The past 23 years have seen a plethora of ground-breaking video games, from classic RPGs to stunning sports games. The quality of these games has smashed through the ceiling of what was first conceived as possible.
Stemming from a few low-quality pixels on an equally low-quality screen, we can now stick on a virtual reality headset and delve into a whole other world of gaming. Out of all the highs and lows of gaming in the last two decades though, there are a few standout picks in terms of elite games. Below, we’ve selected some of these standouts that we think could easily be named under the title of ‘The Best Game Ever’.
1. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
As of 2024, the game is yet to grow old for OG players, with plenty of people still tuning in to play despite its 12th year in the industry. This probably has something to do with the demographic most involved in the gaming scene: according to ExpressVPN’s recent article, the majority of gamers are between the ages of 20-40, most of whom would have been old enough to play when the game was first released, and so hopping back into Skyrim’s Whiterun comes with a wicked sense of nostalgia.
Launched by developers Bethesda back in 2011, the decade-old Skyrim stormed onto the scene with gameplay and graphics that were far beyond their time. If you are unfamiliar with the game, a quick look at the basics should tell you why this game is cemented in the video game hall of fame.
Players spawn into a huge, open-map game as a customisable character – one that turns out to be Dovahkiin: Dragonborn. The last remaining Dovahkiin has the blood and soul of a dragon, enabling them to use dragon-like powers including powerful shouts, shooting flames from their hands, and summoning the dead. Players can hone their avatar, scaling up their traits as they fight bigger and badder bosses on their own accord. You can also buy property, adopt a child, get drunk, and just about every other cool thing that fills the dreams of avid gamers.
A serious contender for one of the greatest games of all time.
With a mountain to climb in terms of catching up to its PC relative, Xbox Minecraft launched over a decade ago, with considerably fewer capabilities compared to the computer counterpart. Online servers have only recently been introduced to the Xbox version in the last few years, bringing the versions much closer together in the games we see today. Minecraft Building Inc offers a nice comparison here.
With a focus on sandbox-esque creativity and no real end goal, Minecraft is the ultimate creative, exploratory experience for gamers. An engineer’s dream, players can hop into a world and simply survive – by building, feeding, mining, hunting, and plenty of other activities that get those primal instincts whirring. If you’re into the survival aspect, load up a game in ‘Survival’ mode and see how you fare against the mobs that come to hunt you, the hunger bar that depletes with every step you take, and the wealth of natural resources available to you. If you’re more into the creative side, load up a game in ‘Creative’ mode where you can fly, access unlimited resources in your inventory, build your dream house, recreate the Mona Lisa, or delve into any other artistic venture that whets your appetite. Unlimited maps, unlimited activities, unlimited fun. Another top game.
3. Grand Theft Auto 5
We couldn’t list the best games of the last twenty years without mentioning GTA 5. Launched in 2013, the game has stood tall at the top of the gaming industry for 10 long years, without the appearance of its successor – the long-awaited GTA 6, which techradar provide an exciting update on here.
Set in the realistic, but fictional city of Los Santos, GTA 5 is one of the most versatile and enjoyable video games out there. Players can load up a map offline and complete a near-endless list of challenges and car races. Amongst the many fun things to do are: build a collection of the dopest cars in the game, buy and develop property, build an arsenal of weaponry, learn to fly a plane, visit the casino and play online.
Players can hop into a shared map and participate in the same sorts of tomfoolery. There is also the opportunity to compete in head-to-head challenges like races, 1v1s, and team deathmatches. One of the most enjoyable additions to the game since its release is the heists that players can team up and complete. These consist of a ‘Fast and Furious’ type mission that ends in some sort of robbery, while you set all the prerequisites up before completing the final mission.
GTA’s reign at the top without having to release a sequel to the game on behalf of Rockstar embodies just how epic this game is, and how it would be criminal to exclude it from a list like this.
Gaming is a chance to escape from the worries of real life for a few hours and immerse yourself in a fabricated world where human limitations don’t apply. Gamers can lose themselves in the enjoyable gameplay, the stunning visuals, and the awesome storylines. Throughout the past 30 years, the evolution of gaming has seen some sensational products produced, of which just 3 are listed here. Skyrim will go down as one of the best RPGs ever made, and certainly one of the most enjoyable storylines. Minecraft is a timeless classic that will likely be enjoyed by generations to come, in all its beautiful simplicity. GTA 5 is arguably the best R-rated game out, and there’s no better place to go to play out some of your wildest dreams. Picking the best Xbox game ever is no small feat, but we think these are some pretty good contenders.