A Look at Ten of Game Informer's Top 200 Video Games of All Time...
Dec 10, 2009
For issue 200 of Game Informer Magazine, the editors sounded off their top 200 video games of all time. With millions of video game titles, it's hard to pick out only 200, but the titles that the famous magazine did pick were hard to argue with. These 200 titles helped revolutionize the video game industry as we know it and while I can't talk about all 200 games, I've picked out ten games that I think helped revolutionize the genres that they belong to. Let's start with Super Mario 64.
Super Mario 64 was the first title of the Mario series of games that gave you an opportunity to play in an amazing 3D open world. While all previous Mario titles went in a straight line, Super Mario 64 let you go left, right, down and up and jump up onto anything that was around you. Mario 64 also added a sense of difficulty, something previous titles were severely lacking. This was a game that actually felt a touch ahead of its time and while the world was ready for a new take in the world of Mario, think back to when Dreamcast came out. While the system was amazing, it was way ahead of its time and players weren't ready for it yet. Nintendo took a real gamble with Mario 64 and won, paving the way for great titles like Mario Kart 64 and much later on, Super Mario Galaxy for the Wii.
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare; are you surprised it's so high on the list? Perhaps the best first person shooter ever to be created, COD 4 took a page out of the great PC title Counterstrike's book and made the most addicting game ever. For years, the Call of Duty games were left strictly in the World War II genre, but Activision and Infinity Ward took the title out of its comfort zone and brought it to the modern era. From nukes to P90's, Modern Warfare took what gamers loved about first person shooters and brought them to a whole other level while in the process, giving gamers a genre they could relate with. Modern Warfare also brought online gameplay to a new playing field, completely outnumbering Halo.
Going back to the Nintendo 64, a title that changed video games forever was The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. From an amazing soundtrack to one of the longest games I ever played, Ocarina of Time, like Mario 64, brought the Zelda series into a beautiful 3D open world. There would be times where I would turn this game on just to ride around on my horse until I got bored. This game also brought a sense of difficulty that previous Zelda title never had. On top of the games difficulty, there was a tremendous amount of fun involved with this great title. Despite being such a major title, the games sequel, Majora's Mask was a major disappointment in my opinion.
This next game was the Playstation 2's crowing achievement. I speak of none other than God of War. Let's face it, who doesn't want to play as an expelled ex-God who wants vengeance. When you think of epic games, a few titles like Knight of the Old Republic come to mind; so does God of War. Playing as Kratos gave gamers more control of a character than any other game at the time, revolutionizing the now way over used context-sensitive button-presses. Most of all, God of War brought nudity, brutality and mutilation in video games to the next level.
"The Name's Bond...James Bond...". Oh yes ladies and gentleman, Goldeneye. While Modern Warfare brought first person shooters to the next generation, Goldeneye gave birth to how first person shooters should be made. While being the first James Bond title to have amazing gameplay and hours of fun, it also paved the way for games like Perfect Dark. From the very first mission where you're fighting through Russian soldiers to get to the cliff diving sequence all the way to the very end, Goldeneye never let you down. The definition of multiplayer was also born with the release of Goldeneye as you and three of your friends could spend all night shooting each other up with characters like Odd Job and Jaws. Who didn't skip a few days of school playing this game? Better yet, how many times did you get punched after killing one of your friends with the golden gun?
Forget about Warcraft, that game ruins peoples lives. The one and only strategy game that was better than all the others was Starcraft! While it didn't get the publicity it deserved, Starcraft was my go to computer game when I had nothing better to do. Not to say it was a last resort game because that couldn't be further from the truth. I used to love playing as the Protoss with all of their advanced technology. Starcraft wasn't just any old real time strategy game, it was praised for raising the bar for its genre of gaming. Who didn't get upset when Starcraft: Ghost was canceled? Not to worry though since Starcraft 2 will be among us very soon.
While Guitar Hero is now a distant memory despite being released only four years ago, it is the mother of all Guitar and band based games. I never actually played the original, but look at what one title has led too: Rock Band's 1 and 2, all of the current Guitar Hero titles and finally, DJ Hero. Let's not forget about one of its best spin offs, Rocks the 80's. The 80's title literally left people banging their head all night long...that might be in part due to the song "Bang Your Head" being on the track list. Needless to say, Guitar Hero has brought music to gamers all around thew world and despite being a Rock Band title, brought The Beatles to the digital age.
"A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...." With so many Star Wars titles out there, you would think that there would be a lot of amazing games in the franchise. Not the case. Star War's crowning achievement in video games was quite possibly the best RPG ever to hit the market and that was with the release Knight of the Old Republic. This game literally took place a long time ago in Star Wars history (4,000 years before the rise of the Galactic Empire), dating back to when the Jedi were still an important force (no pun intended) in the galaxy...and the Sith had equal numbers. Bringing gamers a movie quality story and fantastic gameplay, Knights took players to a rich numbers of worlds throughout the Republic including Kashyyyk and Tatooine. Most of all, the game gave players the option through decision making whether to follow the ways of the Jedi...or the Sith. For being such an amazing game, its sequel, Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords was a huge disappointment.
Say what you will, but Uncharted 2: Among Thievesbelongs on this list. Like God of War for PS2, Uncharted 2 was PS3's crowning achievement. Never has a video game fused together so well the cinematic and gameplay aspects that make a game complete. With amazing, film quality voice acting from Nolan North and Farscape and Stargate SG1's Claudia Black and the smoothest game play to hit a console, Uncharted 2 should win game of the year. I never had so much fun raiding tombs ina game before. The Uncharted series learned a lot from the the Tomb Raider series and developer Naughty Dog virtually made them their bitch. From the minute you start this game, you'll get why it's so damn good!
At the end of the list we have Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. This is one that I think is a controversial game to have on the list because of so many of the greats out there, but Prince of Persia was a real door opener. Think about games like God of War which came out a couple of years after Prince of Persia; it has so many aspects of POP's gameplay in it. This title gave you a lot more freedom as a third person point of view game than many other games of its nature like the ability run walls and jump from enemy to enemy seamlessly. Look at recent games like Arkham Asylum that give you that same style of free fighting. The Sands of Time opened a lot of doors that hadn't been thought about up to that point in time, hence why it ends this list.
It's hard to pick ten games out of 200, but these are the ones that I personally think revolutionized video games. I hope you enjoyed it and if your game isn't on the list, feel free to tell me about it. In ten years, this list will probably be completely different as the video game world is always evolving. For now, I leave you with a few games that almost made it on this list, but fell just a little short. Game on.
Rock Band: It fell under the Guitar Hero revolution.
Counterstrike: Modern Warfare blew it out of the water.
Halo: Great game with an amazingly epic story, but not a whole lot that was new gameplay wise.
Every gamer knows what Game Informer is. It's the world's bestselling video game magazine. It often holds the number one spot among game magazine sales. It's even among the top 100 bestselling magazines of all time. With this in mind, you'd expect that Game Informer would be perhaps one of the best magazines out there. Well, yes and no. There are certain things that it is good for. In the sense that it can give a unique perspective on the video game industry … more
Hi, my name is Julian Brown. I currently write for The Brotherly Game, a local Philadelphia soccer website where I cover the US Women's National Team and the local WPS Philadelphia Independence. I … more
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