The Gamer's Bucket List
Interested in buying rights? Click here to make an offer

Rights Contact Login For More Details

More About This Title The Gamer's Bucket List


Which games are worth playing?


From pixelated pioneer adventures to stunning space odysseys, the boundaries of the video game world are expanding every day. Grand epics and gritty mysteries. Fierce competition and friendly cooperation. Powerful emotions and uproarious laughter. Video games are fantastically diverse and wonderfully creative, but not all games are created equal. With so many games out there on so many different consoles, computers, and devices, how do you decide which games are worth playing? Backed by years of writing about games professionally and decades spent playing them, Chris Watters lays out a list of 50 games to entertain and enlighten you. Whether you’re trying to learn more about the world of gaming or strengthening your claim to true gaming fluency, these are the games you’ll want to play, and why you’ll want to play them.


Chris Watters has been writing about video games for almost a decade. As an integral part of the editorial team at one of the most popular gaming websites, he has previewed and reviewed high-profile games, published numerous in-depth features, and scripted and presented a number of web series. He regularly hosts live stage shows with guests from all over the gaming world at events like E3, PAX, and Comic-Con.

Chris majored in Spanish Lit at Wesleyan University and, while his knowledge of Don Quixote has yet to bear fruit, the language proficiency, analytical acumen, and Super Smash Bros. skills he acquired have been immensely helpful in his professional endeavors.

Chris currently lives in Berkeley with his wife, Jill. He socializes on Twitter at @CTWatters, and wishes he owned a real-life incarnation of Missile, the plucky Pomeranian from Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective.


Introduction 15
Spelunky 18
Assassin’s Creed II 20
Dead Space 22
The Last of Us Remastered 24
Portal 2 26
Mass Effect 2 28
Gone Home 30
Journey 32
Red Dead Redemption 34
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves 36
Nidhogg 40
Psychonauts 42
Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP 44
Super Meat Boy 46
Rock Band 3 48
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt 50
Super Mario World 52
Half-Life 2 54
God of War III 56
StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty 58
Minecraft 62
Tetris 64
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons 66
Animal Crossing: New Leaf 68
XCOM: Enemy Unknown 70
Forza Motorsport 5 72
Rocket League 74
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim 76
Sid Meier’s Civilization V: The Complete Edition 78
Mario Kart 8 80
Trials Evolution 84
Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary 86
Katamari Damacy 88
Grand Theft Auto V 90
Super Metroid 92
Her Story 94
Kerbal Space Program 96
The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition 98
Surgeon Simulator 2013 100
Dark Souls 102
The Sims 3 106
Persona 4 Golden 108
Batman: Arkham Asylum 110
The Walking Dead 112
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D 114
Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 116
Mega Man 2 118
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U 120
Final Fantasy VI 122
Super Mario Galaxy 2 124
My Bucket List 126
Author Bio 128
A Quick History of Video Games 131
Appendix 138


“ A comprehensive starter’s guide to the wonderful world of video games. Watters’s punchy prose is a delight; his brief, informal summaries perfectly capture the best of what the art form has to offer. The perfect book for anyone who’s never played Minecraft, but is too ashamed to admit it. ”
Laura Parker, contributing writer, The Economist“ We are all going to die. You can’t avoid it. But you can chose how you go. Outside, in the sunshine, like some sort of animal, or inside your darkened living room, playing games? If you want to get through the 50 excellent games in this book, then the choice is clear. ”
Tim Schafer, President and CEO of Double Fine Productions