80. Final Fantasy VI (1994)
To me, Final Fantasy VI is an improvement on IV in basically every way. It has the same active time battle system and pixelated, artfully designed graphics. But it tells a more “grounded” story that focuses on its much better cast of 14(!) playable characters. Sephiroth often comes up when talking about the best Final Fantasy villains, but there’s a strong case to be made for Kefka.
79. Kingdom Hearts 2 (2005)
Kingdom Hearts has gone more than a tad off the rails since the original released back in 2002, but the second game in the series still has plenty to offer. The combat is better than the first game, with more variety, attack types, and flair. The story does get up its own ass a little bit, but keeps the focus on its main characters. However, I’m firmly in the anti-Roxas camp. The opening hours of Kingdom Hearts 2 are not great.
78. Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune (2007)
Spoiler alert, there are a lot of Uncharted games on this list; it’s easily one of my favorite video game series of all time. The first game holds up the least, due to its more dated visuals and simplistic combat. But still, Drake’s Fortune introduced us to some awesome characters in Nate, Sully, and Elena, and really fulfills that dream of an amazing Indiana Jones video game.
77. Limbo (2010)
Another Xbox Live Arcade indie darling, Limbo was a game I sadly missed out on at first release. I didn’t own an Xbox 360 until a few years later, but Limbo was one of the first games I prioritized playing. It seems like such a simple puzzle platformer, but its style and tone are much darker and more brutal than you’d expect.
76. Ratchet and Clank: Tools of Destruction (2007)
Ratchet and Clank is another series with multiple entries on this list. Tools of Destruction was one of my first favorite PS3 games, and I’m still sad Insomniac has never gone back and added trophies — I’d love an excuse to replay this one. The formula didn’t really change in the move from PS2 to PS3, but that graphical update makes a huge difference.
75. Grand Theft Auto IV (2008)
You can tell we’re getting to the meat of this list when all of these hard-hitting series start making an appearance. There’s long been a debate on which Grand Theft Auto game is the best, and spoiler alert for future entries, but I’m saying IV is the third best. Niko is easily one of the best protagonists, which is saying something, but Liberty City just isn’t quite as awesome as some of the other locations.
74. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 (2001)
Pro Skater 3 is my pick for best Tony Hawk game, though there’s a strong case to be made for Pro Skater 4. Pro Skater 3 was the first entry on PS2 and the last one to offer time limits for objectives, something the later games missed. I also think it has the best all-around soundtrack and level options.
73. Mega Man 3 (1990)
Mega Man 3 introduced the robo-dog companion, Rush, and the slide move — both of which changed up the Mega Man formula pretty significantly. I personally prefer the second game because of its more memorable bosses, but both entries stand strong in the pantheon of best games ever made.
72. Dark Cloud 2 (2002)
Another underrated JRPG from the PS2 era, Dark Cloud 2 made significant changes from its predecessor — probably because the games are connected only in name and some basic gameplay features. The combat is fairly simple, but being able to play as both Max and Monica helps keep things fresh. I also greatly enjoy the city building components and the additions they bring to the world.
71. Ms. Pac-Man (1981)
Arguably the greatest arcade game of all time, Ms. Pac-Man gets an honorable inclusion on this list — even though I was never a huge arcade games kid. The gameplay is pretty similar to the original, but includes four mazes, additional warp tunnels, smarter ghost AI, new music and sound effects, and, of course, a rad bow for our heroine.