90. Spider-Man 2 (2004)
Spider-Man 2 was the best Spider-Man game before Insomniac’s recent release. It successfully captured that feeling of web-swinging over New York City in a way no other Spidey game had been able to nail. And for the time, the world was absolutely huge and looked great.
89. Xenosaga (2004)
A lot of people sleep on Xenosaga, but I think it’s one of the better JRPGs from the PS2 era. Final Fantasy definitely got me into the genre, but Xenosaga opened my eyes to the more sci-fi and horror tropes of that style of game. The combat is super deep, with an overwhelming amount of systems at play. And to this day, I still have a weird thing for KOS-MOS.
88. The Banner Saga (2014)
The Banner Saga went under the radar a bit when it first released, but I’m still struck by the classic animated style to the visuals and the combination of Oregon Trail and Game of Thrones in its story, world, and gameplay. The actual combat is fairly straightforward (though improved in the second game), but I was left wanting to know so much more about the world. I can’t wait for the third and final entry.
87. The Wolf Among Us (2013)
When it comes to modern Telltale games, few hit the weird yet believable notes of The Wolf Among Us. The game has such a cool style to it, and the harsh, almost comic-book-like graphics really fit the subject material and tone. Bigby is a fascinating anti-hero of a protagonist that takes things to a whole other level in terms of violence. This game is pretty damn dark.
86. Final Fantasy IV (1991)
The first of five mainline Final Fantasy games to make my top 100, Final Fantasy IV is a game I came to well after the fact. I actually first played it on Nintendo DS, which included new 3D graphics. Then I went back and played the original PlayStation port on my PS3. The whole interplanetary story isn’t really my favorite, but Final Fantasy IV has great characters and a fun, turn-based combat system.
85. Pokemon Snap (1999)
When it comes to just straight up fun, few games can match Pokemon Snap. Tons of time was killed with friends trying to find hidden Pokemon and get the perfect picture. I actually remember going on a fishing trip with some friends while in high school, and I wanted to stay at the cabin playing Pokemon Snap more than I wanted to go out on the boat. I guess that shouldn’t be all that surprising.
84. Guacamelee! (2013)
Another recent game I find underrated, Guacamelee is a near-perfect modern take on the Metroidvania genre. It has style to spare, and I love the fluidity of motion you have while controlling your luchador hero, Juan. The bosses are downright brutal, and while that’s appropriate for the genre, they do occasionally intrude on my happy go lucky good times.
83. Super Meat Boy (2010)
Not only did Super Meat Boy put Xbox Live Arcade on the map, but it also redefined the hardcore platformer and is still the game to which its peers are compared. I’m not usually a glutton for punishment when it comes to video games, preferring story and fun over ridiculously hard mechanics, but I’m more than happy to make an exception for Super Meat Boy.
82. 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.
81. 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.
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