The Top Generation 5 Games Ever According to SnS - Part 3
by Sliders n' Socks




#91 - Galerians (PS1)
Chosen by: Pixel_Crusher, Pitchfork

Pixel_Crusher - If Resident Evil and Akira had a baby, they would name it Galerians. The game, while average at best, presented me with an interesting take on the survival-horror sub-genre where psychic powers replaced guns in combat. Shorting, while unadvised, was worth it just to see most enemies cowering away from you in fear and their heads exploding in a mess.

Pitchfork - I'm guessing this wouldn't even be on the list if I'd played Resident Evil as a teenager, because Galerians is clearly a futurepunk Resident Evil ripoff. It's hardly on par with Resident Evil or Silent Hill (actually, it's a pretty lousy game with an even lousier English dub), but it gets points simply for having the chutzpah to be really fucked up. The unlucky teenager Rion acquires psychic powers from unscrupulous scientists, escapes from the white coats and spooks by shooting himself up with intravenous drugs, and pops pills to keep his telekinesis from running amok. When Rion doesn't take his medicine, people's heads pop as his brain melts down on itself. This is some seriously nightmarish stuff.




#90 - Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit (PS1)
Chosen by: AdmiralMaxtreme, Rhete

AdmiralMaxtreme - The police chase mode really makes this one stand out from the previous Need For Speed games. Without it, this would probably just be another standard racing game. As it stands, though, it's a pretty interesting and well-designed game.

Rhete - While the original Need for Speed had police that would chase you, this feels like the game that really made it a staple of the franchise.




#89 - Clockwork Knight (SAT)
Chosen by: AdmiralMaxtreme, Rhete

AdmiralMaxtreme - In an era where platformers all had heroes that were "radical" and practically dripping with 'tude, enter Sir Tongara de Pepperouchau III. Yeah. "Pepper" is a tiny toy knight who navigates through different rooms of a house to rescue Princess Chelsea. It's basically a lot like Toy Story, although this came out before that movie did. The levels are all pretty creative and charming, and it's a solid experience overall.

Rhete - A quirky platformer that I would call a Toy Story ripoff, had it not actually predated the film by a fair margin. The game has some standout moments, particularly the bosses and multi-plane level design, but I mostly just like it because it's just a lot of charm and style to it.




#88 - Panzer Dragoon (SAT)
Chosen by: Zeloz, Rhete

Zeloz - While its successors may have improved on this game in every conceivable way (or so I'm told), the first PD must've made a stunning opening argument for the Saturn's "tacked-on" 3D capabilities back in the day. I mean sure, the draw distance isn't great, nor is the frame rate, but just the look of the environments and the game world in general really stand out. Flying through desert wastelands, open seas, and in the cramped darkness of caves while fighting off vaguely mechanical-looking beasts and organic-looking machinery gives the game an interesting look and feel not really replicated on anything outside of the Saturn. This game shows that an effective 3D aesthetic doesn't necessarily need impressive 3D capabilities, and that a game can very well look as good as it plays.

Rhete - Panzer Dragoon is a rail shooter similar to Star Fox, but with a unique gimmick where you can shift your viewpoint 90 degrees to fire at enemies all around you, which makes sense since you're playing as a guy riding a dragon, not the dragon itself. I also remember the intro cutscene being like six minutes long, which was incredibly impressive, and very unusual for a game like this to take its world and story so seriously. Alas, Panzer Dragoon is also WAY too difficult, and I was never able to beat it without cheating.




#87 - Bust-A-Move 2: Arcade Edition (PS1/SAT/N64)
Chosen by: Pixel_Crusher, Zeloz

Pixel_Crusher - The video game version of crack. This puzzle game's mechanics were quite simple and well refined. Naturally, being terrible at puzzle games, I never managed to get through the "VS. Computer Mode" but made it through the "Puzzle Mode" with little problems (I had to pray for a guide line during the final stages).

Zeloz - This is perhaps the first strategy/puzzle game I really got invested in. I remember renting the PS1 version in the first grade, and both my mom and I would play for hours, trying to make progress on that 1P-vs-CPU mode. I imagine this game is what really got me into the sort of cutesy, competitive puzzle games that I'd later become absolutely obsessed with in junior high and high school. Heck, when I first got into N64 emulation, this was one of the first ROMs I set out to download (being significantly smaller than the PS1 disc image). Not surprisingly, the cute charm underlying its unforgiving difficulty held up then as well, and it turned out to be a great way to introduce competitive puzzle games to those averse to Tetris-esque, falling block setups.




#86 - Crash Team Racing (PS1)
Chosen by: FreezingInferno, Zeloz

FreezingInferno - I was at a store with a friend when we saw this game on sale. He insisted I buy it on the spot. So I did, begrudgingly. Begrudgingly I have to admit he was right to do so. YOU HEAR THAT JON? YOU WERE RIGHT! AGAIN! Where was I? Oh yeah. This is the second-best kart racing game I've ever played, and the first best isn't even a Mario Kart game. How about that? It's a wicked fun game, and my niece 100%-ed the story mode. She doesn't even play video games and she cleared the thing in full. That's a testament to how fun CTR is.

Zeloz - Let me get one thing straight: I liked Mario Kart 64. I also liked Diddy Kong Racing. Both were dear favorites of mine whenever I'd go to visit my mom's friend's son and play on his N64. But I didn't have an N64 growing up, so my exposure to these games were limited. It wouldn't be until years later, on a PS2, that my older brother and I would rent this game. Honestly, it didn't do anything that the two N64 games hadn't done, and since it's been forever since I've played either I can't say for certain if CTR did mascot racing better overall. But it did it damn well, especially on a console not normally associated with cutesy mascots. It even had a DKR-style single player mode and a MK64-style battle mode, with a power-up roulette (and power-ups) nabbed straight from Mario's racers. It's essentially the best of both N64 racers, and on the PS1 no less.




#85 - R-Type Delta (PS1)
Chosen by: Pixel_Crusher, Crono Maniac

Pixel_Crusher - Not much to say here really, aside from the fact that it had excellent gameplay and music like all the other R-Type games (especially Leo). Also, the last stage is the stuff nightmares are made of, especially if you beat the game with the third ship.

Crono Maniac - R-Type and its successors are some of the most expressive and artful games in their genre. I'm not sure any of them precisely capture the magic of the original, but the PSX entry with its gloom and grit comes the closest.




#84 - Syphon Filter 2 (PS1)
Chosen by: AdmiralMaxtreme, Vanor Orion

AdmiralMaxtreme - The first and second Syphon Filter games are both pretty good, but what sets this one apart for me is the fact that there are multiple playable characters.

Vanor Orion - As Polly has pointed out, this game has one of the best commercials ever. I have to admit I played this game before ever beating the original game. So going back there seems to be a few plot holes or continuity errors between the two games. That said, the game basically does what the original did, only better. Insta-fail sneaking missions that will have you on the edge of your seat constantly are back. But you also have plenty of action-packed moments that'll have your adrenaline pumping, which is aided by an excellent soundtrack. The locales you'll find yourself bouncing around in each level is mind-boggling, from the snowy Rockies to a Russian Nightclub and Gulag, to the back alley slums of New York. All the while dodging bullets and throwing some of your own back with a huge arsenal of awesome weapons and gadgetry (including the always chortle-inducing Air Taser).

The plot of the game is kind of similar to MGS's without all the crazy conspiracy stuff--it's just your TYPICAL conspiracy stuff, and I like the way the game shifts between Gabe and Lian for certain missions.. Graphically, the game holds up well, and definitely looks better than the original (especially the CG and character models), and again, the music is amazing. 1 and 3 are definitely great games, but this one I think was pitch perfect in its balance of nail-biting stealth and balls-to-the-wall action.




#83 - Bomberman 64: The Second Attack! (N64)
Chosen by: No, Voodoo Groove

No - I got all the Bomberman games that were on the N64, and I had a great time with all of them. With The Second Attack, you had elemental bombs...ever thought of having a bomb with a black hole in it? This game has it. :D Plus you also had a sidekick who backs you up in combat who also evolves as well.

Voodoo Groove - Doesn't quite measure up to the battle mode from the first Bomberman 64, but this game had an awesome single player mode. At the time the elemental bombs felt like a fresh mechanic and growing your explosive arsenal was fun and empowering. A shame it's gotten so expensive to acquire.




#82 - Sega Rally Championship (SAT)
Chosen by: AdmiralMaxtreme, Miller

AdmiralMaxtreme - It's simple arcade racing at its best. The controls are simple to learn and feel good, so you basically just grab the controller and hit the gas. There's not much to this game, but there doesn't have to be.

Miller - Still haven't gotten that first place on Lakeside after 10+ years. Still trying.




#81 - Dino Crisis 2 (PS1)
Chosen by: Pixel_Crusher, Vanor Orion

Pixel_Crusher - Honestly, I've never liked Dino Crisis. I felt that the setting and enemies weren't appropriate for a survival-horror game. This one on the other hand improved things far and wide by becoming a shooter with a huge emphasis on action and money-grinding (to upgrade your hunting arsenal of course).

Vanor Orion - The original Dino Crisis was a survival horror game with emphasis on the "survival" aspect ramped up to 11, and was by and far away probably one of the hardest Capcom games in the genre until they made the REmake for the Game Cube. The second game, however, jackknifes away from survival and becomes more of an action-shooter game which seems to feel VERY reminiscent of Devil May Cry with its emphasis on stringing combos together by killing as many dinosaurs as you can back to back, and you have terminals that sell upgrades and new weapons instead of just finding or making your own.

The plot is the inverse of the original. Instead of dinosaurs coming to our time, we go to theirs (or so we think...). The game definitely has some creepy moments and is pretty terrifying considering how they dial up the dinosaur factor to 11 in this game. You also switch between characters in the game, Regina and Dylan. The game actually has a sorta interesting plot, but sadly ends on a cliffhanger that never got resolved (except maybe in a spin off shooter???).




#80 - Magic Knight Rayearth (SAT)
Chosen by: Zeloz, Rhete

Zeloz - I remember this game somehow being a better Rayearth adaptation than the anime it was based off of, at least for the first three episodes or so. Or maybe it was just a more interesting, more worthwhile adaptation, because there's that whole "game" part that's really good too. To say that it's a Zelda-like would be kind of overselling it; it's far more linear and episodic, kind of like the first half of Final Fantasy Adventure. The game's unique in how it lets you swap between three heroines at will, each with distinct magic attacks. The game also looks really bright and colorful, showing off some of the Saturn's best use of spriting and background design (though some of the pre-rendered boss sprites look kind of terrible now). It's a very stylish and fun Saturn game.

Rhete - The manga this game was based on frequently joked about how similar to a video game the protagonists situation was. So of course, they made a video game out of it! A very cute Zelda-ish game, and a great swan song for the Saturn, as this was the last game released in the US for the system.




#79 - Tomb Raider (PS1/SAT)
Chosen by: AdmiralMaxtreme, Zeloz

AdmiralMaxtreme - This is a legendary game, for a variety of reasons, but it definitely earned that status. It's a game with atmosphere: Of course there's not a lot of "action" in some ancient abandoned temple - it's ancient and abandoned! It's a game with fun and challenging puzzles, and it's a game with intense action when it was warranted, made all the more intense by the lack of action in the rest of the game.

Zeloz - As an action game, it's arguably clumsier, more tank-y than even the original Resident Evil. As a game with a female leading role, you could say it's less a symbol of female empowerment and more a dank relic of primitive "gamer" sexism, where all action girls had to be "total babes" to rake in an audience. Yet, under it's wrinkled, harshly-aged visage pumps the blood of the cinematic platformer, a branch descendent of games like Prince of Persia and Another World, only realized in a fully-3D polygonal world. Whether by intention or hardware limits, this game captures excellently the need to cautiously and slowly maneuver through exotic and deadly locales to solve puzzles and make it to the next area, with the occasional bear or T-Rex needing a good gunning down. The locales themselves, while literally rough around the edges nowadays, are still impressive in just their sense of scale and detail, whether it be the moss-covered stonework of Villacabamba or the weather-worn structures of Midas's tomb. Also, did I mention the T-Rex? You fight one of those here, fairly early in the game. And oh, the colorful instant-death traps in this game. You know, you can actually get turned to gold by touching one of Midas' statues. It's utterly horrifying.




#78 - Dark Savior (SAT)
Chosen by: Pixel_Crusher, AdmiralMaxtreme

Pixel_Crusher - Landstalker's spiritual successor. Many people seem to harbour hard feelings towards this game but I actually liked it a lot. Speedrunning the intro stage for different plot routes was quite innovative and being able to capture bosses during battles for our own personal use was a nice touch.

AdmiralMaxtreme - So where do I start? Dark Savior is an RPG, but it's also a puzzle platformer, but it's also a fighting game, and there are five different parallel storylines. And those storylines are so... weird. But in mostly a good way. It's maybe the only game I've ever played that I really couldn't compare to anything else. Regardless of its flaws, you will not be found wanting for variety or creativity.




#77 - Mega Man 8 (PS1/SAT)
Chosen by: FreezingInferno, Zeloz

FreezingInferno - Yes. I know. JUMP JUMP SLIDE SLIDE. I'M AQUA MAN BUT YOU CAN CALL ME HANDSOME, GUY. DR. WAHWEE. THE WADAR WOOM. Have we gotten it all out yet? This didn't have to be the heat death of Classic Mega Man. It was still kind of fun! Some of the Robot Masters are neat, they do some neat things with the weapons, and everything looks and sounds really nice... in-game. There are laughable elements, sure, but it's still GOOD!

Zeloz - Not only is this game better than MM7 (and MM&B, while we're at it), it's a damned fine classic Mega Man game in general. Sure, you don't get E-Tanks in this one, the sled segments were a bad idea, and I'm sure no one liked the Wily Fortress 1 boss. But, like with any Mega Man game, you gotta keep pushing until you've got the game figured out. No joke, once I had the sled segments memorized, I was able to beat the darned thing in one sit-down. Yeah, the rest of the game ain't even that hard, bro. It's got a colorful look and a chill soundtrack that's hard to hate, complementing a game that nicely preserves that "spirit of pure platforming" thingy certain people keep rambling about.




#76 - Final Fantasy Origins (PS1)
Chosen by: Vanor Orion, Pitchfork

Vanor Orion - I was very interested in checking this out when it released years ago. I have to admit that I was surprised at just HOW addicted I became to the original Final Fantasy once I started playing it. You got to more or less have the experience of playing it on the NES but with a pleasant graphical face lift and the option to toggle on or off certain changes or additions they'd made. The story is simplistic but the execution is great. The game is actually pretty challenging so gaining levels matters, as does resource management, since your MP can only be recharged at the Inn, and your class promotions adds to the gear and spells that become available to your characters, and in some cases takes classes that started out as being liabilities or weak, and making them into extremely powerful death machines and more useful than they were originally.

I think why I really fell in love with this game, is that you can actually ROLEPLAY compared to the later games. Or at least easier than the later games. It's easier to become the vaguely defined sprite and ascribe your own personality to them, ala I'm the Warrior, my well-rounded friend is the Red Mage, and my egomaniacal friend is the Black Mage, than it is to put myself in the shoes of the whiny effeminate brat Tidus, or his less shrill counterpart, Vaan. Nothing drilled this notion home for me harder than when my nephew watched me start the game anew and asked to name himself and people he knew from school characters in the game. Imagination is a powerful thing, something that I think most in the video game industry today have forgotten about.

And honestly, there's nothing to say about FF2, except to question why Kawazu still has a job at Squeenix.

Pitchfork - THE definitive version of Final Fantasy I. It fixes all the stuff that didn't work in the NES original, makes the Light Warriors smart enough not to aim at dead enemies, lets you cast LIFE and use SOFT potions in battle, and it even gives the five bosses twice as much HP for double the danger! It recaptures maybe 70-80% of the magic I felt when playing it on the NES for the first time in 1990, and that's truly a respectable volume of pixie dust. Every subsequent version, starting with Dawn of Souls, is a bunch of watered-down crap, no matter how many more stupid bonus dungeons and throwback bosses they squirt into it.

Oh, and a Final Fantasy II remake is also on the disc, if you're into that sort of thing.




#75 - Myst (3DO/PS1/SAT)
Chosen by: AdmiralMaxtreme, Rhete

AdmiralMaxtreme - Now THIS is a game with atmosphere. You get such a feeling of isolation, and of total alien strangeness. Because you are (literally) dropped into the middle of everything, you instantly want to solve all of the island's mysteries and uncover all of its secrets. And even though the puzzles can be downright infuriating at times, it's still totally worth it to push through to the end.

Rhete - I'm not sure how but I managed to do it, but I somehow got through this game on the Saturn with no hints or walkthroughs. My dad did help me on one puzzle, though I think we ended up brute forcing it in the end. Super frustrating was that throughout the game I went back through each area to get both the red and blue pages, only to discover there was no reason to do so.




#74 - Darius Gaiden (PS1/SAT)
Chosen by: Rhete, Crono Maniac

Rhete - A super fun shmup that while not really ground breaking just does everything right. Good graphics, great soundtrack, and a shit-load of levels (28 of them, meaning they ran out of letters and had to reuse Z and V) makes this game almost endlessly replayable.

Crono Maniac - Darius's branching levels are such a fun idea, and it's a shame more shmups don't copy the series's structure. The first few games in the series are a little dull, but with Gaiden they knocked it out of the park.




#73 - Shining the Holy Ark (SAT)
Chosen by: Pixel_Crusher, jetstorm4

Pixel_Crusher - As a kid, I wasn't as much into RPG games as my older brother, but Shining the Holy Ark had gotten me curious thanks to it's first-person viewpoint and general atmosphere. To this day, I still haven't beaten it, but it had a very unique charm that'll make me do so one of these days. The Wild Hounds in the Forest of Confusion always managed to scare me shitless every time they showed up unnoticed.

jetstorm4 - Dungeon crawling? On MY Sega Saturn!? Yes please! I like to call this game Golden Sun 0, as it's really the basis for that game's style later on as it was developed by Sonic Software Planning who became Camelot. In reality, Shining the Holy Ark is a followup to the Genesis Shining in the Darkness, and it surpasses it in every way. This is the best RPG on Saturn I've at least played. If you like dungeon crawlers, do NOT pass this game up.




#72 - Parasite Eve II (PS1)
Chosen by: Pixel_Crusher, Vanor Orion

Pixel_Crusher - I love badass women, they're one of the things I love the most in gaming and Aya Brea is one such woman. Gameplay-wise, it was a very fun but difficult Resident Evil clone that still had an identity of its own, specially with some of its downright disturbing monster designs.

Vanor Orion - This game gets a bum rap, and it shouldn't. Yes, it's definitely been turned into more of a survival-horror game compared to its predecessor, that being said, if you measure the game along that metric, it's actually one of the more INTERESTING games of the genre. First off, there's definitely still some RPG elements in the game, it's just been greatly simplified.

You don't level up, but instead get points to spend unlocking spells, and earn BP for killing enemies that you spend on your items, gear, and weapons, which means hunting down enemies when the hotspots respawn is more important than ever. Consequently, guns and armor are no longer intangible menu icons with stats, they now have a picture showing them off and feature clear benefits to Aya in the form of item slots, HP/MP buffs, and passive buffs and resistances in combat. Guns feature their own--sometimes subtle--attributes that can make something seemingly weak as a handgun actually able to hold its own with an M4A1 and the myriad attachments it can take on. Ah, attachments. Seriously, if you're a gun nut there's NOTHING to hate about this game. You can put a laser cannon on your assault rifle, you get a Calico M950, you get a--shit I gotta stop now or I WON'T stop.

The game has a decent enough story, it's definitely not as good as the original's, but it's still got a lot of creepy moments, either with the way the sound is handled in some parts of the game, or just the general isolated feeling you get when you're in Dryfield, even when nothing is going on. There's a lot of interaction with the environment Aya can do to learn more about what's going on around her and see what's going through her head, and sometimes it can be pretty unnerving stuff. The monster design is VERY creepy and downright disturbing in some cases. The CG is definitely improved, and while most people can't forget the shower scene, I can't fucking remember that abomination that looked like it escaped from the darkest recesses Clive Barker's mental bowels that followed it.




#71 - Goemon's Great Adventure (N64)
Chosen by: Voodoo Groove, jetstorm4

Voodoo Groove - Goemon has style. With a weird sense of humor, feudal Japanese aesthetic and a surprising amount of challenge, this game stood out to me as a kid. There's a good amount of meat to the game as well; levels get remixed for certain missions, many levels have multiple exits, hidden costumes, and giant robot battles. Even the co-op is handled pretty well, in a 2.5D platformer no less. There's always something crazy happening and it's always entertaining.

jetstorm4 - Another Goemon game, but this time a 2D Platformer for the N64! Don't see that often! Excellent level design and wacky story come with this game.




#70 - Brave Fencer Musashi (PS1)
Chosen by: FreezingInferno, Zeloz

FreezingInferno - Oh, this game is just stupid. Goofy, cartoony, stupid Saturday morning cartoon dub, silly anime faces everywhere. It's stupid and dumb and I love it. Within the first 20 minutes you are running down a tower sideways, escaping a giant boulder. It never lets up from there. This is a game I played in college, on my friend's modded PS1. Actually WAIT IT WAS JON AGAIN OH GOD DAMN IT. Anyway. You can't hate on a game that solves the fact that you can't hit a girl in the face with swords by playing DANCE OR DIE with her instead. You just can't.

Zeloz - This game represents quite well the side of Squaresoft we seem to have lost somewhere after the merger with Enix. A goofier, irrelevant, and more intentionally stupid Squaresoft that wasn't afraid to poke fun at itself. BFM is a bit of an anomaly in Square's library that feels more like a Nippon Ichi title (Laharl's and Flonne's English voice actors might have something to do with this). I'm still conflicted on whether or not I thought the game was too short or just short enough; the 15-ish hour playtime fits the short and sweet nature of it, but I do feel like some of the quirkier characters could've gotten more screen time.




#69 - Fighters Megamix (SAT)
Chosen by: Zeloz, Rhete

Zeloz - Fighting games aren't a genre I go into with any sort of serious competitive ambition. I want to have fun sucking at my fighting games, dammit. Good thing Fighters Megamix doesn't take itself the least bit seriously. The premise of pitting characters from the obscure Fighting Vipers game against characters from the not-as-obscure Virtua Fighter 2 seems pretty standard at first. Right from the outset, though, you can select a flat-shaded polygon woman or... whatever the hell Kumachan/Pandachan is supposed to be to fight with. Weird stuff, but the unlockable characters get even more bizarre, culminating to the point where you can even play as an anthropomorpized car from Daytona USA. I realize the game advertises on the box that you'll be able to play characters from other "Saturn arcade hits," but that's just ridiculous. And awesome. Ridiculously awesome.

Rhete - YOU CAN PLAY AS THE CAR FROM DAYTONA.




#68 - The Divide: Enemies Within (PS1)
Chosen by: sunburstbasser, Zeloz

sunburstbasser - You are on an alien planet, all alone except for your powered suit. Everything is trying to kill you. At first, you have limited firepower and mobility, but very early you will acquire upgrades that open up new areas. It sounds like Super Metroid, but it's The Divide, a game heavily inspired by Super Metroid. The Divide makes use of every button on the PS1 controller to assist in movement and aiming, and plays fairly well because of it. Aiming is fairly easy because you can simply fix your gun in one position, and move to hit whatever needs shooting. The game does get a bit challenging and tends to lag and stutter enough to be distracting, but is otherwise a great, overlooked PS1 entry.

Zeloz - There isn't much about this game that doesn't reek of clunkiness; the camera's kinda bad, the controls aren't too intuitive, and the frame rate's just laughable. These take some getting used to, sure, but beneath it's harshly aged veneer is what could be described as an early PlayStation take on Metroid. And as far as being a Metroid rip-off, it does a surprising number of things better than the technically superior SotN. Chief among them is having a legitimately unsettling and creepy atmosphere, with biomechanical monstrosities hounding you at every turn as you descend deeper into biomes perverted by some nameless evil, in search of a comrade taken from you untold eons ago. The fact that you start the game with a limp and don't get the ability to jump until right around the first boss fight further compounds that initial feeling of helplessness.




#67 - Jet Force Gemini (N64)
Chosen by: AdmiralMaxtreme, Carmichael Micaalus

AdmiralMaxtreme - This is a game that's often overlooked, but it seems like everyone who actually played it raves about it, to some degree. This is a huge, creative, difficult and occasionally frustrating game, but it is definitely worth a look from anyone.

Carmichael Micaalus - The only thing I can really say about this game is I want to know who I need to punch in the nose to get a remake of this game on Steam or something. It has a lot of similar elements to Mario, Legend of Zelda, and Banjo Kazooie, but all those games were awesome, and this one was in space as well.




#66 - Breath of Fire III (PS1)
Chosen by: Pixel_Crusher, Carmichael Micaalus

Pixel_Crusher - If memory serves me right, this is the very first RPG I've properly played (and still haven't beaten). It's also worth mentioning that it was the game that introduced me to the Breath of Fire series and that left me a good impression of it.

Carmichael Micaalus - Beautiful graphics, excellent dragon system, great story, and a legible translation. This was a great game. The only way it could have been better is if Katt was in it, but that's just my opinion.




#65 - Star Wars: Rogue Squadron (N64)
Chosen by: AdmiralMaxtreme, Vanor Orion

AdmiralMaxtreme - The different ships in Rogue Squadron allow for tons of replayability, the difficulty scales excellently, and all of the hidden upgrades and unlockable ships really make you want to explore, even though you really need to stay on target, Luke. Overall, it's just a really fun game that feels very Star Warsy.

Vanor Orion - While I love Star Wars, I LOVE the X-Wing novels by Mike Stackpole and Aaron Allston even more. So much that I'd rather see movies made after the first four X-Wing novels than sequels to the original trilogy. So you can imagine how far up in Nirvana I was when I finally got a hold of this one. While this game wasn't exactly a simulator or anything, it had a lot of simple touches that made the game feel more like Star Wars and less like a game when playing it, like being able to choose the fire cycling for your X-Wing's laser cannons, or being able to use Ion Cannons on your Y-Wing, or having a blistering fast speed boost for your A-Wing, or certain ships not being able to regen their shields cuz they didn't have Astromechs.

The game had a lot of variety in missions and settings, so you'd do everything from escort, recon, to rescue missions, bombing runs, pure dog-fighting, in all sorts of colorful locales from Thyferra to Kessel. You had a generous amount of ships to choose from and lots of unlockables based off your mission performance, and hidden weapon upgrades to find in the levels. The game was definitely hard as hell, but without going overkill with it like Rogue Leader did. Sadly, the music wasn't as high quality as Shadows of the Empire's was, but it got the job done.




#64 - Resident Evil 3: Nemesis (PS1)
Chosen by: Pixel_Crusher, Vanor Orion

Pixel_Crusher - While it wasn't as groundbreaking as its prequel, the introduction of Nemesis really spiced things up quite a notch way before I had grown to love the concept of a stalker enemy through games like Clock Tower and Amnesia: The Dark Descent.

Vanor Orion - In a lot of ways, RE3 is like an amalgamation of the first two games. It features a recurring threat that chases after you throughout the game like in 2, only to a greater degree. And like the first game, it features branching events that can change up what happens during your playthrough, meaning that you can have multiple playthroughs and not have things go the same way twice. Since this was more true of Jill's scenario on the first game, it's fitting that Jill is the main character in this game. That being said, this game stands on its own merits pretty well. Graphically it's impressive, and looks better both with its in-game engine, and with its CG cutscenes than RE2 by a fair margin. On top of new weapons, and enemies, you also have the ability to make your own ammo, so you can decide what kind of weapons you wish to use more in your playthrough and FINALLY you can do a 180 degree quickturn, along with a wonky dodging mechanic. The game itself takes place in Raccoon City proper and shows the desolation and eerieness in the aftermath of the viral outbreak, and does a good job of creeping you out constantly, and with the Nemesis out and about, you're always on your toes wondering if any moment you'll hear the dreaded "STARS" growled out followed by a hulking death machine chasing you down.




#63 - Final Fantasy Anthology (PS1)
Chosen by: AdmiralMaxtreme, Zeloz

AdmiralMaxtreme (Voted for Final Fantasy V) - The story is wacky and more than a little nonsensical, but that doesn't matter. The characters are five flat, boring nothings, but that doesn't matter, either. What matters is the GODDAMNED JOB SYSTEM!! Holy effing effs, what magic. What delight. I've had more fun just running around fighting battles in this game than in any other RPG I've ever played. And because the game puts basically zero weight on its story and characters, the player is allowed to appreciate their ridiculous qualities, rather than being turned off by them. You can enjoy the crazy ride through the colorful world. Graphically, it's the first truly beautiful Final Fantasy game, and it has the first transcendent soundtrack. It's also the last "classic" RPG in the series. In VI and VII they plant the seeds for a whole new kind of RPG, for better or worse, and leave behind the classic formula, of which Final Fantasy V was the pinnacle.

Zeloz (Voted for Final Fantasy V) - Eeeeehhhh... probably shouldn't be putting the worst port of an early-ish 4th Gen RPG on a list like this, but screw it. This is the version I played to completion, and I love me some FFV. The story is silly at best, but the often-praised job system's the real meat of the game. It's nice being able to change so easily between classes at the beginning, but being able to mix and match job abilities with some of the jobs you've mastered makes for some of the most interesting character customization outside of Western RPGs.

My love for this game goes beyond just a mechanical appreciation, though. I remember playing this in high school, during the close of the first semester of sophomore year. Three of my best friends were working on the next Tolkien-esque fantasy epic. It was to have orcs, elves, political intrigue, racism, genocide, and more self-insert avatars than you could shake a stick at, and I was exited for them. Our four-way phone calls would go long into the night, and for many of them I'd be playing this game. Hell, I requested my self-insert character be a dragoon-type spearman, just because of how awesome the Dragoon class was in this game. I remember going through Exdeath's castle, right when Christmas was coming up. Our heater was broken, so I was snug underneath an electric blanket, facing off against Gilgamesh for the first time. All while listening to my friends argue about some inane thing about our plans for the future, or character pairings. I dunno, whatever weaboo teeny-boppers liked discussing at the time. Such was the December of 2007, memories preserved in an old JRPG with an iffy translation and iffier load times.




#62 - Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire (N64)
Chosen by: AdmiralMaxtreme, Vanor Orion, Rhete

AdmiralMaxtreme - Shadows of the Empire is an odd entry in the world of Star Wars games. You're not really playing a recognizable character, he's not a Jedi, and it has a mix of flying missions and ground missions. Shadows of the Empire throws a whole lot at the wall, and I'd say most of it stuck. It can be incredibly difficult at times, but there's a wide range of settings and things to do.

Vanor Orion - A game I HAVE finished several times. Let's face it, the only reason anybody remembers this game is because of the Hoth snowspeeder level. The rest of the game isn't bad, and definitely has a lot of atmosphere to it, and nevermind that it has a surprisingly excellent soundtrack considering it was on a friggin' cartridge. I have read the book this game is based off of, and well, I would say the book is better, but actually this game seems to be about filling in the blanks of the book since we never saw events from Dash Rendar's PoV, so I actually welcome the way the game handles the ending, as though it was giving us the complete picture of events whereas the book gave us events from the view of Luke and his cohorts.

Rhete - While I think everyone will agree this game may not have aged particularly well... at the time playing through various locations and scenes in the movies was awesome, and the final level where you partook in a gigantic space battle was absolutely mindblowing.




#61 - Pokemon Stadium (N64)
Chosen by: Pixel_Crusher, Carmichael Micaalus, Voodoo Groove

Pixel_Crusher - What made this game so appealing to me was the fact that you could participate in tournaments just like Ash did in the anime series and with the pokemon you had caught in the Game Boy games no less. The challenge factor was higher than the handheld games, to the point where you couldn't help but wonder if the computer wasn't cheating. Still, it was an amazing experience and the Doduo/Dodrio Tower was a nice bonus to whoever wanted to speedrun through the Game Boy games with two/three times the normal game speed.

Carmichael Micaalus - Hey, remember when you were playing the first gen Pokemon games on your Gameboy Brick or Gameboy Color, and you wished your pokemon looked like how the artwork did? This game did that for you.

Voodoo Groove - I'm in it for the minigames. Also loved how your transferred pokemon had color alterations based on their nickname and how you could use them in the minigames. Doduo/Dodrio tower was a dream come true before the days of emulation.




#60 - Blast Corps (N64)
Chosen by: Carmichael Micaalus, Vanor Orion, Rhete

Carmichael Micaalus - Oh no, a truck on autopilot is carrying leaking nukes! What do we do?! WE BLOW UP ALL THE FUCKING BUILDINGS IN THE WAY YEAAAH!!! Awesome concept and really not that bad of a pull-off, either. While some of the stages could be a pain in the ass, that's just video games in general.

Vanor Orion - Between this and a number of other games Rare put out on the N64, it seemed they handled the transition between 2D and 3D much better than Nintendo did for the most part. Personally, I don't care much for DK64 and was never interested in either of the Banjo games. I DID have a blast playing Blast Corps, however. All you do is careen around and cause as much property damage as possible with gleeful abandon. As dumb as the premise sounds, its execution is what made it fun to play, and is a pretty good example of Rare being able to step out of the comfort zone and make unique games outside of established licenses that weren't platformers of some kind.

Rhete - It's a game where the entire objective is to blow stuff up. How can you not love it?




#59 - Alundra (PS1)
Chosen by: jetstorm4, Miller

jetstorm4 - Here's a game that slipped past me until much later. Alundra is a Working Designs published game developed by former members of Climax who worked on Landstalker and the Genesis Shining games. Alundra has a mix of puzzle and action elements that mesh well with the story being told. There are some pretty tough dungeon spanning puzzles too. Don't be fooled by the initial dungeon. These get pretty tough later on.

Miller - In 2002, all I wanted to play was Alundra (despite it being released in 1998). So I did, a lot, along with many other games on this list. But in 2015, there is no other game on this list that I would rather play through again. Looking back on it, the map and dungeon design is so rich and clever that you search every inch of the world map for an opening between two trees or a crack in the wall. Music is great. Controls are great (some jumps are HARD and damn right should be HARD). Hell, even the localization by Working Designs is absolute top notch. This is the best Zelda-game ever.




#58 - Harvest Moon 64 (N64)
Chosen by: sunburstbasser, Voodoo Groove

sunburstbasser - My sister loved the SNES game, so we bought this one too. Both of us ended up playing it a ton. I'm not sure if I actually love this game, hate it, or love to hate it. Harvest Moon games in general are really dumb, but they are so unbelievably addicting that they'll suck you in for hours.

Voodoo Groove - Ironically for a game about farming, harvest moon has always felt like a lazy day in video game form. You get up, you water a few crops, you go fishing for a bit, listen to those cicadas whining. It's a game that makes you feel good, you know? Other versions might've added more features (okay being able to pick a sex is a big one) and characters, but this one always felt the best.




#57 - The Legend of Dragoon (PS1)
Chosen by: FreezingInferno, Voodoo Groove, Zeloz

FreezingInferno - Most of this is hype from the people I hang around with. My friends from home loved this game. Raved about the thing. I got an e-mail from one of them in college telling me about how they beat it and took 90 minutes to beat the last guy. I found the idea of that incredulous. Years later, as I went through this FOUR DISC MARVEL and got to the final guy? Took me 90 minutes. Look, it ain't perfect and it probably doesn't hold up, but I liked its timed combo battle system thing. It had a charm.

Voodoo Groove - Legend of Dragoon is an odd beast. The story, for the most part, is beyond cliched and predictable, but there are a few gameplay nuances that I appreciate beyond the oft-lauded action commands (a la Mario RPG). I like that most items are weaponized spells that you can mash for more damage, and how guarding restores 10% of a character's HP, making it an actual useful option. I thought this was a Square RPG for the longest time.

Zeloz - My feelings for this game are mostly the result of mushy nostalgia, but my love for JRPGs and writing fiction partially derives from watching my older brother play through the game and its increasingly esoteric story. There were also those few awkward attempts I made at making progress, during that charming point in my childhood before I knew fighting monsters for experience was a mandatory thing in these types of games. Ah, youthful stupidity... Anyway! The game's very pretty, the soundtrack's nice in certain parts, and timed hits go quite well with RPGs. All in all, it's a nice piece representative of that era of big-budget, multi-disc JRPGs so common at the turn of the millennium.




#56 - Sin and Punishment: Successor of the Earth (N64)
Chosen by: FreezingInferno, jetstorm4

FreezingInferno - This is my favorite Treasure game. Their Genesis lineup is impressive, to be sure. Mischief Makers might be good, but I've never played it. Sin And Punishment not only has great action, but it's also completely batshit bonkers. You think you're playing a normal rail shooter Wild Guns thing, and then there's an ocean of blood and giant robots. The best level is when you take control of the girl character and are flying around on a piece of a battleship the other girl character is controlling with her mind. As you fly around you fight an entire air force and navy. It's just so god damned RAD HOLY SHIT PLAY THIS NOW PLEASE.

jetstorm4 - When this game came out to the US via Wii Virtual Console, I was blown away. A 3D shooter that's on par with Star Fox 64? On N64 even!? One of my favorite games by Treasure, Sin and Punishment uses an interesting control scheme to go through amazing set pieces filled with action, bullets, and challenges. You even fight a planet at the end!




#55 - Panzer Dragoon Saga (SAT)
Chosen by: Pixel_Crusher, Rhete

Pixel_Crusher - Who needs Final Fantasy VII when you get to ride a dragon and blow the shit out of everything in the most cinematic turn-based RPG battles ever made? I swear, if only Sega had released this way before Final Fantasy VII made its debut and with proper marketing, maybe we would still be getting more games like this and Sega would probably still be around the hardware business. Also, if you're planning on buying this game, be prepared to sell a kidney in the black market (whether it's yours or not it's up to you).

Rhete - An amazing game that did the impossible and took the Panzer Dragoon series from rail shooter to turn based RPG. Saga fleshed out the world only hinted at in previous games, and created an truly unique battle system where you fly around your enemies, making it feel far more like the previous games that it had any right to. Quite simply one of the finest games I've ever played.




#54 - Turok: Dinosaur Hunter (N64)
Chosen by: sunburstbasser, Carmichael Micaalus, No

sunburstbasser - Originally one of the premier 3rd party games for the N64, the first Turok is now viewed as a rather fun if exceedingly ugly game. Turok was also the first game to use a fog to cover up the relatively short draw distance of the game. What this means to the player is that enemies come running out of the fog at you, and the level seems to materialize around you as you go. The large, open levels of Turok actually hold up OK today, as the fog does create a sense of discovery as new areas come into view. On the downside, it is easy to get lost, and the visuals are ugly.

Carmichael Micaalus - A first person shooter from around the time of Doom and Duke Nukem; there was no real story in this one unlike later ones, but at the same time it didn't really need it. Run around, kill dinosaurs, and obliterate people's legs from the kneecaps down. Those bouncing mines were vicious.

No - Turok was one of the few shooters on the N64 I enjoyed quite a lot due to the fact it had a fairly interesting world with a Native American fellow going around blowing stuff up. Not to mention the cheats, guns, and physics were awesome and humorous. Blow a guy up? He'll be flying all over the place with a flying trails of blood behind him. Quite bloody hilarious.




#53 - Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee (PS1)
Chosen by: Pixel_Crusher, FreezingInferno, Pitchfork

Pixel_Crusher - It may not have been Prince of Persia or Another World but it made me feel like I was playing through an animated Dreamworks movie and a phenomenal one at that!

FreezingInferno - Oddworld is... well, odd. This one keeps the tradition of cinematic platformers like Out Of This World or Prince Of Persia alive, but adds a whole other level of weirdness-- sorry, ODDNESS to it. Plus a lot of depth involved with saving all of the Mukodons in the game. Not bad. Actually the first PS1 game I owned, come to think of it.

Pitchfork - A bizarro-world allegory for the dual engines of the colonialist/capitalist machine mixed with the sadism of Prince of Persia platforming. Abe has the misfortune of living as a meat factory slave on one of the darkest, most lethal video game worlds ever put to code. Oddworld will kill you dead. Repeatedly. It will kill you with meat grinders, machine guns, landmines, vicious attack dogs, shrieking and hissing alien monsters, bottomless pits, and so much more. SO much more. Abe's only power is an ancestral Mudoken voodoo chant he can use to momentarily distract the beasties and temporarily assume control of the gun-toting, slave-driver Sligs (provided the Sligs don't blow him away before he can get inside their brains), but he's basically a sitting duck. He dies over and over and over again. And if he doesn't stick his neck out for his fellow slaves, they get slaughtered wholesale by their cigar-smoking, stock-watching overlords. Oddworld is a terrifying game that never lets you feel comfortable in its world, but what really stopped my heart was the sign Abe runs into just after he finds the exit to the factory: YOU ESCAPE AND ALL 28 WORKERS ON THIS LEVEL DIE!

I had to stop the game, take a few breaths, and try again the next day.




#52 - Doom 64 (N64)
Chosen by: sunburstbasser, Pixel_Crusher, Pitchfork

sunburstbasser - Every console had a port of Doom back in the day. Even the Jaguar and 3DO got one. The N64 never got the original Doom, but it did get an original entry that is the original Doom 3. Doom 64 uses an upgraded version of the original Doom engine, meaning it is still 2D sprites and 3D corridors. It added features like colored lighting, and the N64 was able to render much more detailed sprites than the original PC hardware Doom was made for. The Pink Demons look especially good. The levels are built similar to the older Doom games, rather than newer FPS games such as the actual Doom 3. Corridors, monster closets, puzzles and fights all feel similar to classic Doom. Many enemies have been altered, such as stronger Nightmare Imps, two-headed Pain Elementals, and double-plasma Arachnotrons. No flashlights, unfortunately. This game isn't dark, it's black.

Pixel_Crusher - Before I even had an unhealthy obsession with Doom, Doom 64 was the game that convinced me of the series' greatness and gave birth to my unconditional love for metal music, shotguns and blasting demons with them. This one had an incredibly unsettling atmosphere (courtesy of Midway and Aubrey Hodges) that was never attempted in the PC versions and that, in my opinion, makes the whole Doom experience a hell (no pun intended) lot more engrossing as a whole. Now, so long as you have the original cart in your possession, you can fully enjoy it with the power of the PC!

Pitchfork - Sub-par Classic Doom is still Classic Doom, and Classic Doom is the black coffee I pour into my cereal. There's not a lot new here (the "nightmare" imp is unimpressive, the Alien Laser is no Super Shotgun, and did we really need Pain Elementals with TWO mouths?), and a lot of the old stuff isn't done as well as it was before (the spaces are much more cramped, and much of the pandemonium of earlier games is missing) but I have to give Doom 64 some credit for the novelty of its "keys." There are three of them, stashed away in three secret levels. Each one powers up the Alien Laser and locks one of the monster-spawning gates in the last level. Clever.

(The world may never know why those crates gasoline-powered, double-bladed chainsaws showed up at the UAC base.)




#51 - Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain (PS1)
Chosen by: Pixel_Crusher, Pitchfork, Crono Maniac

Pitchfork - I doubt I'll ever get around to doing writeups for the last three entries in the Legacy of Kain series. I'm sorry. But I'm glad that this way, Blood Omen is still relatively fresh in my memory, and mostly unspoiled by its retconning, moneygrubbing, sleazy post-Silicon Knights sequels. (Not that Amy Hennig didn't do the best job she could, of course.) Rereading Silicon Knights' old mission statements, it's hard not to admire them for being so adamant in putting content before next-gen whistles, bells, and 3D graphics.

...whatever happened to those guys, I wonder? (Please don't answer. I know what happened to those guys.)

Pixel_Crusher - Essentially, Diablo done right. While I commend Diablo for bringing the hack and slash genre to a whole new level, it's Blood Omen that ultimately bolstered the superior narrative, setting and characters. Even to this day, a journey throughout the plains of Nosgoth is as immersive as taking a lonely stroll in the beach on a beautiful Summer afternoon as the Sun sets.

Crono Maniac - Exudes class. It's exactly the game the artists at Silicon Knights wanted to make, and in this industry that's something of a miracle.











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