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:) Mark

Thursday, 13 August 2009

My top 50 Video Games... Ever... Ever...

So, it's been ages, but here we have my top 50 games of all time. It's a reflection of huge selection of games that I have played in arcades and on computers and consoles since 1977. It's been compiled over a couple of months and great thought has been put into it. I think it's a really accurate top 50 of the games I have most enjoyed.

50. Zub (CPC) – Great theme tune, adequate graphics and just a fun game. Zub is a game not known by many, but a game I spent a huge chunk of my youth playing. Guide your character Zub to the top of the floating towers while shooting bad guys, transport to the next level and move on. Again, the simple things work best.

49. Phoenix (Arcade/CPC/PC) – Not another Space Invaders clone? Yes it is, and just like Galaga this game takes the concept and improves on it. A great classic game in every way that is always fun to play.

48. Body Blows (Amiga) – THE fighting game for the Commodore Amiga was Body Blows. It came on 5 or 6 disks, was available in an advanced version (which I had), and at the time was the beat-em-up of choice for me. Playing the game today, it still looks good, however, it does not play as well as any of the other fighters in my top 50 list. Still, a classic game that gave me endless hours of fun.

47. Defender (Arcade/Various) – Another old game from the dawn of time. Defender is hard, it's unforgiving and it's a nightmare to play if you just dip into it. That said, it's a brilliant game that can reward if you have the patience.

46. Uridium (C64) – Playing Uridium on a 42” LCD now reminds me that even quite simple graphics and sound can be really addictive. This game is hard! But when you are on a roll you get a great feeling of reward. I've got to level 7 and it was a shear fluke, but I love this. The only C64 game in my top 50, but what a damn fine game!

45. Bejeweled (Mobile/PC) – This game is so easy to pick up and so hard to put down. Played mostly on my mobile, this game is seriously addictive. The only mobile phone game listed in my top 50, it's simple and effective and so very playable.

44. Sorcery Plus (CPC) – The 8-bit gaming generation give us many classics, but Sorcery above all else showed us then when pushed the Amstrad could be better than any other 8-bit computer out there. Brilliant sound and graphics and a great flying platform game theme, this game was the pride in my Amstrad collection. It took me ages to finish, and playing it now I forgot how hard games used to be.

43. Tempest (Arcade/PS2) – The first time I played this game I didn't have a clue what was going on. I was about 10 years old, and I did not get very far in it. Thirty years later I can get quite far, and although it does ramp up difficulty really fast this game is an all time classic.

42. Desert Strike (Megadrive) – 3D-esque graphics that we'd not seen before, Desert Strike showed a generation that 16-bit games could be original and awesome. Flying through the deserts in your little helicopter and destroying the enemy scum, this game somehow made you feel you were in the thick of the action. Great game and great action.

41. Cannon Fodder (Amiga/Megadrive) – The first point and click action adventure shoot-em up I ever played. This game is fantastic, and seriously needs a remake. You control your little guys who you can split up into little groups and basically you have to kill the enemy. Point at a player, click on him/them and point and click the part of the screen you want them to go. See an enemy and fire!!! Great graphics, great game play and an overall brilliant game.

40. Pang (Snes) – I was never a huge fan of the Snes at the time, however Pang was a game that caught my attention. I play this game a lot these day, and the Snes version is still the best version available.

39. Arkanoid (CPC/Amiga) – It's Pong! Ok, it's Pong with colour and add-ons, but it's still that classic game Pong. Arkanoid is as addictive now as ever, and has been released on almost every format. The CPC version was arcade perfect, and the version I have played the most.

38. Barbarian (CPC) – What can be said about Barbarian that can sum up the pleasure and fun that I had with this game? Probably nothing actually. This game lived in my Amstrad CPC, and more recently in my emulator probably more than any other game. It was my first real encounter with a fighting game. Ok, so it’s no Street Fighter, or Tekken, and it sure ain’t no Soul Calibur, however it was, and still is a great fun hack-and-slash-come-beat-em-up.

37. Pacman (Arcade/PS2) – Next to Space Invaders this is the Grand Daddy of all computer games, and believe it or not I love it! I've never been exceptionally good at the game but I still find in enduring. Simple graphics and brilliant game play make this the perfect game.

36. Halo (PC/Xbox) – For some reason the Halo universe has reached some odd glory that tries to put it in a place where it really isn't. Halo was a fun shoot-em up, although I did find it a bit easy. The follow up games were also fun, however it's the first in the series that makes my top 50. Great fun and technically brilliant, this game gave me a few good hours of game play.

35. Die Hard Trilogy (PS1) – Three games for the price of one! You got a racer, a point and shoot and a platform game all in one package. The games remain huge fun to play, however, like some other PS1 titles graphics have dated and are quite blocky compared to other consoles and other eras. Still, this game represents the best value that was available at the time, and all three games are actually very good!

34. Ikari Warriors (CPC/Amiga) – The screen scrolls downwards, your little Rambo look-a-like takes on hoards of enemies, you fire your gun, you throw grenades... Two players mode adds even more fun to the game, which is just an absolute classic. It can get hard in the later levels by yourself, but with two players it is a little easier.

33. Super Monaco GP (Megadrive) – At the time this game was in my Megadrive more than any other, by today's standards it's pretty light weight, however at the time we would play the game trying to get milliseconds off each lap. Still though, a great fun game with a great challenge.

32. Bust-A-Move aka Puzzle Bobble (PS1/PS2/N64) – Puzzle games can be so annoying on times, however Bust-A-Move is an exception to the rule. It's just so much fun, and the sound effects and tune are just so annoying that you hum them for weeks after. Probably the best puzzle game available, all we need now is a HD remake!

31. Continental Circus (CPC/PS2) – My favourite racing game on the good old Amstrad CPC computers, this was a great conversion of the arcade classic. Even today this game plays well, and the Amstrad version plays as well as the arcade version. A real piece of 8-bit art.

30. Doom (PS1) – Those days when I remember two consoles and two TVs in the room, wow, and the motion sickness that also occurred! Doom is a classic, it's a masterpiece of gaming and one that holds the record of probably the most hours I have ever played on an FPS. Graphically good in the day, sonically scary and game play to die for.

29. Bomberman Online (Dreamcast) – If there's one multi player game that's always fun to play, it's the hectic Bomberman. The Dreamcast version is just awesome fun with one, and especially so with two or more players. Although the graphic and sound are brilliant, this game is not about either of those, it's about game play and having fun! It delivers in bucket loads, brilliant!

28. Rali-sport Challenge (PC/Xbox) – I first played this on the Xbox, and it blew me away! It’s the PC version that most of my time is spent playing now though. This game has the best of everything. It has superb graphics, playability of Sega Rally, huge amount of tracks and its difficulty is just right. It’s not often a rally game comes along that ticks all the tick boxes, but this is one of those few.

27. Raiden Trad (Megadrive) – Both Raiden Trad and Varth are downwards scrolling shooters of extreme quality. Raiden Trad was one of the first of this games of this ilk that I really fell in love with. It reminds me of a thinking man's shooter, it's not too fast, so you can think about your positioning on the screen and you feel you can achieve quite a lot. Great fun, with great graphics and sound.

26. Super Hang On (Megadrive/Amiga) – How many hours I have spent playing this game has to be anyone’s guess. There’s nothing better than a great racing game, and Super Hang On is one of the great arcade racers. Basically this is Outrun on bikes, but to me it’s a little more than that. The nearest game to this in modern game is probably the Moto GP series, however, Super Hang On is far more playable.

25. Panzer Dragoon Zwei (Saturn) The Sega Saturn is an under-rated machine, however games like this prove that the Saturn was a great console. An on-rails shooter this game is fun and addictive. Playing this game now you realise graphics may have got better, but the fundamental design has remained almost the same and you really appreciated games past and present.

24. Unreal Tournament 2003 (PC) – An FPS of gigantic proportions. Unreal Tournament is a classic in every way. It's fast, furious and more fun than a barrel of monkeys. A must have for anyone's PC collection.

23. Golden Axe (Megadrive) – This is the game I spent all my 10p’s on in my youth. We’d all go down the arcade and play this mighty game. The Megadrive version was almost identical, I remember seeing the very first time on my tv, and it blew me away! Arcade ports don’t come much better than this classic hack-em-up. And… Of course I was always the little dwarf!

22. Streets Of Rage (Megadrive) – Oh God! The music, the graphics, the silky smooth scrolling, the punching, the kicking, the special move. Yes, Streets Of Rage had it all, and then some. Probably one of the finest Megadrive games ever, and I played it to death. Still a great blast today!

21. Daytona (Saturn/Dreamcast) – “Daytona Yeahhhhhhh!” Yet again the Saturn version of this game comes up trumps. Ok, the Dreamcast version looks amazing, but the Saturn version (actually that should be versions, as it was released as a Championship Edition also) plays just like the arcade. A brilliant game that you can play over and over again without getting bored.

20. V-Rally (PS1) – I remember the first time I set eyes on this game. For a PS1 game it just blew me away. It was super-fast, graphically stunning and had great game play. Some people found the controls a bit twitchy, but after a few minutes this game is just an amazing experience. There was a follow up on the Dreamcast and PC which was also a great game; however it’s the original I still go back to for the fun and thrill of a great rally.

19. R-Type (Master System/Amiga) – Sideways shooters are either hard or very hard with no in-between. R-Type I believe is just at the right difficulty level, if you concentrate you can progress really far on this seminal sideways blaster. An amazing game on nearly all formats.

18. Soul Calibur (Dreamcast/PS3) – Fighting with weapons has never been so much fun. Soul Calibur on the Sega Dreamcast is a beat-em-up of fantastic proportions. You fight with weapons, and each hit feels like it’s really had contact with the opponent. The PS3 game Soul Calibur IV brought back all the fun and flavour of the original. Sure, the graphics are better on the PS3 version, however both games play almost identical and are a pleasure to play.

17. Capcom Vs SNK Millennium Fight 2000 (PS1) – After playing the Street Fighter Alpha series of games for many years, I stumbled upon this classic fighter. Unlike the Street Fighter series, you get to chose three fighters in a team, and use them all in turn until you, or the other player have expelled all their lives. Graphically this game is way better than any other Street Fighter or SNK game, and it plays one hell of a brilliant game. I only have the PS1 version, but to play it you’d never guess it was on hardware that is now three generations old.

16. Varth (Arcade/PS2/PSP) – I got involved in this game quite late on, it's a downward scrolling shooter with a slight difference. You can collect a couple of orbs that you can choose to protect you by either staying in front of you, or moving around you stopping the enemies fire-power. Great graphics and sound and running at a good speed, this is one amazing blast that rewards you for time and effort.

15. Heavenly Sword (PS3) – Some people have slated this game, but they have obviously never played it. It has some stunning graphics, great sound and voice acting and a great story. The last boss is almost impossible, but apart from that this is one hell of a game. Combining different elements of game play, this game is a must for all PS3 console owners. It took me an age to complete it, but it was well worth it for the experience.

14. Sonic The Hedgehog (Megadrive) – Any top 50 would not be complete with the brilliant Sonic. A great game in every way, Sonic was in everyone lives during the early 90's. This game was played to death by me, and I still enjoy a quick blast now. Sonic was king of consoles, shame he can not find his feet again.

13. Sega Rally (Saturn/PS3/PSP) – Rally games don’t come as iconic as Sega Rally. Ever since I played it in the arcade I wanted a home version which lived up to that experience. Sega Rally on the Saturn almost gave that experience. A great game in every respect, the Saturn version played just like the arcade version. The PS3 version has the same feel but is a new game altogether, and again gets a lot of gaming from me. The PSP yet again is another different version, and again has that great Sega Rally feel. Absolutely awesome in every respect!

12. Galaga '88 (Arcade/PS2) – The music, the sound effects and the shear brilliance of the game make this an all time favourite. It's Space Invaders with all kinds of frills, and so it's classic game play hides the fact that this is one mega-blast-feast of a title.

11. Super Street Fighter II (Snes/Megadrive/Arcade) – This is considered the finest of all the Street Fighter games by many people, however, I prefer the Alpha series for its game play and graphics. Whenever I play this, I really enjoy the bouts, yet find it a bit hard compared to the Alpha series.

10. Guitar Hero 3 (PS3) Music games came of age with this game. For once I can play real rock guitar to dozens of classic tracks. And yes, it comes with plastic instruments. A really amazing game and a brilliant game to spend time with family and friends. Simply awesome!

09. Street Fighter Alpha 3 (Dreamcast/PSP) – If ever there was a Street Fighter game that captured my imagination, it was Street Fighter Alpha 3 on the Sega Dreamcast. As much as I’d enjoyed previous Street Fighter games, when I picked up and played this, something just clicked like never before in a game. The controls were spot on for a beat-em-up, easy to pick up, yet a lot to master. This game I have played so many times over the years I have lost count. The PSP version was my latest addition to the SFA3 series, and it is the most complete version of the game to date.

08. Racedriver: Grid (PS3) – Racing games come and go, but some stay forever and are next to perfect in the way of handling and game play. Racedriver: Grid is one awesome race-fest that just blows you away every time you play it. Graphically perfect, this is one of my favourite racing games of all time. It gets harder the more you progress, but it is rewarding when you finish top 3 in any given event.

07. Uncharted: Drakes Fortune (PS3) – A modern platform game which shows off the PS3's potential well. This is a brilliant game, with the only slight downside being the aiming mechanism when firing your gun. Once mastered, it's just mind blowing. Some great puzzles, great action and a great humorous story. Uncharted is a AAA title that just shines each time you play it.

06. Singstar (Ps2/PS3) What seems like little more than a Karaoke machine, Singstar makes the perfect game to play with family and friends. No need to think about playing any instruments are pushing any buttons, simply sing into the blue ot red banded microphone and have fun. With each disc with between 20 and 30 tracks, and even more to download on PSN, this game has never tired. Kept alive with new editions every few months and those downloads for PS3 owners, this is a well worthy game for this day and age of hardcore and casual gamers. Perfect!

05. Outrun (Saturn/PSP/PS3) Outrun was a great game in the arcades, however it’s the Saturn and PSP versions that I have played the most over the years. The Saturn version plays almost identical to the arcade and is a wonderful representation of the Saturn’s power. The PSP version is a home version of Coast to Coast 2006 from the arcades, which was the best of all the Outrun series. For me, these games give me some of the best pleasure in racing games, just simple arcade action at its best.

04. Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (PS3) There were First Person Shooters before Call Of Duty 4, but it was this game that single handedly changed console FPS games forever. Great graphics and seriously solid game play, COD4 has eaten up many PS3 owners gaming time. Many regard this as the best game available, while I prefer Killzone 2 as the controls are heavier and more realistic than the rather floaty controls of COD4. Still, an amazing game and one of the best games available on any platform.

03. Tekken 5: DR (PSP/PS3) – The greatest Tekken of them all comes in the form of Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection. Not since the classic Tekken 3 had a Tekken game some magnificent in every way possible. Each character handles uniquely, and when mastered is the most dangerous fighting character of them all. This game is different to any other fighting game. It’s pace, it’s style, and everything else is a work of pure art. If there were no fighting games on earth apart from this one, I would be happy.

02. Wipeout HD/Fury (PS3) The Wipeout series has always held my attention, although none has come close to the latest edition Wipout HD on the PS3. It’s a stunningly beautiful game that plays perfectly. It can be hard to start off racing, but once mastered it entertains for hours on end. It offers an awesome online play mode also, which just adds to the depth. Unbelievable in every way!

01. Metal Gear 4 (PS3) – “Guns Of The Patriot” is stunning. It's beautiful. Never has a console been pushed so hard, and as such this is one of the best looking games ever. A lot of people say it's little more than an interactive movie, but it is so much more than that. This game took me quite a while to complete but it was well worth it. Yes, it has a lot of CGI movies telling the story, but they are very high quality and enjoyable. I've never liked Metal Gear games, but this game is outstanding in every way.

Note: Since making this list, two very influencial games were released. Both Need For Speed: Shift and Uncharted 2: Among Thieves would now be in the top 10 of my list. 2009 was a great year for games, and the thought that it can get better than Uncharted 2 really blows my mind!