Righty then, games discussion and opinion releasing time, methinks. Edge magazine have released the top ten of their results of a recent reader’s poll of the top one hundred games of all time, the rest being held a secret lest you purchase their spiffing 260 page special edition of their rather good magazine featuring the full chart. It’s quite an interesting little chart, with a few things to note. Being the obviously egotisitcal person I am, I thought I would share some of my opinions on the chart in the belief that you will read them and my thoughts will have a massive impact on everyone’s opinions ever. Of course, I could just be doing this to entertain myself a little, and put my thoughts across in the interests of fair debate and free speech. You choose.

So anyway, the first thing that is interesting to note is the distinct lack of PC games, except for Half Life 2. This does sadden me a little, given my main platform would indeed be that of the beige box, but overall there are some really good games in the top ten. But there’s also a few suprises, and I can’t help thinking that at least a few are more dictated by really good PR than the actual quality of the game. Of course, there’s some that I haven’t really played much, and I suppose I should feel some shame, but at least it reminds me that there are still gems out there that I need to play to add to my long list.

So the list then, in reverse order and with my thoughts on each entry:

10) Super Metroid (Super Nintendo)

Super Metroid Boxart

I can’t argue with this one, it really is a decent little game, and I still play it now and again when I can – a great early example of ‘freeform’ gaming when it was in it’s infancy. Lets be fair, before Metroid, platformers worked very much on a horizontal plane. Metroid showed gamers we could go up and down, and to be frank Super Metroid was probably the best in an excellent series.

9) Tetris (Various)

Tetris DS Boxart

I really am suprised this isn’t a lot higher. If you want an example of a game that has really stood the test of time, Tetris is it. Transcending generations, gracing every Nintendo format since it’s birth on the classic Game Boy, there’s not much about this game that hasn’t been said. But I think it’s rather telling that even now, 22 years on – any version of Tetris still includes the ‘classic’ mode. It’s just a game that you can add any number of additions and features onto, but people will still reliably return to the most pure of variations of the game. In my personal opinion, it is a perfect example of a timeless game, and hence I thought it should be a lot higher. However, it’s position is an indication of how much it still has – it’s a rare title that barely needs PR to sell it.

8)Final Fantasy XII (PS2)

Final Fantasy XII Boxart

OK, so this is the first one of this top ten that I admit I have never played. In that I am slightly dissapointed in myself. However, having played several of the other iterations in the series, it’s easy to see why this game has probably recieved the acclaim it has. SquareEnix have a knack of producing great RPGs for consoles, and they really know how to get the best from the platform. Of course, I’ll still hold a brighter torch for the classic PC roleplayers, but the FF series is of a consistent high quality, it’s easy to assume that the developers really do care for their series, even if they let a few mediocre spin off’s through the net now and again.

7) Halo: Combat Evolved (Xbox)

Halo Boxart

This would be a slightly dubious entry for me. Sure, I’m sure it was a big hitter on the XBox, but in a list which is supposed to encompass all genres and platforms, Halo really doesn’t hold up as well for me. Sure, it provides a decent distraction for a fair amount of time, and the enemies certainly had the most character in any FPS I had played for a while before it, but ultimately it does feel rather shallow and empty and, dare I say, repetative after a while. I really felt no reason personally to try and go back to it again after completing it to attempt Legendary, especially for nothing more than bragging rights and five seconds of extra ending footage – even if it is rather comical. But it’s nothing a quick search on YouTube can’t find twenty times more quickly and easily. Top hundred? Maybe. Top ten? Nah.

6) The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (Super Nintendo)

Zelda Link to the Past Boxart

OK, I admit, I missed this the first time on the SNES, damn me. But when I got this on the GBA many years later I was more than redeemed, because this game really rewarded my purchase. A delightful romp through Hyrule, easy to pick up, but providing a decent challenge, providing me with more hours of gameplay than I originally thought I really enjoyed this, and it was pretty much the game that opened my eyes to the Zelda series. I couldn’t really have asked for a better introduction. The time travelling mechanic was really well handled, and the graphics were amazing to look at. Never mind all your fancy 3D graphics we had been spoiled with the PlayStation generation, this really was a lovingly designed game in an asthetic sense, and it just kind of worked, you know?

5) Super Mario World (Super Nintendo)

Super Mario World Boxart

Probably the other most visually pleasing game, Super Mario World just brings a smile to my face every time I think about it. Heck I can still play it now, and be challenged and at the same time enthralled by the game because it just has that ‘one more go’ factor that has made Shigeru Miyamoto the figurehead he is today. Perfect platforming in every sense of the world, the success of New Super Mario Bros just proves how little they really needed to change such a winning formula as was displayed in Super Mario World. Definately a deserved place here, no quibbles or worries.

4) Half-Life 2 (PC)

Half Life 2 Boxart

A fair positioning I feel. To retierate again, I’m a little sad that this is the only PC game in the top ten, but heck, at least it’s something that does provide an excellent gaming experience. Of course, some argue that the original is better – and at times I’d be one of them – nevertheless HL2 is an example of how to do FPS gaming on the PC properly. An Orwellian style plot is pulled off adequately, if not perfectly – and yes, some may question how on rails the action is, but looking past the game’s faults it pretty much manages to pull everything else off extremely well. The only problem I have with it now is how long Valve are taking to get the rest of the series out. But overall, this is a game whose influence can still be felt in just about every first person shooter – and even other genres – preceding it.

3) Super Mario 64 (N64)

Super Mario 64 Boxart

OK, again – this might not be popular opinion – but I was never really that fond of the move to 3D. In general, I found the slide sections rather annoying, and I couldn’t quite pull back the same sort of happy memories I had from playing the SNES incarnations. The recent DS version hasn’t really helped change my mind much either, the control system making things just that slightly more complicated for me. As someone who didn’t take well to the original transition to 3D, I just felt that much more ham fisted, whereas World felt so smooth and fluid. However, by the end of the original N64 version I warmed a little more to it – I still would put World higher than this one, personally.

2) Resident Evil 4 (GameCube, PS2)

Resident Evil 4 Boxart

Hmmm, a very dubious positioning again. And I can’t help but feel that this might be more of a hype position than anything else. Sure, it was a great, no – fanatastic game at the time. But I don’t think it’s a game that stands up to time quite as well as say, Tetris. While that wouldn’t really be such a huge point in any other list, when you’re looking at the hundred greatest games of all time, surely you need to think about games that aren’t rapidly showing their age after only a short number of years. Resident Evil 4 did change a lot of things and definately reinvigorated the series, there’s no denying that – and it is a really good experience while it lasts, and it pretty much is the current king of third person action games, the recent PC and Wii releases haven’t quite mustered the same sort of acclaim, and signs are that, although it has had a rather good run, perhaps it’s getting a little tired, and it’s time to look more towards the fifth installment?

1) The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64)

Zelda Ocarina of Time Boxart

OK, again – I admit it: I still have not played this through in it’s entirety. But if Link to the Past is anything to go by, I think it’s safe to say this really is a great game. I did feel that the recent Twilight Princess, which I found to be a rather enjoyable game a worthwhile time consumer, even if it didn’t quite quite the amount of praise I have heard for Ocarina. So hopefully, this is an indication that when I finally do get around to playing this, it will be well worth my time. I can only say I look forward to it.

So overall, it’s a decent list, and I dare say I will be willing to find out the other games in the top hundred, as there are a fair few titles that I would like to see and exactly how good the readers of Edge thought they were. The notable absence of the GTA series from the top ten is a distinct point of note – but my initial findings conclude that it’s an interesting list – even if I don’t 100% agree with the top ten – thus far. It will be interesting to see what everyone else thinks though…

UPDATE: Next-Gen.biz now has the full list up, if you would like to take a lookie.

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