MMGaming Top 50 Games – 40 to 31

Inspired by the PC Gamer Top 100 games list here is the continuation of own list of the Best Video Games Ever. MMGaming’s official Top 50 Games.

Just a quick reminder of the rules and requirements for a game to make it into the MMG Top 50: first of all, the games in our Top 50 will naturally only include those games which one of us (me or Tim) have played. They will also include games from literally any platform we’ve had access to across the ages.

In order to belong on the list the game had to more-or-less fit two separate criteria: the games would have to be something which blew us away at the time of playing it, such that it still provokes an emotional response now, but also a game which we think is still very worth playing today. As such, some games which we are trying to provide a list of games which were both brilliant at the time but also have not aged like hot garbage and so their excellence can only be explained through the lens of nostalgia.

 

40. Max Payne

Tim: Max Payne was the first game to take inspiration from The Matrix film introducing the concept of “bullet time”, allowing you to dive left, right and centre while in slow motion, firing away your dual berettas at numerous goons. The dark gritty story was a bit too deep and brutal when I first played it (around the age of 10) but I appreciated the dark tones and the interesting storyboard cut scenes a lot more when I replayed it last year. The combat still holds up to this day and if the dated graphics hold you back, its sequel Max Payne 2 ups the graphical ante significantly and provides as good if not better experience (though not as original).

 

39. The Walking Dead: Season 1

Seb: It feels somewhat ironic to be writing this game into the list of the best games of all time only a short while after the company that made it completely collapsed in on itself (sometime in Autumn). However, while this is a little open to debate, I strongly feel that the original Walking Dead is the quintessential Telltale game representing the peak of their craft. Gameplay and graphics-wise it’s really nothing very special, which is why Tim never got into any of Telltale’s stuff. However, in story and character-building it is an absolute masterclass. Experiencing the story of Lee and looking after the young Clementine remains one of the most exciting, heart-breaking and emotive things I have ever played. Plus it culminates in an ending which left me an absolute wreck and in terms of the sheer intensity of my emotional response from me has not been beaten by any other game at all to date. I will grant though that it is somewhat up for debate whether TWD1 is beaten out by the equally excellent The Wolf Among Us or the more light-hearted and genuinely hysterical Tales from the Borderlands.

 

38. Alien: Isolation

Seb: I think both me and Tim like the idea of horror games. We both like story in our games, giving it varying degrees of importance, and both like games which drive those kind of strong emotional responses that a good scary game can provide. However, we both really struggle to play them (him even more than me), to the extent that I make it through one every two years or so. Alien: Isolation is, I think, the absolute best the horror genre has to offer at the moment. Building on the absolutely incredible framework of Amnesia: The Dark Descent and its spiritual successor Outlast, I think Alien: Isolation is, probably, my outright favourite horror game out there. The Alien is an intelligent and terrifying foe in its own right, but then there’s the exceptional world-building atmosphere and design, plus you aren’t just randomly completely helpless against the other human enemies, and on top of all of that it’s just absolutely gorgeous (the lighting and sound design are absolutely incredible). And, naturally, it’s completely fucking, edge-of-your-seat, shit-your-pants SCARY.

 

37. HITMAN (2016)

Tim: Now, HITMAN will presumably be replaced by HITMAN 2, which has minor iterative improvements over the original but the experience is largely the same, however I haven’t played HITMAN 2 yet. Interestingly you can port all the HITMAN levels into HITMAN 2, with the new mechanics included too, good move there devs! In terms of the game itself, HITMAN takes the core elements of what made Hitman: Blood Money so damn good (Seb: with both games on my list I feel unqualified to add much here beyond that I similarly enjoyed what they did with Absolution). There is the interesting costumes, the meticulous planning, the inevitable assassination cock-up and escape, and expands it exponentially in hugely rich and complex maps. Maps are the lifeblood of a Hitman game and those found in HITMAN are so detailed and varied that they can provide almost endless replayability. There are additional modes that also supplement the experience (though online only), such as assassination of one new and unique target each week. HITMAN 2 got to assassinate Sean Bean the unkillable, and that’s a huge win for me. The core stealth and assassination mechanics are as tight as ever, making HITMAN one of the top stealth games of all time.

 

36. Skyrim

Seb: Now available for a microwave screen near you. But seriously though, there’s a damned good reason that Todd Howard keeps porting Skyrim to anything with a screen and a CPU. Because people will buy it. And people buy it because it’s just a brilliant game. The base game alone is exciting with an interesting story and multiple threads keeping you entertained throughout. Naturally, as a Bethesda open world the game doesn’t have the same sense of impact or emotion as tighter RPG experiences do (like those by Bioware), it doesn’t feel like your decisions are quite as important. However, this is simply because it can’t due to being spread so wide. What it lacks in depth though it makes up for in breadth. It also still looks pretty good for a 7-year-old game and is fun to play and mess around in the sandbox. Then one has to make mention of the incredible modding community which have built it from something already great to something even better. If it’s something you haven’t ever played, maybe because you feel it’s been memed to death, let me reassure you that it absolutely is still worth your time. Plus, there are some very special projects at work for the game (stuff like Skywind) which, if they are ever finished, could be really exciting to play in their own right.

 

35. Batman: Arkham Asylum

Seb: A real trend-setter in terms of the games on this list. While many of the games we love do a lot of things well, Arkham Asylum practically pioneered (or at least made it widely loved and accessible) a sort of combat that is now aped by pretty much every single third-person melee combat game. The punch-counter-combo system was practically perfected in the game and was, on its own, a great reason to include it on this list. That’s not even mentioning the incredibly tight and fun story, the exceptional voice acting (Mark Hamill is a legend), and the sort of stealth sequences and style which made you feel like a genuine mix of comic Batman and the Dark Knight Batman (SWEAR TO ME!).The only real hang-up I had with including it on this list was whether to choose Arkham Asylum because of its tight and careful focus or to choose Arkham City which was broader and as such, less intense and exciting, but made up for it with the ability to play around as Batman in an exceptional sandbox. In the end we opted to include the tighter experience as it still is very much something you could play and enjoy easily. Neither Arkham Origins or Arkham Knight even remotely had a shot though, proving that even giants can fall…

 

34. Rome: Total War

Seb: Following Assassin’s Creed 2, this is another example of us sort of recommending a series through the use of a single game. The Total War series is one that both Tim and I have enjoyed in multiple iterations for a very long time. Most recently Tim has spent a fair amount of time playing and enjoying Total Warhammer, saying how it might be one of the absolute best in the series, and separately the two of us also spent a little time playing Rome II: Total War a couple of years back, enjoying co-operatively heading out to take over the world. The map setting varies from game to game and the level of strategy involved in that also varies from game to game. Sometimes it can be quite detailed and involve a fair amount of planning and consideration and sometimes it can feel very rote, building the same things in every city and filling your armies with the same units before heading out to attack the same enemies. However, this less-exciting aspect is always overruled by the real strength of Total War which is the pausable, real-time combat. The battles with hundreds of soldiers in dozens of units on either side, building up to massive assaults with thousands on either side, are always a spectacle to behold and some of the best that strategy games have to offer. Whether you are charging an archer formation with cavalry, flanking enemy infantry with your own, using cannons to batter distant approaching foes, these are things which are often exciting and can make for truly tense moments which leave you feeling like a true general of the time. It is a series which allows for the creation of a narrative in your own head which can just make for hours and hours of fun. In this instance, we always look back at the original Rome as an example of a game in the series which just did everything right. Even to this day I remember my love of charging the enemy with Legionnaires and watching my soldiers fling their spears at the last minute. Admittedly we are looking at this through the lens of nostalgia, but it really even now feels like it just nailed the formula where subsequent games have never quite managed to stand up to it in one way or another, whether due to the slightly less interesting units in Medieval: Total War, the massively sub-par sailing battles in Empire or the more disappointing city battles in Rome II. Either way though, this game and the series as a whole definitely deserves a spot amongst our favourites.

 

33. Diablo 3

Tim: Loot, loot and loot again. Loot is my middle name and Diablo 3 has it in spades. Not only being an excellent loot simulator, Diablo 3 is one of the most refined and polished ARPGs on the market. Looking past its questionable start, Diablo 3 is unrecognisable from its hellish beginnings. Constant updates have added a huge endgame system, endless modes, new playable classes, new skills, new hardcore leagues and thousands more items. The key element is Diablo 3’s balance between depth and accessibility, which allows both casual and hardcore gamers alike to enjoy its expansive content. Now with the option of playing on the go on the Switch, Diablo 3 has solidified itself as a mainstay in the ARPG genre.

 

32. X-COM: Enemy Unknown

Tim: X-COM: Enemy Unknown revitalised the turn based genre with an engrossing struggle to keep humanity alive against an ongoing alien threat. With completely solid graphics and turn-based mechanics, it was the progression and story that really made X-COM shine. When played in ironman mode, the permanence to each action gave you real pause for thought, and real heartbreak when you fail to help a civilian or you lose your best soldier. I have very fond memories of naming my soldiers my friends, and informing them of the valiant ways they fought the alien scum, and unfortunately, sometimes the honourable way they died. All this added to a true investment in wanting to succeed, and buying in to a game emotionally, particularly one with emerging gameplay, is a big win in my book. While I have only briefly played X-COM 2, and while its iterative improvements may have produced a better game, it was the original X-COM: Enemy Unknown that made an impact on me

 

31. Battlefield V

Tim: This is a tough choice between Battlefield One and Battlefield V. While I have sank 50+ hours into BF1 and I’ve only had 10 hours in BFVs glorious vistas, I can see the iterative improvements that eke out a little extra mileage from the Battlefield series. I’ve seen in other reviews the mention that BFV is a distinctly 7/10 game, only slightly improving on most aspects of BF1 and not changing the formula enough, setting proceedings back in WW2. However taken as a standalone entity, there is nothing quite like the graphical fidelity, the sound design and the core gameplay of a Battlefield entry. Battlefield has always perfectly straddled the line between realism and entertainment to provide a hugely bombastic in your face war experience that immerses you enough that you can feel regular epic moments match to match in multiplayer. While I haven’t play the single player of the most recent entry, I’ve heard good things, once again taking the War Stories idea from BF1 and improving on the design. BFV had a shaky start due to a large number of bugs on release, and EAs business practices are as questionable as ever (Seb: and DICE marketing it like they thought people would buy it regardless of whatever stupid stuff they said…), but neither of which can detract from BFV being a damn good game.

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