So finally we start the list! The list of our video game brain trust‘s top 25 video games of all time. We are–of course–starting with #25. Everyone’s criteria is different: that’s what makes it so interesting. Click here to be reminded of who is making these reviews. We aim to put out one of these each week for 25 weeks all the way down to our #1 choice! Here we go…
#25 Favorite/Best Video Game
Kai – Railroad Tycoon – I could not make a list of my favorite games without including the title that ignited my passion for gaming. Sid Meier’s Railroad Tycoon (1 of 2 games on this list with his name attached) came to us via the US Postal Service in a package from my grandpa. It arrived on Thanksgiving day in 1991 with the note “Too hard for me, maybe you guys can figure it out.” I watched my dad play it for 6 hours that day.
Eventually I took over at the keyboard and never looked back. It was a deceptively simple game of tycoons and industry which I never really mastered, but loved all the same. It perfectly captured the evocative power of the railroad and the addictiveness of building your empire. It had realistic historical and geographical models. It even had a functional stock market that allowed hostile takeovers. Firaxis recently made it free to download here: http://www.2kgames.com/railroads/downloads.html
I played a lot of Railroad Tycoon 3 in college. It’s a very deep game, with a powerful economic simulation driving the construction of your railroad empire. There are a number of scenarios that allowed you to explore different places and eras. While not as approachable as the original, it was a lot of fun to try and figure out which routes would bring your railroad to prosperity.
Scott (Po) – Morrowind/Skyrim – I’ve spent a disgusting number of hours in the Elder Scrolls world. I regret none of them.
Andrew – Star Fox 64/series (SNES + forward) – I feel like I am going to be saying this a lot on this list but I feel like this title should be higher. Star Fox felt so ahead of its time…sure, when I played it at Bradley’s, a friend’s, or someone else’s house it took forever to beat but then I borrowed it from a friend a couple years ago and it actually took like an hour so, as always, childhood nostalgia plays a role. Star Fox 64 (like a couple other games on this list) marked a hugely successful jump into 3D. Star Fox 64 had great music, a great branching path that included “fake” final boss battles, and you had to defend your squad mates or risk losing them (and had to score high in order to repair them). Star Fox: Assault was more of the same (not a bad thing for a game like that since I didn’t think Star Fox Adventures was a good move) and this series badly needs to be updated. My only issue is that I think this is a game best played on a controller and doesn’t need motion integration…unless it’s getting the full arcade treatment with throttle control and buttons galore.
Alana (Fit) – Age of Empires Series – It was incredibly tough to pick #25. I had several options and finally after a few days, and a long swim in the pool, I decided my order. My top 25 video game list isn’t about what’s critically acclaimed to be “best.” It’s about what has the most meaningful impact and memories. My #25 is Age of Empires. This may have been my first RTS, but I can’t be completely positive. The first of the series came out in 1997, so I would’ve just been seven years old. No doubt I watched my brother playing until I could figure it out on my own (without a manual, to be sure–for some reason, I always prided myself upon that). Age of Empires is a classic RTS, starting at the beginning of civilization, gathering resources, starting an army, to continue to advance. I played this series up until AoE 3 and it was an everyday thing. Seeing how you could build your empire up, explore the land, gather resources and conquer always interested me. It’s fairly basic, but you can play for hours on end. I played this loads of times when I was little. We did some LAN parties with it too–miss those days! It also taught me somewhat of history and also how to handle a RTS. I still go back and play it today!
Chris (Hungry) – Outwar – I cannot stress enough how difficult it is to make this list! I have to really limit myself to not picking multiple games from the same franchise! I’m starting it off with a game that very few will know of, but those that know it will freak out to see it listed. OUTWAR. This internet browser-based MMORPG started off as a free game where players entered groups ruled by stronger players, gaining power by defeating other players in fights and recruiting others to play Outwar. I have not played in a very long time, probably at least 10 years, so I don’t know what the game is like now, but it is still around. Nevertheless, my short-lived obsession with this unique game and the amount of customization that you can put into yourself earn it a spot on my list. I am sure my accounts are inactive at this point, and those accounts were not impressive at all, but people were selling Outwar accounts LONG before World of Warcraft was even a thought. That game was just so awesome at the time and anyone with internet access could play. I don’t remember much about it, in all honesty, but Outwar originals will have a blast of nostalgia when they see the image below!
So there you have it–the first of our long list! I love how different and similar they all are to each other and can’t wait until next week! Please comment below with YOUR #25 game of all time. Also let us know if you have any questions about any of these games. Thanks to all who contributed! Remember to stop by next week to see what lands as #24 for this video game trust! And as always…stay hungry and fit!
*Question of the Day: What’s your #25 video game of all time?