What, another top 10 list? Yes. But this time it's a personal one. Why? Because I want to, and I haven't done anything of the kind before. Well actually I did, a long time ago on an IT forum far far away I polled the entire user base to name the best game, and then I compiled a top list based on that. But this time it's different this is my subjective list of Top 10 games. I don't choose games on one metric. Some might get in because they played a significant role, they were ground breaking or addictive, or for some weird reason I liked them that much. So without further ado here are my top 10 video games: Spoiler: Number 10 Mass Effect 2 (2010) This is obvious enough. The Mass Effect series evolved narrative based action games to a new level. A game that is not driven by gameplay but primarily the narrative. Of course gameplay is still good in it, but it only serves as the vessel for the story. Without the story and the characters and the interaction the game would only make it a mediocre shooter. If only the ending of the series was better this place would've been taken by Mass Effect 3, which taken things narrative wise to an even higher level, only to fall face forward at the final stretch. Spoiler: Number 9 Max Payne (2001) I wanted to say as a direct opposite to ME2, this game shines in the gameplay department, but it also has a strong narrative as well. But it's real strength remains the gameplay, and the introduction of bullet time for the first time. And nailing it as well right away. IMO the sequels especially the third game tried too hard to improve on what was already perfect. It feels like I finished this game a million times, it was so good. Remedy entertainment got on the map and immediately gotten renowed for this, only to wither away as Microsoft's little bitches later. But this is supposed to be a positive post. So I'll shut up about that. Spoiler: Number 8 XCOM 2 (2016) It might be blasphemy to put such a new game on a list like this, but I decided I'm going to do this anyway. The game is unbeliveably well designed and addictive, the campaign nails you to the screen, and you want to do better at it all the time. This is the only game where immediately after finishing a playtrough I started a new one, not even once but multiple times. The only reason it's not higher on the list is because I haven't had time to forget about the issues it has yet. Spoiler: Number 7 Transport Tycoon Deluxe (1995) There aren't any other games that could achieve what this little 10mb game achieved. That I any many others actively play it over 20 years beyond it's release date. And I'm giving credit for that to the original game despite knowing that technically it's an unoffical (TTDPatch / OpenTTD) remake that everyone plays, but it's still the same game at the core. It's so satisfying to lean back and watch the infastrucutre of rails and roads work that you created. I blame this game partly for doing so badly in primary school. I couldn't have imagined back then that I'll still load it up from time to time so many years later. Spoiler: Number 6 Command & Conquer: Generals - Zero Hour (2003) The C&C series was always one of my favorites, at least until it turned into garbage after RA3. But gameplay and balance wise this is the best part of the series. I've spent hundreds of hours playing skirmish against AI enemies in it. The only other that came close to it is the original Red Alert. Spoiler: Number 5 Star Wars: TIE Fighter (1994) The standard in space simulation. Of course X-Wing came before, but playing on the side of the empire always felt more satisfying. The missions were much better in this game. And this is probably the only star wars game where the empire doesn't look all bad, they're not the evil oppressors, but trying to bring balance and peace to their subject worlds. Spoiler: Number 4 Test Drive Unlimited (2007) Everything I dreamed about since the first time I played a street racing game on a computer. This is the perfect open world racing game. It hit a nerve with me, like they made it exactly after plans lifted from my brain. A little role-playing, a little racing, a lot of high speed cruising, exploring and having dozens of hours of pure fun. It's just simulation enough to satisfy my hyper sensitive need for good physics in a racing game. But the setting and the whole execution is flawless. Even when I was in the closed beta I knew this game will make history at least in my history book. Spoiler: Number 3 Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven (2002) And talking about simulations what could be better than a game, that's not even a racing game, but has better physics and driving controls than most, possibly all racing games of the era? Among all the racing games this was the one that utillized my force feedback wheel the best, and this was the one that allowed you to use a manual clutch. Which was almost unheard of at the time. Espeically in a game that was branded as a „GTA clone” by the ignorant masses. Still highly acclaimed critically despite many players were disillusioned by the fact that this is not gta, this is a story based third person shooter. And what a story, but most importantly what perfect storytelling. Many tried to mimic it since, and so few succeded. Spoiler: Number 2 Half Life (1998) The game that proved to the world that videgames can be narratve driven. Regardless it's the best shooter of it's era as well, and that title wasn't threatened for years to come. Another game I finished 10+ times. But this one for gameplay. I remember the first time I started playing couldn't put it down until 4 am. Brilliant game. Member when valve used to make games? Now they only make money. Spoiler: Honorable Mentions System Shock 2 (1999): Well this is how an sci-fi RPG should look and play. Alien Isolation (2014): took the hint which earned it a place here as well. Hard Truck: Apocalypse (2005): privateer on wheels Gran Turismo 4 (2005): Best part of the best arcade racing game series X-Wing Alliance (1999): Should've been a sequel to Tie Fighter, not a rebel sob story Spoiler: Number 1 Deus Ex (2000) This is it. The freedom this game gives you is mind boggling. Especially when you look at when it was released. You can solve every problem in the game a dozen different ways. Without it being in your face. Every little secret you discover in it, every new solution to a problem feels earned. Not given. If game design schools would show nothing else but this game as an example, no bad games would ever be made again. In some regards it's still the benchmark, despite being terribly aged by now. There is no other game that could reveal new secrets to me after the tenth completion. This still had an ace up it's sleeve even after I thought I knew everything. Probably the first game where you could make choices seamlessly that changed the narrative a bit. Critics always say to me „yeh buh yo dunt chang anythin of import!” But C'mon it the things you could change were huge for it's time. What other game was there where you could avoid or delay confrontations with bosses? Or save key NPCs from certain death? Or help someone who in turn will help you later in the game ? All by choice. And of course the game is a conspiracy theorist's valhallla. Not saying I'm one, but the mere possibility of these secretive organizations intrigue me. I just think it'd be cool if they actually existed, and in this game world they do. So there. Now come the flood of posts saying You idiot! How could you not include „insert title here”?