February 20, 2024

3 min

Video Games

Juan Jimenez

Marketing Manager

Haptic Takes: The 5 Best Video Games of All Time

Whenever two or more gamers get together in the same place, a question arises almost inevitably: what is your favourite game?


Such a question, out of the subjectivity and tastes of each person, usually gets slight adjustments to have definedcriteria: what is the best game you've played? What do you think is the most influential game ever created? What do you think is the best video game in history?


At Haptic, we are experts in recruitment and consultancy for start-ups, scale-ups, and small companies specialising in videogame development. But, on top of that, we are passionate gamers, which makes The Question usually come up in both our online meetings and leisure time.


That's why, this week, we've decided to share our answer with you with some considerations. We chose the following criteriato instil some objectivity in our picks:


- Number of copies sold

- Influence on the design and development of future games

- Number of total players (even years after lifespan)

- How many times the game got a port to other platforms apart from its original one


Now, without further ado: let the games begin!



Even though the list of casual games that have achieved success big enough to be published on any platform and console isquite extensive, only one of these games can afford to be in the top 3 of the best-selling games in history: Tetris(1984). The masterpiece of Russian game designer Alexey Pajitnov is, to thisday, an object of study by academics, journalists, and videogame fans thanks to a concept that, although deceivingly simple, has led hundreds of millions ofpeople around the world to push limits.


Although the original version of Tetris ran on an Electronika 60 computer emulator, it was the GameBoy version - after an intense legal battle betweenNintendo of America, Mirrorsoft, Spectrum HoloByte, and Atari between 1988 and1989 - that sold more than 35 million units, making it one of the best-sellinggames in history.


Today, The Tetris Company - founded in 1996 byPajitnov and Henk Rogers after Pajitnov regained the original rights - licensesTetris to various partners anddevelopers around the world, resulting in the Tetris brand having sold, as of today, more than 495 million copies of all its games and versions.


That is a tremendous achievement for a game this close to not getting known outside the Soviet Union.



Tetris' 35 million copies sound like a blockbuster, but it represents roughly one-sixth of what the next game on our list — Minecraft (2009-2011) — has sold to this date. The brainchild of Swedish designer Markus "Notch" Persson not only has an impressive record of over 238 million copies sold — making it the best-selling singletitle in history — but a staggering 140 million monthly users, recorded in 2021across all versions and platforms.


Belonging to the sandbox genre, a base Minecraft game takes place in a procedurally generated 3D world in which the player must survive as long as possible in the face of climatic adversity and the creatures that inhabit the ecosystem. The players can create tools that will allow them to gather resources from the world, whether it be cutting down trees, collecting stone and earth, or venturing into the mines beneath the surface to search for iron, gold, and diamond, evading increasingly challenging dangers.


While the game has no story or goals in a traditional sense, a series of in-game achievements and quips means that experienced players can tackle more challenging scenarios once they understand the basic mechanics. And Creator mode has helped millions of players turn Minecraft into a playground where any location or monument, real or fictional, can be recreated digitally for the enjoyment of all players.

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare


Although Activision's Call of Duty series stands on the shoulders of giants - with virtually the entire evolution of first-person shooters eventually leading to its birth - only one game in the series can claim the privilege of being one of the most influential action games in history. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (2007) not only broke with the series' tradition of being set in World War II; it laid the foundations of modern action shooters and contributed, for better or worse, to laying the ground work for over 400 million copies sold and the rise of one of the today's gaming giants.


All of the gameplay aspects for which the Call of Duty series is now internationally renowned - the killstreaks, a regenerative health system with no armour or health pickups, weapon customization, and perks that affect gameplay and weapon use - were introduced or refined in Modern Warfare. And while the narrative and cinematic presentation of the campaigns had already improved considerably between Call of Duty (2003) and Call of Duty 3 (2006), it was also in Modern Warfare that both aspects reached the level of a Michael Bay or Roland Emmerich-style blockbuster movie.


At the same time, this is the only game in the series that has been remastered and remade from scratch so far. The remaster was bundled alongside select Call of Duty: Infinity Warfare (2016) versions, while the reboot, titled Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, was introduced in 2019.Both versions have also inspired sequels of their own, with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2022) being the most recent offering.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim


This list would not have been complete without at least one role-playing game. And, although the decision was quite complex —surprisingly, our teammates at Haptic are fond of the genre — the only possible winner was the one that fully met the four criteria we set out at thebeginning: the game, the myth, the legend, TheElder Scrolls V: Skyrim (2011).


Although Bethesda had already managed to attract the attention of both friends and strangers with the two previous games in the series, The Elder Scrolls III:Morrowind (2002) and The ElderScrolls IV: Oblivion (2006), it was thanks to Skyrim that the American studio managed to establish itself as one of the most renowned RPG developers in history.


The story of the Dragonborn and their struggle against Alduin across the vast region of Skyrim — one of the largest and most expansive to date in any video game — has all the ingredients that make for a memorable and epic narrative. The amount of immersion, class, gameplay and conflict resolution options have yet to be matched by other games.


These facts naturally mean that Skyrim has been ported ad nauseam across no less than three generations of consoles, with versions on PS3/PS4/PS5,X360/XB1/XSX, and Nintendo Switch. Purists will say that the best way to play Skyrim is on a PC, thanks to a generous community of modders who have made the game even more realistic, improving many aspects of gameplay and engine functionality.

Dark Souls


Today, it's easy to conclude that Elden Ring(2022), From Software's crown jewel and Hidetaka Miyazaki's masterpiece, is amass phenomenon that has crystallised a diverse group of gamers around the design philosophy of "You Died". However, none of this would have been possible without the sleeper hit that started it all eleven years ago and, for many, remains the most polished and best-made Soulslike game to date: DarkSouls (2011).


Dark Souls frequently appears on lists like this for a variety of reasons. The difficulty, unforgiving as it may seem,turns into a tactical ballet when you realise that all enemies can be “easily” dominated if you read their patterns. The strategically placed bonfires aroundLordran allow you to save your progress for a price: everything you killed to get to the bonfire will be there again once you exit the checkpoint. Magic, while more powerful than in most RPGs, has limited uses, and staying on themove and with a high evasion ability will always be better than trying to tank absurd amounts of damage.


Healing? You'd better know when to do it, or you'll end up ensuring your defeat.


And the story? Well... Let's just say Dark Souls doesn't tell its plot through elaborate cinematics and a delightfully written script. It chooses to tell itthrough carefully written lore on its items and enigmatic interactions with a small, almost unrelatable cast of NPCs. Such is the Souls' cryptic narrativethat there are YouTube channels devoted entirely to deciphering its story, an act that seems more archaeological than narrative.


A game in which the inevitability of failure and death is the principal theme behind its mechanics should not have been sucha resounding sales success, let alone launched a video game saga with over 33 million copies sold. But Dark Souls came when much of the gaming fanbase was bored of easy, predictable games wherethere was always a checkpoint or auto-save to save you from restarting the level. And boy, did Miyazaki provide the remedy for their discontent.


Classics like Bloodborne (2015), Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (2019), and EldenRing wouldn't have been made if Dark Souls hadn't come along at the righttime to change the history of video games forever.



And now, many of you will say: how could we leave so many other video game legends out of this blog post? Where's Mario? Where's Zelda? For Christ's sake, where's Pokémon?


Sadly, we fall prey to the criteria we set out at the beginning of this article, and most of these games — while great intheir merit — haven't made it beyond Nintendo's video game ecosystem. But we'd be happy to cover them later: email us at india@hapticrecruit.com oradam@hapticrecruit.com if you'd like to read an article devoted entirely to the best Nintendo games ever!





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