[Excremento is well known in the Community Blogs for his numerous Top 10 lists he makes every week. This week for the Community Blog Promotion Week, he went ahead and made a Top 50 list of his top 50 games of all time. This list is so epic, that I had to split it off into two parts. Expect the second half of Excremento's list tomorrow afternoon. Until then, enjoy! -- CTZ]
I am a weird kid -- I've heard it all throughout my life. There was nothing more fun to me as a child than getting up on a Saturday morning, watching cartoons with a big-ass bowl of cereal and then spending the rest of the day gaming on any and all systems that I had access to. Growing up a gamer in the early eighties has enabled me to see the rise of every game console except for the original Pong. I've been gaming since I learned to read at the age of three, when I learned how to run my old man's Commodore 64 all because I wanted to play Time Pilot.
Many of you have been fervently reading and commenting on my other top ten lists that I've done in the past, and I can't thank you enough for your continued support. In thanks to you, the Destructoid community, I've decided to put in a ton of work and bring you a special edition of A Weird Kid's Top 10. Tonight's list won't simply be a Top 10, but in fact a Top Fifty (that's 50), and the subject? My Top 50 Console Games of All Time.
I will try my damnedest to explain the reasons why I think why a certain game is deserved of it's spot. Certainly many of you will disagree with the order I have put the games in but I always welcome your comments and suggestions. It is thanks to all of you in the community that I have been able to hone my craft by subjecting you to my subjective opinions about what I think are the top 10 whatevers. Without any further ado ... let's get this over with!
I'm guessing that many of the Destructoid audience never got a chance to play the original game that this was the sequel to. That's too bad really, because Battleclash was a great game for its time. The idea of being a gunner on a "Standing Tank" (read that as giant robot) and having to battle other pilots in their STs was a hell of a concept. This game was quite an anomaly seeing how it was developed in Japan but never released there (due to the lack of success the Super Scope experienced).
The game had beautiful graphics, awesome sound effects, and great gameplay (for a light-gun game), a two player mode, and tons of fights that put an emphasis on strategy rather than just shooting. The main downfall for a game such as this is that you HAVE to have the peripheral in order to play. For those of you not in the know, the Super Scope required 6 AA batteries to play. It might have received a higher ranking, but there's plenty more to see.
Perhaps the pinnacle of arcade sports games -- NBA Jam didn't take much strategy to play, but had an evil addicting streak about it. When the game came home to the consoles, I was one of the lucky kids to have a Super Multitap and three extra controllers to lug over to my various friends' houses. I would take my backpack full of gear to my middle school in anticipation of the game to follow after school. I can recall this being one of the first games to attract the "jock" community to gaming. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing really; the more gamers there are, the more games get made right?!
The graphics weren't especially pretty, but the gameplay was damn solid. It was nice to have a return to classic gaming control scheme with only three buttons being needed to play. The highlight of any game was the ability to have your player "catch on fire" after sinking three baskets in a row. Not to mention how great it felt to shatter the backboard when you got a monster dunk. Don't even get me started with the announcer and his "Whooooooooaaaaaa, KaBOOM!" or the timeless classic "Boom-Shakalaka!"
There was always something missing from the other games in the series though, a voice for the main character. Luckily in GTA: Vice City, a Mr. Tommy Vercetti changed all that. Voiced by Ray Liotta, the game finally gave you a character that you could relate to instead of a thug who only did the bidding of the various crime bosses. Speaking of voice acting, take a look at this list of top notch voices that were in the game: Tom Sizemore, Dennis Hopper, Burt Reynolds, Luis Guzman, Phillip Michael Thomas (from Miami Vice), Danny Trejo, Gary Busey, Lee Majors, Debbie Harry (aka Blondie), and freakin' Jenna Jameson. Not only was the voice cast top notch, but the licensed soundtrack featured more 80s group than you could shake a stick at. I mean come on people, it had Mr. Mister AND a Flock of Seagulls in the same game!
There aren't many games that have licensed soundtracks that curry such favor with my tastes in music. This game was a delicious treat for my ears all throughout the game. Sure, there are other GTA games out there, and arguably better ones. But to me, Vice City was something I coveted. I would stay up for hours on end with the game playing through my headphones and would find myself parking the car sometimes just to listen to the music on the radio. Not many other games have done that for me before.
Well, here's the good news, I have finally played it. And I have to tell you, I loved every minute of it. What seems like an extremely easy fighting game at first has a hidden dark side of being perhaps one of the most in-depth fighting games ever created. You've got a total of 25 characters, 29 different stages, and there can be four characters on the screen at the same time? Isn't that a total of eight million different matches you could possibly have? If you factor in all of the different power ups and various items that drop onto the match, that makes the number even more staggering.
What's not to like about this game? It had somewhat simple controls, an enormous amount of characters to choose from, and a ridiculously varied amount of stages for you to have the battles on. This is just an enormous game full of Nintendo fan service wherein you can have Mario beat up on Kirby or if you felt like it, Link beating up on Young Link.
This was definitely not a game made for the younger audience. This is perhaps one of the most addicting games I have ever had the pleasure of owning and playing. I kid you not people; the weekend I picked this game up I did NOTHING else for four days. It had such a grip on me that I took a personal day from work to play. I've only done that in the past for games like Final Fantasy and shooters like Halo. While true that the graphics depict a child friendly universe, the gameplay is absolutely not for kids. I hadn't been so obsessed with small mythical creatures in a videogame since my tour-of-duty in Pokemon Blue on my GameBoy.
The game was stunning in its implied simplicity, yet the execution of getting some of the higher leveled piñatas took the patience of a saint when trying to have them move into your garden. It's very easy to get worked up over this game but at the same time, incredibly relaxing to just grow flowers and make your existing piñatas happy. Not many games are capable of doing both well.
I recall vividly calling my friend over to play this game with me one night because it scared the shit out of me when you were going through the school. That's not something easy for me to admit to, seeing how I’m a big guy who shouldn't scare so easily. Though when my friend came over, it got to him worse than it did me which was always good for a laugh.
This game provided what many games lack so much of these days ... mood. Yes, this was a foggy staticy mess that had some difficult ass controls, but good god it immersed you almost instantly. The camera work for the beginning section of the game was brilliant; it made you truly feel like you were being hunted by something. I to this day can't hear a siren going off in the distance without it almost making me panic like it did with this game.
There's not much else to say about this game than it’s a ridiculous amount of fun to play. If I ever feel stressed out about anything, it’s a great escape to go to the Willamette Mall to kill me some zombies. The amount of replay value this game has is staggering. If you don't feel like killing anything, have a blast shooting nerf balls from the "Mega Man" blaster in the theatre, put Servebot helmets on them, go bowling for zombies, or my personal favorite, throw some cooking oil at one and watch them slip and bust their ass every time. Though if you were looking for creative ways to dispatch the undead, there was always the lawnmower, the gas powered auger, or if you're an Evil Dead fan like me, the good ol' chainsaw.
The story wasn't the best ever, it was never meant to be the best part of the game. Let's face it, this game was Zombie-Porn and I'm ok with that really. Fighting against the psychopaths was probably one of the most creative ideas implemented in a game in recent history. Not to mention the awesome soundtrack that played during some of the fights. It's a great looking game and it never ceases to amaze me how many zombies they fit on the screen at one time. Though I wish I could throw Otis to the masses for his calling all the time.
There are many out there who think that this game is overrated and I won't wholly disagree with you. I think that there are certain aspects of this game which lend itself out to being overrated. At the same time, there are elements that aren't praised quite enough. The story for one thing is extremely well thought out, has important characters, and the right elements of mystery, intrigue, and horror all going for it.
It can be said that the console FPS world was turned on its ear thanks to the innovations that Halo brought to the scene. You didn't see very many console FPSs that had controls near a tight as the ones we had/have in the Halo series. The regenerating health bar introduced in this game was completely new to me, and was a much welcomed replacement for the old health/armor system used on many of Halo's predecessors. The weapon system required you to decide what you really wanted to bring with you, finally ending the old carry-every-weapon-you-come-across system. Who else here thought that grenade sticking someone with the plasma grenades was the coolest thing ever?
I think there has been no other game played on more computers, watches, PDAs, consoles, calculators, cell phone, or portable handhelds, than Tetris. It’s quite possibly the most recognized game worldwide. Sure a good 90% of the gaming republic can spot Mario, but I can bet you that more than that knows Tetris when they see it.
Why wouldn't this game make the list? It's quite possibly one of the most addicting games ever put out. It takes seconds to learn how to play, but a lifetime of practice is needed to truly excel at this game. Just try playing Type-B at Level 9 Height 5 if you don't believe me. That was probably one of my greatest gaming accomplishments growing up. How about you?!?
From the first mission where you're sniping guards from their guard towers to the later missions where you utilize a tank to roll through St. Petersburg, this game was an adventure from beginning to the end. The new gameplay elements introduced to the N64 crowd made this game an instant success. Who else here was addicted to the multiplayer? The addiction was so great for fragging that I managed to spend a few of my study hall periods playing during my senior year of school.
If you've never had a multiplayer match in GoldenEye playing proximity mines on the Temple stage, you've never truly lived. That was perhaps one of the most fun nights in gaming I've had. Luckily the GoldenEye community is still going strong with people applying mods to the source engine, and even some diehards are modding the original ROM and playing them. Though we did get a spiritual successor in Perfect Dark, it didn't quite capture the gaming republic's imagination the way that GoldenEye did.
The game was a cel-shaded platformer/racing game/tagging simulator. The music provided on the soundtrack had a few licensed and remixed tracks from American artists like Rob Zombie, Jurassic 5, Mix Master Mike, Cold, Professional Murder Music, and Shuvel, just to name a few. The visuals for the game were amazingly unique and fresh, the gameplay was addicting to the point where you would say "just one more round".
Jet Grind Radio introduced many of us here in videogame land cel-shading, which was cutting edge for the time. The controls were quite tight, and the original idea of being able to approach a rival gang's turf and tag their wall with your own group's mark was brilliant. I thought it was especially cool that you'd have to follow the on-screen controls for tagging and hope that the cops didn't get to you before you'd finish.
The story is pretty damn endearing. It starts with a small robot that we come to all know and love as Clank. Clank finds an infobot that has a video recording that horrifies him and causes him to escape via spaceship. He gets shot down over planet Veldin where he crash lands near the house of the main protagonist Ratchet and the adventure begins.
Besides being an awesome platformer, Ratchet & Clank has a massive amount of gameplay tied into gadgets and weaponry. The game had beautiful visuals and a fun story that kept you going until the final battle with Drek himself. There are plot twists and some amazing character development throughout the game, makes me sad that I've only had the chance to play the first game.
Tom Nook is an asshole. I have never enjoyed being his little bitch. From the moment I moved into my new house in Animal Crossing: Wild World, I've been working my ass off trying to pay off my mortgage. For such a simple game, it's evil that a cute little tanuki has made me pay over 1,000,000 bells so far, and I know that it won't end there.
Playing a somewhat reality based game, where you have a mortgage, neighbors, and a town that you end up caring about greatly was an amazing move by Nintendo when they made the original Animal Crossing for the GameCube. Putting the game onto a handheld system was even more ingenious, now if I'm on the go I can check out my town, go fishing, buy some furniture, or do whatever I can to keep busy during a normally boring situation. Great idea and a hella addicting game.
Produced by Hironobu Sakaguchi, with illustrations by Tetsuya Nomura, this was a welcome departure from the atypical action RPG, where the action part was focused on much more than the RPG element. There was tons of in game dialogue, the platforming was fun, and the story was great. I just loved playing this game because it was fun, not too many games can boast that these days it seems, and I got a FFVIII demo, BONUS!
The best part of Brave Fencer Musashi that appealed to my inner nerd was the store in town that sold action figures based on the characters and enemies you'd fight in the game. I thought it was absolutely brilliant how you'd get done fighting a boss only to be able to go to the store, pick up his action figure, take it out of its packaging and play with it. I'd love to see more fan service like this in games, but it seems that Square doesn't care about its customers much anymore.
The remake of the game was in a word breathtaking. The cut scenes in the game were redone in an Anime style and the graphics were updated to current day standards. The music was remade to be less gamey and more orchestral. There were even some new songs placed into the game such as the one that Luna sings on the boat trip (you know which one I'm talking about).
This game was the perfect example of what a JRPG should be. It had a great storyline, predictable characters, suspense, and a fun to play battle system. You really never had to do any level grinding, which always gives me endgame syndrome, so I had no qualms about running through the whole game. If you were one of the lucky ones to order the special edition you got hooked up proper with a leatherette bound manual, a soundtrack CD, a documentary disc with a built-in minigame, and a cloth map. A damn good deal for its day.
My roommate at the time was the person who ultimately purchased the game, though I played it more than he will ever admit to. I reveled in every gory second of gameplay and giggled like a little girl when I got to see animated boobies in a game. Kratos proved himself to be a man that you should not fuck with in a big way. Taking out a cyclops proved that point. Such a badass.
Besides how much fun I had with this game, it did have its faults. Some of the puzzles seemed a little tacked on, and it got a bit old killing the same grunts over and over again. It was fun to always rip the guys in half though. The graphics were spectacular, the music was epic, and the controls were tighter than many other games of its genre. It was one of those games that became a touchstone of a gaming generation.
Thanks to SNES programmers’ skill, the Mode 7 texture mapping made this one of the most graphically advanced games to appear on the system. The gameplay was just so damn addicting, I literally couldn't stop playing until I had all of the gold cups in all of the engine classes. The game offered many modes such as Grand Prix, Time Trial, Multiplayer Grand Prix, Match Race, and my personal favorite, Battle Mode.
The countless hours spent playing battle mode with one of my friends, and the subsequent countless amount of losses I had against the same person cemented this game as one of my favorites ever. I loved how they took F-Zero type racing and added coins and powerups that you could use to fuck with the other racers. There were other versions of this game that were great too; however, this one is first and foremost in the series.
The gameplay was pretty simple one button punches left, the other punches right, everything else is dependent on the control cross. The cameo Mario made in the game as the referee was a welcome addition. But more, than anything I'm sure the game is remembered fondly for its music. Who doesn't laugh when they see Little Mac training as he jogs behind Doc?
The graphics boasted amazingly large sprites for all of the boxers in the game, especially for those contenders like Bald Bull or Soda Popinski. The fun was to be had in figuring out the creative way to beat your opponent instead of wailing on them like a retard who just got his ears touched. In fact, you wouldn't make it too far in the game unless you knew the way of beating them. Yeah, there was a sequel on the SNES, but I honestly don't think it was as good as this game was.
Super Bomberman was the first 4 player game available on the SNES, and was a party game favorite. I loved the simplicity of the game, lay a bomb, run away, bomb goes boom, rinse, repeat. This game had great graphics and awesome sound effects that played along the all-too-chipper music, but I loved it when it all mixed together.
Every Bomberman that has come out are generally the same idea just wrapped in a different shell, this one being no different. There is nothing special about this game except for the amount of gameplay to be had with some buddies when having a blast (pardon the pun) in battle mode. It is simply put, a universally approachable game that is fun to play, and at the same time, incredibly deep.
Had the Saturn been given more support through third party developers here in America, I think we would have seen a stateside appearance of this game. Although the game is not a prequel to Ikaruga, it is considered by many to be its spiritual successor. There's a good reason behind that, Treasure made both games.
You don't understand how good of a game this shooter is, unless you've had some time to play it. It is seriously the best damn shooter that I have ever played. Not only were there no power-ups for you to collect, but you also start with a full arsenal of weapons. Every situation you find yourself in had a "right weapon" for you to use, it was how you utilize the weapons that determined your success with this game.
The game itself is a shooter, no more, no less. The real innovation comes from the weapon system. Sure most ships come with fixed cannons, but it’s the weapons you pick up from the enemies that you'll want to use. You had a choice of picking up: Vulcan, Cannon, Spreader, Grenade, Wasp, Riot, Hedgehog, and Blade. Each has its merits and weaknesses and most of them have either alt-fire or a different firing position.
Moving onto gameplay, the controls are tight, really tight. The collision detection is spot on. The story is great; I love this damn game. Don't get me wrong, it’s no pushover. It gets hard, and by hard I mean Contra hard, the good kind of hard. Progression through the game (there are multiple paths) is fairly standard fare for a shooter with an increasing learning curve. The music was made by Kenichiro Fukui, who also worked on a few of the Final Fantasy games, and had great sound effects for all of the weapons, ships, explosions. Truly a hallmark of the PlayStation generation.
This game is the holy grail of run and gun games. No other shooter game of its ilk can even come close to the audience that Contra has. Speaking of audience, the Konami code that is synonymous with the Contra series has even shared its own bit of success in recent history. The game on the NES wasn't identical to the Arcade version (thankfully) but had a few differences that made it an all around better game.
For one of the earlier NES games, Contra was a graphically pleasing game. It had great music to go along with the action on the screen (the Minibosses do a particularly good job of remaking the music), and the gameplay was just a joy. The enemies on the screen could be deemed as cheap, but it was games like this that we have some of the other shooters that we've all grown to love.
Probably one of my more anticipated games for my Xbox 360, Gears of War was released on November 7th, 2006 to the throngs of 360 owners dying for a new killer app for their system. The game sold over three million copies within ten weeks of its release and has enjoyed the top spot as the most played Xbox Live game until the recent release of Halo 3.
The game focused on your character Marcus Fenix (or Bender if you prefer) and your teammates attempting to put an end to the Locust Horde once and for all. This third person tactical shooter borrowed heavily from various other games and improved on them to make an unforgettable gaming experience. With the introduction of a cover system that was wholly functional, the multiplayer shooter series was re-invented overnight.
The whole game is a perfect example on how a game on a next gen console should look. There wasn't a section of the game that had boring or uninspired graphics. All that you had to say to me was Chainsaw gun and I was sold. The game borrowed the Halo influenced minimum weaponry system, but made it better thanks to the addition of a permanent sidearm. It didn't have the best story (cuz there wasn't really one at all), but we've been told that the game is merely the tip of the iceberg in the Gears of War universe seeing how the game is supposedly part one of a trilogy. I don't know about you, but I'll love playing the subsequent sequels.
Jim was just an ordinary earthworm, who did ordinary earthworm-like things until one day, in space above Earth, the evil Psy-Crow was fighting with a space pilot who had stolen an "Ultra-high-tech-indestructable-super-space-cyber-suit"made by Professor Monkey-For-A-Head. Get this, the suit was commissioned by "The evil, Queen Pulsating-Bloated-Festering-Sweaty-Pus-Filled-Malformed-Slug-For-A-Butt" so that she could further conquer the galaxy ... Ah, such ridiculousness.
I miss Shiny games, a lot. There weren't too many game developers out there that would spend as much time as they did on making sure a game's animation was fluid, the gameplay polished, and finally absurdly funny. I wish that they would get to work bringing us more games such as the Earthworm Jim series. MDK was close, but not quite there.
I heard that Rare was remaking Conker's Bad Fur Day that was originally released on the N64 and was immediately primed for purchase. Conker's Bad Fur Day was a game that I covet for its adult situations and potty mouthed language over any other of my "mature" rated games. It was probably the first game that I had ever seen where you could get pissed and then use that to battle others.
The remake for the Xbox was a visual success, though they changed very little in terms of story and gameplay. The horrible jet board section is still a pain in the ass to play, all of the other little irritating control issues from the N64 version made it over to the port as well. It was nice that they added a ton of better looking textures and much more detail in the character models; though I wish they would have added a little more to the single player game instead of focusing on the multiplayer aspect.
The multiplayer for the game was essentially a rehashed version of Team Fortress where you have different player classes fighting against each other in team on team battles. It was pretty good from what I've played, but I bought the game mainly for the single player mode anyways.
Sorry, but that is all you get to read of the Top 50 for today. I hope all of the teasing and prodding that I've been doing over the last week has served it purpose and has made the community rabid with the anticipation of A Weird Kid's Top 50. Unfortunately for you, if you want to see the conclusion of the list, you'll have to come back tomorrow! It turns out that I broke the Internets with my full posting. I look forward to seeing you all back here tomorrow. Same Bat-time, same Bat-channel.