According to our Guest Writer, Leah Lemoncakes(Twitter: @leahlemoncakes)
Sut Mae Pawb! My name is Leah and I am a guest writer for this month’s Dillad Tost’s blog! Gaming is my passion in life (I eat, sleep and breathe video games!) so thought this would be the perfect topic for my blog today. I also adore creating lists, but this is definitely the most difficult list I have ever had to compile! I have tried to keep it as spoiler free as possible. Hope you enjoy what you read and let me know your thoughts!
5. Journey (PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 & PSVita)
Exploring the desert for strangers and a bigger scarf.
Most definitely not the longest game in my top 5 but certainly an experience that has stuck with me since playing it. It is a very intimate game where you solve a series of puzzles to enable you to progress the story. It is quite often you can play through and not any other players but if you do, the only way to communicate with anyone is through a series of little shouts and jumping around. There are also a lot of people within the Journey community who wait in the levels to assist and show the secrets within the universe which is quite unique to Journey.
The environments within the game are breathtakingly gorgeous and are fun to explore without feeling overwhelmed and its replay-ability is easy to see. I personally have played it through at least 6 times since first playing it and every instance has been unique and fun.
4. Fallout 3 (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 & Backwards Compatible with the Xbox One)
A story about finding your father, who just happens to be Liam Neeson. What a turn of events!
The Fallout series is one that I keep on returning to, time and time again, just like a moth to a lamp. The reason for my choice of Fallout 3 over all the other entries to the series is the fact that I have easily spent the most time with this one. With all the wonderful expansions to all the miscellaneous side quests there is plenty to do and it is easy to sink numerous hours in when your intention was to only spend a short period of time!
One of my favourite parts of Fallout 3 is the karma elements, enabling different scenarios and causing different conversations depending on your actions throughout your play through. This can be down to something as simple as donating a purified water to a helpless wasteland survivor or to blowing up a whole town and everyone in it. The companions are also part of what makes this series great, allowing you to tailor your journey through the wasteland with who you want by your side.
The Fallout levelling system is also one of my all-time favourites as once again you can completely make this unique to how you want to play, whether you want perks that will make you super powerful or ones which will unlock really interesting dialogue or even ones which over emphasis on the gory nature of the series.
If you have not previously made the time to play any of this series then I highly recommend that you do, although you may have to dedicate a lot of hours to do so! This series gets a massive Vault Boy thumbs up from me!
3. Stardew Valley (PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 & Nintendo Switch)
Biggest time sink since World of Warcraft.
Stardew made the list as it is one of my favourite games to play when I need to de-stress and relax. From the music, to the idea of playing as a farmer or even as an adventurer taking on evil spirits and monsters in the mine.
There is something so satisfying about this game that it is difficult to put your finger on. Whether it’s being able to create a fully functioning farm where you have to treat your animals with love and respect, clearing the town from rubbish and boulders, fixing up the community centre which becomes the hub of your town or building relationships with the townsfolk so that you reveal parts about themselves that are genuinely moving and heart-warming.
The nature of this game enables you to feel fulfilled just by completing a day’s work within 20 minutes (the time it takes to complete a full day in game time). The game also has a replay ability factor, I personally have completed roughly 130 hours on each play through and the game did not feel repetitive in the slightest. There are also lots of places to explore and the town itself is rather expansive and full of things to do despite the low price point.
2. BioShock The Collection (PlayStation 4 & Xbox One)
Not one, not two but three absolute gaming gems!
This one is a bit of a cheat as technically it is three games, however, this collection is absolutely phenomenal. I originally played BioShock on the Xbox 360 and remember my jaw dropping with the twists the story takes and the choices you have to make as well as being utterly terrifying the first time I played it! The combat is great and the powers you can choose make the game exciting, I mean who wouldn’t love shooting bees at your enemies?!
One of the main reasons I love the first two games is that depending on your choices you make, your ending will be different. You have the moral choice of whether to save the little sisters (and free them from being slaves to Adam, the substance that everyone in Rapture is trying to obtain to make themselves more powerful) or harvest them to gain more Adam to make yourself even more powerful as you journey through the underwater city. I always choose to rescue the little sisters and in turn you receive a heartwarming and upsetting ending so prepare yourself with cake & tissues!
Bioshock Infinite is utterly beautiful and almost disneyesque in appearance. Elisabeth’s appearance is actually based on Disney princesses! Slightly different to the first two as the horror element is not there, however the game does not feel like it is missing this. To fully appreciate this game and to really feel how hard hitting the ending is, it is necessary to play the Burial at Sea DLC. The story throughout shows how easily a seemingly perfect city/society can be rotting from its very core. Brutal in parts with some great political themes, difficult moral choices to make and boss fights that are exciting to play. It was great fun zipping around the city and exploring the hidden storylines throughout Columbia. I have played all three BioShocks more than once and would play them all again in a heartbeat!
Last but certainly not least…
1. Silent Hill 2 (PlayStation 2)
The ultimate psychological horror.
Imagine being 14 years old in a converted garage based bedroom completed isolated from
the rest of the house, playing Silent Hill 2 for the very first time completely alone, then the game’s opening line of “In my restless dreams I see that place, Silent Hill” will have a whole new meaning for you!! This game has stuck with me for a very long time, being a firm top 5 game since it first graced my PlayStation 2.
Although it is a bit difficult to go back and play now given how far gaming has advanced since the PS2 generation, the janky controls only adds to its charm. The game has a great way of ensuring you feel isolated, this is through the music and the story telling and will often leave you second guessing your own sanity. This game also has different endings depending on how you have played/ what difficulty you chose and how many times you have played it. This makes it worth playing through again just to see if you can get the super-secret ending which tells you how the whole town got there! Here it is for those too impatient to play it through at least four times!
A few honourable mentions that just missed out on my top 5! (Told you it was hard!)
Resident Evil 7, Evil Within 1 & 2, Spyro: Year Of The Dragon, Super Mario Sunshine, Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Silent Hill Downpour, Fallout New Vegas, Slime Rancher, Thomas Was Alone,
Tales From The Borderlands & Life Is Strange.