Here at Central Mega Pawn, we aren’t just experts in video games and video game consoles. We are also fans as well. That’s why we’ve put together this list of what we consider to be the top ten greatest video games of all time. The games on our list cover decades and genres and age levels. But they all have something in common: they all made an impact on us, are still fun to play, and are still relevant to today’s gamers.
However, some considerations:
We wanted our list to be as comprehensive as possible, so we held ourselves to some rules:
- We didn’t want this list to be inundated with Zelda and Mario titles, so we chose only the best examples of those worlds.
- We are platform-agnostic, so the games on our list are available on popular consoles, PC, and even mobile devices, in some cases.
So, without further ado, here is Central Mega Pawn’s comprehensive list of the top ten video games of all time:
10. Half-Life 2
Alien invasion stories aren’t unique in video games, but Half-Life 2 handles the narrative so well that it makes the concept new, fresh, and scary. Every aspect of the game, from the story down to the tiniest visual detail, makes gameplay genuinely immersive. Clever environmental puzzles, the world-famous and beloved gravity gun exploit an intricate physics engine to make this hellish world feel authentic. You truly hate the enemies, and you live every moment of the story. Undoubtedly one of the greatest narrative video games ever made.
9. The Last of Us
What seems at first glance like a standard entry into yet another video game about a zombie apocalypse quickly reveals itself to be much more than that in the first few minutes of gameplay. Playing as Joel, a grieving single father, players watch his relationship develop with a guarded teenager who may be humanity’s last hope. Combined with beautiful graphics and a haunting soundtrack that sometimes is little more than the sound of grass blowing in an abandoned front yard, the game is unforgettable. Not to mention the unsettling “clickers” and deadly encounters with fellow humans that players encounter and must fight through along the way.
8. Grand Theft Auto V
Regardless of how gamers feel about violence or the world of the GTA series, Grand Theft Auto V is a celebration of immeasurable and obsessive details. Even the most experienced players would be hard-pressed to name another title that looks and feels as authentic as the world in GTA V’s Los Santos and its surrounding countryside.
The action in GTA V’s crazy mix of cinematic high-speed chases, shootouts, and crime hijinks might feel outrageous at times, but the world that it all unfolds in feels so real that players can’t help but buy into its sense of fun.
Innovative, beautiful, and captivating, Journey is a short but unforgettable gaming experience. With standard gameplay of around two hours, the game uses every moment to immerse players into a poetic flow. Playing as a featureless desert wanderer, Journey guides players through a beautiful, meditative game that blends disciplined design, cutting-edge technology, and beautiful art into something remarkable and moving, culminating in one of the best end sequences that we can remember. Journey takes players through an emotional quest that is unheard of for a video game.
BioShock is as beloved today as it was when it first came out in 2007. That’s because, despite being a standard first-person shooter, it defied genre and classification so thoroughly that it essentially became its genre upon release. With a gripping metaphysical plot, beautiful art deco style, and a motley cast of broken personas populating the game, BioShock was at once riveting and disturbing. The game takes the player on a journey through the fictional undersea city of Rapture, built by industrialist Andrew Ryan, which is a deliberately thinly veiled reference to Ayn Rand.
BioShock revolutionized the first-person shooter genre and created a new standard against which all other similar games have been judged since. Its influences can be seen in most popular games of today and sparked tons of debate about games as more than time-wasting diversions with its horrifying forms of self-augmentation and examination of extremist modes of thought.
5. Pokemon Red and Blue
The phenomenon of Pokemon GO that took the world by storm in 2016 has its roots in the game where it all started, Pokemon Red and Blue. Although by today’s standards, its role-playing set up and inventory management might feel dated and clumsy at times, this 90’s game got an entire generation hooked on the promise of adventure, the fun of working with friends to catch all 150+ Pokemon, and introduced flocks of beloved characters.
4. Street Fighter II
The Street Fighter series has inspired countless imitators and sequels. However, the one that started it all and set the standard for fighting games is still Street Fighter II. When it first came out, its graphics, characters, and options for gameplay were revolutionary. Its influences on the fighting game genre can be seen in every game from Mortal Kombat to Marvel vs. Capcom. It’s an enduring fan favorite and is still used in competitions to this day, nearly thirty years after its release.
Game developers all over the world dream of creating a game with three elements that will make their game an instant classic: simple, addictive, and timeless. Tetris nails all three aspects with its block-stacking puzzle that probably everyone on earth has played at least one point in their lives.
2. Super Mario World
No list of top video games is complete without at least one Super Mario title. And while Super Mario Brothers 3 belongs on longer lists, we had to narrow it down to one title for our purposes here. What pushed Super Mario World over the top was its balance between being tough but not intimidating, puzzling but not frustratingly so, and always beautiful, funny and joyful all throughout the game, even the water levels. For pure joy and delight, gamers can’t find a better game than Super Mario World.
1. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
For many gamers in the late ’90s, the Ocarina of Time was a turning point in video games. For the first time, a video game was a complete artistic expression, from its cutting-edge 3D combat, a storyline filled with nostalgia while refreshing a beloved story, and magnificent soundtrack. Ocarina of Time took what was great about the original stories and world and expanded it in ways that other game developers are still struggling to emulate.
You can likely find many of these games, as well as their respective consoles, at Central Mega Pawn. Visit us today to see how we can help you recapture the magic of your beloved video games or find some new ones that you may have missed out on! We have consoles, games, and accessories at a fraction of retail prices!