As most people that follow the gaming industry are now no doubt aware, Toy Headquarters is no more. THQ, as most people knew them, spent most of their over 20 years in the game industry publishing mostly licensed games and kids games. However, over the past several years, THQ had made strong push towards putting out more high quality, core games, and in this respect they were mostly successful. If not for some tragic mismanagement, mostly involving the failed Udraw tablet, THQ could have been in for a strong run as a top publisher in the industry. Unfortunately that will never happen, but I can still look back at some of the best games THQ published, most of which came out during the current console generation.
10. MX vs. ATV Unleashed (Rainbow Studios, 2005)
I’ll be honest, I am not very familiar with the MX vs. ATV series. I don’t really know if other entries in the series are better or worse than MX vs. ATV Unleashed, but that is the one game in the series I’ve played, and I really liked it. The game is a fun off-road racer that features both dirt bikes and ATVs. THQ released many games in this series, but like I said, this is the entry I have personal experience with.
9. Stacking (Double Fine, 2011)
After releasing Brutal Legend in 2009, Double Fine shifted it’s focus to smaller downloadable games. Double Fine has released several of these smaller games in the time since to varying degrees of success. THQ wound up publishing two of Double Fine games, Costume Quest and Stacking, and of the two Stacking is the better game. You play as a Russian stacking doll and must puzzle your way through the game by going inside bigger dolls. The game has a fantastically well realized 1930′s style and the kind of charm Double Fine has become known for. Because Double Fine is an independent studio that works with many publishers, they will be unaffected THQ’s end.
8. Warhammer 40k: Space Marine (Relic Entertainment, 2011)
After having success with the Warhammer 40k license developing the well regarding Dawn of War RTS series, Relic Entertainment decided to try their hand at a third person action game with Warhammer 40k: Space Marine. Despite what many claimed before the game came out, this game was in fact not a Gears of War clone, but a fairly unique game that blended third person shooting and melee combat into a single enjoyable whole. The game really captured the weighty feeling of being a Space Marine, who are basically walking tanks. With this entertaining 40k experience, Relic once again showed the love and reverence they have for the Warhammer 40k universe.
7. Supreme Commander (Gas Powered Games, 2007)
Acclaimed developer Chris Taylor marked his return to the RTS genre in 2007 with Supreme Commander. Serving as a sort of spiritual successor to his famous game Total Annihilation, Supreme Commander is a science fiction real time strategy game. It is a very large scale game, with a focus on huge battles involving hundreds of units at a time on enormous maps. A single match can take an absurd amount of time to complete, making this an RTS that requires much more of a dedicated commitment than some of the more casual friendly real time strategy games being released. Supreme Commander and its expansion were Gas Powered Games only collaboration with THQ, with the sequel being published by Square Enix, so they will continue unaffected by THQ’s downfall.
6. Metro 2033 (4A Games, 2010)
Most people would not expect a Ukrainian developed first person shooter based on a Russian novel to be very good, but they would be wrong. 4A games unique FPS doesn’t hide from what it is. It takes place in Russia, and doesn’t try at all to pander to western audiences. Some of the best parts of the game are the parts where the game slows down and you get to see something most fans of fiction are familiar with, people surviving in a post apocalyptic setting, but from a much different perspective than most of us are familiar with. It also helps that game had excellent visuals with an amazing atmosphere and solid gameplay. In the THQ asset auction, the rights to the Metro franchise were bought by Koch Media, whose games division Deep Silver will handle the publishing for the upcoming Metro: Last Light. 4A Games however, remains an independent developer.