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Retro Gamer magazine reader's top 150 games

Sir_Crocodile

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Mar 31, 2009
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For their 150th issue, retro gamer did a readers poll for the top 150 games ever. It's a UK mag, so there will be some games from the 80's/early nineties that gaffers haven't heard about from our speccy/amiga lovefest days.

Seems like a pretty good list, though I may be biased as I own a LOT of them (including the top 16 games).

They talked to quite a few people involved in the games, devs/porters talking about games are in [square brackets] next to the game names. Sometimes only a sentence or two though. You can buy the issue through their site if you're interested in what they had to say.
Oh, and don't trust ctrl+f, I had to transcribe this by hand as I can't see the list online anywhere, so here there be typos no doubt. Took a while. :/

They did a top 100 poll ten years ago which was quite different, I assume changing readership and the internet getting a lot bigger and allowing people to hear about games they may otherwise not have accounts for that.

150) Double Dragon
149) Mass Effect
148) Metroid
147) Chuckie Egg
146) Ridge Racer
145) Outrun 2006 Coast 2 Coast
144) Another World [Eric Chahi]
143) Gauntlet
142) Persona 4
141) Gunstar Heroes
140) Space Invaders [Tomohiro Nishikaido]
139) Mr Do!
138) Frontier: Elite II
137) Super Mario 3D World
136) Duke Nukem 3D [Scott Miller]
135) The Lords of Midnight
134) Tempest 2000
133) Daytona USA
132) Jet Set Radio
131) Bomb Jack
130) Tekken 3
129) Rock Band 3 [Daniel Sussman]
128) Soul Calibur
127) F-Zero GX
126) Flashback [Paul Cuisset]
125) Silent Hill
124) Zelda : Link's Awakening
123) Head over Heels
122) Grand Theft Auto III
121) Civilization II
120) Cannon Fodder
119) System Shock [Jonathan Chey]
118) Command and Conquer Red Alert [Louis Castle]
117) NiGHTS into Dreams
116) Strider
115) Final Fantasy VIII
114) Kick Off 2 [Dino Dini]
113) Skies of Arcadia
112) Chaos [Julian Gollop]
111) Super Smash Bros Melee
110) Mario Kart 8
109) Batman Arkham Asylum
108) Donkey Kong
107) 3D Deathchase
106) Elder Scrolls III : Morrowind
105) Syndicate
104) Impossible Mission
103) Day of the Tentacle [Gary Winnick]
102) Jetpac
101) Crazy Taxi
100) Pokemon Gold/Silver
99) Defender [Eugene Jarvis]
98) Civilization IV
97) Metal Gear Solid 3 : Snake Eater
96) Portal 2
95) Final Fantasy IX
94) Super Castlevania IV
93) Advance Wars
92) Alex Kid in Miracle World
91) Ico
90) World of Warcraft
89) Streets of Rage
88) Quake
87) Legend of Zelda
86) Final Fight
85) Grand Theft Auto : San Andreas
84) Rez [Jake Kazdal/Osamu Kodera/Katsumi Yokota/Tetsuya Mizuguchi]
83) Resident Evil (GC remake)
82) Super Mario Galaxy 2
81) Turrican II
80) Command & Conquer
79) Silent Hill 2
78) Donkey Kong Country [Kevin Bayliss]
77) Uncharted 2
76) Final Fantasy X
75) Sonic 3 & Knuckles
74) Metroid Prime [Mark Pacini/Kensuke Tanabe]
73) Elder Scrolls IV : Oblivion
72) Mario Kart 64
71) Red Dead Redemption
70) Secret of Mana
69) Legend of Zelda : Majora's Mask
68) Mega Man 2
67) Sega Rally Championship
66) Rainbow Islands [Andrew Braybrook]
65) UFO : Enemy Unknown (XCOM UFO Defence)
64) Banjo-Kazooie
63) Star Wars (Atari '83 arcade)
62) Civilization [Sid Meier (full interview)]
61) Portal
60) Mass Effect 2
59) Paradroid
58) Pokemon Red/Blue [Ken Sugimori/Junichi Masuda]
57) Bioshock
56) Dungeon Master
55) Jet Set Willy [Matthew Smith (full inteview)]
54) Dark Souls
53) Shadow of the Colossus
52) Star Wars : Knights of the Old Republic [Greg Zeschuk]
51) Sensible Soccer
50) Doom II
49) Deus Ex
48) Robotron 2084
47) Pac-Man
46) Lemmings [Mike Dailly]
45) Speedball 2 : Brutal Deluxe
44) Sensible World of Soccer [Jon Hare]
43) Resident Evil (original)
42) Super Mario Galaxy
41) R-Type [Kazuma Kujo]
40) Super Mario Bros [Shigeru Miyamoto/Takashi Tezuka]
39) Half Life
38) Tomb Raider
37) Final Fantasy VI
36) Legend of Zelda : The Wind Waker
35) Monkey Island 2 : Lechuck's Revenge
34) Bubble Bobble
33) Chrono Trigger
32) Resident Evil 2
31) Grand Theft Auto V
30) Manic Miner [Derrick Rowson/Chris Lancaster/Roy Coates]
29) Fallout 3
28) Sonic the Hedgehog
27) Castlevania : Symphony of the Night [Iga]
26) The Last of Us [Ricky Cambier]
25) Grand Theft Auto : Vice City
24) Halo : Combat Evolved
23) Super Metroid [Yoshio Sakamoto]
22) Out Run
21) Elite
20) Half-Life 2
19) Secret of Monkey Island [Ron Gilbert]
18) Streets of Rage II
17) Elder Scrolls V : Skyrim [Pete Hines]
16) Shenmue II
15) Metal Gear Solid
14) Sonic the Hedgehog 2
13) Street Fighter 2
12) Super Mario Kart
11) Super Mario Bros 3
10) Goldeneye 007 [David Doak]
9) Resident Evil 4 [Hiroyuki Kobayashi (full interview)]
8) Doom [John Romero]
7) Final Fantasy VII
6) Legend of Zelda : A Link to the Past
5) Super Mario 64
4) Tetris [Alexey Pajitnov (full interview)]
3) Shenmue [Yu Suzuki (full interview)]
2) Legend of Zelda : Ocarina of Time
1) Super Mario World
 

entremet

Member
Dec 6, 2008
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I'm American and I pick up issues when they interest me.

Great magazine if you're into retro gaming. I love their packaged volumes too, which usually cover individual systems.

This is the same volume. It has double covers.

I'm not a huge World fan. I know many people love it dearly, but I always preferred 3. The physics are also a bit too floaty and the game is rather easy.
 

Plinko

Wildcard berths that can't beat teams without a winning record should have homefield advantage
Jul 31, 2007
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Super Mario World is still the best platformer ever. Nothing comes close.

NSMBU actually surpassed it and then some. Sadly, most people either overlooked it because they were disappointed it wasn't 3D Mario. It's a shame, really.

Also, Super Mario Kart at #12 is a complete joke. Take off the rose-colored glasses. The AI in that game is some of the worst in history. The CPU racers take the EXACT SAME LINE every race.

Plus, as much as I love Wind Waker, it has zero business being above Final Fantasy VI. Overall good list, though.
 

Bananastand

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I still adore Super Mario World. If anything, I have only grown to like it more over the years.

Although I have to say, having played a lot of Super Mario Maker it's kind of hard to readjust to SMW's slightly different physics and jumps.
 

entremet

Member
Dec 6, 2008
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NSMBU actually surpassed it and then some. Sadly, most people either overlooked it because they were disappointed it wasn't 3D Mario. It's a shame, really.

Also, Super Mario Kart at #12 is a complete joke. Take off the rose-colored glasses. The AI in that game is some of the worst in history. The CPU racers take the EXACT SAME LINE every race.

It was the 16 bit era, though. Not really know for great AI. The CPU and memory available didn't give developers much to work with.

I have soft spot for the original Mario Kart. Battle mode was a treat.
 

Sir_Crocodile

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Mar 31, 2009
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ctrl f Last of Us... good list :p

btw Josh Scherr didn't work on it.

Cheers, removed. They talked to more people then I've listed, but I'm trying to keep it to people actually worked on the games, I'm sure a couple slipped through.
 

Bananastand

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Aug 26, 2014
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NSMBU actually surpassed it and then some. Sadly, most people either overlooked it because they were disappointed it wasn't 3D Mario. It's a shame, really.

Also, Super Mario Kart at #12 is a complete joke. Take off the rose-colored glasses. The AI in that game is some of the worst in history. The CPU racers take the EXACT SAME LINE every race.

Plus, as much as I love Wind Waker, it has zero business being above Final Fantasy VI. Overall good list, though.

Man, is Super Mario Bros. Wii U just super rare or something? I have wanted to try it for a while now but it's almost impossible to find for a cheap price, even secondhand!
 

Minishdriveby

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Jan 12, 2013
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Man, is Super Mario Bros. Wii U just super rare or something? I have wanted to try it for a while now but it's almost impossible to find for a cheap price, even secondhand!

That's just Wii U games in general. I think they started to bundle it with Luigi U, so now it's 2 games in 1 basically.
 

EthanC

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No love for the truly great puzzle games. I still love you Lumines and Tetris Attack.
 

Regiruler

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Space Invaders wasn't even good. It's only useful for the IP that had some good games made out of it.
 

Fasty

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Also, Super Mario Kart at #12 is a complete joke. Take off the rose-colored glasses. The AI in that game is some of the worst in history. The CPU racers take the EXACT SAME LINE every race.

Every other aspect of the game is amazing though. Battle mode, split screen racing, time trials... Does any other Mario Kart have time trials/ghosts? By far my favourite Mario Kart.
 

Sir_Crocodile

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Hey look, they're right!

These lists are always hard to make. What's the difference between the 75th spot and the 80th? Can someone write an analytical article about why Wind Waker is better than Mega Man 2? Hardcore Gaming 101 is going to release a best games book, but they aren't ranking them. I think this is the best way.
 

Sir_Crocodile

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Mar 31, 2009
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Hey look, they're right!

These lists are always hard to make. What's the difference between the 75th spot and the 80th? Can someone write an analytical article about why Wind Waker is better than Mega Man 2?

Because it got more votes?

Hardcore Gaming 101 is going to release a best games book, but they aren't ranking them. I think this is the best way.

They've released it, I have it. :)

Book is pretty good (they talk about the SNES prince of persia which makes them good in my eyes), and they have honourable mentions, so there's more then the listed 200 games (so Broken Sword makes the list and Indiana Jones & the Fate of Atlantis is under it as kind of a "..if you like this - personally I'd have had them the other way round, but it's a nice touch all the same).
 

Dr. Feel Good

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Pretty good list. I don't like how both REmake and original Resident Evil are on there.

Also funny how no one gives a shit about Halo aside from the original (rightly so).

I also don't like when these lists put all three GTA from the PS2 era on it. 3 was revolutionary, got it, but it sucks now. Vice City had the best atmosphere and San Andreas had the best gameplay. Just pick between the two.
 

L Thammy

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Super Mario World is the first game I ever beat and it will always hold a fond place in my heart.

Super Mario Bros 3 is miles better.
 

ohyouagain

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It's a heart warming list for me because it contains many titles I had great fun with. I am legitimately surprised though that Donkey Kong Country 2 didn't make it. It's a contender for overall #1 entry on sich lists.
 

orthodoxy1095

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I need to finish reading the rest, but I scrolled to the Top 10 and this:

10) Goldeneye 007

Will forever an odd inclusion in the Top 10-25 of any "Greatest" list. Although, really all lists like this should just have the decency to stop assigning stupid and arbitrary numbers to the games. Really silly to rank them like that.
 

Sir_Crocodile

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Mar 31, 2009
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Secret of Mana in but not Terranigma?
Super Mario Kart?

Bah

Terranigma was released only 3 months before the N64 came out, so a lot more people got a chance to play Mana. If it had come out earlier I'm sure Super Play would have ensured it stuck in people's memories.
 

Celine

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Terranigma was released only 3 months before the N64 came out, so a lot more people got a chance to play Mana. If it had come out earlier I'm sure Super Play would have ensured it stuck in people's memories.
I do not accept this excuse.
SoM graphics and music still hold up very well but gameplay is severy lacking.

Edit: oh it s a readers list, now I understand...
 

NOLA_Gaffer

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Jun 15, 2015
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I love this magazine (I have the Sonic 20th Anniversary Issue) but it's always so pricey to pick up.