Top 10 Best “Top 10 Best Video Games of All Time” Lists (of All Time)

 

10: Edge Magazine (2000)

10 – Super Mario World

9 – Half-Life

8 – Street Fighter 2 Turbo

7 – The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

6 – Quake 2

5 – Gran Turismo 2

4 – Tetris

3 – Goldeneye 007

2 – Super Mario 64

1 – The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Why it’s a good list: Though you won’t see too many professional outlets placing Gran Turismo 2 or Quake 2 so highly on lists like this anymore, they help add to the sense of variety present in Edge’s first-ever such list.

Zelda and Mario take top honors – as was a trend with Edge until their most recent list – with their finest 2D entries also cracking the top 10 along with Street Fighter 2 to add some old school merit.

Console, PC, some (then) newer entries and golden oldies. Edge’s first is still a solid list.

9: GamePro (2005)

10 – Super Smash Bros. Melee

9 – Halo 2

8 – Metal Gear Solid

7 – Street Fighter 2

6 – Super Mario Bros. 3

5 – The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

4 – Super Mario 64

3 – Final Fantasy VII

2 – Goldeneye 007

1- Resident Evil 4

Why it’s a good list: Every game represented is generally held in high regard even today. There’s a good mix of old and (then) new titles that compliment each other.

Goldeneye may not have aged too gracefully, but there’s no denying its importance to multiplayer gaming and the FPS genre. The other games listed also showcase a range of innovation and influence (not to mention fun) from over the years.

It is a bit iffy that its number one game was released just a few months before the list was made, which seems a bit of a bold claim for the time, but at least now, over ten years later, Resident Evil 4 is still widely considered a classic. So this list has actually become more credible with age.

8: IGN (2003)

10 – Street Fighter 2

9 – Final Fantasy VI

8 – X-COM: UFO Defense

7 – StarCraft

6 – The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

5 – Super Mario 64

4 – Tetris

3 – Super Metroid

2 – The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

1 – Super Mario Bros.

Why it’s a good list: I can imagine many a disgruntled teenager groaning at the number of Nintendo games in the top five. But it would be hard to argue the timeless appeal the Nintendo games listed have had, considering they still rank highly in these kinds of lists to this day.

We also get some other flavors added with the likes of Street Fighter 2, Final Fantasy VI, and PC titles StarCraft and X-COM (which seems to be the “relatively obscure” selection here).

I do admit the list seems to show a bit of Nintendo favoritism, but really I think they were aiming for impact and timelesness. Once again, given the selections, that’s a bit difficult to argue.

7: Electronic Gaming Monthly (2002)

10 – Super Mario World

9 – Final Fantasy VI

8 – The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

7 – The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask

6 – Soul Calibur

5 – Super Mario 64

4 – Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

3 – The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

2 – Tetris

1 – Super Metroid

Why it’s a good list: Though some might cry foul for “too much Zelda,” I will once again emphasize that these are supposed to be lists of bests, not a hugfest for every series. Besides, all three Zeldas represented showcase the versatility of the series, with A Link to the Past being the most beloved 2D entry, Ocarina of Time bringing the series to 3D, and Majora’s Mask taking the series in bold and creative new directions.

Elsewhere, Super Metroid takes the cake, while the second half of “Metroidvania,” Symphony of the Night, cracks the top 5 along with the revolutionary Super Mario 64 and Tetris, as well as the aforementioned A Link to the Past. We also have a fighting game (Soul Calibur), an RPG (FFVI) and the timeless Super Mario World in tow.

Not to mention Majora’s Mask was the most recent game on there, and seeing as it was two years old when this list was made, it seemed to go against the weird trend that these lists tend to have of listing a months-old game in the top 10.

Go ahead and bemoan “too much Zelda” all you want, these selections are hard to argue.

6: Edge Magazine (2007)

10 – Super Metroid

9 – Tetris

8 – Final Fantasy XII

7 – Halo: Combat Evolved

6 – The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

5 – Super Mario World

4 – Half-Life 2

3 – Super Mario 64

2 – Resident Evil 4

1 – The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Why it’s a good list: Of Edge Magazine’s varying lists of best games ever, this one seems to most combine the concepts of influence and general entertainment value (subsequent lists would focus solely on “most fun to play today” concepts).

First I should point out that no, I didn’t mistake a “VII” for that “XII.” Edge Magazine seems to be one of the few gaming outlets that acknowledges Final Fantasy XII as the last great entry in the series, and one that is much better and smarter than it’s detractors suggest (of course, these people also seem to think FFIX is the weakest PSOne entry in the series, so they shouldn’t be taken seriously).

Anyway, along with better-than-they-get-credit-for RPGs, there are also four 2D games, each one representing a different genre, three other (then) modern titles that most would argue have aged well, with FPSs Half-Life 2 and Halo showcasing different takes on their genre, and another appearance by Resident Evil 4’s reinvention of horror. And, of course, Ocarina of Time and Mario 64 show up in the top three.

This is a list that both respects influence and fun in a way I wish more lists did, instead of catering to one or the other.

Author: themancalledscott

Born of cold and winter air and mountain rain combining, the man called Scott is an ancient sorcerer from a long-forgotten realm. He’s more machine now than man, twisted and evil. Or, you know, he could just be some guy who loves video games, animations and cinema who just wanted to write about such things.

10 thoughts on “Top 10 Best “Top 10 Best Video Games of All Time” Lists (of All Time)”

    1. Believe it or not, Nintendo Power had Galaxy 2 listed at number 15! Pretty shameful, but the top 10 is still solid.

      And thanks! I have an on again/off again interest in best video game lists (and animated film lists, but those sadly feel like backhanded lists by people who just don’t want to rank them with live-action movies). So I’m glad my personal research on the subject did some good. 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Thanks, I really enjoyed that post! I was looking at similar lists recently actually for fun, and was surprised to find Crystal Chronicles ranked higher than Four Swords Adventures on various lists (all of them top 100 lists though, neither of these games can be found anywhere near the top 10). Anyway these lists are fun to parse, and personally I’m very much drawn to a top 3 consisting of Resident Evil 4 (the definitive Wii version, natch), Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask, in any order. And maybe some Mario 64 somewhere in the mix too. That works for me. As someone who grew up in the 3D era of games it’s a bit harder for me to assess the historical impact of 2D games from earlier generations, so it’s difficult to place stuff like Megaman 2 as much as I love playing it.

    The big mystery for me is why Half-Life 2 appears on these lists. I thought it was a decent game when it came out, and I’m currently replaying it and I still think it’s decent. But I don’t think it’s a patch on the original HL, and I also don’t see the sequel as nearly as influential or groundbreaking in the FPS genre. Perhaps that’s just me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know how you feel. I long to see a list that places Super Mario RPG and Donkey Kong Country 2 in the top 10, but I always have to settle for seeing them in random placements that are usually far removed from the top. *Sigh*

      And I see you (kind of/maybe/somewhat) named you top four favorite games. I myself plan on doing a list of my favorite games down the road, and thought it’d be a fun idea if I could get some of the bloggers I follow to do the same (around the same time) to turn it into one big, umm, “event” (for lack of a better word). Interested?

      As for Half-Life 2, I really enjoyed it, but I can’t say I’d put it in my top 20-ish. I think one reason it gets a lot of love is how it streamlined narrative into gameplay, instead of taking breaks from the gameplay to tell the story (though the first Half-Life may have done that as well, I sadly never played the original). It also emphasized physics in ways no other game did at that point in time, so there’s that too, I guess. Personally, I prefer Portal to Half-Life, and I would even refer to Portal 2 as being “Mario World Perfect” (I should coin that phrase). Team Fortress 2 is another Valve game I greatly enjoy, even if the memes it’s spawned utterly baffle me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I would definitely be up for doing a list, either on my own blog (as some sort of joint effort where we post lists around the same time) or as a guest post on yours. My personal picks for a top 5 or 10 games might be slightly different – I don’t see “my favourite” as equivalent to “the best” – so you never know! With the games I suggested, they’re iconic and beloved by gamers as well as resonating with me personally, so it makes sense to me to see them at the top of an all-time list.

        I completely understand preferring Portal and the sequel over Half-Life 2, I feel the same way. Half-Life 2 expands on the features that made the original HL stand out – no cutscenes, playable story sequences, a (somewhat) realistic scenario, big setpieces etc – but some of those expansions paradoxically end up hurting the game. The original game has a silent protagonist, but you never have long conversations with anyone. You’re a scientist showing up for work, your experiment goes wrong and then it’s all about survival and escape. In HL2 they were trying to create these complex relationships between the various characters, and so everyone is chatting to Gordon in this personable, human way and it ends up feeling forced because of Gordon’s silence. It’s similar to Zelda: Twilight Princess, where Link’s silence holds back the effectiveness of the narrative. You can probably tell it’s a pet peeve of mine when games overburden silent protagonists!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Awesome! Hopefully I can round up some more of our fellow bloggers and we can get this thing going. Doing a guest post on my blog would be fun, but seeing as a “favorite/best games” post seems like a pretty big thing for any gaming blog, I wouldn’t want to rob you of the attention your blog might receive from it. We could always just link to each others blogs within the posts themselves. I guess I’ll leave it up to everyone who joins in.

        I also had the idea, on top of everyone’s favorites lists, to do one collective list between blogs. But that might be a bit more difficult, considering we don’t have a proper format to communicate in order to set it up, and we’d have to decide where to place it. Perhaps I’m over thinking this? :/

        I get what you’re saying. I appreciate that Half-Life 2 tried to make us know who Gordon is as a character despite his silence, but the sheer amount of interaction with other characters can feel strange.Totally agree on Twilight Princess. It tried so hard to be “dark” and “serious,” so they tried to make Link seem like a deep character (despite not only his silence, but also his loss of the facial expressions that he boasted in Wind Waker). It just came off as kind of silly. I feel Wind Waker and Skyward Sword were wise to place the emphasis in personality on characters like Zelda and Ganon (though it’s a shame Skyward Sword never even attempted to make Fi even the slightest bit interesting).

        Liked by 1 person

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