10 Best Single-Player Video Games - Part 2
The first part of this blog covered the first five best single player games I have played, offered in alphabetical order, and this blog will continue that trend. Having covered a few first-person shooters and some wild adventures, let’s see what genres the next five games will explore, what characters we’ll run into, and what world we’ll have the fantastic opportunity to explore.
Number 5: The Incredibles (PC)
We’re starting off with a movie tie-in game here. The Incredibles pretty much follows the events of the movie point-by-point, but it does so in a really fun way. Ever wonder what Elastigirl did before she met up Mr. Incredible on the rooftop before their wedding? Did you ever want to watch Frozone and Mr. Incredible actually rescue people from that burning building? And wouldn’t it be awesome to take control of Dash and Violet in their superpowered shield bubble? This game answers all those questions by allowing you take control of each of the Incredibles and their abilities: superstrength, elasticity, superspeed, and invisibility/forcefields. As these characters, you go through levels based around scenes in the game—visiting places like Metroville and Nomanisan Island, which is a fantastic pun—and do battle with various thugs, Syndrome's henchmen, and multiple versions of the Omnidroid.
The game doesn’t add a ton beyond the movie; it merely takes certain scenes and stretches them out or puts you in control of the character. There are some exceptions. For example, the very first levels have players fight bad guys as Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl, which didn’t happen in the film, and the best level in the game has players run to school as Dash, weaving around cars and dodging road signs as tries to get there on time. These additions are enjoyable and only add to the cool experience of controlling this Pixar family of superheroes. The developers didn't have to add these sections, but they need, and it genuinely impacts the experience of playing in a good way. The game is a blast and spawned a sequel of sorts, Rise of the Underminer, which isn’t quite as good. If you want the definitive Incredibles experience, this is the game that offers that.
Number 4: Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Wii)
Much like the Hobbit game mentioned in the previous blog, Twilight Princess is an epic fantasy adventure, slated in the Legend of Zelda world known as Hyrule. In the adventure, the main character plays as Link (though you can name him whatever you want), a young herdsman currently tutored by a warrior in a small village. Hijinks soon find their way into the small village, and circumstances thrust Link into a section of Hyrule covered in Twilight. After transforming into a wolf, he is befriended by Midna, a woman with mysteries of her own, who serves as his guide throughout Hyrule as he strives to eliminate these sections of Twilight, keeping the dark lord Zant from covering the world in darkness.
It’s a truly epic adventure, with Lord of the Rings-level action and questing. During his travels, Link discovers new, fun weapons—such as the bow, the Clawshots, bombs, and a heavy ball-and-chain—and strives to save not only the world, but friends of his who were kidnapped at the beginning of the game. The wolf sections are intriguing, as the player must hunt down pieces of light to dispel the darkness. Boss battles range from frustrating to amusing, with well-designed and tough opponents guarding secrets, weapons, and keys. Along the way, Link encounters a whole cast of supporting characters, who want to aid or kill him, with some great dialogue and character designs to add to their uniqueness. It’s a well-crafted game, with a splendid darker palate (significantly more than Skyward Sword's choice to go the more colorful direction, which has grown on me over time) and incredible settings with lush details and enemies. For anyone who wants an adventure, this is the game for them.
Get "Twilight Princess" on Amazon Here!
Number 3: Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
Going back to FPS gaming, let’s introduce Samus in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. The third game in the Metroid series, Corruption is the best of the trilogy, expanding Samus’ universe even more. Bounty hunter Samus, armed with energy weapons, works with the Galactic Federation against the Space Pirates, who have teamed up with Dark Samus, an evil clone from the previous installment. Whereas the first Metroid Prime game had Samus battle the Pirates on their home turf, and the second had her face them and Dark Samus individually, this third installment brings both together in a war against the Galactic Federation. Samus then must travel across the universe to stop them and keep an energy force known as Phazon from corrupting the galaxy.
As she travels, Samus acquires new powers and faces other bounty hunters, who were her allies until they, too, were corrupted with Phazon energy. This gives the game an emotional punch, as you knew you were fighting individuals who, otherwise, would be your allies. The game allows you to explore different planets—including an ancient civilization and a steam-powered world—and solve different puzzles in order to free these planets from the grips of the Pirates. It can sometimes be a slow game as you try to move things in place and travel from planet to planet, but it requires you to think your way through situations instead of just shooting your way out. It’s also far more expansive than the first two games, meaning this game stretches to the ends of the universe and allows the player much more mobility and freedom as they strive to save the galaxy once again.
Number 2: Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc
Much like Metroid Prime: Corruption, Rayman 3 is the third installment in a series of games, based around the character of, surprise, Rayman. The titular hero is a Limbless Wonder who fires energy from his hands. After defeating a horde of robotic pirates in the second game, Rayman returns to combat Andre, the Black Lum, and his army of Hoodlums. Lums are creatures who give power to the world, so when one gets corrupted and goes dark with rage, you know trouble is brewing. Andre unfortunately gets eaten by Rayman’s friend Globox, forcing the hero to go on a quest to extract the villain from his friend’s stomach and also to keep any nefarious Hoodlums from kidnapping his buddy and freeing their evil master.
I was a huge Rayman fan when I was younger. While the franchise has unfortunately dipped in quality, Hoodlum Havoc was an incredibly fun game. Much like Arkham City, it took everything that was great about the second game—the humor, the fighting, the adventuring—and improved upon it. It built on the mechanics, adding new weapons and refining the movements. The animation was far better, and voice actors were introduced so we wouldn’t just be reading narration all the time. In-game dialogue is hilarious, with moments that break the fourth wall, such as a reference to “the Spider-Man 2 auditions.” Rayman 2, to me, always felt like a series of levels you had to get through in order to beat the ultimate boss at the end, whereas Rayman 3 feels like an adventure. Yes, it’s divided into levels, but there’s a smoothness between them as you transition between them and the various realms you get to travel through. It’s a great game based around action, puzzle solving, and a clever world that’s fun to run through and look at.
Buy "Rayman 3" Here on Amazon!
Number 1: Spider-Man: The Movie (PC)
The second tie-in game on this list, Spider-Man was released alongside the Sam Raimi flick of the same name. Like The Incredibles game, it tends to follow the plot of the movie, though fairly loosely. The hunt to catch Uncle Ben’s killer is more action packed, with Spidey facing down a variety of thugs in his quest to seek justice. The first battle between him and the Green Goblin takes place in the skies, not at a festival, and Norman Osborn’s offer to Spider-Man goes over the course of an entire level, not just a rooftop conversation. Perhaps the biggest change is that we’ve got a whole variety of villains to take down. Over the course of the game, Spidey does battle with classic rogues such as the Vulture, Shocker, and Scorpion. Levels follow a couple of different styles, with indoor levels in places like warehouses, Grand Central Station, and OsCorp used for combating enemies or sneaking around, and aerial levels outside in New York used for web-swinging and fighting guys like the Vulture and the Green Goblin.
Being an early 2000s game, it hasn’t aged all that well, but it was still a blast to play when I was younger. The very first level was fantastic, with Spidey swinging around New York and hunting down different criminals. It was fun to explore the caverns of the city, and though it’s not as open world or detailed as a game like Arkham City, I enjoyed stopping crime. Various combos allow Spidey to deal out damage in different ways, from punching enemies, to tying them up, to throwing them around on a web line. Cheat codes made the game even more enjoyable, and one particular code allowed the player to take control of Harry Osborn, decked out in his father’s Goblin armor, trying to fix the fallen Osborn reputation. As Harry, you could fly around on a glider and throw various pumpkin-themed weapons. I thought it was even more fun than being Spidey, and as you can see in the video below, certain elements of the game changed (for example, the Green Goblin you fought was now a robot, since Norman was dead) and dialogue was different.
The Good Goblin
I’ve played a lot of games over the years, by myself or with others, but these are definitely ten of the best games I’ve encountered. They bring incredible characters and adventures with them, awesome action, great humor, fun settings and worlds, and stories that I can engrossed in for hours. The replay value of these games is high and makes them always enjoyable to come back to for another round of fun.
Which is Your Favorite Game?
© 2017 Nathan Kiehn