8 Video Games Every Gamer Should Own

Above: You can't call yourself a true gamer until you own these titles
Above: You can't call yourself a true gamer until you own these titles

Video games these days are another important facet of the entertainment industry. There are entire film franchises based on them (Resident Evil), and big celebrities often voice characters in their favourite games (Samuel L. Jackson lends his iconic voice to Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas). No matter what kind of video game nerd you consider yourself, these 8 games are considered the most universally well written, designed, and just plain exciting to play. So, put down that Smartphone, and get back to the games with some actual plot development.

The Walking Dead

Instead of relying on puzzle solving to drive the action in this game based on the hit graphic novel series by Robert Kirkman, players influence a complex, constantly changing storyline based on the decisions they make along the way. Gamers play as main character, Lee, as he travels around a zombie-infested Georgia, with Clementine, a little girl he rescued. The first season is broken into 5 episodes, and it has won Game of the Year awards from several gaming publications. Created by Telltale Games, The Walking Dead series is notable for its focus on character development, and emotional-driven, intense situations.

The Last of Us

The Last of Us from Naughty Dog has consistently received the highest praise in the gaming industry, including over 200 Game of the Year awards. The zombie genre is still going strong because of the potential for strong plot lines, and believable character development, and The Last of Us achieves both those things. The graphics were created through motion capture, and gameplay involves direct combat, stealth tactics, and simple puzzle solving to bring characters Joel and Ellie through a post-apocalyptic world. Another groundbreaking element is the exploration of LGBT themes rarely seen in gaming.

Grand Theft Auto V

As the top selling video game of 2013, Grand Theft Auto V is without a doubt the most popular game out there. Players switch between the three main characters, all criminals attempting to pull off heists while under pressure from a government agency. The setting of Los Santos (based on Los Angeles) is an extensive city with hundreds of roads, businesses, and missions to discover and complete. But the real appeal of the game is the online component, where players can complete missions with the help of other people playing from all over the world. The online world is constantly being updating (it snowed on Christmas Eve), so the game is never really over.

Uncharted franchise

If action-adventure third person shooters are your domain, then the Uncharted series is the way to go. The series follows Nate Drake, a senior treasure hunter, and his band of sidekicks as they travel the world to uncover various historical mysteries. The entire series has gotten positive reviews, and the highly anticipated fourth installment, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is set to be released in 2015. The game will involved a retired Drake being forced back into thieving to embark on a journey in pursuit of a historical conspiracy behind a fabled pirate treasure.

Valiant Hearts: The Great War

This puzzle adventure game by Ubisoft is inspired by letters written during World War I, and players follow four characters onto the battlefield to help a young German soldier find his true love. Themes like sacrifice, survival, and friendship are strong throughout, and the story is as in depth as a feature film. The goal is to defeat the evil Baron Von Dorf and guide the characters through battles, POW camps, and enemy ambushes. Gameplay is based around solving various puzzles to make it to the next stage. If historical plot lines, and themes of war and family are what you want, Valiant Hearts: The Great War is perfect.

Mario Kart 8

Any video game nerd, young or old, has played Mario Kart at some point in their gamer evolution. Although it is only available on Nintendo systems, it is still one of the most popular games out there, probably because it is simple enough for non-gamers to master as well. The go-kart racing game has come a long way since the first Mario Kart game was released in 1992. The 8th installment, released in May 2014 features anti-gravity racing, introduces ATVs, allows up to four players in Grand Prix races, and is the first in the series to have HD graphics. It has garnered the highest reviews in franchise history, and it sold 2.82 millions copies in its first month alone.

World of Warcraft

If it is MMORPGs (massively multiplayer online role playing games) you are into, then World of Warcraft is guaranteed to keep your attention. The extremely detailed adventure game available for PC, lets you create you own character from scratch, including its race (human, dwarf, gnome), profession (tailor, blacksmith, minor), and special skills (archeology, fishing, first-aid). Gameplay involves interacting with various characters (some controlled by other players, some constant within the plot), and completing a series of quests. WoW requires you to purchase a membership, which you pay monthly, but as the Guinness Book of World Records holder for most subscribed MMORPG game of all time, clearly it is worth it.

Call of Duty franchise

In the world of first-person shooter video games, the Call of Duty series is by far the most popular, having sold 100 million copies by November 2011 when Modern Warfare 3 was released. The latest installment, Advanced Warfare will be released for Playstation 4 and Xbox on November 4, 2014. The game will be set in the year 2054, and the mission is to stop a terrorist organization that has initiated the first global terrorist attack in history by simultaneously destroying nuclear reactors of developed countries around the globe. If the success of the rest of the Call of Duty franchise is any indication, Advance Warfare should be the biggest release of the year, just in time for Christmas.

Courtney Hardwick

Courtney Hardwick

Courtney Hardwick is a freelance writer based in Toronto. Her work has appeared on AmongMen.com, 29secrets.com, therichest.com, and ELLECanada.com.  When she isn’t writing about relationships, and the best TV shows and books you should really already know about, she is working on her novel. She hopes to have it published by 2025. You can follow her on Twitter @Courtooo.

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