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Updating Slant Magazine’s List of the 100 Greatest Video Games of All Time

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Updating Slant Magazine’s List of the 100 Greatest Video Games of All Time

Rockstar Games

Four years ago—which can seem like a lifetime in the world of video games—Slant Magazine published its list of the 100 Greatest Video Games of All Time. Today, we have updated our list, the result of much back and forth among the site’s current game contributors. We feel that the differences between the old and new lists say as much about where the site’s game section is today as they do about where the medium of video games has come since our original list was published on June 9, 2014.

For the sake of posterity, we are presenting below the introduction, by Calum Marsh, to our original list, followed by the 100 tittles that made that list.

It’s difficult to forget that “all time,” as video games are concerned, isn’t a very long time at all. This fact poses something of a unique list-making challenge: How do you size up, let alone rank numerically, the history of a medium still more or less in its infancy? How, for instance, do you compare the limited efficiencies of an 8-bit side-scroller to the gleaming HD vistas of a next-gen open world? How do you survey everything that video games are capable of, every idiosyncratic way they’ve been shaped and contorted, and come up with a list that accommodates all of it? How do you account for outmoded styles or formats, or obsolete technologies, or milestones beginning to show their age? The evolutionary considerations alone are staggering. Consider the extremes: How do you compare Portal to Pong?

Well, it may be that this sort of flattening of historical perspective is impossible, at least without serious concessions to personal conviction, but in any case, those of us who contributed to this list felt it in our collective best interest not to tip the scales in favor of honoring the past. We wanted to exalt those games we each felt are most exemplary of the medium’s virtues, whether they be richly emotional narrative experiences or invigorating bouts of tactile fun. It stands to reason that as this medium enters early maturity it will reach new heights of artistry and sophistication. The landmarks and breakthroughs of gaming history—those prototypal games whose influence continues to loom over contemporary mechanics and design—are the shoulders on which every modern developer sits, forever stretching up to something new. In other words, video games keep getting better.

1. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998)
2. Chrono Trigger (1995)
3. Super Metroid (1994)
4. Red Dead Redemption (2010)
5. Shadow of the Colossus (2005)
6. Half-Life 2 (2004)
7. Portal 2 (2011)
8. Braid (2008)
9. The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask (2000)
10. BioShock (2007)
11. Goldeneye 007 (1997)
12. Ōkami (2006)
13. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (2003)
14. Mass Effect 2 (2010)
15. Silent Hill 2 (2001)
16. Final Fantasy VII (1997)
17. Super Mario World (1990)
18. Portal (2007)
19. Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars (1996)
20. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (1991)
21. EarthBound (1994)
22. SoulCalibur (1999)
23. Final Fantasy X (2001)
24. Ico (2001)
25. Resident Evil 4 (2005)
26. Super Mario Bros. (1985)
27. Metroid Prime (2002)
28. Rez (2002)
29. Pokémon Red and Blue (1998)
30. The Walking Dead (2012)
31. Tetris (1986)
32. Batman: Arkham City (2011)
33. Super Smash Bros. Melee (2001)
34. Dance Dance Revolution (1998)
35. Power Stone 2 (2000)
36. Rock Band 3 (2010)
37. Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem (2002)
38. Banjo-Kazooie (1998)
39. Final Fantasy VI (1994)
40. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (2009)
41. Psychonauts (2005)
42. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (1997)
43. Super Mario 64 (1996)
44. Katamari Damacy (2004)
45. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island (1995)
46. Final Fantasy IX (2000)
47. Max Payne (2001)
48. Journey (2012)
49. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (2012)
50. Bayonetta (2010)
51. The World Ends with You (2008)
52. Chrono Cross (2000)
53. Final Fantasy Tactics (1998)
54. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (2008)
55. Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes (2000)
56. Mass Effect 3 (2012)
57. Xenogears (1998)
58. Conker’s Bad Fur Day (2001)
59. Hotline Miami (2012)
60. Deus EX: Human Revolution (2001)
61. You Don’t Know Jack! (1995)
62. Star Fox 64 (1997)
63. Silent Hill (1999)
64. Donkey Kong Country (1994)
65. Vagrant Story (2000)
66. Beyond Good & Evil (2003)
67. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (2007)
68. Street Fighter II: Championship Edition (1992)
69. Amplitude (2003)
70. Grand Theft Auto V (2013)
71. Shenmue (2000)
72. Grand Theft Auto IV (2008)
73. Jet Set Radio (2000)
74. Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (2001)
75. Grim Fandango (1998)
76. Viewtiful Joe (2003)
77. Myst (1993)
78. Kingdom Hearts II (2006)
79. Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King (2005)
80. Snatcher (1994)
81. Rayman Legends (2013)
82. Halo 3 (2007)
83. The Beatles: Rock Band (2009)
84. Grandia II (2000)
85. Child of Eden (2011)
86. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (2004)
87. God of War III (2010)
88. Devil May Cry 3: Dante’s Awakening (2005)
89. Valkyrie Profile (2000)
90. Saints Row: The Third (2011)
91. Halo: Combat Evolved (2001)
92. Fallout 3 (2008)
93. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time (1992)
94. Advance Wars: Dual Strike (2005)
95. Dead Space (2008)
96. Pokémon Gold and Silver (2000)
97. Wild Arms (1996)
98. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (2005)
99. Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium (1995)
100. Worms Armageddon (1999)