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Forums - Gaming Discussion - Your Top 50 Games: 2011 Official Thread (Post Only ONCE)

Here we go!

#50. Super Monkey Ball (Gamecube)

A VERY underrated and overlooked game on a underrated and overlooked console. The concept is simple yet very fun and addictive, with loads of content, and equally fun mini games that could practically pass for stand alone games.

#49. Dr. Mario (Wiiware)

Fun tetris inspired puzzle game, that I still enjoy playing to this day. It's one of those charming simple games that never gets old. While it's tough to be the original classic, the Wiiware version manages to do it with its new four player and online mode.

#48. Shadow Complex (XBLA)

A really interesting new take on the old school sidescrolling shooters like Metroid and Contra, with a surprisingly robust campaign for an Xbox live arcade game. Epic really showed they can tackle more than FPS/TPS with this one.

#47. Everquest (PC)

Ah the MMO that started it all... You'd be hard pressed to find a game with more content and replayability than this gem, especially now that the game has like 18 expansion packs. I pretty much did nothing but level grind in this game, but the worlds were so epic and imaginative and the gameplay so satisfying it didn't matter.

#46. Worms Armageddon (PC)

Fun little turn-based strategy game with a variety of cool weapons, including banana bombs and a cow launcher. How could you go wrong?

#45. The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind (PC)

This game really intriged me at the time, because it was esentailly the first massive western-style RPG I ever played. It kept me hooked with its enriching atmosphere, seemingly endless freedom, and overall sense of wonder the game brought. Even by modern standards the scope of this game is truly epic.

#44. Halo 3 (Xbox 360)

Simply the standard of online FPS gaming, at least until the Call of Duty series took its crown. Many fun times with this one, and has a well constructed campaign mode as well, which is more than many FPS games can say these days.

#43. GTA 4 (Xbox 360)

It's GTA at it's finest. What more can be said? Excellent sandbox game that gives you total control and remains a blast to play no matter if you're playing through the main story, embarking on side quests, or just hitting up strip clubs or running from cops.

#42. Guitar Hero 3 (Xbox 360)

The pinnacle of the Guitar Hero franchise. While the first two came with crappy unlicened covers of the songs, and the more recent titles were lacking the wow factor the older ones had, this game managed to innovate with interesting new features like the rock battles, while sticking true to the fun and addictive formula that made the franchise a hit. It also has the best song library.

#41. Tony Hawk 2 (Dreamcast)

Much like Guitar Hero 3, this was, in my opinion, the pinacle of the Tony Hawk series, along with Tony Hawk 3. After about the 5th itteration, Activision seemed content on running the franchise into the ground. But thankfully we can still reminice on the series' glory days with this gem. It added enough from the first game to flesh it out more, while keeping the franchise to its fundemental simple core. Also like Guitar Hero 3, it had the best soundtrack.

#40. Legend of Zelda - A Link to the Past (SNES)

An epic game rich with content, even looking back on it from the perspective of modern gaming. This game encapsulates what makes the Zelda series so loved; a massive adventure with an intriging backstory, complete with large and interesting environments, and solid arcade-style gameplay. I also liked the light and dark world concept. Certainly beats the normal link/wolf link of Twilight Princess.

#39. Donkey Konga (Gamecube)

I see this game as sort of a precusor to the Wii formula. It had the soul that many Wii games would later incorporate and hone, which is, simple fun, arcade style gameplay that is every bit as enjoyable the first time you pick it up and play as the 50th time. And trust me, you will play this one a lot once you've tried it. Just grab a friend and enjoy countless nights of plastic bongo drumming.

#38. Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii)

The craftsmanship in this one is simply excellent, from the epic music to the shiny and colorful graphics, it's all done superbly. But of course, the game really shines with its gameplay, providing an insanely diverse array of levels and concepts, sweet new powerups, and the re-addition of Yoshi. This game is the pinnacle of 3D platforming, taking an already solid game in Mario Galaxy 1 and drastically improving it.

#37. Super Smash Brothers (N64)

A fighting game done right - this game really broke new ground as there were few like it. It was also the first time Nintendo went a little on the adult oriented side, pitting their memorable characters against eachother. The muliplayer is of course the major standout to this game, and it what keeps many of us playing to this day.

#36. Star Wars Battlefront (PC)

While not a perfectly made FPS by any means, the combination of the rich backstory and environments this Star Wars game entails, combined with its highly addictive and robust online multiplayer, this game is easily one of my favorite FPS's.

#35. The Legend of Zelda (Wii Virtual Console)

I was ashamed at myself that I had waited so long to place this masterpiece when I purchased it form the Wii virtual console back in '06. I found that I was enjoying it far more than Twilight Princess which I had also bought with the console at launch. The game simply has everything I love in games; open ended gameplay, large and interesting worlds, arcade-style button mashing gameplay, and a plethora of content and complexity.

#34. Mario Kart DS (Nintendo DS)

Mario Kart is one of my favorite series, and this game reaffirms that love, with added online play that allows for endless replayability, great new tracks, as well as some nice nostalgic old ones, and overall great mechanics, that is, if you are willing to deal with the cheap and often exploited snaking technique.

#33. Power Stone 2 (Dreamcast)

This game was the reson I rebought a Dreamcast after my first one bit the dust. It is like Smash Brothers on crack. It took the aspects that made those games so fun and fleshed out certain concepts like level interaction, individual character attributes, and 3D.

#32. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (PC)

This game is Bioware at its best, forget that Star Wars wannabe known as Mass Effect. This game has the real thing - epic story, huge scale, and deep gameplay, making for a masterpiece of a WRPG. Even if you're not a die hard Star Wars fan, it's tough not to enjoy this one.

#31. Little King's Story (Wii)

This to me was the surprise hit of the Wii library. While I expected a well crafted game, I certainly didn't expect to have so much fun and spend so many countless hours adventuring through the colorful worlds of Little King's Story and taking out enemies by command of my tiny soldiers. If you love Pikmin, you simply must play this. It remains one of my favorite Wii games, topped only by a certain few that happen to feature Mario and/or Donkey Kong.

#30. Metroid Prime (Gamecube)

Retro studios really showed off their talent with this FPS (FPA?) for Gamecube. It is a great game is so many ways - from the amazing atmosphere and music, to the memorable and diverse levels throughout, to the plethora of content. It is a really interesting and hugely succesful new take on the Metroid series.

#29. Roller Coaster Tycoon (PC)

Believe it or not, there are likely very few games I have spent more time playing than this one. Somehow you just never tire of this game, or at least I didn't. If you know the style The Sims/Sim City had - that sort of God-game/strategy game, think that with amusement parks, and you've got Roller Coaster Tycoon. It is one of the most addictive games you will play, as you pull all nighters crafting an epic roller coaster, building massive parks, and calculating ways to earn greater profits.

#28. Turtles in Time (SNES)

Whether you're a fan of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or not, this game is a solid action fighter, which especially shines in multiplayer. Though it is on the short side, as many arcade-style fighters are, you'll want to go back and play through it again and again, beating up henchmen and fighting through some memorable bosses and even more memorable enrivonments.

#27. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Xbox 360)

Sort of the Goldenye of the modern era, this game is simply the perfect FPS game, particularly when it comes to the robust, higly addictive online multiplayer. While the single player leaves a bit to be desired, it at least doesn't resort to the cliche kill aliens or fight in World War II scenarios, and creates it own fresh narrative. Besides, let's face it, you don't play this game for the campaign anyway.

#26. Call of Duty: Black Ops (Xbox 360)

This may seem a bit redundant because this game is quite similar to the one prior. However, it's a great game on its own merit, and came with some great additions such as new percs, greater class customization, and the always thrilling zombie mode.

#25. Fallout 3 (Xbox 360)

As you've probably been able to tell by now, I have a soft spot for epic, open ended games. The less linearity, the better, and Fallout 3 is anything but linear. You can chose from a number of guilds/clans/etc to side with and aid, you can adhere stricly to the main storyline, or you can simply run around killing things and stealing. I also appreciate the innovation of being one of the few RPGs to feature guns and explosives.

#24. Eternal Darkness (Gamecube)

A major hidden gem on the Gamecube library (but then again most of its great games were). I abolutely love the atmosphere and the story this game comes with, providing a very interesting and diverse wealth of environments from several periods in history. I also admire the innovation of the sanity system and the new dimension it brought to an already frightening game. This is a game that should not be missed if you own a Gamecube - you'd be insane to! har har har..

#23. Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 (XBLA)

This game defines arcade fundementals, which is why this game is so much fun to me. It boils gaming down to its essence - simply survive and take out enemies in an effort to get the highest score possible. The online leaderboards make this even more fun, as you get to compete with the entire world, giving you far greater incentive to show off your ego as you play through the 6 different game modes - all of which are massively fun in their own way.

#22. Super Smash Brothers: Brawl (Wii)

This super fun Wii arcade/fighter takes all the appealing aspects of the first two games in the series and beefs them up on steroids, adding more characters with more more attacks, new and crazier levels, and new features like the single player adventure mode, the Subspace Emissary. One of the best multiplayer games of the era.

#21. Super Mario 64 (N64)

It's Mario in 3d. That concept alone was enough to excite the hell out of us back in the 90s. And Nintendo delivered. This game brought the core gameplay of Mario to the 3D plane, making for a more epic and enriching experience. While I still prefer the classic 2D Mario games, Mario 64 was hugely fun in its own way, and made me a believer in 3D video games.

#20. Resident Evil 4 (Wii)

This is the pinnacle of the Resident Evil series. Not too slow paced and puzzle heavy (RE1), yet not too FPS in your face action (RE5). It simply has the perfect balance of all the elements that make the RE series great; eerie atmosphere, creepy zombies (well in this case, crazed plagued villagers), sweet weapons, and epic boss battles. Simply survival horror at its best.

#19. Bubble Bobble (NES)

Bubble Bobble is a game that for some odd reason seemed to fly under the radar, despite being one of the best games the NES has to offer, especially the multiplayer. Sort of a classic Mario Brothers inspired style, you and a friend team up to take out waves of enemies with bubbles. Sound odd I know, but it's a concept that really works, and it's a lot of fun.

#18. Yoshi's Island (SNES)

A 2D platformer that's style is unique and interesting as the game is fun. This game takes the formula that made the 2D Mario games so memorable and adds some new elements, such as aiming and hitting your enemies with Yoshi eggs, which is oh so satisfying. The boss battles are also quite awesome. The one aspect that kept this game from being even higher on my list is the lack of multiplayer (aside from a few mini games here and there).

#17. Tales of Symphonia (Gamecube)

Bar none, the best RPG on Gamecube, and one of the best RPGs of all time. Everything is simply masterfully crafted, from the music, to the environments, the story, and the characters. And of course, the gameplay itself is solid, complete with a fun hack and slash battle system that keeps the quick pace going (unlike the boring turn based systems many RPGs are plagued with), and very deep gameplay that will last you dozens upon dozens of hours. You will enjoy every minute of your adventure.

#16. Donkey Kong Country Returns (Wii)

Once again Retro does a Nintendo series proud. This game managed to capture the essence of the feel good nostalgia and solid gameplay that the original DKC games had, while adding some fresh elements as well. The levels are just as memorable as the original games, and the game itself rivals the classic 2D Mario games in platformers, and is even more asthetically pleasing than the NSMB games.

#15. New Super Mario Brothers Wii (Wii)

While the new Donkey Kong Country game won in the music and visual department, this game beats it on sheer quality of gameplay. What really makes this game stand out is the insanely fun 4 player that manages to work no matter the level you are playing, and adds an entire new dimension of challenge and strategy. It also has the welcome return of the koopa kids, in addition to some fun new powers and worlds. This game is a true renaissance of the classic 2D Mario games that made the NES and SNES so popular, and is perhaps the greatest platformer of the modern era.

#14. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (Xbox 360)

Take Morrowind and juice it up on steroids, and you get this epic game from Bethesda. It captures the Zelda/Lord of the Rings elements of fantasy perfectly. It is what the Zelda series SHOULD be like (at least the modern ones). The amount of gameplay, customization, and depth within is simply phenomenal. And the game is so open ended, that litterally no two people will have the exact same experience from start to finish, unlike many linear games of the modern era. If you are even a casual fan of RPGs, it'd be a crime not to check this one out.

#13. Goldeneye (N64)

This is the game that got me playing first person shooters, and this is true for many gamers. The game is not just of high quality, but it truely revolutionized gaming, and even took part in the creation of a genre, having a lasting impact to this day. The fact that it is James Bond makes it even more awesome, as well as the fact that it is based off my favorite Bond film. The multiplayer is where the game truly shines, but unlike most FPS games, the single player is nearly as memorable. Both will have you mashing buttons for hours on end.

#12. Donkey Kong Country (SNES)

This game started up where the 2D Mario series left off on the Super Nintendo, taking the reigns as the definitive platformer on the console. Unlike Mario, this game had greater style, better graphics, and superb music and atmosphere. It also used a somewhat new concept of two-player tag teaming, as well as incorporating the traditional two player competition. And who can forget the animal buddies, who were like a super-beefed up version of Yoshi. This series to me, helps to solidify the Super Nintendo as the greatest gaming console of all time.

#11. Mario Kart 64 (N64)

Simply an amazingly fun arcade racer that is still just as enjoyable today as it was over a decade ago, despite the novelty of the 3D long since wearing off. What made this game shine most, as in many Nintendo titles, is the multiplayer, but even if you exclude that, the game itself is very well made. Complete with fun new items, and the epicness of certain levels like Rainbow Road, this is easily one of the best of the N64 library.

#10. Super Mario World (SNES)

This is the game that got me, and millions of other kids, excited about the Super Nintendo, and indeed, was THE definitive game to pick up for your new console, at least until the Donkey Kong Country Series. It brought Mario to a whole new world known as Dinosaur World, which was a welcome departure from the frequently visited Mushroom Kingdom. It also brought the awesomeness of Yoshi, and had a very complex overworld map filled with shortcuts and secret paths. And let's not forget the epicness of star and special world. While the game seemed a tad dumbed down and easy at times, the quality is so great and the worlds so memorable that it didn't matter.

#9. Mario Kart Wii (Wii)

That's right, yet another Mario Kart title. But the series is one of my all time favorites, and this game stands above the rest of them, so I felt it would be an injustice to not include it. There is a reason this game has sold 30 million copies, it is damn near impossible not to enjoy. To captures that feeling of being at the arcade and having a blash with your friends, especially with the added motion control that simulates driving a car, loosely speaking of course, but it actually works quite well. If the memorable new tracks and characters weren't enough (funky kong!), there is an online mode that remains the standard for Wii online games.

#8. Donkey Kong Country 2 (SNES)

Yep, just like Mario Kart, you may notice that this is another series that populates a decent chunk of my list. But all three of the Donkey Kong Country games on my list are so fun and memorable in their own way that I really feel they all deserve to be on here. While its predecessor broke new ground in 2D platforming, Donkey Kong Country 2 perfected it, with crazier and tricker stages, even more beautiful music and atmosphere, more depth, and the always fun to use, Dixie Kong, who is blessed with the ability to float using her massive spinning hair.

#7. Pokemon Red/Blue (Gameboy)

The game that single handedly rivitalized the life of the Gameboy, and transcended nations, age, and gender with its insanely addictive appeal. It captured the magic of the TV show and delved deeper into the Pokemon universe. What this game achieves moreso than most others is its wonderful sense of accomplishment, and the excitement of catching that rare Pokemon in the wild, or finally defeating that dick Gary and the Ellite 4. Pokemon is one of those games that nearly EVERY gamer you hear from has their own memorable experience with.

#6. Super Mario RPG (SNES)

This was my first forray into the RPG genre, and ironically, still perhaps the best. The marriage of two great companies, Square and Nintendo, proved more than justified as we got a crazy epic game complete with the colorful backstory and environments of the Mushroom Kingdom, along with Squares magical touch of RPG perfection, awesome new characters to add to the Mario universe, and truly solid gameplay that is in depth without being overly complex like some RPGs. And again, the music and atmosphere is wonderful, which I believe is a huge part of the recepie for a superb game.

#5.

It was difficult for me to decide where this game or Mario RPG reigns supreme as my favorite RPG, but at the end of the day, this one wins by a hair, primarily based off the multiplayer, which adds a new element of fun to an already epic masterpiece. But I also appreciate the fast-paced and simplistic battle system and prefer it over the turn based system of Mario RPG. The elements of brilliance here are standard of many games on my list - amazing soundtrack, colorful and eye pleasing environments, and of course, solid gameplay.

#4.

About a year ago, this game came completly out of nowhere, and dominated almost all others on my list as one of my favorite games. If you are a fan of open-world gameplay, and begin to play this game, you will soon see why. It simply gives you an exhileration of adventure and a feeling of accomplishment that few games can pull off. The world is your oyster - explore anywhere you want, above ground or below, slay anything you want, customize your inventory, collect, build, etc. It is a sandbox game that stands above all the others, not only it the massive worlds and freedom of choice, but the sheer fun this game grants. And let's not forget the memorable and frightening creepers, that put the zombies in Resident Evil to shame.

#3.

Another game that grants you the power to craft - this time with massive sci-fi armies of men or aliens to battle with. Blizzard perfected the real time strategy genre with this game. It has that perfect formula of easy-to-learn-tough-to-master that is a prime ingridient in making a masterful game. It is relatively simple to pick up, yet very in depth and allows for so much customization and is so much damn fun, it's actually been made into a competitive sport in Korea. Any game that can pull THAT off must be pretty damn good..

#2.

While all three Gears of War titles are pretty similar, this latest entry is the clear cut best of the three, and is one of my favorite all time games, with the Gears of War series as a whole easily being my most played series ever. Why do I love it so much? Where to start.. The presentation is masterful, the graphics amazing, the campaign epic (no pun intended), and the story actually somewhat decent. The weapons, in typical Gears fashion, are unique and so damn fun to use. But for me, what makes this game and series immortal is the insanely fun multiplayer, which I have made almost a routine out of playing. It is, simply put, THE definitive go to game for me when I am looking for a boredom killer.

#1.

Like Donkey Kong Country 2, this game took everything that made its predecessor great and radically expanded upon it, creating a much more colorful and memorable universe, that awesome koopa kids, more fun and interesting levels, and kick ass new power-ups like the Tanooki Suit. While the game is no doubt tricky, it just makes it that much more gratifying when you finally do beat it, and adds to the replay value since you spend so much time trying to get over the hurdle. And believe me, you will want to spend MUCH time playing this gem. This is the title that not only got me into Nintendo games, but made me a gamer.



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50. Super Mario bros 3 advance 4 (GBA)

First game on GBA and second Mario I've ever played. First Mario was Super Mario 64 in 1996.



50. Phantasy Star Online Episode III: CARD Revolution, GC (2004) Sega/Sonic Team
An interesting expansion on the back story of the PSO world, and although the gameplay was vastly different, it was an interesting card-based strategy game and i spent quite a bit of time in online duels

49. Toe Jam & Earl, Genesis (Virtual Console version 2006, original game 1992) Sega/JVP
A trippy game with a soundtrack that overcomes its MIDI limitations to be quite memorable, and given the randomly generated stages and item progression that is very similar to a dungeon crawler, this game captures the appeal of those games while having a funky style all its own and, while it is not altogether easy (damn biker ducks...) it gets points for lacking the head-exploding difficulty oft-present in dungeon crawlers

48. NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams, Wii (2007) Sega/Sonic Team
One day i hope to have the opportunity to play the original NiGHTS, but until then, this game will suffice for something that captures the true beauty of music, color, and whimsy. Although it's certainly a game where aesthetic was put ahead of gameplay (as those horrible ground missions show), but the gameplay was mostly delightfully zen, even in combat

47. Mario Kart DS, DS (2005) Nintendo
The first of many Mario Karts on the list, but this one is the lowest down, despite introducing such features as the classic tracks. Why is it so low down you ask? Snaking. Despite Snaking it was fun enough to beat out Super Circuit, which does not make my list at all

46. Wrecking Crew, NES (Virtual Console version 2007, original game 1985) Nintendo
One of the more clever puzzle games i've ever played. I have a disdain for puzzle games in general, and this is the only one in my list, but this one encourages creative thinking, and also punishes with the relentless cruelty of NES games. Having the Select button serve as an instant Reset button was genius, because you'll need it with all the ways you can instantly fail a level (but the game won't tell you). A real brain workout

45. Pokemon Black and White, DS (2011) Nintendo/Game Freak
In one of those ever-unfair conundrums, Black and White is a superior entry to many of the other Pokemon games on this list, but the others win nostalgia points and come out many places ahead. Black and White, however, will remain the first Pokemon game where i finally took Pokemon training seriously, and reaped the rewards of a perfectly-balanced team. Final squad: Emboar, Krookodile, Swanna, Zekrom, Celebi, Weavile

44. StarFox 64, N64 (1997) Nintendo
Other people in this thread have already listed many reasons for this game's greatness i've noticed, so i'll just leave it with why it sits relatively lower down. This is due to the game's sometimes circular difficulty (whereby the worse you do, the harder it is, making you do yet worse...)

43. Okami, PS2 (Wii version played 2008, original PS2 version 2006) Capcom/Clover Games (PS2)/Ready At Dawn (Wii)
An incredibly misleading journey through the stories of the Kojiki and the Nihongi, founding mythological stories of Japan. Despite vast theological inaccuracy and the games often-repetitive combat, this game ends up being endlessly charming between its mythic art style and Zelda-esque characters and the wide variety of techniques you are given to make the repetitive combat somewhat thought-provoking.

42. Sonic Adventure, DC (GC version played 2004, original 1999) Sega/Sonic Team
As a spoiler, this is the prequel to the game that is #2 on my list, and so retains many of the properties that made me love that game so much. The same type of gameplay, which unlike so many 3D sonics, emphasized platforming, and they introduced the glorious Knuckles treasure-hunting stages. The problems, of course, are that even the GC version, which was somewhat remastered, had some buggy gameplay, and while i don't hate Big the Cat for who he is, those fishing stages can burn.

41. Pokemon Stadium 2, N64 (2001) Nintendo/HAL Labs
This was during the height of my own personal Pokemania, and the last Colosseum type game i bought (skipping Coloseum, XD, and Battle Revolution), so it has a special place in my heart. As unbalanced as the earlier Pokemon games were, nostalgia points for all the hours spent strategizing, battling, or just dicking around with the mini-games (also the free mystery gift! And a girl to fight in that one room in Veridian!) gets this game the 41 spot.

40. Super Mario Bros DX, GBC (based off 1985 and 1986 NES games, GBC version 2000) Nintendo
This game brought together one of the most influential games in history and its direct, super-hard sequel. For a lover of platformers such as myself, these games are foundational scripture, and i owe so much of what i love in video games back to this one, coupled together in a handy Game Boy Color version adding special challenges and the original Mario Bros 2

39. Mario Kart: Double Dash, GC (2003) Nintendo
Although snaking existed in this game, i was never exposed to it due to the lack of online play, so it is not marred by that frustration unlike Mario Kart DS, and fights its way further up the slot. Double Dash's original tracks as well as the introduction of character-specific items made for an interesting experience, and though the game is not as important in terms of nostalgia as Kart 64, objectively this game is much better balanced.

38. Metroid Prime 2, GC (2004) Nintendo/Retro Studios
The worst of the three main Prime games, but that still gets it up to number 38. I found the enemies and scenario were less believable than in Prime 1 and 3, which de-immersed me from the experience, but the core gameplay that made that series so great is still there. The original version also was quite unbalanced in terms of difficulty, though this was rectified in the Trilogy edition.

37. Star Wars: Rogue Squadron 2: Rogue Leader, GC (2001) LucasArts/Factor 5
This game encapsulates the classic moments of the original trilogy's timeless battles and packs in some other varied, interesting missions, with lots of secrets, a challenging medal system, and some truly epic missions, this game really captures the appeal of the jet-fighter genre while perfectly synchronizing with the legend of Star Wars.

36. Yoshi's Story, N64 (1998) Nintendo
The game was controversially overcute, involving baby Yoshis fighting baby Bowser in a saccharine world so sugar-sweet you'll likely go into insulin shock if you're unprepared, but at the same time it was a unique take on the platformer genre, with the individual Yoshis being your only lives, and exploration of the 2D levels being your goal, with some stages being surprisingly tough, and more than a few secrets to serve.

35. Super Mario Galaxy 2, Wii (2010) Nintendo
A testament to the glories of 3D platforming, here was a game that tests all your platforming skill. It refined the form of the original Galaxy game and focused almost exclusively on tests of skill, with the bonus stars bringing the only exploration element into the game as a bonus. The only reason its much lower down is it simply lacked the originality of the original, so made a less strong impression.

34. Pokemon Diamond & Pearl, DS (2007) Nintendo/Game Freak
Once again, objectively better Pokemon games that end up lower on the list due to a lack of nostalgia in their favor, but this game was the first Pokemon game i had played since Silver (having skipped the 3rd gen), and it made an excellent return to form, being the first Pokemon game i beat without help from cheats or glitches. Final team: Empoleon, Luxray, Staraptor, Mismagius, Alakazam, Palkia

33. Wii Sports Resort, Wii (2009) Nintendo
Resort offered the kind of expansion of depth that should be expected from a separately sold product, as opposed to Wii Sports. Multiple sports, and each side-mode of many sports now became it's own event, making for a varied experience. Golf, Frolf, Swordsmanship, and the airplane mode all held unique and lasting appeal as games good in themselves, and great use of motion controls

32. Wario Land 3, GBC (2001) Nintendo
Another game closely related to a game much further up my list, this game really showed you how a game where you can't die can be a really challenging and engaging experience. It focuses on exploration in a 2D environment, as well as harrowing boss-battles where the only penalty was a ring-out. It loses points for being a little too non-linear, and thus rather daunting in the early parts of the game.

31. No More Heroes, Wii (2008) Ubisoft (USA publishing) & Marvelous (original funding)/Grasshopper Manufacture
Generally i don't go in for "artsy" games, which is what makes this game unique. It's an unflattering commentary on otaku and gamer culture alike, wrapped up in a vestige of fun violence and pointless minigames. Travis Touchdown's journey through an empty world filled with other interesting assassin personalities is just a unique experience all around

30. Bomberman 64, N64 (1997) Hudson
This game had the tendency to be frustratingly obtuse. For a game in the 3D era, death came easily and in many forms, and the game did not make what you had to do at all obvious. That being said, it was a distinct take on previous Bomberman games in both adventure and multiplayer, making for a fun and unique game.

29. Mario Kart Wii, Wii (2008) Nintendo
Third and next-to-last Mario Kart game on my list, this one gets further up for having far more balanced gameplay, neat new tricks for players to master, and best of all, online that, for a while at least, wasn't dominated by cheating/snaking. The snaking never appeared (may it stay dead forever!) but cheating killed it inevitably, but it was a damn fun ride while it lasted, so it lands here

28. Super Smash Brothers, N64 (1999) Nintendo/HAL Labs
Ahh Super Smash Brothers. Here was the only game (aside possibly from Sonic The Fighters) to break past my utter disdain for the fighting genre, and its sequels only grew in my heart. It's not about the Nintendo characters (though they certainly lend to the charm), but about making fighting games fun and accessible, without actually losing depth. Not the last time this series appears on this list. Mains: Kirby, Ness, Luigi

27. Sonic Heroes, GC (also PS2 and Xbox) (2004) Sega/Sonic Team
Although Sonic Heroes was a step backwards  on the graphics front, as far as 3D Sonics go, this one seemed to get it all right as far as what the critics supposedly demand: focus on speed and platforming and none of the other modes of play available in Adventure (though i liked those modes). Heroes proves that the critics don't know what the fuck they want from Sonic, and the roller-coaster games we've gotten since are a testament to critical ignorance and Sonic Team's gullibility. Team Rose was, of course, quite annoying, but the gameplay was solid and it had strong replay value

26. Metroid Prime 3, Wii (2007) Nintendo/Retro Studios
This game brought back a more believable story and introduced engaging Wii pointer controls, bringing it further up the list than 2. It loses points, however, in that the discrete planets meant less free-flowing exploration, though each planet was often deep enough on its own. Elysia is beautiful.

25. Super Mario Sunshine, GC (2002) Nintendo
As much as this is the weakest of the 3D Mario games (and it indeed is), being weakest of a superlative breed still gets it this far up the list. Super Mario 64 had two distinct flavors: tests of skill and searching for stuff. The Galaxy games went with the test of skill route, but Super Mario Sunshine was much more about large worlds, and much of the game's fun came from parkour-esque point-a-to-point-b travels. Worth more than it's remembered for.

24. Pokemon Blue, GB (1998) Nintendo/Game Freak
Ahh youth. Here is the only game i followed into from a fad, the height of anticipation of my 4th-grade self, and so it wins major nostalgia points despite being horribly unbalanced compared to later Pokemon titles. Still, the core formula is there, as were some interesting glitches that gave the game a lot of life (Missingno. and its family of glitches)

23. The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, GC (2003) Nintendo
To some Nintendo fans, the GameCube era was notorious for seeing some of the weaker entries in franchises, and while i would argue that the Wind Waker had a lot of weaknesses, its strengths made up for them. Beautiful music, memorable characters, a huge world to explore (even if the actual content of the world was debatable). Despite its flaws, i've played it many times, probably more times than any other Zelda game barring Ocarina, so it has to have done something right.

22. Super Mario World, SNES (GBA version played 2002, original 1991) Nintendo
This game remains undefeated in my eyes as the epitome of old-school 2D Mario, which makes the admiration for Super Mario Bros 3 (which i have played thoroughly) seem odd to me. This had the most intricate maps, the greatest challenges, sternest bosses, and just endless secrets to discover. Here is 2D Platformer Nirvana.

21. Goldeneye 007, N64 (1998) Nintendo/Rare
The only non-Metroid-Prime First-person game on my list. Despite my general apathy for First Person shooters (not that i dislike them, just never saw the mania), this game leaves an indelible print on my youth much like it has on many gamers here i imagine. The game's soundtrack has been genuinely memorable, and i often remember elevator music in an elevator

20. Kirby 64, N64 (2000) Nintendo/HAL Labs
Similar to Bomberman 64, despite the fact that this is a rather off-beat game in its franchise (what with the "combine copy abilities" and all) it endures in my memory longer. Like both Bomberman 64 and Goldeneye, the music of this game often comes to me at random intervals. My favorite ability was dynamite, because of the adorable little hardhat Kirby got with it

19. Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Wii (also on GC)(2006) Nintendo
Here is a game that wins many of its points from style, tone, and content, but is slightly weaker on the gameplay front. Twilight Princess improved little from the problems of Wind Waker, for instance, except that it was longer with less filler. Improved archery and some fun items as well as the game's often-haunting style win its slot for it.

18. Super Smash Brothers Brawl, Wii (2008) Nintendo/HAL Labs
Another objectively-better game that loses to others in its franchise due to nostalgia (namely losing to Melee in this case), Brawl balanced what Melee had unbalanced, creating mechanisms to deliberate mess with those dreadful tournament players, and yet making a game that was incredibly balanced (closest thing to a broken character is Meta Knight, but i contend that he does not have enough launching power to be truly unbalanced). My mains were and remain: Kirby, Mr. Game and Watch, Ike, and King Dedede

17. New Super Mario Bros Wii, Wii (2009) Nintendo
In some ways, Super Mario World is the better game. But if Super Mario World was art, NSMBWii is a science, and so excels all the more from taking the precision-focused nature of high-end 2D Mario, and bringing that A-game as a console retail title. For a platformer fan such as myself, NSMBWii had the ideal curve of challenge and so much to do, so even if parts of it were less memorable than Super Mario World, it climbs up a bit higher.

16. Sonic & Knuckles, Genesis (played in Sonic Mega Collection 2002, original 1994) Sega/Sonic Team
Here is just another Sonic game... until you couple it with Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and gain a real, full-length game, with 4 ways to play, all the most memorable stages in one package (Angel Island, Hydrocity, Mushroom Hill, Lava Reef, Flying Battery, Ice Cap), the most sublime Chaos emerald collection game (Blue Sphere) and the ability to not only go Super with the 7 Chaos Emeralds, but to enhance them all and go Hyper. A triumph of color and music, speed and platforming, the top 2D platformer on my list

15. Super Metroid, SNES (Virtual Console version 2007, original 1994) Nintendo
The Last Metroid is in Captivity... With these haunting words was this tremendous game launched into the pinnacle of 2D Metroid-dom (though not the pinnacle of Metroid), a game that, despite being a retread of the original Metroid, created a perfect balance of mood, bosses and secrets. This game gives you so many reasons to love it, whether you're into art, gameplay, speedruns, precision, exploration, or just dicking around.

14. Monster Hunter Tri, Wii (2010) Capcom
Sometimes the Japanese are just wierd, and sometimes they have brilliant taste. One Piece is one case where they are right on the money, and Monster Hunter is another. You would think a game that requires you to grind monsters to acquire any sort of weapon or armor upgrades would be boring, and it can be boring in single-player (though still fun enough), but with online multiplayer you have something that just sucks the hours away. Epic fights, a wide monster variety, all sorts of weapons that offer different ways to play, the only thing bad about this game is Rathalos. Fuck that guy.

13. Mario Kart 64, N64 (1997) Nintendo
A long discussion has been held in the top 50 discussion thread already about this game. It is, objectively, the worst of the 3D Mario Karts, but that does not prevent it from looming large enough in my imagination to top its brethren and land in the 13 spot. It was the second game i ever owned, and probably the second-most influential game in terms of getting me into gaming at all. Despite its flaws, of which there are many, no Mario Kart game and few other games period have influenced me as much.

12. Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, GC (2005) Nintendo/Intelligent Systems
The first Fire Emblem on my list appears quite far up the list. Despite some balancing problems in the GC game, this game really came out of nowhere to capture my imagination after i purchased it based merely on the fact that some franchise characters were in Smash Bros. A long, thinking man's game with a cast of compelling characters, a single player game that engenders replayability in so many ways as you build and rebuild different teams, strategizing to build an unstoppable killing team. It's another game that wins points on the "hours of my life consumed" front.

11. Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, N64 (played on GC 2003, original 1998) Nintendo
Widely acknowledged as the best game of all time, it's only my number 11, but I enjoy it for the same reasons that many do. A lot of content, interesting sidequests, and of course a compelling, surprisingly bittersweet story. This is also a game that has withstood the test of time well.

The Top 10!

10. Super Mario Galaxy, Wii (2007) Nintendo

As a rule, i have preferred 3D Mario as my favorite franchise, and Super Mario Galaxy exemplifies why. Usually it takes me a day or two to get acclimated to a new game, and Galaxy 1 was one of the few to blow me away right off the bat, everything i wanted from a 3D Mario, from exceptionally colorful levels to breathtaking music and a wide array of challenges. Topping it all, of course, was that getting 120 stars finally gave a meaningful reward: Luigi!

A taste of the game at its best:

9. Pokemon Gold and Silver, GBC (2000) Nintendo, Game Freak

Yes, Silver is bigger because Silver was better. Lugia > Ho-oh. Here was a game that introduced some much-needed improvements from Red, Blue, and Yellow, namely differentiating between Special Defense and Defense and introducing actual weaknesses for the psychic types (that is, bug and ghost attacks that actually work), plus night and day, as well as a veritably huge world that tied in to the old world of the old games. These games were at the height of my Pokemania, and i knew them intimately.

My favored team:

8. Mario Tennis, N64 (2000) Nintendo/Camelot

My all-time favorite of any of the Mario Sports games, none of the other sports games make the list at all, then this weasels its way into my top 10, go figure, but there was something about this game that really stuck with me in a way that few other games did. Sublime local multiplayer, of course, but it was more than that. The single player modes weren't all that extensive, and the characters really lacked distinguishing features (unlike what later came in Power Tennis), so i can't quite say why this game hooked me the way it did. There were a surprising amount of secrets under the hood, of course, all the more so if you were able to buy the Game Boy Color game and play some of its minigames, enabling use of your custom characters as well as unlocking secret courts, and the hidden tournament mode (requiring passwords to get into!) was a fun secret, as were the "Open Court" matches, where you could unlock secret character color schemes by pitching the same characters against one another. Lots under the hood for little on the surface, and i guess that must have been it...

Favorite characters: Boo (doubles) and Luigi (singles)

 

7. Wario Land 2, GB/GBC (1998) Nintendo

This was my second 2D platformer (after Yoshi's Story), but the first one i really enjoyed (Yoshi's Story took a long time to grow on me). The game was ideally placed in terms of difficulty, just like Wario Land 3 on this list, you could never game over in this game, nor die. All you could do was lose coins from damage, coins you might need to be able to play certain treasure-gathering minigames for full completion, and bosses where the only way to lose was to ring-out (but losing this way was very easy in many cases). More fun was derived from the game's many branching paths, one of which required you to do absolutely nothing at the beginning of the first stage and let Wario keep sleeping to access. The game had surprisingly catchy music as well, plus some zany power-ups.

6. Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, Wii (2007) Nintendo/Intelligent Systems

Here we've got a long game, longer still than Path of Radiance, it's direct predecessor, but this is another case where length does not lead to boredom. Compelling chapters, one after the other, leading to a game roughly 50 hours in length per playthrough. The story ramps up the intrigue from the old Path of Radiance, taking multiple storylines, tying them all together brilliantly, and leading up to a showdown with the very Goddess that you believed to be the sacred savior of all peoples. They balanced out a few elements that weren't quite there in PoR, though in some cases they undermined other things, with the non-legendary laguz being less useful than they once were, but then there is the legendary laguz, a third promotion tier, special moves for everyone in the third promotion tier, deeper weapon customization, and lots of great characters.

like Jill!

5. Super Mario 64, N64 (1996) Nintendo

A simple image to represent this game that was monumental for gaming as a whole and for me personally. This was the first 3D game to emphasize camera control, making such games from something resembling Bug! or Resident Evil into the kinds of games we can recognize today and redesigning the platformer for the 3D era. 15 stages, 120 stars and three great battles against the big bad Bowser. This is *the* game, the one that got me into gaming in the first place, which shall forever have an enduring place in my heart. If it weren't for this, i wouldn't be here.

End game spoilers!

4. Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II, GC (also on Xbox)(2002) Sega/Sonic Team

I have had a strange relationship with the notion of online gaming. As a Nintendo fan, of course, i've long received the very short end of the stick in regards to my options for playing online, and i don't mind that to a point, because i prefer single player gaming and don't tend to like competitive online multiplayer. PSO, however, showed me that i loved action-MMOs. This game and its direct sequel (the card game at number 50 on the list) tore through my life for two whole years, they are the reason I skipped the third generation of Pokemon, i was too sucked into this. It was another game, like early Pokemon, where cheating was easy, but did not necessarily undermine the spirit of the game (hey, you try fighting Olga Flow on Ultimate legitimately, or at least not without infinite Scape Dolls). It had two quests, episode II being tougher than episode 1, a whole slew of rare and fascinating items, spells, MAGs, event quests (grinding Towards the Future became a staple among players), and while the game had relatively little strategy (outside remembering to cast buffs/debuffs) it engrossed me for more total playtime than any game on this list except possibly Radiant Dawn, the Smash Bros games, and Monster Hunter Tri

You needed to cheat to do some of the more awesome hidden things in the game, like this:

3. Super Smash Bros Melee, GC (2001) Nintendo/HAL Labs

Now, i am not one of those Melee-worshippers that disparaged Brawl for being slower paced or for removing wave-dashing or L-canceling or whatever gamebreaking tournament shit people liked about Melee, but this game has consumed countless hours of my life of its own accord, and i never got around to completing Brawl so thoroughly as i completed this game and explored every inch of its content. This being when i was younger, i also had many more chances to play this game in local multiplayer, despite the fact that many of my friends were of the "no items final destination only" type of person that has led me to resent this game later in life. Despite that, it was my first GameCube game and really just a game i could play again and again. A truly memorable game all around.

My mains:

Huh, looking at Smash wiki as i got these images, i found out my number 1 main was lowest-tier in the whole game, and my number 2 was third-lowest. See what idiocy the tournament crowd has wrought?

2. Sonic Adventure 2, DC (GC version played 2002, original 2001) Sega/Sonic Team

Much to explain here, and too little time (almost forgot to do the update for today, and it is technically tomorrow now). This was my first Sonic game (remember folks, Nintendo-only gamer here. Couldn't've discovered Sonic if Sega had lived), so this game really took me by surprise in a huge way. This explains a few of my idiosyncracies, such as my apparently sacreligious preference for 3D Sonic to 2D Sonic, as well as my absolute love of the Knuckles/Rouge treasure-hunting levels (which were my favorite in that game, and i was tremendously good at them). Oddly the one part at the game i was worst at (aside from Chao raising) was the actual Sonic and Shadow stages. Me and my friend actually collaborated to get all A-rank on all stages and thus get all medals, since he was really good at the Sonic and Shadow stages, Chao raising, and the car-driving stages and bad at everything else, so i did all the treasure-hunting and mech-piloting, and between us we unlocked the glorious reward: Green Hill zone.

So much to say, alas.

1. Metroid Prime, GC (2002) Nintendo/Retro Studios

One of the first games i ever really focused on buying day-one, which is odd because it was only my second Metroid game (and i only bought Return of Samus because i was preparing to play Prime, go figure), and the game fully met whatever odd expectations i might have had for it and surpassed them. Here is a game of subtlety and action, beauty and horror, dripping with atmosphere and with so much to explore, none of which is shoved in your face at all. With so much lore and scannable enemies you can piece together the entire intricate backstory, with so many weapons you can approach the game from many ways, whether you liked to spend a lot of missiles on such items as the Wave Buster and the Ice Spreader or whether you wanted to play more conservatively. This game made a tremendous amount of impact on me, and still stands as inapproachably perfect until some game emerges from some unforeseen quarter to dethrone it.



Monster Hunter: pissing me off since 2010.

Putting down my spot, won't be able to get started for a bit.



50: Mario Kart 64

49: Diablo 2

48: Gears of War 3

47: Resident Evil 4

46: Grand Theft Auto 4

45: Sonic The Hedgehog

 

44: God of War 3

43: Super Smash Bros Melee

42: Pokemon Red/Blue/Yellow

41: Conkers Bad fur Day

40: Super Mario Galaxy 2

39: Tactics Ogre

38: Mass Effect

37: Bioshock

36: Final Fantasy IX

35: The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

34: Shadow of the Colossus

33: Portal 2

32: Fable

31: Dark Souls

30: Half Life 2

29: Fallout

28: Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

27: Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

26: Dragon Quest 8

25: Pokemon Gold/Silver/Crystal

24: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

23: Banjo  Kazooie

22: Halo Reach

21: Fallout 2

20: Final Fantasy 7

19: Uncharted 2

18: Chrono trigger

17: Mass Effect 2

16: Metal Gear Solid 3

15: Metal Gear Solid 4

14: World Of Warcraft

13: Final Fantasy 12

12: Red Dead Redemption

11: Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest

10: Age of Empires 2

9: Super Mario 64

 8: Fallout 3

7: The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion

6: The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind

5: Fallout: New Vegas

4: Super Mario World

3: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

2: The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask

1: Super Mario Bros. 3



Atto Suggests...:

Book - Malazan Book of the Fallen series 

Game - Metro Last Light

TV - Deadwood

Music - Forest Swords 

Around the Network

#50
Doom II: Hell on Earth (PC)

 

Doom is one of my all time favorite franchises, the series originated the genre that is so popular today in the West and that currently overpopulates the market. 


Doom II features the same basic structure of the original game but it adds some new weapons like the powerful Double Barrel Shotgun and most importantly some new enemies like Pain Elemental and Mancubus to name a couple. Not only does this title maintain the fantastic and claustrophobic atmosphere of it's prequel but it adds it's own unique twist to it featuring some environments that resemble some real world locations and visuals, I mean it isn't subtitled Hell on Earth for nothing.

 

 

 

#49:
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell (GCN/PC)

 


 


You know, I've always been a huge fan of games that make you feel the experience, games that actually immerse you into the whole audio/visual experience. When I bought this game for the GameCube back when it first launched I had an idea of what to expect, but this title was such an unexpected surprise to me; I definitely was not expecting such a high caliber experience from a true espionage game.So even though the first one isn't as awesome today thanks to the awesome orgasmic Chaos Theory it is still a great game to enjoy and immerse oneself in.

 

#48:
Pokémon Stadium (N64)

 

 

Pokémon Stadium blew my mind when it got released. I was already so into the Anime, (which I think the original first season is the best and I still love it) and then I bought Pokémon Yellow to further complement my obsession. But Pokémon Stadium was amazing to me; my trained monsters on my Television screen in glorious and beautiful 3D. The mini-games, the built-in Game Boy player. It had a bunch of extra stuff, that it so well worth the money.

This was the first ever game I preordered too. Love it.

 

 



 

50. Super Street Fighter II

Platform: SNES Released: 1993 Genre: Fighting game

 

 

49. Red Faction

Platform: PS2
Released: 2001
Genre: FPS

 

 

48. Top Gear 2

Platform: SNES
Released: 1993
Genre: Racer

 

 

47. Mario Kart 64

Platform: SNES Released: 1997 Genre: Racer

46. Tekken 3