100th Review Special, Finale: The Dawn of 2018

Well, that’s it; I managed to rank all 100 games I’ve reviewed so far. I’m satisfied with the way it turned out, and I’m glad that I was able to get certain people interested in playing the games I highlighted in the last four posts.

For the record, here is the list in its (somewhat) short form.

  1. The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask
  2. Planescape: Torment
  3. Undertale
  4. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
  5. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
  6. Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
  7. Metroid Prime
  8. Chrono Trigger
  9. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
  10. Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride
  11. Resident Evil 4
  12. Treasure of the Rudras
  13. Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War
  14. Earthbound
  15. Super Metroid
  16. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
  17. Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
  18. Metroid Prime 2: Echoes
  19. Final Fantasy V
  20. Ace Attorney, Volume 1: Phoenix Wright
  21. Bravely Default
  22. BioShock: Infinite
  23. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
  24. Papers, Please
  25. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
  26. Final Fantasy VI
  27. Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past
  28. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
  29. Live A Live
  30. Far Cry 3
  31. Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation
  32. Metroid Fusion
  33. Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake
  34. Metal Gear Solid
  35. Final Fantasy IV
  36. Uncharted: The Lost Legacy
  37. ActRaiser
  38. Police Quest: In Pursuit of the Death Angel
  39. The Legend of Zelda
  40. Breath of Fire II
  41. Ico
  42. The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening
  43. Metroid: Zero Mission
  44. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
  45. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
  46. Blast Corps
  47. Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception
  48. Dragon Quest IV: Chapters of the Chosen
  49. Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
  50. System Shock 2
  51. Braid
  52. Far Cry 4
  53. Breath of Fire
  54. Dragon Quest III: The Seeds of Salvation
  55. Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune
  56. Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
  57. Final Fantasy
  58. Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
  59. The Witness
  60. Metal Gear
  61. Earthbound Beginnings
  62. Laura Bow: The Colonel’s Bequest
  63. Mother 3
  64. Lufia & the Fortress of Doom
  65. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
  66. Final Fantasy III
  67. Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar
  68. X
  69. Metroid
  70. Metroid II: Return of Samus
  71. Dragon Quest II: Luminaries of the Legendary Line
  72. Dragon Quest
  73. Final Fantasy II
  74. The Stanley Parable
  75. Spec Ops: The Line
  76. The Last of Us
  77. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
  78. Yoshi’s Story
  79. Adventures in the Magic Kingdom
  80. Limbo
  81. Gone Home
  82. Shadowgate
  83. The Beginner’s Guide
  84. Metroid: Other M
  85. Snake’s Revenge
  86. Sonic R
  87. Lester the Unlikely
  88. Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures
  89. Friday the 13th (NES)
  90. Quest for Camelot
  91. Takeshi’s Challenge
  92. Deadly Towers
  93. Rise of the Robots
  94. Where’s Waldo
  95. Transformers: Mystery of Convoy
  96. Isle of the Dead
  97. King’s Knight
  98. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
  99. Metal Morph
  100. Dragon’s Lair (NES)

There were some other observations I made over the years and when typing up this list, including…

  • 3/10 was the very first score I used (for The Last of Us), though I ended up rewriting the original review.
  • 1/10 was the last score I ended up using (for Deadly Towers).
  • Planescape: Torment was the first game I awarded a 10/10.
  • By this point, I’ve reviewed most of the games I would award a 10/10.
  • At three, I’ve awarded 10/10s to more 2000s games than ones from any other decade (as opposed to one for the nineties, one for the 2010s, and zero for the eighties).
  • I have yet to award a 1/10 to any game I didn’t actively seek out for the purposes of reviewing it.
  • No series so far has received more than one 9/10.
  • I’ve only written one positive review of an eighties game (Police Quest).
  • Uncharted: The Lost Legacy marked the first time I reviewed a game in the same calendar year of its original release. I did originally review Undertale around four months after its debut, though.
  • For a very brief moment, the number of Japan-exclusive games I reviewed actually outnumbered the ones released worldwide (my first three reviews were The Last of Us, Live A Live, and Mother 3).
  • Blast Corps marked the first time I broke my original intro/gameplay/story/conclusion template.
  • My rewritten piece on Mother 3 was the first time I added a section to my usual template.
  • My longest review is my rewritten take on The Last of Us, almost reaching 10,000 words.
  • My shortest review is my take on Blast Corps, being the only piece that didn’t pass 1,000 words.
  • Aether has the honor of being the very first person to both like and comment on one of my reviews, having discovered my site through my first Earthbound review in December of 2014 and later commenting on my “A Guide to Sacred Cows” editorial.
  • Made in 1985, Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar is the oldest game I’ve reviewed so far.
  • Made in 2017, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is the newest game I’ve reviewed so far.

For those interested, I’ve been maintaining a spreadsheet detailing how many times I’ve awarded each score along with the decades from which each game originated. Here’s what it looks like as of the beginning of 2018.

As one year ends, another one begins. All in all, 2017 was a great year for this site, as I wrote far more reviews than I did in the years leading up to it and met a lot of interesting people through various blogs. Thanks once again to everyone who commented on the last few posts; your support is greatly appreciated. Here’s to an even better 2018 for all of us!

15 thoughts on “100th Review Special, Finale: The Dawn of 2018

  1. I love the fact that Majora’s Mask took the top spot. Thoroughly deserved, even if it isn’t one of my personal favourites in the Zelda franchise. Undertale was another fantastic title that I wholeheartedly agree on in terms of placement. The additional facts at the end of this article were really interesting to read and to see how you typically score. I’m excited to read more!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yup, I felt between the five 10s I’ve awarded, it deserved the top spot because it managed to have a great, thought-provoking story without sacrificing the gameplay at all. Then again, there are no weak links in that tier; Undertale and Planescape: Torment are some of best story-heavy games ever written while Metroid Prime 3 and Metal Gear Solid 3 deserve to be considered the best action titles of all time.

      I’m glad you found those additional facts interesting. I’ll be posting my next review fairly soon!


  2. Congratulations again on the milestone! Also, those are some interesting factoids. I feel like doing something like this again soon. Once I hit 300 game reviews, I plan on remaking my GotY for Every Year of my Life list and my long-promised list of all-time favorites. Not sure if my “factoid” bit will be before or after my all-time list though. Maybe I’ll just make two of ’em?

    I wish I could remember all the facts and figures on my site (please don’t ask me my ratings average. The math! She confuses me!). I do, however, remember that – unsurprisingly – Matt from NintendoBound was the first person to like, comment and follow on my blog.

    I too have awarded most of my 10s, with six (though I can’t say for sure how many are left as I do need to replay them). Yeah, half of the 10s I’ve awarded are to Mario games (World, Galaxy 2, and Odyssey), with three more Mario games getting 9.5s, and three more still that could potentially fall under those high ranks. Sometimes I fear I look a little biased, but I’ve also given some Mario games bad reviews as well, so hopefully it balances out. What I think is funny though is how there are probably many people out there who would cry foul at me for that reason, as though having a favorite series means I (or anyone else) would blindly praise it, without thinking that maybe the reason why people have favorite series is because they consistently provide stellar experiences. Favorites don’t just pop out of a vacuum without reason.

    With all that said, There are only a small number of series I would grant multiple entries access to the “10 and 9.5s club.” Mario, Donkey Kong Country and Dark Souls (if BloodBorne counts, which it really should) are the only ones I’ve done that with currently, and Zelda would probably be the only other one. Like I’ve said ad nauseum, I am an exceptionalist. And while I try to be limiting in the number of works I give the highest scores to, I have to make exceptions for the best of the best series.

    Anyway, I’m rambling again. This made for a really fun read, and I look forward to your future writings.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I just placed the factoid list after my grand list because I felt most of them wouldn’t be meaningful without context.

      Yeah, trying to sort through 200+ games would be daunting. When I manage to do that, it would only because I started early enough, thereby cutting out most of the work I would have to do.

      Nah, you would only be biased if you gave Mario’s Time Machine (or Metroid: Other M) a passing grade. Plus, you’re willing to call out Nintendo’s misplays, so no one would really have a solid basis with which to cry foul. As it stands, you gave a 10 to games that actually are superb. Speaking of which, I get the feeling the ten you would award to an eighties game would either be Super Mario. Bros 3 or Mega Man 2.

      I don’t really have a set limit for 9/10s, though I try to be sparing with awarding them as well. A game really has to go the extra mile to achieve it. I think it’s to the point where if you ever see me break out that score (or even an 8/10), you know it’s something special.

      I’ll be posting my next review very soon!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Just the thought of giving Mario’s Time Machine or Metroid: Other M a passing grade… *shudders*

        I’ve reviewed both Super Mario Bros. 3 and Mega Man 2, and although I considered giving them 10s, I ultimately gave them 9.5s. Admittedly, these were simple cases of personal taste, with my reasoning for giving SMB3 a 9.5 simply being that I prefer World as the “definitive” 2D Mario experience. And since these games are at the age where they can only really be reviewed in context with one another (unless someone is playing them for the first time, I suppose), the fact that I think World is the ‘better’ 2D Mario meant that it was the 10 between the two. Mega Man 2 is a little less concrete why I didn’t give it a 10 really… With that said, both games are definitely worthy of 10s, it’s just my personal take to give them 9.5s (which I hold in similar regard).

        Because of this, the eighties game I’m actually considering a 10 for is *drumroll please* Tetris. Granted, one could argue that other puzzle games built on it (such as Tetris Battle Gaiden, which I reviewed and loved immensely, giving it a 9.0, which I try to view as the “maximum score” that most games could ever hope to achieve, with the higher two scores being reserved for indisputable all-time greats). But Tetris is a title whose design was already so flawless, it seems to transcend timeframes. It may have been born in the eighties, but it’s hard to view Tetris as a retro game, it’s just Tetris. I think the only other games that equal its timelessness are (not surprisingly) ones that include the name “Mario” in the title, but even Mario bettered his own formula with sequels. Although (again) one could argue that other puzzle games have more to them, those that are similar to Tetris are more like tweaks to the formula. None of them have rendered the original obsolete (although I guess the same can be said for Mario, seeing as SMB is still a nearly-flawlessly constructed game, but I think you get what I’m going at…or at least I hope you do).

        I’m still trying to think of a 2000s game that would snag one of my 10s. The ones that I think I would have awarded top honors back in their day kind of have the aforementioned “SMB3 thing” going for them, in that I simply think a subsequent title provided a more definitive experience to what they started, and since I review such games retroactively, the comparisons seem unavoidable. Again, not ruling it out, but for me, the sixteen bit generation and the later years of the Wii/PS3/360 to today mark gaming’s most consistent high points (which isn’t to say these eras are flawless by any means, just that they’ve delivered a notable amount of experiences that can be described as such).

        I don’t like to think I have a set limit of my high scores. It’s true I only have a handful of 10s, but again, if I were reviewing games back in the early-to-mid 2000s, perhaps I would have had more because both the times were different and because my tastes/criteria may have worked differently. Basically, I see a 10 these days as either being A) a modern title that goes above and beyond expectations, whose missteps are so inconsequential to their strengths that they really don’t matter, or B) a retro game that I can undoubtedly say has remained one of my all-time favorites through the years due to meeting the above criteria (Super Mario World, for example, has always been one of my favorites, and every time I replay it it’s obvious why. Meanwhile, many other games that I once hailed as favorites may have fluctuated more). This might be why, although a good chunk of my 10s are now modern titles, the retro 10s might have the (slight) edge in numbers, whereas my 9.5s, which I try to give similar criteria for, tend to lean in favor of modern games. That extra test of time obviously rings loudly when tipping the scale. And as stated, I try to make 9.0s (and even the 8.5s and 8.0s) a big deal as well, with the 9.0s being like the top score most games could hope to achieve. But now I’m repeating myself, so maybe I should stop typing…

        Liked by 1 person

        • There was a critic who made a (now somewhat infamous) video defending Metroid: Other M, claiming it that it was a trailblazing title while implying the Prime trilogy was creatively bankrupt. The reason I say it’s infamous is because he made an exceptionally poor case for why he thought that; among other things, he seemed to insinuate that a major reason why Other M was superior was because it wasn’t a first-person shooter. That would be like if I insinuated that the reason why Metal Gear Solid 3 is so good is because it’s not a real-time strategy game. How he did that without shuddering, I have no idea.

          Tetris is a good choice for a 10/10; along with Mega Man 2 and Super Mario Bros. 3, it really has a rightful claim as one of the best games of the eighties. It’s one of the few games from that era (or indeed ever) that hasn’t aged a day. It’s every bit as good now as it was back then. I heard that somebody proposed it’s the perfect game because one doesn’t have to be culturally aware to get how it works. With Pac-Man, your culture would need to have the concept of ghosts in order for you to know to avoid them. Tetris runs entirely on mathematics. Though some cultures place a greater emphasis on it than others, mathematics is a wholly universal concept that loses nothing when jumping between demographics.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Gaming & Blogging Things of 2017 – LightningEllen's Release

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