If you missed a previous edition of our countdown, look no further than these links:
Games of All Time (100-91)
Games of All Time (90-81)
Games of All Time (80-71)
Games of All Time (70-61)
Games of All Time (60-51)
Let's return to the countdown!
50) The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Wii)
This seems to be a love or hate kind of game. Some just can't come to terms with the motion control sword movements of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, while others (such as us) have no problem with them. Years of promises of the potential of the Wii led up to Link's latest adventure. While there was no doubt a good deal of padding within the game, we enjoyed our time with the earliest in the Legend of Zelda franchise. We felt like total bad asses slaying goblins and vicious rooted plants that got in our way, and we enjoyed having to think about our sword movements before attacking. Waggling will definitely get you nowhere in a hurry. Then there's the presentation-- a glorious warm art style with a soundtrack that is one of the series's best. The fandom of the Zelda franchise might be split on this game, but we're in the camp that adores it.
49) Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing (Multi)
Our favorite kart racer of this past generation was Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing. Unlike its sequel that came out last year, Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing had tracks that were easy to see where to go, a cast of characters that we enjoyed (curse you, Sumo Digital, for removing Billy Hatcher and Ryo Hazuki from the roster!), and the game had far less glitches than its successor. We also preferred using SEGA Miles to purchase new content like characters, tracks and music. The track design was spectacular, the mission mode got us hooked and the racing was superior in both fairness and fun to Mario Kart Wii. Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing was a fantastic first effort by Sumo Digital and a love letter to SEGA fans both young and old.
48) Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (GEN)
The original Sonic the Hedgehog was a speedy romp compared to its rival Super Mario World. The sequel turned up the stakes and the speed even more so. The amount of zones in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was around double the amount seen in its predecessor, offering rides through an ocean of oil, a submerged series of ruins and a casino paradise, for starters. It wasn't quantity over quality, however. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 possessed a wide range of wonderfully designed levels for players to endure. The sequel introduced Sonic's best bud Tails (aka Miles "Tails" Prower) into the mix, allowing two players to play through the game together simultaneously. Tails could carry Sonic for a limited amount of time. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is everything a sequel should be-- bigger, better and bolder.
47) Kid Icarus: Uprising (3DS)
One of the most content-rich handheld games of all time, Kid Icarus: Uprising was a game from the mind behind Kirby and Super Smash Bros. that, like Skyward Sword, had its share of lovers and haters. A good portion of players loved the controls, the flight levels and ground-based combat. Others (especially those who are left-handed) found the game to be taxing. We're on the former side. Kid Icarus: Uprising contained 25 chapters of action that was accompanied by some of the wittiest dialogue seen in a video game for a long time. We kept wanting to play not just because we were having fun, but also because we wanted to see what was going to happen next and hear what was going to be said next! We said Uprising was content-rich, and that is very true-- an abundance of achievements that when completed each unlock features, online multiplayer, and a myriad of weapons and skills made for a game that one could easily spend hundreds of hours playing.
46) Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island (SNES)
We're hesitant to call Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island a true Mario game, as it stars Yoshi with Mario is a backup non-playable role. We'd call it more of a Yoshi game than a Mario game, but that's just arguing semantics. That said, Yoshi's Island brought with it a splendid art style that looked quite unlike any game at the time. It featured Yoshi in the leading role, needing to escort Baby Mario, who rides on his back, through the game's various levels. Getting hit meant Baby Mario would start whining and float around in a bubble. If the timer hit zero, Baby Bowser's minions would nab the hero-to-be and you'd have to restart the level from the beginning or a checkpoint. There was a lot of collecting to be had-- red coins, flowers and stars-- all used to get that much desired score of 100 on each level. Yoshi could swallow enemies to create eggs, which could then be used to attack foes from afar and interact with other objects. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island is one of Nintendo's finest platformers on the Super Nintendo, and it's criminal that we have yet to see it appear on the Virtual Console in its original form.
45) Crash Team Racing (PS1)
Following hot off the heels (or is it wheels?) of Diddy Kong Racing, Naughty Dog decided to take the Crash Bandicoot license and give the wild mascot a set of wheels of his own. The end result was Crash Team Racing, one of the best mascot kart racers that isn't Mario Kart. Though you began with buy eight characters, you could unlock more for a total of fifteen manic racers. The main attraction to CTR was the story mode, modeled after Diddy Kong Racing. In it, you competed in various race types, from normal races to races where you had to nab the letters C, T, and R and cross the finish line in first place. Outside of the story mode, many sleepless nights were had, passing around the controllers as family and friends raced and raged against one another, vying for first place and bragging rights. Crash Team Racing would be the final Crash Bandicoot Naughty Dog would develop, but what a way to go out!
44) Rayman Origins (Multi)
The origins of Rayman returned to what the series was known best as-- a terrific 2D platforming series that looked and played darned nice. That was exactly what Rayman Origins offered, a game that you can find on almost every past generation platform under the sun. It was just a fun time running, jumping, and slapping across the 40+ levels Rayman Origins contained. Adding to the fun was the prospect of multiplayer, which made the game easier and even more entertaining than playing alone. By far the most appealing levels were the treasure chase levels. These had you needing to have perfect runs as you chased a treasure chest through a platforming obstacle course. Don't forget about the gorgeous graphics and stellar music that wrapped up Rayman Origins in a nice and neat package. With how much we enjoyed Rayman Origins, is there any wonder why the news of Rayman Legends being delayed six months totally bummed us out?
43) Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3)
Nathan Drake returned, but this time he brought even more friends into the fold. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is our favorite of Naughty Dog's premiere PlayStation 3 franchise. The pacing was pitch perfect in this roller coaster of a action-adventure ride. Uncharted 2 feels like an interactive movie with all of the spectacle and fascinating set pieces a Hollywood blockbuster could give you, but with much more control and interaction. As for the gameplay, among Thieves had the series's stupendous mix of shooting, platforming, climbing, and puzzle solving, all tied neatly together by an entertaining story and stellar dialogue. When the campaign was cleared and you wanted a taste of something fresh, Uncharted 2 contained both online cooperative and competitive multiplayer to treat players to action-packed shootouts with friends and total strangers. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves delivered a healthy dose of excitement to the majority of players who inserted the disc into their PlayStation 3s.
42) LittleBigPlanet 2 (PS3)
We gave the original LittleBigPlanet our game of the year award in 2008. LittleBigPlanet 2 didn't quite reach those heights (though it still won runner-up for the game of the year category), but we love the sequel all the same. What you got with LittleBigPlanet 2 was everything you loved about the original only with much more content, features, and creative abilities. We're glad LittleBigPlanet 2 doesn't have a counter displaying how much time we've spent in the creation mode, as we would no doubt be embarrassed or depressed with regard to how many days we've spent in there. The level of complexity that a given person could put into their levels was mind-boggling. The community constantly shows off how amazing it is, creating not only fantastic platforming levels, but things like first-person shooters and spectacular cutscenes that make some other game's cutscenes look like student films. LittleBigPlanet 2 successfully expanded on its predecessor and made for one of the most wonderful creative communities on consoles-- one that a person might say rivals what is found on PCs.
41) Xenoblade Chronicles (Wii)
Nintendo purchased Monolith Soft, the makers of the Xenosaga series. After working on games like Soma Bringer and Disaster: Day of Crisis (both of which never made it to North America), the team worked on their best project yet, and one of the best JRPGs in the modern era, Xenoblade Chronicles. The combat felt like an MMO-lite, the world to explore was absolutely massive-- spanning miles, and the little things like fast travel and changing the time of day made for extra convenience and less headaches. Death in the game didn't mean you had to restart from your last save point. Instead, you would return to a continue point with all of the experience you had acquired-- something very kind to players and making all the hard work not for naught. Perhaps the only complaints one could have regarding Xenoblade Chronicles is how some side quests aren't very meaningful, and that the game didn't appear on more powerful hardware. That said, Xenoblade Chronicles is still plenty impressive HD or not.
We've crossed over the halfway point of our countdown of our favorite video games of all time. As always, come here next Wednesday for the next ten games on our list.