10: Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
The best game Naughty Dog has ever made, Uncharted 4 is a masterful example of the studio’s unique approach to the craft. The set pieces are grander than ever, the gameplay is fine-tuned to stand head-and-shoulders above its predecessors, and it has the best story in the series. Did I also mention it even includes a great multiplayer mode? What a game.
If you ever wondered what it’d be like if a 3D Castlevania were done right, and could hold its own against the best entries in the series, Bloodborne is a pretty good idea. An absolutely fantastic game that just gets so much right. Bloodborne is insanely difficult and absurdly fun. I love it.
8: Mega Man 2
Seeing as Mega Man 2 out-places Super Mario Bros. 3, I think it’s safe to say Mega Man 2 is my favorite NES game. Part of me feels guilty that the NES’ best didn’t crack the top five, but I guess I’ve always been more of an SNES man. With that said, there’s no denying that Mega Man 2 is still one of the best video games ever made. Its intuitive gameplay, steep challenge, and awesome music haven’t aged a day.
7: Dark Souls 3
I thought long and hard about whether to place Bloodborne or Dark Souls 3 higher on this list. In all honesty, it could have been either one. But Dark Souls 3 is fresher in the memory, and serves as a fitting end to the Souls series while also paying tribute to Bloodborne. So it barely gets the edge. Arguably the best game in one of gaming’s best series. Yeah, it’s damn good.
6: Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
I’m going to just say it outright… Tropical Freeze is one of the best Nintendo games of all time, and easily one of their most underrated. It’s one of the best platformers ever, with insanely creative level design, one of the best difficulty curves I’ve ever seen, and an absolutely heavenly soundtrack by a returning David Wise! I’ve beat the game’s normal difficulty three times and its hard mode twice already. And it seems like every time I beat it, I want to do it all over again right afterwards. Why didn’t this game win more awards?
5: Super Mario 64
If there’s one game that leaves me asking “how did they do it?” it’s this one. How exactly did Nintendo get Super Mario 64 so right when it was their first foray into 3D? They got it so right, in fact, that not only did Super Mario 64 inspire virtually every 3D game that was to follow, but it still holds up as a fantastic game to play, while many far more recent titles struggle to hold up a year or two after release. It’s simply magic.
4: Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
The Metroidvania genre was parented by two titles, Super Metroid and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. I’ll still argue that Symphony is the best game the genre has produced. From gameplay, level structure, difficulty, variety and depth, it just doesn’t get any better than Symphony of the Night. And unlocking the inverted castle? No other gaming twist comes close.
3: Super Mario World
Anyone who ever said “nothing is perfect” clearly never played Super Mario World. Its gameplay is among the best of any game. Its music couldn’t be catchier. The graphics refuse to age. The level design is sublime. In a nutshell, Super Mario World gets everything right. Best launch title ever.
2: Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest
Super Mario World and DKC2 are pretty interchangeable for the title of my favorite 2D platformer, as both polish the genre to perfection. But DKC2 gets the nudge here due in part to the soundtrack, which is unrivaled in all gaming. A perfect platformer that, like Mario World, just denies aging, Donkey Kong Country 2 betters its own predecessor in every conceivable way, making it one of the best sequels gaming has ever offered. Plus, it’s monkeys fighting pirate crocodiles.
1: Super Mario Galaxy 2
Take all of that perfection of Super Mario World, and transition it into 3D, and you have a good idea of what Super Mario Galaxy 2 is all about. Possibly the most perfectly crafted 3D video game ever made, Super Mario Galaxy 2 is everything that makes Mario games great, wrapped up into one amazing package. A masterpiece.
There you have it folks. All 150 video games I’ve reviewed so far, ranked! Again, don’t take these rankings as entirely absolute. I cannot even begin to tell you how many times the top four alone flip-flopped when compiling this list. The 9.5s were also difficult to rank. But, hopefully you enjoyed reading this, and hopefully this gets me a step closer to writing my all-time favorite video games list.
Here’s hoping for a lot more reviews!