Pick up the crowbar of research scientist Gordon Freeman, who finds himself on an alien-infested Earth being picked to the bone, its resources depleted, its populace dwindling. Freeman is thrust into the unenviable role of rescuing the world from the wrong he unleashed back at Black Mesa. And a lot of people, people he cares about, are counting on him.
For being made in 2004, this game is still stunning for it's game play and story line. When I had first got it, I thought it might have been broken because it was impossible to get to some places, but after thinking outside of the box, it had struck me that this is no ordinary FPS. It was like a puzzle FPS game thing that had turned out amazing. For a 10 year old game, it and it's episodes are amazing. Oh and also, the original Half-Life is isn't to shabby.
This was the most beautiful and graphically most advanced game ten years ago. Too bad I never "identified" this as Half-Life, it's just like something is missing. But it is a solid, well designed and balanced game (for me it's still eye candy) but the Combine have some serious AI problems in their heads.
The best linear single-player game so far in my opinion. Interesting story, great characters and voiceover, lovely map design and an absolutely stunning engine. No other game integrated interactive physics that tightly in the game as Half Life 2 did. Obviously I'm also waiting for Half Life 3 now.
Another bonus: It's running natively under Linux now.