The 30 best Nintendo 64 games

This is the ninth in my ’30 Best’ series of articles in which I discuss my favourite games ever on a system-by-system basis for the first time in my career. In case you missed them, the full list of other ’30 Best’ articles can be found at the bottom of this page.

’30 Best’ will now be a regular series, thanks to my lovely Patreon followers helping me reach a stretch goal. If you want to contribute, please visit my Patreon page.

Few retro games consoles are as fondly remembered as the Nintendo 64.

The history books list it as the system that was thoroughly trounced by the PlayStation, but with over 32 million sold – more than the Sega Mega Drive – its influence was still notable.

Nowhere was this influence clearer than in some of the games exclusive to the system. The N64 marked Nintendo’s first proper foray into polygonal gaming (I know, the Super FX chip, but whatever), and with it came a bunch of new concepts that would go on to shape the games we play today. Continue reading “The 30 best Nintendo 64 games”

The 30 best Wii U games

This is the eighth in my ’30 Best’ series of articles in which I discuss my favourite games ever on a system-by-system basis for the first time in my career. In case you missed them, the full list of other ’30 Best’ articles can be found at the bottom of this page.

’30 Best’ will now be a regular series, thanks to my lovely Patreon followers helping me reach a stretch goal. If you want to contribute and help me reach my next goal (to start a Tired Old Hack podcast), please visit my Patreon page.

wii-uThere’s a saying in gaming when it comes to Nintendo. Well, there isn’t really but I’m making it up now and I’ve decided it should be one.

When Nintendo does well, it does really well. Look at the Wii, the DS, the SNES, the Game Boy Advance.

But when it does badly – the GameCube, the Virtual Boy – it does really badly, finishing a distant last place against its competitors.

Such was the fate of the Wii U, a console that arrived on the heels of the wildly successful Wii and somehow went on to undo all the fine work Nintendo’s motion-sensitive phenomenon had managed. Continue reading “The 30 best Wii U games”

The 30 best Vita games

This is the seventh in my ’30 Best’ series of articles in which I discuss my favourite games ever on a system-by-system basis for the first time in my career. In case you missed them, the full list of other ’30 Best’ articles can be found at the bottom of this page.

’30 Best’ will now be a monthly series, thanks to my lovely Patreon followers helping me reach a stretch goal. If you want to contribute and help me reach my next goal (to start a Tired Old Hack podcast), please visit my Patreon page.

ps_vita_front_side_sony“I didn’t even know it had 30 games!”

This was the predictable reply I got from all manner of clever individuals every time I informed my Twitter followers that my next ’30 Best’ article would be dedicated to the Sony PlayStation Vita.

It’s little wonder, to be fair. Sony abandoned its handheld quicker than David Cameron abandons his children in pubs, which led to the understandable consensus that the Vita was dead before its library had a chance to grow.

In reality, the Vita does have 30 great games. Indeed, it’s got plenty more than that: I’ve added another 15 at the end of this list for good measure, and even then there were some I had to leave out. Continue reading “The 30 best Vita games”

The 30 best SNES games

This is the sixth in my ’30 Best’ series of articles in which I discuss my favourite games ever on a system-by-system basis for the first time in my career. In case you missed them, I’ve already covered the 30 best Wii games30 best Amiga games30 best DS games30 best GameCube games and 30 best Dreamcast games.

’30 Best’ will now be a monthly series, thanks to my lovely Patreon followers helping me reach a stretch goal. If you want to contribute and help me reach my next goal (to start a Tired Old Hack podcast), please visit my Patreon page.

SNES
The European and Japanese SNES, with its lovely coloured buttons

It says a lot about the Super Nintendo Entertainment System that more than a quarter century after it first launched, there are still some who claim it’s the greatest games console that ever existed.

It’s easy to see their point. The SNES was host to a wide number of technically impressive games, many of which redefined existing genres or created entirely new ones altogether. Continue reading “The 30 best SNES games”

The 30 best Wii games

This is the fifth in my ’30 Best’ series of articles in which I discuss my favourite games ever on a system-by-system basis for the first time. In case you missed them, I’ve already covered the 30 best Amiga games30 best DS games30 best GameCube games and 30 best Dreamcast games.

As before, because this is my own personal list and not a collaborative effort for a magazine or website, there will be some glaring omissions of games I simply didn’t play or didn’t like. So don’t lose your shit if Trauma Center isn’t on here – it’s just not one of my personal favourites.

If one of your own recommendations isn’t on the list, feel free to give it a shoutout in the comments below (politely though, mind) and tell everyone what it meant to you.

wiiThere are a number of so-called ‘gamers’ who are keen on rewriting history and suggesting the Wii was the console that single-handedly ruined ‘gaming’ for everyone.

In reality, the Wii was the most important console since the original PlayStation, in that it opened up gaming to an entirely new audience. But of course, you don’t need me to tell you that: you’re a lovely smart person.

To some this expansion of the audience was a bad thing: there are those who will tell you the Wii introduced the concept of ‘casual’ gaming which started with party games and eventually led to mobile free-to-play mania.

These people suggest that, one or two games aside, the Wii was swimming in casual titles and was sorely lacking in ‘proper’ games. These people are idiots. Continue reading “The 30 best Wii games”

Xbox One backwards compatibility – the 20 best XBLA games to play now

Xbox-One-backward-compatibilityThe first batch of backwards compatible games launches on Xbox One on Thursday, giving players the chance to play 104 titles from the Xbox 360 catalogue on Microsoft’s current-gen console.

Some of these are retail games: the likes of Assassin’s Creed II, Fallout 3, the entire Gears Of War saga and the first Mass Effect (but not the other two, oddly) are in there.

These are well-known titles so chances are you don’t need a hack like me (tired and old or otherwise) to tell you if they’re any good.

However, the vast majority of games on the list are Xbox Live Arcade (XBLA) games – titles that were only made available to buy digitally through the Xbox 360’s online storefront. Some are relatively new, others stretch all the way back to the Xbox 360’s launch a decade ago.

If you’re a long-time Xbox 360 owner then these titles will be familiar to you, but if Xbox One is your first Microsoft console – or even if you’ve only had a 360 for the last couple of years – there may be a few that don’t ring a bell.

With that in mind, I’ve put together this list of the 20 XBLA games on the backwards compatible list that I personally consider must-owns. In alphabetical order, mind: I can’t be arsed with any “number 17? It should have been 16 you prick” nonsense. Continue reading “Xbox One backwards compatibility – the 20 best XBLA games to play now”

The 30 best Amiga games

This is the fourth in my ’30 Best’ series of articles in which I discuss my favourite games ever on a system-by-system basis for the first time. In case you missed them, I’ve already covered the 30 best DS games30 best GameCube games and 30 best Dreamcast games.

As before, because this is my own personal list and not a collaborative effort for a magazine or website, there will be some glaring omissions of games I simply didn’t play or didn’t like. So yes, I know SimCity and Civilization aren’t on there: deal widdit, as the kids say.

If one of your favourites isn’t on the list, feel free to give it a shoutout in the comments below (politely though, mind) and tell everyone what it meant to you.

Xbox One versus PS4? Pffft. Xbox 360 versus PS3? Load of pish. Mega Drive versus SNES? Wouldn’t wipe my balls with it.

The Amiga 500, the first major Amiga model
The Amiga 500, the first major Amiga model

The two biggest wars among gamers – in the UK, at least – were between computer owners, not console owners.

The ’80s saw a brutal three-way battle between the ZX Spectrum (hooray!), the Commodore 64 (yes, well played) and the Amstrad CPC (hahaha, aye, okay mate).

When these systems died out and were replaced by 16-bit computers, the war evolved and two new competitors stepped forward (because nobody counts the Acorn Archimedes).

In the red corner, the Atari ST. In the blue corner, the Commodore Amiga. Continue reading “The 30 best Amiga games”