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Post Reply What defines a great game.
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27 / M / Texas
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Posted 6/17/13
So, this is a question that's been bugging me for awhile now. You see a lot of games coming out nowadays that garner bad to mediocre reviews lately, and then when you talk to someone about games of generations past, that was all the golden years, but there's still a few games that are universally agreed to be pretty damn awesome. The Last of Us recently came out and is an example of this (I haven't had a chance to play it yet so no spoilers!)

So I'm curios, what elements are most important to making a game not just good, not just fun, but great. What leaves a legacy mark in the fashion of Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy VI, Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Metroid.

There are a multitude of ways to answer this really, as I can only think of a handful of games that I would really classify as great but, I can't really classify Chrono Trigger and Super Metroid as great for the exact same reasons now could I?

So, what are your thoughts? What makes a game great and are we just looking through nostalgia lenses when refering to great games of the past, or are there elements that have been lost?
Posted 6/17/13 , edited 6/17/13
story / Game play / the type of market its aimed for / graphics < not so much in the past but to day i guess its a big one

i think we lost the simplicity of the game only one that stayed with it is Nintendo and there Mario games family friendly games it's why they do so well because any one can get up and master the controls in no time
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27 / M / Texas
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Posted 6/18/13
I think you have a good point when you say that simplicity is lost. Back then there was a lot more emphasis on story as opposed to the looks because there was only so much you could do visually with the hardware.
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18 / M / Nowhere Islands
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Posted 6/19/13
Well from what i've seen this generation, The reason why games (not all games) have become so forgetful and mediocre is because of lack of understanding of what the consumer wanted, the fps explosion and that trying something different is a great risk nowadays.

I say lack of understanding because we the consumers ask the developers something we want the wrong way. For example alot of people who plays games almost always ask to have better graphics so the developer pumps alot of money into graphics but the end result is the game not having any indentity. What we should've asked is if the game could look 'aesthetically' better. Aesthetics mean the game's art style.
Like Legend of Zelda the Wind waker has cell shading and looks great even today or Mario World 2: Yoshi Island has a painted artstyle, also looks great! But the reason why games who look like the ones mentioned by me don't get made alot is because most 'hardcore gamers' also ask for realistic looking games.

Photo-realism is the term people use to describe games who's artstyle mirror the real world. but since the aesthetics looks so bland graphics are used to increase the fidelity of the games simply put: Since the aesthetics aren't impressive developers mask the ugliness of it by 'wiping' the game clean. But you can't repeatedly wipe something clean and hope that it looks cleaner that's why I think that someday games will stop looking better.

I like fps's but you can't really deny that thanks to Halo and COD's success every publisher thinks that only fps really sell well.
Because of that developer's are usually forced to make gritty, dark, unenjoyable Halo and COD clones.So thanks to that alot of developer's aren't really able to make memorable unique games.
Add to the fact that there are time constraints,demo's and trailers that a second team of the developer has to make and also having to cut content to sell later as dlc. And if the game flops they will probably be layed off by the publisher, You really have to sympathize with these developers. How can you make charming, fun, risky games when you have to put up with all these demands?

So making a great game like the ones you pointed out takes a knowledgeable, imaginitive developer with a cool publisher and a open-minded audience.

Sorry for the long post there was so much that came to mind when I was writing.



Posted 6/19/13

Card182 wrote:

So, this is a question that's been bugging me for awhile now. You see a lot of games coming out nowadays that garner bad to mediocre reviews lately, and then when you talk to someone about games of generations past, that was all the golden years, but there's still a few games that are universally agreed to be pretty damn awesome. The Last of Us recently came out and is an example of this (I haven't had a chance to play it yet so no spoilers!)

So I'm curios, what elements are most important to making a game not just good, not just fun, but great. What leaves a legacy mark in the fashion of Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy VI, Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Metroid.

There are a multitude of ways to answer this really, as I can only think of a handful of games that I would really classify as great but, I can't really classify Chrono Trigger and Super Metroid as great for the exact same reasons now could I?

So, what are your thoughts? What makes a game great and are we just looking through nostalgia lenses when refering to great games of the past, or are there elements that have been lost?


Just wanted to mention downloading The Last of Us as I type this! So pumped! I've read reviews where people have literally said this game is a classic and one of the best games of this generation. Soooo yeah six hours can't pass soon enough lol.

On topic: What makes a game great? Hmmm well I can tell you the three games that have stuck with me all these years ever since I started playing video games: Kingdom Hearts (first one), Final Fantasy X, and Halo (possibly the entire series? The first one really got me though). For FFX and KH what made them great were how original (to me at the time) they were. I mean I loved Disney and then plus you mix in Final Fantasy characters?!?!?! Just genius! Actually playing KH led me to play the games in the Final Fantasy series. Gameplay in both of these games was really fun, the story was so good, and I loved the interesting worlds crafted in both of them! The reason I only say I liked Kingdom Hearts 1 is because the rest of the games I've played in the KH series just feel so 'forced' to me. Kingdom Hearts story was so original and everything flowed so well. The story was confusing of course but nothing in the game felt like the designers just crammed in things to have it there for a cool effect. Kingdom Hearts 1 was just magic. The rest of the games in the series are just okay. The series now just feels forced and they have never really recreated the magic in the first game for any of the others. Halo is just way cool. One of my favorite first person shooters. I still have no idea why it is so much fun to play. The story in the games have actually sucked a lot until I played the fourth one. Still good games though.
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25 / M / The heart of Linc...
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Posted 6/26/13
For me, gaming has to have an interesting story/universe/plot.

Games that are deep in detail and clever characters are much more fun.

Also games that inspire a new interesting way to play are ones that stand out, although this can also undo some games. I.E. call of duty with wii motions proved too difficult to enjoy. Thus reducing the number of games for wii.
Ultimately it's down to how well done the new gameplay is that determines if it can work for most games or leave gamers divided.
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Posted 6/26/13

DalekCaan wrote:

For me, gaming has to have an interesting story/universe/plot.


Although i agree with this, there's also a huge factor that makes a game great for me, and that is enjoyable gameplay.
There are quite a bit of games with an amazing storyline, character buildup and everything that I quit half way because I simply didn't like the gameplay, the controls or they way they set the battle/leveling/abilities system up.

To be fair, if you ask me what makes a great game, I truly cannot say.
I know a game is good when I start playing it in the morning and only after I hear my stomach growl at me I realize that it has gotten dark again outside or the controller's battery warning starts showing up on my television.
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46 / M / KC
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Posted 6/26/13
Story. It's what you'll remember 10 years from now. Gameplay isn't enough for me. There are lots of games that are fun to play. But, after a while, they become forgettable because there will always be another game that is fun to play. If you really connect with a good story, on the other hand, then you'll never forget it.
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27 / M / Kentucky
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Posted 6/26/13
Yeah I'ma agree with the guy above me. Story is most important to me but that could vary widely depending on what kinds of games people like to play. RPG is my favorite so its very important. I think gameplay is still relative though because you can have an awesome story but if the gameplay is clunky it can still ruin the game.

Just a few great games off the top of my head, final fantasy, metal gear solid, heavy rain, silent hill, etc... All these games have such amazing storylines... Just about any amazing game that comes to your mind will have a really great storyline or amazing gameplay.
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17 / M / US, SoCal
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Posted 6/28/13
A good game to me is one with gameplay that always has me coming back for me or to play with. Graphics are nice too.
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21 / M
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Posted 6/29/13 , edited 6/29/13
Something that is not simply played and left - even if enjoyed. A 'great' game should be something that, as if by supernatural force, draws you back to play it time and time again. Something which captivates and engrosses you in the experience so utterly that a distinct impression is made, and remembered for a long time to come. Something which sets a precedent - some sort of benchmark, by which you will measure the quality of all successive game purchases. This is what defines a great game. Of course, it is entirely subjective and the means of going about achieving the above will vary from person to person, but the principle remains.
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Posted 6/30/13
It really depends on what you're wanting out of the experience, Gaming is becoming more and more attuned with art and it has more variables.

when you watch a movie all you care about is character development, plot, emotions ect.

if you're a competitive person you only care about there being alot of options and depth in the game, everything else matters a little.

Maybe you like simple and relaxing, and only midly challenging

Maybe you like the social experience of playing in a fictional world with other people.


whatever the case is, games are a much higher level to meet needs of it's consumers thand most other things.
If it wasn't for blazblue's engaging story, I wouldn't have gotten competitive in the game.

While I play super smash bros melee for the sole purpose of competition so everything about the game outside of multiplayer is meh.

I played FFXI for the social experience of meeting new people and going through challenges with strangers and helping out eachother.

I played games like FFXIII(or all FF games really) solely for the engaging stories. I mention FFXIII because people complained about the gameplay aspect but I found enjoyment out of it because I treated it more like a slightly interactive movie experience. I expect the same when it comes to games like Heavy Rain, and Beyond 2 souls.

For simple gaming, I like games like Portal while it challenges me puzzle wise, it doesn't challenge me execution wise.


It really just depends on what you want out of it.
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22 / M / Michigan
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Posted 6/30/13
I believe what makes a great game is the story and it's ability to immerse yourself into the game. If the game can make you feel sad, mad, or anything else, then it did a great job at telling you its story.
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20 / F / Dimension 5612.
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Posted 6/30/13
What defines a great game is pretty much something that you'll never get tired of playing, no matter how old you are. It's a game that is able to provide you the greatest fun in both the good and those "bad" times in which you get stuck; something that won't seem like a total waste of time and money. Everyone has their own perspectives on what makes a game "great", but all in all, we can all agree that a great game is a game that you love with all your corazon. c: Most people would just say a great game is awesome graphics and released on the "best" gaming console, but that's how you know people know so very little if their mind is that ignorant, haha.
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25 / M
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Posted 7/2/13
Well the premise. It's the main draw. Next would be the overall look. After that the ability to turn that interest into delight. Then once the player is intially entertained give them reason to come back. As long as they enjoy the time they spend with the game and want to keep coming back that's what defines a good game to me.
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