BoG's top 30 greatest games of all time: part trois (20-16)

20. Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow


The GBA saw three Castlevania new games, beginning with Circle of the Moon, the second ever Castlevania to feature "Metroidvania" style gameplay. Second came Harmony of Dissonance, a game I just couldn't enjoy no matter how hard a tried. Third and final was Aria of Sorrow, a game I just couldn't NOT love no matter how hard I tried. For the first time since Symphony of the Night, Konami took the series in yet another new direction with the customizable soul system. The soul system was a ton of fun to use, and rewarded exploration with more and more powerful souls in your arsenal. The system has been a defining characteristic of every Castlevania game since, as some sort of system with abilities being gained from enemies has been present in every game sicne. Of course, that isn't all there is to love about AoS. IT marked the return of brilliant music to the series, as the first two GBA games were lacking in the audio department. AoS has some of the most varied, atmospheric levels of any Castlevania to date. These lavels were masterfully designed, and tons of fun to explore. The story was an interesting one for Castlevania, taking place in the future. It's not lacking in the "twists and turns" department, either. There is so much game in Aria of Sorrow, only someone who isn't a fan of the genre won't fall in love.

19. Katamari Damacy


A few years ago, Gamespot posted a story on Katamari, discussing how it was a surprising hit among gamers. They didn't go into much detail about the actual game, just how gamers were embracing this truly unorthodox title. I looked at the box art with its rainbows, cows, and giant... thing, and my interest was piqued. I went out and bought it on an impulse, one that occurs every so often, where I don't ask questions, just drop some cash. I had absolutely no idea what I was getting into. I popped the game into my PS2, where I was greeted by ducks singing what is without a doubt the greatest theme song in the history of all video games. When I began playing, I fell in love.
Katamari is like nothing before it, and nothing after it (excepting only its sequels). The game puts you in control of the Prince, who must use his Katamari to roll up stuff for the King to make stars in the sky. It has basic dual-stick control, tons of levels, objects, and craziness to keep anyone occupied for days. I absolutely loved my first playthrough, and love going back today to find new objects and roll bigger balls. Katamari Damacy is a super fun fame, and has charm to spare. <3 Katamari.

18. Star Fox 64


Star Fox 64 is one of those games I just can't stay away from. I owned it when I had a NIntendo 64, and played it all the time. Once I sold the Nintendo 64, the desire to shoot Andross in the face remained, and I ended up downloading an emulator just to do so. When I bought my Wii, the first game I purchased on the Virtual Console was Star Fox 64. I still boot the game up every once and I while so I can teach Pigma a lesson or two. Even 12 years later, Star Fox 64 remains fast, fun, and has gameplay that holds up. It says a lot about a game when it holds up so long. Few games are as memorable as Star Fox 64 is in every single detail, from gameplay to the awesome dialgoue and voice acting. You cannot deny the awesomeness of the voice acting. Fox and company really need to return to their glory, and soon. Drop the on foot missions, and give me pure, on rails, Arwing goodness, just like this classic.

17. The Legend of Zelda: Minish Cap


Minish Cap seemed to have the least celebrated release of any modern Zelda game. The handheld titles have never been as celebrated as the console games, but Minish Cap had relatively no fanfare. I remember lots of anticipation for the Oracle games, and similar hype for Phantom Hourglass. Minish Cap however had a quiet launch. I remember that stores around me didn't stock many copies, and it took me over a year to actually find the game. Maybe it was different in other places, but it just 
seemed that Minish Cap wasn't a huge deal at launch. This is very unfortunate, as Minish Cap is brilliant. First of all, Minish Cap boasted some of the best puzzles, dungeons, and items in the series. The team went beyond the established Zelda format and added in som awesome and creative new items like the Gust Jar and the Mole Mitts. There was no shortage of creativity in the puzzles and dungeons, either. I reiterate, they are some of the best in the series. Minish Cap perfectly balances the puzzles with a healthy dose of action, and the action in MC is without doubt the best among the 2D Zelda games. Each area in the game is a sight to behold, from the world of the tiny Picori, to deep jungles, and all the way up in the sky. To top it all off, the game has some of the best boss battles and one of the best soundtracks in this legendary series.

16. Super Mario 64


Prior to Mario 64, no game had really excelled in the realm of the fully 3D. Mario 64 came on to the scene, and set the bar that remains in place today. Mario 64 paved the way to three dimensional gameplay, with it's brilliant design which still holds up today. Mario 64's greatest feat, in my eyes, is how well it takes the platforming genre into the third dimension while retaining what made the platformers of the past so awesome; platforming. Many games have tried, but ultimately fail to be as good at pure platforming as Mario 64. In fact, many games try to imitate what Mario 64 and fail to be as good as it is. Mario 64 excels in level design, with a huge variety of awesome levels. My personal favorites are Lethal Lava Land and Rainbow Ride. The game is fun and challenging from start to finish, and provides a good time when you're hunting for stars, or just running around the castle hub and each of the levels. Mario 64 doesn't have a single dull moment, and each star is a new experience. Even playing through a second time, the game filled me with glee. It's just so good.

Honorable Mention: Vagrant Story

Like my last honorable mention, Vagrant Story misses the top 30 because I haven't finished it. The game features some of the best visuals of any PS1 game, an intriguing story, mindbending puzzles, and interesting RPG gameplay. Do yourself a favor and play it.

Well, I apologize first of all if my english isn't the best. First of all, discussing my favorite games gets me all emotional, which inhibits my writing ability. Second, I wrote this whole thing, Chrome crashed, and so I had to write it all over again, so I wasn't as mindful about my adherence to grammatical standards due to my frustration.

Now, I expect a little more hate this time around. I hope I don't offend anyone by stating that Aria of Sorrow is better than Super Metroid. But that's what I think. Feel free to disagree, and stay tuned for part four!

previous entries:
25-21
42 Comments
43 Comments
Edited by BoG

20. Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow


The GBA saw three Castlevania new games, beginning with Circle of the Moon, the second ever Castlevania to feature "Metroidvania" style gameplay. Second came Harmony of Dissonance, a game I just couldn't enjoy no matter how hard a tried. Third and final was Aria of Sorrow, a game I just couldn't NOT love no matter how hard I tried. For the first time since Symphony of the Night, Konami took the series in yet another new direction with the customizable soul system. The soul system was a ton of fun to use, and rewarded exploration with more and more powerful souls in your arsenal. The system has been a defining characteristic of every Castlevania game since, as some sort of system with abilities being gained from enemies has been present in every game sicne. Of course, that isn't all there is to love about AoS. IT marked the return of brilliant music to the series, as the first two GBA games were lacking in the audio department. AoS has some of the most varied, atmospheric levels of any Castlevania to date. These lavels were masterfully designed, and tons of fun to explore. The story was an interesting one for Castlevania, taking place in the future. It's not lacking in the "twists and turns" department, either. There is so much game in Aria of Sorrow, only someone who isn't a fan of the genre won't fall in love.

19. Katamari Damacy


A few years ago, Gamespot posted a story on Katamari, discussing how it was a surprising hit among gamers. They didn't go into much detail about the actual game, just how gamers were embracing this truly unorthodox title. I looked at the box art with its rainbows, cows, and giant... thing, and my interest was piqued. I went out and bought it on an impulse, one that occurs every so often, where I don't ask questions, just drop some cash. I had absolutely no idea what I was getting into. I popped the game into my PS2, where I was greeted by ducks singing what is without a doubt the greatest theme song in the history of all video games. When I began playing, I fell in love.
Katamari is like nothing before it, and nothing after it (excepting only its sequels). The game puts you in control of the Prince, who must use his Katamari to roll up stuff for the King to make stars in the sky. It has basic dual-stick control, tons of levels, objects, and craziness to keep anyone occupied for days. I absolutely loved my first playthrough, and love going back today to find new objects and roll bigger balls. Katamari Damacy is a super fun fame, and has charm to spare. <3 Katamari.

18. Star Fox 64


Star Fox 64 is one of those games I just can't stay away from. I owned it when I had a NIntendo 64, and played it all the time. Once I sold the Nintendo 64, the desire to shoot Andross in the face remained, and I ended up downloading an emulator just to do so. When I bought my Wii, the first game I purchased on the Virtual Console was Star Fox 64. I still boot the game up every once and I while so I can teach Pigma a lesson or two. Even 12 years later, Star Fox 64 remains fast, fun, and has gameplay that holds up. It says a lot about a game when it holds up so long. Few games are as memorable as Star Fox 64 is in every single detail, from gameplay to the awesome dialgoue and voice acting. You cannot deny the awesomeness of the voice acting. Fox and company really need to return to their glory, and soon. Drop the on foot missions, and give me pure, on rails, Arwing goodness, just like this classic.

17. The Legend of Zelda: Minish Cap


Minish Cap seemed to have the least celebrated release of any modern Zelda game. The handheld titles have never been as celebrated as the console games, but Minish Cap had relatively no fanfare. I remember lots of anticipation for the Oracle games, and similar hype for Phantom Hourglass. Minish Cap however had a quiet launch. I remember that stores around me didn't stock many copies, and it took me over a year to actually find the game. Maybe it was different in other places, but it just 
seemed that Minish Cap wasn't a huge deal at launch. This is very unfortunate, as Minish Cap is brilliant. First of all, Minish Cap boasted some of the best puzzles, dungeons, and items in the series. The team went beyond the established Zelda format and added in som awesome and creative new items like the Gust Jar and the Mole Mitts. There was no shortage of creativity in the puzzles and dungeons, either. I reiterate, they are some of the best in the series. Minish Cap perfectly balances the puzzles with a healthy dose of action, and the action in MC is without doubt the best among the 2D Zelda games. Each area in the game is a sight to behold, from the world of the tiny Picori, to deep jungles, and all the way up in the sky. To top it all off, the game has some of the best boss battles and one of the best soundtracks in this legendary series.

16. Super Mario 64


Prior to Mario 64, no game had really excelled in the realm of the fully 3D. Mario 64 came on to the scene, and set the bar that remains in place today. Mario 64 paved the way to three dimensional gameplay, with it's brilliant design which still holds up today. Mario 64's greatest feat, in my eyes, is how well it takes the platforming genre into the third dimension while retaining what made the platformers of the past so awesome; platforming. Many games have tried, but ultimately fail to be as good at pure platforming as Mario 64. In fact, many games try to imitate what Mario 64 and fail to be as good as it is. Mario 64 excels in level design, with a huge variety of awesome levels. My personal favorites are Lethal Lava Land and Rainbow Ride. The game is fun and challenging from start to finish, and provides a good time when you're hunting for stars, or just running around the castle hub and each of the levels. Mario 64 doesn't have a single dull moment, and each star is a new experience. Even playing through a second time, the game filled me with glee. It's just so good.

Honorable Mention: Vagrant Story

Like my last honorable mention, Vagrant Story misses the top 30 because I haven't finished it. The game features some of the best visuals of any PS1 game, an intriguing story, mindbending puzzles, and interesting RPG gameplay. Do yourself a favor and play it.

Well, I apologize first of all if my english isn't the best. First of all, discussing my favorite games gets me all emotional, which inhibits my writing ability. Second, I wrote this whole thing, Chrome crashed, and so I had to write it all over again, so I wasn't as mindful about my adherence to grammatical standards due to my frustration.

Now, I expect a little more hate this time around. I hope I don't offend anyone by stating that Aria of Sorrow is better than Super Metroid. But that's what I think. Feel free to disagree, and stay tuned for part four!

previous entries:
25-21
Posted by MasterOfPenguins_Zell

Woot, StarFox 64.

Posted by AgentJ

I'm happy to see you decided to do your own list good sir. So far you've put up a pretty impressive staple of games. Since Aria of Sorrow is on here, i expect Order of Ecclesia to make the list somewhere.

Posted by Disgaeamad

Dude, hats off for having The Minish Cap on there. I agree with everything you said about it, and I'd even go as far as to that it's most likely one of the best experiences anyone can have on the GBA.

Posted by TheFreeMan

Aria of Sorrow, YEAH! That game rul-wait, it's above Super Metroid?

....

Anyways, cool to see SF64 on the list. A really great game that still holds up today (even with the original N64 controller!). Never played Katamari Damacy much, though.

Good stuff. Keep em coming!

Posted by RHCPfan24

Yes! You have Minish Cap there! That rivals Link To The Past in my books, it's that good. Also, Castlevania: AoS is excellent, though I never beat it. I have the dual pack with that and the other GBA Castlevania and I should get to that sometime.

Katamari Damacy is a great game, even if it is just so crazy that I don't know how many people would put it on their top lists. I am glad you did, however.

Super Mario 64 is one of my favorite games ever, and it belongs in my Top 5. Still, you included it, so kudos.

Posted by Babble

Awesome picks, I may have to pick up Minish Cap now that you say it is good.

Posted by JackiJinx

Super Mario 64= overrated.

Happy now, BoG?

Posted by RHCPfan24
Babble said:
"Awesome picks, I may have to pick up Minish Cap now that you say it is good."
It is. Go get it, considering it is also pretty cheap nowadays. It is my favorite GBA game.
Posted by Why_So_Serious

I'm amazed that I have never played A Link to the Past or Minish Cap. Too bad I don't have a GBA anymore. Good list though Bog!

Posted by StarFoxA

All great choices. I like how your list has been showing some love to the Sega CD.

Posted by Tireyo

List is getting better! I like Starfox 64 and Super Mario 64!  Good games, good games.

Posted by MattyFTM

I hate how all you people are making me consider doing one of these things. I know it'll drive me completely insane trying to decide on games and an order, but... I dunno. Someone talk me out of this. It won't end well.

Moderator
Posted by StarFoxA
MattyFTM said:
"I hate how all you people are making me consider doing one of these things. I know it'll drive me completely insane trying to decide on games and an order, but... I dunno. Someone talk me out of this. It won't end well."
Dear god no. I can never even decide on my top ten... or top five.
Posted by RedSox8933

I never got around to playing the Minish Cap. I always wanted to, because my friend had it and always was telling me about how great it was. I might pick that up soon.

Posted by MattyFTM
StarFoxA said:
"MattyFTM said:
"I hate how all you people are making me consider doing one of these things. I know it'll drive me completely insane trying to decide on games and an order, but... I dunno. Someone talk me out of this. It won't end well."
Dear god no. I can never even decide on my top ten... or top five."
I know, I'm the same, but for some reason I feel compelled to do a list. I dunno why. It can't be a good thing. I'd drive myself to insanity. The men in white coats would have to come and get me.
Moderator
Posted by AndrewGaspar

Super Mario 64 was pretty awesome.

Posted by Arkthemaniac

STAR FOX 64 SHOULD BE TOP 5 OR NOT MENTIONED.

Edited by thebipsnbeeps

List continues to be pretty awesome with the inclusion of Katamari Damacy. I'm saying that, though, because that would up there in my top 30 list, as well (among others, of course, but it's a highlight of mine). Also love the inclusion of the Minish Cap up there, as not a lot of people would include it in even their favorite Zelda games, less a top 30 favorites. But cha, fantastic. My childhood game that I play just as crazy 12-or-13 years back is 16!? Let this craziness ensue!

Posted by BoG
Arkthemaniac said:
"STAR FOX 64 SHOULD BE TOP 5 OR NOT MENTIONED."
...why?
Posted by Arkthemaniac

Because if you didn't mention it, it just shows that you put it out of mind. Basically, it's like how giving a waitress a one-cent tip is worse than not tipping.

Posted by Bellum

Holy shit, two games that I've actually played!

Posted by HandsomeDead

I've had put both Mario 64 and Star Fox in the top 10, but it's nice to see them mentioned at all. I don't think there can really be a top games coutndown that i'd take seriously without them in. Looking forward to seeing the rest.

Posted by CitizenKane

I had so much fun with Star Fox 64 and it's addicting MP.  While Super Mario 64 is way higher for, this is still a good list.  Keep it up!

Posted by jakob187

Your list is intriguing.  With Super Mario 64 this low on the list, BoG, I'm expecting GREATNESS after this....
...and by greatness, I mean Banjo Kazooie Nuts and Bolts.  = D

Posted by Claude

I never liked handheld games. I had a gameboy advanced, but only kept it a week before I sold it. I've missed out on some great titles and that's not counting the DS and PSP. Oh well... my bad. I sucked at Star Fox 64 just as much as I sucked during the snes original. I never played Katamari Damacy. I think I would like that game. Super Mario 64 was the first game I bought on the VC... classic.

Posted by LuckyWanderDude

Star Fox 64! Everyday you have something I love listed.

Posted by Dj

Its a shame that I never finished Minish Cap. That end boss was impossible.

Posted by BoG
jakob187 said:
"Your list is intriguing.  With Super Mario 64 this low on the list, BoG, I'm expecting GREATNESS after this.......and by greatness, I mean Banjo Kazooie Nuts and Bolts.  = D"
Sorry jakob, I never played Nuts and Bolts.
Posted by jakob187
BoG said:
"jakob187 said:
"Your list is intriguing.  With Super Mario 64 this low on the list, BoG, I'm expecting GREATNESS after this.......and by greatness, I mean Banjo Kazooie Nuts and Bolts.  = D"
Sorry jakob, I never played Nuts and Bolts."
O.O
.
.
.
.
.
.
O_____________O

WTF is wrong with you, man?  It's the awesomeness of gummy ships from Kingdom Hearts mixed with the awesomeness of Super Mario 64!!!  It's...it's...it's like the greatest amalgamation of stuff to ever be amalgamated!!!

You, sir, are a horrible person.  -_-
Posted by BoG

The gummi ship sucked.

Posted by TheFreeMan
BoG said:
"The gummi ship sucked."
I have to agree with this.
Posted by Milkman

The Minish Cap is definitely my favorite on the list. 

Posted by BoG
TheFreeMan said:
"BoG said:
"The gummi ship sucked."
I have to agree with this."
I thought everyone hated it, to be honest.
Posted by ZombiePie
BoG said:
"TheFreeMan said:
"BoG said:
"The gummi ship sucked."
I have to agree with this."
I thought everyone hated it, to be honest.
"
I thought it was better and much improved, but still had problems, in the second game when it had this Panzer Dragoon feel to it.
Moderator
Posted by turbomonkey138

Did you like the minish  cap zelda game  ?

Posted by atejas

I need to try AoS. Good list.


I honestly think that as a series, Castlevania>Metroid.
In fact, I don't even like Metroid that much.



Please don't hurt me.

Posted by BoG
turbomonkey138 said:
"Did you like the minish  cap zelda game  ?"
Of course I did. I loved it, actually.

And atejas, I love Metroid. Honestly, it's a tie between the two. I could compare all day. Aria of Sorrow > Metroid Fusion > Dawn of Sorrow > Zero Mission > Portrait of Ruin.... In the end though, they all rock.
Posted by jakob187
ZombiePie said:
"BoG said:
"TheFreeMan said:
"BoG said:
"The gummi ship sucked."
I have to agree with this."
I thought everyone hated it, to be honest.
"
I thought it was better and much improved, but still had problems, in the second game when it had this Panzer Dragoon feel to it."
All I'm reading is blasphemy and heresy.  The gummy ships WERE Kingdom Hearts.  The rest of it generally sucked.

I spent more time building gummy ships than playing Kingdom Hearts.
Posted by Tordah

Aria Of Sorrow was a great game, but it felt a bit short. I was just starting to get into it and then it ended all of a sudden. :(

Circle Of The Moon is easily my favourite of the GBA Castlevania games. I thought it had the best music as well as the most fun battle system (the cards). Not to mention it was really long and challenging. I think I like it the most because it came first and the other two aren't THAT much different to be honest. Had AOS come first I'd probably liked that one the most.

Posted by LordAndrew
jakob187 said:
"All I'm reading is blasphemy and heresy.  The gummy ships WERE Kingdom Hearts.  The rest of it generally sucked.

I spent more time building gummy ships than playing Kingdom Hearts."
You're like the only person I've heard from that likes the gummy ships.
Posted by TheGreatGuero

Ah, Katamari Damacy. What a strangely unique and surprisingly fun and charming game. It was only $20 upon it's release as well, which is a complete steal. It's fun, it's crazy, very stylish, and has all kinds of great catchy music. I had a blast with it. I loved the concept of the game, how essentially you're playing the same areas over and over, but are just becoming much larger in size with each new level, so you get to see more of the area, and eventually the entire world. What an interesting game.

Star Fox 64 is one of my all-time personal favorites. Among my top 5 ever, I think. So much fun, so many great one-liners throughout. You're certainly right about the voice acting. It really adds so much to the game. I love the multiple story branches, and also really liked the several encounters with Star Wolf's enemy team. There's plenty of great boss battles too, and a whole lot of variety in the different world. To this day, I don't think there's a game I could possibly quote more than Star Fox 64.

Minish Cap is a Zelda I bought and never really enjoyed all that much. First of all, I never beat it. I ended up getting stuck on some real long sidequest puzzle. One thing that kind of irked me about Minish Cap is it's reliance on things and characters from Ocarina of Time. I thought it was kind of a cheap move by the developers and felt they were trying to leech off Ocarina of Time's success too much instead of creating a more unique installment in the series. That's not to say the game is bad, but for the most part, I just wasn't feeling it. Even the setting of it was often kind of boring to me, and the whole shrinking aspect didn't appeal to me much.

Super Mario 64... Can't say I've ever been much of a fan. I can appreciate what it's done for 3D gaming as a whole, and yet I think a lot of the Mario greatness was lost in the jump to 3D. It had its moments, no doubt, but I do feel it is a bit overrated. Most of the levels I never cared for too much. I actually did start it over again about 4-5 years ago and beat it, getting all 120 stars. Still, my opinion of the game hadn't changed too much. It's a game I can respect for it's significance, yet it's not one I'd ever consider calling a favorite.

Posted by jakob187

BoG...I just realized that you put Vagrant Story as an "honorable mention".


I hope I never see you in public.  Vagrant Story is worthy of far more than a honorable mention.