10. Journey (2012)
This abstract, arty indie is a lot more restrained than most of the games on this list, but it does a great deal with very little. It tells an epic adventure story in a couple of hours, it creates an interesting multiplayer experience with one other player and no talking, and it somehow manages to be involving and entertaining despite the fact that all you really do in the game is go for a long walk.
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9. Fallout 3 (2007)
With a great sense of humour, a compelling story and a huge environment rendered in exhaustive detail, Fallout 3 is one of those games you can spend 100 hours exploring and still feel like there’s plenty left to see.
8. GTA V (2013)
GTA keeps getting bigger, nastier, funnier and better. And by squeezing such power from ‘old’ consoles, it gives many of us an excuse to delay upgrading.
7. Age of Empires II (1999)
The Civilisation series may take the crown when it comes to soaking up years of your spare time on needlessly complicated irrigation projects, but Age of Empires is much more fun. There’s some history in there, certainly, but if you get fidgety you can always type ‘how do you turn this on’ (the always-hilarious car cheat )and drive around Mesopotamia wheelspinning your enemies into the ground.
6. Mass Effect 2 (2010)
Some of you may prefer other episodes in the huge space opera that is the Mass Effect trilogy, but for us it’s the second game that perfectly hits the right mix of epic gun battles, beautifully realised alien worlds to explore and, of course, beautifully realised people (and aliens) to seduce.
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