As I’ve done the last two years, here’s the first half of my ranked list of every game I’ve been beaten in the last year. For a first time, the list will actually include a game released in the last 12 months!
35 – Art Alive! (Genesis)
This basically isn’t a game at all. It’s like Mario Paint for the Genesis, but way worse, and I say this as someone who grew up with the Genesis and never played Mario Paint. It does have Sonic, ToeJam, Earl, and tyrannosaurus stamps though.
Because my art skills are essentially hilariously bad, I decided to offer to use my PSP to emulate Art Alive! to make crude copies of people’s Twitter avatars. I then took a picture of the PSP screen with my tablet and tweeted the image back to the folks who asked me to do their avatars. The whole thing is as terrible as it sounds, but also so much fun that I did it a second time. I’ll probably do it again soon.
34 – Berlin no Kabe (Game Gear)
This game is shit. Don’t play it.
33 – Double Dragon (Arcade)
I never liked Double Dragon. I don’t think it’s terrible, but it’s not for me. Still, when I finally played the arcade version, I assumed that like most arcade ports I’d played on the NES, the arcade original would be vastly superior. I’m not sure I’ve ever been more wrong about anything in my life.
32 – Zany Golf (Genesis)
Zany Golf is a golf-sim that takes all the excitement and exhilaration of golf and combines it with the non-stop adrenaline-filled action of simulation games. This is why I’ve ranked it as the 32nd best game I’ve beaten this year. Thank you sooooooo much, Eric Bailey, for recommending I play this game. Trust me, I will never forget it.
31 – Wani Wani World (Genesis)
This is basically Berlin no Kabe with better graphics. It is still shit.
30 – Journey (PS4)
I’d heard so many good things about this game. “It’s all about the journey, not the destination,” some people told me when I said it kinda sucked. Sure, but when the journey is an utterly unremarkable, boring, and tedious experience and the destination also sucks, you’ve got a bad game. It was kinda pretty at times, I suppose, which puts it ahead of the previous games.
29 – Bonkers (SNES)
I remember a time when a video game based on a Disney cartoon briefly meant something good (it was our imagination though, because beyond DuckTales and Rescue Rangers, the rest weren’t too good). The nicest thing I can say about the game is that it’s as good as the cartoon it’s based on.
28 – The Cyber Shinobi (Master System)
After being rather surprised by how good some other Shinobi games I’d never played before were, I came into this one hoping for the same. I was warned it was bad. I still held out hope. I was wrong. The controls are slow and clunky. The music is bad. The game is short and too easy. It has some kind of “defeat all enemies in order to have the screen move forward” thing like it’s a beat ‘em up. It is simply a vastly inferior game to the original Shinobi, which was released for the same system two years earlier. Inexcusable.
27 – Minecraft (PS4)
I bought this for my kid. I’m not a big Minecraft fan. I don’t hate it. It’s essentially the same thing as the PS3 version, which I played last year and put in 15th place out of the 59 games I beat that year. I bought my kid Dragon Quest Builders for Christmas this year. I’m hoping it does more of the things I wish Minecraft did.
26 – NHL 17 (PS4)
I love hockey, but I tend to only buy EA’s NHL games every few years because they’re pretty much identical from one year to the next. Also, they’re bug-filled messes. This one was no different, though I have to say I honestly think it was worse than NHL 14, which is the next latest one I’d played. You’d be better off playing NHL 94 on the Genesis instead of this.
Anyway, check out the vid I embedded to see just how buggy the game can be. You’ll see me break my stick, be unable to grab a new stick even though a teammate has one extended, get on the bench, come back on the ice with the game clock back at 20:00, skate around while every other player on the ice just stands there, and finally get a penalty despite the puck being glued to the ice near the boards for a full minute.
25 – A King’s Tale: Final Fantasy XV (PS4)
It was free on PSN, so I tried it. It’s a beat ‘em up whose story takes place before the events of FF XV, which I hadn’t played at the time. Combined this with the fact that I don’t like beat ‘em ups, this game never had a chance of ranking very high. Still, it wasn’t a bad game.
24 – Day of the Tentacle Remastered (PS4)
I love Maniac Mansion. I played it as a kid on the NES. It is a great game. Based on my love of Maniac Mansion, I figured I’d love Day of the Tentacle, so I was excited when I saw it was one of the free games on PSN. What I ended up playing was terribly disappointing. It wasn’t funny or fun. I have no idea why people talk about this game like it’s great. I’m tempted to say that the only good thing about it is that the remastered edition has Maniac Mansion hidden in it, but they didn’t include Maniac Mansion’s excellent soundtrack, so fuck this shitty game.
23 – Sol-Deace (Genesis)
Also known as Sol-Feace outside of the Genesis, I couldn’t remember much about Sol-Deace, so I had to watch a video to remind myself that it’s just forgettable shmup with a decent soundtrack.
22 – Double Dragon (Master System)
This version of Double Dragon is much better than the last one. It looks much better than the NES version, yet the soundtrack doesn’t even come close.
21 – R-Type (Master System)
I was impressed by this game. I didn’t enjoy it, but I was impressed. The soundtrack was decent, but the graphics were impressive. I’ve seen worse looking shmups on the Genesis and SNES. It’s still a shmup, which I don’t like, but it’s a shmup I didn’t hate, so that’s saying something.
20 – Double Dragon (Genesis)
Even better looking than the Master System version, which should be expected. I still prefer the NES’s music though. I did like how the levels flowed from one to another. The platforming is still garbage. Some things never change.
19 – Ghouls ‘n Ghosts (Master System)
It’s better than Ghosts ‘n Goblins on the NES, but even if that wasn’t hard to beat, this particular port of Ghouls ‘n Ghosts came out 4 years after. It should’ve been a lot better. The soundtrack isn’t as good, but at least it doesn’t have those annoying sound effects for jumping and attacking that ruin the NES’s music. It still has the bullshit of beating the game twice to get the real ending.
18 – Ghouls ‘n Ghosts (Genesis)
I’ve now beaten three terrible games in this series. This one was the prettiest.
17 – Trouble Shooter (Genesis)
I don’t know what it was about this shmup, but I kinda liked it. It may have been its weird story, cutscenes, enemies, and levels. Harcore shooter fans can have their R-Types and Gradiuseseseseseses. I’ll take this.
16 – Keith Courage in Alpha Zones (TurboGrafx-16)
I have no idea what this game is about. You run around as a kid (?) with a white cane (is Keith Blind?) killing maneki-neko and collecting coins to buy better white canes so you can reach the end of the level and be brought up to the sky by a rainbow and reappear (again, via rainbow) in a sweet mech that wields a lightsaber. It doesn’t have to make sense to be fun. It’s not great, but I’m glad I played it. It was mostly enjoyable.
I’ll have the top 15 soon. For the first time, it’ll feature a game actually released in the previous 12 months.
Until then, if you’re interested, you can check out my top games of 2016 and 2015 in the links below.