Hey Team 24. I thought I’d do something a little different this time. I wanted to write a small piece about my ten favourite games of all time as of currently writing this piece. I’ve been gaming for around thirty years now. I started off back in the day with a ZX Spectrum 48k and I would say I’ve pretty much played at least one console on each generation since then.
Gaming has been so important to me over the years. It’s provided lots of entertainment and on some occasions, it has provided company for me when I’ve been alone or in darker times. The games I have played have given me lots of joy when I have played them. Whether it’s the fun mechanics, gripping storylines, or just plain silliness. Each one of these is special to me in its own way. So sit back, relax and have a good read. Who knows, there may be one here on my list that you have never tried.
Tekken 3 (PlayStation)
It’s mad to think that Namco’s biggest 3D fighting franchise has been with us for nearly thirty years. I believe and I hope that we get something for the 30th anniversary of Tekken. The epic saga featuring those mad Mishima’s has provided lots of action and innovative combat for a long time in homes and arcades all across the world. I’ll never forget when I first heard the cracking shoulder pop noise when Paul Phoenix did his takedown move back in the original game.
It holds so many memories for me. It was the first and only game I ever went to a midnight launch for. My dad was NOT happy, as he had to take me. Tekken 3 in my opinion is certainly the best 3D fighter for me of all time. It has a great roster of characters both old and new. Some of the soundtracks have really stood the test of time. I often play Jin Kazama’s stage theme through my smart speaker when I’m doing the dishes. The gameplay is wonderful, especially as the sidestep mechanic was introduced in Tekken 3. This gave a new edge to the combat and opened up many new ways to attack and also defend. There are so many modes to play the game, you can spend hours on it. I also have to add the cherry on top. Tekken Bowling. Absolutely awesome. If you’ve never played it, you really should.
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Wii)
So it’s a no brainer that a Zelda game would make this list. The hardest choice was to just pick one. I could have filled this list with Zelda games but the one that really drew me in was Twilight Princess. Once you get over the pretty long intro/tutorial section then you enter into a wonderful story in Hyrule. I think what swayed this for me was the use of the Wii’s motion control. The excitement of swinging the remote to use Link’s sword is brilliant. How long had we imagined for years to be able to do that?
The basic premise is the same, save Hyrule from Ganon, go to dungeon, collect special item, use item to kill boss, move onto next dungeon. That’s what we love about Zelda. This game featured two awesome aspects for me. First of all is Midna. Midna is by far Link’s best companion he has had in any of the Zelda games, she is a character who is charming and witty from the start and her storyline arc really got me and made for a wonderful conclusion towards the end of the game.
The second…. LINK CAN TURN INTO A WOLF! Yes, that’s right a wolf. The gameplay mechanics with the wolf mode are second to none and proved to be a wonderful experience. Again, if you haven’t played this one get it on the Wii as the GameCube version can set you back in the region of £50-£80 quid. Ouch
Streets of Rage 2 (Sega Megadrive/Genesis)
I was so happy when Streets of Rage 4 got released a couple of years ago for the modern consoles. I can safely say it was a great game to play and offered hours of fun and replay value, it was such a throwback to the glory days on the Mega Drive and a true testament to the legacy of Streets of Rage.
To put it bluntly Streets of Rage 2 is my favourite brawler of all time. I can always come back to this game and still be as entertained as I was when I first played it back in the early nineties. We rented this game so much from our local Ritz Video store back in the day. I and my brother didn’t own a Mega Drive (we was Nintendo guys). But Dave over the road had a Megadrive and we would often swap consoles for a week at a time so we was all getting that 16-Bit goodness. I digress.
Streets of Rage 2 is awesome. As soon as you hear the famous music by Yu Suzuki in Stage 1, you know this game is going to be a banging experience. The soundtrack is phenomenal and has been lauded by critics over the years, the gameplay is brilliant and without sounding like a psycho it’s thrilling to whack the bad guys with a lead pipe. It’s great as a solo game, but it’s more fun with a buddy teaming up in co-op action to sort out Mr X and his crew. It can be easily found on the plethora of compilation games out there and you should revisit it at least once a year.
Mega Man 2 (NES)
You’d be forgiven if you didn’t pick Mega Man 2 up back in the day. Have you seen that box art? Unforgiveable. Why Capcom couldn’t have done something else is beyond me. If you haven’t seen it, check it out on Google. This was my first experience with the Blue Bomber and I borrowed it from my friend John (who NEVER held his NES controller in his hands, he placed it on a flat surface and did it that way. Madness.) I and John would regularly swap and trade games as NES games were pricy in the early nineties.
Mega Man games are notoriously difficult, they always have been and always will be. Mega Man 2 though gave us all something that we craved, and in turn made the game a tad easier and much more fun to play. It had a password system and you could write the codes in the back of your NES manuals, so it was great to carry on where you left off. The simple action platforming is perfect here. Yes there are times when you get rage, but when you complete a tricky timed section in the game (We’re looking at you Quick man) it gives you a real sense of achievement.
It’s got an awesome 8-Bit soundtrack, a good challenge and in my opinion the best set of Robot Masters in the entire series.
Wow. What a game Spider-Man is. If you ever imagined the perfect way to play as Peter Parker then this is it. A 10/10 game for me in all aspects. Swinging all the way through the streets of Manhattan has never felt better. Insomniac and Sony got it spot on with this one. Marvel’s web slinging avenger has to save New York City from a clutch of the Empire State’s finest villains in a fantastic story.
It looks absolutely sublime, the soundtrack is something straight from the silver screen. However, Spider-Man really excels in the gameplay, especially the combat. Spidey moves around the screen with ease, he has a great melee combo system for straight up fighting, he has web kicks, he has web shooters, and he has gadgets. He’s your friendly neighbourhood Spiderman.
Even if you are not a fan of comic book stuff, this game is well worth a go in my opinion. This excellent game was followed up by the awesome (if too short) Miles Morales. We are highly anticipating the Spider-Man 2 which Sony showed off during the last State of Play. If it’s anything like this cracker, we are in for a treat.
WWF Wrestlemania 2000 (Nintendo 64)
Back in my younger days and up until recently I was a huge fan of the World Wrestling Federation. For years I would tune in regularly for Raw, Smackdown and stay up late on certain Sundays for the monthly Pay Per View events. Now, there have been an abundance of wrestling games on many consoles over the years and the majority were crap, or lacked any real depth in gameplay. Roll onto the days of the N64. THQ and AKI had previously released two great WCW games on the N64, but when they decided to go with the lure of the WWF we was treated to a great game.
It’s specifically the same 3D engine but with better graphics, textures, movement and all the things you would expect from a follow up game. Its just got Steve Austin instead of Hogan, Triple H instead of DDP and so on. The roster is stacked with all your favourites from the Attitude Era. Every character has a specific move set and finishing move which is brilliant to see.
By today’s standards it’s not held up as well as you would have thought, but it’s still a riot to play especially when you had three buddies round.
Final Fantasy 7 (PlayStation 1)
It had to be in here didn’t it? The game will probably be in many gamers top 10’s. At time of writing I have not played the remake, but I am excited to do so. I feel FF7 is one of the most influential games of all time. If you look at a lot of games aesthetics through the years up to current gen, I feel the futuristic, steampunk, industrial setting of Midgar has influenced a lot of game devs. I also feel that FF& set the precedence for JRPG’s to be more of a mainstream genre rather than the niche it used to be.
Cloud’s adventure and story is on par with the most wonderful stories I’ve ever read, or seen for that matter. All of the characters have so much depth to them and you all probably know the scene, but that was the first time I ever cried at a video game. The cut scene and music which accompanied it truly set the tone for what had happened. The game is turn based combat at its finest. The Summons and Limit Breaks add another layer to making the combat fun, and the use of Materia made for great, simple gameplay as RPG’s can get too complicated. FF7 does not.
If you haven’t played it you should. If you haven’t played any Final Fantasy games, then this is where you should start. You can get this and FF8 on the Switch for around £30 for the pair. That’s a bargain. !
Sensible World of Soccer (Commodore Amiga)
In the 90’s if you had an Amiga you was a legend. I only knew of two people who had Amiga’s. One was my Uncle who lived 200 miles away from us. We had great memories of playing Jimmy White’s Snooker there. The other was a lad in our friends group. On occasions we would all get together and just play games all day. Then one day we had access to SWOS.
For me it is the perfect football game, the gameplay actually playing the football matches was simple but so so addictive, you could pull off some absolute worldies just using the joystick. I’d love to see it come back for modern consoles. What also was great about SWOS for me was the manager mode. It was the first time I can ever recall being a football manager. Buying and selling players in the transfer market was a real hoot.
Granted the graphics are very simplistic and minimal and it certainly isn’t no FIFA. But it didn’t need to be back then and still doesn’t need to be now. If you can play any version of Sensible Soccer please do. This version for me is the king.
Gears of War 3 (Xbox 360)
If you are into all of Microsofts IP’s then chances are you either sway to Halo or Gears as your go to shooter. As much as I like Halo, I much prefer the third person, cover shooting that Gears offers. I love the Gears franchise. I do feel that the peak was Gears of War 3. In my opinion it’s the best game on Xbox 360 and nothing would change my mind.
Once again we have Marcus Fenix and his crew armed with their lancers trying to take on the evil alien forces. Everything about the game is great. The action is frantic at times but that just adds to the experience for me. The story is sublime and again we had a scene which brought a tear to this gamers eye. I even enjoyed the online experience and it was a firm favourite for a lot of hours for me
You could pick this game up for a quid physically now, and I am pretty sure it’s available on the wonderful Gamepass as well now. There is no excuse not to play this game….. Well unless you don’t own an Xbox?
Super Mario 3D World (Wii U/Switch)
I could not finish this list without having a Mario game. Super Mario Bros was the first game I ever played on a Nintendo Console. We got the Action Set at Christmas 1990, we lost so many hours to Mario and Duck Hunt. I think Mario has had so many great games over the years it’s very difficult to say what is the best.
My favourite is 3D World on the Wii U and now recently ported Switch. It offers the best of both worlds for me. 2D Platforming in a 3D environment. The whole idea and concept felt very fresh at the time and I loved the cat suit power up which definitely changes the physics of the game. Combine that with the 4 Player Option, the absolutely stupendous soundtrack (Check out Bowsers World Map theme, genius Jazz.) and all the collectibles in the game, you have a winner.
I’m so glad Nintendo ported it to the Switch along with the wonderful Bowser’s Fury as it gave the game out to a wider audience as well all know the Wii U did not sell so well.
So there you go. There are my top 10 games of all time at time of writing. What do you think? Agree with any? Disagree with any? I love hearing feedback and other people’s opinions. Bear in mind I am always playing games from all generations, so who knows this could change next year.
Until Next Time. Keep Gaming.
Guest Blog post by Adam Foster @AngelicWiganer / @snoopfozziefozz
Retro Game Reviews. Mega Drive, Super Nintendo, Sega Dreamcast and more
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