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Top 100 Video Games of All Time
Updated Quarterly

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Position #55 (18,246)
NBA JamSNES, 1993
Almost like a sequel to Arch Rivals, NBA Jam would be the new action game of sports titles. It featured a license to use the real NBA players on the real teams, which would be a thrill to the basketball fan, and highly entertaining action and game play, which would be a thrill to anyone, sports fan or not. Different variations of this game came out, Tournament Editions, etc, all with different options, even-bigger-head codes to top the comic relief of the original, different scoring options, and different "he's on fire!" sequences. But the original NBA Jam has logged more play time and personal records into a player's free time than any other basketball game to date, and reigns on high as the number one basketball title in video gaming history.



Position #54 (18,809)
Zelda: WindwakerGamecube, March 24, 2003
Everything extraordinary finds its roots in something controversial. Zelda Windwaker is no different. Unaccepted even by many long-time fans, this title brought a new style of game play to the screen which, to various gamers, may add or take away value to the story. The cartoonish cell-shaded graphical design of this title represents a deviation from the typical popular style of modern games, but returns to the design of the original Zelda sketches from its early creation, which, at that time, were unachievable on the screen. Miyamoto has seemingly always strayed from the common, often redundant mass-popularity, and instead, forced mainstream to follow him. Although many fans are unsure whether to love or reject the new graphical style, one thing it does do is never allow a moment in the game to seem unfit. As Miyamoto explains, the closer to photographic realism games progress, the more unrealistic movement patterns become. We have the technology to design nearly flawless realism in three dimensional layouts, but as soon as anything happens, like the character is hurt, or runs into a wall, or enters into a conversation, it all looks completely unrealistic and instantly removes the player from that reality and the entire flow of the game. What Windwaker has found the ability to do, is never distance the player from that flow and excitement. The graphics allow every piece of the action to blend perfectly with every aspect of the environment, and through that, never separate the player from what's happening on the screen. Not only that, but Windwaker has found the ability to put emotion into countless facial expressions, from fear, pain, and embarrassment, to surprise, joy, or excitement. This is unachievable through imitating photographic realism, and it evokes feelings in the player that add worlds of depth and value to the game without changing the game play. The graphics may turn off many mainstream gamers, but it represents the return to creating the foundation of a game on depth, value, originality, and true artistic design. Though Windwaker remains a controversial title, the innovation comes without question.



Position #53 (18,872)
RampageNES, December, 1988
If you’ve never before played Rampage, you’re either very young or hugely deprived, and either way, you're missing out. This classic game had virtually no point aside from the goal of destroying every city in the western world, eating various humans along the way, and possibly punching out your partner / competitor, whatever they happened to be at the moment. Though the NES version did not contain the werewolf, popular in the arcades, there were still two available characters to choose from, George, a giant ape, meant to resemble King Kong, and Lizzy, a giant lizard, much like Godzilla. These two partners would travel from city to city, only moving on when every last building had been aimlessly destroyed. A little pointless, sure, but the hours of mindless fun that could be derived from this title were nearly unbeatable, and it remains a staple of all video game designs.



Position #52 (19,008)
Donkey Kong CountrySNES, November 1, 1994
This game represented the pinnacle of what the Super Nintendo could achieve. Graphically, it was absolutely amazing. If anyone remembers when this game was coming out, it was simply unbelievable that a 16-bit system could harness that capability, but it apparently could, and through this game. But it didn’t rely only on the graphics to sell it. The game play and design managed to exceed the reputation upheld by the graphical layout. So after the screenshots sold the title, the player was rewarded with an absolute gem of a game that could hold up against nearly any on a 32-bit system. The success of Donkey Kong Country called for two sequels, both using the same game engine, and both heavily successful as well. But this game in particular marked the change into a new graphical standard, unmatched by any game previous, and reigned as king for quite some time after its release.



Position #51 (19,199)
Super Mario SunshineGamecube, August 25, 2002
This technically flawless Mario title is no longer the newest in the series and though its innovation has been outshined by Super Mario Galaxy, this title still offered never before seen features at its release. Super Mario Sunshine blends action and adventure, with numerous puzzles, tricks, and secrets for Mario to discover that are always known to make appearances in his titles. Many gamers were skeptical about "Flood", Mario's new waterpump, but the increased range of movement capabilities it allows in combination with various jumps and other movement patterns offers a much higher degree of depth and game play than the game would have otherwise. In parts of the game, Flood gets stolen, and you then realize that, although it is not overly necessary, you rely heavily on it for many aspects of the game. Outside of the game play, the music, environments, and overall design of the game are all remarkable, and hardly even challenged by other modern games. The votes for Mario Sunshine have already proven a worthy position for it on the charts, and although they seem to have tapered off, it still continues to slowly climb up the ranks.



Position #50 (19,602)
Animal CrossingGamecube, September 15, 2002
Achieving a position in the upper half of the top 100 is the unexpectedly unique, innovative, and award-winning design of Animal Crossing, which has given gamers something of a new style of gaming. It has become the highest ranked Gamecube game and is still brining in as many votes per month as any other on the chart. It represents the ultimate simulation game, though never offering the dull and limited variation most sims are notable for. Effectively, what the game does, is allow the player to live a virtual life, riding a train into various towns full of opportunity. Each town is randomly generated as to not be repetitive, never play the same game twice, and always be in a different world than that which your friends are playing. In this town, you can go fishing, catch bugs, pull weeds, build a garden, go shopping, visit the neighbors, who are, as the game's title implies, are all animals, such as birds, frogs, bears, dogs, cats, and so on. Every town has a tailor shop to create clothes, a furniture store, a police station to inform you of upcoming events, a museum, a post office, and so on. You have the freedom to name your character as well as your own home town, be a boy or girl, improve and customize your house, get a job, pay mortgage, run errands, and so on. The game offers such a wide variety of options, even as far as going out to get a tan, that no gamer could ever reach the point of boredom. One of the most notable features, is that the game runs in real time. 2:45pm on Christmas Eve in real life is 2:45pm Christmas Eve in the game. Days and nights come and go in the game just as in real life, and holidays offer special celebrations and events. In this same sense, if you leave your game unplayed for a long period of time, you may come back to some fascinating surprises. In addition to that, owners of a Game Boy Advance and GBA-GCN link cable have the opportunity to visit an even more unique island with a unique inhabitant. The game is by far the most innovative title in years, and seems to be growing increasingly popular.



Position #49 (20,766)
Final FantasyNES, July 12, 1990
The Final Fantasy series was created after the release of Dragon Quest, and capitalized on the new found market. Although this original Final Fantasy title was more or less simply an imitation of Dragon Quest, it's release further popularized the genre, which previously only had one title to its name. Final Fantasy was promoted heavily through Nintendo Power, both through publication and through hosting tournaments, further adding to its depth and value. This would eventually carry the future Final Fantasy series on to be regarded as the most widely distributed game series of all time, with 12 titles in the main series already released and a 13th on its way.

The game begins as an evil shroud has covered the world in darkness, and it is up to you to restore the powers of the earth, wind, fire and water to the four Orbs and return the land to peace. In doing this, you must band with 3 other party members, from a selection of fighters, thieves, martial artists and magicians. This first title set the pace for the series that would eventually produce some of the most popular titles in gaming history.



Position #48 (20,910)
Sim CitySNES, 1991
This game finally put some economic freedom into the hands of youth. Possibly not a great idea in real life, but brilliant in the world of gaming. All I can say is put those parks, libraries, and other special properties in the middle of a nice circle of eight residentials and you’ve got a nice group of 4 r-tops. That’ll bump your population well beyond what you’re needing. This classic game thankfully featured a huge money making trick, which was quite a process in itself, but well worth the effort. Otherwise you would have to begin your city in 1910 if you didn't want to watch the year 2040 pass by before developing your first r-top. So in this, the challenge was available, yet the freedom of unlimited construction was accessible. And it never hurts to have Mario grace the game with his subtle appearances.



Position #47 (20,913)
Chrono TriggerSNES, August 22, 1995
This game was one of Square's trophy releases. It comprised an all-star production cast including the famous Dragon Quest director Yuji Hori, as well as the Dragon Quest character designer, Final Fantasy producer and Final Fantasy composer. This cast was referred to as the "Dream Team" by Squaresoft, and their efforts churned out an RPG with an extremely immense plotline and numerous innovative qualities, including time travel.

You begin the game with Crono, and follow the experiences through his life, meeting others who will join your party along the way. It all began on the morning of the Millennial Fair when Crono's mom woke him up, and he headed out to meet his best friend, Lucca, who was about to unveil her latest invention. On his way to the display, they met a young girl by the name of Marle, who asks to try out the invention. When Marle steps onto the pad, her pendant reacts with the Telepod to form a gateway which causes her disappearance to the amazement of everyone. You and Marle believe that what you have discovered is a rip in time, working as a gateway to some other time. You set out to find her and along the way your adventure uncovers the secrets of the past, the present and the future. Your discoveries among these travels through the gateways of time unveil more than you wanted to know. Your true adventure opens here and the endless challenges, deep complexity, and exciting plot twists keep every minute of game play more interesting than the last.



Position #46 (21,414)
GauntletNES, 1987
This wasn't necessarily the first game ever of its style, but it was the big one. It was the original arcade hit fantasy fighting game where you select the character best suited for unleashing into mass hordes of enemies level after level, until you pass all 100. Of course, when you reach level 98, there's endless treasure chests, and one contains the exit. If you find it before you dying, you still must already have the clues to the Orb or else you will not go on to 99. While you're doing this, ghosts, goblins and Death itself are pouring out of generators to stop you. Your character choice came from four possibilities, each with their own unique weapons. Thor the Warrior had a massive battle axe, Thyra the Valkyrie wielded a close range sword, Questor the Elf was a master of the long range bow, and Merlin the Wizard used only his magical bolts. As you run through the levels, you had to find keys to exit, look for magic potions to clear the screen of enemies, avoid poison, and collect the treasure to give yourself a hefty score along the way.



Position #45 (21,706)
Duck HuntNES, October 1985
Duck Hunt was one of fifteen original games to appear at the launch of the NES, and remains one of the most memorable. Everyone knows it, whether they’ve played it or not. There's possibly a child being born somewhere in Kazakhstan who has not yet heard of this wonder, but in six to eight weeks that'll be remedied. In any case, the game wasn't anything to marvel over, it was one scene with a couple of sloppy ducks who can change directions like lightning, and an occasional chocolate lab who points at you laughing. Frustrating? Perhaps, really it depends on the difficulty, which is strictly a product of your distance from the TV, whether you're at the suggested distance, or a matter of inches away. The latter being the most common. Regardless, Duck Hunt has engrained its name into the memory of every gaming fan, and remains a staple of the gaming world.



Position #44 (21,725)
Mario PartyN64, February 8, 1999
Mario Party was one of the most innovative concepts to grace the modern gaming world and its release in Japan created quite a buzz in the outside world. At its release, it immediately became one of the highest selling games in Japan and was long anticipated in the United States. The 3D rendered game board and unique graphical layout of the constantly changing individual games gives the player a level of visual stimulation beyond what could be expected. The music and sound effects blend original Mario tunes, allowing many fans to regard it as an instant classic, and there's never a moment where the music, whether the pace or the tune, doesn't match what's going on with the game play. Mario Party basically represents a perfect blend of classic board games, the simplicity of classic mini games, and a level of competition that can't be beat, with tricks and surprises that Mario games have always been known for. It features almost every classic Nintendo character, such as Mario, Luigi, Peach, Toad, Yoshi, Wario, Donkey Kong, and a couple guest appearances by Bowser, Koopa Troopa, and the cast of original enemies. Choosing your favorite of these characters, you're swept off to one of six playable game boards, all with their own individual varied environments and mini-games, of which there are 56 entirely original ones to compete in.



Position #43 (21,751)
Pokemon Blue/RedGameboy, September 30, 1998


Short for Pocket Monsters, the 31.3 million sales of these two titles combined and the votes achieved represent proof of many things. First off, customization, creativity, options, and variation, offer RPGs much more depth and value. Second, this clever little series has created quite a following, and third, the enthusiasm of those voting for Pokemon show that people either absolutely love it beyond anything else on this planet, or they've never played it and don't mean to. Pokemon wasn't the most original or innovative, but it was the right combination of already existing features combined into one game that was done very well, marketed perfectly, and released at just the right time. The first exposure to this monster training and control design in the U.S. came through the Pokemon games, and it offered great competitive head-to-head game play by linking up Game Boys. The concept of Pokemon however, was taken from the Dragon Quest series in a title that didn't make it to the U.S. Thus when Pokemon first familiarized the design to the U.S., it opened up a whole new world of gaming that players were previously unexposed to. It went on to create one of the biggest followings in gaming history, which proves that innovation can often step aside for great design, timing, and marketability.



Position #42 (22,044)
Donkey KongNES, June 1986
Silly Ape. That's what it meant. Miyamoto, the gaming legend, wanted to design a new character, and donkey meant silly, Kong, at the time, was used to mean Ape in Japan. So we get silly ape for a game. This ape did however create a giant impression on the gaming world. Involved in title after title, he has become one of the most classic figures in gaming history, second only to the Mario crew. Though this game incorporated just a few levels and was able to be finished within the hour it was purchased, the replay value still holds strong today, helping to keep it stable in quite a lofty position.



Position #41 (22,045)
Megaman IIINES, 1990
Protoman did it for this title. The brother of Mega Man and first creation of Doctor Light, was assumed to be an enemy, later learned of as brother, and proved to be a huge help in the end. That airy whistling, indicating the coming of Protoman was enough to qualify the game as a top 100 competitor, but the action, game play, and control was no less than the highest of Megaman standards, and few would argue that his third mission came in the form of an all around complete success. Chronologically it takes place in the year 2009, one year after the second title, where Dr. Wily had suffered his second defeat and decided to give up his evil ways and return to his partnership with Dr. Light. Together they began the construction of more Robot Masters as well as the giant peace-keeping robot named Gamma, who would prevent the events of the past from ever reoccurring. However, some of the mining Robot Masters went berserk and began driving out all humans. Since Dr. Light and Dr. Wily needed special crystals from those mines to complete Gamma, Mega Man was sent to retrieve them, accompanied by his new robotic dog named Rush. As it turned out, Dr. Wily was behind it all, and as soon as he had the crystals, he stole Gamma and tried to use it to conquer the land. It's one of the most epic of the Mega Man series, but the introduction of Protoman still gives it that extra edge. That and, it's the first Megaman game with applicable looking cover art on the box.