It’s said that the very best computer games really do make their mark on our lives, changing our perceptions as well as creating new heroes for us to idolize. The computer gaming industry is very much alive and kicking still, with eSports taking console gaming to a whole new level.
But with eSports revenues set to reach $1.5bn by the turn of the next decade, we thought now was a good time to reminisce about everything that was great about console gaming “back in the day” before things got quite so serious. We wanted to select our top five multi-platform console games of all time.
With more than eight million units sold across the six episodic games released across PlayStation, Xbox and PC, Hitman is certainly one of the very best action-stealth video games to have reached our consoles. The game’s protagonist, Agent 47, is one of the most easily recognizable computer games characters of all time, so much so that two films have been made based on the franchise, as well as online casino games available to play for real money or just for fun. The leading video slot version is a five-reel, 15-line American themed video slot, complete with on-screen bonuses.
- Grand Theft Auto
Who would have thought that this open world video game, initially released in the late 1990s on PC, would become such a global phenomenon? This two-dimensional game, spanning three fictional American cities, captured the imagination of gamers who enjoyed the thrill of completing missions for their respective syndicates. It has since been transformed into a three-dimensional behemoth, which had sold over 250 million copies across the entire series as of February 2017. 2004’s San Andreas version was arguably the breakthrough moment, selling 27.5 million copies of this instalment alone, based heavily on California and Nevada. The plot and depth of gameplay makes GTA a household favourite for many gamers across the world.
Half-Life has to be included here due to its influence of many first-person shooters over the years since its release. The sci-fi shooter was first released on PC and was immediately unique in that it featured no cutscenes whatsoever; handing users complete control over the main character, Freeman. The game’s developers, Valve said they wanted to create an altogether different and immersive world for gamers as opposed to a typical first-person “shooting gallery”. Well, they certainly achieved that, with the franchise subsequently ported to the PlayStation 2, OS X and Linux.
- Call of Duty
Speaking of first-person shooters, they don’t get much bigger beyond Half-Life than the Call of Duty franchise. First spawned on PC before expanding to consoles and handheld devices, the first enchanting game was set in the heart of World War II and captured the imagination of historians and gamers alike for its excellent attention to detail. Sales of all Call of Duty games as of February 2016 topped $15bn, with more than 250 million copies sold, putting it on a par with Grand Theft Auto for widespread acclaim.
- Metal Gear Solid
This franchise is celebrating 30 years since its first release on the MSX home computer architecture. Metal Gear Solid was ground-breaking at its time, developed by Japanese gaming giants, Konami. No other stealth-action game comes close to this franchise in terms of the heart-stopping gameplay and drama. With movie-like cutscenes, engaging plots and fantastic sound and visuals, Metal Gear Solid has achieved critical and commercial acclaim worldwide and has to be adopted into our quintet of “Hall of Fame” multi-platform console games.
What’s best about these five console titles is that they simply don’t age. Our children will probably be as engrossed by these titles in decades to come, as the gameplay here is decades ahead of its time!