The differences between a good game, a great game, and a "must play" game.

Hellooooo there!

As some of you may or may not know, I've recently started getting back into gaming again after quite some time of being inactive. I had a brick sized original Gameboy back in the day, progressed to a Nintendo 64, and only very recently started playing on my own. My roommate has been gracious enough to let me play on his 360 so I've mostly caught up with the Halo/Gears games and I don't mean to toot my own horn but I can hold my own in both of them quite well.

The thing is, I know there's so much more out there than just Gears of War, Halo, Call of Duty, Battlefield, and all these other big shooter titles. Don't get me wrong, I love shooting stuff and explosions and what not, but not so much that I'm going to willingly sacrifice other great experiences....especially for more of the same with a different coat of paint.

So! I did some research, asked some personal friends & the Polygon community, and ultimately decided on a PS3. I wanted something different enough from the 360 but I knew I didn't want a handheld or a gaming PC (come to find out a few nights ago that my PC is quite gaming capable). I specifically wanted a fat PS3 for the backwards capabilities because of the many titles I missed during the PS2 days as well as PS1 stuff because I'm super OCD about playing things in order. I've had it for a little over a week now and am currently playing Uncharted and MGS1. Fun stuff. Moving on...

Here I am, on the road again to video-gaming-dom. I'm armed with my "new" PS3, an open mind, and what seems to be an ungodly list of games I need to play catch-up with.


I've noticed something over the past few months. A game releases, it's the "Best thing ever" and "Everyone needs to play this." and then two, maybe three weeks pass and it falls into obscurity. I know people are still playing these games but no one is really talking about it (that I've seen) or at least not nearly in the amount when they first started it. And thus, we have the "new toy" syndrome. That feeling you get when you unwrap something fresh and new and then time passes and it becomes old. That's natural but to me there seems to be a lot of... "new toy" feelings mixed in with what a lot of people are telling me personally and from what I have observed. I don't want that. I don't want an experience to be artificially inflated because OMG YEAH LOL I JUST BOUGHT THAT NEW GAME!!! :D!!!

I think, for instance, even though I've only just started MGS1... I can appreciate it. I'm terrible at stealth games, I've died plenty of times, and I'm sure my 40' HDTV isn't doing those blocks any favors but great googly moogly Batman, I'm having fun. I hear it gets even better once the story picks up and that has me genuinely excited. For the moment, this is probably the best example that I can give. Something that it seems most of you have already played back in the day that I'm only now getting to...and if my opinion counts for anything, I'd say it has held the test of time well which would make MGS1 (in my books) a great game.

On to more recent stuff, if I had to guess, based on media/gamer reactions on recent games... I'd say that...

Resident Evil 6: A good game

Borderlands 2: A great game

Dishonored: A must-play game

I know what I'm saying is extremely subjective to each individual. One person may love each of these games equally or in a different way than the next. I suppose, my dear audience, I want to know what it personally takes for a game to reach a certain "tier" in your mind. After the packaging has long hit the trash can, the dust has settled on the case, that "new toy" feeling wears away, and you've spent a healthy dose of time with these games.... what is it that separates a good, great, and must-play game?

I appreciate you taking your time to read and reply to this. I may not be able to get back to you right away but I promise I'll get back to you. =]

[Disclaimer: I'd like to just take a moment to apologize for any ranting or grammar/spelling mistakes. I didn't exactly proof-read this like I wanted..and I could've probably worded some things better....but it was good enough for me so you'll have to deal with it. :D ]