Video games have been on my mind lately, so I’ve decided to rank my personal top ten of all-time. This isn’t a comprehensive list, because I haven’t owned all of the major video game systems. The games that make my list will be those on the systems that I’ve owned – NES, Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64, PlayStation 2, and GameCube. Let me know what you think of my list.
10. Contra – Nintendo
Without question, one of my favorite games as a kid. It was one of the games that I played through over and over again. Contra had one of the best video game weapons ever – the Spread Gun. It also has one of the best cheat codes ever. You gotta love up, up, down, down, left, right, left right, B, A, select, start.
9. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 – PlayStation 2/GameCube
This is another game that has great repeat playability. There are so many tasks to try and complete within each level that you could play for hours and not complete all of them. If you got tired of that, then you just played to try and beat your best scores for each level. Very fun game.
8. Super Mario Bros. 3 – Nintendo
In my opinion, Super Mario Bros. 3 was the best of the Mario games released for the original NES. The original was great, the second was definitely different, but still fun, but the third was the best. Mario 3 added some new fun elements like the ability to fly, and also had the map screen, which was a new element.
7. Super Mario World – Super Nintendo
Super Mario World, the first Mario offering for Super Nintendo, took the best of Mario 3 and made it even better. In this game, you really felt like you were on a quest. The overworld map was engaging and added to the feel of trying to reach an ultimate destination. The game play was also improved with new enemies and power-ups. A really fun game.
6. (tie) Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City – PlayStation 2
Wow, the Grand Theft Auto games are awesome. Such a great combination of mission-based gaming and freestyle gaming. Both aspects of the game are equally engaging. If you got frustrated with a difficult mission, you can just take a break and go steal some cars and reek some havoc.
5. Goldeneye 007 – Nintendo 64
I’ll admit, I was tempted to put this game number one on my list. I probably spent more hours playing this game in college than any other. In my opinion, the multiplayer mode is the best ever, even to this day. I like it more than Halo even. Another great thing about the game is that the storyline actually very closely follows the movie plot line. I love this game.
4. Super Mario 64 – Nintendo 64
This game was magic. I remember getting a Nintendo 64 for Christmas and playing this game for the first time. It was a totally new and awesome gaming experience. The controls were brand new, but they were easy to pick up and added a new dimension to the Mario experience. This was quite a quantum leap for gaming.
3. Super Metroid – Super Nintendo
This was another game that I could have put in the top spot. This was probably the best 2D side-scrolling game ever. Super Metroid had some great weapons, a vast world to explore, and some of the best bosses ever. This is definitely a game I could pick up right now and play again.
2. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time – Nintendo 64
This is the game that seems to top “top video game” lists all the time, but it takes the number two spot in my list. Next to Goldeneye, this was the game that wasted the most of my time during college. I spent hours exploring the vast world that was created for this iteration of the Zelda series. This game looked and felt a lot like Super Mario 64, but it was better, better, better. The graphics were better, the story was better, and the action was better. It also has some of the best music in any game ever.
1. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past – Super Nintendo
And the top spot goes to A Link to the Past. This game pushed the Super Nintendo to its limit. Like Ocarina of Time, this Zelda game had a terrific story, and was truly an addictive experience. The dual light and dark worlds added a whole new level of intrigue and difficulty to the puzzle solving aspect of the game. I can’t wait to get a Wii so I can go back and play all of these great games.
Super Mario Kart – Super Nintendo
The Legend of Zelda – Nintendo
Street Fighter II – Super Nintendo
Mario Kart 64 – Nintendo 64
Pilotwings – Super Nintendo
Super Monkey Ball – GameCube