My Favourite Games EVER Part 5

by GregFahlgren

Another listing of five of my favourite video games of all time.

Well, it’s that time again. Time for another trip down gaming memory lane! Once again, I’m taking five of my favourite games of all time and telling you about why I loved them so much. This entry features two of Blizzard’s best, the most emotionally charged Halo game, an underrated Final Fantasy entry, and quite possibly the greatest FPS of all time. Each of these games hold a special place in my heart, and I hope that through my telling you about it, you’ll seek them out and see how awesome they are!

WarCraft III: Reign of Chaos

The Last War before the World

WarCraft: Orcs and Humans was one of my first RTS games, making me an instant fan of the genre. I never got to play WarCraft II, but when the third game in the franchise was released, I was interested to see where the series was going. I bought the Battlechest (which included the less-than-stellar expansion The Frozen Throne), and was immediately hooked. The graphics and gameplay were phenomenal, as I have come to expect from Blizzard, but it was the main campaign that made this game an instant classic for me.

Reign of Chaos took me on an epic and tragic journey, introducing new races, heroes, and villains, expanding the world of Azeroth beyond what anyone thought possible. The first half of the game focused on Prince Arthas, detailing his transformation from noble warrior to undead zealot, using his story to drive forward the conflict Azeroth had been thrown into. The second half of the game was where I really fell in love though, meeting Thrall, the Orc Warchief, and seeing the orcs as noble warriors instead of violent savages for the first time, something that would stick with me for many years. Finally, we meet the night elves, an ancient race finding themselves in an uneasy alliance with the orcs and remaining human forces in a desperate bid to stop the undead and their masters, the Burning Legion.

I loved that campaign so much that when I played Frozen Throne’s somewhat lackluster follow-up (which to me felt like one big set-up for World of WarCraft instead of a true expansion), I was very disappointed. Not saying it was bad, but it wasn’t nearly as fun as Reign of Chaos, mostly because it didn’t follow Reign of Chaos’s heroes like I had expected it to, focusing on new and for the most part unlikable characters.

Regardless, WarCraft III: Reign of Chaos was an amazing game, and I hope that Blizzard brings that world back to a RTS game. No offence to World of WarCraft, but the RTS genre is too thin these days, and WarCraft could be just the thing to bring it back.

Halo Reach

Witness the Fall...

In my first entry of this series, I talked at length about my love for the Halo games featuring Master Chief. However, as much as I love those games, my favourite of that series will forever be Halo Reach.

Reach details the grueling and hopeless campaign of Spartan Team Noble against the Convenant in a war for Reach, the last human colony. These super soldiers fight at the forefront of this war, embarking on mission after mission as they wage their war against the Convenant, every step forward followed by three steps back as the Convenant overwhelm the human forces. The story unfolds in heartbreaking fashion, one by one Team Noble falling to the Convenant, their missions becoming more and more desperate as the Convenant close in. Never before have I experienced a more tragic story in gaming, and likely never will again.

Graphically, this game was probably the best of its time. The characters, scenery, vehicles, everything about this game was gorgeous. Gameplay... its Halo, what more can be said? The Multiplayer was great fun, not as good as COD mind you, but still good. However, it was Firefight that makes me come back to this game again and again, Halo Reach’s survival mode the best I’ve ever played.

Halo Reach is a marvel of modern gaming, and an easy recommend to ANYONE who loves games, no matter the genre.

Final Fantasy XII

Fighting against Gods and Emperors

My last entry from the franchise (for now at least), Final Fantasy XII is likely the game that many people point to as the start of the franchise’s fall from grace. Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if people start commenting with “ARE YOU STUPID!?”, but since this is my list and not theirs, I really don’t care. Besides that, I think FFXII to me was a WONDERFUL entry in the series, enjoying it more than certain others (Final Fantasy X-2 I’m looking at you!). Full of amazing weapons, enemies, and INCREDIBLE world to explore, Final Fantasy XII was a fun, action-packed game that took me on a journey that I will never forget.

Having played it more than a few times over the years, the thing I loved about it was that there was so much to do. So many places to explore, so many people to meet, so many things to do, I could spend YEARS playing it and never be bored. Even if the party was a little small by FF standards, the characters were fun, realistic and much more complicated than they seemed (though I will admit there wasn’t much development for any of them later in the game), The battle system wasn’t liked by many, but for me it forced me to pay more attention to the battles, making it exceptionally fun once I got used to it.

Graphically the game was ahead of its time, and featured some of the best voice-acting of the series, and a AMAZING soundtrack. Some might not like it, but Final Fantasy XII was an enjoyable addition to the franchise, and a game worth checking out.

Perfect Dark

Perfect in Every Way

The spiritual successor to Goldeneye 007, Perfect Dark was probably the best FPS ever made. Great weapons, a fun story (despite the horrible voice acting), and ridiculously intense gameplay, Perfect Dark was nearly a perfect game (no pun intended).

The multiplayer, which was built on Goldenye’s fan-favourite formula, introduced bots (computer players), letting you play the multiplayer levels alone, training and honing your skills. The suite also allowed players to select what weapons, power-ups, difficulty, and gadgets they could use, something that has never been seen before or since in FPS (to my knowledge anyway). Bottom line, Perfect Dark was amazing, and was almost assured to produce multiple sequels...

Sadly however, it never did. Rare went through some pretty bad financial problems, delaying the expected follow up. Eventually, Perfect Dark Zero was released as a launch title for the Xbox 360 and was a great game in itself, but it didn’t live up to the legend, and the franchise has since vanished. You can still find Perfect Dark on Xbox Live Arcade, and it will be including on the Rare Replay set for the Xbox One (featured below), but other than a few faint whispers, I don’t think we’ll ever see Joanna Dark return to action again. To me, that is one of the saddest things in gaming.

Diablo

The Lords of Hell commeth

Diablo. The very name invokes reference among gamers. Blizzard’s classic series has been played nearly two decades now, the original game still held in high regard, its subsequent sequels continuing its legacy of awesomeness as the years went on.

I first got to play Diablo in the late 90s, and quickly became obsessed with it. The adventure in Tristram and its labyrinth was enthralling, the characters more realistic than anything I had yet encountered in gaming, each one special in their own way. The gameplay was simple but fun, the bosses challenging, and the decent into hell one of the best gaming experiences ever. The Tristam theme still comes on in my playlists sometimes, and every time it’s a welcome trip down memory lane.

Diablo had gained such popularity that Sierra was authorized by Blizzard to make an expansion, entitled Hellfire. This addition, though unofficial according to Blizzard, added eight more levels, creating a new experience with a ton of add ons to immerse in. Hellfire has become a bit of collector’s item these days, finding it an achievement in itself.

Within a few years, Blizzard released the anticipated sequel Diablo II, the second game building on everything Diablo had done and more. Taking us on a much bigger journey across the world of Sanctuary, Diablo II delved deeper into the world’s history, telling us more of how Sanctuary had come to be what it is. With five classes to chose from, great gameplay, and wonderful characters to interact with, Diablo II was even better than its predecessor. A year later, Blizzard released the only expansion to Diablo II entitled Lord of Destruction. Taking us on one last trip into Sanctuary, Lord of Destruction introduced two new character classes, a new location, and even more challenging enemies than ever before. It was the perfect end to the series, or so we were lead to believe...

A few years back, Blizzard finally released Diablo III to much fanfare. Now, I will go on the record that I have only played a portion of Diablo III, but what I’ve played has been nothing short of spectacular. The game brings back all the thrills of the previous entries with a TON of new additions that make it special in its own way. Featuring the return of many old faces, some that we had assumed dead, and new character classes to fight with, Diablo III is a marvel to behold.

Blizzard followed up on Diablo III’s success with an expansion entitled Reaper of Souls. Though I haven’t had the chance to play it yet, it is at the very top of my list when I get my Xbox One, and I have no doubt that I will love it as much as its predecessors.

Conclusion

Well, another entry, another five games and game series that I adore. Feel free to check ALL these titles out through the links I’ve provided, and I’ll see you next time. HAPPY GAMING!

Listing of five of my favourite video games of all time featuring Mass Effect, Halo and Call of Duty
Part 2 of my listing of my favourite games featuring Arkham, Gears of War, and Donkey Kong.
Going back to a time before online multiplayer, HD graphics, and rumble packs to make your controller vibrate (seriously, we bought those, look it up).
Back again taking a look at five more of my personal favourites!
Updated: 12/13/2015, GregFahlgren
 
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