It’s high time I get down below the hundreds, so here we are with the last few games before we get there.
125: Splinter Cell (PC) – The first adventure with Sam Fisher and this was a revelation to me when it was released. I’d always loved the narrative maturity of the Tom Clancy games and this one was no different. You really felt like a ghost sneaking around and taking guys out, but you had to be a ninja, because if you got several guys after you, you were pretty much toast.
124: Geometry Wars: Evolved 2 (Xbox 360) – I didn’t like the first one at all, I thought the learning curve was way too steep. When this was released I was a bit hesitant, but trying out the different game modes sold me on it. What I love about this game is the combined frantic and calm nature that comes with it. There can be a hundred things happening on the screen and in all that chaos, you succeed the most when you stay calm and learn how to prioritize among the targets while figuring out how to move.
123: Final Fantasy Tactics Advance (Gameboy Advance) – The amount of time you can sink into this kind of turn-based strategy RPG is mindblowing and I have a friend who’s been almost religious about this genre. Myself, I got about halfway through the storyline while building my team. It’s really addicting trying to plan out how you want your guys to develop.
122: Super Mario 64 (Nintendo 64) – I think this is the only N64 game I’ve got on the list because I was never a fan of that console. I did, however, love playing Super Mario 64. It’s been said countless times, but this was the first game that really brought solid 3D platforming controls to gaming. This had everything we all love about the Mario games. Incredibly solid platforming while moving the genre forward. It was just plain fun to play.
121: Diablo 2 (PC) – For the longest time I regarded the original Diablo to be the better game, mainly because it annoyed me that the sequel had you playing in the desert and in the jungle. Those were very un-Diablo-like areas. Still, the game was a lot of fun to play with other people. I didn’t, however, get completely stuck in grinding that some of my friends thought was so much fun. I just thought it was a fun hack and slash. And no, it is no RPG. I hate it when people label it as that.
120: StarCraft (PC) – More Blizzard. I think this was the last RTS I really played extensively. The reason why is because one of my friends got insanely hooked on it and beat the rest of us with no problem. That made me go “huh… so I suck at this… fuck it” and I spent most of my time playing action games from then on. The music still gives me chills and I’m actually curious about the sequel. First time in over a decade that I’m curious about an RTS.
119: Day of Defeat (PC) – Woohoo, even more WW2 shooting. However, this time it’s not some bland single player campaign, so that doesn’t matter. Day of Defeat was the WW2 response to Counter-Strike and it was a lot of fun to play.
118: Rainbow Six Vegas 2 (Xbox 360) – This was a tricky one to rank. On one hand there were many gameplay improvements over the first R6 Vegas, but on the other the story and environments were quite uninspiring. I had a lot of fun with it, especially in co-op, both in story and terrorist hunt, but in the end the game was too bland to get a higher ranking.
117: Batman (NES) – Badass. That’s what this game is. I haven’t sunk my teeth into Batman: Arkham Asylum yet, but I hear it’s the best Batman game ever. Well, before that, this game held that honor. It has it all. Great action, tight controls, awesome music and more atmosphere than 50 other NES games put together.
116: Blood (PC) – One gadget I used to dominate the multiplayer games between me and my friends was the crystal ball. With it I could camp at a spot while I saw the perspective of another player. Then when he was in a good, vulnerable spot, I’d pounce on him and take him out. Worked all the time. The voodoo doll weapon was fun too and Caleb is one of the more memorable one-liner-spewing main characters in any game. Everything brought to us by the good old Build engine.
115: Super Monkey Ball (GameCube) – Monkey Target. That’s all I should have to say here. The minigame that stole the thunder from the regular gameplay. My friends and I spent a lot of time on that, gliding towards the different target zones. We also spent a lot of time playing Monkey Fight, which was very brutal in a cute and fun way. But seriously, this game should be played for Monkey Target alone.
114: Civilization 2 (PC) – Oldie but goldie and a lot of fun in multiplayer, provided you have a lot of time on your hands. I haven’t really sat down with any of the sequels, but I’ve wanted to. If only I had more time… but Civ is always Civ and this classic series was a mammoth early on. I remember one of my friends having the huuuuge manual that came with the original game. You could kill people with that brick.
113: Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (Xbox 360) – I know this was originally released on the PlayStation, but I never had one of those and played this the first time on Xbox Live Arcade. I really like it, but some of the sequels on the GBA and the DS have been improved on greatly. Some of the funniest moments in gaming are the voiceovers the few times there is dialogue happening.
112: Fahrenheit (PC) – Any game that contains necrophilia has to be good, right? No, it’s not THAT sick. It’s actually fairly romantic necrophilia. Okay, seriously, this game is fantastic for the first three quarters and then it just tanks in a mess of mysticism and weirdness. Before that it is a great detective game with great narrative. The European version wasn’t censored, so we got the love scenes and some other weirdness. It was called Indigo Prophecy in North America.
111: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3: The Manhattan Project (NES) – I remember getting this on one of those Japanese import cartridges and what I loved the most about it was that the turtles actually had individual special moves. I liked Michaelangelo’s the most, the way he’d catapult himself up in the air, taking any foot soldiers along with him.
110: Rock Band 2 (Xbox 360) – Multiplayer music! This is just plain fun, although I can’t play the drums worth a damn. But I can still sing and play guitar It’s a bitch to do both at the same time if you don’t know the lyrics and melody by heart.
109: MDK (PC) – Murder Death Kill is what I heard this stands for when it came out. It’s one of the more unique games I’ve played, an interesting mix of shooting, platforming, style and humor. One of those that I wish could get a fresh coat of paint for the current generation of consoles.
108: MechCommander (PC) – Ah, yes, BattleTech. This is an awesome strategy game, especially when you get down to the nitty-gritty of how to build mechs and stuff like that. It doesn’t have the prettiest graphics, but I still think it’s a solid game to pull out from time to time. It’s a real thrill to take down a MadCat with a few lighter mechs.
107: Odium (PC) – This was also released as Gorky 17 and I think the developers are Polish. It’s a semi-weird game that gave me a lot of Fallout vibes because of the grid- and turnbased combat while telling a scary story about covert mutations by the Russian army or something like that.
106: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 4: Turtles in Time (SNES) – This is one of the funniest multiplayer games I know. It’s a pretty fast run to go through the whole game along with someone else and the action is as good as it gets on consoles for a turtle lover.
105: Star Wars: Jedi Knight 2: Jedi Outcast (PC) – The best Star Wars game I’ve had the priviledge to play. Going through the game, plowing through hordes of stormtroopers with ease was fun, yes, but not exactly earthshattering. Then, when you started facing off against other opponents with lightsabers and force powers, guys that were not bosses, the game took a turn and got very tense, because you could stumble upon one of these guys at any turn. Taking on three or four at once was so damn fun.
104: S.T.A.L.K.E.R. (PC) – Another game that just oozes atmosphere. It’s a bit slow in the beginning when you don’t have any equipment at all, but then it really gets going, especially when you start moving past the halfway point. I had a lot of fun with this and it was both good action as well as scary during some parts of it. Too bad it was quite buggy.
103: Stunts (PC) – I don’t know how many tracks I made for this game. The thing is, I didn’t really make them so they could be standard racing tracks. No, I wanted to break the game and find loopholes. Take a long straight road heading right towards a hill and then at the top of the hill, put a big ramp, then see what happens. I was able to make the game get my car driving upside down and mirrored, so if I pressed the left arrow key, it turned right. A lot of fun.
102: Metroid Zero Mission (Gameboy Advance) – I never got myself to play through the entire game of Metroid and I had to hunt for this game for a long time before I could find it at an affordable price, but boy was it worth it. Adding the last part of the game was a genius move and made you appreciate the suit even more.
101: Bionic Commando (Xbox 360) – At first, when I started playing this, I really didn’t think that much of it. The controls felt clunky and you couldn’t really do much. However, at some point during the game, I got the hang of the controls and some of the added abilities really made the game fun. Even though the story is as cheesy as they come (most ridiculous plot twist ever), the action is just so damn solid. It’s incredibly entertaining to swing around like some weird monkey while really kicking a lot of ass. This game was a pleasant surprise.
Alright, all done with the first 200 games of this list. From now on I will post ten games per post. What do you think so far?
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.
Not a lot to say here, just keep it going. Check this out if you want to see the rest of the posts about the list.
175: Hitman 2 (PC) – The second game was different from the first in that it gave you an alternative if your regular assassination attempt didn’t work. Regular being using disguises and all that jazz. So what would you do? Shoot your way through it. The game had markedly better shooting controls.
174: Mario Kart DS (Nintendo DS) – I never got that thing that made it possible to connect your DS via wifi to a USB connection point in order to connect the DS to the internet so you could play multiplayer online instead of just within your wifi radius. That’s why this game is down here. It got comparatively boring pretty fast to only play the AI. Still, it’s Mario Kart, so it’s on the list.
173: Army of Two (Xbox 360) – Cookie-cutter shooter but it becomes quite entertaining in co-op. Not blow-your-socks-off great, but solid and enjoyable. Also, the camp factor of this game is through the roof. Miles better than the sequel, since it has a clear bad guy you go after and the environments are a lot more varied too.
172: Advance Wars: Days of Ruin (Nintendo DS) – For some reason, this wasn’t as fun as the first game and I’ve been trying to put my finger on why that is, but no such luck. It could be the whole postapocalypse vibe that permeates the entire game. Or that the characters aren’t as entertaining as in the first. However, the skirmish mode is still awesome and the fantastic concept of turn-based strategy is still there.
171: F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin (Xbox 360) – The biggest problems with this game were that the narrative was all over the place and that the environment, the ravaged city, got tiresome too fast. I also didn’t think that it had as good of a kinetic feel to it as the first game, especially during the firefights.
170: Worms Armageddon (Xbox 360) – I’m talking about the second Worms on XBLA here. Great game for couch competition, especially the game type where you and the opponent gets a fortress each and you’re lobbing grenades at each other. I tried playing it on Xbox Live, but most people were too boring, never being willfully chaotic, instead just playing tactically to win. Meh.
169: Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4 (GameCube) – This is the only skateboarding game that I gave a proper shot and for some reason, it stuck with me and I had a lot of fun with it. I tried out some later Tony Hawk games and I’ve also tried out the Skate games, but they’re just “meh” with me.
168: Wii Sports (Wii) – I like this the most when it’s played during a party involving alcohol and lots of people. Or when I try to hit homeruns. I like the baseball part the best, but boxing is fun too, although I suck at the controls in that.
167: Grand Theft Auto 4 (Xbox 360) – I think I’ve played about four or five “missions” of the main story. Hardly anything at all. I still spent 10+ hours with the game, running around like a madman, having fun by creating havoc, shooting people and stealing cars. I actually want to get through the story of this one, but a lot of it is soooo tedious. The brother, for example. Why you’re not presented with an option to shoot him within five minutes is beyond me.
166: Lumines Live (Xbox 360) – I first played this on my friend Micke’s PlayStation Portable years ago and it almost became reason enough for me to buy a PSP, although that never happened. But then when Lumines was released for the 360 a few years later, I picked it up and I just love the music together with the puzzle gameplay. It’s still one of the best puzzle games around and it’s like you get into a trance-like state when you’re completely into it.
165: Lost Planet (Xbox 360) – Lost Planet was the first game I ever played on an Xbox 360 and the first game I experienced on a high definition TV. I tried the demo at my friend’s place on his brand new HDTV and it blew me away. So later when I got my own 360 and HDTV, this was among the first games I got for it. It has incredibly cheesy cutscenes, but the action is very good, both when you’re on foot and when you’re in a mech. Some of the bosses are huge and the game gives you a great sense of size.
164: Medal of Honor: Allied Assault (PC) – This was the first really solid WW2 shooter if I remember correctly. There’s not a lot more to say, I think, because the whole WW2 shooter has been done to death at this point.
163: Splinter Cell: Double Agent (PC) – The story of Sam Fisher, part four. In this game, Sam thinks he doesn’t have a reason to live and becomes a double agent for one of the most dangerous terrorist organizations in the world. It’s a pretty interesting game, actually, in how you have to play two sides, but some of the pacing in the game gets weird. I got to the cruise ship level and stopped playing there for some reason. I think I’ll finish the game someday, because it’s still a pretty good game with solid sneaking.
162: Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance (Gameboy Advance) – I love the Metroidvania games, but this is the worst of them. It is all over the place and a lot of the skills and mechanics are subpar for the genre. Still, it’s a Metroidvania game and I love ‘em. Good thing I got this on a dual cartridge along with Aria of Sorrow, which I’ll come to later.
161: Daigasso Band Brothers (Nintendo DS) – A music game on the Nintendo DS? You betcha! I got this as a Japanese import and I don’t know if it was ever released in English. It works kind of like the current console music games, except you don’t get any weird peripherals. It tells you when to press the different buttons on the DS, for how long and everything else. The tricky tunes get really hard when you have to switch between eight different buttons + modifying them with the L and R buttons. On the other hand it’s a lot of fun to play the classic Nintendo music.
160: Hexic HD (Xbox 360) – Another 360 puzzle game, this one is quite the opposite of something like Lumines. Most other puzzle games I’ve played have been designed around pressure mounting by giving you less and less time to do what you have to do. Not Hexic. Well, excluding one of the game modes of course. Most of the time you can just watch the screen and take all the time in the world to figure out what you need to do.
159: Firepower (Amiga 500) – Oh, here’s an old-timer that has gotten waaaaaay too little attention. This was one of the most fun games on the Amiga 500 and I just loved playing the versus mode. My friend and I even made this contraption to put up a cardboard screen between us so we could only see our own half of the monitor. Tank action at its best.
158: Command & Conquer (PC) – The first one. It still has the best death scream of any game ever. This was one of the first two games I bought for myself when I got my own PC back in 1996. The other one is in the 12th spot on this list. I always liked the original series more than the Red Alert spinoffs. If nothing else, then just for the reason that the commando was so much cooler than that damn Tanya in Red Alert.
157: Star Wars: Rogue Squadron (PC) – I had a lot of fun with this because I didn’t feel like playing a simulator version of the Star Wars flying games. You just plopped down in front of the computer and pulled off flying that was awesome.
156: Another World (SNES) – Also known as Out of this World. This game is actually not that long, but it has style and atmosphere in spades. Excellent game about someone who wakes up in a strange world. Created by Delphine Software, this had great control and was the start of something great, the result of which will show up in the 50s on this list.
155: Age of Empires 2 (PC) – Another RTS that I spent a lot of multiplayer time with and virtually no singleplayer time. I was never close to being the best of the bunch when me and my friends played this, but it was still pretty fun to build a base and defend it, especially the castles. My favorite units were the Teutonian knights. Damn, they could take a beating before going down.
154: Quake 4 (PC) – The second game in the storyline started in Quake 2, this game gets you back on Stroggos and it’s a wild ride. The wildest part is when you’re turned into a Strogg soldier. That was actually pretty cool and gruesome. Standard action with good graphics, solid game.
153: New Super Mario Bros (Nintendo DS) – I had a lot of expectations for this game when it was released, but they were tempered quickly when I started playing it. It was just not the same thing anymore, not the same, good, old Mario gameplay. I don’t know what it was, but it just felt wrong.
152: Call of Duty (PC) – Pretty much the same as Medal of Honor: Allied Assault, but this one had more narrative flair in how it intertwined the different stories. Playing as a Soviet soldier was very refreshing back then. Other than that, not a lot to say, since it’s another WW2 shooter.
151: Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin (Nintendo DS) – What set this Metroidvania game apart from the others was the whole control-two-characters-at-once design. It was actually pretty cool and it made you think more about how you’d tackle each room, but in the end it had a pretty pathetic story that wasn’t very interesting. What was more interesting was the stuff you unlocked when you finished the story. Suddenly, you could control those two scary sisters and you controled them with the DS stylus.
Halfway through the list now, getting closer to the end. I’ll do two more entries of 25 games each and then start with the top 100 with 10 games in each post.
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.
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?