Top Video Games
Halo (2001) The godfather of modern first-person console shooters, Halo gave the masses who loved GoldenEye a mouse-and-keyboard-inspired control scheme. Dual-stick controls made a world of difference (even if the O.G. Xbox controller\'s size was hilariously ungainly), turning multiplayer matches from awkward slap-sessions into intense frag-fests.
The godfather of modern first-person console shooters, Halo gave the masses who loved GoldenEye a mouse-and-keyboard-inspired control scheme. Dual-stick controls made a world of difference (even if the O.G. Xbox controller's size was hilariously ungainly), turning multiplayer matches from awkward slap-sessions into intense frag-fests.
Multiplayer aside (and that's a huge aside), Halo's story was immersive and engaging, with tight pacing, inventive level design, and gripping music driving the struggle against the alien Covenant upon the massive, mysterious ring-world of Halo. And here is where we met one of modern gaming's most iconic characters: the strong, mostly-silent, always badass Master Chief.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (1991)
Platform: Super Nintendo
When asked their favorite Zelda game, most people answer with Ocarina of Time. But A Link to the Past is the superior game (though not by much).
LttP was brilliant. It took the expansive world of Hyrule — a monotonous mass of green in the original Zelda — and turned it into a vibrant world populated with gorgeous sprites, unique monsters, and clever, puzzle-filled dungeons. A world where you can claim and wield the Master Sword. A world you care about saving.
Portal 2 (2011)
Platform: Windows, Mac OS X, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
The game was fantastic, and Portal 2 made it even better. The sequel expanded the simple concept into a fully formed standalone title. Puzzles were even more inventive and cleverly-designed, while the superbly-written story was fantastically executed, thanks in no small part to Ellen Mclain returning to voice the enigmatic, malevolent AI GLaDOS alongside Stephen Merchant bringing the goofy, talkative, sheepheaded Wheatley to life.
Super Mario World (1990)
Platform: Super Nintendo
For a character who originated on the arcade and became a star in the 8-bit era, Super Mario World marked a remarkable next-gen debut for the mustachioed plumber. To this day, Super Mario World remains one of the most critically acclaimed, commercially successful, and widely beloved games of all time.
Your plane crashes in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. You're the only survivor. The only thing in sight is a lonely lighthouse, beaming through the fog and smoke with your salvation. Inside you find a bathysphere, and with no other options, you get inside and descend down
A gaming triumph, BioShock set the standard for interactive storytelling. The atmospheric, immersive world of Rapture was as much a character in the narrative as the lumbering Jules Verne-nightmare Big Daddies or the enigmatic Andrew Ryan. Bioshock showed everyone that first-person-shooters and video games as a whole could become a compelling storytelling medium.