Merlin Chico’s Top 7 Games of Last-Gen

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As I fired up the #Xbone on New Year’s Day, it occurred to me that 2015 will be the first year I use the ol’ 360 and PS3 sparingly. Since I’ve moved on to the new generation of consoles (and inspired by the plethora of end-of-year lists anyone and everyone posted last week) I’ve decided to hit you with my top seven games of the last console generation. Most of these games were available on multiple consoles so I’ve noted in parenthesis which system I played them on. Buckle up and check the top picks!

#7-Minecraft (Xbox 360)

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I downloaded Minecraft the day it became available on 360 because my cousin wouldn’t shut up about it. I asked him many times to explain what the gameplay was like, the story, etc., and always got a vague answer. I was skeptical to say the least. I’ve yet to download it on #Xbone because I’ve so many new games to play and know I’ll spend multiple hours a day mining and chopping up resources. Few games have caused me to lose track of time like Minecraft.

#6 New Super Mario Bros. (Wii)

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Like many gamers of a certain age the Bros grew up on Mario. The weekend of this game’s release we had a marathon and plowed through every world. It was a fantastic time and Nintendo perfectly captured the old-school spirit of Mario while updating it for a new generation. If you’re looking for a great, family-friendly game that anyone can enjoy, trust in iconic Mario.

#5 The Last of Us (PlayStation 3)

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With the last console generation, gaming became an increasingly social event. That being said, ever since I was just a lil’ bro I’ve always enjoyed gaming by myself. Gaming is an immersive experience I want to be able to enjoy similar to a film, book or television show. I’m in it for the story, but stellar gameplay is an equally important factor. The Last of Us combined the killer gameplay of the Uncharted series with a story ripped from the realm of The Walking Dead, and it was easily one of the most gripping experiences I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing.

#4 Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (PlayStation 3)

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Solid Snake is the man: let’s just all accept this as fact and move on. This was the first PS3 game I was incredibly hyped for and it did not disappoint. Although the cutscenes were lengthy and the story was convoluted, the boss fights were incredible and dropping Snake into warzones led to a stark shift in gameplay dynamic. Doesn’t matter if Snake is old, young or a clone-the guy is a total bad a**.

#3 BioShock (Xbox 360)

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This was the only game on the list I actually debated on. It was between BioShock and BioShock Infinite as both were incredibly memorable. The first in the series gets the nod because to this day I recall the anxiety I felt when I’d stumble across a Big Daddy in the world of Rapture; they were intimidating and tough to take down. The use of plasmids intermixed with gunplay made you feel powerful and was a breath of fresh air when the series premiered. With one of the most immersive worlds in the history of gaming and stellar stories, BioShock is a series I’ll always look forward to playing.

#2 Grand Theft Auto V (PlayStation 3)

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I’m a sucker for open world games and like many I’m sure this love affair began back when Grand Theft Auto III released on the PlayStation 2. I’ve played every console release in the series since then and I’ve always enjoyed the freedom provided to the player. While said freedom and a litany of activites is certainly an integral component to the Grand Theft Auto experience, for me the centerpiece has always been the story. Grand Theft Auto V combined three believable protagonists, a stellar multiplayer component and heists; easily my favorite addition to the series thus far. This is Rockstar’s magnum opus and I look forward to the addition of heists to the multiplayer component eagerly (Like everyone else is!).

#1 Mass Effect 3 (Xbox 360)

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As I stated earlier, gaming has always been an individual experience for me. I want to be immersed in the world and I don’t want to be interrupted.  The KOTOR series was one of the highlights of my time with original Xbox for this very reason, and the fact I was able to shape the world due to my protagonist’s actions was a welcome addition. The world of Mass Effect 3 was shaped by my actions over the first two games, and I’ve never agonized over decisions in a game was much as I did when I played through it. I wanted to do everything in my power to protect my team and that was a sentiment I’d never experienced so passionately while playing through a video game. Mass Effect 3 is one of the best games I’ve ever played and Shepard is easily the most awesome protagonist. The story was gripping, the universe was huge and the gunplay was phenomenal. “I’m the very model of a scientist Salarian…”

*Disclaimer: Photos in this post can be found on GameSpot

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