My Top 100 Games: Introduction

Welcome to my Top 100 games list! This list has been a work in progress for over two years – ever since I saw a similar list on another site. I didn’t agree with almost anything that guy said (as I’m sure almost none of you will agree with me) – so I felt the call to come up with a list to call my own. At first I just wrote out a list of 100 games that I had played. Not feeling satisfied, I decided to rank the list. Still unfulfilled, I felt that I needed to write an explanation for each game – some weird urge to justify my decisions, if to no one but myself. Throughout the process, many games found their way on to the list, and many found their way off. I tried many new games and rethought many old games. But for a lot of time, the list just sat idle, as it was something I’d update pretty much just when I was bored at work.

The biggest reason I wasn’t super motivated to finish the list was that I didn’t have an outlet for it. At first, I didn’t have any sort of audience. Even after I grew a little bit of a following on Twitch and YouTube, I still didn’t have anywhere that I might actually post this thing! However, once Eric was kind enough to invite me to join Skirmish Frogs, I knew I had found a home for this. The vast majority of the games on here would be qualified as “retro.” Even those games which are relatively new still very much have a retro vibe to them (ie, Yoshi’s Wooly World, Shovel Knight). And really, this list is a celebration of my life of gaming – which, in my case, is a pretty “retro” thing.

As far as the rankings themselves go, 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. While I might give one of these categories a lot of weight for one game, it may not mean as much for another. I tend to be biased towards games I played as a child or youth – partially because of the nostalgia factor and partially because I played a lot more games then – but mostly because older games were just flat-out better. Maybe there were more bugs and the graphics weren’t as flashy, but the gameplay was almost always far more interesting, the characters more lively, and the time spent just more fun.

I also have little use for multiplayer games, as single-player games are more fun and often times have more to accomplish. I like games that have a lot to do and a lot to collect. I find that games whose primary claim to fame is their multiplayer component to be more repetitive and uninteresting. So when the occasional multiplayer-heavy game makes the list, or a game’s multiplayer component is mentioned as a strength, it should be taken as a true credit to its quality.

In general, if game X ranks higher than game Y, it’s because I think game X was either more fun, more nostalgic, or both. Except for the times when I don’t consider that 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. Being irrational and unreasonable is frequent. You’re welcome to disagree – and please do so in the comments! A lively “skirmish” could be fun!

As for this post, it serves mostly as a preview to my list (also, it serves to earn me more Skirmish Frogs points). The list itself is close to 30 pages in Word – and that’s without pictures! Given its length, I’m going to be posting 10 games per weekday for the next two weeks, finishing up on Black Friday. This also has the welcome side effect of earning me Frogpoints, which may or may not be why I’m posting anything here at all.


Never Played! 🙁

Now, I don’t want to leave you with nothing, so here’s a few preview lists. First, a set of games that I’ve never played, but probably would be on the list if I had:

  • more Castlevania
  • Mass Effect
  • Knights of the Old Republic
  • StarTropics I & II
  • Secret of Mana
  • Illusion of Gaia
  • more Zelda
  • Kingdom Hearts
  • Baldur’s Gate
  • Paper Mario
  • F-Zero

It’s probably not fair to call this list a Top 100 without some of these being represented. But since it’s MY Top 100, it simply wouldn’t be accurate to include them since I can’t form an opinion on them. The only Castlevania I’ve played is Symphony of the Night. The Zelda games on the list are LttP, LA, OoT, and MM (in some order!) – so “more Zelda” is basically the rest. I’ve played a tiny bit of the NES entries and nothing after Majora’s Mask – but I’m sure there’s a lot to love there. I’ve played a little bit of Baldur’s Gate, and I think I’d really, really like it if I were to play more. It really saddens me that Mass Effect, Kingdom Hearts, and KotOR can’t be on this list. Maybe some day I’ll remedy that problem.


Honorable Mention

Now for some honorable mention games. Honorable mention goes out to several games that are fun and memorable, but lack that special “something” to warrant inclusion in the full list:

  • Age of Empires
  • Area 51, X-Men, & Simpsons Arcade Games
  • Bloons Tower Defense Series
  • Chip’s Challenge
  • Donkey Kong
  • Final Fantasy III(j)
  • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
  • Halo
  • Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
  • Kaizo Mario World hacks
  • Mario Party Series
  • Mega Man 7, X3
  • Metroid
  • New Super Mario Bros
  • The Sims
  • Pac-Man
  • Yoshi’s Story

A few arcade games are on here, as they’re a lot of fun and worth mentioning, but lack the depth of the console and computer games on the main list (not to mention they cost money that I never had). Vice City is here to represent a nod to the Grand Theft Auto series – which has great gameplay, but the severe content concerns prevent me from including it any higher. A few of them (Metroid, MM7/3, FF3j, Yoshi’s Story) are definitely great games in their own right, but I already put enough stuff from their respective series on here that I didn’t want to include them. I mention Kaizo not because they’re necessarily their own games, but because of how exemplary the level design is. In particular, Level 9 of Kaizo 3 is one of the most beautifully designed levels I’ve ever played/seen. Bloons Tower defense is amazing – go play them if you haven’t. The Sims is of course wonderful, and Age of Empires was a fantastic strategy game.


Top 5 Series

Now, to provide a bit of a hint as to what to expect on here, my Top 5 game SERIES of all time:

  1. Final Fantasy
  2. Mega Man
  3. Donkey Kong Country
  4. Zelda
  5. Mario

Expect to see a LOT of entries from these series on the list.


And for a final tease, game 100 is….

Blades of Steel (NES)


 

Games 100-91

Series Navigation<< My Top 100 Games: 100-91My Top 100 Games: 80-71 >>
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About Antilles58

I'm a life-long gamer with broad interests, but been mostly platformers and RPGs. I've taken up speed running of late - perhaps because it takes the great gameplay of older games and adds in the challenge, competition, and community of newer ones. Beyond that , I'm a 30-year-old Christian, software developer, husband, and father of three from Colorado. If you like my stuff, please consider throwing me a follow on Twitch and/or Twitter!

19 Comments

  1. Can’t wait to see the whole list! I’m kinda tempted to make a Top 100 games list also, but it’d take a lot of time.

  2. Starting off with a hockey game? I’m liking this already 🙂

    You should embed a link to your Twitch and Twitter accounts in your bio. I’ve added you on Twitter. I want to talk to you about something 😉

    • Ha thanks! That’s a good idea – I didn’t know i could do that in the bio! It’s just Antilles58 for both, I haven’t seen anything on Twitter from you yet, but just let me know!

  3. As someone who’s been struggling with a Top 500 Video Games (no, that’s not a typo) for the past 3 years, I understand your hesitation. It’s not an easy task to undertake, and after all the toil and trouble you end up only pleasing two people: yourself and the most nicest person on the planet who rationally comments upon your selections in an unbiased way and congratulates you for your efforts. Since you and I very well know that person does not exist, you only end up satisfying yourself – and that’s a bummer, really, as every opinion is worth listening 🙂

    I personally look forward to your list. Kudos!

    • Thanks, Ghost!! And 500… wow – I don’t even think I could come UP with 500 games! You’re right, that person definitely doesn’t exist. Mostly I wrote this list for me – just to think about and relive so many fun experiences – but having a place to share it makes it much more worthwhile!

  4. I could never make a top 100 games list. It’s so fluid, and dependent on my mood. There are some games I’ll always love, but I can’t nail them down to a definitive position. ie, I used to ADORE Super Metroid, but I’ve played it so much, many other games I have now would rank above it. In like 2010, I would have said Borderlands was one of my favorite games ever, but I’ve since played BL2, and now I’m kinda meh on both, even though I really cherish the time I spent with them. I could make a “here’s 100 games I enjoyed a lot” list, though.

    • Same here. If you narrow down the criteria quite a bit, like “what is your top 10 PS2 Hack ‘n Slash games”, I may be able to do something there, but I like mostly everything.

    • It was really tough. Coming up with 100 games I liked wasn’t too bad at all, but the ranking was pretty difficult. As recently as today I’ve been re-sortinig things in the middle. It’s kind of why I say the rankings are completely subjective, and the criteria I use to judge one game might night even come into play at all for another, or could even hurt a different game. Even my number one game isn’t one I would choose to play very often – but it was still the most meaningful to me.

      That said, though, a ranked list is way more fun to read and react to. 😛

  5. curious where this is going…. 🙂

  6. Ooh. I love seeing people’s lists of top games. I’m already excited by the list of your top 5 series. I appreciate that you put the list of honorable mentions and also games you haven’t played that would likely be on the list. Hopefully you can get to Mass Effect sometime, that series is excellent. But I don’t know if it would be in my top 5 series. I think picking top 5 series is hard enough! I can already tell you really put a lot of work into this. Looking forward to seeing more posts this week. 🙂

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