The 10 Most Satisfying Moments in games.

Honorable Mention. Slay the Spire: THE Run
Rogue-like and deck builder are two of the hottest buzz words in game right now. I think we mostly have StS to thank for that. A game that nails what makes both of those concepts so fun and finds a way to perfectly blend them together. When you have built an amazing deck, and things are going just right, and everything falls into place…. Nothing feels better. It doesn’t happen often but when it does, cards are flying from your hands, combos are being executed without effort and resources once so precious become infinite. Building the perfect deck in StS feels so GOOD and the short runs beg you to try again round after round. It’s not just another run, it’s THE run.

10. BR Game of Choice: Battle Royale Victory
While there are quite literally hundreds of games now featuring this format, it doesn’t seem to get old. There are so many games like this for a reason, being the last man/woman standing is a joy ride unlike any other. From a realistic survival war sim to jelly beans chasing a crown, nothing gets your heart beat racing more than the battle royale concept. The BR games smartly show you just how many opponents you are facing pre-match, making the victory seem so astronomically improbable. And yet here you are “winner winner chicken dinner”. It makes you feel like you could win the Hunger Games.

9. Super Mario World: Goal Posts
I consider this to be one the greatest games of all time and quite simply the ending gate is just perfection. Improved from an already fantastic, (and slightly more iconic) flag pole grab from the NES version. There is so much nuance as to why it feels so good, but those who know the game well will appreciate it. The feeling of hitting a perfect 40, the misery of missing the bar, the agony of leaving Yoshi behind. The orchestra blasting as it fades to blank, the peace sign. It is the PERFECT way to end a level and it feels good EVERY TIME.

8. Gears of War: Headshot
Gears of War was certainly not the first shooter to come up with prioritizing the head shot. But they did perfect the feeling of landing one. While other games have provided satisfying feedback, (i.e. the Halo Badge, or the Counter-Strike *tink*), nothing compares to the SPLAT of erasing a very humanoid-like member of the Locust Horde. NOICE!!

7. Lost Ark: Counter
Let me set the scene: You are in a raid with your mates and suddenly Valtan reaches his axe back and prepares to land a devastating blow on your whole party. You can see it happening in real time, your gunslinger is about to get blasted off the platform, your sorceress is going to get one shot, the party is going to wipe! And in one precious moment, you realize you have a chance to save them. You dash in front of his up-swinging arm and lock eyes with the Legion Commander, face-to-face with the demon pig himself. He has a brief moment where you can counter attack him and prevent him from landing his devastating attack. The timing must be perfect however, or your whole party faces certain death. He flashes blue, your gamer-god synapses fire and you land the parrying blow sending the boss to his knees. “Mikey successfully landed the counter attack.”
It feels so good mannnnnnnn.

6. Halo: Multi-Kill
An effect so iconic it has persisted for 7 iterations of Halo. Including the sweetest word in gaming: OVERRRKILLLL. No montage would be complete without it. A slew of badges popping up to reinforce your dominance of the best arena shooter ever made. The kill streaks feel great but the rapid crescendo (and rarity, if you’re as bad as I am) of the multi-kills give the highest high. The sound of the double-kill is an intoxicating scent that drives you to push the corner you probably shouldn’t. Seeking your triple kill, and if you happen to find it, there is the next 5 second of pure adrenaline. Can you find and kill the fourth member of the enemy team, securing the elusive Overkill.
League of Legends of course presents that same rush with its Pentakill. But Halo did it first, and Halo does it better.

5. Pokémon: The Shiny Encounter
In all my years of playing true handheld Pokémon games I have found 3 shiny Pokémon my entire life. (If you play Pokémon Go…sigh…. It isn’t the same.) Those 3 moments were of pure bliss. It’s so rare, it’s so… unlikely… it truly feels like a jackpot moment. In a game were rarity and scarcity are already creating a dopamine rush of searching for what is hard to find. Finding a shiny takes that feeling and multiplies it by a thousand. But wait, finding one isn’t enough….  You have to capture it still. You have this one in a million chance (technically 1 in 8192), and you still have an opportunity to BLOW it. There is no save scumming, no going back in time, this is it. I look very fondly upon my three shiny encounters, and I can’t wait for the next one.  

4. New World: War
I had the absolute honor of leading 50 of my guild mates in war last year during the prime of New World’s glory. And while that game gets an astronomically large amount of things wrong, the pay-off of strategizing, gearing, and then shot-calling a War that lead to victory is EASILY the best moment I’ve ever experienced as a gamer. After victory we marched into our newly captured City of Everfall and hung our company’s banners. Lowered taxes and offered a new era of peace for our new little slice of Aeternum. Leading 49 other gamers to victory was quite the thrill, there was politics, war strategy, and weeks of prep leading to that moment. The reason I don’t have at #1 is because it’s an extremely unique set of circumstances that lead to that moment. It’s not a thrill you could easily seek today. Speaking of thrills you should seek TODAY….

3. Portal: The Credits
Credits in video games can bring all sort of emotions. From something that’s a little fun (SSBM), to something that makes you somber (Halo: Reach), feeling of triumph (Super Mario World), to a final bit of exposition (Mass Effect). The best ones go far beyond telling you who the game director was to deliver a bookmark to your experience. Portal delivers the best ending credits ever. A song that somehow delivers on all the best parts of the things listed above. It will leave you slack jawed, awe inspired, tickled with humor all while turning the final page of an incredible story. Portal 1 and 2 are masterpiece level games and yet somehow the part that will stick with me forever are the credits.

2. Smash Bros: The Spike
In a game designed as a “king of the hill” type fighting game (more commonly known as a platform fighter). It’s up to you to pilot your favorite Nintendo representative and keep them on the stage and to hang on to their 3 precious lives longer than your opponent, while trying to take lives from them. When the opponent gets pushed off they can attempt to jump back on, (or fly, float, or whatever it is Fox does) in an attempt to recover. But if you time your attack right, at the moment they try to recover back on stage, you can spike them. You can literally hurl them into the abyss with a flying *forward aerial* so intense it will send reverberations through your living room. A simultaneous display of perfect offense and defense, which rips the opponents stock away from them as if you reached into their physical chest to take their virtual heart. And while many characters have fantastic spikes off stage, (King K. Rool, DK, Yoshi, and Snake) there is none better than the mascot himself: Mario. 

1. PvP: The Outplay
The last 9 things have all been a lead-up… a microcosm of this one thing. The one thing that never gets old: Outplaying your opponent. It comes in all shapes and sizes, but the more improbable the outplay the better it feels. Outplays are what:
Sends my living room into a riot.
Gets made into a montage.
Pack a stadium to gills.

Outplays are the JUICE. And I’m just looking for the next one. 

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