With the honorable mentions and the rest of the top 100 behind us, it’s time to get serious. These are the games that made the cut as At the Buzzer’s top 25 games of all-time. For more information on how this whole thing works or for the other games on the list, check out the Related Links at the bottom of this post.
25) BioShock (360/PS3/PC)
Chris: We’ve established by now that I’m not a huge fan of first-person shooters. I can’t play through the generic war sims like Call of Duty or Medal of Honor because they don’t interest me in the slightest. It’s not the genre’s fault, though, because there are some clear examples of games that suck me in. All it takes it the right amount of ambiance and setting, and I’ll love a shooter as much as anything else. Left 4 Dead was another example of this (our #29), but BioShock probably does it better. The role-playing elements let you develop your character and powers the way you see fit. The artistic style is compelling, somehow balancing vibrant colors with an appropriate amount of darkness to support the undertones. The soundtrack fits the era perfectly. Add it all up and 2K Studios gave us plenty of reasons to care about Jack as he slogs his way through the world of Rapture.
Shaun: From BioShock’s opening moments, I was hooked. Never before had I played a game that possessed that level of atmosphere, of suffocating detail and mood so rich it completely immersed the player into the world. This alone would have been enough to propel BioShock to “classic” stature, but it wasn’t content to stop there. Instead, the title chooses to push the boundaries of video game writing, forcing the player to ask questions about the human condition, but also about the medium itself, and their role as “player.” BioShock uses its solid shooting mechanics and innovative powers system as a means to challenge the way the audience thinks. Through excellent writing and complex characters, BioShock took three simple words and made it one of the medium’s most iconic, and haunting, phrases — “why so serious?”…no wait, that’s not it…