GoldenEye 007

Developer: Rareware
Platform: Nintendo 64 exclusive
Year: 1997
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One of the games which made the Nintendo 64, it’s somehow easy to forget that GoldenEye was created by a UK-based developer even though it’s based on the classic British Bond franchise. Still; it was.

Seen by many as one of the game which helped to modernise the FPS genre beyond the likes of Doom, GoldenEye begat a huge legacy and following at the same time as proving that not all games based on movies were totally awful.

Along with a spate of gameplay tweaks that have since become conventions of the genre, GoldenEye also helped to establish exactly what a console multiplayer game shooter should be – no mean feat considering the MP was reportedly added on at the last minute. In fact, the developers have since said that the multiplayer portion of GoldenEye was little more than an afterthought.

The Best UK Games Ever The Best UK Games Ever
It's nearly impossible to find a good picture of this game

Still, it was one of the most important afterthoughts in the history of console games, introducing a roster of cool multiplayer modes, weapons and gadgets that have become mainstays of console shooters ever since. In fact, GoldenEye has proven so popular that it still enjoys a hardcore following – one which is still crawling through the data files and unlocking new content.

GoldenEye’s implementation was so fantastic in fact that many of Rare’s next games (and those of Free Radical Design, which was formed by ex-Rare staff) followed a similar structure and style. The Perfect Dark and TimeSplitters game were both cast in a similar mould (and both also made in the UK), but it was GoldenEye which laid the foundations.

Rome: Total War

Developer: The Creative Assembly
Platform: PC, Mac, BBC TV
Year: 2004
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Opinion will likely divided on whether Rome specifically is the best game in the series, but there’s no getting away from the fact that at least one Total War game belongs on this list. There have been some falterings if you look at individual games, but the series as a whole has consistently delivered - especially when it comes to the most recent title, the excellent Napoleon: Total War.

The Best UK Games Ever The Best UK Games Ever
Send in the flaming pigs!

While arguments could be made for any game in the series, the highpoint as far as we’re concerned is definitely Rome. Somehow it tied together all the classic elements of the series and united them under a truly accessible and pleasant interface. At a glance you could gauge incredibly complex information about your forces, then effortlessly step into battle mode and direct the action.

Things only got better when you had to fight actual battles too and Rome’s focus on ground warfare meant that the disappointment of Empire’s naval battles were neatly sidestepped in favour of giant stompy elephants and pigs you could set on fire.

Rome: Total War was so successful in the UK that there was even a short lived TV show that tasked contestants with fighting historical military campaigns that were presented using Rome’s engine. The actual show wasn’t very good as it turned out – watching five people debate how they want to play a computer game rarely makes for good TV – but it did wonders for the visibility of the series.

It's worth noting too that Rome was the last game Creative Assembly managed to put out as an independent developer, as barely a year later the Horsham-based studio was bought out by Sega - and has since started putting out some games that don't match the quality of their previous back catalogue. Ugh, Stormrise.
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