Here are a few of my favorite things: Nintendo, Penny Arcade, The Legend of Zelda, Mario, Pokemon, Harvest Moon, Fallout, Dungeons and Dragons, books, dice, Professor Layton, Shadow of the Colossus, Minecraft, and so much more. I'm going to talk a lot about video games, I sincerely hope you don't mind.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Top 5 Video Games: Staff Picks

Greetings, ABoGers! While the site is still currently under production and reconstruction, we thought we'd give you an article to hold you over until the Dark Days are over. So we bring you a topic close to our heart containers: video games! But not just any video games, our Top 5 Video Games of All Time!

Now as we all know, we are all individual people with individual tastes. So we bring you not just one staffer's pick, but the whole A Bit of Geek team's choices. (And trust me when I say this, picking and placing these was no easy matter. We love so many games, it was brutal to choose). So sit back and read about our Top 5 video games, in descending order from 5 to our very favorite #1. Enjoy!

Miranda's Top 5:

5. Harvest Moon: Back to Nature

This is a series that I have loved for many years, yet there are only a few iterations that I truly enjoy. While some of the latest additions have their strong points and fun aspects, Back to Nature for the PSone takes the cake for overall greatness. It is a superior balance of activities and events, suitors and friends, crops and livestock, and farm expandability. Of any other game out there, I would love a graphically updated version of this!

4. Paper Mario: Thousand Year Door

A fantastic RPG in the Mario ‘verse! I love the paper-y graphics, and the dialogue is hilarious. While the storyline is simple, the gameplay is very fun, and each location that Mario and the gang visit is greatly different from the last. I also really enjoy the badge system that was introduced in the first Paper Mario for the Nintendo 64. Thousand Year Door is a wonderful mix of RPG, comedic story, and old-fashioned loveable Mario.

3. Fallout 3

My first foray into open world gaming. I played Fallout 2 as a teen, and fell in love with the post apocalyptic setting and open-ended story. I was thrilled when the third one finally came out, and have enjoyed many happy hours traipsing about the Wasteland, helping less fortunate individuals while blatantly ignoring the search for my father. I also think that V.A.T.S is one of the most brilliant inventions in a shooter.

2. Super Mario World

A title with unending replayability. Either alone or as a shared adventure, this is one title that I can, and do, return to with great frequency. It’s easy to bond with new people over a trip down memory lane, and I will never get enough of the SNES graphics. It also has one of my favorite soundtracks in any game, and you can have a Yoshi in any non-castle level!

1. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

An undeniable classic. I spent a solid two years playing this as a teen, and it paved the way for more serious gaming endeavors (like Final Fantasy) versus the shorter and less story-driven games I was used to. The entire Zelda series is close to my heart, and even though A Link to the Past puts up an amazing fight, I can’t deny that Ocarina of Time is my all time favorite and most beloved game.

Tom's Top 5:

5. Shadow of the Colossus

I love this game not just because it broke the mold, but of what it represents for video gaming. Instead of an RPG where I had to level, grind and get better gear, I was simply told one objective: kill these sixteen bosses. That's it. And that made me rethink RPGs, on top of having a well written story. Not to mention it's gorgeous in every detail, giving proof that video games should be considered an art form. One of the best I've played, by far.

4. Portal 2

I'll admit: I'm a sucker for Valve games. But that's only because they produce the games with the most amazing stories and the most fun. Portal 2, more than its predecessor, brought these two elements masterfully together to create a game where not only was I enjoying the gameplay and puzzles, but drawn in by the hilarious story. I wanted to see it to its end because it was fun and epic. Bravo, Valve, bravo.

3. Bioshock Infinite

The newest addition to my list, this game captivated me from the start with its original concept and beckoning mysteries. But then I became hooked by its exciting action and most importantly, its compelling story that had my jaw dropping by the end. Only few other times have I ever been so excited by a game such as this.

2. Half-Life 2

This game changed the dynamic not just for video gaming, but also the standard by which I judge video games. Everything about this game is so refined and so believable that it is just barely shy of perfection. A game with a genius blending of genres, from action, horror, drama and even humor, Half-Life 2 is a beacon to the industry.

1. Mass Effect

Easily my number one top pick. Out of the rest of the series, Mass Effect 1 was the first, bold step into this fantastic space odyssey, truly capturing the thrill of a new galaxy. With dozens of planets to explore, harrowing moral choices to make and a story that is so complete and so satisfying, I always find myself playing it over and over. Best game ever, in my opinion.

Zach's Top 5:

5. Mass Effect

While I firmly believe the first game in the series is the best, the trilogy as a whole is fantastic. The dialogue and voice acting are done perfectly and it is a great example of human creativity when it comes to what alien races might look/sound/act like. Combat (and gameplay itself) is a lot of fun, and given the number of skills at your disposal, it would take quite a long time for it to get at all boring.

4. The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind

This game gave me the biggest "wow"s in terms of how massive the map is, the incredible amount of customization of how you play your character, and (at the time) graphics. I initially heard about the game on a Toonami review where SARA said "The map is so big it can take you literally days to get anywhere," and I was sold. It was one of the first games I bought for my original XBox. Seeing Morrowind remastered in the new graphics engines by fans is also a treat. It is one of those games I am perfectly content with even if I'm just wandering around.

3. Secret of Mana

I might hold a lot of nostalgia for this game, but I'm certainly not looking at it through rose-colored glasses when I say it is absolutely fantastic. The story is sublime, such that I can read the game's strategy guide like a book. Given the time that it was released, the game was massive and has no shortage of things to do or people to meet. I'm pretty sure I could play through it again and still find things that I hadn't before.

2. Mega Man X

The facelift of the Mega Man series could not have come in a better form. Lush graphics, streamlined gameplay, fantastic teaching mechanics, and jump'n'shoot action make this game what it is. Plus, Chill Penguin has a really nice hook.

1. Link's Awakening

It's no secret that I'm a fan of the Zelda franchise and that I believe Link's Awakening has one of the strongest story arcs in the series. It is such a beautiful story full of happiness, heartbreak, suspense, humor, and mental anguish that, as a kid, I could not fully comprehend. Going back to the game as an older individual, I could see and appreciate all of the emotions being conveyed to me from the little black and green screen in front of me. With a strong story and entertaining game mechanics, this title has no problem being a top contender.

Rachel's Top 5:

5. Mario Kart 64

I cannot tell you how many hours were spent with both my big sisters AND my mom and dad playing this awesome racing game. We got SO competitive, and had tons of fun. We had our signature characters (mine was always Bowser), and our favorite courses (mine was Rainbow Road), and we'd go at it until we had a victor.

4. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

My first real introduction to RPGs, Oblivion sucked me in immediately after my first hour of playing. The endless exploration is enough on it's own, but beyond that, you really start to develop a sense of belonging in Cyrodiil. The quests are intriguing and the payoff is usually always worth it. And not to mention the storyline: Having to shut down multiple doors to Hell, kill demons, and protect the Emperor who will later morph into a dragon to fight a big ass monster? Yes please.

3. Arkham Asylum

If you know me, you know that I absolutely love Batman. Arkham Asylum is the closest I'll ever get to BEING Batman, so yes, obviously, I love it. Not to mention the incredible appearances and/or starring roles by Joker, Harley Quinn, and Poison Ivy, just to name a few. The voice acting is spectacular, as well as the gameplay, plot, and graphics. I had so much fun playing this game, I will definitely play it again and again.

2. Mass Effect 2

The series as a whole will always hold a special place in my heart, but two was just my absolute favorite of the three. The storyline gets so intense, the introduction of brand-new characters makes everything that much more interesting, and having to choose where your loyalty lies (be it with the Alliance you've spent your entire life serving or the mercenary group that brought you back from the dead) is so humbling that it might change your opinions on real life. This game honestly moved me on an emotional level.

1. Super Mario Brothers 3

Ah, such fond memories of playing this gorgeous game for hours on end. This will always be a nostalgic go-to for me. Whenever I'm feeling burnt out on RPGs and just want to feel happy and fancy-free (that's a blatant lie. I get extremely angry while playing Mario. In a good way!) I start a new game up. Sometimes I'll play through to the end, sometimes it's just a few worlds here and there.

If you have a Top 5 and want to share it with us, send it to our Facebook page at


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