If you ask people what the best Star Wars game of all time is, there's a very good chance you're going to hear Knights of the Old Republic named more often than not. It revolutionized the RPG genre and received unanimous critical acclaim as well as multiple Game of the Year awards. Its pseudo-sequel (after 2005's The Sith Lords), The Old Republic, is a more-than-worthy follow-up to Knights of the Old Republic, but the original is still the best.
Anyone who's played System Shock 2 will almost definitely remember two things about it. The first is the sinister rogue A.I. SHODAN, who is easily one of the most spine-chilling antagonists I've ever had the displeasure of coming across in a video game. The second is the way she's revealed in the game. You wake up aboard a derelict space craft that's been overrun by all sorts of horrors, and your only support is the voice of another survivor that guides you to through the ship so you can meet up with them. Little do you know that this sole survivor is actually SHODAN, who's been toying with you all along. It's one of the best twists ever, and the game is fantastic.
Of course Mass Effect 2 deserves to be listed among the pantheon of great sci-fi games, because the Mass Effect series is perhaps the pinnacle of modern day video game storytelling. The original was great, but like Dead Space 2, Mass Effect 2 improved on the original in every way. The characters, story, combat, character customization, and presentation are all top-notch, and, unlike most space games out there, Mass Effect 2 manages to sidestep many of the stereotypes of the genre.
There is an unfortunate trend where shooter fans seem to think they either have to side with Halo or Call of Duty. Even if you're on the latter side, there's no denying Halo's effect on the industry, as its legacy is felt pretty much everywhere. Combat Evolved used design methods that are still used in modern shooter games, and that's an impressive feat for a game released over a decade ago. This is one of the premier shooters out there, and with the newly released Anniversary Edition and the upcoming Halo 4, the franchise shows no signs of slowing down.
Few companies have a fan base as dedicated as Blizzard's, and few games are still played by many thousands of people over a decade after their release. When it first came out back in 1998, StarCraft was praised for its story, balanced RTS mechanics, stellar visuals, use of three very distinct playable races, and excellent cast of characters. Twelve years later, StarCraft is still one of the most popular online games in the world, it's since become a phenomenon in South Korea, and it was even used by the Air Force to teach new recruits how to work under pressure. Its sequel more than lived up to the twelve years of hype, and the upcoming Heart of the Swarm is an expansion that we thankfully won't have to wait another decade for.
Date: March 5, 2012
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central.*