The 21 ultimate sci-fi games

Our sci-fi spod friends over at the world's best sci-fi mag SFX have produced a definitive list of the 21 ultimate sci-fi games. If, like half the GamesRadar team, you're into the Mass Effects and Deus Exes of the gaming spectrum you should probably check it out. And then argue. Either with us, or them. Go, on what have they missed?

Here are the first two entries...

Deus Ex
Date: 2000
On: PC, Mac OS, PlayStation 2
Developed by: Ion Storm

Set in a noir, cyberpunk future, this action/role-playing hybrid weaves conspiracy theories, bio-politics and the technological singularity into a plot about who’ll rule the world of the 2050s. Unfolding in real locations (including Paris and Hong Kong), Deus Ex offers alternative ways to proceed - you can sneak about and hack computers, or go in guns blazing - and there are three alternative endings to the main arc. A complete universe builds as you proceed: if you can be bothered to read newspapers, books and information terminals you uncover a richer experience.

Deus Ex draws on every pop-culture mythology, from Majestic 12 and Area 51 to the Knights Templar and the Illuminati - hey, even your character’s labelled JC in a none-too-subtle Christian reference. Behind all the posturing it’s also an entertainingly designed 3D shoot-’em-up.

Half Life or Half Life 2* (*depending on who’s arguing)
Date: 1998
On: PC, PlayStation 2
Developed by: Sierra Studios

Games that redefine tired genres are unusual things, and getting such games from start-up developers is even more unusual. But that’s what we got from the original Half Life which went on to spawn an awesome next generation sequel with its own conquered-Earth mythology that’s still being added to via new episodes. It was a tough call plonking for Half Life over the arguably superior sequel, but for sheer impact on the genre we decided to get in the corner of the ’98 masterpiece.

The original abandons such conventions as boss battles and randomly scattered ammo and health packs in favour of walking the player through a story that makes realistic use of its eerie Black Mesa setting. In a welcome move, it forces players to step away from the old strafing-and-shooting tactic of the likes of Doom and take a whole new approach to gameplay, with an inventive array of weaponry and clever level design that rewards logical thought and problem solving. And you’ve got to love a bearded scientist hero called Gordon.

To see the other 19 games head over to SFX's Ultimate SF games feature

May 18, 2009


  • JohnnyMaverik - May 19, 2010 4:59 a.m.

    I can't get onto the site (crappy connection has decided it doesn't like it for w/e reason) but I gather Mass Effect got no love... and WoW did. FKING FAIL LIST GO WATCH BABYLON 5 5000 TIMES IN A ROW AND LEARN.YOUR.SHIT. you cretins -_- Obviously these things are just a matter of opinion and nobody should take it too seriously or over-react... but fk em.
  • Metroidhunter32 - May 19, 2010 1:21 a.m.

    Sigh, my wallet will never survive this summer.
  • Hobojedi - May 19, 2010 1:04 a.m.

    When the title of the original article says Sci-Fi AND Fantasy games, and then this GR article says simply Sci-Fi games, it's a little misleading. And most games would fit under such a broad spectrum of Sci-Fi and Fantasy anyways, so it's just a narrow version best games ever list, to the writer of the article.
  • CurryIsGood - May 18, 2010 11:36 p.m.

    im pretty sure that zelda and WoW arent sci fi
  • CH3BURASHKA - May 18, 2010 10:30 p.m.

    How about the Top 7 Lists Half Life is On? That would be interestingly meta, and would fit perfectly with the GR feel. Playing Deus Ex for the first time, btw. It's alright.
  • Amnesiac - May 18, 2010 9:40 p.m.

    Deus Ex. Yeeeeaaaahhhhh boy.
  • Thantos410 - May 18, 2010 8:55 p.m.

    Imo, Deus Ex is the greatest game in the list. Some of them (Ocarina of Time), imo, didn't fit the archetype of sci-fi.
  • oufour - May 18, 2010 7:58 p.m.

    dude, half the list is fantasy. ocarina of time, elder scrolls, and WoW aren't sci-fi. and no fucking way half life isn't 1. list fail.
  • Deathofasin - May 18, 2010 5:34 p.m.

    i don't have time to see the other ones but i'll say this, halo better f***ing be on the list.
  • ventanger - May 18, 2010 4:35 p.m.

    I guess I'm splitting hairs, but isn't Legend of Zelda, Morrowind, Ultima, World of Warcraft, Prince of Persia, and Dragon's Lair FANTASY? Not sci-fi? And Batman: AA and Silent Hill? Whuuuu?
  • Wolverine08 - May 18, 2010 4:05 p.m.

    My favourite sci-fi is probably resistance 2, or killzone, if that counts
  • arahman56 - May 18, 2010 4:02 p.m.

    @scudd: you're right. FFVII doesn't really fall into the scifi genre. And I'm surprised that Chrono Trigger didn't make the cut.
  • allthegoodnameswheretaken - May 18, 2010 1:26 p.m.

    I would put HL first but that's just me
  • 2dboy - May 18, 2010 1:25 p.m.

    Deus Ex is my favorite.
  • db1331 - May 18, 2010 1:23 p.m.

    Deus Ex was amazing. I beat it so many times. I was so disappointed with the sequel. Every time I tried to play through it I got bored around halfway through.
  • scudd - May 18, 2010 1:03 p.m.

    Shouldnt that be sci-fi and Fantasy?
  • Joshin69 - May 18, 2010 12:54 p.m.

    Half-life, not 2 for me but as you said depends on whos arguing. As for Deus Ex, best game of all time for me
  • spencerisgod1990 - May 18, 2010 12:49 p.m.

    Deas Ex needs to be first

Showing 1-18 of 18 comments

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