The best 25 games

This is just my list of personal favorites from the electronic game era; I think it’s problematic to make substantive claims about the superiority of one very good game over another, especially games from different technological eras. I rate them primarily on the basis of how much I liked them at the time, with some nod to their influence on subsequent games. Series games reflect my favorite in the series. I’m sure I’m missing a few that should be here, so this will probably get revised a bit.

1. Akalabeth
2. John Madden NFL Football ’92 (Sega Genesis)
3. Doom
4. Wizardry
5. Wing Commander
6. Castle Wolfenstein (Apple II)
7. World of Warcraft
8. Quake
9. Autoduel (Apple II)
10. Ultima III
11. U.S. Ski Team Skiing I(Intellivision)
12. Swashbuckler (Apple II)
13. Fantasy General
14. Donkey Kong (arcade)
15. Total War: Medieval
16. Heretic
17. TIE Fighter
18. Crash Team Racing
19. Ms. Pac-man (arcade)
20. NCAA Basketball (Super Nintendo)
21. Combat Mission: Operation Barbarossa
22. Mechwarrior
23. Call of Duty
24. Space Battle (Intellivision)
25. Front Page Sports Football Pro ’95

I don’t think there’s any question that Akalabeth is the greatest game of all time. I still play it every now and then. I haven’t played enough GTA IV to have an opinion yet; Age of Conan may also merit a place on this list once I play a big more of it. There’s no question that Mario Karts 64 is better than Crash Team Racing on the PS/1, but I have sentimental reasons for preferring the latter. And if you’re noting an absence of RTS games on this list, that’s no accident. I despise them. And while there are some undeniably excellent games missing from this list, like Tetris, Super Mario Bros. and SimCity, I just never happened to particularly enjoy them.