We here at The Nerd Stash want to give you the best coverage on all of the latest news in gaming, movies, TV, comics, and pop-culture. Particularly though, we are all here because we love video games. Which brings us to this list. Over the past week, some of the great members of our staff put together a list of the 10 Best Games of All-Time (in no particular order). Not to sound like a click-bait headline but, a few of these may shock you:
The Last of Us
Complimenting the gameplay, art style, and story of The Last of Us deems it as an incredible and generation-defining game. What makes it a one-of-a-kind masterpiece however is the tremendous and heartfelt development from which it came. Naughty Dog decided against merely designing a game, choosing instead to craft a compelling experience that goes beyond the console. Where the gaming industry is roughly 40 years old, the art of storytelling and the impact it can have goes back centuries. The Last of Us taps into that timeless recipe relentlessly proving that despite your controller, this is their story to tell and yours to hear. – Caleb Pearson
Star Ocean: The Second Story
As far as JRPGs go, Star Ocean: The Second Story is an underrated gem. I admit my bias is in play here because it is literally the first ever JRPG I played. But there’s something special about Star Ocean 2 that hasn’t been replicated as well since its initial release in 1999. The idea of selecting between two characters and seeing their unique perspectives on the story was one thing. The fact there were over 80 (count ‘em!) endings was another. The latter was achieved by having the player make choices through ‘Private Actions’, which could influence the relationships between party members. That, alongside an epic story spanning two planets and a fast-paced and fun battle system, makes SO2 my favorite game of all time. Its charm and depth have been unable to be topped by even the later games in the series. – Nathan Franklin
The reason Yakuza 3 is my favorite game of all time is due to spite. Pure and simple spite. I was late to the party and only started playing it to prove somebody wrong. I had a friend who shall remain nameless (Ian) and he was loving Yakuza 3. He told me not to play it, it’s too hard and I’d never platinum it. That’s all I had to hear. I started it and loved it. Played it to death, got the platinum trophy and helped him get his. That’ll show him. Afterward, I took a trip to Japan and knew where I was thanks to playing, blowing people’s minds. Kazuma is such a great hero, with such honor. Walking him through the streets of Japan, beating the hell out of punks will always be a joy. It was a journey I’ll never forget and I can’t wait for the (inevitable) PS4 version. – Steve Bennett
The Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past
It’s not often that you can play a video game and know right away that it’s going to be a classic. I was 8 years old when I first put Link to the Past in my Super NES, and from the very beginning, I knew I was playing something special. The game presents itself in a way that few games could even try to match at the time, with outstanding music by Koji Kondo that you’ll be humming for days, graphics and environmental effects that use the full extent of the Super NES’s capabilities, and flawless level design that makes each of its 12 dungeons feel unique with its own theme. If you haven’t played the game before, you owe it to yourself to grab a copy of the game and play through it. While bigger and more epic adventures have been released since 1992 (and even in the same series!), Link to the Past is the game that cemented the Zelda formula into the groundbreaking series that you know it as today. Nowadays, I know the game inside and out, and can tell you where every single secret is located – and I use that knowledge by playing Zelda Randomizers- but I’ll never forget that fantastic day when I came home with Link to the Past and embarked on the epic quest to save Zelda from the clutches of the evil Aghanim. – Cody C.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is the best game that I have played – ever. I think that this game is the pinnacle of immersion. The thought that went into the storytelling – from the main quest line all the way to the almost inconsequential subplots – is astounding and proved to me that I didn’t waste a single second in my 60+ hour playthrough (and that was only the first time doing it). The gameplay mechanics work incredibly well and leave room for many different types of play-styles – whether it be the quick-on-his-feet hack and slasher or the heavily armored tank who uses brute force to get the job done. The game provides its players with edge-of-your-seat action sequences, interesting dialogue, and chances to make choices that actually matter. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is truly a custom experience for all who pick up the controller – and it keeps me coming back for more to this day. – Dylan Haas
Bioshock stormed onto the stage in 2007 and was immediately nominated for (and mostly won) roughly all of the awards. It features fun and innovative gameplay that lets the player wield both guns and magic. Its story is powered by the philosophy of Ayn Rand by way of China Mieville. And it combines elements of the FPS, RPG, and survival horror genres. Most notably, Bioshock uses the very medium of gaming to drive home its free-will theme like a golf club to the face. This storytelling technique has been emulated in subsequent games like Spec Ops: The Line and even movies like Bandersnatch but, like Carly Simon said, nobody does it better.
Bioshock is a moody, stylish, heady game that will alternately scare your pants off and rip out your guts. And it accomplishes all of this while never sacrificing the number one thing a game should strive for: being fun to play. – Billy Whitehouse
Crash Bandicoot (PS1)
When I played Crash Bandicoot for the first time, it was due to the fact that I received the original PlayStation as a birthday gift from my grandfather. The game was an add on but I remember putting in that game, turning the PlayStation on, and just playing. I played that game for hours before school, hours after school, and anytime on the weekends. It was fun just from the fact you could turn it on and start jumping on some turtles or TNT boxes. Also, if you exploded because of one of the TNT boxes, the death animations were always clever and funny. The story was captivating enough and hooked me into saving his sister from Cortex. Even though I haven’t played the remastered trilogy, I know it will be just as I remember it. Turn the game on, start playing, and have that wave of nostalgia just hit me as I continue forward. – Matthew Karambelas
I first started playing this game when I was nine years old. I started with the original series and kept playing. My dad bought me the game and my first PS1. After my parent’s divorce, my dad wanted to make sure my siblings and I still felt no different. He took us to the flea market and this is what we picked. Spyro had me flying and defeating Gnasty Gnorc. We had such fun collecting all our gems and traveling through the different worlds. Simply put, this was our first game after the divorce. The epicness that has now been given the kiss of life.. i.e the Reignited game that released last year, brought back all my love and memories for the game. – Michelle Tongue
Final Fantasy VII
I realize it’s probably one of the most cliché games on this list. While it wasn’t my first Final Fantasy, it was definitely my favorite. I played it during my freshman year of high school. And everything about it resonated with me. The story, the materia system, and of course the music by Nobuo Uematsu.
I remember beating it like it was yesterday. I went in as blind as I possibly could and severely under leveled. Cloud and Red XIII were dead and Vincent was using his Limit Break. I was basically waiting to see how long it took him to die. Imagine my surprise when I won.
I’ll never forget that night and watching the end for the very first time. I knew then and still know now that this game will always be one of my favorites. Since then not a single game has given me such a feeling. – Andrew Close
Super Mario 64
One of my most memorable gaming moments happened back in the late ’90s. My best friend and I made our way down to Toys R Us where they had a few N64 systems on display before the console’s release. It was there we first saw Super Mario 64 in all its glory. The game took our breath away. We had never before seen anything quite like a fully 3D Mario running around a truly open world. Mario had leaped into the next generation with a roar and it not only made an impact on me but the gaming community as a whole. What Nintendo was able to do became the blueprint for every open world game that has come since. We take for granted titles like Horizon Zero Dawn, GTA, and Red Dead Redemption, but none of it would be here without the icon plumber taking his first steps into the third dimension. To me, Super Mario 64 was, is, and always shall be one of the greatest games ever made. – Jordan Zolan
And that’s our list of the Best 10 Games of All-Time. Do you agree with our list? What are your favorite games of all-time? Let us know in the comments below!
Avid gamer and placeholder of what is now the worst selfie of all time. Mostly an Xbox/PS4 player but I have been known to destroy friendships in Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.