Top 20 Video Games of All Time

RELATED VIDEOS

Share

Top 20 Video Games of All Time

VOICE OVER: Riccardo Tucci WRITTEN BY: Garrett Alden
These are the very best that gaming has to offer. For this list, we'll be going over the best video games ever made. Our countdown includes “Castlevania: Symphony of the Night” (1997), “Bloodborne” (2015), “Grand Theft Auto V” (2013), “Pokémon Red and Blue” (1998), “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time” (1998) and more!
Transcript
Script written by Garrett Alden

Top 20 Video Games of All Time


These are the best gaming has to offer. Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’ll be counting down the top 20 video games of all time.

For this list, we’ll be going over the best video games ever made. To be clear, we’re not just basing our entries on games that are fun to play, but also those that had a significant impact on gaming as a whole.

#20: “Castlevania: Symphony of the Night” (1997)


There are a lot of fantastic “Metroidvania” genre adventure games we could’ve chosen, and while “Metroid Prime” was tempting, we elected to go with the best of the “Castlevania” side of the “family.” While its initial reception may have been lukewarm, “Symphony of the Night” has become quite beloved since its release, with its expansive, interconnected map, RPG elements, and spectacular soundtrack all drawing praise. “Symphony of the Night,” like any symphony, is one you’ll discover something new about each time you experience it and it’s that depth and level of polish that make it one of gaming’s best.

#19: “Doom” (1993)


There were a few first-person shooters before “Doom,” but none of them have had the kind of impact or lasting popularity that it has. Pitting the player against demons on Mars, the off-the-wall premise led to plenty of violence and frightening imagery, which naturally made it controversial with parents and beloved by kids. “Doom” set the standard for the early FPS genre, introducing concepts that have endured even to today, such as space marines, health packs, huge arsenals of weapons, and multiplayer deathmatches. Without “Doom,” the FPS genre would surely be “doomed”…or at least not as awesome.

#18: “Mass Effect 2” (2010)


“Mass Effect 2” is not only a spectacular sequel, it’s also exceptional on its own merits. Refining and improving everything people didn’t like about the original, “Mass Effect 2” streamlined the combat and cut away the fat to leave a prime steak of a game. But the real meat of “Mass Effect 2” is its expansive universe and storytelling, which raises the tension and investment for the player through the complex character relationships that can even be carried over from the first game. “Mass Effect 2” is a sprawling and enthralling space opera whose story you get to influence and live in. Is it any wonder so many people love it?

#17: “Resident Evil 4” (2005)


Horror games are hard to get right, but when they do succeed, they’re some of the all-timers! While “Silent Hill 2” made our shortlist, “Resident Evil 4” just had a few more things going for it. “RE4” revamped its long running zombie franchise with a new setting and improved controls, which allowed for more creative combat. In addition, its over the shoulder camera view quickly became the new standard for third-person shooters. Filled with memorable set pieces and action sequences utilizing quick time events, “Resident Evil 4” keeps players on their toes throughout and has left an impression both on players and the industry at large.

#16: “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” (2020)


The most recent game on our list, “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” is everything fans of come to expect from a new “Animal Crossing” entry, with a town to build and populate with adorable animals, tons of things to find and do, and an atmosphere more relaxing than a full body massage. But what really helped push this game onto our list was its timing. Dropping during the lockdown has made people use the game in a huge number of unexpected ways, from creating their own talk show, to using it as a protest platform, to recreating TV shows. Not only is “New Horizons” a ton of fun and a great escape, but it’s also inspired people’s creativity.

#15: “Bloodborne” (2015)


FromSoftware is famous, or infamous, for their punishingly difficult action RPGs and while their more recent “Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice” is also fantastic, we feel the best version of their formula is in “Bloodborne.” This game turns the intensity and the terror up to eleven, by emphasizing close combat against the many eldritch horrors you encounter in its dark fantasy world, which turns even ordinary enemy encounters into pulse pounding life-or-death fights. The danger and discovery are as intoxicating as the blood that drives the story and “Bloodborne” has borne fruit as one of the most exciting action games out there.

#14: “God of War” (2018)


Although it’s the fourth entry in the “God of War” series, this game stands well on its own, as well as head and shoulders above its predecessors…and many other games besides! “God of War” follows the title god, Kratos, and his young son on a journey through a Norse mythological world. Not only is the world and game built around it stunning to look at, but the story and characters are rich, detailed and feel remarkably real. And the combat? So satisfying and fun! We’re not sure how the developers managed to make the game both a sweet, personal story and a badass power fantasy at the same time, but we’re glad they pulled off this god-like feat.

#13: “Grand Theft Auto V” (2013)


The “GTA” franchise has delivered plenty of excellent and influential games, but its 5th main entry is arguably its best. It’s certainly its biggest! “GTA V” allows players to do pretty much whatever they want in a massive sandbox world, while also taking its crime storyline and signature humor to new heights. Plus, the added online feature has allowed all of the crazy antics players get up to be shared with (and/or inflicted on) friends and strangers. “Grand Theft Auto V” has set such a high standard, that we’re not at all surprised that Rockstar hasn’t managed to deliver a sequel yet, since it’s a hard act to follow.

#12: “The Last of Us” (2013)


Naughty Dog has managed to craft some spectacular story-driven games that could’ve made this list, from “Uncharted 2” to “The Last of Us Part II,” but we had to choose the latter’s predecessor. While not the only game to feature a grizzled protagonist accompanied by a young companion (even on our list), “The Last of Us” grabs hold of the player’s emotions and never lets go; immersing you and investing you in Joel and Ellie’s story and their father-daughter relationship expertly. The gameplay, while solid, definitely takes a backseat to this captivating story that we’ll never forget.

#11: “Street Fighter II” (1991)


As far as seminal fighting games go, it was tempting to go with “Street Fighter”’s rival, “Mortal Kombat II,” but ultimately, “SF II” won this round with a flawless victory. While the base game is certainly not flawless, given that they’ve remade and re-released it more times than we can count, the core gameplay of this fighter is so solid that gamers are still playing it decades after its first release. It popularized the idea of combo moves in fighting games, as well as competitive multiplayer in general. “Street Fighter II”’s influence cannot be overstated.

#10: “Pokémon Red and Blue” (1998)


There are RPGs, and then there’s “Pokémon!” This simple set of Game Boy games about catching, training, and battling Pocket Monsters took the world by storm through simple, yet fun turn-based combat, cute and cool monster designs, and a fairly large world to explore for the Game Boy. The trading system also encouraged a level of interactivity rarely seen in other games before it. While “Pokémon” games since their release have made significant improvements, such as fixing the balancing issues, there’s no getting around the impact of “Pokémon Red and Blue” and the way they launched the massive multimedia franchise that’s still going strong today.

#9: “Half-Life 2” (2004)


As far as creepy, influential, sci-fi FPSes go, some of you might be upset we didn’t choose “BioShock” instead, but “would you kindly” “wake up and smell the ashes?” “Half-Life 2” changed the video gaming industry by allowing the player to embody their character, eschewing cutscenes and allowing players to experience the world and the story through gameplay. Speaking of which, the wide variety of weapons, particularly the famed gravity gun, give you an unmatched ability to tackle battles and challenges in whichever way you choose. “Half-Life 2” left such a strong mark on gaming that our anticipation for its sequel has reached memetic heights.

#8: “Halo: Combat Evolved” (2001)


When you think of the greatest, most impactful FPS games, some may point to “Goldeneye 007.” But as fun as that game was at the time, it doesn’t hold up as well as “Halo.” The game’s subtitle, “Combat Evolved,” is appropriate, as it reinvigorated and redefined the FPS genre. With its sprawling single-player campaign, tight controls, and addictive multiplayer that saw some of the first LAN parties, “Halo” delivered on all fronts. “Halo” influenced countless FPSes that followed it and is basically the reason for the XBOX’s success.

#7: “Batman: Arkham City” (2011)


Licensed games are usually a tossup as to whether they’ll be good or not, but “Batman: Arkham City” always comes up heads – it does have Two-Face, after all. The “Arkham” games in general are spectacular action games, whose grappling hook and fighting system make every encounter a ton of fun to either dive into or avoid entirely. However, what sets “Arkham City” apart from the others is its addition of a gliding mechanic, as well as its tense and affecting story, whose conclusion gets us surprisingly choked up. It doesn’t take the world’s greatest detective to uncover why this is such a brilliant game.

#6: “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time” (1998)


“The Legend of Zelda” franchise is packed with some of the best games ever made, and as breathtaking as “Breath of the Wild” is, “Ocarina of Time” is an absolute stunner. The game, besides acting as the template for nearly every “Zelda” title to follow it, also became the benchmark for adventure games everywhere, introducing or popularizing concepts like targeting and context-sensitive controls. Plus, there’s the unforgettable music, great story, fun side characters, side quests, challenging dungeons, and unrivaled sense of adventure. “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time” tops many people’s best of all time lists, and we definitely see why.

#5: “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” (2018)


Everyone is here! We still have a hard time believing that this game even exists! A crossover party fighter game packed with the who’s who of video game characters from Nintendo franchises from every previous “Smash Bros.” game, as well as third party icons too? The concept sounds impossible, but we’re living in a timeline where it’s real. While the ambition and execution of the crossover alone would probably be enough to get at least an honorable mention on our list, the fact that core fighting mechanics have been improved and rebalanced from older installments certainly go a long way towards making “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” the supreme fighting game experience.

#4: “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt” (2015)


We love “Skyrim.” We do – bugs and all. But, if we’re gonna’ put the best open world fantasy RPG on our list, it’s going to be “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.” It may not reinvent the wheel as far as open world games go, but it does everything nearly perfectly. Fun and varied combat? Check. A massive world to explore with rewards scattered everywhere? Check. Where the game really shines is its story, which, given that it’s based on a series of books, lends it a sense of history few other games can equal. And with 36 different endings and hundreds of other customizations besides, you truly get to play the way you want.

#3: “Super Mario 64” (1996)


There were 3D games before “Super Mario 64,” but none of them really understood how the characters should move around in them. “Mario 64” changed everything! It took what had been primarily a 2D sidescroller franchise and opened up the world in a way that blew our tiny minds during the ‘90s. And our still miniscule brains are still amazed at how fun a platformer it remains, with even the simple act of jumping around while exploring the various worlds being an absolute blast. Without “Super Mario 64,” the way would never have been paved for most of the 3D games on our list. Now that’s influential!

#2: “Tetris” (1984)


Puzzle games everywhere owe everything to “Tetris.” It's simple, yet addictive concept of rotating falling blocks to fit into lines has made it one of the most successful and heavily ported or remastered video games ever made and one of the most imitated. While easily the simplest game on our list, it is its simplicity that has allowed “Tetris” to remain relevant for decades. It would not surprise us if, even after all our other entries have been forgotten, that people would still be playing “Tetris” and still humming that intoxicating theme song.

#1: “Minecraft” (2011)


Yes – “Minecraft!” The ultimate sandbox game, “Minecraft” may be graphically outdated with its simple, boxy polygons, but its appeal lies in its possibilities. Want to gather resources to fight for survival and maybe fight some bosses? You can! Want to recreate Hogwarts or your favorite music video? You can do that too! You can even create your own game modes or games within the game! The infinite possibilities available to players is what makes “Minecraft” not only a great game, and the highest selling of all time, but also the best, because there will always be a new way to play it.
Comments
Send
where is roblox and fortnite
Good list
The fact that The green dirtbag(Om nom)%u2019s trash series Cut the rope isn%u2019t on this list just brings me great pleasure. :)
You should add cuphead
Bloodborne should be number 1 because of the Old Hunter's DLC, nothing can beat that. Cuphead should also make the list.
+ 6 comment(s)