Friday, February 10, 2006

The Greatest Video Games Ever!

This is a very subjective subject. Many attempts have been made to list the top 100 and best 10 video games of all time. But of course, when put to players it all comes down to personal preference. Fans of RPG's may put a large number of RPG's in their top 10's. Action game fans may do the same and so on. So I present to you the 10 best video games I have ever played, bearing in mind that I doubt I have even played 1% of all the titles available. Most of my gaming experience is from the 16bit era though I have played quite a few more recent titles along with 8 bit games.

10.) Command & Conquer - Red Alert (PC)

A snazzy title, sequel to the original Command & Conquer which started a new era for strategy games. Enables you to take control of either the Allied or Soviet forces and takes you through two quite compelling stories (with great video motioning sequences) from the two different perspectives as they they fight each other in a major war for control over Europe.

Essentially, the game gives you control over a wide variety of military units (tanks, helicopters, ships etc) that can be built as you collect more resources (either ore or gemstone). In the multi-player game, the battles are decided by which player is the first to completely remove the other player's military bases. Similar to Dune in some respects but with a compelling soundtrack and playability I rank it the 10th best game I have ever played.

9.) Championship Manager 3 (PC)

Not an amazing game graphically or sound wise although the match sound effects are quite good. So what makes this game good?

Well, essentially when it was released it really gave the Championship manager series a shake up with its huge array of player and team data providing a challenging and realistic management simulator. The number of options available really provides you with the challenges real coaches face.

With a wide variety of national leagues and teams to play with, from the super rich clubs challenging at the top to the super poor clubs struggling for survival, this game has infinite replayability value. Added to this the playability value and this must be regarded as a classic in the series.

8.) Super Mario Kart (SNES)

Nintendo come up with some very original concepts and undoubtedly this was one of the most original. Putting 8 Mario characters in racing karts and having them race over a wide variety of tracks (with numerous obstacles) in racing tournaments proved to a stroke of magic.

Furthermore, the game also comes with a legendary battle mode whereby the 8 drivers can fight each other with a variety of weapons in one-on-one combat also proved to be a very innovative addition. The game is tremendous fun and also makes good use of the consoles mode 7 capabilities. Undoubtedly a Nintendo classic.

7.) Super Mario World (SNES)

The SNES version of Super Mario World is the best Mario game I have played (excluding the 64 version which I haven't played). The game introduces the character of Yoshi for the first time and also enables Mario to fly with the cape. These additions, along with the wonderfully crafted worlds, hidden levels and bonuses really make this a special game.

The game also has some very nice graphics for a 16 bit console game and some catchy music. This, along with the gameplay make it one of the best games I have ever played.

6.) Civilization 2 (PC)

I could just say the Civilization series but pick me to choose one and I would have to go for the second. I haven't played the most recent addition and the 3rd I feel has some flaws.

The whole concept of the Civilization catches the imagination a bit, and Civilization 2 takes the gameplay from the original and enhances it with considerably better graphics and sound along with new game units and concepts.

Few games give you the number of options that this does. Wage war, trade, develop relations with other civilizations or build up your civilization's economy and infrastructure with city improvements and settlers. These are just some of the choices you have to manipulate your way through the game to a successful conclusion. Undoubtedly a great game.

5.) Final Fantasy VI (SNES)

A rare gem. Set new standards for RPG's and has one of the most compelling story lines for a game - ever. This combined with super music and graphical effects make it one of the greatest games I have ever played.

A very difficult and long journey, you set out with just the one character but eventually this grows to a huge team of characters you use to develop and fight with to bring the game to a conclusion. Only problem with it is that the ending sequence is cut short due to a glitch in imported versions!

4.) Tetris (Gameboy)

Probably the most widely played game of all time and regarded by many to be the greatest game. Curious really, for this is not a game which boasts incredible graphics or sounds. It is simplicity that counts and the concept of organizing a load of falling blocks into a straight wall in order to clock up a high score has proven to be arguably one of the finest in gaming history. Coupled with the most portable system (the Gameboy) and this is perhaps the most playable game ever made. No puzzle game has surpassed it nor do I suspect ever will.

3.) Zelda - Ocarina of Time (N64)

Regarded by many to be the greatest game ever. And with its fully fledged 3D world and storyline to boot it's not difficult to see why. Some games amaze you, and this is one of them. Might of been higher if I had actually played it right through to completion rather than up to the Shadow Temple.

2.) Zelda - a Link to the Past (SNES)

So, if Ocarina of Time is so good why is this better? Well firstly I have actually played this through to completion. Secondly, I thought the story line and game were a bit more dramatic than the aforementioned. Thirdly, I noted quite a few of the ideas from this game were taken through to Ocarina of Time. Fourthly, you also have some special boots in this game that let you run quickly - not something Ocarina had ;-)

1.) Half-Life (PC)

So, this gets first place. Not universally acclaimed as the best ever perhaps but my favorite personally. My first experience of this game came with a relatively low spec PC which meant that it ran slow and was in inferior graphics mode.

A few years later, however, and on a high end machine with fast gameplay I really appreciated what a masterpiece this was. Great story line that keeps you gripped throughout, coupled with really scary graphical effects and sound create a game that you feel you just have to play through until fully completed. From fighting marines, to dodging helicopters this game gives you a real experience!

(above) Are you not amazed by this?

Transformed the genre and still holds up today in comparison to more recent titles like its sequel and Halo. The greatest game I have ever played.

So, those are my personal favorites. But, is it possible to ascertain exactly which is the greatest game with a general consensus? A good page I found which kept many top 10 lists tries to do this:

Overall, essentially the best game is Mario 64 as it makes most appearances on the lists. Though Tetris is very close with one less and two of my favorites a Link to the Past and Ocarina of Time also up there. Half Life makes a few appearances but 2nd is the highest it manages on any of the lists. Broken down mathematically,with 10 points for first and 1 for 10, and you have interesting conclusions:

1.) Mario 64
2.) Tetris
3.) Ocarina of Time
4.) Link to the Past
5.) Super Metroid
6.) Super Mario Bros
7.) Goldeneye 007
8.) Doom
9.) Final Fantasy VII
10.) Super Mario Bros 3

So, again Mario 64 is JUST ahead of Tetris as the greatest game ever made. Whichever way you look at it there is obviously a consensus that Mario 64, Tetris and the two Zeldas are the top 4 games ever made (no Half-Life though!).

(above) The greatest game ever made - must go and play it!

Other obvious conclusions that can be drawn are the large number of PC games that make it in. Interestingly, it is some way ahead of the consoles on the tables. The Super Nes also proves its worth, an under-rated console.

Also evident is that Nintendo games make by far the most appearances on the lists. Proving that they are the world's greatest games publisher.


Matthew said...

Please, fell free to comment on this article.

Gavriel said...

I wish I had time to play video games anymore. I played the original Doom about 10 years ago (can't believe it's been that long) and everything has progressed so far beyond even that amazing game, that I'm sure it would be a lot of fun. Maybe I'll get a copy of Half Life, lock the kids in the TV room with 3 movies and a bag of candy, and give it a try. Thanks for the inspiration. (just kidding, I'll wait until I retire and have time to play Doom Holographic Virtual Reality).

Matthew said...

There is a Doom 4 now. Though one suspects that the game is little more than a money spinny on the successful DOOM series.

OMGROR said...

You are quite wrong.
Sensible World of Soccer on the Amiga is the best game ever.
2. Street Fighter II Turbo on the Snes.
3. Half-life on the PC.
4. Chaos on the Spectrum.
5. GTA Vice City on the PC.
6. The Settlers on the Amiga.
7. Bomberman II on the Snes.
8. Super Stardust on the Amiga.
9. Codename Eagle on the PC.
10. Deus Ex on the PC.

Matthew said...

Well, have you played all the games on my list? I doubt so. Though I note you put Half Life 3rd so we are actually almost in agreement.

OMGROR said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
OMGROR said...

Erm well some of them yes.

Red Alert was a good game but it wasn't really doing anything new. Also the networking wasn't very reliable and was IPX only.

Championship Manager was also a good game, but SWOS included almost every team in the world in the management bit as well as being a great playable football game.

Super Mario Kart was good and would probably be in my top 20.

Super Mario World I haven't played but I have played Mario II on the NES and both Marioland games on the gameboy. Platformers just aren't that exiting really.

Civilisation is ok but outclassed by The Settlers.

I have played one of the Final Fantasy games on the SNES, it was a 2d one and very dull.

Tetris would be in my top 20.

Zelda on the N64 was pretty good but far too cartoony for me.

Zelda on the SNES was just dull wondering around for hours.

Also, those lists you link to are obviously voted by console owners because no PC owner would ever vote Goldeneye into a top 10.

Matthew said...

Don't ask me about the lists I linked you to. But Golden 007 was a great game, would have made maybe 11th.

throughsilver said...

Played Mario 64 yet?

Matthew said...

Yes, via a PC emulator though. It's the best you will get for free. Read my entry on Mario 64 for more.