Friday, December 12, 2008

No Bamas This Week, Instead: A Video Game Countdown

This week, we are living bama free and are taking a break from our normal column.  Today, with some of our buddies, we were asked (because we are a relative authority on this), to compile a list of both the top NES (original Nintendo) and the top games on all systems.  The following is what was sent out to the group:

In a twist, I myself crashed.  I have now rebooted and believe I can come up with something for everyone.  I hope everyone enjoys this.

Nintendo Games for the original NES (note, you can play nintendo games online here:

1) The Legend of Zelda
2) Metroid
3) Mike Tyson's Punchout (the version released after the rape charge had 'Mr Dream' at the end and was no where near as tight)
4) Dragon Warrior 
5) Super Tecmo Bowl
6) Castlevania II: Simon's Quest
7) Super Mario Brothers
8) Final Fantasy
9) Mega Man
10) Contra
11) The Adventures of Lolo
12) Kid Icarus
13) Baseball Stars (would be higher but it was frustrating because you would ALWAYS lose the saved data)
14) Star Tropics
15) Dragon Warrior IV
16) Wizards and Warriors (most underrated video game ever made) 
17) Maniac Mansion
18) Crystalis
19) Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse
20) Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
21) Rygar (this would be a top 3 game ever if there were continues or a password. You had to beat it in 1 sitting which lowers it)
22) Shadowgate
23) Super Mario Brothers 3
24) Ducktales
25) Faxanadu

Top video games on any system (PC not eligible):

1) The Legend of Zelda (NES).  I wrote an article about this for IGN.  It changed everything.  It was the Star Wars of Video Games.  Blended action RPG, smooth and layered gameplay, incredible story, perfect difficulty, graphically superior to it's contemporaries.  It was literally perfect.  Also, the cartridge was gold.

2) Final Fantasy VII (playstation): to give you an idea, this game has spawned 2 movies, 4 video game spin-offs, and millions of fans world wide.  Further, my boy ***** and I spent 199 hours and 59 minutes getting through half the game together.  400 hours.  The standard for all RPGs forevermore.  I literally just got dusty in my eyes thinking about how tight this game is.

3) Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (PS 2): They worked out the bugs so it played smooth, the soundtrack is INCREDIBLE, the things you get to do are amazing (you direct a porn movie with Jenna Jameson for example), the missions are great.  The series peaked right here.

4) Super Metroid (SNES): simply put, an amazing game
5) NHL 94 (Genesis): greatest sports game ever made
6) Mike Tyson's punchout (NES)
7) Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N 64)
8) Metal Gear Solid II (PS 2)
9) Mario Kart: think about the casual gamer.  Everyone, even ****** plays this game.
10) Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (PS)
11) Metroid (NES)
12) Halo (XBOX)
13) Tomb Raider (PS)
14) Chrono Trigger (SNES)
15) Resident Evil (PS)
16) Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (PS 2)
17) Panzer Dragoon Saga (Sega Saturn)
18) Final Fantasy III (SNES)
19) Goldeneye (N 64)
20) Super Mario 64
21) Dragon Warrior NES
22) Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (PS 3)
23) Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (XBOX)
24) Final Fantasy Tactics (PS)
25) Devil May Cry (PS 2)

Some notes:
*****= name removed to protect the innocent
-NHL 93 vs NHL 94: The one-timers, better control, in game-options, empirically, made 94 a better game.  You cannot argue against the heart though.  I understand where you come from on this ******.

-There are lots of fighting games not on the list.  the problem I have with them is that this is more about 'the series' than any one game.  Each one, inherently lacks depth and his repetitive.  The various Mortal Kombats, Soul Calibers (the most recent with Darth Vader is amazing), and Tekkens can never get you the involved gameplay that are so important to me and other hardcore gamers

-System Breakdown:

NES: 4, Playstation: 5, Super Nintendo: 3, XBOX: 2, Nintendo 64: 3, Playstation 2: 4, PS 3: 1, Sega Saturn: 1, Sega Genesis: 2

-I started to do a system by system breakdown but thought that might be too much.

-There are a few titles on there who's commercial success did not match the stature of the game.  The Panzer Dragoon Saga came out right before the end of the Sega Saturn.  It was an absolute achievement and only sold around 10k copies in the US.

-You should be able to see a bias towards older games.  This is intentional.  Everyone is very quick to throw the latest game atop the heap.  Games now, for the most part, are like big budget movies.  There really aren't that many that really make a lot of money because of increased production costs.  This is a bad trend in gaming.  Games are now rated on 'voice acting talent' the way they used to be rated on 'graphics and sound'.  There are some INCREDIBLE games out right now that are visually compelling and fun to play.  They mostly lose replay value because of elaborate cut scenes, dialogue etc.  Replay value is huge now because games cost $60.

-Final Note: I have beaten all the games on the above list that are beatable.

Your friend,
Gus Johnson's Whisper

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