Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Top 100 games of all time

One of my favorite YouTubers, Cannot Be Tamed, recently started doing a countdown of her top 100 games. I thought that sounded fun, so here's my own list!

  1. Fall from Heaven II
  2. Baldur's Gate II
  3. Life Is Strange
  4. Civilization IV 
  5. Dragon Age Inquisition
  6. Sid Meier's Pirates!
  7. Dragon Age Origins
  8. Portal 2
  9. The Walking Dead Season 1
  10. Planescape: Torment
  11. Ultima VI
  12. Grim Fandango
  13. Fallout New Vegas 
  14. Civilization II 
  15. Deus Ex
  16. Digital: A Love Story 
  17. Mario Kart 64
  18. Fallen London
  19. Maniac Mansion
  20. Portal
  21. Oregon Trail
  22. System Shock 2
  23. Hero's Quest (Quest for Glory 1)
  24. Mask of the Betrayer
  25. Red Dead Redemption
  26. Ultima VII
  27. Quest for Glory II: Trial by Fire 
  28. Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines
  29. Chrono Trigger
  30. GTA San Andreas
  31. Shadowrun Dragonfall
  32. Mass Effect 3 
  33. Prince of Persia 
  34. Sil
  35. Katamari Damacy
  36. Rez
  37. Shadowrun Hong Kong
  38. Space Quest III
  39. The Last of Us 
  40. Rock Band
  41. Super Mario Bros III
  42. Transistor
  43. ICO
  44. Mass Effect
  45. HalfLife 2 
  46. Final Fantasy VII
  47. Baldur's Gate 
  48. Monkey Island 
  49. Dance Dance Revolution
  50. Gone Home
  51. 80 Days 
  52. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time
  53. Metal Gear Solid 2
  54. Shadowrun (SNES)
  55. Legend of Zelda
  56. HalfLife
  57. Day of the Tentacle
  58. Final Fantasy VI
  59. Mass Effect 2
  60. Hate Plus 
  61. Time Crisis 
  62. Dex
  63. Civilization
  64. Plague Inc.
  65. Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri
  66. Final Fantasy X-2 
  67. Europa Universalis III
  68. Neverwinter Nights II
  69. Sunless Sea
  70. The Walking Dead Season 2
  71. Final Fantasy X
  72. The Binding of Isaac 
  73. South Park: The Stick of Truth
  74. Colonization
  75. Lord of the Rings Online
  76. The Wolf Among Us 
  77. Betrayal at Krondor
  78. Number Munchers
  79. Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders
  80. Analogue: A Hate Story 
  81. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (NES)
  82. Castle Adventure
  83. The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
  84. Her Story
  85. Psychonauts
  86. The Witcher III
  87. Castles (DOS)
  88. NationStates
  89. The Simpsons Hit & Run
  90. King's Quest III
  91. Lemonade Stand
  92. Final Fantasy XII 
  93. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim 
  94. Star Wars: The Old Republic
  95. The Two Towers (PS2)
  96. StarTropics
  97. Spiritual Warfare
  98. Fallout 3
  99. Pillars of Eternity
  100. GTA V
Excuses and rationalizations:

My criteria for this list is simply based on how fondly I remember each game. No particular consideration is given to how influential a title was or how much I think others would like it.

Older games almost certainly do not hold up to their rankings here! I value them greatly because I first encountered them when the world was young and full of possibilities.

Conversely, since I'm evaluating these from the perspective of my feelings in 2017 and not at the time of play, some games that I greatly appreciated but have since soured on are ranked lower or missing altogether. The various Bioshock games are probably the main example here.

I didn't have any particular cutoff for eligibility, but was a bit more conservative about recently-played games. The Cat Lady and Dreamfall Chapters will probably make the list after they've had some more time to percolate.

Expansions, DLC, mods, and remakes all contribute to the base game's ranking. So, for example, Baldur's Gate includes my experiences with the vanilla game, the modded game, Tales of the Sword Coast, and BGEE. The only exception is when an expansion or mod takes the form of a standalone game that is not linked to the base game.

Each entry in a series is ranked independently of one another. Exceptions were made in cases where the entries all shared similar mechanics and story and blur together in my mind - this includes most rhythm games as well as Katamari.

This list is ranked, but just as a snapshot in time. It's really hard to compare games, particularly across genres.

All of these games are good, even #100!

I'm sure I forgot major titles. Whoops. I may or may not revise this list, but it isn't intended to be a living thing.


  1. The Two Towers being the old school computer game sequel to LOTR? Wherein you can break J.R.R.s plot line?

    1. Ah... I was thinking of the PS2 game, a fun hack-and-slash in the style of Golden Axe. The old Interplay games barely missed the cut. I think LOTR was in the mid-90s in my first draft, but dropped to #102 after I inserted a few missed games.

      Weirdly enough, I barely remember the Interplay TTT. I mostly remember being happy that it allowed me to import Durin's Axe from the first game, and freaking out when losing my weapons in Edoras, but other than that it's mostly a blur.