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Thread: TNL's Top Ten Games of the Last Generation

  1. #1

    Grin TNL's Top Ten Games of the Last Generation

    As some of you may know, I try to make my milestone threads memorable ones. Since this is only the fourth 20,000th post in TNL history, I thought it deserves something extra special. A couple months back, I asked TNL to vote for the best games of the last generation. Despite some healthy debate about what PC games were truly a part of the DC, PS2, GC, and Xbox era, the voter turn-out was great. I would argue that it was much more successful than most TNL Top Ten threads. As a reminder to how the voting worked, a #1 vote was worth 10 points, a #2 was worth 9 points, etc. People who did not rank were given 5.5 points for each of their ten choices.

    Let me start out with some interesting Summary Data:
    • 53 TNLers voted for a total of 158 games.
    • 89 games of Japanese origin received 319 votes for 1,715 points.
    • 69 games of Western origin received 208 votes for 1,183.5 points

    Game Platform was rather predictable in my opinion:
    • 64 multiplatform games received 215 votes for 1,215.5 points.
    • 37 PlayStation 2 exclusives received 132 votes for 679 points.
    • 17 PC exclusives received 35 votes for 225 points.
    • 15 Dreamcast exclusives received 45 votes for 221.5 points.
    • 14 GameCube exclusives received 49 votes for 268.5 points.
    • 10 Xbox exclusives received 50 votes for 283.5 points.

    Publisher was a pretty tight race:
    • 21 Sega games received 68 votes for 354 points.
    • 14 Capcom games received 71 votes for 437 points.
    • 12 Nintendo games received 49 votes for 269.5 points.
    • 11 Konami games received 44 votes for 229 points.
    • 9 EA games received 16 votes from fucking sell-outs for 91 points.
    • 8 Sony games received 39 votes for 193 points.
    • 7 Microsoft games received 28 votes for 152 points.
    • 7 Namco games received 19 votes for 87.5 points.
    • 6 SNK games received 9 votes for 47.5 points.
    • 5 UbiSoft games received 14 votes for 72.5 points.

    All of that is interesting, but what I am sure everyone is more interested in is how the individual game voting turned out.

    Here are Games #25-11, based on points (Votes-Points):
    • Super Smash Bros. Melee, Nintendo, GC (6-34)
    • Gradius V, Konami, PS2 (8-34)
    • Dragon Quest VIII, Square-Enix, PS2 (5-35)
    • Marvel vs Capcom 2, Capcom, Multi (7, 35.5)
    • Rez, Sega, Multi (7, 36.5)
    • Shenmue II, Sega, Multi (6-39)
    • Ico, Sony, PS2 (6-39.5)
    • WarCraft III, Blizzard, PC (6-41)
    • Silent Hill 2 (Includes Restless Dreams), Konami, Multi (7-42.5)
    • Deus Ex, Eidos, Multi (5-43)
    • Virtua Fighter 4 (Includes Evolution), Sega, PS2 (6-43)
    • Final Fantasy XII, Square-Enix, PS2 (7-43.5)
    • Halo 2, Microsoft, Xbox (8-49)
    • God of War, Sony, PS2 (9-49)
    • Guitar Hero, RedOctane, PS2 (9-53)

    There are some big name games and classic series in that list, but none were popular enough to break TNL's Top Ten. That honor begins here.

    Number 10, receiving 11 votes for 55.5 points is...

    Release: October 30, 2000; Developer: Smilebit; Publisher: Sega Average: 91.5%; IGN: 9.6; GameSpot: 9.0; Edge: 8

    Yoshi's Take: For a long time after I had gotten rid of everything else, Jet Grind Radio was my last Dreamcast game. I remember vividly when it was in development thinking that I could never like a game that glamorized thuggery (remember, this was pre-GTA3 too). It took about five minutes of playing it to bury those thoughts so deeply that I hadn't considered them until now. This is arguably the last great new idea Sega had. I hope somewhere down the line a sequel that is closer to the original than Future sees the light of day.

    Number 9, receiving 7 votes for 57 points is...

    Release: October 4, 2000; Developer: Production Studio 2; Publisher: Capcom Average: 79.5%; IGN: 8.3; GameSpot: 7.4; Edge: 6

    Yoshi's Take: Whenever the age-old discussion about the best fighting game ever programmed pops up, this game is always mentioned. 3rd Strike is to Capcom what Mark of the Wolves is to SNK. It is the pinnacle of their animation and, more arguably, their gameplay. I prefer Street Fighter II's cast, but it is impossible to argue with the fluidity of Street Fighter III. Much like Jet Grind Radio, it has been too long without a fresh stab at a real Street Fighter game.

    Number 8, receiving 12 votes for 74 points is...

    Release: November 14, 2001; Developer: Bungie; Publisher: Microsoft Average: 95.6%; IGN: 9.7; GameSpot: 9.7; Edge: 10

    Yoshi's Take: Halo is an interesting beast. At its release, it was, without question, the best example of a First Person Shooter you could play on a console. However, it may not have made many waves at all on the PC. That makes its place in history hard to measure. On its own merits, Halo was a fun trip through a science fiction theme with tighter controls than had been seen with a pad up to that point. It also may have single-handedly made Microsoft's foray into the console wars viable, for better or worse.

    Number 7, receiving 14 votes for 76 points is...

    Release: November 17, 2004; Developer: Konami Computer Entertainment Japan; Publisher: Konami

    Snake Eater - Average: 91.6%; IGN: 9.6; GameSpot: 8.7; Edge: 8
    Subsistence - Average: 93.2%; IGN: 9.8; GameSpot: 9.0

    Yoshi's Take: Metal Gear Solid 3 is the first game on this list that I just couldn't get into. I played both of its predecessors (though not both versions of each) to completion, but I couldn't bring myself to do the same here. It's quite possible that it had more to do with whatever else was going on at the time than the game itself. The Subsistence re-release was worthy for its inclusion of the NES and MSX games alone, no matter anyone's opinion of the game itself.

    Number 6, receiving 17 votes for 77 points is...

    Release: October 18, 2005; Developer: Sony Computer Entertainment International; Publisher: Sony Average: 91.5%; IGN: 9.7; GameSpot: 8.7; Edge: 8

    Yoshi's Take: Shadow of the Colussus is the only game in the Top Ten that I have never owned. I played the demo and was not terribly impressed. I was also wary, because I did own Ico and thought it was mediocre at best. On the positive side, Colussus, to my knowledge, did not have a worthless female tag-a-long, which is always a positive. I am also a fan of large bosses, which is certainly the calling card of this one. Perhaps this lofty ranking will motivate me to give the entire game a shot.

    Number 5, receiving 13 votes for 77.5 points is...

    Release: March 2, 2004; Developer: Team Ninja; Publisher: Tecmo

    Original - Average: 92.0%; IGN: 9.4; GameSpot: 9.4; Edge: 9
    Black - Average: 93.9%; IGN: 9.4; GameSpot: 9.4

    Yoshi's Take: Ninja Gaiden and its update, Ninja Gaiden Black, might be the best examples of the pure action genre we have in 3D. Devil May Cry 3 would get some support, some people who forgot their medication might mention Shinobi, and God of War certainly is a fierce competitor, but I believe this is the pinnacle. Hell, all else being equal, ninjas beat anything Greek, except Nick, any day of the week. In fact, this game is so good that I will buy it for the third time later this month.

    Number 4, receiving 15 votes for 79.5 points is...

    Release: July 17, 2003; Developer: BioWare; Publisher: LucasArts

    Xbox - Average: 94.3%; IGN: 9.5; GameSpot: 9.1; Edge: 9
    PC - Average: 93.1%; IGN: 9.0; GameSpot: 8.8; Edge: 9

    Yoshi's Take: It's confession time for me once again. I had never played, or given a damn, about a BioWare game until Knights of the Old Republic was released. Sometimes licensed games can be successful, fantastic, and serve a greater purpose. It seems as though every choice made with regard to this game was the right one. Using the setting of the Old Republic allowed for a much greater number of Jedi to appear, which made the game more interesting without breaking Star Wars canon. My only regret with regard to this one is that the sequel was done by a different developer. May the Force be with the rumors of a new BioWare Star Wars game.

    Number 3, receiving 14 votes for 87.5 points is...

    Release: November 16, 2004; Developer: Valve; Publisher: VU Games

    PC - Average: 95.6%; IGN: 9.7; GameSpot: 9.2; Edge: 10
    Xbox - Average: 89.5%; IGN: 9.4; GameSpot: 8.3

    Yoshi's Take: While Halo was the best of its genre on a certain platform, and Ninja Gaiden was the best of its genre in a certain number of dimensions, Half-Life 2 is the best of both its genre and its platform in their entirety. Stated another way, there is not a First Person Shooter, or a PC game, that exists that is better than Half-Life 2. In fact, the closest competitor in both races might be its predecessor. That's how good Valve's amazingly popular series is. If you haven't played it, you absolutely cannot miss Orange Box.

    Number 2, receiving 19 votes for 131.5 points is...

    Release: November 17, 2002; Developer: Retro Studios; Publisher: Nintendo Average: 96.3%; IGN: 9.8; GameSpot: 9.7; Edge: 9

    Yoshi's Take: If you've been paying attention to the points each of the games has received up to this point, you'll see that the Top Two really ran away with the votes. To me, Metroid Prime is the most surprising success story. The chances of taking two decade-old series as beloved as Metroid, turning it 3D, handing it off to a relatively unknown development house in Texas, and having a smashing success makes Hillary Clinton's likelihood of election look strong. However, that's exactly what happened. Prime is Nintendo's best game since Mario 64, and Samus' Ice Beam is as cold as the previously mentioned candidate's bosom.

    And, by a landslide, the best game of the last generation, according to TNL, receiving 31 votes for 216 points is...

    Release: January 11, 2005; Developer: Production Studio 4; Publisher: Capcom

    GameCube - Average: 95.8%; IGN: 9.8; GameSpot: 9.6; Edge: 9
    PlayStation 2 - Average: 95.7%; IGN: 9.5; GameSpot: 9.3

    Yoshi's Take: I was being a bit kind to Metroid Prime when I used the phrase "Top Two" above. In reality, this vote left us with a juggernaut and 157 others. The gap between Resident Evil 4 and its nearest challenger was greater than the total points accumulated by the #17 and #18 games on the list combined. Resident Evil 4 closed nearly every criticism that had existed with the prior games in the series, making it the best game in the best series of this millennium. Capcom didn't invent the fighting game with Street Fighter, and they didn't invent the survival horror game with Resident Evil, but their logo is now the first thing that comes to mind when either genre is mentioned. Ironically enough, the definitive version of the last generation's best game might be on this generation's hardware, as Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition will combine the visuals of the GameCube release with the extras of the PlayStation 2 follow-up.

    Some final thoughts...
    • Resident Evil 4 held off three western-developed games to preserve Japan's best-of-the-best dominance for perhaps the last generation.
    • Every game in the Top Nine was re-released as either as a Greatest Hit/Platinum Hit/Player's Choice, with new content, or on a different platform. Jet Grind Radio only should have been.
    • In the Top Ten, we had games representing three series that started in the 1990s, three series that started in the 1980s, and a movie saga that started in the 1970s.
    • Sequels to six of the Top Ten are confirmed or already released. Three more are rumored. Where for art thou, Street Fighter IV?
    • We should all be proud that World of Warcraft received only three votes; We should all be ashamed that Mercenaries only received 4.
    • Special thanks go to Konami for ensuring that Castlevania could not be the best of the generation for the third straight time for me by pissing on Dracula's grave with portability and 3D.
    • Without Excel, this would have been a complete pain in the ass and might have led to the deforestation of a small African country.
    • The most fun I had during the whole last generation was tracking player Jedi from planet to planet with probe and seeker droids as a Bounty Hunter in Star Wars Galaxies. Rest in peace.
    Last edited by Yoshi; 13 Jun 2007 at 09:08 PM.

  2. yoshi, you really need to chug some monsters and have a good sitdown with MGS3, to me dare i say it is the best of the Solid series., STEAM ID: BRiRDM, [b]Beaten in 2013 (3): DmC (PS3), Uncharted: Golden Abyss (Vita), Assassins Creed 3 (PS3),

  3. Congratulations on the post count and thanks for the really cool thread. Go sega?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yoshi View Post
    The most fun I had during the whole last generation was tracking player Jedi from planet to planet with probe and seeker droids as a Bounty Hunter in Star Wars Galaxies. Rest in peace.

    don't fool yourself, that wasn't fun. Ok, SWG was pretty cool for a bit.
    look here, upon a sig graveyard.

  4. Awesome post, Yoshi.

    I'm actually kind of stunned at the turnout. Don't know why, but I wouldn't have guessed RE4 would be in the top 5, and I didn't think people loved MGS3 or KotOR so much. Even Metroid Prime surprised me.

    KotOR's rating and writeup makes me want to play the game. I've never played a Bioware RPG, and I always figured I'd start with Baldur's Gate, but Knights seems way more approachable and I'd probably dig the setting a little bit more. Metroid Prime was completely lost on me the last time I tried to get into it, but maybe some day.

    Taking the list from 25 and up, we have pretty good taste.

    Do you have a complete list you could post for games beyond 25?

  5. #5
    Yeah, I do have #158-26. I'll try to type that up in the next couple days.

  6. I can't believe you dived into this so deeply. I honestly forgot the top ten thread.

    With that said, 3S over MvC2 is insane. But RE4 is the only game I've played in the past two years that made me want to play video games instead of having sex.

  7. Dreamcast

    Loved the stat breakdown. I missed this nomination/voting process but I'm really looking fwd to the next one (I'm assuming way down the line).
    2009 TNL Fantasy Football Champion

  8. Quote Originally Posted by Yoshi View Post
    My only regret with regard to this one is that the sequel was done by a different developer. May the Force be with the rumors of a new BioWare Star Wars game.
    Ah, but from what I can tell, Obsidian (developers of the sequel,) is essentially Black Isle v2. Black Isle was responsible for Torment + Fallout, so I'd say the ridiculously short development cycle killed KOTOR2, not the dev team.

    Obsidian is working on a new RPG set in the Aliens universe, BTW.

  9. #9
    I'm glad people like the data slicing. I do one hell of a lot of that at work, so I'm used to it.

    I'm definitely psyched for both Aliens games Sega is publishing, Ed. I think you may be right about the development cycle for KotOR II.

  10. Not my personal list, but I don't have a problem with any of it - except Morrowind should be there in place of Knights of the Old Republic.

    RE4 is totally deserving. That game was so revolutionary, still looks incredible, and had a staggering amount of content - come on, how many of you thought you were almost done once you reached the castle? Or even the end of the castle?

    Quote Originally Posted by Razor Ramon View Post
    With that said, 3S over MvC2 is insane.
    OMG I can't believe people like the NFL over Arena Football.


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