As the generation is coming to a close in the next few months, I thought it would be a good idea to talk about the best developers this generation. From the open world/sandbox game becoming more and more popular to cinematic experiences in video games actually working, it has been an interesting generation of games. Many developers put out quality experiences and games that will defiantly become well remembered for years to come.
5. Platinum Games
Platinum Games is known for making their crazy over-the-top action games and they are as plain as this, fun as hell. Vanquish is easily one of my favorite games this generation with it’s stylish 3rd person shooter gameplay, sure it was extremely short, but, it was short but sweet. Madworld is another one of my favorite titles this generation for taking the risk of actually putting their game in black and white, but, again, the game was extremely fun and actually had a fairly well-written story. Also, it was actually a fun game to use the Nintendo Wii’s motion controls decently.
Bayonetta is also a fairly well-designed action game, I wasn’t as big a fan of the game as many others were, it was still a great action game regardless. The future seems to be bright for Platinum Games with two titles coming out for the Wii-U, The Wonderful 101 and Bayonetta 2, both of which defiantly look like fun.
I guess this is sort of cheating because Nintendo would probably be on every list of every generation. I don’t really care though, even though many people didn’t like the Wii (I liked it but it defiantly had flaws as a console just in terms of how limiting it was), Nintendo still provided some of the best experiences this generation. They kicked their system off with a bang with Twilight Princess even though I’m not a fan of Zelda, for many this is still a great way to start off a system. Also, there is no denying that when Wii Sports first came out, it was pretty damn incredible. Sure, years later we would realize that motion controls kind of suck but, hey, at the time, it was pretty cool.
Although, the two most important titles were Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2. Both games provided such an innovation in the Mario games that were defiantly needed. Super Mario Galaxy 2 is now my favorite Mario game of all time because each level provided such a unique experience that just blew me away. If anything, both Galaxy games are some of the most important games this generation.
3. Rocksteady Studios
Did anyone think that they would ever get Batman right in a video game? Well, they did. Rocksteady made two quality Batman games that showed adapting characters into the video game medium can defiantly be done in such a respectful way. Arkham Asylum was extremely fun with it’s smooth combat and fun use of Batman’s gadgets. The combat was simple yet so fun. And on top of all of this, it had a quality Batman story worthy of the top of the list of Batman adaptations along with The Animated Series and the Nolan films. Arkham City helped open up the series and provided an even better experience with a stronger story, an ambitious ending, and just being able to glide around as Batman throughout this city is awesome. I look forward to see what else Rocksteady can do whether it be another Batman game later on or something entirely new.
2. Sucker Punch
Sucker Punch was already well-known for developing Sly Cooper the previous generation and well deserved it because the Sly games were defiantly fun. Infamous is very different with a superhero/villain sandbox experience that had great storytelling and extremely fun gameplay making it one of the finest titles for the PS3. And then the sequel came out and in my opinion, I thought it was even better than the first. The choices you made as Cole on whether to be evil or good had a stronger impact and made the game worth playing more than once.
On top of that, the melee system was improved and felt much more satisfying. Infamous 2 also had great endings on both the hero/villain side especially with what you have to do as a villain at the end which is just painful as hell to do as the player in regards to the story. I’m extremely excited to see Infamous Second Son on the PS4 and I am defiantly sure it will be one of the best titles for the PS4, at least for the first few years of the system.
1. Naughty Dog
How could I not pick Naughty Dog? Already well respected all the way back since the Playstation One with Crash Bandicoot and then the Jak and Daxter games, Uncharted became something so much more. It provided an experience, not just a game. An action movie like experience with fantastic characters like Nathan Drake, Sully, and Elena. You love these characters and come to know them so well after three quality games. Uncharted Drake’s Fortune was the first great Playstation 3 game and still holds up extremely well. Uncharted 2 did something so much more, it was easily the most beautiful looking console game at the time and had fantastic storytelling as well as multiple different environments compared to Drake‘s Fortune which mostly took place in the jungle.
Uncharted 3 was defiantly weaker than Uncharted 2 but was still fantastic. Even better looking than Uncharted 2 and still had fun gameplay as well as one of the most shocking moments in gaming this generation for me that makes you realize how much you care about these characters. And then, The Last of Us happened. I’m pretty sure even without The Last of Us, Naughty Dog would have topped this list but The Last of Us even cemented them further as the greatest developer this generation. The Last of Us is quite possibly my favorite game of all time, I don’t totally know yet, it has lingered for so long since I have played it. I still need to play it more than once and defiantly plan to play this game multiple times like I already have for the Uncharted games (I’ve probably played Uncharted 2 at least 5-6 times).
The Last of Us truly is the masterpiece of this generation. Providing one of the greatest stories in video games, unique gameplay, and characters that stay with you for a very long time, Naughty Dog has made something so great. I have no idea if Naughty Dog can top The Last of Us, the Playstation 4 has even higher expectations if Naughty Dog can continue to make games like this. Overall, Naughty Dog really brought it this generation, but, on top of that, many developers did.
To me, this is the generation to be remembered for story telling in video games as this is the first generation to provide multiple titles with great stories. Uncharted, The Last of Us, Infamous, Enslaved (a game way more people need to play by the way), Bioshock, Batman Arkham, etc. Developers finally want to do more than provided quality gameplay (which is obviously important), they want to make video games a medium that can be just as respectful as film and literature, and honestly, they have.