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151) Super Meat Boy

Year of Release: 2010
Developed By: Team Meat
Published By: Team Meat
Platforms: Microsoft Xbox 360, PC

"If there's one game that's made me want to throw my controller across the room and smash it into a million pieces, it would be Super Meat Boy. Traversing its frustratingly difficult levels of spinning blades and spiny needles requires skills of the highest twitchiness. But doing so is satisfying, even in death (and you will die-a lot). Reaching the end of a level fills you with pride and accomplishment. Every misstep, while frustrating, is accompanied by a savory, visceral splat. And respawns are instantaneous. Thank the bloody meat gods for that." - Popular Mechanics, 2014

152) 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

153) Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars

Year of Release: 1996
Developed By: Square
Published By: Nintendo
Platform: Super Nintendo (SNES)

"Imagine a Mario game in which a powerful enemy threatened the Mushroom Kingdom, prompting Mario and Bowser to put aside their differences and form a supergroup to battle their common foe. Now imagine this game was a turn-based RPG developed by Square (now known as Square Enix), the famed Japanese developer known for the Final Fantasy series. That's Super Mario RPG in a nutshell. And it's awesome." - Popular Mechanics, 2014

154) 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

155) Diablo

Year of Release: 1997
Developed By: Blizzard North
Published By: Blizzard
Platforms: PC, Sony Playstation

"Battle.net brought players together in a way that few games ever had before. The ability to venture forth from Tristram with a party of buddies extended the life of Diablo to wild proportions, and created a depth of play that is usually reserved for the much larger worlds of an MMO experience.

Diablo wasn't a game with a concrete beginning and end. The goal wasn't to simply reach the credits and call it a day, far from it. At no point could you walk away from the game feeling satisfied by your experience in the world. Diablo created a hunger that could simply not be satiated. There was always more to see. Always more to kill and more to collect. At no point could you say that you were finished with Diablo, because Blizzard created a game designed to call the shots. And here we are, 15 years later, and Diablo still isn't done with us." - 1up, 2012

156) Tekken 3

Year of Release: 1997
Developed By: Namco
Published By: Namco
Platforms: Arcade, Sony Playstation

"Widely regarded as one of the best fighters of all time, Tekken 3 landed in PlayStation gamers' homes a year after it first entered the world in arcade cabinet-form. Its side-scrolling fighter action threw in an element of 3D depth, allowing players to dodge attacks by jumping towards the background, and its roster of characters was about as diverse as you can get." - Stuff, 2015

157) 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

158) Sid Meier's Civilization II

Year of Release: 1996
Developed By: MicroProse
Published By: MicroProse
Platforms: PC, Sony Playstation

"This epic, history-straddling strategy series has an unreal knack for gluing PC owners to their mice and monitors. Part of that was always down to it being a great strategy game that dropped an intriguing decision at your feet every minute, but I'd argue that the real appeal was in watching something grow. Unlike most base-building strategy games where you put something together, win or lose, wipe the slate clean and start again within 30 minutes, Civilization had you growing your nation for dozens of hours, right up to its endgame. The reason those intriguing decisions were so intriguing is that they affected the shape of your holdings for thousands of years. If you conquered somewhere it would sit there, the ultimate trophy, for every future turn. Likewise, if you built a road or discovered a technology, you were laying the foundation for future development. It's exactly like how unlockables have revolutionised the online FPS in recent years. It's hopelessly addicting to load up a game and be playing off the back of all your past experiences." - Rock, Paper, Shotgun, 2011

159) 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

160) Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

Year of Release: 2017
Developed By: Capcom
Published By: Capcom
Platforms: Microsoft Xbox One, PC, Sony Playstation 4

"An at times unbearably tense game that plays like a mash-up of horror films like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Saw, Resident Evil 7 is a master class in big-budget horror games from a series that seemed like it was losing its edge." - Vulture, 2017

161) 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

162) Bayonetta 2

Year of Release: 2014
Developed By: Platinum Games
Published By: Nintendo
Platform: Nintendo Wii U

"Bayonetta 2's combat is so expertly constructed, and its presentation so joyously insane, that you'd have to try so very hard to get bored of it all. In a year filled with the promise of ever more elaborate experiences on all the shiny new hardware, that Bayonetta 2--a homage to classic game design and escapism--should be the most fun I've had playing a game all year is unexpected." - Gamespot, 2018

163) Persona 5

Year of Release: 2016
Developed By: Atlus
Published By: Atlus
Platforms: Sony Playstation 3, Sony Playstation 4

"Persona 5 isn't the kind of sequel that reinvents the wheel. It maintains the same basic structure as past entries in the series but it polishes the concept into perhaps its ideal form. The story is engrossing, with a cast of characters that you'll grow exceedingly close to over the game's daunting 100-hour run time. At the same time, it offers deep role-playing elements, turning battles into high-stakes strategic bouts. Plus, Persona 5 might be the only game that can make doing homework feel cool." - The Verge, 2017

164) Star Fox 64

Year of Release: 1997
Developed By: Nintendo
Published By: Nintendo
Platform: Nintendo 64

"There were two main styles of gameplay in Star Fox 64. The most common was Corridor Mode, in which the player had to move their ship to dodge incoming obstacles and fire upon enemies, while constantly moving forwards. Some stages of the game switch over to All-Range Mode, in which the player is able to move completely freely, typically when fighting a boss. The smooth animations, colourful graphics and often hilarious voice acting all added up to make for one of the Nintendo 64 era's most memorable titles." - WhatCulture, 2014

165) 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

166) Xenoblade Chronicles

Year of Release: 2010
Developed By: Monolith Soft
Published By: Nintendo
Platforms: Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Wii

"Monolith's JRPG Xenoblade Chronicles is a breath of fresh air in a genre that's gotten stale over the years. It casts aside the usual character tropes and confined spaces for something more adult and open-world, and it's fast-paced battle mechanics make gameplay exciting. It also features beautiful art direction and a whimsical soundtrack, making Xenoblade an absolute treat for the senses." - IGN, 2014

167) 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

168) Fortnite

Year of Release: 2017
Developed By: Epic Games
Published By: Epic Games
Platforms: iOS, Microsoft Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC, Sony Playstation 4

"Fortnite was a joke at launch. Do you remember that? Initially perceived as a flop, Epic's building game felt like an obvious cash-in, and when it added on a battle royale mode to mimic the success of the then-juggernaut PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, it was even moreso. But here's the thing: It started growing. And it kept growing, and growing, and now it's possibly the biggest, most profitable game on the planet." - Wired, 2019

169) Far Cry 3

Year of Release: 2012
Developed By: Ubisoft Montreal
Published By: Ubisoft
Platforms: Microsoft Xbox 360, PC, Sony Playstation 3

"Each numbered entry in the Far Cry franchise has successfully built upon, and learned from the previous one, but Far Cry 3 did it to a degree that surprised almost everyone when it hit. Aside from the obvious visual splendor, it was also the most narratively engrossing title in the franchise. Far Cry 3 used a motley cast of excellently written and voiced characters to tell a thematically ambitious tale about violence, power, control, and identity - and it did it all while letting players run amok in the most open, densely packed sandbox the series had ever featured." - IGN, 2013

170) Alien: Isolation

Year of Release: 2014
Developed By: Creative Assembly
Published By: Sega
Platforms: Microsoft Xbox 360, Microsoft Xbox One, PC, Sony Playstation 3, Sony Playstation 4

"After the disaster that was Aliens: Colonial Marines, the franchise is redeemed entirely with a title that, like the film that inspired it, foregoes action in favour of creeping dread and rising panic. It might seem odd to spend half a game's play time hiding in a locker but when the Alien first uncurls from an overhead vent to stand before you, teeth dripping with saliva, you'll certainly understand why." - Empire, 2014

171) Dishonored

Year of Release: 2012
Developed By: Arkane Studios
Published By: Bethesda Softworks
Platforms: Microsoft Xbox 360, PC, Sony Playstation 3

"Dishonored combines a beautiful, stylized world filled with colorful characters, and gameplay freedom to form a fantastic adventure that you will want to revisit again and again. The open-style missions--combined with the weapons and abilities--make a thrilling playground to explore, tough enemies present a significant challenge, and the multiple outcomes, characters, and setting create an exhilarating world to discover. Dishonored is a game that you won't want to miss." - Gamesradar, 2012

172) Dune II

Year of Release: 1992
Developed By: Westwood Studios
Published By: Virgin Interactive
Platforms: Amiga, PC, Sega Genesis

"The first real-time strategy game?

Okay, not the very first - but 1992 PC game Dune II deserves credit for putting real-time strategy on the map.

Instead of plunking pieces around boards taking chess-like turns, players in Dune II directed units across maps in continuous or "real" time, thus melding slower strategic planning with quick-click tactics." - TIME, 2012"

173) Pokemon Gold/Silver

Year of Release: 2000
Developed By: Game Freak
Published By: Nintendo
Platform: Nintendo Game Boy Color

"Generation II was where Pokémon really started to open up. The formal introduction of dual-types, and the implementation of a day and night cycle created different ways to play. For the first time, the time of day mattered-certain Pokémon could only be caught at certain times, for example. This made gameplay more frustrating and more interesting. On top of having day and week cycles, Generation II expanded on the Friendship/Happiness system that was introduced in Yellow, making Pokémon grow via their "devotion" to their trainers." - Kotaku, 2013

174) Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem

Year of Release: 2002
Developed By: Silicon Knights
Published By: Nintendo
Platform: Nintendo GameCube

"This game does one thing that I love... it pays attention to every single detail possible. It's that attention to detail that makes me feel this game is truly a work of love. You can tell that the people at Silicon Knights love their craft and their game. Nintendo, ink these guys to a nice fat Christmas bonus. The older gamers who are loyal Nintendo fans will thank you for it. This game is just what they needed." - Nintendojo, 2002

175) Celeste

Year of Release: 2018
Developed By: Matt Makes Games Inc.
Published By: Matt Makes Games Inc.
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC

"Celeste could have come straight out of the late 1980s thanks to its nostalgic gameplay and graphics. Playing as the titular character, users must navigate the colorful pixelized world by running, jumping, and climbing walls. A mid-air dash, along with a number of other moves obtained over the course of the game keeps gameplay fresh and exciting. Celeste's piano-heavy soundtrack is also of note since it gives the entire experience a more sophisticated feel to go along with its serious meditation on mental illness." - Geek, 2019

176) 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

177) 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

178) 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

179) 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

180) Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos

Year of Release: 2002
Developed By: Blizzard
Published By: Blizzard
Platform: PC

"Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos is the third title in the Warcraft series of real time strategy games and one of the most popular PC games of all time. Not only was it immensly popular upon its release, it also received much critical acclaim when it was released in 2002. The commercial and critical success helped feed the anticipation for subsequent success of World of Warcraft massively multiplayer online role playing game that took the world by storm." - About.com

181) Katamari Damacy

Year of Release: 2004
Developed By: Namco
Published By: Namco
Platform: Sony Playstation 2

"You had to roll up everyday items - beagles, fishing poles, clouds - onto an ever-expanding magical sticky ball so the loopy and ominous father, The King of All Cosmos, can use it to repair the stars that he destroyed during a drunken bender.

The game looks like a cardboard cut-out diorama brought to unlikely life, but the chaos you cause when rolling up trees and cars and people never feels malicious. Instead, Katamari Damacy feels like the most innocent mode of play - the let's-see-what-happens kind that gives back to the childlike energy that spawned it." - TIME, 2012

182) XCOM: Enemy Unknown

Year of Release: 2012
Developed By: Firaxis Games
Published By: 2K Games
Platforms: Microsoft Xbox 360, PC, Sony Playstation 3

"Three years later, I'm realising how crucial Enemy Unknown's art is to its appeal. It is soft and serious, a Saturday morning cartoon hurled against its will into an alien invasion. It's toylike and gritty - your operatives stand stoic in the barracks, unsmiling, as you dress them up in bright red armour and slap a mohawk on them. Record stores, gas stations, and abandoned bars are perfect dioramas: it's inherently fun to blast and break familiar spaces with combat." - PC Gamer, 2015

183) LittleBigPlanet

Year of Release: 2008
Developed By: Media Molecule
Published By: Sony Computer Entertainment
Platform: Sony Playstation 3

"One of the first titles to showcase the true potential of the PS3, the gloriously original LittleBigPlanet is driven by three simple concepts; play, create and share.Impossibly charming and the sort of game console hacks dream about, LittleBigPlanet is the reason you bought a PS3 in the first place, not to play lifeless PS2 sequels and rehashes of franchises made famous on less powerful consoles." - Empire, 2008

184) 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

185) Streets of Rage II

Year of Release: 1992
Developed By: Ancient
Published By: Sega
Platforms: Sega Master System, Sega Mega Drive

"Sega dramatically upped the ante with Streets of Rage 2; the variety in the enemies spread throughout is much improved. Don't be surprised to be punching robots, taking out Thai boxers or fly-kicking punks from motorcycles. It's an eclectic mix but that somehow works. As is the norm, each stage also has its own unique boss battle, too." - Nintendo Life, 2015

186) Diablo III

Year of Release: 2012
Developed By: Blizzard Entertainment
Published By: Blizzard Entertainment
Platforms: Mac OS, Microsoft Xbox 360, PC, Sony Playstation 3

"Twelve long years of waiting and fans are finally playing Diablo III, and, if my recent marathon sessions are any indication, they will be for the foreseeable future. So many systems from previous Diablo titles have been improved, making for an approachable, rewarding and deeply satisfying treasure hunting game. It's addictive on a level few games can match, so much so that it's easy to largely overlook its flaws." - IGN, 2012

187) Street Fighter IV

Year of Release: 2008
Developed By: Capcom
Published By: Capcom
Platforms: Microsoft Xbox 360, PC, Sony Playstation 3

"Street Fighter IV is a 2008 fighting game produced by Capcom. It is the first numbered Street Fighter game released by Capcom for the arcades since 1999.In a world of bazillion hour RPGs and increasingly narrative-focused titles, something as superficial as two characters beating the snot out of each other may seem rather shallow. But, with gameplay that could easily take a lifetime to master and frenetic VS battles that never get tired, SFIV is guaranteed to be in your console long after those 'deeper' titles are left gathering dust." - Empire, 2009

188) 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

189) 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

190) Bayonetta

Year of Release: 2009
Developed By: PlatinumGames
Published By: Sega,Nintendo
Platforms: Microsoft Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii U, Sony Playstation 3

"The result is a game that exemplifies so much of what commentators claim has died in the Japanese game industry. A blast of creative brilliance, both technically accomplished, strategically deep and infused with rare imagination, Bayonetta represents the pinnacle of its chosen niche." - Eurogamer, 2009

191) 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

192) Quake III Arena

Year of Release: 1999
Developed By: id Software
Published By: Activision
Platforms: Mac OS, PC, Sega Dreamcast, Sony Playstation 2

"For anyone who complained about the "floatiness" of Unreal Tournament, Quake III: Arena brought a more solid feel to arena shooters. Released to the public well before UT as the free Q3Test beta, shooter fans were primed for Quake III in advance - and the final game didn't disappoint. Fast-paced, addictive, and infinitely replayable, it's an outstanding example of id's dedication to polish and refined online gameplay. How can anyone who's played The Longest Yard map (Q3DM17 to its friends) every want to stop? Quake III: Arena became a mainstay of eSports competitions, including id's own annual QuakeCon LAN party." - IGN, 2013

193) Undertale

Year of Release: 2015
Developed By: Toby Fox
Published By: 8-4
Platforms: Mac OS, PC, Sony Playstation 4, Sony Playstation Vita

"Undertale is a role-playing video game created by American indie developer and composer Toby Fox. In the game, players control a human child who has fallen into the Underground, a large, secluded region underneath the surface of the Earth, separated by a magic barrier. The player meets various monsters during a quest to return to the surface, mainly through the combat system; the player navigates through mini-bullet hell attacks by the opponent, and can opt to pacify or subdue monsters in order to spare them instead of murdering them. These choices affect the game, with the dialogue, characters, and story changing based on outcomes." - Geek, 2019

194) Final Fantasy XII

Year of Release: 2006
Developed By: Square Enix
Published By: Square Enix
Platform: Sony Playstation 2

"It's not hard to see us looking back in five years time and seeing FFXII as a pivotal, changing moment in how RPGs are designed; a game which drew on the experience of Final Fantasy's branches into tactical strategy and massively multiplayer, as well as on the more mature storytelling of other mediums, and folded it back into the number series, to wonderful result. Fans will, of course, debate the merits of Final Fantasy XII for a long time - but our own experience with this game fully justifies giving it the highest accolade we can award." - Eurogamer, 2006

195) God of War II

Year of Release: 2007
Developed By: SCE Santa Monica Studios
Published By: Sony Computer Entertainment
Platform: Sony Playstation 2

"For the sequel to God Of War, the biggest challenge was improving on an action game that was damn-near perfect in the first place. But in sticking with the PS2 rather than wrestling with its new-fangled successor, the developers have created a sprawling, sublimely gripping adventure that's superior to anything the PS3 has to offer." - Empire, 2007

196) Left 4 Dead 2

Year of Release: 2009
Developed By: Valve Corporation
Published By: Valve Corporation
Platforms: Microsoft Xbox 360, PC

"Left 4 Dead changed the zombie survival-horror game by making combat more about slaughtering droves of undead shamblers rather than conserving ammo and making tactical strikes, as well as by focusing on cooperative multiplayer. The sequel built on this, adding melee weapons and many new firearms, which made combat even more varied and fun. Improved level and story design added to the game's already great replayability." - Popular Mechanics, 2014

197) Mass Effect 3

Year of Release: 2012
Developed By: BioWare
Published By: Electronic Arts
Platforms: Microsoft Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii U, PC, Sony Playstation 3

"You'll find one of the finest examples of sheer craftsmanship that the medium of video games has ever offered. Mass Effect 3 blends incredibly cinematic moments - including a few set pieces that would make Michael Bay weep - with genuine emotional depth. It looks absolutely stunning too, boasts a soundtrack that literally hits all the right notes, and is capped off with amazing performances by its voice cast. There's really very little to find fault with, and it's a shining example of what gaming can offer." - Empire, 2012

198) Soul Calibur II

Year of Release: 2002
Developed By: Project Soul
Published By: Namco
Platforms: Microsoft Xbox, Nintendo GameCube, Sony Playstation 2

"This multi-console follow-up takes everything that was good in the original and gives it a welcome polish, both graphically and in terms of gameplay. Players of the first SC game may initially see it as just a revamped version of the original, but the fighting here is superb, with all manner of weapons with which to beat your opponent to a pixellated pulp and fighters who can be unlocked as you progress. There are even new characters specific to each console." - Empire, 2003

199) Unreal Tournament

Year of Release: 1999
Developed By: Epic Games, Digital Extremes
Published By: GT Interactive
Platforms: PC, Sega Dreamcast, Sony Playstation 2

"While the impressive Unreal was primarily a single-player experience, Unreal Tournament turned first-person shooting into a competitive sport. It pioneered the arena shooter, throwing a group of challengers inside massive stadium-style maps and letting them have at it in deathmatch and team-based modes. Not the online type? You can still play single-player against bots...and they're pretty smart! Packed with crazy weapons (like the goo-filled BioRifle and super-nuke Redeemer) and more personality than its chief competitor Quake III, UT spawned three sequels...and deserves a fourth." - IGN, 2013

200) Spider-Man

Year of Release: 2018
Developed By: Insomniac Games
Published By: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Platform: Sony Playstation 4

"Many Spider-Man games (and superhero games) have existed in the past, but none have provided such a richly detailed and immersive world coupled with a strong narrative through-line. The game packs in a tremendous amount of high-stakes combat, complete with often humorous commentary from Spidey himself, but ends each big moment on an emotional note - a strength not often achieved in superhero fare, in games or elsewhere." - The Hollywood Reporter, 2019
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