R#09's Top 25 Video Games of All Time! (15-11)

No. 15 — Streets of Rage
Genre: Side-Scrolling Beat ‘Em Up
Release: 1991
Platforms: Sega Genesis, Sega Game Gear, Sega Master System, MegaPlay, Virtual Console, iPhone OS

Let me lay it out for you: Three police officers take to the streets (of rage). They don’t carry guns. Or tasers. Or even nightsticks. They carry their fists and their feet and their complete and utter disregard for safety. Now, these streets (of rage) are in utter chaos, teeming with low-life scum, crazy ladies with whips, and gigantic guys in denim vests carrying boomerangs. And these cops? The ones with the fists? They just start wrecking face. They begin at one end of the street (of rage) and wade through until they get to the end, throwing punks through phone booths, cracking heads open with pipes, and just generally being total badasses and playing by their own set of rules. That is the entire premise of Streets of Rage, and it remains to this day a testament to how awesome things truly can be when you’re punching people in the face without remorse.

No. 14 — Rock Band 2
Genre: Rhythm Game
Release: 2008
Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, Wii

When Harmonix announced Rock Band 2, not even a year had passed since the release of their smash-hit Rock Band, and fans were pissed — for about three seconds. You see, Harmonix followed that announcement up with a few addendums, including: 1) Rock Band 2 would be compatible will all Rock Band DLC — past, present, and future; 2) Rock Band 2 would allow owners of the previous game to export the on-disc songs to their hardrive, enabling them to play those songs in the sequel; 3) If you bought the game, Harmonix would send some free DLC your way; 4) It would be bigger, better, and improved in every conceivable way. The result? Only the single greatest rhythm game of all time. Suck it, Guitar Hero.

No. 13 — Metal Gear Solid
Genre: Stealth Action
Release: 1998
Platforms: PlayStation, PlayStation Network, PlayStation 3

Metal Gear Solid is another one of those games that my friends and I beat in one sitting, passing the controller over when one of us got too tired to keep our eyes open. This game, along with others like Syphon Filter, concretely defined what a stealth game could and should be — open environments, tons of crafty villains, and plenty of shadowy hiding places to huddle in. The game’s gruff protagonist, Solid Snake, remains one of my favorite video game characters of all time, and the cinematic style just can't be beat. The story is just insanely complex, in a very good way. And the boss fight with Psycho Mantis? Classic. Simply classic.

No. 12 — Star Fox 64
Genre: Rail Shooter / Space Simulator
Release: 1997
Platforms: Nintendo 64, iQue Player, Virtual Console

“Do a barrel roll!” Those infamous words, uttered by Fox McCloud’s copilot, Peppy Hare, perfectly sum up Star Fox 64, one of the most insanely fun and replayable console games out there. The game is a simple rail shooter — you pilot an Arwing, a state-of-the-art space fighter operated by the Star Fox mercenary force, through predetermined paths on various planets throughout the Lylat System. You dodge obstacles, shoot down enemy aircraft, and do battle with epic end-level bosses, all of whom take great pleasure in mocking you as you blast them into space dust. What really sets Star Fox 64 apart from the rest of the pack, though, is its replay-value — the multitude of different paths that can be taken to the final battle with Andross offers players the opportunity of a completely different gameplay experience every time. Oh, and the multiplayer was awesome too.

No. 11 — Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings
Genre: Real-Time Strategy
Release: 1999
Platforms: Windows, Mac OS, PlayStation 2

Just missing out on the top ten is Age of Empires II, another genre-definer. Players select one of a couple dozen cultures and bring them through the ages of ancient and medieval history, beginning as little more than foragers with spears, and ultimately reaching the peak of medieval advancement with troops like longbowmen and trebuchets. The game was conquest, yes — but it was also politics and economy, with resources that needed managing, and allies and enemies that needed appeasing (or butt-kicking, but you get the idea). The game was balanced, strategic, and just downright fun. I have many fond memories of epic, late-night battles on this game with friends over LAN.


  1. Apparently, my video game upbringing is far lacking compared to yours. I grew up on the more kid-oriented NES, so... I've played very few of these. Your reviews make me want to, though, and I've never thought I was missing out in my lack of "Starfox" or "Streets of Rage" until now.

    Under "Metal Gear Solid": one (space) sitting. It would, however, be a "one-sitting game." I'm a nerd.

  2. I was definitely a child of the '90s. Not in terms of music or pop culture, but in video games. 90% of my list is made up of games from the '90s. I mean, that's what I did as a kid.

    And thanks for the edits. =)


All comments are strictly moderated by this blog's administrator. Obscene, hateful, or otherwise offensive comments will not be tolerated. Racist, sexist, or homophobic remarks have no place on this blog. Spam will be promptly reported and deleted. For more information on R#09's moderation policies, please check the FAQs.