FULL DISCLOSURE… SPOILERSSSS
Okay, so todays post is going to be one inspired by my love for gaming. I frequently see videos or other articles detailing someone elses top 10. I decided to make my own! Now this list is completely biased and some portions may be emotional based.
10. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Okay, so this game is new but it is still amazing. I specifically made a post about in days ago specifically detailing how awesome it is. As to not be repetative I’ll just give you the link to the page.
This comes in at number 10 due to how new it is. It could move up in the future, but given the competition? I could see it being replaced rather than moving up. Time to move on!
9. Final Fantasy X
So I am a huge fan of the majority of Square Enix products. I love the JRPG genre and their artistic styles are insane. Final Fantasy X which was originally released for the PS2 detailed the story of a character named Tidus. It was a WILD adventure.
The story above all else captivated me. From how Tidus entered the world of Spira. To the fantasy sport Blitzball, which Tidus was a superstar of. He bacame a guardian and traversed the continent in search of his own past. There may have been a romance as well but what doesn’t anymore?
The cinematic quality was astounding as well. Watching Yuna send spirits? Absolutely captivating. Watching this take place was, when the PS2 was still relevant, a sight to see. I still watch every single cinematic when replaying, rather than skipping it.
Enough gushing over it’s looks, the world was huge. The bosses were crazy powerful, as they usually are. You can summon god-like creatures which is commonplace among Final Fantasy games. They even created their own language. Which was a complete side quest in itself!
All in all this game was amazing from the day I picked it up. The controls were clunky but that’s simply when it was created. Later Final Fantasy games such as FFXV offered much better controls. So I’m gonna leave this at number 9 on my list.
8. Super Mario Odyssey
The classic fight between Mario and Bowser rages on. This time though, it is in a beautifuly designed universe. Mario is on a mission to rescue peach, shocker right? This time though, he has a new companion!
As you can see in the image above, Cappy is our new companion. Mario and Cappy are a dynamic duo to say the least. From playing the game personally I have learned so many style of jumps and maneuvers to traverse these worlds.
Being a completionist, I collected every moon in the game. After hours and hours of mind boggling game play, and a furious spouse, and also lots of cursing from making ill-time jumps… I completed it! The ending was so sweet. The final level was chaos but in the best way possible.
One thing I have to specifically note is the games vast amount of hiding spots. Nintendo spared no locations in putting little rewards and there were SO. MANY. mini games. Also, you can change marios outfit which is a blast!
So this is a game I can gush for days about. It has a gothic horror theme and it’s play style is astounding. The creatures are straight out of nightmares and it’s fun killing them too!
When you start playing the game you create a hunter who then wakes up in this monster filled world. Your job as a hunter is to kill the monsters. As you go through the game, killing monsters and probably dying a lot… just me? Okay… you find new areas that are generally more intricate than the last.
A lot of these areas have hidden side paths inter-connecting more of the map than you would think. The transitions between area is seamless. Each location has a destinct design and is beautifully crafted. Boss arenas are always a suitable size… given the size of the bosses, I would hope so.
This game isn’t really all that defense oriented as you can’t obtain any shields that are worthwhile. You can get one if I recall correctly, but it doesn’t even block most of the damage. So now knowing that it is offensive based, the weapons you use are called trick weapons. These trick weapons convert to different weapons.
I couldn’t tell you what it is about weapons that are multi-purpose but I LOVE them. So weapons, art, and monsters aside… the fighting style is very fluent. Since you have no defense, you learn how to dodge a lot. You also learn not to get greedy with your hits.
6. Monster Hunter World
Okay, so just like Animal Crossing, I already made a post about Monster Hunter World. Big weapons, big locations and even bigger monsters! A full ecosytem of awesomness.
This game gets ranked at 6 due to the beautiful design. The monsters vary so much and there are even different difficulties and species specific variations! In the expansion you hunt a giant ice dragon named Velkhana and it is a long but rewarding fight. Also, you have to earn 95% of the weapons/armor you obtain… considering you have to craft them yourself 😉
5. Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
I. LOVE. THIS. GAME. Okay, I’ll talk about it too I guess. So the Legend of Zelda: BotW is clearly about saving Zelda because… arn’t they all? Regardless, this game comes 5th on my list for a multitude of reason. Graphics of course, the open world, all the dungeons, and SELFIES.
Okay, so the game starts with Link waking from a slumber in the Great Plateau. This was no ordinary slumber! He was locked in a recovery chamber from a near fatal injury over 1000 years prior. Nintendo introduced a new item called the Sheikah Slate which allowed Link various abilities plus the option to take pictures of and catalogue every creature and piece of equipment… maybe some selfies too…
So this massive world contains 5 races of people. The Hylians, Gorons, Zora, Gerudo, and the Ritos. For those who don’t know Link is a Hylian. Zora are essentially fish people, but cooler than mermaids. Gorons are rock-like people who live near volcanos. The Gerudo are best compared to Amazonians as the are strong independant women who don’t allow ANY men into their civilization. Lastly you have the Rito which are pretty much bird-people.
In this game each race, Hylians excluded, has a dungeon/monster/machine thing that Link must overcome and control. There are also 120, if I recall correctly, shrines that are either challenges to find or have mini trials inside. Each grants you an orb upon completion which is used to increase your health and stamina capacity.
As for weapons, it is no longer just the Master Sword with a shield and standard clothes. Now? Any(most of) weapon that is visible can be grabbed. You can knock weapons out of opponents hands and steal it from them. Unfortunately you have a limited inventory to start, BUT there are 900 Korok seeds which allow you to expand your inventory for each category of equipment. There are melee weapons, bows, and shields.
You also are no longer stuck to one MAYBE two outfits. There are so many different sets of armor you can collect. Not only do you collect them, but you upgrade them as well! Customization? Yep! You can change the base color of your outfits. Finally, you may ask why bother collecting them? Well starting at upgrade level 2, if you wear a full set you can get a bonus! Not all armor offers a bonus, but again I collect everything.
4. Dark Souls (1&3)
Everyone holds a love/hate relationship with this game. I am also including Dark Souls 3 in this section as I love these games equally. Dark Souls was created by the same developers as Bloodborne. This company is From Software and I am just as much of a pleb for their games as I am Square Enix’s.
The games start out in isolated areas that eventually branch into a massive web of locations. In each game your goal is to either link or extinguish the fire. Each has a specific story leading up to it so I won’t bore you with those details.
As for most of the games on this list… CINEMATICS. They are beautiful, well made, well narrated and I would change them for nothing. The amount of effort put into the development is astounding, even with what glitches are there. I played each game a minimum of 10 times and I still don’t get tired of it!
You die so easily in these games(Bloodborne included). Creatures can backstab you, invaders can backstab you. I’m surprised you can’t backstab yourself! I probably would’ve done it if possible…
Emotional scarring aside, the combat is awesome. There is such a variety of weapons both craftable and lootable. You can get the armor of just about any boss who wears armor. There is a ridiculius amount of spells with mutliple categories. This game will also teach you timing for parrying which won’t help you anywhere else… but it makes cool sounds!
When you fight a boss? It isn’t just spam attacks and dodge/block. There are so many mechanics that go into some bosses, and some are absolutely insane to fight. One rule of thumb I have learned to go off of is the smaller the boss? The harder the fight. Especially if they’re human.
These games are expansive, don’t hand you any answers and gives you a real gaming experience. No game outside of From Software’s productions have given me as much of a challenge as Dark Souls or Bloodborne. Dark Souls 1 & 3 are amazing. Dark Souls 2 is somethinf we will never discuss.
3. Kingdom Hearts
Above all else, the reason this game is ranked number 3 is because it holds sentimental value. Let’s take a trip down my memory lane! When I was 11 years old and this game came out, I was presently in the hospital with appendicitis. It ruptured… I almost died but that another story.
Now as I was sick, and in the hospital recovering, I sat there a lot and watched t.v. Well my Nana was a big gamer and was kind of my inspiration for gaming. When she came to visit me in the hospital we talked about Kingdom Hearts as if it was the greatest thing ever. It totally was by the way.
After I came out of the hospital, my Nana met me at my house with a brand nw copy of this game. We stayed up for hours playing this game. A year or so later, she died but that made my ambition to finish the series in her honor even stronger. Now that the sappy story telling is over, let’s discuss the game!
This game was a combination of Square Enix and Disney’s development. This universe was so well designed that it barely seemed unnatural seeing the two character styles mixed. The Sound track was amazing and anyone who doesn’t know Simple and Clean by Utada Hikaru is clearly not a pleb.
The cinematics were gorgeous given the system they were designed for(PS2) and this was another game where I never skipped them. I once restarted the game 10 consecutive times just for the intro video. This game was topped by none at the time and nothing could stop me. Not even Pokémon back then.
Now the goal of the first game was to figure out where all these creatures called heartless were coming from. It starts with Sora on Destiny Island. Eventually things go sour but he discovers he can wield the keyblade. The keyblade has become a huge icon with this series.
As Sora travels, he makes friends everywhere he goes. He teams up with Donald and Goofy along with various other characters from worlds you visit. They have Halloween Town, Mount Olympus(The Coliseum), Atlantis, and many other Disney based worlds. There is more to discuss, but I may make a future post about Kingdom Hearts by itself. So we’ll save it for then.
2. Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask
I absolutely love this. This game was weird and creepy, especially to the whatever age young I was. You remember that Nana I mentioned? She bought me this too. Even the expansion pack!
I played this game rightfully after Ocarina of Time, and though OoT was great in it’s own aspect… I liked this better. The weirdness of Link being turned into a deku. Then it being an ability via a mask. It was rediculous yet fascinating.
Continuing forth to find the Bomber’s Notebook and figuring out it’s weird linear system. I was 7… you couldn’t expect much. Either way I prevailed and worked through it. I still wasn’t used to having masks as rewards.
The temples intrigued me heavily. Between the Deku puzzles, to becoming a Goron to punch ice disks, even further…. the Zora in Great Bay. I’m gonna timeout here to emphasize heavily, ALL water levels ever suck horribly. As for the Ikana Temple? I thought it was awesome using light and mirrors for puzzles.
The world was smaller than OoT in my opinion, and I’m not motivated enough to fact check either. Thanks to the smaller world I found it to be way more rewarding of a game. There were so many opportunities for heart pieces. Considering OoT has 8 heart containers available from bosses, Majora’s Mask only has 4.
Now the greatest rewards of all time for putting up with all those ridiculous mask quests… The Fierce Diety. This dude was a god to my child eyes. His killer tunic, his double helix sword that shot LASERS. Oh and did I mention you can use him for every other boss fight if you choose to go back? The revenge was very sweet to my 7 year old self.
1. Final Fantasy IX
This game was the entire start to my gaming life. I have had games before(clearly), but this was the first real achievement for me. Once again, thanks Nana and thanks to Square Enix for all their games. It took me almost two years to beat this game, but not for the reason you would think.
How could I put this… I was dumb. Well, to be quite frank, I still am! This game was on the Playstation 1 and it had 4 discs. Think about that, this game was SO expansive back then that it took 4 discs to fully contain.
Now how I got stuck was at this one part where you have to deal with devils jesters, and go through a tunnel and fight a monster. Sounds easy right? Not for me! I was so headstrong in pushing through the story, I barely leveled up my characters. I didn’t understand the concept of strategy either.
So when I went to fight said monsters, it would start an attack and I would attack first, you know, trying to kill it. Just to be destroyed in one hit. Every. Single. Time. So I took a solid 7 month hiatus. From gaming alltogether. This game made me rage quit all games in one blow.
Now my stance towards this game may seem aggressive. It was a true struggle. I was young and terrible at gaming. Now I’m older and still terrible about gaming! Again though, I eventually prevailed.
When I finally got to the end of the game. It was such a bitter-sweet sorrow. I knew what it meant to genuinely appreciate a gaming experience. It sucked, I cried, I laughed, and I cheered. This game holds way more sentimence for me than any game that will ever come out.
I’m gonna leave it right there because I WILL make a dedicated post for this game. I may make a top 10 list of my favorite Final Fantasy games and exclude the two mentioned here. Either way I hoped you enjoyed my ramblings!
P.S. Shoutout to God of War
It didn’t deserve to be entered due to it’s sheer linear style, and the first 3 were honestly just button mashers. The new one had a chance, but I didn’t quite 100% it yet so maybe next time.