Exactly two months from now on June 3rd 2015, CelJaded is turning 1 year old.
I know, I can hardly believe it either!…
In order to mark the occasion I wanted to produce an extra-special feature, so over the next two months you’ll be treated to the CelJaded Top 100: Best Video Games; a gigantic list and personal record of the very best video games that I’ve experienced over the past 25 years.
To begin with, the CelJaded Top 100 will be split into chunks that feature ten entries per post (similar to how the top 20 lists have worked in the past) with each post landing at select points during a week. When we get to the final ten entries however, I will be dedicating an entire post to each remaining game in an effort to truly explain why I consider those titles to be my best of the best, as it were. Then, if all goes as planned, the final post for my #1 favourite game will be revealed on the anniversary date itself (just to be extra cool and pretentious).
Now in the past I’ve seen many top 100 compilations for games, films, moments in history etc. from professional publications, but I’ve found that more personal top 100 lists like this one tend to be a bit more uncommon. After researching the idea further in the early stages of this year though, I discovered why this is the case.
Put simply: it’s a lot of work. In truth, I’ve always thought that an insightful top 20 list was arduous enough but it doesn’t even compare to something like this.
Whilst it was easy enough to assign a ranking to the top 20 or so titles, the rest of the list was a real challenge to quantify. Finding a spot for certain titles in the early stages felt like pulling teeth, and it’s not always going to be accurate to say that Game X is better than Game Y simply because it occupies a slot higher. Whilst some of the numbers themselves may be somewhat arbitrary then, the common theme persists that these are games that I have enjoyed playing a lot.
Even as an enthusiast, it’s important to mention that the overall variety of video games I play today is remarkably low. After more than two decade’s worth of being a player, I’m highly attuned now to the concepts, genres and franchises that appeal to me the most and as such, I’m very selective. It’s possible that some of the entries on this list are games that I either only rarely still play today or even may never play again.
That’s why I mainly judged each entry by answering up to two simple questions: ‘how likely is it that I would still play this game right now?’ and also: ‘how much did I enjoy this game when I did play it originally?’.
I feel it’s also important to mention that I am not a sentimentalist and I have long since shook off the burden of nostalgia. I don’t enjoy playing certain retro titles because they remind me of my youth but I do enjoy playing them because they are still good games that have stood the test of time for whatever unique reason.
“They’re never as good as you remember them” is a phrase that similarly minded people use with relation to retro games and it’s often a very true statement. If you give me a choice of playing either Robotron or Halo, then I’m going to pick Halo. It’s not because Robotron is a bad game of course, but now in 2015, Robotron is simply a game that I would sooner respect than a game I would play.
There is also the subject of my own history that’s worth a quick mention. If you read one of my early articles on the 8-bit or 16-bit eras of gaming then you’ll know I grew up playing a lot of Sega consoles. Owing to that exposure, there will be quite a few Sega exclusives popping up on this list, but only if I feel they still hold up of course.
And to reiterate once more, this is a very personal undertaking. This is not a collection of the 100 best video games ever made because, quite honestly: I haven’t played every game and nor will I ever. In another 25 years this list will be very different, sure. But for now I can only assess the games that matter to me, and those games tend to be the ones I’ve played extensively and have enjoyed (or even sometimes hated) just as much.
With all that being said though, I hope you enjoy this little adventure and stick with me all the way to the top spot as it promises to be one wild ride. Time to get Jaded.