It’s been over two years since I started writing these articles, and I think it’s about time I did something I’ve wanted to do for ages – write a list about the best videogames ever made.
Now, this isn’t an opinion piece or anything. This is 100% factual. The raw truth. Because, let’s be honest, all those other “Top Whatever Videogames Ever Made” are all bullshit and built on lies and biased views. This list is completely unbiased and is actually written by somebody who truly understands videogames. I mean, have you seen all those other lists? They just put the same games on them over and over again; games that were never that good to begin with and are only considered good because they got a billion good reviews that were probably bought anyway.
But enough ranting. Let’s actually get to what matters – the ten best videogames to have ever been made, in order of their release.
1. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (Atari 2600)
I never got the hate for this game. While all the other games on this list are certainly better, I find it hard to believe that E.T. is considered by many to be the worst videogame ever made, especially considering Ms. Pac-Man came out the same year and was utter garbage.
Now the film was pure trash, which is what makes the tie-in game all that more amazing. When you’ve got shitty source material, it takes a miracle to be able to create something that achieves what the original couldn’t. Hell, the game has its own identity; you look at it and you’d never think it was associated with E.T. Not to mention it was made in five weeks. See, games are super easy to make, so why are development times these days so long? The developers are probably spending most of that time buying boats and more mansions with the billions they make in pre-orders.
It’s also hypocritical that people complain about how games nowadays are too easy or have so much hand-holding involved but then complain about how E.T. was “unplayable” and “was impossible to beat.” Well maybe you should just get good instead of complaining.
E.T. wasn’t condescending; it let you figure things out for yourself. When you fall down a pit for the 87th time, you’re not meant to quit. You’re meant to rise up and conquer the challenge before you. And if you couldn’t beat it, it just meant you weren’t worthy. E.T. was what separated the men from the boys and it should still be acknowledged for that feat to this day, where anybody can win at a game even if they don’t deserve it. I’m just grateful I managed to find it and accept it for what it is, as opposed to the rest of the world.
2. Link: The Faces of Evil (CD-i)
Everybody loves to say Link to the Past or Ocarina of Time are the best Legend of Zelda games, but these people are either liars or they’ve never played The Faces of Evil, a title so under-appreciated that even Nintendo doesn’t talk about it. Oh, so you’ll bang on about how Super Mario Bros. changed the industry but won’t give this game any credit?
For starters, it actually gave Link a personality. Up until this point, he was just a boring, blank slate who was as interesting as a Tupperware box. But here, he has a voice of his own and a fitting personality; enthusiastic and quick with a funny line. I like to think the writers took inspiration from the Zelda cartoon that came out a few years prior (which was fantastic, by the way). Plus, the animation still holds up to this day. All the characters are incredibly expressive and ooze charm without even needing to say a word. People who say they look creepy just need to grow up.
Of course, the game itself was just fun to play thanks to its fluid controls and surprisingly in-depth combat. Exploring Koridai is still a joy to this day and is easily the most original setting in a Zelda game. I got bored of exploring Hyrule by the second game, Nintendo. How about you mix things up a bit?
The CD-i is worth tracking down on eBay and spending £40 on for this game alone, as well as the other title, The Wand of Gamelon, which actually has Zelda do something for once, as opposed to all the other games where she does bugger all and is still allowed to have the franchise named after her. It’s just such a shame that Nintendo won’t even try to create something as unique as these two games ever again.
3. Bubsy 3D (PS One)
Bubsy was born in a time where “cool” animal mascots were the norm. Honestly, most of them were just crappy rip-offs of Sonic the Hedgehog, but Bubsy was something different; something truly original. A clever and biting satire of the state of videogame mascots. Of course, his games were fantastic as well, culminating with his magnum opus – Bubsy 3D.
While not the first 3D platformer, it easily perfected the genre, regardless of what some people might say (Super Mario 64 is not that good, okay?!), with some of the best controls and physics I’ve ever experienced. Not to mention it was set in a completely original world that had never been seen before; a bizarre mismatch of shapes and colours that only a genius could come up with. You ever wonder why nobody has dared imitate this game? Because nobody is clever enough to pull it off.
It breaks my heart that Bubsy was derided and mocked purely because of his personality (I wouldn’t be surprised if these idiots have never even played a Bubsy game). He was clearly ahead of his time, and so was this game. It attempted to do things that no other game has tried or even will try. It’s practically flawless and I still hope for the day when Bubsy makes his return and revolutionises the state of videogames once more.
4. Superman: The New Adventures (N64)
I don’t know why people praised Batman: Arkham Asylum so much for proving there could be good superhero games when Superman 64 exists. But these same people are just mindless sheep who only love Batman because DC tells them so. And while Superman is certainly not my favourite DC superhero (that would be the criminally underrated Gunfire), this N64 title was, much like E.T., an amazing improvement on its original source material (the animated cartoon that was out at the time) and a great game in its own right.
People love to bash it for the poor controls and confusing objectives but have they forgotten that the game is set in a virtual Metropolis created by Lex Luthor? They’re meant to be bad because Luthor has made them like that to defeat Superman. It’s a very inventive method of game design that should be applauded, but clearly nobody who played it had enough brain-cells to comprehend it. Besides, Superman is, like, invincible and incredibly overpowered. The developers had to make the game super difficult somehow, otherwise there’d be no challenge.
As for all the bugs and glitches the game had, you can chalk that up to it being a virtual Metropolis too. It’s all part of Luthor’s plan – they didn’t just release the game unfinished like a lot of developers nowadays do. And the incomprehensible story? Well, of course it doesn’t make sense. They’re comic book characters and comic books have never had stories that made sense, so why would the videogame have one? The use of Kryptonite fog to make things hard to see was a great touch as well, and it saddens and angers me that people still think it’s a lie to explain the draw distance being “terrible.” Some people will just make anything up to justify their stupid opinions.
With any luck, Superman will get another game like this to make up for all those crappy Batman games we’ve been getting the last several years. Or at the very least, give me that Gunfire game that should’ve been made by now.
5. Sonic the Hedgehog (PS3, Xbox 360)
I really struggled picking between this and Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric, but I ultimately settled on this one, just because I had slightly more fun with it. The Sonic franchise was never one of my favourites; I still don’t understand how it even survived this long when the games didn’t start getting good until 2005. But I’m at least grateful that it did if only for this game.
For starters, they finally slowed Sonic down. Every game prior had him move way too fast; I finally felt like I could control where he went. Same for every other playable character, who all felt unique enough that it was like playing nine different games at once. That being said, the mach speed sections were fun to play too. I usually hate going fast in Sonic games but these got it right. Plus, they were over really quickly so it didn’t feel like they overstayed their welcome.
And have I mentioned how fantastic the story is? It took itself far more seriously than some of the other games (the later games are too silly and cartoony) and it was really well written. The different plots intertwined seamlessly, there was some fantastic character development, the main villain was actually diabolical and threatening – it’s a contender for best story in a videogame.
Sonic works best in a darker and more mature environment, and the fact that Sega have been pressured by their obnoxious fan-brats into returning to the “classic” formula is just depressing and shows that developers should never listen to what audiences have to say.
6. Duke Nukem Forever (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
You want a perfect example of the hypocrisy of gamers? Look no further than Duke Nukem Forever. A game that people demanded for years and what do they do when they get it? They complain about how terrible it is. Well, maybe if you didn’t hype it up so badly, you wouldn’t realise how good this game actually is.
People complained about how the game was boring to play, had dull environments and was very slow. What, like, every FPS ever made? Oh but when Call of Duty does it, it still sells billions of copies. Duke Nukem Forever was just following the trend because it had to, otherwise people would moan about how “different” it was. Also, the series has always been very comedic and parodied various tropes. By being exactly the same as other FPS’, Duke Nukem Forever in and of itself became a parody. They played it so straight, that it became funny.
Duke himself was a refreshing breath of air in a world of inoffensive and bland protagonists. He just said what he thought and damn whoever disagreed, which is something we should all aspire to be like. I don’t think some of the stuff he said and did was offensive at all. And those that say the humour was dated – again, that was the point. Ergo, it’s funny. Some people really don’t get comedy at all.
7. Final Fantasy All the Bravest (Mobile)
Let’s be honest here. Final Fantasy has always been terrible. I mean, I love it but there hasn’t been a single good game at all. VII? Garbage. IX? Pure crap. I’m betting XV will be god-awful as well. That’s why I applaud Square Enix for what they did with All the Bravest.
It took the only thing that really mattered about the series – the battles and characters – and built the game entirely around that. You could hold up to forty characters in your party (something that no other RPG has done) and you could buy whichever characters you wanted instead of having to work your way through the crap ones. And if a character died, all you had to do was spend some money to revive them and keep the game moving. In a world where people are willing to spend over £60 on special editions, why do people get so angry about paying for content in the game itself? It’s a service, people!
And it’s super easy to play. As somebody that was never able to beat any of the other games, finally being allowed to win just by swiping the screen was most welcome. And before you criticise me by pointing out how earlier I complained about modern games being too easy, I’d like to point out that the Final Fantasy series is too difficult, so lowering the difficulty is fine. I’m pretty sure anybody who’s actually completed a FF game used cheats.
All the Bravest has been called “cynical” by many. I think the word you’re looking for is “business.”
8. Aliens: Colonial Marines (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
To this day, I still don’t get the hate this game gets. Sure, Alien: Isolation is fantastic if crappy jump scares and hiding behind desks for hours is your idea of a good game, but Colonial Marines best exemplified what was so great about the Alien franchise – the action. I thought Aliens was everybody’s favourite, and here’s a game that perfectly mimics it (BTW, the best Alien movie is actually Alien 3).
The game lets you fight hoards of deadly xenomorphs. You weren’t some spineless coward, forced to slowly tread your way down dark corridors. You were a badass soldier taking on whole armies of aliens, gunning them down like they were nothing. It was empowering and we don’t play games so that we can be the lame side-characters that get killed off. We want to be the super cool guy who can take xenomorphs on single-handedly.
As for the supposed glitches, well, I personally never encounter them. Ergo, they don’t exist. I don’t know where people got the idea that it was a buggy mess. I guess they’re just mad that geniuses like Randy Pitchford and his team at Gearbox Software could come up with the best thing to ever come out of the Alien franchise.
9. Ride to Hell: Retribution (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
We always talk about how much we want games to become realistic. Well, I have to say, Ride to Hell is, without a doubt, the most realistic game to ever exist. The physics and environmental design in this game are so akin to real life, that I always forget I’m playing a game.
It’s just so gritty and hardcore, and it perfectly captures the era it’s set in (1969) while also being up-to-date and relevant. And much like the aforementioned Sonic 06, it’s got a fantastic and emotional story, tackling the hard-hitting theme of revenge and how ultimately satisfying it can be.
It baffles me how unpopular this game seems to be, despite being everything that male gamers look for. It’s empowering and full of that macho bravado that we all desire. There are tonnes of guns, gruff men to kill, and lots of very sexy ladies (it’s not offensive, girls, okay?) You get to ride a motorcycle for whole chunks of the game; how is that not cool? I’d recommend you buy it yourself but you probably already decided it’s shit just because everybody else says so. How about you stop listening to other people? Okay?! Listen to me for once.
10. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 (PS3, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC)
I won’t deny that Pro skater 5 is one of the buggiest and glitch-ridden games to ever exist. But what’s the point of videogames? Not to be good or bad (though being good is obviously a massive plus) but to be entertaining. And Pro Skater 5 is pretty damn entertaining… which makes it good, which is what’s most important when it comes to making a game.
There’s so many ways to just break the game; the amount of possibilities are virtually endless. Wrap your head around that. A game that offers limitless content. Compared to some games that barely last a few hours, it’s a masterpiece. Even RPGs which can take you weeks to beat eventually end, but not Pro Skater 5.
It’ll probably never get a sequel but it doesn’t really need one. This game will last forever. Every time I play it, I find something new to crack a smile at, even with the patch it got. While some things were unfortunately fixed, it’s still one of the best games ever made. Just goes to show that even today, there are some people actually trying to make good games for us to play.
And that’s the end of the list. I’d like to believe I’ve convinced you to give these games the attention and love they deserve, but chances are you won’t. You’re probably thinking I’m some crazy person but the joke’s on you, really. Because while you’re predictably playing the same crap developers keep shoving down your throat, I’ll be playing these games for the rest of my life. The real good games. Who’s laughing now?