GamerSushi Asks: Best First Levels?

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There’s nothing better than a video game that hooks you into its style and premise in its opening level. Well, I guess it’s better when the entire game can deliver on that promise, but you know what I mean. The first levels of video games in a lot of ways are a pitch for the entire experience. They teach you the rules, what to expect and tease some more of what’s to come. In fact, they can often give us the biggest “wow” out of any level in a game, if done right.

That’s why UGO has come along with its list of the best first levels in gaming history. They’ve got quite a few games on there, a few of which are a bit surprising, to say the least. If I’m being honest, I think it’s a decent list save for the fact that it skews a bit towards the last couple of years too much in terms of where it ranks the newer experiences.

As for my favorite first levels in video games, I’d have to go with a few of these: Goldeneye 64, Half Life (1 and 2), Uncharted 2, Sonic the Hedgehog and Medal of Honor: Frontline. Part of me is tempted to say Metal Gear Solid 2, because I just love the tanker section so much. However, if you consider the first level to be a promise on what the game wants to deliver, I feel like it’s more of a tease than something that the gamer actually gets. Just my opinion, though.

So what do you guys think? What are your favorite opening levels in video games? What do you think of the list? Go!

Source – UGO

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I write about samurai girls and space marines. Writer for Smooth Few Films. Rooster Teeth Freelancer. Author of Red vs. Blue, The Ultimate Fan Guide, out NOW!

9 thoughts on “GamerSushi Asks: Best First Levels?”

  1. Wooh Deus Ex!

    I’d go with the curve-ball and say Super Mario World, because there were actually 2 “first levels” you could pick, and they each had totally different enemies. Sneaky sneaky…

  2. Man, I guess if there’s a “best of…” list that’s about video games, Ocarina has to be in it. Good game, sure, but slow start. Certainly not one of the best first levels.

    For me, I’d pick Shadow of the Colossus as having the best first level. Actually, I can’t believe they missed that on this list, and put Heavenly Sword up there. I’d also put Splinter Cell games up there, but I guess I understand why it wouldn’t be on UGO’s list.

    But seriously, though, how did they miss SotC?

  3. I would have to say that my most favorite first level, would have to be the one from Call of Duty: Finest Hour. That opening speech, and then storming Stalingrad, god that was great at its time.

  4. Goldeneye, MOH: Frontline, and COD: MW are all ones from the list I agree with. I would say Uncharted 2, but honestly I didnt care for that level much. While awesome and everything, I wanted to get into the meat of the exploring and treasure finding. For me it wasnt as epic to say its a personal fav, but I will say damn, is it good. Just thinking about Goldeneye and then Frontline, those bring back some amazing memories.

    I think one game that should be on there is Oblivion. Now I will say I dont want to really count the dungeon in the beginning because its more of an annoyance, but the moment you step out from the sewers….yea. Thats an amazing thing.

  5. God of War 3 was so amazing, Uncharted 2’s was great and I loved Halo 2’s. Something about “I need a weapon” sends chills up my spine.

  6. Oh my God how could I possibly forget my favorite game ever of all time Mass Effect 2? I don’t know if you can count that as a level since no gameplay is involved, but dear God at midnight of January 26th, 2010 (yes I remember the date) when I saw my Shepard trying to save the Normandy and its crew only to inevitably fail to save himself was something that hit me so hard in the emotional gut that I was in complete shock.

  7. Contra 3 on the SNES. Soldiers flooding out of everywhere, the entire city setting on fire (including the ground that you’re walking on), driving tanks around and ripping through miniature versions of the first boss of the original Contra like their nothing… that game was pretty incredible.

    But even better than that I’d say Serious Sam: The First Encounter (especially the HD remake) has a really rockin’ first level. It’s a giant pyramid where you get your first weapons in the game and fight some of the easier enemies before you know how crazy things are going to get. But, if you decide to just turn around and walk out into the desert, then you get to fight the strongest non-boss enemy type in the game… five of them at a time… while you only have the weakest weapons in the game. Your reward is a giant health bonus and some missiles at an Oasis way into the desert. That will never get old to me…

  8. It’s on UGO’s list, but I don’t think I saw it here. World 1-1 has to be said. I saw this list on Digg and the first thing I thought of was World 1-1. It’s so iconic.

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