Some good picks already.
- Games like GTA San Andreas and Dragon Age: Origins would both be in my top 25 or so but there were games in those genres that just worked better for me.
- I remember hating that King's Quest game. Much like Ultima 9, when those games initially went 3D it seemed like sacrifices were made to the story and characters. But I guess I haven't played that in a long time.
- I can't decide which Mario Kart game I liked most. I think it's between SNES and N64. I own Mario Kart 7 for 3DS but it's not quite the experience those games were. The Wii one was meh. Never played the Gamecube version.
I had to do 15 because I couldn't leave any of these games off:
1. Planescape: Torment
- Whenever I think of "best game ever", this is the first game that always comes to mind. A very story-heavy game with a lot of text reading but holy crap, what a story. A rare game that I replay every couple years and enjoy every single time. The best part of Torment is its unique world and characters. It's Baldur's Gate with a demented twist.
"What can change the nature of a man?"
2. Civilization series
- The biggest time sink in video games. No other games will make 3-4 hours just go by like this. Civ 4 and 5 were both excellent once their expansions came out and with a little tweaking thanks to online community mods.
3. Fallout 2
- The best thing in Fallout 2 is the sense of freedom. You can travel wherever you want and complete things in a number of ways. Want to slaughter an entire city of men, women, and children? Go for it and try. It will never hold your hand either so if you enter a tough zone, prepare to get reamed.
4. Mass Effect Series
- I never have and probably never again will anticipate a game like I did Mass Effect 3. That's a testament to how good ME and, especially, ME2 were. 3 was a bit of a disappointment but only relative to the first two games. Near prefect sci-fi storytelling. Even with the dumbing down of the ending by basically ignoring all previous choices made.
5. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
- A timeless experience. Perfect and innovative gameplay. Still the most heartfelt story in a Zelda game.
6. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
- The blueprint for pretty much every Zelda game that came after. Great dark tone and challenging dungeons (particularly in the Dark World).
- For "just" an indie game, one of the most overall polished games in recent memory. Great gameplay progression when it came to weapons and upgrades. Wonderful presentation of the story through the narration and the best video game soundtrack ever.
Do you leave Zulf to die or save him from his own people? A perfect video game moment: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JvNhc13oKI
8. No One Lives Forever 2
- While Half Life 2 might be the standard for FPS, NOLF 2 is the most underrated FPS ever. It had everything. Varied locations, great enemy AI for the time, a likable and interesting protagonist in Cate Archer, it was genuinely funny and a battle with ninjas in a trailer park during a tornado: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODeEuPokFRk
9. Freespace 2
- I still haven't played a space sim better than this. Giant battles where you're flying around the beam weapons of capital ships was the highlight.
10. Red Dead Redemption
- The only game where I could just ride a horse across the map for 10 minutes and be amazed. Rockstar still hasn't topped RDR in terms of story and characters.
11. The Witcher 2
- The Game of Thrones of video games. Violence and sex wrapped in an engrossing political story in a fantasy world. A game where your choices matter a lot and an entire chapter of the game can be completely different depending on which faction you side with.
12. Dark Souls
- Very challenging but almost never unfair gameplay. Almost (Fu
ck you Tomb of Giants and Anor Londo archers!). Love the scope of it all from the locations to the epic boss fights.
13. Bioshock Infinite
- Some of the best presentation ever in terms of art design and sound/music. This and Bastion are the only video game soundtracks I will go back and listen to. I forgive the sometimes out of place mindless shooting gameplay for how well everything else is put together and several moments of narrative perfection.
14. Batman: Arkham City
- The best example of how to properly use a big license.
15. Street Fighter 4 (all versions of it)
- Say what you want about Capcom's love for expansions, this is the best fighting game ever. Even though I suck at it, I appreciate the depth of strategy behind a seemingly basic 1 vs 1 fight. I can't wait for the Ultra iteration.