Gaming has always encompassed a certain connection to bragging rights. Many years ago, you would sit around with friends discussing which games you had finished (possibly with some exaggeration about the ease with which you did so). There was no way of proving your prowess with the exception of first-hand witnesses. You couldn't upload a video to the internet. You couldn't simply view your friend's game history for comparison. You were left to rely on the honor system.
Along came achievements, creating a permanent showcase of all you've done for the world to admire. The emotional connection to these achievements induced excitement, satisfaction, and often rage as you strived to "pop" the harder ones. A greater degree of difficulty resulted in a greater sense of reward. Many might agree that nothing quite adds to the dificulty factor like incorporating a time limit. The pyschological impact of completing a task with only a short time to do so can be overwhelming at times, but an unrivaled euphoria awaits at the finish line.
Stress versus payoff is what inspires our "Top Five Timed Achievements". While several great examples can be found throughout the world of gaming, our top five come from the Xbox 360. These aren't necessarily the hardest ones, but moreover the ones that stood out the most to the TA staff. Synchronize your watches. It's go time.#5. Triple Crown
- Portal 2
The Triple Crown achievement in Portal 2 worth 34 pointsSolve 3 co-op chambers in the Mass and Velocity course in under 60 seconds each
While solving the puzzles that Portal 2
offers is certainly easier with solutions, nothing you read will make you faster or more coordinated. This achievement challenged you to navigate three co-op sections in less than a minute each. One of the trickier aspects was the lack of an on-screen timer to monitor your effort.#4. Speed Run
The Speed Run achievement in Braid worth 76 pointsComplete a full speed run of the entire game, beating the challenge time.
A well-received title, Braid
included an achievement list that was fairly easy to complete... except for one. You needed to be quite familiar with all of the puzzles to complete the game in under 45 minutes, and only a small percentage have stepped up to the task in the five years since its release.#3. Record Breaker
- Race Driver: GRID
Countless laps have been logged in order to capture this elusive creature. Even the most adept drivers undoubtedly encountered new levels of stress as they repeatedly fell short of the goal. At times, it may have seemed that perfection wasn't good enough, but with some minor adjustments to your racing lines through trial and error, the seemingly unobtainable could be yours.#2. The Shadows Rushed Me
- Max Payne 3
It's one thing to complete a portion of a game within a certain time, but what about the entire game? That's exactly what this achievement demands of you in Max Payne 3
. Adding to the fun is the absence of checkpoints. You die, you start over. It's not surprising that the ratio remains so high for this.
That brings us to our top spot. How many controllers were almost (or actually) thrown while chasing this one? How many times were you so close you could taste it? How much of the language produced would have been inappropriate had small children been in the room?#1. Mile High Club
- Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
Don't let the TA ratio fool you. A great deal of time was invested by many in order to obtain this prize. For most, it was probably all that stood between them and 100% on Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
. A mere one minute is all you're allotted to navigate a large aircraft full of enemies. On top of that, it only takes a couple of well-placed bullets to end your run. If you survive all the chaos, you still need to be accurate on the final shot or it's back to the beginning.
With all Top Five lists, there are going to be some items that almost made the cut and could have easily been interchanged with the ones that did. Here are a couple more that warranted an honorable mention.
The Fly The Co-op achievement in Grand Theft Auto IV worth 104 pointsBeat our time in ranked versions of "Deal Breaker", "Hangman's NOOSE" and "Bomb da Base II".
The people who make the games -- how good are they at actually playing them? This one gives you the chance to find out as you tackle Rockstar's best times. Come prepared with a sound strategy and competent team at your side.
Due to the irresistibly-low pricing of this title, a large chunk of our community added it to their collection. However, free games don't equate to free achievements. You had to put in some work to master the courses and finish this game. If the gold medals weren't enough, there was this achievement asking you to go above and beyond.
We hope that you enjoyed this week's list. Your personal list may vary greatly from the "TA Top Five", and that's what makes the discussions and debates interesting. What are your top five?
The TA Team will be bringing you The TA Top Five every Sunday until we run out of coolness to debate and discuss. If you have an idea for a Top Five you'd like us to do, be sure to let us know in the comments!