Welcome to Part Three of our Clash of the Nerds Top 100 Console Video Games of All-Time. In this list we have games 80-71, for 100-91, 90-81, 80-71, 70-61, 60-51, 50-41 check out the link Here, Here, Here, Here, Here and Here. Now let’s get back to the list.
40. Pokemon Snap: (HAL Laboratories) Even though the main series is relegated to the handheld market (thus disqualifying them from this list) doesn’t mean we weren’t going to leave Pokemon off of this list. There are a few Pokemon games on the N64, the Gamecube, as well as the Wii U, but honestly they’re just battle sims from the main series games, fun in their own right, but not top 100 of all-time fun, however, Pokemon Snap is. It’s a typical on rails shooter, except you use a camera instead of a gun, and you can’t die. I know, that sounds pretty basic, but here’s the rub, it was the first time we saw Pokemon in 3-D which was very mind blowing for the time, but also the game play is addictive as hell. For one, there were so many secrets to find in spite of this being an on rails game, you were given apples to feed the Pokemon along with these balls (not Pokeballs though) to distract them or knock them into things to force evolutions, I’ll never forget when I knocked a Charmelon into some lava and then out popped a majestic Charizard, my friends and I were awestruck. As far as replay-ability goes, since this is almost a throw back to old school arcade games you were scored based on your pictures, and so you were constantly going back to beat your high scores or pass the controller off to a friend so they could try and beat your score and then back again. This game was a blast.
39. Mortal Kombat: (Midway) Street Fighter 2 revolutionized the fighter genre, it took it from the seedy underbelly of the back of the arcade to the front and into homes on the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis and Mortal Kombat brought not only fighting games and violent games to the main stream. Ever wonder why we have ratings for video games? Well it’s Mortal Kombat’s excessive blood and gore. However, this game is more than its over the top violence, it’s a crisp fighter with tight controls, awesome special moves and just brutal finishing moves. Also the game was challenging enough to make you feel accomplished but wasn’t totally unfair, that is until you got to Goro, and that bitch was sooooooo hard to beat, but was also a blast to play. Some of my most fun memories as a kid was staying up all night to beat video games and this was one of the games my friends and I would stay up to play.
38. Gears of War Series: (Epic Games and Coalition) I’m just lumping this whole series together because for the most part Gears 1-4 are basically the same game but with minor tweaks, which is one of the things that makes this series great is that they don’t try to reinvent the wheel with every release. They know what they do well, they know what their fans like and they just add fun things on top of that. Overall the game is a basic third person cover-based shooter but the over the top characters and weapons make the solo part of the game a blast, but like most shooters this game boils down to its mulitplayer aspect. And what’s nice about Gears is that there isn’t just one way to play the multiplayer like a lot of shooters. You can snipe, you can use your machine gun, or you can get up close and personal with your gnasher shotgun. Also, Gears of War 2 popularized the Horde mode on consoles where 50 waves of enemies come at you and your partners. It’s a lot of fun and a good way to play with your friends if you don’t want to play competitively online.
37. Batman Arkham Series: (Rocksteady) The Arkham Series (outside of Origins, which wasn’t made by Rocksteady) are some of the best comic book adapted video games ever. The free flowing combat, diving from rooftops, gliding around, and the stealth/detective stuff are fantastic. Are these games perfect? No, but overall it’s easy to overlook the piss poor boss battle against the Joker in Arkham Asylum and the tedious Batmobile missions in Arkham Knight because overall those are just minor things in an overall great game series that made you really feel like Batman. This game did what few games ever accomplish and that’s make you feel like the protagonist. This isn’t the first or only game to do so, but man when I was playing this game (especially City and Knight) I really felt like Batman. There are times when I pop in the games not to accomplish any missions but just to go around Gotham an beat the crap out of some thugs. I’ll glide around looking for trouble (like the real Batman) and then when I find it I drop into the shadows and beat up the bad guys. I do this with so few games. Usually if I play any story based game, open world or otherwise, I go in with a set purpose to push the story or game forward. Off the top of my head the only other games I can really think of that I’ll hop in just to dick around, MGS V, Fallout 4, and Skyrim, but still I don’t do this to the extent that I do in Batman, because like I said, I really like being Batman.
36. Kingdom Hearts: (Square-Enix) Do you like Disney? Do you like Final Fantasy? Do you like stories that start out simple and then become a convoluted mess? Well if you answered “yes” to all of those then have we got the game series for you! Kingdom Hearts was the brain child of Shinji Hashimoto who wanted to make a new game and cross it over with something that had mass appeal. His original concept was to crossover Final Fantasy with Disney, but he honestly didn’t think it would get approval by either Square or Disney, but to his surprise it did. The series is a love letter to both Disney and Final Fantasy as the main character Sora travels between different Disney worlds in order to defeat the heart less. The game is a lot of fun and has a lot of heart with enough of a challenge for seasoned Final Fantasy players but a learning curve to attract Disney fans as well.
35. Banjo Kazooie: (Rare) In spite of their fall from grace once they were bought by Microsoft, Rare was once the premiere game studio on the SNES and N64. The Donkey Kong Country Series, Golden Eye 64 and then we have Banjo Kazooie, man would say (and I’m not one of them) that this game is better than Mario 64, where it is a very good 3-D platformer, it’s no Mario 64. However, what Rare did, that few can do, is create a completely new IP in a relatively new genre, this game came out only 2 years after Super Mario 64 and in that two years so many games failed to make a decent 3-D platformer, let alone a new one. Rare did what they did best when they were a Nintendo 2nd Party and that was make brilliantly fun games that were super simple yet challenging. Banjo Kazooie took what was great about Mario and added something new to it, a bird in your backpack. What this function did was eliminate the Mario trope of the power up boxes and just had Banjo and Kazooie learn power ups, like the egg shoot, butt bomb, and flight. The game is fantastic, it’s bright and colorful (like every Rare game), and just flat out fun.
34. Marvel vs Capcom 2: (Capcom) Maybe the holy grail of fighters in the late 90’s Marvel vs Capcom 2 was everything that was fun about fighting games, not to mention it was the best licensed comic book adaption up to that point in gaming history. This was the first of the easy to play difficult to master fighting games. Anyone could pick up a controller and pick their favorite Marvel and Capcom characters and hop in and have a good time. Then, as you mastered the game you could have some very epic battles in it. I remember when I first got the game for my Dreamcast my friends and I more or less button mashed and had a blast, then we began learning the fundamentals of the game and our battles became more about strategy and a back and forth. Also the best team in this game is Wolverine, Megaman, and Cable.
33. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker: (Nintendo) For the life of me I can’t think of a game that encapsulates the phrase “Don’t judge a book by its cover” than this one. When the Nintendo Gamecube was being shown off at Spaceworld 2000 they showed a tech demo of a realistic Link to much applause and then nothing. Three years later we got a cartoony cell-shaded Link and people were pissed. However, those who decided not to play the game based on its art style missed out on one of the best Zelda games ever. The game was fun, and maybe had the biggest exploration aspect of any Zelda game ever (well at least until Breath of the Wild comes out), and in spite of it’s very cartoony and shiny exterior when you think about it, it might be the darkest Zelda game since pretty much all of Hyrule is underwater with the exception of a few islands. When you think about all of the Zelda games you’ve played and how those massive lands are now under water it gets really depressing. This game was a beautiful follow up to Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask and took the controls of that game and made them tighter. Instead of series staple Epona, you traverse Hyrule via a talking boat and his name is King of the Red Lions. The game is fantastic and for the first half to 3/4’s it escapes many of the Zelda tropes and is a breath of fresh air.
32. Splatoon: (Nintendo) Nintendo is known for their staples like Mario, Donkey Kong, and Zelda, but every once and a while they step out of their safe zone into a genre they’re not known for and make the genre so much better, and of course I’m talking about the shooter genre and I’m of course talking about Splatoon. A game where you can be (as Jim Sterling puts it) a kid now and a squid now. It’s a brilliant shooter where the object is not to kill (and technically you can’t because you’re shooting ink) but to cover the majority of the map with your team’s color ink. It’s objective based (much like Overwatch) and a blast. There is a single player mode which is a lot of fun but like most shooters you’ll be playing the multiplayer portion a lot more. Also, what this game has over many shooters is that Nintendo has continuously supported this game with free updates, DLC, and maps (take that Call of Duty).
31. Bioshock: (Irrational Games) From one shooter shake up to another we have the game that made Ken Levine a household name with Bioshock. A first person shooter in style of play only, this game was very much a story driven survival horror. In the game you wind up in the underwater city of Rapture that looked stunning when it first appeared on the Xbox 360 and then just jaw dropping this new generation’s Remastered Edition, you find yourself armed with only a wrench to fend off a few Splicers. This game is dark, scary, and you’ll often find yourself with fewer supplies than you need. Aside from the aforementioned wrench you’ll find your standard gun, but also use power ups called plasmids to battle the Splicers as well as Big Daddys, oh man, Big Daddys are a force. The first time you see one they seem insurmountable and there is always an impending dread when you know they’re around. Also what is refreshing about this game is that Levine and Irrational Games felt they had given you more for your money and didn’t feel the need to tack on a worthless online multiplayer. This game is all about being alone and isolated and nothing about it screams online competitive shooter so they didn’t add one (nor did they to its proper sequel Infinite, more on that later). It’s a great game and “would you kindly” go check it out, the Remastered collection (3 games plus all the DLC) is under $40 on Amazon.
So that’s this week’s edition of the list, what did you think about the games included so far? Well you know the drill, let us know in the comments below.