50: X-Men: Next Dimension: I don’t play fighting games to fight. I play fighting games to experience or create my own story. This game’s story was too difficult for me — I got stuck at the fight where Forge has to win only to lose in a cutscene — but taking on the Arcade mode ran through multiple locations and multiple opponents in each, which could let you build a story out of the encounters with some kludging, if you knew the X-Men canon well. Which I do. And you tended to face a main adversary at the end — Wolverine always fought Sabertooth last, for example — which allowed for more story-based fun.
49: M1 Tank Platoon: I think I had already started my practice of putting my friends into games before this, but I definitely did that in this game. Which made it interesting to see them get promoted … or get their tank brewed up and have to replace them. Other than that, the campaign was interesting and the combat easy enough that it didn’t frustrate me but deep enough to give me some choices and require some strategy. A good game to play when we were still in the Cold War.
48: Gunship: For a C64 game, this was a surprisingly strong flight simulator. It popped to mind when I was trying to remember what C64 games I loved, and definitely deserves to make the list.
47: Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe: This was one of the first fighting games I played where the story was both easy enough and fun enough to satisfy me when I played it. “Khaaaaaaaan!”
46: Injustice: Gods Among Us: This one, though, had a stronger story than MK vs DC Universe.
45: Star Trek: Birth of the Federation: This is actually a pretty good implementation of a Star Trek turn-based strategy game. You get the main races. You get the minor races. You get the planets. You get the ships. What you don’t get, which makes it inferior to Star Wars: Rebellion, are the characters. This was a game crying out for academies to train characters and special units, and it didn’t do it. But, otherwise, it did manage to get you feeling at least a bit like you were in that universe, and probably more so than any other Star Trek game I’ve played.
44: Dungeons of Daggorath: One of the first games I played on an actual computer, a Co-Co 2. A very entertaining dungeon crawl with an interesting hit point system — you died when your heart rate got too high — and some decent strategy options as well (when you use magic, and the ability to leave items around for the monsters to try to pick up so that you can wail on them, but since that increased your heart rate …). I never managed to finish it, but I definitely played a lot of it and would like to see some of those elements back again.
43: Risk II: You might be thinking “How can a game that just implements a board game make it onto the list?”. And “Axis and Allies” didn’t make the list, so it isn’t that it’s based on a board game and let me automate all of the annoying things that board games can have (I’m looking at you, “Babylon 5 Wars”). But this added something that the board game couldn’t do: Same Time resolution of movement and battles. So every player gave their all their moves, and then the game resolved them all simultaneously, which include border wars (you attacked me and I attacked you) and mass invasions over multiple borders. Sure, I played it against myself hotseat — which is not abnormal for me — but that was still a very interesting innovation, and made it more fun to play. I always played this game with Missions and Same Time, and it definitely kept me entertained.
42: Tropico: This was a very cute little game. The later games added more options that really do seem interesting, but that I’ve never managed to play them for long enough to really get attached to them. This game I did manage to play a bit. It was a unique little “God Game”, that also mixed in a lot of humour and didn’t take itself too seriously.
41: X-Wing Alliance: I could have selected X-Wing or Tie Fighter here, but this is the game that I most remember out of all of them. The story is strong, but the best part of it for me was the simulator, where you could create your own set-ups of fighters and fleets and fly them against each other. This even let me set up little mini-campaigns and storylines, which is something that I dearly love.
Tags: Most Memorable Games