GammaSquad’s 50 Greatest Console Games Of The Past Generation (#5 – 1)

In just a little over two weeks all three major console makers will all have new machines on the market, which means it’s finally time to bid a fond farewell to seventh generation consoles. Sure, a few more current gen (soon to be last gen) games are still on the way, but the era of the Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and Wii is rapidly drawing to a close.

Before the next generation kicks off in earnest, we here at GammaSquad thought we’d take a look at some of the best games of this past generation. We’ve made it all the way to #6, and now, without further ado, here’s the top five…

Note: This list only covers console games — no PC-only titles or handheld games. New handhelds come out on a different schedule than consoles, and the PC doesn’t really have “generations” per se, so neither really fit with the “best games of the past generation” scope of this series.

First, a quick recap!

Part 1

50) Grand Theft Auto IV

49) Assassin’s Creed II

48) Rayman Origins

47) Prototype

46) Far Cry 3

45) Dead Rising

44) Mass Effect 2

43) Metroid: Other M

42) InFamous 2

41) Bayonetta

Part 2

40) Catherine

39) Pac-Man Championship Edition

38) Spec Ops: The Line

37) Wii Sports

36) Alan Wake

35) Tomb Raider

34) Deus Ex: Human Revolution

33) Super Mario Galaxy 2

32) Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

31) Metro 2033

Part 3

30) The Unfinished Swan

29) Super Street Fighter IV

28) BioShock Infinite

27) Trauma Team

26) Crackdown

25) Super Smash Bros. Brawl

24) Mega Man 9

23) Saints Row IV

22) Wii Sports Resort

21) BioShock

Part 4

20) Grand Theft Auto V

19) XCOM: Enemy Unknown

18) Punch-Out!!

17) Valkyria Chronicles

16) Dead Rising 2

15) Xenoblade Chronicles

14) Hotline Miami

13) The Walking Dead

12) The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

11) Silent Hill: Shattered Memories

Part 5

10) The Last Story

9) Rock Band

8) Batman: Arkham Asylum

7) Red Dead Redemption

6) Dead Space

…and now, onto the final 5!

5) Super Mario Galaxy

Super Mario Galaxy was simply the most polished game of this generation. Every power-up and mechanic worked just right, the camera was somehow always exactly where it should be and every stage was a perfect little master class in game design. The game also added some much needed bombast and gravity to a series that sometimes errs a little too hard on the side of the light and goofy.

4) Portal 2

Portal was a great, unexpected treat, but it was also practically a minigame it was so short. Portal 2 expanded on the original Portal in every way without sacrificing any of the sharp humor or superlative level design that made original so memorable. Valve definitely didn’t give us lemons with this one.

3) Dishonored

A great late-generation surprise, Dishonored broke out of the crowd of sequels and me-too shooters to deliver a truly unique new world. Also, unlike most games that harp on about player choice (which is like, half of them these days) Dishonored actually delivered. Oh, and it made first-person jumping tolerable, which is a pretty lofty achievement in and of itself.

2) Batman: Arkham City

Arkham Asylum let fans truly be Batman, but one thing was missing — Gotham City. Gotham City is almost as important a character as Batman himself in Bat-comics, and Batman: Arkham City finally let us play as Batman in his native habitat. Crashing into Gotham City’s courthouse to beat up Two-Face before seamlessly swinging across town to GCPD headquarters to fight Mr. Freeze is pretty much everything we ever dreamed video games could be. Hell, maybe someday we’ll even collect the last of those Riddler trophies.

1) The Last of Us

The Last of Us was the most brazenly ambitious game of this generation. Basically Naughty Dog decided they wanted to make a playable video game out of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, and they actually succeeded. Naughty Dog made a mechanically sound action game that was nevertheless tense as hell (see, it can be done Resident Evil). A game that was dramatic and incredibly dark, but still fun to play. The Last of Us was a brave, original capper to a generation that often played things a bit too safe.

So there you have it, the full 50 in all their somewhat eclectic glory. It’s been fun hashing this thing out with you guys, so don’t hold back! Hit the comments and let us know what our worst snubs were and what you’re going to do to us for including not one, but two Wii Sports games on the list.