This article on ‘The GB Team’s Favorite Video Games’ was available earlier as part of the GamerBraves Newsletter. Sign up for free to gain access to more articles about news and trends in the gaming industry and community.
Original Article: It’s our 100th Newsletter, bringing you Gaming news in insight every week for the last 2 years or so. As the main writer of the Newsletter, it’s been a long, bumpy, and often stressful but we got here in the end.
So for this Newsletter, we thought we’d do something special and simply tell you about some of each of the GamerBraves Team’s favorite games. The one’s that got to want to write about games more for this website. Here’s a look:
For something that was meant to be fun, your favorite video games are certainly not an easy thing to consider. To be honest, my favorite game could probably change depending on what I had for lunch today. What I’ve found is I like games that tell interesting stories but ones that are well integrated into the gameplay where both sides complement each other to make something that can’t be done in other mediums.
The first game I’d recommend is Earthbound. Like most people, I played Earthbound because I thought Ness was pretty cool in Smash, and while it may seem like a simple game about a boy and his friends fighting aliens, the setting and tone really grip you.
It’s a surreal game where you fight cult members, barf monsters, save the Blues Brothers and listen to some of the funniest NPC dialogue ever put to screen, yet it also features gang violence, police brutality, and one of the freakiest final boss fights of all time, all while maintaining an upbeat and strangely nostalgic tone.
You’re a kid exploring both the good and bad of the world, perfectly capturing the sense of wonder a child would have. Even going back and playing it again as a cynical adult, it just feels so warm. Earthbound is the game that showed me that even with a thinner plot, games can tell a great story through interactivity and atmosphere, the way they can make you feel. There’s a good reason every indie RPG under the sun seems to take inspiration from this game.
The other game I’d recommend is No More Heroes. I love Suda51’s punk style of game design and this is one of his best. I mean it’s a game about an otaku that blows his life savings on a real lightsaber and decides to be an assassin to get his money’s worth. Travis Touchdown is rude, sloppy, and lecherous yet also funny, charming, and endearing in his antics. It also makes you jerk off your Wiimote, how can you not like a game like that?
Underneath the blood-soaked combat that actually managed to make the Wii’s motion controls fun, the game is also one of the most real depictions of gaming Culture I’ve seen put into an actual game. Using a mix of crass yet profound humor, No More Heroes mocks the insane, exploitative but also fun and enjoyable sides of the medium, even making you question what it is that makes this strange form of entertainment so interesting. It’s a wild ride but one that’s worth a shot for anyone that enjoys a good hack ‘n slash.
To me, the main thing that dictates my two favorite games of all time is the fantasy aspect, and bonus points if it’s a turn-based game. Games that let you explore a foreign world filled with its own environments, lore, as well as characters in them are one of the many pleasures I find when playing. With that being said, the two games that I hold dearly are Final Fantasy XIV: Online (FFXIV) and the more recent Octopath Traveler II.
The critically acclaimed FFXIV (that has a free trial of up to level 60 without restrictions in playtime), was a game that I picked up while I just finished college and had an abundance of free time between job hunting. I was initially skeptical of the slow and tedious start of A Realm Reborn (ARR) and only stuck through it as I had friends who could usher me around Main Story Quests on their mount, but immediately got hooked into the story with the cutscenes that played in the Bloody Banquet after completing the final post-ARR quest.
What got me truly invested in FFXIV was ironically the “award-winning” Heavenward expansion and Ishgard as a region. I absolutely loved playing as the Warrior of Light as I went through the many stories and beats Eorzea had to offer. Spending countless hours clearing through the many dungeons with a band of other players and glam-ing up my character was always a delight. Where are my fellow DRG mains at?
Octopath Traveler II might slightly be more of a recency bias but I would be lying if I said I didn’t absolutely adore the title. I picked up the title on a whim and did not regret that decision one bit. I was initially drawn in by the game’s stunning 2.5D graphics but it’s so much more than that. The combat system while simple, feels so satisfying and rewarding when you get to plan out your moves and break the enemy at the right time.
Composer Yasunori Nishiki also killed it with the soundtrack of Octopath Traveler II by creating the most hyped BGM for both the boss battles and individual character themes. Speaking of, I also love all of the eight travelers, being able to understand their motivations and purpose in their journey and seeing them all interact with one another really makes them feel like one big God-slaying family.
First of all, thank you guys so much for the 100 issues of the Newsletter. Writing these are some of the most fun we have in the week, and having you with us for this journey is always a delight.
As for my best games of all time, my most important metric is choice. A game that acknowledges your ability to choose is both inspiring and a financial nightmare since that means making content players will not see on their first run.
In that spirit, my two favorite games of all time are Fallout: New Vegas and Disco Elysium, for much of the same reasons. New Vegas is an absolute pinnacle of atmospheric writing, making patrolling the Mojave feel like an absolute delight. I’ve never felt more like a drifter in a western than I did playing New Vegas, as I stumbled across shacks full of bandits and violently ended them, only to still find their corpses there the next time I arrived. The ability to antagonize random NPCs is also great but unfortunately, lead to me being shunned from the starting village on my first run.
On the other hand, you have Disco Elysium. While New Vegas has a wealth of things for you to do from cards to talking to gunplay, Disco instead puts all its cards on its incredible writing, and boy does it deliver. It’s overtly political, with strong things to say about everything from fascism to racism to spending way too much time apologizing. Literally had a game tell me I’m better off quitting my cop job because I spent too much time apologizing. Considering you can make your detective anything from a hyper-fascist to a man being held hostage by his hideous tie, you could really have completely different experiences- each of them incredibly written in a way to hit you in the gut every time.
Thank you for supporting the newsletter! It’s always nice to talk about certain niches or just broader topics in the entertainment media as a whole.
Thank you again for reading the GamerBraves Newsletter. Writing these each week has given me a lot of opportunities to speak about different aspects of gaming and highlight areas I find interesting from discussing the Street Fighter timeline to telling you what makes the 3DS one of the best consoles ever made. Here’s hoping you can bring you more interpreting content in the future.