80) Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon (3DS)
Kicking off the Year of Luigi (and part three of our ten-part countdown) in style, Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon delivered on the thrills and chills when it released earlier this year. The game did away with playing through and exploring just one mansion, and opted for multiple mansions and a mission-based structure. We couldn't have been happier with this change, as it offered much more depth, much more fun, and much more replay value. The addition of online and local multiplayer only further added to the latter. Dark Moon was a graphical showcase of the 3DS' power, and also a showcase of just how well Next Level Games can create an overly fantastic piece of software with the right guidance. Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon is an essential purchase for any Nintendo 3DS owner.
79) Advance Wars: Dual Strike (DS)
The third entry in the Advance Wars series and the first to debut on the Nintendo DS, Advance Wars: Dual Strike was a turn-based tactical RPG that put players in the role of one of many colorful and whimsical commanding officers across multiple armies. The goal of Advance Wars was always to eliminate enemy forces with your own swath of units. The strategy came from using the right unit type, as each unit type had its own unit types it was weak and strong against. The Dual Strike in Advance Wars: Dual Strike referred to the capability of using two commanding officers instead of the traditional single commanding officer in battle. The dynamic of battles shifted dramatically because of this. We view Dual Strike as the greatest installment of the Advance Wars series, possessing more maps, more challenge, and more fun than ever before.
78) Star Wars: Battlefront (PS2, XBX, PC)
Taking a part of what makes Star Wars so fascinating-- the epic scale battles-- and making an entire game out of them was a hefty task, but it was pulled off with Star Wars: Battlefront. Playing as a Rebel or Empire soldier, pilot, or Storm Trooper, weaving in and out of laser fire and explosions, and doing your best to capture as many enemy bases and command posts as possible were tasks that Battlefront gave players. There was nothing better than getting a massive kill streak going and feeling like you could take on all comers and blast them down. From fighting on the moon of Endor to gunning down Storm Troopers on the icy surface of planet Hoth, Star Wars: Battlefront was a stellar addition to the Star Wars game universe.
77) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time (ARC, SNES)
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles recently reentered pop culture with an all-new Nickolodeon computer-animated cartoon, and soon they will have their own Michael Bay feature film. That last one you can happily ignore, though. Regardless, back in the day, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were, as the kids say, tight. You could not go anywhere without seeing TMNT merchandise, movies, TV shows, action figures, and so forth. That continued into video games, and the best one ever featuring those heroes in a half shell released on the Super Nintendo after debuting in arcades. Turtles in Time was an old-fashioned beat-em-up. While these games tend to be linear and short, Turtles in Time was so much fun that one could not help but play through it again and again, especially if you had your favorite buds around to enjoy the game with.
76) Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes (GCN)
A project that would not have been possible without Shigeru Miyamoto and Silicon Knights, Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes was a GameCube exclusive remake of the original Metal Gear Solid. The remake featured all-new cutscenes, beautifully done upgraded visuals, and gameplay improvements to make the title less clunky as a whole. The latter made for a much grander and less frustrating experience. For instance, players could not fire in first-person mode. In addition to that, enemy AI was updated to balance the inclusion of the first-person viewpoint. Some claim the new perspective made for a game that was easier, perhaps too easy. While we can understand that, we still stand by the opinion that The Twin Snakes is the definitive version of the first Metal Gear Solid game.
75) F-Zero X (N64)
F-Zero set the standard for speed on the Super Nintendo. F-Zero X on the Nintendo 64 made futuristic racing on tracks that twisted, turned, and looped very popular. One of the only games on the N64 to run at a fluid 60 frames per second, F-Zero X blew past the competition and is still one of the greatest futuristic racers to date. Having thirty racers dueling it out for first place supremacy, spinning and slamming your vehicle into others, boosting past the competition at manic speeds, and trying not only to win but to simply survive, F-Zero X was a game that made our adrenaline pump and our bodies tingle with excitement. Speaking of F-Zero, stay tuned for a retro review this week regarding the original F-Zero.
74) Kirby's Return to Dream Land (Wii)
The latest in the Kirby franchise, Kirby's Return to Dream Land offered four player simultaneous play, something that became something popular on the Wii (and we loved every minute of it). Being able to play as Kirby, Waddle Dee, Metaknight, or King Dedede made for some frantic and fun multiplayer action. The game contained seven worlds, each with multiple creatively-designed levels and a concluding boss battle to top each world off. Energy Spheres were the optional collectibles that players could nab in order to unlock hidden content, and after beating the game, an all-new EX Mode was unlocked, giving players harder enemies to deal with and less health to work with. Kirby's Return to Dream Land was a project that was scrapped and rebuilt time and time again, and we're very happy and satisfied with how the final product finally turned out.
73) Kingdom Hearts (PS2)
Combining the serious world of Final Fantasy with the often happy-go-lucky world of Disney seemed like an odd feat to do. However, Square Enix and Disney proved that they were more than capable of performing such a task. The end result was Kingdom Hearts, the first in a series of action-RPG games featuring a wide array of Final Fantasy characters and Disney all-stars all together in one game. We feel that the original Kingdom Hearts stands head and shoulders above every sequel and spin-off that followed it. It had a much less convoluted story, a less obnoxious and tedious beginning, and the right mix of platforming and action RPG fun. What better time to revisit Kingdom Hearts now that the third installment in the series is due for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One!
72) Batman: Arkham Asylum (PS3, 360, PC)
Prior to Batman: Arkham Asylum, Batman games ranged from awful to good. Seldom, if ever, did a Batman game get deemed as masterful. That all changed with Batman: Arkham Asylum. A team that hadn't done much to distinguish itself (or make a great game), Rocksteady, managed to create one of the best superhero games of all time. The Metroid-like structure, where Batman earned new gadgets to allow him to explore new areas of the Arkham Asylum grounds, was a much welcomed inclusion to the formula of the game. Perhaps the only major gripe to be had with Arkham Asylum was the tacked on final boss battle that did not really serve as something that fit with the style of the game.
71) The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Wii, GCN)
We round out part three of our list of 100 favorite games with a Wii launch title, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. The game debuted at E3 2004 with thunderous applause and cheering. Tears were literally shed by some people. Go figure, huh. Anyway, the final product featured some of the greatest dungeons in series history, a large expansive world to explore, and some incredible boss battles. The Wii version is a mirrored take on the GameCube iteration. What we mean is that the world of Twilight Princess on Wii is flipped compared to the GameCube version (e.g. a destination that was west is now east, and vice versa). The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess also introduced Wolf Link into the picture, a darker tone and setting, and one of the most enjoyable companions to Link, Midna. Twilight Princess might have its share of problems (like the long-winded opening tutorial sequence), but overall it was a fantastic addition to the historic series.
That concludes part three of SuperPhillip Central's list of our favorite 100 games. Make sure you are back here next Wednesday for games 70-61 of our countdown!