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Flashback: EGM's Top 100 (1997)


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Issue #100 of Electronic Gaming Monthly featured their first ever top 100 games of all time list, to commererate the 100th issue of their magazine. I was pretty happy with the list when they made it, and I thought they devoted a good amount of space in that issue for the list. It wasn't just a list, it atleast had descriptions and a paragraph on why it was chosen, along with a screenshot. I'm gonna put their list down in this thread and I want to see your opinions on how well it's held up. There are quite a few problems I have with the list now, that I probably overlooked back then simply because I hadn't played most of the games on here. But lets use our best 20/20 hindsight and fisk the list, and rip it apart.

 

I'm putting the games, and the specific versions that they picked to represent.

 

100: Qix (NES 1990)

99: Samurai Showdown (Neo Geo 1993)

98:Virtua Cop 2 (Saturn, 1996)

97:MLB 98 (PSX 1997)

96:Wipeout (PSX 1996)

95:DecAthlete (Saturn 1996)

94:Ice Hockey (NES 1988)

93:Blast Corps (N64 1997)

92:Flashback (Genesis 1993)

91:Axelay (SNES 1992)

90:Panzer Dragoon Zwei (Saturn 1995)

89:Ms. Pac-Man (Genesis/SNES 1991/1996)

88:Ninja Gaiden II:The Dark Sword of Chaos (NES 1990)

87:Baseball Stars (NES 1989)

86:Galactic Attack (Saturn 1996)

85:Bonk's Adventure (TG-16 1990)

84:Kirby's Avalanche/Mean Bean Machine (SNES/Genesis 1994/1993)

83:Revenge of Shinobi (Genesis 1989)

82:Jumping Flash! 2 (PSX 1996)

81:Sega Rally Championship (Saturn 1995)

80:Legendary Axe (TG-16 1989)

79:Virtua Fighter 2 (Saturn 1995)

78:Mega Man X4 (Saturn/PSX 1997)

77:Blazing Lazers (TG-16 1989)

76:Life Force (NES 1988)

75:Actraiser (SNES 1991)

74:Worldwide Soccer '97 (Saturn 1997)

73:Mega Man 2 (NES 1989)

72:Zelda II: The Adventures of Link (NES 1989)

71:Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Genesis 1992)

70:NiGHTS (Saturn 1996)

69:Snatcher (Sega CD 1994)

68:WaveRace 64 (N64 1996)

67:Gameboy Donkey Kong (Game Boy 1994)

66:Gaurdian Heroes (Saturn 1996)

65:Tecmo Super Bowl (NES 1991)

64:Twisted Metal 2:World Tour (PSX 1996)

63:Return Fire (3DO 1995)

62:Phantasy Star (SMS 1988)

61:NHL Hockey '94 (Genesis 1993)

60:Shining Force II (Genesis 1994)

59:Thunder Force III (Genesis 1991)

58:Dragon Warrior IV (NES 1992)

57:Castlevania III:Dracula's Curse (NES 1990)

56:Super Punch-Out!! (SNES 1994)

55:Dragon Force (Saturn 1996)

54:Tomb Raider (PSX 1996)

53:Gate of Thunder (TG-16 CD 1992)

52:R.C. Pro-Am (NES 1987)

51:Tekken 2 (PSX 1996)

50:Devil's Crush (TG-16 1990)

49:Mario Kart 64 (N64 1997)

48:Military Madness (TG-16 1989)

47:Ghouls 'n Ghosts (Genesis 1989)

46:Space Megaforce (SNES 1992)

45:Contra (NES 1988)

44:Metroid (NES 1986)

43:Herzog Zwei (Genesis 1989)

42:Strider (Genesis 1990)

41:Arkanoid (NES 1986)

40:Lunar: Eternal Blue (Sega CD 1995)

39:Star Fox 64 (N64 1997)

38:Ys Books I and II (TG16 CD 1990)

37:Super Mario Bros(All-Stars Edition) (SNES 1985/1993)

36:Street Fighter Alpha 2 (Saturn 1996)

35:Metal Gear (NES 1988)

34:Kid Icarus (NES 1987)

33:NBA Live 97 (PSX 1997)

32:Bionic Commando (NES 1988)

31:NFL Gameday 98 (PSX 1997)

30:Phantasy Star II (Genesis 1989)

29:Chrono Trigger (SNES 1995)

28:The Legend of Zelda:Link's Awakening (Game Boy 1994)

27:Gunstar Heroes (Genesis 1993)

26:Super Mario RPG (SNES 1996)

25:Goldeneye 007 (N64 1997)

24:International SuperStar Soccer 64 (N64 1997)

23:R-Type III (SNES 1994)

22:Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts (SNES 1991)

21:Final Fantasy VII (PSX 1997)

20:Super Castlevania IV (SNES 1991)

19:Madden NFL 98 (PSX/Saturn 1997)

18:F-Zero (SNES 1991)

17:Sonic CD (Sega CD 1993)

16:Tetris Attack (SNES 1996)

15:Super Mario Kart (SNES 1992)

14:Super Mario Bros.2(All-Stars Edition) (SNES 1988/1993)

13:The Legend of Zelda (NES 1987)

12:Castlevania:SotN (PSX 1997)

11:Super Mario World (SNES 1991)

10:Saturn Bomberman (Saturn 1997)

9:Final Fantasy III (SNES 1994)

8:Contra:The Alien Wars (SNES 1992)

7:Super Mario World 2:Yoshi's Island (SNES 1995)

6:Super Metroid (SNES 1994)

5:Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting (SNES 1993)

4:Super Mario 64 (N64 1996)

3:The Legend of Zelda:A Link to the Past (SNES 1992)

2:Super Mario Bros.3(All-Stars Edition) (SNES 1990/1993)

1:Tetris (multiplatform; created in 1988 by Alexey Pajitnov)

 

There it is. Even considering it was 1997 when they made this list, I've got tons of problems with about %65 of it. I'm actually pretty happy with the top 25, I think those games are worthy of being on the list...I don't know about some of them being top 25 games....but I wouldn't argue any of them, considering some of the total garbage, even at the time, that is present on the list.

 

Not a single Jaguar game made it, which I'm not suprised considering this is EGM. Tempest 2000 could have made this list somewhere....I mean take out any one of the numerous sports games like NBA Live 97. They even managed to squeeze a 3DO game on the list...but no Jaguar games. Nothing below NES/SMS either...which I was always disappointed with, I wonder if they even considered games that were pre-NES?

Edited by Gunstarhero
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Being EGM, I doubt they considered any classic games.  :x  That and the list seems to have quite a bit of SNES titles (maybe too many).

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I actually still have the Feb. 1997 issue of EGM, which features an article about classic game consoles (actually, I tore out the pages of this article and ended up throwing the rest of the magazine away). It "covers" the Atari 2600, 5200, and 7800 (which is misprinted as "7200"), Odyssey 2, 300, and 500, DINA/Colecovision, Intellivision, and tabletops. It isn't very well-written, and I don't think the author really knew what he was talking about in many instances.

 

However, seeing all the different systems in the article made a huge impressing on my then 6th-grade mind; I just HAD to get an Atari. Or Odyssey. Or Intellivision...these things just looked too cool to miss out on.

 

Generally speaking, however, EGM is complete excrement.

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Being EGM, I doubt they considered any classic games.  :x  That and the list seems to have quite a bit of SNES titles (maybe too many).

893268[/snapback]

 

I feel that the Saturn is way over-represented on this list. I don't have a grudge against the Saturn at all, but it seems like EGM either had a love affair with the system, or they got kickbacks for naming so many games on this list. Lets see, even in 1997, did Decathlete, Worldwide Soccer 97, and Madden 98 really deserve to be on here?

 

I'm not gonna lie, I have a problem putting sports games from any system on a best-of list, and one of the reasons is after a few months your choices will really start to show their age. I guess thats one of my main gripes with this list, is that they didn't really make a list that would stand the test of time very well. There are alot of games that seemed 'hot' at the time, but weren't really that great...like Jumping Flash 2...uhm, I played the original and its a neat novelty but it's a joke to put this game on a best of list, even back then.

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I feel that the Saturn is way over-represented on this list. I don't have a grudge against the Saturn at all, but it seems like EGM either had a love affair with the system, or they got kickbacks for naming so many games on this list.

 

That's a pretty cynical attitude. I think it's more likely that they did the same thing for this list as they do for all their lists; they only consider games made while they've been in circulation (hence the Genesis/SNES version of Ms. Pac-Man being on the list, not the original), and as you would expect for a variety of reasons, they weight it pretty heavily towards what's current. I mean a) they want to sell some magazines, and b) these are the games they've got stuck in their own minds. I doubt there's anything nefarious about it.

 

I think it's kind of silly to try to look at a list like this in a gaming magazine as some sort of historical thing to stand the test of time. The point of this magazine is to make money. They're not interested in putting together a time capsule. It's fun to go and look back and laugh at some of their choices but let's not take this too seriously.

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I feel that the Saturn is way over-represented on this list. I don't have a grudge against the Saturn at all, but it seems like EGM either had a love affair with the system, or they got kickbacks for naming so many games on this list. Lets see, even in 1997, did Decathlete, Worldwide Soccer 97, and Madden 98 really deserve to be on here?

 

I'm not gonna lie, I have a problem putting sports games from any system on a best-of list, and one of the reasons is after a few months your choices will really start to show their age.

893299[/snapback]

 

Overall, I'd agree with the games included in the list as being great, but not the greatest of all time. Yes, Decathlete was an amazing game receiving high scores from just about every mag, and the Worldwide Soccer series was seen as the best Soccer series. As far as Madden goes, at the time I thought everyone was jizzing over Gameday '98. I know my friends were. However, I am not into sports games and would prefer a "sportless" list as well. But then again, you can't argue that some sports games like Tecmo Superbowl, Mike Tyson's Punch Out, and Baseball Stars have stood the test of time and are highly regarded almost two decades after their release.

 

The Saturn games listed were the creme of the crop, so I've no problem seeing them on the list (psst, though the Saturn was more or less a commercial failure, it did play host to more than a few great games).

 

I would argue Star Control 2 over Return Fire, and the PSX version of Return Fire over the 3DO.

 

I agree that Tempest 2000 definitely deserved a spot on the list.

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I actually still have the Feb. 1997 issue of EGM ... made a huge impressing on my then 6th-grade mind

 

893281[/snapback]

 

 

Jesus, thanks for making me feel like a fossil! I was 27 in 1997.

 

-S

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I actually still have the Feb. 1997 issue of EGM ... made a huge impressing on my then 6th-grade mind

 

893281[/snapback]

 

 

Jesus, thanks for making me feel like a fossil! I was 27 in 1997.

 

-S

893640[/snapback]

Wow, I'm not even 27 now. :P

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Wow that's the only top 100 (or top anything come to think of it) that i have seen nights on.  EGM ran top ten overrated games list and nights was number 7 i think.  I failed to see how it was overrated since the game was never very popular.

893726[/snapback]

Wait, so EGM had it on their best 100 games EVER MADE in 1997 and then had it on their most over rated games at another point. How does that work. There have been lke what, 25000 games so any game on the top 100 would have a hard time being overrated. It's almost like they change opinions based on market trends and current readership.

Edited by Atarifever
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Wow that's the only top 100 (or top anything come to think of it) that i have seen nights on.  EGM ran top ten overrated games list and nights was number 7 i think.  I failed to see how it was overrated since the game was never very popular.

893726[/snapback]

Wait, so EGM had it on their best 100 games EVER MADE in 1997 and then had it on their most over rated games at another point. How does that work. There have been lke what, 25000 games so any game on the top 100 would have a hard time being overrated. It's almost like they change opinions based on market trends and current readership.

893758[/snapback]

 

Soul Calibur II recieved straight 4.5's from Game Pro when it was first released; when SCIII was previewed, they called SCII "disappointing." :roll:

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I feel that the Saturn is way over-represented on this list. I don't have a grudge against the Saturn at all, but it seems like EGM either had a love affair with the system, or they got kickbacks for naming so many games on this list. Lets see, even in 1997, did Decathlete, Worldwide Soccer 97, and Madden 98 really deserve to be on here?

 

I'm not gonna lie, I have a problem putting sports games from any system on a best-of list, and one of the reasons is after a few months your choices will really start to show their age.

893299[/snapback]

 

Overall, I'd agree with the games included in the list as being great, but not the greatest of all time. Yes, Decathlete was an amazing game receiving high scores from just about every mag, and the Worldwide Soccer series was seen as the best Soccer series. As far as Madden goes, at the time I thought everyone was jizzing over Gameday '98. I know my friends were. However, I am not into sports games and would prefer a "sportless" list as well. But then again, you can't argue that some sports games like Tecmo Superbowl, Mike Tyson's Punch Out, and Baseball Stars have stood the test of time and are highly regarded almost two decades after their release.

 

The Saturn games listed were the creme of the crop, so I've no problem seeing them on the list (psst, though the Saturn was more or less a commercial failure, it did play host to more than a few great games).

 

I would argue Star Control 2 over Return Fire, and the PSX version of Return Fire over the 3DO.

 

I agree that Tempest 2000 definitely deserved a spot on the list.

893573[/snapback]

 

I agree with your sports games comments, and yes I agree that the old classic NES sports games deserve their spot....I always liked old sports games before all the sports became franchised. They just seemed funner, with more emphasis on gameplay instead of filling the rom with statistical data...although one of the best parts of Tecmo Super Bowl was the addition of saving stats....but the game had killer play mechanics and was super fast.

 

I was curious as to why they had the NES version of Qix on the list, I would prefer the 5200 version. This is one of the games that made me wonder if they considered any games pre-NES.

 

I also agree with the other guy, I prefer 7800 ms.pacman. The Genny/Snes version has pretty graphics and some neat custom maps, but I don't care for scrolling playfields in a pac-man game. Plus it wouldn't hurt to represent something from the old old-school.

 

Why not Samurai Showdown 2 instead of the first one?

 

The only N64 game I had a problem with was International Soccer. I never played that one though...so maybe it was the bees knees.

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As far as Nights goes, it's the same cycle that most "cult" games go through.

(see Radiant Silvergun, Ico, ).

Game releases, doesn't garner the attention it deserves, but manages to attract a small fanatical group. Over the years word of mouth spreads, game gets more popular and generally good buzz. Eventually people burn out about hearing how great the game is and a backlash is formed. It becomes hip to bash said game.

Few months later, the cycle starts over.

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I wasn't subscribed to them in time for the first list, but i remember the second one. I seem to recall a friggin' N64 ZELDA game being at the top. This was right when that game came out, too.

894048[/snapback]

 

I think a lot of people would still put "a friggin' N64 ZELDA game" at the top... Ocarina of Time is widely thought of as one of the best games ever.

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I wasn't subscribed to them in time for the first list, but i remember the second one. I seem to recall a friggin' N64 ZELDA game being at the top. This was right when that game came out, too.

894048[/snapback]

 

I think a lot of people would still put "a friggin' N64 ZELDA game" at the top... Ocarina of Time is widely thought of as one of the best games ever.

894285[/snapback]

 

Too bad it's not better than Zelda: A Link to the Past

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They should make two lists: one for the 100 greatest games of all time, and one for the 100 most inluential games of all time.

894217[/snapback]

 

Wow..a 100 influential list would be a tough one to do...but that would be a fun one for sure. If I tried that I would probably end up having DOOM as #1.

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They should make two lists: one for the 100 greatest games of all time, and one for the 100 most inluential games of all time.

894217[/snapback]

 

Wow..a 100 influential list would be a tough one to do...but that would be a fun one for sure. If I tried that I would probably end up having DOOM as #1.

894391[/snapback]

 

I'd put Doom as #2 and Pong as #1 (for obvious reasons ;) ).

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I wasn't subscribed to them in time for the first list, but i remember the second one. I seem to recall a friggin' N64 ZELDA game being at the top. This was right when that game came out, too.

894048[/snapback]

 

I remember Next Generation doing their top 100 list and it was pretty damn good, like most of the magazine... until number one was fucking Mario 64. Never mind that I personally hated the game, but this was two or three months BEFORE THE US RELEASE OF THE GAME. I don't how good you may think any one game is, but even in Japan the game was less than six months old, there's no way to compare something that new to all the other games. Among other things, you need to be able to be able to judge how much replay a game has and how well it ages before you can consider it in a list like this.

 

I LIKE the idea of a Most Influential game list. Pong and Doom are good places to start, Space Invaders, however, should go above Doom. Heck, Wolfenstein 3-D should arguably REPLACE Doom on that list. Street Fighter, Pac-Man, Q*Bert, Mortal Kombat, Hard Drivin', Tetris, Donkey Kong, Dragon's Lair, Breakout, Super Mario Bros., and The Legend of Zelda are all games that, just off the top of my head, should be on that list.

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