We’re down to the last five parts of this list. Or rather, the first part of this list. If you remember the prelude post in this series, I mentioned that I have a few other lists coming as well and that they’re related to this one. As always, check out the tag Top 300 Games to go look at the older posts in the series. Let’s get this one started!
50: Duck Tales (NES) – Capcom has produced some of the most wonderful games ever and they had such a hot streak going way back on the NES. Most people associate them with the Mega Man series and that’s all well and good, but you just can’t forget the other great games. Duck Tales is one of them and it’s my favorite Disney game. It’s one of those perfect platformers. Everything about it is fantastic, especially the music. Listen to this song and tell me it’s not awesome!
49: Mega Man (NES) – I think this was one of my first NES games and it took me several years to actually finish it. Why? Because it’s damn hard and damn unforgiving for a seven-year-old. It’s no frills Mega Man. No E tanks, no sliding, no Rush and no passwords. It’s pure Mega Man and with this concept, great things were to come… more on that later on in this list, though. Mega Man is one of those games that has stood the test of time and you can pick it up just like that today and be awestruck by the pixel perfection and awesome music. The Mega Man series has the best platform controls ever in any game.
48: MechWarrior 3 (PC) – Now we’re talking the best MechWarrior game that I’ve ever played. This is, in my opinion, the epitome of what a BattleTech game should be. The Mechs feel heavy to control, not as arcadey as in MechWarrior Vengeance, and the story is about kicking the clans’ asses, which has always been the best storyline in the BattleTech universe. It also follows the proper rules for building mechs and the briefings before each mission are the best I’ve come across in any BattleTech game. But most of all, the controls are just right. The feel is just “there”.
47: Deus Ex: Invisible War (PC) – Probably the most shat upon game sequel in history. DXIW is almost universally laughed at and considered a shitty game. It’s not a shitty game at all. It just happened to have to live up to the expectations set by the first game, which just happens to be one of the best games ever. I loved the atmosphere in DXIW and I loved the futuristic setting of it. It worked a lot of things from the first game into the story, but still managed to introduce enough interesting new angles. I thought it was a shame that it got a bit “consolified” as far as the detail writing got. I missed the in-depth books and newspapers that were strewn around the first game.
46: Super Mario World (SNES) – Once upon a time I finished this game and I finished it the proper way, by finding all the hidden exits. Then my nephew came along and started playing this game one day when I wasn’t at home. I came home later and went up to my room. He was so proud that he had finished a few levels on his own, since he was just five years old or something. He didn’t understand that he had erased my play file with the finished game. I got furious back then. Now I just laugh about it. Super Mario World is an excellent game and Yoshi was the perfect addition to the Super Mario series. It’s hard to find words to describe the Mario games. They’ve always been there and they’ve always been among the top games of every Nintendo console, simply because they are so good. Every little mechanic works perfectly and I can’t imagine SMW in any other way.
45: Rainbow Six 2: Rogue Spear (PC) – The first game introduced the concept of tactical shooting to the PC. The sequel perfected that concept as far as I’m concerned. The storytelling was a lot better, the planning worked a lot better, there were more useful weapons, the AI had been improved and so on and so forth. It was an improvement in every single conceivable way. Some of the most tense moments I’ve ever had while gaming was during the sneaking missions in this game, especially one where you infiltrated a huge mansion.
44: Worms & Reinforcements United (PC) – I like the Worms games, but I’ve never really felt at home with all the different cartoony versions. Why? This one. This is the original and it was perfect. If you aimed somewhere, that aim was accurate. I never got that feeling in the cartoony Worms games. Also, this game was the inspiration for one of the games higher up on this list. But all in all, this is simple, pure, destructive fun.
43: Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords (Xbox 360) – Puzzle Quest came from nowhere and stole sooooo many hours from me, but I loved every minute of it. It was such unexpected fun! The hammy setting and story worked perfectly and I really didn’t expect Bejeweled to work so well and in such an engaging way as a combat mechanic. Pure genius! The only downside was that the music, while being very good, got old really fast because you heard the same tunes over and over and over…
42: Resident Evil 5 (Xbox 360) – Here we have RE4 and 5 in rapid succession. It’s a close call, but RE5 gets the short end of the stick. I like it over RE4 in some ways though. The characters, first and foremost. I’ve always loved Chris, Jill and Wesker over Leon and as far as new characters go, Sheva kicks the president’s daughter’s ass any day of the week and don’t even get me started on that bizarro Napoleon dude from RE4. There’s also one huuuuuuuge thing for which I love RE5 more than RE4 and that’s co-operative play. My best friend and I are both big RE fans and we played our way through this game together, something that was a complete blast. HOWEVER! This game, Resident Evil 5, is COMPLETE AND UTTER SHIT if you play alone and have to rely on the AI to control Sheva. The African setting is pretty “meh” most of the time and the most exciting parts for me were the industrial and high tech settings. The boat was an awesome last level.
41: Resident Evil 4 (GameCube) – The reason why RE4 ends up ahead of RE5 is because when it was released it was revolutionary and you didn’t see it coming. The first time I came across that insane bad guy wielding a goddamn chainsaw, I almost shit my pants. I’d read about it, but it couldn’t prepare me for it. I panicked and tried to take a stand inside a house, only to be overrun and finally decapitated by said chainsaw. Lovely! On one hand the game felt like a natural continuation of the Resident Evil franchise, but on the other hand it didn’t feel like Resident Evil anymore. Sure, it still had somewhat gimped controls, but you didn’t fight zombies anymore (and anyone calling them, or the enemies in RE5 for that matter, zombies is a clueless idiot who needs to be shot) and there were too many of them. RE4′s depiction of Spanish villagers is laughably silly. I keep imagining this redneck American who knows nothing about anything but Texarkana, plays RE4 and then actually thinks that Spain is some underdeveloped shithole of a country, full of decrepit villages and dark castles. Typical Japanese game development. But it’s so much fun and tense!
That’s it for this post. Tune in tomorrow! Same bat time, same bat channel! Okay, maybe not tomorrow, but in a day or three. We’re getting down to 31 in that one! Let me know what you think so far in the comments.
It’s been a few days since I posted, so it’s time to get on with it again. I’ve been with my family at Sweden’s biggest amusement park and spent time with Assassin’s Creed 2 as well as doing some barbequing with a bunch of friends. Long weekend, a lot of nice experiences. Time to get back to the list. As usual, check out this tag to check out the rest of the posts, going all the way back to my initial thoughts and reasoning behind the list.
150: MechCommander 2 (PC) – I am a huge fan of the BattleTech universe and MechCommander 2 is, sadly, a game that I wish I could’ve spent more time with, but things just didn’t pan out back when it was released. Still, I played it enough to have fun with it, but I didn’t like the narrative as much as in the first one. The first one was about kicking Clan ass and the second one was about the Inner Sphere squabbles that happened after that. That’s probably gobbledegook to most people, but the first one was simply better. I will say, though, that the ability to play for three different factions was quite interesting.
149: LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga (Xbox 360) – Wonderful co-op game. The LEGO games are all working with the same concept. Take a movie/toy/comic/book brand and make a game out of it where you run around as different characters with a few standard abilities, collecting tons of different things and building stuff while everything is in LEGO. I’ve only spent considerable time with LEGO Star Wars, going through the story along with my best friend. It’s a fun ride and most of the story bits are told with a lot of humor, even the serious stuff. The controls, however, can be very frustrating, especially the camera and how well you can see depth of field. This means that a lot of the time, you jump to a platform only to discover that you were way off because of the crappy camera perspective.
148: Chip & Dale Rescue Rangers (NES) – This is a Disney classic on the NES and not surprisingly, it was made by Capcom. Great game that’s a lot of fun just because it keeps things simple. The design is spot on because you’re tiny and the world is big, so it’s fun jumping around on huge plants and whatever else there is. You can play co-operatively and the fun thing when doing that is that you’re able to pick each other up and throw. This usually leads to conflict in one way or another, in a very fun way.
147: Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island (SNES) – One of the best Mario games, as far as I’m concerned. It was extremely unique to play it back when it was released, because no one understood how Nintendo had the balls to make you play as the Yoshi family instead of actually playing as Mario. I just love the art style of this game, but I always felt that there was something missing. Maybe it was Baby Mario’s damn whining that was the problem?
146: Street Rod (Amiga 500) – One of the most monumentally epic fails in my gaming “career” was when I had gone through this game, winning street race after street race, tweaking cars left and right, repainting them to look nice, etc. It was one of the last races before I’d won all the cars, or something, and I was getting ready to start the race. The countdown starts and I promptly shit the bed and wreck the transmission. Woohoo, all that “work” down the drain and back to the drawing board. Awesome game.
145: Call of Duty 2 (PC) – Well, we’ve been here before. Yet another WW2 game, so I don’t really know what to say. The screenshot I chose for this game is one of the most tense sequences I’ve ever played in a game, where you have to lay down fire on a big town square while hordes of enemies come at you. Just about everything from the first game was improved on in this one, really solid action.
144: Mega Man 5 (NES) – And here is where Mega Man enters my list. The Blue Bomber’s adventures have a few things that make you go “that’s Mega Man” if you come across them. First of all, the music. As far as 8 bit music goes, Mega Man has no peer. His games are simply the best 8 bit music you can find. Then the tight controls. They are just perfect and make the third point possible. The action. It’s just goddamn perfect platform shooting action. In MM5 the concept was getting a bit tiresome, so this was when I stopped playing the 8 bit games. It was still an awesome game though.
143: Doom 3 (PC) – This is a case where iD Software went from an old game and tried to up the ante to what was current. They couldn’t make another mindless shooter with solid level design and no narrative. They also couldn’t make Carmack’s engine work its magic to have many enemies on screen at the same time. So they went for nice narrative and really creepy atmosphere with more shock horror than the looming fear of walking into a room filled with a hundred enemies. I played this with the flashlight mod, because I couldn’t stand not being able to light my way everywhere I went. That was a stupid design decision if there ever was one.
142: MechWarrior 2: Mercenaries (PC) – More BattleTech. This was the first Mech game I ever played, before I started reading all the books, so I didn’t get fully into all the technical bits of it, all the details. I also had no clue what the game was about, but it was cool to control a walking tank and lay waste to a bunch of stuff. I say walking tank, because I go nuts every time I see a Mech referred to as a robot. Mechs need pilots and can’t think for themselves.
141: Snake Rattle ‘n’ Roll (NES) – This was a really fun game. Fun for real. I don’t just mean the gameplay and whatnot. I’m saying that the snakes looked like they were having so much fun and the music had so much swing to it that you couldn’t play this game without enjoying yourself.
140: G-Police (PC) – If only this game would’ve taken off and become insanely popular. Sadly, it didn’t. I just love the whole dark futuristic city that you work in as a part of the police air force or whatever it is. Fantastic action game and a prime reason to own a joystick back in the day. In fact, I’m wondering why they don’t do something similar today. Think Descent in a futuristic urban environment.
139: Rise of the Triad (PC) – This was one of the most fun multiplayer deathmatch games that we used to play on LANs. I can’t actually remember if I played the story part of it and frankly, it doesn’t matter, because we had so much fun with the multiplayer.
138: The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap (Gameboy Advance) – This Zelda game helped me pass the time when I moved to another city in 2004 and hadn’t gotten my place set up properly. It follows the, by now, classic Zelda formula and it has a lot of fun elements to it. One of them is the match-the-pieces thing that you do to unlock a bunch of stuff. That really got me going in a really OCD way, because I wanted to find all of them. The talking hat was entertaining too and they did a lot with the regular/mini size changes.
137: Heavy Gear 2 (PC) – More Mech action, or rather Gear action. The publisher behind MechWarrior 2: Mercenaries lost the rights to the MechWarrior brand, so they got the Heavy Gear brand instead. This was the sequel that I spent loads of time trying to get to work on my computer, mainly because it wasn’t released for European keyboards. Trying to re-map the controls by fiddling with config-files was a bitch, but it was worth it. Heavy Gear 2 was amazing.
136: Assassin’s Creed (Xbox 360) – This game had so much promise that went down the toilet because of repetition. You had nine big assassinations to do and for every one of them, you went through the exact same things to prepare for the hit. That kind of repetition got insanely tiresome and effectively killed the game for most people, myself included. The second one is another story, but I’m not done with that yet. Still, for all the faults of the first one, it is a very inspired game with great parkour action.
135: Diablo (PC) – “Stay a while and listen.” How many times have you heard that line? I love the simplicity of this game and in a lot of ways I like it more than the sequel, mainly in terms of level design. All the “levels” you went through to get down to Diablo felt no-brainer and they nailed a lot of the bosses, especially The Butcher.
134: Aliens vs Predator (PC) – The first AvP game for the PC introduced the horde mode that’s become very popular today. That’s not, however, what made this game fantastic. No, this game lives and dies on atmosphere. It has it in spades and I can count on one hand (okay, maybe two) the games that have had me more scared. The aliens were unpredictable because they weren’t always in the same places. When you played as a marine, you faced the aliens for so long that when you finally ran into a predator, you shit your pants. You felt mighty as the predator and fast and sneaky as the alien, just right. It was also really cool to go back to the levels as the other species.
133: NHL 2001 (PC) – This represents all the PC NHL games that I played. If we go by time spent, I should probably have this a lot higher up on the list, but a lot of the time, it was just a war of attrition against the AI. With pretty much every game, I played at least a season with the Detroit Red Wings.
132: Killer Instinct (SNES) – I will go into why I liked this over Street Fighter 2 in another post, but what matters here is that I did. I thought the graphics were awesome and I loved the different fighters. My favorite to play as was Fulgore, but the others were fun too, especially when I learned combo breakers.
131: Probotector (NES) – Contra for the US audience and the soldiers were transformed into robots, but what the hell, it’s the same game. The spread gun has never been as big of a life-saver as in this game and the only thing that keeps this game from being higher on the list is the maddening difficulty. Talk about unforgiving.
130: Castlevania: Circle of the Moon (Gameboy Advance) – The first portable Metroidvania game that had a lot of stuff that I wouldn’t have a clue about if it weren’t for GameFAQs. The different cards you could collect, the combos you could do, etc. Great game even without that knowledge, though, and it’s one of the best Metroidvanias out there.
129: Wolfenstein 3D (PC) – Another game I played in black and white on my dad’s computer with PC audio. When I played this in color and with a proper soundcard for the first time, I was floored. It was such a badass game to play and I was playing this game for a long time. Moving along a wall, pushing the use button to try and find secret doors took up a lot of my time in my early teens. So worth it.
128: Need for Speed 2 (PC) – This is kind of a collection post for NFS2, NFS3, High Stakes and Porsche Challenge, but mostly for NFS2. These were all fun racing games in singleplayer, with High Stakes probably being the most fun of the bunch, but when it came to multiplayer NFS2 had them all beat. My friends and I used to play all of the stages, but one in particular got a whole bunch of playing time with us, although I can’t remember its name now. I used to spend the first lap driving the wrong way and then turn around when I met (read: crashed into head first) the other guys who were going the right way. Then I would spend the remaining seven or eight laps in catchup mode, going faster than what would normally be possible. It was so much fun.
126: Castle Crashers (Xbox 360) – This far into the list, it should be obvious that I like co-op play. Castle Crashers is pure co-op awesome in a little jar. One of the best games available on XBLA, with its unique art style and hilarious game design. We basically went through this game, four of us, in one sitting and the time just disappeared. When we were done, we thought the time was about midnight. It was 3 AM. Go figure.
I have a bunch of work stuff to take care of this week, so I don’t know how much writing I’ll be able to get done. I’ll get 125-101 up before Friday.
Getting into the one hundreds with this post and I’m one away from getting to the half-way point. As usual, check out all the other posts here. Let’s go!
200: Star Wars: Dark Forces (PC) – In this game, we first get to meet Kyle Katarn. It was released pretty early and it was really cool to shoot stormtroopers. The darktroopers that you ended up fighting against was interesting as enemies, but they didn’t really come close to being as exciting as fighting someone wielding the force.
199: NBA Street (GameCube) – I really like couch multiplayer, a lot more than internet multiplayer. Playing two on two at home in the couch has always been a lot of fun and especially so in NBA Street. It’s basketball on steroids and you can do these insane finishing moves when you’ve built up the energy bar or something like that.
198: V-Rally 3 (GameCube) – V-Rally 3 was a lot of fun even though I didn’t give it enough credit at first. I kind of had this “I will play you out of spite” attitude towards V-Rally 3 from the outset, because one of the first tracks that you played was really annoying. When I got into it a bit, it was actually a lot of fun and a really good rally game.
197: Warcraft 2: Tides of Darkness (PC) – I was never very good at real time strategy games, but this was still a lot of fun. I don’t remember if I made it through all of the story myself, but I played it through to the end together with a friend and we also took on the expansion called Beyond the Dark Portal. The most fun we had with this was in multiplayer, though, and it was a lot of fun. We also made a lot of our own levels to try out skirmishes on.
196: Metal Storm (NES) – I don’t think this was released in Europe, but I got it on one of those pirated Japanese multi-cartridges. It’s a pity it wasn’t released over here, because it’s one of the most fun shooters I’ve ever played. You can shoot, jump AND reverse gravity at will. Plus you’re a badass robot and the backgrounds look really freaky.
195: Far Cry (PC) – This is an awesome game as long as you’re fighting humans. As soon as the game introduces the mutants, I think the fun factor takes a huge dive. But up until that happens, it’s a beautiful game that’s got some great action to it. The first game to really get jungle action just right, even though it’s kind of ridiculous that Jack Carver runs around in the jungle with a bright red hawaii shirt.
194: Unreal Tournament 2004 (PC) – This was the game that almost got me back into spending a lot of time on online multiplayer. The reason was that I liked the variety of the weapons and the maps were varied and beautiful, but most of all, it was fast-paced and if you knew what you were doing in terms of different jumping tricks and shortcuts, you had a definite edge over your opponents. Think about it, if you can get from point A to point B 30 to 60 percent faster than other guys, you dictate the flow of the game and that’s always been what I like. If I had gotten 100% into this and spent lots of time on it, I have no doubt that I would put it in my top 20 or somewhere around there. But for some reason I can’t put my finger on, it didn’t stick entirely. What a pity.
192: Terminator: Future Shock (PC) – If it weren’t for bugs, this game would be a lot higher up on this list. Still, it is to this day one of the most impressive postapocalyptic game worlds I’ve come across. The driving sections were awkward, but the rest of the game was so tight and full of tension that it makes up for it. Hunter-Killer drones have never been more scary.
191: Donkey Konga (GameCube) – One of the most fun and frantic gaming experiences out there, except for maybe Dance Dance Revolution, is Donkey Konga on the more difficult songs. You go nuts trying to get all of it right and it’s a good feeling when you hit every “note”.
190: Puzzle Bobble (PC) – A classic LAN game for me and my friends, Puzzle Bobble worked perfectly when you had five minutes to spare if you’d been eliminated in another multiplayer game and you wanted to do somehitng. I have a bunch of old videos recorded from a few LANs and in most of them, you can hear the plopping of bubbles in the background.
189: Outlaws (PC) – I think this was the first cowboy FPS I played and to this day, I think it’s still the only one that’s been really satisfying for me. It was hyped for a long time before it was released and when it came, it was a slight letdown, but on the whole, it was a lot of fun.
188: Hitman: Codename 47 (PC) – The Hitman series is interesting because it was one of the first games that tried to move away from the standard shoot-everything-you-see mentality. Instead, it focused on thinking and being intelligent in terms of planning the hit and then executing it. The problem was that in most cases, the game wasn’t very obvious about what needed to be done and there were also a lot of bugs that meant that you had to finish a mission in a very particular way. It was still very fun though.
187: Dead Rising (Xbox 360) – Zombies are awesome and this game is too. It’s just too bad that the game has a damn time limit. It’s ridiculous, really. If it weren’t for the stress factor, this game would be one of the best on the 360 in my book. I’d like to have time to explore and have fun, but there’s always this pressure to go on and on and on and I just don’t like that. I know that you can unlock it, but I want it to be available from the start. Hammy “acting” and interesting characters. Jessie’s cleavage is just ridiculous and the different psychos that you need to take down are disturbing, but all in all, it’s the zombies that are the stars of the game. They’re not special at all, just shambling along slowly, moaning. But it’s the sheer amount of them that really makes the game. That and the ability to go through them with a lawnmower. That helps too.
186: Command & Conquer: Red Alert (PC) – Another smash hit multiplayer RTS that was a lot of fun for me and my friends. I really liked the single player too, especially the FMV sequences between the missions. The highlight is the one at the start when they kill Hitler. That “Ja, ja… Ich verstehe” comes right out of the blue.
185: Elite Beat Agents (Nintendo DS) – What makes this DS game so much fun isn’t really the gameplay, even though it is interesting, pushing the screen at the right moments and in the right way. No, what makes this game is the presentation. You’re introduced with a set of different people that have different problems. So what do you do? You send out three guys in suits who make the problems go away using dance. Yes, dance is the solution to everything. Then the way the stories are presented is just fantastic and incredibly campy in a good way.
184: Tetris DS (Nintendo DS) – I don’t think Tetris needs to be introduced. Tetris DS has Tetris and a bunch of variations on it. I really like the puzzle part and I’m a good way through all of the 200 puzzles in the game.
183: Kane & Lynch: Dead Men (Xbox 360) – Apparently this game is being made into a movie with Bruce Willis and Jamie Foxx. Foxx will play the guy in the picture. A psychotic white guy with a beard and a receeding hairline. Meh. Oh well, it’s actually pretty cinematic and that’s probably the best part of it. It has a fairly good storyline and that’s what keeps the game afloat, because the gameplay has a bunch of annoyances to it. Still, I like it okay, it was fun to play in co-op.
182: Far Cry 2 (Xbox 360) – Far Cry 2 is not a sequel to Far Cry that was mentioned earlier in this entry. Why it’s called Far Cry is beyond me. It just doesn’t make sense. But what the hell, it’s a good game, so fuck it. It has atmosphere coming out its ears and it’s one of the most beautiful games I’ve played. The problem is that it is too annoying. The time spent traveling is really annoying and the never-ending road patrols and guard points take you off your objective all the goddamn time. Fairly fun multiplayer.
181: Aquanox (PC) – I got this game with a graphics card that I bought, although I can’t remember which one. Anyway, the story is that the world has become toxic, so people have moved under water to survive. The point of this game is to “fly” around under the water in your ship, taking out other ships and bases. It had good control with a joystick and it was just beautiful. I could sit there staring at the rays of light streaming down from above, hitting the sand banks, for long periods of time. The action was pretty good too.
180: The Lost Vikings (SNES) – Classic puzzle game featuring the time traveling vikings Erik, Baleog and Loaf. They each had different abilities and attributes that forced you to use them in certain ways, switching between them to move forward in the level. My favorite thing about this game was the dialogue between the vikings at the start and end of every level.
179: Return to Castle Wolfenstein (PC) – Released back in the heyday at the end of the 90s, RtCW was a fairly good game that mixed awesome levels with really “meh” ones. I played it mostly because I had played Wolfenstein 3D so I didn’t really know what to expect. The whole occult thing was pretty ridiculous and a lot of the levels were just bland, boring WW2 stuff. However, there were some castle levels that were really exciting.
178: StarSiege (PC) – I’ve always had a soft spot for mech games and StarSiege is one of them. I was visiting a friend and he showed me a game called EarthSiege and it didn’t really register with me. Then when StarSiege was released (along with Tribes, which I never really got into), I remembered EarthSiege and bought the package. It’s a lot of fun, you can customize the mechs to some degree, but I never got into it as heavily as I did with the MechWarrior series. It was my friend who got me into that too, but more on that later on in the list.
177: Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter (Xbox 360) – The ClancyVerse has this thing with Mexico in recent years, making games where Mexico is attacking the US and stuff like that. GRAW was a lot of fun when you got into controlling your squadmates, but a lot of it was awkward too. I didn’t like it nearly as much as some of the other Clancy games, but it was still nice. It has a really fun skirmish mode.
176: Star Wars: Dark Forces 2: Jedi Knight (PC) – Kyle Katarn returns and this time, he gets to use the force! The first part of the game was just so-so because you didn’t really have force powers and then when they were introduced, the game got more drive, because you wanted them all. The thing is, you could only get one side. You got to pick between light and dark side force powers. There were some neutral as well. The expansion, Mysteries of the Sith, was also a lot of fun to play.
Almost done with the first half of the list. One more part and then I’m there.
This is the fourth list post about the games and I’m already having a hard time coming up with original ways to start off each post. Oh well… I’m going to be done with the first third of the list after this one. To check out the other posts in this project, click here.
225: Codename Eagle (PC) – This can pretty much be called the beta-test for Battlefield 1942, since it used the same game engine and was extremely buggy. If you’re not familiar with that series, it was the first multiplayer FPS that combined good shooting with proper vehicle control. Codename Eagle had that too, but the words “good” and “proper” should be changed to “weird” and “random”. It was completely possible to fall from the sky in a parachute, activate it and instead of landing on your feet, you started swimming ON THE GROUND, moving around at about 100 mph. In spite of the bugginess the game was very fun in multiplayer. I remember one special moment when I managed to maneuver the clunky bomber plane under a bridge, flying low enough so my friend could jump into the air and get into the plane without missing a beat. Simply awesome.
224: Lips/SingStar (Xbox 360/Playstation) – I’m combining the karaoke games into one spot and they hardly get a spot on this list because they don’t really have much game to them. Since I love singing, they go on the list.
223: Colin McRae Rally 2.0 (PC) – I’ve always had a soft spot for rally games and this one was my favorite on the PC even though it’s pretty old. It had the best driving feel of any of the games in my opinion. Most other games had this kind of gravity that felt like you were driving on the moon, with the car almost hovering a long way every single time you hit some kind of bump.
222: Bubble Bobble (Amiga 500) – The music in this game has to be some of the most iconic you can find on the Amiga. Whenever I hear this music, see video of the game or play it myself, I keep thinking “sweet bubblegum”. Yeah, that’s weird, but it’s the truth. It’s all pastel color and fluffy.
221: Donkey Kong Country (SNES) – This was incredibly cool when it came and it’s still a very solid platformer. However, the reason it’s not higher on the list is because I felt that it just didn’t have a lot of staying power. I just didn’t spend a lot of time on it after the first playthrough and I also didn’t really think that much about the characters.
220: Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (NES) – Kevin Costner on the NES. Yes, it’s ridiculous in a lot of ways and they padded this game something silly. There is so much extra stuff in this that you wonder what the developers were smoking when they made it. Still, I had a lot of fun with it when it came. It was a lot of fun back when I didn’t really understand just how buggy it was. Something that always annoyed me was how, when the game shows you character portraits whenever someone is speaking, Alan Rickman’s photo has been switched with Michael Wincott’s, so the big bad guy’s photo is actually just one of the henchmen from the movie.
219: Super Probotector (SNES) – Probotector is what Contra was released as in Europe and the player models were changed from Rambo-like soldiers to metallic robots. It’s classic platform shooting with some over-head perspective shooting sprinkled in just for fun. The spread rifle still rules.
218: Unreal Tournament (PC) – The first of three Unreal games in this entry. I have spent a shitload of time with bots in this game because they were actually pretty decent in it. I think the reason I went with bots is because I could never get good ping times on my old 56k modem. Facing Worlds was really fun to play CTF on and DM-Morpheus with some silly mutators was always a laugh too. This didn’t get a lot of play on the LANs we used to do.
217: Eternal Sonata (Xbox 360) – This is quite possibly the most diabetes-inducing game on the 360. The characters, the plot, the setting and the dialogue is… no, the word “sweet” doesn’t quite cut it. It is so damn über-sweet that it’s not even funny. It gets tiresome. I couldn’t finish the game because of it. However, as sweet as everything is, it is still a beautiful game, both visually and musically. Sadly, it’s all bogged down by the world’s most tiresome cutscenes, something that plagues most Japanese RPGs. Interesting battle system.
216: Red Baron (PC) – The old Dynamix game from 1989 or 90 is what’s up here. I played this with no proper sound card, which meant using the internal PC speaker, and on a black and white monitor. At least at first. Later on my dad got a color monitor. I didn’t care, this game was still so fun to play.
215: Burnout 2: Point of Impact (GameCube) – Some of the most fun I’ve had with a racing game didn’t have anything to do with racing. Burnout 2′s crash mode was so much fun to play around with, to the point where I didn’t really care about the rest of the game anymore. I didn’t really like the other versions as much as this one for some reason. Can’t really put my finger on why.
214: Lemmings (Amiga 500) – I always liked the first Lemmings game the best, because why complicate things? Sure, it can be fun to add rocket pack lemmings and a bunch of other skills, but keeping things simple is usually the best way. Finding creative ways to massacre them was always fun.
213: Unreal 2: The Awakening (PC) – Second Unreal game in this entry. This was the second game with a proper story mode and I can’t remember what it had to do with the first one. They seemed completely disconnected from each other. I really liked the design of this game and one of the levels was this desolate technological fortress that was overrun with giant spiders. Freaked me out like nothing else in that game.
212: Delta Force 2 (PC) – More voxels! This game was a lot more polished than the first one and the single player mode was actually worthwhile. I really loved the vast expanses of terrain because back when these games were released, the size of most levels/maps wasn’t that much to write home about. I used to take an M4 with a grenade launcher attachment and just go nuts on the opposing soldiers. Taking them out with a sniper rifle was also extremely satisfying, more so than in most games.
211: Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem (GameCube) – If there is something that is all too rare in gaming, it is the mindfuck. Eternal Darkness got this right on so many levels. As you played the game and your character got more and more insane, the game would throw all sorts of strange effects at you, among them telling you that the memory card was corrupt. That was a real scare that really messed with you and when you later realized that it was all just part of the game, you could go “phew” and chuckle at the ingenuity of game design.
210: Quake 3 Arena (PC) – The most of the time I’ve spent with this game has been playing The Longest Yard over and over again. It was a nice blend between Quake and Quake 2, but for some reason, I couldn’t get fully into it. Don’t really know why, because it should’ve been the perfect multiplayer game for me. Fast FPS action was just my thing and I was really good at it.
209: Scribblenauts (Nintendo DS) – Scribblenauts is a fairly new game to me and I haven’t beaten too much of it yet, but I really like what I’ve played so far. If you’re like me, you try to be creative with your solutions, not using the helicopter and rocket pack over and over. I’ve had a lot of fun trying to see just how much stuff they’ve crammed into the game by entering random stuff that pop up in my head. I also like pitting random characters against each other. Does God beat Cthulhu? No, not without certain weapons. Vampires? I’ve tried surviving a nuke in many different ways.
208: Army of Two: The 40th Day (Xbox 360) – This is the sequel and it’s worse than the first game. I hate it when that happens, especially when it’s obvious that the development decisions that went into this one are obviously stupid. For example, how about not having a clear enemy? The first game had it. This one didn’t and the game really suffered from it. Still, it was a pretty fun co-op experience.
207: Myth 2: Soulblighter (PC) – The Myth series was the last thing Bungie did before they started working on the Halo series. Yes, I know they made Oni too, but that was made by an expansion studio and the studio folded after that game, so it doesn’t count. Myth 2 was refreshing because it didn’t focus on resource gathering or base building. It was a purely tactical game and it was a lot of fun in multiplayer. It was also really bloody and it was cool to see body parts flying all over the place.
206: Unreal (PC) – Third time’s the charm, at least for Unreal games and this list entry. I love this game, it was seriously tense and frightening the first times I played it. What really made it stand out compared to most other FPSes that were released around the same time, was the use of color and lighting. It was pretty dark, but it was not just all brown smudge everywhere. The opening credits still give me chills.
205: X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter (PC) – The old TIE Fighter game was a lot of fun, but it was choppy as hell and the action wasn’t near as tense as in this one. I had a Logitech Interceptor joystick (picture) that I used with this game and it was so much fun. I wouldn’t want to play it with the mouse and keyboard. Being able to play both the Alliance and the Imperial ships was what made the game so much fun.
204: Elastomania (PC) – Very small game, lots of fun. This was an exercise in weird physics and really strange levels that were virtually endless. Predecessor to the XBLA hit game Trials HD and very addictive.
203: Slicks ‘n’ Slide (PC) – Another addictive racing game seen from above. This was a little DOS gem that could be fiddled with to increase the speed of the game, etc. I had kind of a competition with a friend of mine to get the best times on a bunch of tracks. If I’m not mistaken, you could play four people on the same computer. LAN play was out of the question.
202: Resident Evil 0 (GameCube) – I never finished this game, but I like what I played, although not as much as the other games in the series. I know this is a silly thing to say, considering it’s the Resident Evil universe, but I felt that this game got a little out of hand. I like Rebecca as a protagonist and Billy works too, but the rest of the cast was very “meh”. Really didn’t care for the bad guy.
201: Super Smash Bros Brawl (Wii) – I wanted to get one of the Smash Bros games on this list and this is the one I’ve spent the most time with, even though that’s not very much. I had a hard time getting into the concept of Smash Bros because I was used to beating your opponent and then going on to the next round. Here you had to beat the other people out of the screen and the round doesn’t really end when you’ve beaten them once. That makes it a lot more frantic and fun, but that’s also my biggest gripe with it. I like to have control and Smash Bros is just a bit too chaotic for my taste to land it higher on this list.
I’m still debating whether or not I should go 25 each down to 150 or all the way down to 100. There will be at least two more posts with 25 spots each, leaning towards starting off the 10-posts at 150. That way I can cram in some more thoughts about each game.
Time for the next 25 entries in this giant list, getting close to wrapping up the first 100. As usual check out the blog tag Top 300 Games for all the posts about the list.
250: Leisure Suit Larry (Amiga 500) – The ultimate video game pervert made his debut in this game that was kind of the silly antithesis to Police Quest. I thought this was soooooo cool and grown up when I played it and my cousin wrote me a walk-through way before GameFAQs was around, just so I could go all the way with a skanky hooker. Wonderful…
249: Journey to Silius (NES) – Journey to Silius was a fresh change of pace among a bunch of brightly colored and generally cheery platformers on the NES. This was a dark, dystopian tale that featured awesome action, interesting enemies and some of the best music in the entire NES game library. This was good shit and it still holds up today, so check it out.
248: North & South (Amiga 500) – One of my friends had an Amiga 500 and this was probably the game that we played the most. We made aiming cannons into an art and I can still remember all those times when I tried to sneak a few infantrymen across a stream to let them loose on my friend’s artillery, only to aim them incorrectly and they’d leave the battlefield without doing any damage. Damn it! Although I was usually pretty good at doing those train assaults where the game turned into an action platformer.
247: Track & Field 2 (NES) – I wonder how many NES controllers and/or fingers have been worn out because of this game. To this day, I still can’t come up with a game that centers so much around pressing a button or two repeatedly like a madman. We got so good at turbopressing that we were faster than the autofire controllers that were available back then.
246: Delta Force (PC) – Voxels… Ah, they were supposed to be the new graphical revolution in video games, but then polygons took over and the rest is history, as they say. But voxels were pretty cool too, even if they lacked the texture detail that some polygon based 3D games had. Why? Draw distance. With voxels, the game world could be virtually endless and it could be as flat or mountainous as you wanted it to be. I used to play skirmish games on it, where the game would spawn 50 or so enemy soldiers and then it was my job to kill them all. Most of the time, that meant me picking them off with a sniper rifle. Fun stuff!
245: Pro Wrestling (NES) – This game has the greatest game over screen of all time. “A WINNER IS YOU!” Oh, the memories… My favorite fighter was always Star Man because of his trippy outfit, but I liked the monster guy who could chew on heads too.
244: South Park (PC) – I don’t remember playing through a lot of this game’s story mode, because it was basically just about shooting turkeys. The real fun was in the multiplayer and we used to play that quite a bit at one point. It had some really creative weapons and this was a couple of years into South Park’s popularity, so everyone loved killing Stan, Kyle, Cartman but especially Kenny. Yes, we were that predictable and boring.
243: Giants: Citizen Kabuto (PC) – The most interesting thing about this game, apart from the wacky humor and the beautiful graphics, was that you played as distinctly different characters. The most fun to play as was Kabuto, because he could wreak havoc like no one else since he was so big and strong and could take a thorough beating before he went down.
242: Tiny Toon Adventures (NES) – Same thing here as with Giants, you could play as different characters. Of course, this wasn’t in a big 3D game world, it was just a classic NES platformer. But it worked really well and was a lot of fun. I loved playing as the Tazmanian Devil’s kid the most.
241: Crusader No Regret/Remorse (PC) – I baked these two into one entry because frankly, I can’t remember how to tell them apart and they were basically the same thing anyway. Awesome, isometric, shooter action that I would love to see a remake of on XBLA or something like that.
240: Grand Theft Auto (PC) – Gouranga! That’s what popped up on the screen in large letters whenever you managed to run over an entire procession of Hare Krishna worshippers. The reason I like this game so much is because it was so simple and yet so big and so fun. Not a million mini games. You could do a lot of things with it even though you could only drive cars and stuff viewed from above. Some of the chases that went on for a while got really intense.
239: Super Star Wars (SNES) – The best of the bunch as far as the SNES Star Wars games are concerned, in my opinion. It could be that it was the first one, but I thought it was really exciting and had a lot of great action. I remember renting this and putting it into my console only to hear the familiar Star Wars music blaring out of the TV.
238: Punch Out (NES) – I always wondered how some of the guys in this game actually got as far as they did. King Hippo? Come on! I think the farthest I got was to meet Bald Bull the second time. As I recall, I couldn’t beat him that time, but it was a long time ago, so I could be mistaken.
237: The Settlers (Amiga 500) – My cousin and I used to play this because he had a hard-on for building games. His favorite part was the guy who went out to look for minerals. I liked the whole thing and now that I think about it, I’m actually a bit surprised that I haven’t really picked up any of the sequels.
236: Castlevania II – Simon’s Quest (NES) – Looking back on this title these days, I don’t really understand what made it stand out for me so much back then. Perhaps I didn’t have better judgement, because it’s a pretty shitty game that’s complete nonsense a lot of the time. Great music though.
235: Syndicate (Amiga 500) – My friend used to roll his eyes at me just because I insisted on always having a shotgun with one of my guys in every mission, imitating Michael Biehn’s Corporal Hicks in the movie Aliens: “I like to keep this handy for close encounters.” This was another dystopian favorite of mine when I was younger, but I didn’t really get much of the story, if there even was one. My friend and I just plowed through the missions because it was good action.
234: Zombies Ate My Neighbors (SNES) – This was the ultimate zombie game way back before zombies got so insanely popular. It was extremely fun and equally hard when you got a bunch of levels into the game. Those homicidal little knife maniacs were my primary hate objects but there were a whole bunch of annoying enemies that you could hate.
233: A-10 Tank Killer (PC) – I used to play this on my dad’s PC when he still had a monochrome screen and I think I played it with the invulnerability cheat on for the most part, but then when I got a bit bored with it, I figured out how to turn that off and play it properly, learning how to follow the different orders and using the right bombs/missiles for the different assignments. I haven’t really touched a realistic flight simulator since then.
232: Hidden & Dangerous (PC) – Remember what I said about Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines about wanting it to be released with a fresh skin? Well, this is sort of it, but it was released pretty closely after Commandos. It was a bit more action-oriented, but still focused on stealth, which was a lot of fun. Actually, it’s the kind of game that could probably be released today and garner a lot of success. I liked it because it was more than just shooting stuff. It forced you to think a bit before you pulled the trigger.
231: Bucky O’Hare (NES) – One of those games that got way too little exposure and fanfare. This is one of the best platformers on the NES and again, it’s one of those games that lets you play as different characters with different abilities. I’m noticing a pattern here.
230: Red Faction (PC) – I remember when the demo for this game was released and I tried it. You got to play a bit of the first level and you also got to play around with a fun-house level that was just a glass house in a mine. I used to edit the config files to up the explosive force of the packs of dynamite or whatever they were, just so I could blow away more rock. Finally, I found out that the level had hard limits that I couldn’t blow myself past. Meh. Fun game in story mode, it was one of the first FPS games that really pulled off vehicles mid-game.
229: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 (NES) – The first TMNT game was a bitch to play and this one was also quite tricky, although a lot more manageable. The biggest improvement over the first one, apart from… well, everything really, was that you could play two players this time around, which was completely awesome.
228: Ninja Gaiden (NES) – This was called Shadow Warriors here in Sweden, but it was just as fantastic and horribly difficult. But I beat it, although I can’t for the life of me understand how today. I was some kind of NES ninja back in the day. I tried the sequels on the NES too, but I figured that I had gone through enough with the first game. Those damn birds can go suck a big fat dick as far as I’m concerned. They are the single most annoying platforming enemies ever. So unforgiving.
227: Ignition (PC) – A Swedish developer made this game, actually, and I remember the gaming magazines over here made a big deal out of it. I thought it was an okay racing game, very casual. It felt more like controlling those little remote-controlled toy cars you used to have when you were a kid.
226: Gun.Smoke (NES) – Capcom has made some really classic NES games and Gun.Smoke is one of them. The period is there because of copyright issues with the TV show. This is still one of the best western games ever released, which says a lot about how bad western games have generally been through the years.
I’m 75 games in now, how does it look?