GRcade's 105 Games

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Spindash
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PostGRcade's 105 Games
by Spindash » Wed Dec 24, 2014 6:01 pm

GRcade's 105 Games

Preamble

Thank you to everyone who voted, and a special thank you to everyone who sent in comments. :wub:

1990-1999
TETRIS (1990)
Platform Game Boy, various | Developer Bullet-Proof Software & Nintendo | Publisher Nintendo

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"Nintendo's iconic Game Boy system made its name thanks to a number of titles but one that still rings out today is Tetris. This game has been ported to nearly every system under the sun and its core game is still as playable today as it was back in 1989.

The premise of stacking blocks that disappear when they form complete lines is simple but very addictive thanks to its quick paced gameplay which only gets faster as you continue to play. The pursuit of high scores means that such a quick and simple game can easily dominate all of your free time if you're not careful.

As you stack the Tetronimoes, the game's famous music track plays on repeat but it somehow never gets so repetitive that it annoys you. Perhaps my focus was always so intently directed at chasing high scores that I couldn't let the music get that boring stage. Whatever the case, the Tetris theme is a staple of the game and it's why, after a truly countless number of hours and games, I'll always select A-type whenever I play." - Dark Dragon 64

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SUPER MARIO BROS. 3 (1991)
Platform NES | Developer Nintendo R&D4 | Publisher Nintendo

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"Squeezing the last drop - and then some - from the NES hardware, SMB3 still makes a mockery of most other 2D platformers, despite being twenty-six years old. The true sequel to the iconic Super Mario Bros., it took the defining features of its predecessor, and expanded them to the absolute limit of what the hardware would allow: a massive amount of levels, extra power-ups, optional level progression, more secret areas and hidden quirks, and a solid, yet fair, challenge. It set a yardstick for the level of improvement players came to expect from Nintendo's sequels - a yardstick that, in trying to meet, led Nintendo to the forefront of game design. A hugely significant title." - Dan.

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SUPER MARIO WORLD (1992)
Platform SNES | Developer Nintendo EAD | Publisher Nintendo

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"Not quite as good as its sequel, but I can understand the argument that it’s the better game. At the time unheard of levels of content propelled SMW above its predecessors and contemporary rivals. The introduction of The Great One, Yoshi, added a totally new dimension to the game. My defining memory of the game nowadays is finding and completing Star Road, and the subsequent super secret levels; Bodacious, Tubular, Gnarly etc. Rarely do games come around with secret paths that are hidden inside secret paths and that’s the main thing I find amazing about the game – there’s simply so much to do." - Corazon de Leon

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THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: A LINK TO THE PAST (1992)
Platform SNES | Developer Nintendo EAD | Publisher Nintendo

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"I love Zelda, and this game is the reason why. This game introduced a lot of the concepts that we take for granted in the modern Zelda game – the dark world (or adult Link's Hyrule in OoT), Ganon, Kakariko Village and Death Mountain, etc etc. The gameplay is fantastically easy to get to grips with and the storyline is simple, but gripping. If I meet someone who hasn't played a Zelda before, I direct them to ALTTP. Interesting fact – it took me ten years to finish the game because as a six year old I forgot to pick up the treasure from Blind's dungeon in Dark Kakariko Village. :fp:" - Corazon de Leon

"How this achieves the sense of epic adventure in such a small space is a marvel. Became the blueprint for gaming's best series for the next 2 decades." - Captain Kinopio

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SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 2 (1992)
Platform Mega Drive | Developer Sonic Team & Sega Technical Institute | Publisher Sega

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"Everyone has a game which defines their childhood more than any other, and Sonic 2 is mine. The bold graphics, fast and responsive platforming and wonderful soundtrack (featuring that classic Mega Drive slap bass) were, and still are, intoxicating. Emerald Hill Zone is among my most-played levels of all time." - Spindash

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STREETS OF RAGE 2 (1992)
Platform Mega Drive | Developer Sega AM7 | Publisher Sega

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"Arguably the pinnacle of the 16bit beat em up. Streets of Rage 2 took everything the first did and made it better, better music, better sprites, tightened controls, more enemies, harder enemies, bigger levels, more characters to pick from each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Nothing at the time came close, the SNES had the Final Fight games which just didn't have the dark undertones that run through the Sega masterpiece, nor that soundtrack. The arcades had a few possible challengers, the Simpsons beat em up, Xmen and Turtles, but they either never got released on the home consoles or just didn't live up to the arcade where they were born.

Why should it be in the top 100? It's such a satisfying game. On your own or co-op it's so easy to loose yourself in the streets, arcades, theme parks and underworld of Mr X's crime world, taking him and his cronies down one punch or kick at a time, all the time having that 90's electro, dirty, techno noir music keeping pace with you.

The greatest beat em up until Guardian heroes came along 4 years later on the next gen Sega machine." - kommissarboris

"In a post-Street Fighter II world, where 1 game single-handedly redefined the genre that involved planting ones virtual fist into another's virtual face, Sega knew it had a gargantuan task ahead when following up its popular, but still fledgling, Streets of Rage franchise. What they produced is still unparalleled to this day - crisp, fluid brawling mechanics, outstanding vibrant visuals, and 'that' soundtrack. It became, the greatest sequel to a game since...well, Street Fighter II!" - Buffalo

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SUPER MARIO KART (1993)
Platform SNES | Developer Nintendo EAD | Publisher Nintendo

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"Mario Kart 8 is a great game, but how many of you can remember a time when the franchise didn’t exist? How many of you can say that 22 years ago you were getting the game where it all started, Super Mario Kart, for Christmas? *raises hand*
Super Mario Kart was literally a game changer, nothing had come along before this so it wasn’t a case of “let’s make what someone else has made, but better” it was “let’s make a karting game set around Mario’s world and let’s make it utterly brilliant”.
…and they did. From the moment the game started with it’s panning view of the cars lined up on the starting grid, you knew this was something special. Then is started, memorable tunes, excellent handling models and fun, with a delicious topping of what can only be described as “Nintendo magic”. If Heineken made video games, they would have made Super Mario Kart." - Death's Head

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GUNSTAR HEROES (1993)
Platform Mega Drive | Developer Treasure | Publisher Sega

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"Y'know what I love about Gunstar Heroes the most? One playthrough could take you an hour or so, but for me, I never had the same experience twice - the different weapon combos to try out, the boss that transforms into 3 random forms or that insane board game, every run felt totally different. That's forgetting the fact that the game (probably) has the largest amount of explosions to feature in any game ever - it's Commando in a fireworks factory, and you're the match." - Buffalo

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DOOM (1993)
Platform Various | Developer id Software | Publisher Various

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"Doom is, almost unquestionably, one of the most important videogames ever made. While there’s dispute about whether it or Wolfenstein 3D ‘invented’ the FPS genre, there’s almost no doubt that Doom refined it to the point where it became the benchmark for all others, and cemented its place as one of the greatest games of all time. Whether it’s the weapons, the monsters, the level design, or the music, everybody remembers Doom for something, and it’s testament to its quality and standing that it’s still ported, sold, and played over 20 years after its release." - Lotus

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SENSIBLE WORLD OF SOCCER (1994)
Platform Amiga, PC | Developer Sensible Software | Publisher Renegade / GT Interactive

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SUPER METROID (1994)
Platform SNES | Developer Nintendo R&D1 | Publisher Nintendo

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"It's difficult to write anything new about Super Metroid, so well extolled are its virtues. From the games ability to tell a wonderful Sci-Fi story with less than 30 seconds of exposition in its whole 15 hour run time, to Samus Aran herself and how through a steady feed of upgrades she becomes a perfect tool through which the player can learn about and explore the game world. Super Metroid is a perfect piece of game design, it's an atmospheric lonesome journey through the unknown, it's a battle against a hostile world trying to hurt you, Super Metroid is what happens when a games company knows it's hardware inside out, it's a case study for the virtues of longer console life cycles." - Captain Kinopio

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TRANSPORT TYCOON (1994)
Platform PC, PlayStation, Saturn | Developer Chris Sawyer | Publisher MicroProse

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"So many hours spent on this game building up mega cities and transport empires." - Hyperion

"Endless hours poured into optimising transport networks and wonderful fun to see the money rolling in, no other sim comes close for me." - Captain Kinopio

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SONIC 3 & KNUCKLES (1994)
Platform Mega Drive | Developer Sonic Team | Publisher Sega

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"I grew up with Sonic, and the most nostalgia-inducing period of video games for me is the height of the 16-bit wars between the Mega Drive and SNES, in the early/mid 1990s. I was a Sega kid, and Sonic 3 & Knuckles was my favourite, as it was a perfection of the Sonic formula. It was the biggest of the classic 2D Sonic games, and blew my mind at the number of stages, zones, and bosses. The music also contains my favourite tracks, namely Flying Battery, Lava Reef, Death Egg and Doomsday. I could play it forever, and with how ubiquitous the Sonic games are, I easily can whenever I feel like it." - Dangerblade

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DONKEY KONG COUNTRY (1994)
Platform SNES | Developer Rare | Publisher Nintendo

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"I remember being blown away thinking this was going to be on the SNES as opposed to the then Ultra 64, great variety in the platforming levels and possibly the greatest soundtrack ever! David Dennis Wise take a bow!" - Miguel007

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CHRONO TRIGGER (1995*)
Platform SNES | Developer Square | Publisher Square
* Japan and North America only

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SUPER MARIO WORLD 2: YOSHI'S ISLAND (1995)
Platform SNES | Developer Nintendo EAD | Publisher Nintendo

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"I don’t care what people say, Yoshi’s Island is incredible. The level design is flawless, the story is suitably cutesy and the graphics, my God the graphics. The SNES did not get better than this game. The game was bursting with bonus levels, hidden areas, fun things to do and nods to the rest of the Super Mario series. For such a cutesy looking game, the difficulty spike was incredible, but perfectly judged. You never felt like you were being punished for poor game design. The baby-Bowser fight at the end of the game was spectacular, too." - Corazon de Leon

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DONKEY KONG COUNTRY 2: DIDDY'S KONG QUEST (1995)
Platform SNES | Developer Rare | Publisher Nintendo

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"The first game I ever completed - and by that I mean all secrets found, all levels beaten, all bosses bossed. Or more specifically, all DK coins found and all Lost World levels done and dusted (no mean feat!). Rare picked a theme - pirates - for their second Country game and got every last aspect spot-on. And the Pink Floyd-inspired music is, well, inspired." - Dan.

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RESIDENT EVIL (1996)
Platform PlayStation, PC, Saturn | Developer Capcom | Publisher Capcom
See also Resident Evil (GameCube - 2002)

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"It's the game that convinced me games weren't games anymore, they'd evolved.

I'd read about it in Playstation mags, my mates talked about it, giant snakes, spiders, tyrants, shotguns, sharks the lot. Being a poor Saturn owner I had to wait, and it was unbearable.

When I played it after watching the ridiculous intro :lol: it was the first genuine wow moment I'd ever had. It was a horror movie in a game.

It's my most played game ever, it's my favourite series ever. Despite capcom doing their best to strawberry floating ruin it.

Let's hope that's not chris's blood

Burton :wub:" - glowy69

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TOMB RAIDER (1996)
Platform PC, PlayStation, Saturn | Developer Core Design | Publisher Eidos Interactive

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"Its controls and graphics might seem outdated today, but the original Tomb Raider has an atmosphere that has not been bettered by any of its many sequels. It really makes you feel as if you're raiding these huge, lonely tombs that human eyes have not looked upon for hundreds, maybe even thousands of years. Lara’s movement might be clunky, but the range of actions she can perform was, and perhaps still is incredible. There are none of the context sensitive buttons of today’s games, and you can make her run, jump, roll, backflip, climb, cling and shimmy whenever you need or want." - GrinWithoutaKat

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DONKEY KONG COUNTRY 3: DIXIE KONG'S DOUBLE TROUBLE! (1996)
Platform SNES | Developer Rare | Publisher Nintendo

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SUPER MARIO 64 (1997)
Platform Nintendo 64 | Developer Nintendo EAD | Publisher Nintendo

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"Regardless of whether you think SM64 was the first 3D game or the first 3D adventure game, it's undeniable that setting such a high benchmark for what was essentially an entirely new genre showed just how far games could go as a medium. That Nintendo managed to make the leap from two axes to three without leaving behind any of Mario's trademarks - the power-ups, the variety of environments and secrets within, the pixel-precise character control - and all the while creating new ones that came to define the series (is it possible to imagine a nonlinear platformer anymore?) is testament to the game's brilliance." - Dan.

"I didn't even play this game when it was released, but over 10 years later when it came out on the virtual console. Even without the novelty of being one of the first in its genre, when all the other games I was playing were from two generations later than it, Super Mario 64 was my favourite game I played that year.

It's a perfect balance of platforming and exploration that in my opinion has not been bettered by any of its successors, and is packed with variety, both in terms of visual level design and the tasks you perform to earn those golden stars." - GrinWithoutaKat

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MARIO KART 64 (1997)
Platform Nintendo 64 | Developer Nintendo EAD | Publisher Nintendo

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"This one will be on the list on the strength of the multiplayer aspect. The single player is fun of course, but this is the definition of a game that comes alive in 4 player. Everyone who played it will have a story of MK64 and what they did with their friends. For me, it’s epic tournaments that ended with a four player race around Wario Stadium. First person to get a lightning bolt wins. Unless a ghost comes into play. Or the lightning bearer blows their load too early. Or something else happens. Oh my yes." - Corazon de Leon

"Nobody in the history of the world ever has turned down an offer of a game of MK64 with very good reason." - Captain Kinopio

"Still playing this in multiplayer to this day, courtesy of the virtual console. The best local multiplayer racing game of all time. If you haven't screwed someone over on Wario Stadium, made the jump on Rainbow Road, or successfully countered a Blue Shell (method: obtain a Blue Shell. Hold it behind you. When the other Blue Shell hits you, they'll both simply break one another) then you haven't lived. Crash Team Racing? Don't give me that nonsense. (Sorry Spinny.)" - Dan. [Reported - Ed.]

"Sitting playing 4 player on this with your friends is gaming nirvana." - Hyperion

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GOLDENEYE 007 (1997)
Platform Nintendo 64 | Developer Rare | Publisher Nintendo

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"Proving FPS can be done on home consoles, light years ahead of its peers. Possibly the greatest multi-player game of all time." - Miguel007

"Best movie tie-in ever and just brilliantly designed. Was just great to gunplay in the game and nothing since has made you feel quite as Bond!" - Captain Kinopio

"Multiplayer, Facility, Pistols. A fantastic single player as well, sprawling maps with changing objectives." - Hyperion

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LYLAT WARS (1997)
Platform Nintendo 64 | Developer Nintendo EAD | Publisher Nintendo
AKA Star Fox 64

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"Rumble pack! Amazing, brilliant gameplay. Awesome levels with hidden secrets, and so quotable. Do a barrel roll!" - Hyperion

"A game so good it holds up what has otherwise been a disappointing franchise. Star Fox 64 was the perfect Star Fox game, it could not be topped, everyone knows that. It's the reason why every Star Fox game to come out after it was completely different." - Dig Dug

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CASTLEVANIA: SYMPHONY OF THE NIGHT (1997)
Platform PlayStation | Developer Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo | Publisher Konami

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"I’d never played a Castlevania game until I spied a review of this in the Official UK Playstation Magazine, and I thought the setting sounded awesome. When I got it, I was completely hooked. There was *so* much to do; so many weapons, armour, items, abilities…and just when you think you’ve finished the game, you’re only halfway there, and the perfect difficulty curve means it’s a challenge throughout. I love lots of games in the “Metroidvania” genre, but this one will always be my favourite, mainly due to the incredible art, bosses, and music. I’ve bought and sold the special edition so many times, and I’m sure I’ll own it again one day." - Dangerblade

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FINAL FANTASY VII (1997)
Platform PlayStation, PC | Developer Square | Publisher Sony Computer Entertainment Europe / Eidos Interactive

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"I have a love-hate relationship with most Final Fantasy games, but VII got it right for me. I love the look of the game. It’s terrible now, like Lego-men shambling about on a 15 year-old camera phone pic, but I like what it was trying to convey. The dirty, lived in feel gave it an authenticity that’s missing from the pristine shininess of certain later FF games.

I like the slightly confused tone, moody with a jarring sense of humour. I love the music too. It’s all parpy MIDI songs but there’s some great tunes. JENOVA is boss. And of the PS1 Final Fantasies, it had the best battle system. VIII was awkward for the sake of it and IX was a touch too slow. VII nailed it. I want a remake but suspect I’d hate it." - PuppetBoy

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RESIDENT EVIL 2 (1998)
Platform PlayStation, various | Developer Capcom | Publisher Virgin Interactive

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"I played this game in 1998, when I was 8 years old. A friend showed it to me and played through the first section of the police station. My defining memory of the game will always be that bloody Licker at the start. Good Lord, the fear. Moving into modern times, it’s still an immensely playable game, as clunky as ever but all the more endearing for it. I take pleasure in trying to speed-run it, and eventually hope to go sub-90 minutes and rid myself of the shame of being second to Anung. For my money, the best entry in the franchise." - Corazon de Leon

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BANJO-KAZOOIE (1998)
Platform Nintendo 64 | Developer Rare | Publisher Nintendo

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"Best 3D platformer on the N64, had a better story than Mario 64 and some interesting and challenging puzzles." - Hyperion

"If Super Mario 64 was Nintendo's vehicle to a videogaming future, then Banjo was Rare overtaking them on the outside lane. Banjo's real triumph came in creating a genuine game world for adventuring in, and with huge (but not too-huge, as its sequel would make apparent) levels in which you could explore and keep on exploring even after your immediate objective was complete. And the adaptive music was utterly superb." - Dan.

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F-ZERO X (1998)
Platform Nintendo 64 | Developer Nintendo EAD | Publisher Nintendo

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"F-Zero X is a timeless game, it has everything going for it, cool music and visual style and it runs at a smooth 60 frames-per-second. One of the few N64 games that has not dated, it is as good now as it was back then. Not as pretty as GX but a lot more pure and aggressive." - Dig Dug

"Brilliant tracks, High Speed, Death Race." - Hyperion

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HALF-LIFE (1998)
Platform PC, PlayStation 2 | Developer Valve | Publisher Sierra Interactive

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"In 1998 Gordon Freeman went to work at the Black Mesa Research Facility, like any other day, but what followed was anything but just another day in the office. Half-Life takes the form of a first-person adventure, more than a first-person shooter, as you guide Gordon through Black Mesa after an experiment goes horribly wrong and monsters invade the facility. The challenging enemy AI, varied environments make Half-Life an incredible adventure as it delivers an experience that, for a long time, was second to none.

Whether you’re battling enemies with the game’s range of weapons or working out where you need to go next as you solve puzzles that are integrated into the game world, Half-Life adds to you immersion by presenting the whole game from a first-person perspective. This means that events that would be cutscenes in other games, taking the player away from his view as the main character, are played out in front of the your eyes as you see everything unfold from the eyes of Gordon.

Half-Life's excellent design and unique presentation made it one of the best games of 1998 and it is still one of the best experiences available. Gordon's story hasn't yet finished but there's a reason that a lot of gamers eagerly anticipate the next instalment in the series that began with this wonderful title." - Dark Dragon 64

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THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: OCARINA OF TIME (1998)
Platform Nintendo 64 | Developer Nintendo EAD | Publisher Nintendo

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"There’s not really much I can say about Ocarina which hasn’t already been said – the game’s been eulogized by just about every games journalist and forum members who ever strapped their hands to a keyboard. Personally, it was one of the first games I remember being completely blown away by, the scale and scope of the game was unheard of to my nine-year-old brain. The feeling of accomplishment from killing Ganon at the end has rarely been equaled." - Corazon de Leon

"The best thing about Ocarina - that I didn't appreciate at the time but can't help but marvel at now - is the way it creates a 'real' world in which the notions of time and consequence are brilliantly expressed, within a physical environment that has long since been made to look primitive and small by vaster, beefier game engines. Everything feels linked (no pun intended), every item seems to have been considered in every location, and every creative and intuitive possibility ends up being explored through the gameplay mechanics and the array of playthings on offer. Just sheer brilliance." - Dan.

"Probably the best Zelda game. Loads of brilliant moments. Emerging on to Hyrule Field, Epona, Bossess, Avoiding guards, Growing up!" - Hyperion

"Quite simply the best game ever. A wonderful adventure and the game design feels as fresh as the very best of what we get today." - Captain Kinopio

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METAL GEAR SOLID (1999)
Platform PlayStation, PC | Developer Konami Computer Entertainment Japan | Publisher Konami / Microsoft Game Studios

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"Before Metal Gear Solid, I’d never played a game that gave such importance to its story. The stealth action is great fun in itself, but it’s the story that made Metal Gear Solid such a special game for me. Well, the story and the bat gooseberry fool crazy characters. It’s James Bond, but as if done by the Japanese. Possibly while on drugs. Even the villains get their fair share of attention, and often their back stories will make you understand why they’re doing what they are. The music is fantastic, and fits the whole thing perfectly, just adding to the feeling of it being a huge, playable Bond flick." - GrinWithoutaKat

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POKÉMON RED VERSION & POKÉMON BLUE VERSION (1999)
Platform Game Boy | Developer Game Freak | Publisher Nintendo

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"Pokemon collecting and battling without the distracting side malarkey, childhood playground bliss." - Captain Kinopio


2000-2009
DEUS EX (2000)
Platform PC, PlayStation 2 | Developer Ion Storm | Publisher Eidos Interactive

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"Many games boast that they give players the freedom to tackle the game in any way they desire. Deus Ex is one of the few titles to truly give players the choice to complete the game like a ninja, a bloodthirsty brute or something in between. This freedom isn't confined to discrete levels as choices made in early missions can affect the rest of the game.

As JC Denton the player travels the globe on a journey to beat the bad guys in a game that's as much RPG as it is FPS. The player has a number of tools, augmentations and weapons at his disposal and it's up to him to choose how to tackle each of the game's missions. Deus Ex does an excellent job of doing so by giving you a range of choices in terms of which skills you develop, which items you use and how you get rid of people in your way." - Dark Dragon 64

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PERFECT DARK (2000)
Platform Nintendo 64 | Developer Rare | Publisher Nintendo

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"The amount of content in this game is breathtaking. Tried so much new that was so good that has been cruelly overlooked after a certain other FPS came out. Don't think we'll see anything like this ever again unfortunately." - Captain Kinopio

"This is probably my all time favourite game. Everything about it bettered its predecessor in every way – the improved movement, the new weapons, better graphics, a thumping techno soundtrack to go with the new futuristic setting. The single player was immense and a lot of fun – I miss the mission structure aspect of FPS games which seems to have been abandoned in favour of sprawling open world maps. But with all this, the crowning glory of Perfect Dark is the multiplayer. Somehow better than Goldeneye’s, PD’s deathmatch still sees action from me on the Xbox 360." - Corazon de Leon

"One thing that amazed me about Perfect Dark was the attention to detail. Teenage me was wowed by being able to shoot out lights, knives sticking out of corpses, having second functions to each weapon. The first Area 51 level changes the position of the guards depending on when in the opening cutscene you press start. Things you do in the Air Force One can affect the level after. And bots in multiplayer! With personalities!

I found stuff like that mind-blowing and I think the game was very ahead of its time. There are modern releases shamed by the options in Perfect Dark." - PuppetBoy

"I loved playing GoldenEye 64, which was one of the two games I bought with my N64, so PD, building on everything set out in GE, made for an incredible game. The single player campaign is excellent and very challenging while the multiplayer made for countless hours of splitscreen entertainment. When you add in the combat simulator challenges, and the dastardly DarkSims, you can see how this game was bursting with content." - Dark Dragon 64

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TONY HAWK'S PRO SKATER 2 (2000)
Platform PlayStation, PC, Dreamcast, Nintendo 64 | Developer Neversoft | Publisher Activision

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"Neversoft built on the game-changing original but avoided the bloat that would hamstring later sequels. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater has always been a score attack series masquerading as extreme sports, and THPS2 provided the best maps accompanied by an iconic soundtrack." - Spindash

"April 2000, Official UK Playstation Magazine demo disc. 2 minutes in Marseille. A competition for some really cool prizes. Win by getting as high a score as possible. I played and played and played and played until I got about 1,000,000 points. I thought that was amazing and had a decent shot at winning. Turns out, the winning score was over 5,000,000, but oh well, I had my fun, and then some. I love the THPS series (up until Underground 2, anyway) and the 2nd game holds the most nostalgic value for me. Later games refined the amazing formula but School 2, Marseille, Hanger and Skate Heaven will always be amongst my fondest PS1 memories." - Dangerblade

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THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: MAJORA'S MASK (2000)
Platform Nintendo 64 | Developer Nintendo EAD | Publisher Nintendo

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"The best Zelda game ever made, and I will brook no argument. It’s darker, creepier and altogether a much more disturbing experience than Ocarina of Time, but that only drew me in more easily. The three day mechanic was a bit divisive and it often meant having to retread old ground when you made a mistake, particularly on mask side quests such as the Kafei/Anju epic, but to me it just added to the sense of panic and the idea that time really was not on your side. I sort of envy the people who never experienced this the first time round – the 3DS remake will be incredible." - Corazon de Leon

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SHENMUE (2000)
Platform Dreamcast | Developer Sega AM2 | Publisher Sega

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"For a game I love so much, Shenmue sure has a lot of flaws. The main character, Ryo, is uncharismatic and boring. The voice acting is TERRIBLE. The gameplay involves hunting down one person, only for them to tell you to find someone else, over and over again. The star of this game is not really Ryo however, it’s the town of Yokosuka. It’s not the sprawling metropolis of later open world games, but its small size allows a level of detail that was incredible at the time. The quest for revenge is not what the game is about either. It’s all about passing the time. You’re constantly getting told you need to go to this bar later in the evening, or head to this apartment building tomorrow. The game doesn’t just skip ahead to the next important moment, but instead you’re left to visit the arcade, collect capsule toys (“It’s the same one!”), go play pool, feed a kitten, and even race forklift trucks until your meeting time rolls around." - GrinWithoutaKat

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WWF NO MERCY (2000)
Platform Nintendo 64 | Developer AKI Corporation | Publisher THQ

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"Greatest Wrasslin’ game ever and it’s simply the Grapple System that makes this so satisfying to play." - Miguel007

"Loved playing out real stories in game and the combat mechanics are almost puzzled like in their layering and complexity. Utterly brilliant in multiplayer." - Captain Kinopio

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FINAL FANTASY IX (2001)
Platform PlayStation | Developer Square | Publisher Square

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"Final Fantasy IX was the swansong of the original Final Fantasy games. Not only did it contain a mixture of all the things that made the previous games great it also improved on nearly all of them. Charming and incredibly memorable, the series was never the same again after it." - Dig Dug

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POKÉMON GOLD VERSION & POKÉMON SILVER VERSION (2001)
Platform Game Boy, Game Boy Colour | Developer Game Freak | Publisher Nintendo

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"I have this theory that when a game dev goes out to make a game "the last one" it will often end up being the best one. It happened to Fire Emblem Awakening and it happened with the second generation of Pokemon too. To this day no Pokemon game has gotten so much right." - Dig Dug

"The best generation of Pokemon, although I was tempted to put down Red/Blue or X/Y as they’re outstanding as well. Simply because this was Pokemon at its finest – the most vast collection of gym leaders, a good amount of Pokemon before the numbers became ludicrous and plenty of side-quests to keep players busy. To catch them all and complete the game it takes easily 100 hours of gameplay, and the reward at the end of it all is a fight against the most powerful in-game trainer I’ve ever seen outside of a battle tower. Simply an incredible experience." - Corazon de Leon

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SKIES OF ARCADIA (2001)
Platform Dreamcast | Developer Overworks | Publisher Sega
See also Skies of Arcadia Legends (GameCube - 2003)

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"The battle system may not be best of class and difficulty is conspicuous by its absence in the main story, but for my money no JRPG has nailed the feeling of exploration quite like Skies. The genuinely likeable cast and story painted in broad strokes lent the game the feel of a Saturday morning cartoon, a breath of fresh air in a genre noted for its melodrama." - Spindash

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GRAND THEFT AUTO III (2001)
Platform PlayStation 2, PC, Xbox | Developer DMA Design | Publisher Rockstar Games

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"GTAIII was a whole new world. I didn't have a PS2 and even if I did there was no way my parents would have ever allowed me to own a game in which it was possible to rob, murder, and solicit prostitutes. Of course all that was just surface controversy that distracted from the game's brilliant core and the sense of unparalleled freedom that it offered. Plus the brilliant radio stations and side missions." - Dan.

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SHENMUE II (2001)
Platform Dreamcast, Xbox | Developer Sega AM2 | Publisher Sega

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"It feels like you can interact with anything and that is why it is so good. The game world is what made the story so engaging, it never threw things at you until it was appropriate to. The original Shenmue spread things out too far but this one never got dull. Shame about that cliff hanger." - Dig Dug

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TONY HAWK'S PRO SKATER 3 (2001)
Platform Various | Developer Neversoft | Publisher Activision

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"The pinnacle of the series. THPS4's removal of time constraints and larger environments essentially created a different kind of game; for all it may have gained in a sense of freedom, it lost the tightly- and brilliantly-designed courses, the excellent difficulty curve and sense of challenge, and the pure Hawk's feel of the early games, of which THPS3 reigns supreme. By focusing on what can be achieved within the time limit imposed, the game offers a real test of ability and progression, within arenas designed to be tough, but fair - and hugely satisfying to conquer. And what a soundtrack." - Dan.

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ADVANCE WARS (2002)
Platform Game Boy Advance | Developer Intelligent Systems | Publisher Nintendo

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"There aren't many games out there where you can simply lose yourself completely in it. First day I got this I played through the night, without realising that I had. It is just so charming, so beautiful, so addictive and the gameplay is so simple and challenging. It left an everlasting impact on myself (inspired my username!) but the greatest compliment that I can give is that it is quite simply the greatest strategy game of all time." - Kanbei

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HALO: COMBAT EVOLVED (2002)
Platform Xbox, PC | Developer Bungie | Publisher Microsoft Game Studios

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"This game sold me on the Xbox, way back in 2003. While I generally prefer the shorter mission structure of Perfect Dark, Timesplitters et al for my FPS fix, there is a place for the open world shooter and Halo is a perfect example of that sort of game. Epic levels, brilliant mechanics for the time and a lot of fun to play, except on Legendary because I’m a bit rubbish at games in general. The warthog escape at the end was the perfect finish to a game, replicated in a much worse manner by later entries in the series." - Corazon de Leon

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JET SET RADIO FUTURE (2002)
Platform Xbox | Developer Smilebit | Publisher Sega

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"Sega's swansong. I know Sega still exists but they are not the Sega I loved, the Sega that was almost like an art house in its output. Every game they'd put out had a personality and feel only Sega could create. This game is the embodiment of all that was great about them." - Dig Dug

"Not so much a sequel as a re-imagining of Smilebit's civil disobedience simulator, Jet Set Radio Future is dizzyingly fast with a sense of style which still feels cutting edge over ten years later. A classic of Sega's post-Dreamcast blaze of glory." - Spindash

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ICO (2002)
Platform PlayStation 2 | Developer Team Ico | Publisher Sony Computer Entertainment

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"What I like about games like ICO - and perhaps, games in general - is that the best ones aren't particularly complex, but yet have so much power over the player to the point where you're entranced, almost hypnotised by this piece of electronic entertainment. The simplistic puzzles? Doesn't matter? Slightly ropey combat? Doesn't matter. The length? Doesn't matter. The key to ICO is to fall under its spell - those lush fantastical settings, the design of that magnificent castle, or just a desire to get a little boy and his special companion home. D'aww.

(No homo)" - Buffalo

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STAR WARS ROGUE SQUADRON II: ROGUE LEADER (2002)
Platform GameCube | Developer Factor 5 & LucasArts | Publisher Activision

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"Rogue Squadron on the N64 was one of the best Star Wars games ever made so there was a lot of excitement surrounding Rogue Leader which launched with the GameCube in 2002. Rogue Leader more than lived up to the hype as it let you pilot iconic ships through some of the most famous space battles of the movies and new missions created for the game.

With ships from the A-Wing to the Y-Wing and unlockable crafts such as the Naboo Starfighter and Slave I, you were never short of ways in which to carry out your missions. This added to the replay value already given by the ability to collect bronze, silver and gold medals for completing each of the game's missions. As a result Rogue Leader was not only a game that you wanted to replay because of its amazing gameplay and portrayal of the movies, but also a challenging game that also gave you a number of ways to create your own Star Wars experience." - Dark Dragon 64

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SUPER MONKEY BALL (2002)
Platform GameCube | Developer Amusement Vision | Publisher Sega

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"An early indicator of what the Gamecube would come to be: a multiplayer behemoth, with modes aplenty; simple to pick-up-and-play yet with vast depth; and not at all what you expected. Super Monkey Ball saw Sega at their triumphant best and as their first published title on a Nintendo console following the problematic Dreamcast era, it proved that the Japanese developer's decision to go software only was a smart one, and that they were just as capable at producing brilliant games for other platforms as for their own. Still inspiring incredible feats of gameplay and speedrunning to this day, the original Super Monkey Ball (although arguably matched - just - by its immediate sequel) is yet to be bettered." - Dan.

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SUPER SMASH BROS. MELEE (2002)
Platform GameCube | Developer HAL Laboratory | Publisher Nintendo

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"How much do I love this game? Too much. Bitches can’t cope with my boy, Roy. I played it so much that my disc actually stopped working after ten or so years. Smash Brothers is a lifestyle, not a game. I’ve lost count of the amount of matches I’ve competed in, or how many times I’ve edge hogged Banjo to his death. The finest multiplayer experiences I’ve ever had have come from this game, and the inimitable Super Sambucca Bros. has started several nights out badly. That a game still holds up thirteen years after release is rare. That it’s still played this often is ridiculous. Better than Brawl. We’ll see if it can outlast the Wii U version…" - Corazon de Leon

"It's funny to think how a rushed game has had such a big cultural impact. Its impact has really started to show over the last two years with the documentary series, its popularity as a competitive game and its influence on the development of Smash Bros 4. It's a very storied game." - Dig Dug

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ETERNAL DARKNESS: SANITY'S REQUIEM (2002)
Platform GameCube | Developer Silicon Knights | Publisher Nintendo

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"Gamecube can do horror and boy is this game strawberry floated up!" - Hyperion

"GR is both a force of good and evil. I picked up Eternal Darkness from Dixon’s “GC Fire Sale” of 3 for 2 GC games. ED was really just a game to fill the 3, alongside Mario Sunshine and Resident Evil. Having never had a Playstation but hearing good things about RE, I got stuck into this only to find illogical puzzles and bloody awful controls that felt akin to playing with a wind-up toy soldier when you were expecting a lifelike android. Thankfully, I would avoid playing something similar as people on GR had described ED as “like RE”. No thanks!
Months passed and one day I thought as I had it, might as well try it. What I discovered was something not like RE, but something that was actually very good. A game that sucked you in with related characters through time, split into bite size episodes that were considerate for someone like me who could only put in an hour at a time due to family commitments. Yes, it had pretty good graphics for the time and yes, the insanity feature did work. The ending was a bit of an anticlimax (due to game mechanics rather than story telling) but all in all, a classic title that deserves its place in not just the GC’s top 3, but the top 10 of all time. Probably." - Death's Head

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GRAND THEFT AUTO: VICE CITY (2002)
Platform PlayStation 2, PC, Xbox | Developer Rockstar North | Publisher Rockstar Games

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"Best era, best soundtrack, best movie references, best GTA!" - Miguel007

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METROID FUSION (2002)
Platform Game Boy Advance | Developer Nintendo R&D1 | Publisher Nintendo

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"Very few 2D games, let alone ones on handhelds, can reach the level of tension and suspense Metroid Fusion manages. The big bad is a genuinely scary threat that gives the player a feeling of vulnerability rarely seen in action games. It is everything Other M should have been." - Dig Dug

"Best Metroid. Played it non-stop on a long bus journey and almost missed my stop. Went back to it earlier this year on the 3DS and beat it finally. So good." - Hyperion

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METROID PRIME (2003)
Platform GameCube | Developer Retro Studios | Publisher Nintendo

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"Metroid Prime completely re-wrote the book on the first person shooter. First person games based around exploration were not anything new but the way the game made complex platforming accurate and easy put others to shame. It also manged to control better than many other shooters at the time despite being mono-stick." - Dig Dug

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THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: THE WIND WAKER (2003)
Platform GameCube | Developer Nintendo EAD | Publisher Nintendo

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"Such a glorious game world filled with fascinating people that somehow create a life with only a few words of dialogue. Sailing the season to adventure just felt right for the series in a way no other major shake up has emulated." - Captain Kinopio

"I bloody loved that Triforce hunt. Ocarina of Time was a huge part of my formative gaming years, and internet spoilers were still some years away for me, so the realisation that I was sailing atop a sunken Ocarina-era Hyrule was almost too much for my giddy mind to handle. Wind Waker's characters are the funniest in any Zelda, and I still think it holds up better visually than either of its home console sequels. Its flawed and never operating to its full potential yet still totally unique and magnificent fun to play through - kind of sums up the Gamecube, then." - Dan.

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STAR WARS: KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC (2003)
Platform Xbox, PC | Developer BioWare | Publisher LucasArts

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"KOTOR does an excellent job of appealing to fans of both Star Wars fans RPGs in general. It's one of the few games that you can thoroughly enjoy without regard for the source material because it's so incredible.

The game takes a tactical approach to combat which is derived from the Third Edition of the Dungeons & Dragons Ruleset. You can pause the game at any time to issue orders from swinging your lightsaber, throwing a thermal detonator or using the Force. You can even choose to approach encounters in a less direct manner as the game has a stealth element which lets you launch sneak attacks or bypass enemies completely.

KOTOR is delivered though a wonderful story as you explore your character's past as you wake up with amnesia. While the concept isn't original, its execution is memorable thanks to the excellent dialogue with NPCs, the amazing music tracks and the varied worlds you explore throughout the galaxy. As you play your actions shape your character's force alignment and the storyline. You can end the game as a peaceful Jedi who fights to save the galaxy or the next Sith Lord, intent on ruling with an iron fist.

KOTOR is one of the best RPGs ever made and easily one of the best Star Wars games. If you're a fan of either genre, you must play KOTOR, and its sequel. If you're a fan of Star Wars and RPGs, I'm sure that you're ready for another play through of both games." - Dark Dragon 64

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F-ZERO GX (2003)
Platform GameCube | Developer Amusement Vision | Publisher Nintendo

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"F-Zero GX is a genuinely difficult game, and I mean the good kind of difficult where the challenge comes from the game design and not artificial difficulty (not counting the story mode). The grand prix tracks, various vehicles and secret techniques make for a racing game with a rewarding learning curve." - Dig Dug

"How Nintendo / Sega got this to move so fast and look so good is beyond me. Re-release this on Wii U with an Online GP Mode with 30 player mode." - Miguel007

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OUTRUN 2 (2003)
Platform Arcade, Xbox | Developer Sega AM2 & Sumo Digital | Publisher Sega

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"They call it The Beautiful Journey, and there aren't many more beautiful things in video games than pulling off a perfect drift in OutRun 2. If the likes of Jet Set Radio and Rez showcase Sega at their leftfield best, OutRun 2 is the zenith of their other side - blue skies and sun-kissed escapism." - Spindash

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BURNOUT 3: TAKEDOWN (2004)
Platform PlayStation 2, Xbox | Developer Criterion Games | Publisher Electronic Arts

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"The best multiformat game of its console generation and the best Burnout game full stop. As well as being the installment that perfected Crash Mode, B3 nailed the balance between risk and reward. Its difficulty curve was superb, too - try going back after several years away and attempting a race with one of the supercars. It won't be as easy as you remember it!" - Dan.

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ANIMAL CROSSING (2004)
Platform GameCube | Developer Nintendo EAD | Publisher Nintendo

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"If there was one game for which I could erase my mind's save state, it would be the original* Animal Crossing. A game totally unlike any other, discovering all the game's secrets and quirks was a genuine one-off joy. And wiping your original town save was a genuine one-off tearjerker. *Yes, I know the N64 version was technically the original, but I don't live in Japan, so nyer." - Dan.

"Although its sequels added to the formula, the GameCube game still stands out as an introduction to a genuinely different world, as well as one of history's most misunderstood figures in Tom Nook. It may meet all the criteria of a non-game, but Animal Crossing works because its host of memorable characters and clever writing help create a bewitching home-from-home." - Spindash

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GRAND THEFT AUTO: SAN ANDREAS (2004)
Platform PlayStation 2, PC, Xbox | Developer Rockstar North | Publisher Rockstar Games

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"Jetpacks! Sasquatches! The N-bomb dropped more times than an 80’s Eddie Murphy gig! For many, GTA:SA is the defining game of the PS2 generation. At a time when wide open sandbox games were in their infancy, Rockstar once again broke their own mould with a game that was near as dammit to perfection. Cutting edge graphics, an immersive story (memorably featuring Samuel L Jackson as everyone’s favourite bastard Tenpenny), and a gameplay/setting combination more addictive than crack cocaine makes San Andreas a true masterpiece of the era. Senseless carnage of innocents has never been more fun." - Starbreaker, Blackbelt in everything

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PAPER MARIO: THE THOUSAND-YEAR DOOR (2004)
Platform GameCube | Developer Intelligent Systems | Publisher Nintendo

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"Probably the single greatest example of story and gameplay development working hand in hand yet produced. Utterly flawless, more so than anything else on my list." - Captian Kinopio

"I'm scared to play this again because I'll become incapable of doing anything else with my free time until the game is won. I can't think of anything that is actually wrong with TTYD. Sure, it could be longer, but surely every classic game would be longer if we had our own way? Brilliant, gorgeous, funny, and a delight to play." - Dan.

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HALF-LIFE 2 (2004)
Platform PC, Xbox | Developer Valve | Publisher Sierra Entertainment

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"Another open world shooter that I can’t find great fault with, Half Life 2 opens with one of my favourite set pieces in a game, where Gordon Freeman is trapped between advancing combine soldiers and the stairs to safety are broken and not climbable. It sets the scene for an absolutely fantastic game with some of the best characters thrown up by an FPS. The gravity gun was frankly incredible, and the finale was insanely good. I’ve never been able to get into a Half Life game before or since, so this one is a remarkable achievement." - Corazon de Leon

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METAL GEAR SOLID 3: SNAKE EATER (2005)
Platform PlayStation 2 | Developer Konami Computer Entertainment Japan | Publisher Konami

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"One of the very few prequels in any form of media that isn’t a let down. I didn’t play the MSX or NES Metal Gear games, but from playing Metal Gear Solid and Sons of Liberty, I’d bought into the legend of this great soldier Big Boss. Snake Eater could have so easily been the Phantom Menace of video games by showing us an origin that didn’t need to be told, but instead they showed us why he was so highly regarded.

There was plenty of new things to shake up the gameplay with the loss of the radar you might have got used to in the previous games, and brand new survival elements, but it’s the characters and the story that really make me love this game, along with a soundtrack that would fit right in on any Bond movie. They definitely save the best till last however, with what is without a doubt my favourite ever final boss fight in any game." - GrinWithoutaKat

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RESIDENT EVIL 4 (2005)
Platform GameCube, PlayStation 2, PC, Wii | Developer Capcom Production Studio 4 | Publisher Various

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"It’s incredible that this isn’t the best game in its franchise because it’s one of my most replayed games of all time – on the Gamecube version my replay count easily racks into the 20s. The more action-oriented atmosphere lends itself very well to the consistent B-movie charm that the series has always exuded. There’s nothing like a well timed rocket to a boss’s face, or seeing Leon meet Ada Wong for the first time since Resi 2, or even the QTEs, which nowadays are vastly overused, but at the time were a novel and enjoyable feature of the game." - Corazon de Leon

"This game made Shinji Mikami an auteur. Many Mikami games following it all shared similarities with it. RE4 is the masterpiece though, never too serious and never too silly it is a game that is balanced out all too perfectly and will never stop being amusing. A perfect game." - Dig Dug

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KILLER7 (2005)
Platform GameCube, PlayStation 2 | Developer Grasshopper Manufacture | Publisher Capcom

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"Killer7 is the game that should have made Suda 51, his recent gameography makes Killer7 seem tragic in retrospect as it seemed nailed on that he would become a great gaming auteur. Killer7 is genuinely one of a kind, literally, nothing else is like it." - Dig Dug

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OSU! TATAKAE! OUENDAN (2005*)
Platform DS | Developer iNiS | Publisher Nintendo
* Japan only

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"As much a curio as an evolution in the rhythm action genre, 'Osu! Tatakae' Ouendan!' is the sort of game that showed why the original DS had such an amazing import culture and very much symbolises for me one of the most exciting times in gaming. Me and my Uni friends all got the Ouendan bug and the crazed songs very much matched up with both our collective sense of humour and with our hearts. Tasked with solving a series of bizarre problems through the medium of cheerleading dances and swooshing and tapping the screen, spend more than five minutes with it and you find one of the most compelling high score games of recent generations. There are few experiences better than to play Ouendan with your feet hanging off a jetty into warm water, staring at a starry sky and tapping away to 'Over The Distance'. Truly a game that transcends language barriers." - DML

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PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 5 (2005)
Platform PlayStation 2, Xbox, PC, PSP | Developer Konami | Publisher Konami

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"Quite simply the best football game ever made. It's never been bettered, no matter what the FIFA crowd say. Even the Pro Evolution series itself has went backwards from that particular game." - Rapidly-greying

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SHADOW OF THE COLOSSUS (2006)
Platform PlayStation 2 | Developer Team Ico | Publisher Sony Computer Entertainment

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GEARS OF WAR (2006)
Platform Xbox 360, PC | Developer Epic Games | Publisher Microsoft Studios

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"A largely generic space marine game elevated to legendary status by the online multiplayer. Epic 2vs2 confrontations with Deception, Jamcc and McBig from GRCade which would go on until 3am, constant arguing about the host’s shotgun, playing with a genuinely tight online crowd from the forum and spending way, way too much time on the game back in 2006/2007. The single player was great as well but the multiplayer really made this game, and the franchise." - Corazon de Leon

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WII SPORTS (2006)
Platform Wii | Developer Nintendo EAD | Publisher Nintendo

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"Simply the best party game ever, launched a console into a world wide phenomenon and is just as much fun to play today as it was then." - Captain Kinopio

"The most underwhelming Nintendo console launch game I ever played. I didn't realise at the time I was doing it wrong. The days of the single-player adventure on launch day were over: Wii Sports was a monster of local multiplayer. Hundreds of Miis - ranging from friends-of-friends who showed up at parties, to elderly relatives who'd never seen a videogame before in their life - now roam the Plaza of my console, walking evidence of hectic team baseball games, exhausting boxing matches, and full rounds of golf spent chasing that elusive hole-in-one. Only Mario Kart 64 comes close in terms of man-hours put into one title. An essential game." - Dan.

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THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: TWILIGHT PRINCESS (2006)
Platform GameCube, Wii | Developer Nintendo EAD | Publisher Nintendo

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"Everyone knows Twilight Princess' failings because it is perhaps the most unfairly 're-evaluated in hindsight' game in the Zelda series. If Wind Waker shows that time can be kind to some games, allowing people to overlook its flaws, Twilight Princess shows that it can also be harsh. Of course some criticism is justified, the towns are oddly reflective of their twilight personas, lacking in character and life, the gameplay retreads old ground a bit too close for comfort on some occasions, but to focus on these characteristics would be to overlook the larger journey they're a part of. If The Legend of Zelda is an adventure then almost no game in the series captures that excitement better than Twilight Princess. Its locations are varied and beautiful, its dungeons are devious and delightful in equal measure and the version of Link you control is perhaps the most versatile, aggressive and fun to inhabit out of all of his namesakes. Most of all though Twilight Princess feels like Zelda should. If there's any better development of a game series' feeling from tentatively wandering out of the cave, sword in hand, in the original Legend to Link charging across Hyrules plains on Epona head long into the moblin hoards in Twilight Princess then hopefully it's reflected on this list so I can go play it." - Captain Kinopio

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FINAL FANTASY XII (2007)
Platform PlayStation 2 | Developer Square Enix | Publisher Square Enix

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"Possibly the most divisive Final Fantasy for the ever-pernickety fanbase, with a frankly ridiculous plot even for the franchise, XII nonetheless featured an incredibly slick overhaul of the combat system with players able to micromanage combat options without it ever feeling laborious. Added to this were enough sidequests crammed in to make the Gold Saucer look like Pripyat funfair and the ability to build classes to suit personal playing style, and a much more open world feel. Whilst it will never be held in as high esteem as earlier games in the series, Final Fantasy 12 has its place. A flawed gem." - Starbreaker, Lord and Master Above All

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PORTAL (2007)
Platform PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 | Developer Valve | Publisher Valve

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"Videogames can be way too complex. Seventy-five weapons, three hundred vehicles, two thousand ‘follow the suspect’ stealth missions… it's all a tad tiresome. Then Portal turns up with a concoction of puzzles that can be completed by the judicious placing of an orange circle and a blue circle. But the possibilities capture your imagination; it’s thrilling. Add in a generous scoop of environmental atmosphere, genuinely funny moments and the best-ever ending song and it is clear that your love of gaming is still alive." - jawafour

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BIOSHOCK (2007)
Platform PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 | Developer 2K Boston | Publisher 2K Games

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"I've never really been into museums because I guess I've never really been into history, but experiencing the city of Rapture back in 2007 felt like I was walking around one. It felt like I was involved in a chapter of history, but it wasn't just one chapter - it was the beginning, middle and end of this new, mysterious, fantastical yet terrifying land. The splicers and jump scares didn't scare me, it was how utterly convincing Rapture was, not as a city, but as an ideal. How one man can have a beautiful idea, yet forces beyond his control (but not all) can lead to failure, chaos and disaster. That can happen anywhere, not just in an underwater city." - Buffalo

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CALL OF DUTY 4: MODERN WARFARE (2007)
Platform PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii | Developer Infinity Ward | Publisher Activision

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SUPER MARIO GALAXY (2007)
Platform Wii | Developer Nintendo EAD | Publisher Nintendo

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"This game is why people let Nintendo off for using weaker hardware. It turns out power doesn't mean anything to Nintendo because 7 years on Super Mario Galaxy still looks the business. The sequel is arguably better but this made the biggest impact. I will never forget my first time playing it." - Dig Dug

"Just pure joy, a game that is all about playing but with a real underlying heart to it as well." - Captain Kinopio

"The best game ever, part one." - Dan.

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FALLOUT 3 (2008)
Platform PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 | Developer Bethesda Game Studios | Publisher Bethesda Softworks

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"Fallout 3 was my first real taste of what was then Next Gen gaming yet it wasn't until the game was a couple of years old where it really griped me. New Vegas might have been the better RPG but Fallout 3 but was the one that left the biggest impression." - Dig Dug

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STREET FIGHTER IV (2009)
Platform PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC | Developer Dimps & Capcom | Publisher Capcom

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SHIN MEGAMI TENSEI: PERSONA 4 (2009)
Platform PlayStation 2 | Developer Atlus | Publisher Square Enix
See also Persona 4 Golden (Vita - 2013)

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"I’ve never been a huge JRPG fan, but Persona 4 isn’t like most other JRPGs. It cuts away so many of the over used gameplay mechanics, and the cliched story tropes. It’s not just it’s modern day setting that makes it feel different, but it’s focus on the protagonists social life. Usually in a JRPG I ignore most of the NPCs unless I know I’ll be getting something out of it, like an item, a new party member or even a hint of where to go next. In Persona 4 I talk to almost EVERYONE, just to watch their relationship with the main character progress, and to learn a little more about them. The characters and their stories are incredibly well written, and it takes you on a real roller coaster of emotions, and along the way is one of the few genuinely funny games I’ve ever played." - GrinWithoutaKat

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WII SPORTS RESORT (2009)
Platform Wii | Developer Nintendo EAD | Publisher Nintendo

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"Resort may not be remembered as a landmark game in the same way as its forebear, but it's the one I keep coming back to. It's worthy of a nomination purely on the strength of Table Tennis, which is surely the greatest implementation of motion controls in any video game." - Spindash

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BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM (2009)
Platform PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC | Developer Rocksteady Studios | Publisher Eidos Interactive / Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment

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"Brilliant setpieces, combat system and voice acting. Yes, Boss battles can be repetitive but on the whole this is my favourite for being a more focused experience and has less flab than the it's sequels." - Miguel007

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SPELUNKY (2009)
Platform PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Vita, PlayStation 4 | Developer Derek Yu | Publisher Mossmouth

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"Spelunkys a damn hard game to describe without making it sound like a painful lesson in repetition. I’ve tried multiple times to try and capture in words what makes it great (Phil Connors analogy anyone?) but I keep failing to capture the essence of what makes it more than just another roguelike or a randomised Super Meat Boy. I have to mention Super Meat Boy because it’s the only platformer I played in the 360/PS3 gen where the controls felt as perfectly tuned as they do in Spelunky. You can blame a lot of things for your many failures in Spelunky but the controls are never a valid excuse. At first they make you overconfident but the game quickly puts you in your place and makes you aware that sloppy play will be brutally punished.

Once you settle in to a more careful rhythm and start to understand how everything in the game world works your confidence levels start to rise again as you learn more and more. At first you always try to save the damsel/dude/dog/sloth but then you find out what happens if you sacrifice two of them so your strategy. You find the udjat eye then find the black market. There always seems to be another layer to uncover and you still haven’t managed to beat Olmec. Once you’ve accomplished that you start thinking about doing a hell run, unlocking all the characters etc. Even now after I’ve gone through hell a few times I still keep coming back to the game now and again. It’s the best game on the Vita for me and if I never played another game on the Vita the sheer amount of time I’ve spent playing Spelunky on the Vita would justify my investment in a Vita." - bear

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UNCHARTED 2: AMONG THIEVES (2009)
Platform PlayStation 3 | Developer Naughty Dog | Publisher Sony Computer Entertainment

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"Raiders of the Lost Ark of the gaming world. Just the pinnacle of action adventure story and bombastic fun." - Captain Kinopio


2010-2014
MASS EFFECT 2 (2010)
Platform PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 | Developer BioWare | Publisher Electronic Arts

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"While Mass Effect was a brilliant game, its sequel was somehow able to improve on it in almost every way. Not only was it bigger and better-looking, but the key fundamentals of the series – the third-person combat, the sense of exploration, the engaging and branching storyline, and the intriguing characters and worlds – were all improved upon too, and that’s what made the real difference. Mass Effect 2 took the original and cranked everything up a couple of notches, resulting in one of the best sequels (and games) of the generation." - Lotus

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RED DEAD REDEMPTION (2010)
Platform PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 | Developer Rockstar San Diego | Publisher Rockstar Games

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"Anyone who's sceptical of Rockstar because of GTA I would point to this, a really well told and heartfelt journey through the old west where the characters story is almost uniquely secondary to that of the environment around him." - Captain Kinopio

"The best GTA game of all time. I was lucky enough to avoid pretty much everything about the game before I played it - I "went in cold", so to speak. And I'm so glad that I did. Unlike GTA4, which seemed to think bigger was better, Red Dead Redemption creates a believable old west in which everything seems to react to the player. My favourite non-Nintendo game of the generation, by some distance." - Dan.

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SUPER MARIO GALAXY 2 (2010)
Platform Wii | Developer Nintendo EAD | Publisher Nintendo

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"Takes one of the best platforming games and makes it even better. Harder, more varied levels and gone with the pedestrian hub world of the first game." - Miguel007

"The best game ever, part two." - Dan.

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SID MEIER'S CIVILIZATION 5 (2010)
Platform PC | Developer Firaxis Games | Publisher 2K Games

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"Civilization V lets you lead your people from a group of settlers to a mighty empire while using diplomacy or force to deal with neighbouring nations, independent city states and even brooding barbarians, though barbarians never respond to diplomacy. The freedom to pursue one of five different paths to victory means that you have a lot of control over each game you play so that they always have their own unique moments.

Brave New World adds two new features to Civilization V: trading routes and the World Congress. These two elements develop the need to cultivate relationships between nations and city states and reinforce the idea that you are part of a global community. You'll find that trade routes are pretty much vital to sustaining your economy while the World Congress adds a new layer of tactics to the endgame of Civilization V.

For me, the game's appeal comes from leading your own Civilization from the ancient era all the way to the future where X-Com squads make up your military might. Selecting random maps means that you always experience the joy of discovering new civilizations and feel like a true explorer as you search lands near and far for vital resources. The game does an excellent job of letting you experience life as a nation's leader, an army commander and a peaceful diplomat all from your PC." - Dark Dragon 64

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ROCK BAND 3 (2010)
Platform Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii | Developer Harmonix | Publisher MTV Games / Mad Catz

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"A wallet-ruiner, but what a fantastic game. Numerous Rock Band parties were staged at my house with my karaoke-eager friends back in The Day. House rules: pick Spirit in the Sky and you have to leave the room. Either that or I have to leave the room. I hate that song. RB3 gets the nomination for being smarter as a game than its forebears while also having the best soundtrack of any of the iterations." - Dan.

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PORTAL 2 (2011)
Platform PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 | Developer Valve | Publisher Valve

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"Improves on Portal in every way and has a brilliant cooperative two-player." - Hyperion

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XENOBLADE CHRONICLES (2011)
Platform Wii | Developer Monolith Soft | Publisher Nintendo

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"Xenoblade's mammoth scale reeks of quality and is one of the best examples of the JRPG genre as it takes what are often tired staples and makes them its best features. The gameplay is a mixture of real time and turn based combat as you'll give orders to your currently controller character, while you retain the ability to freely move around as you engage enemies. The storyline keeps you enthralled, thanks in no small part to its wonderful cast and superb voice actors, while you are immersed into the, quite literally, huge world that Monolith Soft masterfully created.

The sheer scale of the environments is nothing short of magnificent as you'll see beautiful vistas that seem to stretch on forever. The best part is that if you can see it, you can quite literally travel to it and stand on the ground. The environments are littered with items, secret areas and beasts, some of whom are gigantic size and at levels far higher than your party's. All these elements do a wonderful job of drawing you into the world and make you feel like you are truly embarking on a great adventure." - Dark Dragon 64

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FIFA 12 (2011)
Platform Various | Developer EA Canada | Publisher Electronic Arts

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FOOTBALL MANAGER 2012 (2011)
Platform PC | Developer Sports Interactive | Publisher Sega

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"Football Manager is the biggest time sink ever. At the start of a new game you'll spend maybe five/six hours before you even play your first friendly. Tactics, training, staff, scouting, and budgets are five things you need to work on before you can even start the game properly. It can be, and usually is, as boring as that sounds. But when it all comes off and you see your Woking side lifting the Premiership title within ten years of you taking over, it's hard not to think you're pretty much the best person in the world. There's a reason people dress up in suits for their cup finals, you form bonds with players that you've never even seen play before like Freddy Adu, Anthony Vanden Borre & Abubakari Yakubu. There really is an emotional connection with the player and your team as you progress, and you find yourself celebrating each goal as if it is the team you support scoring." - Joer

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DARK SOULS (2011)
Platform PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC | Developer From Software | Publisher Namco Bandai Games

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"This was a big sleeper hit for me as I didn't know what to expect other than the fact that a lot of people love this game. I didn't immediately realise how hooked I was on this game as I spent a lot of my spare time one summer playing through the PC version of the game. The enemies were relentless which made the game both challenging and interesting while the seamlessly linked game world made it feel like a true adventure as I enjoyed exploring the nooks and crannies of the world." - Dark Dragon 64

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THE ELDER SCROLLS V: SKYRIM (2011)
Platform PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 | Developer Bethesda Game Studios | Publisher Bethesda Softworks

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"Skyrim is easily the most incredibly believable fantasy world I’ve ever set foot inside. The geography across the entire region seems so natural (not to mention gorgeous), the inhabits of it so alive with their own jobs and homes and families, many of them with their own fascinating stories that progress with the game. The melee combat is a huge improvement over the previous Elder Scrolls games and the death-blow animations borrowed from Fallout 3 make it all so satisfying, while the thrill of coming up against one of Skyrim’s dragons never gets old." - GrinWithoutaKat

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THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: SKYWARD SWORD (2011)
Platform Wii | Developer Nintendo EAD | Publisher Nintendo

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"The motion controls went a long way to make me feel like I was actually Link and that his actions in the game were an extension of what I was doing in real life. The way puzzles and items (old and new) incorporated the motion controls added to the wonder of the game while the classic Zelda formula was developed as puzzles, that would normally be confined to dungeons, could now be found in the overworld and areas leading up to dungeons. It's easily my favourite 3D console Zelda ever." - Dark Dragon 64

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JOURNEY (2012)
Platform PlayStation 3 | Developer Thatgamecompany | Publisher Sony Computer Entertainment

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"It's the only game to make me cry, and I don't really know why. It just happened. I've only played through it once and I wouldn't dare go back just in case it's not as perfect the next time. I played with someone who I obviously know nothing about, yet we met right at the start of the game, and stayed together the whole time. We formed a connection where I was checking for where they were constantly, making sure we both made it safely each time we faced a challenge. You really do feel like you've been on a Journey by the end of the game." - Joer

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THE WALKING DEAD (2012)
Platform Various | Developer Telltale Games | Publisher Telltale Games

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BIOSHOCK INFINITE (2013)
Platform PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 | Developer Irrational Games | Publisher 2K Games

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"Seems to get a really raw deal from some forumites but I really enjoyed it, much more than the previous two games. I can forgive mildly repetitive game play if there’s an engaging story and I was really into what was going on by the end of it. Yes it’s bizarre, and yes it doesn’t really make sense, but it was fun. And that’s the important thing. I’ve replayed it a few times since last year and it becomes more enjoyable with each play through." - Corazon de Leon

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FIRE EMBLEM AWAKENING (2013)
Platform 3DS | Developer Intelligent Systems | Publisher Nintendo

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"Fire Emblem made appearances on the GBA and NDS but the 3DS version surpasses all others in both quality and sales reception. Awakening's classic tactical SRPG type gameplay, mixed in with the ability to cultivate relationships between your party members, helped cement this as one of the best titles on the 3DS and one of the best examples of the genre.

At the heart of the game is a very simple version of rock paper scissors but other elements, such as field advantages and relationship bonuses, mean that each mission in Fire Emblem is far from simple. A classic trait of the series is the permanent death option whereby defeated party members are no longer usable for the rest of the game. Awakening caters to veterans and newcomers alike as this option remains alongside a new option that revives fallen warriors at the end of battle.

There is a greater need to keep people alive in Awakening as relationships can lead to marriages and even children. The closer the relationship between two members of your party, the more likely they are to defend each other in combat or help attack a common foe. This could be the difference between wiping out the enemy in one swift stroke, or even the survival of your own team!" - Dark Dragon 64

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THE LAST OF US (2013)
Platform PlayStation 3 | Developer Naughty Dog | Publisher Sony Computer Entertainment
See also The Last of Us: Remastered (PlayStation 4 - 2014)

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"This was a bit of a late addition to my list, I only played the game late last year courtesy of a friend. TLoU is possibly the best advert for videogames as a storytelling medium that I’ve ever seen. The emotional punches that it threw at me were as effective as any film or book. Say what you want about the game mechanics – I thought they worked well and never became frustrated with the experience – but the story that’s told is genuinely phenomenal. If more games like this were released, and gained widespread exposure, I’d be a very happy man." - Corazon de Leon

"Perhaps my favourite ever game world and accompanying story. Excellent survival combat and wonderful squad based multiplayer." - Captain Kinopio

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GRAND THEFT AUTO V (2013)
Platform PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 | Developer Rockstar North | Publisher Rockstar Games
See also Grand Theft Auto V (PlayStation 4, Xbox One - 2014)

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"Whilst the gameplay may not be as well refined or fun as anything else in this list the game world is simply the most remarkable achievement in game design in at least a decade and elevates everything around it." - Captain Kinopio

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MARIO KART 8 (2014)
Platform Wii U | Developer Nintendo EAD | Publisher Nintendo

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"Words don't do Mario Kart 8 justice, especially if you've experienced the chaos of multiplayer races. Somehow the carnage manages to transcend the internet and the rage you feel when a blue shell literally robs you of a victory is just as alive in Mario Kart 8 as it was when the item was first introduced in Mario Kart 64. This time there's a new item that can destroy the blue shell before it rains its blue fire down upon you.

As always, this new version of Mario Kart brings a number of new tracks and characters to the franchise including, for the first time ever, elements from other Nintendo franchises such as The Legend of Zelda and F-Zero. Even without the masterfully created DLC content, Mario Kart 8 is easily the best game in the franchise thanks to its well designed tracks, amazing visuals and soundtrack and immensely entertaining online play. Mario Kart 8 is the game that keeps on giving as it's easy to sink hundreds of hours into the game and still enjoy it as much as you did when you first played it." - Dark Dragon 64


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rinks
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PostRe: GRcade's 105 Games
by rinks » Wed Dec 24, 2014 6:08 pm

Can't disagree much with that list. Pretty much everything deserves to be there (though DKC feels a bit over-represented). And I can't complain about lack of Saturn exclusives, because I didn't vote (properly).
This is the death of intelligence
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Super Dragon 64
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PostRe: GRcade's 105 Games
by Super Dragon 64 » Wed Dec 24, 2014 6:22 pm

Magnificent work, Spinny! :wub:
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Rog
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PostRe: GRcade's 105 Games
by Rog » Wed Dec 24, 2014 6:23 pm

Corazon, pray we never meet.
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Death's Head
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PostRe: GRcade's 105 Games
by Death's Head » Wed Dec 24, 2014 6:29 pm

Well done Spin bloke, you put a lot of effort into that.
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Glowy69
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PostRe: GRcade's 105 Games
by Glowy69 » Wed Dec 24, 2014 6:41 pm

Well done spinny. You win the forum. :wub:

My comment :D
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PostRe: GRcade's 105 Games
by Buffalo » Wed Dec 24, 2014 6:44 pm

What a Christmas treat! Brilliant, just awesome.
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PostRe: GRcade's 105 Games
by Ironhide » Wed Dec 24, 2014 7:25 pm

No XCOM Enemy Unknown?

Madness.
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PuppetBoy
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PostRe: GRcade's 105 Games
by PuppetBoy » Wed Dec 24, 2014 7:33 pm

Well done Spinny, this is brilliant. I will take the time to read every comment, but during my first skim through this one caught my eye:

Super Mario Galaxy
"The best game ever, part one." - Dan.


Nails it.
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Captain Kinopio
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PostRe: GRcade's 105 Games
by Captain Kinopio » Wed Dec 24, 2014 7:39 pm

Think the only game from my list that didn't make it is the original Smash Bros.

Shame neither of the modern Donkey Kongs made it but it's a pretty fantastic list.
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PostRe: GRcade's 105 Games
by jawafour » Wed Dec 24, 2014 7:41 pm

Amazing work, Spinny - this looks to be a terrific read! Well played, sir! :wub:.
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PostRe: GRcade's 105 Games
by Joer » Wed Dec 24, 2014 7:48 pm

Great job Spinny. Still can't believe WoW didn't make the list though.
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PostRe: GRcade's 105 Games
by Corazon de Leon » Wed Dec 24, 2014 7:53 pm

[iup=3642364]Kevin McCallister[/iup] wrote:Corazon, pray we never meet.


I've been reciting that prayer nightly for a number of years Rodge, but tell me why? Yoshi's Island is better than SMW, or Resi 2 is better than Resi 4? :shifty:
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PostRe: GRcade's 105 Games
by Super Dragon 64 » Wed Dec 24, 2014 7:57 pm

[iup=3642410]Saigon Slick[/iup] wrote:
[iup=3642364]Kevin McCallister[/iup] wrote:Corazon, pray we never meet.


I've been reciting that prayer nightly for a number of years Rodge, but tell me why? Yoshi's Island is better than SMW, or Resi 2 is better than Resi 4? :shifty:

We need to settle this in Smash.
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PostRe: GRcade's 105 Games
by Squinty » Wed Dec 24, 2014 8:15 pm

Excellent work fella. I loved reading all that.

I should have done a comment for Chrono Trigger. I had no idea this was all happening :oops:
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kommissarboris
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PostRe: GRcade's 105 Games
by kommissarboris » Wed Dec 24, 2014 8:23 pm

Just read through all that.

phemonanal scenes, now that could be the drink talking, but honestly, great readings.

Buff and I all over dat Streets of rage 2 :datass:
The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class are to represent and repress them in parliament.

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Fries. Wedges. Crisps?
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PostRe: GRcade's 105 Games
by Fries. Wedges. Crisps? » Thu Dec 25, 2014 12:07 am

A fantastic read. Great OP and great list. Well done everyone. Thankyou, Spindash! Merry Christmas y'all :wub:
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Miguel007
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PostRe: GRcade's 105 Games
by Miguel007 » Thu Dec 25, 2014 12:39 am

Well done Spinny! Loved reading that and thank you for using some of my comments.

Merry Xmas Everyone! :wub:
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Lagamorph
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PostRe: GRcade's 105 Games
by Lagamorph » Thu Dec 25, 2014 12:40 am

No Saints Row IV?

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PostRe: GRcade's 105 Games
by Corazon de Leon » Thu Dec 25, 2014 11:13 am

[iup=3642416]I give you the F-B-I[/iup] wrote:
[iup=3642410]Saigon Slick[/iup] wrote:
[iup=3642364]Kevin McCallister[/iup] wrote:Corazon, pray we never meet.


I've been reciting that prayer nightly for a number of years Rodge, but tell me why? Yoshi's Island is better than SMW, or Resi 2 is better than Resi 4? :shifty:

We need to settle this in Smash.


Nope, because I'm so secure in my utter rightness.

...

And I'll lose to you at Smash. :dread:
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