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The Best Developer Of The Generation Is...

No, we're not going to finish that sentence. That's up to you. :)

But as this generation grows a little long in the tooth, it's a viable question: which developer, in your estimation, has most impressed you over the past five years or so?

Many will immediately mention Naughty Dog, as the Uncharted series is arguably the best of the generation. The level of quality in those titles (especially the last two) is absolutely undeniable, and often trumps any competition. And oh yeah, The Last Of Us...  But they're not the only horse in this race; die-hard RPG fans might toss Bethesda's hat into the ring, as the likes of two Elder Scrolls titles (Oblivion and Skyrim), and a couple Fallout games make them a legitimate contender. They only seem to make Game of the Year nominees.

Then again, there's always the stable of Sony first-party studios that have delivered Killzone, Gran Turismo 5, God of War, LittleBigPlanet and inFamous. There's a possible dark horse pick in Thatgamecompany, who is about to deliver their third title - Journey - after two excellent downloadable titles, Flow and Flower. Ubisoft maybe shouldn't be counted out, as Assassin's Creed is a multiple award-winning and multiple million-selling series, and it's hardly the only franchise under the French publisher's umbrella. Rayman, anyone?

But what about Rockstar? Grand Theft Auto IV and Red Dead Redemption alone put them in the running, but Max Payne 3 and GTAV are approaching rapidly. BioWare has Mass Effect and Dragon Age. Maybe all it took to convince you of superiority was a single title; i.e., Quantic Dream's Heavy Rain and Kojima Productions' Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. Insomniac delivered three great Resistance titles and several entertaining Ratchet & Clank titles, and they've got a new project in the works, too (Overstrike). And we say Resistance was under-appreciated.

No, it's not an easy decision. But give it a try, anyway.

Tags: game design, game development, video game developers

2/27/2012 9:03:23 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (61 posts)

Nas Is Like
Monday, February 27, 2012 @ 9:43:05 PM
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I'll take the honour of being the first to say the obvious.

Naughty Dog.

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Jawknee
Monday, February 27, 2012 @ 9:44:38 PM
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I'd say Naughty Dog, Sony Santa Monica or Nintendo. I'd like to add Kojima Pro but they only released two games this gen worth playing. Guess I can't add Sony Santa Monica either since they have only released God of War 3.

Last edited by Jawknee on 2/27/2012 9:48:19 PM

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Fane1024
Wednesday, February 29, 2012 @ 6:04:12 AM

Santa Monica had their hands in a bunch of games (25 released this generation so far if I counted right), including all the PixelJunk games, flOw and Flower, Warhawk, and Twisted Metal.

I think you can include them.

edit: JustThatGamer beat me to it

Last edited by Fane1024 on 2/29/2012 6:06:23 AM

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YashaZz
Monday, February 27, 2012 @ 9:58:41 PM
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Santa Monica AND Kojima Productions!

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Karosso
Monday, February 27, 2012 @ 10:14:15 PM
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No love for Rocksteady? The two best Superhero games ever made? :)

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JustThatGamer
Monday, February 27, 2012 @ 10:18:59 PM
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Sony Santa Monica easily.

They may have only made 1 game, but the amount of games they've assisted with is insane; Warhawk, Starhawk, Twisted Metal, Flow, Flower, Journey, God of War: Chains of Olympus & Ghost of Sparta, Fat Princess, Calling All Cars, Escape Plan, The Last Guardian and probably more, they're also said to be working on a new IP and God of War IV... They deserve some recognition for being so damn hard working and still managing to pump out the most critically acclaimed + most financially successful game in its genre of all time, God of War III.

Last edited by JustThatGamer on 2/27/2012 10:22:48 PM

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bebestorm
Monday, February 27, 2012 @ 10:31:52 PM
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Rockstar!!

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goldentinny
Monday, February 27, 2012 @ 10:41:31 PM
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To be honest, I have to say Ubisoft Montreal. The original Assassin's Creed definitely had its faults, mostly the repetitive missions, but it had a level of interactivity which was unparalleled at that point in time, so I have to give props where they are due. They dove into the new technology in a way that a lot of devs weren't really doing early on.

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Fane1024
Wednesday, February 29, 2012 @ 6:13:14 AM

I was going to add Ubisoft Montreal to the discussion. 2x POP, 4x AC, 2x Rainbow Six, 2x Splinter Cell, and Far Cry 2...not too shabby.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, February 27, 2012 @ 10:52:50 PM
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Best is Naughty Dog because whether you like Uncharted or not, the sheer quality oozing out of those 3 titles can't be denied by any sane person.

Bethesda has impressed me with how they've used this generation to create massive, living worlds but they just have no quality assurance anywhere in their operation.

Sucker Punch probably blew me away the most with how they managed to create the most addictive experience this gen with the 3 inFamous games.

Rockstar makes a good game, but GTA took a long walk off a short pier with the missions, fighting mechanic, and removal of all things fun from GTA. RDR is sweet but hardly has the polish or technological innovation that Uncharted has brought.

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Shams
Monday, February 27, 2012 @ 11:12:50 PM
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Difficult for me to choose. Naughty Dog hands down wins in quality. Insomniac couldn't quite match Naughty Dog in quality, but certainly put out more titles, which were, in my opinion, all awesome. Rockstar certainly matched their own quantity with quality, but then again, they don't really count as one developer as they are comprised of multiple studios. So, it's a tough call, and I'm glad it is. We've had so many great and memorable games this gen.

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MartyRules
Monday, February 27, 2012 @ 11:32:59 PM
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Insomniac. The ratchet and clank games this gen have been top games for me. Also Resistance is great also with R3 being one of the biggest sleeper hits. Naughty Dog or Konami would be next picks. Worst this gen to me has to be Square Enix, I feel they take everything the fans say and ask for and do the opposite

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AcHiLLiA
Monday, February 27, 2012 @ 11:34:15 PM
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For quality, I choose Naughty Dog. I hope GTAV will be similar in quality then the Uncharted games.

Last edited by AcHiLLiA on 2/27/2012 11:36:13 PM

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TheCanadianGuy
Monday, February 27, 2012 @ 11:43:19 PM
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personally i'm gonna go with Quantic Dream if for no other reason the pure fact that they delivered this generations defining gaming experience with heavy rain.
obviously they've just had one title but years from now when i look back at this generation heavy rain will be the first thing i think of. even though MGS4 is my overall favorite of this generation. HR is just something that will stay with me forever. so for that gotta go with QD.

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dembiscuits
Monday, February 27, 2012 @ 11:58:12 PM
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My personal opinion of Bethesda is that they give you nigh infinite things to do in games that aren't really that fun gameplay wise. I'd have to go with Naughty Dog. Three of my favorite trilogies of all time.

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gungrave
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 @ 12:22:34 AM
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Media Molecule, their first console game also happened to be a huge award winner. They're off to a great start.

2nd for me would be thatgamecompany just for thinking out of the box.

3rd Quantic Dream, for innovative story telling

I'm sure team Ico would've been my top pick but they lagged it big time.

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Lotusflow3r
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 @ 7:56:15 AM

Mm are definitely the biggest innovators.

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AshT
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 @ 12:50:28 AM
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Naughty Dog

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Kevin5
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 @ 1:04:54 AM
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Naughty Dog & Bioware for creating two masterpiece franchises.

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Temjin001
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 @ 1:28:22 AM
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I have hard time with bests, but I think the most significant entries this gen come from these studios:
Bioware for efforts in redefining interpersonal relationships in story telling
Epic Games for setting a standard in 3rd person pop n fire play for all to follow
Kojima for delivering a game that stands on its own in play or in story
Naughty Dog for production ambition and Hollywood acting
Infinity Ward for fps multiplayer and redefined military drama
Quantic Dream, the most unprecedented experience in design and quality
Polyphony Digital painstaking effort in exactness and commitment to fans
Bethesda for role playing fantasy
Tecmo for showing us how not to westernize a game(quantum theory) =p
I don't play Rockstar games

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Killa Tequilla
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 @ 2:01:45 AM

You don't play Rockstar games? Man, you need to!

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Killa Tequilla
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 @ 1:59:41 AM
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Rockstar because I love their games and Bioware with Mass Effect are the best developers of the generation. But at heart, im a gamer and I just love any good quality video game developers throw at me. I also thank Activision for giving me an awesome time on CoD4 wich was the first game I ever played online. Naughty Dog deserves some credit too, Jak and Daxter anyone? Heck, there isnt a best developer, most developers deliver quality games whom I give my money to!

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Lawless SXE
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 @ 2:21:06 AM
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Bluepoint Games... ICO, SotC, MGS2, 3 and Peace Walker, GoW 1 & 2. Those are some quality titles right there. ;P

Sucker Punch have been amazing with inFamous, downright the most fun I've had with games this gen.
FROM Software have done amazing work.
Sega WOW: Valkyria... 'nuff said.
I can't say just one, so I'll shout out to Naughty Dog, Quantic Dream and Ninja Theory as well.

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___________
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 @ 3:22:23 AM
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too many to choose from!
QD for delivering a amazing story and proving games can make you cry.
sucker punch for delivering one of the funnest most bad a$$ superheroes since the creation of comics!
rocksteady for proving not all superhero games have to suck.
irrational games for proving shooters can and should have amazing stories!
R* for having an amazing variety of awesome games.
eat sleep play for keeping a homage to the old school realizing not everyone started gaming yesterday!
avalanche studios for allowing massive mod support and trainers, and for creating the best open world game ever made!
ubisoft montreal for creating amazing real like worlds in AC, and amazing storytelling.
ninty for again catering to the oldschool crowd.
id love to say insomniac, but ever since raping R&C with that crappy kids game i cant ever forgive them for that.
they leave one of the best franchises ever created with that!?
its like Ferrari saying ok thats it were leaving the industry, and leaving it with a rebadged suzuki swift!

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Pandacastro
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 @ 3:40:08 AM
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My choices would be valve or rockstar.

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mehrab2603
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 @ 4:25:16 AM
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Level 5 and Naughty Dog

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BikerSaint
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 @ 4:27:41 AM
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Damn, I can't name just one.

Right off the top of my head, all of these developers deserve the highest honors of my praise

In no particular order....
Naughty Dog
Guerrilla
Sucker Punch
Kojima
Quantic dream
Bioware
Santa Monica
RockStar

An Honorable Mention also go's to....
2K for it's Bio Shock series

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killerbee12
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 @ 4:40:13 AM

Where is rocksteady?

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Underdog15
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 @ 9:21:07 AM

Where's Bebop?

(Anyone? hey? Anyone get that reference?)

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BikerSaint
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 @ 10:05:44 AM

killerbee12,
Although I've heard nothing but great things about Rocksteady, I can't say either way yet, because their first Batman is still sitting in my huge games backlog, & I haven't bought their second Batman yet.

But I do intend on playing both.

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leatherface
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 @ 4:11:44 PM

@ Underdog15, Ahhhh the classics

Last edited by leatherface on 2/28/2012 4:12:11 PM

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VampDeLeon
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 @ 5:28:30 AM
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My top 3 are Ubisoft, Naughty Dog, and Konami.

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Godslim
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 @ 5:36:26 AM
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well its defo naughty dog and Konami but i would also saw infinity ward just for cod4 as it did completly change fps games

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AcHiLLiA
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 @ 11:25:46 AM

COD4 was and still is awesome, but the sad part is most of the cheaters/hackers are taking over. W@W multiplayer has much less cheaters in matches than COD4. I wonder how COD Black Ops is doing? Don't have BO, I enjoy Battlefield more often.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 @ 5:44:57 AM
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I don' think any one particular developer can be named - it would be too unfair to a lot of others.

Today gaming is far too diverse to use simple measure sticks like graphics, campaign length, storyline, creativity, game mechanics, innovation or anything else in particular to determine a winner.

The REAL winners of this generation are US, the gamers.


Last edited by Beamboom on 2/28/2012 5:45:53 AM

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Lotusflow3r
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 @ 7:57:54 AM

I kind of agree with this.

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Looking Glass
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 @ 5:55:12 AM
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I really don't think Bethesda is deserving of such a title. Their games may be good. But there's a catch. They're only good WHEN THEY WORK. Bethesda is also notorious for releasing their games in highly buggy states with the PS3 version of Skyrim being especially infamous in this regard. And there's more. They're also seemingly guilty of trying to manipulate the gaming media for their own benefit such as when they refused to give the PS3 version of Skyrim to reviewers even when they specifically requested it.

And if I'm not mistaken their were also allegations that Bethesda forced unfavorable reviews of Fallout: New Vegas to be taken down. I don't know if it's true but unfortunately it seems that it wouldn't be completely out of character for Bethesda. Bethesda's games might be deserving of accolades (assuming you overlook the bugs). But the developer itself not so much.

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telly
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 @ 12:25:11 PM

This. Bethesda deserves credit for ambition, but their games too often cross over from "grand!" into "sprawling broken mess." I think Bioware is head and shoulders over Bethesda for this reason.

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Snaaaake
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 @ 6:53:34 AM
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I don't have a best but I do have a best 3:
1) Naughty Dog
2) Platinum Game
3) Rockstar

In that order.

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Fane1024
Wednesday, February 29, 2012 @ 6:20:03 AM

Wouldn't that make ND your "best"?

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SoulController
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 @ 6:57:24 AM
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I have a few...Kojima & co. For setting the standard early on with what can be done when you fill up a blu-ray. Naughty Dog goes without saying. Everytime I've shown a non gamer Uncharted they can't believe it.

Portal 2 was the most fun I've ever had with co-op gameplay. & Finally Viseral for making me fall back in love with Survival horror while at the same time scaring the living day lights out of me. The backstory & lure of the Deadspace universe I couldn't get enough of.

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H0TSHELLZ
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 @ 7:04:16 AM
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Rockstar and Naughty Dog is all i need in life..... And whatever Respawn is doing.

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AugustoDeItalia
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 @ 7:20:31 AM
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Naughty dog and rocksteady !

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D1g1tal5torm
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 @ 7:59:53 AM
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Naughty dog/Rockstar.

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JackC8
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 @ 8:04:49 AM
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My vote goes to Slightly Mad Studios, creators of Shift 1 and 2. I found those games tremendously fun and addictive, and spent at least 5 months playing the two of them. Oh there was some swearing involved from time to time, but overall I had a truly fantastic time. :)

Naughty Dog is great as well. I've only played Uncharted 1 and 2 (and am very much looking forward to The Last Of Us), but neither provided the months-long experience like my racing games do.

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Lotusflow3r
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 @ 8:14:45 AM
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Personal choices in no particular order.

R* - For delivering two of the best sandbox games in GTAlV and RDR. The latter being a fave game of all time. Also, no doubt, for the upcoming GTAV.

Level 5 - For delivering JRPGs with roots still intact and for also delivering a PS3 exclusive Rpg that looks like it returns JRPGs to their former glory in Ni No Kuni.

Mm - Two of the most innovative games in history in LBP1 and 2. The latter being the most impressive game i have ever seen.

From Software - For innovating Rpg games with the Souls games and at the same time, delivering a love letter to the golden age of Rpgs with 3D Dot Game Heroes.

Naughty Dog - For technical innovations and helping other developers achieve better results.

Sega - Very prolific this generation. Started fairly rocky, but soon went on a roll and brought back one of the most iconic games ever to it's former glory in Sonic 4 and Generations. Also for the most detailed, underrated and groundbreaking "action" franchise in the last 10 years of Japan's gaming history - Yakuza.

Gearbox - For taking the FPS genre to new heights whilst maintaining the old school roots. For picking up a historic franchise that had been M.I.A for 12 years and having balls of steel for rebooting it.

ThatGameCompany - For feasting our senses and proving a more artistic approach works.

Last edited by Lotusflow3r on 2/28/2012 8:17:03 AM

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gumbi
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 @ 8:41:34 AM
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This is too tough for me to call... And unfortunately there are still too many great games of this generation that I haven't played yet.

For me, I'd have to say Sony Santa Monica and Ubisoft for two of my favourite franchises of all time. Media Molecule for bringing us the amazingly creative, and innovative Little Big Planet. And SEGA needs an honourable mention here, if for no other reason than Valkyria Chronicles. VC is still one of the most underrated and most stellar games of this generation.

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Underdog15
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 @ 9:24:31 AM
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I don't really have a favorite. There's lots I like. What's more, is that many of them I like for completely different reasons to the others.

For example, I like Gust, Naughty Dog, Ubisoft, and Media Molecule all a whole bunch... But obviously, my reasons for each are COMPLETELY different from one another.

There's a pile of other devs I like, too. I couldn't possibly even pick a top 3 and be completely happy with my choices.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 @ 11:32:15 AM

I so totally agree, I could not pick my top three either.
They can't be compared, really. Too many excels on too widely different areas.

Last edited by Beamboom on 2/28/2012 11:32:29 AM

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Skatejimmy5
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 @ 9:27:29 AM
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Rocksteady Studios.

The Batman games both took me by surprise in how well designed they were. :)

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DjEezzy
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 @ 10:15:54 AM
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I'd say Naughty dog is the best. I'm also a huge fan of Platinum. I don't think they get near enough praise for their creativity and total bad assery.

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Twistedfloyd
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 @ 11:07:01 AM
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I don't know.

ND had U2 which is just about as perfect as a game can get. U3 was great and U1 was good, so they weren't quite flawless as everyone thinks at least in my eyes.

KP had the masterpiece that was MGS4 and a great game in Peace Walker. To me, they're ahead of ND right now.

QD's Heavy Rain is easily one of the best this gen and one of my all time favorite games.

So many others to consider. Take Two was amazing this gen, too. I didn't like GTA IV, but RDR was amazing. Bioshock was first rate and Bioshock 2 was awesome.

Skyrim was great, but didn't like Fallout 3 and didn't play Oblivion in terms of Bethesda.

In terms of innovation in terms of gameplay and story and fusing it together, QD gets my vote.

In terms of quantity and quality, I think KP's MGS4 and PW get my vote. MGS4 was near perfect and PW was astounding, even though the PSP limited it from being a true masterpiece.

So, I'm leaving ND out in the cold. KP is my ultimate pick.

1. KP- MGS4 and PW
2. ND- U2, U3, U1
3. QD- HR
4. 2K- Bioshock, Bioshock 2
5. Rockstar- Red Dead Redemption



Last edited by Twistedfloyd on 2/28/2012 11:10:46 AM

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Serakek
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 @ 12:20:08 PM
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Of this generation, I think that Naughty Dog is the best. They're followed closely by Bethesda and Bioware. If you want to walk about the last decade, I would say Kojima is the best.

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79transam
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 @ 4:33:39 PM
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I probably play more ubisoft games across all platforms then any other. Some of my favorite are ubisoft such as Assassins Creed and the Silent Hunter series on pc

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tes37
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 @ 6:06:20 PM
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There's so much talent among the different developers that it's hard to say for me.

They all have their strengths and although Naughty Dog stands head and shoulders above most, I think I should consider more than just their genre. In doing so, I'm at a loss to make a decision on any one single developer.

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Warrior Poet
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 @ 6:21:41 PM
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Nintendo for sure.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 @ 7:45:23 PM

lol

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TheCanadianGuy
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 @ 9:36:30 PM

hahaha yeah and Capcom :P

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Fane1024
Wednesday, February 29, 2012 @ 6:24:39 AM

Nintendo has only made games for the last generation...great games, but not current generation games.

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Rogueagent01
Wednesday, February 29, 2012 @ 3:58:58 AM
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Like many others here there is absolutely no way I could pick one, but I can give a list of the ones that interest me the most. I have no particular order as I play many different genres and have no set preference on which is the best.

Bioware- Dragon Age series
Trendy Entertainment- Dungeon Defenders
Level 5- White Knight Chronicles
From Software- 3D Dot Heroes, Enchanted Arms
Sega!- Yakuza series and Valkyria Chronicles
KojiPro- MGS 4/MGO
Atlus- for localizing
Square Enix/Tri-Ace(yeah actually)- Nier, Star Ocean:The Last Hope, and Front Mission Evolved(even though they took the RTS out and replaced it with a crappy action system)
Reality Pump- Two Worlds II
CDV- Sacred 2

And these are just the ones that come to mind, if I was to look through my library I would find many more to list but I will leave it at that. And I most likely gave credit on a couple of these to the wrong companies, but I am not going to look at all the cases to figure out who developed and who published.

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Fane1024
Wednesday, February 29, 2012 @ 6:31:04 AM
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Lots of great suggestions from everyone, though a few of the "developers" mentioned (e.g., "Rockstar") are not so much individual developers as publishers with multiple dev houses. Still, with projects frequently being divided among multiple teams, that distinction may now be moot.

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