It’s an unusual premise I’ll grant you, but recently I’ve been thinking about what games I would rank as my top five games of all time, but that comprise solely of specific scores. I prefer to stick to solid numbers when reviewing a game, none of this ?.5 or ?.7 silliness, and so as the first part of my new series I’m going to talk about the best games I scored 7 out of 10 when I played them. I haven’t reviewed many games on the site so you’ll just have to take my word for it, and of course this will be a personal list reflecting only my choices, though do leave your best 7 out of 10 games in the comments below.
5) Ryse: Son of Rome
I’m the only person I know who rated Ryse: Son of Rome with a score as high as 7 out of 10, and to be honest I really don’t understand the criticism this game received. Yes it was a bit on the short side and took longer to install than it does to slow cook a winter stew, but the cinematic yet forgiving combat really shone for me. I don’t really understand why the various executions would carry on with no issue if you didn’t press the correct colour button when prompted to, but that far from warrants the scathing remarks that many have made about it. To those who don’t know, if you do in fact press the correct button (far from a difficult task) you are awarded more points for acquiring upgrades for protagonist Marius.
Ryse was a launch title released exclusively for the Xbox One in 2013, and it seemed to have the primary goal of showing off the incredible new benchmark of graphics that the eighth generation of consoles was capable of reaching, a point it undeniably proved at every point. The environments, particularly the haunted forest, looked great though the endgame city backdrops were spoiled somewhat by the presence of all the dust and smoke that the Xbox One could conjure, obscuring what would have surely been an epic background for a somewhat underwhelming final battle.
The game did set up a sequel (or sequels if rumours and leaks are to be believed) but ultimately didn’t even receive one follow up. While this was a bit of a disappointment it isn’t hard to see that the franchise was likely to have shown off all it could in its first entry, rendering the need for a follow-up completely moot. That said, I certainly would have welcomed a sequel with open arms, providing I wouldn’t have to pay much for it, but that’s what Gamepass is for right?
Bayonetta is a great example of a spectacle fighter that has stellar combat and fair visuals but not really anything else. The weird fetishistic combo moves you can make Bayonetta execute upon the hordes of angelic forces she humiliates before brutally killing are funny and memorable in the first quarter of the game, but after that become unnecessary set-dressing that yanks me out of my immersion. Bayonetta also makes too many attempts at being funny but is rarely successful in this aspect.
I always enjoy playing Bayonetta but while it certainly offered a great experience for the first hour or so of a playthrough, it really does start to drag on and on once you get passed the handful of amazing and adrenaline pumping boss battles. The fact the sequel was limited only to release on the Nintendo WiiU always perplexes and infuriates me no matter how many times people attempt to rationally explain it.
3) Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age
This game has not aged well and in retrospect I’m beginning to wish I’d left it in 2006 where I initially played it. I loved the original version for the Playstation 2, but when the remaster arrived on Playstation 4 in 2017 with the original ‘job system’ only previously available in Japan I quickly started to wish the idea had stayed there. After a couple of years whinging about the change and trashing the game at every opportunity on this very site, I decided at the tail end of last year to get over my grievance and give the game a real shot, partly because I wanted to but mostly to make it my long sought after 50th Platinum trophy, which I ended up achieving on Assassin’s Creed: Origins in June of this year.
Across this play time I accumulated 40 hours on it, gritting my teeth every time something happened that wouldn’t have in the original that irritated me, which was fairly often meaning I’m now approximately eight teeth down from the amount I started with. I’ve extolled the virtues of the decision to add a mode you can click on and off at will that makes the game play at four times speed, and I got about 95% of my way through the story before deciding I couldn’t face the endgame bosses with the restrictions the job system had implemented for the enjoyment of literally no-one in existence.
A phenomenal and rich RPG that my 16 year old self gave a 10 out of 10 rating and all the tummy rubs it could handle was bumped down to a 7 out of 10 score, with the additional wound inflicted of even making it the middle child on this list of not quite great games.
2) Watch Dogs
The reveal trailer at E3 2012 absolutely blew everyone’s socks off with the deep and varied gameplay mechanics and stunning beauty of a Chicago under the oppressive thumb of smartphones and a billion (not approximate) security cameras. Every inch of the gameplay video teemed with life, possibility, intrigue and what would tragically turn out to be empty promises. Upon the release of Watch Dogs in 2014 the difference between the 2012 trailer and the final product two years later was glaring to say the least.
While the stealth and action sequences mostly lived up to the promised hype, the graphical downgrade simply could not be overlooked by critic or gamer alike. You must keep in mind that this generation boasted the biggest graphical boost ever in gaming, and for one of the early flagship titles to swan dive in visual performance between promotion and release was of the greatest disappointment to those who placed shiny new graphics high up on their wish list for the new generation.
I wasn’t in this camp of people, and so found the bulk of the game mostly very enjoyable. I didn’t like the persistence of the police until later game upgrades were obtained, and the fact that you would have to stop and get out of your car to deter police helicopters as the camera was incapable of looking up during a chase still irritates me to this day. I would even go so far to say that without this issue I would have scored Watch Dogs 8 out of 10 instead of 7.
I did play the first few hours of Watch Dogs 2 which released in 2016 but I couldn’t stand the characters so swiftly moved on to anything else.
1) Ratchet and Clank (2016)
I really liked this game and I wanted to score it higher, I really did. The issue is that it was the only Ratchet and Clank game to be released in this entire generation, and keeping that in mind, it was far too short. This was due to it being released to support the movie of the same name which, and I get I’m not the target audience but the point still stands, was overwhelmingly mediocre.
The gameplay, graphics and sound design were indisputably great but I just wish there was more of them in this title. Older Ratchet and Clank games could be expected to last almost twice as long as the 2016 release did, and the fact it was largely based off the first ever Ratchet and Clank game from 2002 meant there was a noticeable lack of originality to rub salt in the wound.
The recently announced Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart is one of my most anticipated games for the Playstation 5, and the incredible trailer has got me so excited to play what I hope will be the first proper full length game in the franchise since 2009!
Thank you for reading my top five games that I scored 7 out of 10. Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @RespawningUK if you agree with my choices or the games which you would have included here. I will be back next week to look at the best 8 out of 10 scored games I have played and so I look forward to speaking to you then!