Hey there! Video games are like this massive playground where your imagination gets to run wild. Over the years, this magical universe has seen the birth of some seriously awesome games. So, in this guide, we’re setting off on a super fun journey to explore the top 30 video games ever created. Our goal here is pretty simple: we want to take you up close and personal with games that have not only made a huge splash in the gaming world but have also stolen our hearts, us gals from all over the globe.
Video games have been on a wild adventure too, from those old-school classics to the jaw-dropping games we’re playing today.
As we get into this guide, we’re not just going to list games; we’re diving headfirst into their amazing stories, unique gameplay, and why they’ve left us so starry-eyed. We know that ranking games can be pretty personal, but trust us, this list has had lots of girl talk, research, and a whole lot of love for the diverse world of gaming.
Each game on our list has a story to tell, gameplay that’s out of this world and has made a big impact on the gaming sisterhood. These games are way more than just lines of code; they’re the result of creative minds and hard work from game developers who had some big dreams.
So, come join us in this fantastic adventure as we explore worlds filled with magic, mystery, adventure, and strategy. Whether you’re a seasoned gamer or just dipping your toes into the gaming scene, this guide is all about sharing secrets, bringing back those fond memories, and introducing you to some hidden treasures you might have missed.
From the pioneers who set the stage to the modern classics that are changing the gaming game, this guide is our tribute to the amazing world of video games. Let’s get started and celebrate the games that have not only added some sparkle to our lives but are continuing to bring joy to us, no matter our age.
30. Borderlands 2
The original Borderlands was a game-changer, capturing the attention of gamers seemingly out of nowhere. Its sequel, Borderlands 2, not only maintained the greatness of the original but also expanded upon it. It seamlessly continued the epic Borderlands vault hunting lore and delivered unparalleled writing. Borderlands 2 stands tall as the pinnacle of the Borderlands franchise.
Even with the release of Borderlands 3, which introduced numerous improvements over its predecessor, The Pre-Sequel, Borderlands 2 continues to hold its own. It boasts incredible levels, and outstanding DLC content, and features the franchise’s most iconic villain, Handsome Jack.
29. Final Fantasy VII
Final Fantasy VII stands as a landmark in the world of JRPGs for many reasons. Its enduring popularity is a testament to the game’s ability to transcend time and technological progress. This beloved entry in the series owes its reputation to a richly developed cast of emotionally driven characters navigating one of Japan’s most iconic game worlds.
What truly sets Final Fantasy VII apart is its masterful storytelling. Square takes its time to introduce you to a diverse group of eco-activists, allowing you to form a connection with them. Then, they unveil the enigmatic and ever-chilling Sephiroth, adding depth to the narrative. The story pivots to more personal stakes, all while the looming apocalypse lurks in the background.
While the narrative is undeniably weighty, the world thrives on its quirks. You’ll encounter a wide array of peculiar enemies, engaging in comedic minigames, and wielding absurdly oversized swords. It’s this juxtaposition of light and dark elements that contributes to Final Fantasy VII’s enduring status as a classic.
28. Divinity: Original Sin 2
When I was absolutely starving for a Dungeons and Dragons fix, Divinity: Original Sin 2 came to my rescue. I’ve been raving about it to all my D&D buddies, and guess what? They’ve all come back with the same verdict: it’s the ultimate D&D experience you can find in a video game.
The game’s default story is already packed to the brim and offers endless replayability. The pre-made characters each have their own unique storylines, and the way everything unfolds depends on your choices, your character’s background, your race, and so much more. It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned player or a total newbie, DOS2 is a fantasy world that’ll sweep you off your feet, no matter your class or chosen difficulty level.
27. Burnout 3: Takedown
Burnout 3: Takedown is an absolute classic. The game before it, Point of Impact, already got that blend of high-speed racing and car chaos just right, but Takedown took it to a whole new level.
Picture this: You could spend hours playing it, either solo or with your BFFs. But let’s get real – there were some intense moments. Like, you know, accidentally smashing your friend’s ride right before the finish line. Friendship is on the line, right? But hey, all’s usually forgiven and forgotten when the next round of Crash Mode kicks off!
26. Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
When it comes to the Assassin’s Creed games, there are so many good ones, right? But for our gaming adventures, Black Flag was an absolute treasure. It’s safe to say that we had a blast with this one.
AC4 brings together the best of both worlds – there’s the huge open world to explore, and then those sneaky missions that make the series what it is. But what really got our hearts racing was the naval combat and all that epic ocean exploring. Seriously, it’s like being on a never-ending adventure.
And let’s talk about the historical guest stars – they don’t get much cooler than Blackbeard or Mary Read. These pirates brought some serious attitude to the game, making it an unforgettable experience.
25. Fallout 2
Starting my journey in Fallout 2 as a tribeswoman with nothing more than a loincloth and a spear felt like stepping into a whole new world. Climbing my way up to becoming a power-armored, gauss-gunning powerhouse was a journey I’ll never forget. Not many games can give you that kind of amazing progression feeling.
Roaming through that vast post-apocalyptic world, filled with all sorts of threats like raiders, super mutants, and those terrifying death claws, was both intimidating and thrilling. But here’s the kicker – it was so darn exciting!
It’s the little things that matter, right? The attention to detail, the moody music, and those morally complex quests that make you scratch your head. And don’t get me started on the voice-acted interactions with the characters – it makes the whole world feel so personal and alive, even though you’re peering at it from that distant third-person view. Fallout 2 is like a journey that leaves a mark on your gamer’s heart.
24. Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge
Okay, let’s talk about Monkey Island 2. When it dropped, we thought we knew who Guybrush Threepwood was, right? But oh boy, creator Ron Gilbert had a little surprise for us. He wrapped up the whole thing in a carnival, leaving us scratching our heads. Were the first two games just playing out in some kid’s imagination, or was it all part of another one of LeChuck’s voodoo tricks?
But whatever the ending meant, one thing’s for sure – the story, the jokes, and the pacing in the second chapter were seriously on point. I mean, it’s like the best of LucasArts adventure games, no doubt. Ron Gilbert sure knew how to keep us on our toes!
23. SimCity 2000
SimCity 2000, it’s a masterpiece! This game is like a beautiful, funny, and incredibly detailed sandbox. It hands you the keys to this huge, customizable map and says, ‘Go create the city of your dreams!’
You can be the city planner of your wildest fantasies, or if you’re feeling a little mischievous, you can throw some epic disasters at your city – like earthquakes and alien invasions. It’s all about having that power.
Compared to the other SimCity games, this one hits that sweet spot where you’re in control but not drowning in choices. You’ve got to make sure your Sims have the basics like electricity, water, safety, healthcare, and good roads. As your city grows, you’ll have to manage mass transit, entertainment, and even the economy. But trust me, the learning curve is gentle, and success always feels like it’s just a stadium away. SimCity 2000 is like a playground for your inner-city builder.
22. Thief II: The Metal Age
Thief II, oh my gosh, it really nailed the stealth game vibes, and then sprinkled in some awesome steampunk magic. Looking Glass Studio built this world that felt so real, where tech was booming, and the magic of the old days was slowly fading away.
And let’s talk about our anti-hero – this guy wouldn’t save the world if it meant he couldn’t pull off a heist. That’s the kind of character you can’t help but love.
Thief II was like handing you all the coolest tools for the perfect heist, even interactive maps for leaving little notes. It was all about taking your sweet time, eavesdropping on some of the funniest guard conversations ever. Running silently along rooftops, sneaking through hidden mansion passages – this game didn’t just make you feel like a thief; it made you feel like the master of the craft.
21. Titanfall 2
Let’s talk about Titanfall 2, a hidden gem in the world of FPS games. I mean, in a world full of look-alike shooters, Titanfall and its sequel just stepped out and said, ‘We’re doing things differently here.’
Sure, other games have had mechs before, but what makes Titanfall 2 special is the bond between the Pilots and their Titans. It’s like a love story in a shooter game.
And then, the level design – it’s something else. They mix in Pilot and Titan gameplay in a way that’s pure genius. Take the time-travel mission ‘Effect and Cause,’ or the super intense tutorial mission ‘The Gauntlet.’ Gamers are still setting speedrunning records on that one!
Trust me, if you haven’t played Titanfall 2, you’re missing out on a real gaming adventure.
20. Monster Hunter: World
Okay, so you’ve got this game where you slay a monster, craft gear from its bits, and then go after an even bigger monster. Sounds like it could get old real quick, right? But, girl, Monster Hunter: World took that age-old formula and made it a total masterpiece.
They’ve made it easier for newbies to dive into the world of monster hunting without losing any of the deep RPG action that longtime fans adore. And don’t even get me started on the weapons – there are 14 of them, and each one feels totally unique.
You can customize your armor in like a million ways, and it’s not just about fashion. Plus, the fights are seriously tough, but when you conquer one, you feel like a total boss. That sense of accomplishment? Unbeatable.
Oh, and here’s the cherry on top – you can team up with your besties to take on those massive beasts together. It’s like a recipe for fun, worthy of the Meowscular Chef himself!
19. Persona 5 Royal
Persona 5 Royal, honey, is like the cream of the crop when it comes to the Persona series. It’s not just a game; it’s a whole vibe. From the slick character designs to that jazzy soundtrack, even the menus are dripping with style and charm.
But here’s the real magic – it’s not just about looking good. This game packs an incredibly captivating story and turn-based combat that makes you use your noggin both in and out of fights. Tactical thinking is the name of the game.
Now, Persona 5 was already a gem, but the 2019 Royal edition took it to a whole new level. They added fresh story bits and tons of smart tweaks to pretty much every system. It’s like giving an already amazing game a fabulous makeover, and it’s safe to say, it’s an all-time great.
18. Silent Hill 2
You know, Silent Hill 2, was a game changer for the horror genre. I mean, in a world full of your typical killers, zombies, and aliens, it stood out by making the town itself a character. The way it played with the horror of the buildings, the layout, and the very soul of the place was just fascinating.
But here’s the kicker, it wasn’t just spooky; it was downright terrifying. It delved deep into the darkest corners of human depravity, and it did so with a grace and maturity that few other video games have managed. It was a haunting exploration of the human psyche, and it stayed with you long after you put the controller down.
17. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
When we’re talking about Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, we’re talking about a game that takes everything to the next level, and I mean everything. It totally leaves Grand Theft Auto III in the dust. I’m talking three entire cities, and the world between them? It’s like a massive playground with forests, countryside, and even desert.
And the vehicles? Oh, honey, we’re talking more than 250 of ’em. We’re talking jump jets, combine harvesters, lawnmowers, bicycles, semi-trailers, forklifts – you name it!
Music-wise, it’s off the charts with 11 radio stations and over 150 tracks. It’s like your own custom playlist. But here’s the kicker – a functioning casino! I mean, how cool is that?
And then there’s the jetpack, the same-screen co-op with your bestie, and even the fast food that can actually make your character gain weight! Not to mention they’ve got the legendary Samuel L. Jackson in there.
It’s no wonder that Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas took the gaming world by storm. It was the best-selling game on the PlayStation 2, and that console was the king of all consoles! Trust me, it’s easy to see why.
At first glance, you might think Control’s all about some dull government building, right? But, hold on to your hat, girlfriend, because it’s anything but that! The Oldest House, where it all goes down, is like this crazy, shape-shifting, teleporting wonderland. It’s where they mix the everyday with supernatural stuff in the wildest ways.
Exploring this place is like a dream come true for action game fans. I mean, Marvel might’ve never blessed us with a Jean Grey video game, but playing as Jesse Faden is like getting a taste of that telekinetic power we’ve been craving. You feel strong and agile, like you’ve got the weight of the world and the nimbleness of a superhero. It’s all there in both the exploration and the battles.
So, don’t be fooled by appearances – Control and its world are like a hidden treasure. It’s got layers upon layers of intrigue, nuance, and enchantment. Once you start digging deeper, you’ll see just how mesmerizing it truly is.
15. Rise of the Tomb Raider
Okay, so, you know how the Tomb Raider reboot in 2013 was like, ‘Hey, Lara, let’s give you a real backstory and some personality’? Well, Rise of the Tomb Raider took that idea and just ran with it like a champ.
They didn’t stop there. This game kept building on Lara’s character, making her more determined and cautious. It took all the cool stuff from the 2013 game – you know, the smooth climbing, intense fights, and those super intricate puzzle tombs – and cranked it up to eleven.
And then, they threw in this sweet emotional storyline, all about Lara and her dad. It’s like the heart of the whole thing. That’s why it’s basically the high point of the series right now. You get a little bit of everything – action, adventure, and some real feels. What’s not to love?
A tiny kiddo ends up in a world full of monsters and suddenly becomes the target of some ancient grudge that wants them gone. But here’s where Undertale shakes things up – usually, you’d be all ‘attack everything in sight,’ right? Well, not in this game. It’s like, ‘Hey, you have the power to show mercy.’
You can choose to spare every monster you cross paths with, but it’s not forced on you. And here’s the magic – every choice you make, whether you show mercy or not, it changes things in the world. You might have monsters wondering about their pals, get into some hilarious dates, or make those bullet hell battles a tad easier.
Undertale is like a rollercoaster of emotions, packed with charm and this burning determination to show that what you do, no matter how small, totally matters. It’s a game that pulls at your heartstrings and keeps you glued to the screen, making you feel like you’re part of this fantastic adventure.
13. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
Okay, let’s talk Uncharted, the game that’s like a Hollywood blockbuster come to life. At first glance, it seems like your typical adventure with a treasure-hunting hero in all sorts of exotic spots. But when you dive into it, especially with the second game, Among Thieves, you realize it’s got Hollywood beat – and it makes it look easy.
See, a lot of action in games is just there for the thrill, to look cool. But Uncharted 2? It’s different. The action actually tells you more about Nathan Drake, the main guy, and his connections with a pretty strong supporting cast.
I mean, don’t get me wrong, the action is seriously spectacular. It’s like a masterclass in cinematic thrills and the graphics? Top-notch. Plus, Nathan Drake is like the superstar of video game characters in his time. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves set the bar high, no doubt about it.
12. The Last of Us Part 2
Remember when The Last of Us hit us back in 2013? It was like a gut punch, right? No clean, hero-wins-all ending – just a twisty, morally complex ride. And then came its sequel, which was even crazier. A revenge story, with us playing a character we were kinda supposed to dislike from the get-go. But you know what? The Last of Us Part 2 somehow pulls it off.
The stories of its two lead characters? They don’t hold back on anything. It’s like they don’t care about the usual rules of AAA games, and that’s what makes it special.
Oh, and the action? It’s smooth as butter. Plus, it’s a total looker, and those creepy creatures they designed? It keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole time. It’s like a masterpiece, no doubt about it.
11. Red Dead Redemption
Red Dead Redemption, oh my goodness! This game swept me away into its vast single-player world. I got so immersed in it that I found myself talking with a bit of a drawl – I mean, that’s how much it had me hooked. But that’s not all; it also introduced me to the world of online gaming in a way I’d never experienced before.
The Free Roam mode in Red Dead was an absolute game-changer. It’s where I got to craft my very own stories and embark on adventures with friends and even complete strangers. I’ve never had such an incredible time shaping my tales in any other game. You know how it is, right? You couldn’t wait to spill the beans to your friends the next day. We all had these amazing stories about our escapades in the Wild West and every time we fired up the game, we were creating new ones. It’s like a never-ending adventure, and that’s what makes Red Dead Redemption so unforgettable.
Minecraft is a game so simple in its concept yet endlessly captivating. All you do is mine stuff like stone and wood, and build, well, anything you want. It’s like an open canvas for your imagination. The adventure kicks off under a radiant sun; you’re out there chopping trees, digging, and maybe even having a few encounters with animals for some grub. Everything’s super chill… until the sun dips below the horizon, and then the real challenges emerge. That’s when you discover that this isn’t just a game – it’s a survival game.
You’re left with two choices: burrow underground for safety or throw together a quick wooden cabin. As the sun reappears and you watch those pesky enemies go up in flames, there’s this rush of exhilaration, like you’re born anew. It’s a thrilling urge to explore and plunge even deeper into this magical world.
From that point on, there’s nothing standing between you and your wildest dreams but your own imagination. It’s like a dream come true, where you get to shape your own world, and isn’t that the coolest thing ever?
9. Halo: Combat Evolved
Halo: Combat Evolved, oh, what a game! It just felt so right with a gamepad in hand. I mean, it had this lovable, heroic protagonist and a rich sci-fi world that felt like it had been around forever, even though it was the first in the series. Halo was like an instant hit, and it’s easy to see why.
But here’s the kicker: the story was just one piece of the puzzle. Halo wasn’t just about the epic plot. It was hands down one of the best multiplayer shooters of its time. The array of weapons was pure genius, especially that two-shot death pistol – oh, the memories! And the way those weapons mixed with vehicles, all under your third-person control, across those iconic maps like Blood Gulch, Sidewinder, Hang ’em High, and so many more.
Imagine this: you’re right in the heart of the action, and it’s all backed by that unforgettable chanting-monks theme song. It’s like the game itself, legendary in every way. Halo was an experience like no other.
8. Half-Life: Alyx
VR, girl, it’s still a pretty fresh playground, and though we’ve seen some exciting games in the space, none had fully embraced it like Half-Life: Alyx. This game took the VR experience to a whole new level, setting sky-high standards for what a VR campaign could be, how shooting in VR should feel, and the sheer power of a VR story.
What makes it stand out is how it fully dives into the medium. It’s like an adventure where you’re compelled to explore every nook and cranny, in ways traditional 2D games can’t quite match. And let’s not forget the masterful design, which unequivocally crowns it as the best VR game ever!
But what really blows your mind is the world it opens up, the captivating story, and the intense encounters. This game isn’t just about VR; it’s a remarkable FPS, no matter what platform you’re on. It’s a peek into the future of Half-Life, and it’s nothing short of impressive.
7. Street Fighter II
Street Fighter II, girl, it’s the ultimate fighting game, the one that started it all and influenced countless imitators, followers, and a whole bunch of sequels. This game is pure nostalgia, a classic in video game history, and it’s responsible for turning Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li, and words like ‘Hadouken’ into household names.
You see, everyone’s got their favorite character, and that’s because of the dazzling, imaginative character design. It’s like a whole world of fantasy brought to life. And speaking of balance, it’s exceptionally well done. But what truly set it apart back then were the cutting-edge graphics. Street Fighter II was a global arcade sensation, and it’s still celebrated today.
It’s a game that’s forever etched in our gaming hearts, and it’s a testament to the enduring power of creativity and fun. Street Fighter II is like a time capsule of the golden age of arcade gaming, and it’s one we cherish.
BioShock, oh my gosh, it’s a game that’s more than just a mind-bending twist with ‘Would You Kindly?’ It’s a mesmerizing journey from the moment you step into Rapture. From that first encounter with a splicer treating a gun like a precious baby to the jaw-dropping Andrew Ryan twist near the end, BioShock serves up one enthralling moment after another.
A huge part of its magic is the setting itself, one of the most unforgettable in gaming history. You find yourself lost in the dilapidated hallways and sealed-off rooms of Rapture, this decaying underwater labyrinth that practically begs you to explore every nook and cranny. A mark of a truly exceptional experience is when it stays with you long after you’ve put the controller down. And, girl, I haven’t stopped thinking about BioShock, the incredible world it unfolds, and those awesome Plasmids. It’s like a piece of art you can’t help but admire.
5. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
The Witcher 3, oh, it’s got all the inter-dimensional drama, monster hunts, and enchanting powers, but what truly sets it apart is how it embraces the ordinary. Geralt’s fantasy realm is a mix of mud, thatched roofs, and metal. His main quests are basically freelancing, and he’s all about unwinding with a card game down at the local pub. It’s that touch of reality that makes you connect with Geralt, understand the world, and truly grasp the severity of things when things go bonkers.
This RPG has the right blend of complexity to satisfy your tinkering urge, but it never feels distant. Wild Hunt is an astonishing accomplishment, no matter how you slice it. Its story expertly balances the cosmic threats with the deep family drama. Every choice you make feels like it genuinely matters and can change the whole world. Plus, it’s stunning, even in its own grungy way. Don’t even get me started on the two DLC expansions; they’re right up there with the best ever. Geralt’s final adventure might be rooted in the mundane, but that’s what makes it nothing short of enchanting.
4. Mass Effect 2
Mass Effect set the stage for this futuristic Milky Way and then came Mass Effect 2, where you get to explore and experience even more of it. As Commander Shepard, I embarked on the ultimate recruitment journey, and let me tell you, it was like a dream come true. The story, oh my gosh, it’s heart-wrenching, but whether it ends in tears or not, it’s all up to you.
As you prepare for that daring suicide mission, you meet some of the most well-written characters ever. They feel so unique and real, and they stir up genuine emotions. One of the best parts was earning the loyalty of each companion. It’s like getting to know their species, understanding how they survive in this chaotic galaxy. I’ll tell you, having the absolute loyalty of my companions in Mass Effect 2 wasn’t just a choice; it was a must for my own heart’s sake.
This game was like a rollercoaster of feelings, and I loved every minute of it. It’s more than just a game; it’s an emotional journey through space.
3. Disco Elysium
Disco Elysium, girl, there’s truly nothing like it. It starts off simple enough – a body hanging from a tree in a gloomy hostel’s backyard, and it’s your job to untangle the mystery over the course of a 30-hour journey. But what makes it stand out is its incredible blend of noir detective fiction, traditional RPG elements, and a hearty dose of existentialist philosophy.
The story twists and turns, introducing you to a cast of unforgettable characters, all set against a backdrop of crime, poverty, and violence. It’s like a world waiting to be explored, a journey that pulls you in. And surprisingly, it manages to keep things fun and even funny.
As you dive deeper, it’s clear that it’s not just a ‘whodunnit.’ It’s a voyage that challenges you to solve crises on deeply personal and societal levels. The isometric RPG design is breathtaking, and every step through its richly detailed streets makes you think. Disco Elysium isn’t just a game; it’s a unique experience that will stay with you for years to come. It’s like a treasure waiting to be discovered.
2. Super Mario World
Super Mario World is, at its core, a Super Mario game, and we all adore the classics: mushrooms, pixel-perfect jumps, and a vast world brimming with secrets. But what truly sets Super Mario World apart from its 2D Mario siblings is its captivating complexity.
While later Mario games simplified the overworld, leaving behind Super Mario World’s hidden paths for more linear courses, this gem maintained the charm of a sprawling landscape. It soared above the rest, offering us vibrant vertical levels in the skies and treetops that later games seemed to forget about. And don’t even get me started on the joy of flying with capes! (Helicopter hats could never compare!)
Super Mario World feels like the grand finale to a journey that began with the original Super Mario Bros. It’s a masterpiece in game design and technology, daring future developers to match its brilliance. It’s the perfect blend of challenge without obscurity, toughness without being intimidating, and beauty, humor, and joy that everyone can relate to. A classic for all time!
1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, oh, what a game-changer! It broke free from the semi-linear, somewhat predictable path that the 3D Zelda games had been on and introduced a bold, exhilarating approach. Players could finally do what they wanted, how they wanted, and in whatever order they chose.
It’s like the game world opened up, inviting us to explore a vast, breathtaking, and utterly captivating realm without too many restrictions. This innovative shift shattered the traditional 3D Zelda template, just as fast as one of those fragile weapons in Breath of the Wild.
The outcome? A stunning, liberating open-world adventure that blends exploration with empowering gameplay. It’s like stepping into a whole new world, experiencing the awe and the thrill of becoming a true hero. It’s not just a game; it’s an adventure that takes your breath away, making you feel like the ultimate champion.