70) Viewtiful Joe (PS2, GCN)
Our favorite project that came from the sorely missed Clover Studios was Viewtiful Joe, a game starring a gigantic movie buff transported into Movie Land to rescue his girlfriend. It seems oftentimes with games a striking as Viewtiful Joe that it is either a choice between style or substance. Well, Viewtiful Joe manages to strike a fine balance between style and substance, with its deep and rewarding combat system, also used to solve puzzles. Viewtiful Joe was a game that didn't take itself seriously, was challenging, and possessed a gorgeous cel-shaded art style that looks just as tremendous today as it did when it launched back in 2003. This side-scrolling beat-em-up is truly viewtiful.
69) Fire Emblem: Awakening (3DS)
The latest entry in the Fire Emblem franchise is also the one that makes it on our list of favorite games. Fire Emblem: Awakening gave players a starring role in the wartime events of the game. Alongside Chrom and a wide array of compelling characters, you participated in tactical battles to determine the fate of the world. Awakening was a great step towards inviting newcomers to the series with its casual mode. This mode, unlike most other Fire Emblem games, allowed party members to return to your party after being defeated in battle. No worries, however, as the normal rules where death was permanent were still there. Fire Emblem: Awakening sported excellent cutscenes, a brilliant soundtrack, and many hours upon hours of strategic gameplay for all to enjoy.
68) Breath of Fire (SNES, GBA)
One of the earliest RPGs we can remember enjoying was Breath of Fire. Now, it has since been surpassed by many of its contemporaries, but we still hold a special place in our hearts for the game. After his hometown was set ablaze and his sister was taken from the village, Ryu went on a journey to rid the land of the sinister Dark Dragon Clan, which has caused nothing but death and destruction in its wake. Ryu's journey in Breath of Fire would have him come cross seven unique characters, some human, some animal, some half of each. Breath of Fire was a collaboration between Capcom (who owns the IP) and Squaresoft, and it remains an excellent RPG to play. After all, who wouldn't want to transform into a powerful fire-breathing dragon?
67) GoldenEye 007 (N64)
A game that was years in the making, originally going to be modeled after games like Virtua Cop, GoldenEye 007 is seen as one of the most important games in first-person shooter history. The reason for this is that it single-handedly made it clear that the genre could work on home consoles, outside of its normal grounds, on the PC. While many shooters have outdone GoldenEye 007 since (one of which will be on this list in several weeks), there is still no denying how fantastic Rare's Nintendo 64 James Bond project is. The game had players assume the role of James Bond, completing missions through satisfying objectives (the harder the difficulty meant a greater amount of objectives to complete), and blowing away any enemy that got in the way. By far the most endearing part of GoldenEye 007 was the intricate multiplayer mode, where four players could shoot and snipe one another in a handful of well designed arenas. When it comes to James Bond games, nobody does it better than GoldenEye 007.
66) Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate (Wii U)
The thrill of the hunt hit the Wii U, and did so in a big way. Essentially an expansion pack to the Wii game, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate took monster hunting to its best heights yet. Being able to hop online and team up with up to three other players (with voice chat included) to take down some massive beast was something that was absolutely exciting. Monster Hunter was always a series you could lose 300 hours to, and MH3U was no different, as you could grind monsters to get that much desired rare drop to make that much desired rare suit of armor or weapon. If you're the type of gamer who button mashes his or her own way through games, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate will not be kind to you. That said, if you're willing to learn the ropes, MH3U is a seemingly infinitely rewarding game and the definitive Monster Hunter experience.
65) Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow (DS)
Castlevania's debut on the Nintendo DS was a cause for celebration, as Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow delivered with its action-adventure gameplay, RPG-style leveling up and loot, and an immense amount of souls to capture. These said souls were collected by defeating enemies. Sure, you had to grind certain ones to finally get that hard-to-obtain soul, but at least you'd be leveling up in the process. Dawn of Sorrow made it so it's hard for us to play a Castlevania or Metroid game on any other system due to the fact that the map was always in sight on the bottom screen while the gameplay action took place on top. And how about those bosses? Such behemoth-sized creatures, each with their own difficult patterns to learn and master. Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow may not the perfect Castlevania experience, but it's one of our favorite nonetheless.
64) Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PS2, XBX, PC)
Welcome to the jungle-- the concrete jungle, that is. The Grand Theft Auto series has had plenty of groundbreaking games, but our personal favorite would have to be Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. The sheer size of the state of San Andreas was absolutely massive, containing three large cities, multiple towns, and a wide range of topography, from deserts to mountains, to rolling hills. We loved the customization options of C.J., making him feel like an extension of ourselves rather than a player we were merely controlling. We loved the wackiness of missions and the humor, both of which were toned down in Grand Theft Auto IV (one reason we don't like that game as much). The mission variety was stellar, the characters were entertaining (and had one that we couldn't wait to get revenge on, Officer Tenpenny), and the story kept us engaged from C.J.'s not-so-humble beginnings on Grove Street to the very end. We are chomping at the bit to return to Los Santos with Grand Theft Auto V when it releases this September.
63) Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver (DS)
Remakes of the Game Boy Color classics, Pokemon Gold and Pokemon Silver, Pokemon HeartGold and Pokemon SoulSilver allowed budding Pokemaniacs to revisit the land of Johto, battling and catching Pokemon, duking it out with fierce gym leaders and other Pokemon trainers, and exploring the many cities, towns, caverns, routes and destinations with their Pokemon pals. The desire to catch 'em all was still prevalent, and with more Pokemon than ever before (at the time) to collect and trade, Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver remain one of our favorite duos of Pokemon titles, if only for the nostalgia of returning to Johto. We cannot wait for the new generation of Pokemon to hit this October with Pokemon X and Pokemon Y.
62) Animal Crossing (GCN)
The first Animal Crossing game actually released in Japan on the Nintendo 64, known as Animal Forest. What we know as Animal Crossing on GameCube in the West was a ported version of Animal Forest, a game that released in 2001. We're not complaining, however, as Animal Crossing is one of our favorite GameCube titles. It was the only game in the series to offer a grid-based town structure, it had a massive amount of dialogue compared to its successors, and it featured NES games to collect and even play. We will probably always hold the original Animal Crossing on a pedestal because of our nostalgia for the game-- fondly thinking of that summer the game released where we lost hundreds of hours playing it. Animal Crossing can become quite the addiction, so be warned if you ever feel like trying out the series. It may seem innocent enough, but you can (and probably will) get hooked.
61) Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (PS2)
Metal Gear Solid 2 was a fun but flawed game, and we did enjoy our time with it. However, its sequel would blow it away to just a mere memory in our minds. Once that James Bond-esque opening credits and accompanying theme started playing, we knew we were in for another one of Hideo Kojima's wild rides. We find the third installment of the series, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, to be the best of the bunch. The story was one that didn't fly too far south for our liking. (We're looking at you, Metal Gear Solid 4). In fact, we positively loved almost every minute of it, especially that heart string-tugging ending. Snake Eater's world was much more expansive than past games, and that meant Snake's stealth repertoire was the largest it had ever been, especially when you consider all of the camouflage options available to him. Last year, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater released on the Nintendo 3DS, and while that version is without a doubt the inferior one compared to all others, we played it anyway just to have an excuse to play through Naked Snake's story once more.
Part four of our list of top 100 games of all time is in the books. Next Wednesday we'll be listing games 60-51 of our sensational five year anniversary celebration countdown!