Opinion: THQ’s Best

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Let’s start off by saying again that this article is an opinion of THQ‘s top work in the eyes of me, myself, and I.  There are going to be a few things that contribute to this list.  First of all my bias is definitely going to be leaning towards the sports simulation side of things.  Nostalgia will also play an equally large role.  Lastly I’ll take into consideration review scores etc.

Now let’s take you on a Surge fueled ride back to my adolescence, namely the late 1990’s.  That’s where my list will start and it will end with more recent titles.  I’ll go for top five just to make things simple.

At no. 5 we’ll go with a more recent title.  Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine was a colorful bro dude fueled experience that didn’t quite measure up to other prominent third person shooters in polish and refinement.  What it did so well is create the environment, weapon types, and enemies that you’ve come to expect from the Warhammer universe.  The level of carnage on display was a thing of beauty and going all crazy Captain Titus on some Ork’s was enough for me to enjoy the game thoroughly.

No. 4 is a bit more serious of a pick.  Metro 2033 did some great things for the survival horror genre.  It was one of the first real scares that I had in game since the first time I played Deadspace.  Metro 2033 was a triumph in aesthetics, mood, and plot.  The first time stepping out into nuclear winter with your gas mask frosting so badly that you can’t see the enemies in the shadows was a powerful experience.   The mutated enemies were frightening and their human counterparts equally sinister.  Metro 2033 had a fantastic canvas to pull material from and while staying true to Dmitry Glukhovsky’s work 4A Games created something truly playable.  The only thing that detracted from the experience was the linear, non-exploratory environments.  Sure, sometimes you’d find a case of bullets under a flight of stairs (which is much more opportunistic in Metro 2033 than other games) but there wasn’t any real depth to the environments outside of the combat sandbox.  That being Said Metro 2033 was a fantastic experience of survival horror.

No. 3 on my list is one of the reasons I fell in love with THQ as a publisher.  WCW/NWO Revenge for the Nintendo 64 built on the foundation that earlier wrestling titles laid (Namely WCW/NWO World Tour).  The combat system, character selection, and graphics were a thing of beauty for the time which was 1998.  Remember when I mentioned Surge, adolescence, and nostalgia?  Revenge added ring entrances to the fold.  Something that has never been removed from a wrestling video game since.  They also made a point of creating the customization we’ve all grown to know and love.  THQ included real PPV set pieces and arenas as well as Instant Replay.  All in all WCW/NWO Revenge crafted a standard for wrestling simulations going forward.

No. 2 is another sports simulation that helped to create popularity for a growing brand.  UFC Undisputed 2009 was the beginning of MMA simulations in gaming.  The complex controls, fighting disciplines, and fighter damage showed that THQ spent some time really learning and understanding the UFC and MMA before they dove in.  What I loved about the original UFC title was it was complex enough to separate the men from the boys.  The more recent titles have “nerfed” control settings and slowed the pace considerably.  The boxing mechanics and groundwork you were free to manipulate in UFC Undisputed 2009 made it a very memorable gaming experience.  Not to mention that I was able to rank #3 in the World at Welterweight at one point.  UFC Undisputed 2009 was another gold standard in the sports sim genre and I’d be surprised if EA strayed too far from the foundation set.

This is it.  My No. 1 pick out of THQ‘s entire library of games spanning more than twenty one years.  UDRAW!

I’m really sorry I just had to.  Now that the failed tablet that almost killed the company has been made light of let’s get to the real N0. 1 pick.  WWF No Mercy for the Nintendo 64 is the quintessential wrestling game experience.  The roster size was enormous and the create a character suite on hand was insanely deep.  The graphics fidelity for the time were insane.  The in game controls and mechanics were about as refined as they ever would be (evidenced by more than a few 45 second reversal battles).  Last but not least there were some fantastic game types added like special referee and LADDER MATCHES!  The story mode was expanded upon immensely and once you won the title you could actually replay the story mode to defend your title.  All of these aspects combined to create the most complete wrestling simulation to date.  WWF No Mercy ages surprisingly well and doesn’t come with the more than common shell shock you get when going back after all these years to play for an hour now and then.

There you have it!  I would love to hear what your favorite THQ titles are as well.  So drop us a line on social media here and don’t forget to like the page while you’re there.  I’ve even created a special poll in light of recent events at THQ where you can name your favorite Franchise THQ publishes.

Author: Dylan Zellmer

Twitter: @dzelly

Dylan Zellmer

I split time between games journalism and making video games. My love of it’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones), fitness and my family define me otherwise.