As this is my first post, I thought it would be a good idea to tell you some of my favourite video games and franchises. These aren’t all necessarily the best games out there, however, there is something about them that makes them stand out and memorable for me. This can be because of an engrossing story, likeable characters, fun gameplay or even music. Before I begin, I would like to say these are my personal choices, and you will likely have different opinions on which games are your favourites.
A legendary franchise spanning 30 years, the Final Fantasy series is arguably one of the greatest video game franchises ever made, one isn’t afraid to evolve and adapt its gameplay and mechanics. Its games are adored by many due to their colourful cast of characters such as the Black Mage Vivi from IX, Yuna from X and the suave Sky Pirate Balthier from XII. For me, it’s the iconic soundtracks and unique charm in every entry that makes Final Fantasy such a great franchise. What has made the series stick around for so long is because it makes changes to its core gameplay constantly, never sticking with the same tired formula for long. Despite this, it still retains its unique and cherished identity throughout the years. My personal favourite games from the series are III, IX, X and XIII (yes I know, XIII may be the black sheep of entries for people, but it remains one of my favourites). Here’s hoping the series will stick around for another 30 years.
On the surface, the Uncharted series just seems to be the video game equivalents of Indiana Jones, but they’re so much more. Developed by Naughty Dog, the games follow Nathan Drake, Victor Sullivan and Elena Fisher as they explore the world looking for long lost treasure. Interwoven into this is a story about family, growth and moving on from the past and looking to the future. With some of the most likeable and well written characters supported by stunning visuals, incredible acting and a memorable main theme song, Uncharted is a masterpiece in cinematic storytelling in video games. If you’re someone that loves a good story and memorable characters and doesn’t mind that this is the focus, then I cannot recommend this series enough. Accompanied by cover-shooting, action set-pieces, and light puzzle solving, Uncharted will stand the test of time and are games that I have so many fond memories of, that will make me come back to them, time and time again.
The Legend of Zelda
This a time is an iconic Nintendo franchise that, like Final Fantasy, spans decades. Zelda games have always been loved by critics and fans alike, in particular with Ocarina of Time. A revolutionary entry that brought the series into 3D, remains a classic and is often rated as one of the greatest games ever made. What has always made me fall in love with the franchise is the well designed and varied dungeons, the masterful music and captivating charm. My personal favourite remains Twilight Princess, which took the series in a darker than normal tone. Also Ocarina of Time, and The Wind Waker are close seconds. Although Breath of the Wild did good things to evolve the series, I felt that it lost many aspects that made the series so great, such as the genius dungeon designs and memorable soundtrack. I hope future entries can further evolve the series whilst recapturing the essence of the older games which Breath of the Wild lost.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
The Witcher series is an odd one for me, as I never played the first game and I wasn’t a huge fan of the second, although I liked its mature story and great characters. In the lead up to the latest entry, it wasn’t on my radar of anticipated games, however, when I bought my Xbox One, after hearing many good things about it, it was the first game I played on the console. It was one of the best decisions I ever made. After a slow beginning, I was hooked and it remains the single player game that I have put the most hours into.
There are very few things that this game gets wrong, it has an incredible story, brilliant characters full of depth, fun combat and is one of the very few open world games where most of its side quests don’t feel like busy work. Yes there are the few fetch quests and enemy bases to clear out, but the majority of its side quests are so detailed, interesting and contain surprising amounts of production value that often they feel like main missions. With so many iconic moments, its in-game card game Gwent, and with Geralt being one of the most interesting, complex and genuinely hilarious characters I’ve seen in a video game. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is now one of, if not my favourite video game of all time.
Here are some other notable video games that also make the list as some of my favourite:
- Pokémon – This is a franchise that contains one of the very first video games that I ever played as a child. My favourite remains Gold/Silver, as they are still the only entry to feature more than one region (such value for money).
- Dragon Age – Another fantasy series by the legendary Bioware in their heyday, that always emphasized freedom of choice to the players and featuring some truly great and hilarious characters (Iron Bull anyone?). Featuring great storytelling, and combat, it remains a true great in the fantasy RPG genre for me.
- Mass Effect – The original trilogy has garnered such praise despite the partly disappointing ending in the third game. Another Bioware series that highlights why they are the kings of creating such great and memorable characters and stories. An epic space opera with meaningful choices and engrossing plotlines that will encourage the player to complete multiple playthroughs.
- Ori and the Blind Forest – If you like challenging 2D platformers with a killer soundtrack and story that will make you cry in the first 10 minutes, then this game is for you. The art style is beautiful, the game can at times be infuriatingly hard, but very rewarding and I cannot wait for the sequel.
As I said before, this is my personal list, so I would love to hear your own views on my list and what some of your favourite games are. Be sure to let me know down in the comments and I will be sure to answer. Thanks for reading the article, and if you like the content I’m writing, be sure to become an email subscriber to be notified when I publish new posts.