Next to last post until this list is wrapped up. Well, at least until I get to the spinoff lists, but I’ll sit on that one for a while. As usual, get to the rest of the blog posts in the series by clicking the Top 300 Games tag. I should note that at this point in the list, it’s extremely difficult to differentiate between games and make up my mind about whether or not one of them should be ahead of another.
20: Thief 2: The Metal Age (PC) – Garrett, the ultimate gaming antihero, returns in this, the best sneak ’em up of all time. Karras is a really creepy bad guy and on the way to the end you go through the most inspiring levels I’ve ever seen in a sneak ’em up. Every single level is fantastic; the first warm-up mansion, the harbor, the bank, fleeing from your house, getting to know the mechanists and then the pagans, etc. It’s all set up so well.
19: Mega Man 3 (NES) – Among a lot of Mega Man fans, there’s a divide between those who regard MM3 as the best in the series and then you have those who give that honor to MM2. I’m one of the latter, but holy shit is MM3 close. I still remember firing it up for the first time and trying out Gemini Man because he seemed to be the coolest boss on the startup screen. Rush joined the gang and was a good addition. Facing the MM2 bosses was also an interesting curve ball.
18: Half-Life (PC) – Even though the first game is missing the gravity gun, the impact of playing it hit me more than playing the sequel. I still remember battling headcrabbed scientists, trying to get to the surface of the Black Mesa research center and then there are soldiers there and they … shoot at ME! It was such a cruel twist. People like to rag on the game for the Xen levels at the end, but I didn’t have any problems with them. The expansions are interesting too, especially Blue Shift. I’m still waiting for the mod called Black Mesa, which is a conversion of the entire Half-Life game to the Source engine used in Half-Life 2.
17: Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne (PC) – When I first played this game, I thought it was much more mature than anything I’d ever played. I think I’ve played through it four or five times and I still love the narrative and detail, but most of all I love the perfect action. The TV shows you can catch throughout the game are complete genius. I thought I would be annoyed by the change in Max’s appearance since the first game, but it actually worked really well. The romance with Mona Sax was perfect and the environments, the city of New York, it’s still like one of the characters in the game. I’m dreading the release of Max Payne 3, because it seems the new developers have dropped all the good aspects of the first two games.
16: Mass Effect (Xbox 360) – I fairly recently replayed this one, because I had only played it once and I wanted a second character to import into Mass Effect 2, one that was the complete opposite of my first character. My first character was a male good guy who had a romantic relationship with the soldier Ashley Williams. I saved the council at the end because I’m such a philanthropist. My second character was a female, evil, lesbian asshole who didn’t give a shit about the council and also saved that almost extinct murderous insect race. I figured that I will play through ME2 at least twice, so why not make it interesting? Mass Effect has its flaws, to be sure, but it’s the general impression that’s so lasting and thorough. Even though the battles can be a bit stilted, that’s easily overshadowed by the fantastic cinematic feel of the entire game. The inventory sucks? Fuck it, just sell everything. I love the whole story and the world just pulls you in. I also read the two books and they put some of the things in the game in wonderful perspective.
15: Final Fantasy VI Advance (Gameboy Advance) – This is a game that could just as easily be in the top three as in spot #15. One of the greatest RPGs ever and I’m actually glad that I didn’t get to play this one properly until I was a grown-up. I don’t think I would’ve appreciated it as much in my early teens. Kefka is the most evil bad guy ever and the whole ensemble of heroes is fleshed out A LOT. The storytelling in this game pulls no punches even though it’s just a 16 bit game. You care about those small sprites. I’ve been thinking about who are my favorites, but the longer I got into the game, the more I got to know each character and the harder it was to pick a favorite. Still, Celes and Locke has a special place in my heart. And Terra of course… and Cyan! See, it’s impossible to pick just one or two! And we can’t mention this game without bringing up Nobuo Uematsu’s excellent music. Quite possibly the best game soundtrack ever in my opinion.
14: Fallout 3 (Xbox 360) – The expectations I had for this game were so high, I don’t think I’d ever had them that high for anything. Apart from a few small details, this game lived up to them and was a slam dunk and a home run at the same time. What I missed the most was the witty writing from the first two games. The action was awesome, the blend between turn-based and real-time battles was perfect, atmosphere and settings were great, and the list goes on. At this time I haven’t even touched the five DLC episodes, but that’s coming and with them, this one might rise.
13: Duke Nukem 3D (PC) – I think you could say pretty safely that this game is what got me so heavily into the FPS genre and it also got me to appreciate the fun of multiplayer. You see, when a bunch of other people were praising Goldeneye for the Nintendo 64, saying how awesome it was in slow four player split screen multiplayer with worthless controls and boring, bland settings, I was playing with eight others, each of us on our own screen, killing each other in colorful and detailed settings at a fast pace and with incredibly fun weapons. This game had it all and I replayed the single player part of the game last year on XBLA for the 360. With the news that Duke is finally coming back, I don’t really care how good or bad that game is. This one is the grandfather of FPS games for me and it still holds up today.
12: Counter-Strike (PC) – I could have included this with the Half-Life spot, but I’ve spent so much time playing this that I view it as an entirely separate experience. Counter-Strike. CS. I guess I’m referring to the old-school version here and not the one that was released along with Half-Life 2, with the upgraded Source engine. At first when I started playing this I didn’t really like the constant interruptions of new rounds and I didn’t like that I could only carry one rifle and one pistol. That you ran faster when holding the knife was so ridiculous that I didn’t even know where to begin. But then I started liking it and I got really good at it. I didn’t play with a clan or anything like that, but I played consistently with the same people at a few servers, so we got to know each other pretty well and could play together as a team. I was pretty good with most weapons, so it wasn’t like I went AWP sniper rifle all the time, although that was pretty fun. I liked to vary my play style to keep the opponents on their toes. My favorite map was cs_office because I always dominated that one by listening to the enemies while sneaking around the corridors.
11: Quake 2 (PC) – Quake 2 is the game I was probably the best at at one point. I knew for a fact that I was among the top 30 in Sweden when it came to free for all deathmatch. Several different server stats made that a sure thing. I was simply good at the game and even though I didn’t work on becoming better, the insane amounts of time I spent on the game probably helped make me even better. When we played local multiplayer I could take on everyone else at the LAN, 8-10 people, in CTF and still come out on top. A friend of mine was the same when it came to StarCraft, but Quake 2 was MY game. Online, I liked to play the regular DM maps, but there was a special server that ran only one map over and over. It was a secret map in the single player part of the game and it was called Space. What made this map special was that the gravity was very low, so when you jumped, you flew across the big rooms and this made it a wonderful place to use the railgun, my favorite weapon in the game. I had a lot of fun on that server.
The next post will have the final top ten. After that I’ll get it up as a separate part of the blog and update it with a few games I’ve played since I started making the list.
Alright, let’s get to it. This was the original goal of the list, for me to showcase my 100 favorite games. We’re here now, so let’s keep going.
100: Heavy Gear (PC) – Activision lost the MechWarrior licence and quickly secured the next best thing as far as North American mech universes go. Heavy Gear was fairly established, so they used an upgraded version of the engine that they used for MechWarrior 2: Mercenaries and created this game. I love the MechWarrior games, but this one isn’t far behind. The gears are more mobile than mechs, so the action was a little bit faster, which was a nice change of pace.
99: Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow (PC) – The Sam Fisher Saga, part two. The second game was essentially more of the same as the first with just some graphical upgrades. Sadly, what has been the most touted component of Pandora Tomorrow, the creative multiplayer mode, was something that I never even touched. I really wish I did, especially now that I’ve had some fun with the multiplayer in Splinter Cell Conviction.
98: Shogo: Mobile Armor Division (PC) – Here’s a game that’s gotten way too little fanfare through the years. Monolith made this game and part of it is just bland corridor shooting, but then you also have the giant mech action in the vein of Japanese anime like Gundam or Evangelion. Spice the whole thing up with incredibly hammy characterization and voice acting and it’s a smash hit in my mind. Some of the weapons in this game took shooting to a new level, mainly because Monolith could go over the top like crazy with the mech action.
97: Action Quake 2 (PC) – Time for another mod on the list. This time it’s a mod for Quake 2 that limits the weapons you can carry and also how much damage you can take. If you get hit you need to bandage the wound if you don’t want to bleed out and die. We used to play this a bunch on some LANs and it was a lot of fun. Every map only had one of each special weapon and one of each equipment, which made for some interesting strategies. The flak vest along with the assault rifle was a nice combo, but so was the slippers and the sawed-off shotgun. The slippers removed any sound you made when walking, so they were perfect for you to run around with, sticking the most powerful short range weapon in the game up someone’s ass.
96: Guitar Hero 2 (Xbox 360) – Guitar Hero 2 has had the following effect on the songs I’ve tried to grind to perfection: Every time I hear them, I visualize the notes coming at me on the screen. This happens every single time I hear Sweet Child of Mine by Guns ‘n’ Roses, etc, etc. I don’t have the talent to take on all of the songs on expert difficulty immediately, but after I’ve had the chance to play them on hard first – for a few weeks – then I can give them a try on expert. Incredibly fun game and for me, this was what started the whole music game craze.
95: Outcast (PC) – Cutter Slade. Now there’s a name, a masculine hero’s name. This game is probably the best game ever that’s the least played. It is action adventure perfection and it still holds up today, almost 11 years after its release. It is another game that is based on voxel graphics, which gave it rolling hills and huge environments for you to walk around in. It had an alien race that was in awe of you and considered you to be a god, which made for some hilarious interaction. But in the end, this is simply an incredibly solid game that should be played by more people.
94: F.E.A.R. (PC) – More Monolith. This game has the most ridiculous acronym in its title. FEAR apparently stands for First Encounter Assault Recon. Now, this may just be my ignorance, but I was under the impression that assault and recon are two vastly different combat types. One is light and designed for swift movement with some stealth purposes, while the other is Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movie Commando. Regardless, this game has some of the tightest action I’ve ever played and it’s really scary too. It kept me on the edge of my seat for the entire duration and I also wanted to know what happened with the storyline right up until the very end. That doesn’t happen often with shooters.
93: Brothers in Arms: Hell’s Highway (Xbox 360) – You might think that for this one I will say “Yet another WW2 shooter, you know the drill” but BiAHH has the best narrative I’ve experienced in any WW2 game and that’s by a damn mile. This game has an extremely engaging storyline and I haven’t even played the previous Brothers in Arms games. The action is interesting, since you need to utilize the rest of your squad to succeed in the game. The atmosphere and the environments are very nice and after you get into the story, you start being a bit more careful of how you order your squadmates around because you don’t want them to die because of your recklessness.
92: Double Dragon 2 (NES) – Co-op fun on the NES! I love how brutal this game was and its difficulty was just right to be challenging but not annoying. I used to “cheat” by starting a two player game and then killing my brother until all his lives were gone. What happened was that if I killed him so he lost a life, I gained that life, effectively doubling my lives as I went through the game alone. It was the poor man’s Konami code.
91: Braid (Xbox 360) – When I first started this game I just sat there watching the water color painting that was suddenly on my TV screen, listening to the wonderful string music that flowed out of the speakers. Easily one of the most beautiful games ever and it encourages players to be creative with game mechanics as the game moves forward. Storywise it is an engaging tale that is told through books between the levels and when you get to the end it is all put on edge and you start reconsidering the whole experience. Simply sublime game design and I look forward to the next game by Jonathan Blow.
So that’s the first batch of ten out of the top 100. Thoughts? I actually had a thought. I should count how many games are from each platform when I’m done with the entire list. I haven’t consciously tried to limit myself to balance stuff out or anything.
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.
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.
Lots of games left to cover on this list, might as well keep it going. Check the blog tag Top 300 Games for all the posts about the list.
275: Maniac Mansion (NES) – This was a game that I got when I was really young and I didn’t understand it. A few years later, I went at it again with better results, but I didn’t beat it until even later still, when I tried it on Amiga or PC. The NES controller or interface didn’t really make things easy in this point and click game. Quirky game that is the predecessor to one of the funniest games of all time.
274: Blades of Steel (NES) – This game is completely hilarious to play these days, not only because of the downright weird hockey played, but also because of the jersey colors and other stuff. Of course, that’s from my perspective as an NHL fanatic. The fighting was fun and it could be a bit tricky to score sometimes, but I thought it was better than Ice Hockey (the NES game) because it felt more grown-up and cool. Really good music.
273: SWAT 4 (PC) – The SWAT games always felt like the red-headed stepchild in the family of tactical shooters. Compared to the Rainbow Six series, this was pretty dull, but it was still pretty cool because it was a bit closer to reality than the extreme terrorism scenarios in Rainbow Six. The action part of it wasn’t too good though, and the whole process of having to keep track of all the weapons and having to hogtie everyone got pretty boring in the long run.
272: Darius Twin (SNES) – A sidescrolling shoot’em up that was pretty entertaining and unique back in the day. You shot at big, robotic, flying fish. In space. Yes, someone was smoking powerful stuff when coming up with the concept for this game. Awesome gameplay though 🙂
271: Icewind Dale (PC) – This was the lesser cousin of Baldur’s Gate, didn’t lean that heavily on the story, but it was a nice dungeon crawler for anyone who loved the AD&D RPGing in Forgotten Realms.
270: Skyblazer (SNES) – This platformer was a nice action game where you could scale walls and I borrowed it from a friend. Then a few years later I wanted to play it again, so I borrowed it again and started playing, but something felt wrong. After a while, I was finally able to put my finger on what had been feeling wrong. I realized that the first time I’d borrowed it, I’d also borrowed a music CD (Pandora, apparently her genre is called “eurodance”. Okay…) that I’d listened to every single time I’d played the game. I promptly went back to my friend and asked to borrow the CD again, so I could play the game properly. Weird how audio/video associations work in our brains sometimes.
268: Puzzle Quest Galactrix (Xbox 360) – This was a game that I had great expectations for, but I was sorely disappointed. The game mechanic had been changed to something where randomness was too big of a factor. Still, there was kind of a charm to it that made me overcome the fairly shitty game mechanic. Also, the whole space gate closing issue got REALLY annoying after a while, but I just kept playing to get through the whole thing.
267: Police Quest (Amiga 500) – Here’s a classic. This is the kind of game that really got the imagination and creativity going, only to be disappointed by finding out that it was pretty limited. It would have been so much more fun if you could actually grab the balls of the guy in the precinct shower or just shoot anyone you wanted. Also, it got me paranoid about walking around my car every single time I wanted to drive somewhere, because if I didn’t, it might blow up randomly.
266: Prince of Persia (PC) -PoP had a very kinetic feel to it, even though it was released so many years ago. The motion of the prince was very well animated and the limited time the game gave you to run and fight your way through the castle gave it excellent pace and tension. I’ve been thinking about buying this old school version on Xbox Live.
265: Total Annihilation (PC) – My friends and I used to play this wonderfully big strategy game during LANs, but only after one of my friends had lobbied for it for months. When we gave it a shot we discovered that it’s actually a lot of fun to take your commander unit (I forget the exact name) and wreak havoc on your opponent’s base. I never played the story mode.
264: Lemmings 2 (Amiga 500) – I remember not actually playing through the levels of this one as I did with the first one. Instead I mostly just started one of the big rooms with no exit and went nuts with all the different skills you could give the lemmings. Lots of fun!
263: Super Return of the Jedi (SNES) – This one was the weakest of the SNES trilogy games. The concept was getting kind of old and you had all the force powers and yada yada… Still a lot of fun though and I think the Star Wars music always sounded great on the SNES.
262: Quake (PC) – I actually played through this game in a version that wasn’t the retail one. One of my dad’s colleagues got me the game and I could never beat the last level. Then when I asked a friend of mine how he did it, he showed me on his computer. I was flabbergasted because it wasn’t MY last level at all. The one my friend played actually made sense. Oh well… I guess I got some kind of beta version. This was the first game I started using the mouse to control the view. Before that, all the FPSes I had played, I’d done it with keyboard only. Great, fast-paced deathmatch, although my friends and I didn’t play it very much.
260: Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines (PC) – Wow, this is one of those games that I wish could be re-released with a modern skin, so to speak. I loved the game mechanics of it, having a few guys with different strengths and weaknesses, figuring out how to beat the Nazi menace. Awesome! What really stood out to me and what’s still really nice about this game is the level of detail. The levels all looked so life-like.
259: Arkanoid (Amiga 500) – What can be said about Arkanoid, really? It’s one of those games that just has a no-brainer game mechanic. You have a paddle and you use it to bounce a ball to destroy bricks. Simple and brilliant. The laser power-up is lame!
257: Castlevania (NES) – Dracula has a special place in my heart because he’s a great video game villain. The first of the Castlevania games started a great series and Simon Belmont could really crack that whip. One thing that I never understood, however, is how you can find juicy steaks by whipping stone walls to dust. WTF?
256: Theme Hospital (PC) – What a change of pace this was back in the day. When pretty much every other game was about death and destruction, this little gem came along and suddenly, you were trying to save people. Actually, I’m a bit surprised that no one tried to capitalize on a revival of this one back when Scrubs was at its most popular. Seems like a no-brainer business idea to try. I guess not.
255: Dr. Mario (NES) – It’s pure coincidence that this one comes just ahead of Theme Hospital, actually. I still love those little bastards that you had to kill with the pills. Also, isn’t this a great image of how medicine works? “See, son, the way your pills work is that you’ve got these little yellow, blue and red mini-monsters inside of you and if we pile enough pills on them, they disappear and you get well again.”
254: The Thing (PC) – The movie is one of my all-time favorites and this game had something a lot of other games doesn’t have, especially not movie licence games: great atmosphere. It’s too bad it was lacking in some other departments, because this game was a blast to play, even with its faults. If you want a good horror title and you don’t mind things looking a bit dated, check this one out. If I remember correctly, it also spoils the ending of the movie if you haven’t already seen it.
253: Chime (Xbox 360) – A wonderful twist on Tetris and Lumines and half of the money you pay for it goes straight to charity. I just love how time tends to disappear whenever I sit down and play this game. The different tunes, although they’re not many, are varied and great at putting you in a sort of trance state of mind. Whenever you get a bunch of space covered in different ways, the music just explodes in a flurry of different sounds.
252: Super Empire Strikes Back (SNES) – The best part of this game, apart from the fun Hoth level where you battle ATATs, is that you finally get your hands on the light saber and get to use it properly. Some of the levels on Dagobah can be a bit confusing, but overall, I really like the settings in this one.
251: BattleZone (PC) – Alright, here we have a RTS/FPS hybrid that was sooooo way ahead of its time that it’s not funny. It got a sequel but I think that sold even worse than the first one. I got it as a bundle game with one of the first 3D accelerator cards I bought. Anyway, you control a hover tank or something like that and you can even change vehicles, but that’s not the important thing. The whole point of the game is that you can build buildings and units and then control them through this awesome first person interface, set out waypoints and all sorts of stuff. It was so fun in multiplayer and it’s a crying shame that there isn’t a similar game out these days.
Now I’m 50 games into the list and I still have 250 left to go. This is one massive project, but it’s fun, so I don’t mind. What do you think about my rankings so far?