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Number 40

Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader

This was actually my first Gamecube game. It kind of set the bar for the console in several ways, and in many ways it was never surpassed; to this day, it's my favorite game for flying around in an X-Wing or blowing up the Death Star or for playing the Battle of Hoth. It conveyed battles from and surrounding the movie trilogy in fantastic ways, and as a technical game it was never really surpassed within its own generation. Do you remember what it was like the first time you went to Bespin, or on the bombing run defending a train, or going toe-to-toe with two Star Destroyers at once? This game was filled with breath-taking moments, the apotheosis of all games that tried to portray what was great about the space battles in Star Wars.

More, it was hard, hard down to its bones. This game would kill you so fast it wasn't funny. But you know what? THat didn't matter. You could get past anything if you were good and knew when to run from your enemy, and its excellent gameplay concepts (fly an X-wing!) were tied to extremely responsive and tight controls.

I loved this game enough that I got every single medal you can possibly get in the game; I spent three hours beating the Endurance run to unlock Darth Vader's Advanced TIE. I don't regret a single moment of it. In terms of sheer fun and mechanical excellence, I don't know if I've ever played a better Star Wars game.