Top 10 games (cont’d)

I’ll pick up my countdown where I left off:

7. Luigi’s Mansion (GameCube)
This game was among the top reasons to own a GameCube back in the day. Finally, an adventure featuring Luigi instead of his brother. The game’s story followed a gullible Luigi who was convinced that he’d won a contest and received a free mansion. Luigi later finds out that Mario has been kidnapped by the Boos and that he’ll have to dispose of them all if he wants to rescue his long lost brother. Equipped with only a vacuum, the player guides Luigi through the haunted mansion searching for Boos to vacuum up. Each main room has its own unique boss fight tailored to fit the personality of that particular ghost. The player also performs various tasks such as watering plants and searching through cabinets throughout the game to gather money. After completing the game, Luigi is rewarded a real mansion built by Professor E. Gadd using the money that Luigi collected throughout his journey (obviously, the more money gathered, the better the mansion turns out). The game has attractive graphics and the mansion is fun to explore even while not hunting ghosts. It was such a successful story that I’ve found myself playing through this title a few times over the years.

6. Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (GameCube)
This is the Zelda title that divided long-term fans of the series. The cell-shaded graphics were a big topic of debate and unfortunately a huge receiver of negative criticism. Putting the change in appearance aside, this game felt as much a Zelda title as all others in the series upon play-through. All the right elements are there: great story, exploration, dungeon battles, gradually acquired skills and weapons, boss fights, side quests, and of course, a kidnapped princess. When entering this game with an open mind, the graphics actually become quite pleasing after a while. The amount of detail for the style is incredible, and it gives the game an artsy, intriguing feel. My only complaint about the gameplay is the amount of time spent sailing. Once learning a specific song that allows Link to transport to various spots on the map without having to sail the entire distance between points, however, it becomes more bearable. Still, the amount of sailing feels a bit excessive even then. The most rewarding part of the game, for me, was the journey beneath the ocean to see Hyrule, and a statue of the Hero of Time from past Zelda games. This is not a title to be missed, tedious sailing or no.

5. Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Wii)
The Super Smash Bros. series has yet to release a game that is anything less than awesome. This title had a huge response from eager fans, with long lines forming at various retail chains for a midnight release. The anticipation was certainly justified by yet another great addition to the series. The same great cast of characters returned with some new faces, including Sonic, cartoon Link, Solid Snake from the Metal Gear Solid series, and many others, some unlockable and some available from the beginning. The stages were all well done and enjoyable, and the new adventure mode, Subspace Emissary, provided for a great co-op journey with a friend in between regular battles.
Still haven’t unlocked all the characters? Check out the guide to unlocking all 16 extra characters on Super Smash Bros. World. 

The real best games of the past decade to come later this week! Stay tuned!

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