Top 10 Games with the Best Game Designs

Game design is a very important factor for the overall game development process. Actually, game design is the art of applying design and aesthetics for creating a game for entertainment or for educational, exercise, or experimental purposes. Moreover, principles and elements of game design are also applied to other interactions, in the form of gamification. What is gamification? It is the strategic attempt to enhance systems, services, organizations and activities in order to create similar experiences to those experienced when playing games in order to motivate and engage users. According to Robert Zubek, a famous game designer and developer, game designs can be defined by breaking it down its elements, which he says are the following;

  • Mechanics and systems, which are known as the rules and objects in the game.
  • Gameplay, which is the real-time interaction between the player and the mechanics and systems.
  • Player experience, which is how players feel when they are playing games.

There are different game types such as board games, card games, dice games, casino games, role-playing games, sports, video games, war games, or simulation games which benefit from the principles of game design. To say academically, game design is part of game studies, while game theory studies strategic decision making.

Indeed, game design is a large field, drawing from the fields of computer science and programming, creative writing, and graphic design. Game designers take the creative lead in imagining and bringing to life video game worlds. Game design is an important subject as video games are a thriving industry both in the United States and all over the world. So, the number of careers of game design pertaining to the creating of video games has increased exponentially. Seizing on this trend, a growing number of international students have decided to take their passion for playing video games and turn it into a career in game design.

It is a dream for many gamers to design video games and the reasons that are making the decision to study game design is so popular and plenty. The video game industry is home to diverse job opportunities, enjoyable and fun work environments and high starting salaries. However, everyone who enjoy playing video games would not enjoy creating them. Creating a video game under a good game design is not an easy job. It has many subsequent tasks and roles that are required to make a finished, playable product.

Here are the games with the best game designs.

  1. The Legend of Zelda

The Legend of Zelda is a high fantasy action-adventure video game franchise created by Japanese game designers Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka. This game is one of the top games with the best game designs. The game has good game designs as it was developed and published by Nintendo while some portable installments and releases have been outsourced to Capcom, Vanpool and Grezzo. The gameplay of this game design incorporates action-adventure and elements of RPG games.

The Legend of Zelda series is regarded as one of the best game design, especially “Breath of the Wild.” The latest title of Nintendo’s classic RPG series, Breath of the Wild, has succeeded by opening up a world for players to explore like no game has before. When playing the game, in the beginning, you see yourself as you wake up, it was dark and you would see yourself lying in a pool. You don’t remember how you got there. You would stand up stretching your aching limbs and walking towards the exit and out into the brilliant sunshine. As your eyes adjust to the light, the world comes slowly into focus and that game design is too beautiful.

In fact, the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is the biggest Zelda title ever made. It is one and a half times the size of open-world trailblazer Skyrim and 12 times the size of Twilight Princess, it provides a vast terrain to explore with barely any restrictions beyond a few hours of subtly enclosed preparation. For game design, as a developer, the idea of making an over 100 hour game that is almost entirely player-led is a terrifying prospect, as the lack of overt structure can be overwhelming and dis-incentivizing for the player.

The first example of Nintendo’s philosophy of gentle guidance upon game design is at the very start of the game. When you set out, you are contained within a raised area called the Great Plateau, from which the rest of the world is inaccessible until you earn the paraglider item.

  1. Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto also known as GTA is a series of action-adventure games created by David Jones and Mike Dailly. The game is primarily developed by British development house Rockstar North and published by its parent company, Rockstar Games. The name of the series which is “Grand Theft Auto” means “Motor Vehicle Theft”, used in United States. GTA is a famous game thus it is available on every platform, like Android, iOS, Windows, PlayStation series and Xbox series.

The game design focuses on an open world where the player can complete missions to progress an overall story, as well as engage in various side activities. Most of the gameplay revolves around driving and shooting, with occasional role-playing and stealth elements. The game setting are set in fictional locales modelled after real-life cities, at various points in time from the early 1960s to the 2010s.

Among them, the latest and the most advanced is Grand Theft Auto V. It is the first main entry in the Grand Theft Auto series since 2008’s Grand Theft Auto IV. The game setting is within the fictional state of San Andreas, based on Southern California, the single-player story follows three protagonists – retired bank robber Michael De Santa, street gangster Franklin Clinton, Drug Dealer and Arms Smuggler Trevor Philips and their efforts to commit heists while under pressure from a corrupt government agency and powerful criminals.

  1. Dota 2

Dota 2 is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) video game by Valve. This game is a sequel of Defense of the Ancients (DotA), which was a community created mod for Blizzard Entertainment’s Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos. You can play Dota 2 in matches between two teams of five players, with each team occupying and defending their own separate base on the map. The ten players of each team independently controls a powerful character known as a “hero,” who all have unique abilities and differing styles of play. During a match, players collect experience points and items for their heroes to successfully defeat the opposing team’s heroes in player versus player combat.

The game is so much popular that there are often more than a million players gaming it simultaneously. There are a lot of game design to love Dota 2 and much more game designs to explore. Dota 2 have impressive game design to support gameplay that it is so much popular that there are now international Dota 2 tournaments with huge numbers of attendees and whopping big cash prizes for the most skilled gamers.

The game design of Dota 2 is impressive. You would see it through thoroughly how it combines different types of challenges for players to engage. Dota 2 is a MOBA game with ten players of two teams having five players on each side. There are the things to protect for the players. The most essential part of the game is that if your base is destroyed, you would lose the game.

  1. World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft is a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game also known as MMORPG. The game was firstly released by Blizzard Entertainment in 2004. The game is set in the Warcraft fantasy universe, and World of Warcraft takes place within the world of Azeroth, approximately four years after the events of the previous game in the series, Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. The game has got a major critical and commercial success upon its original release in 2004 and quickly became the most popular MMORPG of all-time, reaching a peak of 12 million subscribers in 2010.

The game had over one hundred million registered accounts by 2014 and by 2017, it had grossed over 9.23 billion in revenue, making it one of the highest-grossing video game franchises of all time. So, why World of Warcraft is so much successful? What game design makes one of the most distinctive games of all time? There are many factors such as combat, good graphics that might help the game design of World of Warcraft so much better. As a successful MMORPG, there are three fundamental things that World of Warcraft is excellent at. They are progression, customization and immersion. In most fantasy based Role Playing Games, character progression is represented as a player’s journey from a novice adventurer to a renowned champion. Examples of common progression systems are character levels, stats’ increase and gear upgrades.

  1. League of Legends

League of Legends also known as League is a 2009 multiplayer online battle ground arena video game developed and published by Riot Games. The game was inspired by Defense of the Ancients, a custom map for Warcraft III, Riot’s founders sought to develop a stand-alone game in the same genre. Since its release in October 2009, the game was released as a free-to-play game and is monetized through purchasable character customization. Riot Games released the game for both Microsoft Windows and macOS.

In the game, two teams, each one consisting five players battle in player versus player combat, each team occupying and defending their half of the map. Each player has to control a character or a champion with unique abilities and differing styles of play. The game is very worthy to check out as it has 27 million active players with 4.2 million daily players and 11.5 million players monthly. If we go to analyze League of Legends, there are three things we should take to analyze. They are Champion, Item and Balance designs.

Moreover, the game map is very distinctive and give a clear and unique view to play the games. The character’s light and dark shadow makes distinctive view for the game players. The game map design is created as three lanes for five players. If there are five lanes, it would be a one-by-one battle game. So, the game was designed for three players while two players have to back up those three players. Thus, the game map is a very good item that makes the game design beautiful.

  1. Final Fantasy XIV

Final Fantasy is a Japanese science fantasy media franchise created by Hironobu Sakaguchi and developed and owned by Square Enix. The game design of this franchise centers on a series of fantasy and science fantasy role-playing video games. It is the fourteenth entry in the main Final Fantasy series and the second MMORPG in the series after Final Fantasy XI. The game is set in the fantasy realm of Eorzea, and the players take control of a customized avatar as they explore the land and are caught up in both an invasion by the hostile Garlean Empire and the threat of the Primals, the deities of the land’s Beastmen tribes. Eventually, they are embroiled in a plot by a Garlean Legatus to destroy the Primals by bringing one of the planet’s moons down on Eorzea.

When playing the game, each player has to control a customized Adventurer avatar from one of the five playable races, and each race consisting two tribes and all but two allow for the selection of male and female characters. The avatar can have their eye and hair color, facial features and skin tone customized, and features such as birthmarks and scars can be added. Their chosen tribe, along with their chosen patron diety, affect their stats and elemental attributes.

The opening of the game varies depending on the chosen starting location. Two different types of quests are available for players; story quests, which are unlocked as characters accumulate experience points (EXP) and raise their experience level while unlocking new abilities; and Levequests (leves), side quests accessed through the Adventurer’s Guilds.

  1. Fortnite

Fortnite is an online video game developed by Epic Games and released in 2017. It is available in three distinct game mode versions that otherwise share the same general gameplay and game engine: Fortnite: Save the World, a cooperative hybrid-tower defense-shooter-survival game for up to four players to fight off zombie-like creatures and defend objects with traps and fortifications they can build; Fortnite Battle Royale, a free-to-play battle royale game in which up to 100 players fight to be the last person standing; and Fortnite Creative, in which players are given complete freedom to create worlds and battle arenas.

The Save the World and Creative versions are very successful for Epic Games, Fornite Battle Royale in particular became an overwhelming success and a cultural phenomenon, drawing more than 125 million players in less than a year, earning hundreds of millions of dollars per month and 9 Billion USD in revenues in its first two years. Fortnite is distributed as three different game modes, using the same game engine, each one having similar graphics, art assets and game mechanics. The game design of Fortnite is impressive and it broke the record for the most players in one time at 10.8 million players. The most impressive part of the game is the game design. And it is amazing to see the creativity behind the game.

  1. Resident Evil Village

Resident Evil Village is a survival horror game developed and published by Capcom. A major installment in the Resident Evil series and a narrative sequel to 2017’s Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, the game follows Ethan Winters, who, after a fateful encounter with Chris Redfield, finds himself in a village filled with mutant creatures in an effort to find his kidnapped daughter. While Village maintains the series mainstay survival horror elements, the game adopts a more cation-oriented gameplay style compared to its predecessor.

Resident Evil Village has online multiplayer mode. The game was announced at the PlayStation 5 reveal event in June 2020 and was released on May 7, 2021, for Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and Stadia. The game is impressive for its game design and has got a lot of good reviews for gameplay, setting, and variety although receiving criticism for its puzzles and boss battles. The game’s increased focus on action over its predecessor received more mixed opinions.

Resident Evil Village mixed game design from Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 7. However, the game also takes inspiration from the Resident Evil 2 remake. The reason for this is due to resource management, which Sato believes is key to the experience. If the player has too much ammo and healing items, they would not feel threatened by the enemies. Sato claimed that the remake of Resident Evil 2 was “the perfect example of a well-balanced survival horror game” and used it as a reference point for Resident Evil Village.

  1. Red Dead Redemption 2

Red Dead Redemption 2 is a 2018 action-adventure game developed and published by Rockstar Games. The game is the third entry in the Red Dead series and is a prequel to the 2010 game Red Dead Redemption. The story setting of the game is in 1899 in a fictionalized representation of the Western, Midwestern, and Southern United States and follows outlaw Arthur Morgan, a member of the Van der Linde Gang.

You can play the game through both first and third-person perspectives, and the player may freely roam in its interactive open world. Gameplay elements include shootouts, heists, hunting, horseback riding, interacting with non-player characters, and maintaining the character’s honor rating through moral choices and deeds. Red Dead Redemption 2 has some of the best writing and characters of any piece of fiction that we have probably ever consumed. Arthur Morgan is easily our favorite protagonist from any Rockstar game, the game looks unreal and sounds like God, and the game does very little to improve on the same mission structure that Rockstar has been using for almost twenty years.

Rockstar had carefully created the game and the development lasted over eight years. Beginning soon after Read Dead Redemption’s release, it became one of the most expensive video games ever made. Rockstar co-opted all of its studios into one large team to facilitate development. They drew influence form real locations as opposed to film or art, focused on creating an accurate reflection of the time with the game’s characters and the world. So, the game design is excellent.

  1. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is an open world stealth game developed by Kojima Productions and it got published by Konami. The game was released worldwide on September 1, 2015 and it is available on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. Following Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, it is the ninth installment in the Metal Gear series that was directed, written and designed by Hideo Kojima.

Metal Gear Series is one of the most notable and notorious franchises for its very modern game design. Indeed, Metal Gear Solid can seem like anything from the hurricane of pretentious espionage nonsense to a nearly perfect stream of consciousness following from one of gaming’s greatest creative minds. Most rational opinions are somewhere in between but there is also no denying that most who have played all the way through a metal gear game are closer to the latter mentioned end of the spectrum than the former one is largely regarded as a fantastic series by most as such. The series has spawned games across the generations from the original nes all the way to the 8th Gen playstation 4 and Xbox One. This long metal gear has undergone some changes most notably with the original game in the solid series especially in game design.

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