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TOP 10

Top 100 Video Games of All Time
Updated Quarterly

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Position #25 (27,905)
Double DragonNES, 1987
Double Dragon is the king of the side scrolling brawlers. It had its own small feature in the Wizard, and its success prompted a full length motion picture of Billy and Jimmy Lee brawling through the streets. The movie was a complete failure, but the game it was based on was a marvel. The story was nothing to be noted, but the game play and design made for outstanding replay value. Billy's girlfriend was captured by Mr. Big and his gang, and so he and Jimmy Lee set out to the rescue. The game featured one player or two player simultaneous action, and a broad range of moves such elbow throwing, hair pulling, knee bashing, jump kicking, a few throws, and a good amount of baseball bats and whips. The tactical brawling kept the entertainment on high as you fought your way through the streets to the final confrontation with Mr. Big. But once there, elbow throwing against a machine gun gives you little hope.

Position #24 (28,510)
TMNT II: The Arcade GameNES, 1990
This second title in the TMNT series is what spawned titles like Final Fight. It's side scrolling action, beautiful graphics, freedom of movement and play control made the perfect combination for an amazing design that would have made any title successful. However, with this one, you also got to either use or fight against many famed characters, including all four turtles, Splinter, Krang, Shredder, Baxter, Bebop, Rocksteady, and countless foot soldiers, all with something unique about them. The game took you through nine challenging levels, all with varied environments and very little, if any repetition at all. This TMNT title has proved year after year to be one of the absolute finest examples of a side scrolling fighter game, and likely will continue to carry that position, as the votes rarely slow down.

Position #23 (28,678)
Mario Kart 64N64, February 10, 1997
Cartoon racing has never been better. With even more variation than the original, the greatest part about this game was for the Mario Kart pros to have some more levels to play. Up to four players could compete at once in tracks where there was no speed handicap, and skill ruled. Sure, the last place guy got lightning once in a while, but that's what made it interesting. That way, if you've never before gotten lightning, you know you're the best, win or lose.

Position #22 (29,526)
GoldeneyeN64, August 25, 1987

This style of game found its roots in a computer title known as Wolfenstein 3D, but the true gem of the genre was Goldeneye. It was the most competitive multi-player of its time, and truly began the craze that would follow with countless 1st person combat titles, including multiple other James Bond titles. The most recent, Nightfire, is the first true rival to the original, but since Goldeneye was the first highly advanced 1st person 3D tactical shooter, it's doubtful that it will ever leave its throne. Whether running stealthfully through the missions or 4-player battling in the facility, Goldeneye offered a level of action far more advanced than was ever previously available, yet with simplicity enough to be a skill based game. And skill based games are becoming increasingly more rare with the growing popularity in constant visual stimulation and graphic design.

Position #21(30,094)
Super Mario RPGSNES, May 13, 1996
For the Mario fan, this game was the greatest. It gave this Italian plumber a whole new dimension to his world, which included massive depth, stunning graphics and visual perspective, villains of awesome proportions and unique twists on the classic enemies, interesting, varied, and always brilliant environments. It without a doubt brought the gaming world to a new dimension in the cross over adventure/RPG inside comical imaginative worlds. The story begins with Princess Toadstool in Mario's garden one sunny morning waiting for Mario to show up. A shadow enters the garden and suddenly she's snatched up by Bowser, and taken back to his castle. Mario comes running after her cries for help but Bowser was too fast. From this point, Mario enters into the storyline of the majority of his other titles, yet through the course of a game so unique and imaginative, that it became an instant classic, constantly achieving a phenomenal number of votes, and continuously becoming more and more rare of a title to come by.

Position #20 (30,816)
TetrisNES, November 1989

The number one puzzle game. How four large pixels arranged in different series of shapes falling from the top of the screen could produce so much fun is still a mystery. It's of the most simple games ever designed, yet complicated and strategic in its own right. It was first created by Alexey Pazhitnov in June of '85, and since been released on virtually every computer and game console system existing, selling seemingly endless copies on each. He initially released it on IBM, got little credit and sold the rights. Who controlled these rights ended up fairly messy, and between 1988 and 1989, Atari (under the label Tengen) and Nintendo both released copies on the Nintendo Entertainment System. During that same time, Nintendo also released copies on the Famcom and Gameboy, further increasing both the popularity and the sales. This competition between the rights caused a major multi-million dollar legal battle that was discussed on CBS Evening news and found publication in the USA Today. In the end Nintendo pulled out on top, and since, there has been about 30 million copies of Tetris created on Gameboy, putting Pazhitnov's overly simple puzzle game at a respectable place on the list of the greatest games of all time.

Position #19 (30,822)
MegamanNES, December, 1987
This little two-tone-blue action hero found his origin right here in December of 1987. It was a very clever and original design that featured unique robotic bosses, all with their own personality, and the ever-crooked Dr. Wily. But Wily wasn't always so crooked. The story all started with Dr. Thomas Xavier Light, who created the first life-like humanoid robot. He used the same plans to also construct a lab assistant named Rock, and a housekeeping robot named Roll. Dr. Light shared his new technological genius with his partner, Dr. Wily, and together they created six Master Robots to be in charge of those without intelligence. All was according to plan, when Dr. Wily mysteriously reprogrammed all the Master Robots and escaped with the intention of using them to take over the planet. Rock, having resisted the reprogramming, volunteered to go after Wily. With little chance alone, Dr. Light converted him into the warrior robot known as Mega Man. The game begins on this chase. It started the series that now has more than 20 titles and remains just as popular as it was that December in 1987.

One notable attribute of this game is the box art, which is almost entirely unrelated to the game itself. The enemies, environment, weapons, and even Megaman himself are completely dissimilar in the game. These differences are substantial enough to achieve the Gamespy ranking as the single game with the worst box art of all time. Despite this shortcoming, the first installment in the series trails closely behind its sequel at a commendable spot in the rankings.

Position #18 (31,968)
Dragon Quest/Warrior IIINES, January 10, 1988
The influence of this game is unquestionable. It remains the only title ever released to force the Japanese government to make official revisions to its laws (which are still in effect today). Released on a weekday, the schools remained empty, lines formed more than three blocks long outside of every store carrying the game, and crime skyrocketed as people were mugged for their sold-out copies. Japanese culture, regarded as one of the more peaceful and organized of any in the world, was forced to make amendments to their laws because of this. It became official law that no Dragon Quest game could be released on any day but specific Sundays and holidays

This title was ranked by Famitsu magazine, a large Japanese publication, as the 3rd best console game of all time in 2006. In America however, the success was less notable. Despite having a GBC remake, it still sold fewer copies than the previous two titles (though more than the fourth installment).
Dragon Quest III was the prequel to the original, further deepening the already massive storyline. It was also the first game to invent the ability of choosing character classes for further customization. In this, Dragon Quest III also allowed class changes for as many characters as you would like to design. Of course you could only take a maximum of four with you at one time, and the it certainly took a great deal of hours to build up a single character, let alone an entire army, so generally players would only design the four that they could take with them. But through endless hours of play, these four characters could take on the class of a warrior, a fighter, a wizard, a mage, a merchant, a goof-off, and then end up on the all-powerful, secret class, the sage, keeping all the new spells and abilities they had learned, specific to each class, as they enter into the next. It took months, but this RPG actually allowed the player to develop their party into the most powerful and fearsome group of warlords the gaming industry had ever seen- and that was only a fraction of what the game offered.

Position #17 (31,997)
Megaman IINES, 1989
Keeping all other things constant, Megaman II was just a slightly better game than the original. It maintained the perfect play control, game play, character personalities, perfectly paced action and maneuvering, and within that, created an all-around better design. Capcom had found the formula for success in the original and needed no lofty changes. This one just accented that perfect formula a little better. The story worked as a continuation of the original. Dr. Wily had faced his defeat, but it would not bring his end. Rather, he constructed eight of his own Robot Masters, this time designed strictly for the fight. These robots were sent out to continue his invasion, but this time, targeted at the destruction of Mega Man.

Position #16 (32,256)
MetroidNES, August, 1989
Metroid is an epic action title that continues to have publication nearly 20 years after its release. In 2003, 17 years after its American debut, a new password was released. NARPASSWORD00000, the ultimate password. What does narpassword mean? Narihiro was the last name of the designer of the password system in Metroid, and this his secret that remained dormant for 17 years. This is just one reason that Metroid's legacy has continued to bloom into a title of such epic proportions. It all began with the Space Pirates and their evil leader, giant brain, appropriately named the Motherbrain. They discovered a deadly new life form named "Metroid" and were planning to use it for own evil. You play the roll of Samus Aran, a feared bounty hunter, and your mission takes you to Zebes, the spacepirate's homeplanet, to eradicate the Metroids and destroy Motherbrain. You begin the game with limited weapons and movement patterns, but as you progress, upgrades become available, making you the single most powerful bounty hunter in the galaxy, and the only hope of halting the plans of Motherbrain. Although the game is one of the most challenging to complete by any means, if you can manage to destroy Motherbrain in less than 45 minutes, you will be rewarded with a better ending sequence, which may or may not be worth the countless hours it would take to develop the skill to do so.

Position #15 (33,799)
Dragon Quest/Warrior IINES, January 26, 1987

Though Dragon Warrior II just recently fell from the top 10, it never tails too far behind the original in voting. It took the same amazing design, deepened the story, and added more variation in environmental layouts and exploration, character and monster design, music, game play and plot development. You now controlled three characters through a land vastly larger than the original. With the ability to obtain a ship, you could now set sail to the lands outside of the kingdom of Alefgard. And although Alefgard was still a major part of the game, much had changed in the passing years. Some towns had fallen in battle, yet many remained strong. The Dragonlord had been defeated and the Ball of Light returned to Tantegel Castle.

Between the first and the second Dragon Warriors, Erdrick's descendent declined an offer to rule at the throne of Alefgard. He and Princess Gwaelin set out to discover their own kingdom to rule, eventually building the land of Torland. In time, Gwaelin bore three children. The eldest prince was given the land of Midenhall. The youngest prince given the land of Cannock, and to the princess, the kingdom of Moonbrooke. Under their rule the lands prospered for 100 years.... All the peace of Torland came to an abrupt end one day. Hargon the Sorcerer waged war on the world, beginning with Moonbrooke Castle. The defenses of Moonbrooke were no match for the incredible power of Hargon, who's roots are still unknown, and they suffered their defeat. One soldier managed to escape the castle and travel to the kingdom of Midenhall to warn them of Hargon's evil. The king of Midenhall put this war in the hands of his son. You play as this prince. As a descendent of Erdrick the Great, you seek out all other living decedents in attempt to bring the destruction of Hargon and the resurrection of peace.

Position #14 (33,924)
CastlevaniaNES, 1987
Although this is the second adventure of Simon Belmont, it is the first to be released in the U.S. As a followup to 1986's Japan/Europe only release, Vampire Killer, Castlevania features a whip against every famous creature of the night. The music and graphics were something to be mentioned, but the game play and design were fantastic. More than 15 Castlevania titles have already followed on six different systems, but this one created all the popularity that made them possible. Playing the role of Simon Belmont, (Simon Belmondo actually, according to the end credits), the renowned vampire killer, you set out on a quest to destroy Dracula for good, who had risen every 100 years. The game featured 18 total stages divided up among 6 levels, all ending with a powerful boss, such as Medusa, mummies, Frankenstein and Igor, Death (grim reaper), and obviously Count Dracula. And if you can somehow manage to complete the game, a second quest is waiting for you. Don't count on ever getting to that point however, as Castlevania was one of the most challenging games ever created. Just hang on to your holy water and enjoy the ride.

Position #13 (34,030)
Super Mario WorldSNES, August 1991

Mario, Luigi and Princess Toadstool went traveling to Dinosaur Land for a vacation, but Princess Toadstool disappeared. Although unable to find the princess, they do meet a local dinosaur named Yoshi, who tells Mario and Luigi that a group of turtles have trapped his best friends inside eggs and stolen Princess Toadstool. These turtles end up being Bowser and his henchmen. So Mario and Luigi get the help of Yoshi in their new battle against Bowser and the Koopa Kids: Larry Koopa, Montron Koopa Jr., Wendy O. Koopa, Iggy Koopa, Ludwig Von Koopa, Lemmy Koopa, and Roy Koopa. Upon the release of Super Mario World, it became an instant classic with a . Like Mario 64, it was the first title released for the system, and was not matched for a good deal of time. The backgrounds were well designed and the character animation was smooth, making it one of the most attractive graphical layouts to be released on the system. It used the basic idea of Super Mario Bros. 3 in a linear map, yet expanded on the possibilities and set a new standard for the quality of games. It featured a few new abilities with items that no other title had previously done. The item-reserve ability was one of these, which allowed Mario to carry a back up flower, feather, or mushroom going into a difficult level. Another was the expansion on the use of shells, being able to be kicked, and eaten by Yoshi for special abilities, not to mention the addition of Yoshi. The game featured 96 goals, 71 courses, and 25 secret paths along the way. It was also the first Mario title to feature a battery pack for saving game data, allowing for a game of greater depth, which it more than proved to be.

Position #12 (34,411) chart-peak (5)
Super Mario Bros. 2 (American Version)NES, October 1988

Super Mario Brothers 2 was profoundly different than its predecessor (as well as its Japanese counterpart), and was voted as the single most original game of all time (by a margin of almost double the runner up at its peak). All seven levels were vastly different with tricks and secrets hidden everywhere. The graphics were the best any home-console system had seen, and that was the least of what made Super Mario Bros. 2 such an amazing title. The player could use his favorite character from the previous title, or just whoever suited the level best. Toad's speed, Princess's hovering, Luigi's jumping, or Mario's balance of traits allowed for constant variation. The bosses at the end of each level are unique to this title alone, and there was no Bowser, no rescuing the princess, and no castle. Yet who can forget Mouser, Tripod, Fryguy and all the other quirky, original enemies along the way.

The game begins inside a strange dream where Mario found himself standing at the bottom of a long stair case leading up to a mysterious door. Upon opening the door, he found a never before seen world spreading out as far as his eyes could see, and heard a faint voice saying "Welcome to Subcon, the land of dreams. We have been cursed by Wart and are completely under his evil spell. We have been awaiting your arrival. Please defeat Wart and return Subcon to its natural state. The curse Wart has put on you in the real world will not have any effect upon you here. Remember, Wart hates vegetables. Please help us!" A huge flash of lightning sparked before his eyes, and he awoke. Later, while having a picnic with Toad, Luigi, and Princess at a nearby mountain, they stumbled across a cave and inside, found that same door from Mario's dream. The four of them made it up the stairs and opened up the door to the same mysterious world Mario had described. Super Mario Brothers 2 remains arguably the most imaginative game yet created, and has hidden secrets around every corner.

Position #11 (34,616)
Super Mario KartSNES, September 1, 1992
The number one racer of all time, Super Mario Kart, came out in September of '92, and blew away the competition. The driving control was virtually perfect in this fast paced 3D racer that was full of silly tactics and raw skill. The innovative design of creating a full three dimensional environment on a system of two dimensional games was something to be noted. But greater than that was the characters, as it took every classic Mario-affiliated character, and gave them a unique go-cart and some quirky weapons like banana peels and shells. Better than that was the game design as a whole with its unbeatable competitive nature. The replay value was unmatched by any other racing game as it featured endless variation with 2 player head-to-head racing or battle modes, time trials, or four different championship cups. Even as the new generation racers come out, the votes never seem to slow down on Super Mario Kart, keeping it well in the lead as the number one racer of all time.