Ever have one of those days where you just want to give up on humanity and all that is good and holy? Like maybe you just want to curl up in a ball and hibernate for 60 to 70 years and then afterwords just die, your friends and family just tell you to grow up, suck it up and get over it and as hard as you try, you can’t help but want to knock the living daylights out of them?
I know It feels like no one else is there for you, but there has been a certain something that at least, for a moment, can give you great relief and be a real stress buster… and for those with dirty minds, no, it’s not masturbation. It’s your dearly beloved video games.
Yes that’s right, the world of virtual reality has been the remedy to many people’s stress-filled days for decades now. In those short few moments, you could simply put whoever you like in place of a character you’re facing and beat the living snot out of them or maybe beat them in a race or football game as a sort of moral victory. In those short few moments it’s quite possible that you’ll forget all about the asshole that you have to call your boss every day, that girl who banged all your friends and bought them expensive gifts with your money, or that know-it-all teacher who couldn’t teach his way out of a paper bag, but has the nerve to give you a lecture about life and being successful and how you’ll never be what you want to be because you aren’t pushing yourself hard enough.
The best part is, video games are totally legal, so no jail time for you, which is great because some of the problems that people face that I mentioned above… don’t always end the way they should. Anyway, if you need some suggestions on some great games, past and present, consider reading this list. If you just don’t want to, please don’t kill your teacher. I know it’s hard, but it’s really not worth it when you think about it.
25. Madden NFL 2003
Ah, gone are the days where you could grab a beer/soda with your friends and chill out while playing some classic Madden football. I know, I know. The Madden franchise is still alive and kicking and you could still grab a bubbly drink with your friends and chill out while playing some classic Madden football, but does it really feel the same? Maybe it’s just the nostalgia talking, but when I was a kid, Madden NFL 2003 was the perfect remedy for a stressful day at school. Nothing compared to me calling up one of my nearest and dearest friends to come over and play and seeing their miserable and disappointed faces when they lost. This game, as well as the next installment, Madden NFL 2004, will always rank high on my most recommended video games list, and with the updated franchise modes, the awesome soundtracks, and many wins over my friends, to boot, it isn’t hard to see why.
24. WWE ’12
Alright, I’ll admit that sometimes I’m not the biggest fan of the WWE video game franchise. Sure games like SmackDown: Shut Your Mouth, Here Comes The Pain, and No Mercy were all classics, but I believe things took a nasty turn for the worst when the SmackDown vs. Raw series launched. Fast forward to 2011 and WWE ’12 gave me new hope. For starters, unlike previous games, its Road To WrestleMania Mode is way more in-depth, spanning multiple years instead of the measly 3 months it offered in past games. WWE ’12 also introduced the wake up taunt, which is a feature still being used in WWE games today; some like this feature others don’t. Also, the gameplay was crisp and smooth, meaning it wasn’t all somber and slow like the SmackDown vs. Raw games I loathe so much (okay, they aren’t THAT bad).
23. NBA 2K16
NBA 2K16 is a die-hard basketball fan’s dream. Right off the bat the graphics are eye catching and a lot like real life (or lifelike, if you don’t understand my lingo). Its My Career Mode returns and, much like last year, is something like a movie. Speaking of My Career Mode, 2k15‘s “my career” garnered quite the critical acclaim and while I don’t think It can beat its previous attempt, NBA 2k16‘s Career Mode is pretty damn good. This game isn’t just a two-hit wonder, though. Its gameplay is something to be praised as it feels a lot like you yourself are playing real basketball when you notice coaches tend to notice and study your strengths and that’s always fun in the world of virtual reality. Yeah, you could say NBA 2k16 is overall an exceptional and outstanding game…if you happen to have an Xbox One or PS4, that is. If not then please, for all that is right in this great great world, do not pick up this game on any last gen console. You’ll surely regret it.
22. Bully: Scholarship Edition
You can say this game shouldn’t have been rated T for Teen, you can say that this game is unrealistic as far as the real world and how bullies truly are, you could even say that Jimmy’s head looks completely identical to that of a penis, but what ever you say you can’t deny that this game wasn’t entertaining or fun, for that matter. Other than follow through with the actual story, there is plenty of other things to do in this game. The mini games within this game are a big plus, as well as very creative. For example, if you’re supposed to go to English class, your objective is to spell as many words as you possibly can before the time hits 0. If you pass, you are rewarded with items Jimmy can use, if you fail, you have deal with hearing your teacher trash talk you and tell you in so many words that you suck and you’ll never amount to anything because you’re pathetic loser who does nothing but procrastinate. In so many words, that’s what some teachers really might say to you. Yikes.
21. Grand Theft Auto V
Well, what would we do without Grand Theft Auto and the legacy it has built? Think about it, if it weren’t for this series, you’d have to go to the boxing gym or invest in boxing equipment just to let out all that pent up aggression you had. Whatever the reason you were mad in the first place, be it frustrated with the police, angry at your boss, or maybe the simple fact that you’re sexually frustrated and want to beat someone up about it, this game is perfect for you.
20. Grand Theft Auto IV
There isn’t much to dislike about this one. I’ve never had a problem with any glitches, the graphics are pretty good for a last gen console video game, and Roman, well Roman is one funny dude. The story centers around good ole, lovable Niko, who moved to Liberty City where his cousin is, hoping to gain wealth. Much to his chagrin, this didn’t happen. Instead of living the high life, he is instead living the low life, doing favors for Roman, not to mention a few other wonderful people (sarcasm). Much like the newer editions, you can still shoot police officers, steal fast cars, and beat up people… for no apparent reason, I might add. SO, yay for that.
19. NBA Street Vol. 2
From Gamebrakers all the way to hearing Bobbito Garcia AKA DJ Cucumber Slice rip a player for getting his shot rejected, this game was nice. Since it was released for the Xbox, Playstation 2, and Gamecube, if you don’t have this game by now, it may be pretty difficult to get it. The Be A Legend Mode is something of a Career Mode. Basically you build up a created character from scratch and start from the bottom and work your way up to the top. You unlock street legends like Stretch Monroe, Dime, and Bonafide, as well as a nickname for yourself depending on how you play and what your good at. For its time, this game was the ‘ish – Screw that! It still is.
18. Dragon Ball Z Budokai
OK, so this game’s Story Mode only goes as far as the Cell Games Saga, which means that if you’re a fan of Majin Buu and company, this game isn’t what you’re looking for. One thing this game does offer is a pretty simple control scheme, and in today’s DBZ games, that’s not really the case. The cut scenes are pretty epic and if you’re a fan of the series, you’ll definitely fall in love, maybe feeling a little sense of nostalgia, as well. Other than that, there are plenty of other things that make this game great. Although you don’t get to play as as many characters in the newer games, I’d say there’s a pretty good amount to work with considering how old the game is. There are also plenty of things to unlock as well. For example, Hercule has his own mode (go figure) and it’s called “Legend Of Hercule.” So, if you’re a big fan of Hercule — what on Earth am I saying of course you’re not… no one was.
17. WWE Smackdown: Here Comes The Pain
No commentary, no voice overs, but certainly a lot of fun. WWE Smackdown: Here Comes The Pain is the perfect example of what you get when you create a video game that’s down and dirty with no filter whatsoever. Even though its Season Mode does have specific story lines you have to participate in, you’re still pretty much free to play this mode like you want to. Plus and maybe most importantly, the Season Mode doesn’t have an end, per se. I mean, yes, you will see the credits after WrestleMania every year and yes I do mean year as in one, so there is technically an end, but when you start season two, you have an option to change nothing and keep everything the same, which means there really isn’t an end… sort of.
16. Gears Of War 4
I’ll be honest, this game isn’t the easiest to play, by any means. Doesn’t matter if you’re on the hardest difficulty level or the easiest. That being said, if you’re not a sore loser and you have some patience (as well as a little bit of heart) this game is definitely for you.
Any one who has ever played the Gears of War series knows that the graphics are always up to par, which kind of sucks this time around, because in this game you get a glimpse of some pretty disturbing looking creatures, all in high definition just waiting to rape your mind with their hideousness. On a much more beautiful side, looking at some of settings in the game, I can’t help but think what it would be like to live in such wonderful environments. Also, weather can and will effect your gameplay, so be prepared to be prepared. Don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for Snatchers or any other creepy crawly who doesn’t mind coming out of nowhere and jumping on you. If you can do this you should be set to go.
15. Fight Night Round 2
If my memory serves me correctly, this was one of the first video games that I used the analog controller sticks instead of just mashing buttons. It was definitely more challenging, but once I got in to the swing of things, it somehow made for a much more rewarding experience. The graphics are pretty good for a PS2/Xbox generation video game, but when I’m playing boxing games, that doesn’t really matter to me, I just want to beat someones head in via my controller. The Career Mode was a joy to play, especially when you’re a top contender in your weight division and you’re about to take the title. Lastly, the cuts and bruises you see on your opponents face after you kicked their ass for about 10 rounds is oh-so satisfying. I know I said I didn’t care too much about the graphics, but I’m not talking about how clear and detailed the boxers look, I’m talking about the satisfaction of knowing I kicked another man’s ass in a video game, as sad as that may sound.
14. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
The campaign was a little different then normal, which in this case was a great thing. You play as a man named Jack Mitchell. After seeing his best friend get killed, he joins Atlas and that’s where things really start to pick up.
Some of the missions were a little tough to understand at first, though, because you have to push certain buttons at the spur of the moment and out of nowhere, but all in all, a great game.
13. Spider-Man (2002 video game)
Normally, I’m not a big fan of video games that are based off of movies, but I’ll make a rare exception this time. Right off the bat, I loved and appreciated the fact that Spider-Man DIDN’T wear his classic outfit, but instead the variation he first wore in the movie before switching. I don’t know why but I always thought that costume was pretty cool. The story picks up right after the murder of Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben. You have to beat up some chumps on the rooftop and then retrieve a woman’s purse, who is somehow located on a different rooftop because the woman was touring the rooftop…? I know, crazy, right?
12. UFC Undisputed 3
Besides more realistic fight features and a much better roster than UFC 2010, UFC Undisputed 3 also has an awesome Career Mode. This time around, you start off in the WFA (World Fighting Alliance), and work your way up to the UFC. You don’t have to join the UFC the first time you’re offered a fight, though. If you wait and keep building up your reputation in WFA, you could be given an opportunity to face more credible UFC fighters down the line. When you finally do make it to the UFC, eventually, there will be an option to compete in Pride, which I thought was pretty cool.
11. Madden NFL 2004
While Franchise Mode is still intact and better than ever, this game offers a new feature called Owner Mode, which focuses more on owning a team, rather than playing as a team. This also has to be by far the best Madden soundtrack in all of space and time. I know I talk about soundtracks a lot, but in my opinion, they’re pretty important. I can’t tell you how many times a certain song in this game has gotten me in the right frame of mind to win games, or to just enjoy the moment, for that matter.
10. Tony Hawk’s Underground
This may be disheartening to fans of the Pro Skater era. While I can’t argue that the Pro Skater Tony Hawk games were the peak for me, Tony Hawk’s Underground is a close second. For the first time ever, there’s an actual Story Mode in the game. That story goes something like this: local skater wants to get sponsored, so called “friend” is supposedly going to help him, the so called friend, that we will just call Eric, has it made up in his mind that he’s better than the local skater, but in reality he is actually pretty lame, he eventually double crosses his friend, the local skater that you’re playing as, but eventually, in the end, gets what he deserves.
9. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3
If you ask anyone on your nearest street corner what the best skating game known to man kind is, you know what they probably WON’T say? Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5. I’m not being mean, the game was released on this generation’s consoles, so it’s not hard to purchase it, just don’t get mad when you realize you’ve wasted your money.
Anyway, now that we’ve gone over what some feel is the absolute worst attempt at creating any video game, let’s say you ask what skating game is best. Survey says: Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3. Why is that? The online feature, the Park Editing mode, or maybe it was that nice soundtrack. There are plenty of reasons to answer the question, but sadly there is still no excuse for a certain game called Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5. That game was trash.
8. Mortal Kombat X
So let’s start off with the new fatalities. It’s almost disturbing to think about how creative the game creators have gotten with the fatalities in this game. From seeing Sonya Blade shoot the skin off someone’s head and use their skull as a “souvenir” all the way to seeing Ermac basically tear into someone using their own head, Mortal Kombat X has raised the bar when it comes to creativity for me.
7. Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance
OK, so here is the rundown: Quan Chi and Shang Tsung form a short lived alliance. While it may have been short lived, the duo do quite a significant amount of damage. For starters, they manage to kill the emperor of Outworld, Shao Kahn, and next they defeated Liu Kang.
With these two out of the picture, it makes things a heck of a lot easier for the pair to do whatever they please. However, there is hope. The thunder god, Raiden has assembled a team of fighters to take on this Deadly Alliance.
6. FIFA 17
One of the biggest pluses in FIFA 17 is a new mode called The Journey. This mode centers around a 17 year old boy whose dream is to play soccer in the Premier League. It really is a sight to see and it actually feels like you’re watching a real movie.
Other than that, you have Career Mode, which reminds me a lot of Madden’s tournament mode. It’s available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and the graphics are incredible. Like I said, it really feels like you’re watching a real movie.
5. Unreal Tournament
The blood, the guts, the gore… It’s just an everyday thing in the virtual world of Unreal Tournament. In the last level of the game, you face off against Xan and while you think it’s hard to pronounce his name, wait until you see how hard it is to kill that thing.
On the bright side of things, if you’d rather chicken out or you think he’s just to hard to beat when your on that level, there’s plenty of other games you can play instead. Domination, Capture The Flag and Team Deathmatch are some of my favorite. Assault, not so much.
4. NBA 06: featuring the life vol. 1
Before you ever saw a Documentary My Career Mode in any 2k game, there was NBA 06. For the time being, this was a pretty unique feature for a video game. The story starts out as any good basketball video game story should start out, with the draft, of course.
Anyway, after that, you go over the basics of how the game works, and then you have to perform drills by using your controller to execute the moves you see on the screen. Although the series didn’t last too long, I think NBA 06 is great game to have around anyway.
3. Virtua Fighter 4
No, it’s definitely not Mortal Kombat. Come to think of it, I don’t remember ever seeing any blood while playing this game. This is, however, an arcade style game, so it’s no surprise that one of the best modes it has to offer is… Arcade. This game is also great if you’ve got friends, because it’s really cool to play against them.
The only downside to this game is that when you’re playing against/playing as Jacky Bryant, you may have to hear him say something along the lines of “yeah, wanna fight again?” Trust me, when you hear it for yourself, you’ll see how annoying it is.
Much like Gears Of War, if you’re into seeing very disturbing, creepy, nasty, filthy things on your TV screen, in high definition, no less, then you’ll want to pick up this game. Not a lot of first person shooter games make me feel as though I’m right there, front and center, actually shooting. This game achieved that and I honestly don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing, because after playing, I really don’t know if I needed to see some of the gruesome things I witnessed.
1. NFL Street 2
If you’re a fan of the NFL Street series, don’t worry, the trash talking is still present in NFL Street 2, the Gamebreakers are still up and running, and most of all, the totally outlandish moves and intense tackles are still very much doable. This new effort, which was originally released for the PlayStation 2, GameCube, and Xbox in 2004, sees rapper Xzibit as somewhat of a host for the game in its Own The City Mode, where you play in tournaments for a chance to face Xzibit and his team. Even though it’s an older game, it’s still a great one to play.
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