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The Greatest Video Games Of All Time: 20-1

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The Greatest Video Games Of All Time: 20-1

As you might've noticed, GAMINGbible now has an all-new, very shiny online home. Partly to celebrate the launch of our new website, and partly to provide a window into the team's tastes when it comes to video games, we've put together our own top 100 greatest video games of all time. Some of us have been playing video games for 35 years, while others haven't been alive that long - so our top 100 covers a lot of bases, from across several generations of gaming.

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How we came to this top 100: a lot of listing, a smidge of voting, and then a solid bout of arguing. And then we changed some positions, and added some totally new entries to the list. It's not a science, dear reader. It's love.

To make things easier for your eyes, we've broken the top 100 into five parts. Please click the links below to go straight to the pages in question. Enjoy! (Your favourite not here, at all? It's number 101, obvs.)

100-81
80-61
60-41
40-21
20-1 - you're looking at it

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Words: Dan Wilson (DW), Dean Abdou (DA), Ewan Moore (EM), Imogen Donovan (ID), Imogen Mellor (IM), James Daly (JD), Julian Benson (JB), Mark Foster (MF), Mike Diver (MD), Tom Ryan-Smith (TRS), Will McCue (WM)

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20: Outer Wilds
20: Outer Wilds
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20
Outer Wilds
Mobius Digital, 2019

Terrifying and beautiful all at once, Outer Wilds is unlike anything you've ever played. Working to unravel the mystery at the center of a dying universe, you'll slowly unearth the kind of story that could only be told in a video game - and Outer Wilds is all the better for that. EM

19: God Of War
19: God Of War
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19
God Of War
Santa Monica Studios, 2018

How to solve a problem like Kratos? If you're Santa Monica Studios, you give him a son. After being pigeonholed as an angry, baldy, stabby man, the Greek deity felt done and dusted. But a brand-new pantheon to face down, a brand-new weapon to wield and a brand-new son to... be disappointed in, completely revitalised the much-beloved franchise. MF

18: Metal Gear Solid
18: Metal Gear Solid
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18
Metal Gear Solid
Konami, 1998

The game that brought Hideo Kojima's singular directorial vision for gaming to the masses, Metal Gear Solid borrowed extensively from cinema, and dialled down testing stealth gameplay for more instant-fix players. But it innovated in the medium, too, using the PlayStation's functionality against the user in one famous boss battle with Psycho Mantis, and truly revelled in being a video game in a way that few blockbuster-focused action-adventure titles have since. MD

17: Batman: Arkham City
17: Batman: Arkham City

17
Batman: Arkham City
Rocksteady Studios, 2011

The Dark Knight detective's finest game to date, and the greatest superhero adventure around. Arkham City expands on its predecessor, 2009's Arkham Asylum, in every conceivable way to produce the definitive Batman experience across the crime-plagued streets of Gotham. EM

16: Her Story
16: Her Story

16
Her Story
Sam Barlow, 2015

As you type words into Her Story's search engine, looking for hits in its hours of video interviews, a strange transformation happens: you become the interviewer in the room with the subject. Detective games are so often limited to searching a scene for clues until you unlock the answer, but Her Story's simple interface makes for a much more complicated interaction - any word you hear could be typed in as a question to your subject, leading you to more clues and eventually answers. Her Story is a fantastic marriage of story, performance, and design. JB

15: Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
15: Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

15
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
Infinity Ward, 2007

For many, this is the ultimate Call of Duty game. An iconic single-player campaign that arguably hasn't been topped to this day was packaged with addictive multiplayer that was a lot of gamer's first, forever to be looked back on with rose-tinted glasses. Well, except for the fact that you can still jump back on Modern Warfare now and have a truly great time. WM

14: Chrono Trigger
14: Chrono Trigger

14
Chrono Trigger
Square (Square Enix), 1995

Made by a dream team of game developers, including Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama, Chrono Trigger is still, for many, the greatest (J)RPG the world has seen. A lovable cast, tight combat system, slew of alternate endings, and the invention of 'New Game+' make this game feel as relevant today as it ever was. A current-gen rerelease, please Square Enix? JD

13: Dark Souls
13: Dark Souls

13
Dark Souls
FromSoftware, 2011

Dark Souls may have developed a reputation as one of the most challenging games of all time, but that difficulty is secondary to the experience. FromSoftware's atmospheric RPG is one that combines intricate world design with unforgettable encounters to create a title that delights and appalls in equal measure. EM

12: Sonic The Hedgehog 2
12: Sonic The Hedgehog 2

12
Sonic The Hedgehog 2
SEGA, 1992

SEGA's mascot arguably peaked with his second Mega Drive game - which, no, isn't the same as the Sonic the Hedgehog 2 for Game Gear and Master System. Pixel-perfect looks, mercury quick speed, two-player races and dazzling level design: Sonic 2 laid down everything that's great about 2D Sonic games. And every Sonic release that's been decent since has borrowed from it. MD

11: Tetris
11: Tetris

11
Tetris (Game Boy)
Nintendo, 1989

Puzzle games don't really come more perfectly formed than the blocks-locking magic of Tetris. (Unless you read about the game at number three, possibly.) The game existed before its 1989 arrival on the Nintendo Game Boy, and amazing versions of it have released since - step forward, Tetris Effect. But for its purity, and for how it had such a terrific symbiotic relationship with the Game Boy - the game made the console, and the console the game - it's the monochromatic majesty of the handheld hit we're picking, here. MD

10: Halo 3
10: Halo 3

10
Halo 3
Bungie, 2007

Halo: Combat Evolved may have revolutionised first-person shooters on console and Halo 2 might have revolutionised online multiplayer - but Halo 3 took the best aspects of both games and perfected them. First up was the almost perfect campaign that wrapped up the narrative in a nice bow, complete with a perfected gameplay loop and always fun combat encounters alongside an emotional powerhouse of a story. Oh, and then there was the multiplayer, the best the franchise's PVP had ever been and better than it has been since (sorry, Halo: Reach). TRS

9: Super Mario Bros. 3
9: Super Mario Bros. 3

9
Super Mario Bros. 3
Nintendo EAD, 1988

Hitting headlines anew in 2020 for breaking the record for the most expensive game ever sold (a 1990 sealed copy just sold for $156,000 at auction), Super Mario Bros. 3 still clearly holds the magic it saw on its original release. With the additions of the world map to transfer between levels and ability to fly, the game propelled Mario into a global star - making its way into the 1989 film The Wizard and inspiring the animated series The Adventures of Super Mario Bros 3. Oh, and also just about every platforming game to come after it. That, too. DW

8: Super Mario Galaxy
8: Super Mario Galaxy

8
Super Mario Galaxy
Nintendo EAD Tokyo, 2007

Super Mario Galaxy is a vibrant, heartfelt adventure that deserves to be regarded as among Nintendo's finest work. Fizzing with creativity and new ideas at every turn, this isn't just the pinnacle of Mario in three dimensions, but the ultimate 3D platformer. EM

7: The Last Of Us
7: The Last Of Us

7
The Last Of Us
Naughty Dog, 2013

Sometimes you don't realise how great a game is until after the credits roll. The Last Of Us was not one of those games. It was immediately apparent, from the opening beats to the curtain call, that this was one of the greatest gaming stories ever told. Though we do now have some closure (if you can call it closure) on that ending, it still delivers an emotional gut punch nobody will forget. Truly exceptional storytelling. MF

6: Grand Theft Auto V
6: Grand Theft Auto V

6
Grand Theft Auto V
Rockstar North, 2013

It's no surprise to see Rockstar's record-breaking release here - Grand Theft Auto V is the most profitable entertainment release, ever. That it's brilliant, too, is almost the icing on the cake. It invites you to take a tour of Los Santos through the eyes of three stooges: an ex-bank robber, a street gangster and an unhinged drug and arms dealer. All the ingredients needed for some wholesome family fun. DW

5: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
5: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

5
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Bethesda, 2011

"Hey you, you're finally awake," are five words burned into the mind of everyone who has played The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. As you're transported to your untimely execution on a horse-drawn cart, the beginning of the game feels more like an ending before it opens up into an astonishingly detailed and enjoyable RPG which to this day is ported from console to console as a high point in gaming history. We all love to pretend Skyrim wasn't that good, but the truth is it's still bloomin' brilliant. IM

4: Minecraft
4: Minecraft

4
Minecraft
Mojang, 2010

A game of infinite possibilities and endless potential. Anything you could dream of doing in Minecraft, you can do it. Your imagination is the only limit. Whether you want to build, adventure or play mini-games, your first night in Minecraft is as fun as your hundredth. With countless updates to the base game there's always more to do, even 10 years on from its release. WM

3: Portal 2
3: Portal 2

3
Portal 2
Valve, 2011

Portal 2 is the best puzzle game ever made (although number 11 on this list may disagree). Valve managed to perfectly mix action and mystery with mind-bending puzzles, all while only three captivating characters deliver some of the best jokes and dialogue committed to video games in the background. Portal 2 is an icon almost 10 years later and will continue to be the gold standard for puzzles in games everywhere. It's hard not to give away too much about how brilliant Portal 2 is without giving away plot points, so we'll just say that the game even plays you out with a banging song at the end. IM

2: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
2: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

2
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
CD Projekt Red, 2015

I'm not sure any of us quite saw this one coming. With The Witcher series already two games deep, CDPR's third main entry had precedent, for sure - but The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt magnificently exceeded expectations. A rich, believable world; a hero with flaws aplenty and companions who love and hate him; and quests to make you laugh and cry: TW3 has it all. Plus, janky horses. And it's very nearly the greatest video game of all time. Nearly. MD

1: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
1: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

1
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Nintendo EPD, 2017

It had to be, didn't it? The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild channels the spirit of the original Zelda of 1986, while including everything you need for a modern-day hit. The gargantuan open-world map is packed full of beautiful sights and secrets to discover. The characters burst out of the screen. The puzzles are plenty and satisfying. Then there's the story which stands toe-to-toe with any game, both in what it says and how it says it. Breath of the Wild is our number one game of all time, and we know it's a lot of yours, too - and rightly so. JD

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Check out the rest of our top 100, as follows:

100-81
80-61
60-41
40-21
20-1 - you're looking at it

Mike Diver
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