These May Not Be The 10 Best Video Games Of All Time

These May Not Be The 10 Best Video Games Of All Time

We’re never going to know what the 10 best video games of all time are. But we sure can try.

Since early 2010, my friend N’Gai Croal and I have been trying in the most semi-serious, pseudo-scientific way possible to deduce the 10 top games ever. Our way is surely the best.

On Friday, in Boston, we’ll update the world on our progress and allow our list to be changed yet again. We started this project, which we call Canon Fodder, one year ago.

We started with as flawed but neutral a list as we could find, the list of the 10 best-reviewed video games of all time (who knew Metal Gear Solid on the Game Boy colour was so damn good?)

Then we went to the professionals, allowing game developers – and no one else – to each make a single change to our list. They could remove a game and put a new one in its place. They could swap the position of any two games on the list.

This was the starter list, pulled from GameRankings last year.

1. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
2. Super Mario Galaxy
3. Grand Theft Auto IV
4. Super Mario World
5. Metroid Prime
6. SoulCalibur
7. The Orange Box
8. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
9. Super Metroid
10. Metal Gear Solid (Game Boy colour)

We had 13 developers make their moves by the end of 2010’s PAX East convention in Boston. (You can read about those moves, if it’s not going to make you too angry.)

By PAX Prime in September, another dozen game creators made their moves, leaving us with a list that looked like this:

1. Doom
2. Super Mario World
3. Dance Dance Revolution
4. Civilization
5. Tetris
6. Half Life Counter Strike
7. World of Warcraft
8. Mega Man 2
9. Street Fighter 2
10. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

Over the course of our first two “seasons”, we lost Zelda. We lost Metroid (two of them!). We lost Metal Gear. Only Super Mario World survived! And, hey, we gained DDR, despite the hissing and booing of the PAX crowd. (Read about that second round of moves, if your blood pressure is under control.)

Tomorrow, at PAX East, our Canon Fodder list will change yet again. N’Gai and I have spent recent weeks getting another 10 game developers to each make one change to the list. They’ve done that and made their moves, each of which will be presented for public praise and scorn at PAX East tomorrow during our Canon Fodder, Season 3 panel. We’ll also have three game developers on the panel with us. Those brave men will make their moves live, possibly with the help of our live audience.

On the panel will be Eitan Glinert of Fire Hose Games, whose very fun puzzle/fighting/tower-offense/co-op game Slam Bolt Scrappers will be released as a PlayStation 3 download next week, Greg Kasavin of Supergiant Games, whose majestically voiced action game Bastion was just revealed today to be debuting this summer on Xbox Live Arcade, and Tim Gerritsen of Irrational Games, a team working on a game called BioShock Infinite that we hear has some potential.

Do you think Doom will survive in the number one spot? Is the best Mario really in there? Where in the world is Pac-Man?

Season 3 of Canon Fodder climaxes tomorrow in Boston at 11am in the PAX East Manticore theatre. We’ll have a blow-by-blow for Kotaku readers next week.

(Super Mario World image via DeviantArt.)


  • Surely Zelda or Metrod will have to come back in to the mix. I would kind of like to see a new game in there too. People tend to come down on new games being in lists like these, I have done so myself. It is hard to tell if what is popular now will still be considered a great game of it’s time in the future, but I think we’ve had some good games recently that deserve a mention.

  • The list, as is, is pretty much perfect. I don’t know what the PAX people are so upset, it has a game representative from almost every genre.

    I would really hate to see Zelda or Metroid come back into the list because as great as they were, they are really overrated, and honestly, they can’t compete with any games on this list (except for maybe DDR, that one kind of puzzles me as well. If there HAD to be a ryhtm game, it should have been guitar hero 1 or rock band 1)

    Secondly, YES, super mario world IS the best mario, hands down.

  • the first list is bullsh!t, lets get that outta the way, i mean c’mon soul caliber over street fighter? no. GTA IV? hell no, it was terrible. 2 metroid games? they both weren’t that good. Metal Gear Solid on Game boy colour (ghost babel??) ? what? NO.

    BUT, the second list is pretty much on point. not sure about GTA VC, although it is my favourite, i think GTA3 could be better as it came before VC and kinda laid the groundwork.

    Pac man and maybe Pong and even asteroids should prob get a mention maybe over DDR and/or mega man (although mega man is rad, no denying).

    tough call.

  • WTH, where’s Chrono Trigger? Personal preference aside that game has made it into almost all the “10 best evar games” lists I’ve seen in the last 5 years.

    Actually speaking of which people normally throw in a Final Fantasy as well. In fact I don’t see a single real RPG in any of those lists (unless you could WoW, which I don’t).

    IMO it looks like Square has used up all their remaining backlog of good faith.

  • I’m not going to do the usual self-serving THIS LIST IS WRONG bullshit, but since this is a list of the best games rather than the best products, should the Orange Box really be there? Shouldn’t they consider the games on their individual merit?

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