When the mainstream press talks video games, they usually get it horribly wrong. That’s why I was expecting to roll my eyes at Time magazine’s list of the top 100 video games of all time. Turns out the list is a pretty good one, starting with The Oregon Trail and ending with Mass Effect 3. The games are sorted by decade, and scrolling through them is like walking down the memory lane of my youth.
There are some head-scratchers, of course. Half-Life 2 is named instead of its predecessor, perhaps because even the folks at Time magazine hated the original’s “Xen” levels. The Unreal Tournament, Battlefield, and Command and Conquer franchises aren’t represented at all, and the list seems to be entirely devoid of titles from the driving genre. Seriously, there’s no mention of Gran Turismo, Forza Motorsport, Need for Speed, or even Mario Kart.
There are some pleasant surprises, like the inclusion of Thief and Braid and Leisure Suit Larry. Some will no doubt find the omission of System Shock and Minecraft to be unconscionable, though. The more I read through the selections, the less satisfied I am with them, even if a number of my own favorites are listed. I suppose that’s the problem with casting a wide net spanning multiple decades, platforms, and genres.
Among games released since 2010, only Mass Effect 3 and Batman: Arkham City made the list. Those are interesting choices, and they got me wondering: which games from the last few years will best stand the test of time?