They say that in life, the best things come in threes. Perhaps, that goes for video game titles as well. Whether game developers mastered the art of catchy alliteration like World of Warcraft or painted a curious picture with their game's banner like Devil May Cry, there is little doubt that some of the most memorable titles in gaming contain a three-pronged denomination.
Nothing rolls off the tongue quite like a trinity of words – Age of Empires, Command and Conquer, God of War. Just like their unforgettable denotations, there are plenty of games that excel in their job of leaving a lasting impact on players.
10/10 Gears Of War
Microsoft's flagship first-party title, Gears of War rides high alongside the Halo franchise among Xbox and PC players. This third-person sci-fi shooter pits grunts like Marcus Fenix against a gnarly alien race known as the Locusts. Players make use of cover, shooting, and melee combat tactics to win the day.
With five mainline entries as well as spin-offs, Gears of War has solidified its popularity among fans for its robust combat mechanics and intensive action. There's no slowing this franchise down.
9/10 Batman: Arkham City
Sure, there are four titles in the Batman Arkham series. But this list is all about the best of the best, and Batman: Arkham City takes home the gold in this department. Arkham Asylum revolutionized games centering around superheroes with its smooth combat and intuitive progression system. But Arkham City built upon this sturdy foundation in the best ways offering players a darkly wondrous playground in a dilapidated section of Gotham City.
As far as narratives go, Arkham City employs plenty of twists and turns along the way. This is easily one of the best Batman adventures fans of the Caped Crusader can experience.
8/10 World of Warcraft
Perhaps, one of the longest-running MMORPGs in gaming history, standing next to games like Everquest and EVE Online, is none other than World of Warcraft. The game launched in 2004 and has become a boon for Blizzard Entertainment in the years since. With a steady cavalcade of expansions, World of Warcraft has no end in sight.
As a game with a massive player base, World of Warcraft is a cultural icon. After all, the viral Leeroy Jenkins character wouldn't be famous without it now, would he?
7/10 Devil May Cry
Devil May Cry burst onto the scene in 2001 to revolutionize hack-and-slash style action games as we knew them. Too cool for school, Dante enters the fray, slicing and blasting the demonic forces of Mundus back to the infernal pit they hailed from. With a penchant for quips and one-liners, Dante became a video game icon.
It's easy to see how many hack-and-slash games that followed utilized the slick and fluid style made famous by Devil May Cry. After all, killing baddies shouldn't just be something you do. It's something that should be done with style.
6/10 Donkey Kong Country
No one can forget the challenge of surviving Donkey Kong Country's dicey rail cart levels. This side-scrolling adventure on the Super Nintendo became an instant classic upon its release with its lovable characters, intense platforming, and rewarding gameplay.
While Donkey Kong was already made famous by his initial tussle with Mario, Donkey Kong Country re-established his image as a good guy ready to protect his home from the snapping crocodile legions of King K. Rool. The music is catchy, and the visual stylings are unforgettable. Donkey Kong Country is one title that will continue to hold up through the ages.
5/10 Super Mario Galaxy
Sure, we could have gone with the original Super Mario Bros. for this segment. But Super Mario Galaxy is far more relevant to modern players for the incredible 3D platformer that it is. Mario fans continue to look at Super Mario Galaxy with a fondness for its unique innovations of the tried-and-true Mario gameplay loop we are all familiar with.
Super Mario 64 let us stomp around Peach's castle in three dimensions, and Super Mario Sunshine took us to the sunny vistas of Isle Delfino to wash away the paint and muck with a water-blasting jetpack. But only Super Mario Galaxy could you bounce from planet to asteroid and run the circumference of the worlds in a matter of seconds as you smashed baddies and collected star bits. It's also the only 3D Mario platformer to receive a true sequel, if that's any indication of its popularity among fans.
4/10 Red Dead Redemption
If you weren't a fan of western films and entertainment, you might've been after playing through John Marston's intense journey in Red Dead Redemption. Once an outlaw, John is now being forced by agents working for the Bureau of Investigations to hunt down the members of his old gang.
So, fans of Rockstar games were able to see the development team's spin on the Wild West, or at least the ending of that era. And what a living, breathing world it is. You, as the player, are also afforded a degree of agency in this adventure. Aside from the thrilling gunfights, racing across the Western landscape on horseback, and exploring the frontier, as seen through Rockstar's eyes, players can mold John into the man they want him to be along the way.
3/10 God of War
This 2018 soft reboot bares the same name as the 2005 Playstation 2 original. But its simplistic renaming is a reflection of the new path Sony Santa Monica has chosen to take with the franchise's star player, Kratos. After winning countless accolades since its release in 2018, there's surely not a single video gaming fan who hasn't heard of God of War – even if they haven't played it themselves.
This new perspective on the third-person action title thrusts Kratos into Norse mythology. As such, the development team expertly crafted environments, enemies, and even weapons to accommodate this setting. Let's be honest; there's no mechanic in gaming quite as satisfying as hitting the triangle button to hear, see, and feel the Leviathan Axe whipping back into your hand.
2/10 Halo: Combat Evolved
Upon entering the console video games market, Microsoft had an ace in the hole – Halo: Combat Evolved. This game led Microsoft's charge into the industry, ultimately positioning them as a fierce competitor. Master Chief's surreal sci-fi journey ignited the imagination, curiosity, and sense of adventure in all of us.
And, as a first-person shooter, the combat was, indeed, evolved. Tight controls and intuitive gameplay made Halo an addictive mainstay in the pantheon of Xbox and PC games.
1/10 Metal Gear Solid
Metal Gear Solid is easily numbered among the greatest original PlayStation titles ever released. From the mind of Hideo Kojima, Metal Gear Solid is markedly a masterclass in story-telling and stealth action.
Throughout the series, Solid Snake (and Big Boss) would take us into the heart of the history and evolution of a globally-weaponized hot potato in the form of Metal Gear. Metal Gear Solid and its successors would never shy away from challenging philosophical notions and political ideologies. In fact, Solid Snake's own story is one centered around the very idea that DNA isn't what shapes a person. We're all in control of our own paths. It's resonating subtext like this that makes Metal Gear Solid one of the most memorable gaming experiences to this day.
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