Updated: Sep 11, 2019
Welcome back to part 2 of my personal selection of best video games by gaming console. This post will cover the eighth-generation gaming systems (Wii U, Playstation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch). If you missed the last post on my top picks for best games on third-generation through seventh-generation consoles, follow that link!
Video games are INSANE nowadays! Each console has hundreds of games with epic storytelling, breathtaking graphics, and hours-upon-hours of gameplay. Unlike part 1 of this list, it would’ve been impossible to limit my selection to just one game for these final consoles because there are too many fantastic titles to choose from.
So, for the final eighth-generation video game consoles, I’m doing top 3 for each!
Let’s do this!
Wii U (2012)
If you’ve played any Nintendo games ever, then this is basically the same list it has always been. Nintendo makes two franchises that people adore and trust: Zelda and Mario. The list I’m about to share is exactly that.
Third & Second Place
New Super Mario Bros. U & New Super Luigi U
Tied for second and third place, we have New Super Mario Bros. U and New Super Luigi U. Nintendo has the formula down for their Mario franchise, and these games replicate the original Mario without fault. Continuing with the 2D-esque platform with 3D graphics spin, players take Mario, Luigi, and gang, through a series of ever-challenging levels to defeat Bowser.
The more I think about this, I’m not sure why I love these games so much—they’re literally exactly the same as they’ve always been. But I guess that is why: because I know what to expect from a Mario game.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
At the top of my list for Wii U games, hands down, it’s The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. What more could I say about the game that won the Game of the Year Award in 2017? Nothing. It’s all already been said. The graphics make me swoon, the storyline is delightful, and the game stirred in me a deep sense of nostalgia I’ve never experienced before.
Even better than replicating my childhood memories of my fondest hero Link though, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild combined everything I used to love about the game (namely the characters, the side quests, the zone-style storyline, the music) with the more modern, open-world approach to gaming. And it was brilliant!
Playstation 4 (2013)
I am prepared for a little more contention regarding my picks for the Playstation 4 games.
Let me start by saying that I have not played every game known in existence on any console. I have also not completed many games that I’ve tried-out, so my opinions might be prematurely formed…but, Im also not proclaiming to be an expert gamer. I’m just a girl who grew up playing video games constantly, who tries to find time to play video games now, that gets excited about talking about games with other gamers.
So, here’s my list for the PS4:
Coming in at third place for me is Until Dawn. I’m a fan of horror and I’m a fan of the emerging choose-your-own gaming genre, and I think this game did both fairly well.
It’s been a few years since I’ve played Until Dawn, but if memory serves, a bunch of teenagers travel to a ski lodge on the one year anniversary of the deaths of two of their friends (to the same ski lodge where said friends died) as a memorial/celebration of life. What they find are disturbing creatures that try to pick them off one-by-one and it’s up to the player to try to save them via split-decision making choices.
My first playthrough I survived the game with only three characters…which was actually great because it made me want to play it again and again!
Dark Souls III
My number two favorite game on Playstation 4, would have to be Dark Souls III. This is another game with graphics that make me drool. Given the dark nature of the world, it’s also been a goldmine for me for writing inspiration (a scene from my current work-in-progress is actually loosely based off Firelink Shrine).
But like any game, graphics wouldn’t be enough to land Dark Souls III on my top three list without its compelling story. I’m not going to lie, I have trouble keeping up with some of the newer games story-wise—and that’s embarrassing to admit as a writer. I guess I just come from an earlier time when games were straightforward and linear, so too much lore confounds me.
However, I didn’t have that problem with Dark Souls III, even though it does have heaps of lore!
Your primary goal in Dark Souls III is to return the five Lords of Cinder to their thrones in order to “link the flame.” As long as I don’t let my head get caught-up in all the talk of ashes, flames, and embers, I can follow the simple idea of finding the Lords and returning them to their thrones. (But if you’re into lore, every small detail is worth paying attention to in this game!)
Ultimately, it’s not the graphics or the storytelling that won this game over for me, it was the gameplay that I fell in love with. Did I say love? I meant love-to-hate!
If you haven’t played any of these new rage-quitting games, then you’re in for a “treat”. Dark Souls III was—excuse my French—flap-jacking HARD! My brother and I played this game together on easy and still struggled! There were multiple times when I thought we weren’t actually ever going to beat it. But, oh, when we did, talk about that sweet triumph.
In your face, Soul of Cinder!!!
Final Fantasy XIV
My favorite game for the Playstation 4 has to be Final Fantasy XIV.
Although my original start to gaming was with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, it wasn’t until I played World of Warcraft that I truly got lost in a game. I lost days to WoW doing nothing but grinding for materials, talking crap to fellow players, and spending way too many hours waiting for full raid parties. But, it was the perfect blend of fantasy, combat, and story for me, and I quickly became a loyal fan.
Until my account was banned because I shared with a friend who was botting…
Then I discovered Allods in college, which I can only equate to the free version of WoW. You can imagine how excited I was to spend my entire winter break gaming in my empty dorm! I joined the game during its beta opening, so I felt even more connected to it because I knew I was one of few people who were getting the opportunity to experience this wonderful, albeit glitchy (at the time) game.
But then, the game was purchased by some other company and they lost my account in the shuffle and the new company refused to give me any compensation for all of my lost character experience, purchased mounts, story progress, etc…
So when my partner suggested we play Final Fantasy together, I was beyond skeptical. I had already devoted years to WoW and Allods just to have my heart ripped out of my chest and thrown into a garbage disposal, and I wasn’t sure I was ready for that kind of pain again. But, I decided to give it a shot.
And unsurprisingly, I loved it too.
Sure, each of the games listed above has their own quirks and charms, and I can easily see why some folks would prefer one over the other. But once I got into Final Fantasy and let myself acclimate to the different art style and some of the mechanics (since I was playing on the Playstation 4, as opposed to on a computer), I rather enjoyed it. And if I’m being honest, I think the story was more enjoyable too—but that might just be because there were dubbed cutscenes (I’ve been known to skim subtitles).
Xbox One (2013)
Here is where I start to hunch over with my tail between my legs: I have never played a game on the Xbox One. Okay wait, that might not be entirely true. I might’ve played Diablo III for like five minutes, but that hardly counts.
But this list would be incomplete without Xbox One games, so I did some creative thinking. For this portion of the list, I asked the only expert I know: my twenty-one-year-old brother.
And of course he gave me the most indirect answer…
First, Second, & Third Place (and First, Second, & Third Place)
Halo, Forze, & Tomb Raider (Dragon Age: Inquisition, Skyrim, & Smite)
My brother broke it down into two categories: Xbox One exclusives and non-Xbox One exclusives.
For Xbox One exclusives, his top three are Halo, Forza, and Tomb Raider. I wouldn't have imagined his responses varying much when considering non-exclusives, but that shows how much I know! His second list is for non-exclusives: Dragon Age: Inquisition, Skyrim (which I honestly thought was Xbox only…), and Smite (with the caveat that the last update, the one that included Merlin and other non-God characters, was a joke).
Sadly, I could not get him to write more about any of his choices, but since I has spent close to a cumulative of years on gaming, I trust his choices.
Nintendo Switch (2017)
I will have to update this section once I get to play some Nintendo Switch games! But I have my suspicions: Super Mario Odyssey, Pokemon… I also saw a trailer for Hollow Knight that looked FANTASTIC!
I heard rumors that there is conversation of making a sequel to Eternal Darkness (or maybe that was wishful thinking...). I would seriously buy a Switch today if they were making a sequel to Eternal Darkness!
So there you have it, my list of top three favorite video games for the eighth generation gaming systems, and the second installment of this two-parter!
author: The Awakened series