Pat's Top 25 30 Games of All Time
by Pitchfork

30-26 | 25-21 | 20-16 | 15-11 | 10-6 | 5-1 |

So we're having another Everyone's 25 Favorite Video Games party. Keen. If you remember, I stole the idea from Progressive Boink about two years ago. If there was one major difference between the Progressive Boink article and the approach I took, it was that I spent about two weeks playing around with my article, whereas the folks from Progressive Boink each wrote theirs over the course of a single day. WELL. I WILL NOT BE OUTDONE, YOU HEAR ME? Not only am I going to tear through this whole thing in one go -- without even proofreading or spellchecking it -- I'm gonna do a TOP THIRTY instead of a top twenty-five. You can just call the extra five a bonus stage. Whatever.

At any rate, HEAVEN OR HELL...!

30.) GunBound (PC, 2004)

My first (and hopefully last) MMO. This game is the reason why I know I can never play World of Warcraft. I would sit down and tell myself I was just going to play ONE GAME against a crowd of decked-out, dragon-riding mutants from Singapore, and the next time I looked up at the clock it was twelve hours later and I was 500 GP in the hole because I was such a consistently lousy shot. I kinda look back on my GunBound phase the same way you might look back on that one spring break you and your friends rented a place on the shore and spent the entire week doing blow and having sex with strangers. It's not something I'd ever do again, but damn if it wasn't a blast.

29.) Ecco the Dolphin (Genny, 1993)

Lassie. Free Willy. Flipper. Air Bud. You'd be wise to avoid any IP whose star is a good natured, preternaturally intelligent non-anthropomorphic animal, because they usually suck. Terribly. Ecco the Dolphin, however, is an exception. Ecco is one dolphin you don't want to fuck with. He'd eat Lassie, ram Willy full of holes, drop giant flashing conch shells on Flipper with his nose, and kill Air Bud with deadly sonar murder waves.

Despite what you might assume from glancing at the adorable grinning Ecco on the cover, this isn't a kiddie game. Good god, no. Gaming kids today hold up Ninja Gaiden as the hardest game of all time ever, but it's all too clear that none of them have ever attempted the Dark Water chapter of Ecco (I'd really like to witness somebody beating the Asterite without using invincibility codes), much less the dreaded WELCOME TO THE MACHINE. Ecco is also one of the scariest games I've ever played. I was a pretty jumpy kid -- oversensitive and extremely prone to suggestion -- and the idea that such terrible and hideous creatures (like those relentless giant spiders of death in the Arctic and Atlantis stages) could potentially be lurking in any body of water larger than a kiddie pool was definitely not something I needed.

Something I just learned: all the dolphin sprites (and maybe ALL the sprites, period) in Ecco the Dolphin were done by one person. Moreover, the guy was supposedly only nineteen when the game was made. Damn.

28.) X-Men (Arcade, 1992)

It was either this or the Simpsons arcade game. What broke the tie between the two titans of licensed Konami beat 'em-ups is the WOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGHHHH noise Colossus makes when he uses his mutant power.

There's not much to say about X-Men, only that it made being a seven-year-old boy with a pocket full of quarters a time of near-unparalleled sensory bliss...especially when you were lucky enough to stumble upon one of the giant six-player cabinets. For a long I believed there could no greater thrill in video gaming than the simultaneous activation of six separate mutant powers on the Blob's fat fucking ass. NOTHING MOVES WHO, YOU BLOATED SACK OF CRAP?!

...And then, of course, I discovered Street Fighter. But we'll get to that later.

27.) BioShock (Xbox 360, 2007)

People harping over small flaws in otherwise good or great games usually doesn't bother me much. Half-Life 2's weapons weren't as varied as the first game's; sure, I can agree with that. Final Fantasy VII's characters are practically interchangable. For the most part, yeah. However, I listening to people bitch and whine about anything that's not absolutely perfect about BioShock kinda irritates me. Wahh wahhhh too much hacking gripe gripe there are not enough enemy types boohoooo why don't I have an inventory kvetch kvetch omg where multiplayer? SHUT UP AND LOVE BIOSHOCK YOU FASTIDIOUS FUCKING PRICK. Seriously, if you turn off your 360 after beating this game and find yourself thinking, well...I GUESS it was one of the most aesthetically rich, atmospheric, brilliantly directed, thematically deep, and downright fun games I've played in a long time...but did it really have to be so gosh darned LINEAR?, then you need to stop playing video games until you can have fun with them again.

After finishing .hack//G.U. Volume 3 (I didn't beat the game -- I decided I was finished), I was on the verge of selling all of my games. G.U. nearly convinced me that video games had completely jumped the shark and wouldn't be worth my time ever again. BioShock was probably the only game that could have possibly convinced me otherwise, and its timing was nothing short of miraculous.

26.)Einhander (PSX, 1998)

Dave B. is never getting his copy of Einhander back, so he might as well just accept it.


Man, remember back in the late 90's when it really seemed like SquareSoft could do no wrong? When every genre they touched turned to gold? Who'd have thought a company that made a name for itself by churning out turn-based RPGs would end up creating one of the best shoot 'em up games of all time ever? I certainly didn't see it coming, but I wasn't surprised. This was SQUARE, after all. The goddamn wonder company. It was like Willy Wonka was running the show back then.

I only recently beat Einhander for the first time. After playing it on and off since fucking high school, I finally got to see the goddamn ending like a month ago. You have no idea how much of a load that was off my mind. Of course, I did kinda go in there with an Astraea FGA Mk. I equipped with Grenades and Juno from the get-go. Polly will say this means my victory doesn't count and I won't really have beaten the game properly until I do it without using pre-equipped gunpods. I, however, say that Polly is a very short-statured person who couldn't beat me at Street Fighter if her life depended on it.

You heard me, Polly.

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