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Gamespy.com's "Top 50 Games of All Time" 329

Posted by Hemos
from the any-list-is-wrong dept.
Alex Bischoff writes "In this article, Gamespy.com rates the "Top 50 Games of All Time" (both console and computer games), including commentary from developers at 3DRealms, id Software, Monolith Productions and others. Needless to say, Daikatana is not on the list ;)."
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Gamespy.com's "Top 50 Games of All Time"

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  • Sierra's *Quest games were pretty popular last decade too. King's Quest I was a great, challenging game, and set the stage for a new genre of gaming. Let's also not forgot Space Quest, Police Quest, and the ever-perverted Leisure Suit Larry!

    Jason.

  • They forgot the most important game of all time: Zero Wing.

    Any game with such gripping dialogue as:

    "What you say?", "Someone set up us the bomb!!!", "You have no chance to survive make your time," and the unforgettable "All your base are belong to us" surely deserves to rank at the top of this list.

    Why, I haven't seen dialogue delivery that compelling since my high school's rendition of Hamlet.

  • Maniac Mansion (Score:4, Insightful)

    by blogan (84463) on Sunday August 05, 2001 @10:04AM (#2110988)
    What? Maniac Mansion didn't make it onto the list! That game was great. Pick your characters and depending which characters you pick, you solve the game differently (they all have special talents). I think the only combination that didn't work was picking the two people that could repair the phones, because the phone repairing required another talent. Alot of the game was thinking, but some of it was how fast you could react (such as going into the kitchen and running from Edna to not get caught and then just walk through the kitchen).

    If only they'd come out with Maniac Mansion 3.
    • Re:Maniac Mansion (Score:2, Insightful)

      by polar red (215081)
      I completely agree ... lucasarts did make some very good games, of which none were on the list :
      maniac mansion, day of the tentacle, the monkey island series... And I have the distinct feeling most games mentioned weren't older than 5 years. I guess they only interviewed very young people who didn't even touch a C64 in all there lives.
      My number one game of all time is and will ever be Maniac mansion.
      • Full Throttle. Yep. Full Throttle. It was yet another story board adventure game from Lucasarts. The art and the music gave it a distinctive style that I wish they'd developed further. Here's webpage about it [aol.com].

        I got it up and running a while back because I remembered it so fondly, only to realize how amazingly short the game was. It was pretty easy, because even after a few years, I could still remember how to solve the puzzles. There's almost no replay value, which I guess fits its lack of popularity. It's really just like watching a really cool cartoon. You can watch it once but after that it's tedious. For that matter, I wish they had made it into a cartoon. It'd be one kick ass cartoon.
    • HE IS RIGHT (Score:2, Insightful)

      by thopo (315128)
      God Lord, i didn't even noticed it. But you are right. And it is a shame the game is not on the list. I've played this game forever on my C64! I didn't know you could save the game so i had to start i new game every time and unfortunately the day is quite short and me and a friend of mine probably replayed it 50 times until we finished it :)
      Oh my, that brings some memories back.
  • what about legends of the Red Dragon, thats got to be the grandfather of all online games.
    And SUPERMARIO BROS isnt even ON THERE? CMON.
  • I guess the list of coders they asked must have been predominately European. It's the only reason I can think of for no Sinclair Spectrum or BBC Micro games to be mentioned. Manic Miner. Revs. Jet Set Willy. Chuckie Egg. Atic Attack.

    And, of course, one of the most innovative games ever, the one that blazed the trail that Wing Commander followed, the first truly open-ended game I remember, the one that did free-360-degree-motion in 48k - Elite
  • by doozer (7822)
    Now, I'll agree that they are probably the biggest selling genre, but what about the games that predated them:

    - Nethack / Moira / Etc - Where would the fps/rpg game be without these?
    - Infocom games - Same as the last
    - Just about any early Sierra game - There haven't been many games that have done as
    much groundbreaking as say, the King's Quest
    games

    Other types of games:
    - Microsoft flight simulator
    - Lemmings
    - Incrdible Machine
    - Pong

    I think there list should have been alot different
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Just wanted to agree that it was a completely barren list without the presence of NetHack - truly the greatest game of all time. Diablo was number 6? It has .5% of the complexity of NetHack. Graphics, Shmaphics.
    • You want both?

      Check out Falcon's Eye [sf.net]. It is a visually pleasing version of Nethack that I've been totally addicted to. It even has a big intro and a soundtrack. How can you go wrong?
  • I think a really good way to measure the importance of a game is to count the number of clones created. I think there are not only dozens but HUNDREDS of clones of titles like Artillery Duel, Asteroids, and BoulderDash.

    Of course it's hard to decide what has still to be considered a clone.
  • Again? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kupek (75469) on Sunday August 05, 2001 @11:03AM (#2111897)
    For those of you who don't visit videogame sites with any regularity, you should probably know that these sites do an "Top $num Games" feature damn near every other week. So don't take this one to be the ultimate judgement of anything, if you think something is missing, it's probably because the few people who came up with it (surprise, surprise) have different tastes than you do.
    • It should also be noted that the reason they publish the Top $num Games lists so frequently is because it takes very little effort and you have to scroll through 50,000 goddamn pages (and banners) to see the entire story.

      Bottom line in the industry nowadays is impression rate, not quality of content.
      • It should further be noted that no one is the authority on this, and every damn gaming publication pulls this "Top X Games" shit to generate some hits/magazine purchases.

  • I'm sorry, but there are games on that list that should not be there, such as Age of Empires 2. It just wasn't that revolutionary or remarkable. SimCity should have been higher on that list, and some games I expected to see (but didn't) were Super Mario Brothers (everyone, I am sure, knows the path to beat World 8 level 4), Mortal Kombat, and PacMan.
  • Missing Some? (Score:2, Informative)

    by EarTrumpet (85772)
    They did list Zork, but in my opinion they were missing Colossal Cave Adventure [delphi.com] & Nethack [nethack.org].
  • Teenager games (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dexter77 (442723) on Sunday August 05, 2001 @10:10AM (#2112214)
    That list seems to be made by teenagers who never saw 80's games. There's no doubt that a person who has played games from the beginning of the 80's till today would've made entirelly different list.
    I have to say that I'm more than amused of the choices that made to the list.
    It's needless to argue about opinions, but some of those choices were like comparing the LOTR to a comic book.
    • I wouldn't say teenagers, but instead game developers who are now obsessed with style rather than popularity.

      A lot of the games that made the list made it because it was the style the developers liked (DOOM's #1 for one reason -- it was the anchor for game developing all the way into the 3D market today). But I would rate the greatest games as those that were the most popular, not the ones with the most fantastic storyline or the most fantastic graphics.

      Deus Ex? Theif? Why are those there? Only because of the games style, not popularity. That's what I don't like about this list. The top 50 (at least the top 10) should have been about the games' popularity among players.

      DOOM should have been in the top 10, but not necessairly #1. I'm glad they put Civilization at #3, because that game deserves it. But there were two games that I thought belonged there, because of their popularity rather than style:

      1) Super Mario 3. It was the rave at the school, on the block, and even in the movie The Wizzard. Why the hell didn't it make it into the top 50? It should have been in at least the top 10.

      2) Pac Man. Someone was smoking something sweet to keep this absolute classic from the list. The fact of the matter is that you can still find this arcade game in some arcades standing next to these dollar-crunching graphic-munching games, and people still play it.

      Other notes: I'm glad to see they at least included Tetris, because it's right up there with PacMan in terms of still-played-classics. I was also disappointed not to find a single sports game up there on the list...they're just as big and popular a genre as RPG, Action, or Adventure.
      • 1) Super Mario 3.

        2) Pac Man.


        Couldn't agree more. Almost any "Top X games EVER!!!" list always includeds SMB3 towards the very top, if not #1. I mean, they made a movie about the game (not a story based off the game, mind you). THATS popularity.

        The original Zelda needs to be higher as well. As for Pac Man, if you're going to include it for popularity, you have to include Galaga. :)

  • by sharkey (16670) on Sunday August 05, 2001 @10:12AM (#2112216)
    The only game listed in that article is one I've never heard of. Has anyone played "Not enough storage is available to process this command.", and is it any good?
    • Has anyone played "Not enough storage is available to process this command.", and is it any good?

      No, it sucks. It also requires a special controller, something called a CowboyNeal. Instead of having a trigger or buttons, it has something called a slashdot effect.

      I got past the final level by mashing the refresh button repeatedly. Damn, I hate simple button mashers.

      --
      Evan

  • by Sax Maniac (88550) on Sunday August 05, 2001 @10:12AM (#2112220) Homepage Journal
    I can't find Who Wants To Be A Millionaire [eidosinteractive.co.uk] or Deer Hunter [planetdeerhunter.com] at all on there. Goddamn elitists.
  • I read the whole thing but I might have overlooked one of the spots. However, where are some of the great puzzle games from Lucas Arts? Sam & Max Hit The Road, Day of the Tentacle, etc. These were wonderful games!
    • I totally agree about Day of the Tentacle. Still the best puzzle based point-n-clicker I've played - inventive time-travel puzzles, excellent humour, and the first game I remember that had sound clips for everything that was spoken. The concept of flushing objects down the toilet to send them to the future should have guaranteed a top-50 spot. Shrinking a sweater in a drier so you could warm up the hamster you had frozen in an ice machine for 200 hundred years in order that his hamster wheel could provide power - that genius should have made it top-ten.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 05, 2001 @10:42AM (#2112307)
    While there were a few nods to non-PC, non-console games, most of those (e.g. Empire) eventually made it to the PC platform.
    • Here's my take on what's missing:
    • Dungeon Master. Very cool, very addictive, very Amiga. I think they eventually made a PC version.
    • Myst/Riven. I may have missed them in the list, but I swear they weren't there. HUGE oversight. Even if you hate things without gunfire and splattering guts, Myst was an incredible paradigm break, spawned a few clones, sold a bazillion copies, and, most importantly it introduced a lot of non-gamers to gaming!
    • Moria, Hack, NetHack. Or even Larn or Omega. Anything from rec.games.roguelike. I still like pulling up Moria on Linux because the gameplay kicks butt, even with VT100 graphics.
    • Spaceward Ho! I still think that Ho! was the first real game that was able to adapt PBM-style gaming into multiplayer, turn-based network games. Heck, we had a Ho!-down for my bachelor party.
    That's enough for now. Who could play all those FPS's without going crazy? I mean, yeah, I've played a few and enjoyed it, but the list was CLEARLY biased in that direction.
    • >Dungeon Master. Very cool, very addictive, very Amiga. I think they eventually made a PC version

      You seem to be forgetting that Dungeon Master was first made to Atari ST and run on 512k; amiga version came a lot later and needed 1Mbyte (=memory extension since A500 contained only 512k).
  • by KFK2 (23515)
    You know, they could've at least included some clasics like PONG or some text based RPG's that came out before graphics that paved the way for the games we have to day.. and as another person mentioned, isn't one or two FPS enough? and in all honesty, Half Life was a cross between Quake and an RPG.. Kenny
  • It seems very biased towards newer games, when other games were much more important. For example:

    Elite
    Elite II
    Adventure (plus other important adventure games)
    Pacman
    ...

    Okay they put Tetris in there, and I agree with Doom as number 1.
  • Jumpman (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rknop (240417) on Sunday August 05, 2001 @10:48AM (#2112883) Homepage

    Did anybody ever play Jumpman from Epyx on the Commodore 64? I loved that game. Spent many hours playing it back in high school.

    More recently, I was sad that Myth II didn't make it to the top-50 list.

    -Rob

    • by Micah (278)
      Gaaaa! I just played Jumpman under VICE (Versetile Commodore Emulator) under Linux not too long ago!

      Also BC's Quest for Tires -- that game kicked all arse.
  • This is news? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Sarcasmooo! (267601) on Sunday August 05, 2001 @10:50AM (#2112888)
    Ok, maybe it's just that I hate GSI, it's questionable business ethics, it's crappy content, and it's lame humor, but why is this news? Front page news even? I could spend the next 5 years making a list of all the 5,000 gaming networks and the 20,000 lists they've made that rate games in every possible way by all categories imaginable. But it only takes one sentence to describe every single list: Useless content-filler written by people that have to pander to the company responsible for every eligible game, or risk being refused 'exclusive content' in the future. I'd be curious to know how many of the 50 asses that were kissed in this list are presently in no position to reciprocate.
  • Didn't find the game that has jept me sleepless most night, the game that once you start play it always keeps you busy. And still havent completed it yet, still some more things to solve. Am I the only one playing windows here?
  • What a joke (Score:2, Insightful)

    by dh003i (203189)
    Please, what kind of "top 50" list is this? they mentioned freaking DukeNukem and Quake -- blatent take offs of Doom -- but left out the best vehicular shooter game of all time, Descent? Descent is hands down a much more revolutionary and realistic game than its land-bound counterparts Doom, Quake, and DukeNukem. Why do I say that? Well, first of all Descent took the first person shooter genre and turned it upside down on its head -- literally. Secondly, Descent's graphics were revolutionary for the time: it was really the only game at the time that really looked 3D. Not to mention, the AI in Descent I(and the rest of the series) is arguably superior to any AI in any other 1st person shooter games. Most impressive, though, is the very realistic perception of physics in the Descent series: when you bump into something, it FEELS like you've bumped into it. Unlike in Duke Nukem or Doom or Quake, where when you bump into something, the legs of the character keep on moving, and it feels like you've just hita squishy force-field or something.

    And also, where is Tomb Raider? Tomb Raider was also a revolutionary game, though buggy. It really pulled you in, because you felt like you were actually on some archeological dig.
  • Bah. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Snowfox (34467) <<ten.xofwons> <ta> <xofwons>> on Sunday August 05, 2001 @10:25AM (#2114167) Homepage
    That list is painfully biased toward first-person shooters where action games are concerned. I'm not a FPS or strategy fan, so about 2/3 of that list gets a huge yawn.

    Let me give props to my faves -

    Give me Paradroid 90 on the Amiga. Give me Uridium on the C-64. Give me Attack of the Mutant Camels on the C-64. Give me the NES and Turbo Grafx 16 ports of Galaga. Gate of Thunder and Lords of Thunder on the Turbo Grafx CD are so beautifully perfect they'll bring tears to your eyes, and Super Star Soldier on the Turbo Grafx quite possibly has the most perfectly tweaked play of any shooter ever.

    I loved Tempest 2000 on the Saturn (I'm biased - I wrote half of that and most of Tempext/X3 on PSX.) A&E was sweet and very replayable on the Apple ][, but not half as replayable as Lode Runner on the same. Jump Man was great on every platform, and cloyingly cute as it is, Flicky may have been the best Genesis game.

    • by TomV (138637)
      That list is painfully biased toward first-person shooters

      ...and also towards newer games.

      Now, technically speaking, obviously, the likes of Halflife appear to blow out the games of a decade ago totally. But really, to achieve Halflife on an MMX Pentium, while a great technical achievement, is maybe not quite on a par with achieving my personal favourite...

      Elite on a 6502-based BBC micro. (other versions don't quite make it in my book).

      To generate 8 galaxies of 256 planets from a randomizing algorithm taking just 3 bytes of seed data, and create within those galaxies an open-ended game, playable as real-time action, strategy, trading, exploration, and with no fixed ending, was nothing short of genius by Braben and Bell. It's a game I still play today. 17 years after it was released.

      A couple of others that this geriatric would have liked to see on the list

      • Pole Position - the first Geoff Crammond racing game I played, progenitor of the Grand Prix series now at v3 and still blindingly good. In fact, where were the racers?
      • Frak, Chuckie, Manic Miner, the whole Platform Game genre. which was perhaps as pervasive all those years back as the FPS's seem to be now. And of course Attack of the Mutant Camels and all the Llamatron stuff (vast respect ot the eternal YAK)
      • The Hobbit, and the whole Adventure genre, only lightly touched upon. And for that matter the original MUD's were, if not widely played by the standards of today's console market, gargantuanly influential.
      • Someone mentioned Pong. Today, it would seem stupidly simplistic. But it must be one of the all-time great games, along with Spacewar and Star Trek, simply because of the number of us turned on to the whole Computer thing at the time, and still working in the field two decades later. Yup, it's Pong's fault I'm in on a sunny sunday afternoon, and I don't hold it against it for one moment, because it was a genuinely eye-opening great game and the fascination it triggered is still in me today.
      Enough

      Elite, anyway.

      TomV

    • Re:Bah. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Snowfox (34467)
      Bomberman.

      No game list is complete without Bomberman, and I left that off.

      Until you've had a bunch of guys over for beer and Bomberman, you haven't had fun.

      Go with Bomberman or Bomberman '93 on the Turbo Grafx. '94 and later, and the SNES ports go overboard on the features and ruin the simple skill-based fun of the game.

      • I have to mention Saturn Bomberman, and this seems to be the right thread to do it in. What other non-mainstream sports game gives you ten human-controlled players on one screen at one time? In that mode there's very little having to get used to controls -- up, down, left, right, BOMB. The ultimate party game.
  • The number one selling game of all times, Myst, is not on the list. Hummm.. and did I miss unreal?
  • Maybe it's just me, but weren't those alot more popular games? Doom took #1 which I can't entirely agree or disagree with because it is definately a classic, but I think the top 10 list is a bit askew. I wonder what type of monetary compensation, if any, gamespy is getting or has gotten from "selling" positioning in that list...
    • I agree, and I still can't believe they didn't even mention Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri or Pirates!
  • Doom #1? Come on...
    My picks:
    #10 - Sim City
    # 9 - Marathon
    # 8 - Quake II
    # 7 - GoldenEye
    # 6 - Mario Kart
    # 5 - Asteroids
    # 4 - Madden Football
    # 3 - Starcraft
    # 2 - Metroid
    # 1 - Perfect Dark
  • Heroes of Might and Magic. Certainly in my top ten, and just about the most addictive game I've played. Any one in that series belongs above 80% of that list.
  • 1. Final Fantasy X
    2. Final Fantasy IX
    3. Final Fantasy VIII
    4. Final Fantasy VII
    5. Final Fantasy VI
    6. Final Fantasy V
    7. Final Fantasy IV
    8. Final Fantasy III
    9. Final Fantasy II
    10.Final Fantasy I
  • Lots of different genres and platforms are represented, but where are the driving games? I don't think there's even a single one in any of the many top 10s that are listed throughout the pages of GameSpy's top 50.

    Pole Position I+II were money! Need for Speed III's different multiplayer modes and unofficial cars made by fans made it great.

    Super Monaco GP for Arcade or Genesis? Great!

    I guess driving games just don't count or what? They seem to be pretty big sellers though!

    • Tell me about it. Ok, driving games arn't quite as popular as they once were but Pole Position was the number one game in the world for some time as measured by quarters at the arcade.

      If you spend anytime reading gaming mags and sites you'll find that they're nearly always derisive of driving games though. Why? Damed if I know.

      I do know this though, when the current crop of kiddies is thinking of Half-Life as, " That old piece of crap" there will be people still playing Papyrus's "Grand Prix Legends" with the dedication of a professional.

      KFG
  • Why didnt Sierra's 'Leisure Suit Larry' make it to the top 50? :(
  • 1. DOOM
    2. Half-Life
    3. Warcraft 2
    4. Sid Meier's Civilization
    5. Quake
    6. Diablo
    7. Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar
    8. Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss
    9. Starcraft
    10. Legend of Zelda
    I cannot believe Star Raiders for the Atari 400 did not make the list...
    • Super Mario Brothers 3.

      Games are about playing for enjoyment. SMB3 is the hands down winner in this category. It has a level of complexity and changing terain that I havn't seen anywhere else. It has ways of changing your characters capabilities and more importantly it has so manny diferent vilans as to drive you mad.

      I have sat down and played throgh the whole thing the long way (world by world without the jump zones) then upon completion start over again with 30 "P-Wings" in my stash.

      There simply isn't another game that can wast 6 straight hours of my time.

  • Rocket Jockey (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Wiwi Jumbo (105640)
    I can't load the pages up, but I'm willing to bet they never included Rocket Jockey.

    This game is just amazing... it's one of the few where it's actually fun to try for a high score after you've finished it.

    More people need to play this. ('Cause I *need* a sequal... ;)

    Check it out: http://www.theunderdogs.org/game.php?name=Rocket+J ockey [theunderdogs.org] , tho it's not quite the same without the soundtrack. :)
  • While any Top N games of all time list is going to be biased and controversial, it just makes my jaw drop that pretty much no real adventure games were mentioned. Have these guys ever played a Sierra or LucasArts game? You mention modern 3D CPU hog garbage like Asheron's Call, Ultima Online and Deus Ex and you don't mention masterpieces like Maniac Mansion 2, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Quest for Glory, Space Quest, King's Quest, LSL, Rise of the Dragon or Monkey Island?

    This list is completely devoid of heart and soul. There were some good picks, like Wing Commander, Starcraft, X-COM and Doom, but generally it appears they have no fucking clue what they're talking about.

    Leave it to a bunch of FPS nerds to fumble this.

  • Some statistics (Score:5, Informative)

    by CaseStudy (119864) on Sunday August 05, 2001 @11:33AM (#2120820) Homepage

    With any top 50 list, someone's going to complain that games weren't included or were overrated. I think this one's pretty bad, though.

    A breakdown by game type:

    • Adventure/Interactive Fiction - 39 (but no Sierra games or Myst)
    • Action - 1, 2, 5, 11, 12, 13, 18, 24, 29, 30, 32, 38, 40, 44, 46, 47 (but no Pacman or Pong)
      • Fighting - 30 (but no Mortal Kombat)
      • FPS - 1, 2, 5, 12, 13, 18, 24, 29, 32, 38, 40, 44, 47 (but no Castle Wolfenstein)
      • Platform - 11, 20, 46 (but no Super Mario Bros.)
    • Console - 10, 11, 20, 28, 38, 48 (but no Super Mario Bros.)
    • Flight Sim - 34 (but no Falcon or X-Wing)
    • Hybrid - 26, 35 (but no Starflight)
    • Puzzle - 19 (but no Fool's Errand)
    • RPG - 6, 7, 8, 10, 15, 17, 21, 23, 27, 28, 36, 37, 41, 42, 43, 45, 48 (but no Fallout or Ultima 7)
      • Console RPG - 28, 48 (but no late Final Fantasys)
      • Online RPG - 15, 27, 48 (but no MUDs)
    • Simulation - 33 (but not The Sims)
    • Sports - none at all
    • Strategy - 3, 4, 9, 14, 16, 22, 25, 31, 35, 50 (but no Master of Orion)
      • 4X - 4, 22 (but no Master of Orion, Alpha Centauri)
      • RTS - 3, 9, 14, 16, 31, 50 (but no Dune)
      • Wargame - 49

    Statistics by year:

    • 1981 - 21
    • 1982 - 39
    • 1983 - 25, 41
    • 1985 - 7, 17
    • 1986 - 10, 19
    • 1987 - 49
    • 1988 - 42
    • 1990 - 34
    • 1991 - 4, 30
    • 1992 - 8, 26, 28
    • 1994 - 1, 23, 24, 35, 44, 46
    • 1995 - 3, 31
    • 1996 - 5, 6, 11, 13, 22
    • 1997 - 14, 20, 38, 47, 48, 50
    • 1998 - 2, 9, 36, 40, 43
    • 1999 - 12, 15, 16, 27, 45
    • 2000 - 18, 29, 37

    Just from those numbers, we'd expect the highest-rated games to be first-person shooters based in the mid-nineties (Doom, Quake), and the lowest-rated games to be sports games based in the late eighties (Earl Weaver Baseball).

    • I was surprised that RPGs were as well represented as they were, until I realized I was including things like Zelda, Diablo, EverQuest and Final Fantasy in the same category. The nine "pure" RPGs on the list are Baldur's Gate, Baldur's Gate 2, Bard's Tale, Planescape: Torment, Ultima 3, Ultima 4, Ultima 5, Ultima Underworld, and Wizardry I. In contrast, the ten pure shooters on the list (in my uninformed opinion) are Counter-Strike, Deus Ex, Doom, Duke Nukem 3D, Goldeneye, Half-Life, Marathon, Quake, Quake 2, and Thief; not only are these games rated higher (including the #1 and #2 spots), but the genre has been around for a much shorter time.

      • I'd point out that Thief and to a fair extent Deus Ex aren't 'pure' shooters at all, and as leaders of the sneak-em-up genre are as close to being first-person RPGs as they are to a shoot everything and run like crazy blaster such as Quake 2 or Doom. Goldeneye is also very laid-back, and actually makes you play a bit more like Bond than a Duke Nukem character. So both your most popular genres are quite broad, and between them encompass most major PC releases of recent times.
  • These lists always drive me crazy. Why, oh why, do people have this need to not just pick out the good stuff, not even try for the best stuff, but try to rank everything in a strict, linear order and claim they have determined the "absolute best" as if it is now some sort of objective reality? WHY?

    Enjoyment of video games is a completely subjective expereince. Different people put together different lists. You can either have a list from the perspective of one type of gamer that everyone else will disagree with, or you can poll a lot of different people and come up with a list EVERYONE will disagree with. Whats the point?

    Why not just get some friends together and say "these are the games we liked in alphebetical order and why we liked them"? Its a subjective list, why drape it in a poor imitation of objectivity through numerical ranking?

    Kahuna Burger

    • Because it looks more official, cooler, and will generate a lot more traffic and controversy about your web site if you try and rank games.

      Nobody wants to read a "these games are nifty!" page. Well, not enough to make your sponsors happy.

  • Bias (Score:3, Insightful)

    by worldwideweber (116531) on Sunday August 05, 2001 @10:05AM (#2125982) Homepage Journal
    I saw a little bias towards first-person shooters here. Personally, I am willing to admit that one first-person shooter should have been on the list, but that many on the top 10?

    Also, not a single sports game on the list? I think any tennis game (or its simple predecessor PONG) should have been given a nod.

    And ZELDA is the best game ever :) !
    • by iso (87585)

      Agreed. The first few first-person shooters were impressive but since "Quake" there have been only a few that actually progressed the genre. I refuse to believe that there were that many genuinly good FPS games in the past few years.

      One glaring omission (unless I missed it somewhere) was the lack of a single Sierra *Quest game. Sure King's Quest got pretty silly when it became all point-and-click but King's Quest I was a great game for it's time, King's Quest III was really well done, and the Space Quest series was really clever. At least one of these deserves to be on the top 50 games of all time. It's good to see they remembered Star Control II though. ;)

      - j

    • I saw a little bias towards first-person shooters here.

      A *little* bias? Gimmie a break - these guys have the same tastes that I do (RPG and RTS), but there is a serious bias evident even to me. Plus a bias in terms of era of game play. You can see when the reviewers got into games, and what shaped their opinions.

      Incidently, it doesn't include arcade games or early pre-PC games. Besides the easy Pac-Man Defender and Dig Dug, I'd have to toss a few into the hat like the friggin' incredible Below the Root (Beneath the Root?), Rescue Rangers (that was the choplifter where you built an army, right?), Apple Panic (okay, I'm starting to date myself), Epoch (damn, that was an addictive game), MULE (Ok, I didn't like it, but it was a classic), and Jumpman (no, not Jumpman VGA, the original C64 version).

      Of course, they might have reasons (like a cut off date or something), but since I can't read the article...

      --
      Evan

    • RBI baseball is the best NES game ever :) Actually what is really funny is that my wife is in the other room playing ZELDA right now. I'm so glad I've kept my NES in good shape. Zelda, Super Mario 3, and RBI baseball get more playtime than my Playstation. Somehow all the 'neato graphics' lose a lot of ground on playability. Cool graphics can take you a long way, but if the gameplay sucks...
  • by MartinG (52587) on Sunday August 05, 2001 @10:38AM (#2126194) Homepage Journal
    ... to name but a few.

    Where are they?

    That list looked more to me like the best games in the last 10 years, not of all time.
  • by localroger (258128) on Sunday August 05, 2001 @10:55AM (#2126496) Homepage
    WHERE THE HELL IS PONG? Where are the Atari 2600 games?

    How can you name fifty games no less without mentioning some of the originals that invented the form? This list reads like a list of the "50 greatest songs of all time" all of which were recorded since 1960.

    Despite a couple of nods toward the C64 and Apple ][, this list is hopelessly 90's-oriented. "All-time" indeed! Where are...

    • SPACEWAR, the first video game EVER
    • PONG, PONG, PONG, and PONG variants like BREAKOUT, the first home video games EVER
    • TANK WAR for the 2600, still holds its own with any modern game for quick 2-person play
    • BATTLEZONE, first first-person 3d game EVER
    • SPACE INVADERS, ASTEROIDS, each owned the world for a couple of years
    Meanwhile I've never even heard of some of the games they nominated. Then again, I'm not a "gamer" any more -- guess I got it out of my system when we were still carving video games out of wooden blocks.
    • by Kupek (75469) on Sunday August 05, 2001 @11:23AM (#2122139)
      Well no shit you're not going to recognize the games if you don't play them anymore. If there was a "Top 50 Greatest Basketball Players of All Time" list, and you don't follow basketball, would you expect to recognize everyone on the list?

      I'd also like to point out there is a big difference between the greatest games of all time, and the most influential games of all time. A list of the influential games will likely have the games you're listing.

      • I'd also like to point out there is a big difference between the greatest games of all time, and the most influential games of all time. A list of the influential games will likely have the games you're listing.

        I'm posting late so I will get ignored, but...

        You are sadly missing the point that many of the games he mentions were great. Case in point: Pong. I play way too much video games and have been groosly interested in the topic for quite a while. And you are sadly mistaken to gloss over Pong. Pong is an amazing game in its own right. It is amazingly simple, but so is soccer when you think about it. And Pong has something that almost no other game has: it is perfect.

        Think about it. Think about the games you love. Any one of them could be improved upon: better AI, more balanced weapons, better thought-out multi-player, smoother game-play, more involving story-line, etc. None of this applies to pong. You could implement AI for it and Pong would gain 0 appeal. The same goes for the graphics. If they were better, they wouldn't be perfect. The original graphics are perfect because they are simple, effective and don't matter.

        Readers will think I am being funny. I am. But I truely believe what I just said: Pong is quite possibly the only perfect game in videogame history. (And in any case, how could a not-so-great gane become one of the most influential ever? Hogwash.)

        • You think Pong is great. I think it's just mindless fun.

          Also, if you're ever in the position to compare Pong to Final Fantasy VI, you know you're doing something wrong. They're both videogames, but they're entirely different in design and intent. Nobody does this with movies (compare movies from different genres), I guess people just do it with games because it's a younger industry, and much more of a niche.

          • Of course, I disagree with the idea that Final Fantasy is a game. A game involves strategic decision, with tradeoffs and non-linear development. Final Fantasy is a single plot-line, interspersed with puzzles and button-mashing. You're simply rewarded for pushing the right buttons with a little more of the story. Not that FF is not fun, it's just not a game, but an interactive movie in its current iteration.

            Read Game Architecture and Design [amazon.com] and see if you agree. I think we've lost sight of gaming with the advent of the interactive movie. That's why I stick to real, old-fashioned wargaming [wargamer.com].

            • It's a game alright. The battles require strategy. If you can't see that, I think you're being either elitist or difficult. And like I said, there is exploration involved.

              Pick up Final Fantasy Tactics, now that it's a Greatest Hits title for the PS (ugly green bar on the side, but it's only $20). It's essentialy souped-up chess. (Actually don't pick it up yet; they fucked up and the current press doesn't work.)

              • Right. Strategy. It's nothing more than a walk, click, walk, click. If you mess up, re-load your saved game and try to click right this time. Phbbbbbt!

                Of course, maybe I'm just being difficult. :)

      • A great game is not about having to memorize a bizarre collection of tools and terrain features and such to play on a landscape the size of Siberia. Some of the best games ever designed can be learned in minutes, but require years to master.

        The early games couldn't rely on the crutch of snazzy graphics to grab your attention so they were meticulously tuned for playability. The distance and speed torpedoes travelled, the EFX reward for explosions and captures, the size and brightness of images and responsiveness of controls, were all play-tested for months before a game was released to market. At a place like Atari, dozens or even hundreds of people might play a game for hours before it went out the door. All that feedback went back into making the game more playable.

        Today, games are built in closed shops which do not have these resources, and much of the resources they have are spent creating necessary artwork. Simple games of dexterity or strategy are simply not to be found. Doom is not a hopped-up Battlezone; it is another thing entirely. Wolfenstein 3D comes somewhere in between. But the closest you will get to Battlezone today is the Microsoft port, which doesn't play like the original. Sure, it looks like the original, but it doesn't play the same, especially when the missiles come out -- I should know, since in its heyday I could walk up to an arcade Battlezone machine and write my name vertically on the high score list.

        Game makers just don't pay attention to that fine-level play any more. Early games made awesome play out of limited graphics and CPU time. DigDug took a liability of early hardware -- difficulty of re-rendering the landscape after an object had passed and erased it -- and turned it into a play feature. (Lode Runner took this to the next level on the 8-bit home computer.)

        I trace the beginning of the death of game play to the Intellivision. Every console since has continued the trend -- immersiveness substitutes ever more for cleanness and simple play. A great game takes minutes to learn and a lifetime to master, but most of today's games are the other way around; by the time you can even get through them without cheat codes, they're lame and stale and you're ready for the next new even more immersive experience that will bore you just as fast.

        • while in general I agree with the post (well kinda), I feel the deep inner need to nitpick. :)

          At a place like Atari, dozens or even hundreds of people might play a game for hours before it went out the door. All that feedback went back into making the game more playable.

          and yes, this explains why on the 2600, Atari's Pac-Man did very well while Sierra On-Line's Jawbreaker (playtested by virtually nobody except a few geeks at Sierra) collapsed.

          I don't know about Lode Runner. (Which was an amazing game, much better than the horror which happened later, known as Super Mario.)

          That said, I don't know when it went bad. I also don't think there's anything wrong with immersiveness.

          The most immersive game I've ever played is Sid Maier's Alpha Centauri. It's intense. You get the what-do-you-mean-it's-sunrise effect.

          The next most immersive game, I think, was Paradroid. I played that for days sometimes. (Well nights anyway :) It didn't have flashy graphics (not by today's standards) - but it did have a very intense soundtrack (even if rather low-fi on '80s equipment). And it had a fairly high level of sophistication: although all the different parts of the game were basically speed & dexterity tests, they worked differently; in particular it took a bit to get the hang of the take-over challenge screen.

          the other games I miss are the construction games. Quake has tried to step up a bit with level editing, but it's just not the same. racing destruction set especially was an amazing game.

          which is another complaint about the green-hat (heh, anybody else notice a similarity to a specific open-source corporate logo there?) list. no racing games. none. geesh. I spent countless hours as a teenager playing great american cross-country road race. not really the greatest game ever, I don't even know who made it. (this was in the heyday of the underground. you just got disks with games on them, had to figure out what they were when you got them.)

          so anyway, tangent over, I hope. when it's all said and done, I like quake, and think it's probably the most radical thing to happen to gaming in the '90s (being as it basically introduced both OpenGL and TCP/IP gaming). what I find frustrating actually is that while gaming graphics have come very, very far in a short time, and we've seen some pretty major strides forward in the mainstream for networked play, there hasn't nearly been as much work done on either (a) simple games that function as a test of skill, or (b) storylines. I'd like to see a game on a DVD-ROM that uses the format to hold a whole world. why not?

          hmm, maybe it's time for me to get back into programming after all... :)

        • Blah blah blah, "kids these days don't know what real games are."

          In twenty years, someone will be saying the same thing about the games they grew up with. And that's the key, that's what you grew up with.

          You're also looking for a much different experience than I am. You want simple puzzle-like games. Personally, I want to search over something the size of Siberia; I love console RPGs, and get a big kick out of exploring these digital worlds the game designers have created.

          Before you preach about how games should be, stop to think that maybe what you want and what other people want from their games is entirely different.

  • by Mustang Matt (133426) on Sunday August 05, 2001 @10:17AM (#2127954)
    I didn't see Unreal at all. I haven't had much experience with quake and half life but Unreal and Unreal Tournament were pretty awesome games in my opinion. The first unreal inspired me to buy a voodoo2 and UT inspired me to buy an athlon and a GeForce and a T1.
  • My favorite game of all time is Electronic Arts's Mail Order Monsters [gamers.com]. You bought selected a body for your monster (arachnid, brontosaurus, hominid, amoeba, lyonbear, etc), improved its attributes (strength, life, armor, speed, muscle, and brain), added traits to it (photosynthesis, hands, tenticals, poison spit, etc), outfitted it with weapons and armor, and then sent it into battle.

    I spent many a day coming home from grade school, and wasting many an afternoon and evening playing as my mom put it "that mind numbing game".

  • A crime! (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by Have Blue (616)
    Marathon is #44! It deserves number 1! Or at least number 7...
  • Pong?!?! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Spy Hunter (317220) on Sunday August 05, 2001 @01:28PM (#2139898) Journal
    Dude, you guys yelling "Where's Pong?" need to get a clue! Pong is *not* one of the best games of all time! It gets kind of boring after a while. Pong was the first; it was influential, groundbreaking, innovative, visionary, and even fun in small doses. However, that doesn't make it the best game of all time. The best games are the ones that are the most fun!

    I think compiling a list of games that are more fun than Pong wouldn't be too hard. Now, if the list was of the most important games of all time, I'm sure Pong would top the list.

  • Blizzard has 3 'worlds', and 3 games in the top 10 all time: Starcraft, Diablo, and Warcraft II. For all you 'blah blah, such and such is behind warcraft II?' people, I'll first say that I loved Warcraft II. It is probably my 5th favorite game ever. But none of my favorites made the top 10 anyway. My list:
    1. Wizardry I-III (Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord, LL, etc, which I still play on occasion under Apple ][ emulator)
    2. Zork/Enchanter (I lump them as one, and yes, I still have my box sets)
    3. Eye of the Beholder I-II (which I still play on occasion)
    4. Sim City 2000 (which I wish I hadn't broke, I was SO addicted to this game)
    5. Ultima III (which I don't play anymore, although you can under Apple ][ emulator)
    6. Warcraft II
    One of the reasons I REALLY love Blizzard games (and no, I don't work for them) is that their hardware requirements vs. how great they look and play is absolutely right up there with the best in the 'biz'. Check out the hardware requirements for Starcraft or Diablo, probably a P-90. And I -loved- those games. Call me biased (bait) but I hate overloaded FPS games like Quake, UT, Daikatana, etc, etc. They take a P-300 and mega graphics cards to play. I'll stick with Blizzard and my trusty P-120, but I just might upgrade for Warcraft III :) And yes, I grew up on an Apple ][ playing Infocom and Sir-TECH games. I am a geek, of course.
  • by Phizzy (56929)
    Where is Legend of the Red Dragon? Can we not include our BBS Door-game brethren in this fine list?

    and how is Counterstrike not in the top ten.. tisk tisk.

    //Phizzy
    • Granted, LORD was an amazing game, but once you delve into the realm of BBS games, you simply can't do better than the MBBS version of Tradewars 2002. God, I wasted a lot of my life playing that...
  • by znark (77857)
    Here you can find almost the same thing looked from another angle: Amiga Report Top 100 Games Of All Time [datapart-as.no] .
  • I love FPS (Quake III for Linux--mmmm mmmm), and I understand that x86s and consoles are what most people think of nowadays when they think games, but still. Some of the best games I've played were Mac games; some Unix games. Here's my own list:
    • Marathon, Marathon II & Marathon Infinity

      Back when Doom was the big thing, Marathon came out. You actually had to aim up and down. Enemies would float down on you from above and behind. There were real puzzles. And the story! Never have a played a game with as engrossing a story. Marathon II took things up a notch, but wasn't as revolutionary. Marathon Infinity was a whole new story--a troubling and confusing one, at that. And Marathon still lives. There are tons of interesting mods (Tempus Irae, a Rennaissance Italy mod, is one of my favourites), and even an open source [bungie.org] (yes, that means Linux!) version. Marathon II had a Windows version; all other commercial version were Mac-only; the open source is Mac, Linux, Windows and BeOS.

    • Escape Velocity [ambrosiasw.com]

      Want an exploration game? Want to be a space trader (remember trading games?)? Want an arcade space combat game? Want to conquer the galaxy? Escape Velocity allowed one to do all that and more. An incredible engine, not in terms of graphics, but in terms of capabilities. Truly outside-the-box thinking, it was one of the real greats. It is Mac-only.

    • Angband [angband.org]

      First there was rogue. Then there was Moria. And then there was Angband. Expandable, extensible, just plain fun. It was winnable, too, which I cannot say for NetHack (which is in many ways a superior game, except that I spend all of my time on the first 6 levels) or Omega (I've just not played it enough).

    • Descent

      Another one that came out right around Doom. Doom (and Marathon) had a boring map type--walls went straight from floor to ceiling; all floors and ceilings were parallel. The player ran around killing things. Descent changed all that by offering a FPS with true spherical movement: the player flew through tunnels, able to turn in any direction, control pitch, yaw and elevation. The gameplay was incredible. I'm not certain why this genre has not caught on. In many ways, it's similar to a flight simulator, but with an arcade flavour. A ripping good time; I'm playing Descent III on Linux these days. Descent was originally offered for Mac and Windows boxes.

    • Contra

      I'm not certain why, but Contra was one of those games I could just play for hours and hours without end. I loved it deeply, and was awful at it. But man was it fun!

    Incidentally, when's slashdot going to support <dl>?

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