Video games are a great way to destress after a long day from school or work. I started playing video games since elementary school, ranging from the Super Mario bros on the Gameboy Advance to Counter Strike on the PC. In this list, I focus on PC games that I’ve loved (and still play) over the years.
The Stanley Parable
Single-player / RPG / Simulator
Everyone has become familiar with the popularization of choosing your own adventure storytelling, through Netflix’s Original, Black Mirror: Bandersnatch. In The Stanely Parable, it does exactly that. The Stanley Parable is an interactive storytelling, walking simulator where the player guides the game’s protagonist, Stanley, through a variety of actions throughout his office. During the simulation, there is a narrator to guide you through the exposition. Whether or not the player decides to follow the narrator’s script, these choices can alter the game’s outcomes.
What I enjoy from this game is its seemingly mundane theme. As you venture through Stanley’s office, you’ll find that it can be more to what meets the eye.
Puzzles and brain teasers are always good to keep the mind sharp. The Portal Series consists of 2 main installments that take place in a fictional lab called the “Aperture Science Enrichment Center.” The player plays as Chell, a woman who is forced to solve a series of tests at Aperture by using a portal gun. This device is what helps the player create wormhole-like entry and exit points between two flat surfaces. As the player moves through these tests, other mechanics such as, lasers, turrets, fractor funnels, and more are added to either help or hinder the player from completing each test. There are 2 main installments of Portal for players to enjoy. The Portal series is a brain teasing, yet fun game with little easter eggs and hidden levels for hours of entertainment.
PortalSingle-player & Co-op / RPG / Puzzles
Monster Hunter: World is open-world role-playing game where players can customize their character to their liking and explore the “New World,” which is an unpopluated land filled with a variety of different monsters. The objective is to help the Research Commission in studying these monsters by hunting them, with the help of a cat-like aid called a Palico. By doing so, players can excavate materials from these monsters and the environment to help in crafting and improving equipment, aid potions, traps, and more. I enjoy this game for its customizability and design. The variety of monsters in this game also keep things interesting.
Monster Hunter: WorldMulti-player / RPG / Action
Anyone who is fond of whimsical fairytales is familiar with Alice in Wonderland. What if I told you that there is a darker story behind it? In Alice: Madness Returns, we take a look at Alice Liddell’s adventures through Wonderland, but with a psychological horror twist. This game is a single-player, action-adventure game where the player controls Alice through a corrupted Wonderland as she searches for the truth about her past while battling the trauma from losing her family in a fire. Alice: Madness Returns is a game that I thought I would be too scared to play, but I’ve found psychological horror to be the kind of games that I can still handle without having nightmares. I enjoy the art and storytelling in this game and for giving it that dark twist to one of my favorite childhood stories.
Alice: Madness ReturnsSingle-player / RPG / Psychological Horror
The Bioshock series transports the player to dystopian worlds in their own right. The first and second installments take place in the dystopian underwater city of Rapture, where the citizens have become consumed with “Plasmids,” which are genetic modifiers that grant superhuman-like powers. But the substance used to create these plasmids, known as ADAM, lead to mental instability in its users and created political and social strifes within Rapture, which resulted in a war and leaving it in its dystopian state. Players have to navigate through Rapture and battle the genetically modified inhabitants, known as “Splicers” to reach each objective. In the third installment, Bioshock Infinite, takes place in a city in the sky called, Columbia. The player controls Booker Dewitt in a search for a young woman named Elizabeth. This world has similar genetic modifiers like Rapture, through the consumption of Vigors, which also help you battle enemies throughout Columbia as you help Elizabeth discover the truth. And also like Rapture, Colombia experiences a civil war between its citizens, the followers of the city’s Founders, led by Zachary Comstock, and the Vox Populi, a resistance group led by Daisey Fitzroy. As the story progresses, the player is faced with these battles, with Elizabeth’s aid while searching for answers. I recently finished Bioshock Infinite, and I was blown away by the storytelling, artwork, detail, and how it ties the entirety of the series together. This series is a must play in my book.
Bioshock seriesSingle-player / FPS / Dystopian
Making it onto the Guinness Book of World Records with over 17 million different possible guns, and counting, the Borderlands series is a grungy, open world, first-person shooter set in the 29th century on the planet of Pandora. Pandora was believed to be wealthy in mineral resources, which lead to the discovery of alien artifacts by megacorporations’ colony ships, when it turned out there was little value to what they found. These corporations abandoned the planet, leaving behind their workforce of former bandits and raiders. The alien artifacts, however, were studied and revealed the discovery of mythical Vaults filled with legendary wealth. The player plays as one of the Vault Hunter, with specialized abilities, in search of these Vaults. I’ve played through the first two games and love the artwork throughout the series. I also love the variety of characters that you get to encounter, especially Claptrap and Tiny Tina. I’m thoroughly excited for the third installment of the series to be released by the end of this year.
Single-Player & Co-op / FPS / Action
With the final season premiere of Game of Thrones coming up this weekend, I had to add in its playable version by Telltale Games. The games developed by this studio follow an episodic format. In the Game of Thrones series, the player follows House Forrester, a family from Ironrath, who live in a fortress in the North of Westeros within the Wolfswood forest. Within each episode, the player controls one of five members of the family by interacting with other characters and making decisions that will determine what will happen next in the story. Like the TV series, it’s best not too get attached to any characters, as I had made the mistake my first time playing this game. As someone who has not completely followed the Game of Thrones series, this game gave me a taste of what to anticipate when I binge watch the rest of the series before the premiere of its final season. Players will also be delighted to see familiar faces along their journey in this game.
Game of Thrones: a Telltale Games seriesSingle-Player / Interactive Graphic Adventure
This is just a short list of video games that I’ve enjoyed playing throughout my years of gaming. If there is game that you love, tell us what it is and why in a comment below!
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