6Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, colloquially known as CS:GO, is a first-person shooter developed by Valve, the same company that has made numerous gamer favorites. Unlike many other firstperson shooters on the market, CS:GO is a game that requires continuous practice and dedication to master, unlike games like Call of Duty or Halo where you can just pick-up a controller and play. As the player goes up the ranks, the game becomes much akin to chess. The professional scene in CS:GO is alive and well compared to games like League of Legends and Dota 2. A first-time watcher with no prior knowledge can waltz in and have just as much fun as someone who has spent many years on the game. It also features an in-game economy where camos, known as “skins” in CS:GO, can be sold for real world money. The most expensive skin auctioned for over $20,000. As a person who has clocked in well over 900 hours on the game, I can certainly assure you that it is rich, deep, and can hook you in minutes.
5League of Legends
League of Legends, often abbreviated as LoL, is a MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) game that is, arguably, the most popular competitive video game on campus. Although difficult to get into compared to all other MOBA games, like DOTA 2, League of Legends is probably the easiest to learn. When League of Legends is compared to its competitors, the learning curve is considerably easier, which could possibly contribute to its immense worldwide popularity. Just last year, the League of Legends World Championships attracted over 27 million worldwide viewers for its live stream. Believe it or not, League of Legends also fills up stadiums the likes of those that the NFL owns. The World Championships managed to fill Sangum Stadium in South Korea with 40,000 fans.
4Call of Duty
This blockbuster series has most likely landed at least once in the disk tray of your Xbox 360, PS3, Xbox One, or PS4. There is truly no escaping the gargantuan franchise that Call of Duty has established. If you have owned a video game console, you have owned a Call of Duty game. Call of Duty shows how much fun a game can be if it focuses on the arcade aspect of gaming. You can simply pick up the controller and play with your friends. There is nothing stopping you from getting the next kill-streak other than your own skill. As a franchise with an annual release schedule, the next game to arrive on game consoles everywhere is Call of Duty: Black Ops III. Much like CS:GO, Call of Duty is a game that one can just watch with no prior knowledge. There is not quite anything like Call of Duty that gives the player fast-paced action with an attitude that just exudes “just have fun”.
3Grand Theft Auto: V
Another blockbuster series, Grand Theft Auto, the franchise that raised the bar for all others. The seventh installment of the popular Grand Theft Auto series, GTA V was released to universal acclaim, maintaining a 97/100 score on Metacritic. Although the single-player element of the game is outstanding, the multi-player element is where the game truly shines, allowing friends to play seamlessly in a living and breathing world. Whether you want to run a gang with a group of your best buddies, or you just want to lone-wolf it, taking down bounties placed on real-world players and taking on missions alone. From racing, skydiving, shooting, bank-robbing, golf, tennis, or just watching movies with your friends, there is almost nothing you cannot do. A game like GTA V is truly limitless in its ambition and replayability. Grand Theft Auto V is arguably the most popular game at St. Thomas, probably because it is also the most popular game of all-time.
2Pokémon Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby
The community for Pokémon has hit an all time high with its sixth generation of Pokémon, and the remakes of the 2002 games “Ruby” and “Sapphire.” Now with 18 types, 721 different Pokémon and the new concept of mega evolutions, players have endless options for creating a competitive team for online tournaments. With the 3DS’s technology, online communities can freely and easily be created for endless trading and battling. Tournaments will be held with new updates throughout, showing that Pokémon is once again relevant with not only new audiences but old fans of the Gameboy Advance. The series itself shows its best work to try to be as balanced as possible, even making certain Pokémon and move sets banned for tournaments. We are once again returning to the Pokémon community, usually as casual players, yet it is another opportunity for us to catch them all.
There is a certain simplicity in the pixelated sandbox project that has attracted many. With such easily accessible servers and an endless array of games to play and create, Minecraft has been here to stay since its glory days in Alpha and Beta. The singleplayer experience is personal and rewarding, and the multi-player is creative and interactive. Most games have peaked in their glory days, but with each new update of Minecraft, its audience grows. In Creative world, where one can practically build anything, each player out does the others in extravagant visions. Although the uproar for Minecraft is not traditional in the sense of competition, it has taken over social media by storm. Since its success, sandbox games have been growing on every tablet computer and console.