Games you need to play before you die
21st May 2012 | 14:30
Bit.Trip Runner (iOS)
Gav Murphy, Official Nintendo Magazine
One of the most inventive, addictive and punishingly vindictive games ever. The Bit.Trip games have consistently been the best titles on WiiWare.
Commandos 2: Men of Courage (PC)
Adam Bunker, Staff Writer, T3
'OK' you think; 'I just about got the hang of the fact that I have 8 men (and a dog) to control, all with different skills and attributes', as you make them sneak into a compound and knock out a guard. But that's the training level, and it's the size of a playground. Level 2 has 900 objectives, a billion nazis and is the size of Ireland. There's never been such a maddening difficulty curve like it in gaming, before or since. "I was trained for this!"
Maniac Mansion 2: Day Of The Tentacle (PC)
Jonathan Pile, ShortList
The pinnacle of LucasArt's adventure gaming achievements. The three different time zones working with the twisted logic of the puzzles (paint a kumquat tree red so George Washington mistakes it for cherry tree and chops it down, freeing your friend who's stuck in it 400 years in the future) produced a unique and timeless experience that is yet to be bettered.
Daytona USA (Arcade)
Mike Channell, Deputy Editor, oxm.co.uk
The quintessential 3D arcade racer, from an era when SEGA was still blowing away home consoles in the arcades, an eight player race with friends is still better than the vast majority of entertainment in Britain's beleagured seaside towns.
Deus Ex (PS2)
Duncan Bell, Operations Editor, T3
One of the first games to feel truly bleak and adult, this cyber-punk FPS-cum-RPG epic was all black trenchcoats, black helicopters, looming architecture and ruminations on the meaning of "humanity" in a near-future era of nano-modifications. As JC Denton you had to chase the truth about your brother's death and a globe-spanning conspiracy involving UN agencies, Chinese Triads and the Illuminati. The ending was exceedingly bleak. But it's okay, you also got to creep up on people and shoot them in the back of the head, and incinerate robot aggressors with a rocket launcher.
Diner Dash 2 (PC)
Rob Temple, Features Editor, T3
You basically have to wait on a load of tables, serve food, clear up etc. Very addictive. Available on a lot of formats, but I play it on PC, as it came free with it.
Double Hawk (Master System)
Michael Sawh, Staff Writer, T3
There are so many Master System games that don't get the credit they truly deserved, and Double Hawk was one of them. It's a two-player shooter with characters that shared more than a passing resemblance to Stallone and Schwarzenegger, and the end level took weeks to get past. I want a re-make!
Richard Wordsworth, T3.com
Shunted from the shelter of your underground sanctuary into a post-nuclear wasteland, the original Fallout lets you sneak, talk or blow your way through everything from rickety frontier towns to sprawling secret bases, all packed to bursting with B movie mutants, cultists, raiders and giant scorpions. It was also the first game I ever played where shooting someone in the nads was a legitimate tactic, and reverse-pickpocketing a live explosive onto an unsuspecting enemy a messily ironic way to defuse a conflict.
Final Fantasy VII (PlayStation)
Jayga Ryan, Super Super
I've never found a game I empathised with more. From saving the world to Cloud's internal identity battles, it's perfect.
Final Fantasy XII (PS2)
Jon Hamblin, freelance games writer and maker of Say What You See app
Not just because it was a peerless RPG, but because it was weirdly like the Star Wars prequels as they should have been.
Simon Munk, MSN
Superbly balanced, knife-edge, four-player collaborative/competitive gameplay yet to bettered.
Gunstar Heroes (Mega Drive)
Matt Lees, Staff Writer, oxm.co.uk
Two player arcade shooting doesn't get much better than this. Great music, amazing action, and a hilarious showdown with a monster made of curry and rice make this Megadrive classic a solid-gold classic.
Hogs of War (PlayStation)
Kieran Alger, Web Editor, T3.com
Just like Worms but with pigs in 3D. You could use rockets and even fly around with jet packs. What more could you want?
Hunted: The Demon's Forge (Xbox 360)
Edwin Evans-Thirlwell, Online Editor, OXM (oxm.co.uk)
Because Gears meets Tolkien is more than the sum of its parts, and because we need somebody making fantasy action games besides BioWare and Bethesda.
Kick Off 2 (Atari ST)
Tom Cullen, ShortList.com
Pals with the swankier Amiga swore by Sensible World Of Soccer. Sensible World Of Soccer my foot. SWOS was way too slow. Way too simple. Being great at Kick Off 2 was similar to being great at table football. Kick Off players had absolutely no built in control of the ball , it would simply bounce off them like pinball. But master the game and you could tame the ball and pass it around your players with pace and control. The Dutch called it totaalvoetbal. I called it 'skillzaah'.
Knights of the Old Republic (PC)
Jane Douglas, Gamespot
Gloriously talky Star Wars RPG. Pretend Episodes I through III never happened and we got this instead.
Lotus Turbo Challenge (Amiga)
Charlie Parrish, Loaded
Stretched my Amiga 500+ to its limits, as it did my mother’s patience with my Dad and I playing long into the night attempting to crack level codes and out-do each other’s times. Fake F1 drivers names worth a mention, too. “Ayrton Sendup” and “Alain Phosphate”. Arf.
Metroid Prime (Gamecube., Wii)
Andy Robinson, Deputy Editor, CVG (CVG.co.uk)
Everybody’s heard of Mario and Zelda, but Metroid - Nintendo’s other lead franchise - gets far less attention than it deserves. Prime masterfully transports the moody sci-fi series into the third-dimension – and first person – and it’s one of the most beautiful and atmospheric titles the Japanese giant’s ever produced.
MX vs. ATV Untamed (Xbox 360)
Luke Johnson, News Writer, T3
The best release in a great off-road franchise, Untamed betters its replacements through sheer diversity in possibilities and great gameplay.
Quake 3 Arena (PC)
Jon Hicks, Editor, oxm.co.uk
Twelve years after it was released, this is still the purest, fastest and most nerve-jangling multiplayer shooter in the world. The looks may have dated (although even then, not as much as you’d think) but the gunplay is still the most effective adrenaline shot videogames can offer.
Red Faction (PC)
Thomas Tamblyn, Freelance/Writer, T3
Arguably the father of physics in-game, Red Faction was ahead of its time, defined by its destructable environment and dark atmosphere. Its ground-breaking graphics made it a joy to play and with a storyline as dark as it was plentiful you found yourself pining after the dark twisted mines of Mars.
Richard Galpin, Project
I was obsessed by R-Type in the late Eighties, early Nineties. As a side-scroller it seemed, at the time, cutting edge. The spaceship looked very cool (metallic, with a large cockpit, excellent power-ups) although I don't think I ever actually defeated the Bydo Empire (thank you Wikipedia) and finished the damn thing.
The Secret of Monkey Island (PC)
Michael French, MCV
Funny, intelligent & original. I've played it on numerous platforms over the years - it's aged well, Special Edition or not.
Silent Hill (PlayStation)
Alex Sim-Wise, Front
It was the first game I really played the shit out of. I played it so much I got all the different endings.
Robotron: 2084 (Arcade)