The Top 50 Retro Games That Are WAAAAAAY Better Than Sonic Adventure

Well folks it is that time of the year where we indulge in a spot of navel gazing and celebrate our glorious FIFTH birthday.

As time waits for no man we shall get onto this, so settle in and we’ll do this as one long list to save you having to click through 10 different pages in an attempt to pad the stats. We’ll be using the same rules as last year, so:


  • One per franchise. 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 for you and us. You can also see our Top 10 of those franchises in separate lists (Resident Evil) if you are that desperate.
  • 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 Bloodborne is the best game EVUR because he git gud’ed
  • 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.

Pour one out for the homies that dropped out the list this year; Gotcha Force, Robocop versus the Terminator, Toejam and Earl, Cannon Fodder, Twisted Metal World Tour, Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars, Knights of the Round, Phoenix Wright, Batman Returns, Street Racer, and Turtles in Time all seeing themselves unceremonially booted out of the top 50 by a flood of new entries.

50. Diddy Kong Racing

We have been saying this for 4 years and we will keep saying it as long as Diddy remains in the top 50. *Diddy Kong Racing is better than Mario Kart 64*. FACT. Mostly down to a single player campaign that bordered on insane for difficulty, but with a depth to driving that Mario Kart still lacks. Mario Kart does have better multiplayer though.

Down 7 (Review)

49. Psychonauts

Perhaps remembered *TOO* fondly by some of the fans as Psychonauts hasn’t aged the best but those cumbersome and obtuse levels only detract a little from one of the funniest, and most creative games ever made.

New Entry (Review)

Coughs *Dogen*

48. Streets of Rage II

There might not much in it between SoR2 and the first game in the series, but by having 4 characters with actual differences does make SoR2 the best in that series. The special attack move also adds depth  that a screen clearing bomb doesn’t.

Down 8 (Review)

Awww man I suck at this bit!

47. Point Blank 3

Point Blank is the game everybody seems to remember most fondly, the keen among 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. PB3 just says fuck it, lets just make a fun shooter with more game types. It was almost as perfect as a shooter can be.

Down 10 (Review)

Point Blank 3

46. 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 ever made and still hours of fun when you have mates round.

Down 17 (Review)


45. Jet Set Radio

Jamie has broken at least 6* 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.

*only one pad broken since last years list.

Down 8 (Review)

44. Time Crisis II

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

Down 10 (Review)

You have maybe 1/5th of a second to dodge this

43. 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, I’ve spoken with apes more polite than you!

Down 10 (Review)

42. 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.

Down 11 (Review)

It looks so peaceful doesn’t it? It won’t be after I’ve driven through those pushpins, slammed into the book, fallen off the side and put my fist through the TV.

41. Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!

Perfect timing, pattern recognition, and patience and the 3 virtues required to beat Punch-Out. No, Jamie doesn’t have any of those and can’t beat the game without cheating. But that doesn’t stop Punch-Out!! being addictive and teeth-gratingly difficult. The regular None-Mike Tyson version is just as good.

New Entry (Review)

Iron Mike looks awesome

40. Aladdin

Obviously this is the Genesis version as the Super Nintendo version is pretty crap. 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. The only slight issue is the game is pretty short

Down 13 (Review)

39. 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 a Tamagotchi (look it up kiddies).

Down 6 (Review of 1, Review of 2)

38. Dungeons & Dragons: Tower of Doom

Legitimately some of the best dragons you’ll ever see in a video game. This side-scrolling beat ’em up/hack and slash added RPG elements and the aforementioned dragons. Seriously, the dragons are awesome.


New Entry (Review)

37. Hardwar

Metabera kindly played a dry flight simulation/trading/pirate space game, and it is actually bloody good..

No, the screenshots don’t do it justice

New Entry (Review)

36. 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.

Down 12 (Review)

Cutscenes are nice and detailed

35. Golden Axe Warrior

Imagine the original version of the Legend of Zelda, but harder and less obtuse? Got it? That’s Golden Axe Warrior, an off-piste Golden Axe game in the vein of Zelda with all your “favourite” characters such as Ax Battler making cameos. It did sell like shitmaking originals hard to come by, but you’ll find this on the Megadrive Collections on the XBox360 and PS3.

The Labyrinths are identified, meaning you don’t try to do a level you’re too weak for.

Down 5 (Review)

34. Zombies Ate my Neighbour

Shit, this game is in fact more 90s than Earthworm Jim, in fact Zombies is so 90s that Pogs called it up and handed it the 90s baton of pride. Run and Gun puzzler with a comedy horror theme that encompasses all horror tropes really is something to marvel at. Struck by out Zombie curse has has received precisely 5 views…

Grrr shopping centers!

New Entry (Review)

33. Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee

Oh. My. God. Did you see the CGI trailer that just dropped and everyone is hyped for? But give Abe a visit when you can as honest to god we are 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*

Down 5 (Review)

32. Shining Force II

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

Down 12 (Review)

Final boss is decent enough, but nowhere near as fun as Dark Dragon

31. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3

The biggest drop on the list due to the amount of new games entering the list and minor points adjustment. We do revisit our revisits in case you were wondering. Craig has taken this drop as an act of war, and will be giving THPS4 100% in short order.

Down 19 (Review)

30. StarFox 64/Lylat Wars

Can’t let you do that Star Fox, known in the EU as Lylat Wars. StarFox 64 is one of the Nintendo 64 games that still holds up, tonnes of depth, a sliding difficulty based on achievements in game and almost endlessly replayable too. Only negative is Slippy. WORRA’ PRICK.

Down 4 (Review)

29. Fatal Frame/Project Zero

Bring a change of underwear when playing Fatal Frame as jesus’ arse gravy is this a scary game. You fight ghost with a shitty polaroid camera in an interesting variation on the Survival Horror theme. Honestly the tensest I have ever been while playing a game.

Down 4 (Review)

Ha, NO.

28. Mega Man X2

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)

27. Theme Park

I was surprised at how well Theme Park held up. Fun, humorous, and lots of hidden details making the game endlessly replayable. Bored of a park? Well, just sell it and start again. Want to argue the minutia of ice cream prices, you’re in luck. Want to build an endless series of one way streets to force your customers to buy tat? Again, you’re in luck.

New Entry (Review)

RUBBER DINGY RAPIDS! Yeah, you can change the names of the rides

26. Fallout 2

The score for Fallout 2 could drop by 20-30 points if you accidentally 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.

Down 4 (Review)

Considering how hard the Oil Rig can be, Horrigan is pretty easy.

25. Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Showing we are not biased against Sonic games (Well, Craig isn’t.), as some of them are bloody fantastic. It is just a shame so many aren’t. But less about those, we are here to celebrate the awesomeness that is Sonic 2.

Down 4 (Review)

24. 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.

Down 6 (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. So play MGS and laugh at how bad Metal Gear Survive was.

None Mover (Review)

22. Dungeon Keeper

Dungeon Keeper took a fresh approach to the other Bullfrog SIMS, here 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 5 (Review)

21. Eternal Darkness

Just dropping put of the top 20 due to fierce competition from the newbies. Eternal Darkness is however trippy, creepy, weird, and different enough on each playthrough to make it replayable makes this one of the best games on the Gamecube.

Down 5 (Review)

20. Beyond Oasis

Officially a mainstay of the top 20 as it enters the 3rd year in our charts having *just* scraped it’s place in the top 20. Beyond Oasis is 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 heads for a final boss isn’t a let down.

Down 5 (Review)

The boss is awesome!

19. 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. Reload, move one square West. You’re dead. This is petty 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. But X-Com is fun, and tactical and one of the most satisfying moments in gaming is 40 hours in when the balance of power tips in your favour.

Down 5 (Review)


18. Banjo Kazooie

Continuing it’s slide down our chart after topping the charts in 2016. 3D Platforming at it’s best, tonnes of collectables and still plays fun to play. Try to ignore how bad the graphics are now, and the clunky camera.

Down 8 (Review)

17. Bucky O’Hare

Imagine Mega Man 2, but harder. Like much MUCH harder and with cool/edgy cartoon characters in the place of a charisma-less robots in blue spandex. That is Bucky O’Hare. He is awesome.

Down 5 (Review)

I loved this level, and needed a picture of Bucky…

16. Tekken 3

Possibly the greatest Tournament Fighter of all time, tonnes of characters, a fair difficulty settings that can be edited at will allowing a hamfisted nub like me to 100% the game, but also allowing 12 years olds that have fucked your mother to be devistating alpha-males in the virtual world. Just house rule out Doctor B and Eddy Gordo to stop cheese spamming.

New Entry (Review)

I’m basically a god at pulling off the Paul power punch.

15. Command and Conquer: Red Alert 2

The most recent review to make the list. Still played online by many, and a faction balance that out strips StarCraft (yeah I went there). The pinnicle of Real Time Strategy that will never be bettered.

New Entry (Review)

Nuke the bastards

14. 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.

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

Down 3 (Review)

You’ve rescued Zelda, now what?

13. Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones

Tactical RPG at it’s best, well written with a deep and emotional story. Also managed to have a steep, but fair difficultly curve.

Totally missed this off last years list by mistake.

(Down 4 from year 2017) (Review)

5/7 I would totally have sex with Myrrh in dragon form.

12. 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. The only way to settle this argument is if one of us finally completes SMW.

Down 3 (Review)

11. Day of the Tentacle

The second new entry from Metabera which is another LucasArts Double Fine nostalgia trip. Just like the Monkey Island remake you can play this game in new and improved mode or warts and all original mode. Both have drawbacks, both have their strengths, and being able to switch between the two means you can always be playing the “best” version.

New Entry (Review)

OG graphics

10. Blade Runner

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 knocked out in 1997. Over 20 endings, plotlines you can fail on that don’t end the game but create new endings, and some of the best looking graphics of the era (and the worst, it’s a mixed bag). Seriously, check Blade Runner out.

Good splotchy Mr Splotchy

Down 2 (Review)

9. Grim Fandango

A permanent fixture of our Top 10 having placed 8th in 2016 it very much finds itself in a similar position this year. 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?!

Down 4 (Review)

People are gonna tell you there are better sidekicks than Glottis. They are damn dirty apes and they are wrong.

8. Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory

3 years ago we predicted a top 10 placement for Chaos Theory, and the last 2 years have seen Chaos Theory 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 1 (Review)

7. Resident Evil 3: Nemesis

Even the current hype for Resident Evil 2 due to the semi-fantastic REmake wasn’t enough to dislodge the true crown to the Resident Evil franchise. Having Nemesis chase you throughout the entire game is pants browningly fun, but having a real risk/reward mechanic in having Ol’nemesis being beatable creates enough variety on each playthrough for it to be different everytime.

Down 1 (Review)

Fight or flee?

6. Final Fantasy VI

You know how much I love this game? I have spent well over a thousand hours just listening to the soundtrack! The game is also good, and Celes is Bae. Sorry for saying Bae.

Down 2 (Review)

Celes’ Opera Scene

5. WWF: No Mercy

With little separating such a tight list at the top 10 No Mercy managed to fall a couple of spots this year. It is however 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.

Down 2 (Review)

4. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

Blooming ‘eck, a new entry this high in our fabled list? Makes sense why there are so many games dropping down the list and so few climbers, hey? The term MetroidVania was coined for games like this, however this was the first Castlevania to actually be a MetroidVania stripping out the level structure encouraging exploration with a steady flow of new moves and abilities that made your discoveries feel organic.

Throw in optional bosses, a kick ass soundtrack and some funky sprite design makes Symphony of the Night tighter than a gnats arse.

New Entry (Review)

3. Knights of the Old Republic

Our Number 1 game just 2 years ago, Knights of the Old Republic is rightfully this high on anybodies list as it even featured highly under the old wildcard system. 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.

Down 1 (Review)


2. Super Street Fighter 2

Castlevania seemed destined to be the top new entry until Super Street Fighter 2 asked Craig to hold it’s beer. Can’t even argue it placing this highly. Except maybe the lack of fighting that takes place on a street. SSF2 is the tightest, most competitive, most fun fighter that perfected a recipe for gaming still not beaten.

1. Silent Hill 2

Fight me.

A dark twist towards the end that you don’t see coming that also makes sense, other twists that are psychological and not simply for the sake of twists. Also 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.

None Mover (Review)

Realities cross

Progress update from last year:

  • Stole Matt’s copy of Symphony of the Night
  • Gained another writer in Metabera
  • Matt kindly reviewed 3 games for us

Failed on:

  • Completing Super Mario World…
  • Getting Craig to write more than 6 reviews
  • Reviewing ANY GameCube/Dreamcast games

Aims for the next year:

  • Complete Super Mario World…
  • Try and review more GameCube and Dreamcast games….
  • Renovate site with Craig’s new found mad tech skills.
  • Ambitiously set Craig 3 reviews for the year.
  • Get Dave, or Rob to write a review.
  • Find another writer.

I'm awesome. I write about videogames occasionally but spend most time painting and playing Warhammer in varying formats.

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Posted in Lists
19 comments on “The Top 50 Retro Games That Are WAAAAAAY Better Than Sonic Adventure
  1. Matt says:

    That’s a pretty awesome list right there.

    And, as far as I am concerned, saying Diddy Kong Racing is better than Mario Kart 64 is merely speaking the truth.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Mr. Wapojif says:

    Mario Kart 64 is actually pretty flawed as a game. Diddy Kong Racing is much better, apart from the multiplayer option.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. LightningEllen says:

    Great list and I’m so happy to see the Diddy Kong Racing love.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. AK says:

    I still don’t agree that Sonic Adventure is really that bad, but I agree that the games here are better than that one. Some real classics there.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Goric says:

    Terror from the deep, was pretty unique experience for little me back then. I still do like this, but not particularly obsessed with it like some others..

    I like it because it wasn’t ‘too mainstream’.. And until this day besides some delphine simulator like ABSU and similar games, there’s no underwater game that u would really love to play, submerged as it were.

    I’m ending up replaying AquaNox games.

    Liked by 1 person

    • AquaNox looks cool, never got round to it though. You’re right about lack og underwater games. Other than terrible water levels in 16bit era or Water Temples in Zelda. Urrgh Water Temples in Zelda.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Goric says:

        Thing is it’s kind of not how little me envisioned underwater games to be.

        BioShock took it much closer to what I had in mind. I was thinking about totally submerged civilizations.. sounds dope

        AquaNox 1 is kinda places you in world stright on. Where Aqua 2 has better on story development, still retaining a bit of ‘americanism’ which I never liked, I’d love to have game with more serious ammm implications?

        And AquaNox 3 is about to get released

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh yeah Bioshock. I only ever got to the the first orb power thing and never went back to it,

        I’ll look into the AquaNox games they look interesting from the screenshots.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Goric says:

        I never finished Bioshock, I might use steam controller with it sounds like fun.

        I don’t know how well AquaNox 1 will stand test of time. It sort of basic in it’s mechanics, it’s concept that I like.

        Then there was also Archimedean Dynasty, before AquaNox 1. And it’s a dos game, they got it on GOG for sure

        Liked by 1 person

      • Cool, might do Archmedean first. I try to buy through GOG where I can as it always works without any faff

        Liked by 1 person

      • Goric says:

        I only hope they don’t do Twilight Zone of AquaNox 3. The franchise is reasonable underrated and kinda unique I what it does.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Goric says:

    Oddworld looks to me like Neverhood and I’m definitely looking forward to Shining Force Ii


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