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What makes you like your favorite games?

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I cannot answer that question, I mean, I like each game for different reasons. For example, one of my favorite games ever is Thief the Dark Project, love it because it is still the best first person stealth game ever made, it has great steampunk elements in it and the story is extremely thrilling.
Baldur's Gate II, another one of my favorites is a totally different game which I like for completely different reasons like its very tactical combat, the spell system, the beautiful art style, the fleshed out characters etc.

I think there is only one thing that is important for me no matter what kind of game it is, and thats immersion. Immersion includes a believable solid plot, consistent world + rules, believable characters and a certain amount of player freedom.

Ok, my top ten are:

1. Thief the Dark Project
2. Baldur's Gate II
3. Thief: The Metal Age
4. Mass Effect 3
5. Unreal Tournament
6. Icewind Dale II
7. Icewind Dale I
8. Dragon Age Origins
9 F.E.A.R
10. Return to Castle Wolfenstein

I gazed at the dead, and for one dark moment I saw a banquet. 

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@Razsius, we have different tastes, that's clear. Do you find it disturbing? I don't find it disturbing. No accounting for tastes.


I dunno. I play games for fun. I like games that seize my imagination or have really good "visceral" gameplay. I cannot into games where I'm just asked to larp... unless there's an exceptionally interesting world to discover. What's got me scratching my head is that Arcanum's world ought to be just that, exceptionally interesting, and I ought to have fun discovering it. But no, it just doesn't do it for me.


-- Also, Arsène Lutin was just my latest character. I've also played a tech-related gunslinger, a powergaming mage, and a combo swordsman-magic-user. I hated the combat with all of them, which is why I finally tried Arsène, figuring it would be essentially a "skip the combat" button so I could appreciate the rest of it, but ... no.


I always seem to get up to level 10...15 or so, and then lose interest.

I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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  1. Any game I can choose my gender.  I check this first, before reading anything else about a game.  

Exploring, like in Morrowind and Skyrim

Prefer modern settings.

KoTORs.  Lightsabers, and npc interactions, and just everything. ^^

Toolset.  The range of mods available for TES and NWN games are mind boggling.  

PCs actions to mean something.  Okay; none of the games really do this.  That's where my ability to wander off into lala land comes in handy.

Divine Divinity II: The Dragon Knight Saga.  Hilarious interactions, fun gameplay, which led to a scarily addictive game for me.

Established lore.  No making crap up to magic yourself out of the corner you bungled yourself into.

Game expansions. Proper ones. 

Holodeck!  :biggrin:  Dammit... I could've sworn...

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@Razsius, we have different tastes, that's clear. Do you find it disturbing? I don't find it disturbing. No accounting for tastes.


I dunno. I play games for fun. I like games that seize my imagination or have really good "visceral" gameplay. I cannot into games where I'm just asked to larp... unless there's an exceptionally interesting world to discover. What's got me scratching my head is that Arcanum's world ought to be just that, exceptionally interesting, and I ought to have fun discovering it. But no, it just doesn't do it for me.


-- Also, Arsène Lutin was just my latest character. I've also played a tech-related gunslinger, a powergaming mage, and a combo swordsman-magic-user. I hated the combat with all of them, which is why I finally tried Arsène, figuring it would be essentially a "skip the combat" button so I could appreciate the rest of it, but ... no.


I always seem to get up to level 10...15 or so, and then lose interest.


Amusing maybe.  Disturbing?  Negative.  It certainly doesn't change how I view you.  I was just poking fun that we always seem to be "opponents."  I wasn't quite talking about larping your character however but rather creating identity for it.  Take Chris Avellone's Let's Play of Arcanum, I wouldn't really call that larping his character but he did roll one *he* wanted to play and he seems willing to suffer the consequences of his choice (in his case terrible combat stats).  That and it's pretty funny how he doesn't like Vergil's sass so you could say he's just taking everything at face value.  Your three examples as I recall all have your characters start with identity.  In Morrowind you are the Nerevarine, in Gothic you're the Namless Hero and in Fallout you are the Vault Dweller.  In Arcanum, you are the incarnation of a powerful elf but that makes little difference to you in the beginning (more of a joke really) but that might play heavily later on.  You know it's funny, generally I think you stop right before the time you'd be "home free."  If you can clear Black Mountain Mines I hear the game gets much better.


As for combat, I was hooked when I threw my first molotov.  I think I was fascinated by the knockback effect (though I shouldn't have been).

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I can list a number of games I truly love, but it would be an insanely long list and I wouldn't want to inflict any more endless posts on you lovely people... The one thing every game I love has in common is the ability to capture my imagination.


In Role-Playing Games it's easier for me to immerse myself in the setting, because there's always so much more definition to the world. When I first played Baldur's Gate I was captured immediately by the game and it's setting. There was so much lore that I didn't know, so much history for me to learn, so much intrigue and mystery that I just couldn't help but get caught up in it. I found myself so deeply pulled in that my imagination caught fire and, for the first time in my little life, I didn't see a "Player Character"... I saw a person. A little, tiny, pixelated person, someone who had her own hopes, her own dreams and beliefs. She became so different from who I was and I got the experience this rich, beautiful world in a completely different way.


I could see her, my little character, like this perfect picture fixed in my mind. I could see her long hair and her practical robes blowing in the breeze, hear the rattling of potion bottles and the trudging of feet as she explored boggy swamps and dusky tombs. It was an incredible experience, being able to so easily imagine these fine details in this grand adventure.


My imagination just got worse the more games I played, eventually I was taking the most simple games and turning them into these huge endless stories. I remember when I went back to play Dungeon Keeper for a second time and I just became overwhelmed by the smallest things. I could so easily imagine myself in the life of a poor little Imp, constantly toiling away to build the ultimate dungeon for my Evil Mistress and all her minions. I could practically see the disgust on the beautiful faces of the Fairies as they were forced to share lodgings with the unclean, extremely gassy, Bile Demons. I could feel the seething hatred of the Vampires as they finally reached their limits and attacked their rival researchers, the Warlocks.


I couldn't possibly define exactly what it is that causes me to love these games the way I do, but - The common thread between all my favourite games is the sheer creativity that they inspire in me. The endless possibilities that capture my mind and the untold stories that set fire to my imagination. It's a truly wonderful thing when a game offers you a world that just pulls you in and never lets you go.


'Course, that's just me, always getting lost in my own head.

Edited by Sylvanpyxie
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@LadyMuck, lucky your point (1) was the first stretch goal for Torment: Tides of Numenéra. They did originally write the PC as a woman though.

Thank you for the heads up.  I haven't been on kickstarter for a while, I would have missed this   :)   I'm now a backer.

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Which makes me even more puzzled about why I can't like Arcanum, although it is the exact opposite -- it's a unique, imaginative, and unusual universe, characters, and story. I ought to like it. Why can't I?

That is a very common problem.


I played Arcanum on a friend's advice and thought it would be perfect but found myself terribly disappointed. I can't really put my finger on why exactly Arcanum just doesn't do it for me, but it just doesn't.

"I am the expert, asshat." - Hurlsnot

"You need to be careful, lest I write another ten page essay on mythology and how it relates to Sailor Moon." - majestic

"I won't say what just in case KaineParker is reading" - Bartimaeus

"Oh no! Is there super secret ending as well? I don’t care." - Wormerine

"Get some poor minorities, that keeps WASPs away easy." - Malcador

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Torment: Probably the best story in gaming I've ever experienced; it was the first game that truly made me realize how much video games had to offer in that regard.


Bayonetta: Best game of it's kind and the writing/characters (for me, at least) were very enjoyable. Part of the reason I liked it so much is because I'm such a fan of super campy/tongue in cheek humor (which is why DMC3/4 > DmC).


World of Warcraft: Out of all the MMOs I've played it's the only one that I've always found myself coming back to over and over.


Baldur's Gate series (BG2 being the highlight): The series perfectly captured the epic journey feeling of starting from nothing and culminating in a battle to become a god.


Starcraft 2: The most finely tuned RTS I've played and one of the few (the others being SC and WC3) where the developer actually cared enough to balance the game after release (or at all).


Legacy of Kain games (well, Soul Reaver/Defiance): An action adventure series that had the perfect mix of creative story, solid gameplay, and interesting puzzles. 


Hexen (2): These were some of the first games that really showed FPS games could be more than just mindless shooters. They introduced hub worlds and actual puzzles along with a story that was more than just a text dump once an episode.


Unreal Tournament: This is the game that solidified my love of hyper frenetic multiplayer FPSs. I still remember countless the hours I wasted playing facing worlds over and over.


Tyrian: Was and still is the best top down shooter ever made. Even today I find myself going back to it now and then (and it's certainly the game that gets the most play time on my iPad).


Tomb Raider: The new one that just came out completely blew me away. Based on past offerings I wasn't expecting much (decent TPS and that's about it), but this is game should be held up as a shining example of how you reboot a franchise. Not only was it an interesting new take on the character but the game itself is one of the best of it's kind. Also the cover mechanic they created is amazing and puts Gears/UC/ME's to shame.


Putting the games in actual order would be too hard since I liked them all for different reasons, but if I had to it'd be in the order listed.


Honorable mentions: Metro 2033, FEAR, Diablo (2), Halo, Saints Row (2/3), Return to Castle Wolfenstein, Dawn of War, Team Fortress Classic, Counter-Strike, Megaman X, Bubble Bobble, Super Tetris, Far Cry, NOT Mass Effect (**** you ME3). Probably still a few I forgot.

Edited by Dream
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Oh boy, lists! I like lists.


No particular order.


Rock Band 3. (Yes I know it doesn't relate to PE but you just said games, and it's rad as heck, I will fight you.)

Lemmings 2: The Tribes. (Yeah I liked the first one too but this one I probably sunk more hours into.)

X:Com: Terror From the Deep. (I like tech trees. I played this one before I played the first one which is why it is my favourite.)

Day of the Tentacle. (This is just here to represent Lucas Adventure Games, also it owns.)

Mario Kart. (No explanation offered.) (But it owns.)

Planescape: Torment. (Difficult for me to explain; although I couldn't really enjoy it as much on later plays through, so much of that game was highly memorable in that it was very weird but didn't feel like it was being weird just for the sake of it, and exploring new areas was more fun because the expectation grew that a new area would actually be something I hadn't seen before.)

Baldur's Gate. (I'm picking the first one because I liked exploring the areas that didn't specifically relate to any of the quests you would be given, but where you would nonetheless see a bunch of unique stuff go down like someone accidentally detonate an ogre. Conversely, I do not like exploring areas in games that feel completely generic and identical to every other dungeon, which is basically how I felt in Morrowind and a large part of the reason why I didn't bother playing any future Elder Scrolls games.)

Alpha Protocol. (No game has ever before or sense made me feel more like my choices had an impact on the overall narrative of the game. Although in some ways Deux Ex: Human Revolution makes me feel a little bit that way.)
Ultima 7. (Again, exploring.)

Wizardry 8. (Exploring, also the sheer amount of choice in character creation and skill progression and different kinds of unique loot you can pick up, and I really enjoyed that there didn't really seem to be a level cap as far as I could tell.)


Unlucky not to be included:

Mass Effect 3.

SSX series.

Fallout games in general. (Not 3.) (Probably mostly New Vegas. In particular the add on pack which was like a b grade sci-fi movie - hilarious. ONE TWO THREE FOURBIDDEN!)

Twinsen's Adventure. (I really like the aesthetics of the game, and the exploring. Same with Beyond Good and Evil for that matter.)

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Favorite RPGs (including action RPGs and games on the fringe of that):


1. Fallout: New Vegas

2. Planescape: Torment

3. Suikoden III

4. NWN2: Mask of the Betrayer

5. Baldur's Gate II

6. Rune Factory 3

7. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

8. Suikoden V

9. Might and Magic VII

10. Alpha Protocol


List is subject to change depending on mood/memory. Top 3 are probably solidly top 3, the rest are in no particular order. Based on memorability, general awe and enjoyment, and how many times I replayed the game, if at all.


Important factors that I think feed into many/most (but not necessarily all) of these:

- Strong dialogue including memorable party members and party banter

- Lots of party side quests that let you get to know your party better

- Good balance between RP opportunities and cathartic butt kicking

- Story which has factions, recruiting people to your side, and political influences/ramifications

- Your decisions affect the outcome of the game. Preference in this regard for games like Alpha Protocol and New Vegas, where there isn't a right/wrong choice (i.e., a "good ending" and a "bad ending", just different choices and outcomes.

- Some of these have good/interesting stronghold or home building, with play including ways to build up your stronghold

- Interesting item crafting and/or upgrading systems

- A game length which is a good balance between "long enough that I feel like I played through a complete story" and "not so interminably long that I will never (complete a) replay because it is just too time intensive."

- If romance is an option, it involves meaningful dialogue and getting to know someone, and really having to earn their respect, not just having them fawn all over you. And well written where, say, a simple but meaningful kiss can fuel the imagination (as opposed to some mediocre bedroom scene that stabs at being titillating and accomplishes little).

- Options for "playing evil." Preferably options where "playing evil" means being clever and manipulative to put forward your own malicious ambitions, not murdering orphans and puppies for the hell of it. (Few of these games sadly accomplish the latter, unfortunately.)

- Recruiting not only party members, but allies that support you (fill out your stronghold, provide information, etc.).


Things that I'd love to see many of these games do (even) better/improve upon, because as much as I love them, they are not perfect:

- Avoiding insane inventory management. I love crafting systems, but if the crafting system is so complicated that I'm spending hours just looking for a Twig of Amazing Mystification so I can finally, at level 25, build an ordinary wooden club, then somehow the point is getting missed. Likewise, if I have 99 different weapons that are all basically "a pistol that goes boom and hurts things," then why are there 99 of them? I'd rather 5 distinct weapon or armors or whatever than a gajillion things that make it all ultimately inconsequential as to which one I use.

- Clingy jealous bitches. A handful of these games think "romance" equals the formerly awesome strong females suddenly bickering with each other like 12 year olds because you managed to flip the "on" switch to romance with a couple of them. Nothing's a bigger turn off for me than to see this creepy attempt at ego-stroking bickering based out of a ridiculous display of insecurity coming from someone who a minute ago was being a firmly adult, self-assured, self-contained willing to be confrontational individual. (Mina, this is why I let you die now on all subsequent AP playthroughs.)

- Making sure an impossible-hard combat does not keep me from enjoying the story I want to enjoy, especially if combat is largely easy and then suddenly is made stupid-hard for this one scene. This does NOT mean combat shouldn't be challenging--I like challenging combat. But the challenge level should be relatively consistent, and I hate it when I can't get to the next plot trigger because I can't get past a single combat.

- Along with that, avoid "the ten zillion final form" boss fights because THEY'RE BORING. I want to fight the end boss ONCE. I do not want to fight the boss in his bedroom, then chase the boss to the Chamber of the Final Boss Battle, then kill him, then have him transform into his ULTIMATE FORM, then kill him, then fight his super powerful lackey/summoned god/animated teddy bear, then fight his final no really actual final fight ULTIMATE FORM. Making a fight two hours long is not entertaining (especially when you die 119 minutes in), when again, what largely makes these games entertaining for me is the story. A single, well designed, challenging (but not ridiculous) end game fight is FINE, and should be over in, generously, less than a half hour. There can be sub-boss fights (like fight the boss's lieutenant, then general, then animated teddy bear), but once I've hit the main bad guy, I want to fight him/her once and then be DONE. And not too many "lieutentant" fights either. 85 waves of end bosses is boring too. 

- Stop showing me influence gains and losses, or do it in a way that I don't feel like I "lost the game" because I lost an influence or reputation point with someone (or a faction). I want to play the game to roleplay first, not to earn the most "points" with NPCs; it's awesome when the NPCs like you more because they agree with you, but I don't want their disagreeing with me to make me feel like I have to play the game differently/like I'm doing it wrong. I liked the way AP did this, where even pissing people off has notable benefits, depending.

Edited by DeathQuaker
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I like games from most genre's (they seem to be difficult to categorise these days).  I'd consider Shogun 2: Total War and Assassins Creed series more 'roleplaying' games than Skyrim, and Warhammer: March of Chaos to have more RPG class mechanics than ME:2 (omitting dialogue).  I've always wanted large scale battles in RPG games, but to look at some comments on the BG:EE forum, it seems people are afraid of it becoming an RTS if you introduce that type of scenario and suddenly BG's playstyle has become Warhammer:40K Dawn of War?.


If I had to prioritize one consistant thing in all my favourite games; it would be player identity - either aspiring Shogun of Japan, Ezio, Garret, a Transformer, Tukaram (Blade of Darkness), a newb patsy Vampire, Mechwarrior 3's pilot lost behind enemy lines (now that was one game where voice over's were done well - Bullfrog's Dungeon Keeper came second),  all the RPGs from Obsidian and KOTOR2 (which went places with the protagonist no one has dared before). 

Even the facesless cyborgs from the Syndicate games had more visual style and character than whatever any of my Elder Scrolls characters have been.


Might be missing a few here and there Alpha Protocol and Deus Ex pulled of the spy really well, but every game had a player tone and went with it.  That's why I think it's important to keep your character in a setting/game (your alter ego) because I've personally only got one. :cat:

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Dragon Age Origins

Silent Hill 2

To The Moon

The Walking Dead


Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete

Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions

Borderlands 2

Batman Arkham City


As to what made me love these games... reasons vary wildly, but overall I think they are all at the very least above average in every one of their aspects (considering the time of release for production aspects like graphics). While there might be a flaw in the combat of it, the combat itself is not a flaw or a detriment to the enjoyability (unlike Alpha Protocol, PST), and while there might be a flaw in the storyline, the storyline itself isn't a flaw (Prototype, a blast to play, horrible story; FF8, usually FF games other than FFT don't have remarkable stories, but they are well done in what the want to be, personally loving 6 and 9 the most, but FF8's just got worse every disc.).


Same goes for presentation and music, etc.  Basically, they are consistently good (great).


In terms of gameplay, I enjoy about everything, which reflects on my list I think. In cases like To The Moon and The Walking Dead, I specially liked the fact that they maintained the gameplay to the minimum, since it was obvious their focus was on the storyline and interactivity, and they didn't want to nor did lower the enjoyment by putting a lot of half-assed gameplay in the middle, but rather focused on the needed amount of gameplay at the right times. 


As for plot-wise, a plot is needed for it to become my favorite, but it doesn't mean I can't enjoy something plot-less. Because damn if I haven't played my hundred hours of of Super Mario World, Tetris, and Killing Floor. Other than that, the storyline can be about pretty much anything, as long as it's well done in what it wants to be. Take for example Lunar 2, it's a very straightforward, classic adventure story that doesn't try to make itself into high art nor tackle social or human issues, yet it's very well paced, has a great cast, some really neat twists, and is just a very lovable story. On the other hand I can just as much love storylines like Silent Hill 2's that delve into humanity and are subtly developed. Or like To The Moon, that while not as narratively intricate, and more straightforward, it has just as much exploration of it's characters, emotions and human issues, and is more emotionally engaging, and even emotionally draining.


I can keep going for each of my examples but that would be boring.


You guys will probably notice the lack of Infinity engine games, but being honest, while I enjoyed BG series a lot, and IWD too (And... fighting through PST while enjoying the plot), they simply did not get in here due to the other entries. Still, regardless, I love me cRPGs, otherwise I wouldn't be here. KotoR, Arcanum, The Witcher, Elder Scrolls, Fallout, NWN, etc.


Honorable mentions: NOT Mass Effect (**** you ME3)

I know that feeling my man. ME was easily on my list, amazing cast in an entertaining storyline, with very good gameplay and fantastic presentation, and well damn near the top for most of ME3, flaws and all, but then that damn ending ruined the whole franchise for me. And unlike DAO, I can't take ME as three different stand-alone games.

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@LadyMuck, lucky your point (1) was the first stretch goal for Torment: Tides of Numenéra. They did originally write the PC as a woman though.

As long as the character was restricted to female instead of male, it's not sexist. I'm pretty sure that's how it works. 8)


(I jest at the extremists' expense. If there's ANY customization allowed, gender should be the first thing on the list, honestly. It's just plain reasonable.)

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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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The past 4 days I've been playing the latest X-com game, and that game is pretty much my new all time favourite. Right up my alley. I love it to pieces, every bit of it. I love the unapologetic use of popular myth, I love the artstyle, I love the pacing, The design is inspired. The game balance is such that you are constantly on the brink of total disaster and it feels like your flying by the seat of your pants. (or however that saying goes) yet, never do you feel like the task is impossible. I felt incredibly rewarded when I had success in a hard fought battle and losing a soldier felt like a very real loss, not something many games manage to do. (Oh noes, recruit 0162 died) The characters feel real, within the framework of the story, and the voiceacting was top notch.

There was one point where I completed a hard story mission and at the end of it I was treated to a cutscene with the crew at headquarters breaking out in applause. I can tell you, I couldn't keep the smile of my face and I couldn't keep the tears out of my eyes because it was a costly mission.

Not many games manage to do that.


If I have to criticise it, it would be on the externalities, such as that one lab looks identical to the next, one workshop the same as the next, and some animated segments, like autopsies or interrogations are identical save for the subjects involved. Having say, six versions of these things (with the same function) would give it a slightly more polished look. But that's hardly something which matters. That isn't to say there's no polish. Soldiers are randomly generated, but their names are correct, A Dutch soldier has a Dutch name, while a Nigerian soldier will have a Nigerian name and a soldier from India will certainly have an Indian first and last name. Now that's attention to detail! I thoroughly recommend the game to anyone with two or more braincells.


I've completed the game early this afternoon and it left me wanting more.

Edited by JFSOCC
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Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

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