When I read a “Top Games Ever” list, I always look for key words in the author’s foreword. For example, a few years back, 1up.com listed “The 200 Greatest Games of Their Time.” The games featured on the list represented the games that wowed the industry or revolutionized (or even created) a genre. Gamesradar’s list comprises the most fun games ever, taking into consideration the games’ playability in the present. I take issue with TIME Magazine’s recently released “All-Time 100 Video Games” because there’s no indication of what the criteria for making the list is. The introduction headlines “The Best of the Best,” but what does “best” mean? Most fun? Superior design? Readers like me are left bewildered by some of the inclusions and exclusions in the list because we don’t even know why they’re there.
Plenty of games on the list deserve to be there; I don’t think anyone would argue that Super Mario Bros. and Grand Theft Auto III aren’t some of the most important games ever made. But there are some choices that puzzle me. For example, why is Metroid on the list but not its Super Nintendo successor Super Metroid? Every “Best Games Ever” list I’ve ever seen gave the nod to Super because it improved upon the original in every conceivable way. I’ve played both games, and I agree. Super Metroid is just a better game. So, TIME, why? What was the logic? You compared it to Metroid Prime, but not to the other game in the series on your list? Because you didn’t explain yourselves, everyone’s confused.
The odd exclusions don’t end there, either. In the “1990s” section, you’ll notice one blockbuster game missing from the mix: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Other than Super Mario 64, which TIME included on their list, no other game pushed 3D graphics to its limits and changed people’s perceptions of what was possible in video games in that time period. For some unspecified reason, TIME declared the Windows version of Solitaire as one of the top video games ever and not Ocarina. Are you serious? What are the rules to this damn list where Solitaire is mentioned in the same breath as Final Fantasy VII and Ocarina of Time, often revered as THE greatest game ever, is nowhere to be found? I am disappoint, TIME.
To any games or consumer electronics site out there who wishes to create a “Top Games Ever” list: Please, please stipulate the criteria for the list. Words like “best” and “greatest” are too ambiguous to compare so many disparate games, eras and genres. Clarify your assertions, and, please, put Ocarina of Time on the list. Thanks.