Peaches' Top 25 Games of All Time
by Peaches

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

#5 - Grim Fandango

It's difficult to realize a "unique" game world completely. Usually, it's some variation on the real world, or a quick backstory that doesn't affect the game much.

This game plops you off in a world where, as your protagonist puts it, "The living still give me the creeps." Everyone is dead, and somehow, they feel it - there's a sort of existentialism throughout the game, whether it comes from stealing a job by faking your rival's death (or whatever you call it when dead people die "again") or leaving behind a sucessful nightclub to puruse a special lady.

This game isn't a typical puzzle solver with a Halloween costume on - it's a game that solidly stands on its own merits, fully developed into one vision.

#4 - Guilty Gear

This game is just over-the-top. The characters, in both flavor and gameplay, run a specturm of bizarre and innovative. The fighting system itself encourages aggression. The storyline is, well, simultaneously epic and self-conciously pointless. And it's hard. As in... you'll give this several tries, and keep coming back for more. There's also many strange game modes.

This game has everything. In fact, it has more than necessary. Much more. It's just... over-the-top.

#3 - Icebreaker

Once upon a time, a hippie programmer who worked for 3DO (keep reading, please) started tooling around on the job. He liked pyramids, so he animated some blowing up. He animated some moving. He animated one that shot fireballs. He put them all together in a playing field so he could test how it all looked.

Icebreaker was born. You are the white pyramid, and you shoot the crap out of all the other pyramids, without getting killed.

It may sound lame, but it's the simple acorn out of which a mighty, underrated oak grows from. For you see, those pyramids move in tricky ways. Some are smarter than others, and some are smart in different ways. And the ones that take multiple shots are often inconviently placed. And they are good at ganging up on you and cornering you in traps they may or may not be immune to. And - well, like a good puzzle game should, it finds an infinte number of variations that somehow stay true to the original concept. There's also the free-form level and difficultly selection, so you can admire your progress as you acomplish more and more, in the order you want to do it. And the random level generator, if you're really bored.

You can definitely feel the love that went into this game. The idea alone is odd, but the funky music and whacky graphics add a charm that most of the current generation of games just don't have. It even lets you know you've lost with a friendly "Game Over, Dude."

Is that taunting? Sympathetic? Sardonic? Encouraging? Whatever dude, I'm gonna try the level with the lava and zombie pyramids on the "Insane" setting. Just one more time...

#2 - Harvest Moon

A cross between a dating sim and a cow-buying game? That's also cute?

Well, believe it. If I had to explain this game's enduring popularity, I'd have to go with open-endedness. You want cows? We got 'em. You want chickens? Tomatoes? Corn? You want to fish and forage for extra income? Get married to the butch tinkering girl or the shy bookworm? You go right on and knock yourself out.

There was also a clear sense of progress in the game. You didn't just buy that bigger house. You freakin' EARNED it with your blood and sweat!

#1 - Chrono Trigger

What can I say about this game that hasn't been said before?

I think this is everything a game should be. Designers should study it. It should literally be in textbooks as the penultimate example of single-player RPG goodness.

Do video game magazines still break down their rankings into categories? You know, 5 for graphics, 3.2 for sound, yadda yadda? Well, I can't think of a damn category that this doesn't deserve the maximum score in. It's beautiful to look at. It's beautiful to read. It's beautiful to play and listen to. It's challenging. It's original. The characters are great. The battle system is great. The time-travel is great. The story is not just written well, it's TOLD well. It turns the video game into an artistic medium, then does everything a video game can do to further that goal. I can't think of a single flaw in this game, other than it doesn't go on forever.

I really don't know how I can spell it out other than to say this may be the most well-designed game ever.

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