My Top 12 Favorite Video Games

May 25, 2007

After recently posting about Excitebike, it got me thinking about my other favorite video games. Even though I owned many video game systems over the years, I usually stuck to the few game series’ I liked, and didn’t try a lot of different ones.

I’m sure my list will differ greatly from most others, but I guess that’s why it’s my top 12 list.

First of all, I’ve never enjoyed RPG’s (aka role playing games), so you won’t see many of them on my list. I usually like sports games and racing games, with the occasional “shoot ’em up” games thrown in once and a while.

Most of my favorite games are from the earlier gaming systems, but there are a few more recent titles I’ve enjoyed as well. So, without further adieu… on to the list.

goldeneye007.jpg12. Goldeneye 007, Nintendo 64

Wikipedia: GoldenEye 007 is a first-person shooter video game for the Nintendo 64 based on the James Bond film GoldenEye. It was released in 1997. The game received positive reviews and sold over eight million copies. It has become well-known for the quality of its multiplayer deathmatch mode and its incorporation of stealth and varied objectives into its single player missions.

My thoughts: I never owned a N64, and this is the only game from that console on my list. One summer back in ’97 or ’98 I would go to a friends’ of mine and we would play this game for hours on end. I was never quite interested in the missions, but the deathmatch mode kept us entertained for hours. In my mind, it is the second best game (next to Halo) of all-time as far as the deathmatch option goes.

nbajam.jpg11. NBA Jam, Super Nintendo

Wikipedia: NBA Jam is a basketball arcade game created by Midway in 1993. It is the first entry in the NBA Jam series. Many critics claim that the release of NBA Jam gave rise to a new genre of sports games, which were based around action-packed, unrealistic gameplay. The console version takes place in the 1993-94 NBA season.

My thoughts: NBA Jam is easily my favorite basketball game of all-time. It was a game that was extremely unrealistic, yet so much fun. Trying to create the most ridiculous dunk you could do was half the fun. I still remember some of the great commentary quotes from the game, such as “he’s heating up”, or he’s on fire!”. That’s literally, as the players would actually light on fire when they performed exciting slam dunks.

gta_vicecity.jpg10. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, XBox

Wikipedia: Vice City is a prequel to the preceding game in the series, GTA III (which takes place in 2001). The game is set in fictional Vice City, which is based on Miami, Florida. The game’s look, particularly the clothing and vehicles, reflect its 1986 setting. In contrast to the gritty urbanism of Grand Theft Auto III’s Liberty City, Vice City appears (mostly) clean and upscale, with golden beaches, waving palm trees, and vivid purple sunsets.

My thoughts: The game was originally made famous on the Playstation 2 platform, and at one point, was that console’s highest selling game. I didn’t play GTA until it was available for XBox. I immediately loved the game, having been a fan of the earlier PC version, GTA 2. My favorite part of the game was just simply driving around while trying to get as many cops as possible to chase after me.

mortalkombat2.jpg9. Mortal Kombat 2, Super Nintendo

Wikipedia: Essentially, Mortal Kombat II is an extension of the game system of Mortal Kombat. The first player to win two rounds, by fully depleting his/her opponent’s life bar is the victor. At this point the loser’s character will become dazed and the victor is given the option of using a finishing move. In addition to the fatalities of its predecessor, the victor could also use babalities, friendships, and stage specific fatalities.

My thoughts: The best part about MK2 was trying to pull off the many different finishing moves. They could be extremely graphic, like ripping someone’s head off, or as simple as turning them into a baby. One of the best fighting games of it’s time, if not ever.

turtlesintimesnes.jpg8. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles In Time, Super Nintendo

Wikipedia: The game begins with April O’Neil reporting from Liberty Island. Suddenly, Krang flies in using a giant exosuit and steals the Statue of Liberty, moments before Shredder hijacks the airwaves to laugh at the Turtles. The Turtles jump into action in downtown New York and pursue the Foot to the streets and the city sewers, where Shredder sends them through a time warp. The Turtles must fight Shredder’s army in both the past and the future in order to get home.

My thoughts: There were many Ninja Turtles games over the years, but this one ranks as my favorite. This is one of the very few games that I actually finished (I sucked at RPG games). Turtles In Time was such a fun game, and could be played with three other friends as well.

excitebikelist.jpg7. Excitebike, Nintendo

Wikipedia: Whether the player chooses to race solo or against computer-assisted riders, he/she races against a certain time limit. The goal is to qualify for Excitebike (the championship) race by coming in at third place or above in the challenge race (preliminary race). In any race, the best time is 8 seconds ahead of third place.

My thoughts: Remembering this game in a recent post is what inspired me to do this top 12 list. Excitebike was one of my favorite titles on the original Nintendo platform, and was good for hours of entertainment. I’m sure I could pick up the game today and have just as much fun as a did back in the late 80’s.

blades_of_steel.jpg6. Blades of Steel, Nintendo

Wikipedia: Blades of Steel is an ice hockey video game released by Konami for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1988. All teams are fictional but based out of real Canadian and American cities. The game is known for its fast paced action and especially for the fighting. It is a one or two player game.

My thoughts: Blades of Steel. It’s about as simple as you can get as far as hockey video game goes. I have so many fond memories about this game. I remember you could create players, and you had three choices. One, you could make a skinny player that was extremely fast. Two, you could make a regular sized guy that had regular speed. Or you could make a fat guy that could hit everyone, but was a super-slow skater. The fighting was great, as well. If you bumped into a player three times, you fought… and the loser gets a penalty! What a great concept! Such a fun game… this game alone could entice me to buy an old Nintendo.

nhl2003xbox.jpg5. NHL 2003, XBox

Wikipedia: NHL 2003 is the eleventh edition of the popular EA Sports NHL series, a hockeyvideo game. NHL 2003 introduced a new feature, the GameBreaker. It is activated once a player performs enough “dekes” and it is used to help change the momentum of the game, such as scoring a big goal, delivering a big hit or winning a big fight.

My thoughts: There was nothing particularly special about NHL 2003. It didn’t have any real special additions or anything that makes it stand out all that much. Then why is it on my list, you ask? Well, I have probably spent more time playing this game than any other game, ever. Possibly even double as much. I played 11 full NHL seasons of this game, which is 82+ games per season. It was the main reason I bought an XBox in the first place. I’ve had many other NHL video games, but I’ve played no other more than this one, which I think rightfully places it on my list.

donkeykongcountry.jpg4. Donkey Kong Country, Super Nintendo

Wikipedia: In this game, Donkey Kong has to recover his stolen hoard of bananas from King K. Rool and the Kremlings. He has the special help of his nephew and best buddy, Diddy Kong. The game was revolutionary in that it was one of the first games for a mainstream home video game console to use pre-rendered 3-D graphics.

My thoughts: DKC was one of the highest selling and most popular games of it’s time. It’s quite possibly my favorite RPG game of all time. The game was just all-out fun, and could be played for hours upon hours. It’s the one RPG game that I kept playing even if I got stuck at a level, whereas with most games I would just give up.

halo2.jpg3. Halo 2, XBox

Wikipedia: In the game, humans, who have developed faster-than-light travel and colonized several worlds, have been engaged in a war against a collective of genocidal alien races, the Covenant. The player assumes the roles of Master Chief and the Arbiter, and fights enemies on foot or with a collection of alien and human vehicles.

My thoughts: When it comes to playing with friends, there is no game that competes with Halo 2. The deathmatch mode is probably my favorite mode of any game ever. I absolutely love this game, and I am really regretting selling it along with my XBox a few months ago. One of the main reasons I bought an XBox 360 is for Halo 3, which I’m sure will be just as good as the originals.

nhl94snes.jpg2. NHL 94, Super Nintendo

Wikipedia: With two hockey games under their belt, EA released a masterpiece: NHL ’94. A game that is still played and obsessed over by hockey lovers for 10 years now, even being popular enough to be included in the Playstation 2 version of NHL 06. Key features in this game are the infamous “one-timer”, better all-around control of players, breaking the glass, the kid that sits in the stands, being able to save your records, as well as the four modes – Regular Season, Playoffs, Best of Seven, and Shootout.

My thoughts: NHL 94 was, and probably still is, the most complete NHL game ever made. It was such a fun game to play, and like it says above, it’s still talked about by not just NHL game fans, but all video game fans. Newer NHL games have had better graphics, more options, less bugs, but somehow, they all seem to pale in comparison to the great NHL 94.

supermariokart.jpg1. Super Mario Kart, Super Nintendo

Wikipedia: Super Mario Kart can be played by one or two players. All gameplay uses a forced split screen view. In single player mode, the top displays the course, while the bottom screen can either display a rear-view mirror perspective, or an overhead view of the whole track, displaying where all the racers are currently. In multiplayer, the bottom screen is assigned to the second player’s view.

My thoughts: I love this game. It is my favorite video game of all time. With three hockey games on my list, Super Mario Kart still managed to beat them all out. This game was about as fun as it gets. One of the most overall enjoyable games ever made… so good in fact, that I am pretty sure I have to hit up eBay and buy a SNES just so I can play this game again.

So, there’s the list. I’m sure many of you will have much different lists, so feel free to post some of your favorites in the Comments.

Honorable mention goes to: NHL 07 (XBox 360), Superman (Arcade), Links LS 99 (PC), Duck Hunt (Nintendo), Starfox (Playstation), Dead or Alive 4 (XBox 360), Fusion Frenzy (XBox) and Grand Theft Auto 2 (PC).

> Read my Top 12 Childhood Movies

> Read my Top 10 Childhood Heroes



  1. Awesome list Matt. We were talkin’ about old games we played as kids, wow brought back some great memories. Here is my list (not in order). I will just write the original game but all other versions following would be included.

    Road Rash – Sega/Playstation
    PilotWings – Nintendo 64
    Age Of Empires – PC
    Super Mario Kart – Super Nintendo
    Twisted Metal – Playstation
    NHL 94 – Sega
    Blades Of Steel – Nintendo
    Big Nose, The Caveman – Nintendo
    Gran Turismo – Playstation
    Wolfenstein – PC
    Doom – PC
    GoldenEye 007 – Nintendo 64
    Resident Evil – Playstation
    Half Life – PC
    Super Mario Bros – Nintendo
    Wave Race 64 – Nintendo 64
    Grand Theft Auto – Playstation
    Sonic The Hedgehog – Sega
    Lemmings – PC
    NFL Football 94 Joe Montana – Sega
    Links 386 – PC
    Duck Hunt – Nintendo
    Duke Nukem – PC
    The Sims – PC
    Soldier Of Fortune – PC
    Kingpin Life Of Crime – PC
    FIFA Road To World Cup 98 – Playstation
    CoolBoarders – Playstation
    Last but definitely not least…
    The motha F’in Game Genie – Nintendo

  2. Wow. brought back lots of memories. Looks like you were a nintendo guy growing up. I’ve had every system so far – except the Wii. Goldeneye was a classic. I agree with all the games on your list, although if I was doing one of my own I’d add Dr. Mario (highly addictive), Super Spike V-ball (original Nintendo), and Perfect Dark. Made by the Goldeneye people, only harder and more inventive.

  3. oops. I forgot my all-time favorite. Double Dragon (arcade). I must have spent $200 in quarters on it in the summer of 1990.

  4. What, no Legend of Zelda?

    You’ve inspired me Matt. I’m going to do some Top 5 lists of my fave video games based on what system they were for, because to incorporate them all into one list would be tough.

  5. I was never a Zelda fan, or more-so, I never really played it (yeah, I’m probably the only one).

  6. man NHL 94 brought me back!

    thanks, great list

  7. Writing this post got me so pumped on old school video games, I went out and bought a Super Nintendo and a bunch of games on eBay. I can’t wait for some Mario Kart action!

  8. Good choices. I might have to agree with you on Mario Kart. I loved NHL 94, by far the best year. Such a great game. The one game I would have stuck on my list was Royal Rumble for SNES. I LOVED THAT GAME! Freakin sweet.

  9. Royal Rumble! I forgot about that one. Oh, best wrestling game by a long shot. I’ll have to get that one.

  10. honestly halo 2 was the worst in the halo series but is still tonnes of fun:P

  11. if you think halo 2 was great then modern warfare or modern warfare 2 should be on that list

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