Your Top 100 Games Challenge


For some reason, I played Crescent Hawk’s Inception multiple times as a kid. It got me into Battletech.

And Dreamweb was one of the first really mature adventure games I played. It seems like a given now, but back then an adventure game with mature themes and content taken seriously was decidedly an outlier (at least in America). I really dug it.


The first Descent: Freespace over it’s sequel?

Halo 3 over the original?

Wing Commander II over the other entries?

Xwing over Tie Fighter?

Wait a minute, Brute Force on the Xbox? Hunter: The Reckoning on Xbox? I played both of those. You crazy man. :P

I don’t know nijimeijer, are you trying to be a rebel here? :)

I still wish I’d been able to make more progress in Betrayal at Krondor back in the day. My party always died before they got to Krondor.


Let’s not be harsh, @Rock8man, these lists are always going to be about as subjective a thing as possible. Someone else said it better, these lists give you real insight into the forum’s members, what makes them tick. I’d probably make them a requirement for starting an account here, that’s how much value I see in them. Probably a good thing I’m not Tom Chick.

Betrayal at Krondor, that one takes me back. I remember playing it on a severely underpowered PC and never beating it. I have vague memories of my party constantly being poisoned.


Indeed. Point by point -

  • Freespace over Freespace II - yup. The first one had a bigger impact on me. The second one was awesome, and an improvement in every way, but I have fonder memories of the first.

  • Halo 3 was the first one I seriously played multiplayer on Live. My wife and I would split screen together, connecting on Live with a large group of friends. We had sooooooo much fun.

  • WCII is the one a friend and I played together (after obtaining the speech disks). While I think the series (core series) peaked with 3, the second one had a social element that places it higher in how I feel about them.

  • I actually liked playing in the Rebel ships more than the Empire ships. I know Tie Fighter is technically a better game, but man, as a kid, playing in an X-Wing (or a B-Wing or A-Wing) was … transcendent.

  • Brute Force was awesome in four player split screen co-op. Hunter, too. I had a blast going through those with family and friends. Played through them multiple times. Also see the random “Conflict” game on there. I love me some split screen co-op.


I too prefer X-wing over TIE Fighter, even though I agree TIE Fighter is probably the better game. Just can’t beat zipping around in an A-wing for my money.

Also, reading about all the games you played as a kid is slightly depressing. I was out of college by the time X-wing came out.


YES! Why X-wing vs. TIE Fighter: Balance of Power is the one on my list, should I ever finish it.


I preferred X-wing Alliance over both of them because of the modernized controls and excellent training missions where you had to do a timed run through Asteroid rings. But you couldn’t do that right away. It was only after you left your family behind and joined the Rebels that you got to go to the training yards. And boy was that an amazing reward.

Plus I just loved flying the Mellenium Falcon-like vessels in that game, with half a dozen automated turrets.


If it makes you feel better, I’m equating “kid” with “adolescent”, so maybe that closes the gap a bit? :)


A little.


I must confess I thought Dreamweb was one of those digital pinball games…

So here is my gaming psychological profile, Plants vs Zombies enhanced. I had most of it done a while ago it appears: guess I was ashamed to post it.
Bunch of stuff not released in the US, sorry about that.

The cream:

Dark Souls (PC)
Sid Meier’s Pirates! (Amstrad CPC version, for the blue borders around the screen that made the sea look so much larger…)
Offworld Trading Company (PC)
Gakkodeatta Kowai Hanashi (Super Nintendo)
Twilight Struggle (iOS)
Shenmue 2 (Sega Dreamcast)
Kerbal Space Program (PC)
Super Momotaro Dentetsu 2 (NEC PC-Engine)
M.U.L.E. (Atari 800)
Machi (Sega Saturn)
Herzog Zwei (Sega Megadrive)
Phantasy Star II (Sega Megadrive)
Konoyonohatedekoiwoutaushojo YU-NO (NEC PC-98)
Art of Fighting (SNK Neo-Geo)
Frostbite (Atari 2600)
Culdcept 2 (Sega Dreamcast)
Europa Universalis II (PC)
Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow (Nintendo DS)

And the rest:
Approaching Infinity (PC)
Gunhed (PC-Engine)
Shiren the Wanderer 5 (Nintendo DS)
Sid Meier’s Civilization (PC)
Donkey Kong (Nintendo Gameboy)
Halo (Microsoft XBOX)
Snatcher (NEC PC-Engine)
Musha Aleste (Sega Megadrive)
Le Mans 24 Hours (Sega Dreamcast)
American Truck Simulator (PC)
Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri (PC)
Pro Tennis World Court (NEC PC-Engine)
Quiz Nanairo Dreams (Sega Saturn)
Desktop Dungeons (PC)
The Binding of Isaac (PC)
Seireisenshi Spriggan (NEC PC-Engine)
Stunt Car Racer (Commodore Amiga)
SSX 3 (Microsoft XBOX)
Front Mission (Super Nintendo)
Every Extend (PC)
Carrier Command (Atari ST)
Armageddon Empires (PC)
Sujin Taisen (Nintendo DS)
Kamui (PC)
Silent Hunter III (PC)
Hitman: Blood Money (Microsoft XBOX)
Total Air War (PC)
Pro Yakyu Spirits 2010 (Sony PSP)
Heroes of Might & Magic II (PC)
Starflight (Sega Megadrive)
Baldur’s Gate II (PC)
Gabriel Knight (PC)
Knights of the Old Republic II (PC)
Oasis (iOS)
Sakura Taisen (Sega Saturn)
Kuron’yoma Gakuenki (Sony Playstation 2)
UnReal World (PC)
Unreal Tournament (PC)
Ghost Recon (PC)
Mahjong Kakuto Club DS (Nintendo DS)
Renowned Explorers (PC)
Batman Arkham Asylum (PC)
Shining Force (Sega Megadrive)
Der Langrisser FX (NEC PC-FX)
X-Plane 5 (PC)
Final Fantasy Tactics (Sony Playstation)
Wizardry 8 (PC)
Sorcerian (NEC PC-98)
Ys 1&2 (NEC PC-Engine)
Shadow of the Colossus (Sony Playstation 2)
Quadrilateral Cowboy (PC)
Gyakuten Saiban (Nintendo Gameboy Advance)
Sokyugurentai (Sega Saturn)
Winter Games (Amstrad CPC)
Mount & Blade (PC)
La-Mulana (PC)
Plants vs Zombies (everything)
Pro Pinball Big Race USA (PC)
Lemeilleur no Renkinjutsushi (PC)
The Fool’s Errand (Macintosh)
Elder Sign: Omen (iOS)
Mark of the Ninja (PC)
Ranarama (Amstrad CPC)
Strider Hiryu (Sega Megadrive)
Space Harrier (Amstrad CPC)
Captain Blood (Amstrad CPC)
Frontier: Elite 2 (Commodore Amiga)
Katamari Damashii (Sony Playstation 2)
Disciples (PC)
Freespace 2 (PC)
Psi-Ops (Microsoft XBOX)
Out Run (Arcade)
Burnout 3 (Microsoft XBOX)
Stephen’s Sausage Roll (PC)
Saints Row: The Third (PC)
Metal Gear Solid V (PC)
Space Channel 5 Part 2 (Sega Dreamcast)
Monaco (PC)
Tenshi no Uta (NEC PC-Engine)
State of Decay Year One (PC)
Hungry Cat Picross (iOS)
Ultima Underworld (PC)

It was actually tough to limit it to 100 titles, while I thought it would be the contrary.

The people whose lists resonnated the most with me in the thread were @Thraeg, @Juan_Raigada and @divedivedive’s. It is funny, because we all list very different games.


Good list! You’re right that I don’t recognize all the games, whether they weren’t released in the U.S. or may have gone by a different name, don’t know. But you’ve got a couple of games listed that I actually do own but haven’t spent much time with, Monaco and State of Decay. Keep meaning to spend more time with them, I know I would enjoy them. Also interesting to see Quadrilateral Cowboy - I have that on my Steam wish list, just need some spare time as much as anything else to dedicate before I pick it up. You also reminded me of a game I really enjoyed but haven’t spent time with in years, Psi-Ops. That one was a lot of fun.


Psi-Ops was a blast. That and Project Snowblind are two underrated and somewhat forgotten gems from that generation.


I like how you distinguished your favorites of the top games from the rest.


Here’s my list. The top 3 are set in stone, the top 10 approximately reflect my feelings, and the rest aren’t ordered in any way other than when they popped into my mind – which I suppose is also a bit telling.

  1. Ultima 3 - My favorite game of all time. Blew open the possibilities of video games. Even now it has an admirably compact design, a haunting, stately quality, and superb music.

  2. World of Warcraft - The most addictive game I’ve ever played, by an order of magnitude. For me it was never better than in the early levels of the vanilla days – so wide open, so much possibility. Questing in Loch Modan, getting a mail that your stack of leather sold for 20 silver, stopping to listen to the music. You can never go back.

  3. Half-Life - Hard to overstate the impact this had in early 1999 to someone with little experience of shooters. Favorite memory: crawling through airducts in ‘We’ve Got Hostiles,’ flashlight illuminating the duct walls, fearing the inevitable headcrab.

  4. M.U.L.E. - Rivals Atari 2600 Warlords as the best ‘all at one machine’ multiplayer game of all time. The auction mechanic is absolutely brilliant. Plus, you can hunt the wumpus!

  5. Civilization 2 - The Civ game that most exemplifies the series to me. While playing it years ago I had a sort of epiphany. The hugeness and complexity, the interleaving systems, of a civilization, struck me with immense force. The epiphany is gone – only the memory of it remains – but to me it’s the classic example of how games can provide experiences that render the ‘is it art?’ question/justification utterly beside the point.

  6. Baldur’s Gate II - Still probably gets my vote for ‘best single player CRPG ever.’ I love the score. The vastness of it. The huge setpiece battles. The first really terrifying depiction of a dragon in a videogame. The way, when you think you’re barreling toward the conclusion, you suddenly get a whole new Underdark to play in, chock full of nooks and crannies. This is the apotheosis of Dungeons and Dragons videogamedom.

  7. Unreal Tournament (1999) - The speed, the slickness, the music, the level layouts, the taunts, the narrator. It’s all just perfect. Deck16 botmatches are still my shortest path to a complete submersion of consciousness.

  8. Sid Meier’s Pirates! – Certainly one of the best 8-bit games ever made. There’s just so much going on. It’s not a strategy game, it’s not an action game, and it’s not an RPG, but it transcends and contains all three. It points the way toward a kind of pan-genre game design that has still only imperfectly and intermittently been explored.

  9. Tetris - Perfect and timeless. Nothing else to say about this one.

  10. Warlords - Couch multiplayer doesn’t get much better than this. 4 paddles, 3 buddies, and Warlords add up to one of the great gaming experiences.

  11. Ultima 4 - A massive leap in scale over Ultima 3. The sheer hugeness of the landscapes, and the variety of the town designs, stand out in my memory.

  12. Ultima 5 - A watershed in CRPGs for its introduction of NPC schedules and day/night schedules. Probably the greatest ‘living world’ seen in games up to that point.

  13. Thief - Dripping with atmosphere. I come back to it a lot, although the core gameplay loop (stand in place waiting for guards to walk by) often taxes my patience.

  14. Hearthstone - I’ve played a number of digital CCGs but Hearthstone got its hooks into me the most. Partly the vast player base, partly the patented Blizzard polish, partly the chance to revisit – however glancingly – good old Azeroth. It’s entertained me more than most games I’ve played, and it didn’t cost me a dime.

  15. Unreal - One of those games I come back to again, and again, and again. Gameplay is decent, but the atmosphere is just unparalleled. Nyleve’s Falls probably has fewer polygons in it than the average creature in a modern shooter, but that sense of vast openness and discovery is still there.

  16. Age of Empires II - Might be my favorite RTS of all time. Loved those longbowmen, and the trebuchet’s awesome power.

  17. Bejeweled Twist - This Bejeweled side-quel deserved to do better than it actually did. The core mechanic was lots of fun, and the legendary Mega Fruit Bonus is one of the great endorphin drops in game rewards.

  18. Elite - Utterly original. Nothing like it had been seen before. Games like Star Raiders weakly pointed the way, but Elite managed to cram a whole universe into 64k.

  19. Grim Dawn - My favorite action RPG. Fantastic graphics, lots of variety in various classes and builds, plenty of cool loot. Over 300 hours played on my Steam account.

  20. Skyrim - The Elder Scrolls games are still the best for a full-3D, ‘you are there’ wander through a meticulously realized fantasy world. Like every Elder Scrolls game, Skyrim gets endlessly picked apart for its flaws, but it’s a fine update of the good old formula to 2011.

  21. Oblivion - The reliance on Oblivion-gate sequences to move the story forward was a flaw, and the problems with the interface and the rubber-banding have been addressed plenty of times. Still, wandering Cyrodiil in 2006, the great spire of the Imperial City off in the distance, was always a treat. Also some great side quests, including one where you go inside a painting. I’ll always love the game-breaking Chameleon Suit.

  22. Morrowind - The older this gets, the better it seems. Perhaps it’s the Elder Scrolls’s last hurrah as a ‘dare to be weird’ fantasy franchise. Vvardenfell is one of the great game settings, and the landscape – from the swamps of Seyda Neen to the Telvanni mushroom cities to the lush southern coastal region – is impressive in both its variety and its subtle transitions. I love that the mod scene has kept this one pretty.

  23. The Magic Candle - My favorite non-Ultima CRPG from the C64 era. Loved the lopsided humor, the Grandma Moses art, the fact that you can drop off a party member to get a real job and make some extra money. Everything about the design screamed attention to detail.

  24. Archon - The strategic map isn’t that interesting when you think about it, but the whiteknuckle piece-vs-piece encounters made up for it. Basilisk vs. Unicorn. Unicorn vs. Sorceress. Shapeshifter vs. anything.

  25. The Way of the Exploding Fist - It’s not just that this was a solid karate fighter in the ‘Karate Champ’ mold. It’s that it had a beautifully tranquil atmosphere, aided by Neil Brennan’s superb music. You wanted to walk into the screen and be there.

  26. Rome: Total War - Mere months before descending into the abyss of World of Warcraft, I played this one to monstrous excess. Wailing women. Phalanxes walking into hails of arrows and slowly dying off. Egyptian soldiers wearing 1000-year-anachronistic head dresses. All ridiculous, all awesome. My first into to the Creative Assembly style of strategy game, and the only one that’s really grabbed me.

  27. Knights of the Old Republic - When BioWare could do no wrong. It has the same bifurcated morality that people often criticize from this developer, but executed with such verve and panache. On completing as Light Side, I immediately rolled a new character to play through again as Dark Side. What you can do to Mission’s Wookiee buddy still gives me chills. Also, HK-47 is a superb character.

  28. Divine Divinity - A lovely merging of ARPG mechanics and ‘real’ RPG depth. Totally hooked me when it came out, despite the weak final act.

  29. Portal - Pretty much a perfect game. Just as long as it needs to be given the core gameplay. Maybe the best-written game ever, though its sequel gives it a run for the money. GlaDOS is easily in the top 10 game villains of all time. Plus, of course, the song.

  30. Adventure Construction Set - Of all the game-making software I dabbled in, this is the one I was most drawn into. Staggering ambition for 1984, though some of the core mechanics (like the lousy combat system) dragged it down. Also, the pack-in game, Rivers of Light, seems strikingly original compared to much CRPG fare of the day. A game based on the Epic of Gilgamesh? Wild.

  31. Soul Calibur - Pretty much single-handedly justified my Dreamcast purchase. Just a flat gorgeous game with wonderful gameplay.

  32. FTL - Scratches that itch for a tiny little universe with tiny little spacemen and tiny little spaceships. I want to unlock it into a more freeform gameworld, but I never get tired of seeing my little dudes walk around to and from their various stations. The atmospheric system alone is a delight – nothing like flooding a section of the ship with vacuum to put out a fire or suffocate an enemy boarding party.

  33. Pitfall 2 - An astonishing achievement on Atari 2600 hardware. A big, beautiful game with a soaring musical score. I came agonizingly close to a perfect score, marking this as one of my better gaming achievements. It’s also sort of my 2600 swan song – the Commodore 64 was about to take over.

  34. H.E.R.O. - The core mechanics are so fun. The light tap to nudge left or right onto a ledge, the pitch-perfect responsiveness on the interplay of your rotor blades and gravity. Once you’ve learned the levels, cruising through them creates a great sense of flow.

  35. Rogue - The version I played was on the Amiga in the late 1980s. I never beat it but I played it innumerable times. There’s just something so fascinating about that tiny ASCII or ASCII-esque world that blossoms on your monitor, unique and fresh each time.

  36. Temple of Apshai Trilogy - A fun, slick update of Epyx’s classic Temple of Apshai dungeon crawler and its expansions. Fighting giant fruit (including a killer tomato) in Upper Reaches of Apshai was always a hoot.

  37. Telengard - For the grey misty cubes. For the song that the ancient throne plays. For the unique feeling of being chased by a Level 87 Vampire while hauling 1,005,325 gold pieces. For the elf that likes your body and heals you.

  38. Paradroid - The only knock against this is the lack of unique graphics for the various droid types. But it’s a superb game, creating a powerful atmosphere of a huge, isolated spacecraft overrun by renegade robots. I loved how you could access little computer consoles, look at maps, and read up on the various droid types.

  39. Jedi Knight - Maybe my favorite single-player shooter after Half Life. The vertiginous vastness of the level designs has never been topped, although Jedi Outcast came close.

  40. Demon Attack - The 2600’s color capabilities are used to their fullest extent in the weird, glowy color-cycling used here on the aliens. Great sound effects, great background music, great Whooshy animations as the enemies entered at the beginning of the stage. For my money, the best Space Invaders clone on the 2600.

  41. Avernum 2 - My praise might apply to many Avernum games, but this is the one I played to completion. Immense, absorbing, with a great combat system. One of the best meat-and-potatoes CRPG experiences I’ve had.

  42. Phantasie – Lacking the graphical elegance of the Ultimas, but something about Phantasie stuck out for me. The dungeons weren’t just abstract mazes but had real-world referents – abandoned forts and the like, I think. The weird tactical combat system earned points for novelty. This was one of the rare ‘80s CRPGs that felt neither like an Ultima clone nor like a Wizardry clone.

  43. Faery Tale Adventure – My family bought this game before we had an Amiga to play it on. The days before our Amiga 500 arrived I used to stare at the screenshots on the back of the box, overcome with longing. In practice, the game wasn’t that great. Terrible combat system, not much content to fill up its vast overland world. But the graphics were gorgeous at the time and the music was first-rate. Flying on a swan at night, listening to David Joiner’s haunting music, is a memory that’s stayed with me.

  44. Journey (Infocom) – Actually the only Infocom game I ever managed to beat. Though the purist in me objects to the introduction of graphics to their line of adventures, I really liked this one. There’s a painterly quality to the images that nicely distills the Tolkienian clichés into something almost elemental.

  45. Arkanoid – I played holy hell out of this on the Amiga. A really cool iteration on top of the core Breakout design. You can shoot the bricks! You can shoot the bricks!!

  46. Tapper – I achieved nigh-total mastery of the C64 port of Tapper when I was a kid. It was a point of pride for me. Such a kick when you get to the alien level.

  47. Bruce Lee – An odd little platformer, but made much more fun by the ability to have friends sub in as two antagonists (Sumo and Ninja). Way too short, but it’s stuck with me.

  48. Mancopter – Okay, the endless-button-pressing mechanic is sadistic in its design. But the intense, driving music helped to create a manic atmosphere that made this one of the more addicting (and rage-inducing) titles of its time.

  49. Trolls and Tribulations – One of the first C64 platformers I played. Not so very great; the slidely joystick feel was a long way from the precision of a Super Mario Bros. But the classical soundtrack was great, and it was a big, roomy game with a certain feeling of exploration.

  50. Darkest Dungeon – Because of the narrator. Because of the rare introduction of a truly fresh mechanic (the sanity stuff) to the CRPG toolbox. Because of the Jester’s “Finale” animation. All that said, I burned out long before actually being able to make a run at the titular Darkest Dungeon.

  51. Gothic 2 – So much of this game has faded out of my memory except for my conviction upon completion that it was one of the best CRPGs ever. It took Gothic’s offbeat playstyle and expanded into something bigger, more epic. I loved it, yet I don’t well remember it. Odd.

  52. Dragon Age – Frustratingly, I lost the save file perhaps 2/3 of the way into completing this. So I may never beat it. But I appreciated the time and attention that went into the lore and backstory. I also enjoyed the large suite of available spells and the multiple solutions to various miniquests. No Baldur’s Gate II, but a solid entry in that vein.

  53. Enduro – Probably the first truly epic videogame I ever played. The feeling of sunrise toward the end of the course, after the fog and snow and darkness, was wonderful.

  54. Frogs and Flies – Wonderfully mellow head-to-head action on the 2600. I love the slow fade to nighttime (made possible by the 2600’s large color palette), and the little firefly that drags the ‘Game Over’ sign at the end.

  55. Rings of Zilfin – I barely remember this except that the combat was a weird arcadey little side-perspective minigame where your little dude sort of ran up to the monster and hit it, and then ran back. It’s emblematic to me of the avalanche of CRPG titles that SSI was pumping out in the mid-80s. An early title by Ali “The Magic Candle” Atabek. It definitely brought the weird and whimsy.

  56. Speedball – Besides the fact that the music is completely awesome, this game just looked gorgeous on the Amiga and had a great ‘80s Brit-cyber-yobbo-bruiser vibe. Others preferred its sequel, but this is the one that hooked me.

  57. Bejeweled – One of the only casual-game concepts that can be compared to the sublime Tetris. I played this a lot around 2000, but gradually came to dislike the original ‘no more moves’ fail-state. I now prefer either Blitz mode or the spinoff, Bejeweled Twist.

  58. Alien Isolation – Often annoying to play, this game nevertheless is fantastically, stupendously atmospheric. It’s by far – by far – the best re-entry to the Alien universe that’s been made in any medium since 1986. Well, maybe that’s unfair to David Fincher. But, tough!

  59. Age of Mythology – Ensemble tries for the Starcraft-style “3 unique races” RTS design. Never grabbed me as Age of Kings did, but I had plenty an engaging multiplayer match with it.

  60. Frontier: Elite II – Quite possibly the most ambitious game I have ever played. I confess I didn’t play it anywhere near as much as either Elite or Elite: Dangerous. But it strikes me as in some ways greater than either. You start on Mars. Mars is moving. The sun is moving. The planets are moving. You can take off and point at a planet and go straight there uninterruptedly. Just mind-blowing, trebly so given the year of its release.

  61. Half Life 2 – Great graphics, great physics, Ravenholme, fantastic atmosphere. It’s not as good as its predecessor, but as almost no game is, I don’t hold that against this very fine sequel.

  62. Rune – Melee games don’t come along too often, so you cherish them when they do. The gameplay got a bit monotonous, and I’ll always love Old Man Murray’s brilliant takedown. But there’s some great atmosphere here, from the ancient ruins to the spooky Hel locations and the frozen caves.

  63. Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines – Maybe the best writing I’ve ever seen in a CRPG. It was that goddamn good. I never quite beat it, though.

  64. Jedi Outcast – Almost as good as its predecessor, Jedi Knight. Better force-power implementation, not-quite-as-good level design. Gave me some moments of shooter bliss and was my 2002 GOTY.

  65. Ultima 2 – Ultima III’s mean little brother. This game was a bitch to get into. The instruction manual hints that you need random objects like ‘brass buttons’ to get on a sailing ship, but being teh piratz we didn’t realize that, so it was just trial and error. Just getting your character to a point of not being in constant danger of instant death was an accomplishment. Then there’s the fun ‘kitchen sink’ design with all the planets, weird humor, time zones, etc. Garriott really just having a lark before he disciplined himself for the magnificent Ultima III, his first true masterpiece.

  66. Questron – Probably the best Ultima clone. Loved the gambling. Loved the little iterations beyond Ultima design, like how guards in hostile towns would remember they didn’t like you for a time after you left. Loved how the game hits you with a whole second continent when you think you’re nearing the end. Also, one of the best endings ever. The kind of reward you should get when you save the goddamn kingdom.

  67. Legacy of the Ancients – Solid entry in the Questron lineage. Beautiful graphics, cool ‘museum’ concept, lovely pop-off roofs. I liked this one a lot, though I don’t remember it well.

  68. Seven Cities of Gold – One of the several early C64 games (Maze Master being another) that made me realize the transition from 2600 to 8-bit computing was a massive game changer. A whole continent! Generated randomly! Endless exploration! I never quite knew what win-condition there was, if any, or what to do but wander and amass gold; but that was more than enough at the time.

  69. Heart of Africa – I really enjoyed this much-tighter Seven Cities sequel. It was tailored to shorter play sessions and had a very clear win condition, which might count as ‘dumbing down.’ The depiction of ‘darkest Africa’ is probably not altogether politically correct nowadays, though to be fair the game tries to evoke a 19th-century colonialist perspective. Lovely opening tune by Dave Warhol, too – faux-Raiders pomp at its best.

  70. Populous – I played holy heck out of this game when it came out, and certain moments of Midnight Oil’s album ‘Diesel and Dust’ make me think of it because that’s what I was usually listening to. But the design in retrospect has always seemed odd to me. You’re a god with all these powers, but you spend most of the time landscaping.

  71. Card Hunter – I dove straight into the first campaign for this. Lots of fun, great evocation of D&D nerdstalgia.

  72. Shadow of the Beast – That I beat this game is a point of gamer pride for me. Amazing music. Amazing graphics. Yes, the number of layers of parallax was actually an advertising bullet point. Hugely hyped game. Not great gameplay. But I still got my money’s worth. (Actually paid for this one – or, more precisely, my dad did.)

  73. Montezuma’s Revenge – One of my favorite early platformers. Some of the bloopy synth sounds remind me of Steve Miller’s ‘Fly Like an Eagle’ (or vice versa). The kind of weird, half-unhinged design that you saw a lot in the 8-bit days.

  74. Gothic – I preferred its sequel, but I liked Gothic’s offbeat take on a fantasy world and its darker, more European vibe. Really, a proto-Witcher in terms of its “mature adults” style. My favorite thing about this game is how it didn’t put any cap on summons, so I was able to literally raise an army of skeletons to help me in the final boss battle. That they didn’t actually help much only slightly diminishes the memory.

  75. Starcraft 2 – I actually tried to get good at this. Made it to Silver for my trouble. I could never dream of competing with serious RTS players. But it’s a super-solid, super-slick product, per Blizzard usual.

  76. Space Rogue – I loved, loved, this game’s combination of Ultima-style RPG and Elite-style space sim at the time. It’s a short game and not super ambitious, but really kind of an underappreciated gem.

  77. Maze Master – The first real CRPG I ever played. One of the very early games we got on the C64. A simple, straight Wizardry-style first-person dungeon crawler. Nothing special about it except for the time and circumstances in which I encountered it. I was taking steps into a larger world.

  78. Ms. Pac-Man – Better than its predecessor in practically every way. I rocked at Ms. Pac-Man when it was one of the retro items at a Street Fighter II-dominated arcade circa 1992, and was saddened to learn it was a doctored machine in which your character’s speed had been increased to make it easier.

  79. Sinbad and the Throne of the Falcon – Maybe my favorite Cinemaware title. Fantastic graphics and music. The ‘raindrop’ musical theme on the map screen is really wonderful. Like most Cinemaware games, a bit of a mish-mash – mini-games stuck together by cutscense and a fancy paint job. But in those early Amiga days, it scratched the itch for graphical/audio bliss.

  80. Starfleet 1 – Basically a commercial clone of the old Star Trek mainframe game. I played this thing ad nauseum. I loved the feel of stopping at a starbase. Diverting power to shields. Trying to spot the flickering cloaked Zaldron. Even FTL, much as I love it, doesn’t quite capture what this captured.

  81. Zork – I sucked at Zork as a kid and I still do. I don’t want to look at walkthroughs because I don’t want to see this vast mysterious universe reduced to a page and a half of decision-tree choices. Maybe someday I will really try to beat it.

  82. Mail Order Monsters – Though the ‘build your own monster’ metagame didn’t work quite as well, I think, as it was intended to, this is still a nice creative offering from Archon’s Paul Reiche III.

  83. Star Control – I missed my window to play Star Control II, which everyone raves about. (I’ll try it at some point, but it’s always tough to go back.) This is the Star Control game I played to death. Me and my brother had some extremely intense head-to-head matches. Arilou vs. Ur-Quan Dreadnought. Oh yeah.

  84. Robotron 2084 – Probably the apotheosis of Golden Age arcade game design. Sheer insanity. Utterly gorgeous. I suck at it; I love it.

  85. Mr. Do – I loved how much more fast-paced this was than Dig-Dug. Also loved that little ball-boomerang thing you could throw. There was a Mr. Do machine at the ‘Cumberland Farms’ convenience store down the block from our house in Great Barrington, MA circa 1984. I played it a lot.

  86. Adventure – Played it plenty. Was thrilled to attend Warren Robinett’s GDC postmortem and write an article about it for Yahoo. Loved the duck-dragons. Even did the whole thing with the dot and the secret room, though that was from a walkthrough posted in some issue of Electronic Games or some book of the time.

  87. Dan Dare – Great visual style in this mid-80s British C64 entry. Not great gameplay – too much joystick wiggling to the combat. But fun to explore; a good example of ‘comic book come to life’ design. Inspired me to buy a Dan Dare comic compilation a couple of years later. I’d love to see a proper Dan Dare movie some day.

  88. The Bard’s Tale – This was the big, heavily hyped mid-80s Wizardry-esque dungeon crawler for 8-bit gamers. I played it a lot; I don’t think I ever beat it. But it was absolutely “the hottest game” in my family for a couple of weeks.

  89. Age of Empires – None of the subsequent Ensemble RTS’s has the weird, almost languid atmosphere of this initial entry. When I first played it I didn’t really understand what an RTS was supposed to be – I saw it more as a real-time ‘Civilization’ and got lost in the farming and fishing and all that. Loved the trireme battles, and the priest-wars. Wo lo lo!

  90. Lode Runner – Still one of the great platformer designs. A completely different direction from where Super Mario would take much of the genre. No jumping, but lots of possibilities with the ‘dig’ mechanic. Also one of the first games to bundle with a level editor, which was lots of fun in its own right.

  91. Rastan – Not great gameplay at all. But magnificent atmosphere. Those statues in the far parallax distance are just gobsmacking. Great music. I pumped more than a few quarters into this one just to goggle at its first few screens.

  92. Baldur’s Gate – Not as good as its sequel, but still good. Besides kicking off Bioware’s amazing run of late’90s-early-‘00s CRPGs, and the now-legendary Infinity Engine, it caught the feeling of being on the low end of the D&D level scale, when a party of hobgoblins could easily take you apart. I only wish the combat design didn’t privilege ranged weapons so much, and that the game didn’t incentivize you to use fog-of-war creep cheese to start battles.

  93. Fallout 4 – I put 100 hours into this, so I must have liked it. I flinch like a beaten dog whenever I bring up anything Bethesda makes because the chorus of “it sucks unless you mod it to high heaven” is likely to overwhelm me. I didn’t much go for the story. And I could take or leave the base-building stuff. But the vast number of places to explore, the infinite scavenger-hunting potential, and the insanity of some of the battles (especially with super mutants) grabbed me.

  94. Sword Coast Legends – Unlike Pillars of Eternity or Dragon Age, I actually managed to complete this one. It feels like the red-headed stepchild of D&D CRPGs, but I thought its core campaign was quite nice and it just felt like a warm bath of dragony dungeon-ness.

  95. Return to Castle Wolfenstein – I replayed a lot of levels in this early-oughts shooter. The church level was really pretty gorgeous at the time. I also like the airfield level and the zombie/catacombs stuff. In retrospect it’s not a great shooter, I suppose, but it’s a good one and it was a fine showcase for the latest PC I’d built.

  96. Rise of Nations – I still haven’t plumbed all the possibilities of sheer interface efficiency in this number-crunching extravaganza of a historical RTS. But I played the hell out of it and you gotta respect the design. I just somehow felt this game wasn’t made for me. It was made for smarter people. Mr. Robot people.

  97. Rock Band – It’s odd how quickly the music-game bubble burst. But this was just great fun – a high point in living-room multiplayer.

  98. Forbidden Forest – Paul Norman, of Cosmi fame, lets his freak frag fly in this wonderfully weird-ass action title. The design anticipates Shadow of the Colossus in essentially just being a succession of boss battles. The graphics are cruddily terrific with the big ungainly hero sprite and the parallax scrolling (dubbed, with carnival-barker instinct, “OmniDimension 4D” by Norman). The music is classic. And your character does a little boogie dance after every victory. What games could be before they took themselves remotely seriously.

  99. Delta – Stavros Fasoulas’s masterpiece, a high point of mid-80s C64 aesthetics. One of Rob Hubbard’s best soundtracks combined with gorgeous alien sprites and a ridiculously tight “no random elements” gameplay model. I’ve never made it far in this game but I still dust it off from time to time.

  100. Battle Squadron - Great vertical SHMUP on the Amiga. Probably downright quaint by today’s standards of the genre, but it looked great at the time and its high score theme is one of the great chiptunes.


Awesome, I love when this thread gets bumped! If I were elected Pope of Qt3, I’d make entries in this thread mandatory for every poster. But that would probably suck all the fun out of it.

Anyway, cool that you wrote a bit for each entry. I’ll need to go through them in more detail, you’ve got a few I don’t recognize.


I got to entry 11 and thought to myself, “wait, you didn’t write a blurb for each entry, did you?!” Well done.


Writing the blurbs turned out to be the most enjoyable part of the exercise!


You know, I just might need to do that for my list. Probably take me a year but you can consider me inspired.


My list is console heavy as I didn’t get a computer until way late in the scheme of things. I started off with games I loved and played so much I played them to death or games that had the most influence on my gaming history, followed by games I liked a lot, in no particular order, descending into games I mostly just remember playing. I could spend the rest of the day rearranging the order, but here it is:

  1. World of Warcraft (PC): Has to be #1 - my first online game. I started playing a few month before the first expansion - such a new experience, wandering around, playing with other people. I was such a noob, knew nothing about stats and rotations and DPS - no pressure to “win”. It was an experience that I’ll never get to experience again.
  2. Legend of Zelda - Link to the Past (SNES): Everyone’s favourite Zelda game. Amiright?
  3. Super Mario Brothers 3 (NES): This felt like a gift from Nintendo just before the release of the SNES. Unbelievably great graphics. Arguably the best Mario game in the series.
  4. Halo - Combat Evolved (Xbox): I loved this game so much. I may even dig this out tonight and play it again.
  5. Silent Hill 2 (PS2): Loved the ending music. Probably my favourite survival horror game.
  6. Ico (PS2): My favourite PlayStation game. Such a sweet story. My husband used to get vertigo if he watched me play.
  7. Fire Emblem (GBA): Sword beats axe beats lance with permadeath to up the ante. My favourite turn based strategy series.
  8. Elder Scrolls IV - Oblivian (PC): My first open world type -untold hours searching out every cave and every quest.
  9. Space Armada (Intellivision): My introduction to console gaming as a 17 year old girl - back when it was almost true that girls didn’t pay video games (and probably where the addiction started).
  10. Deus Ex (PS2): A classic of its type, installed several time on PC since.
  11. Portal (Xbox): Someone else said this is a perfect game! I agree.
  12. Mario Bros. (NES): Just imagine a game where you got 3 lives. When you died 3 times, you started over from the beginning. Talk about replay value!
  13. System Shock 2 (PC): My first FPS with mouse and keyboard. I was so nervous I accidently threw my weapon on the ground whenever a monster got near me throughout the game. I don’t think I finished it. A Steam version sits un-played in my backlog.
  14. Myst II - Riven (PS1): This was the first game I bought for my brand new PS1 because I didn’t have a computer and wanted to try Myst. I couldn’t believe a video game could look so beautiful.
  15. Half Life (PS2): Another game I couldn’t wait to play. Didn’t disappoint. Well, except the last level. I’ve played through on PC a few times since and never bother with the last level.
  16. Fire Emblem (3DS): Did I say I love this series. They are all the same game pretty much, but still…
  17. Advance Wars – GBA: Fire Emblem with guns.
  18. Yoshi’s Island (SNES): My mom played this when she was in her 60’s and was so pleased with herself that she “won”. She only managed to get through the first level. Now I.m approaching my 60’s… that’s so weird to think of.
  19. Katamary Damacy (PS2): So this king gets drunk and loses everything in the universe. Your mission as the prince is to retrieve it all. Who thinks up this stuff?
  20. Tetris (NES): A classic. Bet I’d be terrible at it now though.
  21. Tetris 2 (NES): Its Tetris, but with a difference (in a good way).
  22. Alice - Madness Returns (PC): I hear we may get a 3rd installment - here’s hoping!
  23. Magic the Gathering 2014 (PC): My first introduction to Magic the Gathering. I still play with far-away friends regularly.
  24. Minecraft (PC): Perfect when it was just a building game but I logged in a while ago and starved to death. Not fun anymore.
  25. Metal Gear Solid (PS1): Snaaaaaake!
  26. Half Life 2 (PC): What the hell was that ending about?
  27. Bioshock (X360): Great atmosphere, great start to the series.
  28. Fallout 3 (PC): Oblivion, many years later.
  29. Animal Crossing - DS: Cute game with no ending - just keep helping your neighbours and paying your mortgage.
  30. Tomb Raider - 2013 (PC): One of the instances where the reboot is more fun than the original.
  31. Rift (PC): Has to be here - way too many hours in it and still playing.
  32. The Walking Dead - Telltale (PC): Story driven games don’t usually affect me, but this one made me cry at the end.
  33. Machinarium (PC): Delightful point and click puzzle game with the sweetest characters.
  34. Silent Hill (PS1): So much atmosphere. Played this before online hints were everywhere and nobody I knew played video games - I had to figure EVERYTHING out myself.
  35. Resident Evil 6 (PC): This wasn’t all that well received but I liked this it. Memorable for the loading screen logo which, as my co op partner pointed out, looks like someone fellating a giraffe. Can’t unsee that.
  36. Chronicles of Riddick (Xbox): Way better than the movie!
  37. Dead Rising (X360): Making weapons out of anything and killing hoards of zombies in ridiculous outfits - who cares about the story!
  38. Spy Hunter (PS2): chickens!
  39. Prince of Persia - Sands of Time (PS2): Still one of the best mechanics to restart after you die.
  40. Pyschonauts (PS2): So much fun except for the meat circus.
  41. Indigo Prophecy (Xbox): Great game kinda ruined by the last quarter.
  42. Einhander (PS1): My favourite shooter of all time.
  43. Hot Shots Golf (PS1): Where I learned why you need more than one club.
  44. Spyro the Dragon (PS1): Loving games like this when you are an adult is kind of embarrassing. But look, cute dragons!
  45. Portal 2 (PC): Such great commentary. Worth a replay just for that alone.
  46. Deus Ex - Invisible War (PC): Everyone had the highest of hopes. There wasn’t a chance it could live up to that.
  47. Resident Evil (PS1): It’s the first one. It has to be here.
  48. Dead Island (PC):** Silly zombie killing madness, fun to play co op.**
  49. Borderlands (PC): Funny dialogue, great for co op.
  50. Candy Crush (Android): Sadly, too many hours on this to leave it off.
  51. Far Cry 3 (PC): Never finished solo, but a great co op game.
  52. Planescape Torment (PC): I know this is beloved by all, but it just an ok game for me. I only included it because I’ve reinstalled it so many times to try to figure out why people think its so great.
  53. Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega): Spinney legs and rings, what’s not to love.
  54. Devil May Cry (PS2): Button masher with the corniest story.
  55. Amnesia (PC): Damn, this game made me tense. Why do we play games that make us feel life that?
  56. Dark Souls (PC): YOU DIED
  57. Eternal Darkness (GC): Best “made you jump” ever.
  58. Dino Crisis (PS1): Dinosaurs!
  59. Bioshock Infinite (PC): uhh… I’ve run out… I don’t know how you managed all of them Gordon_Cameron!
  60. Dying Light (PC)
  61. Civilization II (PC)
  62. The Room (PC)
  63. Fallout 4 (PC)
  64. Viva Piñata (Xbox)
  65. Dishonored (PC)
  66. God of War (PS2)
  67. Star Wars KOTOR (PS2)
  68. Alan Wake (PC)
  69. Perfect Dark (N64)
  70. Goldeneye (N64)
  71. Rise of the Tomb Raider (PC)
  72. Resident Evil 5 (PC)
  73. Left for Dead (PC)
  74. Zelda - A Link Between Worlds (3DS)
  75. **Resident Evil Nemesis (PS1) **
  76. Grim Fandango (PC)
  77. Harvest Moon (PS2)
  78. Super Mario World (SNES)
  79. Elder Scrolls V - Skyrim (PC)
  80. F.E.A.R 3 (PC)
  81. Dead Space 3 (PC)
  82. Okami (PS2)
  83. Legend of Zelda - Links Awakening (GB)
  84. Beyond Good and Evil (Xbox)
  85. Tomb Raider (PS1)
  86. Donkey Kong Country (SNES)
  87. Ape Escape (PS1)
  88. Limbo (PC)
  89. Don’t Starve
  90. Metroid (NES)
  91. Parasite Eve (PS1)
  92. Res (PS1)
  93. Kingdom of Amalur (PC)
  94. Balders Gate - Dark Alliance (PS2)
  95. Ecco the Dolphin (Sega)
  96. Morrowind (PC)
  97. Divinity (PC)
  98. Tekken (PS1)
  99. Lord of the Rings Online (PC)
  100. Metro (PC)


Awesome, thanks for the list!

Whoa they made a game of this? Oh hi Mark!