Fan Fest Picks: Top 5 Favorite Video Games

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Batman: Arkham Knight/Rocksteady Studios

Fan Fest Picks: Top 5 Favorite Video Games

It is a fantastic time to be a fan of video games, as we saw from the jaw-dropping trailers released during E3 a few weeks ago. New games and systems continuously push their limits, delivering some of the best graphics and storytelling out there. Star Wars Battlefront II looked so real I would sometimes forget that I was playing a game. It’s always fun to look back and laugh at how cutting-edge we used to think video games were. I remember my brother coming back from a birthday party in which they played the newly released Final Fantasy VII, and he marveled at the amazing graphics. Oh how far we have come from trapezoid people.

Fellow Fan Fest writer Jules and I have decided to cull through our history of gaming and share our top five favorites of all time, across all platforms.

5. Pokémon Sapphire (2002)

(Jules)
Pokémon Sapphire/Game Freak

Pokemon Sapphire is one that is extremely near and dear to my heart. For starters, my birth stone is a sapphire. So instantly, I knew I had to have it (even though I had all the other games prior). I loved the showdown with Team Aqua, the buildup getting Kyorgre, the Regi’s, Rayquaza, and the Elite Four was such an accomplishment to me. I am highly proud of my level 100 Ninetails – she’s my baby!

Pokémon Red (1996)

(Alyssa)
Pokémon Red/Game Freak

I remember perfectly the moment I got a Gameboy Color and Pokemon Red. My brother got Pokemon Blue and so naturally, it became a massive competition between the two of us to beat the game first. Then we got a link cable and would battle back and forth (my brother always winning). The nostalgia of the game is the reason it makes my top 5, but it also was just a really fun game. I’ve played through it multiple times throughout my life and it never gets old. Plus, Gen 1 is the best (fight me).

4. Goldeneye 007 (1997)

(Jules)
Goldeneye 007/Nintendo

I was always an avid James Bond fan growing up – so when I got this game for my N64, I was extremely ecstatic. Looking at and playing it now, I can still look past the grainy graphics. It is genuinely a very fun game. I had to put this one on my list, because it was the very first game that made me want to chase my dream job of being a cop and catching bad guys!

Batman: Arkham Knight (2015)

(Alyssa)
Batman: Arkham Knight/Rocksteady Studios

The entire Arkham series is amazing and I had a hard time deciding which of the three would take my #4 spot. Each has aspects that I absolutely love, but for me, I think Arkham Knight wins the day as it has the best story. There were a lot of incredibly emotional moments that really dug at the feels (two in particular that I won’t spoil). Plus, there was the addition of tag-team fighting with Robin, Nightwing, and Catwoman that were seriously awesome.

3. Assassin’s Creed (2007)

(Jules)
Assassin’s Creed/Ubisoft

I have been a longtime fan of the series, but the first one will always be my favorite. Altair is the OG, and I feel as though he had one of the best storylines. Call me cliché, but I highly enjoyed his journey. It was a game I learned to appreciate as I got older, because as a kid all I used to do was jump into bales of hay the entire time! Not even kidding!

Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep (2010)

(Alyssa)
Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep/Square Enix

This is another franchise where it’s real hard to choose a favorite because most are exceptional games. Birth by Sleep barely surpasses Kingdom Hearts II as my favorite because the climax had me on the edge of my seat when I was playing it. There was a lot of emotional draw (if you’re catching a theme of mine) in the end, plus all the revelations of how it fits in with the rest of the series. I also liked that you could control three different characters who each specialized in something different (stength, magic, agility). It kept the game fresh as you play through each story.

2. Kingdom Hearts (2002)

(Jules)
Kingdom Hearts/Square Enix

I cannot talk enough about how much I loved playing side by side with some of my favorite Disney characters, and taking on some of the most wicked Disney villains I’ve always wanted to face off against. Using a Keyblade to take on evil is a brilliant idea – very unlike your stereotypical sword or bow and arrow.

Assassin’s Creed II (2009)

(Alyssa)
Assassin’s Creed II/Ubisoft

It’s true what they say that your first is usually the one you love the most, and that is how I am with the Assassin’s Creed franchise. II is a spectacular game in its own right, and I love, love, love Ezio (sorry, Jules), but the reason it is my favorite is because it was my gateway to the series. And now, in under a year, I’ve played through all but two in the franchise. Another reason I love it so much is because I adore Florence. It was fun for me to be running across the rooftops or scaling a building and saying to myself, “I’ve been there. I’ve seen this in person.” It was such a thrill.

1. Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (2002)

(Jules)
Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker/Nintendo

This was an incredibly hard choice between this one and Ocarina of Time. However, after much thinking – I realized that Wind Waker was the clear winner. Although it may seem “kiddy” with the cartoon graphics – it had a storyline and a sense of adventure that I just absolutely fell in love with. I also found the bosses to be highly entertaining, and a talking boat with a dragons head? Sold. I could go on for days about how much I love this game, but I’ll just keep it short and sweet.

Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998)

(Alyssa)
Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time/Nintendo

I love Ocarina of Time. In my opinion, it is as perfect a game as they come. The story, the setting, the puzzles, everything clicked. Another reason this game holds a special place in my heart is that it is the first console game that I ever beat. Up until then, I had only played games on the Gameboy or fighting games on N64. This was my first truly immersive video game experience. Plus, it was the first game I ever beat before my brother, and I definitely celebrated at him when I did.

Honorable Mention:

Neverwinter Nights (2002/Alyssa) and Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998/Jules)