ATB’s Best Games Ever: #75-51

The fringe candidates are gone. We’re getting closer to the meat and potatoes of our list, the top 25. But we have plenty of other games to go before we get there. This is inside the top 75, where titles received a decent number of points, but not enough to make the cut.

NOTE: Our list was created with the top 25 in mind, so while we used those rankings to go all the way through #100, this isn’t really a top 100 list. There are some strange choices in here because if an individual put a game in his or her top 25, it almost always had enough points to make the group’s top 100. So keep that in mind before you kill us because Superman 64 happened to end up as the 65th best game of all-time, okay? Please?

These games weren’t the cream of the crop, but they were at least a cold glass of milk:


75) Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Wii)

Chris: I spent four years being extremely excited for this game, so I’m not sure it ever could have met my expectations. Still good, but…tripping? Really?
Dave: I can only handle this 2D fighter because it has Mario characters, but I really get bored easily with this one, really easily.
Shaun: That might have more to do with your apparent ADD than the game, Dave. Brawl was solid and a lot of fun, but with a weak adventure mode and questionable inclusions (Smash Balls are cheap as hell), it failed to innovate the way Melee did.


74) Super Mario Kart (SNES)

Shaun: Without it, the juggernaut of “Mario kart racing” wouldn’t be possible. Also responsible for Mario’s cross-genre domination that we’re still paying the price for enjoying today.
Chris: Still my favorite game in the series. That SNES Mode 7 technology was working hard here. Also, a rare appearance for Donkey Kong Jr. I’m surprised I didn’t vote for this myself.
Dave: HEY! This isn’t Mario’s cross-genre debut. Dr. Mario would like to see you in his office.


73) Indigo Prophecy (Xbox/PS2/PC)

Dave: I’ve felt that the best games are those that tell a story, and have you be a part of it. Indigo Prophecy has nearly no action in it, but is still an intense story that will have you hooked ‘til the end.
Chris: I’m not sure about the choice of this over Heavy Rain, from the same developers, but both had their moments. It’s the interactive movie format at its finest — your mileage may vary.
Shaun: I think a weak third act prevented it from reaching gaming’s upper echelon. And by “weak” I mean “what even is any of this happening right now?”


72) Prey (360/PC)

Shaun: Its creative use of portals and gravity would have revolutionized the industry…if it didn’t sit in development purgatory for a decade.
Dave: OOOO aliens are trying to kill our main guy! But this time he’s a Native American! Man, how do those FPS game designers keep coming up with these gems?! Yeah, the changing gravities was cool…I did enjoy that.
Chris: An FPS that I didn’t play…I feel like this is starting to become a trend.


71) Ragnarok Online (PC)

Chris: Look, I played the hell out of this game and I have nostalgia out the wazoo, but…it probably shouldn’t be #71. Good MMO if you can find a free server though.
Shaun: I guess we need to throw a bone to MMOs just to appear fair and balanced. Or something.


70) Kirby’s Dreamland 2 (GB)

Shaun: Kirby’s original adventures are just pure fun. It makes you wonder why they can’t recapture the same magic with its more recent entries.
Chris: I’m not sure. I loved most of Kirby’s early games. Then again, I said the same thing about Sonic, and he ended up in the dumpster once a giant cat got involved.
Dave: Why is it people tried to mess with side scrollers? Take the simple formula of left to right, throw a bunch of enemies in and you’ve got a game. Kirby does it right and the side scroller sequels just add to the awesome.


69) Spider-Man (Xbox/PS2/GC)

Chris: I know this was praised as being a decent Spider-Man game, but it also had Tobey Maguire’s voice in it, which automatically disqualifies it from my list.
Shaun: Seriously? Did we let god damn Peter Parker vote in this poll or something?
Dave: With great power comes great responsibility…and we blew it.


68) The World Ends With You (DS)

Shaun: Proves that there’s still a place for unique stories and innovative gameplay in today’s cookie-cutter, sequel-driven industry.
Dave: I knew I was important, and this title just proves that the world really does revolve around (and end with) me.
Chris: This game had a strong cult following, but it should have been more successful commercially. Great characters and concepts.


67) New Super Mario Bros. Wii (Wii)

Dave: No game can be more maddening than having your supposed “teammates” jump on you and knock you into enemies. It’s infinitely easier playing alone, but infinitely more fun having the chaos of the four-player mode.
Chris: I know I’m biased toward co-op, but this game is a ton of fun. I think the people who didn’t enjoy it are the lonely pricks who don’t have any friends to play with offline.
Shaun: Also, an example of collectibles done right; getting all the star coins unlocks some of the most entertaining levels in the entire game. Blue Toad all the way.


66) Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days (DS)

Shaun: Everything you love about the Kingdom Hearts series, but bite-sized and featuring the SADDEST CUTSCENE OF ALL TIME. Seriously, that stuff is depressing. Why Xion? WHYYYY?
Dave: What could be sadder than Aeris being stabbed by a 30-foot sword?? WHAT??!
Chris: What about the cutscene where Axel died, only to reappear in every game of the series since? That was pretty sad. GOT IT MEMORIZED?


65) Angry Birds (MOB)

Dave: Simplicity sells, and Angry Birds has it. Pigs stole your eggs and have built big structures to protect themselves. Get them back by kamikaze’ing them. It doesn’t get more simple than that.
Chris: I mean, I’d like to be upset about this, but the game has become a phenomenon. It might be the epitome of casual gaming. And I suppose it’s fun in 5-10 minute spurts.
Shaun: Or is it really that simple? Birds suiciding themselves to get back what was lost? At what point is it not worth it anymore? What sacrifice are you willing to give to reclaim what’s lost? Angry Birds asks the tough questions.


64) Wii Sports/Wii Sports Resort (Wii)

Shaun: It taught the system’s mechanics and exposed the world to the Wii’ s revolution. The only problem is it remained one of the console’s best examples of that technology for the rest of its lifetime. Still, I killed countless hours playing bowling, baseball, and tennis with friends and family.
Dave: I got a 289 on Wii Bowling, almost perfect. My dad and I have nearly broken the TV playing tennis. The Wii’s goal was to bring the family together. Wii Sports did it.
Chris: Even my grandparents played this game, which is a testament to Nintendo’s family-friendly focus paying off.


63) Soul Calibur 2 (GC/PS2/Xbox)

Chris: So you took the momentum from Soul Blade/Calibur and added Link (and Weapon Master Mode) to the mix? Awesome. Heihachi was okay too. Spawn can die in a fire.
Shaun: My vote for the best 3D fighter of all-time. Between the perfectly balanced fighting, insane amount of collectibles, and actually interesting story, Soul Calibur 2 is a reminder of how good this series used to be. Talim FTW.
Dave: The Game had Link in it! He has a sword! How could he ever lose?


62) NBA Street Volume 2 (GC/PS2/Xbox)

Shaun: COME ON AND SLAM. AND WALK UP TO THE JAM.  If you weren’t digging 2K’s stellar NBA sim series, Street was pretty much the only other game in town. WELCOME TO THE SPACE JAAAAM.
Chris: I’ll admit, I was more of a Jam kid. Street was solid, but my favorite arcade series was Blitz. Maybe I just liked tackling bitches after the whistle.
Dave: NBA Jam TE was incredible, but the ability to get “team fire” in this game made it better. I could also make my character have a clown mask. Awesome.


61) Unreal Tournament 2004 (PC)

Chris: As in it’s unreal that this game is the 61st best of all-time. I’ve heard good things about it, but never played. Then again, that’s true of most FPSs.
Dave: See, I thought that this was a 2D fighting game. How is this 61?
Shaun: So what we have here is a perfect example of Jason making it to second base while playing this game childhood nostalgia. Unreal Tournament. TWO THOUSAND AND FOUR.


60) Final Fantasy (NES)

Shaun: Amazingly, the core of RPGs established in the original Final Fantasy is largely unchanged even now, 25 years and 13 sequels later.
Dave: As long as you had the weapon and armor guides, you were set. This game was so huge and original that the instruction book was a guide for the first half of the game.
Chris: I have a co-worker who doesn’t know the first thing about video games, but she played this years ago. It was that big. Sad to see the series failing like it is now.


59) Tekken Tag Tournament (PS2/ARC)

Chris: Possibly the most popular game in the series despite being almost a side title; why it took this long to get a sequel, I have no idea.
Shaun: The most technical of the 3D fighting game crowd, Tekken’s replayability and gameplay are unmatched if you’re willing to put the time in. Plus, you get to play with stupid-ass characters with tiger heads. At least it’s not a bondage freak. Or a busty ninja. What the hell is wrong with our fighting games?


58) Animal Crossing (GC)

Shaun: The game that proved that even boring, mundane life in an animal village is more interesting than your own.
Chris: As someone who enjoys breeding in Pokemon, I’m not going to slight fans of this series. Adorable graphics and addictive gameplay added up to a good first offering.


57) Mirror’s Edge (360/PS3/PC)

Chris: An interesting concept that fell short because of jarring gameplay and not enough meat in the package. That sounds oddly sexual.
Dave: I wanted to like this game, I really did. But then I fell off the same damn building 20 times in a row. It wasn’t so much fun after that.
Shaun: A prime example of execution failing to meet potential. I wouldn’t mind seeing another run at this idea handled by a more competent developer.


56) Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines (PC)

Shaun: Is this like a Twilight sequel or something? Why did no one tell me about this? In any case, Team Jacob.
Chris: I didn’t have a computer that could run games very well when this came out, so I missed it. All I remember hearing was that it was a solid, but buggy, game at release.


55) The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures (GC)

Chris: Might be my pick for favorite game of the series if it wasn’t so damn impossible to play. Put in the Virtual Console with DS compatibility, Nintendo, you freaking idiots! Take my money!
Dave: I always wanted to play this game, but then I remembered that I have no friends and a sister who doesn’t care about gaming. Oh yeah, and also I never had a Game Boy to connect to the GameCube…that would have helped.
Shaun: A fun, if not forgettable, entry into the series. Playing with friends is great, if you had the advanced laboratory setup required to run it.


54) Mario Kart 64 (N64)

Shaun: The foundation for all non-Mario kart games that have come since. The fact that these imitations don’t come close to this classic is a testament to its simplistic yet addictive design.
Chris: I loved this game, but when I think back to the introduction of the blue shells or the golden mushroom that didn’t do a damn thing…it’s tough for me to fully embrace it.


53) Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem (GC)

Chris: Never got a chance to play this because I’m not big on horror, but I do know it was the first R-rated game that Nintendo made. And that Alex was hot.
Shaun: Back in the days when horror game actually meant feeling afraid, Eternal Darkness set the bar with its revolutionary implementation of psychological horror. Enjoy its compelling plot and great characters — just don’t say I didn’t warn you about the girl in the bathtub…


52) Freelancer (PC)

Shaun: I say again…what even is this?  A journalism simulator? Cool.
Chris: I played a journalism simulator once…it was called Paperboy. Apparently Freelancer was a space trading and combat game. I used journalism to find that out too.


51) Spider-Man 2 (Xbox/PS2/GC)

Shaun: How in the f*** did this game get on the list?
Dave: Hey, Spider-Man was a great movie. The game though…ouch.


Best Games Ever: #100-76

Honorable Mentions



5 thoughts on “ATB’s Best Games Ever: #75-51”

  1. Hahaha, 71. Chris is absolutely right, a game in which I spent probably 30+ hours in a Clock Tower fighting Bathories just to level up once or twice isn’t top 70 material. I was looking for RO up in the 90s, but heyyyy, nostalgia wins? (Apologies if double posting)

    1. The sad thing is that I didn’t even vote for it — that’s all on Nick. I can’t say I’m upset that it made the list though. We sure killed the hell out of those Bathories.


      Oh, here’s a new ranged class. With Guns. What could possibly go wrong?

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