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9 video games every college student should play

College is a time for hard work and responsibilities… and a lot of video game playing.

Video games have been around for decades, and have only been getting better as the years go on. They have become as commonplace in our society as movies or TV shows, and although there are still nay-sayers who claim that video games promote mindless violence and offer nothing in terms of thought-provocation, they have successfully become an iconic part of the modern college lifestyle. Common questions upon entering college include: “Have I played enough video games to be able to relate to my peers?” and “What video games can I play to fill this gaping void in my life?” Students with such worriers need not worry any longer. Here is a not-so-comprehensive, completely biased list of video games that make any college experience a complete one, in no particular order.

Games to Play With Friends Over

College is a time for making friends and memories, and what better way to bond with strangers than completely annihilating them in the digital world of video games?

Super Smash Bros – Anyone who has visited a friend with a Wii knows the no-holds-barred, unbridled competitive spirit evoked through this game. Friendships are made and destroyed as the adorable pink blob that is Kirby falls to the childhood hero that is Link, resulting in thrown controllers and upended coffee tables. This game is guaranteed to make some memories.

Guitar Hero/Rock Band – Two classic games designed to bring a group of people together. For the more grandstanding of individuals, Guitar Hero offers the perfect opportunity to demonstrate an artificial musical prowess. Rock Band requires more teamwork and builds a sense of comradery, which could be useful to bond with those dreaded group project partners.

Street Fighter 4 – No party is complete without a good bout of fisticuffs. For those who are scrawny or pacifistic, this game provides the perfect opportunity to absolutely decimate every single person in the room without even breaking a sweat. Tears may be shed, but at least there won’t be any pesky blood stains in the carpet.

Games to Play Alone in a Dark Dorm for Weeks Nonstop

Everyone needs some downtime, especially when the mid-semester blues set in. These are the best games to become immersed in and forget that classes and responsibilities exist.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Perhaps the most well-known of the “sandbox” games, wherein the player is able to explore every nook and cranny of the landscape. This game offers endless opportunities, from slaying ferocious dragons and wearing their bones for armor to sitting in the middle of a field eating nothing but bees. The fun never stops.

Dragon Age: Origins – This game is more linear than Skyrim, with less opportunities to explore and interact, but there are still countless ways to play the game that make each playthrough unique. With a diverse bunch of characters and a morally complex story, players will find something new in this game every time they play it.

Any Final Fantasy Title – Seriously, these games are long. Final Fantasy XII alone has a runtime of around 120 hours, and all of the titles have compelling storylines with interesting characters and innovative graphics.

Games to Procrastinate To

What college experience isn’t complete without excessive procrastination? Video games make it easier than ever with increasingly fascinating stories and complex gameplay.

Portal 1 & 2 – These games are entirely based on solving puzzles in order to progress, so they both require at least a bare amount of concentration and thinking. A compelling storyline and witty dialogue makes the game even more intriguing.

The Bioshock trilogy – These games have a lot going on that players may not catch in initial playthroughs. A lot of the story is found in notes and audio diaries that can be found, as well as in the scenery and backgrounds that might be easily overlooked. The storylines are urgent enough that it will pull players out of their homework assignments and back into the games again and again.

The Last of Us – This is a long game, but very linear, allowing for little divergence from the plot. The graphics are stunning and the acting is incredible. Players can make their way through the entire game relatively quickly, but the world itself is so vast and hauntingly beautiful that hours can be spent exploring it.

No college experience should be free of some binge-gaming, and this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to games to play. The gaming industry continues to expand and evolve, and video games continue to improve. There are hundreds of games that are appropriate for any situation college can throw at a student, but this list is a good place for anyone to start.