As a lifelong gamer, you’ve probably spent countless hours battling bosses, racing through levels, and exploring open worlds in some truly groundbreaking titles. The debate over the best games is endless, but some rise above the rest and define the medium. We’re talking about the games that revolutionized graphics, storytelling, multiplayer, and more. The games transport you to fantastical places and introduce you to unforgettable characters. The games that inspire nostalgia and continue to shape gaming today. Here are the 10 best video games ever made.
Action-Adventure Games: The Best of the Best
The action-adventure genre has produced some of the most iconic games of all time. Here are a few of the very best:
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Released in 1998, this Nintendo 64 classic set the template for all action-adventure games that came after. As Link, you explore the kingdom of Hyrule, solve puzzles, battle enemies, and save Princess Zelda.
Grand Theft Auto V. The sprawling open world of Los Santos is a playground for mayhem and mischief. You can go on action-packed missions, race cars, play golf, or just cause general chaos. With three main characters and hundreds of hours of gameplay, GTA V is a genre masterpiece.
Red Dead Redemption 2. This Western action-adventure game has been called the best game of the 2010s by many critics. You play as Arthur Morgan, an outlaw in Dutch Van der Linde’s gang. Explore the wild frontier, engage in shootouts, go hunting and fishing, and play poker – all while witnessing the decline of the Wild West in 1899.
The Uncharted series. This PlayStation-exclusive franchise follows treasure hunter Nathan Drake on adventures across the globe. The 4 main games take you from uncharted tropical islands to snowy mountains and ancient ruins. Cinematic storytelling, witty humor and over-the-top action set pieces make Uncharted a must-play series.
Whether you prefer open-world mayhem, old West gunslinging, or cinematic treasure hunting, the action-adventure genre has something for everyone. These classics have stood the test of time and remain pinnacles of interactive entertainment. What are you waiting for? It’s time for an adventure!
Role-Playing Games: Epic Storytelling and Character Progression
Some of the best stories in gaming can be found in epic role-playing games (RPGs). In these sprawling adventures, you shape complex characters over many hours of gameplay.
The Mass Effect series lets you take command of the SSV Normandy as Captain Shepard, leading a team to save the galaxy from an ancient threat. Your choices in each game determine how characters and events unfold in the next installment. Few games offer that kind of continuity and personalization across multiple titles.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt puts you in the role of Geralt of Rivia, a monster hunter with supernatural powers. This open-world fantasy has hundreds of hours of gameplay as you complete main quests and side missions, make key decisions that impact the outcome, and develop relationships with unforgettable characters.
Dragon Age: Inquisition, the third in Bioware’s popular franchise, gives you the Inquisitor, a character you shape to lead the Inquisition against evil forces that threaten the land. With a huge number of possible character builds, romances, and story branches, no two playthroughs are quite the same.
These are just a few epic RPG adventures that let you live out fantasy lives, grapple with moral dilemmas, experience tales of love and heartbreak, and leave a mark on their virtual worlds. If you want to immerse yourself in a fictional universe and share in the hero’s journey, role-playing games are ready to sweep you away.
Puzzle Games: Simple Yet Addictive
Some of the most addictive and popular video games are puzzle games. Their simple yet challenging nature appeals to a wide audience, from casual gamers to hardcore puzzle solvers.
No list of puzzle games is complete without Tetris. Originally released in 1984, this classic block-stacking game is still popular today. The goal is to rotate and place falling blocks into complete rows, clearing them. It starts off easy but the speed increases over time. Tetris is highly addictive thanks to its simple gameplay and increasing difficulty. Millions of people around the world have been hooked on trying to beat their high scores.
The match-3 puzzle game Bejeweled was first released in 2001 and has become a global phenomenon. The goal is to swap colored gems to create chains of three or more of the same color. When you make a match, the gems disappear. Additional points and power-ups are earned for bigger combos and cascades. Bejeweled’s colorful, calming gameplay has led to its widespread popularity and sequels like Bejeweled Twist and Bejeweled 3.
For puzzle game fans who prefer a more mind-bending experience, the Portal series delivers. In these first-person puzzle games, you must solve puzzles using portals that transport you around the level. Released in 2007 and 2011, Portal and Portal 2 have become cult classics, renowned for their challenging yet engaging puzzles, dark humor, and memorable characters like the sinister GLaDOS. The Portal games provide a satisfying mental workout for even the most dedicated puzzle solvers.
Puzzle games come in many forms but the best ones share some common traits: simple yet clever mechanics, increasing difficulty, and highly addictive gameplay that keeps you coming back to beat your high score or solve that next level. Puzzle games offer mental stimulation in short, entertaining bursts that appeal to players of all types.
And there you have it, according to our expert rankings, the 10 best video games ever made. Whether you prefer action-packed adventures, mind-bending puzzles, or classic arcade gameplay, there’s something for every gamer on this list. These iconic titles defined genres, pioneered new technology and inspired generations of developers and players alike. The next time you fire up your console or PC, give one of these masterpieces a try. We guarantee you’ll be instantly transported to magical worlds filled with unforgettable characters and experiences. Game on!