EGM #150–A Gamer’s Holy Book (The Finale)


So you’ve finally made it; not to the final boss, but to the best of the best.  These games were gods among men during the time in which they were released, and many of them are fun even today. Will you agree with every pick?  Maybe not, but at least most of us can agree that these are all solid games.  Let the festivities commence!  Here are EGM’s Top 25 titles:

#24Super Castlevania IV

Title: Super Castlevania IV

Platform: Super NES

Company: Konami

Year: 1991

What EGM said: "Back before the Super NES was considered super-duper, this sucker put the new system through its paces with big sprites, rotating backgrounds and other nifty effects.  Of course, the classic Drac gameplay that’s made this series a hardcore fave was as solid as ever.  And who can forget Simon’s limp whip?"

What I have to say: I missed out on the whip cracking action of the NES Castlevania games, but I was fortunate enough to play this early Super NES gem.  I remember renting it a few times as a kid, and everything from the music to the giant bosses was amazing.  I never managed to beat it, but I’ve been itching to play it again, so perhaps I’ll download it on Wii Virtual Console.

#23 Gunstar Heroes

Title: Gunstar Heroes

Platform: Genesis

Company: Treasure

Year: 1993

What EGM said: "No game shows off the Genesis’ power like Treasure’s rookie effort.  It’s frantic, with combinable power-ups, unique levels and more things to shoot at than you can, well, shoot at.  It’s a blast as a two player game–you can actually use your partner as a weapon by throwing him at enemies.  Talk about teamwork!"

What I have to say: Gunstar Heroes may feature goofy characters and a nonsensical plot, but the frantic action is a hardcore gamer’s wet dream.  The fact that Treasure was able to pack so many enemies on screen was impressive, and the variety of weapons will satisfy any appetite.  The game is fairly difficult, but it won’t make you scream obscenities like Contra.  I would have picked a Metal Slug game over Gunstar Heroes, but it deserves a place on this list (just maybe not the 23rd spot).

#22 Super Mario Bros. All-Stars Edition

Title: Super Mario Bros. All-Stars Edition

Platform: Super NES (original: NES)

Company: Nintendo

Year: ’93 (original: ’85)

What EGM said: "It’s 16 years old and nearly all of its sequels are better games, but the fact that the original Mario is so high on our list should shows you how great this series truly is.  If you’ve never experienced it, track down Mario All-Stars for the Super NES or SMB Deluxe for Game Boy Color.  Then thank us by sending cash."

What I have to say: Having recently replayed Super Mario Bros. I can safely say that EGM wasn’t taking ‘shrooms at the time of EGM #150′s printing (okay, maybe not Seanbaby).  Super Mario Bros. is still one of the best 2D platformers, which is a incredible, considering that twenty-four years have passed since the game’s initial release.  The controls are a bit floaty in comparison to Super Mario Bros. 3, but I’ll take the level of player input this game provides over Ghosts ‘N Goblins precise jumping any day. 

#21 Dragon Force

Title: Dragon Force

Platform: Saturn

Company: Working Designs

Year: 1996

What EGM said: "Dragon Force defined epic strategy gaming with Braveheart-caliber wars (with hundred-man armies!), battlefield-clearing magical attacks and nine different playable generals, each with his or her own storyline.  Not even the almighty FF Tactics (#43) can top this one as our favorite strategy-RPG of all time."

What I have to say: Dragon Force is one of those expensive Saturn games I’ve always wanted to play.  I loved Final Fantasy Tactics, but Dragon Force did something different with its massive battles featuring hundreds of sprites on-screen at once.  I’ve heard that the battles get repetitive, but considering that Dragon Force features multiple stories and paths, that’s nothing to complain about.  It’s a shame that Sega never re-released this game or its Japan-only sequel in the U.S. 

#20 Galaga

Title: Galaga

Platform: Multiplatform

Company: Namco

Year: 1981

What EGM said: "Galaga raises the big question: Should you blow away the blue bugs for big points or let ‘em capture your craft and then double your firepower?  No matter your decision, this ultimate twitch shooter is a prime example of ’80s game design at its purest.  How many bonus Challenging Stages can you reach?"

What I have to say: I never played a lot of Galaga, but on the rare occasion I got to play it at an arcade, I had a blast.  Galaga was a clever, vertical space shooter that spawned numerous imitators.  Being able to warp to different parts of the game based on your actions was pretty unique at the time of the game’s release.  If you’re itchin’ to play a solid Galaga clone, check out Cosmic Gate on Retro Games Challenge for DS.

#19 Panzer Dragoon Saga

Title: Panzer Dragoon Saga

Platform: Saturn

Company: Sega

Year: 1998

What EGM said: "Whether or not you agree that PDS is the greatest Saturn game ever, anyone who’s played it knows it’s one of the most engaging and unique RPGs to hit any console.  Saga brings the Panzer Dragoon series to a surprising, climactic end, which always left us wanting more.  Now how about that Xbox version…"

What I have to say: Panzer Dragoon Saga is one of the best RPGs that never achieved mainstream success.  Like Suikoden II, it was one of those titles that went under the radar, due to many other quality games being released at the same time.  Panzer Dragoon Saga’s eBay price has even managed to eclipse Suikoden II’s.  Part of that is likely due to the fact that only 10,000 copies of the games were printed in the U.S., thanks to Sega’s stance on releasing RPGs in the West.  It’s a shame the price is so high, because I’d love to play this $200, four-disc RPG.  High prices aside, it’s a safe bet that EGM made the right decision with PDS’ high position on this list.

#18 Pokemon Puzzle League

Title: Pokemon Puzzle League

Platform: Nintendo 64

Company: Nintendo

Year: 2000

What EGM said: "Some poo-pooed the Big N’s decision to add Pukemons to this souped-up version of Super NES Tetris Attack, but we appreciate the removal of the slowdown that plagued the 16-bit game.  This amazingly addictive puzzle title won over casual and hardcore gamers alike with its simple yet deep combo-crazy gameplay."

What I have to say: I was one of those gamers who "poo-pooed" Nintendo’s decision to give Tetris Attack a Poke-makeover.  I’m sure the gameplay is just as timeless as Tetris Attack, but I wasn’t diggin’ the Pokemon vibe.  Now that I’m more open-minded, I’d love to check it out, because Tetris Attack is still a blast.  I’m not sure if this game belongs in the top 50, but Panel de Pon games are some of the best puzzle experiences out there.

#17 Tony Hawk 2

Title: Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2

Platform: Playstation

Company: Activision

Year: 2000

What EGM said: "Store shelves creak under the weight of wannabes (Tony Hawk-style snowboarding, Tony Hawk-style surfing, Tony Hawk-style lumberjack log tossing, etc.), but don’t hold that against this master of the Mountain Dew-sponsored genre.  Its easy-to-learn free-form gameplay drops you into a Zen zone the second you pick it up."

What I have to say: I never expected a skateboarding game to be fun.  One day during middle school, my best friend and I visited his skateboarding stoner friend’s house, where we witnessed him playing a skateboarding video game.  This was a guy that thought video games were for nerds, so we were surprised to see him seated in front of a TV busting out 900s and kickflips.  I was skeptical about Tony Hawk’s fun-factor, but I later purchased it, and was soon hooked.  Tony Hawk (the game) even convinced me to take up skateboarding for a time.  I didn’t have much hands-on experience with its sequel, but being able to manual in-between tricks was pretty innovative.  I later got to experience manuals in Tony Hawk 3, and felt that it greatly enhanced the gameplay.  Tony Hawk 2 was the pinnacle of this overly-milked skateboarding franchise, so I’d say it deserves a position among the top 50.

#16 Yoshi's Island

Title: Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island

Platform: Super NES

Company: Nintendo

Year: 1995

What EGM said: "Never mind the crappy N64 sequel; the original Yoshi’s Island is where it’s at, man.  Beneath the trippy, pastel visuals lies one of the deepest, most enjoyable platform games we’ve ever played.  It’s a shame it came out so late in the system’s life cycle, but if you missed it the first time, a GBA remake is on the way."

What I have to say: Yoshi’s Story left a sour taste in my mouth (it was one of the first pre-orders I ever canceled), but Yoshi’s Island was one hell of a game.  The groovy pastel visuals, vehicle-morphing action, and babysitting provided for a unique platforming experience.  Yoshi’s Island, and even its DS sequel are still worth checking out in this age where 3D games are dominant.

#15 Gran Turismo 3

Title: Gran Turismo 3 A-Spec

Platform: Playstation 2

Company: Sony CEA

Year: 2001

What EGM said: "Gran Turismo has shifted gears from a mere racing game series to more of an interactive car museum.  But that doesn’t keep this latest installment from being loads of fun for gearheads and mainstream gamers alike.  And in this third game we even get to drive F1 cars!  Now if they’d just add the AMC Gremlin…."

What I have to say: I think many of us caught the Gran Turismo bug for awhile–it’s a great game for car enthusiasts, with an absurd amount of detail, but for those of us who prefer extreme air and ramming cows with a school bus, Gran Turismo was too complex.  I managed to unlock most of the licenses in A-Spec, but I can’t say that I had much fun.  Gran Turismo 3 was certainly the best sim-racer for its time, so it definitely belongs on the Top 100, but I disagree with its number 15 rank.  Maybe Gran Turismo 5 will make me a true believer once again….

#14 Metal Gear Solid

Title: Metal Gear Solid

Platform: Playstation

Company: Konami

Year: 1998

What EGM said: "You’re packing heat, but the slightest noise will give you away.  So what’s a Solid Snake to do?  Why, cling to the shadows, ferret through ventilation ducts, toss chaff grenades, liberate key cards, beat the snot out of badass bosses, avoid getting Metal Gear’s footprint stamped on your face and save the world!"

What I have to say: Metal Gear Solid is a series that gamers either love or hate.  Even most haters of the Metal Gear Solid franchise enjoyed the original.  It featured impressive (albeit too blue) 3D graphics and cutscenes utilizing the in-game engine, and boasted a level of attention to detail that rivaled Gran Turismo’s.  MGS not only featured highly-detailed visuals, but it also included an impressive, fully-voiced political narrative, and excellent stealth gameplay.  In what other game could you lurk in the shadows, break a guard’s neck, cover up your foot prints, and launch remote-controlled missiles?  The only major flaw with MGS is its camera, but that wouldn’t see an improvement until MGS3: Subsistence.  One of gaming’s greatest characters: The chain-smoking badass, Solid Snake, definitely earned his position on this list.

#13 Street Fighter II

Title: Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting

Platform: Super NES

Company: Capcom

Year: 1993

What EGM said: This is traditional old-school Street Fighter at its best.  Sure, you’ll find technically superior sequels on the market, but SF2 Turbo’s simplistic charm makes it very playable, even by today’s standards.  No super meters, no 13-hit Super Arts, no parrying–just one-on-one competition.  Ultimately, that’s what counts."

What I have to say: Surprised to see Street Fighter II on this list?  This is EGM we’re talking about here–the magazine that only featured the game every other issue.  There’s a reason Street Fighter II is on this list–it’s still one of the most fun 2D fighting games out there.  An excellent HD Remix was recently released that reminds us why Street Fighter II was so revolutionary.  Back when most games featured tiny character sprites, Street Fighter II presented us with large, well-animated characters that each possessed a set of unique moves.  These characters were so well-regarded, that they were even featured in two horrible live-action Street Fighter movies, and a game based off the movie.  Okay, so those movies are best left forgotten , but Street Fighter II is a classic that will always be remembered.

#12 Final Fantasy V

Title: Final Fantasy V

Platform: SNES (also, Playstation)

Company: Squaresoft

Year: 1999 (original JPN release: 1992)

What EGM said: "Although the series now dresses in fancy 3D graphics and beautifully rendered cutscenes, serious RPG fans still consider the older, simpler-looking games to be the best.  FFV may be old-school and ugly, but it introduced the wonderfully addicting job system that is still innovative by today’s standards."

What I have to say: Final Fantasy V would have been one helluva game in 1992, but us American gamers were fed Mystic Quest instead.  Mystic Quest isn’t a bad game by any means, but it’s no Final Fantasy V.  FFV featured one of the series’ best battle systems–an addictive system that was home to two dozen job classes, each with unique abilities.  What was great about FFV is that you could mix and match abilities with other jobs.  Want to make a Black Mage with Ninja moves?  Go right ahead.  Want to give your Dragoon some healing magic?  Let loose.  The plot was fairly basic, but it’s a classic story of good versus evil with some humorous moments.  If you decide to play it, just please don’t equip the excalipur or chicken knife.

#11 Bubsy 3D

Title: Bubsy 3D

Platform: Playstation

Company: Accolade

Year: 1996

What EGM said: "Who would have thought that a cat named Bubsy would blow our minds like the N64 masterpiece, Mario 64?  Bubsy may have only been mediocre in 2D, but his entrance into the third dimension showed that he was unstoppable.  Not only is Bubsy 3D a graphical powerhouse, but the platforming mechanics are so solid that it made Crispin take a break from Buck Bumble.  Kiddy?  Please.  Bubsy remains a classic, while other platformers like Crash Bandicoot are now found in bargain bins."

What I have to say: Bubsy 3D is some of the most fun I’ve had with a game since ET for Atari.  Forget Sonic–Bubsy is the character with a ‘tude.  I was so infatuated with Bubsy that I skinned a few cats and wore them as my Halloween costume (just kidding, I bought one at Toys ‘R Us).  If I ever want to relive a truly revolutionary 3D game, I pop in Bubsy 3D, not Nights, or Mario 64.

#10 Super Mario World

Title: Super Mario World

Platform: Super NES

Company: Nintendo

Year: 1991

What EGM said: "The biggest and best 2D Mario of them all, this sequel kicked off the Super NES era with a bang.  It features more than 70 inventive stages and that legendary Mario gameplay, as well as the debut of dino-mighty sidekick Yoshi.  Be sure to nab it when it’s rereleased as Super Mario Advance 2 for the GBA in February."

What I have to say: Super Mario World was my first SNES game (it was a pack-in after all), and it was a title I was hooked on for months.  As impossible as it might seem, Super Mario World managed to cram in more levels than the equally excellent Super Mario Bros. 3.  Finding the secret worlds would prove a significant challenge that could take an average player weeks, or even months.  Super Mario World also included the loveable dino, Yoshi, as well as new-fangled 16-bit graphics.  The colorful visuals were impressive, and Mode 7 effects were used sparingly during certain boss fights.  Super Mario World also featured a memorable soundtrack and plenty of new baddies.  Even to this day, fans are still clamoring for a true sequel.  Do you even need to ask if it belongs on this list?

#9 Final Fantasy VI

Title: Final Fantasy VI

Platform: Super NES

Company: Squaresoft

Year: 1994

What EGM said: "The last 2D Final Fantasy is also the series’ best.  Our personal favorite moments: Celes’ tear-inducing opera-house performance, Kefka poisoning Doma Castle’s water, Gau’s backstory and the amazing 20-minute ending.  This is Final Fantasy at its most cinematic without relying on actual video cinemas."

What I have to say: I loved all the SNES Final Fantasies, but six is probably my favorite.  FFVI was notable for many reasons: it was the first FF to have a dark, gritty feel; it had one of the most well-liked casts in the history of gaming (including some characters that were optional), and it featured a villain who wouldn’t even fit in at the insane asylum.  The game also included a previously unrivaled musical score and an innovative gameplay system that allowed for absurd amounts of customization (there were even fighting game moves!).  For RPG fans, Final Fantasy VI is a must-play.  If I were the one calling the shots at EGM however, I would have placed FFIX above VI, but it’s still an excellent choice.

#8 Ocarina of Time

Title: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Platform: Nintendo 64

Company: Nintendo

Year: 1998

What EGM said: "Like Mario 64 before it, Ocarina is living proof that even the finest 2D games can be as captivating in 3D.  Its remarkable gameplay is complemented by a massive overworld, exquisitely designed dungeons and some of the best boss battles ever.  And the "Z-targeting" feature made it way easier to fight in 3D space."

What I have to say: Like Mario 64, Ocarina of Time was a truly revolutionary game.  If you thought Mario 64′s worlds were the biggest realms you’d ever see, OoT made you put your foot in your mouth.  The areas were massive, the dungeons were chalk full of impressive puzzles, and you could ride a horse!  My favorite moments in the game were hook-shotting out a of a prison and slaying the pig-man known as Ganon.  OoT didn’t completely meet my expectations, but it was a groundbreaking game that influenced the camera and combat system of dozens of games that would follow.  It easily deserves its position on this list.

#7 Majora's Mask

Title: The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask

Platform: Nintendo 64

Company: Nintendo

Year: 2000

What EGM said: "Choosing between this and Ocarina of Time wasn’t easy, but in the end it was Majora’s masks that put the second N64 Zelda on top.  The awesome abilities they give our hero Link, plus the completely reworked concept of time, and devious, puzzle-packed dungeons kept this cart in our N64s for weeks."

What I have to say: Majora’s Mask was a game Zelda fans weren’t expecting.  We were used to receiving one amazing title per system, but Majora’s Mask changed everything.  It used the same graphics engine as Ocarina, but it also added additional enemies on-screen with the help of the N64 RAM expansion pack.  So was it too much of the same?  Most Zelda fans would argue, no.  Majora’s Mask actually happened to be what is arguably the most innovative Zelda of all time.  The first major gameplay change came with the addition of a clock.  Your experience in the world of Termina is timed.  The world’s destruction is imminent, so it is up to you, Link, to save the world from being destroyed by a moon that is about to collide with the planet in three days.  There are plenty of tricks to travel through time to accomplish this impressive feat, but it’s still a challenging experience that turned off some gamers.  The other major innovation with Majora’s Mask was the ability to equip masks like the game’s title implies.  With masks, you could morph into various creatures who had unique abilities that would help you with your quest.  I didn’t enjoy this unconventional Zelda as much as Ocarina of Time, but it was still an enthralling experience.

#6 Soul Calibur

Title: Soul Calibur

Platform: Dreamcast

Company: Namco

Year: 1999

What EGM said: "To this day, no other 3D fighting game marries graphics and gameplay the way Soul Calibur does.  By adding tech-rolls, 8-way run, air control and guard impact, SC rewrote how 3D fighting games are played.  The mission mode, plus all the awesome extras, make it worth owning a Dreamcast for this game alone."

What I have to say: I didn’t get to play Soul Calibur on day one, but I later got to see why it was such an amazing experience through its sequels, and eventually, the original.  Blisteringly-fast, 60fps action made Soul Calibur an unrivaled fighting game experience.  Soul Calibur blew away other fighting games when it came to visuals, and the game was simple enough that fighting game rookies could enjoy it.  Still, it had enough layers of complexity to satisfy Sushi-X.  If you want a fighting game that anyone can enjoy, check out the original Soul Calibur.

#5 Super Mario 64

Title: Super Mario 64

Platform: Nintendo 64

Company: Nintendo

Year: 1996

What EGM said: "It may be five years old, but Mario 64 is guru Shigeru Miyamoto’s most recent "real" Mario title (until Mario Sunshine hits GameCube next year)–and it’s still the best 3D game around, despite many imitators.  The levels pack clever puzzles and give you so much to do, you’ll be stuck playing for quite some time."

What I have to say: I find it unbelievable that EGM only wrote a couple lines about this game, but I do agree that it’s still one of the best 3D games around.  The graphics may look blocky today, but the colorful visuals and magical gameplay keep people coming back.  Mario 64 was the first time I experienced a game where I truly felt like I was the character.  The analog control was extremely precise, and it was a joy back-flipping through 15 huge worlds.  Mario 64 certainly belongs near the top of this list, and I’d say there’s a good chance it’ll remain on Top 100 lists (maybe even Top 10 lists) in ten years.

#4 Symphony of the Night

Title: Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

Platform: Playstation

Company: Konami

Year: 1997

What EGM said: "The Belmont family takes a backseat in this decidedly un-Castlevania-like Castlevania game.  You explore Dracula’s castle Super Metroid-style as Alucard, the evil one’s estranged son, armed with a sword instead of a whip.  It still draws us in like few other games can.  Please, Konami, release another one like this."

What I have to say: I didn’t get to experience Symphony of the Night until its release on XBLA, but it was still one helluva ride.  I wouldn’t place it in my top ten list, but it’s definitely one of the best 2D sidescrollers.  It’s not quite at the level of Super Metroid, but it has a superb soundtrack, a great battle-system with RPG elements, plenty of equipment, and two castles to explore.  The voice acting may be poor, but the visuals and story make up for it.  At a mere $10, this is definitely a game you should add to your collection.

#3 A Link to the Past

Title: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

Platform: Super NES

Company: Nintendo

Year: 1992

What EGM said: "Link’s finest hour?  We think so.  It’s tough to pick a best Zelda when they’re all so darn good, but on the whole, A Link to the Past offers the best overall package.  Two overworlds, fantastic dungeons, incredible gameplay–this baby has it all.  Heck, even the music is wonderful.  This one’s got "GBA port" written all over it."

What I have to say: Well, it looks like EGM’s prediction was right, because A Link to the Past did receive an excellent GBA port.  What I am most fond of however, is the SNES original.  A Link to the Past dropped jaws when it was first released–the visuals were mind-blowing, the controls felt much more precise than the original, the game featured massive bosses that kept you on your toes, the puzzles were brain teasers (when I first played it anyway), and the music was a significant improvement over  what was found in its predecessor.  A Link to the Past still remains one of my favorite Zelda games–just a smidge below Twilight Princess.

#2 Tetris

Title: Tetris

Platform: Multiplatform

Designer: Alexey Pajitnov

Year: 1988

What EGM said: "Developed in Moscow and then dumped onto every machine with a display screen, this puzzle-game grandpapa nabbed the numero-uno spot the last time we picked our 100 favorite games 50 issues ago.  And if a few more EGM staffers had their way this time around, we’d be raising the Ruskie flag at the top of our list once again.  The seven falling blocks here deliver a pure gaming experience that will last forever.

iN THE BEGINNING…                   

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"I remember very well when the falling shapes appeared for the first time on my screen," Pajitnov, who now works at Microsoft, tells us.  "I had no score…no [block] accelerations, but I couldn’t go and finish these parts of the [game] because I just sat and played with my half-working program.  That was great!""

What I have to say: Like in EGM #100, I felt that Tetris was once again overrated.  I can understand the methodology behind it–I mean Tetris is a game that appeals to everyone after all, but I also think it’s a game that people can grow tired of quickly.  It’s fun to pick up on occasion, but it’s not a title you’ll find yourself playing hours at a time.  As far as puzzle games go, though, Tetris is still one of the best (but not as good as Tetris Attack in my humble opinion).

#1Bible Adventures

Title: Bible Adventures

Platform: NES

Company: Wisdom Tree

Year: 1990

What EGM said: "Choosing the best game out of hundreds of excellent titles is obviously a difficult decision, but when it comes down to it, you have to look at what game provides the highest fun-factor for your money.  Well, the obvious choice here is Bible Adventures.  Unlike the Mario and Sonic games, which are relatively brief adventures, Bible Adventures gives you three quests.  These quests are highly original and provide for plenty of thrills even today. 

One adventure has you carrying Baby Moses to safety along the Nile while avoiding deadly spiders and other demonic creatures.  The greatest thing about this quest is,  you don’t automatically lose if you "accidently" drop the baby (take that Yoshi’s Island).  Not only do you get to protect Baby Moses, but you also get to stock Noah’s Ark with two of every animal that inhabits the Earth.  In Bible Adventures, Noah has strength that would put Superman to shame; he can hoist at least three cow-sized animals over his head at a time.  Filling up the Ark is no easy task, but it’s much more fun than collectathons like Mario 64.  But the last adventure is the best of them all: David and Goliath.  Have you ever wanted a game that accurately simulates a slingshot?  Well, wait till you play this game that features a shepard that was able to fell a giant and become king.  This quest’s stone-hurling action even puts Ocarina of Time’s slingshot to shame."

What I have to say: Bible Adventures is an epic adventure containing three quests all in one shiny blue cart.  I was fortunate enough to be able to play this on weekends when my family would visit friends.  Noah’s Ark kept me entertained for hours with its innovative animal-carrying gameplay.  Likewise, the quest featuring Baby Moses was an exciting adventure ripped straight out of the Bible.  If only Sunday school had made me aware that I had to watch out for deadly spiders.  And here I always thought Moses had to worry about the Pharaoh and crocodiles.  As for David’s adventure, I’d never had so much fun with slingshots.  Why scare raccoons when you can pelt baddies in-game?  As if three quests weren’t enough–Bible Adventures also featured a musical score that put John Williams’ work to shame.  I still listen to the Bible Adventures soundtrack regularly on my iPod.  When I want to play a retro game, forget Super Mario Bros.–I’d rather play Bible Adventures.

Alright, so how’d you like EGM’s Top 25 games including classics like Final Fantasy VI, Bubsy 3D, and Bible Adventures?  Wait…what?  Bible Adventures?  Okay, it was all a lie, but at least you don’t feel as bad as when you found out that "the cake is a lie".  Here are Bubsy 3D’s and Bible Adventures’ true replacements:

#11 Super Mario Bros. 3 All-Stars Edition

Title: Super Mario Bros. 3 All-Stars Edition

Platform: Super NES (original: NES)

Company: Nintendo

Year: ’93 (original: ’90)

What EGM said: "The first time you saw Mario nab that leaf and sprout a raccoon tail, you knew his series just got a lot more interesting.  And the visually dated Mushroom Kingdom got a facelift thanks to the cart’s MMC3 chip.  Thank God Princess Toadstool can’t stop getting kidnapped, ‘cuz saving her is so much fun."

What I have to say: Super Mario Bros. 3 is the gaming equivalent of the Big O.  It’s a platformer that was discussed everywhere–from the streets to the church house.  Why was Mario 3 so popular?  It featured the best level designs in a video game  during the time in which it was released, and it was easy to pick up and play.  Everyone who played Mario 3 remembers obtaining secret whistles, wearing the frog suit, dodging hammer brothers, jumping off of spinning platforms, and bashing Bowser’s koopalings.  The worlds were spectacular; in what other game could you traverse pipe vaults, ice worlds, and a realm full of giants? Okay, so ice worlds might be cliché now, but back then, even Einstein couldn’t have imagined more creative levels.  If you missed out on Super Mario Bros. 3, give it a shot–it’s timeless.

#1 Super Metroid

Title: Super Metroid

Platform: Super NES

Company: Nintendo

Year: 1994

What EGM said: "We knew the game that grabbed our top slot would have to be…well, more than just a video game.  To edge out all the other masterpieces on our list, it would have to be something that left an indelible mark on our memories and transcended the medium to deliver a timeless, totally immersive experience.  That something is, without a doubt, Super Metroid.  It’s such a satisfying game that only gets better with age–a trick that few others can pull off.  Its expanding map inspired Castlevania: Symphony of the Night’s elegant layout, but Super Metroid has its own brilliant flavor that no one could duplicate.  Cleverly hidden false floors drop rookies into planet Zebe’s baddest neighborhoods.  Ominous yet beatable bosses are almost too pretty to pummel.  Persistent aliens reward a well-earned kill with just what you’re lacking, be it missiles, energy or a power bomb that’ll break down a nearby door.  A grappling hook and an ice beam that turns enemies into stepping stones give you access to formerly off-limits areas.  Factor a haunting score into this flawless design equation, and you’ve got the greatest game ever.  But it’s numero uno in our book not just ’cause it reminds us of getting lost in Zebes, playing through dinner, and falling asleep at the controls eight years ago.  It’s that we’d gladly wake up face-down on the A button again today."

What I have to say: Super Metroid is a hard title for me to rank, because I missed out on this gem when it was initially released, but it’s definitely one of the best 2D games of all time, and it gives many 3D games a run for their money.  Super Metroid was a landmark game because it featured plenty of non-linear exploration, unique power-ups which were needed to access secret areas and progress in the game, massive bosses, cool plot twists, and memorable timed-escape sequences.  It didn’t hurt that Super Metroid had amazing visuals and a musical score that gave you chills.

Despite this being one of the longest articles I’ve ever written, the last few days flew by.  I had quite a bit of fun reliving the past with one of EGM’s greatest issues, so I hope you did too.  Obviously, a lot of games were covered, so I’d be amazed if you read it all, but nevertheless, it’s great to be able to look back at games that were generally well-regarded.  I’ve now chronicled EGM #100 and EGM #150 (parts one, two, three, and four) in online form, but I still have it in me to do more.  If anyone would like to see a similar article for EGM #200, let me know.  I’ll consider doing it if time permits.  If I remember correctly, 200 games were covered, so don’t expect a feature on the entire list, but I could probably at least cover the top 50. 

I hope you enjoyed the journey through what is often considered the gamer’s holy book. Thanks for reading.

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