Ever since I started this blog, I've been wanting to do a post about my favorite video games of all time. I've been spending some time playing my #1 favorite over the last few days, so I thought it was the perfect time to do a countdown. Rather than do a single post, however, I thought it would be better to do a separate post on each since there is simply so much to talk about for each one.
The problem with doing favorite game lists is that you inevitably leave some games out that were just on the border, or perhaps so similar to another (that ended up being just a little inferior) that they didn't need to be on the list. Rather than just make my list even longer by doing a top 10 or top 20 or something like that, I decided to just create a list of special mentions or "runner-ups". There are simply too many great games out there that come near to perfection, even if they aren't my greatest ever.
It is incredibly difficult to narrow down a list of games as
your "best" and do it in an objective manner. Too often our tastes are
clouded by nostalgia or, the opposite, novelty and sometimes the flavor
of the moment fades into obscurity. When coming up with this list, I
tried to be as objective as possible, explicitly leaving games off that I may be infatuated with right now that I know may be impacting fair judgement. Perhaps the new games I am playing (new to me, not necessarily newly released) may end up in my favs list, but it would be unfair to do that until I've let some time to let it sink in or have had more time to play it.
I felt that limiting my list to 5 games was the best because I think that making a list any longer than that results in games being added purely out of a particular mechanic or system that I may be a little too impartial toward. Another thing I want to say is that my top 5 games likely won't stay the same forever. If you asked me just a few years ago, my favorites list would look a lot different. In a few years I may have to revisit the list and add updates. Having said that, as I said above, I'm trying to add only the games that have lasted the test of time for me, games that have been favorites for many years. Barring the retail release of Star Trek style holo-decks in my lifetime (which may not be so hard to believe considering how fast technology moves), I can guarantee you that most of the games in my top 5 (especially my #1) will be there forever.
One last thing I want to briefly mention is the the way I judge games. Right off the bat, I want to say that I don't go by some mathematical formula to figure this stuff out. If you want that, there's another guy doing this on his own blog. While I can see the value of this, I feel that it boils things down in such a stale, black and white fashion, that all emotion gets sucked out of the review. Since I see video games as an art form, you can't simply run a formula to figure out their value. For example, counting the amount of colors, paint mixture, size and shadowing does not tell you whether a painting has value or not. "What feelings does the art invoke through its elements?", is the better question to ask. And, yes, this means that it all boils down to subjectivity in the end, but most people can agree that there are just certain video games that fall within their favorites because of the way the games' components come together to deliver an amazing experience.
So to begin my countdown, in the next post, I'm going to start with the runner-ups and honorable mentions together first. From there I will dedicate a single post to each of my top 5.