One of the hardest top seven lists I've ever written

Times-Herald Editorial Staff
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I game a fair amount (translation: a lot) and the majority of it is done on a computer.

Samantha Emann

By Samantha Emann, special to the Times-Herald

Here, in no particular order, are my seven favourite PC games.

Creatures 2

I spent many a rainy day on this game, which released when I was a kid. Even though I’m a sucker for games with top-notch graphics, this game, despite its primitive graphics, had a great concept. I loved this game as a kid and it was the first simulation game I played. I give this game credit for sparking my love of the genre.

X-COM: Enemy Unknown 

I like the different characteristics that are contained in this one. It is a turn-based strategy game with RPG-type weapon and upgrade features. The missions ramp up in degree of difficulty at a good pace that makes the game both challenging and fun at the same time. You have to make a lot of decisions and be able to strategize and those decisions have major consequences. The only reason this game is so low on the list is because, honestly, I haven’t finished it yet. I keep starting over when I epically fail and all the countries withdraw funding.

The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim

Besides the obvious positive of riding a badass horse everywhere, this game has a lot of features that have me playing it. The landscapes and other visual elements of this game are stunning, and the only time I don’t like that is when my arachnophobic self gets jumped by giant spiders. I like how the quests are not linear and you can go adventuring, or terrorizing, to your heart’s content. The degree to which you can create and customise your character as far as looks, weapons and skills is also a big plus for this game as well, though I always end up as an archer.

Crusader Kings II

This one makes the list for two main reasons: I love history, especially ancient and medieval history, and I also love strategy games. This game plays like Game of Thrones reads, except this game contains actual historical rulers and figures. Speaking of Game of Thrones, there is a mod that turns the map of medieval Europe into a map of Westeros and follows the plot and lore of the books. The ONLY issue with that: I have to read all the books before going any further in the game and spoiling elements of the story for myself … again.

The Sims 3

It’s not my fault that this game is the computer game version of crack. And when they added on a “pets” expansion that included the breeding and training of horses, I knew I could no longer quit if I wanted to. This is my only remotely girly pick, so don’t judge me fellow gamers, I beg you! It’s both a positive and negative that they keep improving the variety of characters, play and customization options and keep adding so many interesting expansions.  Take my money EA, just take it and I will both love and hate you while I fill my property with hot tubs and horses.

Sid Maier’s Civilization (series)

Why another strategy game you ask? I love this game because it works out differently every time you play it. Between the different civs, difficulties, maps and CPU players, the game has so much variety that no play through is the same. I am probably the most aggressive player when it comes to territorial expansion which always makes the game interesting. It can be difficult and requires a lot of thought and planning and can also put major Napoleon-size wrinkles in your plan for world domination. I have spent many hours and entire weekends playing this game and I am only a little ashamed of how many times I have played until the sun came up.

The Lord of the Rings Online

My top game is NOT a strategy game. Shocker, I know. My favourite game is LOTRO. If you understood how much I love the books and movies you would know why I love this game. The graphics, combat engine, social aspects and the amount of non-quest ways to improve your character blow other MMOs (massively multiplayer online games) out of the water. The landscapes and animation are some the best I have ever seen in an MMO (take that WoW).  The development team also listens to its players and customers and has so far been able to develop the game to progress with its players and its own content. They add new sections of Middle Earth, raise level caps and roll out new game content at a good pace and this is the first online game I have invested money in where I could actually justify doing it. This game is by far my favourite and has granted me permanent, member access to the nerd club, and I am completely OK with that.

Would any of these make your list of favourites?  What would you put on your list?  Send me an email to tell me your favourites or discuss my choices. Stay tuned next week for my list of most disappointing/rage-inspiring games.

Geographic location: Europe, Westeros, Middle Earth

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  • Jenny Rose
    May 07, 2014 - 21:55

    Great job on this list and I agree, I think LOTRO is the best MMO ever made

  • John
    May 07, 2014 - 12:08

    I would agree with you up till lotro, I mean "the dev team listens to players?". Lol this is far from the truth if you were to read the forums and even there facebook page they do not. Back in the day this game was great but has fallen by the way side for the ability to pay to win and pushing half finished content and pandering to the casual gamers instead of what made them great...challenging content and raids and things that worked. I still play this game but have over the last 5 years watched it slide downhill with constant instance with easy loot drops which have been tested in the Betas before each update and still they are allowed to be farmed when the Dev team knows about it. I have watched Q and A's be dodged so not to anwser the questions that players want but what is in there best interest. I have also seen the Turbine team try to milk the latest Hobbit movies and put stuff into the game that has no need when things are still broke as they are now. Last I have watched as people like Saipence and such have banned people on their facebook page from posting for stating all of these facts or have seen their posts in the forums magically "disappear" because it did not follow with Turbine an WB best intrest. So it may have been a game that listen to the players but not anymore. It is all about the money now.

  • Geldarion
    May 07, 2014 - 10:55

    I am a long-time fan of LOTRO. Nice choice. They have a depth of world that many MMOs lack, simply because of the backmatter.

  • Tao011
    April 28, 2014 - 19:11

    great job on the list! I concur with everything you wrote. LOTRO is my fav, ESO coming in second.

    • Socrates
      May 08, 2014 - 05:59

      Agreed. LOTRO is my favourite, also, followed by ESO. :)