7. Fallout 3
Developer: Bethesda Softworks
Publisher: Bethesda Game Studios
Format: Xbox 360, PC, PlayStation 3
Because I’m an old fart, this is the most recent entry in my top 10 by several years. (RE4 is actually the second-most-recent.) In other words, this is my favourite game of the recently-finished generation. Anyone got a problem with that? No, no you don’t, because Fallout 3 is amazing.
Essentially a playable list of (nearly) everything that’s brilliant about modern videogames, Fallout 3 is freedom like no other. Once you’ve got out of the nuclear bunker that you grew up in and are presented with the Capital Wasteland – the rubble-strewn remains of a nuked Washington, DC – you really can do what the hell you like (except shoot kids). Concentrate on the main quest? Fine. Do all the side missions? If you want. Say “bugger it” to everything and run out into the irradiated wasteland and spend forty hours punching giant ants to death with your bare hands? Go for it.
The palpable atmosphere, brilliant characters and fantastic array of things to find, see and do make Fallout 3 one of the finest slices of silicon entertainment in the history of all things ever. Still not convinced? Malcolm McDowell voices the President and your dad is played by Liam Neeson. Yeah, now you’re interested. Fallout 3 is the best game of the last generation, and that is an entirely objective fact.
MAGIC MOMENT: getting into Vault 112 to rescue NeesonDad. It’s actually working, so something’s clearly going on. There’s loads of people in weird pods, so something’s really going on. There’s one empty pod, so obviously you need to hop in it – wait, now it’s locked you in. And a viewscreen is taking up the whole display. And one loading screen later, you’re suddenly in black-and-white 1950s American suburbia. Buh? Then you press B to check your PipBoy (your computer/map/notebook/inventory on your wrist) and your character looks at his/her wrist – and there’s just a useless wristwatch there. Also, you’re suddenly a little kid.