10 Greatest Games of the Last Generation
Just because the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are the hot new thing sucking up all the attention in the gaming community doesn’t mean their predecessors should be so easily forgotten. Nor will they be with our list of the 10 Greatest Games of the Last Generation. The PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii offered us years of entertainment. In fact, many of the games released during the last generation inspired and informed what we’ll be seeing from developers on next-gen systems. Here then are the games that defined the last seven years, or as we like to call them, the 10 Greatest Games of Last Generation.
Super Mario Galaxy 2
Super Mario Galaxy may have given us the most original Mario title Nintendo developed in years, but its sequel improved upon the original in almost every way conceivable. There were more worlds to explore, and they were more challenging. There were more (and better) power-ups. Most importantly, Yoshi was added to compliment the standard 3D platforming excitement. By building on the foundation of the original, Super Mario Galaxy 2 evolved into not just one of the greatest games on the Wii, but one of the 10 Greatest Games of the Last Generation.
No one expected BioShock to become the phenomenon it did when it arrived 2007. However, it didn't take long for the world to take notice of Irrational's bold, narrative driven first-person shooter. By relying on an engaging story, BioShock was able to draw players into an underwater world where nothing was as it seemed. Other developers took note, too, and we've been treated to years of ambitious stories in FPS form as a result. Without BioShock, who knows how different the FPS landscape would be today.
Mass Effect 2
Mass Effect 2 took everything great about the first entry (the universe and story), and focused the gameplay into a more action-centric shooter, providing BioWare with a solid core to continue the sci-fi series. Fans returned for the story, which expanded tremendously and introduced a wide variety of new subplots and interesting characters. Newcomers were treated to a strong and addictive action RPG. While Mass Effect spawned a sequel, it was Mass Effect 2's appeal and strong dynamic that birthed a franchise.
Originally an isometric RPG on PC, Bethesda turned Fallout into one of the greatest action RPGs of all-time. Fallout 3 was an instant classic, bringing all the trademark sensibilities of the post-apocalyptic franchise to the modern era by putting the game in first-person. Inspired by its own Elder Scrolls franchise, Bethesda ramped up the awesome with Fallout's incredible arsenal and outstanding world-building. Fans have been eagerly awaiting Bethesda's return to the Wasteland, but at least they'll have Fallout 3 to go back to until that fateful day in the future.
At the height of rhythm game popularity, Harmonix dropped a megaton bomb on everyone. Rock Band wasn't just one of the Greatest Games of Last Generation, it was a cultural phenomenon. By allowing people to turn their living rooms into pseudo-karaoke dens with a "live" drummer and guitarist, Rock Band changed the way we rocked, rolled and partied on weekends. It was a social experience everyone wanted to be a part of, and Harmonix was all too willing to oblige them with three sequels and continuous DLC support for years after the initial release.
Phil Fish may still be catching heat for the way he acts towards the public, but you can't deny how fantastic Fez was. By taking simple platformer conventions and putting a twist on them, Fez was able to be one of the most complex and challenging games of its time. Factor in the insane amount of secrets and mysteries, and you've got an incredibly compelling masterpiece deserving of a sequel... which we'll never see.
The Walking Dead
While it only arrived last year, Telltale's The Walking Dead established the developer as a premiere entity in the adventure game space. Though Telltale had been working in the genre for quite some time, it wasn't until The Walking Dead arrived and destroyed the emotions of millions that its world was changed forever. Now Telltale's got its hands full with new projects, but it's all due to the incredible strain the company put on our hearts with the story of Lee and Clementine.
Media Molecule showed us the world of possibilities of what we could create when given the tools with LittleBigPlanet. With LittleBigPlanet 2, those possibilities expanded a hundred fold. Though the do-it-yourself creations were the allure, it was Media Molecule's own stylish platforming that made LBP2 such a joy to play. Even better, the sequel was incredibly fun to play with friends, and stands as one of the most important games to come to the PlayStation 3.
What started as a simple puzzle game quickly evolved into a emotional journey for survival. Valve's quirky puzzler pitted players against the devious and caustic Glados, an A.I. who'd been using humans as test subjects for mysterious experiments for... well, who knows how long. Addictive and memorable, few games captured the hearts and minds of players like Portal did when it arrived. Its sequel was just as impressive, but without the original, Portal 2's tests would never have gotten off the ground.
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
Before Naughty Dog's The Last of Us dominated the conversation, its Uncharted trilogy was (and still is), one of the best available on the PlayStation 3. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves was the best of the series, offering improved combat, a richer story and characters, and a presentation that had gamers' eyes around the world popping out of their sockets. Combined with stellar acting and motion capture, Naughty Dog's Uncharted 2 more than earned its spot on the 10 Greatest Games of the Last Generation.