When it comes to choosing the games that defined the decade for me, it's always difficult to look back on and remember exactly which titles ended up becoming the ones that would eventually change my perspective as a gamer. But 'tis the season for gathering some of my absolute favorite titles, and gushing over exactly what made them so important to me in the first place. Rather than boring everyone with a list that seems to scroll on forever, I've decided to break up some of my choices into individual entries for your entertainment.
Strap in. It's going to be a wild ride.
The allure of Old Hollywood is alive and well in L.A. Noire, and throughout every single case you can't help but feel like you're a superstar. Detective Cole Phelps is an interesting avatar to experience it all through as well, as he exists beneath a veneer of goodness, with a seedy center that's just dying to come out. When it finally does, after playing good cop and bad cop for hours, you watch somewhat helplessly as he finds himself falling deeper and deeper into a pit of his own making that he can't crawl back out of.
Beyond this fascinating (and ultimately frustrating) character study, the surprisingly realistic characters (for the time), real-world Los Angeles locations, and often hilarious dialogue made for a fun diversion that wasn't quite open-world, but felt like a whole new landscape of possibility for Rockstar Games. Unfortunately, we likely won't see another entry, but it was great while it lasted.
As someone with a fascination with Hollywood and the stars of the period, L.A. Noire offered me a chance to poke around and have a look at what life might have been like back during those times. I'm not holding out hope that we'll ever get a chance to explore the era again, but it would certainly be fun.