Runa's super glorious top 50 games of all time list!
50 - Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (PS3, Xbox 360, PC)
I'm not a fan of shooters, but the original Modern Warfare game was basically everything I wanted in a game. it was modern, it was well written, it had game mechanics and multiplayer I loved, and it had emotional impact! Great all around game, and it basically revolutionized the way console FPS multiplayer was done. Too bad its sequels (Modern Warfare 2 and Modern warfare 3) dropped the ball in the storytelling department or they'd have a place on my list as well.
49 - Joe and Mac: Caveman Ninja (SNES)
What a quirky, silly game. So all the caveman babes have been stolen from your villags, so Joe and Mac, the Caveman Ninja, have to trek across a prehistoric land beating up rival cavemen and killing dinosaurs with help of the simplest weapons. Good level design, great music, and a surprisingly weird turn at the end. This game has LOADS of sentimental value for me and the sheer volume of times I've replayed it is a testament to its staying power!
48 - Ratchet and Clank (PS2)
what can I say? The first Ratchet and Clank was a hell of a starting point for a fantastic series, blending gunplay, platforming, puzzling, and basically every other genre you can think of into one cute package. While it doesn't hold up compared to later entries, which incorporate RPG and multiplayer elements, this was still a fine place to start. and Ratchet is cute, so nyah!
47 - MegaMan X (SNES, PSP)
I actually couldn't chose between Megaman X, X3, or X4, so I simply went with the one I spent the most time on since it's the oldest; thus making it my most nostalgic favorite. think about it, it's the same forumla that worked for Megaman so well, but with more powerups, heart tanks, armor, better graphics, better music, and deeper bosses. Now if only they'd listen to me about doing a prospective Megaman X-9, they could have a REAL winner on their hands! (seriously, asl me more).
46 - Final Fantasy (NES, PS1, GBA, PSP)
It may be simple, it may be relatively shallow, but Final Fantasy was a huge leap forward in the genre and to this day remains one of the most addicting games I've ever played. It's such an odd dichotomy because compared to other Final Fantasy games (I recently played this for the first time after beating XII) it's the simplest, most boring thing, yet I loved every second of it. Simple but effecting, I'd say! Two well-excercised thumbs up for this grand start!
45 - Metroid Prime (GCN, Wii)
I had never played a Metroid game before Metroid Prime, but like many others I was afraid the perspective (first person) would make it more about action and less about atmostphere or exploration. We were all wrong! while it had some monotonous parts (having to traverse back and forth across the world a dozen times got boring), the atmosphere, action, boss fights, and exploration elements were all top-notch! I enjoyed the sequels, too, but not as much as this masterpiece.
44 - Kirby super Star (SNES, DS)
Not a huge fan of Kirby usually, and in retrospect this should be down there between Joe and Mac, and Modern Warfare, but whatever. This game is just special to me, the combination of value, variety, fun factor, and nostalgia make it just so damn awesome. It's not just a collection of minigames, but a collection of full-length kirby games, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I still love attacking Dyna Blade every chance I get. I have this on DS, maybe I'll play it again soon!
43 - Megaman 9 (Wii, PS3, 360)
I don't even know what to say about this one other than the fact that, for all intents and purposes, it's the proper spiritual sequel to Megaman 2, what was once considered my alltime favorite game before I really sat down to compare (spoiler alert, Megaman 2 is VERY high on my list). It's got the same mechanics, same graphics, same structure, you name it. this is what a sequel should be, not filled to the brim with useless powerup. Plus I have this bit of pride knowing I was able to beat the game before my friend, who is a super megaman nut and went on to place in the top 1% on the leaderboards. Great way to cater to nostalgia. Nintendo, I have some lessons for you!
42 - Left 4 Dead (360, PC)
This here is how you make a game with replay value. It seemed so simple at first, and to this day has a really basic premise, but it's the focus on teamwork and the randomly generated hoardes and special infected that keep you coming back for more. Add to that the later additions of survival mode and Vs (free on PC) and you have plenty of reasons to play this more than once. Also, I'm a huge fan of Co Op multiplayer as opposed to competitive multiplayer, so this game gets extra bonus points from me.
41 - Guitar Hero 2 (PS2, 360)
I didn't like Rythm games before the original Guitar Hero came out. I thought DDR was silly and had no interest in it. While Guitar Hero proved to me that pressing buttons and strumming on the clicky strumbar of a fake plastic guitar could be loads of fun, Guitar Hero 2 proved to me that there was an enormous wealth of amazingly fun songs to play, many of which I'd never heard of. If it wasn't for Guitar Hero 2, I'd never have fallen in love with bands like Rush and Megadeth (two of my favorite bands), and I would never have gained the respect deserved for bands like Guns n Roses. The genre has continued to introduce me to some amazing musical acts throughout the ages, and while Guitar Hero has never been as good as it was when it was helmed by Harmonix, I continue to learn about all kinds of music through the series, which peaked with 2.
40 - Final Fantasy Tactics (PS1, PSP)
The only game on my list I've never beaten, but damn was it ever an epic quest. It may have been hard as hell, but I could sit there for days fighting battles, discovering characters like Cloud and Robo, and unlocking all sorts of items. I personally prefer the PSP version, but it will always be a PS1 game in my heart. Hell, I love this game so much I convinced my friend (who was much better at it than me) to finish it while I watched so I could see the ending. The story, gameplay, and versatility of the game is unmatched in the other Final Fantasy games, and as you're about to find out I loves me some Final Fantasy. It's only this low on my list because it's harder than nipples on a blind lesbian in a fishmarket.
39 - Donkey Kong Country Returns (Wii)
By all means this entry should be higher on my list, but the fact that it hasn't had time to settle in the nostalgia centers of my brain keeps it from being top 25 material...and that's literally the only thing keeping it from being higher. Not only did this game somehow manage to capture the essence of the other three Donkey Kong Country games (There was no N64 iteration, end of discussion), it managed to transcend them by giving us more options, more worlds, and more gameplay modes (time trials, etc). While it had it's flaws (not a fan of using the Wiimote on it's side, the lack of kremlings is saddening, and you can't swim), it's every much as great a game as the SNES trilogy...and man was it HARD! So very impressed by that.
38 - The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (GCN)
I still can't understand why there was so much controversy over the cellshaded graphics here. the game's aesthetics were far and away better than basically anything else on the Gamecube (and would still be at home on the Wii), and it leant The Wind Waker a charm all its own. Personally, I absolutely loved basically everything about this game, including the story, controls, gameplay, content, level design, and even the large amounts of sailing you had to do! Nothing quite like kicking back and enjoying a moment as you go from one place to another, listening to the gorgeous score as a group of seagulls follow you. Pure atmospheric goodness. Aside from one part of the game I didn't care for (finding the Triforce Shards), I can't think of any one thing I personally didn't enjoy. This is my #3 zelda title.
37 - Pokemon Black/White (DS)
If nothing else, the sheer amount of time I spent on Pokemon Black/White when I should have been playing other games (for review or just for fun) should be a testament to how much I love this series. Furthermore, Black/White were, in my opinion, the pinnacle of the series thus far. with something like 600 pokemon to collect, a massive world with TWO singleplayer campaigns, and all the trading and battling to be had...well, I can't imagine a much better time sink. Hell, I probably spent more time just staring at Base-Stat charts on Bulbapedia than I do with most modern games, and that alone shows that Pokemon should earn the liftime achievement award of "Easiest to learn, toughest to master", because anyone can play it but there's just so damn much to it that even the most hardcore players will never master it. I truly mean that, too. Simple but deep.
36 - Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood (PS3/360)
yeah, I know that 'yearly iterations' are ruining the industry (my review of Assassin's Creed: Revelations helps to further this point), but as long as the content and quality are there, I have no problem paying for annual sequels. Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood is one such sequel. A whole new town, new characters, new gameplay mechanics, a great story, and some of the best art design I've ever seen in a video game; this all makes for a truly great game in its own right, and yet it continued the story of the beloved Ezio in such a way that it's almost infectious. I do still think some of the climbing mechanics could use some work, but the full/partial synch mechanic really gave the game some replay value, and the property management subquest was a perfect way to keep yourself busy in between missions. also: Assassin's Creed multiplayer. Nuff said.
35 - Portal (PS3, PC, 360)
the very definition of 'short but sweet'. Sure, the game only lasted about 2-4 hours depending on how good you were, but those few hours are likely to be some of the most fun hours you've spent on a videogame in the last decade or so. The mechanics were fresh, the puzzles were deliciously challenging without being frustrating, and GlaDOS will go down in history as one of the most beautifully malicious videogame characters in history. Over this last generation, my attention span has suffered; some games I never beat and I never return to the same game twice, but I've played portal through about a dozen times, giving it something in common with my favorites from the SNES era, and that alone is something special.
34 - Left 4 Dead 2 (PC, 360)
While Left 4 Dead gave us a great idea in a simple game, LEft 4 Dead 2 refined that idea to a needlepoint. or a mirror shine. I don't care, this game is great! A lot of people complain about the lack of content, but even just the campaign alone is about 5-7 hours long if you string the 5 levels together as they were intented, plus there's a bunch of other modes and free DLC (if you're lucky enough to have it on PC) to keep you busy. Not to mention there are more weapons, more abilities, more enemies, and better level design. This is how you do a sequel, and like the Portal Series, it's one of the few designed with replay value in mind, and it's one of the few I can pick up and play any time for an hour or two and be done with it. Valve knows how to give a game replay value.
33 - Kingdom Hearts 2 (PS2)
I actually prefer putting Kingdom Hearts here as a collective (1, 2, birth by sleep) since I like them as a collective rather than individually, but I felt the need to put this here because I preferred Kingdom Hearts 2 over the other games in the series. Not only did it greatly expand the story and characters, but the reaction commands were just amazing, the combat was fluid and fun, and the Little Mermaid level was only a rythm singing game rather than an actual level1 Yayy! Who would have thought a Disney/Final Fantasy Fanfiction crossover would do well? Dammit, when will Kingdom Hearts 3 be released? it better be PS3 exclusive to get the most out of that system.
32 - The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Wii, GCN)
It's funny, The Zelda series hasn't really changed significantly since its inception on the NES back in the 80's, and when it does change (The Adventures of Link, Majora's Mask, Wind Waker) from the established structure, people complain. On the flipside, when it stays the same (Link to the Past, Ocarina of Time, Twilight Princess), people complain about stagnancy. Funny, I loved this game! Basically, it took everything that the series was trying to do a decade before with Ocarina of Time, but did it right. The game looked better, played better, and was more epic in every way, not to mention I actually thoroughly enjoyed the Wolf Link/Midna relationship. What a way to take the best elements from Ocarina and Link to the Past into what could easily be seen as one of the best games this generation has to offer. Now I wanna play skyward Sword! I am sad!
31 - Resident Evil 4 (GCN, PS2, Wii)
I didn't care for Resident Evil in the past and to this day still can't handle playing the first three entries in the series, but Resident Evil 4 took everything I didn't like about the series and replaced it with so many things I loved. The atmosphere was foreboding without being too schlocky, the enemies were creative, the action was plentiful, the weapons fun to use, and even the escort missions were tolerable! Few games have ever nailed basically every aspect you could hope for all at once with so few missteps. If you're looking for a pure fun game, well...I've got a lot of great deals for you...stranger!
30 - Minecraft (PC)
There's not a lot to say about Minecraft that hasn't already been done. In fact I Did a review for it already in which I explain in detail why it's a great game but not for everyone. me? I love to create shit, and it's still basically digital lego.
29 - Ratchet and Clank; Going Commando (PS2)
while the first game was really good and set the foundation for the series, Going Commando is what really cemented many of the series' flagship features. This game featured upgradeable weapons, more RPG elements, a new game plus mode, and various features to really refine the formula. While the plot was...silly and kind of pointless, the gameplay more than made up for that by being fast, fun, frenetic, and...various other adjectives that start with F. It's also worth noting that Insomniac gained a reputation for their silly title puns that work as double entendres which continued with basically every iteration from here on out (especially Size Matters on the PSP)
28 - Super smash Brothers Melee (GCN)
while we're on the topic of sequels that took the original and made it better, I present to you Smash Brothers Melee! While the original N64 iteration was...good for its time but hasn't aged well, Melee tightened the controls, massively increased the roster, and gave us waves of options and tricks to play with. This game has been a staple at game tournaments for years and will likely continue to do so even now that Brawl has come out. I don't like talking about it, but I've won a few local Smash Brothers tournaments in my time, but I wouldn't win anymore. People who shut off all the items and only play on Final Destination bore me. IT's all about getting the most out of your game, and you can only do that by keeping items on, randomizing the level, and randomizing your character! I've spent well over 1200 hours on this game, total...
27 - Super Mario Brothers 3 (NES, SNES, GBA)
Everything about this game oozes Quality Nostalgia. The levels were inventive, the many tricks and secrets to be found are still wonderful to stumble upon to this day, the music was some of the best to EVER come out, and ties Super Mario World for the best mario soundtrack, and...Seriously, do I have to explain myself? It's mario 3, it's epic, it's memorable, and it will forever have a special place in my heart.
26 - Ratchet and Clank Future: tools of Destruction (PS3)
Basically take everything about the series to that point and refine it to a perfect sheen. While the campaign did seem a little short, it was arguably the best story in the series up to that point, not to mention the graphics were described as "If Pixar Made a Videogame." I admit, though, I'm a touch biased in favor of Ratchet and Clank due to the persistently well-made mishmash of genres and styles.
25 - Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island (SNES, GBA)
This one kind of took me by surprise because, like many others at the time, I was turned off by it at first. The art style was weird, you didn't play as mario, and when you got hit, Mario whined and cried and....But none of that mattered in the end becuase when I picked it up on GBA, I realized just how amazing this game truly was. the art style was generations ahead of its time, the level design was arguably the best in the entire Mario Brothers series, and it had so much to do for an SNES game, making it a tremendous value. This one grew on me and has earned its spot as #25 on my all time list.
24 - Rock Band 2 (PS3, PS2, Xbox 360, Wii)
Of all the games on my list, I think I've spent the most time on Rock Band 2. I don't mean the most time of the ones mentioned so far, I mean the most time EVER. I've easily put over 2000 hours in on Rock Band 2, downloading almost 2000 songs, mastering all the intstruments, and always being 'the guy' who brought my entire kit to parties so people could rock out. while public love for the genre has withered, I'm still rockin out and still loving playing along on the plastic guitar, drums, and mic. Seriously, if anyone still plays on PS3 (RB3), hit me up, I'm sure we can work something out.
23 - Portal 2 (PS3, PC, Xbox 360)
What can I say? My personal Game of the Year 2011, Portal 2 basically took everything epic about Portal and made it better. It's longer, the humor is funnier, the puzzles are better, the story is better, the voice acting is easily some of the best to have ever been produced, and it has Co Op! I still say this is like the perfect game, because it's long enough to make it worth your while but still short enough (and enjoyable enough) to give you reason to play through more than once, not to mention the co Op mode will keep you entertained for hours. I still put in the original Portal when I'm in the mood to do something quick, and once this year's awesome-game blitz is over, I can see myself returning to Portal 2 many times.
22 - Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (PS2, Xbox)
While Grand Theft Auto III introduced the idea of a crime-based sanbox game, Vice city took it to the next level by giving us more to do, refining the mechanics, and above all else having memorable characters, settings, and plot. I also learned the value of NOT using cheats thanks to the great fun that was brought on by trying to get 100% in this game. While I never did get 100% due to the sheer volume of stuff that could be done, I am proud to say that, at one point, I was able to memorize all 100 locations of the hidden packages! Dont remember it anymore, but I remember getting bored one afternoon and trying to get all 100 from memory and I did it! That shows dedication!
21 - Final Fantasy IV: the Complete Collection (SNES, PS1, PSP, GBA, DS, iOS)
I know I said Portal 2 was my Game of the Year, but this is an oddly special case because it's a remake of a game. I only just played Final Fantasy IV for the first time earlier this year when I reviewed it, and I have to say, HOLY CRAP WAS IT GOOD! It was a little short, but it was cheap and had TWO pseudo-sequels with upgraded graphics, so there's no loss there. And I have to say, this was by far the best version of FFIV. If you have a PSP, GET THIS GAME! I cannot stress that enough.
20 - Grand Theft Auto San Andreas (PS2, Xbox)
Where Grand Theft Auto: Vice City may have had the best character and setting of all the GTA games, San Andreas had by far the best gameplay and value. Three cities, each almost as big as Vice City, connected by open country roads, highways, and even a full mountain to dive off. Three different types of collectibles, RPG stat building, and territory minigames that actually didn't suck, and you have here the best the series has to offer. Too bad GTA IV basically threw everything that made Vice City and San Andreeas great out the window.
19 - Assassin's Creed II (PS3, 360)
While the first game was pretty and the story sucked me right in, the gameplay was messed up and uneven (seriously, guards attacking you just for being there? Forget that.) Luckily, Ubisoft took the time to refine everything about the first game into a game that was actually fun to play! They elaborated on the already fantastic story, they added more stuff to do, more collectables to collect, and better characters to interact with. The perfect sequel, though it still had a few gameplay related refinements to work on.
18 - Super MarioWorld (SNES, GBA)
Oh man, what a fantastically nostalgic experience that just doesn't stop being awesome. Dozens upon dozens of levels, an intricate world that has many, MANY secrets to explore, and some of the best level design to ever grace a platformer. In my opinion the apex of the Mario series. While others have beat it in individual categories, no game in the series ever brought all those elements together in such a way. Hell, any game that can be beaten in less than half an hour through exploiting secrets is awesome. I've been playing this game for two decades now and I STILL haven't found everything. That's replay value. (for the record there's only one room I can't get into, I have in fact gotten the coveted 96* score)
17 - Ratchet and Clank: Up Your Arsenal (PS2)
This is where the series really skyrocketed into the stratosphere for me. While the first two had flimsy plots and frankly lame character development, Up your Arsenal introduced us to what would become Ratchet's main nemesis: dr Nefarious. In turn the story actually mattered, Quark was less of a douche, and the sheer variety of gameplay in this is outstanding. Flying, shooting, platforming, puzzling, RPG elements, even a little RTS if you know where to look. They even added a multiplayer that didn't suck. Wasn't great, but it certainly didn't suck! When I'm arguing in favor of unified genre theory, this is one of the games I use as an example.
16 - Rock Band 3 (PS3, 360, Wii)
While I admit this game's release really pissed me off (No PS3 keyboards in Canada, no bundles, STILL no Pro guitars), and I ended up loathing most of the setlist on-disc (seriously, I'm a guitarist who hates chordfests), this really expanded what a Rythm game could be. Almost doubling the potential players from 4 to 7, adding a keyboard, and incorporating better RBN support made this a real winner in my eyes. Plus, the continued DLC has proven to be a steady source of entertainment. While I feel the game itself was a touch lackluster compared to the pristine Rock Band 2, it has since fixed itself and proven to be the de-facto Rock Band experience. Oh, and since Rock Band 3's release, we've been treated to some of the best DLC ever, most notably Meat Loaf's Paradise by the Dashboard Light and Dream Theater's On the backs of Angels, both perfect full-band experiences. There's also been 4 rush songs and 12 songs by The Doors. Shit, I best stop, because this game is awesome.
15 - Red Dead Redemption (PS3, 360)
After the debacle that was Grand Theft Auto IV, I was incredibly hesitant to buy into the hype of another Rockstar game. Well, I ended up waiting a while and getting this for cheap ('cheap' being 40 bucks) thanks to getting a gift card. Well, I was blown away. I didn't really know Rockstar for their storytelling ability, but Red Dead Redemption's story was amazingly well-told from beginning to end, revolving around likeable and believable characters in a gloriously realized world. Hell, if you just did the story it'd last you 20+ hours, that's not including the many, MANY things to do on the side as you explore around Texas and Mexico. Red Dead Redemption showed what a sandbox game could be, and in my opinion is what a sandbox game should be.
14 - Final Fantasy IX (PS1)
I have a confession to make: I don't remember most of this game. It keeps getting overshadowed by FF games I liked better (VI, VII, X, XII) and often gets left out when compared to the more controversial FFVIII, so I haven't played it as much as some of the others in the series. All I know is that what I did play of it I absolutely adored. I loved the characters, the plot, the fact that GASP terrible things happened a LOT! Not to mention I was fond of the battle system and the world they lived in. It was precicely what Amano wanted: a 3D version of a classic Final Fantasy. Now if only they'd return to their roots and quit with the stupid FFXIII sequels, we could get more great games!
13 - Final Fantasy VIII (PS1)
This one had it's fair share of controversy, from the Emo-poster boy Squall to the complicated but easy to abuse junction/draw system, this game reeks of weird decisions...and yet it worked. Squall may have been emo, but it made for one of the best-developed character arches in videogame history when he manned up and fell for Rinoa. The junction system may have been cumbersome, but once you learned it, it was remarkably deep and fun to use. Drawing still sucks, but if you know how to refine things then it becomes less necessary. Oh, and it has arguably the best minigame to ever grace Final Fantasy: Triple Triad. It had its faults, but I think it's strengths greatly outweigh them.
12 - Super Smash Brothers Brawl (Wii)
I know it's going to sound weird, but Smash brothers has always been one of those games I can pick up any day and play for hours. I was once a tournament player, but instead opted to be more casual with my gaming so I'm given this: an amazing game in every right. The combat physics are (in my opinion) the best in the series, there are more characters, secrets, and unlockables than ever before, a level creator, and above all else a co-op campaign mode that's honestly worh the price of the game on its own. This game fires on all cylinders and is one of the only games this generation I find myself returning to on a regular basis. you have no idea how much this excites me for the announced Smash brothers 3DS game.
11 - Donkey Kong Country (SNES, GBA)
Platforming at its best. the original Donkey Kong Country was what some would say the perfect blend of gameplay and presentation (and in its day it was more than worth the money you paid for it.) Dozens of unique levels, hundreds of bonuses and collectibles to find, and all along the backdrop of what was at the time the best music and graphics any system had ever seen. The remarkably well-rendered backgrounds and characters still look better than many games today, not to mention the game itself is still as fun as it ever was. this is how you make a classic.
10 - Ratchet and Clank Future: A Crack in Time (PS3)
If you've been paying attention, you'll see that I absolutely adore the Ratchet and Clank series with a passion. Its blend of platforming, action, shooting, puzzling, and even RPG elements has really made what I Feel is one of the best examples of genre-blending in histoy, and A Crack in Time is the best in the series for many reasons. The story is better and longer, the weapons are more fun, the action is greater, the comedy is better, and the extra content/exploration elements are welcome addition. So much to do, so much fun, and in spite of being a relatively cheap game, production wise, has proven to have more polish and sheen than most. Awesome game.
09 - Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble (SNES, GBA)
It may have had its fair share of detractors due to the saccharine aesthetics and the minor changes in enemy design, Donkey Kong Country 3 still proved to be an amazing game and in many ways superior to its prequels. In addition to all the things the previous entries introduced (bonus levels, kong letters, bananas, spending money, hidden worlds), this time we also get the banana birds, vehicles, and the brothers bear miniquest to conquer. Plus, in spite of the enemies being silly and not what you've come to love, the level design was easily the best in the series up to that point. Now that you're older, I urge you to give a shot and ignore the aesthetic changes, you'd be surprised how well it's held up.
08 - Final Fantasy XII (PS2)
Here we go...hooo boy. I just want everyone to know that this entry and the next two are tied equally in my books, but I had to order them so I did so chronologically. anyway, WOW what a game! I really don't know what to say, really, I mean, the characters (save Vaan and Penelo) were some of the best developed in the series, the sheer scope of the world, accent on exploration, and volume of content/sidequests meant that even for the most eager of gamers, truly completing this game was remarkably challenging and a hell of a fun time. The story is peculiar in that the plot that's fed to you is pretty basic, but if you're the type that likes to explore and unearth more (through sidequests or whatever), it proves itself to have one of the richest stories of any game, ever.
7 - Final Fantasy X (PS2)
I didn't like that they took away the world map, but everything else about this game fired on all cylinders! The plot was moving and poignant (religion is bad, yo), the characters were deep and had meaningful character arches, the combat made for some incredibly tactical decisions, and there was just SO much to do, in spite of the fact that exploration wasn't really all that viable due to the lack of worldmap. Plus there's Blitzball (what is arguably one of the best minigames ever), and stuff like deciphering a language, and you have one hell of a game. also: Tidus being whiny was his character arc, he went from being a spoiled brat to a mature adult. That was kind of the backdrop of the whole story.
6 - Final Fantasy VII (PS1)
What can I say? It's overrated but it's still phenomenal in every way! sure the graphics haven't aged well (See: Donkey King Country for graphics that aged well), but the story is as powerful as it ever was, the characters still as nuanced as ever, and the world as fleshed out as any game. Yeah, the game has its detractors, but the the combination of what was the most impressive visuals at the time and a scope far beyond what anyone had accomplished really shows that there's something special about this game, and it will always have a place in my heart. I have this on my PSP and still play it from time to time!
05 - Donkey Kong Country 2 (SNES, GBA)
Where the original Donkey Kong Country initiated something great, and the third expanded but had some weird design choices, the second was perfection. It took the gameplay of the first and cranked up the difficulty; it took the visual and audio and perfected them by giving us some of the moodiest, most atmospheric worlds and soundtrack the world has ever seen; and it added a bunch of gameplay features that made it stand out. More worlds, more secrets, more animal buddies, better graphics, and one of the best game soundtracks of all time makes this a worthy entry into my top 5 games.
04 - Megaman 2 (NES)
What was once my #1 game of all time lost its spot becuase I came to realize that its nostalgia factor played into it more than anything else. That nostalgia still is there, as it was the first game I ever mastered and probably the single game I've played more than any other game in existence (having beaten it more times than I beat all three Donkey Kong Country games combined), but the gameplay is still tight, the characters still memorable, and it's still fun as can be. There's a reason I was so happy to see that megaman 9 basically took everything from this game to make a proper sequel.
03 - The Legend of Zelda: a Link to the Past (SNES, GBA)
Here we go, the final descent into the last three. I don't know what to say, other than the fact that A Link to the Pas was....epic. I still don't really care much about the story, but everything else was awesome. The dungeons were all cleverly designed, the world was alive, there were so many side quests and hidden items to find that most could easily spend 50+ hours looking for them all...on the SNES. Sure, I can beat the entire game in a matter of hours (did the entire light world in 32 minutes), but that's because I loved it so much that I basically memorized the entire game, all the heart pieces, all the secrets, and...you get the point. Regardless, I loved this game but didn't care much for its successor: Ocarina of Time, becuase at the time I wasn't accustomed to the idea that all zeldas are basically the same, so it just felt like an uglier, glitcher version of Link to the Past in 3D. Also, LttP was my first Zelda game!
02 - Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars (SNES)
This is seriously one game I'd go out on a limb and call perfect. I don't need to talk about its storied history, and how it was the game that seperated square and nintendo, but the result can't be argued with. Some of the best graphics of all time that still hold up today, some of the best videogame music I've ever heard, perfect combination of charm and sincerity, all backed up by an odd but seamlessly integrated combination of platforming and RPG elements. The world is set up like a platformer, the game is an RPG, it has traditional mario elements as well as its own lore, it has the perfect difficulty curve, plenty of side quests and easter eggs, memorable characters...I could go on but I honestly can't find a single flaw to balance it out. There's a very good reason this is so high on the list, and while Nintendo has tried to recapture the magic with the Paper Mario and Mario and Luigi games, nothing has ever or will ever truly compare to this gem.
01 - Final Fantasy VI (SNES, PS1, GBA)
Bask in the glory of Final Fantasy VI. DO IT! why? becuase it's the best final fantasy game to date, and my all time favorite game! I'll tell you a story about it, though. A long time ago, I saw this game on the shelf of my local videogame store and I decided to pick it up because I'd tried everything else and my friend recommended it to me. I hated it. I thought picking your moves instead of DOING Them was stupid, I couldn't understand what to do, I did't care about story in a game (back then), and I sucked at it. It left a sour taste in my mouth, and I decided not to play it anymore. then that same friend told me to play super Mario RPG, claiming it was a nice blend of platforming and RPG elements, so I tried that and fell in love with it. Once I finally beat Mario RPG, he told me to give this game another shot, and I did. What happened? I don't know, but it was like a switch had been flipped. Mario RPG was a nice introduction to the RPG genre and opened my eyes to the glories of turn based combat and story-driven gameplay. I played this again and was hooked for weeks until I finally finished it. By the time it was all said and done, I was a believer, and I turned right around and played it not once more, but three more times before finally retiring it to play something else for once. I have since played through this game a full three dozen times or more, and I've gotten so good at it I can beat it in a weekend (got through most of the world of balance in one sitting). Why do I love this game? Well, why wouldn't I? The protagonists are the most interesting and well developed in ANY game I've ever played, the villain is easily the most memorable and psychotic (I haven't played Suikoden 32 yet, so the jury's still out on Luca Blight), the world was beautiful, the graphics wer simple but surprisingly effective, and the plot was....wow. I know it was generic, but it's all in the presentation and Final Fantasy VI nailed it. Not to mention the Score was easily the best of its time and a strong contender for best of all time (easily in the top 10), there was plenty of side quests, and it was the perfect 'balance' between linear and nonlinear which has not been recreated in a final fantasy game since (Seriously, the world of ruin is nonlinearity incarnate). While it's not perfect, there were a few minor glitches, the game's strong points catapult it into my number 1 position. Hell, this game is so deep that I'm STILL learning new things about it! I just learned for the first time that (spoilers) Shadow is Relm's father! I'm not even kidding! Seriously if you have a GBA or a DS that plays GBA games, get Final Fantasy VI advance, it's the definitive version of this game. I have it on SNES, GBA, PS1, and on the PSN, and would gladly pay for it again if it was rereleased as a PSV title or if they gave it the Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection treatment.
With all that said, this list was makeshift and not a true representation of what I consider my true 'top games' list, mostly becuase I see a lot of game series' as collective entries rather than having them cut up. for instance, the "Ratchet and Clank" series is one entry, as is the "Megaman X series", I also have "Super Mario All-Stars + Super Marioworld" as one entry becuase having one game cartrige have two of my all time favorite games is a win for me (mario 3 and mario world). so for those interested in my real, established top games list, here it is:
100- Final Fantasy VI
99 - Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
99 - The Legend of Zelda: a Link to the Past
98 - Donkey Kong Country 1-3
98 - Megaman 2
97 - Final Fantasy VII, X, XII
96 - Super Mario All-Stars and Super Mario World
96 - Final Fantasy IV, VIII, IX
96 - Ratchet and Clank Series
96 - Super Smash Brothers Series
95 - Rock Band Series
95 - Grand Theft Auto VC/SA
95 - Donkey Kong Country Returns
95 - Portal series
95 - Red Dead Redemption and Undead Nightmare
95 - The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (I'm not even done it and it's this high, could beat out red Dead and Portal if it proves to be awesomer.)
95 - Left 4 Dead Series
95 - The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
95 - Megaman X Collection
94 - Assassin's Creed Series
94 - Kingdom Hearts Series
94 - The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
94 - Pokemon Series
94 - Super Marioworld 2: Yoshi's Island
94 - Resident Evil 4/5
93 - Minecraft
93 - Megaman series
93 - Guitar Hero 1-2
93 - Joe and Mac
92 - Final Fantasy
92 - Metroid Prime Series
92 - Final Fantasy Tactics series
And keep in mind the following are all games that have high expectations but I've never played:
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Tales of Phantasia
Mass Effect series
Shadow of the Colossus