There are thousands upon thousands of games that have been released over the years. Narrowing them down to a “top 100” was always going to be a challenge, but the whole DDNet team has come together to build a list of the 100 most canonical games that we feel all people should play in order to determine the depth and breadth of experiences that games offer.
Each day we’ll count down ten of the games, all the way to the mighty #1. Be sure to let us know in the comments if any games on the list surprise you, or you would add to the list yourself!
Based on a fairly obscure Japanese late night animated series, we don’t think anyone expected Gregory Horror Show to turn out as well as it did, but against all odds this is one of the most impressive stealth games you’ll ever play. With a core gameplay loop that had you wandering around a surreal haunted house in order to learn the resident’s daily habits, and then trick or trap them into giving up their souls, Gregory Horror Show managed to be challenging, humorous, tense and hugely creative from start to finish.
99. Dungeons & Dragons: Wake of the Ravager
Of all of SSI’s classic Dungeons & Dragons games, Wake of the Ravager is perhaps the most important. Not because it was the most refined or well-made game (that surely goes to either Menzoberranzan or Pools of Radiance), but rather because it offered up narrative features that to this day feel comparable to what modern RPGs offer. Deep, decision-based nonlinear storytelling that could hugely affect how you experienced the world married up to one of the most intense and unique gameplay worlds that Dungeons & Dragons has ever experienced – Dark Sun. Brutal and unforgiving, Dark Sun is a world for players that like the Mad Max-like aesthetic, and this game captures that beautifully.
98. GoldenEye 007
We aren’t exactly fans of shooters for the sake of shooting here at DDnet, but GoldenEye 007 is special. Developed by Rare and based on the James Bond film of the same name, GoldenEye 007 was the entry point to FPS games for almost anyone who grew up with the Nintendo 64 sitting on their living room floor. Sure, it has one heck of a single-player campaign — but the real fun with GoldenEye is split-screen multiplayer with different types of deathmatches to choose from, which was never available in any other game. GoldenEye was also one of the earlier FPSers to transition from a fantasy feel to something more realistic, making it not only extremely fun to play, but also a pioneer in the world of video games.
97. Europa Universalis IV
The grand strategy genre has been one of those that have really required modern computing power in order to florish. It’s not the graphics of Europa Universalis IV that has benefitted from the improved processing power (though it’s certainly a good looking strategy game), but rather the hugely complex economic, military and social systems required the crunching of such data that there’s just no way older hardware could handle it. This game is deep and epic in scope, and strategy games don’t get much more hardcore than it.
95. Lollipop Chainsaw
Leave it to Goichi Suda to take one of the most exploitative tropes in entertainment – that of the sexy cheerleader – and completely invert the player’s expectations of it. Lollipop Chainsaw is a triumph of an action game that manages to maintain an impossible level of energy and creativity across its running length, and all the while it is doing that, the game is also satirising and deconstructing any number of tropes that are so common to video games. From damsel in distress through to the relative intelligence of female characters to their male counterparts, nothing is as you might expect going in when Suda gets his hands on it.
94. Space Invaders
93. King’s Field IV
92. Hatsune Miku: Future Tone
91. Baldur’s Gate