This is part 2 of a 3 part list – The first covering Nintendo, and the last will cover Windows PC, Mobile, and Sega. I’d recommend starting there for the first 55 games, and For now though, lets enjoy the wonders of what Sony and Microsoft have offered over the years with the next 45 games I’d recommend you take into a bunker with you to endure the fallout of our inevitable Trumpacylpse. If you read the first post, the following is largely unchanged if you want to skip to the good stuff and scroll down to the list.
Lists are hard. You try your damnedest to round out to whatever number sounds good to you but something always seems off. Raise the number to include more then it feels like filler. Rattle off what’s already been established and what’s the point? Sure I could just print a list of the best video games ever. How different would that list really be though? As time goes forward we seem to further homogenize our views of what’s worth playing and what’s not into a cycling list of the same few games, just in a new order. Still I read them all and scrutinize despite knowing the strings involved behind the curtain. I can’t deny that I love making lists though so I decided to give myself a challenge. It started as listing a few scribbles on paper and grew into this semi-complete list of 140 games that sit before you now. Criteria and rules?
- 5 games per system/designation. IE; Gameboy Color = Gameboy, and PC is broken down by decades starting in the 80’s.
- Unless there’s a paradigm shift in how the game is played, one entry per series across all platforms
- The list should compose of games that highlight the variety of the system, not necessarily “the best”.
- Subnote – if I didn’t create this rule, virtually every choice of mine would have been RPGs
- The games must be approachable in their current state today in 2017, not as they were at release.
- Some games don’t age well and because of this will not be included.
- This also means games that were amazing with a multiplayer focus may have been lobbed off
- I’m going off of NA releases, and heavily bent towards games I have either first or second hand experience with. Sorry, no “but this limited print of an import JRPGs that influenced everything ever and OMG HOW DID YOU NOT INCLUDE THIS ON YOUR LIST”. Tangible, real, accessible games only.
By all means, feel free to state your arguments as to what should/shouldn’t make the cut. Just remember this isn’t a “best games for the platform” as much as it is a “this is why this platform was great”. The five games are unranked and represent a set to be plopped down in front of a group of players that’ve never experienced it in hopes of highlighting the range offered by that platform. That being said, these lists are meant to compliment one another and if you isolate them it might be confusing to why these games were chosen. A good example of this is you won’t find Super Mario 64 (OMG WHY?!) – Because I felt Super Mario Galaxy better represented the Wii yet the two games are similar enough to not need both games muddling up the lists.
Without further ramblings – Let’s get to the meat and potatoes of it all now. The lists of games and a bit about them… For part two we’ll be looking at Sony and Microsoft’s catalog of platforms.
I’ve had a long history of spending hours with handheld gaming. Thinking on it I’d have to say it goes all the way back to the original GameBoy. I’m sure for most that’s where it starts in one form or another. Nintendo really put some legs on that machine, stretching it out until 2001 when they finally released a successor in the form of GameBoy Advance. For some perspective on just how incredibly long of a shelf life it had, before transitioning to complete support of the GBA Nintendo had sold the original NES, SNES, N64, and GameCube while selling original GameBoy games. Sure there was a flurry of redesigns with the GameBoy Color, GameBoy Light, and GameBoy Pocket – All of which were spruced up form factors that shared the same gaming library. Nintendo established a firm lock on the handheld market and created a rich legacy of portable experiences. Several other companies tried to jump in with their own offerings, all of which were met with weak sales before eventual abandonment. Atari Lynx, Sega GameGear, Tiger’s Game.Com, Bandai WonderSwan, and the side talking Nokia N-Gage to name a few.
There’s a good reason why Nintendo has held the market as tightly as they did. Personally I have a ton of fond memories with the original GameBoy. Even before Pokemon took the world by storm, I dumped tons of hours into both of the Super Mario Lands, Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, and Tetris. That torch carried into the GBA’s remodel (the GBA SP) as it was the only system I owned for awhile. I remember spending countless nights playing Final Fantasy Tactics Advance or one of several SNES era ports/spiritual sequels like Metroid Zero Mission or Mario Kart Super Circuit. Nintendo always stacked a potent and varied catalog of games that pulled you into that tiny sub-3″ screen. Speaking of which having a backlit screen and rechargeable lithium-ion battery made it the perfect solution to play in bed. Eventually they had to lose some steam though and the DS released to an eager audience with no new content. Thankfully Nintendo had the foresight to include the ability to play GameBoy and GameBoy Advance cartridges to help carry new owners through that drought. It wasn’t until the DS Lite launched that it really caught fire by it’s own right and eventually grew to become the best selling handheld system of all time at 154m units sold. Between the DS and the Wii, Nintendo was banking enough money to buy an island made of pure gold. Times were good and Nintendo remained untouchable in the handheld space. There’s always another side to every tale though…
This is something we’ve all heard before. Usually at the start of a system’s life it’s the initial barrier of entry. The Vita has “no games”. The Wii U has “no games”. Now the PS4/Xbox One have “no unique games”. There’s always some weird qualifier to discredit what IS available on a system. Grand Theft Auto 5 is a perfect example, it “doesn’t count” because it’s available on other platforms. Or because it’s a remaster. Or because the wind is blowing east. It really comes down to whoever is making their case skewing the details to reinforce the image of X platform isn’t worth owning. What it (should) all boil down to is the game available on the system, and have you (personally) played it before? Because I’m not sure about you, but there are about a billion games that I should have played per critics and friends that I just never found time to get to. GTA5 is in that category. So why shouldn’t I add that to the pile of reasons for me to own my PS4?
I realize this isn’t any great epiphany that fanboys gonna fanboy. It’s still fresh on my mind though as this week saw a blowout of content on PS4. I mean, just look at all this:
- Tell Tales’ Game of Thrones Episode 3
- Life is Strange Episode 2
- Borderlands: Handsome Collection
- Slender: The Arrival
- Metal Slug 3
There is probably over 100 hours of quality gaming in there. A lot of people will run down that list and without ever trying the game just write it off though as “nope, not into that kind of game”, running with a bias they formed years ago off a remotely similar game. Which whatever, that’s fine if you want to ignore a new experience. What that means this is really coming down to isn’t “There aren’t any games on X!“, but really “there aren’t any games that I want to give a try on X“. If that’s the case, maybe it’s time you start to try something new?