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Forums - Gaming Discussion - The Discussion Thread | The 12th Annual Greatest Games Event

Gonna try to do ones for my top 3 across the next few days


One of the most underappreciated games in the past decade and even in general as it provides a short narrative experience with little gameplay but one that requires this medium to work. Its set thru the little test demos of an imagined game developer and tells an incredible and moving story with themes about the weight of expectations we put on ourselves and those we idolize.

Truly a masterwork that everyone should experience

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I'm trying to think of something to say because this thread always perishes quite quickly after New Year's and that's a shame, but.. yeah.

At least I see some people haven't finished their write-ups for their top games yet so I'll have something to read still hopefully.


This game was THE only game I played for literal years. A masterclass in simplicity and creativity that has endless funs. The amount of memories I have playing this game with friends through survival worlds or the MASSIVE community support this game has with mods, servers, custom story maps, etc puts this on a level no other game has ever achieved for me

20 – Dark Souls/Remastered – 9.5/10 – PS3, PS4, Switch

More confession time. Yeah, I'm doing a lot of that in this list. Don't worry, it's not gonna be an ongoing theme. That said, despite this being a game I've absolutely fallen in love with, I actually didn't like it much the first time I played it. After playing Bloodborne and having mixed opinions, I wanted more games similar to that to give it a bit more of a chance. Well, I wasn't having the greatest of times on Dark Souls on PS3. It was slow and clunky, it looked terrible, progression was obtuse and hard as hell to figure out, and Blighttown. Nothing in particular about Blighttown, just the whole thing. The level design, the visuals, the enemies, and the absolutely tanked performance. By the time I finished it and the DLC, I came to the conclusion that I liked or loved about half of the game's areas and bosses but hated the other half.

For every Ornstein and Smough, there was a Bed of Chaos. For every Anor Londo, a lost Izalith. Of the 26 bosses and I think 21 areas, I was about 50/50 on what I liked and what I didn't. My first run was confusing, I hated not being able to fast travel, and I always felt weak. I know that's the point, but I wasn't really into it, to be honest. And on top of the main quest line being confusing and obtuse, things would happen to the NPCs that made no sense to me and had little to no explanation. For example, it's like how if you don't find and kill a random hidden NPC before reaching Blighttown, he travels to your main hub area and kills the fire keeper there, nullifying the bonfire. If you make the mistake of heading down the great hollow before getting the fast-travel ability, climbing back up is honestly annoying enough I'd rather just start the whole game than do that run again.

Sure, exploration and personal growth and overcoming the game's obtuse nature and challenging bosses are all elements that make the game stand out, but I had some pretty hard reservations. I finished the game, and I moved on. But then, a few years later, they remastered the game on PS4 and Switch. At this point I had gotten the platinum trophies on Dark Souls III and Bloodborne and by this point had fallen in love with these games so I thought I'd give it another chance. By golly, I fell in love. They fixed a handful of small issues with the game such as the Blighttown frame famine, and I discovered something key to my enjoyment of Souls games.

I'm not like most people in the Souls community. A pretty prevalent opinion in the community is that your first time is the best, and that you should always go through the game blind your first time. Honestly, I feel the exact opposite. Had I gone in blind I'd not have had the gusto to finish any of these games, and I only really grew to appreciate them after knowing what to do and having the memory to keep certain things in mind. I didn't enjoy these games until I had a firmer grasp of them and was able to overcome the obtuse nature that comes with a first attempt. Sure, the sense of personal discovery has its place in gaming but I generally prefer a more straightforward experience. Which is why it's so weird that the Souls series takes up five spots on this list (if you include Demon's Souls on the honourable mentions.)

In spite of the fact that I didn't like any of these games my first time around, or found them too obtuse, and the fact that I have a rule about not forcing myself to play a game I wasn't enjoying after 5-10 hours of gameplay...the Souls games all clicked. Eventually. And not only did they click, but the deep lore and the nuanced combat and the sheer variety of ways to play these games give them a depth that I'm only scratching the surface of yet I'm still in love. I love that they're kinda janky but incredibly nuanced if you look deep enough. I love that the story can be completely ignored and you can still have a wonderful experience just fightin' bosses and mastering the level design. I love that, even if you don't want to read every item description and interrogate every in-game NPC, there's still so much lore and backstory there that entire communities have sprouted up just dedicated to the story.

I love that this game pulls no punches yet rewards you better than any other game or style out there. Sure, getting into Dark Souls as a series/genre is a lot of work, work that can be tedious and obnoxious at first, but there's nothing quite like the true sense of pride and accomplishment you get from besting them. These games aren't perfect, but they're unique and engaging in a way you just don't see from most games nowadays. They're not that hard, but they are demanding in a way that's unique to them and I love that. Hidetaki Miyazaki, you are my lord and saviour, thank you.

That said, you'll notice I said five slots and this is only the third Soulslike on my list. Don't worry, Dark Souls III and Bloodborne are higher on this list. Oh, and all of these games are ones that I like to return to with little to no hesitation. I've played each of these games multiple times, I've gotten platinum on them all, and with the exception of Sekiro I'm happy to boot them up to play coop any time.

19 – Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island – 9/5/10 – SNES, GBA

I was but a child when this game came out. Only nine years old. Back then, I was just as eager to see the best and most impressive graphics as anyone, and back then I kinda sorta didn't like how this looked. Sure, I loved Yoshi and all that, but a whole game based around Yoshi with a cartoony, crayon-like aesthetic? Didn't jibe well with me and after it came out I found I hated the sound of baby Mario crying. Same as everyone else. I was 9, gimme a break. It wasn't until years later that I came to realize that so much of this game's design was deliberate and brilliant.

Not until I returned to it some time after my excursion to the PS1 did I come back to old NES and SNES games and really see just what I was missing out on as a kid. I liked my 3D graphics back then but as time goes on the entire N64/PS1 era has not aged well at all. Yet, when I go back to late-era SNES games like Mario RPG and Donkey Kong Country 3 and Yoshi's Island, it's clear that Nintendo was onto something I'd not fully appreciate until years later when Wind Waker came out. Once I realized that there was more to games than graphics and huge open worlds, I came to properly appreciate just how tight and well-made Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island truly was.

Sure, I don't personally see it as a Mario game, because you do not play as Mario (a simple title of 'Yoshi's Island would have sufficed), it's Mario-Adjacent, much like Mario Kart or Mario Party or Smash Bros. No idea why I felt the need to point that out, but for some reason I don't have as much to say about this game as I do others on this list. Mostly because it's just a tightly-crafted, gorgeous game with a unique art style, some of the best and most crisp controls of any platformer, and tonnes to do both for the casual player and the completionist. Not only was the game the first real example I can think of where Nintendo was decades ahead of where they needed to be in terms of prioritizing good game design and unique aesthetics, but it was a game that now instills just so very much nostalgia in me. Like others on this list, it's a great game that gets a tonne of extra clout thanks to how it makes me feel regardless. Fortunately, it's not only a game I love, but a game that has stood the test of time.

18 – Final Fantasy VIII/IX – 9.6/10 – PS1, PS3, PS4, PSP, PSV, Switch, PC

And here we have it, the first real deviation in my list. Most entries up to this point have been entire franchises or collections, but this one is just two games within the same franchise that I don't know which one to chose as my favourite. Basically, Final Fantasy VIII and IX are two games that, when considered individually, always end up right next to one another on any favourites list and which one comes out on top seems to depend on completely random factors. I can never decide which one I like more, yet they're always right next to each other so I have them on my 'tier 3' Final Fantasy List. I have my single favourite game, a three-way tie for runner-up, and another two-way tie for third place. I think that's a lovely balance.

As for the games themselves, where do I even start? Final Fantasy VIII is hardly even a fantasy game, as the story is very much so a sci-fi anime that just happens to include magic and time travel. Final Fantasy IX, on the other hand, is the polar opposite of that, featuring a world and characters that are as quintessential 'fantasy' as you can imagine. And you know what? Both do this remarkably well, becoming ideal versions of themselves, telling stories far more mature and nuanced than it seems at first. My first time through either of these games I thought was pretty simple and basic, but as I grew I came to see just how well written and implemented the plots were to the story.

Final Fantasy VIII and Final Fantasy IX both grew with me, and only got better as they aged. Sure, they had their detractors at the time, what popular and successful games don't? VIII's protagonist and junction system were major sticking points on that game, while IX's toony aesthetic and apparent tone were also considered to be backwards compared to the series' progression. Again, all of these elements have grown and matured with age, making these two games that can not only be replayed all these years later, but make for experiences that are far richer and better than they were when I was a kid.

Oh, and Triple Triad remains one of, if not THE best minigame I've ever played. It's on the same level as Blitzball and Gwent. No joke. It's so good that it was revived in Final Fantasy XIV!

17 – Mega Man 2 – 9.6/10 – NES

This is it. Here it is. The first game I ever decreed my favourite, and my #1 for longer than any other game. This was one of the first games I ever beat, and the first game I feel I mastered. I mean, let's be honest, I still haven't mastered this game, but I felt like I did in 1988-1990 when I played it enough to memorize the whole game. I've probably beat this game more than any other on this list – due in no small part to the fact that it's the shortest game on this list – and all these years later I'm not bored of it.

So why is it not higher on my list? Well, as much as I loved and do continue to love it, the classic Mega Man games haven't aged all too well. They control impeccably and continue to have some of the best graphics and especially soundtracks from the NES era, but the level and boss design don't hold up as well as the X games or the newer games in the franchise. Plus, as I went back via the Legacy Collections and emulators to play the rest of the series, I did develop a bit of resentment towards #1 and #3, especially, and that has admittedly tainted my long-term view on Mega Man 2. Oh, and I also went back to play the Mega Man X Legacy Collections, and at least X1-4 have all held up far, FAR better.

So yeah, while nostalgia is a hell of a drug and I do feel this is the pinnacle of the classic Mega Man series, there's no denying that Mega Man 2 has not aged quite as well as other games on my list. There's a reason only two NES games are on my list and the only PS1/N64 games are RPGs. I'm a weirdo who generally thinks that the NES was an era where the industry/medium was just learning how to make games in 2D but hadn't mastered it yet. I don't feel we found our stride until the SNES era (Which is why so many of these games on my list are on SNES....wait, you haven't seen most of them because they're all far higher on my list). Likewise, the PS1 and N64 were an era where we knew HOW to make 3D games, but not how to make them well. That didn't happen until PS2/Gamecube/Xbox era (And even then, just barely.)

So yeah, I'll never discount the importance of this game on my personal history and I'm not going to pretend that Mega Man 2 is bad or anything, but as time goes on I come to realize that at least half of my admiration for this game is painted by nostalgia. It's fantastic and well ahead of its time, but it hasn't aged as well as I'd like and as the industry advances more and more I find more and more flaws in this game. Flaws that don't ruin my experience but do make it so other games seem better when reflected upon.

Oh, and the soundtrack is easily one of, if not THE best in NES history and easily top 10 of all time.

16 – Dark Souls III – 9.6/10 – PS4

When I talk about Souls games, I tend to have a vaguely similar experience with most of them. I play them the first time, I have a strange relationship where I love parts and hate others, and I don't learn to truly appreciate them until New Game Plus. I didn't love Bloodborne on my first play-through and actually kinda resented it, I actively hated half of the original Dark Souls upon completing it, and while I liked Demon's Souls, I didn't like it enough to finish it on PS3. We don't talk about Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First sin (I have finished it multiple times, I have gotten the platinum trophy, and I didn't like it at all. I just did it because I needed to 'complete the set'.)

I didn't have a story like that when it came to Dark Souls III. This is the first game in the series I basically loved from the beginning. I loved playing it my first time through, I loved the DLC, and even though it's one of the most time-consuming and difficult platinum trophies I've achieved, I didn't come to hate it even though I spent a week just grinding for covenant items. To me, Dark Souls III is the true first sequel to Dark Souls and the capper of the trilogy that started with Demon's Souls. Again, we don't talk about Dark Souls II.

With that trilogy, we have Demon's Souls, which was the proof of concept. A simple, world-and-level layout design allowed each area to be unique and interesting, the bosses to each have their own gimmick and tricks. Dark Souls took that idea, gave it a Metroidvania styled world with interlinked areas and a bit more freedom while expanding upon the combat and gameplay while still not quite nailing the actual feel of combat and motion. Both of these first two entries had pros and cons, with areas and levels that are equally loved and hated. Few praise games more than Anor Londo and Ornstein and Smough, but there are few areas and bosses more hated than Lost Izalith and The Bed of Chaos.

Dark Souls III doesn't suffer from this dichotomy, at least not to me. Sure, a lot of people hate Farron Keep and The Curse-Rotted Greatwood, but as time goes on I find this game gets better every time. When I was going through the bosses and areas, I actually came to realize there's basically nothing in this game I hate. They took the design elements from the previous games and while they didn't perfect them, they were refined to a level that the obnoxious parts weren't so bad and the good stuff was uniformly great. No game in the franchise aside from maybe Bloodborne can best this game's bosses. There are no areas I hate (no, not even Farron woods; somehow they managed to make that area the only poison swamp area I actually like), and the combat and movement are more fluid than ever.

While Demon's Souls and Dark Souls have their ups and downs, two excellent games that were clearly steps in the right direction for the subgenre pioneered by this team, Dark Souls III is the game where they had little to no setbacks or flaws. They ironed out the kinks, they kept what was good and jettisoned what didn't, and in the end you have the most refined of the Souls games with the most high points and the fewest low points. You can argue about whether you preferred the world and boss design over its predecessors or not, but I personally feel that Dark Souls III was overall the best of the series and is the one I go back to the most.

In fact, I expect to be returning to it soon, as I have many friends who have shown interest and this is the one game I don't feel I have to put up warning signs about certain bosses or areas every other session. And yes, replayability matters, as I've said multiple times. I wasn't sure if I should just say 'Dark Souls III' or specify that it's 'The Fire Fades' edition, which comes with the DLC. Ashes of Ariandel and The Ringed City are not only two of the best areas in all of SoulsBorne with some of the best bosses in gaming history, but they're collectively some of the best DLC ever, in my opinion. So yeah, the DLC content is factored into this.

My Console Library:

PS5, Switch, XSX

PS4, PS3, PS2, PS1, WiiU, Wii, GCN, N64 SNES, XBO, 360

3DS, DS, GBA, Vita, PSP, Android

Runa216 said:


Phew. Mighty wall of text.

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Finished my list! Updated and good to go on the official thread.

Big changes:
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe in as my first Switch game.
Mario Kart Wii out. I only like to keep one game for samey franchises, and 8 Deluxe tops the Wii version in my opinion.
Super Mario Maker in. Picked it up last year before the uploading went offline. Random levels can be bad, but when you find a good creator, you can just play all of their levels. The website has some amazing levels as well.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl out. Old enough at this point I didn't want it taking up a spot considering new releases in the franchise. Ultimate may replace it some day if I get around to picking it up.
A bunch of games moved up a spot with Brawl getting kicked out.

Switch Code: SW-7377-9189-3397 -- Nintendo Network ID: theRepublic -- Steam ID: theRepublic

Now Playing
Switch - Super Mario Maker 2 (2019)
Switch - The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (2019)
Switch - Bastion (2011/2018)
3DS - Star Fox 64 3D (2011)
3DS - Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (Trilogy) (2005/2014)
Wii U - Darksiders: Warmastered Edition (2010/2017)
Mobile - The Simpson's Tapped Out and Yugioh Duel Links
PC - Deep Rock Galactic (2020)

Runa216 said:


Dark Souls artwork looks so cool.

And finally


Without a doubt my favorite game of all time. A nice incredible compact story full of twists that blew my mind when I first played and contains multiple of my favorite gaming moments ever. A hilarious and thought-provoking game with consistently fantastic puzzles and writing throughout. Potentially the only piece of media I’ve ever experienced that I consider completely perfect. A true triumph that I don’t think will ever be topped for me

@Runa216: No write-up for the remaining 15 games?

S.Peelman said:

@Runa216: No write-up for the remaining 15 games?

I was actually about to get to spots 15-11! 

My Console Library:

PS5, Switch, XSX

PS4, PS3, PS2, PS1, WiiU, Wii, GCN, N64 SNES, XBO, 360

3DS, DS, GBA, Vita, PSP, Android