Thoughts on IGN’s Top Video Games Of All Time List (2018 Edition)

“The above image belongs to IGN. If you think I made it, you give me way too much credit.”

Well, it looks like IGN has wrapped up another list of their “top 100 video games of all time.” And since I wrote a thing about it last time they did such a list in 2015 (my how time flies), I figured I’d write one about this as well. And because I’m such an opinionated bastard, I’ll give a little bit of my two cents on the selections and placements and such.

It seems like this time around, IGN’s criteria was mainly focused on how much of an impact a game had at launch, how “ahead of their time” they were, and how well they’ve stood the test of time. Which is a pretty decent list of requirements, I must say.

Of course, you can check out IGN’s actual list here, but if you like to read some random blogger’s writing about someone else’s list, then sit your butt down and stay right here!

Here, in full, is IGN’s most recent Top 100 list.

 

100: Pokemon Go

99: Final Fantasy VII

98: Galaga

97: Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness

96: Star Wars: TIE Fighter

95: The Oregon Trail

94: Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge

93: Burnout 3: Takedown

92: Fallout 2

91: Undertale

90: League of Legends

89: Mega Man 3

88: Soulcalibur

87: SimCity 2000

86: Contra

85: Inside

84: Super Mario Odyssey

83: System Shock 2

82: Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

81: Persona 5

80: Grim Fandango

79: The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

78: Goldeneye 007

77: Super Smash Bros. Melee

76: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

75: X-COM: UFO Defense

74: Suikoden II

73: Battlefield 1942

72: Dota 2

71: Final Fantasy Tactics

70: Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast

69: Thief II: The Metal Age

68: Spelunky

67: Donkey Kong

66: Team Fortress 2

65: The Sims

64: Rockband

63: Fallout 3

62: Banjo-Kazooie

61: Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island

60: Silent Hill 2

59: Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

58: Mass Effect

57: Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

56: Batman: Arkham City

55: The Witness

54: Journey

53: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

52: The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask

51: Overwatch

50: Deus Ex

49: Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn

48: Ms. Pac-Man

47: Counter-Strike 1.6

46: Persona 4 Golden

45: Earthbound

44: Resident Evil

43: Diablo 2

42: Starcraft

41: World of Warcraft

40: Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

39: Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty

38: Final Fantasy VI

37: Mass Effect 2

36: Pokemon Yellow

35: The Legend of Zelda

34: Bloodborne

33: Metroid Prime

32: Resident Evil 4

31: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

30: Metal Gear Solid

29: Super Mario Galaxy

28: Shadow of the Colossus

27: Bioshock

26: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

25: Sid Meier’s Civilization IV

24: Minecraft

23: Halo 2

22: Half-Life

21: Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater

20: The Last of Us

19: Doom

18: Chrono Trigger

17: Grand Theft Auto V

16: Dark Souls

15: Street Fighter II

14: Super Mario Bros.

13: Halo: Combat Evolved

12: Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

11: Portal 2

10: Super Mario 64

9: Red Dead Redemption

8: Half-Life 2

7: Tetris

6: Super Mario Bros. 3

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

4: Super Metroid

3: Portal

2: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

1: Super Mario World

 

Now for my take on all of thi… Wait a moment. Super Mario World is number 1?!

 

In all seriousness, I love Super Mario World, and although I think there’s a small handful of games I love just as much, it’s definitely one of the few games where I think placing it at number one on a greatest of all time list seems pretty inarguable (sans for butthurt fanboys who think there’s some pro-Mario conspiracy with such things). I mean, if we go back in time to gaming’s earliest years and pinpoint the most timeless, ahead-of-their-time games of that generation, Tetris and the Mario titles probably stand out the most. And seeing as World was basically the culmination of all things Mario up to that point, well, again, it’s just hard to argue.

In all honesty, the top 10 as a whole is pretty solid. I’m glad they went with Red Dead Redemption over one of its Grand Theft Auto siblings (for all its praise, GTA seems to be a series where as soon as a new entry is released, the old ones go by the wayside with their praise, while RDR has held its place quite nicely over the last eight years). Though personally, I would place Portal 2 well above the original (both are excellent, and I get that the first game had the originality factor, but the sequel is just so much more).

Hold the phone? There aren’t any Donkey Kong Country titles on the list? 0/10. Well, okay, maybe not a 0, but surely DKC2 deserves a spot on there (as does Tropical Freeze, but I’m used to that game being greatly underrated by this point). Also, no 2D Sonic’s? Really? Not even Sonic 2, 3 or CD? But then again, IGN is the site now infamous for stating that “Sonic was never good.” Maybe not in 3D, but the Genesis games were most definitely good.

Also tragically absent are any of the Mario RPGs or Mario Karts. Now, I know some people would say there are already a lot of Mario games on there. But this isn’t a lovey-dovey “everyone gets a trophy” party. It’s a list of greatest games of all time. Meaning that the games that are best should go on there, even if certain series’ are more prominent than others. And while the idea of “best games” is indeed subjective, am I really supposed to believe that not even a single Mario Kart has earned a spot on the list? Come on. And also, I really love Super Mario RPG. Also also, where the hell is Galaxy 2?!

I am happy to see Dark Souls and Bloodborne represented, and decently high on the list as well, though I would also put the other Souls games on the list somewhere because ohmigoshDarkSoulsisamazing!!11! Also glad to see Symphony of the Night placed so highly. It seems like a lot of these lists these days forget just how much of an impact that game had, and usually place it absurdly low. So it’s good to see it almost crack the top 10.

As for games that I think are far too low, I’d say Undertale definitely deserves much better. I know the game gets some flak due to its rabid fanbase (but if we’re judging games by fanbases now, then every game must suck…except maybe Earthbound), but I’ve never seen a more creative and all-around fun and inspiring indie game. Going back to Mario, there’s no way you can convince me that Odyssey shouldn’t be much, much higher, and no way in Hell should it be below games like Journey or Skyrim (which aren’t bad games, mind you, but the former lacks depth and the latter failed to improve the sense of control that its predecessor Morrowind suffered from a decade beforehand).

As for games that I think are higher than they deserve (besides Journey and Skyrim), I think The Last of Us being in the top 20 is a little hyperbolic. Again, a good game, but I kind of get the impression it was a case of a game treating itself like “the best game ever” before it was released, and the public fell for it hook, line and sinker; without stopping to actually analyse it on any deeper level (its supposed “masterful” narrative falls back on a lot more over-played tropes than critics let on. What’s that? The zombies aren’t the real evil of the post-apocalyptic world, but humans! Bahgash! Who’d have thunk!). And well, I think I’ve made it more than clear time and again that Bioshock is a series that didn’t really do anything new or better for the FPS genre, and featured political commentary that feels like it could have stemmed from a college freshman who thinks he knows everything about the world because he just started a political science course, but simply received massive praise because it had any political commentary whatsoever. And I know I’ll get flak for this, but I’ve long-since grown kind of tired of seeing Ocarina of Time place so highly. An incredible game, to be sure, but honestly, I’ve always felt that Nintendo (and others) had made better games, even back in ’98.

Finally, there are a couple of games included that I don’t feel aged very well – such as Goldeneye 007 and the original Resident Evil – but I suppose those are probably included more because of their initial impact. I guess I can’t argue it from that perspective, as both revolutionized their genres in their day (but you’d be hard-pressed to convince me that Resident Evil is any fun to play today with those tank controls).

On the whole, I guess IGN’s most recent list is pretty solid. Do I agree with everything on the list? Well, obviously not. But it isn’t my list, so why would I? Again, I’m just an opinionated jerk, and an obsessive one, and one who’s passionate about video games. So of course I’m going to have strong feelings about it, even if I have nothing to do with it. But despite some obvious omissions (seriously, Mario Kart?), and some questionable placements, the games included are mostly great.

Wait, I’m still peeved that DKC2 isn’t on there. 0/10.

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4 thoughts on “Thoughts on IGN’s Top Video Games Of All Time List (2018 Edition)

  1. Red Metal

    I don’t care what The Last of Us (or The Walking Dead) says about humans, I consider zombies the real monsters. At least any given human has a chance of being civil. With zombies, it’s all “rip and tear every human in sight”. Freakin’ racists.

    Yeah, as I said, The Last of Us’s universal critical acclaim is very much an “Emperor has no clothes” situation. By this point, admitting its (numerous) faults would mean all the effort the sphere exerted to craft the pedestal they placed it upon was for nothing. To be honest, I’m surprised they resisted the urge to put it in the top 10, but I’m glad that Dark Souls utterly trounced it. I’m also surprised Undertale was on there at all because lists like this tend to be pretty conservative.

    Pokémon’s representation convinces me the people who compiled the list didn’t play the series outside of the times it was super popular. I played through the Red and Gold versions lately, and my conclusion is that neither game has held up well (though ironically, I had more fun with the former despite liking the latter more back in the day). Otherwise, I’d say Generation V (Black/White) is the best one so far.

    And you’re right, if we start dinging works because of dumb fans, we wouldn’t be able to praise anything. Undertale wouldn’t be on the list, and neither would Earthbound. Or Final Fantasy. Or Metal Gear. For that matter, neither would The Last of Us. Despite what the gaming sphere insists, I’m positive I’ve seen evidence that suggests Naughty Dog fans can be every bit as rowdy as any other fandom; it’s just not as widely reported because they’re rowdy for works for which such behavior is deemed acceptable.

    Liked by 2 people

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    1. themancalledscott Post author

      Sad to hear Pokemon Gold hasn’t held up well (I suspected Red/Blue wouldn’t, seeing as they were riddled in glitches). I am still hoping to replay the old Pokemon games via the 3DS Virtual Console though so I can review them proper. Gold and Silver were my favorites back in the day. Now that you mention it, Pokemon is strangely represented by IGN’s list.

      Indeed, if the world were overrun by mindless killing machines, I don’t think a few psychopathic humans would make humanity the greater threat… Also, I laughed out loud at the “freakin’ racists” comment. 😛

      And yes, happy to see Dark Souls trounced it. Now there’s a game that’s just…so good. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
  2. iplayedthegame

    The interesting thing about this list is that a few years back they did one of these and had Mario 3 at number 1. I think “…of all time” lists are very hard to pull off because there is so much subjectivity regardless of how democratic a process they try to use.

    They sure are fun to read though…

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply

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