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Compiling a list of the top 200 games of all time is an undertaking. Favorites are missed, sequels are argued, and friendships are strained. Naturally, some games that I thought would be shoe-ins for the top 200 ended up on the floor of the GI vault, discarded until reconsidered for another list. I chose to scoop up those abandoned titles and pay tribute to them in the form of a list. My list. These are the 10 games I thought should have been in the top 200.Here they are in no particular order:Sonic 3 & Knuckles (Genesis, 1994)It‘s impossible for me to divide this amazing platforming masterpiece into two independent titles. Originally developed as one entire saga, Sonic 3 & Knuckles was fragmented into two separate projects because Sonic Team was on a strict schedule. The result was mind-blowing lock-on technology, which provided a Knuckles-packed augmentation to the already stellar Sonic 3. Fans of the series newcomer even had the ability to play through Sonic 2 as the edgy echidna. Anybody who claims that Sonic 2 is the best Sonic game never played through these two games back-to-back. Blazing through Sonic 3 and collecting all the chaos emeralds, only to then begin collecting the hyper emeralds and morph into Hyper Sonic or Knuckles was a dream for any fan of the series. Sonic 3 & Knuckles was such a massive experience that it truly instilled appreciation for the built-in save function. Not enough for you? How about a Doomsday battle against Dr. Robotnik in space? It was the apex of the series, and has become the standard to which I judge all other Sonic games.Banjo Kazooie (N64, 1998)Banjo Kazooie is one of the most fun, polished platforming games of all time. This N64 gem’s endearing characters, immersive worlds, and straight-forward item collection gave Mario 64 a run for its money in terms of gameplay variety. I was enamored with the game from the moment I popped the promo VHS into the VCR and heard Jon Lovitz’s voice insist I beg my parents for it. The game has aged surprisingly well, and is available on Xbox Live Arcade if you’re in doubt of the Rare’s ability to contend with Nintendo’s first-party quality in the past.Resident Evil (GameCube, 2002)The original Resident Evil made our top 200 games list, and deservedly so. However, there is no doubt that the GameCube remake was by far a superior title. Shocking both newcomers to the series and veterans alike, the game’s beautifully rendered backgrounds and creepy environments made every cautious footstep through the Raccoon mansion feel like your own. Capcom’s reimagining deserves a spot on the list just for successfully playing off well known scares from the original game and put a twist on them, such as a window cracking where an infected dog is expected to smash through. If new fans of RE4 and RE5 want to experience traditional, pure survival horror they should look no further than the remake.Earthworm Jim (Genesis, 1994)If ever there were a contender to usurp Sonic from his Genesis mascot-dom, it was Earthworm Jim. Zany, hilarious action practically overflowed from the little black cartridge. From escort missions involving a cuddly dog who turned into a raging beast if provoked to intergalactic wormhole races against Psycrow, Earthworm Jim was packed with something new in every level. Don’t dare think this was a watered-down, cartoony kid’s game either, as the spacesuited- megadrile’s shootouts offered a high degree of challenge to unsuspecting gamers. If you want to experience early ‘90s wackiness in condensed game form, this is it.Rogue Squadron (N64, 1998)At the time of its release, Rogue Squadron for the N64 was the best Star Wars game ever made. Expanding on the snowspeeder Hoth battle in Shadows of the Empire, this LucasArts title boasted polished third-person perspective flight set in iconic Star Wars locales. Taking full advantage of the N64’s expansion pack, the game was a visual-marvel to behold. Piloting the X-Wing, Millennium Falcon, and various other starships set to charming MIDI-esque versions of John William’s score is and experience nestled snugly in my memory.Bionic Commando (NES, 1988)NES platforming games revolving around jumping are a dime a dozen. What made Bionic Commando stand out was that it successfully managed fun, varied platforming with a protagonist whose vertical ups make Danny Devito look like Shaq (yeah, that joke contained both Danny Devito and Shaq - in theaters soon). Latching on to ledges and swinging through levels was an absolute blast, and blowing away Nazi-wannabes all the while made the experience even better. This game deserves a spot on the list for its incredible music alone. Bionic Commando is just another example of Capcom’s 2D domination.River City Ransom (NES, 1999)Genre-blending seems to be the talk of the town these days. River City Ransom already integrated two unique game types way back in the NES days. Who would’ve guessed that RPG elements would have fit so seamlessly into a side-scrolling brawler? In the game, conquered foes barfed coins that could be spent to unlock new fighting moves at local shops and restore health. The idea of grinding some cash by fighting a bunch of bad guys in a brawler was a genius way to spice up the mindless pugilism. River City Ransom’s smooth genre synergy remains to be seen in the brawler/RPG circuit even today.Ghosts ‘n Goblins (NES, 1985)Yeah, it’s another Capcom game. Ghosts ’n Goblins was definitely one of those games. Hordes of foes combined with the ability to absorb only a few blows resulted in a truly punishing, yet rewarding experience. Few games have managed to replicate the “aww, you gotta be kidding me…” moment of Ghosts ‘n Goblins false ending. Yes, after lancing the hell out of all those zombies, you were forced to do it all over again, only it’s harder. This would have resulted in more smashed controllers if the game wasn’t so damned fun.Final Fantasy (NES, 1987)Sure, it may not be the best game in the series, but as far as reshaping the video game landscape goes this game can’t be ignored. Final Fantasy received its name because it was perceived to be struggling developer Square’s last game. The classic RPG swansong went on to be a hit in both the Western and Eastern markets, acting as a shot in the arm to the still-budding console-RPG scene. It may be hard to imagine a world without RPGs inspired by Final Fantasy, let alone without Square Enix, but such would have been the case without Final Fantasy.Super Mario Land 2: Six Golden Coins (GB, 1992)Mario’s second full-fledged Game Boy title was the defining platformer for Nintendo’s new handheld. Emulating some of the best aspects of Super Mario World, the game featured a detailed, secret path-laden world map, detailed character sprites, unique power-ups, and fun boss fights. Super Mario land 2 also marked the first appearance of iconic Mario villain man-child, Wario. The sheer amount of Nintendo-magic stuffed into that tiny square cartridge ensured it would stay wedged in many a Gameboy for a very long time.Agree? Disagree? Hate Sonic? Post your comments below.
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I completely agree with Earthworm Jim and Final Fantasy
Yeah. Earthworm should have made it.
i actually was just handed my new game informer. i got the Doom cover.
i have yet to get the issue in the mail
The Legend of Zelda: Windwaker?! COME ON!
and by the way... it's gta III not doom!
I agree with all, especially Ghosts & Goblins. That game is far too under appreciated.
All of these people agree that Sonic and Knuckles should not be on the list.
@ Reiner: Funny!!
Yea....Personally I never really got into the Sonic games...but the TV show?! Now THAT was bad cartooning at it's greatest! The list that came out for the top 200 was excellent, and as far as I'm concerned there were a couple of my favs that didn't make it, but seeing the rest of them it's understandable. What people need to remember is that it's not about the one with the best graphics or most copies sold - it's the games that basically revolutionized the gaming industry and made it what it is today.
Sonic and Knuckles was hands down one of the greatest platformers ever made, and superior to the original Sonic in every way. It was the only omission from the list I thought was really glaring. I realize influence was part of the decision making process, which was why I begrudgingly accepted FFVII being placed before X. But other than selling the Genesis, for the life of me I can't see how Sonic in general has been that influential.
I would have to disagree with Final Fantasy. An excellent title, don't get me wrong. But it was still an excellent generic low fantasy archetype. The elements that made Final Fantasy so influential and unique didn't really surface until the SNES. I could not agree more with Final Fantasy VI (III) being placed in the top ten. Anyone who appreciates deep plots and characters in games owes FFVI a huge debt.
Ghosts N Goblins and Earthworm Jim were great ones. Can't say I agree with the others.
RE and FF definitely. O_O
Hmmm, I only played one of those games. I'll vouch for FF.
What? No Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards? Psh.
First I am mad that these 2 games did not make the list: Final fantasy 7. It brought the Sony playstation to one of the most sold console of all times, and allow us to see what is the possibility of console. I think anyone who ever play it have broke the 100 hours mark in the game.
Then there is Xenogear: One of the most controversial anti-religion game of all time. It was an eye opener for anyone who could get a copy and play it. The beautiful story line. The social class different they create relate to history. The blindness people follow religion and how far they willing to go to prove their believe. Or the fact that love can spans many lifetime. The depth of that game is so deep you can play it over and over and each time find something new and see life differently. You can compare the religious fanatic to today religious fanatic, terrorists. I believe at the time there was a ban in America because a lot of people play the game will think of religion as conspiracy. It not often a game is exciting to play but make you question your believe systems.
SO yeah I think they deserve to be on the list.
Final Fantasy VII is #15.
Was Crash and the Boys a spin-off of River City Ransom? I've never heard of River City Ransom but I played the hell out of Crash and the Boys for the NES. I loved that game and not only do the graphics look similar (that picture you posted actually looks like Crash) but buying new moves with coins taken from people you beat up was a similar mechanic in the game.
I agree with most of them. How Ghosts and Goblins wasn't in there is beyond me lol
River City Ransom should have been on the list peroid. I can still pick it up and play it. A lot like Double Dragon it was the first game of its kind that kept track of character statistics and allowed the player to enter shops to but items that improved them. It was one of first non turned based RPG's made that was set in an urban environment. There were more than a few games on the list that were nothing more than clones of their previous versions that should have been left out. They obviosly didn't spend too much time on the list to have left out this and RESIDENT EVIL!!! GI just say you dropped the ball on this one. WE don't wanna hear "There are obviosly too many great games to have had room for all of them on the top 200 list." No you dropped the ball on this one.
Several Resident Evils made the list, including the original. I'm just a huge fan.