Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Top Ten Tuesday - Computer games

Today, Tuesday 24th of April, might seem like any old day to you, however if you are a computer game fan then you will be well aware that today is quite a special day indeed. For today marks the release of one of the most highly anticipated games ever - Grand Theft Auto IV.

I must confess I'm not as clued into computer games as I used to be, say ten years ago, but I've taken the time to read up about this game and it looks truly AMAZING. Admittedly I'm not a huge fan of the GTA series, although I've played all of the titles. I preferred GTA 3 which was a revolutionary game at the time it came out. My interest in the series waned as the years went by but this new release looks set to revive it. I thought someone put it best when they said that to gamers this was the equivalent of a new Harry Potter book. Needless to say I intend to get this game although it might not be easy. Several games stores across Ireland opened at midnight in order to cater for gamers eager to get their hands on the game. Should sell like hotcakes.

I think it will be a smash hit. I'm fine with that too. I'm not one of those people who lays all of the blame for society's ills squarely at the feet of games like Grand Theft Auto. At the end of the day violence existed before computer games and there's a reason why it says '18' on the box. If parents don't want their kids playing the game, don't let them have it! Simple.

With today being what it is, I thought I'd compile a list of my top ten favourite computer games of all time. So without further ado...

1. Metal Gear Solid - Released in the late nineties for the Playstation this has to be regarded as one of the greatest games ever. It's basically about a legendary soldier, Solid Snake, who must infiltrate a terrorist base and stop a nuclear bomb.

It has a captivating story and while the graphics are a bit dated, it's still an absorbing gaming experience. Feels like being in a movie!

2. Super Mario World - Released in 1992 in Europe, this is a really simple game that you can still enjoy to this day. Mario is a great character (way better than Sonic the Hedgehog for the record) and this is an all-time classic.

3. Tetris - Another classic, Tetris was released for the Game Boy in 1989 and is a falling blocks puzzle game. It's so simple to pick up and play that all ages can enjoy it. Super stuff.

4. Metal Gear Solid 2 - Can you tell I love the Metal Gear series? This was the sequel to Metal Gear Solid and hit the shelves in 2001. Beautiful to look at and really fun to play. The plot gets a bit stupid near the very end which is a shame but it's still one of my favourite games ever.

5. Super Mario Kart - My favourite racing game. Released in 1992, it's had several updates all of which have been superb. Get a few friends over and play some Mario Kart and you won't be disappointed.

6. Street Fighter 2 - It hit Europe in 1992 and for me is the best 'beat-em'up' title ever. Incidentally it was such a hit that a movie was made of it starring Jean-Claude Van Damme and Kylie Minogue which turned out to be absolutely APPALLING. Seriously watch that film and witness an abomination of cinema. The game thankfully is an all-time great.

7. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater - Released in Europe in 2005, this was a prequel to all the others and was set mainly in jungle environments where you play as the past protagonist Solid Snake's father - Big Boss. Very creative game and because it's a Metal Gear Solid game, it is a FANTASTIC game.

8. Grand Theft Auto 3 - Released in 2001, this was dramatically different to the other GTA series and allowed players a huge degree of freedom. They got into a heap of trouble due to the adult content in the game but it is remembered as one of the most revolutionary games of recent times.

9. Pro Evolution Soccer - Released in 2001, this game converted me from FIFA to PES and is probably my favourite football game. Very fluid gameplay.

10. Football Manager 2008 - This came out this year and is the only game I've bought in 2008. The idea is that you are a manager of a football team and have to make signings, create tactics and team-talks etc. It is detested by wives and girlfriends I'm sure as it forces men into their rooms where they stare at dots on a screen playing out an imaginary football match. For some reason though it's truly compelling.

So there you have it. My top ten favourite games ever, although I should point out that my interest in games is a bit like my interest in music so this list could be quite different if I compiled it a week from now. Still, most of my favourite games would be in there I'm sure. As you can see I'm a huge fan of Metal Gear Solid and can't wait until the fourth one is released later this year. I don't know what it is about the Japanese but they make bloody good computer games.

(P.S. don't worry I will shy away from further computer game-related posts in future and will resort back to my 'Lisbon bad, Irish Unity good' posts I swear!)


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