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I suppose I'll jump on the gravy train and serve up a blog post about my top ten favorite games of all time. I feel I must warn you, though: I have no idea how to page break in this editor.
Now I'll tell you that despite the title, these entries are mostly a ways off from the bandwagon. But the fact of the matter is that despite whether or not a game is good, a large majority of these have earned a spot solely based on the memories they've given me. Now without further ado, here's my craptacular taste in games.
10. Spyro (2): Ripto's Rage! - PlayStation One
Game Rankings - 86.57%
I can still remember the good old days when I'd get home from school and sit on my dad's lap to play Spyro. Insomniac is my all time favorite game studio, and they caught me at an early age with this friendly purple dragon on the PS1. Not only did it show some of the first signs of Insomniac's ingenious level design, but it's also in my mind the first game to hold their signature sense of humour. Sure Disruptor and the original Spyro were great starting points, but Spyro 2 just knocked things out of the park.
9. Mario Kart DS - Nintendo DS
Game Rankings - 91.19%
Oh, how can I not include a Mario Kart game? Releasing almost a year after the handhled itself, MKDS was one of the system's first mega hit games. Mario Kart DS was everything we wanted in a Mario Kart game and then some. Be it the inclusion of online multiplayer, the amazing original and returning tracks, or the beginning of ROB's comeback, Nintendo fed it right into our gaping mouths. I must admit, however, that this game makes my list solely for DS download and local multiplayer. Eight player races in the morning schoolyard have to be among the most awesome bonding experiences I've ever had with friends.
8. Okami - PlayStation 2/Wii
Game Rankings - 92.42%
Now this is an interesting one. This just happens to be the only game in my top ten that I have yet to finish, and for that very reason I don't have all that much to say about it. But this original twist on the classic Zelda formula is a winner anyway you slice it (except in retail *rimshot*). Absolutely charming for the very beginning and doubtlessly beautiful. You have every reason to care.
7. Pokemon Red/Blue - Game Boy
Game Rankings - 88.93%
I honestly hope I don't have to explain this one. Any gamer worth their salt has picked up a Pokemon game at least once in their life, and most become completely enamored from that point on. The cultural explosion Pokemon caused in the 90's is enough to get it on the list based on influence, but Blue version also happens to be the first game I ever owned. The game still haunts me today with the fact that I was never able to catch 'em all.
6. Final Fantasy Tactics Advance - Game Boy Advanced
Game Rankings - 87.64%
Ever wish you could just get away from life? Well that's what Tactics Advance did to me. I sunk countless hours into this game as a wee pre-teen (which as we know, is when the angst starts building anyhow). The incredibly diverse mission structure and addictive turn-based battles kept me coming night after night, and the believable characters and story made me wish I could stay with my new friends forever.
5. Mega Man Battle Network 3 White - Game Boy Advanced
Game Rankings - 77.91%
Now this is the one above all that I expect to get flak for. Why in the world would Capcom choose to remove the Blue Bomber's classic action-platform mechanics in favor of a grinding RPG? Because it's still fun. Gameplay is generally Pokemon-esque with you walking through a HUB world and completing objectives. But when virus busting time comes, things get intense. And this was only made even more so by the thousands of link matches (and countless link cables wasted) between my friends and I year after year.
4. Super Smash Bros Melee - GameCube
Game Rankings - 89.52%
The picture says it all, I think. This is yet another game that made tons of bonding time between my friends and I. The whole series in fact holds a special place in my heart. The original Smash was the first game I ever played, and the months and updates leading up to Brawl's release always gave us something to talk about. But nothing can match the numerous parties and sleepovers had over Melee, even if I do kinda suck at it.
3. Ratchet and Clank: Going Commando - PlayStation 2
Game Rankings - 90.54%
Also known as: not Up Your Arsenal. A year before the much fawned-over UYA hit the PS2, Going Commando was already setting the standard. It improved upon everything wrong with the first game and raised expectations for the next installment in the series. Going Commando placed our heroes in the shoes of typical space-marines, poking fun at even its own premise. Here is where the Ratchet and Clank series hit its peak in humour. Here is were the groundwork was laid for the gravity mechanics that made Super Mario Galaxy great. Here is where you can turn robots into *** sheep.
2. Bioshock - PC/PS3/Xbox 360
Game Rankings - 94.99%
Bioshock had balls. It didn't bother dumbing itself down to cater to the typical FPS crowd. Ken Levine and 2K knew what was important and told everything else to bugger off. Bioshock melded some of the most important aspects of a game; immersion, gameplay, and story; and melded them into one big bundle of awesome. Bioshock didn't need multiplayer to face off against Halo 3 and Call of Duty 4. It had enough substance in twelve hours to effortlessly hold its own against those juggernauts.
1. Psychonauts - PC/PS2/Xbox
Game Rankings - 90.21%
Anyone who has ever spoken to me could've seen this coming from a mile away. That screenshot alone sums up why I love the game. It was different. But not really, it was still familiar. Tim Schafer brought his usual spark of genius to Double Fine's first project and received mounds of critical praise. The level design and variety are among some of the best I've ever seen in a game, and the platforming is as tight as any other game out there. Couple that with an utterly charming teenage love story and you've got yourself my favorite game of all time.