Friday, June 3, 2011

5 Single Player Games Every Gamer Should Play

As a hardcore gamer I have played through countless games. Over time I have come to realise that almost all games are great in one way or another, but every now and then I’ve come across a game that was truly, uncompromisingly great. We’ve all played at least one game that has stuck with us through the years, that leaves us yearning for more content after our third playthrough. Some may even changed the very way you perceive the world.

It’s these games that leaves us with an inexplicable yet unrelenting want to share them with the world. The fact is that there are a few games that EVERY gamer needs to play, and I have a few I want to share with you...

1. Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

You know the whole “everyone will remember where they were when they heard about *blank*” cliche? Well I still remember exactly where I was when I first played The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. It was Christmas day, 1998, I was eight and I had just finished peeling the colorful, sparkling paper from the game’s casing. I had never heard of this “Zelda” before but my father assured me that he “had heard great things about it.” No one in that room could have possibly predicted the countless hours of thumb scrambling that this “Zelda” would cause me.

Ocarina of Time has left a signature on the back of my brain that can never be erased, and that’s exactly the way I want it. This game imprints a feeling upon its players that I have seen in no game since. Its puzzles, mazes, iconic combat and unforgettable characters present an experience that has stuck with me so vividly throughout the years that I truly find it unfathomable that there are still people who haven’t played it.

Despite being released for the N64 Ocarina of Time hasn’t aged a day since it’s release back in 1998. It is being released for the 3DS this summer and I’ll be honest, I am considering buying one solely for this game.

I know this is game that the gaming community constantly raves about, but the raving is definitely justified.

Play this game.

2. Dead Space

Everyone has something that scares them, something that cuts straight to their heart and doesn’t let go. Some people are scared of spiders, others of blood. There is an entire genre of horror movies who’s main purpose is to leave us shitting our pants in fear.

I live with spiders, work with blood and have watched countless horror movies that scared me into insomnia. No experience in my life, either real or simulated, has even come close to evoking the sheer terror and dread that Dead Space has inflicted upon me.

The terror attributes of Dead Space are enough to earn it a spot on this list, but that’s not even all it has to offer. Dead Space’s gameplay branches from a core of exemplary design and great mechanics. The “strategic dismemberment” mechanic offers a fresh change to the overdone “shoot them in the head” mindset and the constant feeling of claustrophobia helps to exacerbate the horror while giving the game a distinct feel to it.

I could go on all day about the intricacies of Dead Space but I’ll leave it at this:

Play this game.

If you want more info on Dead Space then check out our full review here.

3. Super Meat Boy

I don’t know if it was growing up next to the classic Super Nintendo and Mario but I have always had a huge appreciation for platformers. Something about how a game so simple could become so difficult at times intrigued me. If you feel the same way, I strongly recommend you check out Super Meat Boy.

We all remember the classic platformer of our childhood, be it Mario, Sonic or another. Now imagine that childhood game only on horse steroids and you get Super Meat Boy. SMB combines the simple controls and premises of past platformers with hair trigger controls and incredible difficulty to create something beautiful. The game’s overall style and cinematics all even pay homage to a seemingly forgotten time in gaming.

Play this game.

If you want more info on Super Meat Boy then check out our full review here.

4. Bioshock

Oh, where to even begin with Bioshock? The feelings I have about Bioshock are nearly impossible to put into words. I’ll just start like this: Bioshock is beautiful. It is a game that thrives on life’s dualities: art and science, corruption and innocence, beauty and darkness, freedom and claustrophobia. Both sides of these dualities are presented as a single entity and it produces something simultaneously beautiful and disturbing.

As if that were not enough, Bioshock is also the most immersive game I’ve ever played by far. This game stirred emotions in me that I never even knew existed, and actually fundamentally changed the very way I perceive the world. It’s really something inexplicable.

Combine all this with perfect pacing, masterful storytelling, unforgettable gameplay and a great twist and what do you get? A masterpiece. Bioshock is a game that even the most cynical gamer couldn’t help but enjoy.

Play this game.

5. The Orange Box

Now I know having The Orange Box on here is cheating since it’s actually four single player games. But you know what? It’s all in one box.

Three of the single player games on The Orange Box make up the Half-Life 2 series. This series features iconic FPS gameplay, a mesmerizing storyline, breathtaking player-controlled cinematics, and the original Gravity Gun that every game seems to be copying these days. Half-Life 2 also presents some of the deepest and most believable characters that I have ever seen in a video game before.

Portal, another revolutionary game, is also included in The Orange Box. Its masterful puzzles and unique mechanics ensure a brain-intensive game experience while still being incredibly enjoyable. The best way to describe it would really be to call it brain candy. Everything about it is somehow aesthetically pleasing. Portal is also one of the most memorable games ever created and is worth playing for this reason alone.

The fact is that every game in The Orange Box deserves a spot on this list individually. Luckily, they are all included in one, simple box. The Orange Box provides more bang for your buck than any other game, especially because it can be picked up for around $20 bucks. Seriously, if you aren’t going to listen to any other advise on this page, listen to this:

Play this game.

I am by no means saying that these games are the best games ever made nor am I saying that this is a complete list. There are so many great games out there and so many that every gamer should play. This is just the tip of the iceberg and I plan on making quite a few more of these lists.

What are some single player games that you think every gamer should play? Tell us in the comments.


Steve said...

Forza 3!

Anonymous said...

nice list! One of my favorites from my youth was The Curse of Monkey Island. You don't see much of that style of adventure game anymore, but for story and character development, it can't be beat.


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