I just picked up this piece of light reading before the holiday break: 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die. It’s quite thick:
Close to the origin of this blog, I learned of various efforts by dedicated (or bored) individuals to slog through all chapters in assorted long-running game franchises. These efforts included Dragon Quest series (blog is gone); Zelda series (he didn’t seem to get too far); and Ultima (hats off! this person made it through the series). Now I’m waiting to see if a new blog crops up to chronicle an effort to play through all 1001 of these games. I promise it won’t be this blog.
The games are listed chronologically, though there is an alphabetical index. Through this index, I was able to determine that I have played a paltry 12% of the video games I need to play before I die. That doesn’t seem like much, but it’s still 120 games. It’s important when reading through this book — as it is with any random “Top X of something” list — to not assign too much cosmic significance to the data, and certainly not to construe the contents as an affront to your own personal tastes. That means you’ll stay sane if you can keep yourself from constantly wondering “How could they have not included [my all-time favorite game in some genre]!!”
The list was compiled based on the opinions of a bunch of game critics. A number of franchises are well-represented, among them: Every Halo game, most Final Fantasy games, most Zelda games, every Metal Gear Solid game; every Resident Evil game except for #3, and most every game that has ever begun with the words “Super Mario”.
It’s also curious to note that the preface of the book is written by famed game designer Peter Molyneux. I mention this because, cross referencing with his MobyGames rap sheet, it seems that most of his games made the list.
For my own reference, here are the 12% of these very important 1001 games I have had the privilege of experiencing:
17 thoughts on “<span>1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die</span>”
So, I grabbed the table of contents of this book from Amazon, ran it through OCR and ended up with this handy list.
Judge it for yourself… (though I think it’s ridiculous that Star Control 3 made the list and Star Control 2 didn’t!)
In any case, my result is 166 (=16,5%)
Multimedia Mike says:
Thanks for doing the legwork on that, JudgeDeadd.
Jim Leonard says:
I counted 234 that I have played somewhat significantly or finished. So, 23.4% — not too shabby.
I will never complete them all because I don’t have the time (unless I win the lottery) to go through all of the Ultimas and Final Fantasys. And I’m not a Nintendo fanboy, so there goes half the list ;-)
Ron Kinney says:
So many games, so little time… :)
Somehow, my 68 feels lacking…
I’ll have to take a gander at the list, but immediately I was surprised to see “APB” on the list – a game that you can’t even run anymore. Hmm…
I’d love to see a cross reference of dates, “review scores” (although not as much since some will have hardly any), publishers/developers and worldwide sales (if available, and perhaps influenced by date), and if they can still be legally brought first-hand from a company (or are available for free for some reason) and platform too, since you know, I want to play some of them :)
I see a lot of game series’ where the initial one isn’t included, but almost all the sequels are (Baldurâ€™s Gate II and the horrible Dark Alliance but no Baldur’s Gate? Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire but no Gold/Silver, which leapt ahead so much more? and no original Red/Blue that started it?). Interesting skew…I mean some game sequels you need to have really played the original for it to make sense, and with others, you find the original is listed but not the much improved sequels (Battlefield Bad Company 2 vs. Bad Company 1 for instance), or sometimes both are listed (do you really need to play Medieval: Total War and Medieval II: Total War? All 3 Sims games are that unique? why not just play one and if you love it, there are sequels or prequels?). Perhaps it is all cleanly explained in the book itself! To me it seems a lot of filler :)
Odd including Carcassonne too… surprised Solitaire isn’t on the list given Minesweeper is, heh.
In any case, fascinating to see the list finally even if there is plenty missing or to disagree with (so many pretty average new games on that list, such as Prey and Red Faction Guerilla), but some pleasant surprises too. Reminds me of a few games I have yet to play though. I have 182 games, plus a few more “kinda played a bit”, so that’s 18.2% give or take, heh. More then I thought there would be given I don’t want to play many of the games :)
Wow i played 98% percent of that list, jeez brings back memories
No Zelda II? Heathens.
Ok I have always promised myself that I would never be one of those douchebags that complains about someone elses opinion. However, we have a massive list of 1001 games here, yet the only Megaman game that shows up here is Megaman 8. No Megaman 2, no Megaman 3, no Megaman X. Just Megaman 8, which many consider to be the absolute worst in the entire series. Am I missing something here? The games are not listed under Rockman. I must be missing something.
No Enduro and they put the only Gabriel Knight game that sucked on the list, keeping the first and the third ones out. At least they included Persona 3 and 4.
No Xcom? Your legitimacy just went out the window
Leroy White says:
This list is complete bullshit! No Goldeneye, Perfect Dark, Ocarina of Time, ect. Yet they have Doom 3, Bayonetta, ect.
Where is Tekken? Where is KOTOR? Better yet, why is Bayonetta BEFORE MGS and Ninja Gaiden? I love Bayonetta, don’t get me wrong, but MGS and Ninja Gaiden had a greater impact on me than Bayonetta did.
Where is Grand Theft Auto, Battlefield, Animal Crossing, Guitar Hero…. Or more importantly…. OCARINA OF TIME… THAT GAME MADE GAMING!!
What list are people looking at? Ocarina of Time is in the book. So is Goldeneye, Tekken, Perfect Dark, most the Grand Theft Autos including the first, Animal Crossing, etc
For all you people who are complaining about how “X game isn’t on the list”, I’ll give you a hint:
Those 120 games are just the ones he played, not the only ones in the book. You morons get it now?