D.M.’s Picks, #5 – #2
5. Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars
The best story an adventure game has ever told, with only the first season of Telltale’s The Walking Dead for competition. Great characters, a deep and winding conspiracy, and absolutely gorgeous animation make Broken Sword an absolute treat to play through. It holds up over time, as well.
4. Super Mario 64
This game really defined what a truly three-dimensional platformer could be. The camera, though sometimes annoying and imprecise, anchored the action in such an innovative way that damn near every game that’s followed owes something to it. I found some levels far stronger than others, but there is no denying just how good Mario 64 was at its best – or what it did for gaming. Truly a mindblowing entry in a hallowed series.
3. Pokemon Red and Blue
I’ll never forget character creation in the very first Pokemon game(though in retrospect, Professor Oak knowing literally nothing about one of his favorite pupils is a bit odd). Goosebumps erupted across my forearms, and I felt like I was on the threshold of something truly magical. Then, I selected my first Pokemon(Charmander), and I was transported to a realm of pure joy. Pokemon is a simple, one-dimensional RPG, but it consumed me utterly: I caught them all, and kept the certificate you get from Saffron City, produced via Game Boy printer, in my wallet for years. The nostalgia glasses will never come off for this one.
2. Resident Evil
There was a lot wrong with this game- It was clunky, the puzzles were awkward, the pacing and story were a bit hamfisted and overwrought, and the lead characters were little better than cardboard cutouts. That RE remains THE survival horror experience, all these years later, is testament to just how brilliant, innovative, and goddamn effective the atmosphere and components it brought to the table. The enclosed spaces, the limited ammunition, and the weakness of the protagonists made the player feel vulnerable and frightened every step of the way, and this led to a level of immersion that deserves every bit of its legend.