Hello and welcome to a new short series of posts I will be doing once every week. A top 100 list of video games chosen from a wide range of games and platforms. Every week a new posts will be published, with this week we’ll go from # 100 to # 80. Keep in mind that this is my PERSONAL list, so you probably won’t agree with everything. Please feel free to comment on my list in the comment section below! Enjoy.
Ah the nostalgia … This is one of the most popular games ever (if not the most popular). Millions of people have played this over the years. The idea was to take Pacman and eat all the yellow orbs in a maze, while avoiding the ghosts that killed you. This game could become extremely frustrating in the higher levels, but the sense of achievement was ever so high when you finally beat it. Downside of this game? You’d leave the arcade with a lot less pocket money!
99. Tomb Raider 2
Tomb Raider, released in 1996, starring the most kick ass heroine the gaming world’s ever seen in Lara Croft, became an instant sensation. For a while there, she became the face of the system. The first title was a terrific adventure that mainly centered in tombs searching for treasure and fighting a variety of foes from gun men to dinosaurs! It was a classic… Its sequel however, was a masterpiece and by far the greatest in the series, which has sadly gone down hill with every game since, to the point that its just a shell of what it once was. The story of Tomb Raider II concerns the mythical Dagger of Xian, a weapon which according to the game was used by an Emperor of China to command his army. By plunging the Dagger into its owner’s heart, the weapon has the power to turn its bearer into a dragon. A flashback reveals that the last battle which was fought with the Dagger ended in defeat when the warrior monks of Tibet succeeded in removing the knife from the Emperor’s heart. The Dagger was then returned to its resting place within the Great Wall and locked up for centuries. The game opens in the present time near the remains of the Great Wall, where Lara Croft is investigating the truth behind the legend of the Dagger. The fantastic journey takes everywhere from Tibet to Italy to England. More weapons and vehicles were added to the game as well… She does it all in this game, swims, powers a motor boat through the canals of Venice… drives a snow scooter on and on.. this is simply one of the best, if not the best action/adventure game of its kind.
98. Super Mario Galaxy
After the disapointing Super Mario Sunshine on Gamecube many thought the glory of Mario was over. How wrong they were. With Super Mario Galaxy Nintendo proved they still have the magic touch to create the perfect platformer. Mario is sent to space this time and the numerous strange planets function as the backdrop for the adventure. The big draw is the new physics system that allows for a unique feature: each celestial object has its own gravitational force, allowing the player to completely circumnavigate rounded or irregular planetoids, walking sideways or upside down, which makes for a great platforming experience
97. Zelda: Wind Waker
It had been five years since a true sequel to the glorious Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time had been released, and Zelda fans were getting restless, to put it mildly. Around 2002, we started getting glimpses of what the new Zelda was supposed to look like… and MAN did it create a storm of controversy. Instead of the more realistic-looking next generation Link we had all been waiting for, we saw a completely cartoony and babyish looking Link with HUGE almond-shaped eyes, a large head and tiny body… This couldn’t BE!! Immediately, sides drew up, some loved the new direction calling it brilliant, most just fucking HATED it, and were disappointed beyond measure, hoping beyond hope that this was some kind of elaborate ruse set up by Nintendo and that the real Zelda will have amazing real life graphics. I must say that I fell into this bitter category. I was so disgusted by the direction they took that I didn’t get around to playing it for THREE years after it was released. Finally I picked up an already played copy and popped it in my dusty, seldom-used Gamecube, and you know what? I discovered it was a beautiful and ingenious game. Set on a group of islands in a vast explorable sea and you spend your time, traveling between different islands, traversing through dungeons and temples to looking for the pieces of the Triforce to defeat Ganondorf, as well as trying to find your little sister. It was far more emotional and expressive than all of its predecessors and really satisfying play and look at. The control scheme of The Wind Waker was largely unchanged from Ocarina of Time . This time around instead of an Ocarina you get a baton that you can wave in patterns that manipulate the wind’s direction. Additionally, wind is often needed to solve puzzles. The game is filled with the usual side quests a plenty, all sorts of dungeons and interesting twists and turns that make it a classic Zelda game. This was one title that I really felt wistful after completing it. Although it was a lengthy game it still felt short to me ‘cause I just didn’t want it to end… And those graphics that stirred so much controversy, it turned out that those gorgeous cartoony graphics were what made this one of the most endearing and unforgettable games I’ve ever had the pleasure to experience.
96. Wii Sports Resort
So far, I really haven’t been a big fan of the Wii console, the games I’ve seen really haven’t done it for me, call me an old-schooler, call me what you will. However, I do love this game, mainly for the bowling and ping pong games. Without a doubt, this game features the most fun and realistic versions of these two games, and makes for some serious competitive gaming against a friend or two. Set in a beach resort on an island called Wuhu Island, you get to choose to play from twelve different sports, some more fun than others. Like the original Wii Sports, each game is played by holding the Wii Remote (and in some cases, the Nunchuk) in a manner similar to the actual sport being replicated. For example, in the Archery level, the player holds the Wii Remote vertically to hold the bow, and pulls back the Nunchuk to pull back the bow’s string. The new feature that Wii Sports Resort brings is Wii MotionPlus compatibility, which enables 1:1 control and allows the games to be played with greater accuracy. For example, in Wii Sports Tennis, the player’s shots were all determined by which direction the Wii Remote is swung like a racket. Wii Sports Resort offers a new variation, the aforementioned Table Tennis (ping pong), the player has greater control over adding spin to the ball by twisting the Wii Remote while swinging, thus making it extremely realistic. Finally you don’t need to buy a huge cumbersome able to experience this much-beloved pastime! Plus, I love how everyone is wearing these cheesy Hawaiian shirts… really gives you the feeling of being on a vacation… Great stuff.
95. Resident Evil
The game that started the “survival horror” craze, Resident Evil 1 is, in every sense of the word, a video game classic. Expanding on the ground laid down by the Alone in the Dark series, Resident Evil upped the ante with a tension-filled atmosphere, compelling story and a huge array of terrifying mutated creatures that keep coming at you throughout the game. The story is mainly set in a spooky mansion you cannot escape from. Your character is a member of a special law enforcement task force who must uncover its mysteries ultimately escape alive. Easy, right? Uh uh… it’s a constant struggle fraught with danger at every turn. Luckily, you have a few weapons you can choose from such as a combat knife, a handgun, or a shotgun to name a few, all of which require ammo that is in limited supply. If you run out you must find more, and if you can’t find more, then you’re screwed. You’re able to save your game on typewriters that are spread out through the area. However, you need a typewriter ribbon to do so, and they are in short supply as well. Your health can be restored with the help of first-aid sprays or three types of healing herbs that can be mixed together in different combinations for different healing effects, and you guessed it, THESE are also in short supply. This all add to the urgency and frenetic pace of the game. The game’s graphics are moody and beautiful, consisting of 3D polygonal characters and objects superimposed over pre-rendered backdrops with pre-determined (or “fixed”) camera angles. Now for the only sore point of the game (and most of the Resident Evils, for that matter) the dreaded control system… Unlike most third-person action games, the player controls the character similarly to a remote control car or a first-person shooter by pushing the d-pad (or analog stick) left or right to rotate the character into one of the 360 possible angles and then move the character forward or backwards by the pushing the d-pad up or down. This doesn’t add up to the most forgiving or easiest of experiences, but it also adds to the challenge.
94. Secret of Mana
Secret of Mana is an action role-playing game (RPG) for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System developed and published by Square in 1993. The game was re-released for the Wii’s Virtual Console in 2008, and was ported to Japanese mobile phones in 2009. Secret of Mana is the sequel to Final Fantasy Adventure for the Game Boy and the second installment in the Mana video game series.
Rather than using the traditional turn-based battle system of games like Final Fantasy, Secret of Mana utilizes real-time battles akin to the Legend of Zelda series, while also employing typical RPG elements and a unique “Ring Command” menu system, which pauses the action, and allows a variety of actions to be performed without needing to switch screens.The game received considerable acclaim for its brightly-colored graphics, expansive plot, “Ring Command” menu system, innovative real-time battle system, modified Active Time Battle meter adapted for real-time action,its innovative cooperative multiplayer gameplay where the second or third players could drop in and out of the game at any time rather than players having to join the game at the same time,the customizable AI settings for computer-controlled allies,[ and the acclaimed soundtrack by Hiroki Kikuta. Secret of Mana was an influential game in its time, and has remained influential through to the present day, with its ring menu system still used in modern games (such as The Temple of Elemental Evil) and its cooperative multiplayer mentioned as an influence on games as recent as the upcoming Dungeon Siege III
Tron was a coin-operated arcade video game manufactured and distributed by Bally Midway in 1982. It was based on the Walt Disney Productions motion picture Tron released in the same year. Events from this science fiction film were the inspirations for four subgames of which the game consists. It features some characters and equipment known from the film, eg the Light Cycles, battle tanks, the Input/Output Tower. The game earned more than the film’s initial release. Something about the graphics, the cabinet (specially designed as movie tie-in featuring two blacklights and fluorescent lines painted on, resembling the blue, red etc. circuit lines from the film Tron which, in a darkened room, glowed), controller (which kind of looked like a helicopter control) and evocative music (from the movie) really made this game special and a favorite among gamers, making it somewhat of a “cult” masterpiece. Xbox 360 Live made this game available recently and its still fun to play.
92. Crash Bandicoot
Crash Bandicoot is one of the great all-time platformers, and for a time, along with Lara Croft was one of the signature Sony Playstation characters. The game is played in a third-person perspective, with both side-scrolling and 3D racing levels. The graphics were colorful and top-notch for the time. What I really loved about it, was that it was not a cakewalk. It challenged you, for instance, if you lost all your lives, the game would end, which really added a sense of tension and urgency to it. The game controls were solid and responsive, with a number of moves at your disposal: running, jumping and the patented Bandicoot spin attack, which you could either dispose your enemies with or crack open the numerous wooden crates strewn around the levels, some containing Aku Aku masks, which protected you from a number of attacks depending on how many you collected. I particularly loved the non-platforming levels in this game, in which you ride a wild boar, narrowly avoiding dangerous spikes while continuously moving forward or outrunning a boulder (ala Indiana Jones), running towards the screen while dodging obstacles and jumping over pits. With twenty-five normal levels, as well as two secret levels and six boss battles, this game was quite a lengthy adventure. One of the most financially successful titles, many sequels were made, with varied results (ranging from great to awful). None, however, exceeded the original in terms of overall quality and fun.
91. Parappa The Rapper
Also known as “PaRappaRappa”, and “PaRappa the Rappa”, this was one of the first “rhythm video games” While the gameplay was simplistic (but ingenous), the game is most remembered for its unique 2-D “paper effect” graphic design, quirky soundtrack, and bizarre plot. The game is named after its protagonist, Parappa, a rapping dog, with the motto “I gotta believe!”. Totally ahead of its time for its day, PaRappa the Rapper is kind of similar (in spirit) to the classic 1980s game Simon, in which the player is required to repeat a sequence of sounds and buttons. In this instance, the game demands that the player not only get the sequence correct but also the timing of the sequence, in a call and response format. The game provides small portions of spoken vocals that are triggered when the appropriate buttons are pressed. Pressing the buttons in the correct order, with the correct timing, provides an intelligible imitation of the words spoken by the character; pressing the buttons in an incorrect order or with incorrect timing rewards the player with nothing more than unintelligible gibberish. There is a overall goal for each level that is integrated into the story, e.g., one of the levels involves in getting your driver’s license which you must rap for (for some odd reason). Anyway, it’s fucking great… a totally Japanese game experience.
Combat was an early and thoroughly entertaining video game for the classic Atari 2600 , the father of the modern gaming console. It was one of its nine launch titles for the system and was included in the box with the system. So it was the first gaming experience for everyone who owned an Atari. My brother and I used must’ve logged in hundreds of hours playing this thing. Variety was the name of the game in combat. It was this unbelievable variety (27 game modes!) that made this game one of the most replayable titles of the time… You could play as tanks, jet fighters, bi-planes in all sorts of different situations. In one game you could be invisible, another, you had bullets that bounced like ping pongs and in others you could control a squadron of planes flying through clouds stealthily deking out your opponent. I particularly liked the one that pitted your squadron against a GIANT bomber. This is definitely a Hall of Famer, game-wise.
89. Super Star Wars Series
Super Star Wars was an entertaining trilogy of games made specifically for the SNES that were based on the original three Star Wars films. The games’ story arcs and levels followed the plots of the movies pretty closely… Essentially a side scrolling platformer, you could play as Han, Luke or Chewbacca, who all had different abilities and weapons. Some cool stages interspersed throughout allowed you to race landspeeders or pilot an X-Wing fighter. The graphics were terrific and the gameplay mechanics was solid. It was really a tremendous and supremely satisfying and entertaining series… I can’t single out any one game in the series as superior, as they were all uniformly great. Another cool thing was, this being before the days of waiting a minimum of two years between games, the titles all came out within a year of each other and were greatly anticipated each time I can assure you. Anyway, the responsive controls and secret areas and collectables were highlights and for those reasons among others, made them the greatest Star Wars video games available for a good long time..
Set in an alternate history 1960, the game places you in the role of a plane crash survivor named Jack, who must explore the creepy underwater city of Rapture, and survive attacks by the mutated beings and mechanical drones that populate it. A first person shooter technically, the game incorporates a lot of RPG and survival horror elements, which really sets it apart from the standard. The graphics and design are unbelievably gorgeous, giing it a unique kind of art deco horror feel. You use a combination of weapons and plasmids (genetic alterations), in order to complete objectives which, at various places in the game, can be found at these vending machines. If you’ve accumulated enough money, you can buy ammunition, health, and other additional equipment. Another cool thing about the game is he ability to create new weapons and items. These can be constructed from spare parts you find strewn around and assembled at “U-Invent” machines you run across. The story as it unravels to it’s surprise endings (there are three different ones depending on how you play the game) is extremely compelling, making it one of the best next-gen games out there…
87. Crazy Taxi
Originally released as an arcade game that sported only one level, Crazy Taxi was ported to the fantastic Dreamcast, and in a shifting paradigm, not only improved greatly on the original (adding tons of extra stuff to make it more fleshed out, such as an original level exclusive for the console, an expand original level design which spread out the landscape even further and the mini game filled Crazy Box Mode that teaches you how to properly perform crazy moves to use in the actual game), but also gave the title a larger, more rabid, audience than it ever had. Based in sunny coastal California locales, with steep hills and other strong similarities to San Francisco, you play as one of four insane cabbies whose main objective of the game is to pick up customers and take them to their chosen destination as fast as possible. Along the way, money can be earned by performing high flying stunts such as the “Crazy Through”—near-misses with other vehicles;—and “Crazy Drift”—extended, barely-controlled skidding, a large green arrow appears at the top of the screen always pointing in the right direction of your next destination, . You are basically rewarded for being as big a psycho driver as possible, provided you get your fare to their destination on time… The huge open-ended levels are gorgeous and sunny with an adrenaline pumping punk rock soundtrack adding to the fervor. I actually didn’t even care about actually picking anyone up, to me it was just a blast driving around the city, running over people, catching air and smashing into other cars… It was a terrific tension reducer. The sequel improved upon the mechanics and had smoother graphics but was pretty much a retread otherwise.
86. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
Wow.. I can’t believe it’s already been so long since this game has come out. The fourth installment of the hugely popular Grand Theft Auto series, to me this one had the best vibe and was overall the most focused and interesting. This is because it was set in a specific time (the eighties), and they totally nailed the vibe of that goofy era. The story revolves around Mafia member Tommy Vercetti, who was recently released from prison. After being involved in a drug deal gone wrong, Tommy seeks out those responsible while building a criminal empire and seizing power from other criminal organizations in the city. The city is a ersion of Miami and it has that Miami Vice feeling down cold.. The story is great and the missions are challenging, but, frankly, the best part of the game was just driving around the mammoth environment listening to the radio stations playing that 80s music. Really cool game.
85. Soul Calibur
Originally released in the arcade, Soul Calibur was not as popular as Namco would have liked or expected. Luckily for the Namco, when Soul Calibur was picked up for the amazing Dreamcast, it became a HUGE smash hit almost overnight, instantly endearing itself to millions of people with its drop dead gorgeous graphic, of which no one had ever seen the likes of on a home console before, and innovative gameplay. Previous 3D fighters only limited movement along the third axis, with sidesteps and rolls providing useful but unsustained lateral movement. In Soul Calibur, simply holding down a joystick direction causes the character to run in that direction. This gives the player a sense of freedom and deepens the strategy of the game. Soul Calibur also improved gameplay with “forgiving buffering.” Buffering is executing the input for one move before the player’s character has finished recovering from their previous move. It is important for executing quick strings of moves. Other games such as Tekken and Virtua Fighter have relatively strict buffering requirements, meaning expert timing is required to pull off many combinations, while Soulcalibur’s relatively lenient buffering lets players focus more on the game and less on the controls. Finally, the “Guard Impact” offensive blocking maneuver shown in Soul Edge was given a deeper range of techniques (allowing players to push back or redirect attacks past themselves as well as swatting away an opponent’s weapon to stun them). All technical achievements aside, this game was FUN… especially when playing a friend (the computer was always a bit easy for me). The tons of different moves, the graphics which are STILL among the best, the feel makes this
84. Dead Space
Released in late ’08, this was one of the best games of the year and a fantastic new ‘Survival Horror’ franchise, Dead Space places you on board a stricken interstellar mining ship named the USG Ishimura, where you battle an infestation of virus stricken humans who’ve been transformed into grotesque alien monsters called “Necromorphs”. It is a truly scary game with a great plot and terrific responsive controls. The graphics are gorgeous, gory and glorious.
83. Final Fantasy Tactics
Final Fantasy Tactics is a tactical role-playing game developed and published by Square (now Square Enix) for the Sony PlayStation video game console. It is the first game of the Final Fantasy Tactics series and was released in Japan in June 1997 and in the United States in January 1998. The game combines thematic elements of the Final Fantasy video game series with a game engine and battle system unlike those previously seen in the franchise. In contrast to other 32-bit era Final Fantasy titles, Final Fantasy Tactics uses a 3D, isometric, rotatable playing field, with bitmap sprite characters.
Final Fantasy Tactics is set in a fictional medieval-inspired kingdom called Ivalice. The game’s story follows Ramza Beoulve, a highborn cadet who finds himself thrust into the middle of an intricate military conflict known as The Lion War, where two opposing noble factions are coveting the throne of the kingdom. As the story progresses, Ramza and his allies discover a sinister plot behind the war.
82. Ultima III: Exodus
One of the great game designers of this era was a kid named Richard Garriot, better known as Lord British, the creator of the Ultima series. Without Ultima, Role Playing Games (or RPGs) would look a whole lot different. He literally invented many of the paradigms that exist today. Ultima III, with its 3-D dungeons (that were integrated into the plot and remained the same, allowing you to create your own maps, where as before dungeons were randomly generated) and ability to direct the actions of several characters in one battle party set the standard for the entire genre. It was a completely immersive experience and graphically, it was amazing for the time. In short, this is the father of the modern RPG. A really cool thing about this game was the final villain couldn’t just be killed. The gamer had to use clever puzzle-solving and by paying attention to the many clues given throughout the game. At the end of the game, players were instructed to “REPORT THY VICTORY!” to Origin (the game company). Those who did so received a certificate of completion autographed by Richard Garriott
81. Perfect Dark
Perfect Dark is a first-person shooter video game developed by Rare for the Nintendo 64 video game console. It is considered the spiritual successor to Rare’s earlier first-person shooter GoldenEye 007, with which it shares many gameplay features. Perfect Dark was first released in Canada and the United States in May 2000, where it was greeted with critical acclaim; PAL and NTSC-J releases followed soon afterwards. A remake, also titled Perfect Dark, with enhanced graphics, online multiplayer and some other minor changes was exclusively released as an Xbox Live Arcade game for the Xbox 360 on March 17, 2010.
The game features a single-player mode consisting of seventeen missions in which the player assumes the role of special agent Joanna Dark, an operative for the fictional Carrington Institute, as she attempts to stop a conspiracy by rival corporation dataDyne. It also features a range of multiplayer options, including co-operative and “counter-operative” modes in addition to traditional deathmatch settings. Technically, it is one of the most advanced games developed for the Nintendo 64, with optional high-resolution graphics and Dolby Surround Sound.
80. Prince of Persia: The Sands Of Time
The first true next-generation sequel to the classic original game, the entire series was completely revitalised by Montreal’s Ubisoft with Sands of Time. Taking the franchise into the world of 3-D and doing it masterfully, the game still reflected the original platform game’s realistic movements of characters and ‘real-time’ effect of time limits to complete a level which made it a huge hit with new fans as well as old. The basic scheme of the game is to guide the Prince through a range of puzzles to he must work through, roaming the luxurious palace and its dungeons, as well as sword-fighting guards. The graphics were stunning and the level design was completely mind blowing… The main gameplay focus is on acrobatics and agility. Throughout much of the game, the player must attempt to traverse the environment by running across walls, ascending or descending chasms by jumping back and forth between walls, avoiding traps and so forth… and the twist is the inclusion of the Sands of Time, an hourglass that allows the Prince to literally control time. So if you screw up has the ability to “rewind” time and travel up to ten seconds into the past. But even with this “mulligan”, the game maintains its sense of urgency because you can run out of charges to make this hourglass work… In other words, you can still get killed.. which is necessary for any game. One more cool thing about this game is somewhere you can unlock the original 80s Prince of Persia game and play through it.. really cool.
Tune in next week for # 79 – 60!