Best Video Games of All Time

MiracleDinner This is a personal list.

This list only includes games I have played considerably (1 hour at the very least) in the last year or two, OR which I maintain liking (or disliking) for timelessly. I decided to remove things like LEGO chess which was only here because it was my first video game and I haven't played in over half my lifetime and will likely never return to.

Spoliers for Superstar Saga and Super Mario Galaxy 1 & 2

The Top TenW

1 Super Paper Mario Super Paper Mario Product Image

When I first played this game, the story and gameplay were extremely captivating. The dialogue was priceless, the villains were top-notch, and the deep story was a very refreshing change from the usual shallow and cliché ones found in most Mario games. I was only 8 or 9 years old at the time, so even bosses such as O'Chunks were a difficulty, and this being my first Mario RPG I neither wanted nor expected a turn-based battle system. I loved the gameplay for how unique it was - aside from the obvious flipping mechanic, it was very interesting to see HP alongside platforming and a variety of attacks rather than just jumping on enemies' heads - some strategy to be entertaining, but no so much as to be overwhelming as TTYD would have been to me at that age. Sure I never truly liked the hamster wheel or things like that but I didn't mind a slight temporary annoyance in the greatest gaming experience I have had to this day. Returning to this game now that I am older, I appreciate some of the flaws, particularly the gameplay elements, such as the very low difficulty of the boss fights and the suboptimal level design, but I am still fascinated by this game because I can now truly realise what a masterpiece this game is. I can read a book about a tragic love tale, and that has a sad and good story, but of course it does, you expect it to. But to see this in a Mario game is entirely surreal and this remains one major reason why I love this game. I also have come to appreciate the soundtrack. My personal favourites include Gloam Valley (for its upbeat tune), Soft Light (for its connection to the most powerfully emotional moments I have witnessed in video games), and the Overthere Shrine (it sounds truly and literally divine). Whilst I can't say I enjoy the experience of playing Super Paper Mario as much as I used to, I will always look back on this game and remember it as one of Nintendo's greatest masterpieces in the franchise, and my personal favourite.

2 Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door Product Image

Most of what I loved in SPM is in here (music, story, characters, locations), but not quite to the same extent. Whilst the gameplay was undoubtedly very different, I played this game before Paper Mario 1 (which I still have not played but highly anticipate), so I still had the feeling of a new gameplay experience. Even though I have been playing it for months I am still having fun playing around with different badge combinations, enjoying the depth of the combat, which SPM, though good in its own way, lacked. I have not been playing this game for nearly as long as SPM or BIS, but I can imagine myself having great nostalgia for this masterpiece decades into the future.

3 Paper Mario 64 Paper Mario 64 Product Image

I just played this game for a couple of hours this evening and it's so good!

My reasons for liking it are mostly the same as for TTYD but I don't like the gameplay or graphics as much as they were pretty much upgraded from PM64 to TTYD imo.

Nevertheless, the story is very refreshing and well presented. The music is very good as well but I'm not prepared to say I like it as much as SPM's or TTYD's.

All in all it's a masterpiece put together and presented very well, I just don't love it as much as TTYD or SPM.

4 Mario & Luigi Bowser's Inside Story Mario & Luigi Bowser's Inside Story Product Image

I loved this game for how charming, funny, and unique it was, and it had good music and story as well. By far my favourite video game I own on a handheld console, but it is a long way behind PM64. I played this game not long after SPM and I have always loved it, but having returned to it quite recently I love it even more than before.

5 Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga Product Image

Mostly the same as BIS, but I found the gameplay to be more awkward (e.g. having to constantly switch between the bros to do some things) and I didn't hugely enjoy my first and so far only playthrough because I was underlevelled and didn't know how to guard attacks, so couldn't beat most enemies, so constantly ran away from them, so I never gained EXP or learned to guard, and that continued in a cycle. Thankfully however I eventually caught up and managed to finish the game. The final boss was admittedly one of the hardest, but it took so long (45 mins approx. on my final try) that it was not even enjoyable by the end of it. The whole 1HP was just annoying as I just ended up fighting Bowletta 5 or 6 times before finally learning how to guard her attacks. All in all a hard boss fight, just not in the right way. I was glad to get it done with, but the ending was sort of disappointing compared to the awesome story, aside from the Yoshi Theatre reveal. Still a strong favourite though, because I loved the whole concept of travelling the Beanbean Kingdom and the level design was great. Cackletta and Fawful are two of my favourite villains.

6 Minecraft

If I were to rank every game I own nonpersonally this would probably come out on top. The possibilities are endless and this game can become a space shooter, platformer, RPG, you name it. I can have many different survival worlds, each different in their own ways and I never get tired of it. The server mini-games like Hunger games, Skywars, and Eggwars are unbelievably addictive! Had you asked me before I discovered TTYD, this would be at number 2 probably. The only reason I decided not to put it higher this time is because as powerful a game as it is, I just find myself less attached to it than some of the Mario RPGs.

7 Super Mario Galaxy Super Mario Galaxy Product Image

I had a hard time choosing between this and its sequel but in the end I chose to go with Galaxy 1 for sixth place. What I like about this game is that it maintains its overarching theme (space adventure) whilst also having many sub-themes within it (e.g. ice mountain). That is one thing I disliked about Super Mario Sunshine, whilst it does have a charming theme overall, it does not have any more interesting themes within it. I also feel that the space theme is much more flexible than the tropical resort theme, since it can be more than just relaxing; it can also be comfortable, mysterious, cruel, grand, nostalgic, philosophical, and generally epic. Rosalina's backstory was interesting and moving and she is still one of my favourite Mario characters. The gameplay and level design are incredible, aside from being a little too easy and linear for my liking. And the fact that you have to complete the entire game twice for 100%, only to be rewarded with a mediocre Grand Finale Galaxy. Still, my favourite non-RPG Mario game to this day.

8 Super Mario Galaxy 2 Super Mario Galaxy 2 Product Image

Of course I like this game nearly as much as Galaxy 1 since it is almost identical. Probably the better of the two objectively, but I put this lower because it doesn't maintain the same atmosphere, it feels like a generic Mario game which occasionally reminds you that you're in space. It is also sadly even more linear than Galaxy 1. Still, there are many things I like about this which weren't in the first Galaxy, such as Yoshi, Cloud Mario, and the Green stars. Some of the levels were truly challenging which was a nice change from Galaxy 1 (though of course neither game was too easy for me when I was younger.) I actually played this game before Galaxy 1 and for most of my life would have put Galaxy 2 over Galaxy 1, but have since changed my mind.

9 Super Mario Maker Super Mario Maker Product Image

(Wii U version)

Despite how recently I played this game I can already feel how incredibly powerful it is. There is a practically infinite supply of all sorts of amazing levels, each different and unique, I get to express my creativity really well and it's awesome fun making levels from my imagination, remaking official levels from Nintendo games, and playing everything that everyone else has made! This will be an amazing way to enjoy 2D Mario platforming for as long as the servers last!

10 Super Mario 3D World Super Mario 3D World Product Image

Gameplay and mechanics are pretty good but not as good as Galaxy 2. Level design is very good and I really like the green stars and stamps, as it feels a bit more open world before having to clear the game as in Galaxy 2. I am a fan of the cat powerup, the multiplayer capacities beyond a co-star luma, the multiple character selection, and the diverse control options. The presentation is amazing, with excellent graphics and good music. My only real gripe is that the story was very shallow and there is little to no dialogue. I like the game a lot but not quite as much as Galaxy 1 or 2.

Dishonorable Mentions

F Mario Kart Wii Mario Kart Wii Product Image

Repetitive and poor controls. I can understand some people finding it fun but I dislike it.

The Contenders

11 Lego Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues Lego Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues Product Image

I had a lot of Lego games when I was younger, and I haven't played this game in a long time but I still look back on it with familiarity, as much as its reception might have been less than good. I would spend hours just building Lego worlds (I would have loved Super Mario Maker 1 & 2, the former of which I love and the latter I am keen to buy) in the level designer, even if I was unable to upload them. I watched all the films and it was very humorous to see them portrayed by Lego characters. For some reason I found the Black Sleep item awesome since you could control enemies and even Crocodiles! I remember spending about an hour constantly trying this glitch where I would ride a Crocodile up a ramp and jump in a motorbike and for a brief moment I would be a Maharajah mind controlling a Crocodile to ride a motorbike of a cliff before my Wii crashed. Good times.

12 Donkey Kong Country Returns Donkey Kong Country Returns Product Image

Fun platformer, I didn't even know about the rest of the series until many years of having played this (though from the title I guessed there was a previous game,) so it felt very unique. The atmospheres were awesome and I would always look up to the epic golden temple dreaming of what could be inside. I finally did it many years later and was not disappointed.

13 Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D Product Image

I mean this is basically the same as the Wii version so it's kinda unclear if I should count it separately or no... but it has a different title so for now I'm going to say yes. It's basically the same as the original so big nostalgia blast, and I really appreciate having this game now portable, but the controls and graphics set the remake behind the original imo. Look forward to the extra cloud levels though!

14 Mario Party 9 Mario Party 9 Product Image

As hated as this game is, it is my first and so far only Mario Party game. I loved the fun minigames, being able to play as so many characters, and the constellations, with the great music. My greatest nostalgia for this game is playing four player free play with Daisy, Birdo, Yoshi, and Koopa (I usually play as Daisy and the others are COMs) and just going through the many minigames. I have gone back to that recently and it is no less fun than I remember!

15 Super Mario 3D Land Super Mario 3D Land Product Image

I like it because it's basically like 3D World but a lot of the good stuff is reduced, for instance character selection and graphics. But it's still really cool.

16 Super Mario 64 Super Mario 64 Product Image

Had I played this back when it launched, it would likely be very high on this list, and I understand why so many people who did call it the best Mario game still. But having played Galaxy 1 & 2 years earlier this felt like a downgrade, and I have no greater nostalgia for it than those two, so for me it isn't a huge favourite, but I still like it a fair bit.

17 New Super Mario Bros. Wii New Super Mario Bros. Wii Product Image
18 New Super Mario Bros New Super Mario Bros Product Image

I mean the DS one

19 Super Mario Sunshine Super Mario Sunshine Product Image

It's a nice game, with good gameplay, an existent and original (though not amazing) story, and a charming atmosphere, but it is by far my least favourite of the 3D Super Mario games that I have played so far because without interesting sub-themes (as I discussed in my comment for SMG1) it grows obnoxiously monotonous. Additionally, the level design was not on par with the others, and I generally found it too difficult and slow-paced. Despite all that, I still find it a decent game.

20 The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Product Image

I like it but I certainly don't agree with it being one of the best video games of all time (I know 17th might seem quite high but compared to the number of games eligible for this list it isn't,) at least when it comes to my personal enjoyment. I also own Majora's Mask and Zelda 1 and 2 as per the collector's edition disk for the GameCube but I don't feel I have played them enough to rank them here.

21 Wii Party Wii Party Product Image
22 Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins Product Image
23 Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures Product Image
24 Lego Batman Lego Batman Product Image

I am referring to the first one only here.

25 LEGO Marvel Super Heroes LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Product Image
26 Stick War

I like it - it's an interesting strategy game and gives me some nostalgia to when I was younger and wanted to play it but wasn't allowed to. I've never been a fan of gore though.

27 Super Mario Land Super Mario Land Product Image
28 Plants Vs. Zombies Plants Vs. Zombies Product Image
29 Plants vs. Zombies 2
30 Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympics Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympics Product Image

More Remixes by MiracleDinner

Best Songs and Music Tracks from Super Mario Games
1. Soft Light (Super Paper Mario)
2. Bounding Through Time (Super Paper Mario)
3. Promise (Super Paper Mario)
Most Anticipated Video Games
1. Mario & Luigi: Dream Team
2. Super Mario Odyssey
3. Super Mario Maker 2

Top Ten Video Game Controllers
1. Wii U GamePad
2. Wii Remote
3. Xbox 360 Controller
Favourite Mario Characters
1. Count Bleck
2. Rosalina
3. Dimentio

Top Ten Favorite Foods
1. Lasagna
2. Pizza
3. Bacon Cheeseburger