9 Video Games We Love The Best - InformationWeek
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2/6/2015
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9 Video Games We Love The Best

Our picks for the best video games in every major genre. Check out the list (as well as some honorable mentions), then take to the comments section below, where you can hurl insults at us and nominate your favorite games in the genre.
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(Source: Tony Werman via Flickr.)

(Source: Tony Werman via Flickr.)

All through the month of February leading up to Valentine's Day, InformationWeek is making lists of things we love, from our favorite mobile devices to our favorite Android apps. Today, we're talking about our all-time favorite video games. Yes, here's our (no doubt controversial) list of the top video games ever.

To whittle down the thousands of brilliant games that have come out of the world’s best gaming studios, we broke the list down into major genres:

  • First Person Shooter: Combat games from the point of view of the shooter. Classic examples (but not winners) include Doom or Call of Duty.
  • Real-Time Strategy: Fast-moving combat games, usually from a top-down perspective with large numbers of units. Classic examples include Starcraft and Warcraft.
  • Turn-Based Strategy: These games most resemble board games. XCom and Heroes of Might and Magic are good examples.
  • Management: Games where the player is asked to run a business or other institution. Often called "tycoon" games because some of the classic examples of the genre include Zoo Tycoon and Roller Coaster Tycoon.
  • City Builder: Specifically games designed around becoming mayor or leader of a city or country. Classic examples include Pharaoh and Sim City.
  • Racing Games: Self-explanatory, I hope. Games that includes cars or other vehicles regardless of point of view. Classic examples include Need for Speed or Pole Position.
  • Role-Playing Games: Often thought of as merely Dungeons and Dragons, RPGs actually can take on many time periods, including sci-fi space stories and traditional contemporary settings. The thing that holds them together is usually a character on a quest of some sort. Examples include Bard's Tale and Mass Effect.
  • Sports: This genre can cross boundaries from first person character games, to third person "all-field" games, to even what are called "spreadsheet" games where you take on the role of the owner of the team. If it has a ball, it counts. Examples include Madden, FIFA, and Baseball Mogul.
  • Simulation: One of the hardest genres to define. Often simulations take on aspects of RPGs, city builders, management games, and other genres. At the heart of the game, however, is an attempt to mimic some sort of real-life thing as closely as possible. Examples might include Euro Truck Simulator and Surgeon Simulator.

Obviously, there are some genres missing. You could easily break down the shooter category in a bunch of ways. There's no "platformer" or "side-scroller" game here. No "button masher" or "melee" game. I didn't include a puzzle or party game category either. Mostly, I did this because I was trying to keep the list manageable. I also didn’t want to start getting into too many discussions over cross-genre games and what constitutes a "platformer" versus a "side-scroller" or a "puzzle game" from an "RPG."

I did the best I could at picking the biggest categories in gaming, and if something doesn’t fit easily, I'll shove it in where I can.

Check out the list (as well as some honorable mentions), then take to the comments section below, where you can hurl insults at me and nominate your favorite games in the genre. There can only be one.

David has been writing on business and technology for over 10 years and was most recently Managing Editor at Enterpriseefficiency.com. Before that he was an Assistant Editor at MIT Sloan Management Review, where he covered a wide range of business topics including IT, ... View Full Bio

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glenbren
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glenbren,
User Rank: Ninja
2/24/2015 | 6:26:36 PM
Re: Lack of end goals
My daughter used to play SIMS all the time and was wild about it. I never really got it, because there was no point to it as far as I could see. It never occurred to me that you could make your own end goals - now that makes sense! She just told me she still plays Mario Kart too. 
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
2/24/2015 | 5:54:55 PM
Re: 9 Video Games We Love The Best
@susan f- I still haven't found a kid who can take me at most games. I've even kept the skills to beat most 20 somethings. Does that mean I get to keep my job? :)

Seriously though, I do think gaming provides a kind of mental flexibility and the ability to move quickly from task to task while keeping concentraiton. I think you can find that other ways, but gaming is one of the best ways.
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
2/24/2015 | 5:51:26 PM
Re: best racing game. mario kart
@glenbren- No, currently, it must be played on a Nintendo system. However, I mentioned it as a game that most needs to be on a tablet in a post a while back. http://www.informationweek.com/it-life/8-classic-video-games-begging-for-tablet-versions/d/d-id/1317209

Clearly, you are thinking along the right lines. :)
kstaron
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kstaron,
User Rank: Ninja
2/23/2015 | 2:06:10 PM
Lack of end goals
I agree that the Sims franchise has pretty much gobbled up the simulation spectrum of game play for best picks. If you don't like playing Sims because you don't have end goals, make some. Legacy challenges, prosperity challenges and royal kingdom challenges add to the fun and give you a goal if you feel you need one. Because of the open ended game play you can design your own goals. Want every type of ghost, great, want every type of skin, hair and eye color in your family tree, wonderful. Want your town overrun with aliens, or vampires, or werewolves, get to it. I think the open-endedness of the Sims games is one of the things that makes it one of the best games out there.

Oh, and I'm going to have to give tropica a look now.
glenbren
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glenbren,
User Rank: Ninja
2/16/2015 | 5:58:28 PM
Re: best racing game. mario kart
I'm more of a Solitaire and word games person myself, but this Mario Kart sounds intriguing. Can it be played on a tablet?
Stratustician
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Stratustician,
User Rank: Ninja
2/9/2015 | 3:32:53 PM
Re: 9 Video Games We Love The Best
For me, nothing beats a few good rounds of Street Fighter.  Mind you, if it wasn't for growing up with Sierra games, I am sure my typing skills would be much worse.

But yes, Mario Kart doesn't ever get old.  I still play N64 and Wii versions on a weekly basis.
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Author
2/9/2015 | 3:24:31 PM
Re: 9 Video Games We Love The Best
freespirit, 

You should play more games. Do you know that certain games improve focus, mental agility, problem solving, and memory? :) Kids who play games develop all those much faster than those who don't play games. They will use those skills in business in the future. Why do you think your kids always beat you? 

-Susan 
freespiritny25
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freespiritny25,
User Rank: Ninja
2/9/2015 | 11:31:44 AM
Re: 9 Video Games We Love The Best
Racing games are my favorite, mostly because they are the only games I can beat the kids in. Satisfies my need for speed!
soozyg
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soozyg,
User Rank: Ninja
2/8/2015 | 11:57:02 AM
Re: Minecraft
Progman,

Yes, Steam and FIFA. My son is 12 and loves them, too. I'm just surprised how much he loves Minecraft and how much kids like it when there are so many other visually compelling games out there.
progman2000
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progman2000,
User Rank: Ninja
2/8/2015 | 10:46:48 AM
Re: Minecraft
My son used to be big into Minecraft also, but he's 14 now and kind of moved on from that.  I think most the games David mentions are console based games - my son plays some of those, but the lions share of his time is spent on internet based games (mostly on Steam).
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