411 Games Top 5: Top 5 Blizzard Games
Posted by Sean Garmer on 08.23.2014
From World of Warcraft and Diablo II to Starcraft, Lost Vikings and more, the 411 staff counts down the top 5 Blizzard Entertainment games of all-time!
Hello everyone, I hope it has been a good week for all the readers out there. This is the 411 Games Zone Top 5 where 411 writers get to make lists on a different topic each week. This week, in honor of Diablo III: Reaper of Souls coming out for consoles and WOW Warlords of Draenor recently receiving its release date, this is the Top 5 Games Made by Blizzard Entertainment
Stephen Randle (Games Zone Reviewer, Host of the TWNE After Dark Podcast)
5. Hearthstone: - I played this for a while in beta, and I had to stop simply because a) it was clear that I would start obsessing about it, and b) my long and tortured history with CCGs going back to Magic has involved getting way too frustrated about losing because I just can't afford/find the cards I need to actually be competitive. It's a really good game, but it's one I need to stay far, far away from.
4. Rock 'n' Roll Racing: - I liked this game back when I didn't know it was Blizzard. Or that there was a Blizzard. As everyone should know by now, I like my racing games to have weaponry so I can make up for the fact that I can't drive that well, and this one has that in spades. Plus, it has probably one of the greatest soundtracks in the history of video games, which is why the new free re-release on Battle.net is an abomination that must never be spoken of.
3. Diablo: - My first gaming obsession, the first game I pulled an all-nighter with (during the changeover from Daylight Savings Time, too, just to make it more insane), and the franchise that I championed as Blizzard's best, right up until Diablo III broke my heart by being so very mediocre.
2. Diablo II: - The expansion and refinement of everything that was great about Diablo, with more classes, more skills, more ridiculous enemies, and an insane amount of replay value. I was still playing this game years after release, and I never, ever got tired of it, even if I really was just repeating the same maps over and over and over again.
1. World of Warcraft: - The first MMO I ever played, and sadly, the game that basically ruined all other MMOs for me. It was a perfect storm of a great game with hours of stuff to do and a group of similarly-aged friends with enough free time to really obsess about grinding out Timbersaw rep in Winterspring together. I would still probably play WoW today if everyone in my guild hadn't quit due to burnout sometime during Wrath of the Lich King, but the people I played with were a big part of the experience, and I will never forget or regret the time I put into WoW.
John Cash (Reader Voice, Occasional Contributor to Four Player Co-op)
5. World of Warcraft: Billions of dollars can't be wrong, I'm sure this will be number one other lists. I came in way late to the party, and also apparently came in during a time when fewer people were playing because there wasn't anything to do anymore but wait for the next expansion, so all my friends weren't willing to hop in with their level-capped death gods to help out my little noob orc. The 20 or so hours I played were fun, and I could tell why millions of people have been playing it for years, but at the end of the day, I already had LOTRO filling that spot in my heart, so I stopped pretty soon into the game.
4. Starcraft: I've actually only ever played Starcraft 64, but I have it above WoW purely from the hours of entertainment I've got out of watching people play it online. Its so incredible watching the pros play, it'd be like if you only had one second to decide your next move in chess, and each side has increasing amounts of pieces to sacrifice or slaughter with. It would be awesome to go to a live tournament someday.
3. The Lost Vikings: I kind of wonder how many people will forget this game and my next pick as being made by Blizzard. I found this game to have a fairly high difficulty, but also a really high satisfaction factor for getting past the hardest parts. The moments when you are down to one viking can be far more intense than you'd imagine going in.
2. Blackthorne: This was the first SNES game I ever beat. The difficulty isn't eye-gougingly high, but it certainly doesn't hold your hand either. I loved the mechanic of leaning into the background, and in hindsight an over-reliance on that probably made the game a bit harder than it really was. Like games like Prince of Persia or Out of this World, Blackthorne is definitely two parts trial and error, and an additional part pattern recognition, mixed together for an intriguing action game that will need to have a decent level of tenacity to beat.
1. Diablo II: I spent about five years of my life on this game. Diablo II was so big amongst the nerds where I lived, that in my homeroom one year in school, even our teacher was playing with us. I feel like it's the most accessible PC game of all-time, with maybe Minecraft being the biggest argument against such a lofty title. People that I grew up with telling me video games were stupid played Diablo II with me. People I've never spoken to but ended up feeling closer to than many of my best friends played Diablo II with me. Its the kind of game that, when you wait over a decade for the sequel, and then it comes out and it's JUST SLIGHTLY not as good, it is immediately inferior and forgotten (at least by me, I haven't touched DIII since the month it came out.) I know I can always go back to Diablo II no matter what is going on with my life, and for that I will always consider it one of my favorite games.
Daniel Anderson (Co-Host of the Official 411 Games Zone Podcast "Cooperative Multiplayer," Games Fact or Fiction Organizer)
5. Lost Vikings: This was one of the first Blizzard games I played, along with one of the first PC games I played. I loved the puzzle aspect of the game. I cannot describe exactly why I loved the game other than to say I love games that require strategy and are not twitch fests. Lost Vikings was a game that required you to think about your actions, not just be fast.
4. Warcraft 2: I didn't play the first Warcraft, but I played a lot of Warcraft 2. I love good strategy games, and Warcraft 2 is one of the best. The game was pretty balanced, and the story in the campaign was entertaining for the time when it came out. I didn't play as much of this as I would have liked though, because of the next game on my list.
3. Starcraft: I spent a lot of time playing this game. I loved the story in the campaign, and I loved going online and playing the user map games. You had turret defense games (good luck finding someone to tell you how to stack the turrets), character games (Starcraft units being called X-men among others), and other assorted games. All you had to do was create a working map and have an idea and people would play your game. I loved that you were not limited to just playing matches online and bunker rushing or Zerg rushing your opponents.
2. Diablo 2: Diablo 2 was eagerly awaited by many people. It was the game of many release dates. You would get told it was going to come out, only to have it moved back six or more months. If that happened today, we would be scared to play the final game, but this was in the days of Blizzard not being able to do any wrongs. When it finally released, Diablo 2 was the game everyone hoped it would be. As I sit back and think about it, I cannot think of anything really wrong with the game. It was fun in single player (good story) and multiplayer. The closest complaint I can come up with was the randomness of drops in the game, but that just feels like nitpicking. Diablo 2 is a great game that, I think, is on the shortlist for greatest game of all time.
1. World of Warcraft: WoW gets a lot of heat for being popular. It is a giant in the gaming world. Show me a game that has as large a player base 10 years after being released. If you mention MMORPG, WoW is the first game that comes to mind. I do have complaints about the game, but, other than early nerfs, Blizzard never really went overboard with changing the game. They would try to fix things that were broken, and improve the game. They also regularly released expansions with new content. While the player base is not as big as it once was, I can promise you that other companies would kill to have a game as popular as WoW is right now.
YOUR TURN KNOW IT ALLS
List your Top Five for this week's topic in the comment section using the following format: