The Top 7... Top 7s

4. The Top 7… Nintendo mistakes

Our Top 7 lists were an immediate hit, and with good reason – who doesn’t love reducing an entire topic to an easily digestible procession of numbered entries? But if you can pepper those bite-sized entries with a few controversial statements, then you’re really cooking with fire. That said, we’re not in the habit of writing flame bait unless we actually believe it. In this case, I pitched a Top 7 about Nintendo’s biggest follies (knowing full well it would incite fanboy rage) but firmly stood by every single entry in the list. And to kick it off, I took a swing at Nintendo’s newly launched Wii, which hundreds of thousands of people thought was unfair, reactionary and, well, plain ol’ trolling for page views.

I was hardly saying Wii was a failure. At number 7, it was the least damaging thing on the list. You could argue Wii’s immense success has been nothing but a boon for Nintendo, and that’s absolutely correct – Wii has made the company a ton of money and offset GameCube’s weak-ish performance. I’m not doubting how popular the system has been, or how much it’s helped re-affirm Nintendo as a household name.

But what about from a gamer’s perspective? Has anyone played more Wii than their SNES, N64 or Cube? My prediction in the article was that Wii’s headline-grabbing motion controls would run out of steam and dedicated players (you and me) would move on, and that’s more or less what happened. Even if the mainstream has gobbled up Wii Fit Plus and Just Dance, how many bought No More Heroes, Muramasa, Red Steel 2 or Dead Space Extraction? Where are the big third-party franchises like Final Fantasy, GTA, Metal Gear or Assassin’s Creed? Where is the online community?

Above: Oh, right 

Even with these strikes against it, Wii has plenty of great, exclusive games. But I still believe it’s the weakest Nintendo console, and that has to qualify as a mistake. Looking ahead, the prospect of a new Nintendo console next year, in HD and with a refined online structure, has me immensely excited. Zelda in 1080p? I’m there on day one.

Above: Worse than any Wii lifestyle shot

The rest of the entries are irrefutable. Nintendo was a bully in the ‘80s and early ‘90s. It ignored online gaming until it was dragged kicking and screaming, and even then imposed its own overbearing rules. The N64’s many (seemingly intentional) limitations allowed Sony to swoop in and dethrone Nintendo for a full 10 years as top dog. The “Play it Loud” ads were a painfully transparent attempt to out-Sega Sega, just as it started to eat at Nintendo’s market share. Virtual Boy is… well it’s Virtual Boy. This was an extremely easy Top 7 to write, as I adamantly believe each of these points, including Wii as number 7. But none of these are so damning I’d stop loving all the effort and creativity that comes out of Nintendo, and it’s certainly not the only company that’s made a handful of wrong turns. Hmm, maybe I can persuade Mikel to write a Top 7… Sony mistakes some day?

3. The Top 7… Stupidest Puzzles

This wasn’t my first Top 7, this wasn’t my last Top 7 and this – sadly – wasn’t my most popular Top 7, but this is the Top 7 that perfectly encapsulates what I love about working at GamesRadar, and why I’m proud to be a part of GamesRadar’s five-year anniversary. How can a bunch of stupid puzzles from a bunch of old, forgotten games come to symbolize so much? Bear with me…

We indulge our passions, no matter how niche. If I pitched a feature that begins with 200 words on King’s Quest and ends with 400 words on Gabriel Knight to any other gaming website in the world, I imagine I’d be laughed out of the meeting room and forced to write a Farmville guide to unicorns as punishment. Six of the seven entries in this Top 7 are point-and-click adventures, four released in the 1990s – in other words, not at all what the average gamer is searching for and clicking on these days. I was excited about the subject matter, though, and that’s what mattered. A year later, when I suggested writing a Top 7 sexiest text adventures, my coworkers didn’t even blink an eye.

Above: SO SEXY

We take gaming seriously. I suppose I could have written a few silly jokes at the expense of each puzzle, slapped in a Googled screenshot or two and moved on to a Halo review. If these classics were going to be mocked, however, I felt they at least deserved to be mocked with respect – with real research – so I installed, played and captured dozens of images from each one. Sure, I lost most of a work week and an entire weekend, but now GamesRadar is the only place you can find a mathematical formula for creating your very own cat-fur mustache!

We never take gaming too seriously. Chris is a Disney expert. Chris is also an expert on shitty Mickey Mouse games. Brett’s childhood is the dictionary definition of “Nintendo”… yet, as you just saw above, Brett is not afraid to point out when Nintendo is wrong. And while point-and-click adventures were a huge part of my childhood, when I look back and realize that Sierra once asked me to kill a yeti with a custard pie, rest assured that I will throw nostalgia aside and give that moment the ridicule it deserves.

We are not alone. The biggest reason I cherish this Top 7 has nothing to do with me or my fellow editors – it has to do with you, the readers. I wrote a feature covering some of the oldest and obscurest of games, and to my surprise, you actually cared. Half the comments were genuinely interested in learning about this random piece of their hobby’s history. The other half not only cared, they remembered the puzzles I was writing about. The GamesRadar community cannot be categorized, stereotyped or underestimated – you guys are awesome.


  • 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.

Showing 1-20 of 126 comments

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