MY TOP 35 GAMES OF ALL TIME!!!!
So you are going to a desert island, (with power and TV?) Or maybe an alien planet and have 30 games on board (wouldn't you want 30 games you've never played?). Okay maybe you are dying, and your last memories before black are going through your 30 favorite games that make your brain happy? Lets go with that!
No greatest hits collections with "25 games on 1", that's cheating! Game of the year collections (DLC) or remasters count. But not collections like Bioshock Collection or Mario All-Stars (those might have made list!). It has to be stand alone single games.
Its all personal preference, not counting "influence or impact". They may not be the best games, or the fanciest in the series. But they made an impact on you. Because you cant really measure that can you? I have the Zelda on here that Miamoto (the creator) says he hates. Oh well! Its MY list not HIS.
Almost impossible to make a game list like this; especially if you've been a giant game geek for as long as i have. I might not have been in the arcade for Pac-man. Or played as many games as a games reviewer/journalist. Ive actually missed a LOT of big games over the years I still need to go back to (Last of Us!).
But Ive been a do or die gamer for 35 solid years, since NES, and a little bit of Atari and arcade machines before the NES.
A rural Pizza Hut with one machine will leave a different impression than a city with a smoke filled arcade. Arcades are different from home consoles and even PC gaming. Online vs Offline narratives. Handhelds vs dedicated home systems. Different genres. Different groups of friends who influenced you. Games played at the right time creating perfect memories. With the right person. Games you might have skipped and come back to after they lost their luster, or what made them unique at the time has been emulated too many times to impress you any longer. Perhaps a game you remembered with rose colored glasses you went back to and see it differently? The developer may have come under fire years later for crimes, crunch, USB sticks of porn, or bad working conditions coloring your impression of their product. Or your favorite game has been re-released so many times you grew sick of it, (I think that's why Mega Man 2 is missing from my list). Or a favorite franchise has many of your favorite games, but no single one hits the top, you still love the franchise, (Mario for me), but there isn't one that stands out. So many factors that can color your feelings on a title... So many variables.
Any way you cut it, there is no way to actually dilute 20,000 games from 40 years into a top 30. Heck I had 25 and had to go to 30. Its hard to do a system specific, or year specific top 10 to say the least... And Ive never agreed with any magazine or website's "top 100 games of all time". I dislike super popular games like Madden, Tony Hawk, Sonic, Guitar Hero, PUBG, Fortnite, Street Fighter, even Tetris! (Notice most are high score or competitive games?). I dont really touch mobile games. And I have games of the year that made #1 on a yearly list I made but dont appear here. I liked them a lot but they didn't stay with me, or i didn't go back and replay them perhaps? So this is ALL OPINION. I would suggest trying these all out, but I understand this is not everyone else's list :)