35. Far Cry 4
The Far Cry series has consistently improved ever since the original developed by Crytek. Far Cry 2 is commendable for its important innovations on the format, while Far Cry 3 did an excellent job of refining those innovations to make them more fun. Far Cry 4 is the most complete game of the bunch, expanding the emergent shooting that is hallmark of the series with gyrocopters, climbing and rideable elephants.
It also lets you enjoy the entire game cooperatively, and if a game in which you can shoot rockets from the back of an elephant while your friend drops grenades on your enemies’ heads from 200 feet above doesn’t deserve a place on this list, I don’t know what does.
34. Elite Dangerous
A stellar update of the pioneering original, Elite Dangerous brought space games back to the fore. Featuring seamless exploration of a truly gigantic galaxy, and some spectacular interstellar dogfights, what makes Elite Dangerous special is its remarkable sense of there- ness. It’s a game that truly places you in the cockpit of your own Starfighter, and is fully committed to retaining that immersion as much as is possible.
Dangerous's galaxy also sports some astonishing sights. A large portion of it is modelled directly on our own. There are few gaming experiences as breathtaking as visiting a red hypergiant like Betelgeuse or VY Canis Majoris for the first time, or spying a black hole by the way the light of the stars bends around it. The work done since the game originally launched also means that universe has filled out considerably since its comparatively barebones release.
33. Alien: Isolation
Known mainly for its work on the Total War series, the only thing more surprising than Creative Assembly’s departure into first-person horror was how bloody good the result was. Alien: Isolation is a terrifying game, taking a 37-year-old cultural touchstone and giving us good reason to be scared of it again.
What makes Isolation work is its devious AI trickery. The Xenomorph is a persistent presence in the game world that reacts to how you play the game. It investigates when you make a noise, it will follow you into vents and hiding places, and it can even be used against other opponents, such as other humans too desperate to listen to reason, or the equally creepy Working Joe Androids. Bolstered by exceptional environment design and compelling storytelling, Alien: Isolation is third after the first two films in the list of great Alien experiences.
32. ArmA III
Bohemia Interactive has been chasing its own tail ever since the release of the mighty Operation Flashpoint back in 2001. With ArmA III, it finally caught it. The game’s campaign, which was released over three parts, is the first single-player experience since Flashpoint that rivals that game’s depiction of modern military warfare. It’s an excellent campaign that takes you from a lone-wolf fighting for survival to partaking in complex military operations complete with deployable armour and air support.
Arma III also spots a huge multiplayer community, a D&D style military story generator called Zeus, and a vast array of mods including one that attempts to simulate life itself. At times it can be harder than a granite gobstopper, but aside from Planetside 2, it’s the grandest FPS out there.
31. DIRT Rally
It took them a while, but last year Codemasters delivered the Rally game it's had in it since the early 2000s, a fiendishly uncompromising backroads racer in which the track feels like its deliberately trying to shake you off. Your navigator spouts off instructions so fast that simply listening to him seems like hard work, never mind guiding your car around the right-two-don’t-cut-jump-bad camber nightmare of a turn that he just read out.
It’s huge, deep, thrilling and, at times, downright frightening. When you’re whizzing through the forests of Finland at eighty miles an hour in the rain, Dirt Rally is an even scarier game than Alien: Isolation.