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Why The Secret of Monkey Island is one of the greatest games ever made

So, what is the secret of monkey island, you ask? You won’t find the answer in this game, or any other game for that matter. Ron has adamantly stated that the answer stays with him, at least, until he makes the next Monkey Island game himself. Even though we may never find out what the deal is behind the notorious island inhabited by mischievous monkeys, The Secret of Monkey Island ranks as one of our best games of all time not only because it proved that insult swordfighting was a viable alternative to combat, but the hilarious dialogue, charming atmosphere, catchy Caribbean-themed music, and wacky puzzles were part of a swashbuckling package that was hard to ignore.

What worked back in 1990 still holds up today, which we’ve seen first-hand in the recent remake, The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition. With a fresh new coat of paint, voice acting, remastered soundtrack, and a questionable new hairdo, Guybrush Threepwood’s quest to become a mighty pirate is still as much fun as the first time we played it, more than 20 years ago. From the moment we step into the pirate-filled locale of Melee Island to the final moments of the game, we were completely swept away in this fictional world that was inspired by Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean ride.

The fact that the game is as enjoyable today as it was when it was first released, shows that there is still a place for point-and-click adventure gaming. Now that Ron and Tim are united again at Double Fine, fans have a lot to look forward to with The Cave and their Double Fine Adventure. While the genre may have been overshadowed over the years by the appeal of high-octane action games, there’s always room for something that’s more relaxing and focused on a fun and engaging atmosphere and narrative. We could go on and on, but you have to just play it, since The Secret of Monkey Island not only sits at the top of our coveted best point-and-click adventure games list, but ranks as one of our best games of all time.

"Why _____ is one of the best games ever made" is a weekly feature that goes through GamesRadar's list of the 100 best games of all timeand highlights different titles, explaining why they're on the list, what makes them so amazing, and why we love them so much.

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14 comments

  • Bawheidbob - October 3, 2012 11:06 a.m.

    Got to agree with every word. One of my favourite games ever - The entire series was good. Will always remember getting Curse and just hearing that music again play at the start filled me with happiness. As for the first game i will always remember me and a mate completed it twice back to back in one sitting. Loved my point n clicks it is a shame we do not see them much any more - Many a time i wish i could erase the walkthroughs from my brain so i could play them again.
  • GR_SophiaTong - October 3, 2012 12:34 p.m.

    I blew through this game again in under 3 hours. I played it so much as a kid I could write a walkthrough off the top of my head.
  • Redeater - October 3, 2012 1:10 p.m.

    "That's the second biggest monkey head I've ever seen!
  • dlam - October 3, 2012 6:03 p.m.

    "I am rubber, you are glue"
  • Mooshon - October 3, 2012 2:54 p.m.

    Definitely one of the greatest. Back in the day I used to share time on the ol' Amiga 500 with my brother. An hour each on rotation, (stopped the scraps) during which Monkey Island was the game of choice. Competing to complete first holds some of my best gaming memories.
  • pin316 - October 4, 2012 12:14 a.m.

    Hells yes - all about the amiga version...4 x 748kb floppy discs (which was nothing compared to the epicness of the 12 x 748kb floppy discs that MI2 came on!), and just brilliant in every way. I loved the fact that it was also before internet guides became commonplace - when you solved a particularly difficult puzzle you damn well earned it! I love the remake - the amiga soundtrack was brilliant, and then years later I picked up a pc version and was horrified at the sheer awfulness of the music in comparison.
  • bash street kid - October 3, 2012 6:55 p.m.

    Aye, you'll hear no dissent from me on this one. Just hearing the music makes again makes me go all fuzzy and nostalgic. I daren't try the remake though.
  • GR_SophiaTong - October 3, 2012 9:59 p.m.

    remake is great, and you can swap back and forth from the old look to the new one with a button. The intro music is the best.
  • KidKatana - October 4, 2012 2:36 a.m.

    I feel I'd be doing the rest of the game a disservice if I said the theme music was the best thing about it, but it totally is.
  • el_kazzanova - October 3, 2012 6:57 p.m.

    how do u guys choose what game is "one of the greatest games of all time"? and also... i havent seen a legend of zelda: ocarina of time one.
  • sbisset - October 4, 2012 1:34 a.m.

    "Look behind you, a three-headed monkey!" Also why is it people cant read an article about "The best games made" without bringing up Ocarina of Time or FF7. There are more games out there than just those 2, and Monkey Island was definitely in the top 10 of all time. Maybe just appreciate the effort taken to write the review and learn something. Everyone already knows about Zelda games, no-one cares.
  • crazor89 - October 4, 2012 2:06 a.m.

    Love this game! Played it so much when I was younger. And I agree with a lot of the other people on here, the music is fantastic, takes me back to a simpler time :)
  • ChristopherDalley - October 4, 2012 9:33 a.m.

    Also, it was the first game to feature monkeys, thus widening acceptance of the species throughout the medium.
  • TanookiMan - October 5, 2012 4:56 p.m.

    Is there still going to be a Game Club Feature on Secret of Monkey Island?

Showing 1-14 of 14 comments

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