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Friday, February 7, 2014

My Top 20 Games of All Time


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xXBChaceXx’s Top 20 Games of All Time
            I had to make one of these at some point, you know?
Video games have been the biggest part of my life since I could pick up a controller and play. From as early as the SNES days, to as recent as the Xbox and the Play Station console war (Yes, that’s still a thing), I have played hundreds, even thousands of video games. To comprise a list of top 20 games that I’ve played in my lifetime is an arduous task, but, I’m up to the challenge. These 20 games have been chosen solely because of their quality of gameplay, nostalgia, and, most importantly, the tens of hundreds of hours I’ve logged into their worlds. These games are very near and dear to my heart, and some of them, even still, are going strong, with new HD ports, sequels, and reboots. It was a long thought out process, but, I managed to debate with myself and determine the finalists.
For the sake of this Top 20, I will not be including Xbox One or PS4 titles, as I haven’t had enough time with them. I will consider them in an updated Top Games blog in the near future. So, here they are! My Top 20 Games of All Time!
            20. Super Mario World [SNES]

            19. Sonic the Hedgehog [Sega]

            18. Pokemon Red and Blue [GBC]

            17. 007: Goldeneye [N64]

            16. Super Mario Kart [SNES]
Games 20-16 were my favorites from earlier years, however, not all of them. I was raised on Nintendo games growing up, and these were a handful that I spent playing countless hours with one of my best friends growing up, my Uncle, Billy, and my Dad, who was my first co-op partner. Super Mario World was the first game that I ever played, and the first game that I had ever beaten in 100% co-op with my Dad, Jeff. Sonic the Hedgehog was, and always will be, Sega's mascot. Sonic the Hedgehog was a fast-paced platformer, and featured a well designed central character. Sonic, has unfortunately has succumbed to a downward spiral since its initial release, however, I will always have fond memories of the first game of the franchise. Pokemon Red and Blue I chose for rather obvious reasons, as it was the earliest versions of the collect ‘em all RPG games, and two of my favorites in the series. ‘Gotta catch ‘em all,’ still chimes in my head when I boot up my Pokemon Y on my 3DS. 007: Goldeneye was a system seller for the N64. It was the well known local competitve split-screen shooter that everyone was dying to play (including myself.) Countless hours were spent firing bullets, dodging bullets, dying, and respawning. Over and over again. Super Mario Kart was Nintendo's first ever racing game, and the debut racing game of the SNES. Mario took a much needed break from rescuing Princess Peach, and instead, joined his friends (and rivals) in a competitve, arcade racer. Throwing red turtle shells, banana peels, and other items to knock your opponents clear of your lead has lasted, even still, to recent years. Super Mario Kart was, and always will be, good fun.
15. Super Street Fighter II [SNES]

14. Rayman Legends [Xbox 360]

13. Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty [PS2]

12. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night [PS]
      11. Left 4 Dead [Xbox360]
            Games 15-11 were almost entirely multiplayer games at first, however, with careful consideration that changed. When I grew older, I realized how much I enjoyed gaming with others, and that standalone experiences (Single Player games) I found to be rather lackluster, however, that wasn’t that case for all games. Two of the games I had chosen in 15-11 are, in fact, Single Player experiences.Super Street Fighter II will always have a special place in my heart. As much as I love the newer iterations of the series, it was Super Street Fighter II that introduced me to what was the greatest Japanese made fighting game of all time. Rayman Legends reinvented the core gameplay, and returned the hero to his 2D, platformer roots. Adding 4 player co-op, and countless alternate characters, I kept coming back to collect all of the lums and secrets, hidden within Rayman's diverse and colorful stages. Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty was truly  a cinematic experience. With refinements to the tactical espionage action and gameplay, series creator, Hideo Kojima, really outdid himself. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night was an amazing addition to the Castlevania franchise, spanning over 20+ hours of Platformer/RPG gameplay. Left 4 Dead redefined the first person shooter, and flawlessly made the line between co-op and competitve into a blur. The ability to play as the infected gave players (and myself) a unique experience. I never had more fun than pouncing on a survivor, and ripping him to shreds with my razor-sharp claws.
            10. Tomb Raider II [PS]

            9. Batman: Arkham City [Xbox 360]

            8. Final Fantasy VII [PS]

            7. Minecraft [PC]

            6. The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask [N64]
            Games 10-6 were significantly harder to choose. I found that, as technology and games became better developed, so did their quality. The PS2/Game Cube/Xbox generation of gaming was arguably the best era in the games industry.The beloved Lara Croft in her much anticipated sequel, Tomb Raider II. Such memories. Tomb Raider II was vastly improved from the first, adding improvements to gunplay, mobility, and took Lara to various locales across the world, from Tibet, to Italy, to China, even a sunken ship within the depths of the ocean. Selling 8 million units, Tomb Raider II outsold its predecessor. Batman: Arkham City utterly 'wowed' gamers with its stunning graphics engine, and refinements to the core gameplay of the series. Being the sequel to the Game of the Year, Arkham Asylum, Rock Steady delivered a 'rock' solid experience, where players begged for a sequel/prequel. The core gameplay mechanics, more specifically, the fight mechanics, were top notch, fluid, and visually exciting. Exploring Arkham City was nothing short of joy. Final Fantasy VII sold nearly 10 million copies world wide, and had a roster of characters well known in gaming. Cloud Strife and I have fond memories growing up, playing through the story again and again, and grasping it more each time I played it. It wasn't the improvements to the gameplay, but the graphical improvments and cut scenes that brought gamers to near tears. Minecraft was the first game of its kind, and left an impression on millions of gamers (including myself.) It's sandbox style gameplay, and the ability to craft and build to your imagination, made it an experience like no other, tailored to each player's limitless ideas. The Legend of Zelda, Majora's Mask was my favorite among the 3D Zelda games, and what I consider to be the greatest Zelda experience of the N64 Era (Yes, I know, Ocarina of Time was just as amazing.) It expanded upon its predecessors, and added the ability to transform into the various inhabitants of Termina (Zora, Goron, Deku, etc.)
Games 5-2
            5. Super Smash Bros Brawl [Wii]
                        This was my favorite Wii game, and probably the main reason I asked for a Wii during it release window. Super Smash Bros, as a franchise, is utterly incredible. If you’ve played Super Smash Bros, you know EXACTLY what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, you’re missing out, and I would highly recommend you look into getting the next installment, due out in Spring 2014. Super Smash Bros Brawl was the most polished Smash Bros experience. It’s character roster expanded across the Nintendo universe, and even recruited unlikely characters, such as Solid Snake, and Sonic the Hedgehog. Its party-style multiplayer, with item drops, beat-em-ups, and stage knockouts, really brings the most fun from a Nintendo title to the living room. My experiences with this game I cannot even explain with words. All I can say is, that, some of the most fun I’ve had was with Brawl.
            4. Resident Evil 2 [PS]
                        Debating between RE 1, Zero, RE2, and 4 was one of the hardest debates I have had, and a truly difficult choice. However, Resident Evil 2 is arguably the most horrifying, intense, and most engaging story in the RE franchise. Choosing Leon, I would enter a nightmare that I wouldn’t soon forget (Which even spanned into my dreams). Zombies, Lickers, Giant Spiders, and other mutant-like enemies always scared the crap out of me. The fixed camera only added to the atmosphere, along with the distant moans of the undead. Opening a door could possibly mean life or death, and you never knew what was lurking around the corner (or on the ceiling). As of late, the Resident Evil franchise has been making lackluster experiences, and, being a huge RE fan, I do hope that Capcom finds itself again, and can make a blockbuster return to their beloved franchise.
            3. Mega Man X [SNES]
                        Keiji Inafune developed countless Mega Man games, upwards up 15 plus. To decide which one had my favorite Mavericks, characters, and stages, was entirely difficult. Mega Man X, after much consideration of X1-8, and Mega Man 1-10, was chosen as the best Mega Man game, and my number 3 spot. The game takes no time in putting you right in the action, transporting you to a highway under siege. The ability to select which stage you conquer I have always loved, rather than following a set linear path. Mega Man X refined the platforming mechanics and gunplay that made the Mega Man games so popular to begin with. With a memorable cast of Maverick’s, and arguably the most challenging final boss fight (That I could never beat), Mega Man X is an amazing game, and a must play for fans of the series.
            2. Time Splitters 2 [Game Cube]
                        Time Splitters 2 was just shy of being my number 1, however, it is more than worthy of being my number 2. The second iteration of the Time Splitters franchise was, by far, the most well developed, and well-rounded of the three. One word best describes this game- Excellence. Heavily reminiscent of its shooter roots, developer Free Radical didn’t fail to impress its fans, and myself. A campaign, spanning of 10 levels and various time periods, with an option for co-op, made shooting up baddies with a friend fun as ever. Varying difficulties, with ample rewards, offered replay value. The prime feature to Time Splitters 2 was its multiplayer. Countless game modes, such as Virus and Capture the Bag, kept things fast-paced and frantic, and playing with four players via split screen (Which is nearly gone in current gen multiplayer) was a blast. Challenge modes, while difficult, added hours of content. The better your score, the more rewards you would unlock, such as multiplayer levels, characters, and mods. This will always be a dear favorite of my brother, Nathan, and I. We played countless all-day sessions of multiplayer, and always found ourselves coming back to the campaign, hoping to free the world (yet again) of the oppression of the Splitters.
Number 1

1.      World of Warcraft [PC]

Blizzard Entertainment’s MMO giant still runs strong today, with upwards of 6 million monthly subscribers, and earns my number 1 spot in this list. My fondest memories in gaming are within Azeroth, within the World of Warcraft. As much as I loved the many co-op sessions with my Dad as a kid, playing fighting games with my Uncle, and playing multiplayer with my cousins and my brother, World of Warcraft brought something very special to me- an escape. World of Warcraft was the biggest escape from reality that I had growing up, and helped me through a lot of the hardships I had in life. With the death of my Grandmother, Janice, my parent’s divorce, and heartbreaks, World of Warcraft was there to take my mind off of everything.

I loved the game, to an almost unhealthy level.

I couldn’t thank my friend Nick enough for introducing me with a 10-Day free trial, to such a well-developed world, littered with lore, and countless encounters with real people, masked by their online personas. I was hooked as soon as I saw the log-in screen, and heard that mesmerizing Warcraft tune. After creating my login-in info, I proceeded to make my first character, named Aurik, a level 1 Human Paladin. The game felt so real to me, the graphics were very impressive for the time. I was so immersed. Questing felt so different compared to what I was used to. I loved it. Quick quests, turn-ins, and leveling up. The depth of the class systems, along with the slightly complicated talent trees, made me just want to keep playing. I felt so rewarded for my efforts. With each and every level up, a “DING” sound would play, and gold light would flash around my character. It was so exciting. Going from Northshire Abbey, all the way to the Dark Portal, was in itself, an adventure. From level 1, to level 70, I leveled a Human Mage, after deciding that a Paladin wasn’t for me. I was hopelessly addicted, and I didn’t care.

After so many years, World of Wacraft still has an active subscriber base, and they have currently announced an increase to subscribers, up to 7.5 million.

World of Warcraft brought me closer to the friends that I had, and introduced me to some of the best people I came to know. I will always treasure World of Warcraft, not only as a simple video game, but as a gateway to another world, where I lose myself in its majesty. I will be back, yet again, when Warlord’s of Draenor hit the shelves, for another adventure.

Changelog: Updated on 2/10/14 updated games 20-6


  1. Here's a good idea Brian, color code the games that way if the reader wants to they can skip through the paragraph and read the game they wanted to. Just an idea buddy, good read though.

    1. I'll do that. Thanks for the read, and, for the feedback! :)