Top 25 Games of All Time: #25-21

In today’s post, super gets super and a classic gets recognized.

Well here we are, the official start of my top 25 games of all time! Yesterday, I went through a few honorable mentions before officially starting my list. Today, it begins! Let’s not waste any time, shall we? Today, we have three titles that start with the word “super,” my favorite Zelda game of all time, and a PC classic that I’m sure many of you have fond memories of.

25: Super Mario Advance 3: Yoshi’s Island

Developer: Nintendo EAD

Publisher: Nintendo

Release Date: September 24, 2002

Platform(s): Game Boy Advance

I never owned a SNES, so the only way I could experience Yoshi’s Island was through its GBA port, Super Mario Advance 3. This was one of the games that defined my childhood; I spent countless hours exploring the many beautiful environments it had to offer, and it was a blast. Forget the art style for a bit; this game just felt right when I played it. Yoshi moved in exactly the way you expected he would, and the egg mechanic led to some very creative (and unusual) level design. Of course, the game’s presentation is equally as impressive; the art and music felt at home with the upbeat, zany nature of Yoshi, and trying to collect every single little trinket in each and every level was, while excruciatingly hard, wholly enjoyable.

24: The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap

Developer: Capcom

Publisher: Nintendo

Release Date: January 10, 2005

Platform(s): Game Boy Advance

The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap is the only Zelda game on my list, so I guess that would make it my favorite Zelda game of all time! For some reason, it’s often forgotten on many Zelda lists, perhaps due to the fact that it was the Game Boy Advance’s only original Zelda game. But perhaps that is also why I love it so much. It was the first portable Zelda game to feature that cartoon-styled Link from Wind Waker who we all know and love, and it was through this distinct art style that Capcom created a vibrant world of color and life. The Minish Cap “gimmick” allowed players to shrink Link down to the size of an ant, which made for some very interesting puzzles and environments. To me, it took the best elements of action and adventure and compressed it into this tiny little world full of fun and surprises. This truly is the definitive 2D Zelda game.

The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap also gets the honor of “Best Zelda Game” (yes, that’s a category).

23: Super Mario Galaxy 2

Developer: Nintendo EAD

Publisher: Nintendo

Release Date: May 23, 2010

Platform(s): Wii

A lot of people saw Super Mario Galaxy as one of the greatest games of all time. I saw it as a great game with a couple of problems when it came to its camera and controls. Then, Super Mario Galaxy 2 came around and I fell in love. 3D platformers being my video game genre, Super Mario Galaxy focused less on the outer space gimmick the original Mario Galaxy focused on and more on creating huge, interesting worlds. Numerous nods and references to the Mario games of old added a bit of nostalgia and memorability to the already fantastic platforming adventure. The addition of Yoshi as well as new items and minigames made Mario Galaxy 2 feel like a massive expansion of the great ideas found in Galaxy 1, but refined and improved. It’s a ton of fun, and one of the best games the Wii has to offer.

22: Super Monkey Ball Deluxe

Developer: Amusement Vision

Publisher: Sega

Release Date: January 10, 2005

Platform(s): PlayStation 2, Xbox

Even though Super Monkey Ball first found life on the Nintendo GameCube, it was Super Monkey Ball Deluxe – the remix of Super Monkey Ball 1 & 2 – that made me fall in love with the franchise. Players control AiAi and his friends through a series of 310 levels spanning multiple worlds in hopes of catching Dr. Bad Boon (don’t you just love this game already?). It’s a simple game; your goal is to roll your ball into the finish line while avoiding obstacles like bumpers and holes. But the levels get harder, and the level design flies off the charts. Before you know it, you’ll be racing dominoes and flying across hot tubs. But that’s not what makes Super Monkey Ball Deluxe so memorable for me. No, it’s the plethora of minigames – particularly Monkey Race – that brought me back to this game over and over again. Ingenious level design, addictive multiplayer minigames, ridiculous story – it’s everything you love about Monkey Ball, but packed in one little disc.

21: RollerCoaster Tycoon

Developer: Chris Sawyer Productions

Publisher: Infogrames

Release Date: March 31, 1999

Platform(s): PC

By the year 1999, most households had at least one computer. And by 1999, most computers had at least one game. And of course, that game would likely be RollerCoaster Tycoon. At the time, it was considered to be one of the best PC games ever made, and it became a huge hit almost instantly. Critics lauded it for its freedom, allowing players to complete scenarios in any way they wanted. In a way, it was almost a sandbox game, but with specific goals that needed to be accomplished first. Each scenario was unique, and as you progressed from level to level, the scenarios get wackier and wackier. I spent hours crafting each park to perfection, trying to complete each objective as quickly as I could so that I could start messing around with my parks as soon as it was finished. Seriously, no tycoon game could ever hope to be as great as this, unless, of course, they made a sequel…

That’s all for today. Check back tomorrow for more of my top 25 games of all time!


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