The year is almost over, so once again we thought it was time to make a list of the best games of all time. That’s no easy task, because so many great games have come out in the past thirty-five years. Nevertheless, we at the editorial team put our heads together, called each other rotten fish and cut the most emotionally charged knots. The result is this comprehensive list and a very grim atmosphere on the editorial staff.
It may sound somewhat crazy, but to make a list like this as fair as possible, you actually have to be flexible. For example, with sports games you often choose the best from the franchise, because they are usually released every year and sometimes differ little from each other. That while from franchises like those of Zelda or Mario you’re going to encounter multiple games in the list, though we tried to keep that to a minimum as well.
In addition, different aspects come into play when it comes to choosing a game. Thus, games are not all looked at in the same way, because some games have to make it mainly on the impact it had when it was released, while others have to make it on its playability or nostalgia. It is impossible to compare the first Mario game with, say, Red Dead Redemption 2, but you still have to make choices in such a list.
Fat chance you don’t agree with the list, we already couldn’t agree with each other on our small editorial team, let alone with the rest of the Benelux. Still, we would love to read your reaction to the list, stating that we are incredible sadists because we didn’t put your favorite game in the list. But even more fun, you probably have all kinds of memories of the games in the list and please don’t hide that, we enjoy reading them!
100. Sensible Soccer (1992)
The past two decades have revolved mostly around the battle between FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer, but before that you had the choice of many more different soccer games. This is not to say that soccer games were better back then, quite the contrary. Much more often it seemed like you were controlling a colony of ants, painstakingly trying to slide a tiny square into a white field, while the gameplay sometimes approached the speed of light. Start up any more of those old soccer games and notice that the bulk of them are absolutely unplayable.
Not all games were bad; Microprose Soccer, for example, was a delightful game that introduced the “banana shot,” which allows you to add an effect to the ball after shooting it. The creators of Microprose Soccer then made themselves virtually immortal with their next project: Sensible Soccer. The gameplay was somewhat faster and at the same time you could see more of the field. Furthermore, you only needed one button to pass, shoot as well as make slidings.
The strength of Sensible Soccer was not so much the entertaining gameplay, but the ability to customize everything in the game. There were quite a few teams in the game with names that were misspelled versions of real players, but all club and player names were customizable. In addition, you could also put together a uniform or customize the appearance of your players. You could also set up leagues or cups to your heart’s content and also customize them completely to your liking.
Moment of the game:
Sensible Soccer is one of the first games that showed during the game who scored and in what minute it was. It sounds a little crazy now, but that was kind of a big deal at the time.
99. Tetris Effect (2018)
Tetris is typically one of those franchises where a developer tries to add something new to a concept that already stands as a house. We’ve seen everything from bombs to other strange gimmicks come along. Or how about all those attempts to turn Tetris into a 3D game? Boring and unplayable! So it was always said that you couldn’t turn Tetris into a new experience, and we actually thought so ourselves. Until Tetris Effect was released!
Tetris Effect comes from the mind of Tetsuya Mizuguchi, known for such “musical” games as Space Channel 5, Rez and Lumines. Although the gameplay is still Tetris, the environments and sounds provide a completely different experience. Every move you make results in visual and musical reactions in the environment. As a result, you find yourself in an abstract, artistic world and feel that you have a lot of influence over it, which provides fresh motivation.
Officially released as a VR title, this game is quite a special experience with all those colors and sounds. Still, the game works fine on your console, especially if you have a fat TV and ditto sound system. The controller vibrates along like an idiot to the beat of the music and so you are still immersed in this fantastic “Tetris trip.
Moment of the game:
Almost the entire game feels like one big zen moment, but in normal mode, the pressure is greatly increased. As a result, it still sometimes becomes hugely stressful not to fill up your screen with misplaced tetra within seconds. Fortunately, there is also a “chill mode,” where a little less is expected of you. This is sometimes handy if you want to stay in your zen moment.
98. The Sims 3 (2009)
A virtual puppet show in itself does not sound like something we are interested in, but The Sims shows that such a thing can be hugely entertaining. People who normally had little with games were drawn to it and secretly there were also a lot of “hardcore gamers” who played the game for days too. Yes, now don’t sit around pretending that you’ve never had fun with a game from this series!
The first The Sims had a huge impact and came from the creative mind of Will Wright, who had previously had great success with Sim City. That was at a time when people thought Will Wright could turn anything into gold, and fair is fair, the man had made quite a name for himself with his games. Why do you really not hear from this man now? The answer is Spore, an ambitious game about evolution that downright flopped. Yet this game secretly had quite an influence on “procedurally generated games,” such as Minecraft and No Man’s Sky.
Still, there is no debating what exactly is the best game in the series, because that is The Sims 3. Think of a great user interface, the gigantic possibilities around creating your own designs and the extensive base game. The latter went especially wrong in The Sims 4, where a lot of basic features were missing from the standard version. Of course, you could add those back in via the numerous expansion packs. The Sims 3 also had many of these additional costs, but the standard version was already solid.
Moment of the game:
The Sims 3 looks so innocent and, at first glance, there can be little harm in the community, which consists largely of “housewives. Still, it is to be hoped that the Sims never gain a consciousness, because over the years these poor, virtual people have been rather cruelly tortured and murdered in barbaric ways. How about an exhausted Sim in a pool with no exit? Or causing fire in a house with no doors? That’s just a small sample of the monstrous crimes committed by the “innocent” community of The Sims. Barbarians!
97. Wii Sports (2006)
It took some getting used to for the very biggest Nintendo fans, but when developing the Wii, Nintendo suddenly thought, “There are way too many buttons on the controller, it’s way too hard! What if we take away half of the buttons and replace them with flapping your arm? And if we make the controller look like a remote control, even your grandmother will know how to hold one of those things! Now I bet we’re going to sell a lot of consoles to everyone, muhahahahahahahahaha!
They were darn right! Homes full of drooling senior citizens couldn’t turn away from that thing and indeed knew immediately what it was all about. This caused a nasty shift in the industry, with competitors also suddenly wanting to pick up on waving your hands (at Microsoft even with your whole body). They did this in hopes of grabbing a chunk of that target audience before they began to lose interest in the medium, or of course had some other, more natural reason they could no longer buy games.
Yes, we bring it all a bit negative, but at the same time we have a lot of respect for the success of the Wii, even though the vast majority of Wii owners never bought a game. No, they didn’t actually buy a Wii, but Wii-sports, which was sold together with a Wii as a bundle. And that had everything to do with the power of the game, the motion controls! For us, this game is really only in the list for one reason: Bowling! The Wii’s controller makes you feel like you’re really bowling, making it the ultimate in virtual bowling.
Moment of the game:
During an evening hanging out with friends or family, Wii Sports is still a pacesetter, although it also immediately shows why the controllers came with those crazy straps Many a TV has been smashed, because of yet another soupjerk who thinks they don’t need those straps. Then they also let the controller slip out of their hands, which in turn, with great sense of drama, leaves a fat star in the TV. Fair is fair, these silly actions did produce a slew of entertaining YouTube videos.
96. Fable 2 (2008)
You can say whatever you want about Peter Molyneux. For example, you can say that he had great ideas and was driven by sky-high ambition. In addition, you can also say that Peter is a shameless liar who promises wonderful things over and over again and doesn’t even deliver half of them. You can also say that he has far too big a bike. Of course, that’s hard to prove, but you can definitely say it… Still, this gentleman has left quite a bit behind in the industry, because the ideas that did come true were often very entertaining.
When the first Fable came out, much criticism first arose over Peter Molyneux’s statements. For example, he promised elements such as “plant a tree wherever you want in the game and it will grow slowly. Still, the game was extremely fun to play, but we still like Fable 2 better. Even there you couldn’t grow trees, but the game had a fresh mix of accessible gameplay, British humor and interesting options.
What really makes the Fable series so unique is the way the world responds to your actions, but you yourself change as well. The game constantly lets you make choices, and based on the goodness of that choice, your status changes. The worse you are, the more you are known as a villain and your appearance goes along with it, right down to devil horns. By the way, you don’t do this alone, but with a real dog, which you can teach all sorts of tricks. Fable 3 was tremendously boring and Fable the Journey a disgrace to games in general. Next year there will finally be a reboot, made by the developers behind the Forza Horizon series, we are very curious to see if we can plant a tree then.
Moment of the game:
There aren’t that many games in which you can get married, but in Fable 2 you can. In fact, you can even become a father! Just like in real life, your marriage can also break down if you are flirting too much with other women (or men) when your current wife sees or knows about it. Of course, you do need to buy a house for your family before you want to start having children. Also your children can go out with you and get angry with you.
Until the next announcement of the list!