Demon's Souls/Dark Souls
- I'm not sure how much needs to be said about them that hasn't been said already? No other game invoked this sense of exploration for me the same way the Souls-series does. Starting out you quickly notice that everything follows an internal consistent logic, which just happens to be unfamiliar to the player. With every death and every slain foe you learn more about the place, the mechanics and the monsters you just slain. At some point you realize the real monster might be you. The fact that it doesn't explain itself lead to one of the most interesting subcultures in gaming, sharing their stories, triumphs and defeats. The novel way it incorporates multiplayer caused quite some ripples among gamers and game developers as well.
Turn based tactics have rarely been so gripping. Very minimalistic graphics style that enables to focus on what's important: your guys, your guns, their guys, their guns. There is no luck involved, everything is determined by position, speed, cover and weapon type used. Games between two experienced players look like very deadly ballet.
Spec Ops: the Line
The thinking man's shooter and anti-war-wargame. The modern military shooter to end all modern military shooters. Since playing SOTL I haven't picked up any other modern military shooters. I just find them silly.
SOTL follows Captain Walker into Dubai, to find out what happened to the US soldiers who were stationed there. What happens then can be described as Heart of Darkness
meets No Exit
. "Do you feel like a hero yet?"
Also, cool soundtrack.
The best 3rd person shooter this generation. It takes the slow, methodical cover-platforming from chest-high-wall to chest-high-wall and infuses it with a supercharged power armor that completely changes the way this 3rd person shooter works. Blasting past Russian killer robots, shooting down a hail of missiles in slow motion, taking down giant mecha... things that a generation ago could only be done in cutscenes are fully playable.
Speaking of things that could only be done in cutscenes: Dragon's Dogma was another Japanese action-rpg that put it's own spin on multiplayer. One could outfit and level not only the player character, but also a friendly NPC (pawn) and use other players' pawns to track down and kill monsters or just explore the lands. Classes were not fixed, a nimble archer could easily switch profession to become a mighty warrior wielding a giant two handed sword. DD is the best when all the little pieces come together. Running on top of a cliff to jump onto a griffin passing by, clinging onto it's wings and climbing onto it's back to find a vulnerable spot without being thrown off. Just when the time is right a hired pawn casts a spell to enchant the main weapon and the griffin catches fire, tumbling towards earth. Jumping off and rolling around to see how the other pawns close in to help finishing the beast off.
(is Mount & Blade "this Gen", being pure pc game and all and I don't actually know when the original came out...)
And I agree with what is said above, for these games putting numbers on them feels a bit silly. Consider them all "10" otherwise I wouldn't mention them in the thread named best this gen