50. Resident Evil 4 (2005)
Apologies to my brother — who usually lists Resident Evil 4 as his favorite game of all time — but I just can’t get down with the tank controls. That isn’t meant to completely dismiss RE4, since this game does make the most of those archaic controls. Plus, Leon is a cool character, some of the bosses are fun and quite challenging, and the game includes maybe the best vendor of all time. Heh, heh… Thank ya.
49. GoldenEye 007 (1997)
There’s probably a fair amount of rose-tinted glasses going on here, since any video I see of GoldenEye nowadays looks pretty rough. But it’s also impossible to ignore the hours and hours of joy I had as a kid playing the local multiplayer with big head and paintball modes on. Then we’d play slaps only, like real men. The single player campaign is also an over the top blast that makes the most of the movie on which it’s based.
48. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (2006)
Oblivion is another game that didn’t click with me when it first released. I spent more time watching my brother play than playing myself. Something about the huge open world made me paralyzed with indecision. Thankfully, I eventually got over the hump and I can now appreciate just how amazing the Dark Brotherhood questline is. It’s easily one of my all-time favorite side quests.
47. Final Fantasy XII (2006)
In recent years, plenty of people have begun to come around on Final Fantasy XII, but for quite a few years, I thought it was easily the most underrated Final Fantasy game. The MMO-inspired gambit system adds such a fun layer of strategy, and while the writing is overly verbose and Vaan sucks as a protagonist, the world of the game is interesting and Balthier is as close as we’ll ever get to having Han Solo in a Final Fantasy game.
46. Tetris (1984)
Again, if this was a list of the most important video games ever made, Tetris would be quite a bit higher. But as it stands, I can only really speak to the fun I had back in the day playing through on the original Game Boy. Heck, Tetris has been available on so many systems that I even put a fair amount of time into it on my TI-83 calculator instead of doing my algebra homework.
45. Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception (2011)
Spoiler alert for what’s to come, but all four top Uncharted games are ranked pretty close together. They’re all just that good, but the overall quality also makes it kind of hard to champion just one game to be even closer to the top. Still, Uncharted 3 puts a nice bow on the series (or so we thought), and it has the tightest shooting of the first three games. The late-game teleporting enemies are my least favorite of the bunch, though.
44. Super Metroid (1994)
The best 2D Metroid and the overall best entry in the series, Super Metroid improves on pretty much everything from the first two games. The graphics easily look the most advanced, and the new grapple beam weapon is a game-changer. One change I didn’t realize until doing research for this article was the new ability to shoot in every direction while moving. Simpler times, man.
43. Fallout: New Vegas (2010)
The first of three Fallout games on this list, New Vegas definitely feels like a different kind of Fallout game. I love the Vegas setting and the more sarcastic tone of the narrative, but the world doesn’t feel as expansive as the other Fallout games I’ve played. The shooting overall is better than in Fallout 3, but I personally don’t like the changes to the V.A.T.S. system. Gambling is pretty damn fun, too.
42. Super Mario Odyssey (2017)
Pretty crazy to see my 2017 Game of the Year so relatively low on this list, but that just goes to show how many amazing games there are out there. Super Mario Odyssey is as solid and polished a 3D Mario game as you could want, but it lacks some of the imagination of some other entries you’ll see on this list. Props to the Cappy system, though. It was far more varied and fun than I anticipated.
41. Shadow of the Colossus (2005)
The original version of Shadow of the Colossus is hard to go back to — the camera controls are just terrible. Thankfully, there’s the PS4 remake to enjoy. But man, what a special game Shadow of the Colossus is. It manages to tell an affecting story with no real dialogue, and the bosses are all challenging and interesting in completely unique ways.