Video games have the incredible power to indulge your imagination into exploring brand-new worlds and leave you emotionally invested in their storytelling. Some games offer more dramatic narrative-structured gameplay, while others focus strictly on mechanics. With the volume and scale of games releasing today, it may be strenuous to choose one to start with.
That's because games are a broad subject covering an expanding range of sub-categories, from action-adventure to RPG, simulation to puzzle platformer. Here is a diverse variety of games that aren't exorbitantly punishing for your first time.
10/10 Mario Kart
Anything centered around Nintendo's iconic Mario characters is a great place to start, but the Mario Kart games, in particular, present a whimsical and amusing option for your competitive side. Racing games are often not for everyone, especially the more overwhelming and difficult simulators, but Mario Kart is easier to master and brings a ton of fun.
The maps are the most amazing part, each colorful and extravagant and fitting of the theme of the cup they fall under. Around the map are mystery boxes that contain power-up items that can be used to hinder other competitors' chances of winning, such as an annoying squid that blackens the screen or the infamous blue shell.
Puzzle games are challenging at first and can take a lot of patience and determination from you, but Playdead's Limbo can ease your way into them. Limbo has a hauntingly beautiful and captivating visual style of grayscale and shadow lighting and seamlessly integrates puzzle mechanics into its 2D side-scroller platforming gameplay.
The protagonist is a silent young boy facing grave dangers, in a mysterious forest reminiscent of a spirit realm and with a giant spider after his soul. The sound design and environmental storytelling capture an eerie horror atmosphere, without being too frightening to scare you away and leave a lasting mark.
8/10 Until Dawn
Until Dawn massively turns up the horror and serves as a great entry-level introduction to the survival horror genre, nowhere near the difficulty of a Resident Evil game. It was the first of many interactive horror games to follow from the studio Supermassive Games, and it launched as a PS4 exclusive in 2015.
It's set in a snowed-in secluded retreat where two terrifying plotlines converge. Unlike the traditional conventions of survival horror that have you traverse areas dense with monstrous enemies and defeat gnarly bosses, Until Dawn puts more focus on player choice and narrative, allowing you to select dialogue options and make timed decisions that affect the fates of your characters.
7/10 Telltale's The Walking Dead Season One
Before their unfortunate closure, the first season of Telltale's episodic The Walking Dead game ultimately helped to build their brand, and it's widely regarded as one of their best games. It's an even better experience if you're a fan of the comics or the AMC series, as Season One includes a cameo appearance of the character Glenn Rhee.
Telltale's The Walking Dead explores the beginning days of the apocalypse that turned the population into undead walkers and follows the heartwarming bond between Lee and Clementine. Designed around the Telltale formula, it's also interactive and choice-based, with many gutwrenching choices and decisions needing to take place throughout.
6/10 LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
Any LEGO game is an excellent option to start with in your gaming endeavors, but LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is a colossal collection that covers all three essential Star Wars trilogies, Episodes One through Nine. Taking pivotal scenes from the films, their traditional approach is creating levels around them and applying silly humor and simple puzzle mechanics that encourage teamwork between characters.
The beauty of these games is that you can relive classic moments right out of the Star Wars saga while playing as LEGO miniature versions of the key characters, and this one adds even more fun with multiplayer. And there's an engaging collectible of earning the title of a 'True Jedi' from breakables across each level that drop gold, silver, and rarer blue studs.
5/10 Assassin's Creed 2
2007's Assassin's Creed quickly became a breakout IP for Ubisoft, and the rest was soon history for the series. The Assassin's Creed games immerse you in a science fiction narrative with historical settings and feature unique stealth, combat, and parkour elements. You'll find the second installment of the series better suited as it drastically expands on mechanics, world-building, and characters.
Assassin's Creed 2 continues the story of Desmond Miles, a modern-day Assassin in training. It puts him back inside the Animus machine to access the memories of his ancestor Ezio Auditore da Firenze during the Italian Rennaisance, perhaps the best assassin in the Order.
4/10 The Uncharted Series
If you're up for adventure and essentially stepping into the shoes of Indiana Jones traversing the gorgeous landscapes of ancient ruins and lost civilizations, Uncharted is a great series to dive into. It follows charming and charismatic explorer Nathan Drake and his partner Victor Sullivan in their search for some of the most sought treasures.
Each game takes you to a new stunning location with lots of enemies and puzzles standing in your way. The most important aspect is the cinematic quality and chemistry between the characters, especially Sully and Nathan's warm friendship. And it has plenty of thrilling set pieces in the form of scenic climbs and action sequences.
3/10 Batman Arkham Asylum
Rocksteady's Batman Arkham trilogy is an exciting take on DC's caped crusader that brings a lot of refreshing angles different from the movies. All three games build off each other and expand on the established mechanics, but the first of the trilogy, Arkham Asylum, will help you get familiar with the already smooth style and combat.
Arkham Asylum is the introductory chapter where you get acquainted with Batman's new tools and skill set, including X-ray detective vision, to take on enemies and villain bosses. Its story is more grounded than Arkham City and Arkham Knight, which include a more open-world traversal of Gotham where you can grapple and glide to your desired destinations around the map.
Rockstar Games is well known for launching popular titles like Red Dead Redemption and Grand Theft Auto, but an underrated gem of theirs called Bully is a more accessible and inviting game for beginners. It may also bring back memories of student life, as Bully focuses on the hilarious trials and tribulations of characters within the unsavory prep school environment of Bullworth Academy.
The mission system works just like in GTA and Red Dead, where the initial of the person giving the mission appears on a map, and you can get around Bullworth and the surrounding cityscape on foot, by skateboard, and by bike. The main character Jimmy Hopkins possesses a slingshot, and you must pass classes through minigames.
To absolutely no surprise, Minecraft takes the top spot. Not only is it an excellent survival game for newcomers, but one that delivers a richly detailed procedurally generated world built of blocks with endless fun and allows you to express your creativity. There's no story or mandatory missions to complete, just roaming the terrain and gathering resources.
Although in survival mode, the trouble lies during nightfall when mobs of creatures like zombies, freakish giant spiders, and explosive creepers arrive at your front doorstep. You have to also worry about hunger, crafting, and inventory management, but it's still a gentler introduction than other survival games. Creative mode gives your inventory all the resources available in-game and is free of mobs.
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