In what is ultimately sure to be a fool's errand, Time magazine has compiled a list of the 100 best video games of all time.
Coming up with lists of the bests is harder than it looks, and any set of criteria used will have flaws in it. Curation is hard, and lists change all the time. It's hard to deny the lasting impact on the world that the original Super Mario Bros had, and everyone knows what Tetris is. (Though Kotaku's own Evan Narcisse described it and several others admirably well in the Time list.) Halo launched not just a franchise but also the now-dominant console, and sure, the first Civilization may no longer be the best, but its importance can't be denied.
Looking back to 30 or 40 years ago, we have the benefit of hindsight to see which titles have stood the test of time. Some have since become foundational or legendary, and it's easy to point to those as the bests. The system gets a little trickier with more recent entries, though. Portal is likely to go down in history for spawning cake joke memes, even after its excellent gameplay has long since been forgotten, but is Braid really the best, most meaningful indie game to have picked?
The 2010s section of the list will no doubt generate the most voluble feedback. It covers three years with two games: Batman: Arkham City and Mass Effect 3. The latter is certainly the most controversial game of 2012, but is it the best? Time justifies their pick by explaining that, legendarily divisive ending aside, the game itself is the ending to the trilogy as a whole, and that the way it remembered a player's decisions across two entire previous games makes it worthwhile. They aren't the only ones to feel that way about ME3.
At the moment, the poll on the Mass Effect 3 page has with 78 per cent of respondents saying it definitely belongs on the list, making it far more popular than beloved adventure classic Grim Fandango (23 per cent) or even Chrono Trigger (53 per cent). Perhaps as this furore of the spring dies down, the capstone to BioWare's science fiction trilogy will age well after all.
At least, until the next one comes out.
All-TIME 100 Video Games [Time]