A console’s lifespan is defined by the games that gamers love to play on the system. But behind those games are the developers, who put in hundreds of hours, blood, sweat, and tears to make the game the best it can be. As we see this generation heading towards a close this fall, we have to ask ourselves: Who are the best developers this generation? Who have defined innovation, spread revolution, and made us remember that sometimes, games can be more than something we just do for fun? Read on to see the top 5.

#5 – Nintendo

Amidst a recent rocky launch with the Wii-U, we can’t forget, Nintendo is the reckoning force behind such titles as Super Mario Brothers, Metroid, and Zelda.They consistently deliver the AAA experience you’d come to expect from such an acclaimed developer. Super Mario Galaxy, The Legend Of Zelda: Skyward Sword, and several other games this generation have blown gamers away because of how amazing the gameplay is, and that’s all due to Nintendo, which earns them the #5 spot.

#4 – Bioware

While Bioware was one of the true greats of previous generations, they’ve had more than a few stumbles this generation. With all things considered, though, they’re still one of the best. Yes, Mass Effect 3’s ending wasn’t too great, and Dragon Age 2 was questionable to say the least, but they’ve delivered other purely amazing games this generation, like Mass Effect, Dragon Age: Origins, and Mass Effect 2. Bioware earns the #4 spot by continuing to innovate, and pushing their franchises forward. The Mass Effect 3 Citadel DLC was amazing, and it’ll be very interesting to see where they go next generation.

#3 – Valve

You simply can’t have a list like this and ignore one of the true greats of all time. Valve. They’ve pushed the envelope this generation alone with titles like Portal,solidified themselves as a versatile developer with Left 4 Dead, and proved they know how to do competitive gaming with Counter Strike: Global Offensive. That’s not even counting the ever-popular Team Fortress 2, which still has a loyal, dedicated player base. Add in the fact that almost all of these games receive free DLC, and you can see why Valve is so beloved: They actually care. Valve gets the #3 spot for pushing forward with the industry, and delivering some amazing games on the way.

#2 – Naughty Dog

Few developers have the staggering force of Naughty Dog. This generation alone, they’ve delivered 3 mega-hit ultra action adventure games in the Uncharted series, and are set to dive headfirst into survival horror this June, when The Last Of Us launches. All of the Uncharted games are amazing in their own right, not just gameplay wise, but visually as well, and you can’t forget the addicting multiplayer. Naughty Dog is truly one of those developers that are one in a million. They put in the man hours, and deserve every dollar you’ve ever paid to them. Naughty Dog earns the #2 spot for being exceptional with every experience they deliver.

#1 – Rockstar

The name Rockstar alone gets a lot of mixed opinions. Some feel that GTA IV was an amazing experience, and deserved every award it got. Others think that it’s a failure as a Grand Theft Auto title, and stripped the fun away. But even if you don’t like GTA, you cannot deny that Rockstar has been the single biggest force this generation. With titles like Red Dead Redemption, Max Payne 3, and Midnight Club: Los Angeles, Rockstar has proven time and time again they’re versatile, and amazing with said versatility. Every game they deliver is consistently of AAA quality, and often revolutionizes a certain genre, whether minor or major. They have delivered amazing experiences with all of their games, and with GTA V set to release later this year, they look to continue the trend. Rockstar earns the #1 spot for trying as hard as they can, and always delivering. They are truly the best developer of this generation.