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The Legend of Zelda - Majora's Mask Image 2Another year passes and the list is back. I’ve tried to form my scoring system to make it a little harsher this year and I’ve found myself reducing the scores given to new games after reviewing them time and again, something that has become a bad habit. A few games have dropped out of the top 100 since last year as I’ve reconsidered things and only a couple of new ones have made the cut. Remember the list is made up predominantly of Nintendo games and is not meant to be definitive, merely a reflection of my gaming experience. As usual click a link to read my review.

100. Donkey Kong Jungle Beat – 8.6

Donkey Kong Jungle Beat Image 1Donkey Kong Country Returns might have captured people’s hearts in a bigger way but the Gamecube was host to another memorable DK sidescroller. Controlled with the DK bongos DKJB is a rather ingenious rhythm-based platformer that introduces the addictive idea of stringing together beats. It’s a blast to play and a much better game than Donkey Konga.

99. Baten-Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean – 8.6

98. Zack and Wiki: Quest for Barbaros’ Treasure – 8.7

97. The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass – 8.7

96. New Super Mario Bros. U – 8.7

95. Tales of Symphonia – 8.7

94. Professor Layton and the Lost Future – 8.7

93. Pikmin – 8.7

92. Super Mario Bros. 2 – 8.8

91. Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest – 8.8

90. Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed – 8.8

89. Professor Layton and the Curious Village – 8.8

88. Elite Beat Agents – 8.8

87. Mario Kart 64 – 8.8

86. Zelda II: The Adventure of Link – 8.8

Zelda II - The Adventure of Link Image 1A game often referred to as the black sheep of the Zelda family, Zelda II is actually a mini-masterpiece that boldly changed the series formula with sidescrolling gameplay and a deep battle system. It’s also among the hardest of Nintendo games, the Great Palace at the game’s finale offers an absolutely insane challenge.

85. The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks – 8.8

84. Mario Kart Double Dash!! – 8.9

83. Yoshi’s Island DS – 8.9

82. Super Monkey Ball 2 – 8.9

81. Professor Layton and Pandora’s Box – 8.9

80. Super Mario 3D Land – 9.0

79. Wario Land 2 – 9.0

78. Mario and Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story – 9.0

77. Mario Kart Wii – 9.0

76. Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers – 9.0

Super Street Fighter II - The New Challengers Image 1In the early nineties Street Fighter II became an instant smash and one of the most influential games ever made with its deep, technical gameplay and iconic characters. This brilliant second edition introduced several popular new contenders and remains a superlative one-on-one fighting experience and a multiplayer favourite.

75. Paper Mario – 9.0

74. Mario Kart 7 – 9.0

73. Mega Man – 9.9

72. Kirby’s Epic Yarn – 9.0

71. Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 – 9.0

70. Pikmin 2 – 9.0

Pikmin 2 Image 1A contender for this list’s most improved sequel Pikmin 2 took everything that was great about the first game and fixed everything that was wrong. The game is much bigger and the introduction of multi-level caves really deepened the strategy gameplay. The names given to mundane objects heralded as treasures are also pretty amusing.

69. Soul Calibur II – 9.0

68. Super Smash Bros. – 9.0

67. Donkey Kong Country – 9.1

66. Wario Land 3 – 9.1

65. Mega Man 2 – 9.1

64. Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon – 9.1

63. Wario Land 4 – 9.1

62. Donkey Kong – 9.1

61. Wario Ware Inc.: Minigame Mania – 9.1

60. Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars – 9.1

59. Donkey Kong Country Returns – 9.1

58. The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures – 9.2

57. Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga – 9.2

56. Tetris – 9.2

Tetris Image 1A puzzle game made by a single Russian that took the world by storm, Tetris inspired countless falling-block game copycats. The original is still the best of them, a perfectly balanced challenge that is still furiously addictive. It’s a classic even if your mum ended up playing it more than you did. Mine too.

55. F-Zero – 9.2

54. Metroid Zero Mission – 9.2

53. Diddy Kong Racing – 9.2

52. Pokemon Silver Version – 9.3

51. The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons – 9.3

50. F-Zero X – 9.3

49. The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap – 9.3

48. Super Mario Sunshine – 9.3

47. Disciples: Sacred Lands – 9.3

46. Lylat Wars – 9.3

Lylat Wars Image 1Not only is Lylat Wars one of the most addictive and replayable shoot-em-ups ever made, not only is it the first video game ever to support the rumble feature, not only is it still a joy to play 16 years after its release but its probably the most quotable game ever made. Altogether now; Do a Barrel Roll!

45. Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones – 9.4

44. Super Smash Bros. Brawl – 9.4

43. Disciples II: Dark Prophecy – 9.4

42. Metroid – 9.4

41. Pokemon Blue Version – 9.4

40. The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages – 9.4

39. Fire Emblem – 9.4

38. Xenoblade Chronicles – 9.4

37. GoldenEye 007 – 9.4

GoldenEye 007 Image 1Rare’s brilliant first person shooter ushered in a seismic shift in video game history with its phenomonal gameplay and genre-defining multiplayer. Despite not having anything like dual analogue controls, mouse support, online multiplayer and being based on a movie it is still considered by many in the industry to be the finest example of the most popular genre out there.

36. Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door – 9.4

35. Metroid Prime 2: Echoes – 9.4

34. Super Smash Bros. Melee – 9.5

33. Banjo-Tooie – 9.5

32. Sonic 3 – 9.5

31. Metroid Fusion – 9.5

30. Metroid Prime 3: Echoes – 9.5

29. Super Mario Bros. – 9.5

28. Sonic the Hedgehog – 9.5

27. F-Zero GX – 9.5

26. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 – 9.6

25. Okami – 9.6

Okami Image 1It might not have sold too many copies but this masterful action adventure based on Japanese Shinto mythology scored very highly with critics and won an army of fans. As sun goddess Amaterasu appearing in Wolf form you must travel the beautifully stylised land of Nippon restoring its majesty with the innovative Celestial Brush. The game borrowed its structure from The Legend of Zelda and of all of that series many imitators it is easily the best.

24. Chrono Trigger – 9.6

23. Sonic & Knuckles – 9.6

22. Banjo-Kazooie – 9.6

21. Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance – 9.6

20. The Legend of Zelda – 9.6

19. Sonic 3 & Knuckles – 9.7

18. Super Mario Bros. 3 – 9.7

17. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D – 9.7

16. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker – 9.7

15. Yoshi’s Island: Super Mario World 2 – 9.7

14. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword – 9.7

13. Super Mario World – 9.7

Super Mario World Image 1The success of the video game industry is arguably built on 2D Mario platformers and Super Mario World is probably the best of the bunch. Arriving as an SNES launch game the title introduced Nintendo the 16-Bit era with style and quality. The gameplay is flawless and this is where we were first inroduced to Yoshi.

12. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess – 9.7

11. Super Mario Galaxy 2 – 9.7

10. Super Mario Galaxy – 9.7

9. Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn – 9.8

8. Metroid Prime – 9.8

7. Super Metroid – 9.8

6. Super Mario 64 – 9.8

5. The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening – 9.8

4. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past – 9.8

3. Skies of Arcadia: Legends – 9.9

2. The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask – 10.0

The Legend of Zelda - Majora's Mask Image 1How do you follow up the best game ever made? The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask added to the grandeur of Ocarina of Time by shifting its focus with a strange and dark story tinged with sadness and by introducing brilliant new concepts like transformation masks and the ever-recurring three day cycle. The detail in the world of Termina far outstrips that of Hyrule and dungeons are the best in the series. This game really is a masterpiece.

1. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time – 10.0

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