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The Top 10 Best Games of All Time (less opinionated)

by Erin Ridgely on 12/04/20 10:29:00 am

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

The Top 10 Best Video Games of All Time

My goal in this research is to take something subjective and make it more analytical. To achieve my final list for “The Top 10 Best Video Games of All Time”, I compared five other credible sources and extracted their choices for the top fifteen best video games as data. I then compared the data I retrieved from their lists and began putting together my own top ten, solely based on the comparison of their information. The games that made it on all five lists were then compared in their ranking on the lists, so on and so forth. The results are as follows.

Ranking number ten on my list is the video game “Portal 2”. It is a first-person perspective puzzle game that was released on April 19, 2011. This game appeared on two out of the five lists that were compared. It was ranked 3rd best game of all time by IGN’s top 100 video games (“Top 100 Video”  1). And it was also ranked 8th by theguardian.com’s “The 50 Best Video Games of the 21st Century” list (Stuart 1). The main themes of the game are teleportation, artificial intelligence, apocalyptic events, and survival. 

Ranking number nine on my list is the video game “Soulcalibur”. It is a weapon-based 3D fighting game that was released on July 30, 1998. It was developed by Project Soul and published by Namco. This game also appeared on two out of the five lists that were compared. It was ranked fourth on Business Insider’s “The 50 best video games of all time, according to critics” (Gilbert 1). It was also ranked fourth by Metacritic’s “Game releases by Metacritic score”. (“Best Video” 1). The main themes of this game are battles, mystic forces, and survival strategy.

Ranking number eight on my list is the video game “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2”. This is a sports video game focused on skateboarding in particular. It was developed by Neversoft and published by Activision on September 20, 2000. It made two out of the five lists as well, ranking number two on both Business Insider’s and Metacritic’s lists (Gilbert 1). The main themes in this game are the achievement of skills, improvement of player statistics, and the ability to earn money or goodies.

Ranking number seven on my list is the video game “Minecraft”. Minecraft is a sandbox, survival video game, allowing for a large amount of creativity within the game but still having an element of “danger”. It was developed and published by Mojang and was released on November 18, 2011. It made two out of the five lists referenced but was ranked number one on both the lists it made. It was ranked number one by theguardian.com’s “The 50 Best Video Games of the 21st Century” list as well as by GameDesigning’s “The 20 Most Popular Video Games of All Time” (“The 20 Most” 1). The game’s main themes are creativity, time management, survival, and exploration, however, the game is so open-ended that there are countless more depending on the individual’s goals.

Ranking number six on my list is the video game series “Metroid”. The Metroid games are a science fiction, action-adventure series, created by Nintendo. The first of the Metroid games, “Metroid”, was released on August 6, 1986. It was developed by Nintendo R&D1 and published by Nintendo. Metroid games made three out of the five lists, although the exact best game in the series wasn’t unanimous. Two listed “Metroid Prime” and one listed “Super Metroid”. For my list’s purpose, I decided to broaden it to the Metroid series to eliminate any discrepancy. Regardless, the Metroid series made IGN’s list, Business Insider’s list, and Metacritic’s list. The game’s main themes are survival, exploration, mission-based scenarios, and time sensitivity.

Ranking number five on my list is the video game series “Red Dead Redemption”. Red Dead Redemption games are action-adventure video games. The first was released on May 18, 2010. It was developed by Rockstar San Diego and published by Rockstar Games. This series also made three out of the five lists referenced, being in the top ten of all three. Similar to “Metroid”, it was listed on IGN’s list, Business Insider’s list, and Metacritic’s list. The game’s main themes are Western history, violence, choices and consequences, and battle.

Ranking number four on my list is the video game series “Halo”. The Halo series are American military science fiction games. They were developed by 343 Industries and published by Xbox Game Studios. The first Halo was released on November 15, 2001. This series made all five lists, but still collectively ranked lower, as far as to order, than the following top three on my list. The majority of the lists specifically listed “Halo: Combat Evolved”, however, “Halo 2” was also mentioned. For the purpose of my list, I will combine these entries so that the whole Halo series gets a singular ranking. The main themes of this series are extraterrestrial life, survival, humanity, and religion.

Ranking number three on my list is the video game series “Grand Theft Auto”. These are action-adventure games published by Rockstar Games. The first Grand Theft Auto was released on October 21, 1997. This series also made all five lists at least once, some lists up to three separate times. The Grand Theft Auto series has been adapted to be played across all different mediums and devices, leaving many versions available for debate. However, once again, for my list, I chose to combine all Grand Theft Auto entries as one ranking. The main themes of the series are freedom, rebellion, criminal activity, choices, and action.

Ranking number two on my list is the video game series “Super Mario Bros.”. This series is made up of platform video games that were developed and published by Nintendo. The first Super Mario Bros. game was released on September 13, 1985. This series also made all five lists, several lists up to three times each. Between all five lists, the Super Mario Bros. games were listed twelve times. The main themes in this series are rescue, survival, discovering secrets, and fantasy.

Finally, ranking number one on my list is the video game series “The Legend of Zelda”. This is a high fantasy action-adventure game series that has been developed and published by Nintendo. The original game was released on February 21, 1986. This series not only made all five lists at least once but was listed as the number one game by Business Insider and Metacritic (Gilbert 1). The main themes in this game series are magic, battle, exploration, and strategy.

All in all, I attempted to let the statistics speak for themselves and removed personal biases from a topic that is normally fully based on opinions and personal biases. While this list is still opinion-based on some level, it has been once removed from those personal opinions and vetted for outliers.




















 

Sources

“The 20 Most Popular Video Games of All Time: 2018 Update.” The Ultimate Resource for 

Video Game Design, Gamedesigning, 3 July 2020, www.gamedesigning.org/popular-video-games/. 

“Best Video Games of All Time.” Metacritic, Metacritic, 

www.metacritic.com/browse/games/score/metascore/all/psvita/filtered. 

Gilbert, Ben. “The 50 Best Video Games of All Time, According to Critics.” Business 

Insider, Business Insider, 17 July 2020, www.businessinsider.com/best-video-games-metacritic-2017-11. 

Stuart, Keith, and Keza MacDonald. “The 50 Best Video Games of the 21st Century.” The 

Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 19 Sept. 2019, www.theguardian.com/games/2019/sep/19/50-best-video-games-of-the-21st-century. 

“Top 100 Video Games of All Time.” IGN, IGN, www.ign.com/lists/top-100-games/1. 


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