The 100 greatest VIDEO GAMES of all time

80-61 60-41  |  40-21  |  20-1

100. The Bilestoad (1982)
Platform: Apple II
One of the creepier games for the Apple II, The Bilestoad was a moody hack and slasher. Trapped on an island strewn with strange portals that enabled you to transport to different points in the arena, as well as other various objects, including yin/yang discs that you can stand on to accelerate your movement and strange “faces” that let you leave the level, you were locked in a battle with another knight with only an axe and a shield. The interesting things about this game were the top-view perspective and the bizarre musical soundtrack consisting of a ponderous, off-key re-working of Beethoven’s “Für Elise”. A lot of walking around is involved, which gave it a very zen feeling.

99. Amazon (1984)
Platform: Apple II, Commodore 64
A graphical text adventure game by Michael Crichton. Yes, THE Michael Chrichton, author of “Jurassic Park”. You work for the NSRT (National Satellite Resource Technology), a top secret research firm. Waiting for a transmission from a team sent to the Amazon Rainforest, you realize the expedition has gone wrong, and it is your job to travel to the Amazon Rainforest and figure out what happened. This game was extremely well-written (it’s said to be a sequel to the novel Congo) and had a ton of ambience. I loved the character of the parrot, who becomes your sidekick during your adventures.
98. 7 Cities of Gold (1984)
Platform: Apple II, Commodre 64

Seven Cities of Gold was a great exploration game that allowed you to assume the role of Christopher Columbus as he sets sail to discover the Americas. The game begins in April 1492 with your meeting with the Queen of Spain. You are commissioned four ships, 100 men, a years worth of food and 2,000 gold to outfit your expedition. After you assemble everything you take off for the new world. The cool thing about it was how the Americas begin completely blank and eventually fill up with all the major landmarks, rivers, etc… The interplay as you make contact with the natives was also a highlight
97. Jungle Hunt (1982)
Platform: Arcade Game, eventually ported to numerous consoles

One of my favourite arcade games as a kid, Jungle Hunt was side-scrolling arcade game that put you in the control of a pith helmeted, safari suit wearing jungle explorer out to rescue his girl from a tribe of hungry cannibals. In front of him are vines, he must swing from, a crocodile-infested river and falling rocks hurtling downhill at lightning speeds
96. Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain (1997)
Platform: Playstation 1

Blood Omen, the first in the Legacy of Kain series, was a terrific RPG/action game with a ton of atmosphere. It takes place in the land of Nemesis, where you play a character of who begins the game overwhelmed by soldiers and murdered. However, this is not the end of your story… You awake in an eerie crypt, transformed into a vampire. Possessing an intimidating appearance, you now keep strangers at a safe distance. On your journey to reverse the spell, you get to use spells that range from causing your enemy to implode, to more harmless and practical one that light up a room or transport you back to your crypt. There are also transformation spells that allow you morph you into a wolf or a bat.
95. Bruce Lee (1984)
Platform: Apple II, Commodore 64
One of the best platformers for the Apple II, you get to play the late martial arts hero with the goal of reaching a wizard from an underground lair, defeat of whom can offer him untold wealth. In each area you must collect the many strategically-placed lanterns before exiting through the newly-revealed passageway. Some rooms also have escalator-type sections to run along, and the standard (although slightly illogical in this context) ladders.
94. Speed Devils (1999)
Platform: Sega Dreamcast

One of my favourite racers of all time, Speed Devils was one among a ton of terrific games for the greatest console of all time, Sega’s Dreamcast. Great vibe to this one. It wasn’t about straight ahead car races as much as atmosphere… You get to choose from these cool hot-rods and challenge your opponents for money… It had a 50’s drive in movie sort of feel to it. The coolest thing were the tracks, whereon you encountered such obstacles as a T-Rex and a tornado.
93. Earthworm Jim (1994)
Platform: Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES)

One of my favourite SNES games, Earthworm Jim was a terrific platformer with interesting touches, excellent graphics and a storyline that involved many colorful characters. The gameplay was off-beat and unique. Launching cows, using Jim’s head as a whip, and other bizarre twists add to the insanity. The player controls Jim at all times of the game. In the level sections, Jim can run, use his gun, swing on hooks, and get powerups for the blaster. The in-between levels called Andy Asteroids place Jim in a semi-3D race against the evil Psycrow. If Psycrow wins, then Jim must fight him in one-on-one combat in order to progress.
92. Moon Patrol (1982)
Platform: Arcade Game, ported eventually to numerous other consoles
This was a classic side scrolling arcade where you get to control a moon buggy, that travels over the lunar surface. While driving it, obstacles such as craters and mines must be avoided. You are also attacked by UFOs from above and tanks on the ground. Our local diner had this for years growing up.. I must’ve logged in hundreds of hours on that thing.
91. Dead Space (2008)
Platform: Xbox 360, Playstation 3

Released in late ’08, this was one of the best games of the year and a fantastic new ‘Survival Horror’ franchise, Dead Space places you on board a stricken interstellar mining ship named the USG Ishimura, where you battle an infestation of virus stricken humans who’ve been transformed into grotesque alien monsters called “Necromorphs”. It is a truly scary game with a great plot and terrific responsive controls. The graphics are gorgeous, gory and glorious.
90. Ultima III: Exodus (1983)
Platforms: Apple II

When I was a kid, I was a total gaming nerd (I guess I still am, in a way). Names like Bill Budge (Creator of the Pinball Cronstruction Set) and Will Wright (who later went on to create the Sims franchise) were almost on the level of a rock star. One of the great game designers of this era was a kid named Richard Garriot, better known as Lord British, the creator of the Ultima series. Without Ultima, Role Playing Games (or RPGs) would look a whole lot different. He literally invented many of the paradigms that exist today. Ultima III, with its 3-D dungeons (that were integrated into the plot and remained the same, allowing you to create your own maps, where as before dungeons were randomly generated) and ability to direct the actions of several characters in one battle party set the standard for the entire genre. It was a completely immersive experience and graphically, it was amazing for the time. In short, this is the father of the modern RPG. A really cool thing about this game was the final villain couldn’t just be killed. The gamer had to use clever puzzle-solving and by paying attention to the many clues given throughout the game. At the end of the game, players were instructed to “REPORT THY VICTORY!” to Origin (the game company). Those who did so received a certificate of completion autographed by Richard Garriott
89. Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 (2000)
Platforms: PlayStation, Nintendo 64, Dreamcast, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, Xbox

One of the all time HUGEST video game franchises was the Tony Hawk Pro Skater series. It was a bona fide phenomenon when it first came out, a must have for any gamer. The second installment in the series was pound for pound the best by miles (in fact, every sequel after that one started to get worse and worse). Its mix of amazing graphics, open-ended gameplay, in which the player (playing as a professional skateboarder) completes a number of missions which result in cash reward plus the ability to skate on basically ANYTHING on the screen was totally innovative. When you add to that the seemingly endless amount of tricks and combinations of tricks you could pull off and the multiple levels (my favourite was the S-K-A-T-E level where you collect the letters in that word), and trying to find the hidden tape, this game was unbeatable in terms of replayability.
88. Hard Hat Mack (1983)
Platforms: Apple II, Commodore 64

Hard Hat Mack was like the Pac Man of the Apple games. It was synonymous with the whole Apple II experience. Every nerd with a floppy disk had a copy. Created by the then fledging Electronic Arts company, it was basically a rehashing of the arcade game sensation, Donkey Kong (which had come out just the previous year), but with a little more gameplay variety and faster action. The gist of it is the player guides a construction worker (Hard Hat Mack) through an unfinished building, to accomplish a series of goals, making use of open paths, springboards, conveyor belts, and elevators and taking care not to run out of time. It was simple, the graphics were solid (especially for the Apple II) and infinitely playable.
87. Leaderboard Golf (1986)
Platforms: Amiga, Atari ST

Leaderboard Golf was at the time THE best golfing game available anywhere… It was so great, that it STILL holds up. For the time, its multi-coloured 3D graphics were second to none, the gameplay and physics were unbelievably great as well. It was as golfing masterpiece that set the standards for all other golf simulations for years to come. What I really loved about this game was its stillness. There was no music at all, just very quiet sound effects: the ball dropping in the hole, wind blowing through trees and the sound of a sweet drive. It was a totally calming experience that felt a lot like golf. Plus, it was a great game to play with a few friends. My friend Dave had this on his Atari ST and we’d all get together and play this frequently. It could get really competitive.
86. Drol (1983)
Platforms: Apple II, Commodore 64
In Drol, the player controls a robot flying through a four story maze. The goal is to rescue people and cute animals while avoiding traps and enemies such as alien creatures, snakes, eagles, magnets and axes. Although there were only three levels in the game, it still had tremendous re-playability, because the levels got more and more difficult as you replayed through them, to the point where you needed hair-trigger timing to finish the stages. The gaming house, Broderbund published this one… I loved Broderbund games. First off, I just loved the name Broderbund, it was cool to pronounce, but aside from that, they had THE best graphics going on the Apple II. Their cartoony style and unique gameplay set them apart from every other company in a major way.
85. Disney’s Aladdin (1993)
Platforms: Sega Genesis, Super NES, Sega Master System/Sega Game Gear, Game Boy and NES

Disney’s Aladdin was a video game based on the 1992 animated feature of the same name. It was released on every major platform, and the interesting thing about it, was all five versions were completely different games made by different companies. The SNES ruled over all of them. Published by Capcom (creators of the Street Fighter series, and later Resident Evil), the graphics were colorful with silky smooth animations that were the state of the art at the time… It totally captured the look of the movie and put you in the experience. It’s basically a side scrolling platform that revolves around you jumping on enemies, as well as vaulting off stumps to reach otherwise inaccessible areasyou are also armed with apples to stun opponents. The storyline more or less follows the plot of its namesake, the Disney full-length animated motion picture, with Aladdin going from a street rat to a prince, who first woos, and then has to rescue, the Princess Jasmine. The level designs were beautiful. My favourite level included a surreal world where Genie—dressed in a tuxedo—serves as Aladdin’s guide. Great sound in this one as well.
84. Carnival (1980)
Platforms: Arcade Game, later ported to various consoles

Carnival was a fixed shooter style arcade game created by Sega in 1980. It has the distinction of being the first video game ever to include a bonus round (involving a white bear you must shoot multiple times and each time the bear is shot, it reared up for a second, then begins walking more quickly in the other direction… I always felt bad for that bear) It was basically a videogame version of a shooting gallery. The goal is to shoot at targets, while carefully avoiding running out of bullets. The targets (which included rabbits, ducks, owls, and other bonus items) scrolled across the screen, in rows that alternated from left-to-right and right-to-left. If the duck targets from the bottom row weren’t shot, they eventually came to life and began descending towards you at the bottom of the screen in a zig-zag pattern. If a duck reached the bottom of the screen without being shot first, it ate some of the player’s bullets. Objects also periodically appeared among the targets that gave the player extra bullets when shot. On top of all this, a spinning wheel with eight pipes sat above the rows of moving targets; all the pipes had to be shot before the round could end. I loved this game.. totally had that “carny” vibe.
83. NBA 2K (1999)
Platforms: Dreamcast

The debut title in the much loved NBA 2K series, which has subsequently become the standard of excellence for all basketball video games, this was a revolution when it came out. Originally a Dreamcast exclusive, it had the best graphics, player animations, gameplay and extras of any sports game ever produced before. It was literally mindblowing at the time. When you add to that the secret moves and tricks, the patented 2K camera angle and deep franchise mode, you come up with a sports classic; a winner on all fronts that STILL looks great and remains the first (and for all it’s innovations) the best in the franchise.
82. Parappa the Rapper (1996)
Platforms: Playstation 1

Also known as “PaRappaRappa”, and “PaRappa the Rappa”, this was one of the first “rhythm video games” While the gameplay was simplistic (but ingenous), the game is most remembered for its unique 2-D “paper effect” graphic design, quirky soundtrack, and bizarre plot. The game is named after its protagonist, Parappa, a rapping dog, with the motto “I gotta believe!”. Totally ahead of its time for its day, PaRappa the Rapper is kind of similar (in spirit) to the classic 1980s game Simon, in which the player is required to repeat a sequence of sounds and buttons. In this instance, the game demands that the player not only get the sequence correct but also the timing of the sequence, in a call and response format. The game provides small portions of spoken vocals that are triggered when the appropriate buttons are pressed. Pressing the buttons in the correct order, with the correct timing, provides an intelligible imitation of the words spoken by the character; pressing the buttons in an incorrect order or with incorrect timing rewards the player with nothing more than unintelligible gibberish. There is a overall goal for each level that is integrated into the story, e.g., one of the levels involves in getting your driver’s license which you must rap for (for some odd reason). Anyway, it’s fucking great… a totally Japanese game experience.
81. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2003)
Platforms: PS2, Xbox and GameCube

The first true next-generation sequel to the classic original game, the entire series was completely revitalised by Montreal’s Ubisoft with Sands of Time. Taking the franchise into the world of 3-D and doing it masterfully, the game still reflected the original platform game’s realistic movements of characters and ‘real-time’ effect of time limits to complete a level which made it a huge hit with new fans as well as old. The basic scheme of the game is to guide the Prince through a range of puzzles to he must work through, roaming the luxurious palace and its dungeons, as well as sword-fighting guards. The graphics were stunning and the level design was completely mind blowing… The main gameplay focus is on acrobatics and agility. Throughout much of the game, the player must attempt to traverse the environment by running across walls, ascending or descending chasms by jumping back and forth between walls, avoiding traps and so forth… and the twist is the inclusion of the Sands of Time, an hourglass that allows the Prince to literally control time. So if you screw up has the ability to “rewind” time and travel up to ten seconds into the past. But even with this “mulligan”, the game maintains its sense of urgency because you can run out of charges to make this hourglass work… In other words, you can still get killed.. which is necessary for any game. One more cool thing about this game is somewhere you can unlock the original 80s Prince of Persia game and play through it.. really cool.

80-61 60-41  |  40-21  |  20-1

7 Comments for “The 100 greatest VIDEO GAMES of all time”

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    [...] 100-81 | 60-41 [...]

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    [...] 100-81  |  80-61  |  60-41  |  20-1 [...]

  5. Jam

    Really? Fallout 3 is good but definitely not #1. Maybe #25 or so because TES IV: Oblivion kicks that game’s butt.

  6. acornco

    sokay list. what about… counter strike >: P or baldurs gate… oh… and stalker.

  7. James

    Heya that was a fun and eccentric list — I liked seeing Banjo-Kazooie, Super Buster Bros. (I had that but had fogotten it), Jungle Hunt, Space Harrier (Fantasy Zone is great too), and the Activision games.

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