises of the last generation, and will continue to do so in the next!
The Series That Should Be The Template for All Games That Are Story and Character Driven
1. Indie Games
Indie games are things that everyone loves. They’re in almost all instances under the $60 full retail price for games, and sometimes can even offer us a more memorable experience, this is thanks to the creation of programs like Xbox Live Indie and self-publishing on the Playstation Network. These programs have now become so essential to smaller indie developers and us, the gamers, that without them we would have missed out on half of the best games in the last 8 years. From games like Hotline Miami and Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons to White Noise and Mount Your Friends, indie games remind us that not all games need to be big budget with a four year development time to have fun, and in most instances they can offer us an experience just as good, if not better!
That about does it for the top moments of the last generation. Is there anything you disagree with? Or perhaps something you would have added that didn’t make the cut? Let us know in the comments, and be on the lookout for the top ten WORST moments of the last generation!