Elden Ring Could Be The Best Game Of All Time - So Why Won't You Let It?
It's an argument that's turned brother against brother, colleague against colleague, and lover against lover, with the age-old question of "What is the best video game of all time?" being as redundant as arguing over what colour the sky is. And yet, we continue to do it. Muscling in against the chart-topping titles of yesteryear, FromSoftware's Elden Ring is already making a dash for the throne - well, if we'll let it.
FromSoftware already has some impressive notched on its belt, with the likes of Dark Souls and Bloodborne frequently being thrown around on "best" lists. However, the first reactions to Elden Ring already suggest it'll topple its distant cousins and cement itself as one of (if not) the best video games of all time. That's all well and good, but how long until someone knocks it off the top for the sake of being edgy?
Is Elden Ring The Best Video Game Of All Time?
The general public are only just jumping on their trusty steeds to trot around the Lands Between, but for video game journalists, they've been rattling through this mammoth story and saving the doomed realm from the madmen and monsters that rule it. As IGN said in its own review, it took a whopping 87 hours to get the credits to roll - and even that's without besting every enemy and exploring every crevice. Even if it's not the best game ever, it's definitely one of the biggest.
Our very own Elden Ring review confirmed it's coming out of the gate hot, with others throwing around almost unheard of 10/10 or 5/5 scores. This has obviously led to sensationalist headlines about it being the best game of all time, although, it really might be. At the time of writing, Elden Ring currently sits at 96/100 on OpenCritic, and is just behind Super Mario Odyssey's 97. Only a day a go, it was at 97, and by the time you read this, who knows?
On MetaCritic, Elden Ring has 97/100 and sits alongside the likes of Super Mario Galaxy, GTA V, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Here, it's only outshone by a handful of titles including GTA IV, SoulCalibur, and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 all at 98, with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time ruling the roost at 99. Then again, who is anyone to tell us what's the best game of all time?
Does Hating Elden Ring Make You Cool?
Of course it doesn't. These days, there's this recurring idea that hating things is a personality trait - meaning we can't let people have nice things. There's sure to be that one journalist - typically from a mainstream publication - that decided to twist the knife on Elden Ring.
Before long, someone else will try and outdo their competitor and give the game a lower score... and so on, so on. We doubt it'll be long before someone awards Elden Ring one star, just so they can say they did. It's silly to give airspace to the person that said Elden Ring is FromSoft's "worst offender" for PC ports, or the one that described horseback combat as "a total crapshoot."
While we won't name and shame here, you can already see critics' scores starting to waver, as Elden Ring slips further down the critical rankings of "best video game of all time". Still that doesn't take away from the legacy Elden Ring is sure to leave behind. We're back to making those Zelda and Elden Ring comparisons, but there's a reason we're still talking about Breath of the Wild five years later and Ocarina of Time 24 years later.
Alongside the likes of DOOM popularising the first-person shooter, GoldenEye 007 bringing that genre to home consoles, Metal Gear Solid popularising stealth, and Grand Theft Auto III setting the stage for GTA's current dominance, some games will be immortalised for the ages. Even though it's unclear whether Elden Ring quite has enough to join this elusive club, it's looking pretty good so far.
Can Anything Be Called The Best Game Of All Time In 2022?
These days, the video game industry is over a barrel. If any journo called a game the best of all time, they'd likely have an irate mob burning effigies of them on the front lawn. We recently covered how a poll declared 2018's God of War the best game of all time, which obviously ended in a bloodbath in the comments. It's true that while Kratos' refresh in Norse mythology was a truly stunning affair, did it revolutionise the industry like so many others did?
You also have to take into account what old favourites would look like with today's capabilities. Then again, if we hadn't had Super Mario Bros. in 1983, it's doubtful modern games would even look like they do today. Ultimately, the industry is a case of right place right time - it just depends on whether Elden Ring has arrived at the right time.
This year alone, we have the Tarnished taking on the might of Horizon Forbidden West, God of War Ragnarok, and Breath of the Wild 2. Despite Aloy's reasonably positive reception, it looks like she'll be bested by Elden Ring, but it remains to be seen whether Kratos and Link's returns will fall in the shadow of Elden Ring or shatter it into seven pieces. Either way, there's sure to be a raging debate among journalists and their audiences on what mark to give.
Looking at Elden Ring, these are just the "professional" views. God help us when keyboard warriors emerge from their dank basements and rip Elden Ring apart just so they can get a few more upvotes or go viral for their venom. At the end of the day, one person's The Last of Us, Hades, or Red Dead Redemption 2 is another's E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Fallout 76, or Aliens: Colonial Marines. Just because the majority of players seem to love it, doesn't mean you should trash it online. Now, if you'll excuse us, we have a kingdom to save.