If you’ve been reading gaming lists - magazine, internet or bar napkin - for as long as we have, then you’ve probably noticed a number of inclusions that seem to always make it. It’s like you can’t have a "Defining Moments," "Worst whatever" or "Underrepresented blah" list without mentioning what every reader assumes will be the top pick.
We understand you, readers. We really do. We know you’ll call “FAIL” if we don’t include something you personally agree with, regardless of whether you’ve actually played the game in question or whether you’re really just a bandwagon jumper appeasing to the internet hive mind. Inside secret: we try to switch it up so you don’t get bored and can keep looking forward to lists. We don’t forget obvious entries - we’re just sick of writing about them. Shh. Don’t tell everyone.
So to bury the hatchet, we’re here to present a list full of clichéd entries you’ve either come to expect, love or loathe. Behold: 10 entries you fully expect from top ten lists.
Why is he on so many lists?
After excellent 2D titles, Sega struggled with redefining Sonic for the 3D generation. Sonic Xtreme was supposed to be the Saturn’s answer to Mario 64, but development shifts and internal politics eventually destroyed that dream. Sonic soon rebounded into 3D stardom with the Adventure games, which were not only surprisingly good for the time but also led to a mountain of problems that would further plague the franchise.
Horrible voice acting, wonky camera, simplistic controls, a baffling story including humans and tiresome gameplay with additional characters were features that contributed to us laughing off our once-beloved anthropomorphic rodent. Games like Sonic Riders and Sonic Heroes did nothing to satisfy our thirst for an excellent Sonic game. After a spinoff starring Shadow - wielding guns for crissakes - we looked to Sega for a game not steeped in hedgehog buffoonery.
Sega responded with the simply titled Sonic the Hedgehog - our supposed Sonic savior. This highly anticipated yet ultimately deplorable Christmas release was plagued with egregious load times and human-smooching. Even with the “meh” release of Wii’s Sonic and the Secret Rings, it’s difficult for us to show any sort of enthusiasm for Sonic Chronicles, the werewolf-induced Sonic Unleashed or even - Christ - Sonic and the Black Knight. Sega, what the hell?
Take a cue from Mega Man 9 - make Sonic 4 and bring back Blast Processing.
Why is it on so many lists?
Okami merges a Zelda-esque adventure with an inspired, cel-shaded art design. Add to that an intuitive painting gameplay mechanic - or Celestial Brush as it’s called - and you have one of the more original (and beautiful) games in recent years. So what happened? Well, shortly after its release in September 2006 - to critical praise, mind you - publisher Capcom announced that developer Clover Studios was dissolving. Seems no one bought it, which is criminal and the sole reason we keep writing about it.
Hey, don’t look at us. Our duty is to push games you should play and trash those not worth your time. Journalists held up their end of the bargain, while most gamers overlooked this stunning adventure. Sadly, its release just two months before the Wii and PlayStation 3 didn’t help matters any.
Luckily, the combined bitching of critic and hardcore gamer alike sparked an interest that prompted a resurrection for the Wii earlier this year. Hopefully the next time we’ll talk about Okami, we’ll mention plot spoilers as if everyone’s already played through it. Consider yourself warned, internet.
Please buy a copy and play it.
Why is it on so many lists?
“Gee, it sure is boring around here.” “I just wonder what Ganon’s up to.” “Wow - what are all those heads?” “I guess I better get going.”
Quite simply, Link: The Faces of Evil for the CD-I is one of four abortions - along with Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon, Zelda’s Adventure and Hotel Mario - that occurred when Nintendo made a grave error in judgment and allowed Philips to produce a Zelda game without Nintendo’s direct involvement. Like a tragic car accident, Philips Entertainment’s Link is gruesome and fascinating in its own right. We dare you not to wonder how something so hilariously terrible made it past the conceptual stage. It’s utterly baffling.
We reckon Link’s been written about so much because of the metric ton of glee derived from its inexcusable shittiness. Watch the intro and see how the unpleasant squiggly animation is combined with terrible voiceover work to create an awkward viewing experience. Even the psychotic and usually worthless YouTube parodies are funny and somewhat poetic because of the source material. Link: The Faces of Evil just transcends comedy and will remain infamous for its cheesiness.
Nothing, let us keep this one, 'K?