Stuff's Best Games Ever: The 50 greatest games of all time

20) Pro Evolution Soccer 5 (2005)

The best Pro Evo game yet was a real revelation back when it came out, and retains a special place in our hearts more than a decade on.

Unlike the always-enjoyable (but not very lifelike) Sensible Soccer, or the brilliantly observed (but sometimes frustrating) modern FIFA games, PES 5 absolutely nailed the tricky balance between realism and playability.

It offered great graphics for the time, loads of stats and a full-featured Master League if you wanted to immerse yourself in its world, but was also accessible enough that you could just pick it up and take on a mate for a bit of exhilerating end-to-end action. Right, who's up for a game of Man Red vs West Midlands Village? 

19) Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (2009)

Uncharted 4: A Thief's End might provide the grandest vision of Naughty Dog's brilliant action franchise, but Uncharted 2: Among Thieves was a true blockbuster of its time: a dramatic improvement over the original game and packed with the kind of insane set piece moments that could make Hollywood envious.

From the opening scene spent dangling from a train hanging over a cliff to the many, many other memorable moments along the way, Uncharted 2 never let up the thrills. And the series still hasn't since. Not that this title was only about the action: a great script and some genuinely well-rounded characters underpinned the whole thing, and made it the most film-like game we'd played (until Uncharted 3 arrived).

18) The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (2017)

The Legend of Zelda had a pretty firm formula established – but with open worlds all the range this generation, Nintendo took one stab at a sandbox game and knocked it out of the park.

True, Zelda's adored dungeon-looting system had to be sacrificed, but when you can explore every snow-covered nook and swamp-bogged cranny of Hyrule, then you're not exactly getting a raw deal. Like any of Link's ventures, this is an adventure of epic proportions with the perfect concoction of reminiscent nostalgia and revolutionary innovation.

17) Halo: Combat Evolved (2001)

Hail to the (Master) Chief. It's no overstatement to say that Microsoft's entire console business was built off the back of the green helmeted chap, and has floundered at the onset of his more recent mid-life crisis.

Picking up the sci-fi shooter baton from Half-Life and refining it with mainstream-friendly features such as a regenerating shield and auto-aiming, Halo: Combat Evolved set the modern template for console shooters. Not only did it have a blistering campaign, but the split-screen multiplayer also picked up the baton from GoldenEye 007.

16) BioShock (2007)

The original BioShock still stands up as one of the most influential games ever made. Set in the underwater dystopia of Rapture, this first-person shooter weaves a masterful tale of power and corruption told through a rabble of uniquely perverted citizens.

Its moral choices will make you feel squeamish, while the visuals and atmosphere are still incredible today. It's also the kind of game that'll have you chewing over its ending for days… and not in a disappointed, Mass Effect 3 kind of way.

1
2
3
4
5
6
7