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GameSpy's Top 50 Games of All Time
We tallied up the votes from our in-house staff, called our favorite developers, crunched the numbers, fought, argued, cursed each other, and finally calculated our list of gaming's best.
By - The GameSpy Staff

20. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
1997 -- Konami

In 1997, it was becoming increasingly apparent that 2D gaming was all but dead. The majority of PlayStation offerings were 3D texture-mapped affairs, and many considered traditional, hand-drawn sprites to be a thing of the past. Oddly enough, it was into this vaguely hostile environment that Konami released Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. SOTN was unlike any Castlevania game that had come before, as it grafted Action/RPG-style statistics and play mechanics onto the traditional platforming gameplay. Add in razor-sharp control, an immense gameworld, hundreds of items and a beautiful soundtrack and you have what can best be described as a gothic take on Super Metroid. The unorthodox Castlevania: Symphony of the Night turned out to be the finest Castlevania yet, and one hell of a fun adventure.

Floyd Grubb, Quicksilver Software: "Side scrolling action, RPG-esque stats, hundreds of cool weapons and armor to find, easter eggs, excellent gameplay and storyline. What more could you ask for? Glad you of the best musical scores of any game ever produced backs up this wonderful game."

Kevin Lambert, Monolith Productions: "Classic Castlevania action mixed with a pinch of Zelda-style adventuring? Awesome."

19. Tetris
1986 -- Spectrum Holobyte

It's hard to believe that this game is only 15 years old, because it plays like a classic that has been handed down from antiquity. Millions and millions of copies of the game have been sold, and ported to every computer environment in existence -- cartridges, disks, coin-op arcade cabinets, tapes, etc. Tetris is simple to the point of sheer elegance, and will likely to be played decades from now. Alexey Pazhitnov, thank you.

Scott Miller, 3DRealms: "Tetris is the most perfectly pure computer game ever made. It appeals to both genders equally, is simple to understand but nearly impossible to master, it doesn't rely on graphics technology, and it's appeal is timeless and ongoing. It's probably the most played computer game ever."

Warren Spector, Ion Storm: "Come on, how many other 10+ year old games are you still playing?"

  • GameSpy Hall of Fame Induction: July 2000

    Gaming's Premier Developers' Top 10 Lists
    Scott Miller

    1. Tetris
    2. Pac Man
    3. M.U.L.E.
    4. DOOM
    5. Ultima 3
    6. Planetfall
    7. C&C: Red Alert
    8. Duke Nukem 3D
    9. Robotron
    10. Defender
    Graeme Devine
    id Software

    1. Space Invaders
    2. Dungeon Keeper
    3. Age of Empires
    4. Quake
    5. M.U.L.E.
    6. Tempest
    8. Super Mario 2
    9. Total Annihilation
    10. Homeworld

    18. Deus Ex
    2000 -- Ion Storm, Austin & Eidos

    Deus Ex is, in many ways, the logical progression from Half-Life. Here we have a game that one-ups Valve's masterpiece in many areas. The story is more complex, the characters more fleshed out, the graphics prettier, and the game is orders of magnitude more open-ended. By adding in upgradeable statistics, and the ability to modify your body with nano-augmentations, Ion Storm's Austin office created a lengthy first person title that let you choose your own fate. Charge into a battle guns blazing, snipe your opponents from afar, or sneak around them entirely... the game was what you made of it.

    David Perry, Shiny Entertainment: "The guys at Ion did a kick-ass job on this title. I think of Deus like a meal cooked by a master chef. Yes, it's just made of eggs, flour, meat, spices but in the right proportions and with enough creativity, it can taste really quite special."

    Trent Oster, BioWare: "I played every night until the sun rose until I finished it."

    17. The Bard's Tale
    1985 -- Interplay & Electronic Arts

    The Bard's Tale was a fantasy role-player's dream, at a time when there were few RPGs with graphics on the market. Create your band of motley characters in the town of Skara Brae, and then proceed through mazes and traps and puzzles to save the town from and evil arch mage. The player also had better have good mapping skills, lots of grid paper and erasers. To be honest, there wasn't much role-playing, but the idea of taking a party and doing some hack and slash (with pictures) proved to be a great time. Who could forget opening a door to the room with 4 rows of 99 screaming berserkers! Better have a horn of fire or red dragon handy. Even in death, the game was a blast!

    William Abner, freelance writer: "The mid-80s for me can best be described as, 'The Quest to Win all of the Bard's Tale games." This entire series was remarkable for its time. I have spent too many hours in Skara Brae for my own good."

    Michael Moore, Microsoft Games: "I play this game every few years, just to remind myself of why I liked it. When it came out it wasn't particularly original (Wizardy had established the game style long before), but what set it apart was the incredible balance it achieved. You really got a sense of progress as you cleared out the sewers, leveled your mages and fighters, and found more powerful items. The monsters in the next dungeon were always on the edge of your capabilities, which made the leveling so much more compelling because suddenly you could handle things that had been ripping you to shreds before."

  • GameSpy Hall of Fame Induction: April 2000

    Next: Age of Empires...

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