20 Video Games to Play Before You Die

So you’re looking to kill some time on the bus, train or sitting in a waiting room, what better way than with a quick game on your smartphone. However if you’re an Android user, you may have noticed that the Google Play Store is  Now it’s time for me to give you my list of 20 video games you must play before you die. This list is in no particular order.

Number 20: Space Invaders (1978):

Space Invaders

The two-dimensional fixed arcade shooter game from 1978 is an icon that’s been revered as many times as it has been spoofed in popular culture. Younger gamers should check this out to get a sense of classic gaming if for nothing else.

Number 19: Portal 2 (2011):

Games - portal 2

The first-person puzzle platform game and followup to 2007’s Portal, this time you get your hands on more mind bending technologies like tractor beams, laser redirection bridges made of light and paint-like gels that accelerate your speed. The story’s strong writing, pacing and wicked sense of humour help to make a game that’s both challenging and hugely entertaining.

Number 18: Starcraft 2 (2010):

Starcraft 2 - games

This military science fiction real-time strategy game is obviously a followup to 1998’s Starcraft. Despite being criticised for dropping some features found in the original, Starcraft 2 takes the franchise forward in a positive way and provides endless amounts of strategy gameplay. It’s become a major e-Sport online with leagues of tournaments and prize funds of up to $170,000.

Number 17: Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (2007):

call of duty 4: modern warfare - games

This was the first game in the franchise that introduced modern equipment and weapons. The game’s very contemporary story of Russian ultranationalist terrorists, Middle Eastern separatists, Western foreign policy and international intervention makes for an incredibly immersive and believable narrative. The multiplayer is a highlight to many people, elevating Modern Warfare 1 into an instant classic.

Number 16: Street Fighter 2: Turbo (1994):

Games - Street Fighter 2: Turbo

What can be said that hasn’t already been said about Capcom’s infamous competitive fighting game? Ignoring the fact that it spawned some truly awful Hollywood movies, this is a game that took button bashing fighting games to a higher and more sophisticated level. Awesome characters like Ryu, Guile, Dhalsim and Chun-Li, each provided their own unique set of special combo moves to eviscerate their opponents with.

Number 15: Goldeneye (1997):

Movie tie-in games rarely work out great but Goldeneye added quite a bit to the first-person shooter genre such as atmospheric single-player missions, stealth elements and multiplayer deathmatch on a console for the first time. The fact that it was a Bond game and had an amazing soundtrack just further added to the awesome.

Number 14: Doom (1993):

doom - games

No video-games-you-must-play-before-you-die list would be complete without the first person shooter Doom. Id software’s 1993 masterpiece incorporated sci-fi horror elements, it pioneered 3D graphics and networked multiplayer along with creating an entire gaming subculture. Although Wolfenstein 3D did begin the first-person shooter genre, Doom popularised it and changed the course of gaming history.

Number 13: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998):

Legend of Zelda - Games

An action adventure video game for the Nintendo 64, the game combines roleplaying and puzzle elements into a third-person perspective. This colourful and compelling world is populated with magic spells, dungeons, kings, castles and Princesses. The game offers a primary story along with optional side quests and minor objectives. It introduced a target-lock system and context-sensitive buttons.   

12. Sonic the Hedgehog (1991):

Sonic 1 - games

Sega’s Mega Drive / Genesis platformer from 1991 introduced the world to the spiky blue hedgehog with super speed. Fast, colourful, fun to play and with great controls, some gorgeous levels, fantastic music and clever obstacles, Sonic the Hedgehog’s gameplay will simply never get old.

Number 11: Far Cry 4 (2014):

games - Farcry 4

An open-world action adventure first-person shooter, the game takes place in the fictional Himalayan country of Kryat with stunning scenery. Your character is caught in a civil war with the Royal Army and The Golden Path. You fight human enemies and dangerous wildlife as you explore the open world, unravel the game’s main story and engage in side missions. Much praise has been heaped on the game’s story, characters and quality visuals.

Number 10: Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2005):

Need for Speed: Most Wanted - games

There had to be a racing game on the list and what better than a Need for Speed game. Like Underground 2 before it, features an open-world with street-racing gameplay, police pursuit chases, customisation and several racing modes. These are Circuit races, Sprint race, lap knockouts, Tollbooth, Speedtrap and drag racing.

Number 9: Half-Life 2 (2004):

Half-Life 2 - games

Valve’s sequel to the 1998 classic sees the return of Gordon Freedman this time to City 17 following the collapse of Black Mesa. The game requires you to think your way out of situations and really use your environment and the game’s physics to overcome obstacles. There’s an excellent array of quality weapons, clever enemies and an atmosphere and story that pulls you in from the very start.

Number 8: Resident Evil (1996):

Resident Evil - Games

This game scared the crap out of me when I was 14 years old. It’s subsequently become a huge action, adventure survival horror franchise and several spin-off movies.

You’re trapped in a mansion populated by dangerous mutilated creatures. The aim is simple, find out what happened by solving puzzles and finding clues and ultimately escape. Of course you get to blow your enemies away with weapons too. The use of pre-rendered backdrops with simple 3D polygonal characters may seem a little dated now, but the game still holds up. Tense, quiet moments punctuated by adrenaline fuelled moments of pure terror and panic. Not to be missed.

Number 7: Max Payne (2001):

Max Payne - Games

A third-person perspective action thriller that makes for a fine entry into the genre in a neo-noir, Blade Runner-style and Matrix-inspired comic book world. What a fantastically textured and gritty theme to build a video game on.  The game’s narrative is progressed through Max’s internal monologue and graphic novel panels. The game also occasionally incorporates surrealistic nightmares and drug-induced hallucinations. Tripped, smart, dark and hugely challenging.

Number 6: Batman: Arkham Knight (2015):

Batman: Arkham Knight - Games

Based one year after 2011’s Batman: Arkham City, it’s Batman vs the Scarecrow, one again it’s a third-person perspective game with an emphasis on combat, stealth skills, the use of gadgets and detective work. You can now control the Batmobile also and there’s a large open world with side missions and plenty of opportunity for exploration. Despite a huge amount praise for the console version, the PC edition has suffered from performance issues, which Warner Bros are intending to resolve with a patch.

5: Destiny:

Destiny - Games

A first person shooter with roleplaying and MMO elements. Defined as a mythic science-fiction world, the Golden Age of Earth’s space exploration era has led to the collapse and mankind’s colonies are occupied by hostile alien races. You play as a Guardian and you must revive The Traveller while fighting against these aliens races.

Number 4: The Last of us (2013):

The Last of Us - Games

Another survival adventure horror game, grab your fire arm and improvised weapon as you traverse post-apolocolyptic environments and battle zombie-like creatures. The game includes a unique listen mode to detect enemies through hearing and heightened spatial awareness and the ability to upgrade weapons.

Number 3: Dark Souls: (2011):

Uniquely this action role-player uses death to help the player learn from past mistakes and learn how to better react to hostile environments. A minimalistic plot allows for the player to interpret the story in their own way. You play a cursed human on a pilgrimage out of the Undead Asylum to discover the fate of the Undead. The game was praised for its unbelievable difficulty, which ultimately leads to a satisfying conclusion.

Number 2: Prince of Persia (1989):

Prince of Persia - Games

The original fantasy cinematic platformer that felt like something out of a Disney movie. You have one hour to finish the game and to do so by bypassing traps and fighting swordsmen. The character animation was incredibly realistic at the time and the platforming required careful precision. The jumps, moves and ledge climbing inspired many future games including the likes of Tomb Raider.

Number 1: Grand Theft Auto V (2013):

GTV V - Games

Gritty, believable, immersive and hugely entertaining, GTA V makes it onto this list not only because of its awesome story-driven heists and awesome action, but the variation of gameplay. There are so many vehicles to control, tons of places to see in this vast open world and a plethora of mini missions. Add to this the extensive third-party mod culture and GTA V will be offering gamers plenty of replayability for years to come. With over 52 million sales, it’s one of the most successful video games in history.

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