Chris’s Top Fifty Videogame Completions of the Year #20 – #11

For the full context of this list, please make sure to read part 1 of this fantastic feature.

20: Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Developer: Sonic Team

Publisher: Sega

Available on: Practically everything, but played on the Xbox One with backwards compatibility

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 has to be the biggest surprise out of my top 50, in terms of just how much I enjoyed it. Sonic 2 is a superior sequel in nearly every way, much like Streets of Rage 2 is a huge improvement over the first game. For a start, there is a lot more variety in the levels, and although the game is fast, you feel like you are more in control of the spiky blue critter. There also aren’t as many frustrating levels, like the underwater sections that drove me insane from the first game. Sonic the Hedgehog gave a glimpse of greatness, whereas Sonic 2 really delivered a fantastic experience. Great graphics, awesome music and excellent playability made Sonic 2 a real treat to play. It’s taken nearly 25 years, but after playing Sonic the Hedgehog 2, I finally get the appeal of Sega’s mascot.

19: Streets of Rage 2

Developer: Sega

Publisher: Sega

Available on: Practically everything, but played on the Xbox One with backwards compatibility

Streets of Rage 2 is quite simply one of the best games ever released on the Sega Megadrive! Streets of Rage 2 expands on the original game with additional characters, more bone crunching moves and one of the best soundtracks of all time! Even today, the music is absolutely stunning, and arguably some of the best produced on the Megadrive, or any system for that matter. The Megadrive had some incredible side scrolling beat-em ups, and Streets of Rage 2 sits comfortably in my top ten favourite games from this console.

18: Velocity 2x

Developer: FuturLab

Publisher: FuturLab

Available on: PC, PS4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox One

As you can probably guess from the name of the game, Velocity 2x is all about speed! Mixing old school gameplay from titles such as Xenon 2, developer FuturLab, have put a fresh spin on the vertical scrolling shooter. Your spaceship is not only equipped with lasers and bombs, but you can also teleport to avoid enemy fire and obstacles. Timing and speed is of the essence as everything is out to destroy you! There are occasions where you have to dock your ship, and this adds a new element to the game where it turns into a side scrolling run and gun section. Again, timing and reactions are key, as you shoot, slide and teleport to avoid enemy fire. Velocity 2x was a superb game, especially on the PlayStation Vita. The controls felt tight and responsive and I was hooked from start to finish.

17: Sine Mora

Developer: Digital Reality & Grasshopper Manufacture

Publisher: Kalypso Media, Microsoft Studios & THQ Nordic

Available on: PC, PS3, PS4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360, Xbox One, iOS, Android, Nintendo Switch

Sine Mora is a side scrolling shooter with a difference. Instead of having traditional lives or energy to keep your ship in the air, you rely solely on time. There is a time limit set for each level and whenever your ship takes a hit, you lose more time. Reach the time limit and it is game over. This is a really neat concept that I found added a lot more tension to the game than traditional shooters. Although Sine Mora is a tough game, you are aided with the ability to slow down time temporarily, which gives you the chance to dodge around enemy missiles. It’s also worth pointing out that I played Sine Mora on the PlayStation Vita and it looks absolutely beautiful on that machine. If you enjoyed games of yesteryear such as R-Type, Apidya or UN Squadron, then I think there is a very good chance you will enjoy Sine Mora. In fact Sine Mora has just been released on the Nintendo Switch, and I am very tempted to pick it up again.

16: Assassins Creed Syndicate

Developer: Ubisoft Quebec

Publisher: Ubisoft

Available on: PC, PS4, Xbox One

It’s ironic that one of the worst performing (in terms of sales) Assassins Creed games is actually one of the best I have played! The perceived failure of Assassins Creed Syndicate resulted in the series taking a year off in 2016, until Assassins Creed Origins was released earlier on this year. Set in Victorian London, you play as brother and sister, Jacob and Evie Frye. As you would expect there are the usual tropes you find in Assassins Creed games such as stalking your prey before eventually executing them. The standard gameplay was good enough, but what I really enjoyed about Assassins Creed Syndicate were the setting and characters. Jacob and Evie have a good rapport and bounce off each other, which helped to flesh out the characters more than I was expecting. Victorian London looks absolutely fantastic, which gives the game a real sense of place that really brings things to life. Assassins Creed Syndicate was a big surprise for me just in terms of how much I enjoyed it. You can pick it up relatively cheaply these days, and I think it would be well worth your time.

15: Battlefield 1

Developer: EA Dice

Publisher: Electronic Arts

Available on: PC, PS4, Xbox One

There aren’t many big budget AAA games made about World War 1, so a few eyebrows were raised when publisher Electronic Arts decided to buck the trend. Battlefield 1 could have gone very wrong in terms of the tone of the story, but I’m pleased to say that it struck a nice balance between being respectful to the subject matter and presenting an entertaining adventure. The single player has 6 separate missions, each covering an aspect of the conflict from different perspectives. You could argue that it is basically an extended tutorial for the extensive multiplayer, but it works very well and I found myself engaged with the stories. Graphically Battlefield 1 is absolutely beautiful, which really helps to bring the brutality of World War 1 to life. Battlefield 1 was one of my top ten games of last year and a welcome change to the futuristic first-person shooters that have become the norm. You can read more of my thoughts about Battlefield One here.

14: Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Remastered

Developer: Raven Software

Publisher: Activision

Available on: PC, PS4, Xbox One

For me Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is a game that defined a console generation! Not only did it feature an incredible single player, but it also had a staggeringly good multiplayer to which I became utterly addicted. I’d not played many multiplayer games before 2007, and COD 4 blew me away in terms of its gunplay and polished gameplay. I loved my Xbox 360, (even though 4 of them developed the red ring of death) and COD4 was the game that helped propel the videogame industry into the multi-billion-dollar money spinner that it is today. I was curious to see if the game would still hold up today, and it’s fair to say that Raven Software have done a fantastic job on the remaster. COD 4 looks absolutely superb, plays like a dream, and most importantly feels as fresh as it did when it was released 10 years ago. The single player campaign is still utterly stunning and there are some incredible levels such as All Ghillied Up, and Death from Above. I can still remember playing the final level called Mile High Club on veteran difficulty. On this stage you have to infiltrate a plane full of terrorists and save the hostages within 1 minute! It took me three days to complete! Let’s just say that I had a lot more time on my hands back in 2007! Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare still stands up today as one of the best first-person shooters ever made! Enough said!

13: Golden Axe

Developer: Sega

Publisher: Sega

Available on: Practically everything, but played on the PlayStation Vita

Golden Axe is one of my favourite videogames of all time! I play it once a year from start to finish, and have done so for nearly 30 years. I dare say that I will play Golden Axe until the day I shuffle off this mortal coil, and it will no doubt remain as special to me as the day I first played it. Please click here to read more about me waxing lyrical about how much I love Golden Axe.

12: Titanfall 2

Developer: Respawn Entertainment

Publisher: Electronic Arts

Available on: PC, PS4, Xbox One

Titanfall 2 was in my top ten favourite games of 2016! It featured a fantastic single player campaign that felt utterly compelling and at times absolutely breathless. Respawn Entertainment completely nailed the movement of your character, making wall running and near-death jumps feel both effortless, but nerve shredding at the same time. Titanfall 2 is one of the best first-person shooters I have played in a long time. Please check out more of my thoughts here.

Dead Rising 4 Vertical Key Art

11: Dead Rising 4

Developer: Capcom Vancouver

Publisher: Capcom

Available on: PC, PS4, Xbox One

Dead Rising is the reason why I went out and bought an Xbox 360! Back in 2006, I had fallen out of love with gaming and had no interest in what was due to be released. That was until I saw the trailer for Dead Rising and all my Christmases and Birthdays had come at once. One of my favourite films of all time is Dawn of the Dead from George Romero, and Dead Rising seemed to be the videogame version of that movie. Although the final product had its problems, on the whole it did everything that I wanted it to, and as a result I have always been a fan of the Dead Rising franchise. I also really enjoyed Dead Rising 3 and felt that it was mindless fun mashing up zombies in increasingly violent and inventive ways. Dead Rising 3 had more of an open world feel than the original and Dead Rising 4 continues that trend. You play as the original protagonist, Frank West, who is once again investigating a zombie outbreak. To be honest, the plot and story isn’t really that important, as the main focus is slicing and dicing zombies by the dozen. There is something very cathartic about building a fire spewing car and ploughing head first into hundreds of the undead! Dead Rising 4 feels more like Dead Rising 3.5, as it doesn’t really do anything much different to its predecessor. I’d be surprised if there are any more Dead Rising games, as their appeal seems to have waned over the years. For me though, I will always be grateful to Dead Rising for bringing me back into gaming and delivering a fun, if mindless experience.

Reviews by Chris (co-host of 60 Minutes With)