Thoughts on IGN’s Top Video Games of All Time List

"The above image belongs to IGN. I in no way made or own it."
“The above image belongs to IGN. I in no way made or own it.”

In a spooky coincidence worthy of the Halloween season, IGN has just finished compiling a list of the top 100 video games of all time a little more than a week after I wrote this list of top 10 lists, in which I mentioned how IGN had yet to follow up their 2007 list of greatest games. Part of me is a little bummed that this list had to come out after I compiled that top 10 of top 10s, because I think IGN’s 2015 list would need a placement on there somewhere, even if there were some questionable omissions and placements in the overall top 100.

An interesting note about this list is that, while most lists either focus on the overall impact a game had at launch or how much fun they are by today’s standards, this list instead focused on how much fun these games were when they were released. An interesting change of pace, if anything.

Here, in full, is IGN’s top 100 video games of all time (or you can just read the whole thing) followed by some of my own take on it (yes, I know it’s their opinion. But this is my opinion on their opinion).

 

100: The Walking Dead: Season 1

99: Advance Wars

98: Perfect Dark

97: Galaga

96: The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

95: Super Mario Galaxy 2

94: Donkey Kong ’94

93: Ico

92: Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island

91: Batman: Arkham Asylum

90: System Shock 2

89: The Oregon Trail

88: Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

87: SimCity 2000

86: Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!

85: X-Com: UFO Defense

84: Contra

83: Fallout 2

82: Resident Evil 2

81: The Secret of Monkey Island

80: Final Fantasy VII

79: Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2

78: Fallout 3

77: Zork I: The Great Underground Empire

76: Devil May Cry 3: Dante’s Awakening

75: EarthBound

74: League of Legends

73: WarCraft 2: Tides of Darkness

72: Spelunky

71: Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield

70: Mega Man 2

69: Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec

68: Suikoden 2

67: Final Fantasy Tactics

66: Goldeneye 007

65: Burnout 3

64: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

63: Super Smash Bros. Melee

62: Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge

61: Grim Fandango

60: Donkey Kong

59: Persona 4: Golden

58: Team Fortress 2

57: MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat

56: StarCraft

55: Star Wars Jedi Knight 2: Jedi Outcast

54: Thief 2: The Metal Age

53: Ms. Pac-Man

52: Pokemon Yellow

51: Mass Effect 2

50: Dota 2

49: Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

48: The Last of Us

47: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

46: Metroid Prime

45: Diablo 2

44: Banjo-Kazooie

43: Resident Evil 4

42: Counter-Strike 1.6

41: Metal Gear Solid

40: Dark Souls

39: Journey

38: Mass Effect

37: Silent Hill 2

36: BioShock

35: World of Warcraft

34: Shadow of the Colossus

33: Battlefield 1942

32: Rock Band

31: Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

30: The Legend of Zelda

29: Red Dead Redemption

28: Final Fantasy VI

27: Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

26: Half-Life

25: Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater

24: Sid Meier’s Civilization IV

23: Star Wars: TIE Fighter

22: Halo: Combat Evolved

21: Super Mario Galaxy

20: Street Fighter 2

19: Deus Ex

18: Baldur’s Gate 2

17: Portal

16: Grand Theft Auto V

15: Minecraft

14: Super Mario World

13: Chrono Trigger

12: Sid Meier’s Pirates!

11: Super Mario 64

10: Tetris

9: Halo 2

8: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

7: Super Metroid

6: Half-Life 2

5: Portal 2

4: Super Mario Bros.

3: Doom

2: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

1: Super Mario Bros. 3

 

It’s definitely a solid list, with many classics from various eras of gaming. It’s hard to argue with most of the selections, but some of the placements can leave a lot to be desired.

First and foremost, Super Mario Galaxy 2, Wind Waker and Yoshi’s Island are way too low. I honestly can’t think of why they would be placed way up in the 90s. I’d say that Galaxy 2 and Wind Waker are the best 3D Mario and Zelda, and Yoshi’s Island puts up an argument to being the best 2D platformer ever.

I also feel Symphony of the Night and Mario Galaxy could have placed in the top 20 (at least), but at least they aren’t far off. And while I’ve always been more of a Mario World man, I can respect Mario 3’s placement at the top.

Mega Man 2 is another game that seems strangely low, especially considering there are no other Mega Man games on the list. I would probably also place Shovel Knight in there somewhere, certainly over fellow indie title Spelunky.

I really don’t have much else to say about the games on there, since most of them are pretty great (though I personallyย can’t stand BioShock, I know I’m alone in feelingย this way). However, there are some very notable games that are absent from the list.

Surely I’m not the only one who notices that there isn’t a single Mario Kart in the top 100? I know, some might say there are already a few Mario games (seven to be exact, unless you count the two Donkey Kong games, but despite Mario being the playable character, I consider those to be Donkey Kong games). But to not have a single Mario Kart in the top 100 just seems wrong. Also, no Mario RPG or Donkey Kong Country 2, so I lose again…

Although I’m the first admit that Sonic the Hedgehog has gone downhill (boy, has he ever), I think one of the Genesis titles should have made the list (Sonic 2 seems to be the favorite, though Sonic 3 and Sonic CD have strong support as well). And what about Nights?!

There are a lot of other games you could argue should be there, but it is a list limited to 100, so of course plenty of games are going to get cut. Honestly, the quibbles I’ve stated are all I have to say. The list is otherwise pretty good, with a lot of great games covered, different generations acknowledged, and thankfully there’s no bias towards newer games (I feel too many of these “best games of all time” lists end up catering to the flavors of the month). So good on IGN for making a (mostly) great list to represent the best of the best.

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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. Heโ€™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.

4 thoughts on “Thoughts on IGN’s Top Video Games of All Time List”

  1. Glad to see you weren’t too flustered by their opinion! And this is a great read as always! Putting you on the spot, where would you place IGN’s 2015 list on your top 10 top 10’s lists? As we’ve discussed on Twitter, I do agree that both Wind Waker and Galaxy 2 should be much, much higher. I love the Last of Us and even though I personally think it’s a better game, I was still surprised to see it so far ahead of Wind Waker and Galaxy 2, which you could make an honest case that both of those games are better than TLOU. And yes Yoshi’s Island should’ve been much, much higher dammit! It’s my favourite SNES game (right ahead of Super Metroid) thus far and is my favourite 2D Platformer as well! Speaking of Super Metroid, I was surprised to see that it was ahead of Ocarina of Time :/ I love both games but I have a feeling that may turn some heads. What’re your thoughts on that? And as much as I love the Portal series, the second in particular, I personally think it’s way too high. Ohh that’s too bad to hear that you’re not a fan of Bioshock, I absolutely loved the game. What were your qualms with it?

    All in all dude, great read and a respectful analysis ๐Ÿ™‚ any word as to when you’d write a list of your own? I’m planning on doing one myself, but I’m still piling through the plethora of classic games on my to do list as I feel I won’t have the proper perspective until I properly experience the many greats that pioneered the gaming medium.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If I could redo my top 10 top 10s, the 2015 IGN list would’ve placed in the top five. It’s hard to say where exactly, considering I still basically feel like the top 4 are interchangeable as they are. This list makes it an interchangeable top 5. ๐Ÿ˜›

      Yoshi’s Island is definitely one of the best SNES games, it’s baffling that it only made it to the 90s. And considering Galaxy 2 and Wind Waker are top 10 material for me, I just don’t understand how they ended up so low. They could have at least been in the top 50 (at least!).

      For Super Metroid over Ocarina of Time, I honestly think both games are at a point where placing one of them a single spot above another really doesn’t make a difference. They’re both all-time classics. I probably prefer Ocarina, but I think nothing of Super Metroid being placed over it.

      I actually think Portal 2 is pretty much where it belongs. I have absolute zero qualms with that game. As for Bioshock, I think my feelings for it can be summed up in simply saying I don’t think it’s nearly as smart as it thinks it is. But at least the original had some neat gameplay ideas, it’s Bioshock Infinite that I think is just pure self-aggrandizement with no justification for it. But that’s just me. I know I’m alone here.

      As for my own list, it’s something that I’ve been planning for a good while (it’s something that needs preparation. I’ve never officially compiled a list like this, and I believe if you ever revise such a list, it needs to be a few years afterwards, otherwise it doesn’t mean much. So I want to “get it right”this first time around). I can’t say for sure when I’ll do it, but when I have it finalized you’ll be sure to know since I’ll probably build to it extravagantly! I’ll probably end up doing a top 30 or so, with the top 20 being numbered and the remaining ten being non-numbered runners-up (I simply don’t know how to decide a 27th favorite ๐Ÿ˜› ). Or I may number them, maybe do more than 30. I don’t know.

      I’m rambling by this point. Awesome to hear you’re planning on doing your own list. If you’re interested, I was thinking about getting some of my fellow bloggers to make their lists around the time I decide on mine (so no hurry there), and each list can link to the others and make it like a “big event” or something. Interested?

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      1. Yeah Galaxy 2 would be in Top 10 for me, and Wind Waker being in top 20 easily. That’s a good way of putting, I guess I’m so used to seeing Ocarina of Time closer to top 5 so it shocked me in sorts. And I agree, they’re both phenomenal but I’d say that I prefer ocarina of time. Don’t get me wrong, I love Portal 2 as much as the next guy, the writing was ingenious (being one of the funniest games I’ve ever played) and the puzzles were perplexing in the best way possible, but I personally think that TLOU, Galaxy 2, Wind Waker, Uncharted 2, Super Metroid, Metroid Prime, Persona 4 Golden, Ocarina of Time, and Yoshi’s Island are all better games, and all those games I just listed would be in my top 20, so I guess that was a sneak peek lol I can understand your frustration with Bioshock, you can totally argue that it’s a convoluted mess. But it was the first game to truly enamor me into the wonderful realm of gaming, I had played many games before it, on and off, but Bioshock solidified my current obsession of gaming. And yeah I also really liked Bioshock Infinite but I know more people had some issues with it and definitely is a polarizing title, so I feel that you’re definitely not alone on that one!

        And yeah that’s a fair point, revising anytime before a year would be redundant, detracting the weight of the list in the first place, so your consideration is well warranted. That’s cool, yeah I think a Top 30 would be nice ๐Ÿ™‚ I would probably go with 25, don’t really know why ๐Ÿ˜› I guess most of the lists that I have read consist of 25 titles so my mind is fixated on that being the standard. Yeah that sounds great! I’d be honored to be a part of that ๐Ÿ™‚ although for you guys, you’ll have agonize over the sheer process of selecting and placing games, I still have to play many ๐Ÿ˜› I primarily started gaming in the 7th Generation (PS3, Xbox 360, Wii) so I was a little late to the party, and for a while, my lists would primarily consist of games in that generation. Luckily I’ve expanded my horizons the last couple of years and that has been rectified for the most part! I just want to get in as many classic games as I can. I don’t want to post my list, and then play chrono trigger a couple of months later and think to myself “damn this game should’ve been on the list”, it’ll end up haunting me ๐Ÿ˜› so I have a lot to catch up to do ๐Ÿ˜€ so hopefully you guys aren’t make this event anytime soon ๐Ÿ˜›

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Originally I was thinking about doing my list around Christmastime, to commemorate a year since I launched this site. But given that so much of my list is un-final, and that I have a lot of other stuff I want to write, that date isn’t looking too realistic anymore. So you still have some good time to catch up on some classics.

        You certainly have great taste in gaming, so I look forward to seeing your final list. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

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