100. The Oregon Trail (1971)
Why not start the list with one of the first games I ever played? The Oregon Trail released well before my time, but I spent plenty of hours dying of dysentery in the computer lab at school. This game is probably the reason why I have terrible typing technique — I played it instead of practicing.
99. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (2017)
Breath of the Wild is a really hard game to justify keeping on this list, but it’s also a hard one to remove. As I wrote in my Game of the Year 2017 post, I have a less than stellar opinion about some of the mechanical design decisions, but it’s impossible to deny the things it does right. Breath of the Wild may move up this list as I play more.
98. Super Mario Bros. 2 (1988)
Super Mario Bros. 2 is my least favorite of the original classic Mario games, but it’s hard to ignore how well the platforming still holds up to this day. The game’s origins as a non-Mario game are clear, and it’s just a little too weird and out of the box for my tastes. But any list that doesn’t include the first four Mario games is a bad list, so here we are.
97. Star Fox 64 (1997)
Having not owned an N64 back in the day, my love for Star Fox developed while playing at friends’ houses and years after the fact. There are a fair few Star Fox 64 haters out there, and I get it. The game doesn’t handle perfectly or look all that great — even for its time. But it’s just downright fun to barrel roll around and laugh as Slippy Toad constantly dies.
96. Burnout Paradise (2008)
I’ve never been a huge racing game person throughout my gaming lifetime, but there’s something special about Burnout Paradise. It has a great soundtrack, which is obviously important. But it also bucks the “simulation” trend and has some fun with the genre. Being able to crash in new and exciting ways never gets old.
95. Pokemon Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald (2002)
I’m looping all three versions of this Pokemon generation into one since they’re all basically the same game. The pokemon introduced in Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald don’t quite hold up to those in Gold, Silver, and Crystal — and certainly not those from the original 151 — but this was still in the early days of Pokemon games where a new roster and new area to explore was more than enough.
94. Mario Kart 8 (2014)
Technically, I played the Deluxe version that released on Switch, but it’s getting harder and harder to separate original releases from HD remasters and definitive editions and whatnot. The game is still the game, and Mario Kart 8 stands up as one of the best Mario Kart games ever made. It’s absolutely gorgeous and handles as well as you could expect. The Battle Mode is even pretty decent.
93. Mass Effect 3 (2012)
I was one of the Mass Effect diehards that were up in arms over the absolute garbage ending to Mass Effect 3 — and apparently, I’m still not 100 percent over it. However, the game plays better than either of its predecessors by a wide margin and still has plenty of amazing story beats to enjoy. Plus, I put well over 400 hours into the co-op multiplayer and loved every second of it.
92. Star Wars Battlefront 2 (2005)
Pay close attention to the year; this is not the recent EA/DICE abomination. The original Star Wars Battlefront sequel added playable hero characters, which is a fun change. I honestly prefer the simplicity of the first game, which is why you’ll see it ranked higher on this list. Galactic Conquest mode is pretty amazing, though.
91. The Sims (2000)
I’m sticking with the original, here, since none of the sequels have really grabbed me. The Sims is such a fantastic twist on the Sim City formula, with a great sense of humor and fun customizations. Sure, the game is downright fugly when looked at in a modern context, but back then, nothing beat creating characters named after yourself and your crush — and making them do the woohoo.