Kazlo's Top 25 Games of All Time
by Kazlo



Bust-a-Move '99

The Bust-a-Move or Puzzle Bobble games have always been some of my favourite puzzlers, One that I could play for hours on end. and I'm gonna call Bust-a-Move '99 (basically a home version of the arcade Bust-a-Move 3) my favourite because it has the best characters, a create-a-board mode with a few hundred bonus puzzles built-in, and the most refined mechanics before the overcomplexity of Bust-a-Move 4.


Crusader of Centy

I have a lot of fond memories of playing this with my sister, which is a theme you'll find in a ton of the games on this list. It's a mostly little-known Zelda clone for the Sega Genesis, and it's easy to see why in myyouth I thought it was a lot better. Hell, I still think it's a lot better. You can run in 8 directions, jump, and throw your sword,there are no bland dungeons, and some pretty decent music. Rather than collecting items, you get little animal buddies you can "equip" two-at-a-time to perform functions or give you abilities, including a few you could combine, and my favourite,Leviathan, which doubled the effects of the other animal you had equipped. Combine him with the cheetah to speed through the game like a crazy mofo, or with a combat animal to make your thrown sword ridiculously strong. The game's storyline was a little confusing until towards the end, but I'd still play this over boring-ass Zelda: LttP any day.


Doom

It's Doom, man! Still one of the purest and most satisfying shooters. It creeped me out as a kid, especially when my sister found the chainsaw in E1M2, something I still can't remember how to do, and I still hate coming face to face with a low-res monstrosity in a dark corridor.


Dynamite Headdy

I took every chance to play this game at a family friend's house when I was little, and I'm glad to see it really is as good as it seemed then. You're a weird little yellow guy named Headdy who hits people with his head, and you're in the middle of some weird puppet show, with crew and set changes all part of the levels. The difficulty really ramps up by the tower and airship stages, but it's worth it, 'cause like most Treasure games, there are some really great concepts that I wish other games would take and expand upon.


Gears of War

Yeah, real original, I know, why don't I just toss Halo and GTA up before I head out on a beer run with some fratboys? Seriously, though, one of the best and most polished games ever, especially in co-op, but it had a more important aspect I really wish more developers today would try to copy: there's just none of the stupid bullshit we've grown to accept in other games. It's like Epic made a normal game, with fetch/key quests, half-hour unskippable cutscenes, and predictable plot twists and betrayals, then took a big pair of scissors and cut out everything that wasn't pure game, and Gears of War is the result. Hell, there isn't even any annoying repetitive teammate banter.


Goldeneye

Oof! Aah! Ungh! Oof! AAHH!


Hitman Blood Money

I want to love the older Hitman games, I really do, but they're just so damn rigid and unforgiving. Blood Money is a little too easy, but I still think it got things just right. Finally you have some room to breathe, room to get creative, and most importantly, room to push people down stairs. Accidents happen!


Kirby's Adventure

The first Kirby game where you could steal enemy abilities! A lot of fond memories playing this one with my sister. It pretty much set up the style, music, and enemies that would be used in all other Kirby games, and the last world, with the stage based on the original Kirby's Dream Land game, and the epic final boss... Only Kirby Super Star ever compared.


Max Payne

Max Payne 1 and 2 share a special spot not only because they're fun as all get-out, or because the story and themes are entertaining in both their drama and unintentional hilarity, but because they're among the few games that I could sit down and play from start to finish at literally any time. Max Payne 1 gets the spot, however, for having the Kung-Fu mod. It completely revitalizes the game and is to this day the best user mod I've ever played.


Mega Man 2

It's still the best one.
Mischief Makers

Another surreal Treasure game, but you've probably heard of this one already. Robotic cleaning maid out to rescue her creator, fights by grabbing and throwing, shake shake, etc. The War! levels were fun as hell, and I dream of a perfect world where a sequel could flesh out the game with an insane aerial throwing combat system...


Okami

I don't want to fill up pages talking about this game, so I'll just say that even if it drags at times, Okami is one of the best and most beautiful adventure games I've ever played. Alright? Alright.


Otogi 2

A truly epic action game for the Xbox. You played as one of a number of legendary warriors resurrected to destroy the monsters that apparently already destroyed everyone in Japan. Not the deepest action game ever, but the sheer power and destruction you wielded was satisfying, as you sent enemies flying and smashed massive towers, bridges, and crystals with an errant flick of your sword. The characters were really neat and varied, too, such as the wolfman who wielded three swords, the scythe-swinging butterfly girl in a kimono who could double-jump indefinitely, and the weird tentacle guy who floated around and attacked enemies with a big ship's wheel stuck to his back.


Phantasy Star 4

God dammit. I was sure I could get through this list without any Japanese RPGs, but... my sister and I will maintain to the death that this is the best RPG ever made. The combat system was largely improved over previous Phantasy Star games, with a handy macro feature to store your best sequences or just make it easier to attack everyone in a hurry. The story was pretty good, presented in neat little comic book-ish pictures in major conversations. The characters were also cooler and more entertaining than most, and we cried when... well... play it for yourself.


Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Apart from being an engaging action platformer, Prince of Persia set a new standard for storytelling in games. Farah and the Prince really develop and change over the course of the game, and the ending (especially the way it ties into the way the game is narrated) leaves you fully satisfied with the Prince's emotional transformation and maturation at your hands, something few games these days can claim.


Rampage: World Tour

No-one really listens to the recommendation that you take a break every hour while playing games, and there are plenty of games I play for really extended periods. Nevertheless this is the first game I can remember playing until my hands hurt and my head felt as though it would never stop aching. The simple smashing-stomping-eating action of the arcade game is fully intact on the N64, but I'd swear the console version forced me to beat every city in the game to reach the end. If that means more people to squish, it suits me fine.


Sam & Max Hit the Road

The place of Sam & Max on this list represents all of the humourous Lucasarts adventure games, as well as Tim Schafer's Psychonauts, but it's probably my favourite anyway. I love Sam & Max, even outside of the game, and their voice-acting and humour are spot-on. The surreal world makes the puzzles quite difficult even compared to Monkey Island or Grim Fandango, but the humour does a better job of easing frustration.


Shadowrun

Lots of people maintain that the Shadowrun game for the SNES is a work of art. I never played it back in the day, and personally, now that I have, I don't think it's that great. The Genesis one is more my preference. Your brother is missing, presumed dead, and after choosing a class to determine your starting equipment and abilities, you arrive in Seattle with almost empty pockets. From there, it's to one of the many "Mr. Johnson"s who will set you up with illegal odd jobs (Shadowruns) to get you the money you need to hire new, differently skilled allies, buy better equipment and surgical enhancements, and pay or negotiate through the many plot threads to find out what happened to your brother and why. The combat is a tad simple and shallow, but the game is a ton of fun and a long, interesting adventure to boot.


Starfox 64

A fantastic launch game for the N64. Pretty much everything about it stands up today, and it was the last good Starfox game before the mediocre Dinosaur Planet and the abomination that is Starfox Ass Salt.


Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

Properly fleshed-out world? Fantastic, logical story? Engaging combat? Good voice acting? Characters who dress and act like actual human beings? That's right, every Japanese RPG ever, you got your ass handed to you by a Star Wars game.


Super Mario Bros. 3

- See Mega Man 2.


Team Fortress 2

A recent addition, to be sure. I only started playing this game a month or two ago, and it's already right up there with Unreal Tournament on my list of best online FPS games ever. The levels are all great, the character classes are so balanced and designed to play precisely to their purpose (no grenade spamming or rapid unscoped sniper headshots) and the cartoon style is just great and makes me like playing as all the classes equally. Though Engineer is clearly the best.


Tetris Attack

- game addictive much good


The Punisher

I love this game, it's up there with Max Payne for replay value. I really wasn't expecting much when I first rented it, but it's got solid gameplay, absolutely fantastic voice and visuals on the Punisher himself, and violence. Oh, man, is there violence. Sometimes I have trouble believing this game exists, or at the least didn't stir up a huge outcry when it came out. The gruesome stuff is hidden by camera cut-aways and filters, but it's still unrestrained modern dark Punisher. Expect to coldly kill at least one hundred punks, gangsters, or soldiers in every level, with the occasional flicker of doubt as to whether they all deserved it. Use enemies as human shields (it's actually useful in this game, I swear) or tear through them with brutal quick kills. Prepare to first torture many of them with your fists, weapons, or nearby items (power tools, fireplaces, car doors, angry rhinos) for health and information.


Unreal Tournament 2004

I play online games of any sort once in a blue moon, so when I say that if I was put in a cell and could only play one game for a year I would choose UT2004 it means a lot. Like the Guilty Gear of FPS games, all the weapons and abilities in UT are so overpowered in their own way that when put together they make planets align in cosmic harmony and balance the game so well a skilled player will beat out people who memorize weapon and item spawns nearly every time, regardless of their own gun. Also, giblets bouncing down staircases.






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