Monday, June 20, 2005

Greatest Games

There's something strangely fun about ranking things, so here's an idea for some new lists: What are your favourite games of all time?

Video Games:
1. Civilization - The ultimate classic. The battles were a bit simplistic, but this was improved slightly in the sequels. Civ III is one of the few games I would still bother playing if I had time.

2. Heroes of Might & Magic II - An excellent balance between empire-building and battles. (The only other in the series I've played is #III, which is also excellent but doesn't have quite the same charm.)

3. Warcraft III - The best real-time war game ever. (I much prefer the fantasy atmosphere to the more common sci-fi styles.) The original was great too, but the introduction of 'heroes' in WC3 really raised it to a new level. WC2 was less good - too much naval crap. I don't like boats.

4. Final Fantasy VIII - (Playstation) - Such complexity! Neat storyline too. My favourite RPG -- and RPGs were one of my favourite genres.

5. Tetris - The classic puzzle game; so simple, and yet so addictive. I later preferred 'Bejewelled' and 'Snood', however.

Honorable mentions also go out to...

6. Master of Magic - A really neat old fantasy war game, with 5-element system of magic based on Magic: The Gathering.

7. Wolfenstein - no, not wolf 3d. I mean the barely-related 1980s original for Apple IIe. It was just stick-figure graphics with a third-person ("birds eye") view. But damn, was it cool. Most of the time you had to hide from guards, or the SS would come and kill you. But you occassionally found bulletproof vests or gestapo-uniform disguises which could offer some degree of safety.

8. Achtung Die Kurve! - Wicked multiplayer fun, in this simplest game ever. Steer your 'snake' around the screen without crashing into yourself or others.

9. Liero - Real-time Worms! Another multiplayer classic.

10. Rampart - It's like Tetris with cannons! How cool is that? Best arcade game ever.

(Most of those are freely available these days - just do a google search for the name and you should find it. But it's not quite the same now that we're used to flashy graphics and all...)

Card Games:

1. Magic: The Gathering - (non-standard cards) - The video game list probably already gave away that I'm a total fantasy geek.

2. Five Hundred - my favourite standard card game. I should probably learn Bridge, I'm told that's similar. And no, I am not an old lady. Shut up.

3. Mao - I first learnt this game on the math olympiad camp back in sixth form. As part of it involves making up your own new rule, you might be able to imagine the fun we math geeks had with this. Unfortunately, the first rule of Mao is that you're not allowed to tell anyone else the rules. So I can't say much more than that. It's great fun to learn though -- really tests your inductive abilities ;)

Board Games:

1. Go - it's like Chess, only simpler to learn and harder to master. And more ancient. And Asian. And way more fun.

2. Monopoly.

3. That 3-dimensional (4x4x4) cross between "connect 4" and "tic tac toe" that I played at Reuben's once. Man, that game is wicked fun.

4. Chess (honorable mention)


  1. Civ and Chess

    Civ is complete crack for me; I've wasted many a night on that game.

    Of similar proportions is Alpha Centauri: Alien Crossfire - another Sid Meier classic in the same vein.

    Plus I used to be really good at chess, cept its hard to find people to play with now :(

  2. Civ2 and HOMM3 for me as well.

    Have you played Neverwinter Nights? It's been around for three years now and NWN2 will be out soon. It's a D&D style RPG that allows people to create their own custom worlds hosted on their own servers. That's what makes it good.

    Other favourite computer games are the Baldurs Gate series, Planescape Torment, and Fallout I and II.

    You should learn bridge. I started at 15 and there are plenty of players who are not old ladies. You can also play online.

  3. A lot things on your blog made sense, but this is the first time I found myself shouting in agreement! Agree with stephen about alpha centauri.

    Can't wait for Civilization 4!

  4. Yes we all agree Civ and chess.

    By the way I am good at both, maybe we can all have a game accompanied by a philosophy debate. maybe both at the same time fast chess accompanied by a slow civ 2 game.

    I also like "big 2" / "bastard" the card game.

  5. Both Civ and chess are good.

    But I must mention Risk and Starcraft as belonging in the pantheon of great games.

  6. "Risk and starcraft and patrick are all cool."

    Haha, very nice. Though it sounds kinda funny, like when conjuncts employ different senses of a word. E.g. "coffee and supermodels are hot". [Are there different senses of the word "cool", I wonder? ;)]

  7. Angband, an rpg/strategy game, and its free. Based on the old game Rogue, which is about as old as I am.

    A little tricky to get understand the initial mechanics of the game, unbelievably tough to beat unless you are exceptionally patient, but absorbing, challenging and addictive.

  8. Iv jst got into Go. Wot agreat game. you can get Civ 2 as freeware from

  9. I agree with you on Warcraft, Civ and HoMM but would add Baldur's Gate I-II, Fallout 1-2, Planescape:Torment, Neverwinter Nights with the expansions, Elder Scrolls series and Gothic 1-2.

    Neverwinter Nights 2 is coming along by the way and I am makin a blog about it. Check my profile.


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