Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Computer Games I Like

Carlo is apparently feeling threatened by recent posting-frequency around here (why, I'll never understand), and has recently put up a well-deserved thrashing of IGN's "Top 100 Games" article.

He also posted a quickie top-3 list of best-games-ever:

1. Star Wars: Tie Fighter
2. Sid Meier's Civilization
3. Sim City

In response, I commented on his blog, and left my quickie top-5 list:

1. Star Control II (yes, the sequel)
2. Civilization (the first one)
3. Battle of Britain (circa 1992)
4. Battlefield 1942
5. Ultima V
I'll explain my choices here. But first, I'll point out that I only include games I've actually played - other games were probably better and/or more influential (nothing better than SC II), but I didn't personally meet them.

1. Star Control II
1992, Accolade
This is, in my opinion, the greatest computer / video game ever created. It's too bad this game wasn't somehow more influential on other game designers. I've never seen another game that I could point to and say "that game traces some key concepts to SCII". Regardless, SCII is at the top of my list because I had more fun playing that game than any other.

Wikipedia entry on the Star Control series here.

Incidentally, this awesome digital goodness is available for FREE DOWNLOAD because of some very, very nice people, who ported the 3DO version (with speech and other effects) into PC format and released it to the world.

2. Civilization
1991, Microprose
This game gets the number-2 spot because of the sheer quantity of time I spent playing it and its sequels (Civ II, Civ III, not yet Civ IV). I dunno, I guess I just really like god-games.

Wikipedia entry on Civilization (computer game) here.

3. Battle of Britain
1991? Accolade?
OK, I can't find any information online (in the time I'm willing to spend looking) about this game. Trust me, this marked the first (I'd ever seen) flight sim that showed more detail than green = ground, blue = sky, and darkline = enemy plane. So much fun shooting stuff...

4. Battlefield 1942
2002, Electronic Arts
Run around online and blow stuff up, real good. Except with some level of cooperation, and the ability for "the community" to post modifications, rendering the game more realistic (eg, realistic muzzle velocities for guns), less realistic (eg, increasing the available ammunition or vehicles) or just weird (eg, "monster truck now bigger!"). I never actually owned this game, but the few times I played it on other people's computers were great fun.

Wikipedia entry on Battlefield 1942 here.

5. Ultima V
1988, Origin
There had to be a role-playing game on the list, so this is mine. Enough said, I think.

Wikipedia entry on Ultima V here. My thoughts on this game here.

Looking at my list, I think I just dated myself (I'm 28, in case you didn't realise). So perhaps there is some nostalgia playing a role in the above list.

I also think I probably should have included Doom on the list, somewhere (below number 1, SCII is still better), given it's massive influence and popularity. Also funnitude.

Also, formatting this in Blogger's post editor was unusually painful, primarily due to the block quotes. Urgh.

1 comment:

Carlo said...

All very good choices. Star Con II is always on PC Gamer's and CGW's top 100 lists, so you're not alone.

I think that the "Best Games of All Time" always have to be something rather unique. For example, they either have to have been the first to do something (Doom/Wolfenstein), or the first to have done it well (Half-Life). The final alternative is that something was just a really, really good game (Not Max Payne 2 for fuck's-sake).

What always burns me when looking at people talk about games online is that, unlike 'professional' reviewers, they tend to really really really like or hate games for extremely random reasons. Maybe I just think too much when playing games, but I can't love a game with insanely broken gameplay mechanics just because the main character is really cool.

A good example of a game I don't get is Vagrant Story (For PlayStation). This game is completely unplayable. The mechanics are ridiculously overly-complicated, it's insanely hard and I've never met a single person who was able to finish it, EVER.

But the reason I picked it up is because everyone on the internet RAVED about it (including some review sites). It was on top 25 PS1 games lists, top XX RPG lists etc. The story is really good, but you won't be able to beat it without having a walkthrough in hand, following step-by-step as the game is so ridiculously vague, complicated and difficult. I hate fanboys... HATE them.