GamersBonfire’s Top 5 Games
Fellow gaming blogger Twin Sticks and I have decided to look at some of our favorite games that we have played throughout the years and discuss the other person’s picks on our respective sites! We also chose one game that we both agreed on to look at.
After spending so many years playing different games on a variety of platforms there are plenty of games that I have loved, as well as some I have hated. In this article I looked at the games that have meant the most and truly influenced my gaming preferences.
There are plenty of other games that I debated putting on the list, but these are the ones that stand out to me as games that should be experienced by anyone who enjoys gaming.
I decided to only stick with games I have played semi-recently. Even though many of my favorite gaming memories may come from the GameCube, Nintendo 64, Super Nintendo, PS2, etc. it is hard to determine if those games hold up today, or if they are just tinted with nostalgia.
Also please note that these games are not in any particular order.
To this day Dark Souls remains one of my favorite games that I have ever played. It allows you to explore one of the most masterfully crafted worlds’ in video game history. With areas connecting to each other and offering short cuts in unique and creative ways.
The game can be both very overwhelming and extremely challenging to newcomers of the series, but if you bear through it all it is also extraordinarily rewarding. You play as a cursed undead who escapes the Undead Asylum. The game provides minimalist storytelling and does not explain much of the world to the player, instead allowing them to learn the lore of the land from NPC’s, item descriptions, and the world itself.
As you travel through the land of Lordran you will have to overcome some of the most notorious bosses in gaming history, including the infamous Ornstein and Smough, and journey through some of the most despised areas such as Blighttown.
Along the way you will build your character to best fit your play style through leveling up, getting new or upgrading weapons and equipment, and gain new spells and accessories. The game also does not just offer one single path for you to follow. The player is simply thrown into the world and can explore the world however they please.
Dark Souls has had a heavy influence over my gaming preferences and is the inspiration for the name “GamersBonfire”. If you want to read my full review of Dark Souls check it out here!
Super Mario Odyssey
I have loved Mario games since I played the original Super Mario Bros. This love only grew as I played through other Mario games including one of my favorite SNES games, Super Mario World. This led to my extreme love of platformers, following with Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine. I’ve always struggled with deciding my favorite Super Mario games, and the latest Super Mario Odyssey has only made this decision even harder.
Super Mario Odyssey is an incredible platformer with extremely tight and precise controls. It lets you explore beautiful world’s that each offers a unique experience. The game follows the classic formula of Bowser stealing Princess Peach, leaving Mario to rescue her! One major change of gameplay compared to previous 3D Mario platformers was the new hat mechanic. On your journey you are joined by a hat named “Cappy” that can be thrown on different objects or enemies.
This leads to an extremely large range of different mechanics that Nintendo introduces. It lets you take over enemies and access their unique abilities. It keeps hitting you with new mechanics, one after another, constantly keeping things fresh.
If you are a fan of platformers Super Mario Odyssey is a must play in my opinion! It is still one of my favorite games I’ve played on the Switch.
Undertale is a role-playing game developed by Toby Fox released in 2015. You play as a human child that falls into the Underground, a world below the earth populated by the Kingdom of Monsters. The monsters were all forced underground after they lost a war started by the humans.
Your goal in the game is to find a way back to the surface world while surviving whatever the world throws at you. However, you don’t simply have to destroy every enemy in your path, instead you have an option to play as a pacifist. While you have the option to attack and destroy the enemies, you also have the option to try and befriend the enemies. How you deal with different characters can completely change how future NPC’s treat you, and the ending itself.
The combat takes inspiration from two of my other favorite RPG’s, Super Mario RPG and Earthbound for the SNES. Rather than just choosing an attack and having to take damage, attacking and defending take the form of minigames.
When you are being attacked you enter a mini bullet-hell game where you must dodge whatever attacks the enemy throws at you, Each enemy has a different set of attacks, that completely change how you have to dodge them. This helps keep the combat feeling fresh throughout the entire game, combined with a well written story, an amazing soundtrack, and polished characters this game is an absolute must for turn-based RPG fans.
Skyrim is the fifth and latest game in the Elder Scrolls series. Skyrim is an action RPG that is one of the most popular role-playing games released this decade. One of the biggest appeals to Skyrim is how open the world is for you to explore and interact with. Rather than playing as a predetermined character and following their story, you get to create your own story and build your own path.
Once you finish the starting cutscenes the choice as to do next is entirely up to you. You can follow the main story and start your adventure of being the dragonborn, or you can join one of the many guilds, assist NPC’s with any of the plentiful side quests, pick a side and fight in the civil war, or just explore the beautiful crafted world.
There are plenty of different ways you can build you character to best suit your fighting style, whether you want to be a wood elf stealth archer, a dual axe wielding orc, a high elf mage, or any other combination it is completely up to you!
As someone who had been a big fan of both Morrowind and Oblivion, the previous two Elder Scroll games, I was very excited about the release of Skyrim. I had pre ordered it and ended up playing through the whole night and into the early hours of the morning. I remember being amazed at how beautiful and in depth the world was. Even after all these years I still always enjoy starting a new playthrough.
If somehow you still have not had the pleasure of playing through Skyrim, I absolutely recommend picking it up and experiencing the world of Skyrim for yourself.
Binding of Isaac: Rebirth
Binding of Isaac: Rebirth is a rogue-lite twin-stick shooter that offers 100’s of hours of gameplay. The story follows a young boy named Isaac who lives with his religious mother. She believes God has told her to kill her child, so she grabs a knife and charges at him. Isaac escapes down a trapdoor in his room, and finds himself surrounded by horrible monsters, with his tears being his only weapon.
Yeah, it’s an odd story.
Each round is randomly generated, and the goal of the game is to escape the floor to the floor below. Throughout the game you can pick up active and passive items that can affect Isaac or change the tears that he shoots. The items synergize with each other very well and can ensure no two runs feel the same. While some rounds you may be shooting giant beams of energy at enemies, other you may be wielding a knife or shooting bombs.
With 400+ hours in this game and 300+ in the original I can say this game is more than worth the money. There are many different characters to unlock and try, an abundant number of items to unlock, and plenty of different challenges for you to try and beat! Even though the rounds may feel slow at first when you have no items, they quickly become more intense with each item you pick up! It is my favorite game to pick up and play a few rounds of whenever I have some free time.
GamersBonfire and Twin Sticks Combined Pick
Fallout: New Vegas
Fallout New Vegas is an open world game developed by Obsidian Entertainment and released by Bethesda in 2010. Despite this being an 8-year-old game, I still find myself picking it back up and playing through again, only to discover new secrets and Easter eggs! If you are unfamiliar with the Fallout series, they take place in a post-apocalyptic world after bombs were dropped during something referred to only as “The Great War”. Humanity now tries to rebuild itself after being nearly wiped out.
The story starts with your character, the Courier, waking up after being shot in the head and left for dead. As you start the game you will have the option to choose different levels of traits for your character. For example you can focus on strength to improve melee weapon damage, put up luck to increase your chance while gambling (and to increase several other factors), charm to help you talk your way through tough situations, and several more!
After you leave the house of the doctor who patched you up the world will quickly open up to you. Your goal is to find out who shot you in the head and make them pay, and to get back the package they took from you.
One of my favorite things about this game is how many dialogue options there are and how much control you have over the different conversations. Each different faction will have their own independent opinion of you. This depends on how you choose to progress through different missions and your interactions with NPCs in these factions. Of course, if you go around killing people in a faction, that will have that faction hating you quickly.
The game also offers different endings, with different variants of the endings. You can choose what army will help you gain control of the wasteland, and which armies will be destroyed. The more minor factions that cannot help you in the final battle will still have different endings based on how you treated them throughout your time in the wasteland.
Fallout New Vegas is an extremely engaging RPG, that allows you incredible freedom in making your own choices. When I originally played it, I didn’t like it as much as Fallout 3, but as the years go by, I find New Vegas much easier to go back to. If you have not tried Fallout New Vegas yet, I would recommend doing so.
There are a few games that may not have made it in the top 5, they were close contenders. This is not a list of all the games that were close to making it on the list, just some I felt were worth mentioning!
Portal 2 is one of my favorite puzzle games to this day. The story follows Chell, the main protagonist of the first Portal game, as she is awoken from relaxation chamber that allowed her to live in a slumber where she did not age. You wake up once again in the Aperture Science lab where you must make your way through their many puzzles and try to escape from the lab.
The puzzles are fun and original and always keep you on your toes. The game has a fun plot, and features one of my all-time favorite game villains, GLaDOS, the sentient computer that keeps the lab running.
The way the gameplay works is that you can place two portals that will connect to each other, forcing you to strategically decide where to place the portals. While it may sound like a simple concept, physics and timing also play a large role in the game.
The game also includes a great multiplayer mode where you can try and solve a variety of different puzzles with a friend!
If you are a fan of puzzle games and still have not tried this game, it is a must play.
Rocket League is a combination of a soccer game mixed with the movement of an arcade driving game. Compete head to head with opponents in one of the most intense competitive games out there. It has incredible game mechanics and offers plenty of different game modes that helps keep it fresh.
Rocket league is a game that is relatively easy to play on a basic level, however the skill ceiling is incredibly high. Anytime you start to feel confident in your ability you will eventually meet someone who makes you feel like a complete fool as they mop the floor with you.
It is a game that you must watch to truly get a grasp of the game play, so if the sounds of this game interest you at all, I would recommend watching some videos to decide if it is something for you.
Streets of Rogue
Streets of Rogue is a rogue-lite that places you into a randomly generated city where you must complete a variety of different tasks. The goal of the game is to get through each level of the city to stop the corrupt mayor. On each floor there are different missions that you must complete, this may range from getting an item from an NPC to blowing up a generator.
What makes this game so unique is the fact that it allows the player to complete missions in their own way. They can befriend the NPC and ask them for the item, they can steal it from them if they are playing the thief, or they can kill them and take the item by force.
There is a large selection of different characters to choose from, each offering their own unique play style. You can play as a hacker and hack into different devices such as a computer, atm, or most other pieces of technology. You can play as a thief and steal or sneak your way through the missions, or you can play through as a solider and destroy anyone/anything that stands in your path.
The game descends into total mayhem and can even go up to 4 players. It is an incredibly fun game whether you are playing by yourself or with your friends.
Twin Sticks Thoughts on GamersBonfire’s Top 5 Games
Wow, some incredible games given here, games that we both adore and others that I’m ashamed to say I haven’t played. Undertale for one has been a permanent resident on my backlog list for years (it’s even on Xbox Games Pass now so there’s no excuse). Like with our joint pick Fallout: New Vegas and Bethesda’s magnum opus Skyrim, the way your actions affect the game is exactly what is unique about gaming. I never realised this mechanic was in Streets of Rogue either, which I’m eager to try out.
I fully agree that Dark Souls is a masterful game, but what’s even more incredible is how the shockwaves of this series ripple through the gaming industry even today. Look at last year’s Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, for example which followed the Dark Souls formula to a tee. It’s evident that this long lasting effect is an unquestionable indication of masterpiece status (like the Halo series in my favourite games list, which revolutionised first-person shooters on console).
And the honourable mentions of Rocket League and Portal 2 are much appreciated. Although they are two extremely different games, each have perfected their core mechanics with the utmost precision. The physics engine in Rocket League is second to none and zipping through portals after carefully planning their placement was immensely satisfying in Portal 2. I’ve played many hours of each, but nowhere near your mammoth slog into the Binding of Isaac. 400+? Even Mario would take his hat off to you there. But joking aside, the almost endless playtime, coupled with the fact you can jump in for a few rounds whenever you have time to spare, sounds really appealing. This would be perfect on Switch to pass the time on long train journeys or rainy days. I just need to pull myself away from playing Diablo 3 first…
Note from GamersBonfire
I want to thank Jack from Twin Sticks for working on our guest posts with me. I have been overwhelmed and haven’t had much time to work on my site for a while, this is exactly what I needed to get back into working on my blog!
Related Article: Check out Twin Sticks top 5 over on GamersBonfire’s blog here.