Members of GZs review crew name their favorite games of all time
January 6, 2009
GameZone editorial feature
GZ’s review crew name their favorite games of all time
By Michael Lafferty
Reviewers’ list span genres and platforms
We have hit that time of year, when the holidays are almost over and we look back on the year past and name the best titles of 2008. But as an addendum to that, I thought it might be fun to chat with some of GameZone’s reviewers and take it a step beyond 2008.
No specific systems were given as a criterion, no categories – just ‘what is your favorite game of all time, and why?’
Now since that all just sort of explains itself, without further ado, let’s get to the opinions of some of our writers:
Angelina Sandoval: Resident Evil – Several dozen games pop into my mind as personal favorites and even among five of them the game that truly stands out in my mind is the original Resident Evil for the PlayStation. This was the first game I played growing up that not only showed me that games could have the power to scare you but to also cater to gamers that aren’t in the mood to skip along through the Mushroom Kingdom with Mario. It was also fun blasting the heads off zombies.
Natalie Romano: Shenmue (Sega Dreamcast) – The story of a young man on a quest to avenge his father’s murder and discover the truth behind the death broke my heart. I found myself deeply absorbed by the many things this game has to offer and impressed with the level of detail the world around Ryo contained. This is definitely at the very top of my favorite games of all time.
Nick Valentino: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time – The list of my all-time favorite games is as a very long one, indeed, but on the top of that list I have to add this Zelda classic from the Nintendo 64 era. Not only was it an impressive in scope but it was also one of the most fun early Zelda games in my opinion. Plus, the story was downright brilliant.
Eduardo Zacarias: Super Mario 64 – Like any other hardcore gamer, my list of favorite games grows longer every year. Still, picking only one that really stands out in my mind, I must say that Super Mario 64 haunts my thoughts. It was not only one of my most favorite Mario games that took the series to new and exciting directions but my fondest memory was receiving this game as a gift from a favorite uncle that passed away.
Michael Knutson: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time – The anticipation and waiting for this game was completely worth it. I still remember the cold weather outside as I strode though the gigantic world of Yule for the first time. Seeing the town from two different perspectives, child and adult, was a real treat. No other game at this time offered such a massive world to freely explore and conquer at the gamers own pace, best of all it was all in 3D. No gamer should be without this game and there are many ways to obtain it: N64, GameCube, or Wii-Ware.
Louis Bedigian: Resident Evil 4 – I went back and examined all my favorite games spanning every console, which includes one release from almost every publisher. Only one of those games was ahead of its time, its console generation, and the very genre for which it belongs: Resident Evil 4.
Christopher Ewen: Final Fantasy Tactics – Of the five games that are my personal favorites, if I had to name only one, that one would be Final Fantasy Tactics for PlayStation. Tactics, as it is endearingly referred to, breathed absolute and undeniable life into the strategy/RPG job system as we now know it, presenting endless possibilities for party customization. And paired with an absolutely unbridled plot, Final Fantasy Tactics is not only my top strategy/RPG, but also my undisputed game of choice.
Dylan Platt: Deus Ex – If I had to name one game as my all-time favorite, it would have to be Deus Ex. Sure, today its graphics are a bit dated, but it's got everything I love in video games. The game lets you approach the action in pretty much any way you like — play it as a shooter, as an RPG, or even as a stealth game. It's filled with so many secrets that I still find new stuff every time I play it. But it's the game's amazing story, filled with memorable characters that make it my all-time favorite.
Anise Hollingshead: Heroes of Might and Magic II – My absolute all-time favorite computer game is Heroes of Might and Magic II Gold Edition. This was one of the first games I bought for our first computer in 1995, and I still drag it out and replay the entire campaign from time to time. The first time I played it, I would stay up until 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning playing, to the annoyance of my husband. I have enjoyed many games since, but none has come close to the obsessive "just one more turn" that HOMMII engendered in me.
Steven Hopper: Rez – The classic that made Tetsuya Mizuguchi a household name (well, certain hardcore gaming households, I guess) Rez was not only a fun and exciting rail-shooter with music-based elements, but a work of art in many ways. A true example of a game that was greater than the sum of its parts, Rez skillfully combined its entire aesthetic, from the vector-style graphics to the pounding techno soundtrack, with the gameplay to form a completely cohesive and engaging experience that pulses and pounds without ever missing a beat. Without a doubt, Rez is the most organic game I’ve ever played. While the game saw a somewhat limited retail release years ago (the Dreamcast version was only available overseas, while the PS2 version arrived in the US in woefully small shipments), it has since attained cult status among many gamers (myself included) and most recently an HD rerelease on Xbox LIVE Arcade. One of the most original entries to the storied rail-shooter genre, no gamer should miss out on Rez.
Michael Lafferty: Heavenly Sword – Ok, so the game was a bit short, and so it had mechanics that had been used in other games, what was remarkable about this game was not only the look (which was breathtaking), but the story. You connected with the characters, you felt the anguish of Nariko and her anger, and the ending was mostly cut scene but it rivaled the drama of any big-screen cinematic film and exceeded the emotion of 99% of movies. The game ended in the only way it could and stands out among all the games I have ever played as the one title that touched my heart, tantalized my eyes and ears and kept me on my gaming (metaphorically speaking) toes.