An Update on my List of Favorite Video Games

Nester

Just another update on my oft-promised list of favorite video games of all time.

You may remember in a previous post that I planned on posting my list of all time favorite video games sometime in May. Well, unfortunately, I’m not sure if that will still be the case. Compiling this list is proving to be even more difficult than I thought (if only because narrowing down the Mario games is so damn difficult), and there are a number of games I’d like to write reviews for before making the list itself. So depending on how long it takes me to replay and subsequently review them, it may have an affect on when I will publish my list.

I know, you’re probably thinking “it’s just a list of video games, you’re worrying too much about it.” And you’re right. But dang it, I love video games! Not to mention this site is half dedicated to them (if not more than half). So making a list of my favorite games is a relatively big thing as far as this site is concerned. As I’ve stated before, I’ve never “officially” made such a list before, and it’s the kind of thing that, after the initial list, it seems you should wait a couple of years before even thinking about revising it, lest the original list lose its meaning. Ergo, I want to make this list good enough to stand on its own for a while, and to not leave me regretting too much about it.

I’m not saying for sure that my list won’t be done in May, but it’s just looking less and less likely. If not in May, I will still try to do it in one of the months soon after. I will still aim for a top 20 or top 30 list, however (the top 20 will certainly be numbered, numbers 21-30 may or may not be). I don’t think it makes much sense for individuals to compile lists of favorites larger than that. It seems like after a while they’d just be slapping random numbers to random games…

Anyway, while I would still like to invite some of my fellow bloggers to make their lists of favorite games around the same time as mine, I won’t hold it against them if they choose to stay the course and release their lists sooner (or later. I have no control over them). Though I will ask that every list adds links to the others, even if they’re made later. I mean, if you don’t mind.

Of course, the same blogs/bloggers are still invited to partake and make their own lists.

NintendoBound

After Story Gaming

Very Very Gaming

Extra Life Reviews

Miketendo64

And well, if any other bloggers want to have a crack at making their own lists, feel free to let me know and invite yourself into the festivities. My apologies for my delays and indecisiveness. Hopefully it won’t take me too long to finish my list.

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24 thoughts on “An Update on my List of Favorite Video Games

  1. Red Metal

    One thing I discovered when making a list of my absolute favorites is that there are three years (not one as I previously thought) that saw the release of two games I would award (or have rewarded) a 10/10. Those years are: 1995, 2004, and 2011. The weird thing about that is very seldom do I award a 10/10 (it has happened fewer than fifteen times), and yet if I were to make a “Game of the Year” list for every year I’ve been alive, three games with those scores wouldn’t win. I guess video game production is like the wine industry; for whatever reason, some years are just better than others.

    As I’ve said in the past, I think after a certain point, you really can’t distinguish between placements. After all, there’s much more of a difference between #1 and #2 than there is between #60 and #61.

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    1. themancalledscott Post author

      Sometimes I feel like I’m a bit of an easy grader, but I honestly think there are less than 10 games I would award a perfect 10 (four of which I’ve already reviewed), and not all that many would be 9.5s either. Maybe I just happen to have been reviewing games I happen to think are good. But I try to use my ratings to their fullest. I do hate the rare instance where I feel the need to change a rating, however, and hope it doesn’t make me appear too wishy-washy.

      One thing I have noticed with myself is that my Game of the Year’s and scores don’t always match up, which I hope doesn’t appear to be too gross of an inconsistency. I gave my 2015 GotY to Undertale, for example, and I gave it a 9.0. Meanwhile, Super Mario Maker and Bloodborne are among my not-too-extensive list of 9.5s, and they were runners-up. I don’t regret my selection for GotY, but I stand by my scores. Though in my defense, an 8 wouldn’t beat out games with those scores, and only a 10 could beat another 10.

      If you wouldn’t mind, I’d like to take a guess at what those 10s of yours in those respective years would be (though I know some of them from your reviews). I have a weird interest in trying to guess people’s favorite games (and other things) based on things they’ve said in the past (I guessed my brother’s top 15 games not to recently, and he deemed it to be “pretty accurate, and I guessed nine out of Nintendo Power’s top ten games of all time before their final issue was released, based on what the then-editors had written in prior issues). I’m weird.

      I agree with that wholeheartedly. Everyone has a top 5, no question. A top 10? of course! Top 15? Probably, the additional five would be “honorable mentions.” Top 20? A little bit of a stretch, but why not? The additional five here would be like “runner-sup.” After twenty, however, the numbers no longer seem like they’d have any meaning, at least when it’s a list by an individual.

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      1. Red Metal

        Funnily enough, I was curious about what my average score would be on my site. It turns out the answer is around 6.63 (as of this writing). That would suggest I’m a strict grader, but to be honest, I think a vast majority of the games I play would at least get a 7/10, so it’s probably higher than that. It’s mostly because I don’t usually seek bad games out, so the worst ones I play are ones that made an insurmountable mistake (or a series of them) despite having been programmed competently (e.g. Yoshi’s Story) or ones that have aged horribly (e.g. Snake’s Revenge).

        I have it so that my Game of the Years would be rewarded to the title with the highest score, and I think the reason I hesitate to do it is because there have been so many instances where I didn’t get into a 10/10 game until long after its release date. In other words, any given year would likely see me change my mind when I discover something better – like you with Secret of Mana. This might end up being true for 2014, which otherwise struck me as a pretty weak year for gaming.

        I don’t think you have to worry about changing scores too much; I found myself flip-flopping between two scores in some of my reviews as well. I wanted to make it so that when I award a 9/10, it’s a big deal, and if I change my mind, it’s usually based off of that mentality.

        Alright, you can go ahead and try to guess what those six games are. I’ve already reviewed one of them, so that’s just five left to go.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. themancalledscott Post author

        Well said. I think I’ve given out a fair number of 7s, 6s and even 5s and 4s. So maybe I just needlessly worry too much about being an easy grader. 😛

        I usually do try to make sure the highest scoring game ends up being Game of the Year, but along with 2015, there are maybe one or two other instances of the contrary. It might have something to do with my scaling between objectivity and subjectivity. Every now and again one dictates the other for the score, and the other dictates my GotY. Hard to say. Maybe I am just inconsistent.

        2014 was a weak year for gaming in a lot of ways, but almost in a humorous contradictory to the internet’s general opinion, it was a great year for the Wii U. Smash Bros., Mario Kart 8, Bayonetta 2 and DKC: Tropical Freeze all released within the same calendar year. If you ever get a Wii U, definitely check them out.

        I don’t like changing scores, but sometimes it does make sense. I did end up going back and changing my score for EathBound Beginnings, as I found I was far too forgiving of the many issues I pointed out in my review. And stacking it against a number of games I gave the same score, it just didn’t hold up.

        Alright, let’s have a go at this guessing game. I’m pretty sure Chrono Trigger was the 10 you’ve already reviewed for 1995, so I’m going to guess DKC2 is the other one for that year. For 2011 I’m going to guess Portal 2 and Dark Souls. 2004 is a bit tricky. I speculate Half-Life 2 is one of them, but I must admit I’m basically just blind guessing the other. Halo 2, maybe? Let me know how accurate/way off I am. 😛

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Red Metal

        Almost! You were only off by one; I’ve never actually played any of the Halo games – at least not all the way through (I did briefly play the original for about an hour at a friend’s house). It’s not too surprising; the game I’m thinking of isn’t one I’ve mentioned all that often. I do intend to review it before end of the year, though.

        I think my own scores are kind of a mixture of objectivity and subjectivity. How much of a balance it ends up being depends on the game. Donkey Kong Country 2 got where it was with largely objective traits such as strong level design and great art direction. Meanwhile, Planescape: Torment relied heavily on subjective traits to a great effect (its story and cast, specifically). Either way, I try to have it so that my choice of Game of the Year is the one with the highest score (I have a rough idea of my top twenty, so breaking ties isn’t too much of an issue).

        Otherwise, I get where you’re coming from. It’s like how some people distinguish between the best-made movie of the year and their personal favorite. I have it so that they’re one in the same, but I can appreciate wanting to make a distinction.

        I find it intriguing how when Nintendo supposedly makes mistakes, the internet is all too willing to lambast them for it, yet when they produce something amazing, those same people are suspiciously quiet (or worse, they chalk the acclaim up to Nintendo’s supposed nostalgia-blind, cult-like fanbase). Then again, one thing I’ve thought about a lot of internet fandoms is that they’re always ten steps behind and, in a textbook demonstration of the Dunning–Kruger effect, they’re the only ones who don’t realize it.

        As a possible explanation for this strange phenomenon, I think it’s because some video game fans have seen so many creators fall by the wayside, especially within this decade, so they assume Nintendo has similarly gone downhill. In reality, they’re one of the few companies to have remained good this whole time. The reason this truth isn’t accepted is because it doesn’t fit the narrative these fans have weaved. As weird as it may sound, I can see how they drew this conclusion; in Nintendo’s lifetime as a household name, some creators have run their entire course of gaining relevance, enjoying their time in the sun, and having everything come to a tumultuous end. Fans are so used to seeing this happen that they assume it’s true of most creators even when confronted with irrefutable evidence to the contrary.

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      4. themancalledscott Post author

        Dang! So close! But at least I was only off by one.

        I definitely recommend the Halo games if you get the chance. I’m not much for FPSs, but I’ve still found hours of enjoyment from Halo.

        Yeah, it’s like I said, I try to maintain a combination of objectivity and subjectivity, but no doubt one gets the upper hand over the other in certain areas.

        Completely agree with your statements. It seems like the internet has the idea that Nintendo is doomed and any time one of their games gets any praise they were “blinded by nostalgia” and such nonsense. It’s a very small, misguided, absolute mindset.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Mike_Scorpio

    Haha, I accept your invitation and shall compile a top 20 for Wii U games. So May/June is the deadline more or less? Okay, cool! That should give me plenty of time to try out Star Fox Zero to see if its worthy. This is going to be fun!

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      1. themancalledscott Post author

        Cool! If that’s mainly what you play, than go right on ahead. My own list will surely have more than its share of Nintendo games.

        Also, be sure to add links to the other lists when we make them. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. AfterStory

    Haha my issue is that I still need to play a lot of games, so I hate to be a Debbie downer but whenever you slightly delay your list, I develop a sigh of relief 😛 I still have quite a few to play and have been stuck on FFVII, I honestly don’t understand the hype with this one. I understand how it popularized the JRPG genre and was a revolutionary title at the time, but I certainly do not care for the characters or story thus far and the game has not aged well. In comparison to another PSOne title such as Symphony of the Night, FVII simply doesn’t compare. If you haven’t played FFVII then you can just ignore my rant 😛

    Anyway, I’m looking forward to your list as it seems that you’re putting a lot of effort into it and losing lots of sleep because of it 🙂

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    1. themancalledscott Post author

      I have played FFVII, and I’ve always felt the same way. It is a product of its time, and lacks the charm and memorability of earlier entries in the series (and even some later ones). Though admittedly I haven’t played it in years. I HATE that it is now needlessly represented in Smash Bros. though.

      Ooh, have you played Symphony of the Night? I always love hearing about other people’s appreciation for my favorite games.

      Glad you’re looking forward to my list. I am putting a lot of effort into it, and trying to make it represent both quality and diversity (though I’m serious when I say I’m having trouble narrowing down the Mario games. Expect a number of titles starring the Italian plumber).

      How is your list coming along, by the way?

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      1. AfterStory

        After playing more FFVII, my opinion on it has shifted entirely. Although I think the characters are fairly shallow and the game definitely feels outdated and archaic in some instances, but the story is without a doubt intriguing, the combat system is simplistic but extremely enjoyable, and I absolutely love the materia system. Granted it’s definitely not the greatest game Square has cooked up, that honor would go to Chrono Trigger (granted I haven’t played FFVI yet). Haha you’ve been pretty vocal about your disappointment on the recent Smash Bros. treatment.
        Yes I absolutely loved Symphony of the Night! It’s simply gameplay perfection! Both Super Metroid and Symphony of the Night will be on my list, that much I can guarantee you. I figured there’d be a nice abundance of Mario titles on your list! So don’t fret too much about it! I’m really excited to see how you order your Top 10, which I expect to be a daunting task for you 😛
        My issue is that I still need to play a lot of games, so ordering is the least of my problems at the moment 😛

        Liked by 1 person

      2. themancalledscott Post author

        I’m sorry to hear that. 😛 I kid, I kid. To each their own.

        As far as Square games though, you should definitely check out Super Mario RPG and Secret of Mana. Two of my favorites for sure. Also Brave Fencer Musashi, that is if you have a PSOne and can actually manage to track it down… I need to play Chrono Trigger again. It’s been way too long.

        As soon as Smash Bros. trolled me with Geno… as a Mii Fighter costume, my spirit was basically crushed. Hopefully the next Smash Bros. will have more classic characters and be a bit less Fire Emblem-y.

        With most other franchises I can narrow it down based on certain criteria, but Mario is an entirely different machine. Part of me thinks I can narrow down the 2D entries, 3D entries and spinoffs, but that would still be leaving out some all time greats.

        I hope you catch up on some classics in the coming months. I look forward to your list.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. AfterStory

        Oh yes, my apologies, I definitely should’ve mentioned both Super Mario RPG and Secret of Mana (which I also plan on playing for the list)! Oh I actually have never heard of that game :/ but I’ll have to check it out. Chrono Trigger simplified time travel in the best possible manner and the characters are impeccable, not to mention how amazing the multiple tech system is! Haha yeah when I read that, I just imagined you being consumed with rage or melancholy 😛 ohh I know this is an old rumor but what’re your thoughts on Smash Bros. being a launch title for the NX (have they denied this rumor yet??) I wonder if it’d be a port of the Wii U version or an entirely new entry to the series? Are you setting a certain criteria for your list; such as one title per franchise? I don’t think I’d be happy with that decision as any fantastic entry undoubtedly deserves a spot on my list. I really need to go and play some more Mario games. I’ve only really played Galaxy 2, Mario Bros. 3, 3D World, Mario World, and Mario Maker – I think only 2 of them will make it on my list. But I definitely need to try out Mario RPG and Mario 64!

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      4. themancalledscott Post author

        Only two Mario games?! Wait, what about Yoshi’s Island? It totally counts! 😛

        Definitely, DEFINITELY play Super Mario RPG and Super Mario 64. Also, add Paper Mario to that lineup. It’s readily available on the Wii U Virtual Console for 10 dollars. It’s also one of my favorite RPGs (most people prefer The Thousand-Year Door, but it’s honestly a toss-up. TTYD is also harder to come by, seeing as GameCube games have yet to be added as downloadable titles). And if you haven’t played Mario Kart 8, play that too. You’ve already played some of the Mario greats, and I feel the ones I mentioned represent the best of their respective areas outside of the ones you’ve played (Mario 64 for platformers, Mario Kart 8 for the Mario Karts, and Mario RPG and Paper Mario/TTYD for RPGs). Come to think of it, I kind of hate myself for not naming one of the first two Paper Mario games as a Game of the Year for their respective years… What was I thinking?

        Anyway, Chrono Trigger is an all-time classic. It, along with Earthbound, is actually my brother’s favorite game. I’ve been meaning to replay it for far too long now… I probably should do that before I make my list.

        Speaking of my list, I WILL NOT be doing a “one game per franchise” kind of thing. Since that method is, by its very nature, not a list of bests/favorites. After all, if I think so many Mario or Zelda games are worthy to be on the list, but only use one each and replace the others with games I don’t think are as good just to force variety, then it’s no longer a list of bests. It’s just a list of games acknowledged as great.

        With that said, I am taking strong consideration with each entry of a series I select. I do want some kind of variety to my list, so I’m really going to deduce how great I think a particular game is and how much it effected me personally. That way only the ones that have proven especially exceptional will make the cut. Similarly, in certain cases where a franchise (or at least an era of a franchise) more or less expand on their formula with new iterations (like Super Smash Bros. or Mario Kart), then I will pick the one I think best represents that formula.

        And now, speaking of Smash Bros. (because this comment isn’t long enough), if it is a launch title for NX, I see two possibilities. One which I hope and one which I fear.

        The option I hope for is a new Smash Bros. I know that would be the quickest the series has whipped up a sequel since the first two entries, but it’s because the series has been so infrequent since then that I think not too many people would mind if one sequel happens relatively shortly after another entry, especially since it could really help NX at launch.

        The option I fear is that it may be a slightly tweaked version of Smash Bros. Wii U (like a Street Fighter thing, with a mildly modified “edition”). This is territory I really don’t want to see Smash Bros. go down. Especially since Nintendo has consistently been backwards compatible, if NX follows suit it would make this option seem completely pointless.

        Rant done. For now.

        Like

  4. veryverygaming

    Well, just let us know when you’re ready. I don’t honestly know if we’ll do a list ourselves, given our recent go of it recently for the podcast. I’ll definitely join in by linking to everyone’s lists though, at least.

    I have to say it’s hard to come up with a good, solid list when your tastes are always changing. Plus my memory is so fickle, it’s like if I haven’t played a game for a few years my mind is liable to make something seem better or worse than it actually is 😛 For example, you might recall Super Metroid was in my top 5 list, but I was disappointed playing it again recently… it’s not that the game hasn’t aged well – whatever that phrase is supposed to mean! The problem is more that I haven’t aged well 😛

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    1. themancalledscott Post author

      I will certainly let you know. If you guys feel like making a list, go right on ahead. If not, that’s cool too.

      I think Super Metroid has held up exceedingly well. But then again, it is a Super Nintendo game, not a Nintendo 64 one (shots fired! Shots fired!). But sometimes our tastes do change.

      When a game doesn’t age well, it simply means what it states. At the time, there might not have been anything else like it, so it might have seemed great at the time. But the style has since been bettered to such a degree that the older game feels archaic. Case in point: Turok: Dinosaur Hunter. Play that game again and tell me the controls make sense. 😛

      Anyway, thanks for reading, as always.

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