VVG Show 12 – Scientifically Verified Best Games of All-Time
We actually recorded this back during Halloween, not that it’s a particularly horror-themed show. This is our follow-up to last episode’s discussion of best ever gaming lists, as we dedicate 40 minutes to discussing our Best Games Ever of All-Time. Things get a bit confusing – is it a top 5? A top 10? How many lists are we doing? Are we combining them? – but somehow we fumble through to present our top 5 best games, followed by our top 5 favourite games. Which games will turn out on top?! All will be revealed… (Click “continue reading” to find our full lists for reference!)
Episode 12: Scientifically Verified Best Games of All-Time
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Highlight below to see our list of games:
|Official Top 5 Games of All-Time
5. Super Smash Bros Melee (Gamecube)
4. NiGHTS into Dreams (Saturn)
3. Resident Evil 4 (Wii)
2: Majora’s Mask (N64)
1: Ocarina of Time (N64)
5: Pokemon Red/Blue/Yellow (Gameboy)
4: Civilization II (PS1)
3: Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii)
2: Ocarina of Time (N64)
1: Resident Evil 4 (Wii)
|Alternative Top 5 Games of All-Time
5: Excitebike 64 (N64)
4: Kid Icarus (NES)
3: Gunstar Heroes (Megadrive/Genesis)
2: Lylat Wars aka Star Fox 64 (N64)
1: Adventures of Alundra (PS1)
5: Xenoblade Chronicles (Wii)
4: Grim Fandango (PC)
3: Shadow of the Colossus (PS2)
2: Final Fantasy IX (PS1)
1: Shadow of Memories aka Shadow of Destiny (PS2)
I can appreciate how everyone had pretty different and unique lists.
Thank you! Even though we didn’t discuss our lists in advance or share information, I know Maya’s tastes pretty well at this point and vice versa, so there was definitely some I-don’t-need-to-have-this-game-because-he/she-will second guessing going on.
*Sigh* Yet again, needs more DKC2 and Mario RPG.
Factually wrong opinions of Wind Waker aside, these were pretty fun lists. Though I admit I’m getting to the point when I hear Ocarina of Time top a list (again). It’s an incredible game in a lot of ways, and certainly deserves a mention, but I think much of its “importance” is largely overstated. It’s essentially A Link to the Past, but in 3D. Compare that to Super Mario 64, which wasn’t just Mario in 3D, but a reinvention of how the series (and platforming) worked. Ocarina of Time feels rather safe by comparison. Maybe I’m just more of a Mario fan, but aside from the lock-on targeting, I can’t really think of anything substantially groundbreaking that Ocarina did that Mario 64 and A Link to the Past didn’t already do. And I much prefer Wind Waker’s ocean to that small field that’s supposed to pass off as a country in Ocarina of Time. 😛 Even in its unfinished form, Wind Waker is the better game. 😉 Had it been finished, it would have transcended us all to a higher plain of existence!
As for Majora’s Mask, that one’s always been an interesting case for me. I can appreciate it for its differences and the things it does, but I think it’s time travel hook can be as annoying as it is innovative. It’s a great game, but one that I’ve never really been able to absorb myself in.
Glad to see Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Shadow of the Colossus get some love though. Both are among my favorites.
Speaking of which, I plan on making my list maybe around late March-ish. Yeah, that’s a bit of a wait, but I want to give my fellow bloggers some time to make their lists as well.
I like your comment about Ocarina of Time being a bit safe. I definitely see where you’re coming from there even if I don’t necessarily agree. I’m not a fan of Link to the Past, and one of the main reasons I prefer OoT is the added creepy factor in that game. Just a really atmospheric experience, both in the dungeons and parts of the overworld. Also, 3D was a game changer that affected genres and series in differing ways. One thing that’s interesting to me especially is how successful both Zelda and GTA became in 3D, while so many other series and game types did badly in the move to 3D. Something Zelda and GTA share is the fact that they had isometric views in 2D (you can also put Fallout in the same camp too), that perspective I think meant they already had a certain 3D friendliness built in that a sidescrolling perspective, for instance, does not.
I have a new appreciation for Mario Galaxy 2 actually, because I’m playing the first Galaxy at the moment. The original isn’t bad by any means, but Galaxy 2 is more polished experience. I think the second game is more accessible too in a lot of ways, even though it’s a tougher game overall!
Perhaps if you want to, you could let us know when you’re going to publish your list, and we can do a kind of written round-up of ours. In the meantime our lists might have changed slightly too.
I definitely think Ocarina of Time is a great game, and certainly one of the rare timeless N64 titles, but I just think it’s become a “safe” choice in recent years. I might even argue that the reason it’s held onto its pedestal as the “best game ever” for so long is simply because people loved A Link to the Past so much, so Ocarina immediately got a lot of love, and since it’s a 3D title, it’s seen as more “modern” than ALttP, so it continuously takes top honors for being old enough while still falling under a more modern template. An excellent game, but I’m not sure where I’d place it. Maybe in my top 20, but maybe even a little higher than that.
I think the original Galaxy by its own merits is one of the better games anyone could play, but the sequel does indeed better it in every way (and, as you said, it’s both more accessible and more difficult). It falls under my small umbrella of games which I deem to be “Mario World perfect.”
I’ll be sure to let you know the specifics, once I come up with them. Like I said, I’m gunning for some time in March, so I’ll let you folks know.
Oh, and forgot to mention I’m happy to see FFIX get some attention as well. I’m in the minority who found each of the PSOne FF games to be better than the last. And while FFVII is a game that’s aged so poorly its own remake is completely deviating from it, FFIX is still a great RPG. Plus, I liked that it went back to the art direction of the classic entries, instead of the weaboo-centric Nomura nonsense.
Maya would be better to respond here, but having only played Final Fantasy IX for the first time a few years ago, I have to agree. I was really impressed. I’m not too familiar with VII but definitely graphics-wise it’s no contest, and even though I like VIII (grew up with it), I recognise that the whole emo protagonist stuff is bad, not to mention a drastic move away from what the FF series looked like before.
The idea of splitting the list into mainstream and obscure ones is certainly an interesting one. It would be cool if gaming publications used this idea. It could go a long way in making underrated gems known. If I made a list of the best alternative games, I would absolutely put Planescape: Torment and one of the Zero Escape games on the list (the trilogy isn’t complete, so I’m not sure which one I’d put on the list just yet). They feature some of the most interesting storytelling I’ve seen in games.
Majora’s Mask is my favorite Zelda game. It’s one of the few games I’ve played that has an extremely dark storyline, yet doesn’t go overboard – everything creepy about the game speaks for itself. Considering the annoying propensity some authors have to abandon all notions of subtlety when creating such scenarios, playing this game is quite refreshing.
On a similar note, Super Mario Galaxy 2 is my favorite Mario game. All of the great ideas the creators had the first time around were implemented far more effectively this time around. What else can I say?
Grim Fandango is one of my favorite adventure games along with other classics such as King’s Quest VI and Police Quest II. It’s nice to play an adventure game that doesn’t depend on the protagonist being clueless. Indeed, I really enjoyed how fleshed out the cast of that game was. Plus the premise was very creative and well-written. All that goes a long way in making a memorable experience, doesn’t it?
Definitely I like the idea too of the alternative list too, I think anyone who’s played games for an extended period of time will have some special likes that just check the boxes for them in a way that they might not for someone else. That’s why I consider Zelda and similar action-adventure titles as kind of all-rounders that make them ideal “best game ever” fodder, in the sense that they combine several different types of gameplay and often have a strong storytelling component. That’s all well and good, but yes, what about something like a Zero Escape game, which presumably (I haven’t played either of them) doesn’t contain a whole lot of action and/or what you might call “traditional” gameplay.
Since you are interested in storytelling in games, I would second Maya’s recommendation of Shadow of Memories. I can only speak from my own experience of course but it has a great story – easily one of the best I’ve come across in any videogame – and it is extremely well told. It’s also very creepy and dark at times, so if you like Majora’s Mask for that reason (I’m right there with you) there’s that too.
Absolutely agree about Grim Fandango: you won’t forget it any time soon! I remember back when it came out I played the demo and it stuck with me for years until I finally saw it for sale in a shop. Trust Tim Schafer to come up with these great characters and central concepts that get their claws in you – Psychonauts, Brutal Legend, Full Throttle.
Also, thank you for reminding me, I have Planescape: Torment sitting on the shelf… hoping to get round to trying that one of these days.
I have played most of the games on the mainstream top 10 and did enjoy them. I find it ironic that Majora’s Mask is now considered such a good game, considering it was thought to be a disappointment when it was released. I am also surprised to see Pokemon Yellow. While it must be more enjoyable for fans of the TV series to play and does not include some interesting additions, I found the fact the player could not find all the Pokemon if it was played with Pokemon Red or Blue annoying. Instead of making the game part of a trilogy, it required players to use both the other games (instead of one). I am interested that Super Smash Bros Melee is on the list, but the later game, Super Smash Bros Brawl, is not. Did you not enjoy Super Smash Bros Brawl?
I found the alternative top 10 interesting. I had little experience of most of those games. I am interested in Grim Fandango, I have seen it before, but was unable to work out what the game was. What is the game like? Is it similar to the Monkey Island series?
Majora’s Mask is not for everyone, that’s for sure. I was disappointed by it at the time because it wasn’t another Ocarina of Time (even though for the most part it looks and plays practically identically). It was only over time that I came to appreciate what it has that’s different to the more traditional Zelda games.
Yeah Pokemon is weird, there’s no question about it. We grouped them because those three are essentially the same game. The different versions in my opinion is just a cynical way to get die-hard fans to buy two or more versions, and I suppose in the case of the original Gameboy to get people to buy the link cable too. If I had friends who played Pokemon I can see it being pretty fun though, I have to admit.
Smash Bros! I like Brawl, but I didn’t sink hundreds of hours into it the way I did with Melee. If you asked to play a Smash Bros game with me today though I’d pick Brawl (not played the Wii U/3DS versions) just because it’s a bit more fresh – I haven’t played it to death. Plus Brawl’s soundtrack is awesome.
Grim Fandango is almost exactly like Monkey Island, only 3D. It’s awkward to control for that reason but other than that it’s the same besides the premise. And what a premise! The Day of the Dead festival meets the film Casablanca.
I actually enjoyed Majora’s Mask when it was released, even though I was slightly disappointed it featured only four dungeons.
The three Pokémon games do follow the same story. The different versions probably are a way to convince players to buy two versions of the same game. I could suggest that it might be planned to improve the social aspects of the game, so the player has to form a team with an owner of another version and has to trade certain pokemon with them to let them evolve fully. This is possibly naïve though.
I enjoy Brawl, but felt a number of additions were added (from Melee) that negatively affected the game. The story in Melee was either a repeat of the simple story in the first game or a slightly more complex adventure mode, which had more story and had different types of levels. The story in Brawl is very long and complex (considering the characters remain silent) and a lot of the game consisted of playing through repetitive side-scrolling levels. The game also uses items that require little effort to defeat the opponents, which can be annoying.
I have played Escape from Monkey Island, which is a 3D version of the Monkey Island games. Is Grim Fandango similar to that game?
I’m with you on Majora’s Mask, and Brawl too. Subspace Emissary was very disappointing. Adventure and Classic from the previous games were never GREAT, but they weren’t bad either.
Also if you’re familiar with Escape from Monkey Island then you’ll be right at home with Grim Fandango! Controls, graphics, core gameplay… they use the same engine, so they have a lot in common.