Games Revisited All Time Top 50 Retro Games

Doesn’t the time fly! We started this wonderful webpage a whole 4 years ago and in that time we have played and reviewed over 300 games. Some great and some not so great. Some downright abysmal. BUT, for this list we will celebrate our top 50 games of all time. However, as usual there are some quirks and caveats to all of our shenanigans.

Rules:

  • One per franchise. Oddly we get some grief for this, but we have certain game series we love and if we didn’t employ a one per franchise rule the top 20 would be Mega Man, Final Fantasy and Resident Evils occupying roughly 17 of the top 20 of the slots. And that would be boring.
  • Nothing later than the Sixth Generation (Dreamcast/Gamecube/PlayStation 2 and Xbox). We don’t use this as a cut off for Retro Gaming, but we find it is a good cut off for arbitrary list reasons and prevent Jamie claiming that Dark Souls is the best game EVUR because he git gud’ed
  • Still no wildcards, we have to have played and reviewed the game so that we aren’t blindly following nostalgia goggles.
  • Up/Down signifies year-on-year movement. We like to think our webpage is a living organism and as such our scores are changed to reflect how it compares to it’s peers and negate our own hype train. Also, you know, new entries.

It is all fairly simple, but before we get to listing I need to make a quick announcement. I have failed with CastleVania Symphony of the Night. Matt tried and failed and my memory card screwed up leaving me slightly annoyed and the game not finished. Also, I am STILL on 95 Exits on Super Mario World and I refuse to write it up until that bad boy is finished. So despite those two games being the most suggested last year we frankly failed as a website to complete them. (I’ve competed SOTN, but Jamie had never played it so I refuse to review it. Even he deserves joy.)

50. Toejam and Earl

Just holding on to the top 50 is a game everybody remembers fondly but I still don’t think this game makes much sense. But Toejammin might be the single greatest videogame song, it is certainly the funkiest.

Down 3 (Review)

49. Cannon Fodder

Having gone back and spent considerable time just trying to get off Mission 8 I honestly don’t believe anyone can complete this game. It is ludicrously hard and if you say you’ve completed it you’re either a god or a liar.

Down 4 (Review)

48. Twisted Metal: World Tour

Vehicular Combat at it’s almost best. Fun racers, fun vehicles, but ugly as fuck. You can look beyond these things because Twisted Metal is simply fun to play.

New Entry (Review)

47. Street Racer

More Vehicular Combat, but this time it is a cartoon racer than has decent handling, decent (and balanced) characters and frankly puts Super Mario Kart to shame.

New Entry (Review)

46.Gotcha Force

Pokémon but with huge stompy robots. Need we say more? We do? Ok, it is way less repetitive and hasn’t been re-released one thousand times with ever stupider versions of the same thing,

Down 4 (Review)

45. Knights of the Round

Just to annoy the internet I am going to call this a Dark Souls-ey Beat ‘Em Up. You know the drill with beat ’em ups, walk left and punch things. Knights of the Round adds in blocking which makes this a twitchey bastard that is hard as fucking balls. Time the block correctly and you’ll get a devastating riposte, mistime it and you’ll get a sword to the knackers and probably death.

You see, sometimes comparing a game to Dark Souls is fair. It is also fair to say I died a lot.

New Entry (Review)

44. Batman Returns

Sometimes it is the attention to detail that makes you fanboi, in this case it was almost pixel perfect recreations of film scenes. Oh, the combat was pretty decent too with a giant rubber duck for a boss and we’re easily amused.

Down 1 (Review)

43. Diddy Kong Racing

We have been saying this for 4 years and we will keep saying it. Diddy Kong Racing is better than Mario Kart 64. FACT. A single player campaign that bordered on insane for difficulty, and depth to driving that Mario Kart still lacks.

Down 2 (Review)

42. RoboCop vs the Terminator

This is one of the big movers this year, and not in a good direction since we decided we scored it a few points higher. Though it does do what a good run and gun does. You run, and gun… And it is set in the RoboCop and Terminators universe!

Down 14 (Review)

41. Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri

Civilization in space. So robots, spaceships, and no bloody pikemen ruining your fun.

Down 5 (Review)

40. Streets of Rage 2

Another big drop in this year’s chart, but that shouldn’t detract from a great game. There might not much in between this and the first one but by having 4 characters with actual differences does make SoR2 the best in that series and one of the best beat ’em ups.

Down 14 (Review)

39. Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars

A few big losers coming about this year from score adjustments but this is Point and Clicking at it’s almost finest, what I love about Broken Sword is it lacks some of the obtuse puzzles of it’s compatriots. If you ignore the goat on a rope.

Down 12 (Review)

38. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney

Cards on the table, I screwed the pooch with this one and forgot to add it to the list. Not sure why. It placed at 25th in our first ever list and having a Lawyer/detective sim where the tiniest details matter might not sound like fun, (‘um – yes it does’ – Craig) but as we mentioned, we like Capcom and Ace Attorney is a cracker.

Re-Entry (Review)

37. Point Blank 3

Point Blank is the game everybody knows, the keen amongst you will also be aware of Point Blank 2, but Point Blank 3 is the cherry on the trifle. PB1 was almost perfect, PB2 turned the difficulty to 11 and spoilt it for many. PB3 just says fuck it, lets just make a fun shooter with more game types. It was as perfect as a shooter can be.

Down 2 (Review)

36. Jet Set Radio

Jamie has broken at least 5 Dreamcast pads playing this game, but he still wants more. Plus Craig loves it, and he’s easily more important.

Also, Jamie can’t complete it because he is shit.

Up 2 (Review)

35. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time

Another loser of the great “lets stop this REVIEW arms race and trying to give 98% to games” war Jamie and Craig got into with reviews of Banjo Kazooie and Splinter Cell with counters of Knights of the Old Republic and Silent Hill 2. Wait where was I? Oh yeah, Turtles in Time… It’s a great beat ’em up and Jamie and Craig hate playing it together as we are both grumps who rarely agree.

Down 12 (Review)

34. Time Crisis II

The best light gun game ever made. 1 player, 2 machine guns. BEST. MODE. EVER.

Up 3 (Review)

33. The Secret of Monkey Island

The UI doesn’t hold up and some of the puzzles are a little archaic, but the fact you can play the remastered version and constantly switch between the two means best of both worlds and one of those rare examples of a remake actually trying.

As for the sword fighting, you fight like a milk maid.

New Entry (New Entry)

32. Earthworm Jim 1 and 2

Actually can’t decide between these two, one has slightly better levels, one has significantly more character, and both more 90’s than Dawson’s Creek.

Up 1 (Review Review)

31. Micro Machines ’96

If you have a bad temper it is probably best to avoid this game. Due to this, we both love and HATE Micro Machines in equal measures.

Up 3 (Review)

30. Golden Axe Warrior

Imagine the original version of the Legend of Zelda, but harder and less obtuse? Got it? That’s Golden Axe Warrior, and off-piste Golden Axe game in the vein of Zelda with qll your “favourites” such as Ax Battler making cameos. Fairly sold it sold like shit, but you’ll find this on the Megadrive Collections on the XBox360 and PS3.

Up 4 (Review)

29. NBA JAM

You can argue over which particular version of the game is the best(Like Street Fighter 2), but we are going to stick to the Vanilla version. Easily the best basketball game.

Up 3 (Review)

28. Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee

Honest to god still finding secrets in this game. Jamie is terrible and can’t beat it, but Dave the sad act 100%ed it like the legend he is. *farts*

Up 3 (Review)

27. Aladdin

Obviously this is the Genesis version as the Super Nintendo version is pretty crap in comparison. What we had here is a perfect 2D platformer with some of the smoothest animations of the not just the 16bit era, but the 32/64bit generation.

Up 3 (Review)

26. Star Fox 64

The game is like Slippy on Titania that is to say a none mover. (We refuse to rescue the terrible terrible creature)

That moment you think you’ve 100%ed the game only to discover that it is only 50% of the game was a bigger twist than in the Crying Game. Not really, but it adds to the longevity.

On-Rails space combat was never bettered.

None Mover (Review)

25. Fatal Frame

Still haven’t played the sequels because I have honestly never shit myself as much as I have playing this game. Creepy doesn’t cover it. Psychological, jump scares, and straight up scary sections left us not wanting any more. Thankfully, Project Zero/Fatal Frame doesn’t have the skeevy upskirt peedo action of some of the later titles.

None Mover (Review)

24. Sunset Riders

Bury us with our money. Frantic colourful Run and Gun from an era when Konami were knocking this sort of hot arcade action out of the park. Great game, almost the perfect example of the genre.

New Entry (Review)

23. Metal Gear Solid

Tactical Espionage Text Crawler/Cutscene-athon. This is a 2 hour game with 18 hours of text and videos to watch play. If only Konami weren’t blithering testicle munchers they’d make games like this again.

Down 1 (Review)

22. Fallout 2

The score for Fallout 2 could drop by 20-30 points if you accidently specced wrong and were unable to complete it, thankfully my silver tongued devil talked his way to completion, but if you think you’re fighting your way to the end you need to be Lucky, A Literal God, or level 8526. Otherwise you’ll be wafflestomped by a million Power Suit wearing douchebags.

Oh the humour is still fantastic and filled with references only the cool kids will get. Obadiah Hakeswell?!?!?!

Up 1 (Review)

21. Sonic the Hedgehog 2

There are less than a handful of good Sonic games and anyone saying otherwise is weeb. Maybe not, we’ll stop insulting everyone for a moment. But the good Sonic games are still fantastic and for us Sonic 2 just edges Sonic 3. (I still love you, Sonic. Generations was awesome! – Craig)

Down 1 (Review)

20. Shining Force II

Tactical RPG without the annoyances of its predecessor. Lovely story, and a great mix of characters.

Down 8 (Review)

19. Mega Man X2

Another big drop for Mega Man X2 see it fall 9 places. If you like the Mega Man series you’d be a fool for not preferring the X versions for the almost perfect refinement of the system. Hot-swapping abilities with L and R, robot creatures with stupid names but brilliantly addictive gameplay.

Down 9 (Review)

18. Gunstar Heroes

Because sometimes, ‘fuck it, shoot the thing’ is all you really need. A wildcard from the first year, lived up to expectation and continues to do so.

None Mover (Review)

17. Dungeon Keeper

I keep going back to Theme Park and Theme Hospital and just can’t commit to them. They are slightly broken, and pretty boring mid-late game. Dungeon Keeper however took a fresh approach, you’re evil, being evil, doing evil. We need more games where you get to be the bad guy and where you get to kill the pillock on a mission from god.

Down 6 (Review)

16. Eternal Darkness

Trippy, creepy weird, and different enough on each playthrough to make it different.

Up 3 (Review)

15. Beyond Oasis

Almost the best Zelda game ever made, it marries the art style of Aladdin and Persian folklore with the exploration and dungeon crawling of Legend of Zelda. It is a beauty to look at, and even a disembodied floating head for a final boss isn’t a let down.

Up 2 (Review)

14. X-COM: Terror From the Deep

Move 1 square North. You’re dead. Reload file. Move 1 square South. You’re Dead. Reload. Move 1 Square East. You’re dead. Pretty much the only way to play this game or accept all those you love will die from a bastard Lobster Man sniping them from across the map endlessly.

Up 7 (Review)

13. Tony Hawk 3

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 to give it it’s full name was the pinnacle of a series that got ground into the dust quicker than my knees the one time I tried to do an olly on a skateboard, but you know what? Being able to bust a 1260 degree kick flip, no comply into a Christ Air into a Guitar Solo grind is what sports “simulations” should be. Stupidly fun.

Up 3 (Review)

12. Bucky O’Hare

Imagine Mega Man 2, but harder. Like much MUCH harder. That is Bucky O’Hare.

Up 1 (Review)

11. The Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past

Call me old fashioned but their is an inherent charm to pink haired Link, and games not featuring Tingle or nonsense timeline theories that are more retconned and kitbashed than Wesker in Resident Evil.

Link to the Past is also pretty hard, with some puzzles that will have you screaming in frustration or reaching for a walkthrough.

Up 3 (Review)

10. Banjo-Kazooie

3D Platforming at it’s best, tonnes of collectables and still plays like a dream. Try to ignore how bad the graphics are now.

Down 7 (Review)

9. Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest

We think Donkey Kong Country is better than Super Mario World, and Donkey Kong Country 2 is better than that. Tonnes of levels, a completionists wet dream and less minecarts to get annoyed by.

New Entry (Review)

8. Blade Runner

The highest new entry and a fairly surprising one it seems. Point and Click games are “supposed” to be cartooney, made by LucasArts and came out circa 1990, but expand your horizons and check out what Westwood/Virgin where knocking out in 1997. Over 20 endings, plotlines you can fail that don’t end the game but create new endings, and some of the best looking graphics of the era (and worst it’s a mixed bag). Seriously, check Blade Runner out.

New Entry (Review)

7. Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory

2 years ago we predicted a top 10 placement for Chaos Theory and here we are stoically maintaining a top 10 place. Tight controls, huge levels that are fun to explore, a multitude of ways to complete missions, and the single most underrated co-op mode of all time.

Down 2 (Review)

6. Resident Evil 3: Nemesis

We made the mistake of asking Reddit trolls their opinion of our favourite Resident Evil games and because we had the temerity to say that Revelation is actually quite good we were spammed with “I stopped reading when” without considering the reasoning. Well, fuck you guy. Here is the best Resident Evil. It is Nemesis. The others are great, for us it is between this and 2 with 4 a little further behind. But having Nemesis chase you throughout the entire game is pants browningly fun and leaves enough variety on each playthrough for it to be different everytime.

Up 2 (Review)

5. Grim Fandango

Still the main reason Craig gets out of bed in the morning. I mean who DOESN’T want to be a Travel Salesman to the Afterlife?!

Up 2 (Review)

4. Final Fantasy VI

Having discovered Final Fantasy VI in later life and spending almost 20 years insisting that VII is the best I can almost admit I was wrong. But playing VII again recently I couldn’t find anything to separate the 2. But you know what? Having the confidence to stop, and spend 30 minutes on an Opera is what makes VI the best. Both have a great story, both have likable characters, even douchebags like Cloud are shown as frail and vulnerable unlike full on Douche Nozzles like Tidus or Squall. But that all considered, going “Fuck it, we’re having an Opera” seperates VI from the rest. Also, it is great to wind up Reddit trolls by simply stating VI is best.

None Mover (Review)

3. WWF No Mercy

The best performer in our list and managing to move up 3 places in a tight list with little separating the top 10. Honestly the most fun wrestling game ever, and we still play it – and we still haven’t unlocked the goddamn ho! Just hope you don’t have a version of the game that randomly erases your data.

Up 3 (Review)

2. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

An original wildcard entry that placed it 3rd, and then a slightly over enthusiastic review put KOTOR at number one last year. Depth and breadth with a plot twist we didn’t see coming in 2003 makes Star Wars the most enjoyable RPG. It helps that it is Star Wars, it helps there is fan service, and it helps that it is in it’s own time period and doesn’t try to fit in prequel nonsense.

Oh, and HK-47 is bae.

Down 1 (Review)

1. Silent Hill 2

I will fight you to death and/or smother you with a pillow in your sleep if you disagree with me. A dark twist towards the end that makes sense, other twists that are psychological and not twists for the sake of twists and some of the best writing and voice acting in videogame history. Silent Hill 2 is a game EVERYBODY should play at least once. Even the sloppy HD remake is good enough for you to love the story.

Up 1 (Review)

 

Aims for next year:

  • Steal Matt’s copy of CastleVania: Symphony of the Night and actually get it reviewed.
  • Restart Super Mario World and use a damn Excel Spreadsheet to tick off levels, so I can keep track of what i’m missing. Forever on 95 exits.
  • Get more writers. But not create a circle-jerk.
    • Get Craig to write more than 6 posts a year…
    • Get Matt, Dave or Claw to write one between them.
  • Try and review more GameCube and Dreamcast games
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I'm awesome. I write about videogames and play bass guitar.

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Posted in Lists
6 comments on “Games Revisited All Time Top 50 Retro Games
  1. GamingPicks says:

    Great list (and rules)! Different eras, platforms, genres… I liked number 1, certainly is an special game. Nice to see Blade Runner in the Top 10, an incredible adventure by Westwood. And I’ve played many of them but I still have to play others (Vitual Console in Switch would help…).

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was amazed playing Blade Runner again as the run was totally different to any of my other playthroughs. As a kid I was failing everything and got the bad endings as I couldn’t do puzzles. But seeing there is way more depending on how good/shite you are is very rewarding.

      I’ve played a Switch for 15 minutes and my thumbs are too big to press buttons properly

      Liked by 1 person

      • GamingPicks says:

        I haven’t played Blade Runner for years, but I remember playing it twice, with really different results (different ending partner and even, if I remember correctly, main characters “nature”). About Switch, I’m enjoying it but it has confirmed that I’m not a handheld player. Fortunately, it has a dock mode.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I guess these aren’t spoilers because it all depends on what you do but *SPOILERS* you can be a replicant or not. The girl can be or not. I’ve got the original ending to the film “in a car driving into sunset”. I’ve had on Mars killing things,on Mars not killing things *END SPOILERS*.

        So pretty different

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Mr. Wapojif says:

    Good list! I’d certainly add in Super Metroid, which I think it total genius, plus Super Castlevania.

    Dungeon Keeper is still amazing, glad to see that here. A new title there would be much appreciated – 20 years on, it’s such an original game it’s remarkable.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sadly Dungeon Keeper might have been killed by that god awful Freemium game a few years ago.

      I played Super CastleVania for a tiny bit (got to the spinning room) and under the 1 per franchise what little of SotN I’ve played that would be the one CastleVania entry.

      I’ve still not played a Metroid properly. Have recently gotten to the first power (spin ball thing) in NES Metroid.

      Basically my goal for the year is play more Metroid and CastleVania

      Liked by 1 person

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