Is this the best game of all time? Well, there are certain members of our staff who would certainly agree with that statement and even if your preference swings towards the adventures of Link or Mario or perhaps even Solid Snake, it would be churlish to deny Gordon Freeman's second outing a place in the top five. Even six years on, this pioneering FPS still has the power to capture you utterly and take you on a cinematic narrative journey like no other.
It's quite difficult to find Half-Life 2 all by itself these days, in fact we could only really find one price for it over at Amazon for £8.15. However, Steam, who were previously giving it away for round £7, have lopped a couple of quid off of the price to give Mac owners a further opportunity to discover what the rest of us have been clamouring about for some time. If you want to go all in, I'd suggest plumping for the more comprehensive Orange Box, which you can pick up for anywhere between £10-15, but this is an excellent place to start for those looking to test the waters.
Since all hell broke loose at Black Mesa, the Earth has become a slightly changed place, overrun and subjugated by alien race The Combine, with Wallace Breen, Black Mesa's former administrator, acting as a puppet dictator having brokered peace between the invaders and the invaded. Cue a tale of heroic rescue and anti-establishment, Orwellian rebellion. So many games have stolen various bits and pieces from the two main Half-Life games over the years, but I can still remember the first time I stood on a rooftop in Ravenholm surrounded by slavering undead beasts, or first stepped out into the dappled sunlight of City 17, or played fetch with an enormous robot pet using a gun that harnessed gravity.
If you've never played it before, and if you can look at yourself in the mirror and call yourself a gamer then I struggle to see how that's a possibility, there's never been a better time to start. I haven't played it in over a year. I might just buy it so I can do it all over again anyway.