Rock the vote

Hi everyone, I’m currently in the process of updating GameSpite Quarterly 5 — the NES 25th anniversary tribute — for the NES’s 30th anniversary. I’m also desperately trying not to think about how terrifying it is that GSQ5 shipped five years ago.

Anyway, next up on the docket are GameSpite Quarterlies 2 and 6, the “best games ever” and “most overlooked games ever” volumes, which I intend to combine into a single “100 essential games” list. But, it’s been five years since those original volumes debuted, too, so I think they need a touch of fine-tuning. That’s why I’m looking to you. I’d like to add 10-20 titles to the book, mostly taken from the period since those two volumes were originally published, and I would like some feedback on which games, exactly, should show up.

There are a few shoo-ins, of course. Can you believe there’s not a single Dragon Quest on either of those lists? Were we high or something? Obviously, Dragon Quest IX goes in there… maybe Dragon Quest V, too. And we can’t possibly overlook the essential nature of Minecraft.

In any case! I would appreciate some guidance. I know which games I’d like to add in to the lists, but they were originally assembled democratically and I’d like to maintain some fidelity to the original esprit de corps. Which games should make the cut? Either fresh greats or essential classics that missed the cut the first time around. I humbly request the courtesy of your feedback.

22 thoughts on “Rock the vote

  1. Wow, I thought I had some easy titles to mention but looking at those lists I see they already cover most of my favorite games of all time. The best recent examples I can come up with are also personal favorites: Uncharted 2 and The Last of Us.

  2. I could probably come up with more later, but the first one to leap to mind was Bravely Default.

  3. And actually, did we cover any Pre NES stuff? Space Invaders, Pac-Man, Adventure, Pitfall! Also early computer stuff like Karateka, Prince of Persia and/or Lemmings.

  4. I saw Persona 3 on there, but no Persona 4. Ultima 4 may also deserve a place for its influence on “morality” systems, and I’d suggest Sweet Home for its influence on survival horror. Finally, Psychonauts is a very fun, original game that might still be a bit overlooked.

  5. Hmm. Looks like you’ve got a fair representation for the older stuff (though Nethack deserves to be on both lists and I find it hard to accept that Earthbound was admitted for bests, but not Mother 3). For overlooked games you could add 999, which, though terribly flawed and somewhat depraved is surely one of the most ingenious story games out there (and/or its sequel Virtue’s Last Reward, though I admit I haven’t been able to slog far enough through it to provide a credible recommendation).
    Glad to see every hipster’s favorite Zelda made it onto the list…Zelda II! (And, you know, Majora’s Mask).

  6. If it’s a “100 essential games” list, I’m not sure how you don’t include the original Bioshock. Also, a SimCity game, either the original or SimCity 2000. For my part, I’d see Soul Blazer added as an underappreciated gem. Come to think of it, maybe even Alundra or Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete. As far as titles released in the last five years, The Last of Us comes readily to mind, as does Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch. Fez, maybe?

    Oh, and Axiom Verge. How could I almost forget Axiom Verge.

  7. Sadly enough, I missed out on those 2 volumes.

    was “Little Big Adventure” (playstation – pc) on your “most overlooked games” list? I do like the second better though but that was only a pc game.

    These are the 2 most criminally overlooked games, that at least I know off

  8. Portal 2 – A home run on every level, plus an extra multiplayer game that’s just as brilliant.
    Fez – The masterpiece of retro.
    Bubble Bobble – Still the most fun two people can have with a video game.
    Pac-Man – An obvious one. Classic of classics.
    Rhythm Heaven – One of the best GBA games, and sadly unappreciated.
    Journey – The first game to honestly deserve the word “cinematic.”
    Wario Ware – The only flaw is you can only learn how to play each minigame once.
    Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow – The most solidly designed of the Igavanias.
    Super Monkey Ball – Pure joystick precision and arcade level design.
    SaGa 2 – The most imagination condensed into the chunkiest pixels.

  9. Dark Horse vote for Morrowind. Oblivion and Skyrim are huge, but the unque world of Morrowind has never been topped for me.

    • Its twelve years old! Crazy, right?

      Looking at newer stuff, I would argue that Dark Souls has become a pretty essential game. Certainly very, very influential.

  10. I’d add to the list Spelunky, Animal Crossing (probably New Leaf), Puzzle’n’Dragons…

  11. Hi Jeremy,

    Here are 5 games I’ve personally experienced that seem worth listing, and some incredibly reductive bullet points:

    Super Smash Bros. Melee – fun party game and revolutionary competitive game
    Mass Effect 2 – great story with an amazing cast of characters
    Bioshock – meta-commentary on playing games, Rapture is beautiful
    Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 – not a skateboarding game as much as a weird score chase platformer
    Arkham Asylum – first “true” representation of being Batman
    Skyrim – it’s a shallow pool, but it’s the biggest shallow pool I’ve seen

    Also, here are 5 games I’ve not played or only played a little, but seem “essential”:

    World of Warcraft
    League of Legends
    Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
    Red Dead: Redemption

  12. Let’s see… greatest games, overlooked games…

    These might fit the bill:
    * Live-A-Live – 9 (I think?) scenarios scored to music by Yoko Shimomura, some great scenarios, some even better. Also, it came out on the Wii U VC last week in Japan.
    * Soul Blazer/Illusion of Gaia/Terranigma – The unofficial Quintet trilogy. None of these games are on the old two lists. Not even ActRaiser! You’ll definitely have to include at least one of these.
    * Breath of Fire (II) – Either the first or the second should really make the cut. I know Dragon Quarter is on there, but it’s a controversial game, or so I hear. Breath of Fire II is even better with the fan translation. At least it makes a remote amount of sense.
    * Crusader of Centy – Some Genesis love, because Nintendo tends to get the biggest cut of the best game pie.
    * Tales of Phantasia – Again with the RPGs! It’s like I’m biased or something. But then the DeJap translation left rather a big impression in the shape of a tiger. (Is that a reference to Katt/Rinpuu Chuan from BoF II? I thought that up just now)
    * Ace Attorney – There’s some real great games in there. Especially 3 (Trials & Tribulations), 5 (Dual Destinies), and the two Miles Edgeworth games.
    * Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime – The only Slime game we got because Square Enix does not like satisfying small install bases.
    * Zero Escape – 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors and Virtue’s Last Reward are both really great games. VLR is arguably the better because of the interface upgrade.
    * Lunar – Unless you’re going against the one game you’re credited in.
    * Thomas Was Alone/Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons/Teslagrad – I’m running out of blurbs to write here. Some (perhaps) lesser-known games that are incredibly neat.

  13. Nobody’s said Saint’s Row IV yet? For shame.

    Then again, there hasn’t been mention of OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast either.

  14. For overlooked games, I’d add:
    – Sin & Punishment: Star Successor
    – A Boy & His Blob (Wii)
    – Antichamber
    – Far Cry 2
    – World of Goo

  15. How many can we vote for?

    Dark Souls

    Less recent
    Dragon Quest V
    Mega Man X

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