VGChartz Staff Picks: The Top 100 Games, Part II - ArticleEvan Norris , posted on 19 January 2018 / 3,229 Views
Welcome to Part II of "VGChartz Staff Picks: The Top 100 Games"! We covered games 100-81 in Part I. Included were legendary games like Sonic the Hedgehog and Tetris, and new classics like Skyrim and Super Smash Bros. Melee. Now please enjoy the next 20 titles.
Part II: Games 80-61
Future Cop L.A.P.D.
Beginning life as an installment in the Strike series, Future Cop L.A.P.D. took on a life of its own and transformed into a third-person shooting mech game. With superior graphics and sound, support for two players, and a Precinct Assault mode that helped set the foundation for future action RTS games like DOTA and League of Legends, it's worth checking out.
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
Hideo Kojima's follow-up to his masterpiece Metal Gear Solid is a terrific game in its own right, one that expands upon the cover mechanics, stealth options, and artificial intelligence of its predecessor. With spectacular production values and a cerebral, metatextual storyline, Metal Gear Solid 2 achieves greatness on a mechanical and narrative level.
Combining clever puzzle-solving, versatile movement options, and intense third-person shooting, Tomb Raider set the gaming world on fire in 1996, selling over 7 million copies and earning high scores. It introduced a now-famous lead character, Lara Croft, and established the mood for the outpouring of 3D action-adventure games that followed.
Mass Effect 2
BioWare returned to the Milky Way in 2010 with Mass Effect 2, a critically-acclaimed sequel that pushed the series toward third-person action while retaining its best-in-class interactive storytelling and morality choices. By walking the line between role-playing systems and shooting mechanics, BioWare blended many disparate gameplay ideas into a cohesive sci-fi epic.
Tomb Raider II
Everything about Tomb Raider II is bigger, bolder, and, arguably, better. It features new weapons, a host of new acrobatic maneuvers, and, for the first time, drivable vehicles. In addition, levels are larger, much more varied and more complex, thanks to advancements in the graphics engine.
Where the original Banjo-Kazooie was a lean, focused platform-adventure game, its sequel Banjo-Tooie was broad and ambitiously huge. Tooie ditched the hub world and gated levels of its predecessor and embraced a vast, interconnected environment in which unique stages are joined to one another.
In Deus Ex, you do it your way. It's all about player choice. Do you choose to take a nonviolent approach and hack your way through the game, or invest in weapons technology and leave a trail of corpses in your wake? It's a game that defies classification and genre; it's simultaneously a shooter, an RPG, a stealth action game, and an adventure title.
Known affectionately as the "thinking man's shooter," Half-Life eschewed the narrow corridors and shooting galleries associated with others of the genre, delivering instead a seamless, open adventure with immersive gameplay, interactive environments, and plenty of puzzles.
Star Fox 64
Building off ideas from the original Star Fox and poaching mechanics from the shelved Star Fox 2, Star Fox 64 brought the rail-shooter series to new heights. With impressive graphics and voice work, intelligently-designed levels with branching paths, and enjoyable multiplayer options, the game proved replayable despite the brevity of its main campaign. Star Fox 64 is also notable for being the first Nintendo game to offer Rumble Pak support — a feature now industry standard.
Halo 3: ODST
Begun as a side project to fill the gap between Halo 3 and Halo Reach, ODST morphed into a full-fledged title with an identity all its own. It wowed audiences with its narrative structure, its jazzy soundtrack, and its addictive Firefight mode, where a group of troopers fight off waves of increasingly powerful enemies.
Grand Theft Auto III
What do you say about Grand Theft Auto III? Its open-world violence, meticulous level of detail, and unprecedented freedom made it a smash hit with gamers and a lightning rod for controversy. Since moving to 3D in Grand Theft Auto III, the GTA franchise has proved to be one of the best-selling and more durable in the industry.
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
This sequel to arguably the greatest game ever made is similarly brilliant, in different ways. Featuring improved graphics, sound, and play control, and boasting what just might be the best collection of side quests in the entire Zelda series, Majora's Mask started a debate that still rages on: which is better, Ocarina or Majora?
WipEout HD combines tracks from the PSP titles WipEout Pure and WipEout Pulse, updating them with crisp 1080p visuals and a blistering 60 frames per second. For years it was the best title available on Sony's PSN storefront and its upgraded visuals pair nicely with a driving techno soundtrack, plenty of racing modes, and split-screen multiplayer.
Wolfenstein 3D might have predated Doom, but id's seminal 1993 shooter made the biggest splash. It popularized the first-person shooter, inspired dozens of Doom "clones," pioneered advancements in 3D graphics, and kickstarted a debate about the effects of video game gore and violence on society.
It may not be as recognizable as StarCraft or Command & Conquer, but Total Annihilation is every bit as good. Its learning curve is gentle, its interface accessible, its ideas about resource accrual and management clever, and its graphics and sound (especially an incredible original score) impressive for its time. It's a must-play for any real-time strategy fan.
A three-dimensional first-person platformer shouldn't work, yet EA DICE proved it could with the visually arresting Mirror's Edge. By using parkour moves and acrobatic techniques, and by taking advantage of momentum, players can guide the heroine Faith through a series of immersive and deceptively open environments.
New Super Mario Bros.
It's now commonplace to see complaints about the New Super Mario Bros. series, but in 2006 when it first arrived on DS it was a breath of fresh air. Mario's return to classic side-scrolling action was a triumphant one, where tried-and-true character designs met advanced graphics and novel gameplay elements.
Love it or hate it, you must admit Limbo is unique. With its macabre setting, black-and-white aesthetic, and grim subject matter, it's one of the more moody games of the last decade, and as much a horror title as it is a puzzle-platformer.
Developer Remedy Entertainment provided the best possible explanation for its cult favorite Alan Wake: it's an adventure "with the body of an action game and the mind of a psychological thriller." Thanks to an episodic narrative and cinematic presentation, the game feels very much like a serialized TV show, a feeling Remedy would pick up again with Quantum Break.
The masters at From Software scored another bullseye with Bloodborne, which took the tenets of Dark Souls — punishing difficulty, connected levels, and heavy atmosphere — and combined them with a risk-and-reward combat system oriented around agility and fast-paced offensive moves.
Stay tuned for the next 20 games in Part III!