I’ve been wracking my brain for the last few months, attempting to compile a list of my 100 favorite games of all time. I’ve played a lot of video games, having been at this since the NES released in 1985, so coming up with 100 that I can confidently say I enjoyed more than all of the others wasn’t easy — neither was organizing them. But I can’t take it anymore, so I pried myself away from this cursed Word document and decided to just go with what I have. Bottoms up!
Over the next few weeks, I’ll break them down into groups of 10 from #100 all the way to #1. The articles probably won’t be consistent with their timing, but I’ll make it a point to link to the previous lists for the sake of organization (found at the bottom).
It’s worth mentioning that this isn’t a list of the “best” games of all time, just my personal favorites. I’m only human, so there are (of course) countless games I’ve never played — even those that are widely treasured by the gaming community. So if one of your all-time favorites isn’t on the list, that’s probably why. Recommendations in the comment section are always welcome, though. I just ask that you not be a dick about any of my choices. That’s not the point of this.
Let’s dive in!
#70 – Chrono Cross
Let’s face it: no matter how good Chrono Cross turned out, it never would have lived up to fan expectations. Chrono Trigger is a timeless classic and widely considered one of, if not the best RPG of all time. Chrono Cross would have likely fared better if it didn’t have Chrono in the title, what with its limited connectivity to its predecessor, but what was delivered was a competent, enjoyable adventure with stellar visuals, an interesting take on the age-old turn-based combat system, a phenomenal soundtrack, and a laundry list of weird ass characters to battle with. I was so stoked to play Chrono Cross on release day and spent every ounce of my free time seeing it to completion over the following week.
#69 – Resident Evil 2
When it comes to survival horror titles, it’s safe to say no franchise has more adoration than Resident Evil. I was a huge fan of the original game, having played nothing like it at the time, but its sequel improved the formula in every way imaginable. It was bigger, better, creepier, and more intense, but also prettier in a weird polygonal nightmare kind of way. There isn’t much that needs to be said here, though. Resident Evil 2 is a fan favorite that’s been championed by fan horror fans since its release — myself included.
#68 – Diablo III: Reaper of Souls
As a console guy, I didn’t have much history with the Diablo games outside of the PS1 port that I rented once or twice from the local Blockbuster. My girlfriend and I are always on the lookout for good co-op games to play with each other and our mutual MMO friends, so we took a chance on the PS4 port of Diablo III: Reaper of Souls. We were instantly hooked, slashing through the campaign over the course of three days and spending hours upon hours farming rifts and adventure quests for that sweet, sweet loot. I miss my Firebird-geared Wizard and I never did manage to find him the wand that let him summon two fire hydras. Ah well.
#67 – Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen
Dragon’s Dogma was the best open-world RPG that most people didn’t play during the last console generation. Make the open world of Skyrim more bite-sized and throw in the combat of Monster Hunter-meets-Shadow of the Colossus and you’ll come out with a fine game that deserved a much larger audience. You can create your own AI-controlled partner (called Pawns) and then fill out your remaining two party spots by summoning Pawns created by other players online. If another player summons a copy of your Pawn, they’d come back with new enemy data, smarter combat AI, gold, armor, herbs, ore, and more. It was very, very rad and I’m glad it (along with its equally stellar Dark Arisen expansion) was re-released on current-gen consoles for a new audience to check out. It doesn’t hold up as well as it did back then since open-world RPGs have evolved quite a bit, but it’s still worth checking out if I’ve piqued your curiosity.
#66 – The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Ocarina of Time was, at one point, the best Legend of Zelda game I had ever played. I couldn’t imagine my favorite sprite-based franchise transitioning to 3D on the N64 but I was blown away by the end product when I picked up the game in 1999 using my high school graduation money. Now I mainly admire what the game did for video games as a whole, but I’ll be the first to admit that it’s aged poorly and I don’t really enjoy the physical act of playing it much anymore. The 3D remaster is definitely the superior option, but even then I only managed to last a number of hours before moving on to something else.
#65 – Xenoblade Chronicles 2
As someone who blasted Xenoblade Chronicles 2 at launch, I’m honestly surprised it made it so high on my top 100 list (or even made it at all), but here we are. I gave the massive Nintendo Switch JRPG a second chance earlier this year, however, and became absolutely obsessed. It’s a huge game, taking me 80+ hours to finish and barely scratching the surface as far as side-quests go, but I loved every minute. After finishing Xenoblade Chronicles 2 I couldn’t wait to dive into the robust post-game content, tackling super bosses and farming cores to unlock new powerful Blades. It’s a game that I loathed at one point and now I can’t stop thinking (and talking) about it.
#64 – Mass Effect
I hold the Mass Effect trilogy in high regard and I’d go as far as to say it’s my favorite in video game history. I definitely enjoyed the latter two games more than the original, but the inaugural Mass Effect paved the way with its stellar characters and world building that had me playing through the space opera numerous times before its sequel released. The Mako can go fuck the devil in hell, though.
#63 – The Legend of Dragoon
The Legend of Dragoon was Sony’s answer to the Final Fantasy series during the PlayStation’s RPG revival period. It may not have been as good, but it’s certainly one of my favorite RPGs on one of my favorite consoles of all time. I’m not sure how it holds up but I remember being super into the story and the characters, but what really stood out was its take on turn-based combat. Rather than simply surfing through menus and issuing commands, certain characters could press a series of buttons during their attack animation and dish out a few extra whacks. I’m also a sucker for that era’s pre-rendered backdrops.
#62 – Horizon: Zero Dawn + The Frozen Wilds
There isn’t much I can say about Horizon that hasn’t already been stated by millions of others across the globe. I will say, though, that it’s a wonderful, beautiful, open-world action RPG that’s absolutely loaded with fantastic supporting characters, meaningful side quests, a robust combat system (that doesn’t always work as intended), and an amazing leading lady in Aloy. The Frozen Wilds DLC proceeded to take what made Horizon incredible and went above and beyond to make the new area, quests, and faction the best the game has to offer.
#61 – The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Another widely acclaimed action RPG, The Witcher III was actually my first foray into the series. Being a console person, I never had the chance to play the original Witcher until recently and it has definitely aged poorly. The Witcher III, though, was absolutely fantastic from front to back. In the 150 hours I spent with Geralt, his brotherhood of Witchers, his friends, and the ladies that held a special place in his heart, I was constantly intrigued and motivated to push on. The world is massive, but well designed in a way that felt rewarding to explore. You can walk for 60 seconds in any direction and stumble upon a new town with new NPCs and new quests that would otherwise go unnoticed if you simply followed the story beats. If immersive western-style RPGs are your jam, The Witcher III is the best of the bunch.
Thanks for reading! My Top 100 Favorite Games of ALL TIME series will continue soon with #70-#61.
Current lists available: