My top 20 Amiga games

This is a list of my all time favourite 20 Amiga games (or at least the ones I can remember playing, it was such a long time ago).

List items

  • Not only the greatest Amiga game but, to me, THE greatest game of all time from the greatest software house of all time (tho Valve are getting close to achieving that title).

    No game before or since has captivated as much of my free time as this one (and I haven’t played the Amiga version since about 1997). The original Sensible Soccer game was already the best in its genre and when SWOS was released it continued with the standard player/manager role of playing and choosing the tactical positioning of players but added an extensive management role with the ability to buy and sell players from all over the world as well as the option to take the coach’s position and not play directly on the park (should you not be interested in scoring a few glorious winning goals in various European finals).

    While I’m not 100% sure of the exact number I guess the amount of time I have put into this game (including the updated 95/96 and 96/97 versions as well) must surpass well over 2000 hours as from 1994 to 1997 I have little recollection of playing anything else on my 500 . And that’s the only reason I need to place SWOS at #1 of this list.

  • I’m putting both The Secret of Monkey Island and Monkey Island 2 into this place as you can’t have one without the other. Come to think of it there could be many other amazing SCUMM games listed here (Indy I’m looking at you) but the ones that win it for me every time involve Guybrush Threepwood, mighty pirate and his demonic/zombie/ghost adversary LeChuck.

    There aint much that I could say that hasn’t already been at various times through gaming’s history but if you want a hilariously comedic adventure through odd situations with even odder characters then these are top of the pile. Filled with so many quotable lines and puzzles that seem to defy logic just to amuse you (rubber chicken with a pulley in the middle!!) and a soundtrack that still gets listened to on my phone this game has nothing I can complain about. Well except maybe the 11 floppy discs MI2 had which caused a lot of swapping when going to a new area and time spent not actually playing the game.

    In my youth, during the school holidays, I did spend a whole day playing both games from start to finish. I had completed them before and since I remembered how long it took me on the first plays I decided to use a walkthrough to cut down on time trying to remember what to do next. I think I then spent 4 hours completing the original game and then 7/8 hours for the sequel and even though games weren’t new to me I still rate that day as one of the most entertaining I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing.

  • Both Cannon Fodder and its sequel should be listed here as they are both are very similar (in control and gamestyle) and each worthy of this position in their own right, so I thought I’d give them both the honour.

    Cannon Fodder, like a number of other greats listed here, has been ported onto various differing platforms over the years so I won’t go into much detail about why they are great, just believe me that they are and go and try them for yourselves.

  • Probably the best looking Amiga 500 game ever made coupled with one of the best control schemes and a fantastic storyline make this a true gaming classic that everyone needs to try at some point.

    I could go on and on about how immense this game is but no amount of words can explain how fluid the main characters movement animations were and how realistic it looked way back in 1993. When this was released it made you feel annoyed at all other platform adventure games since they didn’t look as good as this.

  • It may have been slower than the PC version but the pedigree of this game cannot be ignored in its Amiga iteration. I mean who doesn’t want to be head of a global corporation with cyborg enhanced super employees, ready to do your bidding and cause destruction all in the name of business? From the actual destruction of waves of enemies to researching new tech/weapons you could use this game is, to me, the finest to have Peter Molyneuxs name attached to it.

  • This game could be drawing a few blank looks since it wasn’t ever a real retail release but a specially commission version of Gravity Force II (a shareware game itself) by Amiga Power and released free on its magazine.

    In the game you and another player each control an Asteroids style triangle ship from within enclosed maze cave maps with the simple objective to destroy (or race) your competitor. Each ship had a forward shooting gun and the option to select a secondary weapon. These ranged from a speed boost, to missiles, to invisibility and all had a set amount of uses before they ran out. To allow you to restock tho there were refuelling platforms around the map which refilled your weapon supplies, fuel gauge and shield at a steady pace. By using these it did leave you open to attack, since you were stationary on them, but by not using them it meant you’d run out of fuel/ammo sooner and as such possibly crash into a wall or allow the opponent to kill you before you killed them. To make matters more perilous the maps also had wall cannons mounted in various places which fired at your ship when you were in range of them. This meant you had to concentrate on avoiding fire from those as well as navigating the walls themselves and destroying your enemy.

    The same applied for the race maps but instead of winning when you destroyed the enemy they just respawned a few seconds later, albeit giving you the chance to get to the next checkpoint ahead of them. Since the winner of these maps was the first to complete the required number of laps around said checkpoints destroying them was a very helpful way to ensure victory.

    The month after Gravity Power was released Amiga Power included a map maker prog on its cover disks were you could take any texture/item/shape within the game and create your own maps using them. I had so much fun with this and ended up spending days upon days making and playtesting various map ideas for future gaming enjoyment.

  • The one game that really needs an XBox Live Arcade port with 4 player online support. Hell I’d happily pay 2000 MS points for this game, it’s that good and would thrive with 4 players.

    It had monsters, swords, blood and taverns and you could even pick up loot after successfully defeating whatever enemies you were facing at that juncture. Seriously just stop reading this and go and search for information on it and when you’ve seen how awesome this would be on Xbox Live then get a petition sent to the owners asking for a port. You won’t regret it!!

  • Another game which you should be familiar with since it has appeared on almost every platform possible, but the Amiga version is the one that I hold the highest regard and for one reason.

    Sure the banana bombs and exploding sheep are great and the randomly generated levels (or ones generated by typing in a text string) helped make this game what it was but it was the ability to take a user created picture from D-Paint (can’t remember if it used the IFF or ILBM file extension, not that it really matters) and use it as a map. It was the easiest creation process I’ve ever known, you basically had black for areas where there was no land and everything else would be viewed as places the worms could walk on (and destroy).

    You could essentially create maps by just drawing coloured lines across the screen. Not that my maps were THAT simple as I do have a fond remembrance of creating a battle arena from a previously drawn AT-AT pic I had spent ages doing in D-Paint IV (for a 5th year Art project no less).

  • Possibly the most renowned Amiga game franchise there is. The original Lemmings was actually the very first Amiga game I ever played. It was one of the included games from the ‘Cartoon Classics’ 500 bundle pack I got at Christmas from my parents and it’s not hard to see why Commodore wanted a title of this calibre to sell units of its upgraded 500 model. I shouldn’t really need to say much about the games themselves tho as I guess everyone should at least have some basic knowledge of them since it has appeared on countless platforms over the years. I’d list the sequel in here as well since it added new lemming types and larger maps to create a familiar, yet new and enthralling, experience.

  • A first person RPG in the same kinda vain as Dungeon Master with 4 playable characters on screen at the same time. The difference here was that each character could be controlled by a single user or all by the one player. Essentially it was the first example I’d ever seen of a 4 player co-op game even if it did require a parallel port adaptor to support the required 4 joypads/joysticks.

    The game distanced itself from its Dungeon Master stylings by being set in a futuristic time period rather than the arena of swords and magic which is probably why I enjoyed it so much.

  • It may be a by the numbers side scrolling shoot ‘em up (i.e. involving spaceships) but it didn’t stop this game from being amazing. Blistering speed and a level of difficulty that appeals to me, this is the top of genre in my eyes.

  • I'm listing both Pinball Dreams and Pinball Fantasies here and, while both great sadly not as enjoyable as a real pinball machine, are worthy virtual translations of said ball and bumpers gaming. Now most pinball video games I have played since these (tho not all) haven’t really lived up to the joy I had scoring highly on all the fantastic table selections available within these games but I do wonder if that’s more down to my rose tinted specs or that the game really was that well implemented.

  • Caravan racing and cows on wheels, that is all.

  • The sequel to Bubble Bobble and a fantastic version of the Coin-op original that it’s difficult to tell the 2 apart in both looks and control.

  • Taking the premise from the original game and just improving on it in every way this is clearly the best Amiga shoot ‘em up platformer game released.

  • This is another Gauntlet style maze game but adds a greater amount of puzzle elements to it. The graphics are very Steampunk orientated and look fantastic with all characters, enemies and locations having a high level of detail and animation. Like so many Amiga games this was great in single player but even better with a buddy, helping you mow down the waves of enemies, it’s time for chaos indeed.

  • While the setting of this game is somewhat different from usual side scrolling shoot ‘em ups (you play as a bee!) the gameplay is almost unmatched in the genre. Also didn’t hurt that the graphics were exceptionally bright and colourful and the music was great.

  • Sure every Amiga owner mentions the “ice- cream” sample that can be heard during the game but the fact they know it is because it was such an enjoyable game to play. There’s nothing like throwing the ball at the opposing goalkeeper and them sliding into him to grab it back and score!

  • An odd and amusing mash of stategy-lite gameplay and arcade action. Good against the CPU but brilliant with 2 players.