81. SimCity 2000 (1993)
Cities are staggering, beautiful, things. Theyre also bastards. SimCity games always captured the latter, but 2000 is the best at balancing endless frustration with the compulsion to create a more perfect city. Its also the only one in the series to capture a little bit of that futurism, letting you build arcologies and then prompt a mass exodus into space. More games should end on a mass exodus to space.
80. Gothic II (2002)
A spiritual successor of sorts to the Ultima series, Gothic II features a beautifully detailed nonlinear 3D world. NPCs live their own lives, complete with uniquely independent daily schedules, personalities, and urination?
79. Out of This World/Another World HD (1991)
After our 32nd retry of pretty much every single level, we were scorched with bitterness having paid for the privilege of playing this game. And yet, we felt a little sucking chest wound where our heart had been after we finished the game and realised that wed never again see the friend wed made or feel as alive as we did when we were in constant danger in an incomprehensible world. Now available in higher resolutions.
78. Tetris Friends (2008)
The best version of that block arranging minigame, ever! And its totally free to play at tetrisfriends.com. The PC wins.
77. Star Trek: A Final Unity (1995)
A Final Unity captured the humanistic spirit of the The Next Generation series in a fascinating, mysterious and multifaceted adventure game backed up by the entire cast, Picard and all.
76. Crysis (2007)
Tanks roll across open fields. A jungle is encased in ice. Mountains crack open to reveal alien ships. A nuclear missile is launched. Alien space ships are explored, battled and defeated. A man touches a screen, and ripples of light trickle out. Games so often try to ape the big budget action movies of directors such as Jerry Bruckheimer and Roland Emmerich, but Crysis is the first to appropriately capture their scale and enormous attention to detail.
75. Burnout Paradise (2009)
Theres so much to smash, and it remembers you smashed it. It celebrates that you smashed it! Its just non-stop fun. And there are multiple minigames in Burnouts online modes.
74. Galactic Civilizations II (2008)
Managing two hundred billion people is complicated, and GalCiv isnt as simply presented as its Earthly inspiration, Civilization. But the excitement of setting out to explore a procedurally generated galaxy of mind-boggling size does so much more for us than an ordinary world map. The scarcity of fertile planets out there makes your brushes with alien races much tenser. Its a game that dwells on the knife edge between peace and war: were all friends at first, but take that f---ing planet just because you got a colony ship to it one turn before me and you will be on thin f---ing ice, fish-thing.
73. Star Wars: TIE Fighter (1994)
The way in which TIE Fighter melded proven space combat game models with the fiction of the Star Wars universe was a thing of remarkable balance. Seldom has a Star Wars game handled the material this sensitively, and rarely in games does being the bad guy end up feeling so noble.
72. Freespace 2 (1999)
A better space-sim than TIE Fighter? Yes. Maybe its because the enemy spaceships are vast laser prickled continents. Or maybe its because its plot is fresh and weird. Or maybe its because Freespaces space is gorgeous richly coloured starfields that stretch out to infinity. Impeccable.