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Shaun's Top 100 Video Games of All-Time (2016 Edition) 50-41

{GAMING}

Shaun's Top 100 Video Games of All-Time (2016 Edition) 50-41

Shaun Cordingley

Happy Boxing Day! I hope your Christmas/Holidays have been going swimmingly.

The Top 100 has finally gotten into the second half today as we break into my Top 50 Games of All-Time. In case you have missed any of the first five parts of the list:

100-91
90-81
80-71
70-61
60-51

 



50) Final Fantasy VII

I look forward to your angry letters. 

Final Fantasy VII is one of the greatest video games of all-time according to many, and for me, it cracks into my list at #50, which is nothing to be ashamed of, but I have never had the same, deep level of love for Vii as I have for other Final Fantasy games (spoilers...I guess...). That said, it is my third favourite in the series, and it is easily one of my favourite JRPG's of all time...I just don't get all of the "greatest game of all-time" hype it has. 

Cloud Strife's story, largely revolving around his joining an eco-terrorist rebel organization that is going against a giant corporation which is trying to drain the world's life-force for energy, is quite excellent, Sephiroth is one of the best video game villains of all-time, and the JRPG gameplay is amazing...I just....I don't think the PS1 graphics hold up (at all) even when compared with earlier hardware, and I did not play VII until much later, so I do not have any nostalgia attached to the game.

Regardless, Final Fantasy VII is an absolutely great game, whose influence I maybe even appreciate more than I like the game itself (as it's popularity means we get more JRPG's over here, a genre I really enjoy).

I look forward to 2026 when the "remake" is "released", to get back into it. 

49) Journey

Journey is a game that absolutely blew my mind when I first played it; I really enjoyed thatgamecompany's earlier offering Flower, so I had kept my eye out for when Journey was released for PS3. If I remember right, it was under 20$, and I heard from reviewers that I respected that the game was both brilliant, and short (as in a one/two evening experience depending on how much play time you have), so I sat down and started it. 

Then finished it, and when I stopped crying, immediately played it again. 

This is one of the most beautiful, emotional, and inspirational experiences I have ever had in any medium (theatre, film, video games). In Journey, you are a robed figure (with a sweet scarf) who sets off on a journey (GET IT! AUGH) toward a mountain in the distance. You have to solve simple, environmental puzzles, and work your way to the mountain, occasionally linking up with other players who are temporarily connected to your game (that you can only communicate with by hitting a "singing" button).

I realize that it doesn't sound like much, but this game is amazing--those encounters with people, and helping each other is strangely touching (the connections you build are...oddly compelling)...it's...look this game won several different publications' "Game of the Year" Awards, and it is deserved. This game is available on both PS3 and PS4, and if you have either of those systems, you owe it to yourself to play it (for the record, I grabbed it on PS4 as well, because I plan on playing it again very soon). 

48) Tokyo Jungle

Anyone who has ever talked to me about weird video games, or listens to the {PODCAST} should have known that the incredibly quirky and amazing Tokyo Jungle was going to make this list. I unabashedly love Tokyo Jungle, a game where humans have all disappeared and you get to play as animals trying to survive in the ruins of Tokyo in either story mode (where you find out what happened to mankind, and where being Pomeranian features heavily), or working in survival mode as your chosen species (there were 80 in total. EIGHTY.) trying to survive as long as possible--with a goal of reaching 100 years of your genetic line. 

It sounds so weird, but when you actually sat down and played Toyko Jungle (and I introduced it to as many of my "gamer" friends as possible), it turned out to be one of the funnest experiences I had on the PS3. I played the hell out of this game, everyone I played it with (in survivor co-op) loved it, and I miss it a little bit more every day...I want it on PS4...or...a sequel...

47) Dishonored

Dishonored was a surprise for me; I actually got it for Christmas because it was a game that inspired a challenge on Face Off (the SFX Makeup Reality show that I am quite fond of) that had a really cool aesthetic and setting that I was intrigued by: a fictional, plague-ridden, yet still vibrant and amazing steampunk city of Dunwall. Dishonored lives for me thanks to it's brilliantly realized characters and the narrative as a whole, and I have talked before on these lists about how I am not a huge fan of stealth games, but even with the choice of playing this as a first-person action game, I wanted to play this as a stealthy man-in-the-shadows, trying to save the heir to the throne. 

This game was criminally underrated/underplayed as far as I am concerned, and I'm very glad that it got a remaster for PS4 (so more people can give it a shot) and a sequel that just came out earlier this year (that I'm stupid excited to play, but have not got around to yet). It has one of my absolute favourite personal moments in any game in it, and it entirely came to be thanks to the way I played, and a whole pile of planning. 
I don't want to tell you too much about it, because it contains major spoilers, so if you are really curious, you can DM me. 

46) Freelancer

Freelancer is one of the few games that I actually loved enough that once I was done the single-player story, I got invested in the multiplayer as well, because I just did not want the game to be over. Released in 2003 (after a whole lot of behind the scenes kerfuffles), Freelancer is a space-dogfighting, trading game where you set out to explore, pirate, trade, salvage, build, and fight your way through 48 different star systems, each with their own unique feel to them, or (in single player) you worked as Edison Trent, a freelancer who is tasked (through a very interesting, and brilliantly voice-acted story) with saving the sector from a mysterious alien threat. 

I cannot even begin to think about the hours I spent exploring this amazing game world: spending that extra time in order to find just what I need to upgrade to that new ship I want, or spending time in asteroid fields, looking for shipwrecks that might just have an insane weapon that is going to tip the scales in my favour the next time i'm attacked. At the time, the game was gorgeous, but in the end, it is still some of the best space combat that I have ever played, and I still think about finding my old disc and playing it again...though I do worry that the 13 years may not have been kind to it...but I will always have the...9 or so months I played Freelancer held in my gamerly heart. 



45) Far Cry 4

My love of the Far Cry series continues to show up on my Top 100 this week with Far Cry 4; this time, the FPS/RPG awesomeness was set in the fictional Himalayan country of Kyrat, where you play Ajay Ghale, a young Kyrati-American who is trapped in the countries Civil War between the forces of the ruling dictator Pagan Min, and a rebel force known as the Golden Path. The game offers you the excellent gameplay that the Far Cry series is known for, but with an added level of verticality that was not found in earlier games (thanks to the setting, and a baller tiny-helicopter). 

I loved the story of 4, especially trying to figure out where you fit in this society, I have always loved the outpost/hunting/mission system that Far Cry offers, and I like the fact that there always feels like there is a lot to do in the game, and none of it feels tedious or boring. Plus, that possible ending in the palace is just...it's just so awesome. The Far Cry games never cease to impress me, and I look forward to the release of the next main-line game (whenever that may be). 

44) Dungeon Keeper 2

Dungeon Keeper 2 is one of those games that very few people that I talk to about gaming seem to have played. It was a PC game from Bullfrog and EA that was released in 1999 wherein you played a "dungeon master" (essentially a horned demon) who was on a quest to claim Portal Gems in order to attack the kingdom of Harmonia (filled with jerks like heroes and wizards). You did this by, over...I think 20 levels, building out a dungeon of your own (with the help of your imps) to attract monsters, and other bad guys in order to fight off invading heroes, and eventually capture those gems. 

DK2 was largely a sort of...building sim, but it was incredibly funny (my minions had a tendency to demand cable), and there were a bunch of fun little quirky bits including the ability to possess anyone (on your side) in the dungeon, including chickens (what most evil doers like eating) to run around in first-person to see the dungeon you've built, or even join the fight against a hero. 

I miss this game; my plan is to try and find my old disc, and see if I can run it on my fancy theguysfrom.com computer....because I need to build me some dungeon casinos again...

43) Wolfenstein: The New Order

Wolfenstein: The New Order is a game that I have already written a great deal about (when I covered it in a backlogging article, earlier this year) so I am not going to gush about it to much more here, but I think that a part of me has moved The New Order up in my Top 100 a little bit as it is sort of representative of my love of the Wolfenstein series (as it is, indeed, now my favourite out of all of them, even though the original was a super fun game)...and feel free to call me "cult of the new" (and I know that I would not have loved The New Order as much if I had not played all the others), but this game took everything that I dug about the series and jacked it up to 11. 

Great game, which is essentially always marked down at this point, so if you have a piece of hardware that can play it, you really owe it to yourself to. 

42) Pac-Man

Pac-Man is a classic, plain and simple. The entire game (essentially) is in the video above, and that's all it needs to be. I have always loved the original, and actually have it on the Wii Virtual Console (which I will bust out on occasion when I need to get my classic game fix). 

Honestly, I don't really know what else I can say about Pac-Man as I would imagine anyone reading through a Top 100 Video Games of All-Time series probably has a pretty good idea of what the game is--studies show that Pac-Man has the highest brand awareness of any video game character (in North America) with 94% of folks surveyed recognizing the little guy. There have been 30 spin-offs (or games including Pac-Man), but for me, it's always going to be about that original, arcade version, with the little bits of music, and that repetitive eating sound.

41) Super Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

Super Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back is my favourite of the SNES Star Wars games, and is one of my favourite Star Wars games period. Empire being my favourite of the Star Wars films (...even though I'm writing this before I see Rogue One: A Star Wars Story...I feel pretty confident in saying that still), it should come as little surprise that it is my favourite of the three 'run-and-gun' platforming SNES Star Wars games. 

I love the diversity of missions in the game, and always really enjoyed the fact that Luke has his lightsabre the whole time, so you can jump around in the wampa cave. Nothing in the SNES era blew my mind the same way flying across the plains of Hoth to attack AT-ATs worked, plus you got to play as Chewbacca in Cloud City...for reasons. The games were fast (but not to fast), hard (but not too hard) and sounded exactly like the movies I loved (in 16-bit glory), and let young me play around in Star Wars...

I believe these all may be released again on PS4, and I may pick them up for nostalgia sake (and fun)...



Yet another 10 down, and we go on! 

See you again tomorrow!

-S (@Shauncord)