Way Too Many Games launched in the beginning of 2017, meaning we’ve only reviewed games from that date onward. To this day, we have never given out a perfect ten in any of our four hundred reviews. But that doesn’t mean we haven’t played games worthy of a perfect score. Occasionally, we’ve been asked which games we’d score a ten out of ten and it’s time for each member of the website to list their top nominees.
If Way Too Many Games existed just one year earlier, I would easily have reviewed DOOM as a perfect ten. Without a doubt, DOOM is my favorite game from this entire generation. A game I’ve played and beaten countless times; featuring a perfect balance of excellent level design, insane gameplay, and one of the best soundtracks ever put into a video game. I recently reviewed the less perfect but equally enjoyable Switch version.
Other games I’d give a perfect score to are Shovel Knight, Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader for the Gamecube, Halo 2, Pokémon HeartGold & SoulSilver, The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, Bioshock Infinite, and the original Paper Mario for the Nintendo 64.
My ten out of ten is easily Sly 2: Band of Thieves. It helps that I’m a huge Sly Cooper fan, but let’s break it down. The game’s cartoon-esque cel shading holds up even now. The masterfully composed film noir style music and top notch voice acting shows off the audio design team’s top talent. The gameplay is fun, intuitive, engaging, and stays varied so it never gets boring. At its core, Sly Cooper is about fun. Sly 2: Band Of Thieves took that a step further with beautiful hub worlds and a fantastic story with a surprising twist. It was a masterpiece then and now.
Other games I would most likely score a ten are Red Dead Redemption, Uncharted 2, Batman Arkham City, and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. All of them are beautiful, well voiced, tons of fun, have solid gameplay mechanics, and were groundbreaking in their own way.
I am a massive stealth game fan. I’m the type who plays Dishonored doing a no power, no kill, and no bodies playthrough which the other Way Too Many Games writers have dubbed the “No Fun Run.” Something about a well designed level and planning a flawless insertion just gets me going. Even in RPGs where I actively force myself to be something else, I end up becoming a stealth character (looking at you The Elder Scrolls). With that said, it’s not surprising that I would have given Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory a perfect score as well.
Other honorable mentions are Thief: Deadly Shadows, Jade Empire, Metroid Prime, God of War 2, Bioshock and The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind. All these games had a massive impact in my life and while you can always nit pick little things, these are the games that provided me with top notch quality in every regard.
Without a doubt, I would have to give Bioshock Infinite a perfect score. I’ve been a fan of Bioshock since its original launch and my disappointment in Bioshock 2 ran so deep that I could not have been more skeptical of Bioshock Infinite. But I could not have been more wrong. I’ve played it start to finish four times now and I regularly go back to play the Clash in the Clouds DLC. Columbia just swept me away. The setting, the wonderfully layered story, the creative vigors, and the music. Oh, the music! Do yourself a favor and look up Scott Bradlee’s Post Modern Jukebox, the minds behind Infinite’s fantastic music.
Other less recent games I’d give perfect scores to are the original Halo: Combat Evolved, Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, Supergiant Games’ Bastion, Banjo-Tooie, Mass Effect 2, and Arkham City. I’m a sucker for any game that recognizes that the experience goes beyond gameplay mechanics and extends into the full composition of music, visuals, storytelling and gameplay.
The original Bioshock still stands as my favorite game ever. The setting was unnerving, the gameplay was fantastic and the parallel story telling was beautiful. Figuring everything out as both the player and the protagonist lead to an amazing journey; one that continued and tied in with Bioshock Infinite. Even the poorly received Bioshock 2 had its great moments, even if it was to a lesser extent.
I have to go with The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening. While the topic of which Zelda game reigns supreme has been hotly debated over the years, I have to give credit where credit is due and give Link’s Awakening a ten out of ten. The funny part is, it’s not even technically my favorite game of the series, that title belongs to Ocarina of Time. Link’s Awakening had truly innovative level designs, fun side-quests, nice character development, and a surprisingly complex story with a dark twist. It’s one of the few games I’ve played where I questioned whether or not beating the final boss was the right choice. To those of you wondering whether or not it’s just my nostalgia at work to keep this high on the list, no. I played it again very recently and it still stands up to the test of time.
I’d also include the original Bioshock. I know many of you would rate Bioshock Infinite higher especially because of the ending, but to me, Bioshock is perfection. With its delightfully creepy world of Rapture (the fallen utopia), the crazy characters you encounter, the classic soundtrack, the fun plasmid powers, the storyline twists, and the moral decisions of what to do with the Little Sisters, it’s a game I can revisit even now and still love every second of it.
Finishing up the list would be Street Fighter 2, Red Dead Redemption, F.E.A.R., Mass Effect 2, Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt, and Super Mario Land 2.
Ori and the Blind Forest is a true masterpiece and without a doubt would have gotten a ten out of ten if Way Too Many Games was around back when it launched. Everything from the gorgeous art direction to the stunning soundtrack elevate the already perfect gameplay to another level. The story is surprisingly emotional with twists I wasn’t expecting. I wasn’t really a fan of the genre before, but Ori and the Blind Forest changed my mind.
Some other games that would have no doubt got a ten include Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory for its mastery of the stealth genre, Metal Gear Solid 3 Snake Eater (The Subsistence version) for its cheesy story and great gameplay, and F.E.A.R for superb level design and smart AI.
The object of my affection prior to 2017 was Bloodborne. I wasn’t previously a Souls fan, but plunging into that dark, nightmarish, and meticulously detailed world won me over. The increased speed of the combat was a very welcome change, in my opinion and so tight and responsive that it was hard to blame anyone but myself for my failures. I recall the discomfort of creeping around a corner in anticipation of a monster lurking just outside the camera’s view ready to cause a heart attack inducing jump scare. I remember repeatedly passing through certain areas in blissful ignorance until I’d gained enough Madman’s Knowledge to see the large mutated spider, Amygdalas, staring creepily at me as I walked by and the subtle discomfort that it caused me knowing that they’ve been there the whole time. I thought that it was a very clever gaming mechanic.
Other games I’d give a perfect score to include Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, for such a great story, I loved the character and car customization options, and freakin’ Samuel L Jackson. I’ll also include Zelda: A Link to the Past, Halo, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, and God of War 3. That Poseidon intro will never get old.
To me, there are two games that stand out to me as “perfect” games and would have received the illustrious ten rating from me: Bioshock Infinite and Final Fantasy VI.
In Bioshock Infinite’s case, aside from the beautiful atmosphere of Columbia, the unique Vigor power-ups and combos to defeat your enemies, and the amazing story telling, what differentiates itself from the original is Elizabeth, who in my opinion, is the best NPC companion of any game. Not only is she helpful, but I’ve never become so invested in a game simply because I needed to know more about a character.
Final Fantasy VI by default is a winner simply because it is my favorite game of all time. At the time, the 16-bit sprites were all that we had, and Final Fantasy VI stands out at having great character design and well drawn and creative enemies (Kefka’s Tower – holy moly). With a robust cast of interesting and likable characters, a villain that actually succeeds in what he sets out to do, memorable music and intuitive gameplay, I find myself hungry for another playthrough sooner than you would expect. It is a masterclass in plot development and storytelling, and it is straightforward and easy to understand; it doesn’t need to get fancy and risk confusing people. There is just enough side content to satisfy your gaming needs without feeling overbearing, and the rewards are immensely worth it.
My choice might be a tad controversial, but in all honesty, I would give Capcom’s Okami a perfect score. Not many games have struck my emotional core as much as Okami did. The entire game had me laughing and crying throughout my journey as Amaterasu. With the amount of unique characters and varying side quests I never found myself bored playing Okami. With most games I usually have one part of the game that I absolutely dread having to play every time (e.g. the deep roads in Dragon Age: Origins. If I have to fight another deepstalker I’m going to lose it). With Okami on the other hand, I thoroughly enjoyed every single mini game and mission along the way. Even fetch quests were fun since I could get lost in the art and music of the game. Okami gets some flak for choosing a more traditional Japanese art style, but I personally think that style only enhanced the lore of the game since it takes place in a fictional world that parallels Japan. I also strongly feel that Okami has some of the best boss fights of any game. Almost every battle has me shaking and in tears at the end of it. Seriously, there’s nothing quite as moving as having your protagonist nearly killed during the last battle only to be saved by the people who you helped along your journey. Damn, I still cry just thinking about it.
Other games that I would rate a perfect ten are Dragon Age: Origins, Wasteland 2, Firewatch, and Assassin’s Creed 2. If a game doesn’t make me cry like a baby, it’s not trying hard enough.
What about you? What are your top games worthy of a ten? Let us know below!