Left 4 Dead is probably my favorite co-op centric game out there. Before getting it, I was always gunshy about grabbing it because it always seemed (and it turned out to be true) that playing with people made the experience. And while I did get to play with a couple of friends a couple of times, regular play sessions never materialized (a common theme across my entire history in trying to organize playing with others). So, ultimately, the lion-share of my game time was by myself.
This game rules. I love the very simple concept: Start here, get to the end, and slaughter the waves of zombies in your path along the way. While there really isn't a story, the storytelling of the writing in the safe rooms gave a dead world life and lore. I love the focus on having a primary weapon, unlimited pistol (or the always awesome dual pistols), a healing item, and a pipe bomb, making you think on when to use them and how much ammo you should use.
But shout out to the special infected. Whenever I ran into a Tank or came across a Witch, it was absolutely terrifying, because I knew I was about to get massacred. Especially since I could almost never sneak by the Witch because either A.) She seemed to ALWAYS sit in a DOORWAY or B.) My A.I. teammates always wanted to go over and say HI!! The others should get a special mention too, as playing the distance game with Boomers to keep from getting mobbed after it puked or exploded all over you, or getting nabbed by the Smoker and having that split second of shooting in the direction of their tongue to get free before being hoisted up a side of a building lent me to being on edge every time I played.
I actually prefer the original over the sequel despite 2 having more maps, characters, melee weapons, and a couple of extra modes, and, you know, THIS WHOLE GAME within it, but just having the original feels focused and concise.
I've missed this series and have longed for the opportunities in days long forgotten to have had Xbox Live Parties with friends for a few runs, and that's why I'm SO excited for Back 4 Blood. With Turtle Rock bringing the formula around back into the zeitgeist I'm really looking forward to more nearly endless zombie slaying
And as is my custom for these countdowns, shoutouts to @Shoulderguy, @Crepe, and @kindiman for being fellow voters and showing some love to one of the best games to play with friends.