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Top 100 Video Games of All Time
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Position #70 (16,438)
Breath of FireSNES, August, 1994
This is currently the farthest gap Breath of Fire has held above Secret of Mana. In the past it has occasionally fallen behind, but usually sat one seat ahead. This is currently the largest margin of separation the two have had since the earliest days of the poll. The advantage of Breath of Fire is the following of sequels, which bring a larger fan base. This adds value to the original through a deeper storyline, and makes the out of print title even more rare with the faster growing popularity. The harder it is to come by, the more it is then seemed to be desired. Other than that, it's truly a well designed RPG, and the ability for your main character to morph into different forms of massive dragons certainly doesn't hurt the game play or replay value.



Position #69 (16,701)
BattletoadsNES, June, 1991
When it came out, people regarded it as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles knock-off. But when they played it, they experienced one of the craziest, wildest action games ever invented. The Dark Queen and her renegade space troops retreated after their defeat by the Galactic Corporation. Meanwhile, on board the spaceship Vulture, Professor T. Bird and the Battletoads - Rash, Zitz and Pimple - are escorting the Princess Angelica back to her home planet, where her father, the Terran Emperor, is waiting for her safe return. Pimple, the biggest of the toads decides to take Angelica out for a cruise in the Toadster to a nearby Leisure Station. The Dark Queen ambushes them and carries them away to Ragnarok's World. Professor Bird can get you as far as Ragnarok's World, but fighting your way through level after level of massive battle scenes is up to you, hoping to eventually arrive at the Tower of Shadows, where the Dark Queen awaits. Each level along the way is always more fascinating than the previous, and the first level kicks it off with some great action, introducing the giant fist and feet attacks, the headbutt, and the all-powerful stick. As you go through the game, new and interesting ideas were attributed to levels, ranging from innovative perspectives to extremely fast paced vehicles. The game definitely shattered any previous TMNT knock-off misconceptions, and gave this Rare / Tradewest game a good deal of votes.



Position #68 (16,829)
Super Off RoadNES, 1991
Super Off Road was one of the most thrilling arcade classics to land a release date on the NES, and amazingly, the home-console replicated all the thrill of the arcade. With an easily viewable overhead perspective, you can race against any combination of three friends and computer opponents through various dirt tracks. As you progress through the game, the difficulty continues to jump and new difficulties arise, such as water pits, through more complicated courses. As you're concentrating on holding through the tight corners, money bags randomly appear on the course and give the races something else to focus on. Collecting them gives you money to buy new equipment for your car between races, and if you can't keep up with the improvements, it's not going to be too long before your opponents become far too fast for you to keep up with. When Super Off Road was released, it represented the true thrash-around, overly competitive, do-whatever-it-takes-to-win racer that rarely involved a dull moment, and through the years, it's held on to all of its replay value simply by design.



Position #67 (16,832)
Adventure IslandNES, September, 1988
Princess Leilani was kidnapped from Master Higgins by the Evil Witch Doctor and taken to Adventure Island in the South Pacific. Your adventure begins at her rescue through the island full of forests, mountains, caves, and endless traps and enemies. This linear platform adventure takes you through level after level of near-impossible difficulty, each one concluding with a boss of epic caliber, though none of whom are overly complicated, as they can only walk back and forth in a strait line at a set pace. In each of these levels, you're given a skateboard, an axe, a life bar that's constantly depleting, replenishable only by randomly generating fruit, and if you touch a snail, you die. But the game is full of various tricks that give it somewhat of a magical quality. For instance, to preview the next level's boss, simply pause the game after defeating the one you're on. Or get a 1000 point bonus for collecting the NES controller after shooting a coyote twice behind the red flower in level 1-4. Or better yet, the bonus level. In the middle of the first level, a fire will appear between wooden voodoo objects. At this time, shoot about ten times, and it's easy to figure out from there. Then of course the mandatory tricks, the continue code, making the game actually completable. To do this, find the hidden egg at the end of the first level, smash it and get the Hudson bee logo, and when your game's over, hold up, a, select, and press start to continue. Or there's a code to just skip anywhere, but that just ruins the fun. Either way, few would argue that Adventure Island was one of the greatest adventure titles from the grand era of imaginative platformers.



Position #66 (16,844)
Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesNES, 1989
I'm certain that you're all familiar with the cartoon. This game had nothing to do with it, with the sole exception that the characters were named the same in the game. You used the four turtles, and then Splinter, April, Shredder, a weird easy Beebop, and some Mousers existed. Other than that, it was just totally unrelated in any fashion to the show. Did that make it a bad game? No. On the contrary, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles would become one of the most widely owned and loved titles on the NES, making its own feature in The Wizard, as it was played by both Christian Slater and the character who played his father, who "got the scroll weapon." What is the scroll? I don't know. It was a white thing that was never in the cartoon, much like the majority of the game. It did, however, feature many similarities to the cartoon series in terms of character involvement, vehicles, pizza, and some sewers. But the game play was something of a new breed. If anything, however, this highly unique and original design only made the game more intriguing, as it managed to be a personal favorite to millions of fans, and continues to tally up votes as fast as the new releases.



Position #65 (16,845)
Rad RacerNES, October 1, 1987
Rad Racer diligently replicated the arcade style racing experience on a home-console system. Select your Ferrari, and enter into an extremely fast paced highway race, apparently just outside of a particular city. The camera sits a short distance behind your car, and just above, to give you the right perspective to combine response distance at blazing speed. This game design is what arcades thrived on, and it would set the path for future releases like Cruisin' USA, drawing from car styles and city selections, though never really changing the view. There's generally two reasons that keep Rad Racer drawing in the votes so many years later. Number one, 3D mode. It was kind of a pain if you accidentally hit select in the middle of a race and couldn't tell what was going on, but putting on those 3D glasses and switching into 3D mode offered something no other game had ever thought of back in the 80s, and although it wasn't necessarily perfect looking, it was an extremely impressive concept and it sold and popularized the game. The second reason that Rad Racer has remained a fan favorite, The Wizard. This now-old blockbuster was fundamentally a tribute to Super Mario Bros. 3, yet had a nice and lengthy plot-changing scene centered around this game. For those of you who recall, Lucas Barton pulls out his power-glove and flies through the first level in his 328 Ferrari. Beyond that however, it's a well respected game that deserves all of it.

Some of the success of this game is often credited to the programming, designing, supervising, and music staff who all later ended up on the Final Fantasy crew.



Position #64 (16,890)
Arch RivalsNES, 1990
Basketball at its comical "basket-brawling" best. This game laid the foundation for the success of future titles like NBA Jam and others that were more interested in the options and action than the sport itself. Arch Rivals added a twist to the common sports games by throwing in 2 on 2 cartoon-ish gameplay, and no fouls. It was an odd combination that had penalties for goal tending, but punching or pantsing a rival to steal the ball was completely legal. This was generally followed by dunking from around the vicinity of the 3-point line, occasionally breaking the backboard, or perhaps never getting that far because you slipped on some garbage that a paraplegic fan tossed onto the court for you. The game was filled far more with thrills and turnarounds than it was with basketball, and this created a new market appeal that, before Arch Rivals, hadn't existed. In addition to all of that, the character selection, each with their own special ability, from excellent 3-pointers, to faster speed down the court, or jumping, or the tough guy, the all-around, or the all-American, you would find a character you liked best, each with their own quirky name to match the quirky play. Definitely a landmark in pseudo-sports games that mixed the genres of action and sports.



Position #63 (16,933)
Double Dragon IINES, 1988
Released back in the days when sequels were still epic, Double Dragon II was the successful follow-up to the now legendary Double Dragon. The first game set high standards, making it the classic it is today, and this one became its worthy successor, and quite a classic as well. It game took the same basic idea that made the original so successful, and filled it with better graphical environments and animation, greater enemies, improved play control and sound, and gave it a cooler design without changing the direction on Billy and Jimmy Lee. I won't spoil the end, but once you're at the mirror and the black screen, you're looking at a couple of the coolest and most intense fights in gaming history.



Position #62 (17,003)
ActraiserSNES, 1991
In 1991, Actraiser took nearly every Nintendo Power award, including game of the year. It was a very original concept in gaming, combining the economic qualities of Sim City, with a well designed action-adventure game. It was a blend that almost creates two distinct games in one, but it held together perfectly with flawless transitions. The graphics were impressive, the controlling was good, the replay value was outstanding, and the design was incredible. But for a true gamer, it was short enough to beat within the day it was purchased, and this left the player, never disappointed, but just completely eager for more. The game was truly that thrilling, simply by design.

Interestingly, and often overlooked, the game carried on a Judeo-Christian plotline where, in the simulation component, you play the role of God, traveling in a cloud from where you create life and make miricles. Then the side-scrolling platform scenes involves an angel slaying demons and false gods. In the end of the game, you, being God, depart this world and return to Heaven.



Position #61 (17,017)
StarfoxSNES, March 1, 1993
Starfox was the first of the character based 3D flight games of its particular style and the first title to house the Super FX chip, making those graphics possible. Designed by game-legend Miyamoto, who has also created all the Zelda, Mario, and Donkey Kong games, it was destined for the charts. He has yet to design an unoriginal game, and when combined with everything else that makes up a successful title, the game not only sells itself, but creates an immediate following. This game proved to be no different than the rest, as swarms of Starfox imitations flooded the market following its release, as well as two sequels to this original. None of the sequels managed to include When the Saints Go Marching In as background music however, and though that certainly doesn't merit Starfox its position on the charts, it certainly doesn't hinder its uniqueness as a distinguished title on the list.



Position #60 (17,223)
Bases Loaded II Second SeasonNES, 1989
Despite the comical player naming, such as D.C.'s players being named after famous politicians while L.A.'s are named after Hollywood celebrities, this old baseball game has managed to achieve possibly the highest degree of realism in a sports title to date. With this, it allowed true baseball fans to replicate the game on such an accurate scale, yet still be in control of it all. It involved the innovative pitching perspective, unique to all Bases Loaded titles, and maintained a fast and easy transition into the fielding view. As you played through the seasons, you would pick your team, do your lineup, and hope your players would hit that hot streak. Your player's previous statistics gave you an idea of what to expect in the current season, but every player would go through hot and cold streaks that could last any number of games. Following each game you could watch a pseudo-news broadcast that lets you know how hot or cold they are. Sometimes your best hitter goes 1 for 14 through an easy home series, and once in a while your number 8 guy could put 6 over on a short road trip. Your best hitters were the most likely candidates for those hot streaks, but when any player gets on, you'll know it before you see the post game charts, and you'll just hope it lasts at least a few more games, because that might be the only runs you're getting in. Of course many players didn't approve of the slower, more realistic game play, but obviously this title struck a chord in sports fans to such an extent that it's found it's way almost half way up the charts and earned itself a lofty position as one of the top sports games of all time.



Position #59 (17,226)
Adventures of LoloNES, January 6, 1990
Probably the single most classic character-based puzzle game ever created, which isn't saying much considering the limited numbers of character-based puzzle games existing. So the game obviously deserves more credit than that simple title. These fluffy little creatures had to make it past level after level of moving blocks in strategic ways, preplanning everything in order to avoid blocking off your only way out. To do this, you had to think about eight moves ahead of where you were at, while successfully dodging enemies. As the levels went up, so did the difficulty, until eventually you'd have to be a descendent of Einstein to figure it out. The success in the American market allowed for a couple of sequels, for the most part, just extensions of the first title. Although number two may have been a better design, the original still hails as the best designed character-based puzzle game to date.



Position #58 (17,227)
Ikari WarriorsNES, 1986
Inspired by Rambo and literally meaning "anger warriors," this was likely the single most staggeringly unrealistic game ever to grace any gaming system since the invention of electricity. Ikari Warriors is a vertical scrolling arcade-style action game with no story whatsoever. Rather, it was two males (apparently brothers) flocking through a non-specific location with unlimited ammo, some grenades, rocket launchers, an occasional conveniently vacant and occupy-able tank, and hundreds of thousands of weak enemies who briefly dance toward you when shot.

Upon beginning your adventure, you're immediately (with no warning or explanation) running through a jungle being attacked by an uncountable number of these people who are evidently villains. One hit and you die. Difficult? Yes. Impossible? Yes also. Luckily there was a continue-cheat which remains the only chance of surviving the game without Galloob's Game Genie. Additionally, death had it's own unique advantage in that upon reappearing, you flash for a period of seconds, which signifies your invincibility. During this period of time, you're safe. And then as soon as it's over, you die. If you use the continue code, this goes on for an hour and a half until you finally finish the game. If not, it goes on for about 15 seconds before your game is over. But somewhere between the comic relief of the difficulty, the struggle to not die, and the enjoyment of an absurd battle against a ridiculous amount of slow-bulleted enemies, every moment of the game as you progress through various terrain, it somehow wound up being fun (despite the counterintuitive odds). This enjoyment instilled some replay value oddly enough, and put developer SNK on the map.



Position #57 (17,606)
PilotwingsSNES, 1991
There still isn't anything out there quite like Pilotwings. Sure Microsoft makes an amazing flight simulator, but that's not what Pilotwings was. This was much broader than a flight simulator and contained various forms of flight, including hang gliding, rocket packs, light planes, parachuting, bonus levels of extreme sky diving, and trampolines, and in the final level, a helicopter. In each form of flight, you had to meet certain objectives and would receive a grade on how well you performed. As you go through the game, you obtain new licenses and enter into new, more difficult, yet more fascinating objectives and environments. The point of the game is to become so skilled at all the events that you qualify for a war mission, infiltrating a base with your helicopter and firearms. But the true fan's main objective was exploration in the jetpack and buzzing through the city in the light plane a matter of feet above the ground, or even some of the more obscene, possibly morbid ones like skydiving without a parachute and seeing just how fast you can dive headfirst into the ocean or, better yet, a field.

The game featured breathtaking environments, outstanding graphics and smooth movement patterns through it all. It was definitely an innovative game which no other company has released anything like, simply because it would be difficult to design anything better than the original. It did prompt a sequel though, Pilotwings 64, which as you'll notice, did receive quite a handful of votes as well. Part of the success of Pilotwings might be credited to an interesting musical score performed by a team effort of Soyo Oka (Super Mario Kart) and Koji Kondo (Legend of Zelda and Super Mario Bros.).



Position #56 (18,099)
ExcitebikeNES, October, 1985
The game itself was simple. But it featured one option that hadn't yet appeared in the gaming industry. Customization and player design. Excitebike gave the player the option to design his own course out of a full alphabet of jumps and obstacles, each letter representing something totally different. You could design an extremely intense track where all you want to do is not crash, or there's one particular design you can create where, without using the game genie, you can make your bike go so fast that the volume turns off entirely and if you hit a jump you fly up out of the screen, come up through the bottom, and as you're coming up through the bottom of the screen, you land back on the track, and keep going. That's speed. The trick was never published in anywhere- so I'll let you figure it out for yourself. But this simple option of full customization and head to head competitive racing has tallied up thousands of votes for this title as one of the best racers of all time.