Adam Cole is Adam Cole BAY BAY! He tweets from @AdamColePro.
Confined to a remote cabin in a remote location, free from all distractions while working – remotely – on this year’s TOP 10 video game list, only one burning question remains… Where’d I leave the remote???
Creed: Okay, I can see leaving the intro to you was a mistake already. Is this all supposed to be clever?
Kenny: Oh will you stop?! I was just setting the mood! Give it a chance to, uh, you know, build the anticipation.
Creed: For what? Your terrible list?
Kenny: Well, for your information, Creed, I was getting to the part where I spend my days away from the ring monitoring the neighbours from my rear window. There’s a part where I suspect maybe there’s a murder and everything! And then….
Creed: Yeah, that’s Alfred Hitchcock and that’s pretty much the entire premise to his movie called, “Rear Window”. Also parodied on the Simpsons. I know you know this.
Kenny: Whoa whoa whoa! Any similarities to people, places or things living and/or dead (or undead), are simply coincidental. This is like when people criticized my idea for a group of friends that zap ghosts for a living…you saw the match, I know you did!
Creed: ….. Oh yeah, we ALL saw that “match” of yours, Kenny.
Kenny: I know, I know. Masterpiece, right?
Creed: I thought that it did a good job of respecting the source material, at least…
Kenny: I felt we did a better job of it than when you and your goofball friends did Final Fantasy or Gears of War!
Creed: WE’RE the goofballs??? And I don’t want to remind you that those were OFFICIAL collaborations whereas you – incredibly irresponsibly might I add – took it upon yourself to cosplay whatever the heck you wanted that day.
Kenny: Cosplay wrestlers… I think I like that. Thanks, Creed!
Creed: That’s not a compliment!
Kenny: Well I wanna take it as one!
Creed: Well it isn’t!
Kenny: Listen to this guy making the big decisions. Like, Who died and made you King?!
Creed: It’s funny you mention that…
Kenny: Oh no, let’s not go there. Can I just pretend to congratulate you and move on?
Creed: Would you pretend to congratulate Bret Hart or Billy Gunn?
Kenny: Of course, I wouldn’t!… Okay, I see what you did… YES, Creed, it’s quite an accomplishment. Truth be told, in some kind of way I’m happy that a fellow gamer and TV show host for G4 was able to pull it off. You’re quite a busy and successful man.
Creed: Why, thank you, Kenneth.
Kenny: ……Okay, now do me.
Creed: Come again?
Kenny: My turn, right?! Talk about all the stuff I did now!
Creed: Congrats on all the belts and whatever cool stuff people said about you.
Kenny: That’s it?!
Creed: Can we just get to the list already???
Kenny: Yeah, this intro has gone on long enough. I tend to milk the drama a bit too much when I work with people from other companies. My bad.
Creed: I get it, trust me. We gotta give the people what they want though.
Kenny: Couldn’t agree more! Soooo without any further adieu, let’s start the yearly top 10!
I’m gonna start by saying I unintentionally slacked a bit this year. I couldn’t play games in the volume that I wanted to so some strong contenders may not appear on my list. I’ll do better next year, but by no means, will my list be inferior to Creed’s.
Kenny’s 10. Persona 5 Strikers
I’m usually not a huge fan of Musou/Dynasty Warriors style games, but with the additional investigation and Persona-esque RPG elements and unique environments, I really enjoyed my time catching up with the familiar faces of P5. Also, the art and music are stylish as ever.
Creed’s 10. Halo Infinite
First halo campaign I’ve ever played. I was distracted by unreal tournament 2 when the first one was out and I never jumped in after that. Really fun multiplayer obviously and the campaign has been fun.
Kenny: Uh oh, my BS detector is going off! I don’t think you actually played Halo, Creed! I mean, that’s ALL you have to say??? Can you believe this guy, Cole?!
Creed: Whoa, you have Cole there!? Now we’re talking! We were the best of friends back in the day when we used to –
Kenny: Yeah, when you used to. He’s with us now. Capiche? You guys were just a placeholder for when he could come back to hang with the Elite!
Creed: That’s not true! Tell him, that’s not true, Cole!
Cole: Hey guys… umm… Hate to be stuck in the middle but umm. No, that’s not true Kenny. I actually enjoyed my time with those folks and I can easily say it was one of the greatest memories of –
Kenny: Now, now, no need to worry about petty feelings here, Cole. After all, this is the guy who ranked Halo Infinite as #10!
Cole: Is… is that true? Surely it’s higher up on your list, right, Kenny…?
Kenny: Well, I was umm… Saving it for the co-op story mode for next year!
Creed: See?! He’s the REAL fraud!
Kenny: Don’t question me! I’m Cole’s real friend! I’d kill for this guy!
Creed: You literally killed Cole in story! Also knowing your issues with jealousy I wouldn’t be surprised if you did it again!
Cole: Wait, Kenny did WHAT?!
Creed: Yeah, back when the writing on BTE was stronger there was a whole thing and…. we can talk about it later! What’s important is that you CAN’T trust this guy!
Cole: Then I guess I’ll just have to be a non-biased mediator. I don’t have a dog in the fight.
Creed: You don’t have a dog… but you could have… a list!
Kenny: The first good idea you’ve had all day! Yeah, give us your list after too, Cole.
Cole: Fair enough. Until then, let’s stay on track!
Austin and Kenny: Deal!
Kenny’s 9. Ys IX: Monstrum Nox
It’s no secret that I’m a huge Ys fan. Though their newer entries may never reach #1 status on my top 10 lists, I always enjoy my time with Adol in whatever new adventure he embarks upon. With fun, well paced gameplay set to an always incredible soundtrack from the Falcom Sound Team JDK, progress never seemed redundant or boring. The colour palette for environments could have been less dull and grey, but Ys games generally aren’t ones you play for blow away visuals. A strong number 9. A mighty one, you could say!
Creed’s 9. Outriders
I had a good bit of fun playing this solo but I think my real enjoyment of it came from linking up with my friends and grinding. Was a much more relaxed experience getting to run through campaigns and gaming levels and drops with friends. In a loose sense, it kind of felt like baby’s first mmo. A nice entry point into those types of games.
Kenny’s 8. 12 Minutes
This game was one of those pleasant video game surprises that happen at least a few times a year for me. I love point and click, I love mysteries, and I like Oldboy-ish twists to stories. Oh, I also enjoy a great voice acting cast and we definitely get that with James McAvoy, Daisy Ridley, and Willem Dafoe. I always wondered how they pulled it off. How did they get these folks anyway?! Great game, short enough, and fun to play/solve with friends in the room.
Creed’s 8. Returnal
I still wanna give more time to this game. I ended up falling in love with Hades late after it came out and this is the same type of game, but it feels like it has a higher learning curve than Hades. It was really enjoyable playing in the dark with the speakers blasting.
Kenny: Translation: I got wrecked. Pwned. I raged, I cried, I quit. Yeah, I run into your types often, Creed. Folks like you always tuck yer tail between your legs and run from rogues. Is this your King?!
Cole: Come on, Kenny. Rogues in nature are designed to be very difficult. After all, you lose almost all progress upon death. You can’t blame someone like Creed for cutting his losses and quitting when he couldn’t beat it. Nor can I blame you for your enjoyment of these sadistic types of games.
Kenny: Hey, whose side are you on here?!
Creed: Yeah man, what gives?!
Kenny: I don’t blame Creed for moving on. What’s important is that he tried his best and had fun.
Creed: And I don’t blame Kenny for being so hard headed that he’d refuse to give up due to his extremely egocentric nature
Kenny: Umm.. Yeah, what he said! I love nature and whatever you said before that!
Cole: Oh yikes….
Kenny’s 7. Metroid Dread
I’m not one of the folks that say Super Metroid was the greatest 16 bit game of all time. Heck, it doesn’t even make my top 10. I ain’t even played Metroid Prime, brah. That being said, I still like Metroid in general and this game was fricken great. Same old familiar action and navigation but with a terrifying aspect introduced with the E.M.M.I that sets Dread apart from all other Metroid titles. A super fun throwback with a modern twist and further proof that Nintendo never messed up their 1st party titles. I don’t think? Yeah, probably not.
Creed’s 7. Mario Golf: Super Rush
When Mario Golf dropped, I was playing a ton of games with my buddies, DA PARTY, and getting to run those speed golf courses way beyond fun. The solo part of the fame did a great job of keeping engaged and the tutorials were great.
Cole: Oh man the times we had playing this game! All 4 members of Da Party in a room, screaming and yelling and laughing as we played Battle Golf was maybe my favorite couch co-op experience this year!
Kenny’s 6. FFVII Remake Intergrade
Expectation vs Reality kicked me in my arse with this one. In a good way, though! I thought that this would, at most, be a 2 hour romp. That we’d just get Yuffie in a smaller environment culminating in a single boss fight with that centipede robot thing. What we got was so much more. In a big way. Midgar and the characters really feel alive here much like the base FFVII Remake and I played almost every minute of the game with a smile on my face. Combat with Yuffie and Sonon? Also super fun. Your characters feel strong but the difficulty of enemies/bosses are well balanced. As a bonus too, we even got at least one new track that wouldn’t be out of place in any “best of” FF orchestral performance.
Creed’s 6. Aerial Knight’s Never Yield
Constant running running and more running. I had the chance to speak to the developer and this was a passion project that he put his life into. You can feel his personality when you play the game and I always love being able to see how much a developer cares about their game. Great music and a really colorful and inviting look. Fun, endearing, frustrating, and most importantly fair. It lets you know that you can definitely conquer it if you keep at it.
Cole: Hey Creed, you KNOW how much I love a good game soundtrack…I’m making a face and shoulder dancing as we speak!
Kenny: Shoulder dance?! I don’t even know what that is!
Creed: A “Shoulder Dance”…. This guy….yeesh…
Kenny’s 5. Monster Hunter Rise
I thought I was bit by the MH bug once with MH World and that I was over it. Guess not. Over 100 hours logged and I’m still looking forward to new monsters and the massive update coming in 2022. Quite a visually stunning game on the Switch too. Would love to try it on PC now that the option exists. In case you run into me online, I’m the Dual Blade master with the Golden Retriever Palimute.
Creed’s 5. Back 4 Blood
I waited a long time for this to drop. Left 4 dead was the jam back in the day and Back 4 Blood was no different. Blowing up hoards of zombies will always be satisfying especially with a few other people. The card system was really fun. The fact that you get the chance to have a different type of play through each time you play it really makes the game replayable. The last stage stole what feels like years off my life. So many tentacles! Felt like my search history…
Kenny: You’re preaching to the choir! Been there, done that! Amirite, guys?!
Cole: I’m just a mediator, dude, leave me out of this!
Kenny: Ah come on man, come clean with your fan base!
Cole: …. I like Disney characters drawn in compromising positions. There, I did it!
Creed: See? Didn’t that feel good?
Cole: You know something? I had my doubts but I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. In fact, I might wanna talk a little more about.. oh wait a sec… That’s Britt calling. I um… I gotta step out for a sec…
Kenny’s 4. Resident Evil Village
I went into 2021 with this game penciled in as my #1. I had high hopes and Capcom delivered. No, in the end it never took the #1 spot but we still got a beautiful word to explore with a compelling story and cast of characters that I cared about. There wasn’t anything incredibly horrifying like there was in RE7 (aside from maybe the doll house section), but the atmosphere was still there and I enjoyed my time in this world. It still maintains a fun replay too even though there weren’t any surprises left after my first journey through the story. One thing I will say is that I’d have loved for more interaction with Lady Dimitrescu, and I hope that in future installments there are always huge departures in the standard gameplay to feature MacGuyver’d up tanks and overpowered FPS sections like once Chris becomes playable.
Creed’s 4. Deathloop
Fun concept and really cool how you get to get to mess with the timeline to get the visionaries (bosses) to do what you want them to do. The only thing I didn’t love was how it ended. I went and did all of the endings and none of them really satisfied me. But I freaking absolutely LOVED the rest of the game, apparently enough to have it at number 4
Kenny’s 3. Lost Judgment
I’m still somewhat surprised this game is here. I was looking forward to it, I was excited for it, but I didn’t think it would get itself into a top 3 situation. Main story was great with stellar performances by the Japanese cast (w/ incredible localization, btw). I have heard the English VO’s are great too but I can’t comment. As always, the mini games are simple, addicting, and fun (as are the stories that go with them). I especially enjoyed solving the school cases. The boxing, robotics, and dance club were among my favourites. Soma was a very believable evil threat and Kuwana as an anti-hero was really well handled/written too. Highly recommended, but only if you have time to experience both the main quest and side missions. And yes, you can pet the dog.
Creed’s 3. Far Cry 6
I usually enjoy the Far Cry games but I really fell in love with them heavy when 5 came out. 6 has a story that I enjoy and having that revolution vibe to it makes me feel like I’m really doing something substantial for these npcs! One favorite aspects of the game is probably the multiple amigos. You get a tiny puppy named Chorizo with no back legs. He’s got a tiny little wheelchair with a bunch of tools in it and he’s maybe the cutest digital animal I’ve ever seen. Essentially at this point being an open world game where you’re taking back the area piece by piece is something all of us understand so the extra things are what sets it apart for me. The setting of being in a Spanish speaking country, the lord behind the characters and the way they slow burn explain everything, and last but not least…. the cockfighting. I know this is not something that is ok in real life but having a fighting game set up where you select your chicken and then do battle was something completely unexpected that I ended up having a blast with. Overall I’d give this game a try, you already know if you like these types of games or not and if you do then I’d recommend playing it 🙂
Kenny: Yeah, I totally loved cock fighting too. No way you’d beat me though, Creed! My cock is for sure superior to yours!
Creed: There ain’t no way! I raised and trained my cock from infancy to be the strongest around!
Kenny: Mine may not be much to look at, but I assure you my cock is unmatched in resilience!
Creed: Pfft. I’ve seen your cock in action and I wasn’t too impressed.
Kenny: We’ll see how unimpressed you are when I’m all up in your face gettin’ my licks in. I’m not one to shy away from a little cock-on-cock violence!
Cole: Did I uh… come back at the wrong time?
Kenny: Actually I’d say this is the PERFECT time! Let’s settle this, Creed! You tell us Cole. With your extensive knowledge on the both of us, whose cock would win? Creed’s or mine?!
Cole: Oh, we’re talking about Far Cry 6?! Oh, Creed would wipe the floor with you easily!
Kenny: Wait, We were talking about Far Cry 6…?
Kenny’s 2. It Takes Two
It’s hard to summarize this game in a small blurb effectively if I were trying to sell it to someone. It’s a work of art. A true masterpiece. I could compare my feeling towards this game a bit to my experience with Celeste. The gameplay is never too complicated but the message is very profound. Speaking of gameplay, it’s ever changing and never sticks to one style. It’s truly an incredible feat to have effectively implemented so many ways to play with a heavy emphasis on cooperation. Not one new mechanic felt cumbersome or tacked on. Not one environment was ugly to look at. I often felt like I was experiencing the greatest theme park known to man. You’ll laugh, you may cry, but I can’t see this game leaving behind too many unsatisfied customers.
Creed’s 2. Pokémon Unite
Pokémon Unite, I have done everything short of starting or joining my own team. To me the game is essentially a persons intro to MOBAs. You have an IP that everyone knows and loves and a pretty simple MOBA set up and because of that I’d imagine people that didn’t play them before are giving them a second look now. It’s one of those easy to understand but difficult to master types of games. Jumping on with a few friends and finally understanding how to jungle or kite effectively in what feels like a safe space made the game even more fun to me. I ended up getting it on my phone recently as well and I’ve been on it nonstop.
Kenny’s 1. Returnal
So we’re finally here at #1. Much like with any other year I’ve done this, it was a toss up. It Takes Two makes a strong case and could easily stand in. What was the difference maker? Probably time and addiction factor. I played this game many nights for way too many hours and always left feeling like I’d accomplished something. The small bits they give to the story are extremely well timed. They give you just enough to chew on to keep you captivated and wanting more. Next you know, you’re gittin’ gud and making real progress. Finally once you reach the ending, there are a ton of questions still left on the table and it makes for great discussion amongst friends. Roguelites may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but tell me when you first see your earth’s house on an alien planet that you don’t want to find out why.
Creed’s 1. Knockout City
LETS GOOOO! Since this game dropped it’s been awesome. There’s just something about dodgeball that is inherently fun. And getting to run around a full stage with teammates strategizing how to dominate sounds like an FPS. But the fact that it is dodgeball makes it even more fun. The game has a ton of customization features, tons of different balls with different abilities, and practice mode where you and your friends can knock each other off a building while seeing who has the best reflexes and doesn’t get knocked into oblivion after eating a charged up shot. And if you’re not good at the throwing aspect you can turn into a ball and have your friends toss you at enemies so you in ball form can help scout the area while your teammate looks for someone to knock out. All in all it’s just a really fun game that brought a ton of joy to my 2021 so I’m hoping to see even more from it in 2022.
Creed: That actually worked out!
Kenny: I always doubt that we will make it to the end.
Creed: Same so here’s the end.
Kenny: Hmm we really don’t have a close for this year, unless…
Creed: I mean it would only make sense.
Cole: Why are you guys looking at me like that?
Creed: I mean we usually fight at the end of these things.
Kenny: (Now carrying a rolling pin as a sword and garbage can lid as a shield) Yea man, did you not realize that we can do whatever we want in this safe space?!
Creed: (Now in full wrestling and entrance gear) Yea, why do you think we do this once a year?
Cole: Oh once a year meet up! So it’s like that virtual reality episode of black mirror?
Creed: Yes, but also very much no. Besides – your other friends already did that in BTE for…. Umm…Fun? Oh Look, the portal is opening!
What seems to be a black portal appears out of thin air. Upon closer inspection, it’s simply a cheap black curtain hung on a plastic pipe frame.
Cole: Is that…?
Kenny: The portal? Incredible, right?
Cole: That’s not a portal! That’s an indy wrestling entrance-way that you made in your garage!
Kenny: No it’s not!
Cole: Yes it is! I went with you to Michael’s to buy the fabric!
Kenny: Quiet you!
Creed: (finishing his last loop of wrist tape) It’s about to get ugly here, Cole. You’d best take your leave, old friend.
Cole: Will do. But before I do… call me crazy, but as much as this thing you have is a rivalry – as much as it’s an anniversary of your video game top 10’s – I think it’s more than that. It’s an anniversary of… friendship.
Adam Cole looks back to the two warriors one last time and subtly nods as he disappears into the darkness of… a black sheet. An explosion of smoke erupts from the entra- the portal – and almost knocks Kenny and Creed to their bottoms. As the two wipe the dust from their eyes and pantaloons, the smoke begins to clear. There stands Adam Cole in full Halo Master Chief themed wrestling gear. Creed and Kenny’s eyes meet briefly and their scowls turn into warm smiles.
Creed: Maybe no fight this year?
Kenny: Only if it goes on record that YOU backed out!
Kenny: To friendship.
Creed: To friendship
The two bump fists and begin a walk together through the magic portal. “Living in America” can be faintly heard coming through the curtain as well as the roar of at least 50 fans.
(Slow Rolling credits over behind the scenes “making of” type of outro video)
After credits scene!
Cole: Well guys this has been a blast! Thanks for letting me be a mediator for this! Seriously, as your friend I look forward to your Top 10 list every year! And I’ll give a quick Top 5 myself!