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101) Advance Wars

Year of Release: 2001
Developed By: Intelligent Systems
Published By: Nintendo
Platform: Nintendo Game Boy Advance

"Advance Wars is full of so many little details that make it an absolute joy to play, even a decade later, but the greatest of all is activating a CO power. It creates such a powerful rush of pure bliss - the music blaring, the enemy troops exploding... and most important of all, the knowledge that you'd finally broken through an entrenched enemy position." - IGN, 2015

102) Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness

Year of Release: 1995
Developed By: Blizzard Entertainment
Published By: Blizzard Entertainment
Platform: PC

"Perhaps not one of the more interesting strategy games on this list by today's standards, but that doesn't mean it's not a landmark game. This is where Blizzard really became BLIZZARD, the goliath that we know and love/fear today. Battle.net (well, the first RTS to use it), expansion packs, the semi-toon visual style, eyewatering sales figures, uber-lore: it all started here. And while Warcraft 1 had started the multiplayer RTS ball rolling, it was WC2 that really got it doing so at speed. WC2 is why we have WoW, and why we have StarCraft. This is the tap that the money-hose is connected to." - Rock, Paper, Shotgun, 2011

103) Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty

Year of Release: 2001
Developed By: Konami Computer Entertainment Japan
Published By: Konami
Platform: Sony Playstation 2

"The massively-hyped Metal Gear Solid 2 doubled down on everything that made the series' first installment an instant classic: laser-precise gameplay, top-shelf work from a stellar voiceover ensemble, and a mind-bending storyline. Purists decried the dearth of playtime (speedrunners can technically complete the game in under two hours) but those criticisms largely missed the point. With MGS2, director Hideo Kojima executed a dexterous fusion of cinema and gaming that encapsulated our post-9/11 paranoia of surveillance and censorship. And the oft-criticized bait-and-switch of the lead characters served Kojima's wildly subversive purpose: a massive social experiment that toyed with the audience's expectations of what a sequel-and indeed, a game-should be." - Paste, 2009

104) Assassin's Creed II

Year of Release: 2009
Developed By: Ubisoft Montreal
Published By: Ubisoft
Platforms: Microsoft Xbox 360, PC, Sony Playstation 3

"What makes Assassin's Creed II great isn't just that it fixes most of what was wrong with the first game, though. It's that it takes what the first game started and uses it to build something much bigger, much more involving and much more fun. The open-world action is similar - you'll still spend a lot of time free-running across rooftops and obstacles (which is a blast), climbing up the sides of gargantuan buildings, assassinating unwitting enemies and getting into seemingly endless swordfights with guards - but the sequel expands on the original formula so much, and so well, that Assassin's Creed feels like a training run by comparison." - Gamesradar, 2012

105) Dance Dance Revolution

Year of Release: 1998
Developed By: Konami
Published By: Konami
Platforms: Arcade, Sony Playstation

"When I think of arcades, I think of DanceDanceRevolution (DDR). Its intense, rhythm-based gameplay not only helped uncoordinated gamers exercise, but it also served as our window into the delightful oddities found in Japan's gaming world." - IGN, 2010

106) SoulCalibur

Year of Release: 1999
Developed By: Project Soul
Published By: Namco
Platforms: Arcade, Sega Dreamcast

"You know a game has done something spectacular when most of the people who love it forget its predecessor ever existed. Considering Soul Edge is one of the best PS1 games in its own right, that should say everything about how far SoulCalibur pushed the envelope: full 3D movement, stunning environments, one of the best, rousing scores ever composed, and, of course, the fast, fun, and fluid combat. Not since the first Samurai Shodown's heyday had a developer managed to make epic swordfights feel like, well, epic swordfights, and yet SoulCalibur's brand of flying-spark chaos manages to deliver that experience to everyone, regardless of skill." - Slant, 2014

107) Beyond Good & Evil

Year of Release: 2003
Developed By: Ubisoft Montpellier and Ubisoft Milan
Published By: Ubisoft
Platforms: Microsoft Xbox, Nintendo GameCube, PC, Sony Playstation 2

"When you first encounter it, spending half an hour photographing animals and chatting with creatures around a lighthouse feels like some form of madness. Later on, as you're rescuing your pig-uncle from space, it created a tone that's inescapable throughout - a brilliant third-person action platformer where the relationships between the protagonists actually matter. That it was released for PC makes it something of a rare treat. If it influenced anything, it was the continuing works of those producing the console's finest examples. And if the much-delayed sequel doesn't come out on PC, expect riots." - Rock, Paper, Shotgun, 2012

108) Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Year of Release: 1992
Developed By: Sonic Team
Published By: Sega
Platforms: Sega Genesis, Sega Mega Drive

"Launched amid a barrage of international hype, Sonic 2 would become a standard of Genesis players' collections as the pack-in game for the redesigned system. So fruitful was the title's development that many of the more ambitious elements intended for Sonic 2 (before getting cut) would end up forming the backbone of later entries in the series. Meanwhile the bits you did get--Tails, the Spin Dash, increasingly inventive uses of the Genesis hardware--are what made this one an easy choice to rank as the best Sonic game ever made." - Gamesradar, 2013

109) Resident Evil 2

Year of Release: 1998
Developed By: Capcom
Published By: Capcom
Platforms: Nintendo 64, Nintendo GameCube, PC, Sega Dreamcast, Sony Playstation

"Resident Evil 2 grossed more money than most Hollywood movies of the time and broke many video game sales records. Marketing had something to do with it, but over the years the game has proven that it stands on its own. You play as Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield in a variety of overlapping scenarios as the two protagonists attempt to survive a zombie outbreak. The game's graphics, sound design, and level design all contributed to the game's atmospheric tone, an impressive feat for the PlayStation's hardware." - Popular Mechanics, 2014

110) Earthbound

Year of Release: 1994
Developed By: Ape Studios
Published By: Nintendo
Platform: Super Nintendo (SNES)

"There has never been a game as irreverently comic and deceptively touching as EarthBound. It takes place in a darkly skewed version of Earth, with 13-year-old Ness's "rockin'" telekinetic powers and trusty baseball bat going toe to toe with local gangs and bullies, Happy Happy cultists, and drugged-out hippies. Despite liberally borrowing from RPG conventions (including an emphasis on grind-heavy gameplay), the game oozed originality in just about every other aspect, offering more than just escapism, but, in its battle against loneliness and negative emotions, a reason to ultimately set the controller down." - Slant, 2014

111) Shenmue

Year of Release: 1999
Developed By: Sega AM2
Published By: Sega
Platform: Sega Dreamcast

"The game's gone on to become a relic, a reminder of Sega's long lost status as dreamcatchers and of the Dreamcast's status as the ultimate cult console. In Ryo's quest for vengeance there's what's likely to remain gaming's greatest untold tale, but for me in Shenmue there's something else. In the grounded fantasy of Yokosuka, there's proof positive that video games can transport you wholesale to distant lands and faraway places, no matter how drab they may be." - Eurogamer, 2015

112) NBA Jam

Year of Release: 1993
Developed By: Midway
Published By: Midway
Platforms: Arcade, Nintendo Game Boy, Sega CD, Sega Game Gear, Sega Genesis, Sega Mega Drive, Super Nintendo (SNES)

"NBA Jam remains the perfect antidote to a world of too-realistic sports video games. The game took all the things that make basketball exciting - the stars, the dunks, the buzzer-beating three-point lobs - and exaggerated them.

Even the players' heads could be blown up to freakish proportions. You might still hear some of the game's catchphrases ("Boomshakalaka!") today, but more remarkably, the action itself holds up - a testament the game's beautiful simplicity." - TIME, 2012

113) Contra

Year of Release: 1987
Developed By: Konami
Published By: Konami
Platforms: Amstrad CPC, Arcade, Commodore 64, Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), Sinclair ZX Spectrum

"Long before the Master Chief and Marcus Fenix became icons of video game badassery, there were Bill and Lance, two shirtless, muscle-bound dudes who took the fight to an entire army of nasty aliens - well, perhaps with the help of 30 lives apiece.

Although Contra only had two dimensions to work with, its twitchy action, grotesque monsters and pulsing soundtrack laid the foundation for generations of male power fantasy shooters to come." - TIME, 2012

114) Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2

Year of Release: 2000
Developed By: Neversoft
Published By: Activision
Platforms: Nintendo 64, Nintendo Game Boy Advance, Nintendo Game Boy Color, PC, Sony Playstation

"When Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 came out, I felt like gaming had peaked. In my mind it was close to being the perfect video game, and the reason was simple - the manual. With that deft design decision, levels were no longer a series of single trick opportunities, but one connected canvas with any number of creative trick lines to discover.
This was a game that gave you the freedom to express your individuality - just like real life skating - and that's why it had such a huge impact." - IGN, 2015

115) Metroid

Year of Release: 1986
Developed By: Nintendo Research & Development 1
Published By: Nintendo
Platform: Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)

"The lonely, moody experience of playing through Samus Aran's adventure created an intimate relationship with the gameworld. Exploring and memorizing planet Thebes' non-linear yet cunningly interconnected design ingeniously paid off in the game's play mechanics, which you wouldn't have known while playing. And after all that, to learn that the bounty hunter armor concealed gaming's first-ever heroine gave Metroid a surprise ending for the ages.!" - TIME, 2012

116) Lemmings

Year of Release: 1991
Developed By: DMA Design
Published By: Psygnosis
Platforms: 3DO, Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari Lynx, Commodore 64, Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), Nintendo Game Boy, PC, Philips CD-i, Sega Game Gear, Sega Genesis, Sega Master System, Sega Mega Drive, Sinclair ZX Spectrum, Super Nintendo (SNES), TurboGrafx 16

"One of the all-time classic puzzle games, Lemmings' works on a very simple premise: guide a flock of unintelligent, wayward lemmings to the end of each stage with as few casualties as you can manage. Lemmings are inherently witless, and require explicit instructions if they're to do anything besides move forward, and with a number of jobs at your disposal-any lemming will happily build a bridge, stop other lemmings from moving or punch through a wall if you give them proper instruction-you can do just that. Still great after all these years." - Complex, 2013

117) Star Wars: TIE Fighter

Year of Release: 1994
Developed By: Totally Games
Published By: LucasArts
Platform: PC

"Improving on the successful gaming engine put forth in Star Wars: X-Wing, TIE Fighter set the standard for space combat simulation. The game featured remarkable graphics for the time, as well as intelligent enemy AI and many other groundbreaking features. From a story standpoint, TIE Fighter offered a unique glimpse into the Star Wars universe. As the player character fights for the Imperial Forces - the undisputed bad guys of any and all previous Star Wars outings - TIE Fighter was a chance to see events play out from an alternative point of view. As such, the Empire is seen as much more of a peacekeeping, governing body than the conglomerate of pure evil we're so accustomed to." - Popular Mechanics, 2014

118) Donkey Kong Country

Year of Release: 1994
Developed By: Rare
Published By: Nintendo
Platforms: Nintendo Game Boy Advance, Nintendo Game Boy Color, Super Nintendo (SNES)

"With Donkey Kong Country, the DK made his transition from villain to hero, and by doing so, solidified his position as one of Nintendo's most iconic characters. The game itself was great fun too: a side-scrolling platformer like its Mario brethren that was much more fast-paced and chaotic (in a good way) than many gamers were used to." - Popular Mechanics, 2014

119) Planescape: Torment

Year of Release: 1999
Developed By: Black Isle Studios
Published By: Interplay
Platform: PC

"The game that breaks all the rules. Far too wordy, far too grim, far too peculiar, steeped in cynicism about humanity and absolutely determined to give you a hard time at all stages. That's exactly why Black Isle's dark opus works so well. The game of heartbreak, the game of mortality, the game of treachery, the game of philosophy, the game of life. The mentality of the most determined, individualistic fan art game, somehow given a budget and dozens of hours of playtime. The impossible game, the greatest cRPG ever made." - Rock, Paper, Shotgun, 2011

120) The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening

Year of Release: 1993
Developed By: Nintendo Entertainment Analysis & Development
Published By: Nintendo
Platform: Nintendo Game Boy

"Criminally underrated, Link's Awakening is the most undeservedly overlooked entries in the Legend of Zelda series, despite having sold over 6 million units worldwide. The series' first outing on a mobile platform, Link's Awakening was a beautifully trippy adventure on Koholint Island, a location with many ties to Hyrule that may or may not have all been the dream of a 'Wind Fish'. Told you it was trippy." - WhatCulture, 2014

121) The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind

Year of Release: 2002
Developed By: Bethesda Game Studios
Published By: Bethesda Softworks
Platforms: Microsoft Xbox, PC

"The Elder Scrolls' first foray into 3D (we're not counting Redguard) is still a classic, despite how far the sequels have moved on. It remains unique among Bethesda's open worlds, a genuinely alien fantasy landscape populated by people, creatures and factions that take time to truly understand. It offers the experience of being a stranger in a strange land, and over time the modding community has fixed almost everything that you might take issue with." - PC Gamer, 2015

122) Final Fantasy Tactics

Year of Release: 1997
Developed By: Square
Published By: Square
Platform: Sony Playstation

"As tactical roleplaying games go, Final Fantasy Tactics owes a debt to its predecessor, Tactics Ogre, but nothing else (including the latter) can match this 1998 PlayStation game's complexity.

Manipulating mages, warriors, monks and more across fields, towns and forests divided into chess-like tiles, players squared off in turn-based duels linked by intricate storytelling. Characters could be trained in exotic professions, ranging from chemists and orators to time mages, geomancers, arithmeticians and mimes, and an astrological "Zodiac" system, which conferred bonuses or penalties based on character sign matchups, added chance twists to encounters." - TIME, 2012

123) Guitar Hero

Year of Release: 2005
Developed By: Harmonix
Published By: RedOctane
Platform: Sony Playstation 2

"Guitar Hero turned mild-mannered, non-gamers on to a more immersive, interactive style of game than they had previously known existed. You were part of the game. The game didn't work without you. You were a performer. People - regular people - might have even been impressed to watch you do what amounted to little more than beating a level of a video game, but since it was a musical performance, it seemed so much cooler." - TIME, 2012

124) Myst

Year of Release: 1993
Developed By: Cyan
Published By: Brøderbund
Platforms: 3DO, Atari Jaguar CD, Nintendo 3DS, PC, Philips CD-i, Sega Saturn, Sony Playstation

"There's another important reason we remember Myst: It helped usher in the CD-ROM era, perhaps more than any other game (including Trilobyte's The 7th Guest), prompting users to upgrade their desktops to experience the game's lavish, unparalleled and still today impactful visuals." - TIME, 2012

125) Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings

Year of Release: 1999
Developed By: Ensemble Studios
Published By: Microsoft
Platforms: PC, Sony Playstation 2

"As a game, it did nothing less than take Civilization and hit it into the side of the Warcraft/C&C-esque RTS. When we live in a world where we laugh at yet another WW2 RTS, it's worth remembering what that actually means. Age was the first really successful RTS which had a quasi-realistic take on a realistic setting. Before it, it was all fantasy and Sci-fi. In a real way, Age of Empires was the Call of Duty of its genre. Not realistic, but thematically evocative of a real time and place, and so gaining a whole different sort of appeal." - Rock, Paper, Shotgun, 2012

126) Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Year of Release: 2008
Developed By: Nintendo
Published By: Nintendo
Platform: Nintendo Wii

"It's consistently satisfying over long periods, fulfilling its usual role of dominating a willing crowd's evening into the early hours, and now allowing you to sustain that after everyone's gone home using the Internet. Really the only reason you wouldn't feel that way would be if you didn't stick with it past the dizzying first quarter of an hour, or if you don't like Nintendo characters - and if you don't in either case then you probably aren't reading this anyway, and the prospect of Triforce-smashing your friends to death won't mean anything. Otherwise, persist, and enrich yourself, and wonder where on earth it all goes next." - Eurogamer, 2008

127) Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar

Year of Release: 1985
Developed By: Origin
Published By: Origin
Platforms: Commodore 64, PC, Sega Master System

"A fantasy roleplaying game that debuted on an Apple computer? Yep, Ultima IV - first released for the venerable 8-bit Apple II in 1985 - was certainly that, but more importantly, it heralded a remarkable shift in tone for this series about an inter-dimensional hero (that would be you) who traveled to the medieval realm of Britannia to save its denizens from monstrous evils." - TIME, 2012

128) SimCity 2000

Year of Release: 1993
Developed By: Maxis
Published By: Electronic Arts
Platforms: Nintendo Game Boy Advance, PC, Sega Saturn, Sony Playstation, Super Nintendo (SNES)

"There's so much to see and do in SimCity 2000 that it felt like you could spend a lifetime on a single city. The corner-viewed angles of each building, bridge, road, waterway, hill and valley made the follow-up to the original feel more lifelike than ever, and the constant input from your city advisers and the local newspaper made your role as mayor feel especially realistic." - TIME, 2012

129) Gran Turismo

Year of Release: 1997
Developed By: Polys Entertainment
Published By: Polys Entertainment
Platform: Sony Playstation

"Offering a "simulation" experience vastly more demanding than the arcade-like controls of kart racers, GT introduced to a whole generation of console gamers such Racing 101 concepts as "understeering" and "drafting" and the increased speed and handling when accelerating out of a turn. Just as noteworthy was the exacting level of visual and sonic detail (which included the developers recording the engine sounds for each in-game vehicle) and a "replay" feature that let you admire your brilliance on the asphalt." - TIME, 2011

130) Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

Year of Release: 2008
Developed By: Kojima Productions
Published By: Konami
Platform: Sony Playstation 3

"Metal Gear Solid 4 is a masterpiece, arguably the best in the series and - though many will fiercely disagree - ever so slightly disappointing. About 40% through, our notepad was scarred with breathless superlatives like 'Genius', 'Amazing' and 'Wow!!!' but by the game's conclusion, they'd given way to considered criticism and stark cries of 'WTF?'" - Gamesradar, 2008

131) Fallout

Year of Release: 1997
Developed By: Interplay Entertainment
Published By: Interplay Entertainment
Platform: PC

"The lasting impact of Fallout is a testament to its remarkable creativity. After numerous sequels its setting feels largely unexplored. After fifteen years its approach to quest design is still reflected in games that offer player agency. After more than a hundred years in the game's timeline since the apocalypse, you'd think that someone would have taken a few minutes to sweep the street and pick up some overturned furniture." - 1up, 2012

132) Limbo

Year of Release: 2010
Developed By: Playdead
Published By: Playdead
Platforms: Mac OS, Microsoft Xbox 360, PC, Sony Playstation 3, Sony Playstation Vita

"Creativity thrives in limitations, and Limbo is rigorous in its self-imposed limits. It has no colour, no dialogue, minimal music, no cut-scenes, no on-screen health meters or other clutter. Yet you can't expect limitations alone to make your masterpiece for you. After cutting away the fat, the obligation is to use what remains as convincingly as possible. That's what Limbo accomplishes. The game steps back from audio-visual sensory overload so it has room to make inroads to other senses: a sense of wonder, say, or of compassion and vulnerability." - Eurogamer, 2010

133) Duke Nukem 3D

Year of Release: 1996
Developed By: 3D Realms
Published By: GT Interactive
Platforms: PC, Sega Mega Drive, Sega Saturn, Sony Playstation

"For a medium vetted in stomping goombas and slaying dragons, video games tend to forget just how ridiculous they're allowed to be. Duke Nukem 3D doesn't exactly have that problem though. In fact, it unapologetically embraces everything outrageous about film and video games, leaving no absurdity unexplored. Pig-men in police uniforms? Sure. Fully functional shrink rays? Why not? Duke is the kind of overblown action hero that can only exist in video games. Scientists are still trying to calculate the amount of bubblegum required to keep this man from kicking ass. No known quantity seems to be enough." - IGN, 2013

134) Maniac Mansion: Day of the Tentacle

Year of Release: 1993
Developed By: Lucasarts
Published By: Lucasarts
Platform: PC

"Clearly everyone has their own favourite point and click adventure, and this one happens to be mine. But why do I consider this to have such importance? Because while it was not seminal, beyond a much improved SCUMM layout, it was hilarious. Funnier than any other game in the genre had been, and I'd contend has been since. Also, it was damned clever. Solving puzzles across three time zones, affecting the future to complete challenges. The voice acting was utterly wonderful, the character design still gorgeous to look at. It's stupid to call it a "masterpiece", obviously. It's a masterpiece." - Rock, Paper, Shotgun, 2012

135) Starcraft 2

Year of Release: 2010
Developed By: Blizzard Entertainment
Published By: Blizzard Entertainment
Platform: PC

"Much of the core gameplay of the original has been preserved, yet with plenty of tweaks, additional units and new abilities for veteran players to toy with and devise new approaches to competitive battles. Anyone intimidated by the notion of playing against live opponents will find a lot to enjoy, with a fantastically presented single-player campaign featuring impressively varied mission design supported by a memorable, though often cheesy, cast of characters." - IGN 2010

136) Zork I

Year of Release: 1980
Developed By: Infocom
Published By: Infocom
Platform: Commodore 64

"What made Zork work, aside from its homespun, minimalist eloquence and self-referential wit (it was full of sly references to, among other things, Colossal Cave Adventure), was its eerily advanced text parser, which accepted commands from the player in plain English and turned them into actions in the game.

Zork's influence on later adventure games can't be overstated - as an homage, the entirety of Zork was inserted into Call of Duty: Black Ops as an Easter Egg." - TIME, 2012

137) Burnout 3: Takedown

Year of Release: 2004
Developed By: Criterion Games
Published By: Electronic Arts
Platforms: Microsoft Xbox, Sony Playstation 2

"This was one of those games you could easily lose hours playing, either alone or with friends. Among our nerdy cadre, there was no greater source of joy, sorrow or white-hot rage than Burnout 3. Few things could ruin a friendship faster than wrecking someone's ride just before the finish line - though thankfully all was (usually) forgotten during the next round of Crash Mode." - IGN, 2015

138) The Witcher 3

Year of Release: 2015
Developed By: CD Projekt RED
Published By: CD Projekt
Platforms: Microsoft Xbox One, PC, Sony Playstation 4

"This series has come a long way since the first game released in 2007, going from a somewhat clunky RPG produced by a small studio to a hugely popular, polished open-world title that much of the gaming world was anticipating.

The Witcher 3 tells a compelling story, and populates its world with believable characters that serve to draw you in and make you feel like you're living it. This is the best storytelling we've seen in RPGs, and it has set the standard that games should be judged by in the future." - The Escapist, 2015

139) Psychonauts

Year of Release: 2005
Developed By: Double Fine Productions
Published By: Majesco
Platforms: Mac OS, Microsoft Xbox, PC, Sony Playstation 2

"This is one of the most wondrous games we've ever been lucky enough to play, and almost no one did. The tale of a summer camp for psychic children let us explore a vivid and gorgeous world, between explorations of the minds of its residents, uncovering psychological disorders in bright, Nickelodeon colours. Each brain entered wasn't only thematically different, but also changed the way the game was played. Each could have been a satisfactory game of its own, but Psychonauts threw them aside as if they weren't a masterstroke that most developers would sell their legs to think of, making room for the next." - Rock, Paper, Shotgun, 2012

140) Rock Band

Year of Release: 2007
Developed By: Harmonix
Published By: MTV Games
Platforms: Microsoft Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, Sony Playstation 2, Sony Playstation 3

"I like to think that the almost self-consciously generic quality of Rock Band's title is a subtle attempt to further coax players to project themselves into the game's fantasy. The designers at Harmonix bravely turned their backs on the cartoony animation style of the popular Guitar Hero series they originally developed and created a surrealistic, laser-lightshow visual style that looks like it could easily be an artsy '80s music video. Also Rock Band deserves props for allowing legions of air drummers to pick up sticks for the first time. Seriously, who hasn't fantasized about doing that thing where you start a song by hitting the sticks together four times?" - Paste, 2009

141) Elite

Year of Release: 1984
Developed By: David Braben and Ian Bell
Published By: Acornsoft
Platforms: Commodore 64, Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)

"Besides its excellent implementation of wireframe 3D graphics, where Elite really set itself apart from these other space trading games was its procedurally generated universe, including planetary positions, names, politics, and general descriptions. The final design was purposely limited by Acornsoft to eight galaxies, each containing 256 planets." - Gamasutra, 2009

142) Final Fantasy IX

Year of Release: 2000
Developed By: Square
Published By: Square
Platform: Sony Playstation

"FFIX's initial cutesiness masks a surprisingly gripping tale of fate, focusing on an empathetic cast who struggle to find hope in the face of forces much greater than themselves. A gorgeous and bittersweet score (if Melodies of Life doesn't make you well up at least a little, you are wrong) completes the picture. When the credits roll, it feels like saying goodbye to an old friend--one that's well worth remembering, and keeping close to our hearts." - Gamesradar, 2015

143) Banjo-Kazooie

Year of Release: 1998
Developed By: Rare
Published By: Nintendo
Platform: Nintendo 64

"The attempt to free the word "Jiggy" from the dastardly clutches of Will Smith may have failed, but pretty much everything else about Banjo-Kazooie succeeds. Boasting platforming action that rivals Super Mario 64 at its best, along with incredibly expansive worlds bursting at the seams with secrets and hidden treasures, Rare created a title in which aimlessly exploring offers just as much joy as problem-solving. Throw in memorable characters and crackin' one-liners, and you've got yourself a guaranteed classic." - IGN, 2014

144) Dead Space

Year of Release: 2008
Developed By: EA Redwood Shores
Published By: Electronic Arts
Platforms: Microsoft Xbox 360, PC, Sony Playstation 3

"Dead Space was a prime example of the cinematic storytelling experience that drove many of the best games in the 2000s. The game's detailed setting was both atmospheric and terrifying, a perfect background to the survival-horror storyline of undead space monsters.

The game's combat uses a system called "strategic dismemberment," where Isaac must use his improvised arsenal to slice off the arms, legs, and other extremities of his alien assailants." - Popular Mechanics, 2014

145) Final Fantasy IV

Year of Release: 1991
Developed By: Square
Published By: Square
Platforms: Nintendo DS, PC, Sony Playstation, Super Nintendo (SNES), WonderSwan Color

"A lot has been said (both in general, and in this breakdown itself) about the legendary quality of Final Fantasy's storytelling. However, it wasn't always that way: once upon a time, the notion that RPGs could tell intricate stories revolutionized the genre and made it what it is today. The first game to do it? Final Fantasy IV." - Gamesradar, 2015

146) Perfect Dark

Year of Release: 2000
Developed By: Rare
Published By: Nintendo
Platform: Nintendo 64

"Rare's excellent N64 follow-up to the insanely-popular GoldenEye was yet another hit first-person shooter. It lost the James Bond license, but it added even more weapons, modes, and some of the most robust multiplayer options around - even by today's standards.

The multiplayer suite was one of the best on the N64. It had a ton of maps, and you could customize everything about your character, the weapons, your enemies, and more. Just make sure you don't accidently set it to Dark Bot difficulty. They will wreck you." - IGN, 2015

147) Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4

Year of Release: 2008
Developed By: Atlus
Published By: Atlus
Platform: Sony Playstation 2

"While Persona 3 was the game that pushed the series furthest forward, this fourth instalment just did everything so well. Visually, it had no right to be running on PS2, and the soundtrack perfectly suited the mood and feel of the action. The fish-out-of-water characters struck a chord with many fans too, which is perhaps the best explanation for the game's enduring appeal." - Gamesradar, 2013

148) Sid Meier's Civilization V

Year of Release: 2010
Developed By: Firaxis Games
Published By: 2K Games
Platform: PC

"As with every game in the 20 year-old series, the idea is to use every ounce of strategic skill to conquer the world, even if that means changing the course of history to suit your own ends. But while its heart remains the same, Civilization V has been given a much-needed overhaul that widens its appeal and makes the combat more fun and compelling than ever before." - Empire, 2010

149) Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss

Year of Release: 1992
Developed By: Blue Sky Productions
Published By: Origin Systems
Platform: PC

"Before Doom, before even Wolfenstein 3D, this was the game that took players out of two dimensions into immersive, texture-mapped, first-person reality. Ultima Underworld was a leap forward in gaming technology that has yet to be equalled. In the narrative of videogame evolution, this is the bit where one monkey smashes another monkey's brains in because he was told to by a monolith." - PC Gamer, 2015

150) Left 4 Dead

Year of Release: 2008
Developed By: Valve South
Published By: Valve Corporation
Platforms: Mac OS, Microsoft Xbox 360, PC

"Getting FPS players to work together towards a common goal isn't exactly easy, but Valve made it look like it was in Left 4 Dead by making cooperation simple, fun, and absolutely necessary for survival. There was nothing quite like knowing that your life was in the hands of the person manning the back door of the house you were holed up in, or the rare feeling of solidarity when some stranger named z0MbeePWNR420 fought through a horde of undead just to revive you instead of jumping on the chopper and leaving you to your doom. Such was a typical late night of playing Left 4 Dead." - IGN, 2013
Design & coding © 2015 - 2017 Peter Searle & Jeroen te Strake. Special thanks to Wesley.
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