PlayStation 2

When it comes to great video games, some are quite obvious.  Games such as Super Mario Bros. 3, The Legend of Zelda and Final Fantasy VI often get brought up in these conversations.  I won't deny those are terrific games, and for the purposes of today that's for another discussion.

Recently, video games have been making a more realistic turn.  Games like BioShock and Heavy Rain bolster realistic graphics and great story-telling.  However, before those games ever got released a great title was released for the PlayStation 2, and I would have never played it if it weren't for a recent PS3 high-definition remaster.

Shadow of the Colossus is one of those rare games that managed to completely change the way I looked at video games.  The story of a warrior seeking out sixteen colossal giants is a larger-than-lie experience that's enhanced by a superb artistic style that I rarely see in newer video games.

Of course, with every great quest like this there's a reason for it.  The game opens with Wander riding in on his trusty horse, making his way to the bottom level of an expansive temple.  Here, he lays an unconscious woman down on an altar which summons a watcher by the name of Dormin, whom promises Wander the girl's revival if he destroys sixteen idols, in the form of giant colossi that are spread out across the land.

Part of what makes the game so great is the fact that your only enemy focus are the colossi themselves.  Part of the game's magic is the adventure roaming through the forbidden land, which is full of luscious landscapes, eagles you can take a ride with, and health-enhancing fruits that can be knocked off of trees.  Sometimes you might see a shining lizard, but you can easily kill them for a stamina boost.

Then, each of the sixteen colossal encounters feel much more epic.  Each giant looks different from the other, and as such a different approach is required to take each creature down.  You might only need to simply climb up one's backside to get to a weak point in one battle, while you have to get the beast's attention with your arrows in another.  Each of these beasts are also beautifully terrifying.

The game's content finishes well with a satisfying final battle, and probably my personal favorite ending of any video game, period.  I won't spoil it for anyone reading this that has never actually played it (who are you?), but it's one of those endings that sorta punches you in the emotional gut, then leaves you with a bittersweet ending that might make you bust out a few tissues.  It's the only video game that has ever managed to make me cry to this day.

In conclusion, Shadow of the Colossus is not only one of the greatest games I've ever played, but it's one of the most important video games of all-time.  It's mandatory if you consider yourself a gamer in any respect.

And that's my review of a great game.  Thank you for reading.