I was using IGN's Top 100 Modern games over the last few months, to show a non-gamer some of the best of what gaming, as an activity or artform, has to offer, and I find its usefulness limited, (only games from this "generation", lots of weird no-repeat rules, tries to hard to cover multiple genres and platforms).
I wanted to create my own shortlist of games.
But I'd like to see other's input.
"What games would you show an open-minded non-gamer, to give them the best impressions of the medium?"
Breaking it down: Looking for games that deliver a relatively unique and engaging experience, mostly with respect to gameplay, but particularly good art, or music or something like that works. And they have to be ACCESSIBLE. (see last note on what not to be). Another way to think of it would be what films would you show a person who hadn't really seen many before? You wouldn't show them just the critically lauded stuff, or the classics cuz they're classic, or derivative films or popular films.
Gimmicky games are fine too, if the gimmick actually delivers and provides something good other games do not.
What this list would not be:
-a history lesson. Games that are outdated, for their mechanics or otherwise, would not serve this purpose. It's not about showing them Wolfenstein 3D to show them where shooters came from. Conversely, just because a game is old, does not invalidate its inclusion. Something like "Out of This World" still has a style and feel not captured by many other games since its release, years ago. Lists like that recent one for the big museum showcase are too inclusive of "important" old games.
-junky. if the game is unique or does something super neato that's nice, but if not a standout title with some real quality behind it, it's out.
-pieces from the same pie. If a non-gamer couldn't really differentiate between various games, then there's no point including more than one (the best or most representative one?) IE. Nearly all the modern shooter games could be reduced to a couple entries. All the differentiation is found in the finer points, most appreciated by a gamer who plays these games.
-fair. The goal is not to make sure X console or Y developer or Z series gets a mention. Would there be anything really of note on Xbox that isn't better represented on another platform? Maaaybe Halo? Steel Battalion?!
-for gamers. If the game is too game-y, too involved in strategy or bogged down in numbers and stats, or made for fans of other niche games, it need not be applied. We might get what makes Dwarf Fortress awesome, and it might be interesting to show a non-gamer for a minute or two for the look of it and brief explanation, but you can't expect them to sit down and learn to play or find watching you very interesting.
There doesn't have to be 100 games. More or less, it was just a ballpark idea based off of IGN's thing.
Note: the hypothetical audience person doesn't have to necessarily play these games. So worries about complexity of controls (every button does 3 things and you need to use them all vs a 1 button games) or stuff like that isn't a concern. They can just watch.
And this isn't to get them INTO gaming either.
Alien vs Predator 2 - first person Alien and Predator gameplay is wonderfully not-dude-with-gun experience
Amnesia: Dark Descent
Bayonetta - it's so out there and in your face, good example of the DMC style of games
Black & White (2?)
Bit.Trip (Beat? Runner? both?)
Comic Jumper - if you know of funnier games, by all means post them
Dead Space (1? 2?)
Duke Nukem 3D
Elite Beat Agents
Enslaved - the mocap acting / presentation.
Geometry Wars RE2
Grand Theft Auto IV
Left 4 Dead 2
Prey - the wallwalking / size changing / portal business
Rock Band 3
Shadow of the Colossus (and Ico?)
Super Mario Galaxy (2?)
Super Meat Boy
Super Monkey Ball (Deluxe?)
Team Fortress 2
Wii Sports Resort
Plants vs Zombies
World of Goo
I think most RTS games are fairly involved and dont look too different from each other. Maybe someone can point out an exception? I haven't played much of SC2...
Lots of formulaic JRPGs. Again, all very similar, just changing setting or characters or nuances of battles systems.
one of the 3D Zelda's?
Oblivion or Skyrim?
which Uncharted? (the gunplay of the bits I've played is a turn-off to nongamers I think with how repetitive and frequent it is)
which Metal Gear Solid?
what 3D fighter(s?)?
Burnout Paradise or NFS: HP (haven't played the latter)
which God of War style game?
which modern war shooter?
which single player story shooter? (Bioshock?)
Demon's Souls or Dark Souls?
which Final Fantasy(s?)
which side scrolling beat em ups?
which scrolling shooters? Ikaruga?
what arcade racer? (WipEout HD?)
Killer 7 or No More Heroes (which?)
which modern Resident Evil?
which Castlevania? SotN?
which Mario Kart?
sidescrolling Mario? (Yoshi's Island?)
Batman AA or AC?
which Assassin's Creed or PoP?
Child of Eden?
Supreme Commander? (the infiniview gimmick)