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The Top Ten Games of This Generation So Far
by Richard Birkett

I shall begin my first ever piece for Gamer's Guide to Life with an apology. Sorry for my reserved judgements in favour of the games as featured below: I apologise now if I have left out any games from the past few years that perhaps deserve to be in such a thorough list. Regardless, these are my most favoured games of the generation which, we are told, we are only midway through.

So, without further ado, here are my top 10 games of this generation. Long may it continue.

Fallout 3

What better game to pick up the mantle for the first of the list than Bethesda's post-apocalyptic RPG, Fallout 3. Fitting, since this generation has pretty much birthed the open-world genre which we know see in abundance. Following on from the critically-acclaimed Oblivion (which I could never get on with), Fallout 3 was a lesson to potential RPG developers in how to create an immersive world with an engaging storyline and excellent role-playing mechanics. Hours could disappear roaming the wasteland for hidden delights, only boosted by the additional DLC that was offered after release.


One of my favourite games of 2008, LittleBigPlanet was like nothing truly seen before. Spawning the label of 'Play, Create, Share', over two million levels have been created by its community to date - I lent my talents to two. A platformer at heart, the level designer and community features were where the game really stood out, with unbelievable levels created by fantastically creative people. Search for anything within LBP's servers and you'll probably find a match. From re-creations of classic Mario levels to representations of people's home lives; LBP was worthy of its limelight.

Rock Band

For being the first game to introduce the full band set-up and hours upon hours of lost time, Harmonix's return-to-rhythm-action after Guitar Hero let us run wild in our search for rock stardom - now on drums and mic, as well as guitar. The sequel may have refined the template, but the success of the first game was praise enough after Activision's vital head start with the Guitar Hero series. Cluttering our living rooms with cheap plastic peripherals ever since; Rock Band, we salute you.

Grand Theft Auto IV

Possibly the most sought-after sequel of the current generation, Grand Theft Auto 4 set the record at the time for the best single-day and week sales for a video game, despite its 18 age certificate. The departure from the fun-filled San Andreas to the much grittier life of immigrant Niko Bellic was bold, although one which was needed. Despite the clunky controls, GTA IV was exceptional in its design, with the hugely-detailed Liberty City inspired by NYC, and an exciting cast of characters.

Uncharted 2

Uncharted 2 has to be considered over the first since it got nearly everything spot on. Superbly animated character models and expertly directed cut-scenes seamlessly integrated with gameplay, and Naughty Dog's treasure-hunting Nathan Drake is set to be one of Sony's flagships for years to come. If you haven't played it yet and don't yet quite understand the hype regarding Sony's console, try it. You won't be disappointed.

Heavy Rain

The third PS3 exclusive to appear on my list is also the most recent. Released this February, I only got a chance to play the 'interactive drama' around a month ago. Set apart from any other game, Heavy Rain is an experience unlike any other. Excellent cinematography, resounding score and an involving narrative imbue cinematic sense, whilst the frankness of its moral choice philosophy gave each player a feeling of crafting their own experience. I was taken aback by how well the game was conveyed, and utterly spellbound by the plotting.

Mass Effect 2

Bioware's sci-fi space saga gave a number of reasons why it ought to be considered one of the best games of this generation. Not only did Bioware create an exceptional and fully in-depth universe of alien species and planetary intergalactic wars, but there was a mixture between the cinematic ambition of Uncharted 2 and the moral choices of Heavy Rain. An RPG has rarely become so fully polished as this; I await the third to conclude the trilogy.

Forza Motorsport 2

I'm reluctant to put the third in the Forza franchise onto the list since I felt slightly let down in its online fuctionality, which was plagued from day one. Instead, I'll go with the sequel to the original Xbox game, which was the first true driving simulator for the current generation, and one which still performs admirably and looks excellent even some time after release. The online was well handled, as was the progression of the career mode. Whether Polyphony Digital can match its ambition with Gran Turismo 5 is another story, but it certainly has a tough task ahead.

Halo 3

Finish the fight? Yeah, right. It might have failed to live up to the hype in terms of its epic conclusion to the trilogy, but it can be argued that Halo 3's success lay within multiplayer, with its matchmaking still one of the most played on Xbox Live. Adding experience points and character customisation to the massive Halo 2 online foundation, it's the game which I jump onto for some multiplayer action before any other.

Mirror's Edge

Though received quite poorly, Mirror's Edge is one of my more favoured titles for one reason: it tried something different and it worked. The first person perspective was an odd choice given the free-running gameplay, but EA and Dice delivered the goods in epic proportions. With fast and exhilarating game mechanics, it was slightly unforgiving and frustrating at times, but it still ought to be remembered for some time to come. Eegardless of the fact that it lies for mere pounds in bargain buckets around the country.

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- Richard Birkett

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