CSG’s Top 10 Games of All Time

Cynosure Gaming started on June 24, 2015 and since then, we’ve accumulated a group of members with wildly different opinions regarding games and the industry. We challenged our original five writers to come up with a definitive top 10 list to represent CSG. Sweat dripped from our brows, blood spilled over tremendous fights, and math was used to compile our Top Ten Games of All Time. Read on and let us know if you agree with our magnificent list. Did your favorite make the cut? 

10. Half-Life 2 (2004)

Half-Life 2 is an important first-person shooter because it is does so many things at once, and it does them right. It has incredible action (both on foot and vehicular), puzzle-solving, and a unique physics system just to name a few. The game also stays engaging with its well-developed cast of characters, each of whom harbor realistic personalities rather than cookie cutter. Sadly, no Half-Life 3 will come, but one can always enjoy this gem whenever they want. – Adam Baca

9. Super Mario World (1991)

Even in 2017, a full 27 years after the release of Super Mario World, the game still feels new. Its art style and music transcends time. The controls are as consistent and as manageable as any platformer out there. Its level design is varied and often surprisingly brilliant. With Super Mario World, Nintendo created a classic title whose merits are easy to see and fun to explore. – Daniel Podborochynski

8. Final Fantasy VII (1997)

Most gamers’ first JRPG experience is also one of the greatest games of all time. A simplistic equipment system made the hardcore genre easily accessible for just about anyone to play. An intriguing storyline and fantastic combat mechanics make Final Fantasy VII one amazing title in an iconic franchise. – Braulio Ortiz

7. Portal (2007)

There is no overemphasizing Portal’s inventiveness. Part puzzle FPS, part sci-fi horror story, Valve’s masterpiece is an entirely different beast than any other. It consistently impresses with a ‘less-is-more’ philosophy, and no other work (across any medium) toes the line between playful and sinister as effectively as Portal. Few games are so capable of acknowledging player awareness through level design; and with its chilling underlying subtext, worthy of Kubrick’s own vision of an AI-dominated society, Portal opts to consider a gap in logic regarding human creation — and thus, evolution. If there is indeed an end goal, when do we begin to turn into something more than human? – Andrew Gerdes

6. Dark Souls (2011)

The contemporary gaming world wouldn’t be the same without Dark Souls. The game’s impact goes beyond a philosophy of creating challenges that are both difficult and fair. The cyclical level design, the dissemination of complex lore through in-game items and enemies, and cryptic, hidden areas all come together to create a game that is as unique as it is influential. – Daniel Podborochynski

5. Resident Evil 4 (2005)

Resident Evil 4 is indebted to the horror B-movie, capitalizing on its ludicrous zombie-infested narrative, to breathe in a sharp satire regarding the boundaries of human understanding of the natural world. All this while consistently developing and innovating throughout its entire runtime; and it has only improved with age. Where action games usually aim to empower their audience, RE4 twists the script without ever clearly identifying it. It is survival horror in its most literal, effective form, positing the player to question their abilities, while also demanding attentiveness and composure to encourage their continuance. – Andrew Gerdes

4. The Last of Us (2013)

The Last of Us sits atop a unique pedestal to which many games fail to aspire. Naughty Dog’s first foray away from its highly successful Uncharted series finds its foothold as something familiar and uncannily human. It teeters many lines between shades of moral darkness, describing the human condition as it pits players within the shoes of disparate individuals, forcing them to combat something more than physical horrors: themselves. It is this approach to emotional storytelling that makes The Last of Us one of the best games of all time. – Tony Marinilli

3. Chrono Trigger (1995)

Square’s Final Fantasy is often singled out as being peoples’ favorite RPG series. However, while the series is entitled to its merits, my favorite RPG has always been Chrono Trigger. Developed by Square as well, Chrono Trigger follows a group of young heroes who travel through time to save their world from destruction. The game never falters due to its compelling plot and a plethora of side quests to complete. Top it all off with one of the best video game soundtracks ever and you have yourself a winner. – Adam Baca

2. Bioshock (2007)

Bioshock is a special game; of course, all of these are special, but our runner-up placement has something all of its own: innovation. 2K took a genre in the grips of cliches and turned it upside down, marrying RPG elements like basic exploration and player autonomy, with the tight gunplay of a first person shooter. Crafting a deep and immersive narrative, players never saw what was lurking around the corner, and with an ending that surprised nearly every one who played it, Bioshock is still one of the industry’s most lauded titles, and remains so here at Cynosure Gaming as well. – Tony Marinilli

1. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (1991)

Nearly flawless in every way, A Link to the Past is CSG’s greatest game of all time. Pristine game mechanics and amazing game design make up one of the best experiences in any medium. From the moment one witnesses the rain and lightning effects, to the final scene of the end credits, one is left in awe. A Link to the Past is the perfect sequel that every game should try to mimic. –Braulio Ortiz

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Braulio Ortiz

Founder and creator of Cynosure Gaming. Has roughly 24 years of gaming experience and began gaming on the NES. After playing countless hours of Ninja Gaiden and The Legend of Zelda a new hobby was born. Since then I’ve owned every major console and handheld and have beaten nearly every game that is relevant to the industry. Now I continue my passion through this website and see no end to this awesome world of entertainment. PSN & NID: happydude633

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