The Top 7... Top 7s

A weekly list article might be considered disposable fluff at any other site, but GamesRadar’s weekly Top 7s are held in something of a sacred trust around our offices. They’re our most important, and most instantly recognizable, recurring feature. We take pride in them, we work hard on them and when one is assigned to a GR editor, writing it becomes his or her top priority for the preceding week. Great care goes into everything from the accompanying art to the order of the countdown, and to half-ass a Top 7 is to earn the scorn of the entire editorial staff.

In short: We take our dumb shit seriously.

Above: Ha ha, remember this 2006 magazine ad? Of course you don’t

In the spirit of our navel-gazing, past-retreading fifth anniversary, we decided to rifle through our dusty backlog of Top 7s and pick out the best and most iconic ones from the last five years. And to make it not feel like a total self-aggrandizing ripoff, we asked the authors to give a little insight into how and why each piece was written, and why it was picked for this list.

Don’t think of it as lazy and self-indulgent. Think of it as getting seven Top 7s (which you may or may not have already read) instead of one today.

7. The Top 7… Stereotypical gamers we hate

Oh no, not this one again! As much fun as I had writing this Top 7 for our 2008 Week of Hate, I don’t think I’ve been as insecure about anything I’ve written for GR since.

Genuinely trying to be funny is terrifying. Intentionally pandering like a tabloid or being unrelentingly cynical leaves nothing to fear – it’s not you. But really, sincerely striving for humor leaves you vulnerable, not just the work. At the time I wrote this, I was a mere boy (I believe I’ve graduated to ‘big boy’ now), and still lacked much confidence in my voice. So I was terrified.

Firstly, I was anxious about calling segments of the gaming community – possibly even our readers – “snot-nosed demons” and such, but I knew it wouldn’t work if I pulled my punches. Even so, hyperbole is only funny in limited doses. Was it too much? I don’t know, but the point was to peg the stereotypes well enough to get a response, and we definitely got a response. So maybe I hit the mark, and if I didn’t, now’s a good time to mention that Chris Antista helped out with several of the entries - I don’t think he’s ever gotten credit for that. Blame him!

Then there are the illustrations. At the time, I think, we’d really stepped up our efforts to be anything other than “just another gaming site.” We were full of ideas and willing to experiment, and though lambasting gamer stereotypes wasn’t the most original idea ever, we felt we could bring something new to it, and my drawings were part of that.

I know, we’re all our own worst critics, but I feel incredibly distant now from what I was striving for there, and the technical ability I displayed. I hate looking at them, but whatever, that’s just my giant ego talking – people liked them, and the article was a great success (at least, a lot of people looked at it). It clearly became enough of a favorite here to be featured in this self-referential Top 7, so good job me, I guess!

Know what stereotype I really hate? Weaselly, self-deprecating, complement-fishing douches. Those guys suck.

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  • Fiirestorm21 - March 19, 2011 7:09 p.m.

    That last one was good for a chuckle. And a bit of a mind screw.
  • zigs - March 19, 2011 1:22 p.m.

    Phenomenal. Loved reading this, laughed a lot at the end.
  • Mateus7 - March 19, 2011 12:18 a.m.

    Great article, didn't see the Top 1 coming :P you guys are so clever!
  • rxb - March 18, 2011 2:13 a.m.

    Agree with all the other comments..... The link back to the start was the perfect finishing touch. Happy 5th Birthday
  • super0sonic - March 17, 2011 10:43 p.m.

    Oh wow i was not expecting 1) and then i ended up in a feed back loop. Reading it over and over forever.
  • ashleymenvielle - March 17, 2011 8:38 p.m.

    Happy 5th Birthday GamesRadar!! I have a very soft spot in my heart for the Top 7s, so this list made me squee like a little school girl when I saw it listed. It was actually one of Charlie Barrett's top 7s that got me into the site, the top 7 lazy character cliches to be exact. I enjoyed that article so much I had to read more and more top 7s and started reading the news articles after that, eventually stumbling onto the gem that is the weekly podcast, TalkRadar, as well. Now I check the site nearly everyday and listen to every TDar:). You all are amazing, keep doing what you're doing and you'll always have a faithful listener in this fan. Congrats!
  • FantasticMrStarFox - March 17, 2011 1:47 p.m.

    I was looking through old PTOM magazines earlier this year and I saw your ad for top 7 bad guys you didnt want to kill.
  • WickedSid - March 16, 2011 10:11 p.m.

    Girl on Girl Kisses and Cheat Planet... Ads which blew and continue to blow my mind... Amazing editors... Etc... Ass kissing... etc... Greatness hath been thrust upon thou soul!
  • Soxboii - March 16, 2011 5:39 p.m.

    I came to this site back when it was only CheatPlanet all those years ago. I saw it transform into GamesRadar with its shitty layout. I watched it mature into the GamesRadar we see here today. I've been here since the start and I can't thank you guys enough for what you do.
  • Jimmyjammy - March 16, 2011 4:20 p.m.

    @Druupwnz I remember cheat planet, used to go down to the library to read it at about age 10. Ha memories :). S'how I found this site.
  • Japanaman - March 16, 2011 4:19 p.m.

    That "Play It Loud" commercial was totally radical, dude!
  • Jimmyjammy - March 16, 2011 4:10 p.m.

    I'm sorry but putting the whole list as number 1 is pretty lame.
  • camelfro - March 16, 2011 1:19 p.m.

    number juan made me laugh a lot taking the pictures just used hahaha great article guys!
  • Spybreak8 - March 16, 2011 8:22 a.m.

    Yeah those GamesRadar ads in OXM got me into this site and later into TalkRadarrrrrrrrrr! Funny I have no magazine subscriptions now (had like around 3 before).
  • Syncmaster - March 16, 2011 1:33 a.m.

    great job guys! I just love your top 7s and lists because they are pretty much unusual stuff. that makes you stand apart from most sites out there, keep on rocking
  • Limbo - March 16, 2011 12:40 a.m.

    Loving how you put pictures of the article IN the article. Cuz that was so necessary right? (;
  • mijetman - March 15, 2011 11:51 p.m.

    Help! I'm stuck in a top 7 loop and I can get out. I'm scared, cold and lonely :'-(
  • Yeager1122 - March 15, 2011 11:17 p.m.

    I love top seven's evrytime i see a new one i get excited to read it.
  • D0CCON - March 15, 2011 10:30 p.m.

    I love how there's a link to bring you back to the page you just read. Love it! PS: Will we be getting a Homefront review soon?
  • OneEyedGoon - March 15, 2011 10:23 p.m.

    You guys are all so amazing. The #1 entry is amazing. Congrats on five years. I've loved every one of 'em.