From Pong To Mass Effect 3: Time Names 100 Best Games Of All Time

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]


    Neither Ocarina of Time nor Wind Waker made it onto that list. Epic fail.

      Meanwhile Desktop Tower Defense and Wii Sports made it through.... Way to go, Time Magazine

        Wii Sports I can kind of understand, as it was the 'killer app' for the Wii, and demonstrated the power of motion controls and the appeal to a massive audience.
        Desktop Tower Defence? Nope.

      Is there even one Zelda title on the list? I couldn't see one at a quick glance. Weirdest list ever.

        There was the original Legend of Zelda, and that was all.

    say what you want about Mass Effect, it holds a special place in my heart and I'm glad to see it make the list

      Mass Effect? yes. Mass Effect 3? Hell no

    Top XX lists for games (and just about anything else) are almost always silly. They are based too much on opinion. For example, I would have put Baldur's Gate there, and Diablo 1 (for essentially defining the Hack and Slash genre), and Super Metroid and Zelda OOT.

    Im sure people would disagree and say Red Alert or something else.

    What a joke, when a top 100 list contains such titles as: Wii Sports, Katamari Damacy, Rez, Solitaire, Flower (Are you kdding me -_-) and ughhh Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare you know its a complete farce =/

    There are many far more deserving games that half the stuff on that list, its as if who ever made it is not a real gamer.

    To me there is a difference between "best" and "greatest" and if you're looking for "best" that means right now today what is actually doing the job. Games that have significance for other reasons for example defining or inventing a genre I would weigh heavily in a "greatest" list. But you know whatever.

    clearly a list compiled by people who don't even play games.

    I can live with most of that, it's discretionary based on their opinion, but when I don't see Baldurs Gate 2 in a top 100 (I'd have it in the top 5) at all, that person loses what little credibility they had.

    I wonder how much EA paid to get that travesty of a game in the list.

    I heard Time was planning on releasing an article on "How To Troll Absolutely Everybody That Has Ever Played A Videogame"... is this it?

    their "justification" for ME3 being on the list sounds like "top game gimmicks of all time"

    Who are these people that don't think KotoR shouldn't be on this list?

    Lists like this usually just make me angry.
    *checks list*

    *Looks at list in search of one specific game*
    *Sees Okami in there*
    Well I'm good folks.

    Edit: Looking through it a bit more, it's actually not that bad of a list. Apart from a few weird ones their choices are pretty solid.

    Last edited 16/11/12 3:25 pm

    Angry Birds? Original Zelda above Ocarina of Time? No Deus Ex: HR? No JSRF (admittedly an outside chance)?


    Nothing to see here.

    Really odd list. A few decent choices, but mostly pretty awful.

    Last edited 16/11/12 5:03 pm

    Some people have low standards. Mass Effect yes, Mass Effect 2 yes, Mass Effect 3, in a trash can somewhere.

    Won't let me vote for Arkham City. Lame.

    Also, Abe's Oddysee should be on there.

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