DryvBy’s Top 50 Games of All-Time (Part 1)


I’ve wanted to compile a list of my all-time top 50 games for a while now and it seems like a snowy day like today is the best time to do this. I’m not putting a number system on my list because it’s pointless. I couldn’t place a numerical value of one game above the other in a list this big. It’s unfair to myself and unfair to my precious favorites. So here’s the first part of my list, which will continue for the next few weeks until all is completed.

grfand

Platform(s): PC   Released: 1998   Developer: LucasArts

Before I was heavily involved in the internet, PC Gamer was my primary source of gaming news. The day I feasted my eyes Grim Fandango‘s trailer (as shown above) was a glorious event in my gaming life. I obtained a demo from another game disc and beat the demo enough times to know it inside and out. Grim reapers, adventure gaming, and comedy. There’s not much to despise.

Grim Fandango is the last big adventure game from LucasArts. The adventure genre was taking a nose-dive into oblivion since they’re not games that sold multi-million copies. Because of this, the game never became a commercial success and it’s considered a cult classic at this point.

What Reviewers Have Said

It’s a rare occasion nowadays that a game with such simple graphics would even make it to store shelves, but Harvest Moon as that rare quality of being totally engaging and challenging. I was able to forgive a lot of the shortcomings like poor audio and visual elements because I found myself playing it for hours at a time. The RPG-style elements of figuring out what the heck you’re supposed to do next is always fun and Harvest Moon gives N64 owners a nice taste of that genre. If you want a game that’s a change of pace from everything else available on the console definitely check it out. If you want to make sure this game works for you by renting it first, be prepared to stay up for a few days straight. – Ron DulinGamespot 9.3

harvmoon

Platform(s): N64   Released: 1999   Developer: Toy Box Studios

I knew the Harvest Moon series would be in this list. I just couldn’t decide on which one until I really sat down and thought about it. It was a tough choice but I think Harvest Moon 64 is a better overall game. The original was discovered on accident when I went through a SNES rom craze in the late 90s. I’m sure my mom appreciated no one in my house talking to her for weeks due to the original’s addicting aroma. You know it’s an excellent game when my dad, who is more into shooters, is stuck playing a JRPG after work for nights. We all wanted that perfect farmer life.

Harvest Moon 64 was a day-one purchase for me. I’ve beaten it several times over and always have had a blast. When it was released, it really didn’t have outstanding graphics but what it did have was a lot of fun factor bundled into a single cart. The main reason that the N64 release gets the thumbs up over the original is simply due to the extra content and ability to play forever after you’ve beaten the game. Farming can be fun.

What Reviewers Have Said

It’s a rare occasion nowadays that a game with such simple graphics would even make it to store shelves, but Harvest Moon as that rare quality of being totally engaging and challenging. I was able to forgive a lot of the shortcomings like poor audio and visual elements because I found myself playing it for hours at a time. The RPG-style elements of figuring out what the heck you’re supposed to do next is always fun and Harvest Moon gives N64 owners a nice taste of that genre. If you want a game that’s a change of pace from everything else available on the console definitely check it out. If you want to make sure this game works for you by renting it first, be prepared to stay up for a few days straight. – Aaron BouldingIGN 8.2

p4g

Platform(s): PS2; Vita   Released: 2008   Developer: Atlus

This was my introduction into the Shin Megami Tensei world of Persona. It came bundled with my Vita when I bought it, which is excellent since this was the kicker to me purchasing a Vita. To an outsider watching, this is a mystery high school dating simulator. What that same eye is missing is one of the best stories I’ve ever experienced in my gaming life. I loved every character and the situations that arose. While you have the possibility of dating a female in the game, that’s far from what you’re doing. You’re on an adventure to solve the greatest mystery in a rural Japanese town by entering a television to fight demons. Huh? Yeah it’s weird and I like it. You just have to play it (or watch it) to understand it. GamesRadar put it in their list of 7 games that sound awful until you play them.

After I finished playing the first time, I watched the anime with my wife who ended up liking the characters a lot too. A non-anime fan liking an anime. It must be Teddie’s undeniable perverted charm.

What Reviewers Have Said

A significant improvement over the previous Persona games in many ways, Persona 4 provides a deeper dungeon crawling/social link experience that makes it engaging to play. Everything from the battle system and the dungeons that you fight through to the social links you develop and friend interaction that you do on your “off hours” has been radically improved in this game. While the pacing can be somewhat off, and some things feel repurposed or unaffected from previous games, Persona 4 really is an evolution of the RPG series, and an instant classic. Tie this in with a large number of bonus items included with the game, like the soundtrack CD which you may find yourself listening to in-between game or New Game + sessions, and you’ll find this to be a great game that is rounding out the year on the venerable PS2.Jeff Haynes, IGN 9.0

ssbm

Platform(s): GameCube   Released: 2001   Developer: HAL Laboratory

Nintendo used to not be in trouble and it’s creative cast of characters used to hold a lot more meaning in the hardcore crowd, whoever these people are. When Super Smash Bros. first aired with one of the most creative commercials in video game history, I was Phillip J. Fry begging for Nintendo to take my money. A few years later, they blew people away at E3 by announcing that Super Smash Bros. was back and introducing new characters and stages.

The game was a commercial success and managed to spawn tournaments for cash in several areas across the world. And on top of everything, it introduced something called “Trophies” for accomplishing various in-game achievements.

What Reviewers Have Said

Wrap all that up and tack on the countless hours of multiplayer matches you’ll play and you’re looking at a game that more than warrants your purchase. The only reason you should even think of not purchasing it is if you didn’t enjoy the original Super Smash Bros. Truly, SSB Melee puts the original to shame with its countless options and longevity. This has become and will likely become one of my favorite GameCube titles of all-time. It’s that good. I would buy the game just for its soundtrack, which is simply astounding. – Fran Mirabella IIIIGN 9.6

d2

Platform(s): PC   Released: 2000   Developer: Blizzard North

Diablo II was the hype back in the 90s and when it finally came out… I never got to play it. It wasn’t until a few years later that I unleashed my barbarian upon the grounds of Tristram, fighting hordes of evil demons and el Diablo himself! I played through the entire campaign co-op with my loyal Diablo buddy and loved every inch of it. Well outside of the forest area at least.

Diablo‘s series is known for a few things, two of which are my favorite: action packed and treasure hunting. Nothing has really come too close over the years to topping it, even the sequel. Diablo II may be one of the finest action RPGs of all time due to the content and the community. There’s something very addicting about boss rushes too…

What Reviewers Have Said

Diablo II is really a meld of an action game and an RPG. The wealth of NPCs, settings and items make it comparable to a role-playing game, but the hack-n-slash combat system owes more to Gauntlet than Ultima.

Although I haven’t always liked cross-genre games, Diablo II carries off its role as an action RPG very well. The wealth of online servers, the randomly generated dungeons, the difficulty of missions, not to mention the three difficulty modes which change the way you have to fight to survive, all add some staying power to the game.

If you are looking for serious role-playing I suggest you look elsewhere, especially if you plan on taking the game online. But as an “RPG-Lite” it’s a damn fine game – go pick it up! – nach0kingEurogamer 9/10

bf3

Platform(s): PC; PS3; X360   Released: 2012   Developer: EA Digital Illusions CE

This was much like the Harvest Moon choice for me as far as choosing between the prequel or this. Battlefield 3 wasn’t my favorite of the series for a good while. The single player campaign was a bunch of scripted junk, the game took out a lot of what Bad Company 2 had added (destruction), and the game required you to unlock too many things to really enjoy the vehicles or guns. Battlefield 2 was just a piece of perfection on it’s release, at least the PC version was. It was unique in almost every sense of the word. It’s what started the modern warfare games we’re all sick of now. But when it started it, the market was flooded with World War II shooters. I can’t think of a single thing I hated about having LAN parties in Battlefield 2. But Battlefield 3. Why would someone pick this one over Battlefield 2?

The thing is I just ended up playing more of it. There was something about it towards the end of the cycle that I could really sink my teeth into. It was a daily game I played for a while and helped release a lot of stress in my life. Collecting dogtags and ranking up about sums up my pure enjoyment. I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily better than Battlefield 2, but it’s a more arcade shooter that rewarded you for working as a team. So yeah. No real reason.

What Reviewers Have Said

When you shut down Battlefield 3 and let the Frostbite 2-powered dust settle, it certainly has some problems. But DICE’s adoration of and expertise with the online experience permeates every aspect of its multiplayer. Regardless of the narrative missteps or the occasional glitches, Battlefield 3 offers an unforgettable, world-class multiplayer suite so fun that it more than makes up for the package’s shortcomings. – Peter EykemansIGN 9.0

conkers

Platform(s): N64; Xbox   Released: 2001   Developer: Rare

I’m a bit of a sucker for comedy in video games and especially when it comes to parodies. Conker is an alcoholic greedy red squirrel that goes on an adventure to get back home to his girlfriend. Where his adventure comes into play is a ridiculous plot about a King black panther needing another leg for his stool so he can put his milk there. According to a bizarre weasel scientists who’s as strange as Dr. Strangelove, the only leg that will fit in place is a red squirrel.

Aside from the pop-culture that was parodied during it’s time (including Saving Private Ryan and The Matrix), the gameplay was actually a lot of fun. Not only that but in it’s day, it was the best looking 3D platformer with audio syncing to the mouths correctly. It’s one of the few games to completely max the memory of a N64 cart. Good job, old Rare! The reason this is one of my favorite games is because of the adventure you take is creative, funny, and sad sometimes. It was a time when you just didn’t see this type of humor played out in a video game.

What Reviewers Have Said

While it’s far too late in the game to revitalize interest in the Nintendo 64 among adults, Conker’s Bad Fur Day gives third-party publishers the green light to do whatever they like on the GameCube. The premise of the game is gimmicky, but after its sordid skin is peeled away, a true gem of a 3D platformer is revealed. The pacing is perfect, the gameplay is varied and predominantly tight, and technically, it has no match on the Nintendo 64. The main drawback is the game’s relatively short length. It comes to an end rather quickly, and most will be able to finish it during a solid weekend of playing. While it lasts, Conker’s Bad Fur Day is a wild ride well worth taking. – Shane SatterfieldGamespot 9.3

uncharted2

Platform(s): PS3   Released: 2009   Developer: Naughty Dog

I thought the trailer for this game was going to be like most E3 bullshot trailers. Lots of gorgeous graphics that turns into a mediocre game and less than appealing graphics. And I was wrong.

Naughty Dog pulled off one of the best looking console games of the PS3 era with outstanding environments, characters, and shaders. If that wasn’t enough, it threw in a very entertaining story and tied the bow with outstanding gameplay. In a single word, Uncharted 2 is perfect. I’ve played a lot of Indiana Jones games and none of them even come close to how epic this journey is. To this day, it still stands out as one of the best action games to come out and still an outstanding looking piece of work.

What Reviewers Have Said

If you’re reading this, it was unlikely that you weren’t already going to buy Uncharted 2: Among Thieves on day one. Really, you just wanted to know how good it is, and fortunately I can say that it’s very, very good. It’s easily one of the best games on the system, blending fantastic presentation and visuals with gameplay that is practically second to none. And then there’s the stellar multiplayer which you’ll probably be playing until Uncharted 3 ships. No, Uncharted 2 is not perfect [Editor: Wrong!], but it’s closer than pretty much any other game out there these days. – Chris RoperIGN 9.5

halo

Platform(s): Xbox; PC; X360   Released: 2001   Developer: Bungie

In 2001, my brother got an Xbox and I got a GameCube. That way we could get the best of both worlds. The main reason we bought the Xbox was so we could play Halo. My cousin brought his system over and we’d system link until we couldn’t game anymore. Life was good.

Halo managed to do what GoldenEye 007 did years before and that was to revolutionize the first-person shooter on consoles. It not only featured a campaign that you could beat with a friend via split-screen or LAN, but it also introduced open maps with vehicles to the console market. It spawned a franchise and a character as recognizable in the United States as Super Mario known as Master Chief. And the best reason it’s in my top 50 games is because of Blood Gulch, one of the best competitive maps I’ve ever played on.

What Reviewers Have Said

Halo is one of the best videogames. There I said it and I’m not going to take it back because Bungie’s little DVD of joy will support that claim without any problem. This review is too long as it is and I didn’t even mention how well choreographed the real-time event triggers are and the drama of the in-game cinemas. Those are nuggets that I want Xbox owners to discover and appreciate on their own.

The hook with Halo is that you can actually do so many things you’ve always wanted to do in videogames. Being able to run around as a kick ass commando yet still drive vehicles is something I know I’ve always wanted to do. I wanted to do it in real time without any loading time and without having any part of it, either the vehicle, the enemies or my character looking lame. Not only did Bungie give me that but they threw in awesome sound elements, smarter-than-average bad guys and a gripping storyline all for free.

Is playing Halo worth the $350 it will cost for an Xbox and a game? If you can appreciate videogames and have been waiting for the next step, then the answer is absolutely. If you’re a casual fan and don’t buy more than a handful of games a year, then you still need to get Halo. It’s a can’t miss, no-brainer, sure thing, five star, triple A game. Microsoft created the Xbox so we could have games like Halo. Don’t miss it. – Aaron BouldingIGN 9.7

batmanark

Platform(s): PS3; X360; PC   Released: 2009   Developer: Rocksteady Studios

This is the first big surprise my wife has ever given me as a gaming gift. Usually I know what she’s going to get me because I beg like a giant baby around that time until she just hands me my game. This was the first time I was completely shocked, so thanks dear. I was glued the moment I played it thanks to it’s intoxicating combat system and it’s outstanding cast from the 90s Batman animated television show. Since beating it originally, I’ve gone through the game around three other times.

Quite possibly the best thing about this game is how it engages. It’s almost like a Dark Knight/Zelda hybrid on a smaller scale. With every area you visit, new Bat-tools become available for use which in turn give you access to new areas. The formula works well. On top of everything, it’s a violent presentation of Batman. He’s not just sneaking around in the dark. He’s cracking skulls and taking names. Overall, I can’t think of a single thing I didn’t enjoy about the game.

What Reviewers Have Said

Regardless of whether you’re getting sucked into the Story mode or competing for high scores in the Challenge mode, Batman: Arkham Asylum does an outstanding job of letting you be Batman. Everything about this game–the impressive visuals, stirring soundtrack, superb voice acting, fiendish puzzles, hard-hitting combat–feels like it has been lovingly crafted by a development team that’s both knowledgeable and passionate about the source material. Miss out on this one and the joke’s on you. – Justin CalvertGamestop 9.0

About DryvBy

www.doubledpads.com

Posted on February 13, 2014, in Timeless Classics and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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