My top 10 games of the last generation. #2 - The Mass Effect Trilogy

by: Nathan -
More On: Mass Effect

I know this may be cheating but I honestly couldn’t decide which game out of the trilogy to put on the list. Just like all three of Nolan’s Batman movies, I think all three of the Mass Effect games are equally great.

The funny thing is that I honestly had zero interest in Mass Effect when it came out. I thought nothing of it an didn’t even put it in my Gamefly Q. Then I just so happened to win a contest on a videogame website and the prize was a brand new copy of Mass Effect. After I got the copy it sat there in its plastic wrap for months. Finally one day I got bored and put in Mass Effect. The first thing I was greeted with was the amazing menu music and I had a feeling, I was in for something special.

Mass Effect was unlike anything I had ever played at the time and for me it really felt like a big step in the advancement of last gen technology. Hearing my personally created Shepard carry out conversations with other characters was amazing due to the fantastic voice acting. It also helped that the game had an amazing and lovable cast of characters that I enjoyed interacting with. It was the first game I played where I actually felt like I was the one having conversations with the characters, not the character on screen. I felt like I was creating friendships, making enemies, building relationships with romantic interests. It was all just very surreal for me at the time that something like that was even possible. What made the games even more surreal for me was the concept that your choices would progress throughout the trilogy. 

It blew my mind at the time that your save data could actually carry over from game to game and the choices you made in the previous title could carry over to the next. If Wrex died in the first game, he would be gone for the entire series. Luckily I had my Paragon level up high enough so I saved him and it was a very special moment to see him again in Mass Effect 2

I have played all three Mass Effect games all the way through multiple times because I wanted to see how different the stories would play out depending on what choices I made, whether I was male or female, whether I was paragon or renegade, who I chose to romance, etc... 

The one thing I will remember the most about the Mass Effect games is just how much emotion they brought out in me. The game featured an amazing and balancing mix of humor and tense moments. One moment you are cracking jokes with Joker, the next, your entire crew is abducted by the collectors. One moment you are having a sweet, intimate moment with the person you chose to romance, the next, they get their face blown off by a rocket. I screwed up big time in my original playthrough of Mass Effect 2 as I lost Tali, Garrus, Zaheed, Miranda, and Jacob because I didn't pay attention during the final mission. As much as I wept their deaths and wanted to do it over, I couldn't. I didn't want to change anything, I wanted to keep going with that save file. I had alternate save files where I would keep them alive but for my main one, I wanted everything to be as I originally chose. 

While I did lose some awesome members of my crew, it didn't make Mass Effect 3 any less enjoyable. The one thing I will always remember about Mass Effect 3 is just that feeling of dread I had throughout the entire game. That sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach was there from start till finish. Just the thought that the entire galaxy of these species and characters I have known to grow and love over the last two games would be wiped out made me sick. When the game ended and the credits rolled, I wept. Yes, I honestly started crying and no not cause of the red blue and green ending. I cried because it was over, I cried thinking about everything I had gone through over the last three games. I cried because I felt honored to have enjoyed a story as good as these and cried because it was over. 

For the record I had no real problems with the original ending. I had a feeling it would end like that anyways because we all knew a Mass Effect 4 was coming. I appreciate Bioware for giving us the extended cut which I enjoyed even more but of course it just made me sadder. 

The bottom line is that Mass Effect Trilogy was an absolutely amazing experience and It gave me a lifetime of memories that I will cherish. I am worried a bit about Mass Effect 4. I am excited that more games are coming but I am not sure I will be able to enjoy it as much without all of the characters I have come to know and love over the past few years. hey, who knows, maybe Ill enjoy the characters even more than the original ones. I guess we will just have to wait and see what the next generation of Mass Effect will bring us. 

Well we have almost reached the end of the list and there is only one game left. Can you guess what it is? I'll give you a hint. It wasn’t on the Xbox 360, PC or the PS3.

Nine games down, only one more to go.


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