To the Moon – The 100 Best Games Ever: 66th

Digg thisShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on TumblrShare on LinkedIn

66. To the Moon

Ok, so it’s more of a visual novel with sprite trappings than a full-blown RPG – but wow, what a story. Wrapping up themes as weighty as death, memory, love, loss and the interpersonal toll of mental illness, To the Moon is a game which will likely take you about three to four hours to polish off, but will stay with you forever.

Two doctors are tasked with delving into the memories of a dying man and reordering them to make his dream of reaching the moon come true. As they dig deeper into his past, however, his dream seems strangely at odds with some of his most treasured memories. You don’t have any real control over how events unfold, but To The Moon is an outlier for gaming storytelling which pretty much every other title on this list could learn from.

To the Moon

Thief 2: The Metal Age – The 100 Best Games Ever: 67th

Digg thisShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on TumblrShare on LinkedIn

67. Thief 2: The Metal Age

The first Thief practically invented the stealth genre as we now know it. But Thief 2 does everything the original did, only better. Despite his wish for a simple life of grand larceny, Garrett once again finds himself ensnared in an intriguing plot full of pagan cults and evil machinations. The sheer atmosphere of the shadowy stages, which blend a gothic setting with steampunk inventions, more than makes up for any ancient-looking polygons.

But most importantly, the AI in Thief 2 is remarkably smart, with enemies that feel like thinking entities that you must react to instead of simply manipulating. Every area in the complex, non-linear level designs feels like a new logic puzzle, which can only be solved through the proper mix of cunning and the ability to adapt when your best-laid plans go to hell in a handbasket.

Thief 2 The Metal Age

Worms Armageddon – The 100 Best Games Ever: 68th

Digg thisShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on TumblrShare on LinkedIn

68. Worms Armageddon

Team 17’s very British turn-based battler is a true curio, something that could’ve only come from the mad minds of late ’90s games developers. Here you play a squad of fighty worms as they attempt to eradicate the opposing team by blasting them or knocking them into water. “But they haven’t got any arms!” you shriek into our faces. True, but that doesn’t mean these invertebrates can’t use artillery.

There’s exploding sheep, banana bombs, kamikaze pigeons, and sacrilegious holy hand grenades, all taking chunks out of the level as they go off. You can use grappling hooks, jetpacks, bungee cords, and scaffolding to reach new vantage points, and when you want to rub your opponent’s’ nose in it, do a bit of disrespectful skipping. Just make sure you don’t let your exuberant trooper get prodded off a ledge to his or her watery death.

Worms Armageddon

Original by gamesradar.com/best-games-ever/

Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag – The 100 Best Games Ever: 69th

Digg thisShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on TumblrShare on LinkedIn

69. Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag

Who’d have thought the best AC game to date would be so… un-Assassin’s Creed-y? That’s not to say that Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag doesn’t offer all the hallmarks of the stab-happy series; there’s white hoods, sneaking missions and ancient MacGuffins aplenty. But it’s the new elements that make this swashbuckling story so captivating. Boiled down to two words? Sailing, y’all.

Fleshing out a small feature of AC3 into a fully-fledged part of your adventure, AC4 gives you a vibrant 17th-century Caribbean to explore and a ship all your own to rule it with. In doing so, Black Flag becomes one of most compelling pirate stories ever told, tightly embracing the role-playing tenant that the adventure you make for yourself is far more memorable than any pre-scripted mission.

Assassin's Creed 4 Black Flag

XCOM: Enemy Within – The 100 Best Games Ever: 70th

Digg thisShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on TumblrShare on LinkedIn

70. XCOM: Enemy Within

XCOM: Enemy Within looks confusing in screenshots and videos – with all the little icons and aiming percentages – but it’s actually quite easy to play. You don’t lose a game of XCOM because you didn’t understand what was happening, or because you forgot how to command your characters. The game doles out all the information in a way that’s easy to understand. Instead, you lose because you made a mistake.

Maybe you charged your elite troops into a bad situation, or clumped them all up only to get wiped out by a single grenade. Whatever the reason, you understand why it happened. The action is framed within a classic alien invasion scenario that gives enough context without getting in the way of the fun. And since it comes from the same house as Civilization, you know it has that oh-so-addictive, one-more-turn effect that’ll keep you up until the wee hours of the morning.

XCOM Enemy Within

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 – The 100 Best Games Ever: 71th

Digg thisShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on TumblrShare on LinkedIn

71. Sonic the Hedgehog 2

One of the smoothest, slickest platformers ever made, this sequel fixes the few shortcomings of its predecessor. The two-act-per-level structure means the pacing is wonderful – and a perfect fit for the fastest thing alive. The opening sequence of Emerald Hill, Chemical Plant Zone and Aquatic Ruin is magnificent, packing three servings of gorgeous scrolling backgrounds, speed, hardcore platforming, and bosses into some 15 minutes of gaming.

The music is among the finest on any 16-bit machine, despite Mega Drive/Genesis’ arguably inferior sound capabilities. And with timeless iconography, an ultra-dramatic final level, and countless opportunities for fun (pinball flippers, launch ramps, slot machines, secret paths, 3D special stages, etc.), this is as close to universal gaming fun as you can get.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Fable 2 – The 100 Best Games Ever: 72th

Digg thisShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on TumblrShare on LinkedIn

72. Fable 2

Fable 2 provides a more literal take on role-playing, letting you shape a hero through behavioral gestures that see you turn from twinkle-in-the-eye Prince Charming to pants-shitting jester with the press of a button. This latter accident – the result of a farting mini-game gone wrong – is funnier than it should be, especially when deployed before a crowd of yokels who’ve gathered to admire your fine dancing. You’d never see that in a Zelda game.

By putting its focus on silly moment-to-moment decisions in a world where even meat-eating can contribute to your unethical standing, Fable 2 allows your hero to gradually form over a virtual life, rather than defining them at a handful of colossal moral crossroads. Not that the game doesn’t do those, too. In fact, such is the general silliness of life in Albion that when those tough calls do arrive, they hit all the harder for it.

Fable 2

Ikaruga – The 100 Best Games Ever: 73th

Digg thisShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on TumblrShare on LinkedIn

73. Ikaruga

Treasure has crafted so many wonderfully obscure shoot-‘em-ups that it seems almost gauche to nominate one of their best-known and most accessible works for this list. But Ikaruga’s genius lies in the way it serves as a gateway drug of sorts, teaching shoot-‘em-up dabblers how to swoop and swoosh across the screen like a score-chasing fiend.

Almost more puzzler than shooter, Ikaruga is built around a ‘black and white polarity’ conceit: basically, enemies fire a barrage of monochrome light at your ship, and you can in turn flip polarities at the press of a button to guzzle up like-colored beams for energy. Thus, the screen’s entire geometry changes in an instant, leading to countless death-defying, heart-stopping runs through waves of lethal plasma.

Ikaruga

EarthBound – The 100 Best Games Ever: 74th

Digg thisShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on TumblrShare on LinkedIn

74. EarthBound

EarthBound treads where few RPGs dare: modern-day suburbia. Instead of quaffing health potions that you picked up from the local general store, order a pizza and take it to-go. Or better yet, scarf down a cheeseburger you found in a trash can – no one’s judging. Beat up on Unassuming Local Guys and New Age Retro Hippies instead of garden-variety goblins and dragons. Hitch a ride to the next town with a band that looks an awful lot like The Blues Brothers. Most games would be lucky to have one or two memorable moments like this. EarthBound has them in spades.

It’s a pastiche of American pop culture wrapped up in the wackiest Japanese role-playing game ever made. It’s heartwarming yet haunting; playful yet sincere. But most of all, EarthBound proves that the adventure of a lifetime can start right in your own backyard. And there’s nothing else like it.

EarthBound

Civilization 5 – The 100 Best Games Ever: 75th

Digg thisShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on TumblrShare on LinkedIn

75. Civilization 5

Sid Meier’s Civilization 5 remains one of the best entry points into the series, as well as a great game in its own right. It skillfully blends the depth and complexity of previous Civ games with the accessibility of Civilization Revolution to create a unified whole that’ll get you hooked in under an hour, and keep you playing for a hundred more.

Designing your strategy (maybe absolute conquest with Russia, or a cultural victory with the French) and then adapting that game plan based on the changing geopolitical landscape, is a fun and engrossing challenge every time you play. But Civ 5’s greatest strength is its bottomless well of fan-made content. From Game of Thrones to My Little Pony, if there’s a feature you hope to see in the game, chances are someone has made it a reality.