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.
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.
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.
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..
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.
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.