50 years ago today the Lego brick as we know it was born, allowing generation after generation of parents to stand in the toy aisle at their favorite retail establishment exclaiming, “How the hell do these cost so much? They’re just Legos for chrissakes!” Seriously, I’d be ass-deep in Star Wars Lego crap if the price point weren’t so insane. Still, 50 years of Lego history has given us countless Lego video games (if you can’t count to 33), so I figured I would take a moment to check out the top five Lego video games of all time, in honour of this special day.
5. Lego Digital Designer
Not so much a game as it was the updating of Lego to the digital age, allowing you to use your Mac or PC online to create your own Lego design and then order the blocks online, bringing your virtual creation to life. For those of us who can’t afford the millions of Lego bricks it would take to build their own Lego home, this is as good as it gets.
4. Lego Racers (PC)
Number four would have to be sublime mixture of racing and building that was Lego Racers. While some reviewers thought it rather average, for me it was a lovely combination of two of my favorite pastimes, allowing me to build my own car and driver and then run them through a rather impressive series of tracks. Simple, sure, but I was pretty simply back in 1999 too.
3. Lego Chess (PC)
Oh sure, it’s pretty much just Battlechess with Legos, but I’m a big fan of any game that mixes my deep love of strategic thinking with the torturing of tiny Lego beings.
2. Lego Island (PC)
The closest you’re ever likely to get to my dream game, Grand Theft Lego, Lego Island was an open-ended PC game that allowed you to customize an entire island to your liking and explore using any number of vehicles you found or created to explore what your inventive mind had wrought. While it didn’t let you stab prostitutes, you could always imagine it…Lego is all about using your imagination.
1. Lego Star Wars: The Video Game
You knew this was coming, didn’t you? I wouldn’t be the geek I am today if not for both Lego and Star Wars, so the combination of the two is almost like merging my parents together into one amazing, half-dead parental unit, which while creepy really is the essence of the Lego brand. Putting things together using your imagination. i choose the first game because it was the success of it that led not only to the sequel and repack, but Lego Batman, Lego Indiana Jones, and – if I had my way – Grand Theft Lego.
A short list you might not all agree with, but that’s the beauty of lists now, isn’t it? Honestly the franchise has had a rather rocky start in the video games industry, but with Lego Batman, Lego Indiana Jones, and the upcoming MMO Lego Universe on the way, things are looking brighter every day for those little clickable building blocks. Happy 50th Lego!