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Top 10 British Video Games

VO: Richard Bush
Written by Marc Turner Game over? No, we’re just getting started. Welcome to WatchMojo UK, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 British Video Games. The British gaming sector has always punched above its weight, creating dozens of innovative titles that have helped to shape the industry. For this list, we’re counting down the best games produced by British game studios or which otherwise have a strong British influence. Special thanks to our user RespectTheLogos3 for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 10 British Video Games


Game over? No, we’re just getting started. Welcome to WatchMojo UK, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 British Video Games.

The British gaming sector has always punched above its weight, creating dozens of innovative titles that have helped to shape the industry. For this list, we’re counting down the best games produced by British game studios or which otherwise have a strong British influence.

#10: “Elite” (1984)

This space trading game was such a technical breakthrough, it amazed even the developers of the BBC Micro computer on which it was released. One of the first titles to use 3D wire-frame graphics with hidden line removal, “Elite” was influential in the development of the ultra-realistic visuals of today’s games. What really captivated players, though, was the scale of the title. Often cited as the first truly open-world game, the “Elite” universe contains eight galaxies, each with an amazing 256 planets to enjoy. Truly epic.

#9: “Championship Manager” (1992)

Developed by Sports Interactive, this management simulator gave players the chance to run a football club. Over the course of two decades, the franchise has become slicker and more detailed, but even when it was first released, it was streets ahead of the competition. The franchise is so engrossing, Sports Interactive once admitted it had even caused divorces. But hey, priorities, right? Especially as for many players this game offered the one real chance of their favourite team ever winning some silverware.

#8: “Manic Miner” (1983)

In this game, you play the character Willy as he tries to escape a mine filled with poisonous pansies and rabid toilet seats. “Manic Miner” is widely considered to be the moment that modern platform gaming was invented and was the first ZX Spectrum title to feature in-game music generated by the machine itself. Winner of a Golden Joystick Award from “Computer and Video Games” magazine, “Manic Miner” has officially been ported to ten separate home computers and game consoles – and unofficially ported to many more.

#7: “Fable II” (2008)

This action RPG was one of the first games that allowed players to influence the game-world through the actions of their character. Every choice made by the protagonist Sparrow has consequences, creating a living, breathing world, as well as a truly immersive experience. Not only is the game funny, it also boasts an interesting storyline and excellent fighting mechanics. Plus, for that extra British touch, the name of “Fable’”s world, Albion, is a reference to an ancient name for Great Britain.

#6: “LittleBigPlanet” (2008)

The release of “LBP” was delayed originally, reportedly because one of the background music tracks contained expressions from the Qur’an. But the final game was worth the wait, picking up eight AIAS awards, including Overall Game of the Year. This puzzle-platformer won praise for its graphics, audio, and gameplay, but what really set it apart was the fact that players could create their own levels for other gamers. As testimony to the game’s enduring popularity, protagonist Sackboy is still selling merchandise all these years later.

#5: “Banjo-Kazooie” (1998)

From legendary British game studio Rare, “Banjo-Kazooie” follows a bear and a bird as they take on the evil witch Gruntilda. “Super Mario 64” set the benchmark for 3D platformers, but in the eyes of some players “Banjo-Kazooie” surpassed it. A success both critically and commercially, the game won two AIAS awards in 1999, including Console Action Game of the Year. It also earned an impressive 92 on review site Metacritic, with fans loving the graphics, the soundtrack, and the vast scale of its worlds.

#4: “Batman: Arkham Asylum” (2009)

Upon release, IGN called this “the greatest comic book videogame of all time”, and it’s easy to see why. With its immersive story and well-developed characters, the title feels like it is part of the Batman canon. The fun combat system is supplemented by a range of cool gadgets that allow you to take down enemies stealthily. Add to that some excellent graphics and a high replayability factor, and it’s no surprise the game sold nearly 2 million copies in the first three weeks of its release alone.

#3: “GoldenEye 007” (1997)

Another gem from the Rare studio, this Nintendo 64 title is regarded as one of the greatest video games of all time. Previously, first-person shooters had been limited to PCs, but “GoldenEye” proved the format was possible on consoles, and in doing so paved the way for franchises like “Halo” and “Call of Duty.” The level design was elegant, the range of weaponry extensive, and the multiplayer offered hours of fun killing your friends. Plus, the chance to play as the famous 007? What could be more British than that?

#2: “Tomb Raider” (1996)

Archaeologist Lara Croft was originally supposed to be a bloke, but the developer eventually went with a woman to avoid her being confused with Indiana Jones. And what a decision that proved to be. Croft became a cultural icon, as well as the first video game character to appear on the covers of both “The Face” and “Time” magazine. “Tomb Raider” played a huge part in the success of PlayStation with its thrilling blend of action and exploration. And the T-rex encounter, of course. Who could forget that?

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honourable mentions:

“Lemmings” (1991)

“TimeSplitters 2” (2002)

“Populous” (1989)

#1: “Grand Theft Auto III” (2001)

Everyone has their favourite “GTA” title, but “Grand Theft Auto III” is the yardstick by which open-world games are still judged today. The series as a whole has sold more than 250 million units, making it the fourth most successful video game franchise ever - and “GTA III” was perhaps the most vital instalment. It frequently draws controversy for the levels of in-game violence, but there’s no questioning its scale, humour, and production value. And to underline its British-ness, the franchise even features voice-acting from the likes of Ricky Gervais, Phil Collins, and Shaun Ryder.
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