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The Greatest Video Games Of All Time: 40-21

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The Greatest Video Games Of All Time: 40-21

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!

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

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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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40: Prey
40: Prey
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40
Prey
Arkane Studios, 2017

It's the aesthetic. The mingling of Soviet brutalism with '60s American architecture plus a dash of (unintentionally ironic) Art Deco, across a science station hanging in the black void of space. It's also the probing narrative, and the powers unlocked by injecting alien goo into your eyeballs and transforming into a coffee cup to creep past monsters. ID

39: Rocket League
39: Rocket League
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39
Rocket League
Psyonix, 2015

A deceptively simple game, Rocket League is a marvel of design. When it launched it had no fat to trim. It arrived as a finely tuned game that set the internet on fire with clips of players pulling off amazing feats of physics: backflipping and boosting their car into the air to meet the ball head-on above the pitch, launching it into the goal at the far end of the field. That it still has a huge player base is a testament to its compelling core play loop. JB

38: Final Fantasy VII
38: Final Fantasy VII
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38
Final Fantasy VII
Square (Square Enix), 1997

Cloud and company's romp through Midgar and beyond marked a breakthrough for JRPGs in the West, and Final Fantasy VII's status as the second-best-selling PlayStation title shows just how massive that breakthrough really was. The original game might appear a little creaky compared to its 2020 remake, but don't be fooled: there's incredible depth and emotion to this, still, even with its characters rendered in a dozen or so polygons. MD

37: Celeste
37: Celeste

37
Celeste
Extremely OK Games, 2018

If you'd told me a few years ago that one of the greatest games of all time would marry pixel-perfect platforming with an empowering message about living with anxiety, I'd have laughed you out of the room. I'm so incredibly thankful for Celeste every day. EM

36: Street Fighter II: The World Warrior
36: Street Fighter II: The World Warrior

36
Street Fighter II: The World Warrior
Capcom, 1991

Fighting games existed before Street Fighter II, and many great ones have released since its arrival in arcades in 1991 - but has anything else in the genre had quite the impact of The World Warrior? I don't think so. Whether you pumped coins into a cabinet or enjoyed the game at home on your console, this one-on-one classic's special moves and fantastic characters are as evergreen as the appeal of video gaming itself. MD

35: Resident Evil 4
35: Resident Evil 4

35
Resident Evil 4
Capcom, 2005

By the time Resident Evil 4 released, the series was losing its way. So what did Capcom do? They changed direction and redefined third-person games forever. Sure, they kept the hammy dialogue, but this game changed the way we thought about Resi, and its influence is still being felt in today's AAA action-adventure titles. JD

34: Marvel's Spider-Man
34: Marvel's Spider-Man

34
Marvel's Spider-Man
Insomniac Games, 2018

Marvel's Spider-Man for the PlayStation 4 is more than the best Spidey game of all time. It's one of the greatest takes on the character in any medium. Insomniac Games just gets what makes the webhead tick, and this entry is a stunning instalment in what we hope is a long line of games, already continuing with the 2020 release of Miles Morales. EM

33: Overwatch
33: Overwatch

33
Overwatch
Blizzard, 2016

Overwatch is the hero shooter. Although Team Fortress 2 came before this vibrant FPS game, Blizzard managed to captivate a huge audience with Overwatch's diverse cast, sensational cinematics, and genuinely fun gameplay. It introduced team FPS to a huge number of new players and continues to be the gateway game to the wider genre for gamers everywhere. IM

32: Half-Life 2
32: Half-Life 2

32
Half-Life 2
Valve, 2004

It's been nearly two decades since it launched and Half-Life 2 still feels more inventive and generous than modern shooters. Valve stuffed the game's world with toys and surprises, never letting one grow tired before handing you something new to play with. We may never see a true sequel, but it's because Half-Life 2 is so good that players will never stop asking for one. JB

31: Red Dead Redemption
31: Red Dead Redemption

31
Red Dead Redemption
Rockstar San Diego, 2010

John Marston's road to redemption was as memorable as it was ultimately sombre. The rootin' tootin' adventure exuded authenticity and made us connect with a troubled fictional cowboy, bringing a new wave of interest in the Wild West from a whole generation of gamers. MF

30: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
30: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

30
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
Naughty Dog, 2009

The second instalment in the adventures of Nathan Drake upped the ante considerably from 2007's Drake's Fortune, and remains our favourite of the Uncharted games so far. Among Thieves doubles down on the blockbuster action, and fills out its cast of characters more confidently than before - it's here where we fell in love with the likes of Elena and Sully, while Zoran Lazarević represented an excellently villainous foil for Nate. Even today, Among Thieves is a thrill ride. MD

29: Call of Duty: Black Ops
29: Call of Duty: Black Ops

29
Call of Duty: Black Ops
Treyarch, 2010

A solid story with more twists and turns than Spaghetti Junction, very good multiplayer and some of the best zombies maps in the series. There's a reason why there have been so many Black Ops titles, and it all started here. WM

28: Super Mario Odyssey
28: Super Mario Odyssey

28
Super Mario Odyssey
Nintendo EPD, 2017

Nintendo, somewhere along the way, decided that it didn't want to make a new Super Mario Galaxy but a new 3D Mario game which is just Galaxy but with hats - and we adore it. Super Mario Odyssey is a beautiful 3D platformer - of course it's about saving Princess Peach, but it adds a compelling spin on the normal Mario power-up formula. Mario can become almost any creature within the game, allowing you to fly, fight, and flee in new ways on your adventure to save your beloved. IM

27: Disco Elysium
27: Disco Elysium

27
Disco Elysium
Studio ZA/UM, 2019

You wake up in a darkened hotel room: clothes, bottles, and more are littered everywhere - there's broken glass on the floor, and the stench of alcohol is overwhelming. It's the worst hangover you've had since.. since... well you don't remember. You don't remember anything. Disco Elysium drops you into the body of a physically and spiritually lost detective on a brutal murder case. Its narrative is stunningly well thought out and lifelike as you traverse an unfriendly, foreign world. If you like to ponder, it's the best game on this list for you. IM

26: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
26: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

26
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Nintendo, 2017

Multiplayer racing at its finest, and far and away the greatest entry in the long-running Mario Kart series, 8 Deluxe is the biggest-selling Nintendo Switch game for a reason. Well, 48 reasons, really, as each and every track here is a star in its own right. The epitome of a game that's effortless to pick up but will take a long time to master, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe will be our go-to Nintendo racer for a long time to come. MD

25: Assassin's Creed II
25: Assassin's Creed II

25
Assassin's Creed II
Ubisoft, 2009

The first, and best, Assassin's Creed story to star everyone's favourite assassin, Ezio Auditore da Firenze. This is the pinnacle of sequels, improving on the first game in every way. The beautiful setting of Venice and the addition of hidden Assassin's Tombs added an enchanting mystique that I still love today. WM

24: Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
24: Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

24
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
Rockstar, 2004

The media of the early '00s had us believe that if you played Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, you would grow into a hoodlum with a penchant for violence; a psychotic timebomb poised to explode upon society. In reality, we just enjoyed cruising, listening to '90s hip-hop and getting really chunky with homies. I think we know which one turned out to be true. Grove Street 4 life. MF

23: Bloodborne
23: Bloodborne

23
Bloodborne
FromSoftware, 2015

To make Bloodborne, take Dark Souls and mix well with a gothic Victorian horror. Add a generous sprinkling of eldritch abominations, being careful to fold in a good number of terrifying locations while you're at it. Season with aggressive frenetic combat and punishing boss battles to taste. EM

22: Pokémon Gold/Silver/Crystal
22: Pokémon Gold/Silver/Crystal

22
Pokémon Gold/Silver/Crystal
Game Freak, 1999

Pokémon games may have gotten technically better over the last 20 years, but for our money Gold/Silver/Crystal remains the highpoint of the entire franchise. Memorable new monsters, a wealth of impressive features, and two whole regions to explore? Perfection. EM

21: The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time
21: The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time

21
The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time
Nintendo, 1998

What can I say about this one that hasn't been said 1,000 times over? It's the generation-defining adventure that so many of us grew up with. Its towns, dungeons, secrets and bosses will live on in our hearts and minds for as long as we live. It's... well, it's The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time. Enough said. EM

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

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

Featured Image Credit: Rockstar Games, Extremely OK Games, Capcom

Topics: Xbox, Pokemon, Assassin's Creed, Resident Evil, list, Nintendo, PlayStation, Uncharted, Call of Duty, Retro Gaming, Spider-Man, Final Fantasy, Grand Theft Auto, The Legend of Zelda

Mike Diver
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