What common qualities do the best games in the world have?
Ranking games from worst to best is very much a subjective matter. There is no way of listing the best games in the world and it not being controversial. No surprises here, everyone is entitled to their opinion and video games just so happen to be something that has loads of different genres and aspects with a strong community behind them.
Therefore, there is no point in of coming up with a definitive list that would rank the best games in a TOP 10 or TOP 5 manner. The goal here is very simple – to describe the qualities that make a game into one of the best games in the world.
There are loads of games that gain popularity rapidly and have insane amounts of concurrent players for a while but then fall off just as fast. A couple of years later – they’re forgotten. Even though at their high-point they may be as popular as it gets, the fact that a game dies off within a year or two means it has no place in the conversation for being the best!
On the other hand, some games have managed to survive for so long that it is nearly mind-boggling. The best games in the world perform not only in the first few years after their release but retain a steady player base even after a decade or more of its existence! After all, we’re talking best of the best here, so if a game was great, even for a brief second, it is most likely still very good. It simply isn’t “best in the world” material!
Here are a couple of prime examples of games that have stayed relevant for well over a decade!
Diablo 2 – this absolute classic was released way back in 2000. 19 years ago! Doesn’t that make you feel old? For the longest time, Diablo 2 was in the conversations for one of the best games in the world and it still has a steady player base. Sure, most of the players are there for the feeling of nostalgia but they would not be returning to the game if it wasn’t an absolute marvel!
Skyrim – Skyrim isn’t as old as Diablo 2 however, it is no spring chicken either! The most impressive thing about this 2011 Bethesda release is that it’s still one of the best adventure exploration games to play right now, bar none. Even with the possibilities that modern gaming engines provide, it is still very hard to beat Skyrim, which definitely is enough for a case for Skyrim being one of the best games in the world!
StarCraft – yet another Blizzard game. It seems like they have the secret formula to keep the games running. The original game was released way back in 1998 and the online servers for the game are still up and active! Sure, the gameplay and graphics are outdated but it still has a steady player base, which is incredible for a game that is more than two decades old!
This is a category that cannot be applied to some of the newer games, but it cannot be denied that games that manage to stay relevant for decades have to be amongst the best games in the world.
The Player Base
The only way of keeping the buzz around a game is for the game to have a steady player base. This is especially the case nowadays when games are popular not only for the playing aspect but for watching others play as well! Twitch is an incredibly popular streaming platform where millions of people tune in every day to watch other gamers or entertainers play. If a game has a steady player base, it will get more attention on Twitch as well, which helps to keep the players in!
This does not mean that the games you see at the top of the list on Twitch are the best games in the world, however, it is definitely an indication! If a game manages to get more than 100,000 concurrent players during the day and is also entertaining to watch, it means something has been done right with the game. Surprisingly enough, when it comes to the player base, it is not necessarily dominated by brand new games.
Games such as GTA V, Hearthstone, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and League of Legends were all in the top 10 when it comes to concurrent players for the year of 2018, even though all of them were released between 2009 and 2014. Such games as Fortnite and PUBG are also insanely popular, however, they need to stick around for a while longer to be considered the best games in the world.
Graphics, Sound, and Mechanics
It’s simple, the word ‘best’ implies that a game has very little flaws and such things and graphics, sound, and mechanics cannot be lacking. Understandably, a game from 20 years ago won’t be as good in this compartment as a new one, therefore the only fair way to compare them is to see how good they were at the time of their release.
Skyrim comes to mind once again, as the way it looked and felt was ground-breaking when it was first released in 2011. Surprisingly, it still holds up very well today, even if it can’t exactly compete with the best high-end releases anymore, it’s still up there for consideration as one of the best games in the world!
Other games that instantly pop to mind are the recent Resident Evil 2 Remake, Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, Battlefield V, and even some indies such as Hollow Knight or Inside, both of which are amazing for their genre. The combination of music, sound effects, graphics, and smooth gameplay in such games create a feeling that makes you want to stay and play forever!
In the end, it all comes down to the fact that the best games in the world are those that you enjoy playing and if you didn’t see your favorite game mentioned here it does not mean that is isn’t as good as the others. However, when looking at the topic objectively, such things as the player base, longevity, and the feel of the game are essential for a game if it is to be considered as the best!