The 100 Greatest Games Of All Time

Everyday I’m going to be counting down what I believe are the 100 Greatest games of all time.
My Grading criteria:

Influence-Did it shape the industry in some way.

Impact- Did the game have any cultural impact outside of the medium.

Legacy- Do people still play it today.

Graphics-The smallest criteria but bonus points if the game has unique graphics.

All Platforms are eligible.

 

100. Shenmue

Shenmue set the template all other open world and action games still use to this day and it might be the greatest cult game of all time.

 

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99. Journey

The strongest case for The “Are games art?” argument and definitively answers the old philosophical question:
“What’s more important, The Journey or the Destination?”

 

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98. Wii Sports

One of the most accessible games ever created,
Wii Sports brought gaming to the masses and is one of the definitive console sellers.
If you had a Wii, you had Wii Sports.

 

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97. Grim Fandango

From it’s hilarious script, to it’s memorable cast of characters and clever puzzle design, Grim Fandango easily sits atop the action adventure pile.

 

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96. Galaga

One of the most successful and longest lasting arcade cabinets, Galaga essentially created the twitch based shooter.
Every arcade in every town has a Galaga machine.

 

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95. Braid

Between it’s clever time mechanic that make for some ingenious puzzles or it’s beautiful watercolor-esque visuals and it’s absolutely heartbreaking narrative, Braid offers an unforgettable experience you’ll be thinking about long after its over.

 

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94. Assassin’s Creed

A literal sandbox of possibilities with player choice to anchor every mission and a
Compelling story with memorable historical cameos, Assassin’s Creed 2 is an improvement over it’s predecessor in every possible way.
This is textbook how to do a sequel right.

 

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93. The Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

The Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time reinvigorated the classic Amiga game with it’s smooth animations, fluid combat system, “aha” puzzle moments and groundbreaking rewind mechanic.

 

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92. Sonic 2

The first legitimate contender to the Mario crown.
The speed was enhanced over the last game,
The color palette is eye shatteringly vibrant,
The mini games are more enjoyable
and the soundtrack is one of the best of the 16-Bit era.
This game singlehandedly bought Sega a decade at the grown up table.

 

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91. Elite

Decades ahead of it’s time, Elite pioneered everything from 3D graphics to freedom of choice.
Every Game that came out after it, owes something to this often over-looked titan.
Monumentally influential is an understatement.

 

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90. Baldur’s Gate 2: Shadows of Amn

Masterfully blending the best elements of Dungeons and Dragons–Mythological Monsters, Magic, Standard Role Playing Archetypes–With the best storytelling Bioware has to offer, This game is the byword for Dungeon crawler.

 

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89. Burnout 3: The Takedown

Relentless.
With Break neck speed, Devastatingly fun crash mechanics, and the tightest controls the genre had to offer, This is easily the greatest arcade driver of all time.

 

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88. Inside

Building off of the incredible bones of their last game Limbo, The follow up is better in every conceivable way.
Brilliant puzzle design, meticulous eye for detail and one of the greatest endings I’ve ever witnessed.
Inside is in a league of it’s own.

 

87. Grand Theft Auto 5

After a decade of producing essentially remakes of 3, Rockstar finally perfected the formula and created one of the most robust sandbox games on the market.
Taking the best story elements of 4, the scope of San Andreas and the memorable characters of Vice City and including the biggest online component they’ve ever made, 5 is easily the grandest of all the GTA games.
Grand. Get it?

I’m sorry.

 

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86. The Walking Dead

With it’s exceptional storytelling, Unforgettable characters, Amazing Score and almost impossible to make choices, Tell Tale redefined the action adventure genre with this game.

 

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85. Geometry wars

Robotron 2084 on speed.
This amazing twin stick shooter was instrumental in making Xbox Live Arcade a success.
Microsoft was actually afraid this games success would lead to the end of physical media.
That’s how much of an impact it had.

 

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84. Advance wars

150 Maps
4 Player Vs Mode
Create a map editor
One of the deepest but also easiest strategy games to understand, This tactical game was the most addictive handheld game not involving Pocket Monsters.

 

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83. Undertale

A brilliant subversion of not only RPG tropes but video games themselves.
The Goal is to NOT kill anything and every time you do, the game remembers.
Every decision has a consequence and since the game super saves your file, it always remembers your decisions.
Can’t just restart this one folks.
You gotta live with your actions.

 

82. The Legend of Zelda: The Windwaker

Rodney Dangerfield’s Famous catchphrase No Respect could easily applied to this game at launch.
Instantly polarizing.
Some hated the Cartoonish Graphics
While others complained about the overuse of the sailing mechanic
But over time the game has been revalued and deemed a classic.
And rightly so.

 

81. Gauntlet

This 4 Player Hack and Slash was the reason to go to the arcade.
The precursor to everything from GoldenEye, To Contra, To Halo.
Multiplayer games started here.
Elf Needs Food Badly.

 

80. Counter Strike

The Mrs. Pac-Man of First Person Shooters. A mod more popular than the game it spawned from, Over 5 million people still play everyday and it’s going on 20 years old.

 

79. Portal

Puzzle games don’t come more deceptively simple than this. You make two portals, Whatever goes through one, comes out the other. That is the set up and solution to every puzzle but it’s designed to make you change your way of thinking about everything. That alone would earn it a spot but it also has One of the greatest villains in gaming.

The Cake Is A Lie.

 

78. Star Wars X-Wing

Building off of not only Wing Commander but improving over it’s predecessor in every possible way, This space simulator has yet to be topped.

 

77. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

Before the tide turned and every gamer treated the series like a puppy rapist, Modern Warfare was the first legitimate challenger to the Halo throne. One of the best campaigns of the genre and a multiplayer experience the series never reached again.

Ignore the haters. Modern Warfare is masterful.

 

76. Tekken 3

The Dreamcast had Soul Caliber but The PlayStation had Tekken 3. One of the most successful games on the console, This was the first game to recreate the arcade experience in your living room.

 

75. NHL Hockey 94

The One Timer

The addition of of a quick shot directly off of a pass made this the most addicting, fast paced sports game of its time. It also added save records which added bragging rights to the game. (There was a time where just saving your game was a selling point)

 

74. Tecmo Super Bowl

In a world dominated by Madden, There is still a strong following for the original champion. Player attributes, Editable Playbooks, Substitutions, Pro Bowl, Season mode and licensing from both The NFL and NFLA. This game not only did everything first but some argue it still does everything better.

 

73. Left 4 Dead

Intense non stop zombie action enhanced with remarkable A.I and an absolute reliance on co-operation, make this the ultimate multiplayer experience.

 

72. Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out

A rhythm game cleverly disguised as a boxing game. This game taught an entire generation the virtue of patience and how timing is the most important thing.

Tyson is still a dick though.

 

71. Star wars: Knights of The Old Republic

Star Wars fans are extremely passionate. They will argue about anything and everything Star Wars related. Which movie is better: A New Hope or Empire Strikes Back, Which thing was worse: Jake Lloyd or Jar Jar but the one thing no fan debates is which game is the best in the series. This Knight is King.

 

70. Mortal Kombat 2

Highly controversial upon release, This influential game not only paved the way for every violent game that came after but was instrumental in the creation of the ESRB. But controversy alone doesn’t create a legacy (Nobody remembers Night Trap) It’s also an incredible fighting game.

 

69. The Sims

A 20 year franchise built around the incredibly simple premise of watching virtual people go about their day. Watching them wake up, make breakfast, take a shower and so on. Sequels would add everything from magic to celebrities but this is the foundation everything spawned from.

 

68. Fallout 3

The original Fallout games are some of the best isometric RPGs of all time. But the jump to First Person and 3D added another degree of immersion the previous games lacked. You’re no longer looking at the Wasteland, you’re in it.

 

67. Rockband 3

Harmonix perfected the rhythm game with Guitar hero. Perfected it again with Guitar Hero 2. Added some more instruments and created Rock Band. Polished that and gave us Rock Band 2. Took everything they had learned from all their previous games and created the perfect party game in Rock Band 3. Harmonix some how figured out how to perfect perfection.

 

66. Ico

Most games build a mechanic and craft entire games around it. Pac-Man eats dots for points and avoids ghosts. Asteroids involves you shooting asteroids. Simple mechanics anyone can instantly understand. Ico isn’t any different. You hold have to navigate a princess around a castle by holding her hand. That’s it. But the game isn’t the mechanic, It’s the emotional connection the mechanic creates. There’s no other game like Ico.

 

65. Castlevania

Replacing the ninjas and robots the genre is known fire with universal monsters, This early classic helped define the NES era. With instantly recognizable whip, Simon Belmont could easily sit alongside Mario, Link and Samus in The Videogame Hall of Fame.

 

64. Donkey Kong

Before there was Mario, There was ‘Jumpman’. Before Bowser and Peach, There was Donkey Kong and Pauline. This granddaddy of video gaming was not only the precursor to the greatest video game franchise of all time but is also one of the most iconic arcade cabinets around. Over 30 years later, people from all over the world are still trying to get that high score.

 

63. Double Dragon

It begins with one of the most insane openings in all of video gaming: Street thugs punch Marion in the gut and haul her away and her two lovers, Billy and Jimmy have to Karate chop their way through the grimy streets of New York to come to her rescue. This is where Co-op beat em up’s got their start. Thank god Super Mario Bros didn’t start like that though.

 

62. Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence

Improving over the original in everyway. This extended addition added a much better camera that greatly improved the gameplay, Two previous NES titles, mini games, Side missions and an all new competitive multiplayer mode. This is the definitive version of an already amazing game.

 

61. Silent Hill 2

Survival horror games are all the rage now but there was a time they were few and far between. Before Slenderman and the jumpscare-a-thon that is Five nights at Freddy’s, There was Pyramid Head and the town of Silent Hill. Trading jump scares for tension, No game has cultivated dread better.

60. Tomb Raider

Lara Croft’s debut not only brought the adventure genre into 3D (Gamers had to make due with Pitfall! For years) but created a bonafide female icon. Like a long forgotten treasure, It may not have the luster that it used to but it’s influence is undeniable.

 

 

59. Gran Turismo 3 A-Spec

There’s multiple kinds of racing games: There’s the Kart Racer, The Street Racer, Arcade and Simulation and The king of simulation is Gran Turismo. The first game picked up where Ridge Racer left off and by the 3rd, The Formula was perfect. If you’re making a racing game, You’re borrowing from this.

 

58. Batman: Arkham City

While the first game was inarguably a masterpiece, Arkham City some how one upped it in every way. Huge city to explore, An extensive list of villains from his Rogues gallery and a story better than most movies. This is The Dark Knight of video games.

 

57. Pac-Man

Pac-Man wasn’t instrumental in kicking off the Video Game craze of the late 70’s like some believe but it did create it’s mascot. Every game before it essentially used shapes to shoot other shapes but Pac-Man gave gamers an instantly identifiable character. It’s impossible to look a pizza the same way again.

 

56. The Legend Of Zelda: Majora’s Mask

Every game involving Link and zelda always fall back on the familiar tropes: You must collect the Master Sword, Explore some dungeons, Save princess Zelda and defeat Ganon at the end. Wash, Rinse, Repeat. But Majora’s Mask offered something different, Something darker. With a Groundhog Day-like time mechanic that has you not only solving puzzles but changing characters fates. Not only was the ominous moon your enemy, but so was time itself.

 

55. Metroid Prime

It’s funny to look back in retrospect at all the fans bemoaning Nintendo’s decision to take the franchise in first person because now everyone is bitching that they haven’t made a sequel. With an incredible score, graphics that still hold up and one of the greatest environments to explore in gaming, Prime showed there’s always more juice in the lemon. Or whatever the phrase is.

 

54. Final Fantasy Tactics

In 1987, Square decided to throw it’s hat into the RPG game and it changed the course of gaming forever. Ten years later, With the help of the team that made Tactics Ogre, Square crafted the greatest strategy RPG of all time. With a deep customizable class system and a story that makes Game of Thrones look easy to follow by comparison, Tactics kept you hooked for hours upon hours.

 

53. God of War 2

The first is undeniably influential. With it’s visceral kills and stunning animations, It made players feel like a badass God Killer. The Sequel made you feel like a God. It took everything good about the sequel and made it great and cut out everything else. The first has the impact and the third has the scale but two did everything right.

 

52. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

Always respected in the industry thanks to games like Crash and Jak and Daxter, Uncharted 2 proved that Naughty Dog was a force to be reckoned with. Creating a story and universe on par with Indiana Jones and building off of the mechanics of Tomb Raider, Uncharted 2 is everything video games should aspire to be.

 

51. Shadow Of The Colossus

Tasked with hunting and defeating 16 towering gods, The brilliance of shadow of the Colossus, Isn’t the action, or even the killing of the beasts, It’s what happens afterwards. Nietzsche once wrote: “Anything done in love, Is beyond Good and Evil.” Maybe he was wrong.

 

50. Contra

The preeminent Co-op experience on the NES. Before Goldeneye’s 4 player split screen and Halo’s system link, There was you and your friend fighting over who got the spread shot. Even if you’ve never played this game, You have the Password memorized.

 

49. Portal 2

Where do you go when the first game revolutionized puzzle games? Add an even more incredible story, Instantly iconic characters and create the best two player experience around. If you can beat this with your Friend/Spouse Without killing them or yelling expletives at them, You’ve created a bond stronger than iron.

 

48. Dark Souls

Some games come out of nowhere and get everything monumentally right, You can tell they’re instant game changers. From it’s engaging story you have to piece together yourself, To it’s intricate combat this game is instant canon.

 

47. Mega Man X

while some would argue that the second one in the franchise is the best (It’s certainly the most influential) It’s X that does the most to keep the franchise alive. Sporting new abilities like dash movements and wall slides along with new armor options, X was such a massive improvement, The series never got better.

 

46. Deus Ex

Before the year 2000, RPG’s were always thought of as a Japanese thing. With weird characters and an odd turn based mechanic that instantly turned off most American gamers. Deus Ex changed all that. Crafting one of the greatest universes seen at the time, Everything about Deus Ex’s Future Earth is incredibly gripping. No game gave the player as much choice as Deus Ex did. An unquestionable masterpiece.

 

45. Resident Evil 2

Contrary to popular belief, Resident Evil was not the first survival horror game. In actuality, It was essentially an Alone In The Dark clone. A great clone but a clone nonetheless. Where Resident Evil crafted the perfect blend of Puzzle solving and zombie horror, The sequel upped the ante and gave players two different storylines and a story that greatly expanded the universe. A masterpiece of survival horror.

 

44. Space Invaders

Would we have video games if not for Space Invaders? There were obviously games before it but this is where gaming went from childs novelty toy to legitimate industry. The enemy alien has not only become an industry icon but had eclipsed every other mascot to represent video gaming as a whole.

 

43. Super Mario World

A save system meant Nintendo Jammed this puppy with as much content as the cartridge could handle. Multiple paths, Hidden levels, The star road levels and the introduction of Yoshi. This game was the game to own on a system already filled with amazing games.

 

42. Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2

Probably the first legitimate “Cool” game to own. Whether you were a gamer or not or even a skater, Everyone played this game. From it’s create a skater and create a park, To it’s incredible combo system, This game was a Psone essential.

 

41. Super Smash Bros. Melee

The first one on the N64 was a fun party game. It had just enough content to keep players engaged but the sequel added so much more, It made the first look like a hor d’oeuvre compared to a 4 star buffet. A game so expertly designed, It’s been a tournament staple since it’s debut.

 

40. Half-Life

Because the industry loves labels, Everything after Doom was automatically labeled a “Doom Clone”. From Quake to Unreal Tournament to Tribes, That label was stuck on every First Person Shooter till Half-Life. Combining a strong narrative with scripted sequences that revolutionized the genre, Half-Life more than earns a spot on this list.

 

39. Team Fortress 2

Few, if any game is worth a 10 year wait. There’s a reason why Duke Nukem Forever is a industry joke, It’s impossible to keep player interest and even harder to deliver anything even remotely satisfying. Team Fortress 2 was not only worth the 10 year wait but was 10 years ahead of the curve. With stylistic visuals that haven’t aged a day and loads of free downloadable content, This team based shooter is still played by millions 10 years later.

 

38. Super Mario Kart

Although every game in the series had easily eclipsed the first in terms of quality and popularity, You can’t forget the one that started it all. Creating a racing genre that’s been copied a million times but never equaled, Super Mario Kart may be the destroyer of friendships but you’re still going to play it with friends in the first place.

 

37. Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night

Metroid created the formula but Castlevania improved upon it by introducing fast paced combat and RPG elements. This successful Frankenstein -like combination of elements proved so successful, The series has never looked back.

 

36. Super Mario Galaxy

When it comes the Mario franchise, It’s not the story that keeps fans coming back again and again. Everyone expects Peach to get kidnapped and for Mario to defeat Bowser in the end. It’s expected. It’s the mechanics each new iteration brings to the table that fans are attracted to. And Galaxy perfected what it’s predecessor started 20 years earlier. It was so well received, It got a sequel less than two years later. A first for the series.

 

34. Goldeneye

The James Bond franchise is one of the most popular film series of all time. Spanning over 50 years with over 30 movies, millions of people from all the globe have embraced the franchise. Cut to 97 and now the fans are all in dorm rooms covered in a weekend stink and playing till their eyes bled. And Fuck whoever picks Oddjob.

 

33. Sim City

Who the Fuck thought city planning could be so much fun? Designing entire cityscapes down to budget management and even where the water pipes go proved to be incredibly entertaining. Turning the simulation genre into an industry staple, It also helped create an entire new generation of video game designers.

 

32. Soul Caliber

Sonic Adventure was a great launch title but it was Soul Calibur that proved the Dreamcast might be a legitimate competitor in the console wars. Demolishing the term “Arcade Perfect”, this port was actually better in every conceivable way. Tighter controls, Amazing graphics and a great cast of characters make this one of the ultimate fighting experiences.

 

32. StarCraft

They say chess is the most perfect game ever created. No two players could ever have the same game. StarCraft is the closest a video game has come to capturing that feeling. There’s always a new strategy, A new way to improve your skills. The game that created competitive sports as we know it.

 

31. Pokemon: Red/Blue

If there was ever a franchise to rival Mario’s fame, It’s Pokemon. The beginning of a multi-dollar franchise that shows no signs of stopping, This video game juggernaut took the world by storm. Gotta Catch Em All.

 

30. Diablo 2

Blizzard created a virtual drug that millions became instantly addicted to. Grinding and Looting and Grinding and Looting. This game made “Just ten more minutes” turn into “Jesus Christ, Where did my weekend go!?”

 

29. Civilization 5

It’s not unusual for video game companies to go back to the well. In fact, they all do. They’ll milk that money cow dead, Fill it’s corpse up with milk and keep pumping out gross milk….look the metaphor is getting out of hand. What I’m trying to say is there’s a lot of sequels out there that do nothing but take up shelf space. Some how the Civilization games get better with each new iteration. By the 15th one, I’m pretty sure it’ll be the second coming of Christ.

 

28. Street Fighter 2

There’s not many games that are synonymous with an entire genre. There’s also not many games that were so monumentally important, they actually shaped the genre they’re in. In the middle of that venn diagram is Street Fighter 2. Other fighting games may be more polished or offer more content but they wouldn’t exist without Street Fighter 2.

 

27. Overwatch

What outrage! A game that literally just had it’s one year anniversary so high on the list. Blasphemy i hear you cry. Put down your pitchforks and shut your Damn mouths, Ya titty babies. I would agree but blizzard has continuously updated, Tweaked and improved it’s magnum opus over that year and it’s gotten better every month. With a cast of characters already in the pantheon of icons and new shit being added constantly, there’s no point in waiting to declare Overwatch one of the greatest games of all time.

 

26. Mass Effect 2

Every console generation has it’s defining games. The NES had Super Mario Bros, The Super NES also…had… Mario and the Psone had Final Fantasy 7 and Metal Gear Solid. The Mass Effect series have a legitimate claim as the defining games of the 360/ PS3 era. With Mass Effect 2 being the crown jewel. When your series is actually compared to Star Wars, You’re doing something right.

 

25. Halo: Combat Evolved

The game that made Microsoft an industry titan and created an entire new generation of gamers. A remarkable single player game that crafted an entirely new universe that felt bigger than anything that came before with one of the greatest musical scores of all time providing a constant action packed ambiance. Oh and the multiplayer is pretty good too.

 

24. Final Fantasy 7

Tens of thousands of irate costumers took back Final Fantasy 7 because “They Didn’t know there would be reading” and that “It didn’t look like the commercial” there was a time that pre rendered cutscences were so new, The general public had never seen them before. But that time was 97 and that Game was Final Fantasy 7. With its aforementioned cutscenes and it’s iconic killing of a main character, It redefined how games told stories.

 

23. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Winning every video game award in existence (And probably a couple that were created just for it) there’s never been a game so instantly beloved by everyone. With a plethora of side quests, Mini games and sex with witches on unicorns, The Witcher 3 is as close to perfection as a game can get.

 

22. Resident Evil 4

Ditching the puzzle solving formula that got old years previous, Resident Evil 4 is an entire new engine built from the ground up. Gone are the tank controls and cinematic angles that plagued the series and are now replaced with a brand new third-person camera for better aiming, and a control scheme so tight, it felt like the GameCube controller was built for it. There’s many great video game moments but you’ll never forget the first time someone busts through a door wielding a chainsaw.

 

21. Half-Life 2

Half-Life 3 wouldn’t be the In joke between gamers if they seriously didn’t want it in the first place. And boy do they want it. Valve struck pay dirt when they decided to finally continue the adventures of Gordon Freeman almost ten years later. With characters that were so well written, They finally stopped feeling like game characters and started feeling like real people. The virtual world Valve created has never been topped.

 

20. The Legend Of Zelda: A Link To The Past

The First Legend Of Zelda perfectly recreated the feeling of going into your backyard and letting your imagination take over. It had a sense of wonder no game had even attempted to capture. A Link To The Past expanded upon what made the first great by offering scale and stakes. You desperately wanted to save the princess and bring peace to Hyrule and A Link To The Past gave you enough weapons and items to feel like a true hero. A legend.

 

19. Red Dead Redemption

Rockstar took everything they learned from their years perfecting the open world genre and applied it to the Wild West. And nobody was prepared for the gaming experience that they would deliver. With a cornucopia of mini games, Side missions and random shit to do, This game will keep You enthralled for hours but it’s the emotional story that will make you never forget it.

 

18. Bioshock

Who knew all gamers really wanted with their shooters Was a little Ayn Rand philosophy? Besides having a deeply philosophical story that twists and turns keeping the player guessing till the end, it’s the universe of Rapture that truly sticks with the player. With audio logs expanding the lore and every square inch expertly designed to feel as real as possible, Bioshock is an instant classic.

 

17. Super Metroid

Tone and atmosphere is the hardest thing for a video game to nail. Making an environment gamers not only want to explore but want to learn more about. That’s the genius of Super Metroid. It took what worked from the first game and put into the body of what could be argued is essentially the first survival horror game. Nothing truly scary happens in the game but it’s the mood the game creates that is slightly off. Alien. It brilliantly captures the feeling of being transported to an unknown world.

 

16. Super Mario Bros. 3

Mario is like The Beatles. When creating the greatest albums of all time, it’s impossible to not have at least three in the top twenty. But thankfully, along with Mario, it’s always justified. Super Mario Bros 3 might be the greatest jump in quality from original to sequel. It added mini games for additional power-ups, a slightly branching level structure and the introduction of the greatest power-up in gaming: The Super Leaf which added a new degree of exploration to every level. A masterpiece that’s not only the blue print for every platformer but it wrote the book on how you design a sequel.

 

15. Chrono Trigger

The JRPG for people who are put off by the genre. Removing random enemy encounters and focusing more on combos than grinding sounds like “Baby’s first RPG” but it worked. Squaresoft created a master work that has been constantly referred to as the “Greatest RPG Of All Time” and when i can still remember everything about it 20 years later, I can’t really disagree.

 

14. The Last Of Us

Once in a blue moon, A game comes out that is so monumentally beloved, it instantly gets put on a pedestal. A pedestal above all other games like a king in the castle. Hype is a powerful thing but sometimes it’s deserved. The Last Of Us truly is a masterpiece in every sense of the word. The only reason it isn’t higher is other games have had a bigger impact on gaming. If influence wasn’t a big factor on placement of the games, This would easily be top 5.

 

13. Metal Gear Solid

Besides it essentially created the stealth genre and besides it’s (at the time) movie quality graphics with a staggering amount of cutscenes that was unheard of in 98, It’s the story that has kept Metal Gear Solid relevant for almost thirty years. Weaving crazy James Bond antics with real world problems like nuclear proliferation, This was the first game that felt important.

 

12. Super Mario 64

It was hard choosing between Super Mario Bros 3 and 64. It’s literally comparing titans of industry but i think the series going 3D was more important to the industry and a much bigger step forward than 3 just tightening the mechanics of the first. The whole world was waiting for What Nintendo was going to do and everyone has been affected by it. But seriously, It was damn near a coin toss.

 

11. The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time

As important to Mario’s jump to 3D but improved that games camera and added the dungeon exploration and epic storytelling from previous entries, Ocarina Of Time held the title of the greatest game of all time for quite awhile. The benefit of looking in all directions opened up an entire new way of solving puzzles and drastically changed the combat. The story was deep and it’s time traveling mechanics added something new to to the formula. This is the kitchen sink of video games.

 

10. The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim

While going through the list, you’ll notice i have a hard time figuring out how companies manage to one up their previous game, especially if it’s a masterpiece. Oblivion managed to be better than Morrowind and Skyrim some how topped that. Bethesda has created a legacy that stands shoulder to shoulder with The Lord Of The Rings and the A Song of Ice and Fire series. It’s culmination of every single game that came before it distilled into one perfect package.

 

9. World Of Warcraft

To the outside world, video gaming consists of middle aged men sitting alone in front of a computer playing WoW. While that’s certainly not the case, the majority of people think that because a shit ton of people still play WoW after 10 years after it’s release. From celebrities, to average joes, you know someone that has or still plays this game.

 

8. Minecraft

Some games are more than games. Some games come out of nowhere to be cultural phenomenons. Minecraft is that Game. Is it the addictive repetition of just mining for shards? Is it the ability to make whatever the fuck you want? I have no idea but whatever the reason, millions are addicted to this game. The majority of successful let’s play videos on YouTube are all Minecraft. So they’re not only playing it, They’re watching other people play it.

 

7. Grand Theft Auto 3

No single game left a bigger footprint during the Ps2/ Xbox generation Than Rockstar. GTA 3 was so monumentally important, it wasn’t a footprint but a crater. The amount of freedom allotted to you was absolutely unfathomable at the time. The ability to steal any car, go wherever i want and then blow it up if i get bored. And do it all over again. What the politicians didn’t understand and the parents were unjustly afraid of was that it was more about creating mayhem then violence. Wreaking havoc in a virtual world is therapeutic and has shown to help alleviate stress. So not only is GTA 3 fun, It’s good for you.

 

6. Final Fantasy 6

With every new entry in the series, There’s always new innovations added. Whether it’s a new leveling up system, new items or summons, fancier graphics or what have you but at the end of the day, they’re just trying to recapture the magic of 6. Final Fantasy 6 is the king of the 2D RPG in a land filled with amazing titles. The characters have never been equalled, it’s story has never been topped, and it’s battle system had depth thanks to it’s characters unique abilities. Most everyone refers to the SNES era as the best era for RPGs and that’s because of one game.

 

5. Doom

Yes, Wolfenstein 3D got there first but Doom got there…Better? That’s not right. Wolfenstein threw the pass that Doom used for the Touchdown. Every single inch of this game is iconic. From the sound of the demons dying, to whooosh of the doors opening, to the revving of it’s infamous chainsaw, Doom is beyond iconic. Every single First Person Shooter owes everything to Doom. Every single Survival horror game has borrowed this games sound and level design. We wouldn’t have competitive multiplayer games without Doom. Wolfenstein might be The Hidden fortress but Doom is most definitely Star Wars.

 

4. Ms. Pac-Man

One day, Two MIT students designed a bootleg hack of Pac-Man called Crazy Otto. They presented it to Midway and Midway loved it but seeing as there wasn’t any Pac-Man games out and were impatient for a sequel, they just added some sprites and rebranded Crazy Otto to Ms. Pac-Man and the rest is history. So essentially the most successful, Longest lasting arcade game in history was a bootleg by two students. That story puts the Crazy in Crazy Otto. (Look. I’m running out of shit to say y’all. The game is amazing and it’s number 4)

 

3. The Legend of Zelda

It’s easy to take for granted how many great games there are. It seems like every couple of weeks there’s another amazing game on store shelves but let’s go back to 1986. What’s the closest thing that zelda has in competition? Gauntlet? Final Fantasy won’t be out for another years. Ultima 4? When you think of Legend of Zelda you instantly picture A Link to the Past or Ocarina of Time because it’s easy to forget how mind bogglingly ahead of the time the first one was. Think of every element that makes up a video game: story based puzzles, exploration, collecting items, the freedom to tackle levels out of order, it’s all here. The Legend of Zelda did it all first and still better than most.

 

2. Tetris

They say the mark of perfection is if you can add something without taking anything away. Based on every single game that has used it’s formula as a template, I’d say that’s 100% accurate. They rip it off but they never change the formula because it’s literally perfect. Since 1984, Tetris has been ported onto almost every single electronic device ever created. No game in history has had it’s staying power. There’s even a syndrome named after it. The Tetris Effect occurs when people devote so much time and attention to an activity that it begins to pattern their thoughts, mental images and dreams. This game is so addicting, it rewires your brain.

 

1. Super Mario Bros

When creating a list of the greatest anything you have to first think of parameters in which you will rank the items in question because the concept of ‘Greatness’ is subjective. What i find great, you might think is trash and vice versa. So you have to define greatness as a concept. Is it the most successful? Is it the most influential? The most culturally impactful? The most technical proficient? The iconic? If the answer to every single one of those questions is the same thing, you found your number 1.

Super Mario Bros is without question:

The most important (It saved video games)

The most impactful (it’s one of the most successful franchises)

The most iconic (Mario is as instantly recognizable as Mickey mouse)

The most culturally significant (he’s been in over 200 games and was just at the Olympics)

The best designed (everyone still remembers where the hidden 1-up blocks and warp pipes are)

There is no question or debate, Super Mario Bros is the single Greatest Game Of All Time.

 

 

  • Sans_Fi

    I’m mad that there is no Secret of Monkey Island… Not only it’s a great game but it’s the only game that they have made a good movie about it…

  • Lydia Deetz

    Here’s my personal top twenty.

    20. The Godfather: The Game (PS2)
    19. Pokemon: Yellow (GB)
    18. Resident Evil 3 (PS1)
    17. Cold Fear (Xbox)
    16. Metroid Prime (Gamecube)
    15. American McGee’s Alice (PC)
    14. Street Fighter 2 (SNES)
    13. Sonic The Hedgehog 2 (Genesis)
    12. Twisted Metal (PS1)
    11. Star Wars Episode 1: Pod Racer (Arcade)
    10. Tony Hawks Pro Skater 2 (PS1)
    9. Batman Vengeance (Gamecube)
    8. Medal Of Honor: Rising Sun (Gamecube/PS2)
    7. Mario Kart 64 (N64)
    6. Medal Of Honor: Frontlne (Gamecube)
    5. Super Mario Kart (SNES)
    4. Resident Evil: Director’s Cut (PS1)
    3. Final Fantasy 5 (GBA)
    2. Kingdom Hearts 2
    1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles In Time (SNES)

  • DropYourLinen

    Bolding > quote marking. Catches pretty eyes like yours.

  • sailor monsoon

    The top 3 were all in contention but mario stands above all

  • William Dhalgren

    Wow. Just wow. Kinda love that, though.

  • tbone2278

    Good choice for your top pick. As you pointed out, Super Mario Brothers not only set the template for every side scroller that came after it, it literally saved the home video game industry (which was really in a downward sprial at the time).

    Most importantly of all, Super Mario Brothers still stands the test of time. I could go pop on my NES Classic right now, play Super Mario Brothers, and still have as much with it as I did playing it as a child. A true mark of it’s greatness.

  • Kemosabe

    yeahhhh boiiii.

  • Lydia Deetz
  • sailor monsoon

    I knew you’d appreciate all that Mario

  • sailor monsoon

    It’s insane how influential it is.
    And it still holds up

  • Tanis11

    Yes Doom should be that high up. I will fight anyone that says otherwise.

  • Duke

    Mario yes!

  • DontBeMeanInternet

    bold

  • DontBeMeanInternet

    Wow.

  • sailor monsoon

    Oh, i know.
    When i post 500-101, 200-101 were all at one time, number 100.
    I had so many games left over, i didn’t to make another list

  • sailor monsoon

    not only were they totally arnie and stallone fighting a xenomorph but Michael biehn is on the cover of metal gear
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/dda535bc43022575348870b41cb42ebb37736a10e20fa2882f2ad32c7425f534.jpg

  • ResonanceCascade

    Very good list. It’s crazy how many great games are out there. You could do a top 1,000 and still not hit them all.

  • ResonanceCascade

    I’ve played literally every Elder Scrolls game (including, for some reason, the N-Gage one) and Morrowind towers over the rest of them in my mind. It managed the perfect combination of scope, depth, and freedom.

  • ResonanceCascade

    Don’t play the ps2 Deus Ex unless you have to. The pc version is really much better. Possibly my favorite game ever made (though Thief: The Dark Project gives it a run for its money).

  • William Dhalgren

    Anyone ever notice that the guy on the left side of the Contra box art is just Arnold from Predator with a different face painted on? Never mind that the other guy is a Rambo rip off and the creature in the background is basically a Xenomorph.

    I never played Deus Ex. I’d like to, But I’m not sure how I’d manage it on my PS3. I did pay Human Revolution and I was completely absorbed by it. I’ll probably play it through again some day because I am a sucker for really good Cyber Punk, and their ain’t a lot of it around. If Cyberpunk 2077 ever sees a release, I may have to get a newer console just to play that.

    I’m surprised to find that I have played almost half of the games listed here. One that is not listed that i would really like to find some way to play again is Bushido Blade for the PS. That game was the most realistic sword fighting game I ever played.

  • sailor monsoon

    It’s overrated!
    Everyone knows the great giana sisters is where it’s at!
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/31adf05620a88da384391382433ce4a65c90ac1d78eef80f5240593b42205f57.png

  • TheGreenMalice

    You’ve never played Super Mario Bros.? Conspiracy!

  • sailor monsoon

    I know silly goose
    I understand Everyone has their favorite games that didn’t make the cut (donkey Kong country) but that’s the fun of lists.
    And yes, it’s impossible to be objective with ranking art but i tried to stick to a weird system that only makes sense to me.
    I didn’t want too many of one genre
    I didn’t want too many from one franchise
    I went by my little grading system and also some personal opinion.
    But here’s a secret:
    There’s about 15 games on here I’ve never played
    And maybe 10 i actually dislike

  • TheGreenMalice

    I know buddy, but I am just messing around. It’s a great list, I can’t really fault any of the games you put on here.

  • sailor monsoon

    That’s how it works

  • TheGreenMalice
  • sailor monsoon

    Morrowind is incredible but oblivion blew it out of the water and skyrim blew that out of the water.

  • sailor monsoon

    It’s 282 on my list

  • Joe Newman
  • Joe Newman

    Exactly, Morrowind should have been it’s place.

  • DropYourLinen

    I’m playing Skyrim right now and I agree. I would’ve put Morrowind in place of it since Skyrim owes everything to that game.

    And, boy, what I wouldn’t give for a complete remaster of GTA III and Vice City.

  • sailor monsoon

    Tomorrow I’ll post 500-101
    Some of the games you mentioned were high on the list

  • Kemosabe

    Good list. Some I feel should be mentioned: nba jam, nba street vol.2, wwf no mercy, super smash bros. brawl. And Halo 2–it’s the best multiplayer shooter of all time. I liked this article. It was quite the trip down memory lane. The nostalgia is real.

  • sailor monsoon

    Skyrim has problems but i think it’s strengths far exceed it’s weaknesses.

  • TheGreenMalice

    Considering my mom, sister, her husband, her kids, and I sat down and passed the controller back and forth to play Super Mario Bros. recently, I think you made the right choice. It’s still more than playable.

    I probably wouldn’t have put Skyrim in the top 10 though. It has serious AI issues.