Welcome to part 8 of my countdown of the the 100 best games I've ever played. It's now time for numbers 30 through to 21.
30. Mario Kart 7 (3DS)
In late 2011 the 3DS needed software badly and what better to provide that than Mario Kart. Mario Kart 7 didn't just fill a gaping hole in the release schedule but provided a quality Mario Kart experience full of tracks, characters and features. The new tracks and the kart customisation provide plenty new and its a very good game online to boot.
29. Donkey Kong Country Returns (Wii)
Donkey Kong came back with a bang in 2010 in this Wii platformer. It revived the classic Donkey Kong Country gameplay with a modern feel and I didn't expect to like it but was left thoroughly satisfied. Retro Studios demonstrated their talent with a fun and at times extremely challenging. game. This years upcoming sequel looks even better although I don't expect to get it until at least next summer due to the packed release schedule this winter.
28. Halo (Xbox)
Halo is the only Xbox game in the entirety of this countdown and ranking at 28 shows how highly I rate it. I have lots of great memories of playing it with my brother on his Xbox a decade ago. The campaign is superb especially in co-op and the splitscreen competitive multiplayer is some of the best I have played too.
27. LA Noire (PS3)
LA Noire is a game that successfully manages to combine quality interactive gameplay with a well written story and interesting characters. Playing as a cop in 1940s Los Angeles is a superb experience and their is plenty of gameplay variety through stints in different police departments such as Arson and Homicide. Solving each case through looking through finding clues, chasing and fighting criminals, conducting interviews and interacting with the characters created by top draw face capture techniques is a true joy.
26. Pokemon Leaf Green (GBA)
I was too young to experience Pokemon Red and Blue on their original release and Pokemon Silver was my first Pokemon game. As such when Fire Red and Leaf Green (updated remakes of Red and Blue) were released in 2004 I couldn't wait to play Leaf Green. It combines the best elements of all of the first three Pokemon generations to create a great game and a showcase of how to do remakes well.
25. Mario Tennis (GBC)
Mario Tennis was one of my first videogames and as you can see remains one of my favourites. The handheld version had a great RPG story mode that saw you progress through the ranks of a tennis academy in both singles and doubles to eventually face off against the likes of Mario in the Mushroom kingdom. It also had a good selection of minigames that I played for hours in themselves.
24. F-Zero X (Wii Virtual Console)
I have recently got F-Zero GX on Gamecube to play on my Wii but that came too late to vie for a place in my countdown. I got F-Zero X six years ago through the virtual console however and instantly loved it. The races are fast paced and action packed and their is nothing else like it. The music and track designs are excellent too and I really hope a new F-Zero game can eventually be made.
23. The Legend Of Zelda: The Minish Cap (GBA)
The Minish Cap was my first ever Zelda game when I got it on launch in January 2005 and it quickly enamoured me to the series. The dungeons and items remain among the best I've seen in a Zelda game and it offers a real challenge too. To this day I have never defeated the final boss.
22. Okami (PS2/Wii)
I first got Okami on PS2 and then again when it was remade on Wii because I had sold my PS2 and games. That I bought it again is a testament to its quality. The watercolour graphics bring the Japanese world to life and its is inhabited by interesting characters too. It is let down by too much dialogue but the brush techniques give it a real unique character and I do hope for another game in the series.
21. Toca Race Driver 2 (PS2)
Toca Race Driver 2 stands out as my favourite serious racing game for a number of reasons. The sheer number of tracks and types of racing on offer are staggering and the cars handle exceptionally well. What really makes it stand out though is the career/story mode. I wouldn't normally say that for a racing game but the cutscenes add drama and meaning to the career mode that charts your rise through the racing ranks and it has never been replicated.
Thanks for reading and I hope you look forward to the list moving into the top 20 because the quality really steps up a gear now.