Everyone has a select few games that they loved so much they will defend them to the bitter end. Not a single negative word will ever come out of the mouths of the die-hard fans of these titles. Conventional wisdom says these games shouldn’t leave the impression they had, yet they are still held in exceptionally high regard. There are plenty of reasons why these games are so loved: fun, nostalgia, hearkening back to a time of innocence, and who knows how many more. One thing is certain, however: these games will eternally have a place in the hearts of their defenders, until those people can game no more.
The following is MY list of these games that can do no wrong, with Co-Founder Ron’s list following right afterward. On we go!
5. Final Fantasy VIII – A single question enters the mind of the reader:w hy the hell does this guy need to defend a Final Fantasy game? I understand that this is a series with some clout, and I will admit that the game really doesn’t need defending, however there is one conversation where this game needs defending: the comparison to Final Fantasy VII. Most gamers that I speak to immediately bill VII to be the victor, but is that really the case? Does FFVIII not tell a better story and have deeper character development? Is the world that Final Fantasy VIII presents not more vibrant and interesting? There are plenty of questions to be asked in a debate that will rage on forever, but I know where I stand in this quarrel. Final Fantasy VIII is a far superior experience that Final Fantasy VII. There, I said it.
4. Chex Quest – Yep. That’s right, a game that came in cereal. If you bought Chex, you got this free computer game, a kid-friendly first-person shooter running on the same engine as Doom. While the entire premise is silly, it’s still a fantastic game; after all, it plays just like one of the greatest PC games of all time, it’s bound to retain its source’s quality no matter how stupid the story becomes. Anyone who has played Chex Quest knows what I’m talking about and can support what I’m saying here: Chex Quest was the best free PC game of that era. Quality gaming out of a cereal box…who knew?
3. North and South – As a young boy growing up, the NES was a mainstay in my living room. It became a place where the family could sit and play together, spending quality time with each other as any normal family should. My father, the history buff that he is, brought home North and South one day for us to check out, and boy was it a hell of a time. It’s a simple game: we basically just fought battles, positioned our troops, raided forts and trains, and other Civil War-era tasks. Despite its simplistic design, however, we just could not stop playing it. We were hooked. We would completely wipe out the opposition, watch the victory screen, look at each other, and do it all over again. It was fantastic, just like the game.
2. Clay Fighter 2: Judgment Clay – Now I’m not going to lie to you readers: I am fully aware how incredible dumb the Clay Fighter games are. The characters are weird, the story (if you can call it that) is weird, and the fighting is no different than any other fighting game out there. That being said, I think I had more friends wanting to play Clay Fighter 2 that Street Fighter 2 when they would visit. Maybe it was the crazy character selection, my favorite being a giant clay banana, who knows? It may not be the best fighter ever made, but Clay Fighter 2 was damn fun back in the Super Nintendo days.
1. Catherine – 2 million copies shipped is nothing to sneeze at, but in talking to my fellow gamers I’m realizing that Catherine may not have gotten a fair shake. Many tossed it aside due to its abundance of cutscenes, others left it alone because the puzzles are too hard, and a few deserted it because it’s just plain weird. It’s a shame, really…Catherine has one of the most mature and engaging stories gaming has ever offered, coupled with a fantastic anime graphics style and addictive tower-climbing gameplay. Catherine was easily my biggest pleasant surprise last year, and I’d fight tooth-and-nail to make sure others experience this incredible game.
Now I’m not the only one who has games to defend. Ron, Leviathyn’s co-founder, wants to add five games that he will defend until he’s blue in the face:
5. Darksiders – It does God of War better than God of War. How? Because it perfectly blended that type of game and some of Zelda’s best play styles. Plus, playing as one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse is just awesome.
4. Sonic Adventure 2: Battle - Everyone loves to hate on 3D Sonic but not all of them were bad. SA2 was a great game with a cool story, great stages, great music, and the GameCube version added much more.
3. Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe – This game was just fun. Green Lantern vs. Sub-Zero, Scorpion vs. The Flash and other match-ups were made possible even if you didn’t think about them before. Classic MK gameplay with a cool roster.
2. Too Human – The combat, loot, and story was too awesome. I really didn’t understand the hate for this game. The hype killed it for some but I had a blast with it.
1. Mega Man Battle Network series – This “battle card” combat series was great fun and awesome when playing against friends. You got to create your own decks to help Mega Man battle and give your own feeling to the battles. Nice set of characters and pretty great story.
The ten games listed here, despite being nowhere near the “best game of all time discussion,” still provided hours of entertainment that we’d never trade. They’ve left a lasting impression on us, and for that they’ll always be at the top of our individual all-time lists.