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!
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
96: The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
95: Super Mario Galaxy 2
94: Donkey Kong ’94
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
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
74: League of Legends
73: WarCraft 2: Tides of Darkness
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
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
43: Resident Evil 4
42: Counter-Strike 1.6
41: Metal Gear Solid
40: Dark Souls
38: Mass Effect
37: Silent Hill 2
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
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
16: Grand Theft Auto V
14: Super Mario World
13: Chrono Trigger
12: Sid Meier’s Pirates!
11: Super Mario 64
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.
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 personally can’t stand BioShock, I know I’m alone in feeling 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.