Top Five Video Games

This week on the show: As part of the Major Spoilers Fifth Birthday Celebration, the Major Spoilers Crew presents their Top Five Favorite Video Games of All Time.


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  1. Great Episode! I was actually discussing favorite video games just the other day with a friend, and I think I determined that my favorite game is the latest Mario one, New Super Mario Bros. Wii. I’ve been playing that off and on with my dad and sister in two or three-player ever since it came out; my dad and I went through and got all the star coins and completed everything during that Christmas break when we got it, and it still hasn’t grown old.

    Other games that are in my top five, in no particular order:
    Dr. Mario Online Rx (though the online component could be better)
    Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
    Final Fantasy (the series in general, though if I had to pick one I’d pick the original for NES due to nostalgia. I tried to fake sick from school once to play it more, but my dad knew what I was doing and made me stay in bed all day since I was “sick”)

  2. Awesome podcast!

    My top 5 (that I can think of right off my head):
    1. Super Mario 64, while I played the others, this came out just at the right time for me, and huge nostalgia factor.
    2. Tetris- Way too addictive, and kept me out of the really good schools.
    3. Super Smash Bros. Melee- Just an awesome game, that I’m cursed that I’ve lost the memory card for.
    4. Halo 3- while the story was not great, the expansive multiplayer made it a great drunk friends night game.
    5. Pokemon Silver- I’m sorry, but this too me was the height of the series, and I loved it. Almost wants makes me want to buy a DS, and get Soul Silver/Heart Gold, just to relieve the experience.

  3. Spore was disappointing for me the game was going to have 3 times as many features and was going to be longer and more deep Sadly for what ever reason they just cut so many concepts and features from the game and dumbed it down to be kid friendly and to release sooner at a lower budget

  4. 5. Super Mario RPG (I have that on all my PCs, love it, shame no sequel was ever made)
    4. Super Mario 3 (played this with my brother for years, we listened to a couple Guns & Roses and Metallica disks while playing, to this day we hear a tune from either, look at each other and can quote which castle we would have been at)
    3. Shining Force 2 (The only reason my Genesis is still around, the best turn based RPG ever made)
    2. Final Fantasy 7 (Let’s put it this way, I have 7 years of medieval sword-handling and a year of modern fencing under my belt in real life because of this game. Once, my saved game was deleted, I spent a Summer getting all my gear and Master Materias back)
    1. Dungeon & Dragons Online (DDO)

    I love DDO, it’s a great MMORPG that doesn’t shy from the fact it’s based on DnD unlike all other MMORPGs *cough* WoW*cough*. The mechanics of the game are based on PnP but with modification to allow real time play, because if it was turned based it would be a perfect solo player game but horrible for multiplayers. You don’t always have a full party at your disposal from your friend/guild list, so you usually play with strangers, if this was turn based it would be closer to PnP but leave too much room for backseat playing and every time a technical problem would come up with a player the game would be stuck. You have no idea how fun it is to be fighting zombie pirates in the Black Loch while listening to the lasts few Critical Hit episodes. Every time my guild members are off line I listen to Critical Hit while playing DDO, it’s awesome squared.

    Notable mentions: Street Fighter 2, Marvel Vs Capcom, Teken Tag and Resident Evil.
    The first 3 for the sheer amount of time I spent playing them and the last because it’s the game I compare all “survival” type games, be it in terms of game play, atmosphere or horrible voice actors.

  5. hectorbustnuts on

    Mortal Kombat on Genesis (or Mega Drive as it was known here). Man, what an awesome game that was. I spent so many afternoons around at my mate’s place playing it. I still remember the blood-code you needed to key in on the intro screen to get full gore effects. A-B-A-C-A-B-B

  6. I only remember games like Pac-Man, Asteroids, Centipede, Frogger, Missile Command, etc.

    And Pong, of course.

  7. 5)FALLOUT 3 – Allowing me to be the good guy, the bad guy, even resorting to eating human flesh to get better. The atmoshphere that it created.
    4) HALO: Combat Evolved – Stepping out of that Pod looking up at the Halo ring, seeing how massive it was. I finally realized why people loved it.
    3) Red Dead Redemption – The dying wild west, guns, horses, hunting bears, hunting men, good story, and fun mechanics.
    2) X-Men 2: Clone Wars – It cemented my love for Genesis, and side scrollers action/platformers. Made me realize how much X-Men ruled.
    1) Sonic the Hedgehog 2 – The first, and greatest videogame that I have ever played. I got it on Christmas day.

  8. In no order:
    Metroid-Nes (passwords! I don’t have to start over from scratch everytime)
    Metal Gear-Nes (pretty open world for the time and lots of gadgets to solve puzzles with)
    Final Fantasy Tactics Advanced – GBA (on the go, and tons of missions and classes to play)
    Fire Pro Wrestling Advanced – GBA (FPW is the wrestling game for people that love to make CAWs, it comes with pre-made guys from federations in the US, Canada, Mexico and Japan)
    World Of Warcraft -MMO (fun, ever evolving and always replayable..mostly for the community and fun times had on voicechat with guildies)

    Honorable Mentions: Fatal Frame (legit scary), Fallout3 (tabletop rpg style character customization and leveling), Left4Dead (zombie movie come to life), Rampage (playing as a godzilla-type monsters would always win my quarters in the arcade), Batman-Arkham Asylum ( you really feel like Batman!)

  9. TheNewNum.2 on

    Here’s my top 5:

    5. The Adventure of Zork (PC) – a classic text based adventure game, really fun. Back-talking to the game’s input recognition also creates some interesting moments.

    4. NBA JAM! (SEGA GENESIS) – I didn’t own a Genesis, but I played the crap out of this every time I could. One of the best pick up and play basketball games that doesn’t over complicate the mechanics.

    3. Blades of Steel (NES) – Same kind of idea as JAM!, but for hockey. It’s incredibly simplified, but for some reason that makes it more fun than more modern takes on hockey.

    2. Super Mario Galaxy 2 (WII) – Before playing Galaxy 2, this spot would have been Super Mario Bros 3, but this game is quite similar to SMB3 in that it is the pinnacle of innovation and level of fun for its series. This is one of the longest, deepest games I’ve ever played, and it doesn’t get boring towards the tail end of the game (like Galaxy 1 did IMHO).

    1. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (SNES) Many Zelda fans would argue that Ocarina of Time is the better game, and they probably aren’t wrong. Many even have the game atop their top games of all time lists. So why did I go with A Link to the Past? it’s honestly a coin flip between the two… both are immersive stories with great gameplay and unique, surprising moments, but something inside me always likes a story’s concluding volume better than the earlier ones. Ocarina of Time sets the stage for the events in a Link to the Past (retroactively, mind you – just as ‘Minish Cap’ would later do to Ocarina of Time), so that’s probably why I like the SNES game a touch more than the N64 game.

    Honorable Mention: Pokemon: Fire Red Version (GAME BOY) I was hooked on catching them all since the original Pokemon: Red and Blue Versions came out, but Fire Red took a classic and actually improved on it.

    Speaking of Pokemon, Spore is very useful in creating realistic 3D models of pokemon – fans have made some really professional looking recreations. I once saw an Entei model on YouTube that looked so real it looked as if it would bite your fingers off if they got too close to the screen.

    • I still own Blades of Steel, I love that game. Whenever I see the title, I can’t help but hear that digitized voice saying “Blaaades of Steel”, man I loved that game. You slam into the same person enough times in a row and you throw your gloves off and start fighting and whoever loses the fight is the person thrown into the penalty box. Awesome, I played that almost as much as the first R.B.I. Baseball for the NES.

      With Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, I think you’re right from my point of view too, because without Link to the Past, there may not have been an Ocarina of Time, but also because I never played any of the follow up games either. I know fans love those games, but he looked like a really femme pre-teen in those games. Granted, my favorite is still simply The Legend of Zelda, the first one. I hated the second one, every single thing about it was terrible (to me). It was the first game I ever played that vastly changed the gameplay mechanics and style from one game to the next in the series and it really felt sub-par to me. Which is why I think I liked Link to the Past so much too, it felt like a return to that first game.

  10. Justin Gerlach on

    Wow, great call by Rodrigo on Spore. It was really good at the time.

    5. Goldeneye
    4. Killer instinct (arcade version)
    3. FF7
    2. Halo
    1. Starcraft

    • Great call on the Killer Instinct! I still have the CD that came with the Super Nintendo version of that, Killer Kuts. I put that in every once in a while and listen to the sweet beats. lol. Not as good as the soundtrack music that came with the Shin Megami: Persona 3 game, but still. I always like Cinder and the werewolf guy, and the skeleton. I haven’t played the actual game forever though, so I forget.

  11. 5. Super Mario Land 2: Golden Coins. Fun game that gave you options as to which of the 6 golden coins you could try and obtain and the introduction of Wario. I played this game so much I pushed my Game Boy to its limits and actually burst batteries trying to get as much play time out of it as I could.

    4. Trauma Center: Under the Knife. a great surgery sim/puzzle game with a compelling back story. This was one of the games that got me to upgrade to the DS from my GBA.

    3. Portal. I love solving puzzles and much like Trauma Center, this provided interesting and compelling puzzles with an interesting story line.

    2. World of Warcraft. Considering the amount of time I’ve sunk into this game I’d be remiss in omitting it from this list. I love the lore from the original Warcraft games and how they’ve incorporated and built upon it as well as the community within the game.

    1. Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. I lost track of how many times I played through this game and bought it for my Wii as soon as it was available. It does a great job of keeping familiar elements to Mario, but gives us one of our first looks at the 3D renderings of Mario and crew

  12. Kara Zor-El on

    Oh, most of my games are going to be newer things, but I think its alright. Its about games that change your gaming experiences… Keep in mind this is also a small list, and I have a lot of favorite games.

    5. Final Fantasy X: This was truly an amazing game, filled with emotions and so much fun. The first of the FF games with voice acting, which really aided to it. The summons were amazing, the combat was amazing. The thing that really got me though was the characters. To this day Auron is my favorite FF character. (PlayStation 2)

    4. Dead Space 2: Back in the day there was Silent Hill and Resident Evil. They were scary games, but since that time they have lost what made them special. The scare factor maybe, or prehaps they were just trying to hard. (Though Resident Evil 4 is fun.) Not have I’ve ever played a game so religious, at least a horror game. I know the story by heart but it is still so much fun and still scary. So much horror! Can’t wait for Dead Space 3. (Xbox 360)

    3. The Mass Effect Series: Bioware had already made some amazing games by the time they decided to make this game (Baldurs Gate 1&2, Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic, Neverwinter Nights). They set out to make a game unlike any other. A RPG where your actions really made a different. I had played games were you can make your own character, be good or evil, but no other game to me has done it so well. Shepard basically becomes you, and you really care for the characters in your party. Not to mention the next one seems to be forming into a amazing game. Make sure you take it slow! (Xbox 360)

    2. Half Life 2 (All the episodes so far): It was early in 2009. I hadn’t really played that many videos games since… well I was little. I was looking for a cheap game and I found Half Life 2 the Orange Box. It was five games in one and only $19. I popped it into my PS3 and found myself playing until I had to force myself to go to sleep. The amazing graphics, the good characterizations, the interesting storyline… everything about this game is amazing. It got me into video games in a big way, teaching me so many things I use in shooter games to this day. Without it, I wouldn’t have played some of the other games in this list. (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC)

    1. The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time: I was a young girl, and I had a Nintendo 64 that was mostly used for playing sport games. We went to the video store and I asked to rent the strange game with a sword and a shield on the cover and my mother said yes. When I got home, popped the cartridge into the 64 and played one of the most fantastic games of all time. It didn’t have any voice acting but it had amazing music, fighting and unlockables. It was the first video game that I’ve ever beat, and I beat it so many times since the first time. It is amazing, and I will most likely play it till I die.

    That’s my list. Honorable mentions are Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VIII, and Fable The Lost Chapters.

  13. Ok, this list was much easier to make than a “Top 5 Movies of the 1980’s” :)

    #5) Ico: not so much as a game as it was an experience. The only game I will never replay because it would be like trying to relive the past. I don’t see how everyone who has played this game doesn’t have it on their list.
    #4) Rogue Squadron 2: The payoff for waiting decades for a realistic chance to fight in the space battles of the original Star Wars Trilogy. What could be better than beating a Star Destroyer with a B-wing? How about fighting the battle of Endor in an X-wing, then having to beat 2 Star Destroyers single handed… all in the same stage!
    #3) Kingdom Hearts: At a time when the characters from the individual Final Fantasy games were never seen in sequels or spin off games, Kingdom Hearts brought together favorites from different FF games into one. It was like seeing old friends again.
    Similarly, seeing Disney characters break the barriers between their individual movies was powerful stuff: the scene that established the cabal of Hades, Oogie Boogie, Ursala, Captain Hook, Jafar and Maleficent was amazing! During the game, I actually thought to myself “I know they would never put this in the game, but I would love to fight Chernabog as the final boss”. The fact that he was the boss put this game in my top 5, but the fact that there was a boss AFTER Chernabog (who is essentially the devil) keeps Kingdom Hearts from being number 1.
    #2) Resident Evil 2 – the atmosphere, the surprises, the tension… all combine for a highly replay-able game. I would have played all 4 scenarios until I earned an “S” grade in each of them even if it wasn’t required to open the ridiculous bonus level with Hunk! and the final unlock of fighting as a giant block of tofu armed with a knife was so absurdly out of place that it perfectly balanced the horror you needed to experience to reach that point with ridiculous humor.
    #1) Fallout 2 – Everything that makes me love the Major Spoilers Experience makes me love this game. The developers left so many in jokes to popular culture that it felt like you were playing a computerized version of a D+D game with your best friends. I have played this game as every conceivable character type I could imagine and still revisit it frequently.

    Maybe I am just getting old, but after looking forward to Fallout 3 for so many years, I was so disappointed in it that I quit playing less than halfway through. Comic Book Store Guy Voice: “You are NOT supposed to be able to outfight a Super Mutant the day you walk out of the vault! Worst Fallout Ever! :)

    Honorable Mentions:
    Arcade – Tron, Discs of Tron, Gauntlet
    Portable – Pokemon Yellow and Crystal
    Console – FF7, Knights of The Old Republic
    PC – King’s Quest 1

  14. Wow! Creating a top five is tough since I’m an older gamer as well, but I’ll try to narrow it down.

    5. Donkey Kong- It was the game that got me hooked. I played it all the time at the arcade at home and when I went to the shore.

    4. Tecmo Bowl- The first sports video game that I couldn’t put down. I loved football growing up, and this game was bigger and better than Madden at the time.

    3. Castlevania- I love the take this story gave to the old Dracula theme. It used the old monsters of Dracula and Frankenstein ( pronounced “Frahnk-n-steen”) and made them all new again with a hero that kicked butt! Besides, I’m also one of those old Ravenloft players (you know, the dnd setting that Matthew referred to as ‘dark and gritty’!) and really enjoyed the setting this game took place in.

    2. Red Dead Redemption- Spaghetti western meets Grand Theft Auto!!! What’s not to love? Ok, except when I gathered all of the flowers for that crazy husband that couldn’t let go of his wife! Eeeeehhaaaa, gives me the hee bee gee bees thinking about THAT mission! There was a great anti-hero, a great dedication to the time in history, a great story, and an ending that would leave anyone wanting more. Very close second for me.

    1. Metal Gear Solid 4- Fantastic story and graphics throughout. Just an epic ending that somehow tied up the loose ends of the previous stories. The only way I could see the franchise ending. I’ve played every Metal Gear, and this one was a sad but wonderful ending to a great franchise.

  15. Rui Almeida, aka Ariamus on

    My five faves, in no particular order:

    Bard’s Tale – this is the first in a long-line of computer, RPG-type games that I played. Oh, and I played… a LOT!!! When it first came out, I spent time in the local library playing it on an Apple IIe. Then when I got my first computer, a Commodore 128, I got the game there too and played a lot. For me, the thought of exploring the dungeons and towers of Skara Brae still brings back fond memories. The two sequels were also pretty good and there’s been plenty of knock-offs that were very good (Might and Magic springs to mind) but the original Bard’s Tale was revolutionary because of it’s lusch graphics and first-person perspective.

    Wing Commander – The whole series was one great game after another but the original started it all so I listed it here. I LOVED Wing Commander from the first day I played. A term that comes to mind when I think of how to describe it is “space opera”. I still get chills when I think of the Kilrathi fighters and their vicious pilots. This game had a very cinematic approach to the story. The co-pilots (Bossman, Jazz, and others) were more than just filler material. There were some very nice touches. I loved the mission where you had to escort to safety the Kilrathi pilot who’s decided to defect. It was fantastic. If I recall correctly, it was also one of the earliest video game franchises to enlist a-list talent to do voice work with the sequels (Johnathan Rhys-Davies as Paladin).

    Soul Caliber – Matthe mentioned owning a Dreamcast which is amusing because, to this day, this is one of of the very few games made that owning the console it was developed for solely for its purpose is justified. While the sequels have all been pretty good, I still prefer the original. It was so lusch and beautiful that it still blows me away to this day. There have been more involved fighters. There have been prettier fighters. And there’s been plenty of gimmicks. But this game’s beauty combined with the fact that the combatants all used melee weapons in their battles makes it the king of the hill in this genre.

    Project Gotham Racing – The PlayStation has the Grand Tourismo franchise, which is great. On the X-Box, you got Project Gotham Racing. Prior to it, console and PC car driving games could be segmented into two camps; simulations and arcade racers. Grand Tourismo covered the former and franchises such as Need for Speed covered the latter. I wasn’t big on all the effort one needed to put into the simulations but the arcade racers were too simplistic for me. Then along came PGR which landed squarely in the happy median between the two camps. I loved that the details of the four cities you raced in were so vivid. I loved the different radio station approach to the soundtrack. I loved that you could play your own music right off the X-Box. I loved the Kudos system of scoring that rewarded the player not just for driving well but doing it with style. The sequels were all pretty good but the original gets my vote (sensing a pattern here).

    Star Wars arcade game (with the sit-down cockpit) – If given a choice between this and Gauntlet as my favorite arcade machine, it’s a tough choice but I’ll go with this one. The best part about this game was how immersive the cock-pit setup made it, with the speakers in front and behind you. I loved the voices and clips from the movie. I loved that you could be Luke Skywalker. I loved that there were different challenges during the progress of the game. What I didn’t like is that later on in it’s life, this was one of the first games that it took more than one quarter to play. Curiously, both this machine and a Gauntlet one found their way into my fraternity house at college which of course meant a lot of free time (and class-time) lost to its wiles in early adult-hood along with childhood much earlier on.

  16. slimeknight on

    5. Red Dead Redemption: Never liked the GTA games but I put in many hours doing everything I can in this game.
    4. Super Mario All Stars: All of the NES mario games in one with better graphics and the actual SMB2
    3. Golden Sun: The epic GBA RPG that is fantastic and started me down the RPG path.
    2. Mass Effect 2: its a fantastic game with great dialogue where I worry that a teammate’s going to die.
    1. Legend of Zelda (Ocarina of Time): I would choose any of the zelda games as my favorite its always a day one purchase for me but to choose one it would be Ocarina of Time.

  17. My list isn’t probably going to be on many people’s top lists, some will be, but most of my top games are the ones that meant the most to me. They’re games that I spent most of my time playing when I was younger.

    5. Baldur’s Gate II (PC) – My roommate and I during Freshman year of college both had the game for our computers and we found out we could download items and people’s homemade items and use them in the game. My roommate and I spent days upon days just importing weapons and armor and tons of other stuff into the game and I even had my fighter voiced by Stewie Griffin. I don’t think I ever got my character out of the first dungeon which was only supposed to take like 15-20 minutes to get out. What a wonderful time sap that turned out to be, but my buddy and I had tons of fun screwing with that game.
    4. Super Mario Kart (SNES) – I spent so much time in my youth playing this game with my brothers, learning where all the shortcuts were and honing my skills, I’m still quite deadly with a green shell. I always drove as Yoshi whenever I played.
    3. Goldeneye 007 (N64) – This game started my love for FPS games, and introduced me to 4 player multiplayer which would seldom be done better for years after the game came out. Plus I got to play as Oddjob and be like a foot shorter than everyone and somewhat harder to hit, and it was so much fun dropping proximity mines all over the place and then hiding and waiting for the boom. That and it’s one of the best licensed game properties to actually be immensely fun.
    2. Counter-Strike (PC) – Using the same platform and engine from Half-Life 2, Counter-Strike became the reason that I didn’t have much of a social life during my sophomore and junior year of college and it’s a game that I frequently go back to and sink hours and hours of my life into. I love this game and I’ve played it so often that I would frequently dream about gameplay or I’d walk around campus and start thinking about where someone would be camping from or where I’d snipe from. It’s that addicting.
    1. Super Smash Bros. (N64) – I had never played the game prior to 2001, during my freshman year at my Christian college, we had a curfew freshman year and we were all pretty much locked in our freshman dorm and one of my friends from my floor had this game so I thought I’d give it a shot. This game basically sums up my memories of college. We had many nights were there’d be 8-10 of us in one room until 5 in the morning plays Smash Bros., and ripping on each other all night and laughing at the other whenever we’d hit them with a baseball bat or did any number of moves that pissed one another off. My favorite characters were Yoshi and Ness (the little boy from Earthbound). Yoshi’s ground pound would send people flying and Ness had his bat, this telekinetic electricity and his ability to hit yourself with electricity and send you flying into people with devastating results.

    Honorable mentions include: Parasite Eve (PSOne), Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES), Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion (Xbox 360) which I’ve spend over 300 hours playing and still I’m not even halfway through the main storyline, Summoner (PS2) if you know the whole D&D spoof thing you might remember they wanted to attack the darkness, anyway, they recreate the entire scene with the original audio but with the characters from the game after the credits run in that game and there are some funny cut scenes. That’s worth the price of admission right there. Also in my list is: Super Mario World (SNES) which is infinitely replayable, Kagero: Deception II (PSOne) set special traps and make people get caught in them, simple concept that was so much fun, Battletoads in Battlemaniacs (SNES), Burnout 3: Takedown (PS2), Twisted Metal 2 (PSOne), Royal Rumble (SNES), and Unreal Tournament (PC).

    Royal Rumble was the only wrestling game I’ve ever really enjoyed, my brother and I used to rent it every weekend and I’d frequently be Tatanka and spend the whole time just grabbing people who were running at me and you’d just start chucking people out of the ring one after another.

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