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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

36. Baldur's Gate
1998 -- BioWare & Interplay


There was a somewhat brief (but anguishing) period in gaming when the RPG was deemed dead and buried. Fortunately for us, the masters of the art at BioWare didn't heed the warnings and began work on what has become a benchmark title of the genre. Many give it credit for breathing new life back into the CRPG and, to some extent, to their pen-and-paper counterparts. By providing the most accurate representation of a pen-and-paper Dungeons & Dragons experience of it's time, Baldur's Gate became an instant classic for any fan of the genre. The incredible amounts of fully rendered artwork served as the true backdrop of the imagination. The engine itself - featuring tons of classes, spells, and a somewhat non-linear, multi-threaded storyline - went on to power other BioWare games and revolutionized the scene.

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    35. X-COM: UFO Defense
    1994 -- MicroProse & Mythos Games


    X-COM: UFO Defense is easily one of the best turn-based games of tactical strategy ever designed. What made it so special was its combination of 1950's alien pop culture, splendid graphics and sound, and a level of depth never before seen in a tactical squad-based strategy game. Tracking down crashed alien spacecraft and leading a team of soldiers into the hot zone to investigate was an exhilarating experience. However, there was more to it than just combat. You also had to create bases and build them up so as to take advantage of the artifacts that you find after investigating alien ships and corpses. The level of depth was truly astonishing. And it was a smash hit. Spawning several sequels, X-COM remains just as playable today as it was seven years ago--proving that stellar game design can withstand the test of time.

    Ken Levine, Irrational Games: "Sort of like my first love. There has not been and perhaps never will be anything like it. It plays differently every time, has a fully destructible environment (in 1994, no less!) and great atmosphere. A turn-based game that can make you jump. Pretty amazing."

    Mark Asher, freelance writer: "The best combination ever of strategic and tactical gameplay, with the pop culture zeitgeist of aliens and UFOs tossed in."

    Floyd Grubb, Quicksilver Software: "Turn-based squad level tactics with a research tree? Sign me up! This game was truly brilliant and has one of my favorite intro movies of all time."

  • GameSpy Hall of Fame Induction: February 2000


    Gaming's Premier Developers' Top 10 Lists
    Ed del Castillo
    Liquid Entertainment

    1. Sundog (Atari 800XL)
    2. Sea Battle (Intellivision)
    3. Gladiators "Glad" (Apple II)
    4. Archon (Atari 800XL)
    5. Sid Meier's Pirates (Macintosh)
    6. Sword of the Samurai (PC)
    7. Galaxians (Arcade)
    8. Ultima 3 (Atari 800)
    9. Combat (Atari 2600)
    10. Civilization (PC)
    Randy Pitchford
    Gearbox Software

    1. DooM I and II
    2. Super Mario 64
    3. Legend of Zelda: Link from the Past
    4. Half-Life
    5. The Bard's Tale
    6. Wing Commander II
    7. Ultima V
    8. Civilization
    9. Military Madness (TG16)
    10. Collosal Cave Adventure


    34. Wing Commander
    1990 -- Origin


    The course of space combat games changed forever from the moment Wing Commander graced store shelves in 1990. The fantastically fun "flight" simulator placed you in the shoes of a rookie pilot in the 27th century, fighting against the cat-like Kilrathi for the survival of mankind. While a familiar plot in games as well as movies, the story was told through amazing cut-scenes -- a first for many PC gamers as 16-color EGA was giving way to 256-color VGA. The story progressed regardless of the outcome of the individual missions, helping to completely immerse you in the story. Wing Commander was as impressive to the ears as to the eyes. It featured a wonderful dynamic soundtrack that played a part in establishing the Sound Blaster dynasty, even as it prepared to build its own...

    Kenn Hoekstra, Raven Software: "Wing Commander blew me away when I first saw it. Graphics-wise and story-wise, it was like nothing I'd ever seen. I really enjoyed the seemingly open-ended nature of the missions. The "kill board" was cool, as were the various promotions, medals and citations you could receive. I loved the fact that your performance in the game not only reflected your personal record as a soldier, but also determined the fate of your wingmen and helped determine the outcome of the overall war with the Kilrathi. There were also a great deal of very subtle game play elements to be found, none of which were lost on me. I played the original Wing Commander for countless hours in college, much to the chagrin of some of my professors. It was the first PC game I was truly addicted to."

    Bill Roper, Blizzard Entertainment: "This is the only game where I bought a new system just to be able to play. Wing Commander was a space combat simulation, but it was really so much more. It had a cast of characters who would actually live or die depending on how well you fought. It featured a branching campaign that could take two separate courses, again depending on your success or failure in your missions. Your actions truly influenced the outcome of the game and that was an amazing innovation in PC gaming."

  • GameSpy Hall of Fame Induction: December 2000

    Next: C&C...

       


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