The Best Games I’ve Ever Played


By: Jason Siu



24 min read

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The Best Games I've Ever Played

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Discussing video games with others can get wild. A game you find absolutely fulfilling might bore someone else in less than five minutes. I’ve always felt the best way to find a video game reviewer you can trust is to see if they like the same games you do. So, to help you decide if my reviews are worth your time, I’ve compiled a list of what I consider the best games I’ve ever played. I’ll obviously update this list if a new game should ever be added.

Clearly, this is my list of the games I’ve loved the most, and it’s highly subjective. It’s absolutely acceptable if you don’t agree with any of my picks. My goal is to offer an inside look at my favorite games, hopefully helping you decide if my reviews align with your tastes. Some popular, universally loved titles are noticeably missing from my list: Elden Ring, Red Dead Redemption 2, and The Witcher 3. I’ve spent about 50 hours in Elden Ring and haven’t yet had the chance to return the game and finish it. As a result, I’m still undecided on whether or not it’s the right game for me and if it belongs somewhere on this list even though there are some parts of the game that are brilliantly done. As for Red Dead Redemption 2 and The Witcher 3, I just haven’t had a chance to play through, but will eventually get to them to see if they belong.

My honorable mentions include games I plan to eventually rank and add to my list. For now, they are in no particular order:

Honorable Mentions

  • Persona 3 Reload
  • Lost Ark
  • Bioshock
  • God of War Ragnarök
  • Horizon Zero Dawn
  • Life is Strange
  • It Takes Two
  • Tetris
  • X-Wing vs. Tie Fighter
  • SimCity 2000
  • Mass Effect 2
  • Portal 2
  • Xenogears

19. Borderlands 2

Borderlands 2

Borderlands 2 played host to some of my fondest and most hilarious video game memories, especially since I’ve spent over 220 hours playing the game over the years. It remains my favorite in the franchise, particularly because I found Borderlands 3 a disappointing mess. What makes Borderlands 2 so great is its cast of characters and its villain, Handsome Jack. The game also features arguably one of the best DLCs in gaming: Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep. Combine those elements with frenetically fun gunplay, a huge variety of loot, and Claptrap—an annoying yet somewhat lovable robot—and you have a recipe for a game that remains excellent over a decade after its release.

Adventuring through the planet of Pandora in Borderlands 2 really is a treat. The world feels alive with a great cast of characters and personalities, all with a deranged sense of humor. Each character plays differently, which entices you to do multiple playthroughs. The game is also one of the best examples of how online co-op should be handled, with seamless drop-in, drop-out mechanics. Here’s to hoping the franchise somehow finds its way back to these roots. While Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands was an improvement over Borderlands 3, it still didn’t capture the same magic found in Borderlands 2.

18. The Walking Dead (Telltale Games)

Telltale Games' The Walking Dead

I still recall the first time I finished the initial episode of The Walking Dead Season One. I was on vacation, playing it on the PlayStation Vita, and at the end of the episode I thought to myself, “Well, time to take a break from that.” While the actual gameplay elements of Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead are rather basic, boiling down to quick time events, the writing and the setting made that game surprisingly intense. Where the game really shines, though, is in the characters. Even after all these years, they are some of the most memorable I’ve ever experienced.

While I found the latter seasons not as impactful as the first, the entire series still holds strong by today’s standards. If you follow the gaming industry, you probably know that The Walking Dead essentially catapulted Telltale Games to fame, leading the studio to create games en masse and resulting in a noticeable drop in quality with each new game. It eventually resulted in the original Telltale Games’ closure, and the one that bears its name today is a relaunch under LCG Entertainment. If you’re looking for a story-centric game that doesn’t require “gaming skills,” grab The Walking Dead: The Telltale Definitive Series. The package includes all four seasons, the 400 Days DLC, and The Walking Dead: Michonne DLC.

17. Warcraft III

Warcraft III

As a PC gamer in the early 1990s, I spent many hours playing real-time strategy games like the original Warcraft: Orcs & Humans and Dune II. Later, Warcraft II and Starcraft became my go-to games, making it natural for Warcraft III to become one of my all-time favorites. I still remember waiting outside GameStop to pick up my copy at midnight and diving straight into the campaign. To this day, I still believe Warcraft III and its expansion were peak Warcraft storytelling.

The reason why Warcraft III is on this list, however, is the amount of time I spent playing it competitively. At one point, I ranked as a top 10 Undead player on U.S. East and still have a couple old replays of my victories over the infamous LightKnight69. I also spent a lot of time playing 2v2, until my partner had to do his compulsory military service in South Korea. Nonetheless, I have fond memories of Warcraft III, because it was a time when I was younger, could think a lot quicker, and could micromanage an army to perfection.

16. Final Fantasy VII Remake

Final Fantasy VII Remake

Like many Final Fantasy fans, Final Fantasy VII holds a special place in my heart. So naturally, Final Fantasy VII Remake has earned a spot on my list of the best games I’ve ever played. From its initial announcement, Final Fantasy VII Remake became one of my most anticipated games, and upon its release, it somehow met my high expectations. While it has its fair share of issues, the combat system was better than I could have asked for, and seeing these characters brought to life in 4K was an experience I thought I would never live to see. Remember all those people who watched Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children and wished video games looked like that? Well, now they look even better.

I’m withholding judgment on any significant story changes until the entire trilogy is released, but so far, I have no major qualms with the direction of the Final Fantasy VII Remake trilogy. I’m looking forward to see how they handle Zack in the upcoming Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, which is, unsurprisingly, one of my most anticipated games of 2024. Given what I’ve seen of Final Fantasy VII Rebirth so far, I suspect I’ll be revising this list in early March to include it.

15. Chrono Trigger

Chrono Trigger

If I could only have one more remake for the rest of my life, it would be Chrono Trigger. Honestly, I’m surprised Square Enix hasn’t pursued a remake, considering Chrono Cross got a remaster. From its eclectic cast of characters to its intricately woven story, Chrono Trigger was a masterpiece of its era. Decades later, Chrono Trigger continues to inspire modern games, such as Sea of Stars. The game perfectly exemplifies the idea that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” If you sliced up Chrono Trigger and looked at each of its aspects individually, nothing is truly extraordinary.

At its time, and even now, decades later, Chrono Trigger features great aesthetics and one of gaming’s most memorable soundtracks. The game also combines a straightforward story with multiple endings and a battle system that isn’t overly complex. Best of all, Chrono Trigger avoids the excessive grinding that often plagued RPGs of that era. So please, Square Enix, give us a Chrono Trigger remake or even a 2.5D remaster using the style from Octopath Traveler.

14. Monster Hunter: World

Monster Hunter World

While Monster Hunter: World wasn’t my first entry with the series, it was the first Monster Hunter game I truly loved playing. Upon its initial release, I logged around 250 hours on the PlayStation 4 version and then spent another 150 hours on PC with the Iceborne expansion. It’s always been a bit challenging to pinpoint what makes Monster Hunter: World so addictive, but here’s my take. In Monster Hunter: World, your character doesn’t gain experience or level up. Instead, it’s you, the player, who gains experience and improves the more you play. Monster Hunter: World is one of those very few games where you truly feel as if you’re getting better the more you play. The first time you hunt an Anjanath, it will take several minutes, if you succeed at all. However, by your 20th encounter, finding the dinosaur may take longer than defeating it. And this can all be true without upgrading a single piece of gear on your character.

Of course, the Monster Hunter series does benefit from the fact that it’s so mature with decades of games to balance all its weapon types. There’s really no such thing as the strongest weapon type when you pick up Monster Hunter: World (or any modern Monster Hunter game). You truly just pick the one you’re most comfortable using, or have the most fun with, and go on your way. Ultimately, Monster Hunter: World’s gameplay loop really speaks to me, and while I did enjoy Monster Hunter Rise, I still think World’s the better game.

13. Factorio

Factorio is actually like doing work, but while playing a video game. But there’s something about it that’s just oh so satisfying once you have everything setup the way you want it and it all just flows together. It’s like scratching a brain itch, just with conveyor belts and subassemblies. When I was younger, I absolutely loved simulation games like SimCity. To me, Factorio takes that to a whole new level — instead of having to worry about how to keep your imaginary residents happy, you’re figuring out how to efficiently automate the construction of imaginary things.

The support for Factorio has been absolutely wild, and some of the best I’ve seen from an indie game. It has offered me hundreds of hours of entertainment and it’s just a game I revisit from time to time. Not just to see the changes the developer has added, but to see if I can find new ways to do things better. Sometimes I do things worse, which just proves I’m getting dumber as I get older.

If you want a laid back, casual game that will give you a very odd sense of satisfaction, check out Factorio. Those hundreds of thousands of overwhelmingly positive reviews aren’t a lie.

12. World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft

Anyone who experienced World of Warcraft at its launch knows how magical it felt. Although there had been numerous popular MMORPGs before, including EverQuest and Dark Age of Camelot, World of Warcraft really was the pinnacle of classic Blizzard Entertainment design. The team took the MMORPG formula and made it accessible to all, including millions who weren’t gamers before but started gaming because of World of Warcraft. I have a lot of fond memories of the game, and it’s also where I’ve met lifelong friends.

My fondest memory of World of Warcraft was staying up an unhealthy amount of hours when Burning Crusade first released. I became the first level 70 Blood Elf on our server, an accomplishment that’s not really worth bragging about. But it was a time when many of us stayed up day and night playing World of Warcraft, having the time of our lives. I’ll never forget my first 40-man raid and the first time we took down Onyxia. World of Warcraft may not be my favorite MMORPG, but it certainly has some of my favorite gaming memories.

I haven’t played the game since the Battle for Azeroth expansion, but I haven’t ruled out returning at some point. Part of me feels like I’ve outgrown World of Warcraft, and the game no longer appeals to me. It’s not the nature of MMORPGs—I still subscribe to Final Fantasy XIV. It feels more like World of Warcraft changed as Blizzard Entertainment did. The magic the game and the company was known for seems to have disappeared.

11. 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim

You probably won’t see 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim on very many “best video game” lists, but that’s why they’re all wrong and I’m right. I picked this game up on a whim because I wanted a visual novel-type game where I could turn my brain off and get some mindless entertainment. Oops. This is not a game where you turn your brain off. At all.

The unique feature of 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is that you control the order that the story is told — mostly. There are some road blocks that are placed until you progress through another character’s point of view, but for the most part, you control the narrative by choosing which character’s story you want to experience at that moment in time. I won’t spend much time talking about the actual gameplay in 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim. There are these battles that are part tower defense and part strategy. Whatever, they’re fine, they’re fun, but they’re not the reason why you’ll want to play this game.

The sci-fi story told in 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim will seem a bit puzzling and confusing as you progress through the game. Keep in mind, it’s very likely other people experienced the story in a different order than you. But what’s so magical about this game is that moment when you realize it’s all coming together. All those little bits of information start making sense, and then, well, your mind just gets blown.

There isn’t even a specific type of gamer I would recommend 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim to. I just think everyone should experience it. It’s so creative, so well written, and all the characters are so memorable.

10. Doom II

My younger self would never forgive me if I didn’t have Doom II on my list of the best games I’ve ever played. I don’t think there’s much to say about Doom or Doom II that hasn’t already been said over the last 30 years. Doom II is the main reason I learned how to connect online, discovering local dial-up BBSes just so I could play Doom II online against other human players. Back then, this concept blew my mind, but it went on to play a major role in my life.

It was also my gateway into figuring out how video games are designed, and what makes a video game fun. I spent countless hours creating custom .wads for Doom II, playing them with my friends to see what was enjoyable and what was not. I still have a large collection of custom maps we collectively created for Doom II.

It’s arguably the last great first-person shooter that didn’t allow you to aim up or down, a sign of simpler times. But man, was it fun sketching out a map while in class, and getting home, making it a reality in DEU2, and playing it with friends that evening. Imagine if you could create a custom Mario Kart track and publish it, making it playable in less than two hours. That’s what Doom II used to be.

9. Dark Age of Camelot

While most people had Everquest as their first entry into the world of MMORPGs, Dark Age of Camelot (DAoC) was mine. I remember buying this game with a friend during my second year of college, when Diablo II and Counter-Strike started to get boring. And really, it’s a miracle I managed to graduate because DAoC completely consumed my life for a couple years. All those stories you hear about MMORPG addiction? It was so true. I would be online 18 hours a day, farming bubbles of XP until the sun came up. Or losing bubbles of XP because I dozed off on a pull. Yes, DAoC had negative progression when you died.

Over 20 years later, I have yet to find a community like the one we had on Midgard/Guinevere. This was a time that voice chat wasn’t really used, and yet we had gank groups and relic raids all coordinating with one another through forums and in-game typing. It really felt like you knew nearly everybody on your realm and server, recognizing people by where they sat AFK, or the color combination they dyed their gear.

I’ll also say that DAoC’s relic raids were truly unique and I don’t believe I have experienced anything comparable ever since. The time it took organizing and preparing a raid, from figuring out who was carrying what siege parts, to coordinating the distribution of said siege parts. Then we had to find someone we could trust to run the relic back, along with assigning one or two of the best gank groups on the server to guard the relic holder. Some of my most memorable times I had were running in gank groups and winning 40 vs 8 fights out in Emain Macha. Those who were able to experience DAoC in its prime, consider yourself fortunate. I don’t think we’ll ever have a game like it ever again.

8. Xenoblade Chronicles 3

I don’t know if it was because I was so JRPG deprived in 2022—Tales of Arise was a massive disappointment to me—or Xenoblade Chronicles 3 was really that good, but I fell in love with the game. All 150+ hours of it. And this is after re-playing the first Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition, Xenoblade Chronicles 2, and its amazing DLC Torna The Golden Country leading up to the release of Xenoblade Chronicles 3. You would think I would be burnt out by then considering each game takes anywhere from 60 to 80 hours to complete, if not more. But nope, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 was my 2022 Game of the Year.

Yes, I found it to be a much better overall experience than even God of War Ragnarok. Its characters, story, soundtrack, and world, are just so well developed. Most importantly, I felt like it had the best ending that story could have had. I know some people don’t agree with me, but I wouldn’t have changed a single thing.

This game is the culmination of the Xenoblade Chronicles trilogy and what I really appreciated about it is that Monolith Soft didn’t sit around and try to figure out ways to improve on previous installments’ gimmicks. Instead, it listened to its fans and straight removed the things people didn’t like in the previous games. Although it did improve on the battle system, I still believe it should have borrowed more elements from Torna’s. But the amount of classes you get access to and how you can mix them throughout your party members open up a lot of possibilities.

There’s just so much to do in Xenoblade Chronicles 3, even after you finish the game. There’s a season pass with even more content incoming, including a sizable story expansion that should be similar to Xenoblade Chronicles 2’s Torna The Golden Country.

I didn’t expect it to win any Game of the Year Awards last year because it is a pretty niche JRPG, but it totally got robbed for not winning more best soundtrack awards. I’m sorry, but God of War Ragnarok’s soundtrack doesn’t even belong in the same tier as Xenoblade Chronicles 3’s soundtrack. This is some SSS-tier music that belongs in the same echelon as NieR and Final Fantasy. Just listen to FLUTE GUY do it justice.

Anyways, if you remotely like JRPGs, you should play Xenoblade Chronicles 3. No, you don’t have to play the previous two games to enjoy this one, but there are some nice references that are more enjoyable if you do. But unless you have 300+ hours to spare, I wouldn’t recommend doing what I did, especially since Xenoblade Chronicles 2 isn’t for everybody. This one though, it’s a masterpiece and no one can change my mind.

7. Diablo II

If you look over some of my older content on this site, you’ll probably get the idea that I love the Diablo franchise. I sunk a thousand or so hours into Diablo III, even struggling to get to Act IV Inferno before the nerfs came in at launch. But as modern as Diablo III was, it was not as fun as Diablo II. Not even close. While I know I spent a bit over 1,000 hours playing Diablo III in its lifetime, my Diablo II playtime was at least double, if not triple that. It’s pretty much the only game I played my first year in college, chasing the ladder every season with a different class.

If I wasn’t actively farming in Diablo II, I was probably semi-AFK in trade channels. I used to host so many runs that I began to make friends in the game, so we would all share the loot we didn’t need. It also allowed us a room to safely transfer things to our mules without having to do it publicly. Those were difficult times in online gaming.

I was really excited for the release of Diablo II: Resurrected that I even took a few days off work. I didn’t have high expectations for the servers to survive launch, but I was in the minority of people who got hit with every bug imaginable. My account was locked inside the game for an extended period of time and when I finally got to access it, my character was rolled back, missing levels and items. But hey, server issues are expected, I just got really unlucky while most everyone I knew was able to play and enjoy the game.

None of that should impact what Diablo II was to me. It’s still one of the best games I have ever played, from its build diversity to its itemization. And really, Diablo II: Resurrected shows just how well it has aged.

6. Baldur’s Gate 3

Baldur's Gate 3

Looking back, it’s almost hard to believe I seriously debated whether or not to try Baldur’s Gate 3. I’ve never been a big Dungeons & Dragons enthusiast and could never really get into Divinity: Original Sin, despite multiple attempts. However, the overwhelmingly positive reception of Baldur’s Gate 3 pressured me to give it a try, and now it’s on my list of the best games I’ve ever played.

As I mentioned in my Baldur’s Gate 3 review, the game is a deep, sprawling, and complex RPG that’s as captivating as it is memorable. I was honestly surprised how quickly I became invested in the game’s story and its characters, while finding the tactical combat an absolute delight. There are several good reasons why Baldur’s Gate 3 won so many Game of the Year awards, and it’s not because you can have sex with a bear. It’s one of those really rare games that is full of so many possibilities, and the choices you make truly weaves the tapestry of your story.

I did, however, play Baldur’s Gate 3 during its initial launch on PC and it was far from perfect. The game had its fair share of bugs and performance issues, some of which were very noticeable and annoying in the final act of the game. Since then however, Larian Studios has been hard at work addressing tens of thousands of issues with the game and I expect my next playthrough—whenever that may be—will be an ever better experience. With time, I might move Baldur’s Gate 3 up one or two spots on my list, but for now, I think this is where it belongs.

5. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Previously in this spot was The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and while it’s certainly never a guarantee that a sequel will be better than its predecessor, that was fortunately the case with The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. In my review of the game, I stated that Tears of the Kingdom reminds me of what a video game should be. The amount of creativity that is packed into the tiny Switch cartridge is overwhelming. Not only is the game fun and engaging, it’s one of the few titles in recent years that made me feel like a kid again.

As I mentioned with Breath of the Wild, I struggle playing massive open world games. Time and time again I have tried to engage with games like Skyrim and The Witcher 3, and fail to get past a couple hours into each one. When I first played Breath of the Wild, it was, well, a breath of fresh air in the open-world genre. But Tears of the Kingdom successfully builds on that formula, thanks to the fact that Nintendo’s developers weren’t held back by the Wii U hardware.

Link’s new skills in Tears of the Kingdom open up a giant world of possibilities for puzzle solving, while a better story and a massive Hyrule to explore make Tears of the Kingdom one of the most satisfying games I have ever played. This is easily the most enjoyable 95 hours I ever spent in a game, and I can’t wait to free up my schedule to dive back into fully explore everything Tears of the Kingdom has to offer.

4. NieR: Automata

There is something truly special about NieR: Automata, and if you’ve never experienced it, please give it a try. Yes, it’s very anime-y and Yoko Taro does Yoko Taro things throughout the game, but it’s so unique and so cleverly designed that it’s simply a masterpiece. The action-oriented combat system is quite fun to play, especially with the variety of bullet hell sequences littered throughout the game. Keiichi Okabe crafts one of the best soundtracks I’ve ever heard in any form of entertainment. All these pieces just fit together to make one of the best games I have ever played.

If you do take the plunge, make sure you spend the time to go through all three routes of the game. One of my biggest regrets in my entire gaming career was rushing my first complete playthrough of NieR: Automata. I think there was some other game that was releasing soon, so I decided to sit down one weekend and just blow through essentially the remaining 65% of the game. I completely regretted it once I got towards the end and realized just how amazing NieR: Automata is. I really wish I took my time to go through it all.

There’s also NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139… that I recommend if you enjoy NieR: Automata. It’s a prequel of sorts, but it’s just not as magical as NieR: Automata was, in my opinion. But hey, it has Kainé and Kainé is pretty damn awesome.

3. Final Fantasy XIV

If this post was a list of my favorite video games rather than the best games I’ve ever played, then Final Fantasy XIV would be at the top of the list. But this isn’t about favorites and as great as Final Fantasy XIV is, it’s not the best game I’ve ever played. But it’s close. Despite being an MMORPG with all your typical “carrot on a stick” elements, the team at Creative Business Unit III has made considerable improvements to make Final Fantasy XIV more akin to a single-player JRPG. Ultimately though, it has a combat system that is GCD (global cooldown) based, which limits its gameplay potential.

My history with Final Fantasy XIV wasn’t always smooth. After A Realm Reborn was released, I played the game quite a bit. But after some intense Twintania raiding, I was clearly not cut out to fail for days on the same encounter. I took a very long break from Final Fantasy XIV as a result, and didn’t return until right before Stormblood was released. But since then, I have learned to take a more casual approach to the game and I absolutely love it — to the point that I annoy everyone to try to play the critically acclaimed MMORPG that has a… just kidding I’ll stop.

Seriously though, the way Final Fantasy XIV was able to wrap up the Hydaelyn vs. Zodiark story with the latest Endwalker expansion was truly impressive. From what the game was at its original release to what it has become today, it’s truly a marvel and the turnaround is well documented. At the time of writing, my total play time in the game is 160 days, 4 hours, 53 minutes and I can’t wait to see where 7.0 will take us.

For an MMORPG, Final Fantasy XIV manages to balance all the things better than any other MMORPG I have ever played. And trust me, I have played a lot, including nearly 1,000 hours into Lost Ark last year. If I had to sum up FFXIV in a few words, I would call it the amusement park for Final Fantasy fans. You can be entirely casual and run dungeons on your own thanks to the Trust system. You can go and raid in a wide variety of different fights, from eight man to 24 man. You can sit around and craft all day to make money and fail miserably to buy a house. There’s even The Gold Saucer, packed with mini-games and Chocobo racing. Or you can just be a degenerate and sit in Limsa Lominsa all day long and make friends. Hey, I don’t pay your sub.

Anyways, even if you have no interest in MMORPGs or have never tried playing an MMORPG, it’s worth giving Final Fantasy XIV a shot, since it has a free trial. Oh, and I have to mention the music. It’s so good. Soken is so good.

2. The Last of Us Part I

For over a decade, I considered The Last of Us (and subsequently its remake, The Last of Us Part I) as the best game I’ve ever played. At the time, I would say it wasn’t my all-time favorite game because there’s a big difference between “best” and “favorite” when it comes to video games—The Last of Us Part I isn’t a game I want to return to after completing it. It’s not even a game I bothered to get the Platinum Trophy for. However, I previously considered it the best game I had ever played because it threw me on an emotional rollercoaster and perfectly landed the ending.

The thing is, I found The Last of Us to be absolutely miserable to play, but I think that’s the most brilliant part of the game. It’s not meant to be an enjoyable experience; it’s designed to instill dread, especially when you’re low on resources and entering yet another dark corridor. But the story of Ellie and Joel is just so well told, so well acted, and so well done through various gameplay elements, that it took over 10 years to find something to supplant it at the top of my list.

For me, a great game is one that is memorable. If I finish a game and immediately forget some of the major plot points, locations, or even major characters, it’s just not a great game. I don’t know how many years the final sequence of The Last of Us was burned into my brain, but nearly a decade later, when I went through the remake on PS5, I could still remember exactly how I felt at the end of my first playthrough. More importantly, I found the characters’ story arcs to be really natural and not once did I have to suspend my disbelief. Quite honestly, I was utterly shocked that all that character growth wasn’t just tossed out the window as it happens in other video games, television shows, and movies. It actually all paid off at the end.

Over the years, there have been games that I thought would dethrone The Last of Us Part I, but then they just fail to stick the landing, or I found the ending to be rushed and poorly done. God of War Ragnarök is a great example; my initial 15 hours with that game felt brilliant, to the point where I started thinking it might be one of the best games I’ve ever played. However, after a major plot point, it felt as though the game tumbled downhill and never recovered. I never got that feeling with The Last of Us Part I. It remains a damn good video game, even after all these years.

1. Final Fantasy VII Rebirth

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth

I thought long and hard whether or not Final Fantasy VII Rebirth deserved to take the top spot on this list. But after mulling it over for a week, having spent more than 217 hours to get the Platinum Trophy, I’ve decided it’s now the best game I’ve ever played. The thing is, Final Fantasy VII Rebirth is a lot more than just the second game in the Final Fantasy VII remake series. It’s almost unbelievable how much content, character development, and story Square Enix added to this section of the game, compared to the original. Combine all that with stellar voice acting, one of my top three gaming soundtracks ever, an overwhelming number of minigames, and just the right amount of charming cheesiness, and I think this game will hold its top spot for a long time.

As I said in my review, Final Fantasy VII Rebirth is a beautiful and emotional reimagining of a classic story. Although the game’s ending is admittedly a bit messy, it wasn’t enough to detract from the overall experience. The game does have some graphical issues, particularly in Performance Mode, which is a real shame considering how great it looks in Graphics Mode. Lastly, the sound mixing in Final Fantasy VII Rebirth is poor and requires adjusting the volume settings to get the experience just right.

That being said, these turned out to be minor gripes given the overwhelming quality of the rest of the game’s content. Final Fantasy VII Rebirth is the most time I have ever spent in a single-player game, and even though some of the more difficult fights in the game were frustrating, they ultimately felt fair. There was one day when I spent 8.5 hours straight failing at “Ruler of the Outer Worlds” without once putting down my controller in rage. For me, the combat system is so enjoyable that even failing was fun. The experience of doing all the challenging fights and failing so close to victory contributed to why I have this game as the best game I’ve ever played. With any other game, I might have just quit, but I couldn’t walk away from Final Fantasy VII Rebirth.

Even after obtaining the Platinum Trophy and forcing myself to move on so I can get back to reviewing new games for this site, I found myself listening to the soundtrack throughout the day and watching other people’s attempts of the challenging battles on YouTube. I happily admit that Final Fantasy is my favorite video game series, and as a diehard fan, I find Final Fantasy VII Rebirth a masterpiece, even with all its faults. I would be very surprised if the final game in the remake series can top this, but then again, after Final Fantasy VII Remake, I never would have imagined this is what we would have gotten with Final Fantasy VII Rebirth.

Recent Updates

  • April 21, 2024: Added Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead and Borderlands 2 to the list.
  • April 5, 2024: Added Final Fantasy VII Rebirth to the list.
  • April 4, 2024: Added World of Warcraft to the list.
  • January 31, 2024: Added five more games to the list, making it a top 15.
  • August 2, 2023: Replaced The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild with The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.

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With over 20 years of online publishing experience, Jason Siu is currently the Content Director at VerticalScope and used to spend most of his time writing about cars. His work can be seen on websites such as AutoGuide, EV Pulse, FlatSixes, Tire Authority, and more. As the former co-founder of and West Coast Editor of Modified Magazine, he has also authored two books for CarTech Books. In his spare time, he founded FullCleared to indulge in his passion for writing about games. Although Jason is a variety gamer, he generally prefers RPGs.

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