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Retro Gamer magazine reader's top 150 games

Matticers

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May 9, 2015
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Chrono Trigger at 33. Feels bad, man.

Looks like Shenmue got a pretty nice boost thanks to the announcement of 3. Fantastic game, deserves to be way up on the list but I don't think it finishes nearly that high without that news.
 

CDX

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May 31, 2012
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75) Sonic 3 & Knuckles

Really? Sonic 1 rated higher. Really?

But other than thinking Sonic 3 & Knuckles should have been way higher, or at least higher than Sonic 1, and Yoshi's Island not showing up at all it's a pretty good list. It's actually one of the better of these type of lists.



Super Mario World is still the best platformer ever. Nothing comes close.

Super Mario 3 and Super Mario World have long battled for my favorite 2D Mario game.

NSMBU+NSLU surpassed those, for my personal favorite. It's a shame it had to be on the Wii U with it's tiny install base, and have the "New" prefix attached to it which basically killed most the would be hype for it.
 

entremet

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Dec 6, 2008
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Anything up to and including last generation but the look of it (Fallout 3, GTA V, etc.)

lol.

Just as FYI, while Retro Gamer does focus on retro game and features, they do review new games.

This list isn't a Retro only list it's a best of all time list, according to their readers.
 

ghibli99

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Jul 23, 2005
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I'll never understand the Pac-Man > Ms. Pac-Man opinion.
Pac-Man is a sentimental favorite of mine, with its unforgettable maze (which I can still draw by heart), cast of characters, timeless music/sound effects, intermissions, and steady, ramped-up difficulty.

However, if given the choice, I'll generally go with Ms. Pac-Man for the variety. Unless there's a speed hacked Pac-Man at the arcade. That's tons of fun. :)
 
Feb 23, 2011
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PC gaming is pretty underrepresented, especially from a retro gaming viewpoint, beyond obvious choices like Half-Life, Doom and Elite.

Edit: Eh, two Civ games and Quake are on there too. It's still pretty console-heavy, which probably reflects the writers and editors backgrounds. I would have expected something like, say, Ultima VII on there, it being a retro gaming mag. For all platforms it seems to be more of a list of "popular old games" than most GOAT lists which tend to be a bit more diverse in terms of selection.
 

pushingrocks

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Sep 11, 2014
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I have a really hard time believing that many people even played the original Shenmue. I think theirs some bangdwaggon jumping going on with that. Otherwise cool list tho nice to see some things I've never heard of.
 

Sir_Crocodile

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Mar 31, 2009
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PC gaming is pretty underrepresented, especially from a retro gaming viewpoint, beyond obvious choices like Half-Life, Doom and Elite.

You're looking for the wrong kind of PC game I think

144) Another World
138) Frontier: Elite II
136) Duke Nukem 3D
135) The Lords of Midnight
126) Flashback
123) Head over Heels
121) Civilization II
120) Cannon Fodder
119) System Shock
118) Command and Conquer Red Alert
114) Kick Off 2
112) Chaos
107) 3D Deathchase
106) Elder Scrolls III : Morrowind
105) Syndicate
104) Impossible Mission
102) Jetpac
98) Civilization IV
96) Portal 2
90) World of Warcraft
88) Quake
81) Turrican II
80) Command & Conquer
73) Elder Scrolls IV : Oblivion
65) UFO : Enemy Unknown (XCOM UFO Defence)
62) Civilization
61) Portal
59) Paradroid
56) Dungeon Master
55) Jet Set Willy
52) Star Wars : Knights of the Old Republic
51) Sensible Soccer
50) Doom II
49) Deus Ex
46) Lemmings
45) Speedball 2 : Brutal Deluxe
44) Sensible World of Soccer
39) Half Life
35) Monkey Island 2 : Lechuck's Revenge
30) Manic Miner
29) Fallout 3
21) Elite
20) Half-Life 2
19) Secret of Monkey Island
17) Elder Scrolls V : Skyrim
8) Doom

There are quite a few, but a lot are uk-centric stuff from the speccy/amiga days.
 

hiredhand

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Apr 12, 2008
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You're looking for the wrong kind of PC game I think

144) Another World
138) Frontier: Elite II
136) Duke Nukem 3D
135) The Lords of Midnight
126) Flashback
123) Head over Heels
121) Civilization II
120) Cannon Fodder
119) System Shock
118) Command and Conquer Red Alert
114) Kick Off 2
112) Chaos
107) 3D Deathchase
106) Elder Scrolls III : Morrowind
105) Syndicate
104) Impossible Mission
102) Jetpac
98) Civilization IV
96) Portal 2
90) World of Warcraft
88) Quake
81) Turrican II
80) Command & Conquer
73) Elder Scrolls IV : Oblivion
65) UFO : Enemy Unknown (XCOM UFO Defence)
62) Civilization
61) Portal
59) Paradroid
56) Dungeon Master
55) Jet Set Willy
52) Star Wars : Knights of the Old Republic
51) Sensible Soccer
50) Doom II
49) Deus Ex
46) Lemmings
45) Speedball 2 : Brutal Deluxe
44) Sensible World of Soccer
39) Half Life
35) Monkey Island 2 : Lechuck's Revenge
30) Manic Miner
29) Fallout 3
21) Elite
20) Half-Life 2
19) Secret of Monkey Island
17) Elder Scrolls V : Skyrim
8) Doom

There are quite a few, but a lot are uk-centric stuff from the speccy/amiga days.

I think he is meaning IBM PC (DOS, Windows) not generally personal computer. Many of the listed games are Amiga, C64 or Spectrum games.
 

Sir_Crocodile

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I think he is meaning IBM PC (DOS, Windows) not generally personal computer. Many of the listed games are Amiga, C64 or Spectrum games.

Yeah. The IBM-PC wasn't too big in the UK until the pentium hit. Before then Amiga was much more prevalent then the pc, hence the way computer games are skewed in the poll. Stuff like Monkey Island/Monkey Island 2 are probably only on the list because they had amiga ports.
 

CollectedDust

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Dec 14, 2014
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I love Shemnue, but common man. They are way too high in these lists likely because of Shemnue 3 (which I backed at over $100). Not hating on Shemnue, but this poll was clearly skewed.

Edit: just read the old list, very different Shemnue representation... And a very different list... Oh Internet.
 

sora87

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Solid list, I may personally swap a few of the things lower down for a few of the higher entries but yeah.
 

hiredhand

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You can definitely tell it's an UK-centric list when all the featured sports games are for Amiga and three of the four are football (soccer) games.
 

jesu

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Mar 30, 2014
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I'm a Chaos fanboy so nice to see it there.
I'd put it way higher than 112 though!
 

Innsmouth

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Jan 23, 2015
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I agree with your assessment of Xenogears.

I pretty much thought it was everything bad about JRPGs- overly sentimental, silly plot, bloated anime excess, overlong, meandering, excessive and pointless filler- all amped up to the max. It's one of those games that gets overrated because it's by Square, on a popular console and came out during the golden age of RPGs.

The same is true of Secret of Mana and Super Mario RPG.



 

HKT3030

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Aug 8, 2014
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Good to see gaffers figuring out the reasoning behind many of the inclusions/omissions. Yoshi's Island finished just outside the top 150, sadly.

Interestingly, most of the Shenmue votes came before the third game was announced. We reckon a fan group probably organised to boost the game, but couldn't find any evidence to support that theory when we looked for it.

150 titles and not a single Shining title in the mix.

What a mess list.
You know what really upset me? Shining Force made the top 100 in 2004, and didn't receive even a single vote this time.

Trust me, I counted every single one of the bloody things.
 

Sir_Crocodile

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Mar 31, 2009
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You know what really upset me? Shining Force made the top 100 in 2004, and didn't receive even a single vote this time.

Trust me, I counted every single one of the bloody things.

Yikes. At least not seeing Shining Force 3 S1 or Panzer Dragoon Saga making the list was understandable given I could swear they were only on shop shelves for like two weeks before they disappeared along with the saturn. But SF was released at the height of the MD glory days. :/

Btw, did you make the decision to combine the Sonic 3/S&K votes yourselves, or did people actually write in for "Sonic 3 & Knuckles"? Curious about how many people regard them as one game.
 

SiegfriedFM

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Jun 10, 2004
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Pretty good list overall. Of course, anyone can list games that should have been on there (Suikoden II and Third Strike are two of mine) but overall a bunch of great stuff.

I've played 119 of those games, including all but Streets of Rage II of the top 25. It feels like I should correct that one of these days. Defender is also a game I should play - it looked great in a Cinemassacre video.
 

Mutagenic

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Aug 18, 2007
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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.
SMW has far more imagination and better control than NSMBU. Also, nothing at all rose-colored about SMK. That game remains amazing to this day. At least you were right about one game, FFVI.
 

Shaneus

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Jul 26, 2004
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Given the readership, I'm surprised some series were notably omitted. Possibly due to a fragmented userbase over separate consoles, see Super/Mega/Saturn Bomberman. Rock Band 3 is a funny one, too.

Also, the wrong Outrun sequel was included. Should've had Outrun 2, not C2C IMO
IMO!

But it's a widespread and inclusive list, though. There's a lot on there I should add to my "must play" games list.

And no Star Control 2? That's actually a weird one.

Why do these lists always leave out multiplayer games? I guess it's because of the userbase of the magazine this time.
"Retro Gamer Magazine". Multiplayer hasn't really been a significant thing except for the last 10-15 years or so. So the userbase would be a lot greater than gamers who have strictly been playing in the 2000s.
 

Corvo Jensen

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Jan 28, 2015
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{immediately scrolls down to the top 5 and sees Mario 64 and OOT}

They're off to a great start. Let's see what the other 145 games are.
 

pswii60

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Anecdotally, I only knew one person with a SNES at that time in the UK. And he worked on the oil rigs. The Genesis was far more prevalent among my friends, but even then it was 4 or 5. Everyone else had C64/Spectrum/Amiga/Atari STs, so that's why there's Turrican and not Metroid for instance.
This. I feel like Euro gaming history gets forgotten about. For instance, I don't know anyone who had a NES, but loads who owned a C64 or Speccy, even BBC Micros and Amstrads.. but not a NES. I knew someone who had a Master System though. Again, Mega Drive seemed to dominate in the 16 bit console wars here, but even then Amiga was a much bigger force to be reckoned with. Amiga was irresistible at the time, it did more than just play games, but the games were a fifth of the price of their console counterparts (and you could always copy them from your mates too.. naughty), but that was the era. And if you weren't gaming on your Amiga you were making music with OctaMED or drawing amazingly detailed and colourful cocks with Deluxe Paint.
 

HKT3030

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Aug 8, 2014
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Third Strike was edged out of the list shortly before voting closed. It's a real shame, everyone on the team loves it. Likewise, Ultra Street Fighter IV was a narrow miss.

Btw, did you make the decision to combine the Sonic 3/S&K votes yourselves, or did people actually write in for "Sonic 3 & Knuckles"? Curious about how many people regard them as one game.
We received votes for Sonic 3, Sonic & Knuckles and Sonic 3 & Knuckles, and I counted each of those three as unique entries. Neither of the individual games came close to making the top 150 but the combined game obviously did make it.
 

Plinko

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Jul 31, 2007
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SMW has far more imagination and better control than NSMBU. Also, nothing at all rose-colored about SMK. That game remains amazing to this day. At least you were right about one game, FFVI.

Controls? I could see an argument.

Imagination? Surely you jest.

I stand by my SMK statements. The AI completely ruins the game. "Hey, you know what would be a good idea? Let each CPU player only have one item--AND THEY CAN USE IT WHENEVER THEY WANT!!!"
 

Qwark

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Apr 22, 2014
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I'm disappointed in my apparent lack of knowledge on pre-DOS PC games. Never even heard of Chuckie Egg, Lords of Midnight, Head over Heels, 3D Deathchase, and Paradroid. Great list though. You guys also sold me on buying some of the older copies of the magazine, that SNES/Genesis issue is mine!
 

Sir_Crocodile

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Mar 31, 2009
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We received votes for Sonic 3, Sonic & Knuckles and Sonic 3 & Knuckles, and I counted each of those three as unique entries. Neither of the individual games came close to making the top 150 but the combined game obviously did make it.

Ah, thanks.

I'm disappointed in my apparent lack of knowledge on pre-DOS PC games. Never even heard of Chuckie Egg, Lords of Midnight, Head over Heels, 3D Deathchase, and Paradroid. Great list though. You guys also sold me on buying some of the older copies of the magazine, that SNES/Genesis issue is mine!

LOM was ported to windows not long ago if you wanted to try it.

http://www.gog.com/game/the_lords_of_midnight
 

SonyToo!™

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May 30, 2011
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Nice to see Lords of Midnight and Bomb Jack in there, although advance scoring techniques makes Bomb Jack kinda shit. Shame New Zealand Story isn't on the list given Bubble Bobble and Rainbow Islands are.

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

Pls be a joke post

(fake) EDIT

I notice that Contra & Gradius (and possibly Rayforce) are missing which is odd considering RType is so highly placed. Likely it's to do with changing the names and rebranding of Japanese games for different regions.
 
Dec 30, 2012
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Woah, there are so many Nintendo games on this list.

Of course, only OLD Nintendo games. That really shows Nintendos reputation today.