The 100 greatest VIDEO GAMES of all time (20-1)

100-81 80-61  |  60-41  |  40-21

20. Unchartered 2: Among Thieves (2009)
Platform: PS3

The Unchartered series, starring Nathan Drake (ancestor of Sir Francis Drake) has become the signature series for the PS3.  Its unbelievable graphics and innovative design schemes are peerless.  Basically, it’s a reset of the classic title, “Tomb Raider” with a male protagonist, which, to my mind, is a great thing since that series has majorly gone downhill in the last decade or so…   The debut Unchartered: Drake’s Fortune centered mainly in the jungle.  It was gorgeous and had an interesting story, but it did suffer slightly from a few minor gameplay mechanic issues (namely the annoying axis controlling of the grenades).  The second title, Among Thieves, released incredibly less than two years later, not only took care of any technical issues, but also took the graphics five steps forward, the design TEN steps forward and the story, backgrounds and character development TWENTY steps forwards.  In every way, this game is far superior to the first.  It’s just a completely blow away game.  Not giving away too much of the plot, this game will take you from the jungles of Borneo to the snowy mountains of Tibet on an incredible quest for a magical place… all the while fighting against forces led by one of the most despicable villains you will ever encounter in a game.. The AI is incredible; the enemies act intelligently, and the characters you will be fighting WITH don’t get in your way and act on their own realistically making it feel like you’re on a real journey imbued with a sense of purpose… The runaway train scene alone (in which you jump from car to car all the while fighting maniacal soldiers) is worth the price of admission… add to this a full online Multi-player mode and you have one of the best deals in the gaming world.
19. Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar (1985)
Platform: Amiga, Apple II, Atari, Atari ST, Commodore 64, DOS, FM Towns, MSX, NEC PC-9801, NES, Sega Master System

This title was the fourth in the series of Ultima computer role-playing games. It is the first in the “Age of Enlightenment” trilogy, shifting the series from the hack and slash, dungeon crawl gameplay of its “Age of Darkness” predecessors towards an ethically-nuanced, story-driven approach.  In other words, it’s the first game that in which your own sense of values effects how the story plays out, making it the great grandfather of all the games that use the Light/Dark mechanic.  It is different among RPGs in that the game’s story does not center on asking a player to overcome a tangible ultimate evil.  After the defeat of each of the members of the triad of evil in the previous three Ultima games, the world of Sosaria underwent some radical changes in geography: three quarters of the world disappeared, continents rose and sunk, new cities were built to replace the ones that were lost. Eventually the world, now unified in Lord British’s rule, was renamed Britannia. Lord British felt the people lacked purpose after their great struggles against the triad were over, and he was concerned with their spiritual well-being in this unfamiliar new age of relative peace, so he proclaimed the Quest of the Avatar: He needed someone to step forth and become the shining example for others to follow.  The object of the game is to focus on the main character’s development in virtuous life, and become a spiritual leader and an example to the people of the world of Britannia. The game follows the protagonist’s struggle to understand and exercise the Eight Virtues. After proving his or her understanding in each of the virtues, locating several artifacts and finally descending into the dungeon called the Stygian Abyss to gain access to the Codex of Ultimate Wisdom, the protagonist becomes an Avatar.  Conversely, actions in the game could remove a character’s gained virtues, distancing them from the construction of truth, love, courage and the greater axiom of infinity — all required to complete the game. Though Avatarhood is not exclusive to one chosen person, the hero remains the only known Avatar throughout the later games, and as time passes he is increasingly regarded as a myth.  I loved this game beyond comprehension… The first time I played it was on the Apple II… It’s use of the Mockingboard Card (an add on that enhanced the Apple’s sound) was amazing providing an terrific medieval soundtrack ranging from lilting madrigal tunes to rousing battle music.  It was a lengthy quest and full of secret areas and interesting plot twists.  I also played it on the NES and it was just as enjoyable. It was the first game I no of that had Non-Playing Characters or NPCs that you could converse with that would proide you with clues for your journey… as well as characters that would join you on your quest.  It was just an amazing influential game.. one of the greatest ever.
18. Virtua Tennis (1999)
Platform: Dreamcast

Simply the greatest tennis video game ever made.  Its gameplay mechanics were unbelievably fluid, whether you smashed, lobbed, volleyed or served.  The use of the then new “rumble pack” felt really satisfying when you hit the ball.  The graphics were top notch and the AI was challenging and made for some great games.  No tennis game has even touched it before or since.  Its weird how few tennis games are made these days, and when they come out they are always disappointing.  You wold think they would just use THIS game as the blueprint, but they don’t.  This title was the culmination of what was started by the first video game, Pong.  You really felt as if you were playing a game of tennis.  You had your choice of courts; grass, clay, hard court etc.. and played against real player, taking your character all the way to the top in an immersive and fun tournament.
17. Galaga (1981)
Platform: Arcade game

Galaga is my favorite arcade of all time… Basically an upgrade of the game Galaxian,  its objective was to score as many points as possible by destroying insect-like enemies. The player controls a fighter spaceship that can move left and right along the bottom of the playfield. Enemies fly in groups into a formation near the top of the screen, then begin flying down toward the player, firing bombs at and attempting to collide with the fighter. Occasionally, a “boss Galaga” attempts to capture the player’s fighter using a tractor beam – if successful, the fighter joins the formation and must be freed by the player (using another ship and costing him a life), enabling him to control two ships simultaneously. If the boss is destroyed while still in formation with a captured fighter, the fighter will disappear after leaving formation and then will appear again on the next level attached to another boss Galaga. If the fighter is shot by the player, it is destroyed and does not return. The game is over when the player’s last ship is destroyed or captured.  Galaga introduces a number of new features over its predecessor, Galaxian. Among these are an explosion sound that occurs when the player loses a life, the ability to fire more than one bullet at a time, a count of the player’s “hit/miss ratio” at the end of the game, and a bonus “Challenging Stage” that occurs at level three, and from then onwards every four levels, in which a series of enemies fly onto and out of the screen in set patterns without firing at the player.  This was the arcade game I played the most.. It’s as enjoyable to play today as it was decades ago.
16. MLB: The Show ’09 (2009)
Platform: PS3

This Sony exclusive is not only the greatest baseball game available at present, but the greatest baseball game of all time.  Baseball (very much like tennis) for some reason has been a tough nut to crack video game-wise with only a handful of titles ever getting it right.  For some reason they always include one or two things to focus on an in doing so lose the overall.  With The Show, they finally brought it all together in one amazing series.  The graphics are amazing, the gameplay is easy to learn and fluid (taking a page from the MVP series) and the games are challenging.  I don’t know why but almost every game made today is completely unrealistic in the amount of home runs you hit and the AI is practically non-existent.  There seems to be more of a focus on presentation than the actual game itself.  Ironically, the presentation is never good either.  Anyway, as I said, THIS title has it all.. It’s the only reason I bought the PS3.. I’m glad now that I did, because the system does offer its share of tremendous titles (though not nearly as consistently as the XBOX 360 does).  If you’re a fan of baseball, then all you need is this game, with a rich franchise mode and tons of extras like vintage unis, and stadiums, this game will last you years… However, you may want to hold out for another couple of weeks for the latest installment MLB: The Show ’10, which promises to be even BETTER, with more crowd reactions and the inclusion of the Home Run Derby!  PLAY BALL!!
15. Sim Ciy 2000 (1993)
Platform: Mac OS, DOS, Amiga, Various, SNES, Sega Saturn, PlayStation, N64, GBA, PSN

Next up is the landmark game created by programmer/designer wunderkind Will Wright.  The unexpected and enduring success of its debut, SimCity, motivated the development of its extraordinary sequel SimCity 2000, by far the best of all the Sims..  It  was a major extension of the original concept; first off, the view was now dimetric instead of overhead, and now land could have different elevations, and underground layers were introduced for water pipes and subways.  New types of facilities introduced included prisons, schools, libraries, museums, marinas, zoos, hospitals and arcologies. Players could now build roads, bus depots, railway tracks, subways, train depots and zone land for seaports and airports. There are a total of nine varieties of power plants in SimCity 2000, including coal, natural gas, nuclear, wind turbines, hydroelectric dams (which can only be placed on waterfall tiles) and the futuristic fusion power and satellite microwave plant. Most types of power plants have a limited life span and must be rebuilt periodically.  Players could also build highways to neighboring cities to increase trade and the population. The budget and finance controls were also much more elaborate—tax rates could be set individually for residential, commercial and industrial zones. Enacting city ordinances and connecting to neighboring cities became possible. The budget controls were very important in running the city effectively. Another new addition in SimCity 2000 was the query tool. Using the query tool on tiles reveals information such as structure name and type, altitude, and land value. Certain tiles also displayed additional information; power plants, for example, display the percentage of power being consumed when queried, and querying roads displays the amount of traffic on that tile. Graphics were added for buildings under construction in the residential, commercial, and industrial zones, as well as darkened buildings depicting abandoned buildings as a result of urban decay. News came in the form of several pre-written newspaper articles with variable names that could either be called up immediately or could be subscribed to on a yearly basis. The newspaper option provided many humorous stories as well as relevant ones, such as new technology, warnings about aging power plant, recent disasters and opinion polls (highlighting city problems). SimCity 2000 is the only game in the entire series to have this feature (besides the discontinued children’s version, SimTown), though newer versions have a news ticker. The newspapers had random titles (Times, Post, Herald, etc.), and prices based on the simulated year. Certain newspapers have a special monthly humor advice column by “Miss Sim”. Some headlines have no purpose whatsoever in the game, such as “Bald Radio Found” or “Frog Convention”. Though there is no “true” victory sequence in SimCity 2000, the “exodus” is a close parallel. An “exodus” occurs during the year 2051 or later, when 250 or more Launch Arcologies are constructed; the following January each one “takes off” into space so that their inhabitants can form new civilizations on distant worlds (although the visual representation of the scene consists of the Arcologies exploding in a manner similar to bulldozed buildings, one by one). This reduces the city’s population to those who are not living in the Launch Arcologies, but it also opens wide areas for redevelopment and returns their construction cost to the city treasury. This is related to the event in SimEarth where all cities are moved into rocket-propelled domes that then leave to “find new worlds” (leaving no sapient life behind). On top of all this, the game also included several playable “scenarios”, in which the player must deal with a disaster (in most, but not all scenarios) and rebuild the city to meet a set of victory conditions. These were based in versions of real-life cities, and some were based on real events such as the 1991 Oakland firestorm, the 1989 Hurricane Hugo in Charleston, South Carolina, or dealing with the 1970s economic recession in Flint, Michigan—but also included more fanciful ones such as a “monster” destroying Hollywood in 2001. More scenarios added with the SCURK included a nuclear meltdown in Manhattan.   Completely immersive, addictive and soothing (I love the music on this) this is one of the al time greatest classics.
14. Tomb Raider 2 (1997)
Platform: PlayStation, Windows 95, Macintosh
Tomb Raider, released in 1996, starring the most kick ass heroine the gaming world’s ever seen in Lara Croft, became an instant sensation.  For a while there, she became the face of the system.  The first title was a terrific adventure that mainly centered in tombs searching for treasure and fighting a variety of foes from gun men to dinosaurs!  It was a classic… Its sequel however, was a masterpiece and by far the greatest in the series, which has sadly gone down hill with every game since, to the point that its just a shell of what it once was.  The story of Tomb Raider II concerns the mythical Dagger of Xian, a weapon which according to the game was used by an Emperor of China to command his army. By plunging the Dagger into its owner’s heart, the weapon has the power to turn its bearer into a dragon. A flashback reveals that the last battle which was fought with the Dagger ended in defeat when the warrior monks of Tibet succeeded in removing the knife from the Emperor’s heart. The Dagger was then returned to its resting place within the Great Wall and locked up for centuries. The game opens in the present time near the remains of the Great Wall, where Lara Croft is investigating the truth behind the legend of the Dagger. The fantastic journey takes everywhere from Tibet to Italy to England.  More weapons and vehicles were added to the game as well… She does it all in this game, swims, powers a motor boat through the canals of Venice… drives a snow scooter on and on.. this is simply one of the best, if not the best action/adventure game of its kind.
13. Donkey Kong Country (1994)
Platform: SNES

Donkey Kong Country was an incredible side scrolling addition to the Mario world, instead of Mario, however, it starred his original nemesis Donkey Kong, in 39 level adventure to recover his stash of bananas which had been stolen by the Kremlings. Each level is uniquely themed and consists of varying tasks such as swimming, riding in mine carts, launching out of barrel cannons, or swinging from vine to vine.  Players lose a life if they get hit by any enemy or fall off the screen. When the player has lost all their lives, the game is over. However, the player can gain additional lives by collecting items scattered throughout the levels, including bananas; golden letters that spell out K–O–N–G; extra life balloons; and golden animal tokens that lead to bonus levels.  There are also many secret passages that can lead to bonus games where the player can earn additional lives or other items. Players control one of two characters: Donkey Kong or his nephew Diddy. The player can switch between characters if they are both on the screen. Donkey Kong is the larger and stronger of the two, and can defeat enemies more easily. Diddy Kong is faster and more agile, and can take out multiple enemies at once.  In several levels players can gain assistance from various animals, who are found by breaking open crates. These helpers include Rambi the Rhino, Expresso the Ostrich, Enguarde the Swordfish, Winky the Frog, and Squawks the Parrot. Each animal can be found in an appropriately themed level: for example, Enguarde can only be found underwater, and Squawks will be found in caves.  Some animals can also give players access to bonus games. The game can be played solo or by two players. In two–player mode there are two types of play: “Contest” and “Team”. In Contest mode players take turns playing each level as quickly as possible; the object is to complete the most levels in the fastest time. In Team mode, both players instead play together, with one player controlling Donkey Kong and the other controlling Diddy. According to the game’s instruction manual, this is a good way for inexperienced players to play alongside more experienced players.  The graphics in DKC were nothing short of revolutionary at the time in that it was one of the first games for a mainstream home video game console to use pre-rendered 3D graphics. It was a giant leap forward.  What I loved about this game was all the secret areas.  It made you want to discover every last one… and I did..
12. Zelda: A Link to the Past (1991)
Platform: SNES

Zelda: A Link to the past was the third installment in The Legend of Zelda series and a major step forward.  Its plot focuses on Link as he travels on a journey to save Hyrule, defeat Ganon and rescue the seven descendants of the Sages. It uses a top-down perspective similar to that of debut, but added mechanics and concepts to the series that have become commonplace, including multi-level dungeons and new equipment (such as the hookshot and the Pegasus Boots), as well as establishing the concept of an alternate, parallel (and sometimes far more dangerous) world.  A Link to the Past is the first appearance of what would subsequently become a major Zelda trademark: the existence of two parallel worlds between which the player travels. The first, called the Light World, is the ordinary Hyrule where Link grew up with his uncle. The second is what was once the Sacred Realm, but became the Dark World when Ganon acquired the Triforce. The Dark World is a corrupted version of Hyrule; the water is a dark, unpleasant green colour, the grass is dead, skulls replace rocks and pots, and trees have faces. People change forms in the Dark World based on their nature; without an item to prevent it (in this case, the Moon Pearl), Link turns into a pink rabbit. Each location in the Light World corresponds to a similar location in the Dark World, usually with a similar physical structure but an opposite nature (e.g. a desert in the Light World corresponds to a swamp in the Dark World, a peaceful village in the Light World corresponds to a dilapidated town of thieves in the Dark World). Link can travel from the Dark World to the Light World at almost any outside location by using a magic mirror (and back again from the same location using the portal left where he reappears in the Light World). There are also hidden warp locations throughout the Light World. This enables puzzles that exploit structural differences between the Light and Dark Worlds.  This is the game that really cemented the name Zelda as one of the premier franchises of all time.
11. Final Fantasy VII (1997)
Platforms: Playstation

The seventh (and BEST) installment in the Final Fantasy series was a groundbreaking title. Among other achievements, this game is the first in the series to use 3D computer graphics, featuring fully rendered characters on pre-rendered backgrounds. Set in a dystopian world, Final Fantasy VII’s story centers on mercenary Cloud Strife who joins with several others to stop the megacorporation Shinra, which is draining the life of the planet to use as an energy source. As the story progresses, the situation escalates and Cloud and his allies face Sephiroth, the game’s main antagonist.  Noted for its graphics, gameplay, music and story, FF VII is acknowledged as one of the greatest and most influential games of all time.  It was the first game I know that was HUGELY anticipated.  There was a line around the block when I first picked this up.  Like previous installments of the Final Fantasy series, Final Fantasy VII consists of three modes: an overworld map, field maps, and a battle screen. The overworld map is a 3D model, featuring a scaled-down version of the game’s fictional world which the player navigates to travel between the game’s locations. As with preceding games in the series, the world map can be traversed by foot, on chocobos, airship, or submarine. On field maps, characters are directed across realistically scaled environments, consisting of 2D pre-rendered backgrounds which represent locations such as towns or forests. The battle screen is a 3D representation of an area, such as a building’s interior or an open grassland, in which the player commands the characters in battles against CPU-controlled enemies.While characters are super deformed on maps, the character models are more realistic and normal-scaled in combat.Final Fantasy VII is the first game in the series to have character models with fully-rendered polygons, rather than 2D sprites.  Initially, the player is restricted to exploring the city of Midgar, but as the game progresses, the entire world becomes accessible to the player. Progression through the game’s storyline is largely developed by way of scripted sequences, although pre-rendered cinematic cut scenes sometimes also advance the story.  The story was at the time, one of the most immersive and intricate that I’d ever experienced.  It set the bar for all RPGs that came after it.  None of its sequels or prequels have bettered it.  It stands on its own above most RPGs in history.  This was a mammoth game.
10. Shadowrun (1993)
Platform: SNES

Shadowrun was RPG influenced by the early 90s “cyberpunk” craze, adapted from the pen and paper RPG Shadowrun by FASA and one of the greatest most underrated games EVER made.  I can’t believe when I mention this game, practically noone knows what I’m talking about.  It was so interesting and detailed and just plain well done, it’s crazy so many people missed out on it.  Plotwise, you take on the role of Jake Armitage, a courier who is shot and nearly killed in the streets of Seattle in the year 2050 by a hit squad. He wakes up in a morgue with amnesia.  The remainder of the game follows Jake as he attempts to uncover his own identity, the identity of the mysterious figure who wants him dead, and then attempts to complete his mission.  Wow.. what a premise.. solid, cinematic, full of atmosphere and pulled off without a hitch. As an action RPG video game, Shadowrun combines both the statistical factor in the tabletop game with real-time gameplay. For example, the player controls Jake, moves him around using the controller, and when attacked, must use guns or magic commands to respond. Some battles within the game require sharp reflexes. This is further complicated by the fact that the Seattle in the game is a tough city – practically every screen contains at least one hidden assassin who, from random locations, opens fire on Jake; the player must immediately find the source of the attack and respond or risk death. At the same time, Jake builds up “karma” from killing enemies. Karma can then be allocated by the player into different attributes, skills, and magical powers.  As the title of the game implies, Jake is described as a “shadowrunner,” a mercenary character common within the Shadowrun RPG. Moreover, in the game, Jake is able to hire other shadowrunners as henchmen, though it is possible for the player to win the game without hiring a single shadowrunner.  In interacting with non-player characters, Shadowrun uses an unusual system. Whenever Jake hears a new and unusual term, this word is highlighted, then added to a sort of database of terms he can use. From that point on, when speaking with NPCs, Jake is able to ask them about this new word; only in this manner can a player progress with the game. The game also includes an unusual way of entering into cyberspace, known as the Matrix (SOUND FAMILIAR?  Btw, this game predates the first Matrix movie by 6 years). Using a cyberdeck, Jake is able to hack into computers to retrieve information, as well as gain more money, which in the game is nuyen (noo-yen). During such scenes, the gameplay becomes two-dimensional while an icon of Jake moves through cyberspace, fights intrusion programs, and retrieves data. As in the original RPG (and cyberpunk literature in general), if the player dies in cyberspace, he dies in real life as well.
9. Tetris (1984 released 1989 in N. America)
Platform: Numerous

What can one say about Tetris?  It’s been copied a billion times over, but there is only one Tetris.  This most famous of all puzzle video games was originally designed and programmed by Alexey Pazhitnov. It was created on June 6, 1984, while he was working for the Dorodnicyn Computing Centre of the Academy of Science of the USSR in Moscow. He derived its name from the Greek numerical prefix “tetra- (all of the game’s pieces, known as Tetrominoes, contain four segments) and tennis, Pajitnov’s favorite sport. The Tetris game is a popular use of tetrominoes, the four element special case of polyominoes. Polyominoes have been used in popular puzzles since at least 1907, and the name is given by the mathematician Solomon W. Golomb in 1953. However, even the enumeration of pentominoes is dated to antiquity. Tetris (or one of its many variants) is available for nearly every video game console and computer operating system, as well as on devices such as graphing calculators, mobile phones, portable media players, PDAs, Network music players and even as an Easter egg on non-media products like oscilloscopes.  While versions of Tetris were sold for a range of 1980s home computer platforms, it was the hugely successful handheld version for the Game Boy launched in 1989 that established the reputation of the game as one of the most popular ever. My personal favorite version was on the SNES… I mustve logged in hundreds of hours on that game, talk about replayability.  Electronic Gaming Monthly’s 100th issue had Tetris in first place as “Greatest Game of All Time”. In 2007, Tetris came in second place in IGN’s “100 Greatest Video Games of All Time”.  It has sold more than 70 million copies and in January of this year, it was announced that Tetris has sold more than 100 million copies for cell phones alone since 2005.
8. Banjo Kazooie (1998)
Platform: Nintendo 64 and Xbox Live Arcade

Set in the fictional location of Spiral Mountain where a bear named Banjo and his faithful bird companion Kazooie.   This game is the greatest platformer of all time.  What made it so?  The sheer brilliance of its design.  It’s composed of nine non-linear 3D worlds in which the player must gather jigsaw pieces, or “Jiggys”, to progress. Banjo and Kazooie are aided by Bottles, who teaches them new abilities, and Mumbo, who uses magical powers to transform them into other creatures, such as a termite, pumpkin or crocodile.  The player progresses in the game by finding Jiggys, Musical Notes and Mumbo Tokens. Jiggys open doors to new worlds by collecting enough to complete the corresponding jigsaw puzzle. There are ten in each world; nine must be found through exploration or the completion of challenges and puzzles, and one is granted by finding all five Jinjos on each world. Musical Notes open note doors that allow Banjo and Kazooie to progress further into Gruntilda’s lair. There are 100 notes in each world, and 900 total in the game. Mumbo Tokens grant the player magical transformations at Mumbo’s hut when the player collects a sufficient amount; there are a total of 115 tokens throughout the game.  Besides these primary items, the player can also collect items which are used in performing certain moves. Bottles must teach Banjo and Kazooie the move before the item can be used. Items include blue eggs, red feathers and gold feathers. Blue eggs are fired as projectiles or ejected from Kazooie’s rear, and fire in a straight line or bounce slowly until they either hit an enemy, or break on their own; red feathers are used in flight and flying attacks; and gold feathers are for the most powerful attack, Wonderwing, which uses Kazooie’s wings to make her and Banjo invincible and can kill almost any enemy, or at least protect the bear and bird. Rarer, temporary items can be found which have specialised use in puzzle-solving, namely wading boots, which enable the crossing of hazardous terrain, and turbo trainers, which grant extra running speed, often as part of a race or a time-based puzzle. Other items include extra lives and honeycomb energy, which respectively increase the player’s lives and health, and extra honeycomb pieces, which give the player a permanent increase of one honeycomb of health for every six collected.  The game uses Gruntilda the witch’s (and your nemesis) Lair as an overworld in which the player progresses. Individual levels are accessed through Gruntilda’s Lair by collecting enough musical notes to open various doors. Levels in Banjo Kazooie contain a diverse selection of challenges and special items. Mumbo’s skull is found in Mumbo’s Mountain, featuring a transformation of Banjo into a giant termite; Bubblegloop Swamp, featuring a transformation of Banjo into an alligator; Freezeezy Peak, featuring a transformation of Banjo into a walrus; Mad Monster Mansion, featuring a transformation of Banjo into a pumpkin; and Click Clock Wood, featuring a transformation of Banjo into a bumblebee.  These worlds are gorgeously created and challenging making it an absolute pleasure to play.  This is the pinnacle of the platformer.  I know a lot of people were crazy about Mario 64, but THIS is game that defined the genre for me.  A sequel on the N64 , Banjo Tooie was released a couple of years later which was excellent as well and an Xbox 360 game was promised for years… Finally Banjo Kazoiie Nuts and Bolts came out, which was a bitter disappointment, having nothing at all to do with the original concept.  Hopefully they get it right someday and a TRUE next-gen sequel will be made
7. Resident Evil 4 (2005)
Platform: GameCube, PlayStation 2, Microsoft Windows, Wii, iPhone OS, Mobile phones, Zeebo

The greatest of the Resident Evil series, the greatest survival-horror game and one of the greatest games of all time.. period, RE 4 was a masterpiece in every way.  Originally intended to be a Game Cube exclusive (The GC sported the best graphics of any version… it’s the one I played it on as well) it was announced right before the release that PS2 would be putting it out as well.  The design and sheer beauty of the graphics are top of the line and set the standard for all games to follow.  They still remain among the greatest.  The player controls Leon S. Kennedy from a third-person, over-the-shoulder perspective during a mission to rescue the daughter of the President of the United States, Ashley Graham. The gameplay focuses on action and shootouts involving crowds of enemies in large open areas. The camera is focused behind Leon, and it zooms in for an over-the-shoulder view when aiming a weapon. The addition of a laser sight adds a new depth to the aiming, allowing the player to aim in various directions and easily change their placement at any time. Bullets now affect the enemies specifically where they are shot: shots to the feet can cause enemies to stumble, while shots to the arms can cause them to drop their weapons.  Another new aspect of Resident Evil 4 is the inclusion of context-sensitive controls. Based on the situation, the player can interact with aspects of their environment: kicking down a ladder, jumping out of a window, or dodging an enemy attack. There are also dynamic cut scenes, in which the player must press buttons indicated on-screen to execute actions such as dodging a falling boulder or wrestling an enemy to stay alive. These are often incorporated into the game’s many boss battles, where the player must avoid one-hit kill attacks. The Wii version expanded on this concept slightly by including a quick Wii Remote shake as a possible context sensitive action.  Capcom added new content made specifically for the PlayStation 2, which was later incorporated into the PC and Wii releases. The largest addition is Separate Ways, a minigame which revolves around Ada Wong’s involvement in Resident Evil 4 and her connection to Albert Wesker, a former member of STARS, who is now attempting to revive Umbrella. Ada’s Report, a five-part documentary, analyzes Ada’s relationship with Wesker and his role in the plot. Other unlockable content in all versions included The Mercenaries minigame, new costumes for Leon and Ashley, new unlockable weapons and a Movie Browser.  Just an incredible game .
6. Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Platform: Nintendo 64

Next up if the King of Zeldas; the amazing Ocarina of Time.  So much has been said already about this title that to add to it would seem redundant but I’ll press on anyway.  OoT has been ranked numero uno on countless “best of” lists and there is a reason for it.  When it first came out it blew people away with its numerous side quests, gorgeous graphics, and the huge expansive overworld “Hyrule Field”.  Nuts and bolts-wise, Ocarina of Time is an action-adventure game with role-playing and puzzle elements. The player controls Link from a third-person perspective, in a three-dimensional space. He primarily fights with a sword and shield; he can also use projectile weapons, bombs, and magic spells. The control scheme introduced techniques such as context-sensitive actions and a targeting system called “Z-targeting”. In combat, Z-targeting allows the player to have Link focus and latch onto an enemy or other objects. When using this technique, the camera follows the target and Link constantly faces it. Projectile attacks are automatically directed at the target and do not require manual aiming. Context-sensitive actions allow multiple tasks to be assigned to one button, simplifying the control scheme. The on-screen display shows what will happen when the button is pushed and changes depending on what the character is doing. For example, the same button that causes Link to push a box if he is standing next to it will have him climb on the box if the analog stick is pushed toward it. Much of the game is spent in battle, but some parts require the use of stealth. Exploration is another important aspect of gameplay; the player may notice inaccessible areas and return later to find them explorable after obtaining a new item. My favorite part of the game was the inclusion of Epona the Horse that you acquire in the game… It was the first game I’ve ever seen that really got horse riding down perfectly…
5. Star Wars: Knight of the Old Republic 1 & 2 (2003 & 2004)
Platform: Xbox

The best of all Star Wars games by far, KOTOR 1 & 2 captured the magic of this greatest of all sci fi franchises as no title before did.  One of the reasons is because unlike the rest, these were RPGs instead action adventures.  The character development went beyond anything accomplished prior to it.  It was also the first game that introduced the Light/Dark component in which the decisions you made during the game put you on the path of a Jedi or the evil Sith.  This game’s system is based on Wizards of the Coast’s Star Wars Roleplaying Game, which is based on the d20 role-playing game system derived from the Third Edition Dungeons & Dragons rules. Combat is round-based; time is divided into discrete rounds, and combatants attack and react simultaneously. However, the number of actions a combatant may perform each round is limited. While each round’s duration is a fixed short interval of real time, the player can configure the combat system to pause at specific events or at the end of each round. The Light/Dark alignment system tracks actions and speech—from simple word choices to major plot decisions—to determine whether the player’s character aligns with the light or dark side of the Force. Generosity and altruism lead to the light side, while selfish or violent actions will lead the player’s character to the dark side, which will alter the character’s appearance, turning their eyes yellow and their skin pale. Non-combat interaction with other characters in the game world is based upon a dialogue menu system. Following each statement, the player can select from a list of menu responses. The dialogue varies based on the gender and skills of the main character.  To me, KOTOR and its sequel are equally as good and therefore they stand together as one.  Finally this year, hopefully, the promised Massive multi Player Online version of KOTOR will be released and the throngs of fans of this game will finally be satisfied.
4. Deadline (1982)
Platform: Amiga, Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Atari ST, Commodore 64, DOS

A wealthy industrialist, Mr. Marshall Robner, locked himself in the upstairs library of his New England colonial estate one night and committed suicide by taking a lethal overdose of anti-depressants. Or did he?  You are the Chief of Detectives. You’ve been asked by Robner’s attorney to make a thorough investigation of the case, simply to “quash the suspicions which are inevitable” when a moneyed man dies a sudden and unnatural death. The Medical Examiner found nothing unusual, and interviews with family members and family associates are consistent with the idea that Robner committed suicide. Everything fits neatly — maybe too neatly. You smell foul play, and you have 12 hours to crack the case. If you arrest someone, you’d better have the three traditional ingredients to an ironclad case for the prosecution: the accused must have had a motive, a method, and ample opportunity to commit the crime. There are many possible endings to this case, and the one you reach is determined by your actions and by the deductions you draw from the evidence you gather. But one ending fits the facts better than any other, and you will know it when you reach it.  Thus is the premise for the greatest of the text adventures and, in my opinion, one of the all time greatest games ever… the masterpiece Deadline.  This was one of the most challenging games I’ve ever played and the most interesting.  Stunningly well-written, there was no need for graphics whatsoever.  The original version, however, came with super deluxe packaging, consisting of a full dossier, the pills in question, all sorts of documents and files that were not just there for show, but aided you in the case.  You really felt as if you were investigating this “suicide”… The fact that you had a time limit, meant that you could easily fail. The characters that you questioned and interacted with all had full fledged personalities.  It was simply amazing and has not been bettered… The best detective mystery game ever made… period.
3.  Mass Effect 2 (2010)
Platform: Xbox 360

This sequel of the aforementioned Mass Effect betters the original by leaps and bounds in every way, graphics, story, playability, mechanics… everything.  I was stunned playing this lengthy and immersive delight.  I couldn’t believe how great it was.  The opening sequence alone was a jaw dropper (I won’t divulge it to those who haven’t played it yet) and worth the price of admission.  The characters in this game are the best I’ve ever seen and you can choose to play a part in the lives of each and every one of them.  Not only are their stories realistic, but they are also voiced wonderfully as well… by big name actors, e.g., Martin Sheen as the Illusive Man.  What I can’t get over about this game is how EVERY scene is different from the smallest side quest (of which there are tons) to the biggest mission, each background is detailed lovingly and unique to the task at hand, which makes it a priority to finish every single one of them.  From beginning to end this massive scif fi adventure captures your imagination.  I can’t wait for the third and final(?) installment.  This is the “Empire Strikes Back” of video games
2. Chronotrigger (1995)
Platform: SNES

Chrono Trigger takes place in an original world similar to Earth, with eras such as the prehistoric age, where early humans and dinosaurs share the earth; the Middle Ages, complete with knights and magic; and the post-apocalyptic future, where humans and sentient robots struggle to survive. The characters frequently travel through time to obtain allies, gather equipment, and learn information to help them in their quest.  Besides the main character Crono, there are 7 other playable characters that range from a magician to a chivalrous Frog.This adventure is vast and immersive like no other RPG that exists.  It’s just the greatest game of its kind, the greatest SNES game and the best game of its generation.  Chronotrigger is perfect in every way.  Its all about the story and the journey it take you on.  An excellent sequel was made for the PS2, Chrono Cross.. but it wasn’t in the same league as the original.  If ever a game needed a next gen sequel this one does.
1. Fallout 3 (2008)
Platform: Xbox360, PS3

Greatest game ever.This is a game that takes you from birth to adulthood… A game that was so good that its fans forced the game makers REMOVE the ending so that you could remain playing… The greatest RPG/Adventure of all…

You are the saviour of the wasteland, going on adventure after adventure in post apocalyptic ruins… you create your destiny.  Tons of side quests, downloadable content that takes you from a swamp to an alien ship, hundreds of non-playing characters, brilliant voice work, genius art design, insane amount of weapons and ammo.. and that amazing soundtrack of creepy old jazz records played on the radio by the grizzled old DJ Three Dog…On and on and on.. its just the best that ever has been up to now.Fallout 3 will never end chillllllllldren.

All this makes it the number ONE greatest video game of all time.

100-81 80-61  |  60-41  |  40-21

47 Comments for “The 100 greatest VIDEO GAMES of all time (20-1)”

  1. The 100 Greatest VIDEO GAMES of all time (80-61) | THE ZEITGEISTY REPORT

    [...] 100-1  |  60-41 |  40-21  | 20-1 [...]

  2. Very beneficial plus honest site. Make sure you retain posting using excellent discussions just like it. Concerning ordered designated your internet site in addition to are around to e-mail the item to a very few friends regarding my own this I realize would likely enjoy reading .

  3. JWK

    I have read several articles on your site in the last few days. It has become apparent that you have virually no clue what you’re talking about when it comes to politics or reality so I guess I’m not surprised that even your taste in entertainment sucks.

  4. Walrus

    Thanks for playing!

  5. Jimmy

    Seriously? Where is starcraft? The most popular game in the entire planet and it doesn’t make your top 200? You sir are not a gamer.

  6. silly bear

    popularity doesn’t decide how good anything is… if you believe it does, then i hope you enjoy pop music, and speaking Chinese, and watching American idol, and… so on.

  7. pugee

    It seems that you missed many games that should be here…

  8. Zac of the Winds

    Very good list, and suprisingly, I don’t Disagree with Fallout 3 being #1, while I don’t agree with everything, this is still a tremendous and very accurate list. Congrats my friend on a job well done

  9. The Zeitgeisty Report (c)

    Many thanks!

  10. Brent Johnson

    Good list. I like the inclusion of many older games. While I disagree with some I like your honesty and the feeling that the list was more a “favorites” list then “best of”.

  11. Mike

    I agree with quite a few of your games on this list, many I’ve never played, but I couldn’t help but notice there isn’t a single old school FPS. I figured DOOM, or Wolfenstein would of made it on a top 100 list, I know its your opinion, but c’mon parappa the rapper is on the list, and DOOM is left out heh heh. Forgive me if I just happened to miss either of them listed. And yeah its a total personal taste really, If I made a top 100 list, Manhunt would probably be in my top 5, because personally i’m into realistic morbid violent games. Good list though dude.

  12. solidotacon

    bbbuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuulllllllllllllllllllll sssssssssssshhhhhhhhhhhhiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiittttttttttttttttttttttttttttt no metal gear this list is fucking lying

  13. Giovanni7Syros

    Seriously now?No Silent Hill 2? The greatest game of all times? No Max Payne? This list mainly sucks…

  14. mr salty

    President Elect? wtf is that shit?

    how about super mario 64, DK 64, Doom, SSB (any of the 3), goldeneye. i agree starcraft should at least have a place on this list, and i disagree with fallout being number 1.

  15. Professor Observant

    Jimmy, the reason Starcraft is not listed in this Top 100 list, is that it primarily is played by little tiny school girls. In some cases it’s played by men, who look and act and talk like little tiny school girls. Somewhat like yourself.

  16. John

    Did we forget about Super Metroid, Halo Combat Evolved, Golden Sun, Pokemon Red, Metal Gear Solid, Final Fantasy IX, Donkey Kong Country, etc.???

    1-5 was pretty good, however, banjo better than halo combat evolved, pokemon, mgs, final fantasy VII or IX, Super Metroid, seriously? no.

  17. John

    Okay I see DK country now.. but what of the rest?

  18. coulter

    I dont care what people think but pokemon should always be in at least the top ten of any of these lists! for 3 or 4 years there was not one gameboy that did not have a version of pokemon in it. Its the perfect rpg. Plus I dont know how most of those games got on this list here like pretty much every sports game.

  19. Josh

    Lot of good games on here, but some are missing. What about the icewind dale series for the pc, what about the Fable series for the pc/xbox, what about the elderscroll games. Also mmorpgs? Halo took the gaming world by storm. I didn’t see any of the doom games, or the wolfenstine 3d games. What about ogre battle, tactics ogre. Tiger woods games. This list should be like the took 200 hahha

  20. Fallout: New Vegas Review — The greatest expansion pack of all time? | THE ZEITGEISTY REPORT

    [...] 2008 masterpiece, Fallout 3 was one of the greatest games ever made.  With over a hundred hours of gameplay and DLC galore, it built a huge fan base who [...]

  21. leonhart77

    final fantasy 8 should have made the list 7 was epic but 8 sold out fasted and had the storyline to earn a spot!

  22. Memphis

    : I agree. The fact Uncharted 2 is up there is sad, since it is 98% ripped off the amazing Sci-Fi series “Firefly” (Starring Nathan Dillion as the main character)

  23. Jelly

    not a single unreal tournament
    not a single metroid
    not a single metal gear solid
    not a single command and conquer

    this list goes on, instead you jammed it full of crappy 8 bit mac shite and other crap.
    if you are going to do a list like this, do it right and pick the good old games, and the good new ones.
    And not fallout 3 because thats just wrong

  24. Jim

    I haven’t played many games on the list but I don’t agree with Memphis because Uncharted is the best PS3 game there is. There are some games that come close, but Uncharted has a good story, graphics, and gameplay.



  27. uhhhh : o

  28. Vladimir

    Wow, your taste in games really sucks.

  29. Javier

    Fallout 2 was far better than fallout 3, and you fail to put Super Mario Bros on the first ten.

  30. juanes

    crap, wii sports is fa ahead from sands if time?
    no metroid’

  31. Tom

    Fallout 3? Seriously?

  32. austins

    wtf is this? wheres, goldeneye? warcraft? Final Fantasy 7? 10? super mario world not in the top 20? duck hunt? street fighter 2? street fighter alpha 3? you sound like a hipster

  33. patrick

    super mario bros is 51? and goldeneye isn’t even on it? nor is Halo? who made this list? I feel like they just came up with THEIR favorite games, not the best games.

  34. patrick

    also I just want to add that these weren’t my only problems. just the first and most ridiculous ones I thought of. seriously though, no sonic at all? and I just can’t get past your exclusion of Halo and Goldeneye. Do you just not count first person shooters?

  35. Some of the games on this list definitely deserve to be there. I agree with one of the above comments that it’s more of a favorites list versus a “best of” list.

    Seriously though, why no Mario 64 (possibly the greatest game ever)? Doom, Wolfenstein, Commander Keen, Final Fantasy 3 or 4, Knights of the Old Republic, Halo, GoldenEye (or the better Perfect Dark), Duke Nukem, Marvel Vs. Capcom, Mega Man X, Command and Conquer (Red Alert is my favorite) and a host of other games deserve to be on the list.

  36. Divine

    LOL @ Banjo being on a top list.

  37. Reggie

    This list is pathetic.

  38. Garyn

    This isn’t a greatest games list. It is a sham that you call it that. It is a “Favorite games list.” As a favorite games list. . it is pretty remarkably awesome. I really like the nostalgia factor when saying your favorite games.

    As a greatest games list? It is horrible. How can you justify putting games like President Elect (along with a bunch of other 1 trick pony games) on here? As mentioned, I have nostalgia just like other vet gamers. . but come’on man. There is no way that you can say Deadline. . in your top 20 is a better game than Final Fantasy 6 or Starcraft or Metroid Prime (which aren’t even in your top 100).

  39. Andrew

    No Oblivion = fail.

  40. Ava

    OMGGGGG!!!! Where are titles like Shenmue, Monkey Island, Metal Gear?? CRAP

  41. Politank

    Interesting list (of your favourite games!) – not even related to the greatest games of all time, but some interesting ones none the less. To suggest that there is anything at all on the PS3/Xbox that is even fit to wipe the arse of the likes of SMB3/MarioKart/Ocarina/Snatcher/Shenmue/SuperMetroid etc, is quit laughable though.
    Remember, modern games suck BECAUSE of companies like M$ and Sony. Every time time you buy an M$/Sony product you are hammering another nail into the coffin of the video games industry. Thank goodness for the Japanese! Looking forward to trying some I have not heard of before though, such as Deadline, etc.

  42. Handbasket

    Great list, thanks for sharing your faves.

    I like how you did NOT categorize this list, or limit it to genre or platform.

    Listen, all you haters. Wise up, and grow up. Some of us were playing what you younguns call “videogames” on 8-inch floppy disks.

    I would have added, somewhere in there (you MAY have, I only read the first and last sections!)

    Zork trilogy, by Infocom

    Civilization 2 would have been in my top 10.

    Masters of Orion 2 would have been in my top 10.

    Sim City (the original)

    Diablo 2


    Angband, (or Hengband, or Steamband, or Zangband) or some catch-all combination of these and more, would have been in the top 10.

    Final Fantasy 3 US. I BOUGHT the SNES just to play this game, and when I bought the system (new) it cost less than I paid for the game. (Yeah, it was that late in the SNES lifetime. Mario 3 cost 70 dollars because the stores were gouging.) The best music ever produced by an onboard audio chipset. (That is, pre-CD days, before your game music could be made with orchestras and rock bands.)

    Adventure Construction Set (Electronic Arts, Commodore 64), just amazing.

    Quake 2. Best FPS of it’s time. Hand’s down.

    So many more.

    Loderunner (Commodore 64), with the level editor: again, one that sucked hours from my Jr. High days.

    Thanks again for the memories!

  43. Handbasket

    “Sham” “FAIL” “Crap”

    Sad, that. That’s just in the few comments above mine.

    I say to you all:


  44. Andre

    metal gear solid earned a top-ten-booking if you ask me
    just like silent hill 2
    but beyond this…the list ist acceptable

  45. Shoots711

    I have to agree with Handbasket. If you were an old school gamer that had to use 5 1/4 inch disks this was a pretty awesome list. Most of the haters on here probably don’t even know what a 5 1/4 inch disk is.


    Guys, stop complaining that YOUR personal favorite game is not on the list. If you don’t like it, MAKE YOUR OWN because trust me, a list that pleases everyone is NEVER going to come. This list is fairly balanced even though I DO disagree with a few titles.

  47. Matt

    What Kind of no good games do you play the only good one is Crash Bandicoot and that needs Moving up.

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