Continuing with a list, counting down, of my top 50 video games. If you missed it, you can read part one HERE.
40. Asterix (Master System)
Much like Rocket Knight Adventures, Asterix is just fun! It’s very faithful to the source material and has a wonderful closing level. It was also one of the very first games I ever played and I still return to it from time to time. It’s worth it just for the ridiculously cute Dogmatix bonus levels!
39. Phantom 2040 (Mega Drive)
This was another game that was hard to place. If you’ve followed my blog for long you’ll know I’m a huge Phantom fan and that Phantom 2040 is my favorite spin-off franchise. Honestly, I adore this game, but it isn’t perfect. Getting a good ending is extremely difficult and depending on which version you play it can be really hard to know what to do. But for all its flaws it has some wonderful points. It’s one of the earliest games to have player decisions matter and it’s huge levels are great to explore. It’s also based on my favorite comic hero, so that helps.
38. Alisia Dragoon (Mega Drive)
I didn’t discover Alisia Dragoon until the early 2000s when it came in a batch-lot of games I bought off eBay. I was after other ones in the batch but figured I’d give Alisia a go. SO glad I did as it’s become one of my favorites. At first seeming like a fairly standard fantasy platformer, the difference here is that you are accompanied by three dragon companions each with different abilities. Figuring out when to call on each dragon is really fun, especially when you’ve leveled them up a bit. It’s a tough game, so I’ve never actually seen the end, but the fun gameplay, great visuals and awesome music keeps me coming back!
37. Dishonoured 2 (Xbox One)
Now this one I really enjoyed! While the first Dishnoured left me a little cold, I found the sequel to be everything I’d hoped the original would be. All the combat has been tightened up and the environments are a joy to explore. I’ve only played through as Emily so far, but not being able to rely on the familiar set of powers from the first game was a fun challenge. I also felt this one let you tailor your style a bit more; while the first game was almost forced you to go stealthy, here you can easily blast your way through a room only to slip into the shadows to quietly take out the stragglers.
36. Dante’s Inferno (Xbox One via Backward Compatibility)
I wrote a full piece on Dante’s Inferno HERE, but here’s the quick version; the game’s visuals are amazing, the combat is fluid and apart from a small misstep towards the end of the game it’s a very solid experience. The design of the enemies and environments are grotesquely beautiful and while it isn’t a horror game in the traditional sense it does communicate the feelings of dread and hopelessness that one associated with Hell really well. Very much worth checking out if you enjoy violent, demon-infused action games.
35. Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor (Xbox One)
Any game that lets me explore Tolkien’s world is instantly of interest, and Shadow of Mordor does it in wonderful fashion. With a huge game world to explore and some of the best combat this side of the Arkham series, there is a lot to like here. The star, of course, is the Nemesis system. Having Orcs taunt you and come back to take you out if you manage to defeat them once is wonderful. It leads to real personality to characters who are too often just two dimensional fodder in most games. It also doesn’t feel anywhere near as grindy as its sequel.
34. Ghostbusters (Master System)
The first game I owned for my first console, the Sega Master System, this version is an upgraded of David Crane’s original Commodore 64 version. While probably a bit naff by today’s standards, it still managed to fill my 5-year-old desire to be a real Ghostbuster. Busting ghosts was satisfying and I lived in fear of the Marshmallow Man destroying a building and losing all my money. The last two levels may be unfairly difficult, but the journey to them is a huge lot of fun!
33. House of the Dead 2 (Dreamcast)
The first game I bought for the Dreamcast (because they were sold out of Sonic Adventure) this way my first at-home light-gun game. And MAN did I love it! Blasting away at zombies was so much fun, and the terrible B-movie dialogue just clinched it as a classic. My dad, who is in no way a gamer, actually really liked playing this with me so I’ve very fond memories of he and I shooting up the undead. Such a shame the light gun doesn’t work on modern TVs and I’d love to return for another blast.
32. Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse (Xbox One)
Another game that’s just a really good time, I’ve played all the Shantae titles but this “soft reboot” from 2016 is easily the best. Sticking to its 2D roots and not trying to reinvent anything, it’s full of great platforming action, a bit of fan service and a lot of humour. The various animal transformations Shantae uses are all really great and it’s fun experimenting with them. The graphics and music are wonderful as well.
31. Rayman Legends (Xbox One)
For me, this is as close to perfect as a platform game can get. The seemingly simple gameplay hides away a devilishly tricky game once you look past the “main” goal of completing the last level. When you start looking into the “extra” challenges – which I believe are the real heart of the game – such as collecting every Lum in a level or beating a runthrough time, you really see the game shine. What seemed simple reveals itself to be incredibly intricate level design. Perfect platform and enemy positioning and a beautiful flow of gameplay that calls for quick reflexes but never feels cheap ensures making the perfect run in any of the game’s levels is an amazing and hugely satisfying feat. Add to this the beautiful hand-animated graphics and the amazing music-themed levels and you have easily one of the best platforming games ever!