Polly's Top 25 Games of All Time
by Polly

25-21 | 20-16 | 15-11 | 10-6 | 5-1 |


Well lookit'chu, checkin' out my list! How 'bout that? That's kinda crazy!

Anyway, what you're about to read is a list of games you should run out and play IMMEDIATELY if you haven't already. I made a sort of vow to myself that I'd try and keep from listing more than one game per series and I think I managed to do a pretty good job. There's a spin-off or two, but let's just gloss over that.

Anyway, you came here to look at what games I like so you could disagree and tell me I have no taste, so GET TO WORK, [REDACTED]!


25 - Doom 3 (PC)

Why not the originals? I dunno. I love everything Doom, but I felt that for some reason Doom III deserved this spot. It may have a lot to do with me being more of a console gamer up until a few years ago when I finally decided to dabble in PC gaming a bit. Us poor folk didn't have the moneys for PCs back in the day, ya see.

Doom III is the perfect first-person shooter for me. One man, lotsa guns, lotsa violence, and lotsa baddies to toast. Such divine simplicity! This is what a first-person Contra game would be, isn't it? Fuck yes, it is! No fancy physics engine, no vehicles, and no mission objectives other than kill, kill, kill (okay, so there's a few objectives in there that try to make themselves not seem so "kill kill kill" but we know the score.) Any action gamer worth the callouses on their thumbs owes it to themselves to at least once complete the game on Nightmare difficulty to add to the suspense that the game already has in normal difficulties.

Doom III stayed true to its roots and didn't try to load on any extra bullshit that wasn't necessary. One of the best PC games, period.

Admittedly, I had a tough time choosing between Doom III and the Serious Sam games. I'm not exactly sure what swayed me. I think it was a coin toss.


24 - Resident Evil 4 (GameCube)

BREEEEEEEENNNN, BREEEEEEEEENNNNN BREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEENNNNNN

Hear that? That sound means that the doctor is in! Dr. Salvador will see you now. Whether you want him to or not, the good doctor would like a word or two with your head....with his MOTHER FUCKING CHAINSAW!

FUCK YES RESIDENT EVIL 4, YOU ARE THE BEST RESIDENT EVIL EVER! I'm sure a lot of die-hards of the series would disagree with my sentiments, but fuck them. The RE formula had grown quite tiresome, stale, and predictable by the time RE4 was released, so it's no wonder it made such an impression on those that chose to enjoy it.

Resident Evil 4 somewhat abandons its survival horror roots and takes a more action-oriented route for the gameplay. Rarely is the player ever starved for ammunition and there are plenty of baddies lurking around to soak every last bit of it up just to cough up some more. The difficulty is spot-on in the GameCube version. Tough enough to kick your ass quite a few times your first time through, but not enough to completely disgust the player into quitting.

They also added a great new system that allows the player to upgrade their arsenal any way they choose, which also introduces the Merchant, who is simply one of the most awesome videogame helpers ever. This system is balanced enough so that the player isn't forced into taking specific weapons that the designers planned all along

On top of all that there's still tons of extra stuff to unlock after you finish the game. It's like fucking crack, you just can't quit! The Mercenaries mini-game, Assignment Ada, and collecting all the special guns that can only be bought in a New Game+... Fuck, it was all too much and kept me busy well over a month. There's no reason for anyone who owns a GameCube not to own this game. I'll also recommend the PS2 or Wii versions as they're basically the same game, though the difficulty has been nerfed and they have a few new things to unlock.


23 - Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (DS)

LAWYERAN GAEMS?

"How in da hell?" Probably the first reaction a lot of people had including myself. But trust me, it works. It works damn well.

What could end up as a tragically boring and dry affair weighed down by overcomplicated law [REDACTED]ry and courtroom proceedings actually ends up being quite a simple and highly enjoyable experience if you open yourself up to it. It's your job as rookie defense attorney Phoenix Wright to defend your clients against the charges presented against them. Murder. It's always fucking murder. Which is my only real complaint.

There's a reason that when I bought this game I couldn't be seen without a DS in my hands for two days straight. It's GOD. DAMN. ADDICTING. Almost criminally so. "One more Cross Examination then I'll put it down..." "Okay, I'll just finish up the investigation and save before the court segment and do that tomorrow..." "Okay, I'll just have a peek at what the next case is, then put it down for a bit..." I couldn't stick to ANY of those plans. The characters and stories just kept urging me on. There was no way to stop.

The gameplay isn't what's addictive. Mostly because there's not a whole lot of it other than point and tapping a few areas of the screen every now and then to examine key objects. What truly sucked me in were the cases themselves and the characters that help play them out. Though every trial is a murder trial, there are enough twists and turns to keep them interesting until the final verdict is rendered.

The Cross Examinations make up most of the time you'll spend trying to complete the game. Witnesses either gloss over important details or flat-out lie and it's your job to find the contradictions in their testimonies by presenting the appropriate evidence. It shouldn't be too hard most of the time if you've studied the court record, but there are a few brain busters every now and then that'll have you facepalming when you finally present the right piece of evidence. The solutions are always logical, so if you've got a bit of common sense it shouldn't prove too frustrating.

It's impossible not to fall in love with the characters that live in this crazy little world. The "heart's always in the right place, but brain isn't" Detective Dick Gumshoe, the perky and always in need of some kind of sustenence sidekick, Maya, the absent-minded and easily swayed Judge, and the bothersome, but somehow always helpful in the end Larry Butz. Just a few of the great characters that make up the Phoenix Wright universe. They're all brought to life with excellent dialog writing and great work on their animations.

Phoenix Wright also manages to pull off some great comedic bits. Something I thought only Tim Schafer could pull off in the world of videogames. Make it a point to talk to everyone about everything and press every statement in every testimony. You may find yourself having a case of the giggles. God, how fucking gay is that sentence? And I'm not deleting it!

As a bonus, the DS version has a fifth case that makes full use of the DS' interactive capabilities, utilizing the touch screen and the mic. It's unfortunate that next two games in the series didn't contain any of these features, but that in no way means you should skip them.

Seriously, if you have a DS you can find TONS of used copies of the first game at your local GameStop for $15-20. If you want some compelling storytelling and a few laughs, just pick it up already.


22 - Super Mario RPG (SNES)

Another one of those titles that made you go huh? But back in their heyday we quickly learned that there was little need to ever doubt Squaresoft. Even something that sounds as silly as a Mario RPG was made into a memorable and engaging experience.

Super Mario RPG really slathered on the charm. A charm that's still evident in the spiritual follow-ups including the Paper Mario series and the Mario and Luigi games on the DS/GBA. Not your typical doom and gloom end of the world stuff here. No green-haired esper girls confused about who they are, no pretty boys in buckles and leather, just goofy nonsensical comic mischief.

Combat is still turn-based but the catch is that every attack in the game can be timed to add extra hits to it or up the damage by as much as 200% in some cases. As with timing your attacks, you can defend most attacks in the game the same way by pressing the A button at just the right time you can reduce or completely null damage an enemy was about to deal. It's not terribly deep but it keeps you from falling asleep and taping down the confirm button for those lengthy level-up sessions.

Add to all that a great set of characters (MOTHERFUCKIN BOWSER AND PEACH ON MY TEAM? AT THE SAME TIME?) including some interesting new faces (Geno!) and a fun little story and you've got yourself one of the great SNES classics.


21 - Mischief Makers (NINTENDO SIXTY FOOOOOOUUUURR!)

Oh, Treasure, how I love you. Always providing me with brilliant and interesting new ideas, turning genres on their ear, and being generally FUCKAWESOME.

Mischief Makers had the misfortune of being released on the ol' N64 and ended up flying under the AWESOME GAMING RADAR of most people. At first it seems like a typical action-platformer, but the challenges it presents from stage to stage go beyond that. Marina, our cute robotic heroine, has to grab onto her enemies, fling them around, shake them, and all other sorts of mayhem to get the job done. Tougher stages can seem more like puzzles as you have to utilize all of your grabban' and shakan' moves to find exits, which sometimes involve rotating the entire stage around you. Boss fights are puzzles in themselves when they're not straight-up brawls. Figuring these guys out the first time through can prove quite challenging, but never frustrating. A lot of replay value is added to the game as every stage has a gold gem you can aquire. These gems allow you to see more of the ending with each one gathered. It may seem like a generic way to add replay, but I found myself enjoying the hunts for these hard to find golden nuggets. And I couldn't stop there, no siree! I had to achieve S-Rank times for every stage too.

It's hard to not get taken in and get a few laughs from the game's light-hearted atomosphere and goofy gameplay. So what are you waitin' for? Grab yourself a Clancer and "Shake, shake!"






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