Video games have come a long way since the first Pac-Man game was released by Japanese video game company Namco in 1980, oftentimes seen as the first globally commercialized video game in history. Today, video games are more sophisticated than ever before. They make you think, they make you feel and they can even transport you to an amazing world that you can explore at your leisure. With so many great games available today, which are the best video games of all time?
The following ranking lists the top 10 best video games of all time based on the average score each game has achieved in the major video game review sites. More specifically, the ranking is based on scores given on IMDb, GameInformer, Metacritic (both Meta score + User score), IGN (both Editor score + Community score), and GameSpot (Editor score + User score).
The following ranking lists the 10 best video games of all time. Click the following for the best-selling video games of all time or the biggest video game companies in the world.
The Top 10 Best Video Games of All Time
1. Red Dead Redemption II
Before it was released in the fall of 2018, Red Dead Redemption II was one of the most hyped games of all time. As the successor game of the already successful and popular first original title, in many ways, Red Dead Redemption II was just destined to be great. And it sure delivered on that promise. The game is now widely considered the best video game ever made, and also finds itself among the best-selling video games in history. It was developed by Rockstar Games, a video game studio owned by American video game company Take-Two Interactive.
As an open-world action-adventure game, it is set in a fictional but realistic American Wild West of the late 19th Century. The game starts with Arthur Morgan, an outlaw, and member of the Van der Linde gang. The main story by itself is already engaging and the characters are all interesting and believable enough to make this a great game. But besides the main storyline, the player also gets to experience the game in many different ways by exploring the vast and beautiful open world and taking on numerous side quests. You can spend hours just exploring the world and finding new items and objectives.
This game truly has it all, and hence it’s no surprise that it’s now considered the greatest video game ever made. The control is smooth, the storyline engaging and the game just looks amazing from every angle.
2. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Seen as the best video game of the 20th Century, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time truly is a game masterpiece. Developed by Japanese video game company Nintendo for its Nintendo 64 console, this game is an action-adventure fantasy game played in an open-world setting and from a 3D perspective, the first 3D game of the Zelda series and the fourth game in the series in general. It was released for the Nintendo 64 in November 1998, and later also ported to the Nintendo GameCube in 2002 and remade for the Nintendo 3DS in 2011.
The story follows Link, who is a young boy living in Hyrule, a fictional kingdom in the middle of a forest. Link is on a quest to rescue Princess Zelda from the clutches of Ganon, the game’s main antagonist. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is the series’ first game to introduce the concept of time travel, which is pivotal to many of the subsequent games in the series. The game is full of great puzzles and offers a captivating storyline as well as amazing graphics for its time. The soundtrack is also legendary, making The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time widely regarded as one of the best video games of all time.
3. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt comes third in the Top 10 of the best video games of all time, fittingly being the third game in the Witcher video game series. The game is an open-world fantasy action role-playing game (RPG) developed by Polish video game company CD Projekt. The game was released in 2015 for Windows PCs and the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles and then later ported to newer consoles. The game is based on the novels by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, who also created the characters for the game. Set in a medieval fantasy world based on various elements of Slavic mythology, it offers a great story full of rich characters and a vast world to explore.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt follows the main hero Geralt of Rivia, a hardened monster hunter on the search for his adopted daughter Ciri who is chased by a group of otherworldly creatures known as the ‘Wild Hunt’. Aside from the exciting enough main story, the game lets players experience numerous side quests and freely explore the beautiful and diverse open world. It is no surprise that the Witcher 3 was and still is widely received as one of the best video games of all time.
4. Red Dead Redemption
Set in the Wild West, Red Dead Redemption is the first original installation of the Western action game series developed by Rockstar Games. The game was first released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in October 2010, then additionally ported to Microsoft Windows in November 2014 as well as the Xbox One console in 2016.
The story follows John Marston, a former outlaw who is forced to go against his former gang. The game is set in a fictionalized American Wild West and features outstanding gunplay and everything else players would want from a Western game. Red Dead Redemption also offers a great story full of rich characters. The open world was unique in its vastness at the time of the game’s release and is full of things to do, even outside of the main storyline.
The original Red Dead Redemption set the tone for what would become the even better second title of the series eight years later, but the first title in its own right also deserves its place among the best video games of all time.
5. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
A tactical stealth action game, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots comes in fifth among the best video games of all time. It is the sixth installment in the iconic Metal Gear stealth video game series. The game was developed by Japanese video game developer Hideo Kojima, whose studio Kojima Productions was owned by Japanese video game company Konami back then. It was exclusively released for the PlayStation 3 in July 2008.
The game is set in a fictional world that is inspired by real-world institutions and events. It follows Solid Snake, an elite soldier who is on a mission to defeat his archenemy Revolver Ocelot. Metal Gear Solid 4 is full of great stealth action as is common and expected for a Metal Gear game. But what sets Guns of the Patriots perhaps most apart from the other titles in the Metal Gear series is the exceptionally well storyline and the many epic cutscenes and fights players get to experience here.
6. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
The next game on the list of the best video games of all time is another installation of the literally legendary Zelda series. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is an action-adventure game developed by Nintendo. It was released for the Nintendo Switch and Wii U in 2017. The game marks the 17th title in the classic series, and evidently is the best one of this century so far.
The game follows Link again and takes the player toward the end of the Legend of Zelda timeline. The game has great combat and great visuals, and a huge variety of quests to complete. The open world is full of things to do and it’s also been praised for its innovative gameplay, stunning graphics, and emotional story.
7. God of War
The seventh game to make the list of the best video games of all time is God of War, a game based on Greek mythology. Developed by Japanese company Sony, through its Santa Monica Studio, the game is part of one of the most critically acclaimed gaming franchises. However, the 2018 remade version lifted the series to a whole new level in terms of gameplay, visuals, and storyline. The game was exclusively released for the PlayStation 4 and later ported to Microsoft Windows in 2022.
The game follows Kratos, a former god who alongside his son comes into conflict with monsters and other gods. The story is engaging, and the game has great combat and great visuals. Both the story and the gameplay itself manage to remain engaging and never become boring. The game is intense and packed full of action and adventure and has been described as an absolute must-have for all true fans of action-adventure video games.
8. The Last of Us
The Last of Us comes eighth in the list of the best video games of all time. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, the game is an intense, suspenseful experience that constantly keeps players on the edge of their seats. The action-adventure game combines different gameplay aspects, giving players the option of choosing either stealth, shooter, or combat tactics to complete the different objectives. The game was released by Sony and developed by the Sony-owned video game studio Naughty Dog in 2013, originally for the Sony PlayStation 3 and a year later for the PlayStation 4. A remastered was then released for the PlayStation 5 in 2022.
The Last of Us follows Joel, a smuggler who’s been forced to team up with a young girl named Ellie, traveling across various parts of a post-apocalyptic United States. As great and diverse as the gameplay is, completed by fantastic visuals and realistic graphics, what ultimately makes The Last of Us one of the best video games of all time, is its captivating, creative, and epic storyline, which is anything but just another Zombie apocalypse story. In 2023, the video game even inspired its own TV series produced by HBO.
9. God of War: Ragnarök
As the direct successor and sequel of the 2018 version, God of War: Ragnarök proved that the God of War series is still standing the test of time. Awaited with much hype and hope, God of War: Ragnarök ended up fulfilling the high expectations. Released in 2022 by Sony for its PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 consoles, God of War: Ragnarök not only proved to be a big commercial success but as its predecessor is now also recognized as one of the best video games of all time.
Unlike its Greek-centric predecessor, God of War: Ragnarök is largely based on Norse mythology. Aside from the new continuing storyline, Ragnarök offers players much of the same strong aspects of the game they appreciated in the previous God of War installment. Players once again take on the role of Kratos, who journeys a Nordic-inspired world alongside his son Atreus. Kratos encounters fantastical creatures and harrowing challenges, all of which are brought to life with stunningly realistic graphics. Fans of God of War as well as newcomers to the series alike both find a lot of enjoyment in this action-adventure fantasy game.
10. Elden Ring
Elden Ring concludes the Top 10 list of the best video games of all time. The game was produced over a period of five years and its production process has been one of the most extensive and elaborate in video game history. The game was made and published in a collaboration between Japanese video game companies FromSoftware and Bandai Namco and released in 2022 for all major consoles and Windows PCs.
Apart from the game’s literally fantastic open world and great gameplay, the action role-playing game also made sure to offer an epic plot that was partly written by author George R. R. Martin, known for his fantasy book series “A Song of Ice and Fire”. Crew members of the HBO hit series “Game of Thrones” were also involved in the development of the game. The story takes players into a fantasy region ruled by demigods known as Lands Between and follows a so-called Tarnished. Elden Ring thus provides players the excitement of exploring and experiencing this visually stunning world with its captivating story and numerous quests.
Top 10 Best Video Games of All Time
|Top 10 Best Video Games of All Time:
|1. RED DEAD REDEMPTION II
Average Score: 9.62/10
Score Range: 8.9/10 to 10/10
|2. THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: OCARINA OF TIME
Average Score: 9.60/10
Score Range: 9.3/10 to 9.8/10
|3. THE WITCHER 3: WILD HUNT
Average Score: 9.58/10
Score Range: 9.2/10 to 9.8/10
|4. RED DEAD REDEMPTION
Average Score: 9.54/10
Score Range: 9.4/10 to 9.8/10
|5. METAL GEAR SOLID 4: GUNS OF THE PATRIOTS
Average Score: 9.53/10
Score Range: 9.4/10 to 9.7/10
|6. THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: BREATH OF THE WILD
Average Score: 9.52/10
Score Range: 9.2/10 to 10/10
|7. GOD OF WAR
Average Score: 9.52/10
Score Range: 9.1/10 to 9.8/10
|8. THE LAST OF US
Average Score: 9.50/10
Score Range: 9.4/10 to 9.8/10
|9. GOD OF WAR: RAGNARÖK
Average Score: 9.50/10
Score Range: 9.1/10 to 9.8/10
|10. ELDEN RING
Average Score: 9.40/10
Score Range: 8.7/10 to 10/10
|The Top 10 Best Video Games of All Time by average rating achieved at the five major video game review sites. Tiebreakers: Higher highest score achieved and then higher lowest score achieved.
The Top 10 Best Video Games of All Time by average score achieved at five of the major video game review sites: IMDb, GameInformer, Metacritic (Meta score + User score), IGN (Editor score + Community score), GameSpot (Editor score + Community score).