It goes without saying; video games mean a great deal to me. They’ve been a deeply entrenched part of my life for as long as I can remember, and some of the experiences I’ve had in gaming have been amongst the favourite moments of my life. Whether it was a seemingly impossible last-moment Mario Kart victory, or a hilarious Madden overtime loss on a kickoff TD return, they’ll last me forever. Equal parts enthralling, inspiring and rewarding, gaming has been a constant presence. No matter how uncertain things got in the real world, I always had my games to fall back on.
Narrowing it down to a top 10 that I’m happy with, then, feels like ripping off a band-aid, albeit a band-aid that you are particularly fond of and have taken a great deal of consideration upon. Looking through my considerable library of titles, there were some that I felt certain would make the list. As I continued, I felt a palpable tension; the spots were filling up rapidly, and I had so many yet left to add. It was almost as if I owed it to these games to ensure their inclusion, and as it was pushed to #11 and beyond, it felt like a betrayal on my part. They may be stashed in my mind as ‘honourable mentions’, but for all intents and purposes, they are effectively brushed to the wayside for this daunting task.
In truth, I once put together a list similar to this years ago, and though some of the usual suspects have maintained their positions, like gritty veterans with a cigar clenched tightly between their yellowing teeth, others have ebbed and flowed as my tastes have matured. Surely, if I were to attempt this again sometime in the future, they could be further jumbled like the flakes in a snow globe – but for now, they’re set tenuously in place. A snapshot of who Tony Cole-Cocking is in 2017. He’s a little fatter than he used to be, but he has better facial hair. And that’s always a plus.
With all that being said, let’s dispense with the formalities and charge headlong into the fray. This is it, eager travellers! My list of the top 10 video games of all time…!