The Axe Factor 144: Games of the Generation 2005-2013

Don't look back, its The Axe Factor! This week, we close the book on 2013 by raising our glasses to our favorite titles from the last console generation. From the titles that changed the conventions of the medium, to those that changed our definition of what games were, to the games that simply changed us. These are the games that tell the amazing story of the seventh console generation!


This Week:

Lorin's Top 10:


  1. Journey

  2. Red Dead Redemption

  3. Portal & Portal 2

  4. Battlefield Series (BFBC, BFBC2, BF3, BF4)

  5. Batman Arkham series

  6. Borderlands Series

  7. Uncharted Series

  8. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

  9. Mass Effect Series

  10. DayZ

Brent's Top 10


  1. Red Dead Redemption

  2. The Walking Dead

  3. Journey

  4. XCOM: Enemy Unknown

  5. Batman: Arkham series

  6. DayZ

  7. Uncharted Series

  8. Mass Effect Series

  9. Borderlands Series

  10. SWTOR

11 of the Most Important Games of the Generation


  1. Little Big Planet & LBP 2

  2. Halo Series

  3. Rock Band/Guitar Hero Series

  4. Dark Souls/Demon’s Souls

  5. Call of Duty 4 (and series)

  6. Assassin’s Creed Series

  7. Gears of War Series


  9. Wii Sports/Super Mario Galaxy

  10. BioShock Series

  11. Minecraft

Honorable Mentions:


Dead Space

Orcs Must Die! Orcs Must Die! 2

Saint’s Row 3 & 4

Heavy Rain/Beyond Two Souls

Left 4 Dead & L4D2

Metal Gear Solid IV

Deus Ex: Human Revolution

The Last of Us

Mafia II

Sleeping Dogs

Trials HD & Trials Evolution


Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas 2

Mutant Mudds

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

Mark of the Ninja

Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light

Tomb Raider

LA Noire

Super Meat Boy

Torchlight I & II

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West

Crysis Series

Metro Last Light/Metro 2033

Rayman Legends/Origins

Killzone 2 & 3

Gran Turismo/Forza/F1

EA NHL/Tiger Woods Golf

Splinter Cell Blacklist

Blood Dragon


Views: 1759

Tags: The Axe Factor, podcasts

Comment by Fabian Winkler on December 31, 2013 at 5:51am

I will save this episode for later this evening. Wish you all the best for 2014.

Comment by Ben Richards on December 31, 2013 at 8:10am

Great show just celebrating games and our great medium. These lists are obviously subjective and there are some items i would have higher on my list, somethings here wouldnt make my list but the best thing from these shows is how passionately some games are discussed i havent had the chance or desire to play that makes me want to pick them up. I dont think anyone can be upset about games being missing as a great job was done filtering the 8 years into a good list and show

Comment by Oscar on December 31, 2013 at 11:45am

The real game changer for me was when I got rocksmith, I always wanted to learn how to play the guitar, but it was always difficult for me to stay motivated, then this game came along and after two years of near daily practice I look back to the point when I started and it's really satisfying to play for real my favorite songs man. I can't play the solos that fast but man, I'm loving the whole process of learning!! By the way, if you want the game, get it for pc, because of custom songs.

Comment by Horse1313 on December 31, 2013 at 12:34pm

As always great timing with this episode. Listening to it now. Thanks again guys for the awesome pod casts over the years!!!

Comment by Kamil Adamski on December 31, 2013 at 1:42pm

Thanks for this episode guys. Happy new year to everyone!

Comment by Abberjam on December 31, 2013 at 1:59pm

Another sterling show guys

@Lorin - I'm really sorry to hear that BF4 was such a big disappointment...

;) Happy New Year!

Comment by Ser Elryk on December 31, 2013 at 2:30pm

On Brent playing Skyrim:

I remember I was SO excited for Brent to play Skyrim... And then it happened... and then I saw he was playing on PS3 and in third-person... and I cringed. I was so disappointed that my long-time favorite podcaster was finally introduced to my beloved Elder Scrolls series, and he was playing it "wrong" lol. The Elder Scrolls (imo) was always meant to be played in first-person. Third-person in ES is meant for 2 things: "Vanity Mode" (aka taking a moment or several to admire how cool your character looks), and on occasion for fun during non-combat moments. Now that the game is nice and patched with version 1.9 and has expansions etc., I really hope Brent gives it another shot on PC or at least on 360.

On game investment times being "intimidating":

A couple of episodes back I remember Brent, Lorin, and Jess commenting on how the prospect of playing through the Mass Effect Trilogy was so daunting because of how much time investment it would require. And in this episode similar notions were mentioned concerning Skyrim. My response to that is BUT IT'S SO WORTH IT!!! I have easily, EASILY, put at least 1000 hours into the Mass Effect Trilogy since ME1 came out and it is my my favorite game series of all-time. Between Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim thousands of hours were also invested. My ultimate dream as an Axehead is for Brent and/or Lorin to one day play through the entire Mass Effect Trilogy (including all its story dlc) and for Brent to play Skyrim again (except do it right this time lol).

Misc Comments:

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow finished so strong for me. I won't spoil anything but when I first played it and the credits started to roll, my initial response was "Oh... well... okay. That wasn't really what I was expecting, but overall the game was fun I guess... let's see if there's anything after the credits..." And the after the post-credits cutscene it was "OMFG One of my favorite games EVER!!" lol. SO looking forward to the sequel.

I was surprised that Lorin was so into MGS4 considering he hadn't played 1-3. MGS4 was like the end of the epic saga of Solid Snake and Big Boss. All the feels I experienced in the game were directly tied to my experiences throughout the series prior and my knowledge of the characters and events.

I recently bought Borderlands GOTY, Borderlands 2 GOTY, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, and Saint's Row: The Third (The Full Package) based on hearing Brent & Lorin rave about them almost every week lol. Brent described my initial feelings on Borderlands perfectly. "I don't see why everyone loves this so much." "I'm just not into this." "It's just not clicking for me." etc. But after hearing how in love him and Lorin were with Borderlands 2 I said f*ck it and got both titles on sale to give them another chance. Looking forward to eventually doing so =)

Comment by Steve Young on January 1, 2014 at 9:56am

Another awesome show!

Lorin, I know you've mentioned lots of issues with your Digital Download version of GTA V.

I strictly download all my PS3 games (when available) and while I did notice issues other people had with GTA V, I never experienced them myself.

Do you defrag your PS3 hard drive ever?

The more you download and delete stuff the messier your hard drive will become and then games that use it to constantly stream data will start to run very poorly until you do a defrag.

Anyway, I'm not sure which PS3 you have, as I assume the process is probably different depending on which type you own, but a quick google search will hopefully help out.

Sorry if you've already been doing defrags...  Hope this helps!

Comment by Lorin Baumgarten on January 1, 2014 at 1:24pm

Hey Steve - yeah, I reformatted, defragged, spit-shined, and whispered sweet nothings to my PS3 right before I downloaded GTA.  Still nothing.  It is a known issue.  If you didn't experience it, I would say you're lucky.  Thanks though!

Comment by Christopher Brady on January 1, 2014 at 4:15pm

Uh, guys?  The first game series that got rid of Level Loads and HUDs was a PS1 exclusive.  Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver. In fact, the entire game is nothing but one 'level'. There are no breaks, other than cutscenes.

Secondly, the 'Episodic' thing?  This is a bit tricky to explain, but it's not the TV definition of 'Episodic'.  Sitcoms are episodic, old 70's cartoons are episodic, in which each episode is self-contained and unrelated to any other story arc in the same series.  What you're talking about are serial episodes, not episodic.  Which thankfully people have realized that their audience like stories with character progression.

As one of the people who claim that TellTale does not make actual games, as opposed to interactive graphic novels, I would like to point out that I've NEVER said that it was a bad thing.  The electronic entertainment medium is big enough to hold as many of these experiences as it can, and frankly, as a huge fan of The Wolf Among Us, I am QUITE happy that TT exists.

The creator of Portal is Kim Swift. The ending them of “Still Alive” is by Jonathon Coulton.

I don't get the Journey love. I found the game so dull, pretty but dull. And I don't need games to tell me how life works, hell, my life is more exciting than Journey tried to tell me it was, and I'm a ADHD-addled, crippled shut-in. And the reason that it has so little content is that Mr. Chen didn't have the team with the skills to do any of that. Feet? Nope, no one could do it. Combat? He'd have liked to make a game (not Journey) with some fighting in it, but no one on the team knew how. This was all detailed on a couple of interviews.

Ah, Red Dead. The one game that I turned off after the bait and switch. Cuz I didn't want to play a new character. I didn't feel the need to 'punish' the game, I was too invested in John Marston to care about any other character. So off it went, and I returned it. Haven't looked back. And I'm quite happy. Didn't help that the mechanics were so sloppy, especially the horse riding. Man, that was tedious.

As for the rest, I may come back to after I think on it. Gotta say, you seriously like this term 'Ludonarrative'...


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