The Big List of Big Things: Alphabet edition

95 is a very arbitrary number; I like 104 more. 95 plus 9 = 4 games per letter. These aren't a ranking by any means, just some of the great games I can consider in an interesting fashion. "The" or "A" will not be included as the denotation for games; for example, The Dig will go under D. With that in mind, let's get to the list! As a footnote of sorts, I will not be adding any games that start with a number. Too much stuff to parse.

List items

  • I really got hooked in to this franchise on the PS1. I had played Final Fantasy on the NES and SNES as a kid, but this was the first RPG I picked up with my PS1.

  • Cannot say enough about this game. I was so invested in the lore, in the idea of the Templar/Assassin battle, but the execution of this game was so much better than the first it fixed just about every problem with AC1.

  • Best name for a game ever. The end.

  • First racing game I ever played, many a Saturday morning before baseball wasted on my first of 3 NES boxes.

  • I've never been much of an online shooter guy, preferring offline experiences; playing against people I can't see sends my anxiety through the roof. This game for some reason didn't set that off, and I enjoyed sniping people getting into planes for hours at a time.

  • Do I really need to talk about how great this game is?

  • One of the best narrative experiences in current gaming. If you haven't played it, go pick it up, I bet it's only 10$.

  • Love it. Love it love it love it. I enjoy games made by crazy people.

  • EA just released this game for free! Made me so happy, cause the only copy I had was Win95 only and running it in compatibility mode sucked. Still probably my favorite RTS.

  • As with other articles, 'Sid Meier's' is just expected with great games. This was the first color PC game I believe I played on a standard PC and not a Commodore or Apple II.

  • Why did this franchise die? Interesting plot lines, fun art, weapon wackiness. Lots to like there.

  • Beat 'em up! Great couch co-op, which is probably my favorite game type.

  • This game led to many, many peeks at the strategy guide at my local Barnes & Noble when I was younger. No, I didn't have the money for the game AND the guide. Yes, I feel a little guilty about that.

  • DAOC did something that I haven't seen other MMOs do yet, and it's kind of a shame. Every 6 months or so, graphical updates improved the look of the game for those who could afford it. WoW finally started with its second expansion, but nowhere near as successfully in my opinion as DAOC.

  • The reason everyone owned a joystick in my group of friends. Who thought a mining facility on some moon could be so compelling?

  • So much better on PC than on consoles, which is sad for non-PC holders. I feel sorry for those 360-only kids.

  • The SNES version was so inferior to the Genesis. I will cut you if you say otherwise. I think more games should have a 'Heck' level.

  • My brother prefers Morrowind, but the sheer size of the lands in Oblivion put it at the top of my Elder Scrolls list. I've played every major release in the series.

  • Any list this big has to contain some classics, and this for damn sure qualifies.

  • No other game I know of has such interesting press. Among other things, I have read about how the greatest dupe of the century took place in a video game in (I think) Time magazine, but it has also triggered the murder of a man in Ukraine. So weird, and deserving of attention.

  • Blitzball may be the best game-within-a-game ever made. Thanks for ruining a semester of college, Square! Because this is only 4 per letter, I cannot add FF, IV, VI, XII, and Tactics A2, among others.

  • Somehow I have stayed away from the newest incarnation of Fallout, and so 2 remains my preferred of the originals. Yes, at some point I will play 3 and its DLC. Hopefully before New Vegas gets released.

  • The first game was a promise to deliver. The second was that package. I want more, plain and simple. I eat the hype like a fat kid eats cake.

  • Simply put, the best soccer game ever made.

  • The best of both worlds: the first game, the better second game, and new graphics, plus trophies? Yes please!

  • Manny Calavera is my favorite protagonist ever. There is no competition.

  • My favorite of the GTA games, mostly because it had a fantastic balance of environment, humor, and ridiculous plot and violence. Ray Liotta's voice helps really sell it.

  • This game is so good I actually did NOT buy it, for fear I would just play it for hours and hours and hours. I only get my fix visiting friends' houses.

  • I don't wanna talk about Episode 3, let's just enjoy how incredible this game is. Silent protagonists for the emm-effing win.

  • Three click golf games are like Tetris; every publisher has their own, they are all goofy, and unless they really muck it up, they're all fun. This is tops for me over Mario Golf only because Mario Golf is NOT the best Mario sports game. (See below.)

  • The ever-interesting puzzle-murder genre is pretty thin, but the execution in these games was just fantastic. Really diverse environments. It feels like an arcade game; the perfect line is the goal. Anybody can get to the finish with brute force, but to do it right requires tons of practice.

  • I can't even think about this game without wanting to tell the entire story. Pick it up if you have to spend a weekend with your in-laws.

  • Bad US box art KILLED this game. Thanks, SCEA! I'm still pissed that someone stole my copy.

  • The SNES art style worked so well for RPGs. This is not the first, or last, SNES JRPG on this list. They are wheelhouse material. Any game on my mobile list, however, won't be on this alphabet soup list. Sorry, Chrono Trigger!

  • The sandbox quality indicated to me the attention to detail with this game; traversing obstacles and paths to each destination never got old.

  • HAHAHAHAHA. No seriously, this game is atrocious. Just making sure you're paying attention! Stop buying these crap games, people, and they'll stop making them. Promise.

  • Not sure why, I've heard many people complain, but this is my favorite of the Jak series. I think the updated art style, and comfort with the later development of the PS2 and its potential brought that out.

  • Dreamcast games are sadly rare on this list, only because I didn't buy a Dreamcast until college when the emulators for NES games came out. This game sets a mood few others have even approached.

  • The summer after high school involved a lot of gin and tonics and a lot of NES Jeopardy hustling.

  • I needed a fourth J game, and Madden 94 didn't start with John. Sad.

  • Best cover fire system before the current generation of consoles.

  • This selection is purely all about the art. Astounding art.

  • III is still my favorite, but IV is underrated in my opinion. They go back to the heir-well again in V or VI, but this story is just a shade enough different to stand out to me.

  • Most Japanese game I've ever bought just because it looked crazy, and I was not disappointed! What a phenomenal idea.

  • It is the best game ever made, right? That seems to be a fairly strong feeling? I would find it hard to argue against it.

  • This is one of those games I installed like 15 times, would play for 10 minutes, and then think about how to light my monitor on fire. I don't even know why I played it, but I played it quite a bit. It's only on the list until LEGO Harry Potter comes out; I want it so bad I'm sweating LEGO pumpkin juice.

  • Surprisingly polished and competitive in a landscape obliterated by WoW; the attention to lore quests is really high, and the environments can be immersive.

  • Hard to compare this to the later games since I haven't played them, but this is a good translation of a lot of SNES RPG tricks for which I am perpetually a sucker.

  • Stabbing a dude in his cartoon face with a giant ceremonial spear is one of the most satisfying things I have ever done in a game. The best example for why all illustrated, hand-drawn style games aren't simply for kids. This game is a bloodbath.

  • 4 player doubles tennis after exams all throughout high school have made this game permanently ingrained in my psyche. Boo is ideal, then Yoshi. Drops and lobs are for chickens, and will be punished accordingly.

  • Who doesn't want to spend three hours outfitting their ideal mech to totally annihilate a 20 minute mission? I know I did.

  • Bought a yellow Game Boy to differentiate myself from the crowd, and with it this game. May have been the best, or worst, decision ever. I'm not sure I've ever played a harder or more frustrating game for as long as I did this one.

  • Is MCA ON FIREEEEEEE? Beastie Boys hidden characters for the win. To clarify, I had the Genesis version of T.E., not the newfangled PS1 copy. The older the better.

  • Need For Speed is at its best when it conveys the feeling of being chased, and few have done it better than Hot Pursuit 2. The Street games of the PS2 generation simply did not stand up, and were there to bilk the Fast and Furious crowd of cash.

  • Most of an older generation will sing the praises of NHLPA 93, but my personal experience with 95 was perfectly acceptable. Fighting, a much better roster system, expansion teams. It all worked well. Did anyone not own at least one of these two games?

  • Ryu Hayabusa's cinematic intro to this classic sold me on the concept. Ninja? Dead father? Red versus Blue? Hook, line, sinker. Too bad it took me a decade to actually beat it.

  • The default arcade game of every movie theatre in the world. Remember to hold down the clutch(?) pedal to get alternate colors for your cars. Great way to blow 10 minutes while you're waiting for the popcorn line to disperse.

  • I am not capable of talking eloquently about this game, but I highly suggest if you can still play PS2 games without vomiting from the lack of HD you play it. You will not be disappointed.

  • You have died of dysentery. Thanks, Oregon Trail! Shooting 800 squirrels to feed yourself seems like a really stupid plan, but everybody and your mother played this game. Also, don't try to ford anything bigger than a stream unless you like drowning.

  • Demons? Jean Reno? Weird Japanese lore? Excellent!

  • I had the Tiger handheld version of Paperboy, and I played the mess out of it. Countless batteries wasted delivering virtual papers instead of getting an actual paper route (because it wasn't 1964.)

  • The only complaint about this game is that it's half tutorial, but making it longer would have totally drained the life from it. It may just be the best short-form mystery ever made.

  • Another Dreamcast dark horse, this multiplayer bonanza was full of unceasing speed, frantic enemies, and reluctant cooperation. Sometimes you just want to boot your best friend off the boat, and this game gives you that option. Best played in a large room with soft walls so that thrown controllers don't break.

  • Part of me adds this to the list in memoriam, since the developer is no longer finishing episodes 3 or 4. Steampunk sensibilities with Penny Arcade dick jokes make for an enjoyable evening, and the gameplay on the PC was superb. A hit mostly for already-interested parties, but a well done fan service for all involved.

  • I would watch my older sister and her friend play this and think: what the hell is so compelling? The simplicity of the concept proves to be the drug, even if it was the oddball classic in its own time.

  • The original, and in my opinion the best single player of the group (with II coming in a very close second). Crazy dark aesthetics made for a grand arena for id to tell their story. Great weapon selection,too, held it apart from just some Doom offshoot.

  • Quake Live gets its own entry, not necessarily for the game, but for what it did for the Quake community. Live, free, in-browser multiplayer that has actual competitive play seems so anathema to the current multiplayer arenas, where most games would cost a minimum of $20 plus the machines to run them. Stats, friends, matchmaking. It's an incredible endeavor by one of gaming's quirkier developers.

  • 4 Q games is impossible! Queen should always get first billing anyway, and this game does not disappoint with its playlist. Singstar is one of those franchises you think will go away, only to churn out more and more successful (and surprisingly decent) games.

  • The game that made me buy an Xbox, surprisingly (not Halo), this is the best rally game I have played before or since. So many good tracks, great cars, and challenging AI on the harder levels made for a great, great adventure into the Microsoft console world.

  • I am dumbfounded at how these games continue to get better instead of worse. It makes no sense at all. Crack in Time was a hoot! It was a video game that made you play video game levels. Oodles of fun.

  • How is it ok to give kids a game where you beat other motorcycle riders with metal chains? Who gives a turd! It's a blast.

  • Much more tactical than action based, the hour of planning that was involved with every mission of RS made it so much fun for a 2d map geek. Shooting guys was just the inevitable end of a well planned run.

  • Is it summer? Good, then go play through Mario 3 from start to finish. It is a ritual done for the good of your own mind. This may be the best NES game made.

  • A rare edition owned for the Genesis, I had to purchase the nicer 6 button Sega controller to compete even slightly against the computer. SFIV has renewed my love of the 2D fighter, but this is where it all started for me.

  • OH NO! Another SNES JRPG. I am shocked. I can't believe I typed the name. Oh wait, sure I can, because Secret of Mana is ri-goddamned-diculously engrossing. Sadly, I don't own a copy anymore, which may be for the best for the sake of my free time.

  • Open bucket? Really? "It's a bucket, it can't CLOSE. HOW DO YOU OPEN A BUCKET!?" (This frustrated a number of people I know, as you can tell.)

  • Bowling with True Ogre beats any other 3D fighting game ever. I cut my teeth on Tekken 2 and 3, but TAG made me the Tekken advocate I am today. A huge roster at the time, with just about everybody but Doctor B, the tag element, match-up balances...just too much fun. Made studying for Calculus just a little more time-consuming.

  • Game Boy made this game what it is to me, I think. Game Type B means you could play quickly, or you could just try to crank out as many Tetrises as you could before you got to your soccer game. Shame that the guy who made it never really got a penny. Or ruble.

  • I adore the Thief series for all that it embodies; shadows and light, death from above and beyond sight, theft on a grand scale. Great steampunk-y mood, intriguing gameplay, non-lethal (mostly) focus. A game in need of a new generation.

  • WOW. Wow wow wow Naughty Dog wow. Tomb Raider: Dude Edition, with more humor, more action, and a better plot. The sequel is probably better, but to me Uncharted came with such a refreshing debut I'm giving it the nod.

  • The likely pick from the Ultima series, but there is a reason it's held in such high regard. The idea at the time that your character even HAD a moral aptitude was so foreign. Somehow avoided being cheesy while look for the aptly named "Book of Wisdom" by using your 'Dowsing Rod of Awesometude.' (I may have made part of that up.)

  • The only UT I've ever played, but it was a blast to play. Comical voice-over work, game types, and great space-gun selection make it a simple choice. Sometimes people seem to forget the Unreal Engine was (and is) based on a game called Unreal...and perhaps they will fix that at some point.

  • This game is fantastic, if you can stomach some of the degenerates on XBLA with their user pictures. Why are you positioned in that way, sir? Why are you sharing that with the online community? All things being equal, I've probably spent more time playing regular Uno on Live Messenger, but that's not an option to pick on GB.

  • The original PS1 game is the version I've played, although a pocket version would be very enticing. My one suggestion: DO NOT PLAY THE SEQUEL. Gameplay is not nearly as engaging and the story takes a terrible turn about a third(?) of the way through. Not enjoyable to me. Not that I can't take a decent retcon, but it was so ham-handed.

  • Tiny legs. Giant head. Absurd art. GO GO GADGET COMICBOOK GAME! Not based on any actual comic book, but this game is as much a personification of one as I have ever seen. It feels like the Freakazoid of video games, if not quite as clever.

  • Soft spot in my heart for being to race Bathurst's Mount Panorama circuit, but that's really the only reason to own this game. What, Australian V8s don't do it for you? There's a Skyline in there just for you tuner kids.

  • Shockingly simple and yet fun platformer. Shareware, which seems like an archaic process to me simply because it's been so long. Go take a look, the demo sells the game pretty well.

  • Do YOU know? I bet you do. She's got a big-ass hat. She's not THAT hard to find. Jeez, you still can't find her? What is wrong with you? LOOK HARDER. She is RIGHT THERE on the BOX ART.

  • My preferred version of this glorious game is an earlier NES version that does NOT feature Vanna. Yes, I have played this game so much I have memorized every clue and then hustled people out of money when drunk. No, I don't particularly regret it.

  • Speed. Fast speed. Crazy back of your seat ear-crushing speed. The HD version was so bad they had to tune it to not set off seizures. They don't make them like that anymore!

  • Oh, how I miss the game of old. Before spellpower, before resilience, before 25 man raids, there was only the raiders and the non-raiders. I owe some pretty important things in my life to this goofy game. Thanks, WoW!

  • The original "wtf am I doing with these buttons" strategy game, I am looking forward to the new X-COM more than I lament the loss of the old one. The IDEA of this game is far better than the execution, but that has more to do with perceived norms in games at the time versus now.

  • Pretentious video game plot loosely based on Friedrich Nietzsche's writings? Maddeningly long cutscenes? Sign me up! By the way, the story doesn't really make sense, so skip Episode 2 and hit up Episode 3 if you want to play more than one of these.

  • This game has caused me the most internal conflict ever. HATED on the first play. LOVED on the second. Why the swing? I still have no idea. I think the game is great (now) though, so...yeah. No logic there, just a (I think) quality game.

  • This game was NOT very good, but it was so covered in viscera I couldn't help but enjoy it. Combat in close was VERY appealing, but closing ground to actually get to people wasn't good. I don't suggest playing it, but on my list it goes.

  • Import this game. Do NOT buy the domestic. If you speak Japanese, buy it and play it in Japanese. Weirdly great, I think.

  • Tetris, plus Yoshi, plus cookies? I LOVE cookies! How do I get all these things? OH you made me a game! Well that was...convenient. Thanks, creepy dude in a van!

  • Putting this in the Y section because it's really just Ys 1 and 2, but it's a TON better from what I've heard. This game is middling and sort of crap, but I played it start to finish anyway. Why? I have NO IDEA.

  • The only Wiiware game I have purchased! I don't think it needs any further explanation. It's cubes. It's on the Wii. Fin.