Games are wonderful. They immerse us into worlds and stories a way no other medium can. They can excite us, annoy us; they can make us feel happy and sad. They can be a nice way to relax and take a break from reality or they can be a seriously competitive way to spend an evening. With the amount of titles on offer across all the consoles ever released, we could spend many lifetimes playing games. Unfortunately for us the world is ending tomorrow, leaving little time left to game. That makes each minute precious; no time should be wasted hunting gamerscore in Avatar or torturing your patience in Dark Souls; every minute gaming must be a joy. Here are five games to squeeze in before the apocalypse to make your passage into oblivion a nicer one.
The Nostalgia Trip: Pokemon Red/Blue
As our time on this earth draws to a close, it is a time for reflection. Many people will be looking back at their lives, wondering if they had fulfilled everything they had hoped and dreamed for. It is also a time to look back at gaming history, evoking fond memories of childhood playing. Such is the beauty of nostalgia that many games will bring to mind the warm and fuzzy emotion for people of different ages. For a generation born in the early 90s though there is only one contender: Pokemon.
Not only a game but a cultural phenomenon, a quick trip to Kanto will remind players of simpler times, when the toughest life decision was choosing which Pokemon should be started with. The chirpy, 16-bit theme song that plays out on the menu screen will take you back to childhood, helping you forget about the fireballs falling all around.
The one you may have missed: Portal
The huge amount of games on offer means that there will always be some that are over-looked. You know the ones; the games that go right on to the ‘to buy’ list after watching plenty of trailers and gameplay footage but then slowly slip from your mind as dozens of other games come, forever remaining one you wanted to give a go but never got round to. After the 21st you won’t ever get a chance to try these, so now is the time to do so.
Despite being critically acclaimed and becoming somewhat of a cult hit amongst the PC community, Portal hasn’t gained the mainstream love it fully deserves. Don’t be ashamed if Portal is a game you’d never played despite it always being on your radar, now is the time to put it right. Portal is not only a brilliant puzzle game but one with an eerie storyline and brilliant antagonist. Being a perfectly put together but short package is also a bonus, as it means your last minutes on earth can be spent playing more games on this list.
The guilty pleasure: Any Lego Game
Everyone has a guilty pleasure in gaming. I have one. You have one (don’t lie, you do). Whilst they may have been kept a dirty shame until now, no one will be alive to mock you about it on Monday (they’ll be dead), so you may as well enjoy it one last time.
I’ve never been one to believe in categories or stereotypes but if you are one of the many people that do, you’d probably say that any recent entries in the Lego gaming franchise fall firmly into being ‘children’s games’. The cute design, easy controls and simplistic puzzles are all clearly geared towards young gamers being able to enjoy them. It doesn’t matter that they are aimed at children though, that 3 on the front of the box is the minimum age, not maximum. The recent games, which Legofy our favourite franchises from Star Wars to Batman, are a joy to play no matter which generation you are from.
The social affair: Timesplitters 2
It’s probably best to have one last meet up with your before the end of civilasation as we know it. The next time you meet may be over the last remaining tin of baked beans on earth and things certainly wouldn’t be friends then. Gaming with friends can turn the experience into a much more social and enjoyable experience, so there is no excuse not to meet up for some good old fashioned split-screen action.
Although many titles would do the job here, from Mario Kart to FIFA and Crash Bash, Timesplitters 2 is the true king of off-line gaming. A shooter perfectly balanced between fun and challenging, it’s fast paced style was ideal for action-packed sessions. It also offered game modes perfect for playing with friends, such as virus; think the popular playground game ‘tag’ but on speed using guns and monkeys.
The underrated gem: Mafia
Whilst some games are missed due to not having enough time or funds to buy them, some may have simply slipped silently under your radar. It would be a shame to die having never heard of these great games, so go out and unearth some hidden gems such as Mafia.
Although the franchise’s reputation may have been tarnished by a lacklustre console port and a distinctly average sequel, the original PC game was a masterpiece. It was a brilliantly told gangster epic, back when gangsters were still legitimately cool. The story-telling was perfect, the characters were deep, the missions as varied as they were fun. Not only that but it was a game of great longevity; upon completion there was a free roam mode where completing wacky challenges (such as following a UFO across the city) unlocked cars with crazy designs. So go play it. Now (try to avoid any falling rocks or lava).
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