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A Weird Kid's Top 50 -- Console Games of All Time (Part 2 of 2)

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Weird Kid Banner[Editor's note: Here is the final part of Excremento's Top 25 games of all time. I have to say that this was such a great read. You can really tell Excremento is extremely passionate for videogames. Read on to see why Excremento picked these games and how, among many other things, he got a 12-gauge shotgun put to his face for owning a guy in Street Fighter II. -- CTZ] 

Continuing on with my Top 50 list from yesterday, tonight all of the cards will be revealed. That's right, there are no more mysteries, no more secrets. You, my faithful reader will finally get to see the final top 25 of my top 50 console games of all time.

Let's hope that all of the hype was worth it, I think a few of you out there will be genuinely surprised at some of the titles you're going to see up here in the top tier. Like I said yesterday, I will try my damnedest to explain the reasons why I think why a certain game is deserved of its spot. Certainly many of you will disagree with the order I have put the games in but I always welcome your comments and suggestions.The suspense must be killing you! Let's finish this!

Number 25 -- Wild Arms

Wild ArmsMe and my newly bought PlayStation were dying for a new game to play one fine weekend in Utah. I went to the store to see what I could find and low and behold a game jumped to my attention. Wild Arms is one of those rare finds that never get much press because it's not the latest iteration of Final Fantasy. In fact I was specifically looking for something that WASN'T Final Fantasy ('cause it had five months until its release) when I picked this game up.

The story is a western influenced RPG that took place on the fantasy world of Filgaia. The three main characters in the party were known as "Dream Chasers" who searched the world over for fortune and excitement. Rudy, the main character, has the innate ability to control powerful weapons know as ARMs (Ancient Relic Machines), which were forbidden remnants of a lost age. Strangely enough the ARMs look amazingly like firearms. The other two ancillary characters Jack and Cecilia were there to help you navigate and solve the puzzles in the vast wastelands and dungeons of the world.

Aside from this game being one of the first RPGs to be released in North America on the PlayStation, the game was one of the best 2D sprite based RPGs in the system's history. The game was only in 2D when exploring, when you got in to a battle, the game would switch to a 3D battle system. The music in the game wasn't only superb; the game featured an anime opening with a great song in the background.

Number 24 --Guilty Gear

Guilty GearWhen I couldn't get my copy of a certain Zelda game back in '98, I picked up what seemed to be just another ordinary fighting game that had cool looking combatants. This game unbeknownst to me would provide a rebirth for my love for fighting games that hadn't been there since the release of the Street Fighter II series in the early 90's.

The story is of your typical fighting game fare, "The Second Sacred Order Tournament" is being held and you have to take command of one of the ten combatants as they fight for their own reasons. The setting for the game was in a bleak distant sci-fi future where humanity has just recovered from a 100-year-war against man-made bio-organic weapons known as "Gears".

Not much was known about Arc System Works until this game came to America. However upon the release of Guilty Gear, this game series was planted permanently in my mind as one of the best fighting game series ever to grace the home console. Looking only at the sprites used for the characters, you can see how much work they put into every facet of the game. The combo system isn't one that the Mortal Kombat/Tekken button mashers could easily pick up, but was a perfect extension of the already known Capcom combo system. Crap I love fighting games, and this one easily ranks up there with anything release from SNK.

Number 23 -- Jak & Daxter

Jak & Daxter

Jak & Daxter was Naughty Dog's newest release on the PlayStation 2 console since they released the fourth Crash Bandicoot game for the PlayStation. The game was released on December of 2001 to a rabid audience of platform game lovers. I managed to snag a copy before X-mas had arrived and spent a good amount of time enjoying the game as a whole instead of blasting my way through the game like I was wont to do so many times.

Like many of the platform games that predated Jak & Daxter, the object of the game was to collect items in order to progress through each level. Jak, being the consummate athlete character was able to double jump, spin rapidly like Crash, and fall down from just about any height without any damage. The main objective of the game revolves around collecting Power Cells left behind by the Precursors (an ancient race of beings who left their powerful technology all around the world).

This was another great platformer brought to us by the guys at Naughty Dog, who are known for quality games, and was a welcome game on the PlayStation 2 console. The gameplay was fun, the excellent voice acting never got old, and the fluid animation was top notch. There were two sequels and two spin off games based on this original game and it''s characters. Throughout the game Jak never speaks a word. Anytime he is about to, Daxter interrupts him. So in the later games, when Jak gets an attitude upgrade and a voice, part of the allure was lost for me.

Number 22 -- Suikoden

SuikodenSuikoden was an early launch title for the PlayStation back in 1996 that I missed the first time through. I received my own copy of the game from a friend who owed me some money for some GWAR concert ticket I had purchased for him months before. He found two copies of the game brand new and unopened sometime in 1999 and paid $20 for both copies. That's a hell of a deal.

Based loosely on the Chinese novel Shui Hu Zhuan, the story is about the son of a general in the Scarlet Moon Empire who is destined to seek out 108 warriors (aka the 108 Stars of Destiny) in an effort to revolt against the sovereign of the state and an attempt to bring peace to his war-torn land.

The game played just like any other traditional RPG for its time, though the game differed on many levels. There were a total of 108 playable characters that you could recruit to your cause that were willing to fight along side you. You could have a maximum of six people in your party, each one controllable; it was your standard random encounter battle system and was completely turn based. There were two other completely different battle systems included in the game as well. You were required at times to fight in duels and war battles, both of these played out a lot like a massive versions of paper, rock, scissors. Suikoden was a massive RPG that was released at a time where there wasn't much of an audience for the game, but did well enough on its own to warrant four sequels.

Number 21 -- Ico

IcoI bought this game along with Silent Hill 2; I played the demo for a good 20 minutes before I decided that the story of the game seemed interesting enough for me to give it a try. I have no qualms saying that Silent Hill 2 collected dust because how enthralled I was with playing Ico.

You are Ico, a boy who was born with horns and apparently are left for dead as a sacrifice because boys born with horns are viewed as a bad omen. Luckily for you, the sepulcher you are placed in, teeters over and releases you. Upon a little exploring, you come across a girl named Yorda who you want to help escape the castle and her evil mother the Dark Queen. Now the bad part, you have to drag her ass across the whole world while fighting off shadow monsters who attempt to kidnap her.

As most of you who are reading this know, Ico is one of the "games as art" games whose name is constantly thrown about. I'm not going to do that here. I just enjoyed the level of depth that the castle was constructed with, the minimal amount of music really added to the mood, and the lack of a game HUD did wonders for dragging you into the game. I'm really glad that they've said that there is a sequel in the works.

Number 20 -- The Guardian Legend

The Guardian LegendI remember picking this game up about eight years ago and spending a WHOLE day going through the entire game beginning to end. I recall walking away from it satisfied in a good purchase, unlike many of my other NES games. The picture above is actually from the Japanese cover for the game.

Who wouldn't love a girl that could transform into a spaceship? The story for The Guardian Legend is fairly straightforward: you're the guardian of Earth and the only person who can defeat the evil planet-sized spaceship called Naju hurtling towards Earth. You objective is to activate the ten self-destruct switches within the world and escape before it reaches Earth.

The gameplay during the shooter sections was really solid and fun and the whole adventuring aspect (ala The Legend of Zelda) was good fun too. It's not surprising that this game didn't do that great in sales seeing how the box art from the US release was confusing and the lack of promotion for the game. It’s too bad really, I love this game.

Number 19 -- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of TimeI wasn't one of the fortunate people to pick up this game on its release thanks to the retarded policies of GameStop (Babbage's back then). So, I have only the retarded grey colored cartridge. Lame ... though it did allow me time play Guilty Gear!. I was finally lucky enough to get my copy a few weeks after its release and locked myself in my room playing, soaking it all in.

Ocarina of Time is heralded by many to be one of the best N64 games ever made. It’s true, the game was stunning in its design and the feel of freedom you experienced when exploring Hyrule. If you weren't ever a fan of the 3D adventures that Link engaged in, then this game wasn't for you I suppose. The N64 controller was perfect for the game and the fact that the rumble pak was used made the game that much more immersive.

I loved this game, probably more than I like most of the other games on the N64. The amount of fun that could be had from riding Epona across the plains of Hyrule was unparalleled to any game of its time. The amount of puzzles that each temple had (some much harder than others) was perfect, and the fact that the game was in lush 3D made it a much different game than the 2D games of past.

Number 18 -- Super Dodge Ball

Super Dodge BallAw man, the amount of time playing Super Dodge Ball can not be subtracted from that person's life. I was lucky enough to find a copy of this game at a yard sale complete with box and manual for only five bucks when I was 12-years-old. I have gone back and played this game more times than any other NES game over the last 15 years.

I'll never forget the first time I managed to pull off a special move and socked the opposing team right in the head and sent the guy soaring around the world and back to his side of the court. From that moment, I was hooked. The characters in the game have two special moves each that are executed by dashing, then throwing the ball either from ground level or from the air. It was always entertaining to play with friends and hear all of the obscenities being tossed around.

The characters from the game look as if they're pulled straight from River City Ransom (for good reason since it was part of the Kunio-kun series). The opposing teams all have fairly idiosyncratic traits about them such as the British being pasty white guys with a high amount of hit points but weak, or the Japanese always tossing it to their captain, and don't neglect the sprite changes from European characters to Asian characters (they make us whiteys round eyed, while their sprites look stereotypically Asian).

Number 17 -- Gran Turismo

Gran TurismoMy brother and his drunken buddy stumbled into my bedroom at two in the morning and begged me access to my PlayStation to play the game they rented. One of my conditions at that age was to know what the hell they were going to be playing on MY gear. Turns out they wanted to play some dumb racing game. I said yeah, but count me out, I hate racing games. The Gran Turismo series is the only series to ever turn my attention from games to cars. I was hooked after racing on the Autumn Ring in a Supra.

Polyphony Digital's foray into racing games ended up being the best selling game for the PlayStation at 10.5 million copies (one of them being mine), and was a breathtakingly good looking game for its time. The replays of previous races were probably the most impressive looking item the game did perfectly. The audio was as realistic as could be done, the tracks, all 14 of them were extremely detailed, the cars all looked great, and lets not forget that there were 178 of 'em to get. It’s like the Pokemon of car racing games.

Apart from the numerous publications that gave this game so many positive and glowing reviews the year it came out, there are numerous other video game sites and blogs that have deemed the game as one of the Greatest Games of All Time (I'm saying the same). The game is just a shining jewel in the crown that was the PlayStation in 1998. Gran Turismo remains the best racing game I've had the most fun playing.

Number 16 -- Cybernator

CybernatorCybernator was another one of my most unsuspected X-mas gifts I received as a kid. I guess the parents saw the fact that I've always had a strange affinity for the giant robot genre of videogames. I said unsuspected, I never said that it wasn't good; in fact it’s pretty damn great.

The graphics were well done, the animations were superb for an SNES game and the story was great. Each stage presented a different set of challenges, had destructible environments, provided powerups for your various weapons used, and allowed you to roam free. The game's story is structured almost identically from something in the Gundam universe, but you know, good. In fact, when playing the game, tell me that you couldn't conceive of an Anime being made for it.

Keeping in mind that this wasn't a groundbreaking game at the time for Konami in America, it was however, a hit in Japan and was even remade on the PS2. It has to be a title that very few of us loved, but what wasn't to love about it I'll never know. If you never had a round with this game, give it a shot, you'll be how surprised how good of a game it really is.

Number 15 -- Final Fantasy Tactics

Final Fantasy TacticsAh, Final Fantasy Tactics, a game responsible for me missing more days of my senior year of High School than any other game I played at the time. Good ol' 1998 was the year that I donated a good chunk of my living hours in the land of Ivalice level grinding my characters to perfection.

Probably one of the best if not the best strategy based RPG I have ever played, ever. The graphics weren't amazing, though the return to a sprite based RPG over a 3D version made me extremely happy as a gamer. The world was rich with history and the characters were well thought out. Especially the rivalry that Ramza and Delita shared throughout the story.

With the inclusion of Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy VII, this game cemented itself in my mind as one of the most fun tactical based RPG even more so than Ogre Battle if you can believe it. I can recall spending hours leveling up my two mage characters as calculators, getting into battles, and figuring out the best way to rape the enemy on the field. I especially loved the story of a commoner becoming King and the overthrowing of the national religion of the land.

Number 14 -- Super Street Fighter II

Super Street Fighter III used to be an extremely religious EGM reader back in the day. I would read every and anything that had to deal with Street Fighter. When I saw that Capcom was working on a new version of my beloved Street Fighter II with new characters and stages, I was happier than a pig wallowing in its own filth.

Besides the hundreds of dollars I spent playing this game in the arcade, I wanted to spend another $80 to actually own my own copy. Unfortunately I wasn't allowed ... so I rented it time after time again. Quite possibly the best version of SFII, even more than Super Street Fighter II Turbo. Don't get me wrong, Turbo is a great game, but I miss the days when you didn't have an uber-fuck-you-move that you build up to. I want the old days where it was all about skill and timing. Can we go back to that in fighting games?

This remains the only game where I had a guy pull a gun on me and threaten me to leave his house. Not just any gun, but a damn 12-gauge shotgun [Editor's note: HOLY SHIT! -- CTZ]. It was because I beat him using nothing but jabs. Maybe I had it coming, but you know it’s a serious subject to me when I threaten personal injury over a video game. I miss the old tournaments with me and my friends...

Number 13 -- Shadow of the Colossus

Shadow of the ColossusI played Shadow of the Colossus earlier this year when I picked it up for cheap at my local gaming store. I heard all of the hype about the damn game, and decided it was time for me to play it myself and develop my own opinion. After spending a few weeks making my way through the game, I came to the same conclusion that everyone else did. It was an amazing experience.

You play the role of a man named Wander who is traveling on horseback across the land to defeat the sixteen colossi in order to restore the life of a girl. You make a deal with Dormin, who warns you that your request may cost you dearly, that if you take the ancient sword with you and defeat all of the sixteen idols, Mono's (the girl) soul can be returned to her body. On the way to fight the sixteenth and final colossus, something happens that makes this game completely worth it. I won't spoil it, go buy this game!

The game was made by the same team who created Ico a few years previous, so you know that there was more love and care put into this game than many other games released at the same time. It’s sad that the PS2 was a limited system to develop this game on. It really makes you think how things would look if they re-made the game without changing the story at all and put it on the current gen hardware. I wish all games that come out had as much polish as this game did.

Number 12 -- BioShock

BioshockWhen BioShock crashed onto the scene earlier this year, I originally had NO intention of buying this game thinking it was just another damn FPS for the already crowded Xbox 360 lineup. This was another of those games where I am glad that Microsoft's Xbox Live service gives you the chance to play games before you buy them. I simply HAD to have this game after playing the demo.

One of the most immersive and compelling environments I have ever seen in a video game, Rapture is quite possibly the coolest, most thought out, impressive settings in a game ever. The big twists that happen in the game, the creativity you can demonstrate through the various use of your plasmids, and the moral questions that this game makes you ask yourself combine to make this one of the most compelling stories I've ever had the opportunity of playing.

From the moment your plane crash lands into the ocean conveniently outside the entrance to Rapture (did you ever wonder why he was in the water before the plane hit the water?), to the horrors you witness throughout the varied landscape of Andrew Ryan's utopian view of an objectivist-dystopian society where man is free from the constraints of religion, government, and morality to be their own person, you are always forced to make decisions that you'll never know the consequences of. I'm sure all I have to do is remind you of your first Harvest/Rescue to remind you how moving this game truly is.

Number 11 -- SSX 3

SSX 3I got my copy of SSX 3 for X-mas in 2003. I didn't even know that there was a sequel to SSX Tricky until I opened the wrapping paper and saw the case sitting there. I was surprised, it was an amazingly thoughtful gift to give to me. Let me preface the next sentence by saying this, I have never been snowboarding nor do I ever intend to do so. With that said, I love snowboarding games more than any other type of sports genre out there. I've owned two of the Cool Boarders series and all of the editions of SSX. The original was the only reason that I wanted a launch PS2.

The graphics for SSX 3 were overhauled from the past two editions of the game and the whole game took place on a single mountain instead of broken up venues in different countries. The mountain itself sported multiple tracks and freestyle courses, though the best new mode in the game was the "freeride that let you start at the peak of the mountain and ride it all the way through all of the main tracks until you reached the bottom, a full 30 minutes later.

I played this game until it my PS2 begged me to stop. I would still be playing it almost every night if my PS2 wasn't all jacked up. I love the arcade feeling of the races; I love the audacity of the tricks you could pull off in the game. There was nothing better than getting the ??? when you pulled off a move too ridiculous for Rahzel to say what it was. The licensed music was really well chosen, and the amount of customization was damn near perfect. One of my all time favorite games for sure. It makes me sad that EA hasn't made a new version of this game for so many years.

Number 10 -- Bionic Commando

Bionic CommandoThank you Capcom for making this game and actually deciding to localize it here in the US back in 1988. Yes kids, this game came out 19 fucking years ago, which makes the same game in my collection older than most of you here Dtoid. At the same time, a bunch of you old fuckers like me are saying "I LOVED THAT GAME!"

You are a Bionic Commando and you are on a mission to save your buddy Super Joe from the clutches of the Badds (Nazis) led by Master-D (Hitler). You must traverse through a multitude of levels (many of them are non-linear). Though the kind of non-linear is on the same page as Metroid, meaning that you can't go some places without special equipment.

I have much love for this game. Thanks to game companies like Capcom who were willing to take a risk to localize and censor their work (thanks Nintendo of America!!!), people like me were able to have games of this caliber to play (then) and reminisce about (now). I highly suggest that you find a way of playing this game. Legally or not, it's worth the risk to see a game that shaped a whole generation of gamers like me.

Number 9 -- Super Mario 64

Super Mario 64Super Mario 64 crashed onto the scene in September of 1996 and was probably the only reason that I picked up a Nintendo 64. No, that's a lie, I originally picked up a N64 because they were the system that was supposed to get the Final Fantasy series, you all know the history -- they didn't. This is the seventh best-selling game in the US with a total of over 17 million purchases, and is well worth that title.

The game marked a new archetype for platform games since its release, since it was a 3D game and not the traditional 2D platformer. It is probably one of the most revolutionary games of all time thanks to the brilliant camera (that plagues so many other platformers) and the inclusion of analog control. The game design was brilliant as is the norm for most Shigeru Miyamoto games, the graphics were beautiful and the textures looked nice. It still remains one of the few games to actually give me vertigo at times while playing it.

This game to me is more than the sum of its parts; it isn't simply just another Mario platforming game. But a little bit of my childhood brought to live in amazing 3D. The Mushroom Kingdom was a much more interesting place than we got a snapshot of in all of the other games. Don't even get me started on having to jump into the pictures to go to the differently themed worlds, that was an awesome way of having a stage select. To sum it all up, it is quite possibly the best platforming game ever made.

Number 8 -- Final Fantasy VIII

Final Fantasy VIIIOh, man. The amount of sleep that I have deprived myself by being a fan of the Final Fantasy series is tantamount to the time it took for Fyodor Dostoyevsky to write Crime and Punishment. This was Square Soft's sophomoric Final Fantasy released on the original PlayStation, and in my opinion the best one of the series.

The gameplay was typical of your turn-based-faux-real-time battle JRPG. This game shined for three reasons. First, the visual aesthetic was simply gorgeous. Your characters in game were five times as detailed as the characters in FFVII, and not to mention the FMV cutscenes are some of the best ever seen in a video game series. Second, the music is probably my favorite work by Uematsu-san. He released a full orchestration version of a few select songs and released it on the Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec soundtrack album which is slap-your-mammy great. Finally, the story made me cry like a little baby at the end of the game when the entire story got tied together and you were treated to a 30+ minute ending that just warmed the cockles of my blackened gamer heart.

The game may not very well be your favorite one of the series, though the reasons I love it and put it on such a high pedestal is that it made a marked departure from the games of it's past. It was the first Final Fantasy to use normal looking characters instead of the SD ones we played as for so many generations. Who can't recall the memory of how on edge you were when you thought Rinoa was going to die just like Aeris did so many years previous in Final Fantasy VII.

Number 7 -- Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

Castlevania: Symphony of the NightI picked up this game one night by mistake actually. I wasn't even looking forward to this game coming out; I never had any indication that this was a game that I really wanted. Though, the copy of Psychic Force that I had picked up was scratched all to hell so when I returned it that same night, they had no more copies. I wanted a game, so I thought, eh why not, I'll give this game a try. Holy crap am I glad that I did.

On the beginning of the game it catches you right up to the (then) current storyline of Castlevania: Dracula X, where you take the reigns of Richter Belmont and finish Dracula off. The story then switches to Alucard (Dracula backward hehe) where the game becomes an action RPG complete with experience points, gold, equipable weapons and armor, items, and magic spells.

This game to me was the swan song of 2D sprite based console gaming. I still believe that, and it was a rather good note to go out on. The gameplay was similar to the Metroid series as in it's you versus the entire world and that exploration gained you bonuses in better weapons or armor. The sprite graphics are top notch and very detailed (almost SNK detailed) there's some faux-3D thrown in thanks to the mode7, and very few 3D graphics used at all. The music was just freaking spectacular and was a great mix of rock guitar, ambient, trip hop, and Gothic orchestral pieces. The voice acting though, left something to be desired, but hey what game didn't back then?

Number 6 -- Metal Gear Solid

Metal Gear SolidBack in 1998, early on in the year, I was beginning to obsess over a game that had MONTHS until its release: Metal Gear Solid was the return of a beloved series from my childhood days and quite a return at that. The last game I played that even had Solid Snake was Snake's Revenge (which isn't even part of the Metal Gear canon) back in 1990. I was completely hyped to see the game coming out on my beloved PlayStation, so hyped that I went to Babbage's and put a pre-order on it (which was the first time I ever did that). Luckily I got a free T-shirt and a notebook for pre-ordering which is always a plus.

MGS took the gameplay elements from the previous Metal Gear games and translated it all to 3D graphics. It was the first game I played where you could avoid your enemy instead of fighting them. The stealth system created by the developers has been copied and rehashed for numerous other types of games such as Splinter Cell and Tenchu, just to name a few. The AI for all of the enemies was shockingly smart, the boss battles were great, the soundtrack was good, the cut-scenes were well done and the voice acting was just superb.

There are many other MGS games that have come out over the past nine years since the series was reborn and none of them have been bad really. The original MGS single-handedly brought forward a new style of gameplay that was smart, fun, and at the same time realistic. Kojima definitely knows how to tell a story and tell it well. In fact, this was probably the most cinematic game of its time that was made even better when the game was remade on the GameCube as Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes.

Number 5 -- Xenogears

XenogearsXenogears "...what the hell kind of game is that?" I remember saying to myself as I booted up the demo that was included with Parasite Eve. To put it simply, I was amazed. Giant robots and martial arts in an RPG? Nice! It’s not often that games make you seriously think, much less doubt your own religion. But this one had story points that made me think philosophically for the next two or three months about my own role as a human cog in the big machine of society.

The game delves into Freudian psychology (the ego, the superego, and the id), Jungian psychology (dealing with the shadow), and some of the theories of Friedrich Nietzsche (God is dead and the concept of the eternal return). Deep deep deep story which is only matched by the music. Graphically, the game is breathtaking for it's time. 3D environments with 2D sprites (win), awesome PS1 lighting effects, and a few anime cut scenes. The effects in the battles are damn cool especially in the later levels when your character has all sorts of bad-ass bottled up.

One major reason that I think this game didn't make it as big as the other Sqeenix games that came out for the original PlayStation was that this one had the misfortune of coming out the same time as Metal Gear Solid. Nothing could stand up to the might that was Kojima in 1998. This great example of gaming is one of the few titles that have lasted me to the well over 100 hour mark, the others being FFVII and Grandia. C'mon, the last boss is God -- how could you lose? I still listen to the soundtrack nearly every night, even right now its playing on the iPod. That’s how timeless this game is to me.

Number 4 -- Mega Man 2

Mega Man 2The sequel to the original Mega Man series was a much welcomed game back in '89. The timeline for Mega Man 2 takes place a year after the original game and follows the continuing war between Dr. Wily's Robot Masters and Dr. Light's creation, Mega Man. Like all other Mega Man games, the object of the game was to travel to the domain of the Robot Masters, defeat them, take their signature weapon, and repeat until all were defeated. After which you had to go to Dr. Wily's stage and face a seemingly never ending onslaught of boss battles including all of the previously defeated Robot Masters.

Not only was the game a vast improvement over the first game, but it looked and played much better than any game of its type at the time of release. The gameplay was insanely solid for a classic game. The music was top notch for it just being bleeps and bloops (listen to the Minibosses' version of Mega Man 2 to hear how great the music is), and the graphics were well done considering it was just a NES game. But then again, classic gaming has shit to do with graphics right? This game was also known for its implementation of a password system and was also the first Mega Man game to have "E-Tanks", which were a welcome addition.

I can recall how many times I played this game and the sheer amount of frustration I would feel when I would get to the boss of a stage only to find out the weapon I thought would work against it doesn't do anything. Man, who else could recall the joy you would feel when you finally beat Dr. Wily's stage? Not to mention the awesome ending (a rare treat in the late 80's NES games). This game belongs so high because it is the main reason that the Mega Man series has endured over the last two decades.

Number 3 -- Chrono Trigger

Chrono TriggerChrono Trigger was the only game I was willing to forsake my entire collection in order to get my hands on back in '95. Luckily through the kindness of my parents and the forfeit of a few months' allowances, I was able to pick this game up before it became a Christmas present. Chrono Trigger is the first console RPG that I can recall having multiple endings based on your experiences throughout the game. Not to mention that it is one of the pinnacles of SNES RPGs. If there were a religion based on videogames, Chrono Trigger would be a pillar of faith.

The story was masterfully done in each of the respective time periods you would travel to throughout the game. Instead of a world map that you would have to traverse to find the next town, you would have to visit the same location throughout the history of the planet. You had the choice of traveling from prehistoric history all the way through the present day and into the far future. This was a great gameplay dynamic that made you think of the consequences you would face from changing something in the past.

Many of the games endings were based on how or when you decided to face the parasite that crash landed onto the planet in prehistory. I personally never got all of the endings, but the inclusion of the "NEW GAME +" feature made playing the game over again from the start a real treat. It really makes me wonder why more games haven't implemented a similar feature. The music in the game is done by my favorite game music composer Yasunori Mitsuda, the same composer for the game's sequel Chrono Cross and Xenogears on the PlayStation console. This game is so greatly done that it deserves to be on everyone's top five games of all time.

Number 2 -- Super Metroid

Super MetroidTaking the reigns from Metroid II: The Return of Samus on the Game Boy, the story starts off where the other ended on SR-388. Samus takes the last surviving Metroid larva to the Ceres Space Colony, where the scientists begin to study to see the benefits it could have to mankind. That's where the game picks up and doesn't let you stop until you are escaping from a nigh exploding Zebes within a panic inducing time limit.

My copy of Super Metroid was one that I had to work the whole summer to obtain. After which I spent every obsessed moment I could muster glued to my TV trying to beat the game. At first it was me trying for the 100% completion rate, then came the speed runs where I tried to get the game beat in less than 3 hours, which was a hell of a feat for me when I was only 14 and had a tiny ass TV to play on. I feel bad for those who never got the chance to play this game on the SNES; it was that good of a game. Fortunately, Nintendo saw fit to release this game on the Virtual Console this year.

The gameplay in Super Metroid is nearly perfect. The sound effects are crisp and distinct and the background music is just spot on everywhere you go. After the first few minutes of exposition which is done by Samus herself (this is the first game I saw Japanese subtitles in), you are left on your own on the whole of Zebes. Metroid games are known to me by how utterly alone you usually feel and the lack of dialogue in the games. It's pretty much one person versus the entire planet. This game does that and more and the end sequence itself is recognized by many in the videogame industry as being perfect.

Number 1 -- Secret of Mana

Secret of ManaThe is the best goddamned game I have ever or will ever play. I've written about it many times, and have highlighted the music and the gameplay. I honestly feel that this game was Square Soft's best work on the Super Nintendo. It was the one game that I can remember that allowed you to bring two friends with you throughout the entire game which at its time was unheard of in ANY Role Playing Game.

I can recall the emotion that came from playing this game for hours upon hours almost every weekend with my best friend. I remember vividly buying my own copy of the game and the subsequent firing I received for not showing up for work for two days so I could savor every last second of the sweet nectar that was Secret of Mana. Personally, I don't think you could ask for a better game to take with you to a deserted island (if you could play it that is). The music was magnificent, the gameplay was addicting and awesome at the same time, and the graphics were soft, pleasing, bright, and vivid.

From the moment you turn the game on and you hear the whale sing its song from the first strokes of the piano's keys during the intro music, the game had a stranglehold on me and has refused to let go. I don't want to hear one ounce of venom from any of you about this game being my number one pick. To me, Secret of Mana is as much of a facet of my childhood as believing in Santa was. Its a game that I will continue to rate all other games by, not as much of a flash in the pan as many other games we see these days, but a true classic of retro gaming that nobody should do without a few hours playing. Man, I want to go home and play it right now, does anyone want to come over to play as the Sprite or the Girl?

End Of Line
Are any of you out there still reading this? I know that's a bunch of text up there. Well if you are, I'd like to take the time to thank you for reading this blog posting. Its because of readers like you that I continue to make these lists. I only hope that many of you agree with a good portion of my list. I know that there is no way that my list could encompass the whole gamut of console gaming.

I hope you all had as much fun reading tonight's entry as I had putting it together. As always, you guys can catch me to the right of the main page over in that Community Blog section. I generally put up new content at 7 and 12 EST.

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