In your personal Top 10 Games of All Time list, what's the outlier?


I have 2 big outliers in my top 10 that I logged on specifically to talk about. My favorite, and one I’m almost sure no one else would talk about, was Kagero Deception II (also known as Tecmo Deception II) for the PS1. I loved that game so much, it was like a perfect blend of tactics, action RPG and horror. That game was scary as heck! If a knight closed the gap on you you were so screwed, but if you combo’ed your traps right you could turn him into mincemeat.

I also loved Phantasy Star IV for the Sega Genesis. Not the most beloved in the franchise as far as I can tell, it’s one of my favorite games ever, I bought it right before I came down with chicken pox, and I was home from school for a full week, just living inside that world. I remember the week I was sick with chicken pox as one of the happiest of my childhood, because I was free from responsibility and transported to this magical sci-fi fantasy world with characters that came to feel like friends.

My list, in no order:

Phantasy Star IV
Kagero: Deception II
Red Dead Redemption
Final Fantasy Tactics
Night in the Woods
Super Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo
The Last Express
Dead Space
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Rogue Legacy


After the podcast discussion I wanted to think seriously about my top 10 too. There are a few that I figure are equivalent or of a piece that I wanted to include together as one entry, Danielle style, but I decided I would actually make the hard decisions and list only 10 games.

My current list (unordered, I’m not gonna make those particular decisions) is:

Planescape: Torment
Baldur’s Gate 2
Dark Souls 2
EV Nova
NieR: Automata
Super Metroid
STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl
Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines

I’m honestly having a hard time finding an outlier. There are a couple throughlines, but a lot of them have to do with exploring a space learning its rules and story, generally coupled with some form of character progression or customization. I think the outlier might be NieR. It does have some aspects of exploring and learning the rules of space for sure, so its not a full outlier, but the focus of it is different, its focusing on characters and philosophy. The reason that its one of my favorites is also more about the emotional resonance with the story and the exploration of ideas, whereas most of the others are about the feeling of exploration and progression.

Some of my runners-up, like UNDERTALE, and the original Nier, Cave Story, also have a big part of that emotional resonance, but didn’t make the top 10, this time (this is a very “what im thinking of right now” list. )

Some of these I also haven’t played in a long time and would love to revisit and re-evaluate. EV Nova is probably the one i haven’t played in the longest. Nova is also the one that I would expect to see on the fewest other lists, though I think its definitely going to be on some, but people who played classic mac games are a smaller subset of overall game players. I considered putting the original Escape Velocity on there but in my heart Nova is the favorite. VTMB is another that might not be on many other lists, it was (at launch) a very janky mess, and still is quite janky with the fan patches, but its also really ambitions and successfully executes on its amibitions in many ways. I haven’t played any other games that have the same sense of place as that.


VTMB is wonderful. I went back and forth between putting Arcanum or VTMB on my list so Troika would be represented. Of course it had plenty of issues–many of which have been corrected by the community–but it also did some really amazing shit that makes me sad that Troika didn’t get to continue creating. A sequel to VTMB with current tech (and, you know, lessons learned) would be so good.


Arcanum is a big hole for me in my game history, it’s a Troika game and is a CRPG, 2 things I love, but I haven’t ever really played it (started it once but didn’t play much). I still plan to go back sometime and give it its due.


I really liked that game. It is unfortunately also an overall ugly game to play. There are some great portraits, good vistas, but the UI, and many features in the world look like cheap plastic.

I also have a tingling sense, that a lot of its handling of its politics might be a bit more hamfisted than I remember.

I do however vividly remember my orc sorcerer trying to better a world that held nothing but contempt for him.


Paper Mario Color Splash is probably the one i’d expect no one to have, and I understand why.

For me It’s a really important game on an emotional level, it came along in a really emotionally turbulent time for me and for like two months kind of served as this shelter from the stuff that was bothering me. Something about the tone and the colorful world grabbed me and didn’t let go until I finished it a few times.


in no particular order:

Star Control 2
Fallout 2
Mass Effect 2
Planescape Torment
Quest for Glory 1 (VGA)
Kentucky Route Zero
Saints Row 3
Steambot Chronicles**
Little Big Adventure 2: Twinsen’s Odyssey

* I have an idea what all y’all who picked KOTOR2 are getting at, but I never played it with the extra content patched back in and don’t really have an inclination to, so my vote goes to the first one

** to be clear, it ran like dog shit on the ps2, but there was enough there to see what it was trying to be, or could be unshackled of its technical limitations and that was something gloriously charming and quirky.

Edit: Steambot Chronicles is probably the one I wouldn’t expect to see on most anyone’s list though KRZ is probably the outlier.

  1. Fallout 1/2/NV
  2. Morrowind
  3. PS:T
  4. Nier: Automata
  5. Burnout Paradise
  7. Majora’s Mask/Windwaker
  8. Night in the Woods
  9. Super Metroid
  10. I have no Mouth, and I must Scream

Big standout is probably I have no Mouth, and I must Scream. The biggest unifying trends are open worlds and/or rpgs for the most part whereas I have only one point and click.


Crazy Taxi?

Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!

But seriously folks.

  1. Tomb Raider [1996]
  2. Half-Life
  3. Perfect Dark
  4. The Windwaker
  5. Planet Coaster
  6. Left for Dead 2
  7. Halo 3
  8. Minecraft
  9. Resi 4
  10. Metal Gear Solid

Not sure what the outlier is, these are all really popular games. Maybe Tomb Raider. I don’t think many people can go back today and find it as playable. But for me it just is THE game that got me into games in the first place. There’s something about those 3D polygonal levels, the stillness, the atmosphere, the drone of Lara’s heavy clumpy boot steps…

Maybe Planet Coaster, it’s the most recent game I’ve sank the most time in. I’ve always loved the roller coaster tycoon games, but Planet Coaster is the modern apex of it all. Some of the rides people have made with it are genuinely mindblowing. It’s the game that just keeps giving!

Maybe Perfect Dark? I feel Goldeneye gets all the love. Perfect Dark was just so ahead of the times when it was first released. I think you can play the HD remaster on the Rare Replay and still have a blast. Something about infiltrating DataDyne and blasting company mercs makes you feel ice fucking cold.

Maybe Minecraft? I guess everyone likes Minecraft but similar to Planet Coaster, it’s less a game and more of a platform where you are just free to build whatever the heck you want. Again, like Tomb Raider, there’s something about those low res polygonal worlds. Sometimes I feel as if Minecraft has outgrown gaming completely. It’s not a game. It’s Minecraft.


In no particular order after the first two: Morrowind, Deus Ex, Spelunky, Mass Effect 2, Dark Souls, Final Fantasy Tactics, Final Fantasy 6, Link’s Awakening, Bloodborne, & Castlevania SOTN

Spelunky is definitely my outlier. The only game lacking continual progression and RPG elements.

It might also be the game least expected on other people’s list, or maybe Link’s Awakening.


I honestly thought I was the only person who remembered monster rancher 2. I can’t quite explain why but i love that game like no other and the move to digital downloads has upset me almost entirely because I know it means there really isn’t a good way to make another monster rancher with discs. I still have my old text document a subchannel files for that game sitting on a laptop so I could burn discs for various monsters.


There are ways. The GBA Monster Rancher games used text inputs. Just type in a word and bam, monster. It lost a little of the magic, but anybody could get the monster they wanted using an online list.

There were a couple phone games that would scan barcodes which seemed like a fun way to do that sort of thing, but I heard the actual games weren’t great. I think a new Monster Rancher game could probably do some magic using URLs or Youtube links or something.


Most of my games would be more freeform, open ended experiences or really story heavy ones but I have a special place in my heart for GTA:San Andreas because I would play for hundreds of hours with all the weirder cheats. Like the eternal riot or the flying cars ones, just to see how far I could get.


I’ve now written about this more, and I found that each game in my top ten correlates with another entry in a specific fashion, it’s interesting to think about because that kind of goes against the idea of an outlier now that I really think of it


grinding with the nrg-900 was so tight


It is seemingly impossible to narrow down my near 30 years of video game history to just 10 games. But, this list becomes somewhat more manageable if I think of the games that had really meaningful impact to me. For the most part this means games that introduced me to new genres that would later end up being the ones I gravitated towards.

In no particular order:

  1. Super Mario Brothers 3
  2. Streets of Rage 2
  3. Gunstar Heroes
  4. Chrono Trigger
  5. Final Fantasy VI
  6. Street Fighter II
  7. Tetris
  8. Doom 2
  9. Myst
  10. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

If there is one outlier on this list, it would probably be Myst. I love me a good mystery puzzle solving type game. While Myst is definitely not the best example of this by far, it certainly introduced me to these style of games of environmental puzzle solving games.


Couldn’t think of 10, so in no particular order:

Shadow of the Colossus
Link’s Awakening
Fallout 3/New Vegas
Dark Souls

I think the one connecting thing between these games is that they all imply rich worlds. I still have fond, strong memories of getting to the forest in Link’s Awakening and the feeling of a large world ready to be explored. Bernband and Eidolon are the outliers in terms of popularity, but folks should try them out.


Yeah, I could see a LOT of ways to do it using a phone. Accelerometer, mic, Camera, basically any info input being pushed into an algorithm that extruded a monster.


One of my favourite “modes” in San Andreas was the cheats that would give everyone weapons and make them hostile and the challenge was trying to make my way across the game map while everyone was going berserk.


Brave Fencer Musashi

It got OK to mediocre reviews at the time, it’s on the short side, the combat and controls aren’t excellent. But by god the art direction, character design and stellar soundtrack (Tsuyoshi Sekito’s best) really took me on the journey as an 11 year old.

I don’t think too many people know much about or even like the game, but it’s top 3 on my favorite games of all time, simply for how cohesive and excellent the world and it’s characters are. Cartoonish, yes, but all the parts fit.

(On a side-note, I also love all of the other weird experimental games Squaresoft made in the late 90’s, bolstered by the success of FF7. Parasite Eve,another game where the parts fit so well together, is also in my top 10.)