Video games nowadays have the potential to have gripping storylines, full of emotional moments and shocking revelations. The difference between this medium and film or books is that each player will have their own unique experiences that will really stick with them, allowing for a sense of individuality. So this Top 10, where I will talk about the best moments in video games, will not apply for everyone. It’s my favourite moments. Hopefully you’ll have enjoyed them too. Some are story based. Some are personal encounters. They are all memorable. So, in no particular order, here we have my Top 10 moments in video games.
1. Entering Mexico, Red Dead Redemption
Red Dead Redemption was, in my opinion, Rockstar’s finest work. The landscapes were stunning, the story was fantastic, and at no point was this all clear than when you rode into Mexico. Accompanied by stunning music whilst entering a desolate landscape was a glorious moment, and I am never going to forget it. The feeling of isolation and loneliness was so strong, and definitely helped make the game one of my favourites ever.
2. Seeing the Rub’ al Khali Desert, Uncharted 3
The Uncharted series is known for its magnificent landscapes and stunning set pieces, but for me the place that stood out the most was seeing the desert in Uncharted 3. When the camera zooms out to show you the scale of the place I was absolutely blown away, and I felt so damn hopeless. With the wonderful instrumental soundtrack, and some amazing scenes following afterwards, this isn’t something I’m going to forget anytime soon.
3. The Morgue Scene, Batman: Arkham Asylum
Most people remember Arkham Asylum for either its fantastic combat, or its incredible Scarecrow scenes. For myself, it’s the latter that really stood out. There were a number of horrifyingly creepy Scarecrow scenes in Arkham, but the one that I remember the most was the morgue scene. Seeing Bruce’s parents in the body bags, talking to them, before Scarecrow jumps out at you…absolutely terrifying, and incredibly disturbing, and the fact you had very little control over what was going on made it even worse. The other Scarecrow moment that was quite memorable was the endless hallway, which transformed into Crime Alley, and the scene of the Waynes’ death. Very poignant indeed.
4. Entering Venice, Assassin’s Creed II
Assassin’s Creed 2 is one of my favourite games of all time. It was full of great moments, tied together by an awesome story, but the moment that really got me was on a more personal level than some of the big battles. I had recently visited Venice in real life, and the moment when you enter it for the first time in AC2 was truly superb. I felt truly free to explore and run around, and seeing locations I had recently seen in real life made it even better. The architecture was stunning, the buildings were ridiculously high, and the canals were narrow, but beautiful. It was a great moment for me personally, showing that video games are definitely an individual thing.
5. Opening Scene, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
Many say that Call of Duty 4 was one of the first truly great first-person shooters, and the greatest Call of Duty game ever. I am inclined to agree, especially based on the awesome opening scene. You are President Al-Fulani, and you have little control over what’s going on. You can turn your head, but that’s it, and that really helps to show just how much control Zakhaev has over you. Watching innocent civilians being killed in cold blood gives you a real feeling of anger against the antagonist, and shows how realistic this game is. Finally, the live execution is shocking, and serves as a wonderful introduction to a wonderful game. You can only watch, as the world crumbles around you.
6. Finishing the co-op campaign, Portal 2
The co-op campaign in Portal 2 was absolutely fantastic, making it my game of the year by far. It had so many rewarding moments, but none more so than when I finished the main campaign. Myself and a friend played through the entire thing, without using any strategy guides or similar helpful tools, and when we finally finished it was glorious. That sense of achievement was overwhelming, and I absolutely loved it. There’s nothing quite like removing the bridge from underneath your friend, causing them to plummet to their death, or coming up with the solution to a puzzle at the same time. There are few co-op playthroughs that I have enjoyed this much, and I can honestly say that it was as good as, if not better than, the single-player campaign.
7. Blowing something up for the first time, Battlefield: Bad Company 2
Bad Company 2 was renowned for its marvellous destruction engine, which was one of the main reasons I purchased the game. The stellar moment came when I was struggling on the first level, as every time I popped out of cover to shoot some bad guys, a sniper in a nearby building attacked me. As a last resort, I switched to my grenade launcher, and took aim at the irritating fiend. BOOM. I blew up a hole in the building. My jaw dropped. I had never seen anything like this before, and it was amazing! I realised the potential this game had, how it wasn’t about waiting for the right moment, because I could just destroy my opponents’ cover! It was a memory that will always remain with me, as it was eye-opening and downright fun!
8. The ending, Arkham City
SPOILER WARNING: THERE WILL BE SPOILERS.
The end of Arkham City was, much like the rest of the game, absolutely fantastic. The Clayface twist wasn’t superb, although it did allow for a great boss battle. No, the best part came afterwards. Just as you thought everything was going to be ok…Joker manages to destroy the only thing keeping him alive. The sense of bathos here was…remarkable, to say the least. My jaw dropped, and I even shed a tear or two. Seeing Batman carry the Joker’s lifeless body out of the city, dropping him onto Gordon’s car, was such a fantastic, emotional moment, that it really proved to me that games can be every good as bit as movies, if not better.
9. A multiplayer match, MW3
This one is quite vague. What I’m trying to say is that most multiplayer matches will, for me, have some significant moment that really stands out for me. It could be the time when I was playing amazingly in Drop Zone, getting a great KD and feeling like a badass with my Akimbo guns. Or perhaps when I got a headshot through a tiny little hole. Or when I ran around Arkaden for the entire match collecting dog tags in Kill Confirmed. In essence, multiplayer matches, particularly in MW3, have proven to be thrilling and memorable for me, showing that a game doesn’t necessarily have to have a great plot for it to evoke emotions.
10. The end of Uncharted 2
Once again, spoiler warning. Consider yourself…warned.
The ending of Uncharted 2 was another fantastic ending to a fantastic game. The suspense after realising Elena might not make it quickly turned to immense sadness, as it seemed that she was dead. The Tibetan prayers only served to further this impression, before it was revealed that actually, the Naughty Dog developers are just really cruel, and that she was actually fine, to the relieved sigh of the player. This emotional rollercoaster was fantastic, poignant, and pulled off very tastefully: something a lot of games can’t claim. Accompanied by Uncharted’s fantastic musical score, it did a fine job of ending a great game.
So, that’s it. Ten of the most memorable experiences I’ve ever had. Some were because of a great storyline, others due to a haunting soundtrack, or even just pure unadulterated fun. Nevertheless, all these moments will stay with me forever. Of that I am sure.
What great gaming experiences have you had? Let me know in the comments!