10 GAMES TURNING 10 IN 2014
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas PS2
Perhaps still regarded as the best game in the Grand Theft Auto series, San Andreas saw a bigger game world than what had come before and was inspired by many real incidents in Los Angeles.
It’s also the fifth highest rated PlayStation 2 game of all time according to Metacritic and the best selling title on that system with 17.33 million copies sold.
Halo 2 Xbox, PC
The popularity of Halo 2′s multiplayer ensured that the original Xbox’s servers were left running for years after the console itself was shelved.
While the campaign was criticised for its cliffhanger ending it nonetheless became the best selling Xbox title and pretty much guaranteed the success of the fledgling Xbox Live service.
Pokémon FireRed/LeafGreen GameBoy Advance
Yes, FireRed and LeafGreen were remakes of 1996′s Pokémon Red, Green, and Blue versions (1998 in North America and Australia/1999 in Europe) the games nonetheless sold around 12 million copies worldwide.
New features were added while the essence of the original games was maintained and the success inspired GameFreak to develop HeardGold and SoulSilver as remakes of Pokémon Gold and Silver on DS. Now, where are my Ruby and Sapphire remakes Nintendo?
Rome: Total War PC
While its successor, released this year, may have been widely criticised for over-ambition and bugs the original Rome: Total War remains a highly successful turned based strategy simulation of the late Roman Republic and early Roman Empire and maintains an active modding community.
Such was the success of the game’s battle engine that it was used in the History Channel’s Decisive Battles and the BBC’s Time Commanders to recreate ancient conflicts.
Half Life 2 PC
The first Half-Life was released in 1998 with its successor’s début in 2004. It really has been ten long years since and while Half-Life 2 Episode 2 came out in 2007 there’s still no sign of when we’ll once again get to walk a mile with Gordon Freeman’s gravity gun.
Jak 3 PS2
10 years. That’s how long it’s been since Naughty Dog made the last true Jak game. Sure, there’s been the PSP titles and both Jak and Daxter made an appearance in the decidedly mediocre PlayStation Move Heroes on PS3 but with Naughty Dog moving onto The Last of Us and Uncharted there’s little hope of a return to Haven City any time soon.
Do yourself a favour and pick up the Jak HD trilogy for PS3 (get the digital version and you’ll unlock the Vita edition for free) and relive one of the greatest platformer series of all time.
Star Wars Battlefront PC, PS2, Xbox
Of the dozens of Star Wars games released over the years Battlefront and its successor are undoubtedly one of the best despite a somewhat lacking single player. Most impressively, this was despite the fact that you didn’t play as a jedi knight or sith lord but rather as a common soldier.
EA and DICE have control of the franchise now of course and if they ever fix Battlefield 4 the next Battlefront might be something very special indeed.
Fable Xbox, PC
Did Fable deliver on the promises of then Lionhead president Peter Molyneux? No, not even close but the game was still an enjoyable RPG with a lot of love among fans as evidenced by the Fable Anniversary remake which will be released in February.
The game sold two million copies by 2006 and spawned a number of sequels though obviously the less said about Fable: The Journey the better.
World of Warcraft PC
Blizzard’s mammoth MMORPG is a decade old and while the popularity of the subscription based title may have slid of late it remains an enormously profitable and influential title for Activision which still draws in millions of players every month.
World of Warcraft is expanding too with the release of trading card game Hearthstone in 2014 and while Blizzard may need to more to ensure the game’s continued viability in the long term it would be reckless to count them out yet.
Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault PC
The Medal of Honor series is on hiatus these days but there was a time when it was top dog in first person shooter space and indeed, Call of Duty was actually created to bring it down. Which of course, baring a brief return, it did.
There have been 14 Medal of Honor games to date and whether or not we’ll see another is a question we just don’t have the answer to yet.