To follow on from last week where I listed my top five best games that I scored 7 out of 10 after playing, this week I am going to talk along the same lines except for increasing the score to games I gave 8 out of 10. Keep in mind that I haven’t reviewed any of these games for the site, and so the entries on this list will take the place of a full review.
Do let me know in the comments what games you would put in your top five games you scored 8 out of 10, and try to resist the likely desire for an angry outburst at my audacity for including the first game I am going to talk about on this list.
5) Marvel’s Spider-Man
Spider-Man really didn’t do a whole lot for me as I found my gasps of excitement almost identically matched my sighs of frustration for some of the design choices included in this all round solid and enjoyable game. I loved the web swinging around New York, and I think the sprawling map forms the bedrock for one of the greatest open world traversal mechanics of all time. The combat feels fresh, absorbing and responsive at all times, though while I appreciate being bitten by a radioactive spider isn’t likely to make Spidey bullet resistant I could really have done without one short burst of direct fire chewing through your health bar like Will gets through pre-workout.
I despise the MJ and Miles stealth sections and cannot imagine what depraved mindset led to their additions in this superhero game that the world had waited over a decade and a half for!
The generous selection of Spider-Man suits and the perks that came with them made sure that the instant combat started to feel repetitive you could switch things up entirely with a fresh suit and new special ability to keep your enemies on their toes. I admit I spent the bulk of the game using the Iron Spider additional limbs ability, partly because it reduced any shield wielding foes to tears but mainly because it looked like spider poetry in motion.
As much as I wanted to score Marvel’s Spider-Man higher the above bugbears really made me resent stretches of the game, and some of those challenges can absolutely get in the bin too.
4) Mad Max
The first entry in my Seven Gaming Heroes series from a couple of months ago, I couldn’t make a list highlighting the best 8 out of 10 scoring games and not include this title. I wanted to be able to score it higher (a recurring trend in this feature) but there just isn’t enough variety in the game to justify being able to rate it higher. I won’t say that Mad Max is in any way lacking in content, as it builds excellently on the mechanics it introduces at the start of the game in such a manner that you can easily get thirty plus hours of enjoyment out of it.
I won’t repeat myself anymore about why you should definitely play this game if you haven’t already, and so you can check out my Seven Gaming Heroes article by clicking here for the full run down of reasons why it should be your next game.
3) Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture
As much as I do enjoy a good walking simulator even I am surprised at myself for scoring this one so highly. The absolute beauty of the environment and soundtrack, combined with the high level of replayability, are the most significant factors in solidifying Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture on this list.
I have said before that the story does tend to lose me towards the end, but after walking around listening to the bulk of the dialogue the game has I am still satisfied knowing the conclusions of the character arcs that you piece together as you explore.
I have always been a sucker for pretty graphics and the freedom to explore a mysterious looking environment. In this respect the game really shines as every corner of the map, from the serene secluded windmill to the bleak shores of the caravan park lake, are just begging for you to come closer to see what happens. More often than not, exploring off the beaten path will reward players with new dialogue and intrigue as to what has happened to the population of Yaughton and Little Tipworth, a mystery which grows deeper with every nugget of information you come across.
A common criticism of this title is the lack of a run button, so your character nonchalantly wanders around with a total lack of urgency. I do understand how there are some who detest this design choice but personally I am happy with it. After all, Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture is a slow burning walking simulator that demands your time, care and attention in order for you to attain the best level of enjoyment from it.
2) Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition
I originally wasn’t planning on playing this game at all when it released as I had never played a Tomb Raider game before, and when people described it as ‘Uncharted but with a female Nathan Drake’ that only put me off more due to my dislike of him. It was only after recommendations hounded me for weeks from every gamer and their dog that I finally caved and played it with the sole intention of shutting people up. How wrong I was.
From the very first sections playing as Lara I was hooked, and the desperate scrambling survival battle with the wolves at the beginning had me completely infatuated with Tomb Raider’s deeply immersing adventure. I breezed through the entire game in a couple of days, and bought the Playstation 4 Definitive Edition on its release day and played through it again.
The crunchy and erratic battles against the forces of antagonist Mathias, wielding anything Lara can get her hands on from a pickaxe, to bows to shotguns, makes every encounter high stakes and incredibly rewarding when conquered. Tomb Raider doesn’t shy away from showing Lara dying in various gruesome ways to players, and so hammers home the feeling that her safety on the island is as much our responsibility as it is hers. Don’t be fooled however as Lara is far from a delicate creature who needs our protection, and after her first freak out after extinguishing another human’s life, she almost seems to relish gunning down anyone foolish enough to get in her way as if she is gradually becoming as mad as those who oppose her.
I couldn’t give Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition a higher score than 8 out of 10, as similarly to Mad Max which I mentioned earlier, it excels in the mechanics it has but there isn’t a great deal more going on to warrant a better mark.
1) Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Part of the reason this game doesn’t score higher is because of my own pitiful hopelessness with the chapter 31 battle with Metal Gear Sahelanthropus. I’m not gifted at all when it comes to stealth in video games, going so far as to replace Venom Snake’s side-arm typically reserved for a tranquiliser, with a grenade launcher in my playthrough of the Phantom Pain. Well, I say ‘playthrough’ but despite hours of trying I just couldn’t topple the big metal bastard so gave up and moved on to being generally awful at a different game instead.
Years later I googled the plot of the The Phantom Pain as it was far too complicated to have been spoiled by the corners of the internet I frequent, and found to my dismay that the remainder of the game following the fight I couldn’t win was mostly copy pastes of previous levels with the difficulty escalated. I famously hate difficulty in games so it was probably for the best that I didn’t play anymore, but I liked the general story beats and appreciate them for being the perfect definition of why the ending is Konami meddling’s fault and not Hideo Kojima being lazy.
Under any other circumstances I would award The Phantom Pain a 10 out of 10 just up to the part that I got to, but feel my treasured reviewer integrity would go up in smoke if I did that, and yes I am joking.
Thank you for reading my top five games that scored 8 out of 10 for my experience with them. I’m keen to discover your choices so let me know in the comments or over on our Twitter @RespawningUK. Predictably, I will be back next week to look at the 9 out of 10 scoring games that just couldn’t quite make it to a score of 10, and so I will speak to you then.