So my top 5 is going to consist of games I played and loved growing up on. My list of games is different from many of the top 5, 10, 20 etc that you can see on YouTube and the games I include don’t make those lists.
The original NBA Street. Just an absolute classic! You can play regular games alone or against your friends. For me, I played against my older brother. He was often the Philadelphia 76’ers who had Hall of Fame point guard Allen Iverson and Center Dikembe Mutombo (guy blocks everything). So the only chance I had was being the LA Lakers who had Shaq and Kobe. You would play 3 on 3 games to 21. Regular shots and dunks inside the 3-point line counted as 1 point and 3’s counted as 2 points.
You can also do a career mode where you pick a team plus Michael Jordan. So imagine MJ, Shaq and Kobe on one team, bananas I know! You would play against other NBA teams and when you win you pick their best player and they join your team (i.e Vince Carter, Tracy McGrady, etc) talk about throwback. Each basketball court has a number of opponents then their’s a boss known as a Street Legend. Stretch is on the cover and the final boss.
Overall, this game paved the path for the NBA and NFL Street franchize on the PS2. The gameplay had gamebreakers, button combinations for different dunks, and enthusiasm. Had a video game feel of The Harlem Globetrotters mixed with AND 1 Street Ball. Anybody remember Hot Sauce and The Professor? They’re not in the game but I digress. Rating: 9/10.
Spyro The Dragon is a game that came out in 1998 developed by Insomniac Games (The same guys who made Ratchet and Clank). This is a game I still play on my PS2 today. Its timeless. The story is engaging, the gameplay is fun, it’s the perfect game to introduce to new gamers.
What makes Spyro fun is that it’s similar to an open world. You’re free to go about the map and explore as you wish, however there are still boundaries. There are goals to meet like saving the Adult Dragons who have become green statues because of Gnasty Gnorc. 100% every world is the goal and you never get sick of it. Charging into enemies, treasure, and everything is enjoyable. Flaming big goons gives a different reaction than when you charge an enemy. All around good fun. The later two games introduced new abilities like swimming and that’s the reason the OG Spyro ranks 4.
Anybody else hear from E3 that Crash is getting remastered (1-3) for the PS4!? Beyond amped about it. Naughty Dog developed Crash Bandicoot right around the time Insomniac developed Spyro. Naughty Dog went on to produce absolute bangers in The Uncharted Series and The Last of Us. In Uncharted 4 Crash Bandicoot appears in a mini-game where Nathan Drake plays a popular scene in Crash 1 where you are running away from a massive boulder rolling downhill feet away from crushing you. Then you have to try to get as much boxes as possible. Nathan Drake playing Crash, talk about videogame inception.
Spyro and Crash were literally my childhood. What made Crash fun, like Spyro, was its simplistic story yet entertaining gameplay. The levels weren’t too tough, but tough enough to the point you needed to calculate your next jump or attack.
Crash 2 makes my list over Crash 1 because the game is easier, smoother in control of Crash’s character/movements, and I enjoyed the levels more. I chose Crash 2 over Crash Warped (3) because it’s uniqueness grabbed me between level design. Crash Warped took a lot from 2 and added Powerups and more abilities. I love Crash Warped, but Crash 2 get’s the vote.
Single player was 👍 and multi-player was 🔥. All the missions were conducted by your Fireteam of 4 SEALs. Your character belonged to Fireteam A (Specter the Team Leader) and Jester, another SEAL that followed you everywhere. Fireteam B was either two British SBS (British equivalent to Navy SEALs) or 2 other SEALs Vandal and Wardog. The cool thing about Socom is that it introduced the headset. You could talk to your team in single player and order them to do tasks for you: Run to point Bravo, throw a grenade into this room, hold your position etc. The headset was fun in single-player but critical in multiplayer, we’ll get to that later. Weapon of choice : SR-25 Sniper Rifle (it was beast). You know in CoD and Battlefield when you get shot to pieces and are clinging to life and then 30 seconds later your health is good as new? Nope, no health regeneration in Socom. This was back in the day when there were no check-points either. “Oh a terrorist who was firing at you killed a hostage you were escorting to safety, MISSION FAILED!” AFTER 15 MINUTES. Sneaking passed guards, sniping dudes, then COMPLETE AND UTTER FAILURE. Rage quit like you read about.
This brings us to Multi-player. Aaaah the glory days. When everybody had a mic and actually played together as a team. Also the cool thing about Socom is that you could make your names a color. So it would be like #C~!! then your name and when you would chat in the lobby or get a kill in multiplayer, your name would appear as that color (TheAlbum) but in Red font,you get the idea.
Multiplayer Favorite Maps for SEALs – Night Stalker, Sandstorm and Sujo. Weapons: M4A1 SD, RA-14, SR-25 SD with Thermal for maps like Sandstorm and Sujo. Normal scope for maps where you needed to see further out.
Favorite Maps for Terrorists – Fox Hunt, Fish Hook, and Frost Fire. Weapons: MA82 Barrett Sniper Rifle, M14(noob), 552 SD, STG-77. I loved Sniping in Foxhunt on top of that hill.
Neutral Maps: Crossroads (tie breaker in clan wars), Desert Glory, Vigilance, Fish Hook, Blizzard.
Best Modes: Respawn was where basically all the noobs and young kids went to play (I was young, but cmon, let’s get real here). It was a fun mode, but the real gaming was done in the different lobbies like Breach Medley or Demolition Medley etc. These played like 1 death a round (Like Search + Destroy from CoD). Clan Wars was awesome and everybody would be online every night to play 8 vs. 8. Paintball…Anybody remember paintball on Frost Fire? Whoever invented that became an instant Socom Legend. SEALs on one side of the factory-like complex and Terrorists on the other only using SMG’s on Single-shot. The rules were taken very seriously, if you crossed the imaginary line that we all agreed we wouldn’t cross, you would be voted out for being a cheater. (Sidenote: Anybody remember voting for your alive teammate then un-voting him again telling him to turn around while you spectated the round because you already died? Sometimes it was an early warning to bad guys coming in the room). It’s the little things I guess, BEST. GAME. EVER. (maybe I should re-think my order? Nahhh).
SOCOM 1 had fun singleplayer, but 2 had both. Socom 3 was alright and introduced vechicles. Every game after it was TRASH.
Spyro keeps getting auto-corrected as Pyro and I’m losing my damn mind retyping it! I liked this game the best over the original Spyro because you learn the ability to swim, climb, and head bash (jump in the air and drive your horns into the ground). There are more challenges to complete in each of the worlds portals. Doing these challenges by the character’s in each of the portals gives you an orb that you need to collect to open the final world at the end of the game. You do not need to collect them all, but it’s recommended because there is another world after you finish off Gnasty Gnorc for the final time.
I chose Spyro 2 over Spyro 3 because Spyro 3 was essentially the same thing as Spyro 2. Same concept in story just different villains. And instead of rescuing the adult dragons who were frozen in statues, you rescued baby dragons held in eggs. Baby dragons are awesome, but not awesome enough to get them in the number 1 spot.
My favorite thing about Ripto’s Rage is the “mini games” or challenges you complete to receive orbs. You need to defeat enemies to open up a power-up which allows you to fly, shoot fireballs, or launch feet through the air for up to 10 seconds at a time. You can play hockey against a yeti, solve puzzles, save trapped baby turtles by shooting water/fireballs underwater, etc. There is so much more to explore.
Rating 12/10…oh my rating system doesn’t make sense?
If you liked my Top 5 then comment your’s below. If you want to banter about the good times playing Socom then leave a comment and follow my Twitter: @TheAlbumWeb