When Street Fighter 4 arrived in 2009, it gave the fighting game genre a much-needed shot in the arm.
Like I’ve said before, these games – led by the likes of Tekken and Virtua Fighter – had become over-complicated bores that only “enthusiasts” could enjoy.
But SF4 brought back a more simple style, with easy to remember move combinations and the ability for normal people to actually play it.
Sure, if you practiced you could become far better than a casual player (my brother put in the hours and became a lot better than me at it) but this was something fun for everyone.
#54 – Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter (Xbox 360, 2006)
Good maps, easy to set up death matches and – crucially – split screen online multiplayer for up to four people, GRAW was the first true classic game of this generation.
Mind you, it’ll be incredibly dated by now.
#53 – Project Gotham Racing 4 (Xbox 360, 2007)
Like Street Fighter 4, PGR offered an alternative to the more intense and far less interesting games of its genre like Forza or Gran Turismo.
And while it wasn’t as sharp as the likes of the DiRT series in terms of gameplay, the urban settings and variety of cars made it a worthy inclusion to this list.
#52 – Orcs Must Die (PC, 2011)
Now that doesn’t make it the best one, but it’s certainly different and it makes for a more varied playing style.
It’s fun, it’s simple and it looks good.
#51 – Costume Quest (Xbox Live Arcade, 2010)
Just look at the box art!
But it’s also a neat little game, and the perfect example of the sort of thing that Xbox Live Arcade did best.
Playing through this seasonal RPG wouldn’t take long, but what time you did have with it was enjoyable.
#50 Buzz! Quiz TV (PS3, 2008)
While games like the original Buzz, Trivial Pursuit and Scene It were all ones that you could enjoy playing at any get-together, they tended to run out of steam once you’d burned through the questions after a few play-throughs.
Where Buzz! Quiz TV excelled was in the online mode. You could play against another party online or have a go at some of the quizzes that people had uploaded to the internet.
You could even make your own quizzes to let your friends play. Oh we had some fun with that one.
#49 – Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing (Xbox 360, 2010)
If I was to criticise it though, I’d say that it was too easy.
Really, no matter what happened to you during the race, the chances are that by the end of it you’d still win.
A nice try, but Mario Kart still holds the crown.
#48 – Plants vs Zombies (Xbox Live Arcade, 2010)
But what an idea it is.
Plants vs Zombies can be quite a tense affair, as you await enough sunbeams to buy more items, and it also requires a fair amount of strategy and reasoning.
Put simply, there’s a reason why it’s as popular as it is.
#47 – Tiger Woods (Xbox 360, various)
But I haven’t bought a Tiger Woods game for a few years now as there just didn’t seem to be any point. The golfers were always the same, and the courses seemed to be the same as well.
The main difference between each release was that sometimes EA decided to add or tweak a feature that made the whole thing seem a lot worse.
When they got it right though, it was the most realistic golf game out there.
#46 – Zoo Keeper (Nintendo DS, 2005)
While not in any way as deep or as challenging as the Facebook favourite, Zoo Keeper allowed you to play against someone, which is reason enough to include it on the list.
You can still get this on your tablet/smartphone and it’s good for a quick game now and again.
#45 – New Super Mario Brothers Wii (Nintendo Wii, 2009)
That’s not to say that New Super Mario Brothers Wii wasn’t good – of course it was – but a Mario platformer shouldn’t really feature as low down the list as this.
Thankfully Nintendo got their act together again recently.
#44 – Guinness World Records: The Video Game (Nintendo Wii, 2008)
It’s telling that the game we chose to play was Guinness World Records.
Though not the sort of release that gets much mainstream attention, GWR offers a massive amount of mini-games to get through, and presents them in a way that anyone can get the hang of instantly.
There’s not much to it, but it’s enduringly excellent.
#43 – Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts (Xbox 360, 2008)
I guess one of the reasons people don’t talk about it in the same wistful way as the first two BK games is because it changed the formula to be about crazy vehicle building rather than pure platforming.
And I won’t lie, I would rather it had been that way too, but what we got was more than ok in my book.
It looked fantastic as well.
#42 – Super Paper Mario (Nintendo Wii, 2007)
I tend to find though that the Paper Mario games require a bit of patience to start off with though, and if I recall correctly, I actually gave up on this before going back for more a month or two later.
I’m glad I did.
#41 – Kingdom Rush HD (iOS/Android, 2011)
I instantly said Kingdom Rush.
I’d never actually played a Tower Defence game before I gave this a go last year whilst struck down with the flu, but I was hugely impressed.
Indeed, for a couple of days, Kingdom Rush was my life.
Notice though I said “A couple of days”. Replay value isn’t the best for this, and that’s why it’s only the third highest mobile game on my list.
And One That Doesn’t Make It – Total War: Shogun 2
Oh, and a PC resource hog too.
Not for me, thank you.
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