It's probably the best-selling sandbox-type game out there...And there's a reason for it; it's grand. The controls may be a little outdated, along with a few other aspects of the game, but despite those time-created flaws, this game is still about as fun to play today as it was back when it came out 8 years ago.
From what I remember, Sega didn't really hype Skies of Arcadia much prior to the game's release. Dreamcast owners were waiting for Grandia II to come out to satisfy their RPG cravings...And then skies of Arcadia released and made most folks forget about Grandia II. Exploring the skies, recruiting new characters, and making discoveries made the game fun...But the story helped make the game that much better. In my opinion, this is the best RPG of this decade.
Resident Evil 3 was fun...But it was obvious that the series was going downhill unless something drastic was done for the next installation of the series. Something drastic was definitely done for Resident Evil 4, as they turned the franchise away from the adventure aspects of survival horror and transformed it into an action game...and it worked wonders to breathe new life into the series.
If I were doing this list based on overall review scores, Nocturne would likely be a bit lower on the list...But, I'm not, so at #4 it stays. Nocturne doesn't have a whole lot to it in terms of story, but when the gameplay is this fun, who needs a story? Fusing demons to create new, more powerful members of your party is fun and entertaining...Also fun is the battle system, which rewards players for exploiting the weaknesses of their enemies.
When I put roughly eighty hours into a game...And then suddenly realize that I hadn't even started the main quest yet, I know that something is done right here. The world to explore was vast and the freedom to go anywhere and do anything was fantastic...Plus, any game where I can drop my weapon so I can do some fisticuffs with a bear that I spot in the woods is good in my book.
When I bought this game, I did so under the suggestion of a friend...I adore that friend for suggesting it. I played Chrono Cross so much when it was released that I knew absolutely everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, about the game. I actually wrote a guide for it a few years ago that I never published...Perhaps one day I will. Anyway, with a unique battle system, lots of characters to recruit, branching paths, and a large quantity of endings to view, Chrono Cross is a unique experience and one that'll keep 'completionists' busy for quite a while.
I missed the days of the 2D platformers...And then Little Big Planet was released, and I remembered why I loved the platforming days of when I was a wee lad. Little Big Planet is platforming from the days of old with gameplay elements from the games of today blended together in a game that keeps on giving...literally. With new user-created levels uploaded every day, there's always something new to play in Little Big Planet...Or, of course, you could always create levels of your own.
Bringing the series back to its roots, Final Fantasy IX was, in my opinion, one of the absolute best in the series. If you like your RPG's to be loaded with airships, super-deformed characters, and a fantastic story, then Final Fantasy IX won't disappoint you. Final Fantasy VI and VII seem to get all the hype, but in my humble li'l opinion, Final Fantasy IX is right up there with 'em.
Snake Eater was a very fun game...Then Konami improved upon it by including a new camera system within the game and that made Metal Gear Solid 3 even more fun to play. Playing in the jungle helped make the game mechanics from the previous two Metal Gear Solid games feel fresh again, and required a bit more planning than needed in those games in order to avoid being spotted. Plus, it helped create a nice back story for the franchise...And back stories are always nice, right?
I'm not a big first-person person shooter fan...Mainly because I usually find them to be repetitive. So, when I saw that Metroid was going to be turned into a first-person shooter, I groaned. But, then I gave it a chance and it absolutely blew me away. Metroid Prime was a first-person shooter that played like the Metroid games of old...And it worked very, very well.