A switch of directions away from politics this morning. I got to thinking (while waiting for tickets to Eden's Edge to go on sale, if they ever do) about what my favorite video games are. So, here they are starting at number ten (note: if I have not played a game it doesn't appear on my list, so there will be some highly popular games that do not appear on my list, like any of the Call of Duty series):
10: River Raid (Atari 5200): An oldie but a goodie. My brother and I absolutely loved this game. It saddens me that in the new incantations of the retro Atari that it is never included. Simply put, you were a jet pilot that was tasked with flying over a river destroying bridges, boats, and other aircraft that got in your way. As far as I know there is no ending to the game. My brother made it farther than anyone else in the family and he never got to an end.
9: Madden (Super NES, Playstation 2, XBOX 360): By a long shot this used to be my favorite sports franchise. In my opinion they tinkered way to much with it during the 2000s and I stopped playing it. The new Madden 13 seems to be a much better game than previous installations so I could get back into it.
8: Mario (All Nintendo platforms): For anyone in my age group that had the original Nintendo there is no better series than Mario. For the longest time Super Mario Brothers 3 was my favorite only recently being surpassed by Mario Galaxy 2. Yes I have played the previously unreleased in America original Mario Brother 2 and that game is beyond difficult but still fun.
7: Alan Wake (XBOX 360): This game had the misfortune of being released at the same time as Red Dead Redemption and other high profile games but it was still a great and creepy game. You are Alan Wake, a famous author, who has started being chased by a strange creature in your dreams. In the story you go on vacation where you start having the nightmares while awake. You have to beat shadows in order to advance in the story. As you advance in gameplay you realize that what you are experiencing is a book that you have written some time in the future. Great game. Sadly the sequel was released as a download only and reviews were horrible for it.
6: Red Dead Redemption (XBOX 360): A western game that has a great storyline and action. It is actually a sequel to an earlier console game. It's download Red Dead Redemption Undead Nightmare is almost as good as the game itself and it involves, that's right, zombies.
5: Star Wars The Old Republic (PC): I have never gotten into the world of MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role playing game) but it is Star Wars, so I gave it a shot. The story takes place thousands of years before the movies timelines so you get all new characters. It is a great game that helps take away any down time.
4: NCAA Football (PC, PS2, XBOX 360): Absolutely love this series. Every year brings something new. First time I played this game was in 1998 on the PC and have not missed a game since.
3: Grand Theft Auto (PS2, PSP, XBOX 360): One of the top selling series of all time. Originally played the first one and did not think much of it, then GTA 3 came out and literally changed the way games were made. Haven't missed a game since and very ready for GTA V.
2: LA Noire (XBOX 360): Great game. You play a detective in Los Angeles shortly after World War 2. What sets this game apart is that they actually used real facial expressions. When that character actors went in to record their voices their facial expressions were also captured. It played a pivotal role in the game as you had to read facial expressions during interrogations in order to tell if the person was lying or not. The next game in the series is rumored to also include body expressions.
1: Mass Effect (XBOX 360): In my opinion the greatest series of all time, even if EA screwed up the last game. It was originally done by the same company responsible for SWTOR and Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic. In this series every action and decision you made for your character affected the game, except for the ending which I admit really put a downer on the series. The ending notwithstanding it is still a great series with high replay value as you can make different decisions throughout the series.
For the record my favorite systems, if you haven't guessed yet are Atari 5200, Nintendo (all systems), PS2, and XBOX 360. The new WiiU comes out on the 18th and looks to be a game changer.