- September 12, 2022
- Posted by: jordanwertley
- Category: Behind the Scenes
The 7 Best Video Games, According to Aegis Staff (An Utterly Subjective List)
September 12th is National Video Games Day! Unsurprisingly, many IT professionals are gamers, including many of us on the Aegis staff. Read on to learn what games we love, and sound off in the comments to share your own favorites!
Without further ado and in no particular order, the most-beloved games at Aegis IT Services:
Elden Ring, a dark fantasy action role-playing game, shows little mercy to players who are not truly dedicated to succeeding – and that’s exactly why Luke, our Helpdesk Manager, loves it.
In Luke’s words, “Elden Ring is a truly epic game of discovery and exploration. In it, you wield fantastic weapons and magic to try to outplay and outsmart your enemies using a combination of skill and timing. The game is not very forgiving of mistakes or recklessness and you are sure to fail over and over; but by learning from these obstacles we find success. That is the heart of the game: Fail until you learn and adapt, and then succeed.”
Mass Effect Series
Few games give weight to player character choices to the extent of narrative-driven space opera Mass Effect. Several Aegis staff members think very highly of the series, and one even named it his all-time favorite.
The appeal of Mass Effect lies in the overarching story: a highly complex plot that shifts and evolves depending on the actions and decisions of the player character. The excellent NPCs are also a selling point, with interesting characterizations backed up by superb voice acting.
Fans often referred to the universe as one of the best worlds created in a game.
Neko Atsume: Kitty Collector
Here’s one for the mobile gamers: Neko Atsume! The Cat Collector game may have peaked in popularity in 2015, but its soothing music and passive gameplay objective are timeless.
Our Digital Communications Specialist, Ona, has a permanent soft spot for the lovable cats. Her favorite? Pickles, the mackerel tabby.
In Ona’s words, “A lot of games force player investment through impossibly high stakes: you, the hero, must save your town, the planet, or even the universe from a terrible threat.
“In Neko Atsume, the stakes are nonexistent. You look at cute digital cats. You lure cartoon kitties to your yard with toys and treats – and their visits are the game’s entire reward.
“Should you go a while without playing, the food dish will be empty and the cats will be gone – but shortly after feeding them, the cats return to sleep and play, happy and healthy as ever. What a joyous little world!”
The sprawling sci-fi world of first-person shooter Halo has spawned approximately 16 games, 35 books, 13 comics series, a web series, a TV series, and an animated film. The Spartan supersoldiers of the United Nations Space Command battle alien theocracy and ancient evil in this franchise that some Aegis employees have been enjoying together for nearly two decades.
Our staff named it a favorite for its “good gameplay;” and indeed, the state-of-the-art mechanics introduced in the Halo franchise proved to be genre-defining. Prior to the first Halo’s 2001 release, first-person shooters were largely confined to PC, but Halo’s easy-to-use control system created a world of possibility for console gaming, putting the series – and Xbox – on the map.
The game also introduced the revolutionary concept of regenerative shields, which fundamentally changed level design: instead of one sprawling stage, combat could be broken into multiple fighting arenas, with the expectation that player characters would enter each battle with a certain amount of health. By ramping up how many threats the player character could face, regenerative shields greatly enriched gameplay.
Non-gamers might be surprised to learn that Halo even plays a role in personal computing – the virtual assistant built into Windows was named for Cortana, a main character in the series.
World of Warcraft
The massively multiplayer online role-playing game World of Warcraft, introduced in 2004, quickly skyrocketed to become the most popular online game of all time, peaking at 12 million active subscribers. Today, nearly 20 years after its introduction, the game still boasts 4.8 million subscribers and continues to receive support and updates from its publisher, Blizzard Entertainment.
World of Warcraft is particularly special to Kody, one of Aegis’s helpdesk technicians, who found friendship and adventure in its sprawling digital world.
In Kody’s words, “World of Warcraft had first caught my attention in the early days of middle school, where I first started hearing stories of the high-fantasy adventures my friends would have: their dwarves creeping over frosted mountains and treading through crocodile-infested wetlands, in order to boat from one coast to the next and meet up with their friends on the other side of the world map, to pursue quest after quest.
“Eventually, I picked up the game and joined in on the adventures. As we explored more and more of the world, defeating the bads from the outlaws and gnolls and spirits of each zone, our conversations took on a new seriousness. We would see the most accomplished of our fellow players wielding the shiniest weapons, wearing the bulkiest pauldrons, evidence of their victories against elemental lords, dragons, and lich alike.
“Admiration for those players turned our conversations from wonder to planning. Which roles would each of us take up? What would be the best ways for us to come together so that WE could be the ones who would have the shiniest of items and feats? This heist-movie-esque element of collaborative problem solving kept me returning to WoW over the years. WoW constantly push out new continents to explore, bosses to defeat, and shiny items to collect with each and every friend or rival you’d meet along the way.”
Fallout: New Vegas
The Fallout franchise takes place in the future of a divergent 1950s timeline, after nuclear war has devastated the landscape of the United States.
The games’ narratives juxtapose potent commentary on war and totalitarianism against an absurdist setting populated by mutants, robots, raiders, and settlers. Radio DJs are still spinning the latest hits from the Ink Spots 300 years after their release; and player characters defend themselves with weapons ranging from hunting knives to shoulder-mounted nuclear grenade launchers.
Fallout is another franchise that receives a lot of love at Aegis, especially from Corey, our Operations Manager, who names Fallout: New Vegas as his favorite game. New Vegas blends ’50s sci-fi with wild west themes as the player character explores the American southwest in search of the men who tried to kill them.
Corey explains, “having grown up in the shadow of Three Mile Island, I’ve always been fascinated by how fiction treats nuclear power. New Vegas combines comedy and tragedy to explore how people and groups move on after a traumatic event – be it post nuclear disaster or colonial warfare – all while providing a rich world space populated by interesting characters and locations.”
The earliest version of Minecraft, the beloved sandbox video game, took only six days to develop – and its simplicity still delights. Although the block-based world grew much richer in the years following its alpha release in 2009, it maintained a straightforward design that inspires fans both young and old to build and explore in its sprawling digital landscape. With its collaborative nature, Minecraft is a favorite for LAN parties, including regular appearances at Aegis’s own get-togethers.
Honorable Mentions: Half Life, Kid Chameleon, Gran Turismo, Forza, Fallout 76, and Left 4 Dead.
Happy National Video Games Day!
The staff at Aegis wish you a joyous National Video Games Day. Many of us will be celebrating this evening, diving into the digital stories that shaped us, inspired us, and immersed us in new worlds both alien and familiar.
Do you have any gaming recommendations to share? Sound off in the comments, or drop us a line – we always love hearing from you.