Everybody likes lists which break down extremely complex questions and information into easily digestible and arbitrary chunks. And we’ve sort of been inspired by the PC Gamer Top 100 games list to make our own list of the Best Video Games Ever.
To make this easier for us this is going to be a Top 50 list instead of a Top 100 (because I think if we tried to do a Top 100 we’d start adding in some not-very-top-100 material). Our rules for the games for belonging on this list is also only somewhat loosely defined.
First of all the games in our Top 50 will naturally only include those games which one of us (Tim or I) have played. They will also include games from literally any platform we’ve had access to across the ages.
In order to belong on the list the game had to more-or-less fit two separate criteria: the games would have to be something which blew us away at the time of playing it, such that it still provokes an emotional response now, but also a game which we think is still very worth playing today. As such, some games which we are trying to provide a list of games which were both brilliant at the time but also have not aged like hot garbage and so their excellence can only be explained through the lens of nostalgia.
Now, without any further ado, in reverse order: MMGaming’s Top 50.
50. The Stanley Parable
Seb: The Stanley Parable is, I think, still the epitome of two genres. It is one of the best walking simulators out there in terms of story engagement and overall entertainment value. It also did the whole 4th-wall breaking, reality-questioning, “what is the point of gaming” game before Undertale was even a twinkle in Toby Fox’s eye. Undertale is usually on these best games lists, but for me The Stanley Parable is simply better in every respect due to the simple and immersive way it tells its varying and branching story. Plus, the narrator remains one of my absolute favourite video game voices of all time.
Tim: While the original mod was my favourite way to experience The Stanley Parable, the standalone release provided a more polished experience, even if it lacked some of the soul of the original.
49. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
Seb: A CoD game?! On an MMGaming best list? Surely not… Well, you have to understand that Modern Warfare was, in my mind, the pinnacle of Call of Duty. The gameplay was absolutely stellar and the story campaign, while silly, was incredibly well-designed and includes some of the all-time best set pieces in video games. All Ghillied Up is literally a piece of video game history. Naturally today the game has aged somewhat, but its brilliance at the time means it’s still deserving of a mention.
Tim: Neither of us have played the remastered version, but forcing people to purchase your new black ops just to access the remaster and the inclusion of microtransactions certainly was a bummer. Might be best to stick to the original.
Seb: A real gem of what couch co-op can be, made all the better because it was made in a time when couch co-op seems to be a dying genre. Plain, simple, exceptional fun that will keep anyone hooked from start to finish while playing with buddies. Plus, it’s not just available on consoles, so it’s perfectly possible to have that same wholesome and hilarious good-times with people online.
Tim: The more I think about this the more I think it should be higher, Overcooked is the absolute best co-op game. A great party game for experienced gamers and complete newbies alike. Just need to get some friends to play the second one.
47. Company of Heroes
Tim: The WW2 evolution of Warhammer: Dawn of Wars RTS style brings a hugely atmospheric and compelling RTS game. The focus on cover mechanics and smaller squads shifts the classical RTS unit spam into a more complex tactical affair but still being arcadey enough not to bog you down in overly complicated mechanics as found in the Men of War series. While Company of Heroes 2 may have improvements, the segmenting of the multiplayer put me off and the high price means the original Company of Heroes is your best bet for a WW2 RTS.
46. Stardew Valley
Seb: One of the more zany additions to our list is one of those games where explaining it to other people outside of gaming is just so damn difficult. You play a farmer in a farming village. You go to work, plant crops, water them, harvest them, get animals, go mining, chop wood, clear weeds, hoe your fields, go fishing. It’s one of those “working simulators” where you probably sound like an absolute mental-case when talking about why it’s fun. But it IS fun. Or at the very least it’s addictive, and in terms of all of the games which could fit that category of addictive work simulator, it’s certainly one of the best because of its pedigree (of following on from Harvest Moon) and also its depth.
45. Civilization 6
Tim: A more refined and polished Civ than Civ 5, Civ 6 takes the series to a more accessible place, without losing much depth. The overworld map is more beautiful than ever, the tech and city building has been improved as has diplomacy and the factions are more diverse than ever. A disappointing AI still plagues Civ 6, but with a steady stream of DLC this one should stay fresh for at least another year.
44. Assassin’s Creed 2
Seb: Assassin’s Creed remains a staunch “old” favourite series of mine. I love the free-running, the style, the historical locations and the olde-timey stabby action. The series has taken a beating ever since AC: Unity (although it seems possible that all the hatred for that was based just around the dreadful launch state) and even Origins didn’t really revive my fervour for the series. However, I still think Assassin’s Creed 2 remains an absolute classic and hits solidly in every single box from story to gameplay. In my estimation the game also only narrowly beats out Black Flag (because Edward Kenway is just a poor man’s Ezio Auditore) and Brotherhood (because the story is simply tighter and a little more memorable).
Tim: Origins was a much better game than Assassin’s Creed 2, and Seb would know that if he had played it. Still the formula has grown stale at this point despite revolutionary origins (no pun intended). Hopefully Odyssey revives the series to a state of joy that the first couple provided.
Seb: Fucking hell, fine! I’ll play Origins!
43. Borderlands 2
Seb: One recurring theme you will notice as this list goes on is our enjoyment of loot-based games. I’ll admit right off the bat that Tim is the primary driving force behind these. He loves those lootz for the sloots. Borderlands 2 however is great in other ways as well. It took the formula of the original game and pumped it up to 11, and still provides an amazing multiplayer FPS experience. More than that it includes some of the best and wackiest DLC of the series, before the whole “thing” became a little played out. Combine that with some genuinely hilarious and excellent writing and the thing is a real winner both in singleplayer and multiplayer.
Seb: Tim and I were both a bit young to REALLY experience the shooters on rails of the 90s. Quake, Doom and Wolfenstein, those early “classics” passed over our head. More importantly, I think anyone still adding these games to a Best Games list is basically talking purely on their nostalgia-driven merits because I don’t think there’s anyone alive who could deny how dated they are in just about every respect. However, 2016’s DOOM was a complete revitalization of the genre and brought those fast-paced, bouncy shooters to a whole new audience. I don’t think anyone would disagree that it succeeds in being both modern and exciting while still holding true to its roots and providing the best in crazy, non-stop, brutal “running, jumping, shooting, climbing trees” action.
41. Deus Ex: Human Revolution
Seb: Now here’s a difficult sell. Neither of us have played the original Deus Ex. (Tim: Not quite true, I have played the original back when I was about 10 under the watchful gaze of my uncle. At that age though who can really appreciate good craftsmanship in a videogame…) What we both love though, and this is something which will also return in this list, is well-crafted and interesting world-building. Combine that with some excellent stealthy/shooty gameplay and a broadly coherent story and Human Revolution is genuinely a real winner. Where it’s let down is in its button click ending, the boss fights which railroad you into pure combat regardless of your build and the simple fact that in the eyes of many it did not live up to its namesake. However, I do genuinely think that it’s a game which was absolutely incredible and still remains well-worth playing. More-so even than its sequel Mankind Divided.