You may have seen the recent #7FirstJobs trend going around your favorite social networks. Today, a new spin on that trend started taking shape on Twitter, this time asking users to list their seven favorite games of all time. The Fandom Games team took the bait and sat down to come up with our #7FaveGames. It may not sound too difficult, but narrowing down our list of favorite games to a mere seven was a monumental task. There were just too many amazing games that were going to get left off the list. With that in mind, and with all due respect to the many games that couldn’t make the cut, here are the Fandom Games staff’s #7FaveGames, listed in chronological order by release date.
Matthew Allen, Executive Games Editor
I play a bit of everything, so for my list of #7FaveGames I wanted to ensure I had a variety of genres represented. This actually made creating the list more difficult in one regard, because for a few of these I had to choose my favorite representative of some all-time classic franchises. How does one choose between Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World, for example? Or pick a favorite Zelda game? It was tough, and no doubt I will keep wanting to go back and change an entry or two, but here our my #7FaveGames… for now.
Super Mario Bros. 3
Street Fighter II
I have to go with the original Street Fighter II to represent my love of fighting games. It was the first game I can remember that had people lining up at arcades waiting to play. I have fond memories of edging my way to the front of the line, placing a quarter on the machine, and (in my mind, at least) boldly proclaiming “I got next.”
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
While I opted for a 2D entry with Mario, I went with Zelda’s first foray into 3D, Ocarina of Time. This game defines the Nintendo 64 for me, and while it may not have broken new ground in terms of structure or plot, it refined everything previously done in the Zelda series to perfection.
Burnout 3: Takedown
I love driving games both of the sim and arcade variety. The Burnout series is one of my favorite arcade racers, and its unique risk/reward dynamic of building up your boost meter by driving recklessly, coupled with its awe-inspiring crash sequences set it apart from other racing games. Burnout 3: Takedown was the pinnacle of the series for me when it introduced Takedowns and Crashbreakers. There was nothing like stringing together a combo of Takedowns, then ending it all with a Crashbreaker to cause as much destruction as possible.
World of Warcraft
Any game that takes up as many hours of my life as World of Warcraft deserves to be on this list. It was my first MMO experience, and I lost myself in the lore and sheer amount of things to do in the game.While I’ve managed to remove the needle from my arm and move on to other games, I’d be lying if I said the tempting allure of Legion arriving later this month wasn’t calling to me.
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
My first Elder Scrolls experience was with Morrowind, but that game was just too difficult to get into at the time (probably because it crashed every few minutes). Oblivion, on the other hand, got its hooks in good. This and Skyrim after it delivered on the promise of making me feel like I was truly role-playing and that the decisions I made while playing mattered and had lasting effects on the game world.
Red Dead Redemption
This is my favorite game of the last generation. Red Dead Redemption nailed the look and tone of classic spaghetti westerns. It also happened to have a huge, sprawling world with a ton to do, interesting characters, and some of the best gunplay ever seen in an open world game.
Henry Gilbert, Senior Games Editor
Picking just seven different games as my favorites wasn’t easy, and I ultimately had to go with what games had the most powerful effect on me over the thousands of hours I’ve spent gaming. And not just one playthrough either, because I’ve jumped back into almost all of these games more than once.
Role-playing games might just be my favorite genre of all gaming, and there are multiple titles from both Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy franchises that I could include on a #7favegames. Then I realized I could have the best of both worlds by including Chrono Trigger, the SNES release that was a collaborative creation of the Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy developers, with all the best RPG qualities of both stories wrapped up in one timeless adventure.
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island
The Super Mario series has been my personal favorite since I first plugged in my NES, but it was real hard to pick a favorite 2D entry. Definitely, Super Mario Bros. 3 or Super Mario World could go here, but instead I went with the vibrant, crayon-colored world of Yoshi’s Island. The late era SNES game was the pinnacle of the work the Nintendo developers had been perfecting since the first Mario title, and it deserves to be among my top 7.
Super Mario Galaxy 2
But 2D Mario titles are only half of the equation, and I wanted to include the best 3D platformer of the mustachioed mascot, and Super Mario Galaxy 2. The sequel not only enhanced all the clever gameplay concepts of the original, but it added a mountain of new ideas that made the aging Wii system feel as lively as any current system.
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
Legend of Zelda deserved a space on here, and after completing this adventure multiple times on two different consoles, The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker is the best of the bunch. I love how the story explores Zelda’s dense lore, as well as the sailing adding a new twist to exploration. And the cel-shaded art style has made it Link’s most timeless title.
Advance Wars: Dual Strike
I could play this tactical title all day every day, as evidenced by my 250 hours logged into Advance Wars: Dual Strike. This strategy game is endlessly replayable and features cute visuals and catchy tunes to match its engrossing gameplay.
Who thought the day-to-day life of a Japanese high schooler would be so compelling? This hardcore RPG has all the dungeon-crawling you could want, but it’s Persona 4‘s storytelling and characterization that makes you never want it to end. By the time the credits roll, you’ve come to know your classmates better than you know most people in real life.
Super Meat Boy
In the place of any traditional, challenging sidescroller like Castlevania or Mega Man 2, I figured I’d include the modern equivalent instead. Super Meat Boy is a tribute to those 8-bit classics, but with a modern sensibility and a tough-but-fair difficult gameplay. Who thought a cube of meat could inspire such dedication?
Jorge Albor, Games Editor
This list of my favorite games is always changing, but these seven are always jockeying for position in my Top 10. Each of these is a masterpiece in its own way.
To this day, Chrono Trigger is the most daring and touching JRPG ever made. I’ll never know why more developers haven’t just stolen ideas and mechanics from Chrono Trigger entirely. Believe the hype.
Ico was the first game that showed me how awe-inspiring and evocative video games could be.
Red Dead Redemption
Steeped in the mythology of the American West, Red Dead Redemption is the best example of the way games can incorporate and thoughtfully comment on real world history and culture.
I replay Journey every year on the anniversary of its release. It’s a silent and deeply emotional experience about life, death, and the art of storytelling.
The perfect game. Seriously. Spelunky is a small indie game that crafts a simple and endlessly interesting system. This is the finest work of game craftsmanship every created.
The pinnacle of the Soulsborne franchise for me, and the first game in the series that “clicked” and got me hooked. I firmly believe Bloodborne will make you a better person.
Bastion was the first title from Supergiant Games, and yet they honed to perfection the brawler genre, adding a rich and interesting story.