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Author Topic: How do you classify a truly great game?  (Read 922 times)

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Offline JericTopic starter

How do you classify a truly great game?
« on: October 18, 2013, 01:36:26 AM »
SO.... this is for the gamers out there. I want to know how your rate the games you play, and how you classify a truly great game.

For me I have played a lot of good games, but very few great games. When I play games I first look at playablitiy; can I play the game. If not then I don't think I can even begin to call it a great game. But just because the playability suck doesn't make the game bad. Take Katamari Damacy, the controls are terrible but the game is still outrageously fun. I also look at the plot. Does it draw me in, does it keep me there, does it make me want to cry. This is just a tidbit of my thought process.

Just wondering what others think make a great game.   

Offline SinXAzgard21

Re: How do you classify a truly great game?
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2013, 02:06:49 AM »
This is going to be a very hot topic.

Offline Inkidu

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Re: How do you classify a truly great game?
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2013, 11:27:59 AM »
This is going to be a very hot topic.
Litotes, thy name is SinXAzgard.

I consider truly great games ones that challenge you through non-artificial means from a gameplay standpoint, or at least challenge you in a impacting way. Video games are greater than the sum of their parts so it's a little absurd to call a game great for one singular aspect, even how fun it is to play. I'm not going to give specific examples because I'm not going to be t he one to turn up the heat.

Offline Shjade

Re: How do you classify a truly great game?
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2013, 03:59:14 AM »
Games that are a joy to play.

I used to hold up replayability as the gold standard for great games, but lately there've been a few games I've really enjoyed playing to the point of considering them a favorite but didn't really want to pick up again after finishing. Bastion, for instance: I'm done with it. I did it all; the story's over. I don't feel an urge to retell it.

Dark Souls, for instance, I wouldn't put on such a list. I really enjoy the game, I've put far too many hours into it and still go back to it, but...it's the mechanics of the game I enjoy more than the game itself, if that makes sense. I like the feel of the game, but it never really immerses me. I can't get lost in it the way I can some other games. It's a really fun game, but "truly great" (even with as ambiguous a title as that is)? No, I wouldn't go that far.

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: How do you classify a truly great game?
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2013, 06:52:45 AM »
One that I keep coming back to, over and over and over again.

For me, one of the all time best is the original XCOM: UFO (and it's sequel, Terror From The Deep). They're about 15-20 years old at this point, but I'll still break them out and play them.

Offline Inkidu

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Re: How do you classify a truly great game?
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2013, 08:17:52 AM »
One that I keep coming back to, over and over and over again.

For me, one of the all time best is the original XCOM: UFO (and it's sequel, Terror From The Deep). They're about 15-20 years old at this point, but I'll still break them out and play them.
I'm with you on UFO but I just find that TftD is a phoned-in mission-pack sequel. Though, I'm a more modern fan.

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: How do you classify a truly great game?
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2013, 12:28:53 PM »
The increased map size in TFTD was very much appreciated. Yes, it may have effectively been the same game repackaged, but the game worked :)

I can't summon up anywhere near as much enthusiasm for the new remake.

Offline Inkidu

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Re: How do you classify a truly great game?
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2013, 01:55:11 PM »
The increased map size in TFTD was very much appreciated. Yes, it may have effectively been the same game repackaged, but the game worked :)

I can't summon up anywhere near as much enthusiasm for the new remake.
I found the larger maps a big problem. They just took so much time to clear. Twenty turns spent walking just isn't fun. :(

The re-imagining is fantastic though, and it's getting its first expansion (Enemy Within) which introduces genetic modifications, mechanical exoskeletal combat suits, and a subversive human faction a la cult of Sirius style. 

Offline I dont know

Re: How do you classify a truly great game?
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2013, 03:01:28 PM »
Trully great game at least for me consists of gameplay. Never was into story much when playing games. There has to be a lot of action and challenging that makes you play the game over and over.

Offline GarthMarenghi

Re: How do you classify a truly great game?
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2013, 03:20:41 PM »
Games that just drew me in and made me completely lose track of time like Baldur's Gate and Never Winter Nights or games that I can remember extremely well and bring fond memories just by hearing a few parts of any song from it like FF8, Jade Cocoon, Any Nippon Ichi game, Ar Tonelico (So many incredible songs in Ar Tonelico).

They're not perfect by any means but to me they're truly great.



Offline Changingsaint

Re: How do you classify a truly great game?
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2013, 03:28:23 PM »
Ar Tonelico

I know, right? Say what you will about the errors in the 2nd game and...Mostly everything that is the 3rd game, but the music and Hymnos songs are honestly amazing.

Offline Chris Brady

Re: How do you classify a truly great game?
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2013, 04:55:55 PM »
For me, it's a package deal.  If the game makes me want to play it again, even if I know how it ends or where the twists are, it doesn't matter if the game play, story and animations are mediocre or derivative, as long as the entire package is a step above.  That to me is a great game.

Offline alextaylor

Re: How do you classify a truly great game?
« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2013, 12:59:57 PM »
The games I go over and over into are procedurally generated content. I want the whole experience to be fun. It sounds standard, but I really mean all of it. I don't like games where I have to guess at random buttons to have fun. I really don't like grinding.

I'm the kind of person who likes to spend hours building a character and stat juggling. I think the process towards winning the game is only half the fun. The things you do otherwise should be fun too. I like the Dwarf Fortress philosophy: Losing is Fun. You can build a grand fortress, then laugh maniacally as your dwarves go berserk, or your fortress security backfires, or when your best guy gets tossed by a giant halfway across the map, crack their skull, and get brain damage. It's kind of like sex.. the build up is a lot of fun, but the ending... both losing or winning is the climax. I can say here that I'm a big fan of the game over rape genre as well.

XCOM, both the old and new defines this quite well. I think what kills the fun in most game is starting over a level when you lose it. It injects a few minutes of boring repetitive stuff. X-Com does a good job of actually expecting you to lose and do badly every now and then, but still pushes you to move on without savescumming. The new one does a better job of keeping a steady pace.

To get really technical/psychological about it, games are all about how well they keep you in flow.

A good game will tease you to keep pushing on past a level or problem and reward you when you get there. I think losing is a good component of it too, because it's not like you work towards losing. Even with the good game-over-rape genres, you're still working at winning the game, just that you get rewarded more often.

The other component of a game is roleplaying. There's a reason why people go for realism even though it might not be fun. It's plain roleplaying.. living out a fantasy. To me, I like roleplaying and systems based game because it's creating a world and components and seeing how those components interact with one another.

Offline Dallas

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Re: How do you classify a truly great game?
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2013, 05:47:45 PM »
For me it would need a "Thumbs Up" on least 4 out of 5 things that I typically consider:

1. Is the game fun for me to play? Am I feeling enjoyment or am I being bored to death?

2. If there is a plot, do you care about it and it's characters? Or am I in a hurry to go kill things or do something else?

3. Are controls comprehensive, responsive and user-friendly? Or am I spending too much time fumbling with a messy, ponderous control scheme?

4. Are am I being challenged? Am I put on my toes? If not, does the game provide a fulfilling experience in other ways where the idea of challenge can be overlooked?

5. Can I see myself playing this game again for whatever reason?


If I can give a thumbs up for 4 out of 5 of these, then I generally think its not only a good game but a game worth keeping for many years.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2013, 03:01:27 PM by twisted crow »

Offline Sabby

Re: How do you classify a truly great game?
« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2013, 10:20:37 AM »
The main thing that makes a game great for me is internal consistency. Everything must come together. The presentation, the gameplay, the pacing, as long as it was put together right, I will call it a good game, even if I didn't personally enjoy it.

Arkham Asylum, for instance, was constructed so damned meticulously, where as a game like Far Cry 3 feels more like a loose assembly of things all just slapped together.

Offline Null

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Re: How do you classify a truly great game?
« Reply #15 on: December 15, 2013, 03:22:45 PM »
Several things come to mind when I think of a " great game."
1. Replay value. I think replay value is  above all, a key point to making a great game. Games like Skyrim, world of warcraft, the tales games, that sort of thing. Multiple difficulties is also a key point.
2. Attachment. What I mean by this is emotionaly attaching to characters ( whether it be good or bad ) and enjoying the journey with them. The absolute, hands down, best example of this is persona 4. Look it up if you have no idea what I'm talking about. You won't regret it.
3. Game play. Obviously this is a big deal. If the game play is fun, easy to use but hard to master, and intuitive, then that makes for another great point. The prime example I have for this one is the kingdom hearts series , especially the first one.
4. Story. If the story in is epic, leaves no holes, and ties into the characters well, then thumbs up. A prime example of this would be tales of xillia. The story was epic, made sense, and well... Ties each character into it as well with deep character development

Offline LeSane

Re: How do you classify a truly great game?
« Reply #16 on: December 17, 2013, 12:51:37 AM »
For me it's the Lore of a game. If it doesn't grab me I won't like it. Do t get me wrong some games do without as much of a after thought, but yea it's Lore. I won't to know about the world I'm playing in and what's happening around it as I go along my way. To learn what's happened years or decades before my character and how it ties in. I'm not talking about elder scrolls here though. I'm talking about in general with games.

Offline andrewlincoln318

Re: How do you classify a truly great game?
« Reply #17 on: December 19, 2013, 01:45:12 AM »
when i play that game even i was sleep still my mind are playing....

Offline Dwarfvader

Re: How do you classify a truly great game?
« Reply #18 on: December 19, 2013, 02:33:43 AM »
A game that you enjoy playing. It's a simple answer but I feel one that works. If I find a game boring, why would I play it? If I don't connect to it, why should I even own it. There are games out there that people think are the greatest game ever. And I don't find them fun, just cause I don't find any personal interest in playing them. So as long as I enjoy it, I'll call it a great game.

To classify a really fantastic game though. Is the ones where I'm playing and forget to notice it's 5am. Those are the best ones.

Offline DTW

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Re: How do you classify a truly great game?
« Reply #19 on: December 19, 2013, 10:56:20 AM »
Two things that have a lot to do with each other.

Replay Value - That's really the one thing makes a Great Game for me. I don't care if it's a glitchy buggy mess , if I feel as though I can spend ten hours on it a day and not feel like I've wasted my time then it's a great game.  Video Games are a distraction for me and a way to kill time so the more time I can kill with a game , the more I tend to rate it. Trust me my top ten video games of all time have more then a few questionable selections on it but  I have them in my top ten because of how much time I can sink into them and still enjoy myself.

Innovation - This is very very very important to me because it is the way I judge games  fairly. It's hard to judge games of different genres. You can't really compare GTA V to Final Fantasy Seven without being unfair to one. So I judge them partially on their impact on the genre they're apart and on video game making as a whole.  For Example ,  NBA 2K12  is not a great game.  It's not a game you're going to give a ten because of it's story and voice acting but with that say it's probably the greatest sports game ever made up until. The impact that My Player Mode and NBA's Greatest Mode had on the sport game genre was earthshaking. NBA 2K12 blew my mind for a sports game. I had never and still haven't played a sports game that was that good.


Now can I compare NBA 2K12 to  TellTale's The Walking Dead easily? No. Of course not but can I compare the Innovation and the bar that NBA 2K12 set for Sports Game to the Innovation and bar that The Walking Dead set for point and click adventure games? Yeah. Of course. Both are pretty much at this point the time , the best games in their genre and ones that you would want to be like when you make a game in that genre.


I also think that looking at Innovation helps us judge older games on a fairer basis then just judging them by simple enjoyment. I got a lot more enjoyment out of  Mario 64 then Resident Evil but in terms of what Resident Evil did for the Horror Genre of Video Games , i think it's clear to say Resident Evil is a better game. Just based on the impact it had on the genre and the Industry as a whole.


Plus  It helps me be a more open gamer. I  find Rome : Total War and the Total War series as a  whole to be a chore to play but I still rank it  in my top thirty games of all time just because of how much impact that game and that series has had on the industry and how much it has done for PC gaming and RTS Games.


Offline Mathim

Re: How do you classify a truly great game?
« Reply #20 on: December 19, 2013, 03:30:21 PM »
Really depends on the game; puzzle games like Tetris don't necessarily take dozens of hours like an RPG or something so even that factor isn't universal but the replay value is through the roof. But then again, some games are fantastic even though once I play through them I'd never feel like touching them again (the Phoenix Wright games, for example). So this isn't a question that can be answered without breaking it up into a subset of questions.

Generally speaking, if the type of game is an RPG or something with a story, then that needs to be a really good one (with rare exception, i.e. Super Mario RPG and the Paper Mario series) to remain memorable or be worth sticking with til the end when the battles and everything start to become repetitive.
Diversions from the main type of gameplay are very important as well to avoid becoming stale. Games like Kingdom Hearts where there's very little in the way of mini-games fall prey to this unfortunate detriment.
Something that sets the game apart from others of its genre seems like a no-brainer but I see so many games of the same type I can't tell them apart. Not that I'm into First Person Shooters anyway but that seems to be the only thing being produced anymore, making it really necessary to carve out a niche and make it something people can really get into. Regrettably this happens infrequently in my experience.
I think the last really essential thing is the length of the game which also ties into replay value. You really want to get your money's worth. If a game is only going to entertain me for 10 hours before I'm racing back to the store to trade it in, I'm going to be pissed unless it's the kind of game I enjoyed and wouldn't mind playing again and again, getting that 10 hours' worth multiple times. Paying 30, 40, 50, 60 or even more dollars for a game that doesn't knock the shit out of my ass (I heard it from the Onion Movie) would make me go postal.

Ultimately, if I could design my own games I would. I think I could make some truly great ones because I'd care more about the product than the payoff.

Offline DTW

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Re: How do you classify a truly great game?
« Reply #21 on: December 19, 2013, 03:38:27 PM »

Something that sets the game apart from others of its genre seems like a no-brainer but I see so many games of the same type I can't tell them apart. Not that I'm into First Person Shooters anyway but that seems to be the only thing being produced anymore.



You should out RockLeeSmile , man. Does a video on a different Indie Game everyday. He's probably done like four FPS games in about five hundred videos.


Granted he does do a lot of Tech Demo/Alpha/Art Games so   maybe sixty percent won't be your cup of tea  , There's still bound to be a few non-fps gems in their. Also i think most of them are free...though I maybe wrong. I do know he has done  quite a few free ones.



Offline Sabby

Re: How do you classify a truly great game?
« Reply #22 on: December 19, 2013, 03:52:01 PM »
Being original or setting yourself apart from your genre isn't necessarily a good thing. I mean, Dead Island is pretty unique for a first person zombie game, and most of the things that made it stand out were poorly implemented and not fun.

Offline DTW

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Re: How do you classify a truly great game?
« Reply #23 on: December 19, 2013, 05:24:21 PM »
Being original or setting yourself apart from your genre isn't necessarily a good thing. I mean, Dead Island is pretty unique for a first person zombie game, and most of the things that made it stand out were poorly implemented and not fun.


But that's not innovation. Innovation is creating  a Mode/Object/Skill etc. etc. that should be used in future games.


A Perfect Example  is The Grand Theft Auto Series Radio Station. While it was acceptable to produce a  sandbox game without them previous to It's popular inclusion in the  Series , I think a modern day game without them (excluding a game like Red Dead Redemption where it wouldn't fit the time period.) is a massive deterrent to me giving the game a high ranking.


Another example would be Random Terrain Generation in Exploration Games. After  it's implementation in  Terraria , Starbound  , Minecraft , Cube World and a whole host of others I would say that It'd be hard for me to give the average Exploration game a solid ten if it didn't have Randomly Generated  Terrain.


I'm not saying you can't go against the grain and make a great Exploration game without. People have and they've done it recently but on average , I would say Random Terrain Generation is an innovation that takes a nine point five to  a ten if done properly.




Offline Chris Brady

Re: How do you classify a truly great game?
« Reply #24 on: December 19, 2013, 06:35:16 PM »
Thing is, DTW, procedural creation of dungeons is nothing new.  Diablo did it way back when.

However your point about innovation still stands.

Innovation is something that changes the game, so to speak, and affects it for years to come.  Like the joypad, when it came onto the scene with the NES, very few people actually batted an eye, but it's now the industry standard control system for all consoles.

QWERTY keyboards, the Mouse controller, all these things are innovations that we now take for granted, but literally changed the landscape of gaming.

Software speaking, one major innovation was from GTA 3:  Adaptive AI.  Until then every reaction done by non-player characters had to be scripted, and then looped.  But GTA 3 made it so that the NPCs had a 'routine' (a rather simple loop) but whenever a threat came close, like a barreling car with a player at the wheel hell bent on racking up their hooker killing score, the immediately tried to avoid 'death' by running away from the threat.  Until then, that was unheard of.  But did we notice it in between our binges of Hooker Heals and Kills, and avoiding the cops as we try to jump over the chopper using the mound of cars and corpses as a ramp?  Nope.  But since then, people have used that sort of coding.  THAT'S innovation.