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Game of the Generation

On 05/26/2014 at 09:44 PM by daftman

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Linked to Article Series: Game of the Generation

About a month ago I started working on a blog about the Game of the Generation. Though we’ll continue to see PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 games for a while yet (Persona 5, anyone?), a new chapter of gaming history is underway with the Wii U, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Obviously I never finished that blog but IGN recently posted its picks for the Top 100 games of the generation, so it seems like a good time to revisit the idea. IGN’s list is ripe for controversy, as any such list would be, but their criteria is so vague that it’s hard to know exactly how or why they put certain games where they did in the list.

So, let me specify what I mean by “game of the generation.” I do not mean the best game of the generation, nor do I mean the most popular game. I don’t mean the best selling game or the most technically advanced one.  The Game of the Generation (if I might give it the distinction) is the one that embodied the spirit of the industry these past eight or so years. It’s the one that had the greatest influence on the way other developers approached making games, whose DNA can even be found in games of very different genres. For the seventh generation of consoles, I think that game is Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.

I can imagine all the jaded gamers rolling their eyes already, but can you name a more influential game from this generation? Every game in the following years tried to emulate Modern Warfare’s immersive story presentation and cinematic corridor campaign. But its revamped multiplayer has had an even farther reach. By adding an RPG-esque player progression, Infinity Ward made multiplayer completely addictive and turned what was already a solid series into one of the largest blockbusters our industry has yet seen.

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is not my favorite game from this past generation (check back later this week for that blog), but I do think it holds up quite well and manages to not take itself too seriously, a problem that plagues many of its successors. For good or ill, Modern Warfare has left its mark on history. Whatever you think of the game or the behemoth it spawned, you cannot deny its looming shadow cast over the seventh console generation.

(I started a thread in the forums to discuss the topic further if anyone wants to. Thought it'd be easier that way, but feel free to leave comments here too!)



Travis Hawks Senior Editor

05/26/2014 at 11:17 PM

We have forums!?

I'll put my comments over there!


UPDATE: Oh my lands! That IGN article has one game per page. No thanks. I'll wait for the 100 lines of text summary.


05/26/2014 at 11:45 PM

Gotta agree. It seems like every game afterwards had a COD4-like feature. 

Mass Effect 2 is probably my favorite of last gen though.

Casey Curran Staff Writer

05/27/2014 at 01:50 AM

I agree with this. CoD4 is the most important game of the gen, but ME2 will always be my personal favorite.

Super Step Contributing Writer

05/27/2014 at 02:07 AM

I can't disagree with you, but that might be why I looked at the seventh generation and said, "meh, I'll wait."


05/27/2014 at 07:36 PM

I do think that there will be fewer fondly remembered classics from this last generation compared with the previous ones, but there were still a lot of great games to go around.

Super Step Contributing Writer

05/28/2014 at 01:15 AM

I think there'll be fondly remembered classics, I just won't have nostalgia for them. I think I have to accept that at this point it may not be the games, it's just that what's popular is a bit past my time.


05/28/2014 at 04:43 PM

Them dang kids! Them and their new fangled FPS thingamuhoozits Tongue Out

Super Step Contributing Writer

05/28/2014 at 04:44 PM

Yeeeeaaahhh ... I'm not a mark for CoD games. At all. lol 


05/27/2014 at 04:59 AM

I think World of Warcraft is important, as many current MMOs have copy/pasted it's design.

Wii and Wii Sports influenced the creation of motion games, and things like Kinect and Move for better or worse, but I think Wii Sports is important too.

Angry Birds for smart phones. Portable gaming was sort of redefined by this game and  cell phones are still dominating portable gaming scene.

League of Legends is it's own sport or something creating a whole constant video streaming culture which cannot be ignored. Streaming was added to PS4 and XBOX One, and some Video cards have chips especially for Twitch TV. Kind of important I think.

Modern Warfare was super popular at the time. Not sure what the new COD is at the moment because I don't play shooters.

I wouldn't count out games like Super Meat boy and Fez which started the whole Indie game scene. 


05/27/2014 at 05:49 AM

While I never played any of the Modern Warfare games, I'm inclined to agree with you. Whenever I mention to someone that I play video games, they usually respond with something along the lines of " oh, another Call of Duty player". Not many other series has had the same mainstream success here in the west and none to this scale


05/27/2014 at 02:23 PM

I did a fast check on the IGN article and I got a grin seeing Super Mario Galaxy at number one. Of course, the commenters are probably cursing IGN for putting the game there, but it's the IGN comment section we are talking about :P

As far as influential videogames of this generarion, I would put Super Mario Galaxy, Braid (one that did the push of the Indie craze), Minecraft, maybe Team Fortress 2, Portal.... Those are the ones I can think of because i'm sure there's more.


05/27/2014 at 03:53 PM

Funny you bring this up. I was just looking at G4TV's greatest games of all time list. Super Mario Bros. was number 1 and CODMW was 20. I started playing SMB on 3DS last night. 

My favorite game of the generation has to be Crackdown. I can see how Super Mario Galaxy would make number 1 on IGN's list and CODMW tops on your list as most influential. Crackdown will always be the first game I think of last gen because of it's great co-op experience.


05/27/2014 at 07:51 PM

I still want to play Crackdown. I probably would have by now if it allowed split screen multiplayer.

I'll have to give that list a look. I always wonder why people insist on making "best games of all time" lists because obviously there are a lot of great games still ahead of us.


05/28/2014 at 03:21 AM

Sometimes I like looking at such lists and playing some of the games. Often my own tastes don't cross with these lists much, so it's a way of trying something new I guess. 


06/25/2014 at 01:36 PM

This game does fit with the game of the generation definition. Even if I don't care for the game in how it's changed mulitplayer in a way that I don't care for it still a gamechanged just the same in how games are created for multiplayer.

Storywise it was a good start. It's just a shame they didn't carry it thru with the rest of the series.


06/27/2014 at 08:17 AM

I haven't played all the Call of Duties—not even close—but I definitely agree about the story. The two subsequent Modern Warfares became increasingly ridiculous.

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