Tell Us Dammit

It was Grand Theft Auto III's anniversary last weekened, a game that arguably defined a generation. Now that we're knee deep in a new generation, it got me wondering — what games have defined this generation of consoles?'

It's interesting. I think there's a difference between the games I've enjoyed and the games that have defined this gen. I loved Super Mario Galaxy for example, but it didn't really define anything. Call of Duty 4 is a strong contender, but it's not reallymy thing. What about Wii Sports?

Anyway, I'll leave it for you guys to discuss...

What games have defined this generation of consoles?


    Gears of War is a big one. Set up the mechanics for cover-based shooters everywhere.

    Probably not the biggest, but first that came to mind.

    Gears of War for the 360, cause Microsoft boosted the RAM from 256Mb to 512Mb for it.

    Uncharted for the PS3 as it set a new standard for epicness

    As much as I hate it, CoD will ultimately be the definition of Console gaming for this generation, as it was such a simplisticly stupid game that the masses flocked to it like Seagulls to a couple eating fish and chips on a picnic blanket.

    I think the Open World games really have defined this generation. Sandbox games really hit their stride with GTA 4, RDR, Infamous and Batman Arkham City.

    I would say also the return of games that hate you, Like Demons Souls and Dark Souls, the latter of which could also be attributed to the Open World Genre, while also hating you

    Whether anyone wants to admit it, i agree that Wii Sports will be remembered as the game that defined this generation.

    In the Hi Def consoles i would also agree with Mark about the war based FPS's helping the rise in popularity of online and co-operative play.

    i would probably put Asscreed up there as well, purely for the free running-jumping and timed combat, i know it's been done before, and done better after but it helped define some of the great games after it

      oh and Mass Effect series, purely for the impact that it has done on the gaming industry and the cinematic story telling

    I think motion controls are definitely something that's defined this generation. Also the big explosion of popularity (and subsequent decline) of rhythm games, and the 3D fad.

    In terms of real "games" though, well nothing stands out as being truly original - just proven concepts that have been taken to the next level. There's nothing really that's been done this generation that couldn't have been done on the previous generation of consoles (except maybe the facial capture in L.A. Noire) - it was just formulas that worked on the PS2, GC and Xbox and made "better" with HD visuals.

    GTAIV was really just an HD version of GTA3 when it was all said and done. There's nothing original about Uncharted or Gears of War, but what they did was raise the bar of what we've come to expect from those genres. You'd be hard pressed thinking of a game released this genaration that was truly original and "generation defining".

    I think we'll look back on this generation as one of refinement.

    Gears of War for setting the trend of cover based shooters and co-op.

    Call of Duty for standardising modern shooters.

    Assassin's Creed for sandbox games (I think more games follow the AC structure than the GTA one).

    Wii Fitness for showing how fickle the casual market is.

    Something I think will be remembered of this generation for a long time - how to kill your massively successful and lucrative franchise (Guitar hero)

      Hahaha. Yeah probably gotta be either this, or Wii Sports and the rise of the motion-controlled game.

      And "party games". *shudder*

    I think the two biggest defining characteristics of this generation would probably be Motion Control and (console) Online Multiplayer. Wii Sports was definitely the best title for showing off the potential of motion controlled gaming, I don't think many people would argue against that. However, pinning a single game for online multiplayer is a bit more difficult. I don't play many FPS games, but I suppose Halo/COD/etc would probably be a lot of the reason online multiplayer is such a necessity these days.

      I think it's entirely fair to give credit for online console multiplayer to Xbox Live. It might not be a game, but it is a generation defining service that has given us achievement and a consistent platform for all games on the console.

      Not being a fanboy and ignoring PSN, but XBL was the one to get it right first and PSN had to play catchup.

    As much as I hate to say it I can also see this Generation as being the Rise to next Generations fall of Nintendo.

    No doubt Nintendo redefined how we played video games this generation, and no matter how well the other two may finish I think its a foregone conclusion who won this Generation, problem is Nintendo hasn't exactly excited with its successor. . . and with the dismal performance of the 3DS at launch. . . its hard to see Nintendo making lightning strike twice.

    In my opinion what has defined this generation is the re-introduction of the small indie developer through outlets such as Steam and Xbox live market place - and maybe even the iphone.

    Masterpiece like Braid and Limbo have made my day many times! I loved Trenched and am actually kind of digging Orcs must die!

    Yeah Wii sports was a big one

    Also Dance Central, in really showing how motion controls can work without controllers

    Gears of war for making that graphical push and revolutionising chest-high walls

    Demons souls for showing that games can be fun whilst still being mind-bendingly difficult

    Limbo, for downloadable games, for really bringing something different and moody to the table
    Trials HD for DLG for the same as demons souls

    Uncharted for binding large-scale adventure to bear with massive stories

    Batman Arkham Asylum for it's flowing combat, use of gadgetry, story and treasure (acheivement) hunting

    Little big planet - for really bringing out insane amounts of tools for people to create their OWN experience and really kick off the whole "sharing content" ideal

    I haven't played a couple of these, but i know what people say, so why not?

      I'm with you on pretty much all of these! They all had their moments, but none realy stands out as a clear front runner for me. They're all just as influential I reckon.

      I'm not sure I agree with all of these.

      Dance Central came very late to be generation defining but might set the bar for the next generation. Unless we count the Kinect/Move as a sort of separate generation from the 360/Wii/PS3, in which case you're right.

      Gears I agree with.

      Demons' Souls didn't really introduce the concept of satisfyingly difficult games, it just managed to have a lot of success because there had been a drought of them. Great game, one of the best in the generation but not a generation defining game.

      Limbo and Trials I'm not too sure of. Maybe Braid is more appropriate.

      Uncharted was simply what Tomb Raider should have been. Like Red Dead Redemption, it is awesome but there is nothing about it that has been influential, or genre defining. It's simply very good.

      Arkham Asylum was derivative of Assassin's Creed. Yes, it was better but it was clearly influenced by Assassin's Creed (and stealth games). Like Uncharted and Demons' Souls, it is very good but hasn't been influential.

      Little Big Planet is another I'm not too sure about. So I'll let that one slide.

      You have to remember that a generation defining game isn't necessarily the best but is the one that establishes what many other games from that generation will do.

        Well Uncharted and demons souls are two that i haven't played - so i'm not to worried about that! :D


          This feels like something that needs to be corrected.

            only recently got a ps3 so i'm working on it

    Not a game itself, but DLC in general has defined this generation.

    -Small downloadable titles which are cheap and fun, for both consoles and handhelds/phones. You might even be able to tack browser based games on there too.

    -Release 80% of a game, then charge extra for the rest (which is sometimes even on the disc). This is now extending to the 'online passes' which I fear will be standard in all games next generation to combat used sales.

    - Genuine episodes (like the GTAIV ones) which extend upon an existing game which act as a nice step between proper sequels.

    Well I don't know whether this should be here, as I haven't seen many if at all any PC titles, but I think they did define a few things like addiction.

    World of Warcraft


    Any thoughts?

      Minecraft only defined how OCD some gamers are, not really pinanncle, WoW was a important part of MMORPG yardsticking.

    I'd venture Portal.

    As much as many people would hate to admit it, Call of Duty 4 has been the defining game of this generation. It defined how a game, well marketed and appealing to a large enough demographic can break far enough into the mainstream to the point once only reserved for the biggest budget blockbuster films.

    It showed that game developers now have to (or will only) chase what is profitable, which is the FPS genre or some variation (looking at you, Syndicate).

    For good or for bad, it defined this generation of games.

    Assasins Creed - mastered fluid controls
    Super Meat Boy - retro evolved
    Metal Gear Solid 4 - PS3 defined
    Super Mario Galaxy - evolution of 3D platforming
    Oblivion - console can do what PC can too (well xbox1 showed that with Morrowind)
    The Darkness - comic adaptations done right!
    Bioshock - fusion of depth/action in FPS

    Red Dead Redemption - took what GUN did first to a whole new level!

    Splinter Cell Conviction.

    The first perfect stealth game I've ever played. You actually feel like a hunter, not some wimp scampering around in the shadows because he can't handle a bullet to the torso (I'm looking at you, Jensen).

      YES - It's brilliant but I don't know what it has influenced yet - if anything because it came slightly after IT feels influenced by Arkham Asylum.

      Though I think Conviction's influence will be felt for a few things in years to come, the Light/Dark system, the objectives printed on walls and the Mark & Execute system are all things ahead of their time - as is the Face-Off game mode which is two player multiplayer in it's purest form. It hasn't influenced much yet but if devs aren't taking notes from this game then they have rocks in their head.

    I agree Wii sports was about as innovative as games get; motion controls really defined this generation. Nothing had every reached the heights in fun of hitting a home run in Baseball, knocking out friends in boxing matches, scoring a win in tennis - all in all getting a real workout.

    The creativity Nintendo always brings to the table has and is astounding: the D-pad, shoulder buttons, analogue sticks, rumble, touch, wireless game controllers, motion sensing, playing without a television, etc.

    I feel Uncharted represents a new benchmark in storytelling and like Gears too redefines what we come to expect from gaming. Modern Warfare & Super Smash Bros. show true core multiplayer competitive gameplay. Grand Theft Auto of course for its many 'hot' controversies and finally Angry Birds for the viral spread of mini-games.

    Kill.Switch was the first funtional cover shooter. This gave birth to Gears of War - which as Shane said - has ruled the roost in terms of mechanics.

    Otherwise: BioShock, GTA IV (both for storytelling, characterisation and environements that weren't possible in previous gen), Dead Rising (soooo sick of zombies - but an amazing technical feat), and CoD4: Modern Warfare (XP, Perks etc. in FPS games) would rank as infulential.

    Portal 2 is one of the best games of this generation. It is the sort of game you can show to anyone, even people not interested in games, and they will be entertained.

    But while Portal 2 is the best game of this generation, the Gears franchise defined it.
    How many games this gen are over the shoulder 3rd person shooters? How many games this gen use cover-based shooting? How many games this gen have Horde-mode style gameplay?

    Now ask yourself how many games did all this BEFORE Gears was made?

      I'm not saying the Gears franchise invented these techniques, but they nailed them so well that it has become the benchmark.

      If there's a cover based shooter people will ask 'How does it compare to Gears?', if there's a game with a survival mode people will call it 'Horde Mode' for short.

        Play Uncharted and you'll say 'How do other games compare?'

          Uncharted is fantastic, but I wouldn't say it Defined this generation.

            I agree. Uncharted is brilliant, but hardly revolutionary. It does only what other games do... only it does them very, very, very well.

              In one sense, that really does define the generation. It's been a generation of sequels or doing what other games do, only very, very, very well.

            I agree when we're talking on the revolutionary subject though. Wii Sports in that sense definately stands out from the crowd. But how can we really select one though, when all these games have found amazing results from innovative pursuits & are each adding to the way games will be made.

      All correct and even aside from this - how much has the Unreal 3 engine defined this generation. Gears is responsible for a lot.

    I think Halo 3 and Modern Warfare 1 and 2 defined multiplayer gaming for this generation.

    Games like Uncharted and Assassin's Creed defined how well games could be used as a story telling device.

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