For almost a decade, players reveled in the gaming experiences provided by last-gen consoles. From the Xbox 360’s release in 2005 to the launch of current-gen consoles, the gaming industry experienced some serious and positive changes. Players watched the uprising of casual games on mobile devices, the increasing blockbuster nature of triple-A titles, and the growing trend of competitive online gaming.
During the eight years of last-gen consoles, game developers provided new and challenging experiences for players and launched a true revolution in online gaming. Gamers were no longer required to sit next to their friends on the couch to play together, but could now connect with other players around the world. Gamers experienced new worlds and stories that challenged their abilities, minds, and morality.
As we prepare to close out the final chapters of the last-gen consoles, we look back on the games that had the most impact on us. We polled our writers and developed the below list of the top 25 best games from last generation. Here they are in no particular order:
The Last of Us – PS3
Very few people will argue the impact The Last of Us has on those who play it. From its heart-wrenching storyline to creative gameplay, The Last of Us has earned its place among the best games of the last generation.
Thanks to the game’s success, developer Naughty Dog remastered The Last of Us for Sony’s current-gen console, the PlayStation 4, allowing a new generation of players to enjoy the game’s immersive and stunning experience.
Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword – Wii
For many Zelda fans, Ocarina of Time has been the best game in the franchise. However, when Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword hit shelves, many gamers began to change their tune.
Skyward Sword provides a compelling and engaging origin story, along with some impressive visuals and fun gameplay. The controls worked seamlessly on the Wii and make for a low learning curve for new and veteran players. For many gamers, Skyward Sword is considered the best game ever produced for the Wii.
Left 4 Dead 2 – Xbox 360
Valve’s Left 4 Dead 2 took the intensity and action of its predecessor, but with better weapons and other additions. Where the first one introduced an engaging, zombie-killing concept, it was Left 4 Dead 2 that truly showed the game’s potential.
Much of what made the game so fun and immersive was the four-player co-op. Players had to work together and maintain strong communication if they wanted to succeed and live through each level. Although the title is now six years old, many gamers still enjoy jumping in with friends to take on hordes of zombies.
Super Mario Galaxy – Wii
Nintendo took their famous Italian plumber and sent him into space with Super Mario Galaxy, and it was a brilliant move. The game’s fun levels, unique challenges, and lengthy gameplay made it a gem on Wii.
Super Mario Galaxy’s success led the sequel to be available on WiiU’s eShop, though hopefully they’ll also bring HD versions of the games to the WiiU in the future.
Batman: Arkham City – PS3, Xbox 360
Rocksteady’s first Arkham game showed the gaming world that Batman games could be dark and gritty, while promoting Batman as the hero we’ve always known. Batman: Arkham City then built upon the strengths of its predecessor, while also delivering plenty of new features players came to love and appreciate.
The Gotham of Arkham City entreated players with exciting fighting and a detailed environment we all wanted from Batman games for years. It’ll be difficult for Rocksteady to outdo themselves, but many gamers are hoping they do just that with their upcoming game, Batman: Arkham Knight, which launches in June for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
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