One of the staples of a great action or shooter game is the train level. When executed well, a train level can help make a good game great and leave an impression on us for years. While many of games have included train levels worthy of recognition, I have narrowed the list down the five best of all time:
5. Goldeneye 007 (N64) – Train – A great level from one of the most revolutionary first-person shooters and perhaps the best game ever based on a movie. It has great gun fights throughout, coupled with the objectives that keep you extra busy for the duration of the level. This is the only level on the list that take place solely inside the train, but it doesn’t take away at all from its excitement. The level finishes with the climactic sequence of saving Natalya and beating a time limit to escape the train using your watch-laser before it explodes.
4. Sunset Riders (SNES/Sega Genesis) – El Greco – Who doesn’t love a good side-scrolling arcade shooter? Sunset Riders is nonstop fun, but perhaps the most memorable level is the one that culminates in the showdown with El Greco. You have to fend off waves of enemies coming from both sides of the screen and from inside the train as you move car-to-car towards the front of the train. You have to be sure to keep moving so as not to be left on the cars that detach from the rest of the train and are eventually faced with the fun and challenging showdown with El Greco (which can lead to a bonus perk if you choose the right character).
3. Red Dead Redemption (PS3/Xbox 360) – The Great Mexican Train Robbery – One of the best missions in the game and maybe even in any of Rockstar’s games. It fits in with the storylines set up by the other missions in Mexico, as you attack a Mexican Army supply train. It begins by requiring you to stealthily attack the guards using knives (which is not emphasized enough throughout the rest of the game) but then the action picks up quickly. A flood of Mexican soldiers attack the train and the next several minutes are highly entertaining, as you take out the attackers with the gatling gun and your own weapons (most likey with the aid of Dead Eye).
2. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time (SNES) – Bury My Shell at Wounded Knee – One of the most memorable levels of another classic side-scrolling game. It has the classic and always entertaining fighting that the Turtles arcade games are known for along with a few added aspects that make it unique. The western motif fits in perfectly with the concept of the game, and you are sure to be entertained by the moving background as you fend of each wave of Shredder’s minions, a few of which jump from off of their horses onto the train. An fun boss battle tops it all off.
1. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3) – Chapter 13: Locomotion, Chapter 14: Tunnel Vision – It will be very difficult for any future game to outdo Uncharted 2’s epic train level. It provides the perfect blend of stealth attacks, fist fights, Drake’s signature climbing, and the good old-fashioned fire fights that have become the staple of the Uncharted franchise. Along with visually stunning scenery and a couple of jaw-dropping encounters with a helicopter, this is one of the most memorable parts of any game I can remember. It also ties in beautifully with the storyline, culminating in one of the more dramatic parts of the game and leaving the player wanting more.