Video games are a relative baby compared to every other medium. A baby who, over the course of fifty years, has learned to crawl, walk, run, jump and fly. The rate in which video games progress is astonishing, with just five years feeling like an eternity. Movies from thirty years ago still look great but a game that is just a couple of years old has already dated. Making a list to accommodate every evolutionary sea change and groundbreaking title while also paying homage to the classics that laid the groundwork for everything that came after is no small feat. How would one for example rank an outdated game that introduced a major mechanic going forward, a great game who was surpassed by all its sequels or two completely unrelated titles? How do you compare Portal to Pong or God of War (2005) to God of War (2018)?
Firstly, I (to the best of my ability) eliminated personal bias and then focused on a set of objective criteria (importance, influence, etc.) that I used as a metric to give titles a numerical value. Historical importance was obviously a huge component but if no one plays it today (like Spacewar! or Hunt the Wumpus for example), it didn’t make the cut. Graphics were only ever a plus, never a minus (games date horribly, so I didn’t judge that against them but if a title had unique graphics, it certainly got a bump) and popularity and fun were major factors as well. It required a lot of math, some impossibly hard cuts and a ton of sleepless nights to whittle the entire history of video games down to just five hundred titles but it’s finally done.
These are the 500 Greatest Video Games of All Time.
100. Kentucky Route Zero (2013) | PS4, PC, Switch
Conway, a truck driver, is hired to make the final delivery for the antique company for which he works, but on the way to his destination, he eventually gets lost and is forced to take Route Zero, a long stretch of underground road found in the backwoods of Kentucky, in order to make up for lost time. Kentucky Route Zero is an episodic, point and click adventure game designed around player choice, but unlike other narrative-driven games, KRZ isn’t concerned about multiple branching paths leading to different endings but creating decisions based around the player’s emotions. Take for example this dialogue choice in the role playing game Planescape: Torment: a) [Truth] I love you or b) [Lie] I love you. Neither choice effects the outcome of the story but the decision to either lie or tell the truth is meant to impact the player, not create an alternate ending. Almost every interaction in KRZ is designed with this philosophy in mind. Completely devoid of puzzles but heavy on atmosphere and memorable characters, KRZ is a compelling adventure game you won’t soon forget.
99. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (2017) | Wii U, Switch
Ocarina of Time is the best and worst thing to happen to the Zelda franchise. Kind of like how Stone Cold Steve Austin revitalized and renewed interest in wrestling but then open the flood gates to nothing but copycats that all borrowed the wrong thing, OoT did such an outstanding job bringing the series to 3D, that every sequel after it just did that game over again, warts and all. Due to technical limitations of the time, the game had to hinder your progress, which robbed it of the freedom of earlier titles and since gamers weren’t used to navigating a semi open space in 3D, a character was made to tell you where to go. Both of these elements were present in every Zelda game moving forward and because of it, I left the series behind years ago. That is until Breath of the Wild, who’s title would be more accurate as Breath of Fresh Air. It removed any obstructions to your progress and ditched the annoying Navi character and let you go and do whatever you wanted. Within twenty minutes, the game sets you on your way with a single goal (kill Ganon) and the freedom of choice to accomplish it however you see fit. It doesn’t tell you about the divine weapons you’ll most likely need or where the Master Sword is. It let’s you figure it out through exploration. Since it came out after Skyrim and Witcher 3, it does tend to feel like baby’s first open world game but for a Zelda title, it’s the most important step forward since the first one.
98. Tomb Raider (1996) | PS1
The graphics are so polygonal, it hurts the eyes, the controls are the definition of challenging (trying to run and jump to grab a ledge is an exercise in madness), the levels feel like they were designed to be as aggravating as possible and searching for an item to progress is just the worst. Of all the games released in the early days of the PS1, it might have aged the worst. Outside of some memorable moments (the T-rex encounter is still one of the great reveals in gaming), hardly anything about it holds up. And yet, there’s a reason it’s still considered the name in adventure titles. And it’s because of its lead, Lara Croft. Horny nerds at the time loved her because she had tits but the rest of us recognized her as the true successor to Indiana Jones. She was sardonic, capable and had a lust for treasure. She was the first great character of the era and remains a perfect example on how to make any game better just by crafting a compelling protagonist.
97. Halo 2 (2004) | Xbox
The first Halo is the reason the Xbox was a success and its follow up is the reason Microsoft is a strong competitor in the console wars. The hype surrounding the release of Halo 2 was so insane, you could’ve made a remake of The Wizard that had five minutes of Halo 2 gameplay in place of Mario 3 gameplay and I’m pretty sure it would’ve been a hit. That’s how desperate gamers were to get just a taste of this game and when it finally released, it didn’t disappoint. The campaign was arguably stronger than the last entry (it doesn’t hurt that Keith David voiced the second player character), the duel wielding handguns was an inspired choice and the plasma sword changed the game but those innovations pale in comparison to the much improved multiplayer. Each map is designed to be perfectly balanced for each game mode. There are smaller maps for hectic firefights, medium sized maps that are perfect for capture the flag and the larger maps are insane skirmishes filled with constant death. It had the fun of an arena shooter ala Quake III mixed with the already tight gameplay and level design of the first Halo. It was the perfect marriage of carnage.
96. Ico (2001) | PS2
A young boy named Ico finds a young girl named Yorda locked in a cage in an abandoned fortress. He frees her and you spend the rest of the game guiding her by the hand out of the fortress. There’s some box pushing puzzles and the occasional enemy to contend with but for the most part, it’s you two just navigating around the vast prison like castle. If that sounds uneventful to you, you’re right. The game’s director employed a “subtracting design” approach to reduce elements of gameplay that interfered with the game’s setting and story in order to create a high level of immersion. He wanted a simple story revolving around the “boy meets girl” concept and removed anything that would distract from that vision. In doing so, he created a bond between the player and the characters that grew through actions, not words. You became invested in their quest because there was literally nothing else to focus on. It was like an invisible spotlight that kept them in constant attention, which made everything they did more impactful. And speaking of spotlights, the lighting effects in this game were unprecedented at the time. It employed bloom lighting that every game stole immediately after its release. On a visual and storytelling level, there are few games as influential. Eiji Aonuma, Hideo Kojima, Jordan Mechner, Vander Caballero, Marc Laidlaw, Hidetaka Miyazaki, Jenova Chen, Patrice Désilets, Josh Holmes, Neil Druckmann and Guillermo Del Toro have all cited it as an influence on their work. So the next time you watch a Del Toro movie or think of the relationship between Joel and Ellie in the Last of Us, remember that at least a portion of those things wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for a game where a boy holds a girl’s hand for 8 hours.
95. Wii Sports (2006) | Wii
There was a time when every house on Earth had a Wii and every Wii owner had a copy of Wii Sports. The first statement is obviously an exaggeration but the second isn’t. Since it literally came bundled with the console, every owner of it had it and I think it’s fair to say the vast majority of them stuck to this game. Since the controller was designed so that everyone, whether they’re 5 or 95 could play, it appealed to more than just the typical gamer. This was the first game many elderly people ever played and they loved it. Like the controller you played the game with, Wii Sports was designed for easy accessibility and since the motion controls are so precise and intuitive, it really felt like you were bowling or golfing. Putting a demo made to showcase the new motion controls of the console in the top 100 is insane but I’m willing to wager that every single one of you knew someone who played this game and loved it. Like the recent Pokémon Go, it gets the award for the game that brought the most amount of non gamers into gaming, which is a feat not even Mario can claim.
94. Madden NFL 2004 (2003) | Various
2005 may have had online play and 2003 may have a near perfect score on Metacritic but true football fans know 2004 is the best Madden game in the series. With astronomically high stats, Michael Vick might be the most overpowered player in the series, with many features being added in later to try and stop his domination. He’s like a Golden Gun on two feet. Utterly unstoppable. He alone would make this title an A+ winner but it also introduced the addictive and surprisingly deep owner mode. In this mode, the player takes on all the responsibilities related to owning a professional football team, from regulating hot dog prices, to team relocation, to hiring and firing coaching staff. Another new feature is the ability to edit a historic team. Also, a new training camp mode, occurring before the preseason, that can help player progress faster by putting him through mini-camp drills. With all these modes and the beast man known as Vick, it’s no wonder everyone still favors this one over all the rest.
93. Borderlands 2 (2012) | Various
The trailer humorously states that there’s a gazillion guns to loot and shoot in this and while that’s clearly hyperbole, it’s not that far off of the truth. If you include in all the DLC (which you should because it’s amazing), there’s probably more weapons to collect in this than any other game in history. A last second decision to change the graphics of the first game from semi realistic to cartoonish cel shaded, set the tone for the series going forward. Everything was built around that switch, meaning the humor had to match the new graphical style. Other ideas started trickling down as well, including switching the focus from the post apocalyptic setting to the looting and shooting within a post apocalyptic setting. It turned what would’ve probably been just another Mad Max clone into something special and the sequel took all of that and ran with it. From its seamless continuation of the vault hunting lore, to its unmatched writing and memorable characters, Borderlands 2 remains the high point in the Borderlands franchise and since the team behind this all left Gearbox Studios behind at this point, it’s safe to say it’ll never be topped. Especially considering the series-best villain, Handsome Jack, is dead.
92. God of War (2005) | PS2
I’m assuming David Jaffe is impossible to work with ala Troy Duffy or Val Kilmer because I honestly don’t understand how his career went to shit so hard. He’s been behind both Twisted Metal and the first God of War game, both of which are among PS2 royalty and yet, he was barely involved in any sequel and his last game was Drawn to Death, a hack and slash game no one played. He must’ve knocked up the head of Sony’s daughter or something because the man has a pedigree and the talent to back it up. Even if he is a colossal asshole, comparing him to Troy Duffy is actually a low blow because at least he has talent unlike that motherfucker. Despite its flaws (a lot of it is cringe, the action isn’t as tight as later games and those Hades blades can go fuck themselves) and age, it’s rather remarkable how well it has held up over the years. Swinging around those blades is as fun now, as it was then. Starting a game with the main character killing themselves is still a ballsy decision. Kratos is still a great antihero. The level design is still clever and the voice acting is still fantastic. The worst thing you can say about it is the fact it looks like shit but that’s literally every game released twenty years ago, so that’s hardly a criticism. Jaffe created a rock solid foundation for one of gaming’s most consistent franchises.
91. Rock Band 2 (2008) | Various
From singing vocals in harmony to hammering away at a four-piece drum kit, Rock Band makes you feel like you’re part of the music. Harmonix started off with Guitar Hero which made anyone, even the most uncoordinated schlub, feel like a rock God. The natural evolution to that was more instruments. Rock Band was and still is, the best available karaoke machine. It was the ultimate party game, so how does one top that? By adding more songs and online play of course. Letting people rock out with anyone around the globe was a game changer. The third might’ve added more bells and whistles (as well as an insane amount of songs) but they unfortunately made some minor tweaks to the gameplay that made it fell less precise than this one. If I don’t feel like I’m actually hitting the notes in relation with the button presses, it doesn’t matter how many songs you add to the library, the illusion is broken. Rock Band 2 is the definitive rock star experience. Outside of actually being in a band that is.
90. The Walking Dead (2012) | Various
While the IP was certainly popular, Telltale games definitely wasn’t. They had released a couple of games similar to this beforehand but it wouldn’t be until this game that they’d become household names. In addition to revitalizing the point-and-click genre, which had laid dormant for years, this also popularized the episodic game. Instead of releasing the entire game at once, it was broken up into chapters with each one releasing about two and a half months apart from each other. It was a unique release strategy that payed off double when it came to this game. Once you started finished the first chapter, it’s impossible not to need more, no matter how long it took to come out. The story of a convict named Lee taking care of a little girl named Clementine during a zombie apocalypse was immediately compelling. They’re amongst the best characters in gaming, with their relationship being second only to Joel and Ellie in The Last of Us. The sequels would suffer from diminishing returns but even if they were objectively horrible, they couldn’t taint the feeling of playing this for the first time. It was like playing something new for the first time, like a brand new experience that nothing else offered and in a way, nothing else really has.
89. OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast (2006) | Various
When OutRun came out in 1986, many hailed it as the best racing game released up to that point. They then said the exact same thing about its sequel. When it was ported to the Xbox, the team added a wealth of additional content including new courses and Heart Attack Mode (you have to drive a certain way or perform a specific task in order to get hearts from your girlfriend in the passenger seat. Getting her to giggle with joy is hard but rewarding — just like a real lady). Around that time, a second version of OutRun 2 appeared in arcades under the name OutRun 2 SP that added 15 more courses and music. That’s two versions of an already stellar racing game that both have a ton of new content and OutRun 2006: Coast to Coast includes all of. The core gameplay of OutRun 2006 is fundamentally identical to 2 (which is pretty much the same as the first one) in that you drive as quickly as you can, ‘outrunning’ other cars as you attempt to reach the next checkpoint before your time runs out. At the end of each stage, you’re presented with a choice: do you take the left fork, or the right? With five stages to complete in each run, that means it’s impossible to see the whole game in one go. It’s a neat hook but the real reason this series is so beloved (besides the cherry red Ferrari) is the power slides. The game combines the speed of Burnout with the drifts of Hang On to create the most thrilling turns in racing. Drifting around a corner at over 100 mph to overtake your opponent at the last second will make even the most hardcore game coo like the heart obsessed girlfriend.
88. Metroid (1986) | NES
While they don’t spend as much time creating new IPs as they once did, there was a time when Nintendo was the King of cranking out icons. In terms of popularity, their characters still hold the crown but that’s also due to them focusing more on sequels than new franchises. If you were to create a Venn diagram with the most ambitious new game and the series fans most want to see comeback, Metroid would be right in the middle. By the time this came out, they had already perfect the platformer, so they easily could’ve just taken that solid gold template from Mario, set it in space and given him a gun but they didn’t do that. Instead, they removed all levels and made one giant map that you have to constantly keep backtracking in order to see it all. They created a game that didn’t tell the player where to go or what to do, which easily could’ve turned into frustration and anger, and they gambled that they’d love it. And they were right. Now that it’s thirty years old, it’s easy to name all of its issues (opaque objectives, critical paths being hidden to well, a terrible password system and annoying grinding for health) but they are minor issues compared to just how impressive its scope is. Metroidvanias, which are all the rage now, literally couldn’t exist without the Metroid part of that equation.
87. Secret of Mana (1993) | SNES
The origins of the Mana series is as convoluted as the numbering system of Final Fantasy. This is the first of the Mana games even though it’s actually a sequel to Final Fantasy Adventure, which technically isn’t a Final Fantasy nor a Mana game, yet it bares the moniker of the former and gave birth to the latter and now my nose is bleeding. It’s all very confusing but thankfully, none of that confusion bled over into sales. This was a popular title in North America and was one of the games that helped create a demand for JRPGs here in the states. We must’ve really connected with the story of a kid who finds a sword, gets pulled into an adventure and eventually fulfills his destiny to become the Chosen One, or we just really dug its unique battle system. A creative take on real-time combat, the game lets you pause the action with its ring-command system, which allows for on the spot strategy. It keeps the action going but since it doesn’t stop so much as slow down, it also keeps you on your toes. That, along with its aforementioned importance to the genre, its novel for the time 4 player combat and amazing graphics and score, make this among the best in the genre and it remains a series’ high point.
86. Portal (2007) | Various
Valve was so impressed by the game Narbacular Drop, a 2005 independent game released by students of the DigiPen Institute of Technology, that they hired the students to turn the game into what would eventually be Portal. They already had the physics nailed down, all they needed was a more interesting narrative (the original has you escape from a dungeon) and better puzzles. And that’s where the geniuses at Valve came in. No other company besides them could make a cube with hearts on it, that does nothing and has no personality, into a near iconic video game character. No other company besides them would take a clichéd evil robot and infuse it with as much personality as they did. A malevolent robot that rivals the likes of HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey, GLaDOS (brilliantly voiced by Ellen McLain), might be worse because she promises cake that doesn’t exist. Any other company would’ve just counted their blessings that they stumbled across a puzzle mechanic this ingenious but Valve always goes above in beyond in terms of polish. They’re always looking to improve something that’s already golden and that’s apparent in every facet of this game.
85. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (2002) | Various
Vice City is Rockstar putting their dick on the table and making damn sure everyone in the industry notices. They already knew they had a winning formula with their last release, so they pumped every cent that game made into making this bigger and better in every way. Which is appropriate considering it deals with the 80s, the decade of excess. First they wrangled together an all star cast of actors including Ray Liotta, Philip Michael Thomas, Tom Sizemore, Burt Reynolds, Luis Guzman and many more. Then they set out to licence damn near every song released that decade for it’s soundtrack. Which is so big, it had to be released in separate collections when it was sold in stores. Then there’s the story, which is cobbled together with the best bits of Scarface and Miami Vice. And then there’s Vice City itself, the most important character in the game. Significantly bigger than the last game’s map and with a ton more to do, Vice City proved so popular, that GTA 6 is rumored to be heading back there. Even if it doesn’t, Rockstar could easily save money by just remastering it. The appeal of killing cops, beating up prostitutes or committing any number of other sordid crimes while wearing a Hawaiian shirt as I Ran (So Far Away) plays from your car all in glorious HD is enough to keep the fans happy.
84. Assassin’s Creed 2 (2009) | Various
Even though almost every sequel that has proceeded it is better in terms of gameplay and graphics, Assassin’s Creed 2 is still the quintessential AC experience. While it may not have all the innovative new mechanics that later games would, it established the foundation that made the series what it is today. The first should get credit for creating an entirely new type of action game but every concept or gameplay mechanic it introduced feels half baked compared to this one. The free-running system had been refined as well as the combat. 15th and 16th Century Italy was a refreshingly new setting compared to the grey and grimy first game. Players were given more tools to play around with such as a hidden gun and other fun gadgets. Ezio’s tale of vengeance drove the narrative (he’s still the best assassin in the series) but the modern-day storyline was a huge focus, leading to a mind-blowing ending that the series has not matched yet. The series as it is now, barely resembles itself due to its focus on open world gameplay and while that change was pivotal for its evolution as a franchise, it only did they because the games had become stale and the reason they had become stale is that they all ripped off this one.
83. Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved (2003) | Xbox 360
What started out as a game you can play on an arcade in the garage of Project Gotham Racing 2, turned into one of the best selling Xbox Live Arcade Games ever. Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved is a remaster of that crude twin stick shooter that adds more shapes to shoot, more graphically impressive explosions and a thumping soundtrack. But other than its graphical overhaul, the two games play identically. The object of both games is to survive as long as possible and score as many points as possible by destroying an ever-increasing swarm of enemies. The more you kill, the more will spawn until the entire screen is full and you’re blasting your way through a sea of brightly colored shapes. You have limited bombs and each shape behaves in a different way. Some chase you, others don’t but they’re all a threat in their own way. Essentially, it’s Robotron 2084 on speed. It’s addictive as hell and was among a handful of titles that helped legitimize Xbox Live Arcade.
82. Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec (2001) | PS2
It’s been twenty years and there still hasn’t been a game to knock GT3 off its pedestal. The new trend in racing games seems to be one giant map, with tons of players all racing at the same time with realistic weather effects that happen at random. Forza and Need for Speed are both battling to see who can make the most impressive game but they’ve lost sight on what made this so great in the first place: the cars. Instead of focusing on trying to one up everyone, GT3 actually offered less than its predecessor (it scaled the number of cars available down from 650 to 181) but in cutting the chaff, it was able to laser focus in on making sure every element was pitch perfect. They spent an inordinate amount of time creating the perfect courses, making sure the handing was right and the drifting was up to snuff. Instead of looking at the macro, it wanted to nail the micro, the little things that add to the experience. They wanted to create the ultimate driving experience and wanted the player to feel like they were actually behind the wheels of an automobile every time they turned on their system and they did.
81. Journey (2013) | Various
The team behind Journey took Ico’s design philosophy as a challenge. Remove the unnecessary and focus on the minimal amount you need to tell the story might as well be this game’s logline. Much like that game, Journey tells its story wordlessly. There’s an endless dessert, a mountain in the distance and a lone cloaked figure. You know you have to make it to that mountain because there’s no other landmarks but you don’t know why and your also have no idea what’s in there waiting for you. The game’s story is revealed to you with rudimentary drawings like hieroglyphics on a mural but it doesn’t give you a hint as to how to interpret what you’re looking at. Most of it is obvious to deduce but some of it is too obtuse to decipher. But you really don’t need to anyways. The game is called Journey for a reason, it’s about the journey, not the destination. No amount of lore is going to be as exciting to me as I was to find out that after I had beaten it, that I was accompanied by at least eight other people at some point in my playthrough. Some I found and interacted with some (you can’t talk to anyone you meet, whether in the game or out) but most I never even saw. They were apart of my adventure and I had no idea. Which is philosophically the point of the game. That’s how Journey chooses to tell its story, a transcendent tale of life and rebirth from the perspective of a nameless pilgrim in a fantasy world. And that’s also how it chooses to build its player interaction, a soft multiplayer system where players wander in and out of each others’ worlds, only able to communicate with a simple pulsing sound. It’s meditation on life as well as the medium itself which no other game has quite replicated.
80. Sim City 2000 (1993) | PC
SimCity 2000 may not be the most complex or original of the city-building series, but it’s definitely the most iconic. The sequel to the original SimCity is a beautiful, funny, detailed sandbox that gives players control of a huge, customizable map that they can manage how they see fit. You can build the perfect metropolis – see little sailboats in your marina and cars on your streets, get a statue built in your name, keep your advisors happy by building mass transit and hospitals. Or you can burn it all to the ground with catastrophes like earthquakes and alien attacks. Compared to the other entries in the series, the game hits that player agency sweet spot so you feel like you’re empowered to save your city without being overwhelmed by choice. You need to make sure your Sims have access to electricity and water, but also that they’re safe, have access to healthcare, and the roads are maintained. As your city grows, you’ll have to keep track of things like mass transit, entertainment, and the economy but the difficulty curve never feels too steep, and success always seems just a stadium away. Plus, there’s never been a more satisfying feeling than zoning a land for residential and first seeing people move in.
79. Super Mario Galaxy (2007) | Wii
You would think there would be more critics of the Mario franchise since all of them basically play the exact same and damn near all of them have identical plots but its detractors are few if any. I don’t think it’s because the character is so beloved that he’s above criticism or the fact that there’s so much time put between main entries (even though that helps), I think it’s due mostly to the fact that even people who aren’t into these types of games recognize the minor variations to the formula. Even though it’s setting is new, Galaxy isn’t a radical deviation by any stretch. You still run and jump over obstacles, butt bounce on Goombas and fight Bowser in the end but it’s those little tweaks that make all the difference. The first Mario game to take advantage of the Wii’s motion controls, the game is the most responsive and best feeling game in the series. You have unparalleled control with Mario, with every with step he takes feeling enjoyable. It’s just fun making him cartwheel in the sky after running and jumping backwards. And the game is built around that satisfaction. It knows you’re having fun moving him around, so each new stage tests your abilities. Some task you with moving a giant ball around a tilting board, while others have you try and keep your wrist still as you race down a water track. The game acts as a very subtle tutorial on how to work the Wii as well as the game itself. Which makes the overall presentation doubly impressive. The game is pulling off many things at once and performing them all flawlessly.
78. Earthbound (1994) | SNES
Since role playing games are still primarily set in the worlds of fantasy and sci-fi, Earthbound still feels remarkably fresh. The main cast of characters are kids, their weapons are baseball bats, yo-yos and other miscellaneous toys and the world they inhabit is Earth like in appearance (normal buildings, normal cars, normal-ish looking people) but everything about it is just left of center. There’s weird locales, strange enemy encounters and just an overall tone of wacky. And that’s why it’s become such a massive cult hit. It was commercial disaster upon release but every year since, it’s grown in estimation almost gamers with many putting it in the top 3 RPGS of all time alongside Final Fantasy VI and Chrono Trigger. You can chalk that up to nostalgia but again, all of that is due to how unique an experience it is. Many hadn’t played the first one and since the third one is notoriously region locked, they haven’t played the third one either, so there really isn’t anything else like it. In order to get a similar experience, you have to play the games that are inspired by it like Undertale and as good as they are, they still don’t quite scratch the itch.
77. Dark Souls (2011) | Various
Talk about hitting pay dirt. From Software had the bright idea to treat gamers like masochists and they’ve laughed their way to the bank ever since. They tapped into that “get gud” mentality and created a revolution, with a wave of imitators following in their footsteps. But what all of them miss or rather, forget to include are the games’ sense of wonder. It’s not just testing your mite against a seemingly invincible foe, it’s stumbling across the lore of that foe hours later in a cave. Dark Souls didn’t just popularize brutal difficulty, it put player discovered lore at the forefront. It doesn’t spell out it’s story or hold your hand as you attempt to find it. You may not even find all of it to piece together. The fact that the developers don’t care whether or not you find all of the mythology they’ve created or can even figure it out, is a true testament to their vision. They’re giving you the freedom to discover it or not discover it and in an age where every game is made for dumb babies, it’s refreshing.
76. Fortnite (2017) | Various
Love it or hate it, there’s no denying Fortnite‘s massive popularity. Few games have entered the pop culture zeitgeist as quickly or as thoroughly. It’s getting to the point where everything surrounding the game is as important as the game itself. There are celebrities that perform concerts inside the game, movies have screened in special lobbies and parts of the new Star Wars movie’s lore was only revealed within one of their special events. Not only that, there are tons of successful Let’s Players who do nothing but play this all day, with the biggest one, Ninja, being a bonafide celebrity himself. I don’t know the numbers or how you would be able to figure this out but I guarantee you that 80% of children under 12 spend more time watching YouTube than TV, movies or playing games and of that 80%, a good chunk are watching someone play this game. It’s single handedly taking on every facet of pop culture. It feels like video games were leading up to a game like Fortnite. Which makes its omnipresence all the more annoying because is Fortnite the ultimate representation of modern gaming or simply the game that solidified its trends?
What do you think of the list so far? What games are some of your favorite games?