Monday, April 12, 2010

The Top 10 Games of All Time(?): Objectivity Out the Window

[This is kind of an old story, but I still thought I'd publish my write up. From time to time, I'll write on my phone and some stories won't be published right away. This is one of them.]

Kotaku's panel on the top 10 games of all time, as covered by Kotaku's Mike Fahey at PAX East this year got me thinking about what I would deem the top 10 games of all time. Of course, thinking about such a task also had me thinking about the limitations video games place on these kind of hard criticisms. Leaving out any single game might completely demerit the list, but it would be hard to play every single game ever created. Coming up with a list has a lot to do with opening your mind to a wide range of heresay and second hand opinion.

For example, did you know that I've never played and completed a Metal Gear game? Sure I've spent time playing Metal Gear Solid and the next two of its sequels, but I've never beaten any of the games in that series. Does that glaring hole in my game-playing experience disqualify me from creating a Top 10 list? I suppose I would have to argue that it does not especially when I consider the large swath of games I've dedicated long hours to. Even in the case of Metal Gear, I may not have played an entire game through to the end, but I have played a selective handful of hours and taken in the gist of the experience.

What about games people play and don't like? There are great games in genres that some people have absolutely no taste in, right? For me, that detested genre of gaming would have to be the simulation, whether it is sports, racing, or flight. Having the consequences of the real world also means having the limitations, so when I try to throw a bomb downfield in any Madden game, and I fail, I feel as though something fantastic has just been wretched from my hands.

Obviously, what I mean to point out to any readers is that any Top 10 list is going to be imperfect, and will inevitably inspire debate. Kotaku's panel shows this, in front of a live audience. In a way I have to admit the excusatory nature of this post. If you couldn't already guess, I'm starting to put together a Top 10 list for PLAY READ WRITE in my head. Expect further details over the next week and a half.

If you're reading this, leave a comment suggesting a game I should definitely play before finishing my list, or maybe even suggest a format for the list, on this post.

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