1000

“1000 Games You Must Play Before Game Over” [900 – 801]

1000b

Portents of the future are concealed in history.
-Carmine Savastano

 

 

So we’re finally here,

Listing for you!

If you know the words,

You can join in, too!

Put your hands together,

If you want to clap,

As we take you through

This 1000 Rap! HUH!

 

…Nah, but enjoy the list, tho.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

#0900. Breath of Fire IV
The final product of the evolution of Breath of Fire games. Visually looks better than the previous two and the story is just as wonderful.
-The Keeper of the Darkness Flame Mage

#0899. Koudelka
Horror and RPGs rarely seem to find one another on the battlefield of love, but the PS1’s Koudelka is the perfect example of why they should probably mate more often. The music, the grid-based *slash* turn-based combat system, the voice acting, the story… it’s just a rad, rad game that eventually gave us Shadow Hearts on the PS2.
-The Middle-aged Horror Mage

#0898. Human Fall Flat
Absurd, hard to control, and some of the most fun you’ll have playing with your friends. Ragdoll away.
-The Ink-Stained Mage

#0897. Worms
A fun turn-based war game best played with friends.
-The Bizzaro Mage

#0896. Star Control 3
You find yourself marooned in a far off quadrant without the ability to return home. This game is a mixture between exploring, alliance building, battling and colonizing. This game really shines with your interactions with the other races as they provide you clues on what steps to take. This game will take time to finish but the final epic battle is totally worth the wait. If you skipped this one because you like Star Control 2 better, you owe it to yourself to play this with an open mind and give it chance.
-The Beer Mage

#0895. Metroid
You mean I have to go… left?? There’s not much to say about this title or how influential it was, that is, without plagiarizing the millions of others who have written about this game since it’s release in 1986. Though, I do have distinct memories of my father cursing at the TV and consulting his co-workers as their shared save passwords and tips and tricks on how to beat Ridley. Metroid is video game royalty.
-The Optimistically Sentimental Alabaster Mage

#0894. Bendy and the Ink Machine
Grade A world-building.
-The Blue Moon Mage

#0893. Nintendogs
If you find yourself wondering what the draw of the DS was for a generation of new gamers, this is probably it. Woof.
-The Sometimes Vaguely Philosophical Mage

#0892. Metal Slug
Take the run n gun mechanics of Contra and add the addictive challenge of an arcade, comic-style graphics, and a sense of humor, and you get the Metal Slug series. This is the game that started it.
-The ABXY Mage

#0891. Aladdin (SNES)
Great platformer developed by Capcom based on the Disney film.
-The Hyperactive Coffee Mage

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

#0890. Mark of Kri
The combat at the release of this game was revolutionary in the way it allowed you to handle multiple combatants, but the beautiful art style really stole the show. Even as a PS2 game ported onto the PS4 it still holds up for the most part thanks to the art.
-The Mail Order Ninja Mage

#0889. Flower 
thatgamecompany’s ultra-relaxing and tranquil adventure where you play as the wind, petals, and flowers has you rejuvenating a ruined landscape. Experimental but deliberate, Flower manages to cite some of the deepest felt human emotions without any characters at all.
-The Well-Red Mage

#0888. Wing Commander III
One of the best flight sims of all time. It mixed excellent controls with a compelling story and marked the height of the venerable Wing Commander series. And it stars Mark Hamill!
-The Badly Backlogged Mage

#0887. Pokémon Conquest
One of the most beloved series has been turned into a strategy game. It also has a great campaign and lots of post-game content.
-The Valiant Vision Mage

#0886. Silent Hill 3
This third entry is arguably better acted and executed than its predecessors. We get to delve even deeper into the abyss that is the town of Silent Hill and the psyche of our main character, and it’s done fantastically.
-The Iron Mage

#0885. Resident Evil
The reason the term “survival horror” was coined. A game which creates an abundance of fear yet is subtle and carefully, precisely applies what goes into making an experience-based game.
-The Purple Prose Mage

#0884. DJ Max Respect
Finally, no more importing or hunting down PSP UMDs to swap tracklists. DJ Max Respect is 1, 2, and its own songs bundled together in one game, with plans to make all the other entries available over time as DLC.
-The Dapper Zaffre Mage

#0883. Fight Night Round 4
The best boxing game ever, bar none.
-The Hopeful Sega Mage

#0882. Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call
Final Fantasy has some of the best video game music of all time spanning the multitude of games that have been released. There’s something special about being able listen to your favourite songs whilst furiously pushing button prompts in this rhythm game.
-The Final Fourteenth Mage

#0881. Yoku’s Island Express
A Pinballvania indie gem that’s life-affirming and utterly joyous. Take up as Yoku – a dung beetle – as he traverses around a tropical island delivering mail. Plus, there’s a pinball gaming mechanic. Play it if you need a lift in life.
-The Moronic Cheese Mage

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

#0880. Breakout
This game consumed my life as a kid when I was getting my first cell phones. Between this and Snake my head would be buried in the phone for hours.
-The Midnight Mystic Mage

#0879. Tony Hawks Pro Skater 4 
By quite some distance the best skating game out there. I mean come on. You can play as Jango Fett and one of the missions involves an endurance test to see how long you can hang onto an elephant’s tail. Games like these epitomise the fun nature of times gone by.
-The Red Hot Chili Mage

#0878. Robotron 2084
The popularizer of twin stick controls, Robotron contributed to the history of video games in so many ways. Waves of mechanical enemies set the precedent for post-apocalyptic futures overrun by robot overlords. That and it’s a joy to play, still.
-The Well-Red Mage

#0877. The Bouncer
-The Green Screen Mage

#0876. Twisted Metal Black
Twisted Metal is always a good time with its unique car combat, well-designed levels, and rockin’ soundtrack. Black stands out in the series with a much more serious and darker tone in an already dark franchise.
-The Timely Mage

#0875. Microsoft Solitaire
Keeping boredom at bay for office workers everywhere. Try your hand at Spider, Freecell, and classic Solitaire.
-The White Out Mage

#0874. The Chessmaster 2000
Responsible for making entire generations of gamers feel like idiots, Chessmaster either made you a master of chess yourself or it turned you into ground meat. Versions of this game cemented my passion for and fascination with the board game, and I’ve been intimidated by that old codger’s sinister stare ever since.
-The Well-Red Mage

#0873. Cubivore
Simplistic, but addictive gameplay where you are forced to fight for survival, evolving your Cubivore along the way. Nothing like it when it came out, nothing like it since. Immense replayability due to a large number of evolutions your Cubivore can take one with each level.
-The Slipstream Mage

#0872. Double Dragon 2 
Though the first Double Dragon was great, the sequel felt a lot less “clunky”. One of the best two-player beat ’em ups of its time.
-The Indecisive Night Mage

#0871. Mortal Kombat II
Took what was great about the first and turned it up to 11. Cracked Nintendo’s anti-blood policy.
-The New Age Retro Mage

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

#0870. New Super Mario Bros.
Yes, this is a legitimately good Mario game that deserves to be spoken in the same breath as the classics. It may not be as difficult, but the level design, music, and quirky art style make it a tremendously fun experience.
-The Normal Mage

#0869. Costume Quest
Taking the imaginations of children on Halloween to the next level. Especially worth playing with an animated series coming out soon.
-The Wandering Mage

#0868. Stick It To The Man
This may not be the most challenging game ever, but its hilarious cast of characters, brilliantly witty writing and overall charm certainly make it one of the more memorable.
-The Regional Exclusive Mage

#0867. Toy Story 2 
All out undeniable guilty pleasure style fun. This game isn’t the prettiest by any means but oh my God will it bring a smile to your face quicker than anything else. Something wonderfully simplistic about this.
-The Off-Centered Earth Mage

#0866. The Town of Light
A psychological horror walking simulator that explores the schizophrenia and the effects of lobotomization, all wrapped up in a spooky mental institution.
-The Kingly Yellow Mage

#0865. Lollipop Chainsaw
Accompanied by the severed head of her boyfriend, zombie hunter cheerleader Juliet fights back against a zombie apocalypse with her beloved chainsaw. Stylish, funny and absolutely insane.
-The Blood-Stained Metal Mage

#0864. Fire Emblem Warriors
-The Silver Sentinel Mage

#0863. Excitebike
Avoid oil slicks and make jumps to stay balanced.
-The Bookwarm Mage

#0862. Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3
Think Gundam plus Dynasty Warriors and somewhat of a storyline. Fun beat-em-up while playing in your favorite mobile suits!
-The Keeper of the Darkness Flame Mage

#0861. Kuon
Long before Demon’s and Dark Souls, Fromsoft developed a creepy little horror game on the PS2 called Kuon. With its card-based magic system and an aesthetic caked in Japanese folklore, each of Kuon’s three playable campaigns delivers the goods.
-The Middle-aged Horror Mage

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

#0860. This War of Mine
An example of what videogames are truly capable of. The mechanics of storytelling force you into difficult decisions, desperate situations, and tell a powerful story about the impact of war on civilians.
-The Ink-Stained Mage

#0859. The Getaway
Oi, geeza! A mature story set in real-world London, like a Guy Ritchie video game.
-The Bizzaro Mage

#0858. Aerobiz Supersonic
Ever wanted to take charge of a major airline and crush your enemies for even thinking they could compete with a business mastermind like you? This is your game. A sequel to the first Aerobiz game, adds more modern planes and takes you into the future. This is basically what SimCity 2000 was to the SimCity line of games. Lots of fun, fun music, turn-based gameplay and great visuals.
-The Beer Mage

#0857. Solstice
I never experienced this game when it originally came out. A co-worker of mine came with me to a local retro game store, and as we poured through the mountain of NES cartridges, he regaled me of the wonderful times he had as a child playing this game with his brother. I promptly purchased it and we spent the afternoon with a bottle of nail polish remover and q-tips cleaning off all of the gunk on the connectors until it finally came to life on the NES. I was not disappointed, easily the best soundtrack ever for the NES, and a uniquely interesting puzzle/dungeon crawling experience.
-The Optimistically Sentimental Alabaster Mage

#0856. Kingdom Hearts III
Shiny, polished combat.
-The Blue Moon Mage

#0855. God Hand
I’ve never played another game quite like God Hand. This 3D beat-em-up allows you to customise every single move in your numerous combo options.
-The Sometimes Vaguely Philosophical Mage

#0854. Galaga
Arcade classic. Easy to learn but tough to master. Endless pickup-and-play replayability.
-The ABXY Mage

#0853. Sonic Generations
A return to form for the franchise, Generations celebrates the history and legacy of Sonic the Hedgehog. The Classic Sonic stages are excellently designed, while the Modern Sonic stages took the good elements of Sonic Unleashed and made them better.
-The Hyperactive Coffee Mage

#0852. Castle Crashers 
When this game first released on XBLA it pretty much brought brawlers back from the dead. Humor, RPG elements, and a wonderful art style made this a title to pay attention to.
-The Mail Order Ninja Mage

#0851. Q*bert 
The golden age of arcades wasn’t complete without this bizarre, isometric adventure with its oddly-shnozzed hero.
-The Well-Red Mage

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

#0850. Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar
The most iconic RPG of the 1980s, whose influence is still felt today. Also probably the first game to feature a “morality meter”.
-The Badly Backlogged Mage

#0849. M.U.G.E.N.
A fighting game where all the fighters, stages, and music are implemented by the player. This is likely the most customizable fighting game experience.
-The Valiant Vision Mage

#0848. Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team
An interesting take on the Pokémon universe, introducing challenging dungeon crawling elements with a great story and charming characters.
-The Iron Mage

#0847. Medal of Honor
The first person shooter which placed the player in real history. This is every aspect of video game development coming together to create realism in a highly ambitious and respectable way that matured the FPS out of its pulp gore roots.
-The Purple Prose Mage

#0846. F-Zero GX
F-Zero at its finest. A futuristic racing title that wasn’t afraid to bask in all the glorious absurdities of its setting, with an excellent soundtrack to boot.
-The Dapper Zaffre Mage

#0845. California Games
Pre Tony Hawk, this was the chilled sports game.
-The Hopeful Sega Mage

#0844. Tokyo Jungle 
My favourite survival game of all time. My heart would really start pumping once I got further into the game and was trying to survive. The generation concept was cool as was ERC-003 and all of the history regarding it.
-The Final Fourteenth Mage

#0843. Mischief Makers
A very quirky platformer that felt out of the place on the N64 in 1997. But its 2D setting has helped it stand the test of time. Utterly surreal (it’s from Japanese developer Treasure), you cavort around strange landscapes shaking objects – you’re a robot trying to save your maker. Weird but wonderful.
-The Moronic Cheese Mage

#0842. Marvel vs Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes
I played this game with a friend across the street as a kid and it was a blast getting to play with your favorite superheroes.
-The Midnight Mystic Mage

#0841. Simpsons Hit & Run
If you haven’t played this game, you haven’t lived. GTA meets The Simpsons. What. Could. Go. Wrong?
-The Red Hot Chili Mage

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

#0840. Rampage [Arcade]
Have fun destroying as many buildings and objects around you.
-The Shamrock Show Mage

#0839. The Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle
-The Green Screen Mage

#0838. Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together
Tactics Ogre is a turn-based strategy game that tells a sobering tale about the nature of war and unintended consequences. It’s a bleak but honest reflection of human nature and a fun game to play as well with its great class system and art style.
-The Timely Mage

#0837. Downwell
I was thrilled to watch the Well-Red Mage play this game. Strap on your gunny boots and enjoy a good spelunking!
-The White Out Mage

#0836. River City Ransom
Pretty much an open-world, non-linear brawler with weapons and RPG systems and optional boss fights… oh yeah, and it’s on the NES. What could that little system not do?!
-The Well-Red Mage

#0835. Ninja Gaiden
The first console game with cutscenes, and a great hack n’ slash platformer with a maddening challenge. Controls were spot on, but the struggle to get past level 6-2 and beyond remains real to this day.
-The Slipstream Mage

#0834. Baldur’s Gate
A great example of D&D roleplaying on a computer. A huge step up from the Gold Box series in terms of graphics, sound design, all with one of the best PC RPG GUIs available.
-The Indecisive Night Mage

#0833. Jackal
Some of the best run and gun on the NES. Fast pace and just plain fun.
-The New Age Retro Mage

#0832. Steamworld Dig 2
While playing, I found myself enamored with this game’s characters and level design, unaware of the progression of time. This is the only Metroidvania experience where I was never found myself frustrated.
-The Normal Mage

#0831. Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis
A beautiful combination of school sim, RPG, and item crafting, this offshoot of the Atelier games is not to be skipped.
-The Wandering Mage

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

#0830. Superhot
“Superhot is the most innovative shooter I’ve played in years.” With its incredibly meta-narrative, the game explicitly instructs players to say that sentence as a recommendation, and it is true! It plays like a steady puzzle game but makes the player feel so empowered: it deserves to be played!
-The Regional Exclusive Mage

#0829. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
For me, out of the entire Zelda series, this is a must play because of just how innovative this was for the series. Showing a grittier darker side to Hyrule as well as a huge semi-open world with an utterly amazing art style, this title is the perfect Zelda game for fans and newcomers alike.
-The Off-Centered Earth Mage

#0828. Rock of Ages II: Bigger and Boulder
A witty 3D platformer that takes you on a trip throughout history at supersonic speeds.
-The Kingly Yellow Mage

#0827. Deus Ex: Human Revolution
A prequel to the original Deus Ex, Human Revolution grapples with various issues – such as transhumanism and the impact of powerful corporations on society – within a cyberpunk setting. Worth it for the opening sequence and soundtrack alone. Protagonist Adam Jensen never asked for this, but you sure will.
-The Blood-Stained Metal Mage

#0826. Resident Evil 2 Remake
-The Silver Sentinel Mage

#0825. Zero Time Dilemma
Rounds out the convoluted story begun by 999 and Virtue’s Last Reward.
-The Bookwarm Mage

#0824. BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma
Awesome fighter that reminds me of Street Fighter 2. Interesting story (very anime-ish) with even more characters.
-The Keeper of the Darkness Flame Mage

#0823. Duck Game
Party games live and die by their accessibility and Duck Game’s platforming arena shooter delivers that in spades. Think TowerFall, but with an absurd array of weapons and a dedicated quack button.
-The Middle-aged Horror Mage

#0822. Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee
Incredibly unique story, clever platforming, excellent animation. The Oddworld games are classics.
-The Ink-Stained Mage

#0821. Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus
BJ returns in this superb sequel, featuring some proper barmy twists!
-The Bizzaro Mage

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

#0820. Samurai Showdown
One of the best fighting games released on the Genesis. A port from the NEOGEO Arcade, this weapons-based fighter is set in the time of the samurai in Japan. Blood, violence, random finishing moves, tight gameplay, good hit detection make this a truly fun step away from the traditional Mortal Kombats and Street Fighters.
-The Beer Mage

#0819. Anachronox
John Romero, the golden boy of ID Software struck out on his own to form Ion Storm, and while the studio is most notable for its failure of Daikatana and the success of Deus Ex–which would launch Warren Spector’s career and birth the “immersive sim” genre–this oft-forgotten release by the studio was a Final Fantasy-inspired western PC JRPG built on the bones of the same engine which powered Quake II. Complete with turn-based combat, memorable characters, and a reluctant protagonist bound by fate to save the universe, Anachronox is an interesting artifact of a bygone era that is surprisingly still enjoyable to play to this day.
-The Optimistically Sentimental Alabaster Mage

#0818. Art of Balance
Tetris meets Jenga = *pacha meme*
-The Blue Moon Mage

#0817. Eternal Sonata
Worth playing just for the Chopinesque (and sometimes just pure unadulterated Chopin) soundtrack, but it’s also a really good JRPG in its own right with a couple of simple but effective tweaks to the standard formula.
-The Sometimes Vaguely Philosophical Mage

#0816. XCOM: Enemy Unknown
You manage an orginization of humans fighting an alien invasion. You build up your base to better your resources. Battles are tactical with environmental advantages and character perma-death.
-The ABXY Mage

#0815. Borderlands
A FPS RPG game – on paper it sounds weird, but in practice it’s a lot of fun! As one of four Vault Hunters on Pandora, you scour the harsh Borderlands for clues to open a Vault, all while procuring tons of loot via flooding the gates of Hell with your victims. The dialog is simply hilarious.
-The Hyperactive Coffee Mage

#0814. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
What fantasy nerd doesn’t like Lord of the Rings? To get an extremely solid open world game that is sized just right, set in this world, with the revolutionary Nemesis system at its heart? Yes, please!
-The Mail Order Ninja Mage

#0813. PaRappa the Rapper
The very first rhythm console game in history sparked a whole new genre of musical and percussive video games. Even in the massive PS1 library, PaRappa featured distinctive visuals and gameplay.
-The Well-Red Mage

#0812. Space Quest V: The Next Mutation
LucasArts were not the only people who made “point and clicks”! The highpoint in Sierra’s iconic comedy adventure series.
-The Badly Backlogged Mage

#0811. Starbound
With a procedurally-generated environment and sidequests, space exploration, mod-support, and multiplayer, this is about as good as it gets for fans of 2D sandbox games.
-The Valiant Vision Mage

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

#0810. Mother/EarthBound Beginnings
An innovative take on the genre, EarthBound Beginnings is somewhat of a parodic take on JRPGs of the time. Its humour and witty dialogue create a charm that very few have been able to match to this day.
-The Iron Mage

#0809. Tomb Raider
Unprecedented for its combination of graphic design, atmospheric soundtrack, and cinematic tone, Tomb Raider combined the appeals of various other genres to create the first mass-market multifaceted game and introduced the first protagonist to be covered at large by the mainstream press.
-The Purple Prose Mage

#0808. Armored Core 3
My absolute favorite of the Armored Core series. An entry on the PS2 whose 1v1 Arena was even more fun than the story missions, AC3 was made in a time when the developers still believed in a U.I. you could actually read at a glance in the midst of combat.
-The Dapper Zaffre Mage

#0807. Revenge of Shinobi
An enigma of a game. Smooth yet difficult.
-The Hopeful Sega Mage

#0806. Hamtaro: Ham-Ham Heartbreak
The Hamtaro games are so incredibly underrated. Particularly Ham-Ham Heartbreak! The games are so much fun and it’s adorable bringing hamsters back together. They include their own language system which adds to the adorable atmosphere. You are doing yourself a disservice if you don’t play this!
-The Final Fourteenth Mage

#0805. The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap
Not the best Zelda game of the lot, but still a thoroughly charming and involving smaller adventure. Explore the world of the tiny Minish people with the help of the cap creature called Ezlo. The standard dungeons and charm offensive await – it’s cute and highly enjoyable.
-The Moronic Cheese Mage

#0804. NFL Blitz
Nothing like tackling one of your buddies and dropping 2 or 3 elbow drops on them after the play.
-The Midnight Mystic Mage

#0803. Battalion Wars
A great strategy game for a li’l simpleton such as I.
-The Red Hot Chili Mage

#0802. Tecmo Bowl
A great retro sports game, unless someone else picks Bo Jackson (you can’t stop him).
-The Shamrock Show Mage

#0801. Donkey Kong 64
“The DK Rap” should be used as an example of human achievement when we finally contact aliens.
-The Green Screen Mage

 


 

 

The countdown enters the lucky 700s tomorrow! I know you’ve got bones to pick, so what games have we missed so far? What games do you think don’t deserve to be here? C’mon. We can take it.

 

Did you enjoy this post? Consider becoming a Warrior of Light and join us in promoting honesty and quality to games writing through thoughtful, long-form critiques. We’re building a future for games writers to get paid and find a fairer and happier alternative to mainstream coverage and culture. See our Patreon page for more info!

becomeapatron2

Categories: 1000

Tagged as: , , ,

14 replies »

  1. Out of this list, I have played Worms, Tony Hawks Pro Skater 4, Microsoft Solitaire, F-Zero GX, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Tomb Raider and Donkey Kong 64. I was surprised to see that some of the games that were so low down on this list are considered classics, such as Resident Evil, Metroid, Galaga and Mother. I was also surprised to see Mischief Makers on the list, my only experience of this game was that someone suggested it was more appropriate for me to play rather than Turok 2: Seeds of Evil.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 27 on this one:

    Metroid
    Metal Slug
    Aladdin
    Breakout
    Robotron 2084
    Microsoft Solitaire
    The Chessmaster 2000
    Double Dragon 2
    Mortal Kombat II
    New Super Mario Bros.
    Excitebike
    Solstice
    Galaga
    Q*Bert
    Rampage
    The Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle
    River City Ransom
    Ninja Gaiden
    Jackal
    The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
    Mother
    The Revenge of Shinobi
    The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap
    NFL Blitz
    Battalion Wars
    Tecmo Bowl
    Donkey Kong 64

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve been a gamer since the NES days and what surprises me the most about this list so far is that there are games I’ve never even heard of.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lots of great games on here (of course), but dang you, Theatrhythm! Because when I hear some of those classic songs, I find myself going, “Tap, tap, hold, tap, left, right, hold” or whatever the pattern is for the song. The game is just so dang addicting!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. ::chanting:: check list, Check List, CHECK LIST!!!

    Though I must admit, I can never decide what I’m going to play next anyways… Would a check list make it easier? Or even more difficult?

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to moresleepneeded Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s