Welcome to Gaming Trend’s Top 25 Games of the Last Generation. Over the next 5 days we’ll be counting down the 25 best games that defined a generation. GT staff members got together and managed to put aside their differences in order to come up with the best possible list. Everything from innovation to overall game quality was used to determine placing and ranking.
Of course, one of the criteria we agreed on in order for a game to qualify was that it had to have been released on a last gen console (PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii). We decided to exclude games exclusive to PC or handheld as they muddy the waters when deciding whether they’re considered last gen or not but fret not! Those will be looked at in future lists.
It wasn’t easy, but we’re happy with the end result. So, without further ado, here are the games of a generation:
#25. Street Fighter IV
Street Fighter IV is the best fighting game of the last generation. When you think about the effects SFIV had on the fighting game scene when it was released back in 2008, it’s a pretty big deal. Capcom has always been one of the best when it comes to the genre, and the challenge to bring the most iconic fighting franchise to the next generation and please both new and old school fans couldn’t have been easy, but they knocked it out of the park. Sure, the Ultra Mega Super Duper Editions that followed after may have overcrowded the market by selling the same game numerous times (with some added material) but that doesn’t take away from the original’s greatness.
Playing Street Fighter IV for the first time felt almost like playing Street Fighter II for the first time all those years ago. It feels new yet also very familiar. It strikes a perfect balance of what worked with the old and what is expected of a fighter today. Seven years later, it’s still one of the top attractions and most viewed exhibitions at EVO due to its everlasting relevance and because of that, Street Fighter II is no longer considered the sole contender for best Street Fighter game of all time. A new challenger has arrived, if you will. – Paul Cesar, Features Editor
#24. Infamous 2
Sucker Punch perfected something most open world games can’t with Infamous 2: Traversal. The act of getting around as Cole MacGrath in New Marais is one of the most satisfying and involving experiences last generation had to offer. Utilizing Cole’s electric, ice, or fire super powers offered a level of velocity and seamless movement that you won’t find almost anywhere else. Whether it’s grinding on power lines, swinging around using Cole’s lightning tether, or simply climbing your way up the side of buildings with the series’ top notch parkour, traveling around Infamous 2’s open world is the closest last generation came to making you feel like a superhero.
Cole’s story in Infamous 2 also becomes more personal and affecting than its predecessor, changing the game’s karma system to something that is less black and white, and shapes the electricity-wielding hero into something more than an extreme caricature of a saint or a homicidal maniac, giving a depth to his potential motivations that was absent in the original Infamous. Infamous 2 is the epitome of what a sequel should be, and brings Sucker Punch’s series to the forefront of the best Sony’s first party has to offer. – Kenneth Shepard, Lead News Editor
#23. Tomb Raider
It takes a lot to reboot a franchise, and more than that, one with a past like Tomb Raider’s. It was both famous for its puzzling tombs and combat, and infamous for its bouncing-femme-fatale with little characterization, Lara Croft. Yet the 2013 reboot of the franchise changed all of that up, and presented us with a new and improved take on Ms. Croft.
Presenting an origin story of a survivor, toughened by both the dangers of the wild and the tenacity required to save her friends, Lara was a much more human character in the reboot, more than a pretty proxy for players. Mix in some fantastic third-person shooting, some really awesome tombs to raid and a world that opened up further with each upgrade to your tomb-raiding-toolkit, and you’ve got a surefire recipe for one of the best reboots in gaming. – Eric Van Allen, Editor
#22. The Walking Dead
If you know me, you know more then anything else I probably love games as a medium for telling great stories. The Walking Dead may not have the most engaging gameplay, but the writing is so good that barely matters. Not many games explore the themes The Walking Dead immerses itself in, and in a world full of zombie video games it stands out in the best possible way by putting the focus on the people living in this world rather than the titular threat.
Telltale finally found their ground with the Walking Dead, and it’s laid the groundwork for some of their best work. It will always be a reminder that sometimes gameplay doesn’t have to be king if you design something with different goals in mind, and it will be one in a group of many reminders that video games may just be the best medium for telling a good story. – Niko DelValle, Editor
#21. Halo 3
Check out 20-16 here, and be sure to check back every day for the rest of the week to see the rest of the list.