My top 20 games list

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Matt and Tom are both putting up their 20 favourite games of all time, so I thought I would throw my 2c in. In no particular order, the games that have made the biggest impression on me are:

- Doom: (PC) Who can't include Doom in their list of 'greatest ever games'? I distinctly remember the first time I saw Doom- it was in the computer science lab at my High School. My brother was playing it and I was looking over his shoulder with my jaw wide open. I just...literally...couldn't...believe it! I just kept saying, over and over: "How is this possible?" And the best part was, they gave the first chapter away for free. All class, all the time.

- Command & Conquer: Red Alert: (PC) Another watershed game for me, I must have spent a very significant portion of my university career battling friends over the `net whilst playing C&C. Prior to figuring out all the bugs (the game basically ended the day we figured out that you could move the tanks while firing, and if you did, they couldn't die), this was a very strategically rich game, as you tried to figure out how to crack each other's defences.

- Starcraft: (PC) After hooked on RTS games by C&C, Starcraft was 'the next evolution' and many LAN parties revolved around kicking each other's butts in this game. The massive amount of mods and free missions continues to make this one of the most-played games in the world today. Honourable mention must go to Dark Reign, which continued the evolution.

- Half-Life series: (PC) While not quite the quantum-leap in FPS technology that many claim it to be, there's no denying that Half-Life was incredibly immersive, and it's excellent sequels continued the trend, making this one of the greatest stories in videogame history. The gravity gun! The gravity gun!

- Grand Theft Auto 3: (PS2) The only other time my jaw dropped and I started saying: "How is this possible?" over and over again, other than Doom, was the first time I booted up GTA. You felt like you could go anywhere, do anything. While this was not ultimately true, the feeling of having an entire city to wreak havoc in was quite powerful, and the excellent story/mission structure merely helped this along. Quite simply one of the best games I've played, even to this day.

- Deus Ex: (PC) If Half-life was not the revolution in FPS gaming that it promised to be, Deus Ex was. Not a shooter, more like a novel you moved through, the ability to pick the way you played the game meant that the experience felt very unique to you. You could beef your character up and try to fight your way through every situation, or you could load up on stealth gear and sneak your way through without killing anyone (which is what I did). The moment on the plane where you have to choose between your brother and your boss, each one drastically changing the outcome of the rest of the game, was like picking the colour of your character's soul- I've yet to encounter a narrative moment in the game like it.

- Portal: The newest entry on the list, Portal has no guns, no health bar, no enemies that don't apologize to you when you drop them. All it has is the most ingenious and mind-bending device I've ever seen in a game. There were moments, playing Portal, when I literally felt my mind expanding when it came to a breakthrough. Smart, funny, amazing ending. I love this damned game.

- Battlefield 1942: (PC) This is multiplayer gaming at it's finest. I remember the first time we booted this up at a LAN party, I jumped in a plane and flew into Rob's boat. We both fell about the floor laughing, then kept playing for ten hours straight. The sequels both rock, too.

- Bust-a-move: (PS) Okay, so you both control little uhm, dragons, that fire little bubbles, and when you connect there or more coloured bubbles, they pop. That's it. Two-player bust-a-move is just about the damned funnest game on the PS2, bar none. I must have played countless hours of this game on the PS2 with my flatties in 2002.

- Wipeout: (PS) This game is fun for two reasons- firstly, it's the world's fastest racer, and when you really get some speed on, it's awesome. Secondly, when playing against another person, it's brilliantly competitive, as you try to wipe out your opponent with mines, blasters, or giant waves of energy. Probably the best racer I've played.

- Counter-strike: (PC) Best FPS, most influential FPS, best mod, best game? You can't list any of these things without talking about the phenomenon of CS. Even today, ten years after it hit the scene, you can't go into an internet cafe without seeing hordes of kids playing CS and having a ball. Honourable mention must also go to Team Fortress.

- Dawn of War: (PC) There are RTS games that are technically superior (Company of Heroes) and others that are more balanced (Starcraft), but I'll be damned if you can find one that's more out-and-out fun. The game looks great, plays great, will soon have nine playable races, each with a very distinct flavour, and a very strong modding community keeps things fresh and interesting. Extremely fun game in both single and multiplayer modes.

- The Weakest Link: (PS2) Matt gave me stick for including this, but some of the funnest gaming I've had has been after a night on the taps, all back to my place for a game of The Weakest Link. Seven players but only one controller spells lounge-room chaos as everyone throws the controller back-and-forth, and then listens as Anne Robinson tears your avatar a new one. Also lots of betrayals and backstabbings as everyone votes off the best players. This game is a party in a box.

- Time Splitters: (PS2) As loathe as I am to include a console-driven FPS (trying to move someone's head with that stupid little joystick is just painful compared to doing it with naturally a mouse), the bottom line is that Timesplitters is good old time-jumping, zombie-slaying fun. No story that I could discern, but the constant refreshing of setting, weapons, and enemies means the game is never dull. Many a happy hour spent double-teaming with my flatmate on this one.

- Shadow of the Collosus: (PS2) Like Iko before it, this game gave an incredible sense of scale and, at times, beauty. Sometimes you would go into a glade and, even though it was digital, you'd feel at peace, as though you'd just gone into a glade yourself. Sometimes even the monsters you were tasked with bringing down seemed beautiful, or perhaps sad, and you would feel sad you had to destroy them. It made a great impression on me, and figuring out how to complete each level was often quite satisfying.

- Baldur's Gate - Dark Alliance I&II: (PS2) Speaking of spending many multiplayer hours on a game, this game was so damned addictive that I remember walking out of our flat, saying to ourselves: "We have to get away from the game for a few hours." and then immediately turning around, going back inside and playing, because we just couldn't bear to be away from it. Strong plot, amazing graphics and a compulsive need to 'level up' were the drivers behind this game. See also: Diablo.

- Voyager - Elite Force: (PC) There are a lot of Star Trek games that I had a lot of fun with (Armada, Birth of the Federation and A Final Unity are all great, if flawed, games), but nothing was as immersive, well-written and just downright as cool as Elite Force. Firstly, you could tell in every second of the game that it was written by hardcore fans. It felt exactly like being in an episode of Voyager. Hell, better, since you were actually there yourself. Fantastic plot, amazing characterization, and tied intricately into the story of the show (all the voices were provided by the original actors). Even better than that, it was a bloody decent shooter as well, and came prepackaged with multiple multiplayer modes that made it better than Quake 3, the engine it was based on. Fantastic package.

- Worms:
(PC, PS, Pocket PC) I was going to mention a game called Scorched Earth: The Mother of all Games, which was a really budget, super-fun 2D artillery game where you had to judge elevation and wind speed to hit your opponent's launcher before he hit yours. This concept later evolved into the equally rad Worms, where the artillery concept was strengthened by hilarious weapons and cute little worms firing them. I used to have this on my Pocket PC and it was great to pull out on the tube and play with friends to pass the time. Honourable mention must also go to the similarly 2D puzzle game Lemmings.

- Okay, Tetris: (PC) As Matt mentioned, Tetris is the ultimate game, addictive, intuitive, competitive, endless fun. I still play it today. I once wrote a 'kidding on the square' essay about how you could tell someone's personality by analyzing the way they played Tetris- I think it warrants further research.

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What... no Buzz? :)

I'm going to have to call you on Wipeout. It's not "the world's fastest racer". Have you played F-Zero GX on the GameCube? It's at least twice as fast as Wipeout, and just as pretty, if not as "stylish". There have been several times when I've been playing it that my eyes literally started bleeding. The top speed I've ever reached is 2,100km/h-ish, but the best bit is the sonic boom when you break the sound barrier.

Now that I think of it, I should have had it in my top twenty (which is now looking more like a top 30).

Interesting reading. I should have done more of a list like this as at least then it would be out in the open for criticism. We've got a bit of overlap - more than I did with Matt but to be fair, I don't play console games that much. Timesplitters didn't grab me and while Shadow of the Colossus was beautiful to look at, it annoyed me more than entertained me.

I enjoyed Elite Force but preferred Jedi Outcast on account of it a) being longer, b) being more diverse in terms of gameplay and c) being Star Wars. Elite Force was fun though.

Buzz was indeed awesome Nat and a worthy successor to The Weakest Link. However given that the only time I ever played it was that one time at your doesn't quite make the cut!

Matt: I'm adding you to my list of top twenty pedants. Speaking of which, you're misusing the word literally. I am also on that list.

If I wanted to play a Star Wars videogame, I'd watch Attack of the Clones. [rimshot]

No seriously Dan, while playing F-Zero GX my eyes actually, literally started bleeding.

Then I blacked out from the G-forces.

The best Star Wars videogame is, imho, Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader, on the GameCube. The best Star Wars game level ever is was the Battle Of Endor in the same game. If you disagree, you haven't played it.


The best Star Wars videogame is, imho, Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader, on the GameCube. The best Star Wars game level ever is was the Battle Of Endor in the same game.
You're wrong of course. It's an impressive looking game and it's fun for a shooter but you're still wrong. As the little green man said, "There is another!"

I'm not wrong. In my opinion, it's the best game. You can't tell me that my opinion is wrong, you can only disagree with me, and tell me your opinion.

So therefore it is you who is wrong.

I'm sure games like Jedi Outcast are great and all that, and they're "set in the extended Star Wars Universe", so technically they're Star Wars, but they're not really Star Wars are they? I mean really like. I mean who the poxing fuck is Kyle Katarn?

I'll tell you who he isn't. Wedge Antilles.

I'm not talking Jedi Outcast or any expanded Star Wars universe stuff. I'm talking about something which is far cooler than flying an X-Wing into the Death Star.

What, you mean flying the Millennium Falcon into the Death Star? You can do it in Rogue Squadron 2 as well, you know.

Dude. Bioshock. Team Fortress 2.

Bioshock because it's absolutely immersive, brilliantly atmospheric, tons of fun, and so... soooo pretty. Was annoyed with the ending I got, but that's what YouTube is for.

Also, TF2. I missed the initial TF craze but the sequel is awesome. So much fun! Some of the custom maps are CRAZY.

Hmm- haven't played Bioshock, though may d/l it in the New Year when I have some time.

I have TF2 and It doesn't compare to Counterstrike, or Battlefield. It's pretty damned similar to TF Classic, which I've played and loved, but I'd place it under the Half-life banner.

Okay, I've d/l'd and played Bioshock and...No. No no no. Not on my best games list. Not even on my 'this is impressive' games list. In fact, not even really on my list of games I want to play. Console shooters SUCK. I don't understand how people can somehow get it into their heads that they don't suck. System Shock and Deus Ex, ten-year-old games, both stomp on this pie of poo. Groan. Combat is an enormous pain. The guns feel like you're holding air. There's no substance, to anything. Ugh.

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    This page contains a single entry by Danzor published on December 10, 2007 10:30 AM.

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