Wow, I can’t believe we’re already at the Top 50!
If you’ve missed the previous installments, catch up here!
Please bear in mind this list doesn’t take into account multiplayer aspects of games, it’s based solely on single player experience.
50. Call Of Duty: Black Ops II
I’ve really enjoyed the last few campaigns in the Call Of Duty series so when I heard that Black Ops II had the best one yet I was pretty excited to give it a shot. Unfortunately my initial time with the game did not go well. During the opening hour I got trapped in a game breaking glitch and after getting through that my PS3 froze up. I also had some pretty weird instances of character models getting stuck where they shouldn’t be and the game just felt really unpolished.
However beyond those issues, the campaign *is* the best in a Call Of Duty game to date. I know a lot of people just buy the game for the multiplayer but really you should check this story mode out. It flits between the 80′s and 2025 but is far less confusing than previous games. I always had a sense of which character I was controlling, something that hasn’t always been the case in former iterations of the titles.
The story is formed (and endings chosen) as you go through the game and the coolest thing Black Ops II pulls off is that half the time you’re not even aware you’re making a choice or triggering something that will change the story. Very refreshing.
49. Kane And Lynch
You take control of Adam ‘Kane’ Marcus, a criminal on his way to death row for crimes committed in Venezeula. Kane is busted out of his prison van by a mysterious group called The7 who he worked with previously. They think Kane stole the money from their last job and stashed it somewhere.
If he doesn’t get them the money back in three weeks his wife and daughter will be killed. Kane claims he doesn’t know where it is but he does know who took the cash and will hunt them down. And so begins a thoroughly enjoyable ride into the desperate life of Kane…
From the makers of Bayonetta, Vanquish tells the story of Sam Gideon, a member of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), who is tasked with rescuing a scientist that was working on the O’Neill Cylinder Space Station when it was hijacked by Russia. Russia are holding the USA to ransom, destroying San Francisco and targeting New York next unless the Americans comply with their wishes – total surrender.
Got all that? Right now forget all about it and SHOOT THOSE ROBOTS!
Vanquish is certainly an experience I’d recommend and for a few sessions of a couple of hours each it is a blast to play. It doesn’t quite have the same depth as Bayonetta with regard to the characters but it can hold it’s head high in terms of a single player experience.
47. Red Faction: Guerrilla
Red Faction: Guerrilla is a bit of an underrated gem. It’s your basic David vs Goliath battle with the Red Faction resistance (you guys) taking on the evil Earth Defence Force who have taken advantage of their position in power on Mars.
But the main part of the game is the destruction. Buildings fall realistically and weakening them structurally can often mean a delayed collapse.
I heartily recommend Red Faction. It’s not massively difficult but it has a good solid story and is insanely fun. You can pick this up for about £15 pre-owned in most places and it will be money well spent.
46. Deus Ex: Human Revolution
You play as Adam Jensen, who works security at Sarif Industries – a biotechnology firm specialising in human cybernetic enhancement. Adam is severely injured and patched up using new cybernetic augmentations. Adam returns to action 6 months later with Megan and several other colleagues having died in the attack that injured him.
Running and gunning is an option in Deus Ex, it’s just a more risky strategy than taking the non confrontational approach. But that in a nutshell is the beauty of the game. There is almost always a whole host of ways to approach situations – depending on what augmentations you choose.
45. Mafia II
Mafia II tells the story of Vito Scaletta, a returning war veteran who comes home to find life has changed while he’s been away and soon fins himself mixed up in the world of the Mafia.
This game is an interesting beast, as during a lot of the promo leading up to its release we were led to believe it would be open world (ala GTA) at least in some parts. In reality this is a very linear experience and that has led to some negative feedback.
Personally while that discovery came as a disappointment if you can look beyond it then you will find a strong, solid single player experience with a well crafted and immersive story.
44. X-COM: Enemy Unknown
I hadn’t really played many RTS (Real Time Strategy) games before embarking on XCOM: Enemy Unknown. I wasn’t sure if this was one that I would enjoy and really get into – in the end I surprised myself by how involved I got.
You take control of the XCOM Initiative, a coming together of lots of countries to fight together to stop alien invaders. You’ll be destroying enemies, capturing them and using their tech to create fantastical new weapons for your soldiers.
You don’t play this game as you would a third or first person shooter – you only have a set amount of moves per turn and will have to be very careful in planning them. XCOM is a brilliant, and challenging, game.
43. Fallout: New Vegas
Fallout: New Vegas sees you play as The Courier, a… ahem… courier who has his package stolen, is shot in the head and left for dead in a shallow grave. Saved by a passing robot you end up, not only conscious, but looking for revenge.
In New Vegas there are various groups that you can align with and you can play factions off against each other up to a point but as you get towards the end of the game, you’ll need to decide where your loyalties lie.
Overall Fallout: New Vegas is a very good game. While it doesn’t do a great deal of new stuff it delivers a worthwhile experience that will tide fans of the series over until Fallout 4 arrives.
42. Resistance 3
In Resistance 3 you play as Joseph Capelli but a lot has changed since the 2nd game in the series. The humans lost the war. Resistance 3 is about survival. Beaten down and living mainly underground, Capelli and his fellow survivors get on with life as best as possible. These are not just soldiers, there are children and non-fighters as well, just trying to get through each day.
You’re outnumbered and underpowered for the most part but the game’s great controls and wonderful weapon selection make it joy to blast through the levels. There are small victories here and there but as a battle heats up you’ll likely find yourself running away to survive.
Unfortunately the campaign loses it’s way in the last few hours and the final battle/ending was a touch disappointing to me. But make no mistake – despite tailing off towards the end, it had one of the best campaigns I played that year.
41. Tomb Raider
Crystal Dynamics delivered on their promise of a reboot for Lara Croft. Gone is the Lara of old with the wonky body shape and in her place is a more realistic Lara, both in terms of appearance and character. As a wannabe archaeologist Lara is not a trained hunter/killer and is still wet behind the ears after coming out of college/university.
The opening few hours are definitely the strongest here – Tomb Raider is at it’s best during tense moments with just one or two enemies. With Lara coming to grips with the fact she’s going to need to do whatever it takes to survive. It’s been talked about a lot but her first kill is handled perfectly.
Tomb Raider is a fantastic game. There are a few annoying difficulty spikes here and there but that’s par for the course in most games. Lots of action packed set pieces and climbing/falling moments raise the bar but it’s the quieter moments in Lara’s journey that really struck a chord with me.
Another ten games down and more coming soon – stay tuned!