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The Guardian's Best Videogames of the 21st Century


The Fox
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I'd say they put forward a solid argument in the write-up for why it's number 1 even just on a cultural basis. When you take more than just the game itself into account it makes sense. And even then, for sheer creative gaming freedom, there isn't much else like it.

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I'd say that I've only 'finished' 17 of these games and but have played all bar 9 of them (most because I haven't played them yet, the only one i've missed is silent hill 2 because I struggle with horror games) so most of these games wouldn't appear on my list.

 

I'd say that strategy games are massively under-represented on this list but I guess the list is aimed very much at your mainstream reader's perception of what a video game is, which is a shame.

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I’m not sure that the Guardian are necessarily trying to second guess their audience in compiling the list. The paper doesn’t have a huge number of games writers; maybe they just don’t have anyone who is that into beat ‘em ups, strategy games or JRPGs. 

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1 minute ago, Benny said:

I'd say they put forward a solid argument in the write-up for why it's number 1 even just on a cultural basis. When you take more than just the game itself into account it makes sense. And even then, for sheer creative gaming freedom, there isn't much else like it.

 

Oh I completely agree if I was asked what the most important or influential game of the 21st century was. I'm just not convinced that 'best' aligns in the same way. Minecraft hit at the right time, with the right concept, approach etc. It was more about a coming together of lots of success factors rather than a straight up amazing game. I don't credit Minecraft with some of the things discussed in the brief description. For example, when asked about games as social spaces and representation of the real world, things like eve, second life, WoW were significantly more important in my eyes.

 

Bizarrely, the one thing that Minecraft did do amazingly, and seems to be almost skipped over by the article, is that simplicity of the approach and the software itself. The simple block nature, interface and texture design was something quite unusual at the time, when everyone else was going for hyper-realism and complexity. That's the things that made it stand out the most in my eyes. It was streamlined too which meant it could play on almost any device from raspberry pie to consoles and all sorts of operating systems. It was so instantly accessible to new young players because of the lack of unnecessary complexity and still is today.

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7 minutes ago, K said:

I’m not sure that the Guardian are necessarily trying to second guess their audience in compiling the list. The paper doesn’t have a huge number of games writers; maybe they just don’t have anyone who is that into beat ‘em ups, strategy games or JRPGs. 

 

I guess it is possible that the writers only play the 'big' games and therefore don't feel able to comment on or include other games. I know that if I was asked to put together a top 50 for a mainstream paper, I'd certainly factor in the interests of my audience.

 

Maybe they were a huge factorio street fighter fan but didn't have the confidence to jam either of them in there.

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59 minutes ago, PeteBrant said:

The issue for me, as I said, is that this isn't a list of the "Best" games. It a mix of most influential, best, most sales, listed under the banner of the being the "Best"

Well most influential would surely be one way to consider best games, what other criteria would you use?

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53 minutes ago, Mawdlin said:

Astrobot! They missed out Astrobot. Should've been at least one VR game in the list.

 

They missed that but somehow managed to include about 40 of those terrible Medal of Battlefields Duty Creed games.

 

AstroBot is the most glaring miss for me but it's crazy to have listed some "OK" games but fail to mention either Horizon or Final Fantasy XII which are both classics.

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Just now, Stanley said:

Well most influential would surely be one way to consider best games, what other criteria would you use?

"Best" To me means the foremost accomplished example, not necesarily the one that started the trend.

 

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4 minutes ago, Stanley said:

Well most influential would surely be one way to consider best games, what other criteria would you use?

 

Well, best as in most enjoyable? If someone asked you what the best game of all time was you'd immediately think of the most influential? Not the one that you enjoyed the most? Surely if they wanted to know what the most influential game of all time was, that's what they'd ask. Language is an incredible thing and best and influential are not the same words for a reason.


EDIT: I agree that best can be an ambiguous term but it certainly isn't synonymous with influential.

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7 minutes ago, BeeJay said:

 

Well, best as in most enjoyable? If someone asked you what the best game of all time was you'd immediately think of the most influential? Not the one that you enjoyed the most? Surely if they wanted to know what the most influential game of all time was, that's what they'd ask. Language is an incredible thing and best and influential are not the same words for a reason.


EDIT: I agree that best can be an ambiguous term but it certainly isn't synonymous with influential.

Surely for something to become influential it would have to be enjoyable in the first instance, if everyone fucking hated it they're not going to be influenced by it, are they? 

 

It's entirely subjective whether one finds a game enjoyable, but I can't see any game on that list that I'd class an unplayable or unenjoyable - there might be some that aren't to my taste but I still recognise other people like them.

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47 minutes ago, matt0 said:

Even a dedicated games magazine like Edge ended up with a very weird top 100 (R-Type Final!), so what chance did the Guardian have.

 

It's hard to argue with any of the top 10 though, except maybe Bioshock. Then again, plenty of people love Bioshock so...

 

At least half of the people who complied that Guardian list write frequently for Edge.

 

EDIT: Maybe.

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5 minutes ago, Stanley said:

So Breath of The Wild, then.

Well thats subjective, but sure if you like. I have no complaint against BotW bieng in there . But is Forza horizon the best Forza game? Is Halo the best Halo? Is AC2 the best AC? Is Cod:MW the best Cod? Is SSBM 2001 better than the Switch version?

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1 minute ago, Strafe said:

Really weird how no one seems to agree with the list 100%

Of course it’s a very subjective thing and it’s futile to argue about that, but as I said in my original post, Destiny not being in it, whether you like it or not, is a bit daft. It was a new genre that melded two other genres into a, largely, successful new genre. That alone should make it applicable.

 

What it does show me though is that there are so many good games these days and we really are in a golden age. It seems equally daft that people are bemoaning their favourite not being in the list. It’s a brilliant time for gaming, without doubt.

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3 hours ago, PeteBrant said:

The list appears to put a lot of store in how influential a game was versus if it was actually any good. I mean, The Sims, the 17th best game of the last 20 years? Really?

 

That's the only explanation for putting Guitar Hero on there ahead of the subsequent plastic instrument games that improved on it.

 

Rock Band 3 is definitely the best game I've played in the genre. I haven't played Rock Band 4 but the last I heard heard, it's improved since launch but still isn't quite as comprehensive as 3.

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5 minutes ago, K said:

If they'd published a top 5,000 games, you'd still get people moaning that the list was invalid because they hadn't included Transbot or whatever.

That’s exactly my point. I know you just picked 5000 at random, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there were that many enjoyable games so far this century.

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It's a good list although not surprisingly I, like everyone here , would place things in a different order and add/remove a couple.

 

I'd have put Alien Isolation on it, and although I really enjoyed RDR2 I would have said that Max Payne 3 was the better of the two Rockstar games.

 

And no Vanquish? The game is as close to perfection as a game can be. 

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I have enjoyed and played many of the games in the list, but I'd be very surprised if Minecraft is anywhere near the top ten of the forum's games of the decade list, when it makes an appearance. If the list was titled "The most important games of the 21st century" then I'd be more inclined to agree with having it at the top spot, but "best"? Ehhh.

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