Chris Leigh
30 Oct, 2005

The Greatest 100 Games Ever: 100-81

PALGN Feature | As voted by you, dear readers. Today: positions 100-81.
Christonabike, you lot like a lot of games.

OK, let's start that again for those of you who aren't sure what's happening here. Back in the first week of October, PALGN launched a competition to see which videogames PAL gamers regard as the finest ever created. The premise was simple: give us your personal list of the ten titles that you regard as the greatest videogames known to man. Completing this simple task automatically put you in the draw to win a game of your choice, and we'll be announcing our winners when we declare your number one game a fortnight from now.

Once we had your lists, the counting was upto us, the mother of all spreadsheets and dozens of cups of coffee. Which takes us back to the opening line. See, we received hundreds upon hundreds of responses for this; between you all, 1,035 different games spanning 33 years of gaming received a vote. That's a lot of games. Of course, only the most popular 100 are set to make our list, and today we're going to reveal the games which appeared from 81st to 100th. Oh, and the game that just missed out in 101st? Shenmue 2. To start reading about the 100 games that finished ahead of it, scroll down, and enjoy...

Final Fantasy XI
PlayStation 2, PC, 2004
D: Square Enix | P: Sony (PS2), Square Enix (PC)
90 points

Whilst the genre may be unfamiliar, this is unmistakably Final Fantasy - it's got airships, chocobos and a hefty Japanese following, not to mention a sheen that all the best Final Fantasy games boast. Set against the varied and beautifully-realised fantasy world of Vana'diel, Final Fantasy XI - like all the very finest MMORPGs - can take over lives, wreck educations and cause relationships to wobble. In other words, whilst it won't be threatening World of Warcraft when it comes to sheer numbers anytime soon, it's still a must for every fan of Square's venerable franchise.


Soul Calibur 2
PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, 2004
D: Namco | P: Namco
93 points

Soul Calibur 2 may have taken only a small, evolutionary step forwards from the superb Dreamcast original, but that doesn't stop it from being one of the most accomplished and dazzling 3D fighters since Virtua Fighter first jumped into the ring in the mid-90s, polygonal fists flailing. Released with much fanfare in the early months of 2004, Namco's brawler achieves what every great fighting game should, by simultaneously welcoming newcomers and accomodating more serious fight fans.

There's a meaty singleplayer mode here - a rarity for any fighting game - and a compelling multiplayer mode that can zap hours at a time. Special mention should be reserved for the visuals however, with the wonderfully balletic animation, stunning backdrops and superb character models making the game almost as enjoyable to watch as it is to play. Brilliant, bombastic fun.


NiGHTS Into Dreams
Saturn, 1996
D: Sonic Team | P: Sega
94 points

It wasn't just the subject matter that was distinctly dreamy in Yuji Naka's playful, innovative Saturn title. For starters there were the visuals, a revelation as the Saturn struggled to get to grips with producing high-quality 3D early on in its life. In comparison to many initial titles on the console, NiGHTS wowed onlookers at the time with its use of headache-inducing colours, gorgeously textured landscapes, and light-source shaded characters.

The soundtrack, a fabulously eclectic mix of jazz, rock and orchestral music, also deserves praise, not to mention the lightning quick gameplay, which saw players flying majestically through levels on a modified series of rails, passing through rings to make links (essentially combos), and executing spectacular acrobatics. It may all have been relatively short-lived, but the time that players did spend in the company of the game was breathlessly exciting from start to finish.


Disgaea: Hour of Darkness
PlayStation 2, 2004
D: Nippon-ichi Software | P: Koei
95 points

It may have performed woefully in commercial terms, but it's clear from its appearance here that the handful of you who did purchase Disgaea were more than happy with it. Frankly, we can't blame you, for we also like Disgaea. Why? Well, it could be the genuinely witty dialogue that's littered throughout the game (the regular sideswipes and banter between the demonic and angelic members of the inspired cast are a highlight), or its impressive longevity, or maybe even the depth of the battle system or vibrant, anime-style artwork.

Or then again, it could simply be that Disgaea never stopped handing you opportunities to be deliciously evil, sneaky and underhanded. All of which come easily to us. Especially Brendan.


WipEout 2097
PlayStation, 1996
D: Psygnosis | P: Psygnosis
99 points

Psygnosis' style-conscious futuristic racer coupled well-designed craft with some exceptional track design to create what is almost certainly the peak of the WipEout franchise. Even more significantly, WipEout 2097 succeeded in changing how videogame music was perceived, thanks to a soundtrack composed solely of licensed tracks from the hippest electronic acts of the time.

The result? A previously apathetic public discovered a genuine interest in videogames, with the game shifting a considerable number of units. Since 2097's example, licensed soundtracks have become de rigeur among many games, though it's worth remembering where the idea began.


The Sims
PC, 2000
D: Maxis | P: Electronic Arts
100 points

Many gamers find it easy to sneer at EA's back catalogue of best-selling, licence-ridden games, yet there can be no denying that the company took a risk back in 2000 when it threw its corporate weight behind The Sims. As it is, it was a gamble that paid off handsomely, and The Sims remains the best-selling PC game of all time, with a large part of it's audience drawn from the elusive female demographic.

Created by Sim City developer Maxis, the game charged players with the task of looking after the day-to-day life of a Sim. Players held sway over every aspect of their Sim's life - where they worked, what they wore, when they ate, what wallpaper adorned their house interiors. The aim was simple, and unashamedly capitalist: keep your Sim happy, move up in life, get the flashiest TV and sofa, get the biggest salary possible, make friends and get married. Part-Tamagotchi, part-God game, part-reality TV, it all glues together to form an experience that's both addictive and oddly engrossing. Besides, who can seriously resist a game that allows them to trap a polygonal human in a windowless, four-by-four brick box and watch them slowly break down?


Silent Hill 2
PlayStation 2, 2001
D: Konami | P: Konami
103 points

'The original Silent Hill was a reasonable success, but no blockbuster. The graphics were certainly atmospheric, but looked a tad dated next to the likes of Metal Gear Solid, and most of the mainstream audience wrote it off as a Resident Evil clone. Konami still knew that it had a potential blockbuster series on it's hands however, so it pulled out all the stops for the sequel. The move to Sony's brand new PS2 console meant Silent Hill 2 had incredible graphics for the time. Indeed, it would be at least a year until a game that looked better would appear. Graphically, the title was everything the original was meant to be. With a new main character, a new story, and all new scenery, it was also a different experience. James Sunderland had just received a letter from his wife, telling him to meet her in the old resort town of Silent Hill. Trouble is, his wife died three years ago...

While some complained it was just more of the same, and that the script was not as clever as the first game (and contradicted itself), it was still a creepy and memorable experience. Who can forget the mysterious girl at the bowling alley, or the freaky shape-shifting...erm...freaks? And until Resident Evil 4's Regenerators, Silent Hill 2's Pyramid Head was the reigning champ of scary game critters. -- David Low


Quake II
PC, 1997
D: ID Software | P: Activision
105 points

If games such as Wolfenstein and Doom are the granddaddys of the first-person shooter genre, Quake II has got to be the granddaddy of online multiplayer first-person shooters. Lying on top of a story that featured big, robotic aliens and plenty of huge, hulking guns, Quake II's multiplayer was one of the first that you could play against your friend from across the road, town, state and even country.

There were few feelings as satisfying back then as sadistically herding everyone into the water and zapping them all with the Electric Gun - imagining the look on your friend’s faces when you suckered them in could provide hours of entertainment alone. The technical excellence of the package couldn't be questioned either, with games like Half-Life, Counter-Strike and countless other mods built off Quake II’s engine. Not only was Quake II the granddaddy of FPS multiplayer, but it was the granddaddy of the mod community as well. -- Jeremy Jastrzab


F-Zero GX
GameCube, 2003
D: Amusement Vision | P: Nintendo
106 points

Futuristic racers tend to come in three flavours. There's the fast ones, the even faster ones, and then there's F-Zero. F-Zero GX was (and still is) fast. Cheek-flappingly fast, infact. So when your speedometer told you that you were travelling in excess of one thousand miles per hour, you tended to believe it. This knuckle-whitening speed has been a trademark of the series since it first appeared on the SNES, though it was the GameCube's F-Zero GX, a project developed by Sega's Amusement Vision studio, that is perhaps the best entry in the series to date.

As well as the speed, all the familiar F-Zero ingredients are here: tracks that twist, turn, rotate, contort and fall back on themselves, thirty racers per race, and eye-popping visuals. However, the greatest achievement of the game was the way in which you never felt out of control, despite the awesome velocity you were travelling at.


Advance Wars: Dual Strike
Nintendo DS, 2005
D: Intelligent Systems | P: Nintendo
107 points

Thanks to the unadulterated excellence of the original Advance Wars, every new game in the series means developer Intelligent Systems has to perform a vital balancing act. Change too much, and they risk ruining a formula already fine-tuned to near-perfection. Change too little, and they're perceived to be conning gamers. With Dual Strike however, Intelligent Systems have remained on the tightrope, despite the odd wobble.

The game expands on the two previous GBA titles by making each turn-based battle a two-on-two affair, with players now controlling two COs, rather than just one. With certain pairings working better in tandem than others, it's this addition that lends the game yet another layer of strategy, depth and complexity. That's not to say this is an inaccessible game though; after all, every Advance Wars game we've encountered has proven wonderfully approachable to even the greenest real-time strategy neophyte. Meanwhile, mastering its intricacies requires a serious investment of time and effort, though it's hugely rewarding.


Super Smash Bros.
Nintendo 64, 1999
D: HAL Laboratory | P: Nintendo
108 points

The Nintendo 64 has performed well in this survey, though that's not to say the console always had every game genre licked. Until late on in the console's life, there was a dearth of decent fighting games on the system, with the Ocean-developed Fighters Destiny the only viable option. The game that rescued the situation was Super Smash Bros., a scrolling, 2.5D scrapper where reflexes and timing were crucial, and a title that could well have featured the biggest cast of primary Nintendo characters ever (or at least until it's GameCube follow-up arrived).

The singleplayer mode was a sizeable task in itself, though it was the multiplayer matches which sucked up the most playtime, finally allowing gamers to let Mario and Link slug it out on top of Peach's Castle. Understandably, the Nintendo fanboy brigade rejoiced. The rest of us simply sat back and enjoyed introducing Pikachu to the business end of a baseball bat.


Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge
PC, 1991
D: LucasArts | P: LucasArts
108 points

The return of Guybrush Threepwood after 1990's The Secret of Monkey Island was a largely triumphant affair, containing all the wickedly sharp humour and dialogue that characterised the first game. The plot is suitably offbeat, and the visuals are a work of art, literally speaking - charmingly, every background in the game was scanned in from real hand drawn paintings.

It was the first LucasArt game to use dedicated cut-scenes, and an improved user interface (one that replaced the written instructions of The Secret of Monkey Island with pictorial instructions) resulted in the most refined point-and-click system of the time. More than anything though, it's the script that drew players in, earning the game an obsessively devoted audience, and the kind of cult status that only a handful of titles enjoy.


Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec
PlayStation 2, 2001
D: Polyphony Digital | P: Sony
109 points

It seems strange to recall that this petrolhead's dream of a game is now over four years old. Perhaps that's because, almost half a decade later, Gran Turismo 3 still looks captivating. Simply viewing a replay was absorbing enough, watching the real-time lighting and glare effects bounce off the surfaces of the impeccably modelled cars, the view in the distance obscured by the hazy heat effects rising from the racetrack. It's barely surprising when you hear that this was a game that boasted ten times the number of total polygons seen in PlayStation predecessor Gran Turismo 2, though it wasn't just the visuals that set lofty standards.

The soundtrack is a stellar mix of original compositions and a wide variety of recording artists, including Motley Crue, Raekwon, Jimi Hendrix, and Snoop Dogg. But just as in the first two Gran Turismo games, the cars themselves were the stars of the show. Driving and mastering each vehicle was an art in itself, with each of the game's 150 cars driving differently to the last and possessing it's very own subtleties and nuances.


God of War
PlayStation 2, 2005
D: Sony | P: Sony
110 points

By fusing the mythical atmosphere of Prince of Persia: Sands of Time and the hectic, relentless combat of Devil May Cry, Sony's Santa Monica studio created an adventure earlier this year that can stand up to comparison with the very finest titles to have appeared from the Sony development stable.

Blessed with quite gorgeous looks (the richness of the detail in the environments, some of the best ever seen, is the highlight) and a combat system that almost makes the aforementioned Sands of Time look clunky, God of War sees players controlling feared warrior Kratos, with screen-filling enemies from Greek mythology and spectacular attacks the order of the day. All in all, it's a masterclass in audacious, fluid combat and technical excellence, and it should be played by every serious gamer.


Age of Empires II: Age of Kings
PC, 1999
D: Ensemble Studios | P: Microsoft
111 points

Real-time strategy had been done before Age of Empires II first appeared on shop shelves, but never before on such a scale. Building on the rock-solid foundations laid down by predecessor Age of Empires, Age of Empires II: Age of Kings simply belittled the competition with embarassing ease. It's not just that it crammed in everything that's great about RTS games, or that it included every little historical detail to create a setting that was completely convincing (the game is set from 1100-1500), but that it took all of this to a level that had never been seen before.

The campaigns were an absolute blast (and possessed a simply sublime learning curve), there was pretty much no end to what you could do, and it was topped off with a brilliant, compulsive multiplayer mode. Truly, this was the kind of game that you’d start to play, and would leave the room a few days later. It was accessible enough so that everyone could play, and deep enough to allow you to master your favourite race and conquer the world. Since its release, few games have been even able to nibble at its lofty heels. -- Jeremy Jastzrab


Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos
PC, 2002
D: Blizzard Entertainment | P: Blizzard Entertainment
112 points

Warcraft III was the first foray into 3D for Blizzard's much-loved real-time strategy series, yet the switch proved surprisingly untroubled, with the humour and style of 1995's Warcraft II perfectly retained in this follow-up. New additions to the formula, such as the inclusion of Hero characters, helped to enhance the gameplay without upsetting the balance achieved in Warcraft II, and Blizzard were even thoughtful enough to accomodate those players with weedier machines - we can recall running this without too many problems on our rather lame Duron 700, something of a revelation in an age when most new PC titles are far more demanding.

There is the odd niggle, design-wise - the food limit and unit selection limit are a royal pain - but this is still a memorable and hugely addictive package. Its shiny graphical finesse is matched by the intuitiveness and intelligence of the control system, and it's a mighty fine starting point for anybody looking to get into Warcraft, or even the RTS genre as a whole. Thoroughly excellent.


Super Mario Sunshine
GameCube, 2002
D: Nintendo | P: Nintendo
114 points

It would be fair to say that Shigeru Miyamoto and Nintendo were fighting a losing battle where Super Mario Sunshine was concerned. As the follow-up to a game that stretched boundaries and reshaped the platform genre, Sunshine was never going to equal the achievements of Mario 64, the illustrious adventure that had preceded it six years before. As expected, the spectre of Mario 64 loomed large in the critical reception to Sunshine, though many observers were arguably a little harsh on what remains one of the very best 3D platformers of its generation.

Super Mario Sunshine was big, bold, and genuinely moved platformers forward. Granted, it wasn't the kind of progress initiated by the incomparable Mario 64 - more a baby step forwards, if anything - but the inclusion of Mario's FLUDD water pack and a host of new environmental features (the elastic bands that were strewn across levels, for example) meant that Sunshine succeeded in its bid to explore new territory in what has always been a crowded, hackneyed genre. And sometimes, mere evolution is enough.


Star Wars Battlefront
PlayStation 2, Xbox, PC, 2004
D: Pandemic Studios | P: LucasArts
115 points

Star Wars may well have a chequered history when it comes to videogame conversions, but Battlefront proves to be a happy exception to the rule. This is largely thanks to the hefty ambition displayed by the game and it's developer Pandemic, who've managed to recreate the galactic-sized battles that Star Wars is famous for, and all without a drop in the smooth-as-butter frame-rate, regardless of how many AT-ATs are thrown into the action.

Mix in a typically grandiose soundtrack, a sterling online multiplayer and environments that are suitably epic in scale, and you've got a Star Wars game that does everything a good Star Wars game should. There's not many games based on George Lucas' franchise that can sincerely say the same.


Conker's Bad Fur Day
Nintendo 64, 2001
D: Rare | P: Rare
116 points

The schoolboy humour in Rare's excellent 3D platformer often overshadows the fact that Conker's Bad Fur Day is actually an impressive technical achievement, boasting visuals that few (if any) N64 titles can match, and with some quite exemplary cut-scenes thrown in for good measure.

The sound is also well executed, there's a surprisingly fine multiplayer mode, but in truth there's no ignoring the fact that Rare's game revels in its toilet humour, with every area of schoolyard humour openly covered. With a cast that includes Scouse dung beetles, swearing cogs (see below) and a giant, opera-singing faeces, you get the general idea. Lowbrow it may be then, but you'll certainly laugh out loud on a few occasions on your way to the finish line.


Chrono Cross
PlayStation, 2000
D: Squaresoft | P: Square
117 points

This likeable sequel to the SNES classic Chrono Trigger saw players take up the role of a young boy called Serge. Set some twenty years after the events of the first game, we joined Serge as he traversed parallel worlds; both the world in which he lives, and the one in which he drowned 10 years earlier.

This intriguing narrative is fleshed out with some of Square's very best characters to date, and the Link to the Past-esque plot, which sees Serge travel between the two worlds in order to progress, is supported by a typically unique battle system from Squaresoft. Admittedly some of the earlier battles are perhaps a little on the easy side, but this is a fine example of RPG gaming, and yet another notch to Square's prestigious bow.



So there you go; 20 down, 80 to go. Any games there that you voted for? Any you didn't expect to see? And if so, where should they have been? Tell us what you think by clicking here, and keep logging on to catch which games made it in to positions 80-61 shortly.

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8 years ago
I can't believe two of my favourite games ever got 100th and 99th. icon_lol.gif
8 years ago
Whats with so many awesome games being ranked so lowly?

Its an injustice I say! icon_razz.gif
8 years ago
There are still 80 spots to grab, so maybe there's even more awesome games above the awesomeness on display here? icon_wink.gif
8 years ago
Wooaaahhh. icon_surprised.gif Bring it on! icon_razz.gif
8 years ago
I'm going to get e-bashed for this, but I'm glad Super Mario Sunshine ranked low. Ideally for me it wouldn't have even made the list, but I'm glad it wasn't overly recognised.

I really didn't like that game, even though I loved Super Mario 64.

*Note to self, must buy F-Zero GX and AW:DS*
8 years ago
Thankfully none of my top 10 have been anounced yet! Great article though guys, I thought you'd just write down the names in a format like gamerankings, but this way is much nicer.
8 years ago
Well, at least FFXI scraped position 100.
And hooray for some favourites in the list, Quake II, F-Zero GX, Advance Wars DS and Super Smash Bros (Hooray for ooverpowered Kirby!)

Oh, and double hooray for Chrono Cross, one of my favourite RPGs ever.
8 years ago
Can't believe that many good games are so low in the list... And conker's bad fur day is so high.
8 years ago
Warcraft 3 - 85? APOX ON THEE!!!!!!!!
8 years ago
I think this might turn out to be one of the most questionable top 100s ever.

Conker's Bad Fur Day should be first thebigm icon_razz.gif

Can't believe how low some games ranked, I mean F-Zero GX in the bottom 20? Didn't see that coming. I'm glad Secret of Monkey Island made it (even though I didn't vote for it). I'm puzzled by the inclusion of Chrono Cross. I mean Trigger is the better game, and surely everyone could think of enough games not to include sequels. Must be some damn Square fanboys; you know who you are icon_razz.gif

j/k but seriously, FFXI, how many votees were there altogether? 20 regulars from the boards icon_lol.gif
8 years ago
2 of my choices were in there...
I'm surprised that Quake 2, SSBM and The Sims rated so low, This poll obviously isn't the greatest -selling- titles of all time icon_smile.gif

Soul Calibur 2 Is going to be beaten by some shitty Tekken game isn't it? Where's the justice...
8 years ago
Yay, I voted for Fzero GX. I cant remember where I put it on my list though.
8 years ago
With so many good games this high, what on earth was voted for the lower spots?

Battlefront? Piss off. icon_razz.gif
8 years ago
I can count (at most) 3 people who may have put FFXI on the list.

I put Trigger on my list too I think, but Cross has the superior soundtrack.
8 years ago
Chrono Cross was the only game so far that I voted for. It deserves something better than 81 surely! That one of my all time favorite RPG's dammit! Oh well, that must mean Chrono Trigger is still to come. That's something of a consolation...

I was pretty suprised to see one of the best 3D fighters ranked so low (although I didn't vote for it, i think that should be higher ranked too).

A very interesting list, and it's only just begun! Hurry and release the next lot so I can complain some more! I can't wait.
8 years ago
Already, the list is quite surprising.
8 years ago
This list is.....yeah...surprsing...in two ways.

First i am PLEASANTLY surprised that palgn, or the dude(s) handling the 100 list didnt take the easy way out and just list the games names numerically.I love the small write-ups of each game and what made them great.Kudos!

Though......i am slightly worried about the high caliber of games.....in the 100-81 range!So far ive yet to see any REALLLL gems yet(well....aw-ds deserved higher/or the series as a whole deserved higher) but generally i havent seen any masterpieces relgated to lowly double digit positions....

Personally, i think this thing is gunna be a god damn bombshell when the top 10 reach us.Oh i shudder.....if oot doesnt make the top 1.......like it always does(and should dagnabbit!).......what will i do?
8 years ago
'how many votees were there altogether?'

In excess of five hundred I believe, though I can't recall exactly. It is pretty comprehensive - for a game to have got spot #100, it would have needed to appear on about fifteen to twenty lists. Which means Battlefront probably appeared on 20+ lists. Which is scary. icon_neutral.gif
8 years ago
Yeah, god knows how Battlefront got in it, it's the only game in that group that I really disagree with being there, incredibly overrated game in my opinion. It was decent enough I suppose, but I have no idea how people can be asked to name their top 10 greatest games and list Battlefront in that top 10 icon_confused.gif
8 years ago
Out of those I voted Sims, still a chance 9 more of my games could make it.
8 years ago
I'm quite disappointed with F-Zero GX's position as it was ranked reasonably highly on my list but anyway. If this (and Soul Calibur 2 for that matter) are so far down, then just where will the rest of my voted games place exactly? Time shall tell.
8 years ago
Come on... 100 - 81 is good! These are the top100 games! I'm stoked to see some of my favourites in the list already because I know some of them won't be icon_sad.gif

Yeahy NiGHTS! Huzzah F Zero! (oficially better than Wipeout 2097)

That said, I'm curious to learn how our top 10 rankings were converted for a top 100. e.g. how would a number 1 on an individual entry weight against a number 10?
8 years ago
I'm guessing a simple 10 points for position 1, down to 1 point for position 10... but I could be wrong... icon_kero.gif
8 years ago
'I'm guessing a simple 10 points for position 1, down to 1 point for position 10'

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