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My Top 50: Video Games

For those that don't know, video games are my absolutely favorite hobby. So, I decided to stress myself out for no reason and do a list of my top 50 video games. Narrowing the list down to just 50 was an immense challenge. Ranking them? Was almost impossible. It should go without saying, but this list is just my personal opinion. I don't claim to know the top best games by some power bestowed upon me. I just listed them how I like them. Here goes!

50 - Tony Hawk's Pro Skater

- After playing this game for the first time at a friend's house, I walked across town to two different stores until I found this game sitting on the shelves at Walmart. I picked it up for 40 bucks right then and there and walked back home so I could blow the rest of the day on it. I still here Superman by Goldfinger to this day...

49 - Robo Recall

- I love the Oculus Rift. This game was one of the main reasons I bought it. If you've ever seen it, you'll know why. It's just as engaging and entertaining as it looks. I'd like to say I've never yelled out loud when a robot scared me but I cannot tell a lie.

48 - Cave Story 3D

- Quote, Balrog and Curly Brace are just such adorable characters. I never played the original and I wasn't good enough to ever see the "best" ending but damn if I didn't have a blast along the way to my inevitably mediocre ending I was capable of earning.

47 - SimCity Series

- I still remember installing the original SimCity on my computer via 3 floppy discs. SimCity 2000, 3000 and 4 all stood as shining beacons of countless hours of city management entertainment. We don't talk about the latest SimCity.

46 - Overwatch

- I finally bought this and started playing it after watching multiple videos on Game Grumps and Kitty Kat Gaming. I usually have a really hard time with online games because I don't like people being mad when I completely blow a match. But somehow, Blizzard managed to craft something that's so much fun I don't even care. Did I just launch myself into a pit? Maybe. Do I feel bad about it? Meh.

45 - Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door

- I love RPGs and this game nailed it with a combat system and character progression that married so perfectly with that special Mario charm.

44 - Metroid Prime

- I never really played Metroid as a kid. I was kind of a loner so the only games I ever had for a long time were whatever my mom bought. Which was totally fine, but we didn't know what all the kids were playing back in the day. So when I grabbed Metroid Prime and played that first, my mind was thoroughly blown. The crushing loneliness of this game on the scale it covers with the phenomenal game play? It was almost more than poor little Thomas could handle. I still remember freaking out when I saw Samus's face reflect in the inside of the visor because an explosion went off. Well played Nintendo, well played...

43 - Infamous

- This was one of those games I had to play through a few times just to enjoy the full experience. Whether you're playing the hero or the villain, the game is immensely satisfying. And the plot twist? Too good.

42 - Starfox 64

- This game was just pur, unadulterated fun. I can't honestly say how many times I've played this game all the way through for fun and for high was a a whole lot.

41 - Jak and Daxter Series

- I was a Nintendo kid for a long time before I made the jump to PS2. Finding this series was a huge win for me. Even as different as the first two were, the cohesive story, the characters and just the fun, action-packed pacing of it all is why it's still just sitting on my shelf in HD.

40 - Mario Kart: Double-Dash

- I know this is a divisive choice. I've met a lot of people that hate Double-Dash. But it is still my favorite to date. The added strategy of carefully picking two separate drivers on your cart and using them to manage the best collection of items? Don't even worry about how the karts and levels were flawlessly well designed. Perfect team combo? Both Koopa Troopas of course. No joke, limitless red shells forever.

39 - XCOM: Enemy Within

- Another title I never played the original of. But when I found this game, I was instantly hooked. Do I think abusing save states to keep all my soldiers alive is cheating? Maybe. Did I do it anyway? You bet I did.

38 - Heavy Rain

- To date, Heavy Rain is the only video game I've had to put the controller down and walk away from because my heart was racing too fast and I was about to literally freak out. This is also the first and maybe only game I've ever played where any and all characters can die and the story just keeps going without them. The narrative in this game and the countless ways events can unfold into one of the several endings kept me tied up for long. JASON!

37 - Dragon Quest VIII

- I love the visual stylings of Akira Toriyama. And I loved this game. 130 logged hours from start until ultimate finish? Yeah, I'd say it was pretty entertaining.

36 - Smash Bros Series

- It's Smash Bros. Of course it's on this list.'

35 - Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3

- I love Dragon Ball Z. I've played at least 10 different fighting games based on the series. None have been as satisfying as Budokai 3 was. They've come up with a lot of good ideas since then, but nothing that I've enjoyed as much as that game.

34 - Deus Ex

- When this game came out in the year 2000, I had no idea anything like this even existed. Multiple endings? An upgradable main character? Play the levels however you want? So long stealth element, hello unbridled gunfire. Yeah I blasted all the bosses with rocket launchers instead of fighting them, you would too.

33 - The Wolf Among Us

- This choose your own adventure game on steroids was captivating in an instant. Fairy tale characters living in New York City and someone starts killing them all off? And you have to solve the mystery as the big bad wolf?! I couldn't keep myself from getting to the end. Still don't know if I chose wisely or not, though...

32 - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time

- This was one of those games I owned for the SNES that I just never got enough of. No save states meant you either beat the game or you started over until you beat the game. Either way, Super Shredder suuuuuucked.

31 - Journey

- Have you seen this game?! Have you heard it? It's beauty is almost too great for it to be called a video game. Journey is a work of art that let's us experience it through our own means. And it is astonishing.

30 - Harvest Moon 64

- I first played Harvest Moon on the SNES on accident...and it was glorious. Harvest Moon 64 was everything its predecessor was and more. I've never loved farming as much as that game made me love farming.

29 - The Orange Box

- When you mash masterpieces of Half-Life 2 and Portal into one box, of course it's one of the best gaming experiences ever. It'd be higher if it wasn't for that damn cliff hanger!

28 - GTA V

- I've rarely played a game as well written and acted as this. The stories across the whole game were what did it for me on top of all the polish and depth. I never got over addicted to the online play, though.

27 - Goldeneye

- Oh the times we had. This was probably the first movie to game adaptation I remember playing. Certainly the first one that went so well. Comparing areas in the game to the movie was always fun. Getting blown up by my friends who were way better than me? Less so. "Don't shoot me, I don't have a gun!" Why'd I fall for that line so many times?

26 - The Sims 1 & 3

- I'm still playing Sims 3 to this day if that tells you anything. If you don't already know this game is great, how are you this far down the list?

25 - Borderlands 2

- I was hooked on the original Borderlands in an instant. So when you take that quality of raw entertainment and make it as hilarious as they did in the sequel? I can't recall having a better time or laughing harder at a game in a long time. Once they released Gaige as a playable character, I loved it even more.

24 - Fallout 4

- I think the thing I love most about this game is that, while you definitely have a directed goal, no one is going to make you do anything you don't want including laying down your arms against a more lethal opponent. This game had so many gems to find and stories to tell in a world that just wouldn't let you get bored even if you wanted to. It's okay that the skeleton is glitching out, I'm thoroughly distracted.

23 - Mass Effect 2

- A heavily narrative game with great action, characters, choices and story where you can be either gender and love whoever you want? In space?! With Seth Green?!?! And you can perma-kill your own team?!??!??!?!? Who cares if the mining is dull as crap? 22 - Skyrim

- My first elder scrolls experience was with Morrowind. That game was unlike anything I'd ever played before and it was truly a unique experience I'll never forget. But take the hideous graphics and the clunky gameplay and polish everything to perfection? Sign me up. Wait, you added dragons too?!

21 - Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

- Of all the Grand Theft Auto games, I loved San Andreas the most. CJ was fun to play as. Officer Tenpenny made life incredibly stressful. Taking over neighborhoods was satisfying. Getting fat, skinny or muscular was agency I could appreciate. And all in a ridiculously huge world. It was worth unlocking the military helicopter to fly whenever I wanted.

20 - No No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

- I love Miyazaki films. I'll probably make a blog about that someday. So if you tell me I can play an RPG that's basically a Studio Ghibly movie? I'm down. You make it the best the best Pokemon simulator while you're at it? I still cherish this game and all its immeasurable charm everyday.

19 - Shadow of the Colossus

- I remember hearing someone was making a game with only boss battles and no minions and I thought it sounded like the stupidest thing ever. Oh how wrong I was. This game is beautiful! The world is stunning and the soundtrack will play with your emotions hard. And when I found that first Colossus? My jaw literally dropped. I know how to beat them all and it's still fun.

18 - Mega Man X

- I never really got into the earlier Mega Man games. But when a friend of mine let me play is copy of X, I was hooked in an instant. Like Shadow of the Colossus, I know how to beat the bosses in this game with incredible ease. I know where every power-up is including the hadouken. Yes, that's in there too. I still own this game on the Nintendo virtual console and play it every couple of months. It's fun refined into a perfect formula with a soundtrack that just kills it.

17 - Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader

- I remember buying my first GameCube and this was the first game I ever bought for it. I love Star Wars and I love any game that lets me pilot a fighting craft. This game was every Star Wars battle I wished I could experience recreated perfectly and I've earned gold medals on every level more times than I care to admit.

16 - Resident Evil 4

- Playing as Leon Kennedy against the Las Plagas was one hell of an experience. This game is such a perfect masterpiece. As everyone has taken their turns giving this game its due praise, it's hard to know what else to say about it. All I'll add is this... screw you Salazar.

15 - The Last of Us

- Oh the heart-strings! Oh my heart! Damn clickers scared me half to death too many times! But wow if they didn't make you feel what those characters felt and they did it so well. Never knew how much I wanted to see Giraffes in a video game until this one came along.

14 - Bloodborne

- The only thing more powerful than how infuriatingly frustrating this game can be is how fun and satisfying it is. I remember surviving the second boss in this game and I was physically shaking by the time I could relax. It was always interesting to get to relatively calm section and realize that my every muscle was seized tight when they finally relaxed for a moment. But oh if this gruesome beauty isn't just the best.

13 - Frostpunk

- I stumbled on this little gem at PAX West in 2017 and I was instantly hooked. I bought it on release date and played it incessantly until I'd finished it and I don't regret a second. I've always loved city building sims and this knocked it out of the park with a narrative that really lets you feel the relentless fear of a winter apocalypse. I can't wait until more content is added for me to explore. It's going to be great.

12 - Horizon: Zero Dawn

- What a great original concept. What a phenomenal new main character. What a beautiful world with fantastic creatures. This game took my breath away and sent me reeling more times than I can count and it never let up. Every time I thought I was getting close to understanding what was going on or thinking I was just about to wrap things up, it surprised me with more experiences I still remember in exceptional detail.

11 - Final Fantasy X

- Speaking of emotional roller-coasters... This was probably one of the first times a game left me genuinely speechless as I struggled to retain control of my own emotions. The characters and experiences you get from start to finish are unlike just about anything I've ever come across and that's okay. I'll always have FFX. 10 - Beat Saber

- The other big reason why I broke down and joined the VR world. A rhythm game with lightsabers? Yeah, there's really no way to explain how fun and satisfying this game is. You just have to experience it for yourself.

9 - Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time/Majora's Mask - I realize I'm cheating here a bit but if you've played them both, you know they're just opposite sides of the same coin. And if you've played them both, you know why they're this high up the list. The fact that I own multiple copies of Ocarina and that I'll gladly go get the fierce deity's mask any day are testaments to these games' quality and their ability to stand the test of time. No matter how old they get, they somehow just keep being amazing.

8 - Batman: Arkham Trilogy

- When I played Arkham Asylum for the first time, I thought, "how do you improve on this?" Then Arkham City came out and I went, "ohhhh... this is how." The Arkham trilogy (I've never played Origins so I'm not judging) is the superhero experience perfected. Batman has never been more relatable than fighting in his own shoes and the freedom those games give you is more than any of us ever deserved.

7 - Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

- Who knew a Star Wars game could be so good?! And now I can play it on my cell phone?!? The ability to craft your own lightsabers and choose to be good or evil? The chance to befriend everyone you meet or slaughter characters in your own party? Not to mention the plot twist of the century which gave us one of the most beloved non-canonical characters in Star Wars history. Yeah... KOTOR is good. good...

6 - Nier: Automata

- When I got this game, I had no idea what I was getting into. To this day, it still haunts my thoughts. I never considered that a tale could be woven so expertly to stab at the heart of what it means to exist, to be real, to matter, to have purpose. Nier leaves you questioning everything about the world you know while giving you a gaming experience that's just so much fun all at the same time. The fact that you have to play it through at least 3 times to experience most things is really something. The fact that it has 26 endings, is something else entirely. Play it, I dare you. You won't regret it because it's just too perfect. You might have an existential crisis, though. Fair warning.

5 - World of Warcraft

- What can I say? Literal years of my life and countless dollars went into this game and I don't regret any of it. I love the Warcraft universe. The characters and stories have been a part of my life almost as far back as I can forge memories. I loved the people I met, the friends I made, the experiences I had. World of Warcraft was the total package that brought the world together all to have a good time. For the Horde!

4 - Kingdom Hearts 1 & 2

- While the handheld entries hold their own special place in my heart, the console Kingdom Hearts games were...everything. I love Final Fantasy. I love Disney. I was not prepared for them to partner up. What they gave us was far more than the sums of their parts. Running around familiar, Disney-themed worlds and fighting against the heartless in what might be the most convoluted story of all time was and is unlike almost any experience I've ever had. Hearing Simple and Clean will still get me emotional on the fly when I am taken back to the characters and stories I played through. I can't wait to see what comes next...finally...

3 - Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

- Are you kidding me?! It took them this long to reinvent their worked to death wheel? Granted, the Zelda formula was a tried and true method for making quality gaming experiences. But there was no way I could have seen this shift coming. Breath of the Wild is a tour de force for Nintendo. They did far more than pull out all the stops, they burned the Zelda platform to the ground, washed away the ashes and built something that you almost couldn't recognize as Zelda if it wasn't for the name. And it. Was. Magnificent. The gameplay! The literal open world! The ability to deal with things however you damn well please whenever you damn well please. It was almost too much! Except for the part where it was perfect! It's not possible to sing this game's praises enough. Good thing every game critic under the sun already did it for me. Just play it already if you haven't yet! Wii U or Switch, either console will do!

2 - Pokemon Blue/Silver

- Oh Pokemon... I always went Squirtle as my original starter. Blastoise was the best. Don't believe me? Go watch the Death Battle by ScrewAttack on YouTube. Anyway... All 151 Pokemon in Blue? You bet I did? All 251 in Silver! So close! Curse you Celebi!!! From MissingNo to immovable pickup trucks, from humble beginnings to a team of all level 100s without a single rare candy involved, from Amnesia Psyduck to Surfing Pikachu. My childhood was that game, was those experiences.

1 - Final Fantasy IX

- Now I know my top pick won't make sense to a lot of people. Like a whole lot. But seeing as I already have a blog post about why FF9 is my vote for best in the series, it shouldn't come as a surprise that I hold it in such high esteem. In no gaming experience of my life have I ever been drawn to and related to characters more strongly. I've never explored a world that I remember as thoroughly as that one. I've never played a game to completion the way I have with Final Fantasy IX. Zidane makes for a phenomenal protagonist with oh so many flaws and imperfections. Kuja as a villain is a standout performance, breaking the mold forged by so many standard enemies. The attention to detail really pays off from delivering mail to digging up treasures and fighting god-like bosses in the sky or hidden around corners that will just end you in an instant. I can't think of a game with as many positive memories and experiences tied back to it for me personally than Final Fantasy IX. I know everyone has their favorite Final Fantasy, this one just happens to be mine.

Thank you for joining me in my crazy world and getting all the way to the bottom. What are some of your favorite games? Do you whole-heartedly disagree with any of my choices? There's gotta be a few in there that don't make sense to some but that's okay, you do you!

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