Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
For many gamers, this was a game of a lifetime. This was many gamer’s first glimpse of an open-world in a video game. The puzzles, adventure, storyline, characters, and art all bordered on perfection. Perhaps the reason for so much love throughout the years is because of the world of Ocarina of Time, and how easy it was to get lost for hours in Hyrule. Later games in the Zelda franchise were good, such as Majora’s Mask; however they did not bring the sense of adventure or wonderment that one got from playing Ocarina of Time. Let’s not forget how memorable the music was either.
X-Com: Enemy Unknown
One of the most original and fun tactical games ever created, X-Com: Enemy Unknown, is a cult-classic, and has often been cited on lists as one of the greatest games ever made. X-Com is like the gritty twin brother of the original Fallout games, except replace the vault-dwellers and super-mutants with soldiers and aliens, then add in an inventive way to fund your skirmishes. The game combines combat strategy and resource management brilliantly, which is probably why this game is still played seventeen years later. The game spawned several imitations that tried to copy its style, yet they couldn’t compete with the original. Even the official games after it couldn’t live up to Enemy Unknown’s brilliance. Here’s hoping the recently-announced reboot will tap into the unparalleled brilliance of its namesake.
When I heard that GoldenEye was getting remade, I couldn’t believe it. I had been waiting countless years for an announcement such as this. Why wouldn’t anyone remake one of the greatest shooters ever made with better graphics? Then the remake was released, and, while it was enjoyable, it seemed to take more from Call of Duty than what made the original game great. Perhaps the reason why GoldenEye is so well remembered is because of its solid single-player and timeless multiplayer, which went on to influence almost every FPS after it. A lot of us grew up with Goldeneye (and its much-beloved spiritual succesor, Perfect Dark) and have fond memories of split-screen slapfests and a healthy fear of Oddjob.
The uncle of all first-person shooters, Doom (the granddaddy was Wolfenstein 3D) was the pioneer of the shooting genre. Doom 3 was not as controversial, grew tiresome after awhile, and didn’t have the innovative features that the original Doom had at the time. Some likened the repetitive fighting to the original Doom, the difference being that the style of the original Doom actually worked back then; now, not as much. While the game was indeed a great success for ID, the storyline was out of place, and spent too much time on everyone else on the base except for the main character. Think about it for a second, if you had to stop and listen to a voice recording in the original Doom, would you have wanted to? No, you’d have wanted to pick up the damn key card, and get right to blasting away minions from Hell. That’s the way Doom should be. It was run and gun action, but with innovative game play features. Something that Doom 3 was lacking.
Many of these game franchises will get another shot a recapturing the old charm. We’ll be seeing a new Zelda, X-Com, Doom, and Fallout sequels in the next year. An XBOX 360/PS3 port of the Goldeneye remake is also inbound. Hopefully, when they’re released, they’ll be just as innovative as their originals.
Sonic 1&2 really deserve honorary status on this list. SEGA has been trying to recapture the energy and fun from those games for almost two decades.
Also probably Duke 3D and Forever deserve a mention if only for the record long gestation process Forever went through.
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