5 Best Games That Defined Last Generation

In this new generation of consoles, it’s easy to overlook the amazing games that have graced us in the years passed. Games that have shaped the gaming industry forever could get forgotten about in the rush to be acquainted with next generation hardware.  However these are the 5 best games that cannot be overlooked.

The Last of Us

The Last of Us is a flawless game, an experience that showcases games as an art form that isn’t merely about violence and addiction, but more as a gripping narrative, or life-like gameplay, with well realised worlds that consist of the best characters in video game history. The Last of Us is simply that good – a tribute to video games that should make developer Naughty Dog proud as it cements themselves as the best developer in the industry. As you embark on one of the greatest adventures available now, you’ll get to witness how the relationship between the game’s two protagonists – Ellie and Joel – gradually transpires into something deeper and more meaningful over the course of their journey. Humour, sadness, desperation and contradiction comes out of this father/daughter like relationship and forms the backbone of this well crafted narrative. The Last of Us is the best game I have ever played and is certainly one of the most influential games released on last generation console.


Red Dead Redemption

Without a doubt, the best game to hit the gaming scene in 2010 was Red Dead Redemption. Developed by Rockstar Games, Red Dead Redemption was the first ever great Wild West game to hit the gaming industry and no game has ever surpassed it since. The story follows John Marston’s redemption and transformation into a good man while introducing gamers to many interesting and memorable characters. The gameplay mechanics such as hunting and skinning wild animals inspire other high profile games like Far Cry 3 and some of the later installments of Assassins Creed. That’s what makes this game stand out – it innovates! Red Dead Redemption has the best video game ending that I ever witnessed and the continued anticipation for its unannounced sequel Red Dead Redemption 2 is well warranted.


Bioshock Infinite

Following the critical success of the original Bioshock, Irrational Games has again produced what could be a game worthy to be regarded as last generation best game contender. Bioshock Infinite is set in the floating city of Columbia, a safe haven for the humans in the sky. After a short period of time walking around and taking in the vibrant landscape, you soon realise there is more to this world than first thought – Racism, dictatorship and violence in this floating city oppresses its people and you are here to save the day in this twenty hour campaign. Although the gameplay is not as revolutionary as the original Bioshock, the weapons and vigors still feel responsive and fun. You cannot play a better Irrational game than its last flagship title before the company closes its doors.


Grand Theft Auto V

Breaking the industry sales record by earning $800 million in its first 24 hours of release and passing the $1 billion dollar mark by the end if its third day, it is easy to see why Grand Theft Auto V is one of the best games ever. GTA V is fun, full of great humours, and is also intelligent, addictive, and expansive. Grand Theft Auto V is without a doubt another home run for the world class development team known as Rockstar Games and it signifies them as one of the best developers in the industry today. The story of Grand Theft Auto V follows the criminal activities of three best friends: Michael, Franklin and Trevor. On your journey over the massive 35 hour campaign you will encounter heists, and will do a lot of driving and killing. Grand Theft Auto V is a landmark in society and it proves that it has no problem living up to the hype that has surrounded its release.


Assassins Creed 2

Following the disappointment of the first game in the series, Assassins Creed 2 had to be a return to form for then newcomer Ubisoft and it was. The main difference from its predecessor was the change in the main protagonist as well as the story’s setting. Ezio Auditore was the protagonist of AC2 and he brought a whole new level of charisma and flamboyance to the game’s narrative. Unlike the more serious Altair from the first game, Ezio tackled situations very differently and that was what made this game more successful. Many gamers still consider AC2 as the pinnacle of the series and I have no reason to disagree. Assassins Creed 2 has paved the way for the franchise and now we have ended up with pirates…. but just how did that happen?

assassins creed 2

Christopher Loi
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  • admiralvic

    I like how 3/5 of these games released in the past year or so…

    Anyway, I would say BioShock was more defining / had greater impact than BioShock Infinite. I would also say Uncharted 2, Demon’s Souls, Mass Effect, Gears of War and LittleBigPlanet had a bigger impact than Assassin’s Creed 2, but I digress.

  • jakdripr

    No COD 4 really hurts the credibility of this list. Almost every game burrowed something from COD 4 after it’s release and it is partly responsible for the annual release strategy of assassins creed and definitely responsible for the influx of modern day shooters. Never mind the fact that it was simply an amazing shooter.

  • MeterBreak

    While I didn’t love Assassin’s Creed, I can see why it was picked to define the generation. It was a huge title that just kept growing. Like some other people here, I’d also agree with Call of Duty, especially MW.

    Mass Effect is a good one. I wouldn’t include games from previous generations, personally (such as Halo), as it’s hard for a sequel (unless it’s really different or a huge leap forward, like Bioshock over System Shock) to separate itself from a game from the previous gen.

    Gears/Uncharted were also huge. Choosing only 5 might have been the toughest part of this article!

  • alexkoepp

    Mass effect and gear of war should be on there, and original bioshock. I’d have to think long and hard for the other two though

  • MeterBreak

    I personally agree with you, Alex. I wouldn’t have Call of Duty or Assassin’s Creed touching my top games. But when you think about this past gen, it will be hard to do without thinking of those 2 titles.

    If I had to pick 5 that defined this generation, they’d be Mass Effect, Uncharted, Mario Galaxy, Gears of War, and Red Dead.

  • gamerfan0909

    Defined as in what? I think if you’re asking what games defined innovation then that to me is Gears of War- completely created the cover third person shooter genre. Uncharted- Completely invented the cinematic third person shooter. Bioshock- Completely redefined what story based games could do. Mass Effect- innovated the scifi TPS RPG story. And like the games or not Quantic Dream has to be on there cause they pioneered the QTE story based games. I don’t like it but they did do it.

  • stavrami-mk2

    You are completely wrong as you have given great reasons to as and why. you have totally made a valid opinion and that is just unacceptable on n4g

  • agent2009

    Except that Uncharted didn’t invent the video game cinematics – Metal Gear Solid did it back in the 1998. Mass Effect also didn’t bring anything new to the table.

    The author apparently just listed his top 5 of this generation, completely abandoning the “defining” line.

  • HeavenlySnipes

    Halo 3?

    Call of Duty Modern Warfare?

    Both revolutionized mass online FPS on consoles

  • incendy35

    Yeah, I was going to say Modern Warfare 2. I am not a big fan of online shooters, but hard to ignore the impact that game had.

  • gamerfan0909

    I’d say Halo 2 revolutionized MP shooters more than Halo 3. COD definitely sent it to the next level on 360.

  • stavrami-mk2

    g1 jockey and gallop racer loved it

  • lastdual

    While it wasn’t my #1 game of last gen, no title “defined” the previous generation more than COD4.

  • HonestDragon

    While I do agree with four of the five games, it’s really hard to narrow down eight years worth of gaming and choose only five to define the generation. Three in that list were from 2013 alone. If I had the time right now, I would try to put together a list like this. Then I would do a list of the worst games from the last generation to be fair.

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