So, this week Nekochan and I present our individual lists for “top ten games of all time”. Our primary criteria for creating these lists was how often we found ourselves wanting to replay these games- our thinking was that the quality of the games were best measured by how much we wanted to play them over and over again. So, without further ado, here are Nekochan and No Moshing’s dueling top ten lists for best games of all time.
(Nekochan’s picks are before the slash, NoMoshing’s pics are after)
10: Shadow Madness / Mario Kart 64
Nekochan: This is a deeply, deeply flawed game, I get that. But the dialogue and story earned it multiple playthroughs from me which is a bit of feat considering there are no branching paths or classes. I just like the story and the world that much.
NoMoshing: My choice was pretty simple- the first Mario Kart was great, but Mario Kart 64 was taking that same central concept and honing it to perfection. After Mario Kart 64, Nintendo would start adding weird features and new kinds of racing craft, but I really do think that 64 was the purest and best game in the series.
9: Star Fox / Sengoku Rance
Nekochan: This pick is a bit of a sentimental one since it’s the game my late father and I would take turns playing. Also the launch of the Ar wings and the Corneria theme gets me every. single. time.
NoMoshing: Sengoku Rance is easily the greatest H-game of all time. The art is strong, the mechanics are deep and involving, the basic game is hard but rewarding, but maxing out your stars and getting all the routes and bonuses requires mastery. And on top of all that, Alicesoft added on a Samurai Warriors Empires-esque conquest mode when they didn’t even have to. Now, if only they didn’t depict a ten year old getting raped….
8: Final Fantasy VI (III, fucking whatever) / Brutal Legend
Nekochan: There are very few lists that don’t have FF3, and I’m probably preaching to the choir here.
NoMoshing: This might seem like an odd pick in my list, given how poorly it did with critics and the public, but I feel that was mostly a marketing issue. But Brutal Legend has a lot going for it- a customizable ride, a huge, gorgeously-realized world done with a unique style, a killer soundtrack, and Jack Black. I could just drive around listening to the radio and looking at the world for hours if I wanted to. Also, it’s probably the best RTS on consoles at the time… not a prestigious list, considering that Halo Wars is #2, but unlike Halo Wars combat in Brutal Legend is fun.
7: Final Fantasy IX / Katamari Damacy
Nekochan: Now this I think I have to justify more, especially since I placed it higher than FFVI. When I was debating the order of FFIX and VI, it just occurred to me that I enjoy the characters more. (Especially Beatrix and Steiner) Also if given the option to replay both, I’m more likely to pick this one.
NoMoshing: Katamari Damacy is probably the best party game out there. I don’t mean for it’s lackluster multiplayer- I mean for the fact that it’s a fun game to watch, cheer on whoever is at the controls, and just see the fucked up little scenes that are scattered through every level. Plus, the music is rad.
6: Breath of Fire IV / Quest for Glory II: Trial by Fire
Nekochan: While Breath of Fire II has more nostalgia feels for me, I preferred the overall story in IV and watching the arc of both protagonists. When Fou-lu decides to wreck everything, I was pretty much like, yeah if I that happened to me I’d be ready to break everything too. And then Nina’s sister. Also Ershin. Thank you Ershin. So many feels. Cray is also a cutey. His tail looks so fuzzy!
NoMoshing: The entire Quest for Glory series is worth a playthrough (except QfG V, which is really too bad because it sounds like it have some awesome ideas behind it- damn you executive meddling!) but QfG II is probably the best one. The last and greatest of the parser interface games, it has surprisingly gorgeous art, an awesome Arabian Nights-style setting, cool puzzles and fun characters. Also, X-ray glasses. Can’t forget those.
5: Katamari Damacy / Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4
Nekochan: Naaa-na-na-na-na-na-na Katamari Damacy!
NoMoshing: The latter Persona games have achieved something really special. It’s rare to see a game that asks you to get emotionally involved with it’s characters, then pulls it off masterfully. I pick Persona 4 over 3 because as good as 3 was, there are too many glaring flaws I won’t get into here. Persona 4 has less emphasis on grinding, all of your party members have social links and interesting conflicts to get involved in, the overarching plot is deeply involving. Now if only there was some way to mod the game so that Teddie was dropped out entirely.
4: Super Mario RPG / Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem
Nekochan: I remember I had a hell of a time convincing my parents this game exists. “Mario is a platforming game Nekochan, it’s not one of those weird RPGs you play.” Square did a damn good job making an RPG feel like a Mario game by using timed-hits, platforming elements in dungeons and making sure Mario never, ever spoke. (Mario is the best mime.) I also like it when Bowser throws Mario. =)
Also, put Geno in Smash Bros already. (I know there are legal issues, I don’t care.)
NoMoshing: I was tempted to put a Silent Hill game in my top ten, because many of the Silent Hill games are of extremely high quality. However, Eternal Darkness hits a note that the SH series misses- it is a fun game. Not that Silent Hill can’t be fun, it’s just that fun takes a back seat to the scares. Eternal Darkness is scary but also fun, each character brings a different experience in terms of mechanics, the plot is engrossing, and the game knows when to crack a joke.
3: Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver / Final Fantasy III
Nekochan: Good god damn that voice acting. If I could I would hire Michael Bell and Simon Templeton to hang around me and narrate shit. The plot is pretty damn good – nice revenge plot. Story gets a lot more confusing later and lacks a proper resolution. *sigh* Also stabbing vampires with a pike is freakishly satisfying for me. Just that sound of it striking home and the vampire’s last gurgled cry. Saved me a lot in therapy bills.
NoMoshing: First of all, fuck that “FF6” nonsense. Many games receive name changes when they come from Japan, and also the Japanese FF3 is kind of a piece of shit. Why does the good game have to change? The game I played over and over again was called Final Fantasy III. Anyway, the game starts with Cliche RPG Plot #2- evil empire taking over the world with magic power that was obtained through inhuman means. The first half of the game gets by based on interesting characters, engaging combat and nifty individual sequences. But then the game does the unthinkable- you lose. The world is destroyed, the bad guy wins, and the characters are scattered to the four winds. The rest of the game is a free roaming exploration of a post-apocalyptic world, where you try to pick up where you left off and see if there’s some hope you can salvage in a world after the end. Fantastic.
2: Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past / Dragon Age: Origins
Nekochan: “Zelda is your -” What!!! She’s what?! Sister? Damn that’s hot.
This game was never far from my SNES as a kid. I perfected it. Completed the whole thing, and found all the things through sheer brute force. (No Gamefaqs at that time) Then I beat the shit outta Ganon. Still my favourite Zelda game (second place is probably Wind Waker. [Ed. Note: Nekochan is crazy and Wind Waker is actually one of the worst Zelda games])
NoMoshing: What I said about Persona 4 goes double for Dragon Age. Dragon Age asks you to get really invested in it’s cast, and then rocks it with a spectacular party of characters. On top of that, it’s a refreshing shake-up of Tolkien fantasy tropes, has some pretty cool game sequences, and the emphasis on politics as well as adventuring makes for some interesting decisions. The lack of a morality mechanic of any kind really lets you role play your character- making your decisions and dealing with the consequences without being rated on a scale or having your options arbitrarily limited by a statistic. Plus, the end-game sequence where you take back Denerim from the Darkspawn is one of the single greatest stand-up-and-cheer awesome moments in video games history.
1: Chrono Trigger
Nekochan: Oh no, shock and surprise, this game at the top of yet another list. It shows up so damn often for a reason. If you haven’t played it, forgo all else and play it.
NoMoshing: Again, I think most of you know why this game is up here. If not, you badly need to play it- even if you have to steal it. I don’t normally advocate piracy, but unless you have fat stacks you probably won’t be able to afford the original cartridge. I guess there have been a couple re-releases, but I think the original is best. I remember how my jaw dropped when I first saw Chrono Trigger’s eyecatch, which is still a masterpiece.
So, do you agree? Which list do you think is superior? Or do you think we’re full of shit and missed something huge? Hit the comments section and let us know!