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Variand’s Top 10 Games

Variand’s Top 10 Games

“Variand holds no game sacred and claims that ‘every game is an experience and a lesson in an ever evolving world of digital entertainment worthy of analysis and comparison.’”
Meet Team Nerd Bacon

While it might be a bit pretentious to quote yourself, I feel that it’s a perfect explanation on why I wrote my Top 10 Games the way I did.  Since no game is perfect, and usually the games I enjoy the most are the most likely to make me chuck a controller from my 3rd story balcony, I figure that it might be easier to just name off my Top 10 Gameplay elements along with the game I feel did it best.

NOTE:  This is a very subjective article, and as such it will only contain the games that I have personally played that I feel best fit them.  It should not be considered a comprehensive list of games by game elements since I cannot have played them all.

Click the headings to check out my selections!

Number 10


Fable 2 Box ArtFable 2

Fable 2 is essentially a satire.  Nearly every portion of the game is designed to encourage the player to act out like a spoiled brat that never got enough attention growing up and/or was never belted enough during said childhood.  Taking much of its influence from Monty Python’s Flying Circus and other notable British comedy troupes, it was not surprising to find John Cleese in a dominant role (Hero’s Butler) in Fable 3. There were indeed some “serious” moments, including a few that can send chills up the player’s spine (Rose’s blood curdling scream during the “Flashback” sequence late in the game), the majority of the game is designed around trying to get reactions out of people.  Oddly enough, while this was also encouraged in the first game and leveraged heavily in the second, Fable 3 felt much less eager to bring out your inner “little shit.”

Honorable Mentions:

PortalPortal – This was one of the most sarcastic games you’ll ever play, and I believe cynics will find this brand of humor a little more enjoyable.




Conker's Bad Fur DayConker’s Bad Fur Day – An average to below average platforming action game, this one was fun to play if only for the immature (called “adult” for some reason) themes used.  Case and point: The first thing people usually remember about this game is the Giant Singing Poo boss battle.

Number 9


Elder Scrolls III: MorrowindThe Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind

The Elder Scrolls Games (sans TESO) should easily be the first games that come to mind for this item.  Specifically, I call TES III: Morrowind the paragon of this element if only because you can completely say “screw you” to the main story and do it your own way.  In all the games in the series since Morrowind, you can just simply never play the main story, in fact, sometimes it’s better not to do so.  Once past the character creation / tutorial sections, you can go about anything you want.  Sure the game tries to give you cues and hints on what you probably SHOULD do next, who cares?  Do it your own way.  On the PC, freedom becomes even more clear when you have mods that allow you to bypass the parts that the vanilla game would force you to play.

Honorable mentions:

Minecraft 360 EditionMinecraft – This almost took the pole position for this element, but there just really isn’t a whole lot you can do.  Destory, build, and survive are the core tenants of the game.  This game is essentially a digital sandbox in which the player can impose their own meta games – a fact that is clearly made by the large number of “Let’s Plays” on YouTube of various groups playing these meta games such as “first to find a diamond,” first to build %Something%, etc.

Hitman Cover artHitman Absolution – I wanted to give a nod to a game that gives rather rigid objectives, but gives plenty of freedom on doing so.  Hitman does this by allowing (and rewarding) you for finding new ways to eliminate targets.  You can do it by car bombs, poisoning, “accidents,” a sniper shot, or just run up and Jack Ruby the fuckers.  A great way to increase replay value.


Star Wars Galaxies Box ArtStar Wars Galaxies (pre NGE Update) – It might sound weird that an MMO is listed in “freedom” category, especially when MMOs are more known for repetitive and linear quest lines.  But SWG was just something different.  Make a character, and get placed in a world.  Then what???  You decide.  Want to join the rebellion?  Go for it.  Want to become a Storm Trooper and fight for the empire?  Do it.  Want to be a business man and own your own shops?  Do it.  Want to become a mayor of your own city?  Do it!  Want to be a freelance pilot?  Do it!  Want to be a Dancer, Musician, Plastic Surgeon, Tailor, Architect, and Interior Designer all in one?  I’ve done it!  This is one of those games that was more fun because of the meta games it allowed you to play.  Rather than having a linear progression dictated by your class, your character was free to choose 6 basic professions that would open up to another 36 advanced professions.  The depth was astounding, but it’s what ultimately turned off many new players.  The game would eventually die off after the release of WoW, and then it would commit a messy suicide where the oceanic depth was transformed into a puddle when the 42 patchwork profession system was paired down to 9 linear class based system.

Number 8


Riven: The Sequel to MystRiven: The Sequel to Myst

Going by Richard Bartle’s Player Suits, I am definitely an explorer.  I love just trying everything, investigating everything, learning everything there is to know.  As part of that, Riven: The Sequel to Myst is definitely the top of this game element.  Consisting of 5 islands over as many disks on PlayStation version, this game was expansive, and offered numerous contraptions and puzzles for me to solve.  And best yet, when solving a puzzle it opened up a new area for me to explore!  I found this game so very addicting and I replayed it several times if only to see if I could find more!

Honorable Mentions:

Fallout New VegasFallout: New Vegas – While The Elder Scrolls series would also be valid option for this mention, I chose New Vegas for its “Wild Wasteland” trait that leaves so much more to find within the game.  Both the Fallout and TES series offer tons of potential for exploration; I often found the exploring in these game to offer very little in the way of real rewarding finds.  By the time I end up really resorting to the exploration of the games, I’m usually too powerful to really care about finding another orcish sword, or a random assortment of bottle caps.  At least New Vegas offered more in the way of Easter eggs.

BrokenAge_headerBroken Age – The very point of point-n-click adventure games is exploration, so it is worth giving a nod to Double Fine’s Broken Age.  It’s worth noting that if you’re looking for rewards for your exploration, then these are the games for you, as the reward is completing the puzzles, in fact, in most cases, it’s impossible to solve a puzzle without exploring everything… you just have to do it in the right order.

Number 7

Reactive Worlds

No Image NONE!

I really wanted this to be higher in my list, but unfortunately a game that truly embodies this game element is not evident in my memory.  There are some that have dealt with this somewhat, such as Fable 3, The Walking Dead, Fallout 3, and Mass Effect, but no one has ever truly made it happen.  Granted this is a truly massive undertaking, but one I feel should be at the core of design with the newest trend of Open World gameplay.  What I want is a world that reacts to how I play with real consequences on a world scale.  Sure some games will have characters die based on your choices (Mass Effect 2, The Walking Dead, Fable 3), and some will leave indelible scares on the game world like Fallout 3 (Megaton anyone?), but this is essentially just a quest reward/consequence and not true reaction.

Let’s use Skyrim as an example.  If I play as a thief and rob the ever-living shit out of a town, I want to see that town react.  I want to see more guards roaming the street.  I want to see houses falling into disrepair.  I want to see shops having much less to sell.  I want to see peoples clothes drop from finery to rags.  I want to see the distrusting looks in the NPC’s eyes when I walk by.  On the flip side, if I buy more in one town, donate money to the churches/shrines, invest in projects.  I want to see the town grow and houses expanding, people happy and busy, people buzzing about to spend their economic good fortune. Unfortunately, as I’ve yet to see this done on a full feature level in a game, so at this point I only have honorable mentions.

Honorable Mentions:

Fable 3 CoverFable 3 – Pending your choices as king, you can quite literally have the entire world’s population vanish.  However, this still feels like a quest consequence rather than any sort of reactive to gameplay style.



The Walking DeadThe Walking Dead – Character live and Die based on how you play the game.  However, the world still goes to shit regardless of how you play, and many of the choices are simply a “Choose A or B” option and not any real reaction to my choices.  Still, the game does feel much more adaptive to your choices than most other games that I’ve seen.  A trait TellTale Games is making a staple in their games.  Kudos to them!

Elder Scrolls OnlineThe Elder Scrolls Online – This gets a nod for the simple fact that entire areas of the game can be destroyed based on your choices during quests.  This isn’t the first time I’ve seen this done in MMO’s, but the near seamless way TESO does it is worth noting.

Fallout 3 Cover ArtFallout 3 – As mentioned before, Megaton can get obliterated from the face of the earth based on your gameplay choices.  But the world doesn’t really react beyond the town itself.  People don’t throw irradiated tomatoes at you for your dastardly deed.  In fact, it’s hardly even mentioned within the world afterwards.  Though the Radiant AI used in both the Fallout and Elder Scrolls games do make the games feel at least somewhat reactive to the player, even if it only comes in the random acknowledgement of skill levels and quest completions.

Number 6

Player Power

Overlord Box ArtOverlord

There are plenty of games that make you feel as if you’re in power, but there is just something about the Overlord games that make me feel so happily evil inside.  Perhaps it’s just the simple absolute loyalty of your minions, or maybe the way peasants fall to their knees as you pass by, but either way, this game makes me feel like an evil bad ass.  Overlord II missed the beat a little bit because until you’ve completely subjugated a town or area, the people are mocking of your player.  It plays well on the, “I was bullied when I was only a 3 year old Overlord,” but essentially negates the whole part of your evil reputation reaching further than your influence on the games.  I so long for a game like this to be merged with item’s 1, 2, and 7 in this list.

Honorable Mentions:

Saints Row - The Third (COVER)Saints Row 3 – Come on, you’re a complete badass in Saints Row 3 when completely powered up.  You can take a 50 story belly flop like the concrete felt as soft and comfortable as a pillowy mattress.  Saints Row 4 goes even further by making the short lived super powers from the Trouble with Clones DLC a main feature of Saints Row IV.  You definitely feel powerful in these games.


Heavy RainHeavy Rain – This might sound like a weird mention, but specifically the Norman Jayden portions with his “Augmented Reality” glasses.  I really wish this gameplay element was more heavily expanded as it was an incredibly fun part of the game.  I felt like a technologically enhanced super sleuth.  Compared to the games “unseen” antagonist of the “Oragami Killer,” I felt I had more power while he/she only had his/her walls of anonymity to protect them.  Sure it’s a bit of reach, but still a valid point of making the player feel powerful.

Number 5


Shadow of the ColossusShadow of the Collosus

One of the first tenants of thought in any game design class you’ll take, Immersion is the supposed goal of every game designer.  The only reason it’s not higher is because it’s not as important as everyone makes it seem to be.  You don’t have to be immersed to have fun.  That being said, sometimes being immersed is not fun, yet still such a powerful experience you crave it over and over again.  Shadow of the Colossus is one of the games that most immersed me.  With almost no story worth mentioning (in short – dead girl, kill big things make girl alive, go), the game’s environments and gameplay draw you into every emotion the emoteless Wander should be feeling.  You’ll sweat for all his struggle and strife.  You’ll pine with pure love and longing for the girl whenever he wakes up next to her lifeless body.  You’ll feel ever more determined the more the corruption takes you and you step by step come closer to your goal with each unfathomably giant beast that falls to your sword.  I know there were many who were greatly dissatisfied with the ending of the game, but honestly, how many do you hear actually speaking about it?  When you become so immersed in a game like this, you almost inherently know that no ending could ever live up to the myriad of powerful, driving emotions felt throughout the game from somber triumph to elated sadness.

Honorable Mentions:

silent hillSilent Hill – Specifically the first game as I cannot speak in depth of 2 (never played it enough to get immersed).  Here’s an example:  While alone in my house, playing the sewer level in which you walk through the sewers of Silent Hill with only a dim light of a lantern, I noticed that the only light on in my entire house, a lamp sitting just off to my left shoulder, gave off the same color light as the lantern in the game.  My living room’s sliding glass door was open to allow the autumn air to cool the house during the night of a new moon.  The light from my lamp illuminated the frame of the glass door, but seemed to refuse to enter the domain of dark just beyond its threshold.  I was as much encased in my sphere of light and safety as as Harry was in his in the game.  Suddenly, a shrill cry of some creature came from not the TV speakers, but from outside the door.  Every brain cell in my body screamed as loud as it could, “It’s just a fruit rat that got startled or something not even remotely dangerous.”  Or was it… I honestly didn’t care.  I closed the glass door.
Now THAT’s immersion!

Number 4


Fable 2 Box ArtFable 2

This one was a bit harder to really nail down, but I think the crown goes to Fable 2.  There will be some strong contenders in the Honorable Mentions, but Fable 2 just offered a better experience to the customization, to the point where it became part of the gameplay.  Where other games would let you customize a character, and possible allow you to change it, Fable 2 makes it to where your gameplay will affect your characters customization.  You don’t just select a static appearance, but instead, you’ll have to watch what you eat, choose between your skill levels and your appearance, and even worry about how your moral choices will affect your aesthetics.  Are you a power-leveling, crunchy-chicken-chomping, female-character player?  Be prepared for the consequences!

Honorable Mention:

Saints Row 2 - CoverSaints Row 2 – The customization in this game is just fun.  You can be skinny as a walking skeleton, or a fat as something you’d see on a reality show.  Clothing layers allowed a deeper experience and more realistic pairings of clothing and $$Bling$$.  Throw in the fact that you get to customize your gang itself?  Awesome.  The later games would prune this down quite a bit, but the core is still there, just not in as much glory as it used to be.

WWE 2K14 WWE2K14 – The amount of customizable options in these games are daunting!  You’ll spend hours just scrolling through to see everything.  And you can easily spend a full 4 hour play session just creating a character – if you’re trying to be quick about it that is.  And you’re not just creating your looks or setting action sets, you’re crafting a persona that will hopefully be holding the belt high.


Number 3

Role Playing

The Elder Scrolls V SkyrimThe Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

One of my favorite things is being able to create a full character and playing this avatar as such that the decisions stay true to their personal motivations.  If you thought to yourself, “Well, Mass Effect lets you choose what you want to do!” then you’re a complete idiot and need to play some table top RPGs.  Mass Effect allows you to make relatively few meaningful decisions to be honest.  Sure, they have gravity to some of them, but let’s face it, Shepard is always going to defeat the reapers regardless of your choices.  When I say Role Playing, I’m talking about where the game lets you make up everything (or as close to everything) about your character, his/her motivations, character flaws, biases, goals, and of course, their actions.  Unfortunately, there are very few video games that allow us to do this, but there are a few champions of this kind of gameplay, specifically The Elder Scrolls Series.

I choose TES V: Skyrim only because it actually allows you a pretty huge choice in the main quest line that many people have a very hard time choosing (no spoilers, but you’ll know it when you get to it).  TESIII: Morrowind was a close second because of the way you can choose to beat the main line, essentially bypassing the entire quest line, but the quest line remains the same regardless of if you do it or not.  TES games all start the same, with you in prison.  It’s never said why you were arrested, and it’s left completely up to you do decide why based on your character’s backstory!

My first Skyrim character, a Male Khajiit, was an assassin caught on a botched job to kill Ulfric Stormcloak, when I was captured in the same ambush that lead to the games beginning.  This is why he joined the Dark Brotherhood and helped the Imperials defeat the Stormcloaks.  Being a good fighter and a natural agent of stealth, he would also go on to join the Companions and Theives guilds as well.

My second character, a Female Nord, was the daughter of a blacksmith in Windhelm who was sent to deliver some last minute weapons shipments Ralof at Darkwater Crossing.  However, before she could deliver them, the imperials captured Ulfric and his men.  She tried to escape, but was captured a short distance away and was assumed to be a Stormcloak escaped from the ambush.  This is why she would join the Stormcloaks officially, out of revenge for her near execution, and why she would also go one to become one of the best blacksmiths in the land, creating such wonders as Daedric, Dragon bone and scale, and even Stalhrim armor and weapons.

My latest character is a male Imperial who was one of the General Tullius’ lowest ranking soldiers brought along to ambush Ulfric at Darkwater Crossing.  He’s had his fill of war and makes the choice to desert.  When Tullius leaves a token force to watch the baggage train, my Imperial sneaks out of the camp only to be found by a Stormcloak scout.  He kills the Stormcloak and takes his armor in order to blend in on his trip north past Windhelm, but is ultimately captured.  Tullius recognizes him, but throws him in with the rebels anyways; a deserter’s punishment is death anyways.  This is why when he escapes Helgen, he follows Hadvar since he would feel more comfortable fighting for his life with an Imperial soldier (someone sharing his training).  Afterwards, he makes haste to Riften, looting and stealing his way across the countryside in order to survive.  This leads him down the path to living outside of the law, and will eventually lead him to the Thieves Guild, and Dark Brotherhood, and other guilds.  However, having had his taste of war, he will not side with either the Stormcloaks or the Imperials, choosing to stay far away from either of the two warring factions.

NOTE:  I started a Thalmor sympathizer Altmer (High Elf) character, but found the fact that there were no Thalmor specific missions disappointing and haven’t gone back.

Honorable Mentions:

Dynasty Warriors 7 EmpiresDynasty Warriors 7: Empires – While the goal is the same, “Unify China! Go!” the way you do it is up to you.  You can lead a nation to unification, serve another lord and help him unify the lands, wrest a kingdom from a lord and unify the land.  If you wanted, you can even just merc yourself the entire game (still haven’t finished this play style though because I keep helping opposing factions for more money ^_^).  The role playing isn’t very deep, but hey, it’s something!

WWE 2K14 WWE2k Series – These do a fairly good job setting up a storyline for your character to play through, but ultimately it’s just your personality in different opera’s/Broadway plays… in tights.



Fallout New VegasFallout: New Vegas – Closest thing to Skyrim as you’re going to get (since they are from the same company).  I did not choose the entire Fallout series because Fallout 3 actually doesn’t let you play your character, in fact, it gives you a long intro where you are shown your characters’ childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood.  It’s arguable that you still get to decide how your character reacts to this, but let’s face it, you still do not have control over your character’s origins.

Dragon Age OriginsDragon Age: Origins – This game does let you decide where you character comes from… but it’s from a list rather than letting you make it up yourself.  I would actually call this a role-playing gateway game, since it introduces you to having an emotional connection to the backstory of your character.  People not used to having to play characters based on personal motivations will have these motivations almost spoon fed to them with kind cooing from the Digital Dungeon Masters.  I enjoyed the added aspect of different entryways into the game, but still, your character is prepackaged for you even if you’ve got a large selections of packaging.

Number 2

Faction/Base building

Dynasty Warriors 7 EmpiresDynasty Warriors 7: Empires

Having been at the forefront of my gaming hungers and unscratched itches for a long time (possibly 10 years or more) are the games that allow you to build your faction.  This goes beyond simple character leveling, or even companion leveling, aspects of most RPG games, and instead goes into the higher function of leveling your entire faction.  The problem being is that there are some games that allude to the fact that your main story progress but do not make this an element of gameplay.

The closest thing I’ve found that scratches that itch is the Dynasty Warriors Empires series.  Since the focus of the game is taking over China (and hacking and slashing lots of bad guys), building and leveling up you kingdom is one of the core aspects of the gameplay along with personal character leveling.  The only problem is that there really isn’t much felt reward to having taken over huge chunks of china.  There is no real sense of leveling even though you’re strengthening your kingdom.  You just get more resources and more of your color (which I can really see) on the screen.

If there were more events the more you take over, more visible rewards, or more REAL effects on gameplay, I’d probably never play any other game, but unfortunately, these aspects are missing and therefore, it will always be that blue-balling tease that keeps leading me on.

Honorable Mention:

Dragon Age AwakeningDragon Age: Awakening – Building up Vigils Keep and exerting your influence to the surrounding areas is one of the core aspects of this award winning expansion to Dragon Age: Origins.  However, due to the fact that was in fact just a DLC/Expansion, the gameplay was not fully developed and left me wanting.  Still it gives hope (see Hopefuls Below).


Mentionable Failures:

Mass Effect Trilogy CoverMass Effect Series – A series whose legacy might just be one of great lead ups followed by disappointments.  One of my biggest disappointments (after getting over the endings) was the fact that there was no continued escalation of power base.  There was the gameplay element of “Galactic Readiness,” but this was a major let down.  After playing the first game, and being given the Normandy and a crew, I was happy.  In ME2, I was given a much larger ship, a new crew, a spec force team.  After beating ME2‘s last DLC, “Arrival,” and knowing that the Reapers are finally incoming, I was fully expecting the large scale gameplay element of creating a Galactic Army!  And any true general of a galactic army is going to need a base of operations to match this the task.  I was fully expecting the game to offer me a friggin’ space station like Omega or even the Citadel itself (with all my favorite stores!).  So what do we get?  A grungy mostly dilapidated version of the SR2 again, and worse, it didn’t even get prettied up during the game.  I’m all for a “used universe” but the fuckers could have at least put the damned cabled into some conduit or something!  I expected so much more from your ME3… so much more.

avatarAvatar: The Game – No, not the Airbender one – the giant blue Smurfs one.  This game was a run of mill action game based off a movie, but it did have some glints of potential greatness that were shunted by the fact it was a “Movie-game.”  Avatar features world take over game which played out very similar to Risk: The Smurf Edition (I would play it if it were real!).  This was one of my favorite parts of the game.  The only problem was that this Risk-like over-game was completely disconnected with the rest of the game.  The sections you control, which correspond to location in the regular gameplay, will not change regardless of control.  There was something about the enemies are tougher if you don’t control the area, but it’s not noticeable, nor is it valid reward for controlling an area.  The game could have been much better served with actually playing through some action game play based on the over-world gameplay.  They definitely missed the mark here, and instead, made the same failures that nearly every movie game makes in the end.

Mentionable Hopes:

dragon age inquisitionDragon Age: Inquisition – This game looks to be the spiritual offspring to Dragon Age: Awakening, with the upgrading of Skyhold and asserting your influence being a major, if not the core, element of the game.  Hopefully, it can catch that same magic that made Awakening so fun, and not leave me hanging yet again!


Number 1


assassin's creed 2Assassin’s Creed 2

I love a good story, and as such, games with great story’s hold a special place in my heart.  There are several aspects of a good story, and I’ll list off my 3 more memorable story elements that I greatly love.  But hands down my favorite story game is Assassin’s Creed II.

Expanding greatly on the the great gameplay and story set up by the first game.  It has perfect setting, good characters, a tense storyline, and everything in between.  The charismatic walking ball of machismo that is Ezio Auditore was a perfect avatar not only for Desmond, but also the players as we learned what it was to become an assassino. We lived through the majority of Ezio’s life along with him, feeling his heartaches, sharing his triumphs, and raging with his passions.  While the story itself was far from being a technical powerful, there was a heart and soul of the story that just about anyone can enjoy.  In fact, I, along with several other gamers I know, would find that their significant others or family members would begin watching players as they played.  The story was just that enthralling.  Case and Point, my soon to be mother-in-law texts and calls me about the latest parts of the AC games she’s playing.  She pretty much bought an Xbox just to play them.

BONUS Story Element –



A good twist will keep people taking about the game LONG after they’ve stopped playing.  My favorite twist has to be Bioshock’s “Would you Kindly,” twist.  Never before had I found a more beautifully executed twist that threw everything into question!  Most of the time, we play games and just accept it when our mission goals are set out in front of us, and I’m sure most of us have said, “Why not just go in through the window instead of back tracking 3 levels for a boss fight and a key,” or at least something similar.  With one glorious moment, the motivations for everything you’d done throughout the game had been made clear.  Throw in the fact of how the ending confrontation plays out and the ultimate fate of Jack is one that hits home so strongly.  Indeed, one of the best executed twists I’ve ever had.

Honorable Mentions:

Bioshock InfiniteBioshock Infinite – Never has a twist been staring you in the face so blatantly before, and yet suddenly, when it’s revealed to you, your entire world is through upside down.  My fiancé and I literally sat and watched the entire ending of the game and sat quietly trying to absorb everything we’d just seen.  It took us almost halfway through the credits before either of us spoke!  The impact was amazing.  It’s just too bad that the gameplay itself was a bit too repetitive and it took me till the last DLC release to finally go back and play through the main story start to finish.

Star Wars Knights of the Old RepublicStar Wars: Knights of the Old Republic – This is going to be on everyone’s list… for the rest of time.  Maybe this was just the first major twist we’d seen in a game? (not likely).  Or maybe it was just how well it was delivered? (no likely).  I just think it was the literal impact of it.  You spend the entire game hearing of this evil fallen Jedi become Dark Lord, only to find out that it was you!  This shouldn’t really be a surprise since the mirrored equivalent happened in Empire Strikes Back (I’m your father!).  I’ve heard this one described as what if one day, you wake up and realize that you’re Hitler.  It was a very good twist, but in all honestly, was one that was a little forced.  When you have to essentially lie to the player to hide the fact that the twist is coming up, then the story was not weaved around the twist properly.  The story should not HIDE the twist only obscure it enough to make ue not notice.  Which is why I choice Bioshock over this one.

BONUS Story Element –

The WTF Moment

assassin's creed 2Assassin’s Creed 2

This is different from a twist because it does not necessarily challenge the way you perceived something, or even reverse the way the story was progressing.  A WTF moment is just one that is so shocking that you literally cry out, “WHAT THE #@$%!?!?”  An easy way to tell the difference is is that a Twist generally brings a new level of clarity and understanding to the player, where a WTF usually gives a massive amount of confusion.  Indeed the WTF moment is the paternal twin to the Twist, but they are different enough to make the distinction.

Assassin’s Creed 2 gets this title for biggest WTF moment, and not just because the last 3 words before the credits roll were “What. The. F#@$.”  This WTF moment ramped up the Desmond story as well as put and explosive finale to the first instalment of Ezio’s 3 game run.  How the f#@$ did they know!?!?  Also add in Subject 16’s video snippets finally viewed as a whole, and you’re getting some good WTF moments.  I’m not giving spoilers as if you don’t know what I’m talking about, you should definitely play this game.

Honorable Mentions:

Assassin's CreedAssassin’s Creed – First of all, finding out that the supposed “apple of eden” is actually an impossibly technologically advanced data storage and mind control control device of extraordinary power, but that it contains a map of pieces of Eden that are all over the map!  WTF!?!?!  Tie in the “true ending” of AC with desmond getting Eagle Vision from the Animus’ bleed effect, and you’ve got a rather hard hiding WTF moment that leaves you wanting the next game.  A two year wait back then.

Assassin's Creed BrotherhoodAssassin’s Creed Brotherhood – Yes, Assassin’s Creed is definitely getting the love here, but the first 3 titles perfected the WTF moments.  While the ultimate revelation behind ACB’s biggest WTF moment felt a little disappointingly forced, this ending got a myriad of WTF’s screamed at the TV by the fiancé as well as more than a couple from me.


“Dafuq!” Mentions:

A “Dafuq!” moment is not the same as the WTF moment, but has the same outcry of verbiage as the WTF moment but usually in an exclamation rather than a question.  This are the shocking moments that just have you saying, “Why dafuq would anyways in their right mind do this.”

Dead Space 2Dead Space 2 – The eye poker part of that game is seriously a moment that made me cry out “dafuq!” and that’s when I actually succeeded.  I watched the failed part on youtube and nearly barfed.  Dafuq man…



south-park-stick-of-truth-us-esrb-x360jpg-e96e93South Park: Stick of Truth – The entire planned parenthood level… ’nuff said.





The Arbitrary Top 10

Tony Hawk PS210)  Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 – Addictive Gameplay


Unreal Tournament 20049)  Unreal Tournament 2004 – Adrenaline pumping action


Riven: The Sequel to Myst8)  Riven: The Sequel to Myst – Mentally Stimulating


Overlord Box Art7)  Overlord – A joyously satirical journey into Evil


Shadow of the Colossus6)  Shadow of the Colossus – Most Artistic game Ever


Mass Effect Box Art5)  Mass Effect – Sci-Fi themed RPG and banging blue aliens?  YES PLEASE!


Minecraft 360 Edition4)  Minecraft – Addictively simple outlet for creativity


Dynasty Warriors 7 Empires3)  Dynasty Warriors 7: Empires – Closest thing to Faction Building I’ve found, and lets you play with Kwandaos


The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim2)  The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Truest form of the RPG available.  NOW WITH DRAGONS!


assassin's creed 21)  Assassin’s Creed 2 – Amazing story, character, scenery, and gameplay to make you feel like a badass.

Top 10 Favorite Games

Written by Variand


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One Comment

  1. It was awesome to see your top ten games as well as favorite aspects of gameplay at the same time. Unique and interesting 😀 You definitely get cool points for including Shadow of the Colossus 🙂


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