60. World of Warcraft
Although the state of Azeroth remains in flux, World of Warcraft has had an enormous influence on the state of modern video games. From Destiny to The Division, there are dozens of qualities within AAA gaming that you can trace back to the undisputed king of the MMORPG genre.
Long before Fortnite, World of Warcraft showed off the potential power and allure that a digital social space could have. And in spite of the many imitators and competitors that WoW’s success has inspired, Blizzard’s online fantasy RPG continues to adapt, change and grow.
59. Resident Evil 7
Stepping away from the over-the-top conspiracy thriller premises of previous entries, Resident Evil 7 opts to a simpler setup, Southern gothic setting and more straightforward stakes.
Resident Evil 7 takes the radical choice at every turn. Yet, that spirit can’t help but make it feel more faithful than ever to the series’ roots.
58. Monaco: What’s Yours Is Mine
A cooperative stealth action game for up to four players, Monaco brings arcadey game-feel to the sneak-em-up formula. The writing is witty and stylish, with each of the game’s cast accentuating their unique skills with bucket loads of personality.
You might think being both an excellent co-op party game and being an excellent stealth game is an impossible juggling act. Monaco disagrees.
57. Life is Strange
Inspired by a locker full of indie films and small town mysteries like Twin Peaks, Life is Strange’s idiosyncrasies complement a willingness to bend and break its own rules. A keen understanding of emotional logic allows even the most cringe-worthy of teenage dialogue to land and, in a game about the struggle to grow out of childhood, it’s only appropriate that the series’ itself evolves with each episode.
Dontnod’s Life is Strange builds on the bones of Telltale’s own adventure gaming formula to different ends. Taken as a whole, the episodic game is a strikingly well-conceived journey through adolescence, friendship and learning to live with your mistakes.
56. Nier: Automata
Yoko Taro’s melancholic android action game pushes a familiar mixture of third-person action, philosophical dialogue and post-apocalyptic imagery to a terminal conclusion.
Played out from the perspective of a pair of androids, Nier: Automata first tasks players with fighting off the enemy - and then later understanding their motivations. Rather than just being a game about survival of the fittest, Nier: Automata is a game about empathy and what it really means to be human.
55. Stardew Valley
Chucklefish’s Stardew Valley is the unofficial but addictive Harvest Moon game that fans have been waiting decades to see realised. Emulating and expanding the formula behind the popular gathering RPG, Sickhead Games farming lifestyle game doesn’t hesitate to introduce new mechanics and possibilities, such as mod support and a deeper end-game.
More than just a pale imitation or cheap crowd pleaser, Stardew Valley takes something old and makes it feel new again.
54. Dragon Age: Origins
BioWare’s Dragon Age: Origins is a powerful reimagining of the classic CRPG formula that plays up and incorporates the graphical and gameplay advances made possible by more modern technology. It’s a chimera crafted both from and for the old and the new.
Though it lacks the radicalism of Dragon Age II or the scope of Inquisition, the original Dragon Age effectively evokes the cinematic stylings of Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy while rich writing brings depth to the series’ opening hand of companions and a crunchy combat system keeps things simmering in the meanwhile.
Nintendo’s Mother series has inspired plenty of pretenders but none have succeeded in catching that lighting in a bottle like Toby Fox’s Undertale. As an RPG, it’s not only highly original but also genuinely funny.
Undertale is bursting with goofy humour, charming characters and a subversive combat system that actively dares you to escalate the laughs even further.
The closest thing that Valve has ever gotten to releasing an experimental film, Portal is a unique first person puzzler with austere writing and a wicked sense of humour.
Portal isn’t quite minimalist but there’s an exquisite sense of craftsmanship. It always gives you just enough room to think creatively and come to your own conclusions without giving the game away entirely.
Digital Extremes’ Warframe was a game that took more than one attempt to bring to get right. Nevertheless, the studio’s multiplayer space ninja RPG has evolved and reinvented itself over the years to become one of the best examples of what always-online service gaming can offer.
Warframe brings together slick science-fiction action, unique lore unlike any other MMORPG and an enormous well of content that’s sure to eat up your spare time. It’s a game that refuses to compromise on either style or substance and instead vows to offer up plenty of both.
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