Platform: PlayStation 2Year: 2005
Original review score: 4.5 out of 5 Stars
Shadow of the Colossus sold fewer copies than nearly any other game on this list, but its ability to stir up emotion and wonder elevates it to the status of art.
Why It Was Innovative:
Many video games include enemy bosses that dwarf the main character, but Shadow of the Colossus took that unappreciated sense of scale and expanded it as far as it could go. Even on the outdated PlayStation 2 hardware, gamers still marvel at the sheer size of the Colossi, the titular race of creatures that make up the entirety of the gameplay experience. There are no rank-and-file enemies, just the Colossi. In order to kill a Colossus, you have to cling to its enormous body and crawl, shimmy, and tumble to one of its weak points where you can stab it with your tiny sword. It's here, with your sword poised for the killing thrust, that the game begins to work its magic. Why, exactly, are you killing these giants? Some of the Colossi even appear downright docile, attacking only when provoked by your actions. This moment can inspire sympathy and even a twinge of...is that doubt? Or regret? But then the moment passes, you slay the beast, and all 5000 tons of the Colossus comes crashing to the ground in a scene of jaw-dropping majesty and exuberance. Shadow of the Colossus is a work of brilliance that represents an emotional high point for the videogame medium.