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Games You Should Play!


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As game designers, a surprisingly large chunk of your job is playing other games in search of inspiration and quality recognition. As such, I'll be putting together a list of games you should play!



1. Hollow Knight

Frankly my favorite game released in the last decade (previously Bloodborne). Team Cherry built such an amazing experience with just 3 people, and they are selling it for $15. Playing this game will make you take a long look at the games industry as a whole. I can't gush enough about Hollow Knight. It's amazing, and with it's recent free DLC, it's only getting better.


2. Soulsborne Series

I don't doubt you've heard how great these games are. If you're thinking about making a 3D game with a fluid combat system, play through Bloodborne and Dark Souls 3. Dark Souls 1 has the best level design in any game I've ever seen. Tons of stuff we can learn from From Software.


3. Enter the Gungeon

Probably the most stylized, sticking-to-theme game I've ever seen, plus it's fun. Try it out if you wanna have a look at how to do Random Gen dungeons correctly.


4. Final Fantasy IX (9)

Storytelling done incredibly well. Get 1 hour into this game and you'll really, REALLY want to see how it ends for all these characters. The fact that it's as old as it is only stands in credit for it's powerful storytelling.


5. Lego Worlds

If you're at all looking into randomly generated content, take a good long look at Lego Worlds.


6. Shadow of Mordor/War

Putting aside the greed of Warner Bro's in the most recent iteration of the Middle Earth games, the Nemesis system is incredibly put together and is worth looking at.


7. The Witcher III

An open world done incredibly, almost impossibly well. A joy to play, but also a joy to learn from.


8. Stardew Valley

If you need to see what polish truly looks like, Stardew Valley is one of my prime examples.


9. Depth

Asymmetrical gameplay done incredibly well. Thinking about making an asymmetrical team based game? Take a look at how Depth did it.


10. Almost any IO Game

A lesson in networking. Simple games, with not so simple networking magic being done behind the scenes. Take a look, and learn :D




So those are my top 10 games for aspiring developers to take a look at and learn from. Got any you feel we can learn from? Post em below :D


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I’ve played a lot of WoW and more recently Destiny, and I think those are excellent examples for getting info on creating multi-user boss fights / encounters and understanding the mechanics behind them. I think anyone developing an ORPG should have some experience in an MMO to familiarize themselves with the “winning formulas” in terms of RPG design. 


Additionally, Undertale is a great example of how music, sounds, and dialogue can carry a graphically and fundamentally simple game. 


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A few games that won my heart:


-Zelda Ocarina Of time: Excellent history, and a lot of RPG elements that could help you to get ideas.


-Zelda: Link to the past: Same as the other, but with a pixel perspective


- Final Fantasy IX: Amazing history and world. Every character has a really well personality/history worked.


- Chrono Trigger: What can I said?, one of the best RPG.


- Dragon Nest (MMORPG):  This game forces you to work as a team. Is not only about the healer, dps and tank roles, the dungeons are so difficult and each stage has an speciffict mechanic, with puzzles and that kind of stuff. The PVP is really good.

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36 minutes ago, Refur said:

- Dragon Nest (MMORPG):  This game forces you to work as a team. Is not only about the healer, dps and tank roles, the dungeons are so difficult and each stage has an speciffict mechanic, with puzzles and that kind of stuff. The PVP is really good.


Duly noted, i'll check this one for reference.


Without further ado, here's my list :

  • Unepic, sideview action RPG : solid, simple gameplay while allowing several playstyle, good and varied skillset, with excellent multiplayer system. The bosses are what you want to look at, feels a lot like Zelda II, the adventures of Link.
  • Dungeon of Dredmor, turn based roguelike : props for the originality of the skillset (you can play with magical mathematics, archeology, fleshsmithing etc ...), the humorous lore, and excellent replayability.
  • Ryzom, mmorpg : just awesome ! the stanzas system which allowed you to create your own f*ckin skillz ! you want to snipe with ultra-long ranged acid dart with long lame ass chant ? or crazy fast rotball that cost life instead of mana ? not talking about the lore, the originality of the world, and the work poured into making it alive (with life cycles, and migrations of herbivores, while carnivores are hunting them etc).
  • Helen's mysterious castle, turn based RPG : short game made with RPG Maker (if not mistaken), and vanilla tileset (i heard some crying in despair), worth playing through the 8 hours and so for its battle system, really original and tactical, not repetitive at all ! which is great for me because TBS tends to bore me to death after an hour (even FF10 which i consider one of the best).


I tried to name some of the most unknown games in my list instead of classics that everyone played at least once (they are classics for a reason ;) ). If others come to mind, probably some older games, i'll do another short list :P

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