*** DISCLAIMER! ***
Did that get your attention? Good. Here are the 10 things you need to know before you read this article.
1. This is (or was) my Top 100 Favorite Games of All Time list.
2. It is NOT a "Greatest Games of All Time" list like those kinds you see on "professional" websites and in magazines. Personally, I think all such lists are stupid because it's almost impossible to determine what the 100 Greatest Games ever are without having played every single game that exists.
2. This list is sorely outdated and right now I don't feel like updating it. (I will when I get time and motivation.)
3. It's only here for archive purposes. I had taken it down for awhile because "Games of All Time" lists were a fad at that time. What was happening was that people were linking to other places' "Games of All Time" lists on message boards and then including this one, too, which was causing massive confusion. The fad is over, so I'm putting it back up now.
4. DO NOT HOLD ME TO THIS LIST!! My mind has changed many times and this list has gone through many changes. I may not currently agree with everything I've said here. (Case in point: I no longer think Mega Man 3 is better than Mega Man 2, but I won't elaborate or fix the order at this time.) If you attempt to hold me to something I said here that I no longer agree with, I'm going to point you in the direction of this paragraph and tell you to RTFA.
5. If "X-GAME" is not on the list, it's either because I didn't play it, or I played it and didn't like it as much as you did, so please do not pester me with "Why isn't X-GAME on the list?" questions unless you're seriously interested in knowing my opinions on a particular game.
6. Despite that I don't want to be held to this list, I still pretty much agree with the last 2 pages of stuff near the top.
7. Most of my experience with games has been with Nintendo systems. When I was a kid and jobless, I couldn't afford both Nintendo and Sega systems (plus whatever else was out at the time), so I picked one and stuck with it. So that's why Nintendo games dominate the list. I'm slowly but surely delving into games on other systems, but I only add to the list when I feel the game deserves to be added. I don't just add for the sake of variety.
8. The most "current" system I own is the Nintendo DS. I have no plans at this time to buy the XBOX 360, Playstation 3, or Nintendo Revolution, so don't expect anything from those systems to be on this list.
9. If you don't like my list, quit whining and make your own. That's how this got made in the first place.
10. If you've read items 1 through 9, go ahead and continue reading the article to find out what my 100 favorite games are (or used to be).
SUPER MARIO WORLD
Nintendo - SNES
Although it did not live up to the standards set by previous games in the series, such as Super Mario Bros 1 and 3, Super Mario World is still an entertaining game that first introduced us to Yoshi - a dinosaur that can be rode like a horse and eats everything in sight! Mario World has a few challenging stages and lots of secrets to discover.
KIRBY'S PINBALL LAND
Nintendo/Hal Laboratory - Gameboy
Kirby's Pinball Land is the best pinball-based video game that I've played, yet. I used to play this game for hours between classes when I was in college. I still like to play this game when I go on airplanes or other long trips. It's highly addictive, and I've gotten such high scores that I can't seem to beat them anymore!
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES 4: TURTLES IN TIME
Konami - SNES
Although it's an easy game (even on the hard difficulty setting), TMNT 4 is the only beat-em-up I've ever played that I really liked. I find most beat-em-ups to be too slow and repetitive, but TMNT 4 had very quick play control and action, and hysterically fun boss fights! The action itself is a little varied, with some surfing and even a Mode 7 racing-style stage. The graphics are quite good, as the Turtles hop through various time periods. TMNT 4 also has a neat Time Trial mode and is fun as a 2-player game, as well.
SECRET OF EVERMORE
Squaresoft - SNES
I know this is not one of Square's best efforts, which is why it's at #97 and not higher on this list. But I am very fond of this game. The graphics are absolutely amazing, and so is the sound. I loved the areas where you had to split up the dog and the boy to solve puzzles. Yes, the story is lacking, but the atmosphere and complex mazes more than makes up for it.
Nintendo - SNES
Super Punch-Out brought us more of the same great gameplay that was found in the original Punch-Out, but added just enough new twists to make this a fresh and fun experience. By scoring hits, a power meter fills up that lets you execute faster jabs or super-powerful punches. Some boxers from the original return, but there are many new faces, and all have a clever repertoire of moves that will take time for you to learn and master dodging.
SNAKE RATTLE N ROLL
Nintendo/Rare - NES
I still have yet to beat this game, but even so, what I can play of it I find fun, challenging, and addicting. Colorful graphics, excellent sound, and unique gameplay (which involves eating stuff to grow bigger) set Snake Rattle n Roll apart. I'm generally not a fan of most of Rare's NES games, but this one is a true gem!
Activision/Athena - NES
Sword Master is a uniqe little sidescroller for the NES that has some annoying glitches, but is otherwise quite a fun game. It uses an attack-and-block system similar to that of Zelda 2. It also has some really challenging stages, particularly level 4.
YIE AR KUNG-FU
Konami - Arcade/PSX
Once my local arcade got rid of Donkey Kong, I pretty much spent all of my quarters on this game. Yie Ar Kung-Fu was an early one-on-one fighting game with very simple play mechanics. You could only play as one character who had a repertoire of kicks and punches at his disposal. Each opponent you fought had some kind of weapon, such as Nunchakus, Pole, Sword, Ninja Stars, and other things. This game was really fun to play because it was challenging to figure out a strategy for each opponent. The final boss, Blues, is rather cheap, but I seemed to get past him about 50% of the time on the arcade. This game is also available on the Konami Arcade Classics disk for PS1.
Nintendo - Arcade
Donkey Kong was my first true video game obsession. I remember playing this game for hours on end in the arcades. You know the story - Mario must scale the tower and rescue his girlfriend from Donkey Kong, all the while avoiding the many traps that DK sets out for him. It's too bad that the NES version isn't arcade perfect, as it's missing a level and some other stuff. I've heard that the version in the Donkey Kong 64 game is arcade-perfect, and I hope it is, because I'd really like to have a decent home version of this game.
Irem - Arcade/PSX
Actually, the version of Moon Patrol that I fell in love with as a kid was the Commodore VIC20 version, which was great, but a little bit different from the arcade version (naturally, since the VIC20 wasn't all that powerful.) I've heard that this game was one of the first to use parallax scrolling, but I was more impressed with its varied gameplay, that had you jumping over rocks and blasting UFOs while controlling a very bouncy moon buggy!
MYSTICAL NINJA STARRING GOEMON
Konami - N64
I have to laugh at Nintendo Power for saying this game had "boring dialogue". Maybe I just have a different sense of humor, because I thought this game was hilarious! Mystical Ninja is a 3D adventure game that has lots of action and boss fights. Some bosses are fought with one of four different characters (Goemon, Ebisumaru, Yae, or Sasuke), but the highlight of this game are the robot battles, in which you take control of the giant robot, Impact, and duke it out with a huge enemy robot. Goemon is a short game, but you can also unlock a mode to fight just the big robot bosses. Unlike a lot of N64 games, the graphics are colorful and the music is probably my favorite on the system.
Nintendo - Gameboy
Although Wario Land is subtitled "Super Mario Land 3", it is actually the start of a whole new series, and has a different style of play from its rather blase predecessors. Wario is searching for treasure on a pirate-infested island, and he'll have plenty of levels to explore. Wario Land has more creative level design and boss fights than the previous Mario Land games, and it's just plain cool playing as Wario, because he has all-new moves that Mario didn't have, such as bodyslams, and special hats that gave him superpowers.
Capcom - NES
Gun.Smoke is one of my favorite shooter games on the NES. Though it's politically incorrect at times, it is still fun and challenging. Take on the baddest outlaws in Hicksville as you fight them in tough boss battles. The final level is really eerie, and I love the games "wild west" music.
DESTINY OF AN EMPEROR
Capcom - NES
Destiny of an Emperor is an often-overlooked RPG for the NES. Although it may look like one of those Koei-style war strategy games, it actually plays more like an RPG, but it's much faster paced than many other 8-Bit RPGs. The game takes place in medieval China and is loosely based on actual events. The battle system has a unique "All-Out" feature that essentially makes both sides duke it out automatically until only one party is left standing.
SUPER MARIO BROS. 2
Nintendo - NES
SMB2 was originally a game called Doki Doki Panic in Japan, but Nintendo added the Mario characters for the American release. This game's style of play was far different from SMB1. Instead of stomping on enemies and shooting fireballs, you could now lift things up and throw them. SMB2 had a lot of charms, such as the ability to play as four different characters, each with varying jumping ability, and a cavalcade of delightful enemies (my personal favorites are those slip-sliding snow Flurries!) SMB2 had a unique and innovative play style, but it just wasn't challenging enough to usurp its predecessor.
Nintendo/Software Creations - SNES
Tin Star is a really whacked-out shooting game that is compatible with the Super Scope, Mouse, and regular controllers. Set in a cartoon version of the Wild West, the story follows Tin Star, a robot cowboy, as he shoots down outlaw robots around town. Some stages have enemies that appear all over the screen as it scrolls while others are one-on-one gunfights. The story is very funny, the graphics and animation are superb, and the ending you get depends on the amount of money you earn.
Activision - Atari 2600
Keystone Kapers was one of the best Atari 2600 games, and I still enjoy playing it, even today. You play as a Keystone Cop who is racing through a department store in hot pursuit of a thief. With each new round, you'd have to avoid more obstacles, such as bouncing balls, toy airplanes, and shopping carts. The graphics are surprisingly well-done for an Atari 2600 game. This game is also available on Activision Classics for the PSX, but strangely enough, plays a little slower than the original.
Sony Imagesoft - SNES
Skyblazer is a little-known action platformer game for the SNES that would have ranked much higher on this list had it only been more challenging! The gameplay is similar to Ninja Gaiden in that you can jump, flip, cling to walls, and use special magic arts. The graphics, especially many of the effects used for backgrounds and bosses, are extremely well done. The play control is fluid and there's a good variety of levels. Please, game developers, when you make games that show this much potential, be sure that they're challenging enough!
Nintendo - SNES
Wario's Woods edges out Dr. Mario as my favorite puzzle game of all time! Wario's Woods is a high-energy game in which you play as Toad (yay!) and try to eliminate strange creatures from the playing field with bombs. The game has a normal quest mode (shown in the picture) and a versus mode in which you square-off against CPU-controlled opponents. Both modes are beatable, too! I once stayed up to 3 in the morning playing Wario's Woods. I beat it, only to find out that the game has a code for a harder second quest! Puyo Puyo and Tetris get the most credit, but as far as I'm concerned, Wario's Woods is King!
Natsume/Amccus/Pack-in-Video - SNES
Harvest Moon used to be one of my top favorite games, but after playing it to death, I find that I don't really like replaying it as much as I used to. But anyway, HM is one of the few simulation-style games I've ever truly enjoyed. The idea is to create a successful living on a farm by raising animals and nurturing crops. There are some side events that you can participate in, and you can also choose to "woo" one of several different women in the town. There are many different endings and many different ways to play!
ONTO PART 2!