My Top 20

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This being my first ever blog and since this is a gaming site, I figured I would make my all time favorite top 20 games list. I've enjoyed gaming for a long time and these titles are ones that I have enjoyed to play over and over, no matter how many times I have gotten through them. These are my personal favorites, even if many may not agree me. So here we go in all its glory.

20. Final Fantasy VII (PS) Squaresoft, 1997

At this point in my life, I was loyal to Nintendo. I was loyal to Zelda and Mario. But I loved the Final Fantasy games just a little more. So when I found out that FFVII was going to be a PS exclusive, I found my loyalties swaying in a different direction. I purchased a Sony Playstation specifically for this game and it turned out to be a great decision, not only because this game was so good, but because it opened me to the floodgates of great games on the PS. FFVII is a landmark game with an amazing storyline, characters, battle system, 3-D graphics that were amazing for its time, and just all around fun gameplay that make it an incredibly engaging experience. The FMV also blew me away. I was awed when I saw Aeris walking around in the opening scene and more scenes such as Gold Saucer and the WEAPON scenes that just kept coming. It is most popular game in the series, with the release of Advent Children and Crisis Core to capitalize on its success. Personally, however, as great as this game truly is, I think there are even better Final Fantasy games out there (more on this later).

19. Rollercoaster Tycoon (PC) Atari, 1999

To be honest, like many people, I'm more of a console gamer. Every once in a blue moon, however, a game on the PC will catch my attention. This one is on the top of that list. My brother, a friend of mine and myself would spend countless hours building theme parks and best of all creating rollercoasters. Between the three of us, we created over 300 of them! I think that I still have copies of them on a disk somewhere. Unfortunately, it doesn't play very well on newer PCs which is a real shame. Hopefully, Chris Sawyer will grace us with a copy of this game that will work on XP or Vista (someone let me know if there already is one). The graphics aren't that great, even for its time and you need some patience with it because it technically is a business type of game, but the game is very satisfying when you get through your objectives and show your friends your work. The two expansion packs added to it make the game even better. The sequels, unfortunately, simply don't compare to the original.

18. The Legend of Zelda (NES) Nintendo, 1987

I remember when my dad bought my brothers and me a NES when we were kids and we all have been hooked on gaming ever since. The system came with Super Mario Brothers and Duck Hunt, but one game I really wanted to try was the one they constantly advertised on television at that time, the Legend of Zelda. It was The Legend of Zelda that truly gave me my love for gaming. The father of the action RPG. Complete freedom to explore in a game was unheard of back then and being able to complete the game in a nonlinear fashion captivated me. I think that this game was 10 years ahead of its time. Dungeon crawling, fighting monsters, saving the damsel in distress, and saving the world is all here and are things commonly used in game today. This game continues to stand the test of time and the series continues to endure to this day.

•17. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, (PS2), Rockstar Games, 2002

The GTA series is certainly an intriguing and always controversial series. It has always been about the open freedom to cause chaos. I remember my uncle got me a copy of the first game for the PC and I thought it was entertaining for about 10 minutes and never played it again. When GTA III finally came out, I wasn't interested. I wasn't until a friend of mine brought over a copy of the game that my mind changed. When I played it, I was instantly hooked. Controversial or not, it is an incredible experience of gaming for anyone mature enough to handle it (It is not for kids at all). And as good as GTA III was, GTA: Vice City was even better. Even after San Andreas and GTA IV have been released, GTA: Vice City is still in my opinion, the best in the series. If you were to ask me why though, I couldn't tell you. Maybe it's the 1980s setting, maybe it's the characters, maybe it's the story, maybe it's the music, I don't have a definitive answer. I just have more fun with this one than the others in the series and usually I go back to Vice City if I need a GTA fix.

16. Street Fighter II Turbo (SNES), Capcom, 1993

Street Fighter II was an arcade favorite of mine. A home version was released on the SNES that was almost a perfect version of the arcade. I never owned a copy of the original but rented it all the time and never got tired of it. When the turbo version was released with faster gameplay and the ability to use the four characters unplayable in the first version, I knew I had to have it. I believe I got it for Christmas one year. It is still to this day my favorite fighting game and took hours and hours of my social life away, but I have to admit that I was never really good at it. Here is hoping that Street Fighter IV lives up to the hype.

15. Mega Man III (NES), Capcom, 1990

Sometimes the blue bomber falters, but when the hits the mark, he hits it big. Mega Man III hits the mark. I have a place in my heart for the MM series. I remember as a kid playing this one all night long never getting a wink of sleep. The game is faster and longer than its predecessors and the music, graphics and the gameplay seal the deal. But I could have survived if Top Man never made it into the game. It was so great when all 8 Mega Man games were released for the PS2 and Xbox and few years ago so that I still play this one and the others. The newer MM series of game, including the X series, just don't compare. And although MMIII is great, it is alas the second best game in this series.

14. Chrono Trigger,(SNES), Squaresoft, 1995

It hard to argue when people say this is one the greatest games ever made. Games this well made do not come around often. I personally never owned a copy of the SNES version, but played in several occasions. I finally got a copy of it for myself when it was released on the PS. The cartridge version sells on EBay for a pretty hefty price. Rightfully so, as it is a testament to quality of titles that were made at this time, the golden age of gaming. A time traveling RPG with an engaging story, good graphics, characters and a battle system that removed random encounters, it's really hard not to like this one. The DS version released last year made the great game even better with touch screen and new map features. Anyone who has not tried this game needs to.

13. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic,(XBox), LucasArts/Bioware, 2003

I love Star Wars, always have. I also always enjoyed the Star Wars games as well. I still own copies of the games released on the SNES back in the day. Star Wars games can be, however, a hit or a miss. Some are good and some can be real bad. The PS era saw one bad Star Wars game after another come out. It was a real shame. But I was real excited when KOTOR was announced. I believe this game brought the series of games back to high caliber quality gaming. It also introduced me to Bioware games that I have become a big fan of (hopefully EA won't destroy them). But I have to admit, I was a little disappointed at first. I bought it the day it came out and played it for about five hours and put it down. It wasn't till about a year later that I picked it up again and really got into it. The story rivals the movies! Sure it has glitches here and there, but if there was for me a reason to own an Xbox, then this was it.

12. WWF No Mercy (SNES), THQ, 2000

I was a huge fan of wrestling back when I was younger, and when this game came out, me and my friends spent countless hours making wrestlers and playing against each other. It is the greatest wrestling game ever made. The new Smackdown vs. Raw Series just doesn't compare. The game may not be realistic, but makes up for it with a simple grappling and fighting system that it just more fun to play than the other games. The create a wrestler, which is still the best feature in wrestling games today, soared in this one and while it was somewhat limited, a little imagination went a long way. I still have four memory cards full of created wrestlers, some famous ones and some of my own design. Every once in a while we still put this game out of storage for a slobberknocker.

11. Actraiser (SNES), Enix, 1991

Actraiser is a gem from the Golden Age of Gaming. By combining to separate gameplay elements into a single game, it made an experience like nothing else, an experience that to this very day is truly unique. An action game, a god game with some RPG elements mixed in. This was an early SNES game and really showed the power of the system. I still love the music and the colorful graphics from this one. Whenever I get the urge to bring out the SNES, it is this one that I will usually play first. But it must not have been very popular and the sequel was made as an action game and a terrible one at that.

10. Mass Effect (Xbox 360), Bioware, 2007

This unfortunately, is the only current gen game on this list. But what a game it is. I absolutely loved it! I wasn't so into a game since back in the SNES days. Great graphics, dialog, acting, gameplay and an amazing story and I can't wait to see how it unfolds. The action was also surprising. I am not really into shooters, but I did enjoy the third person shooter system in this as well. Then there is the music, like something off of the old Dr. Who series that just fits the game perfectly. The game made me laugh and made me think and forces you to make some tough decisions. But it is an experience and I can't wait for the sequel.

9. God of War (PS2), SCEA, 2005

This is actually for the GOW series, because there isn't anything as much fun as playing this. It is over the top gory, but the gameplay is as close to perfection and action game can be. Being able to perform instance combos over and over again is so much fun it can be real hard to put the controller down. I have gotten through all three games at least three times each and still want to play them some more. GOW III will hopefully be good as one and two are because it has got a lot to live up to. GOW 1 and 2 are the greatest action games ever made in my opinion.

8. Final Fantasy X (PS2), Squaresoft, 2001

I know what you are thinking. How could X be higher than VII? As good was VII was, I think X is even better! As the first FF to have voice acting, I found to be a great ride from beginning to end. Great graphics, story and characters and a world that is beautiful to look at and fun to be a part of. The battle system I think is the best part of it though. The ability to use your entire party in battle is what makes to so great. The action is also very fast paced so you don't sit in a single battle for an extended period of time. The Sphere Grid is very intimidating at first, but once you get into it, it really grows on you when you realize the ability to customize you characters how you see fit, at least when the game opens up. You can also make you characters incredibly powerful. The game is a bit on the easy side though. There are much more challenging FF titles out there. This game was the first game I bought for the PS2 and still remains my favorite game on this system.

7. Super Castlevania IV (SNES), Konami, 1991

This game was the second game I played on the SNES (behind Super Mario World). Its still remains one of my personal favorites. I loved all of the NES Castlevania games, but this one made the experience even better. The graphics are amazing. Who can forget the two rotating dungeons? How about the swinging chandeliers? The controls were loosened to feel less stiffer, making it easier to move around and ability to swing you whip in 8 directions sweetens the deal just a little bit more. The game also boasted great music, a stable to the series. This is another game I have to play when I get the urge to pull out the SNES. It is a game that has stood the test of time.

6. Super Metroid (SNES), Nintendo, 1994

I didn't really care much for Metroid on the NES, but this game stands out as one the greatest games ever. Back in the day, I used to be able to get 100% completion in less than three hours, but I wouldn't be able to remember how to do that at this point. It's another great game to go back and play when I have the urge. The gameplay it is makes you go back to previously explored areas, but the areas look so good that it really isn't a problem. Clean graphics with no slowdown, lots of hidden areas and awesome boss fights. The last battle with Mother Brain is one of the coolest endings I still have ever seen.

5. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, (PS), Konami, 1997

SOTN is not only the best Castlevania game, but quite possibly the one of the greatest game period. By making the experience open ended and non-linear it changed the way Castlevania games are created. Adding RPG elements into it took the gameplay to an all new level. The game, being on the PS, was able to put a display of gothic artisanship that is both beautiful and creepy all together, a look that fits the feel of the game perfectly. Then there is the soundtrack, which is in my opinion, is the greatest soundtrack to a game that has ever been made. It was a great addition to my PS collection and a game that I constantly go back and play over and over again.

4. Mike Tyson's Punch Out, (NES), 1987

To this day, this is the epitome of fun. The game is simple, short and sweet and to the point, but it is so much fun to play, it can be hard to put it down. The game can be very challenging, especially Tyson himself, but one you learn the tricks of each fighter; the game can be breezed through pretty quickly. But it one of the best games to play on the NES. Knocking out King Hippo never gets old. It's simple to where you can site down and play the whole game in less than an hour.

3. Mega Man II, (NES), Capcom, 1989

This is the blue bombers ultimate ride. There is no doubt about it. The best game is the series. The best gameplay, the best bosses, the best music and the best music, period. No other game in the series even comes close, or almost any game for that matter. The metal gear is the coolest weapon ever. The Bubble Man stage and music are the best ever in the series. I used to play this at a friends house. I stayed up one night until 3 in the morning until I finally beat it. I was excited when they release for the PS2 a few years ago. It gave me the chance to play it again.

2. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (SNES), Nintendo, 1992

This game is Zelda Perfection. It took the original game, made it look nicer, made it longer and expanded the gameplay to make it more challenging. It stands as my favorite in the series, and I enjoy it ever more than the original or Ocarina of Time. I have probably gotten through this game over 20 times and I still can't get enough of it. It was one of the ultimate experiences of gaming during its time. They have released many other overhead versions, such as the Minish Cap, Phantom Hourglass and the Gameboy versions, but it is this one that they inspire to be better than, but always fall short.

1. Final Fantasy VI, (SNES-Released as Final Fantasy III), Squaresoft, 1994

This is the masterpiece. This is my ultimate gaming experience. This is the greatest game ever made, period. No other game has hooked me, captivated me and sent chills down my spine more than FFVI. It was the first game to really reel me in and glue me to my TV like no other game has. Any game that was before it or has come after it doesn't even come close. I played it on occasions, but did not own my own copy until 1997 and paid $80 for it. It was worth every penny. It still is if you can find a copy of it on EBay. The games graphics were top notch for its time, but it was a combination of things that makes it so great. You have 14 characters to choose from, more than any other FF, and each has there own abilities and well as the use of magic. The game is very lengthy and challenging and may take 50 or more hours to get through. The monsters sprites are large and detailed and give a sense of dread that you may be fighting something fierce, even if you are really not. Each character has a great backstory that just adds to the experience. And when the second half of the game starts, you are free to finish the game in any way you see fit. I also think that Kefka is the greatest bad guy in all of gaming, the Darth Vader of gaming. He is the guy you love to hate because he is so evil. These factors are the reasons why this game stands on the top of the mountain was the greatest game ever made.