10. Mindsweeper (Every Computer Ever Made)
We have all played this game at some point; it is the ultimate time waster. But it is sort of fun and it helped me power through many a boring lecture in my college years. I actually got pretty good at it; once I clocked a 6 sec time on Easy, 33 sec time on Intermediate, and 186 on Hard. Yeah, I had some spare time, huh?
9. Super Metroid (Super NES)
This game freaked me out! The eerie ambient music, the supernatural aura of the graphics, the fact a floating brain is just plain creepy, Super Metroid still gives me nightmares. The original Metroid is a great game, but this one supersedes it in just about every way. Go play it and see if you can sleep afterwards….
8. Super Mario Bros 3 (NES)
Ah yes, the creme de la creme of the Mario series, Super Mario Bros 3 has more secrets than Donald Trump’s accountant. Obviously the original will be placed int he pantheon of great games and was really the first amazingly popular franchise primarily made for home consoles, but SMB 3 has so much more. The different worlds, the suits you can jump into and get special powers, the fluid gameplay, this version of the Mario series is the one that can last throughout time and not feel dated.
7. NHL ‘95 (Sega Genesis)
This game was my favorite my first year of college. My dorm had weekly tournaments where we would be seeded and compete to get through our bracket. Yes, this was highly organized; far more than I was in any one of my classes. NHL ‘95 has a seamless gameplay and a fast tempo that made the gameplay experience so much fun. In fact it is fair to say it was nothing like real hockey. ZING!
6. Excitebike (NES)
Excitebike (or ‘Exciting-Bicycle’ to some that I know) is the game I am most proficient at. Yes, I am really good at making that little bike guy clear suck hurdles as the ‘big bumpy thing’ or the ‘slightly bigger than the big bumpy thing’. But I was not always good at this game. Oh no, I am far from a natural at it. It took literally months of hardcore drill work to become as good as I am. Was it worth it? Hell maybe!
5. madden Football (Pick a Console, Pick a Year)
The most successful video game sports franchise, Madden Football brought the realism and complexity of NFL football to the masses for over 20 years. Each iteration the level of sophistication and realism notches up and the franchise becomes better and better. From the ‘92 version where all you had to do was press the B button with Barry Sanders and you never got tackled, to now 2016 where you as a player have to know about various defensive styles and philosophies to be successful. These games are high level and have promoted the NFL to a younger generation, thus ensuring by 2030 the NFL will be the Supreme Leader of the Universe.
4. Mega Man 2 (NES)
Mega Man 1 is awesome, despite no password or saving options. Mega Man 3 is an awesome extension of the franchise. But Mega Man 2 is the game that catapulted the plucky little blue guy from ‘cool video game protagonist’ to a true ‘Mega Man’. Mega Man 2 has so many cool options and different bad guys, it is easy to justify this as a top 10 game. But what I like the most about it is the graphic art; the clean and cartoonish visuals of the game make it not just fun to play, but fun to watch as well.
3. Mass Effect (PS 3)
The story of Shepard and his ventures in the Mass Effect world is so engaging, a comic book series was created after the invention of these games. The gameplay is a bit derivative and is not freeform like #2 game Morrowwind, but the plot and characters created for these games are so interesting and deep, the gameplay actually takes a backseat. Mass Effect is almost like a choose-your-own-adventure movie, where the decisions you make will influence how the story will unravel. There are many other games that try to do this, but none have the creativity and imagination that Mass Effect possesses. And Liara is just plain awesome.
2. Morrowind (XBox)
Discounting the nostalgia factor, Morrowind is the best game I have ever played. Morrowind is a fantasy game set in a Zelda/Tolkien-esque world (isn’t all fantasy Tolkien-esque?) where you choose your race, abilities, etc, and you go on adventures. Been there, done that, right? Well, maybe so, but not like this. This world is free and vast, you can pretty much do anything you want. From advancing in the main story to going off on side quests, Morrowind feels limitless, especially when it was released in 2002. In the Elder Scroll Series, where Morrowind is the 3rd installment, there are more recent and advanced games. However none have the same high quality storyline, amazing gameplay, balanced with appropriate levels of difficulty and hours of gameplay as Morrowind. It is close to the perfect game. I remember being so caught up in the story that I would have dreams about this world and my adventures. The world of Tamriel was lush and vibrant with a real feeling of mythology. I remember before meeting one of the final main characters, the build-up was so strong I was actually sweating and nervous before meeting him. What the hell is that all about? It’s just a stupid game. But these things can suck you in if not careful, and Morrowind is about as good at sucking you in as any game ever.
1. Legend of Zelda (NES)
It is the king of all games. Created in 1986, Zelda was so far ahead of its time it is insane. Other than the fact it was the first game to actually save where you left off (back then there was no memory, so you had either passwords or just continue until you were sick of the playing), other than it came with a huge map of the entire world of Hyrule, other than there was a huge storyline and mythology created exclusively for this game, you know what happened when you won the game? You get another quest!!! It was like having two games in one!! And the quest itself was…well….so much fun I don’t know what else to say. Memories of my childhood are ‘Link’ed to this game so strongly, I cannot rank this game any lower than #1. But this is just not a personal opinion; the quality of the game is irrefutable. In fact they have made 16 games since Zelda. Not all of a high quality mind you, but most are considered top notch games for the genre. Yes, I know Ocarina in Time is considered the best, but if you factor in the originality that the first one possesses along with the fact that it came out in 1986, it is hard to argue that the first Legend of Zelda is one of the most important and greatest video games in history.