It’s Warcraft and Kart racing day here on the Top 100! Some classic platforming games round things out, as well!
60. Super Mario Bros (NES)
Even 30 years later, Mario’s original adventure is still one of the most entertaining games ever made. Everything that platform games are, or aspire to be, was established in this game. The levels were memorable and engaging right off the bat – and they get hard pretty quickly. There was a surprising amount of depth to the game, too, for something that came so early in gaming’s history. The amount of variety in movement, power ups, enemy style, and level design is really, really impressive. It doesn’t cease to be really fun, today, either! I have every intention of learning to speed run this game (both any% – which uses warps to finish the game quickly, and all stages) within the next year or so. The game is also responsible for some of the most classic music and characters in gaming history, so it does have that going for it…
59. Mega Man 6 (NES)
An all around solid Mega Man game. I don’t think there is anything particularly memorable about it that makes it stand above the rest – but an average Mega Man game is better than almost every other game out there. The game’s biggest unique element is the Rush adaptor suits – instead of Rush providing a platform, he actually changes your movement/abilities. It was a cool touch that helped set the game apart – but I missed my canine friend! The bosses were all interesting and cool – but they didn’t really stand out as much as the others. One thing this game absolutely has going for it though is the difficulty of the speed run. It is one of the most technically challenging and interesting in the whole series. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the run you see above.
58. Mario Kart 64 (N64)
This game is holding down the fort for the Mario Kart series as a whole, but it is noteworthy in that it is probably the most significant entry in the series. While other games have points that might make them better (Super – set the standard, Double Dash – awesome levels, Wii – great collectibles, 8 – beautiful & competitive) – this is THE defining Mario Kart game. It’s the game that established the series as a classic party game. I’ll never forget the courses, and I spent many hours playing with friends in battle mode. The cast of characters is smaller than other games, but is well-rounded. It is very well balanced, with a perfect difficulty curve.
57. Warcraft II (PC)
Takes everything that made the original Warcraft great and does it better! Warcraft was awesome, but Warcraft II was AMAZING. It really started to show everything that the RTS genre could become. While it didn’t have some of the depth of later Blizzard creations like Starcraft or Warcraft III, it showed just how many different game elements could play together in this type of game. More units, more upgrades, movement through sea and sky, different types of resources, more spells – this game just had MORE everything. It kept the formula from the first game of the races (and their corresponding missions) effectively being clones of each other. But it added more diversity to the types of missions themselves. The art style and voice acting were superb. And then including the map editor was an absolutely brilliant move on Blizzard’s part. This is the game that really started ushering Blizzard into the complete domination of the PC gaming market that it still enjoys, in large part, to this day.
56. Diddy Kong Racing (N64)
The best cart racer out there. I love the way this game takes the game play style of Mario Kart 64 and mixes it almost seamlessly with the collectibles style of Super Mario 64. And somehow it takes a cast of characters that are almost completely made up for this game, or that haven’t even had their own games come out yet (ie Conker/Banjo) and still makes them loveable. The different cart styles were cool, even if the hovercraft was a bit annoying. Revisiting tracks to collect all the silver coins was a really fun challenge as well. This game gave a purpose to your racing – which was a joy to do because all the tracks were so fun anyways. And then there were those time Time Trials and TT’s ghost races, which were a whole other level of difficulty entirely.
55. Everquest (PC) && 54. World of Warcraft (PC)
Got a couple of MMORPGs here. It’s hard for me to separate them as they’re so similar in my mind – and it was also hard for me to give WoW the nod. Everquest was my first introduction to the genre – as it was for many people. I probably have fonder memories of playing that game. Before Everquest, I didn’t realize that game worlds could be so HUGE! But WoW is just so well executed and has obviously had a tremendous lifespan. It really is everything that an MMO should be. In general, both games were very, very fun. I never progressed very far in either – it’s hard for me to really get into games that don’t have an ultimate end goal. I never had a guild in either (nor did I ever participate in a raid in WoW), but rather just treated each as a single player experience. Maybe I missed out on something that might’ve caused these to be higher on the list, or to give one some separation over the other. Despite what I missed out on, these games still provided many hours of fun, so they get to hang out together near the middle of the list.
53. Kirby’s Adventure (NES)
This game really was Kirby’s true introduction to the world. While the original Kirby’s Dream Land introduced the basic suck & float mechanics of our little friend, this is the game that really brought everything we’ve come to associate with Kirby into the picture. In particular, special powers and the fact that Kirby is PINK were all first introduced here. I don’t think I ever found all the secret exits, but I tried a LOT. The final boss, in which you fight King Dedede with the Star Rod while falling through the sky, was a treat. One of the best experiences on the NES.
52. Mega Man X2 (SNES)
The best X game. The movement is more dynamic, stages more interesting, bosses more challenging, graphics sharper and everything is just overall more satisfying. I didn’t play through this game as much as its predecessor (and as you should know by now, my emotional attachment to a game has more weight on this list than any other factor), but I’ve done a few play throughs recently and have LOVED watching speed runs of it. I’m excited to some day try a run of it myself.
51. Warcraft 3 (PC)
This game really set the stage for everything that modern Warcraft is. With expanded races, expanded lore, and a lot more depth to the gameplay, it took everything that Blizzard had learned from both Starcraft and Diablo and combined them into their most classic package. I really loved playing through the campaigns in this game. Each one felt different yet familiar. Almost every unit is useful in this game, and stays useful throughout the game. The hero mechanic is really interesting and cool. Playing through the whole thing on Hard mode is a worthy challenge. It’s probably one of Blizzard’s most underrated games. Nothing necessarily stands out as exceptional, but it’s still really solid and fun.
Well that’s it for this week! Thank you, everyone, for your interest in this list! The great feedback and interaction in the comments has definitely made it more fun than I had hoped! Instead of a sneak peak of game 50, though, here’s three games that will show up SOMETIME next week…
- Harvest Moon
- Ogre Battle
- Metal Gear Solid
See you Monday!
Reminder: I’ve considered things like gameplay, replay value, timelessness, story, unique qualities, cultural impact, personal impact, and overall just how much fun a game is. Except for the times when I don’t consider them at all. I may even think a lower-rated game is “better” than one higher than it, or even more fun. Ultimately, the criteria are entirely my own. I make the decisions, I make the ratings, and I don’t claim to be either fair or logical in any of this.