Opinion: My Top 111 (91 – 101)

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91) Perfect Dark
+ For its time, an incredibly robust and engaging multiplayer mode
+ Joanna Dark is a great protagonist
+ The first 2/3 of the solo campaign is excellent, evolving on the map and objective designs from Goldeneye
+ A ton of great weapons, gadgets and tools that makes working through the levels and multi a pleasure
– The last 1/3 of the game devolves into long winded maps and less focused territory that I don’t like anywhere as much as the rest
– Elvis is this game’s Natalya, except he’s capable of obnoxious speech on top of faulty AI
– Disappointing final boss thanks to unclear directive towards attacking objects in the arena, not the actual Skedar King

92) Phoenix Wright: Trials and Tribulations
+ Of the DS trilogy of Wright’s courtroom exploits, this is by far the most polished and gripping
+ Excellent characters thanks to solid dialogue and top-notch costume design
+ Surprisingly emotional and compelling narrative makes each case a wondrous experience
+ Godot is freaking great
– Some localization issues sap some of the punch out of the game’s otherwise exquisite writing
– Occasional gaps in evidence clues or bizarre jumps in logic can grind progress to a halt
– Punishment system for making an incorrect guess feels unnecessary due to the freedom to save anywhere — just let me enjoy solving crimes, Capcom!

93) Portal 2
+ My god the story and characters in this game are nigh perfect
+ Co-op! That’s unique from solo!
+ Continues the excellence its predecessor began in terms of first-person puzzling
+ Solving some of these puzzles is pure euphoria
– Lacks the mind-breaking spark of the original (like any game could ever recapture that lightning twice)

94) Rayman Legends
+ Manages to build beautifully from Rayman Origins to be one of the best 2D platformers in years
+ Gorgeous visuals and amazing music
+ Includes much of Origins as extra content
+ Clever, amazing boss fights that are so satisfying to conquer
– Sometimes the timing is too tight in a couple areas, making clearing something a pain
– Barbara is a great addition, but did she and her Viking cousins all need to be kidnapped?

95) Resident Evil 2
+ Moves the zombie invasion from a deserted mansion out in the boonies to a dynamic city, making the chaos of an outbreak much more realistic and impactful
+ G and Mr. X are two excellent antagonistic forces
+ Leon and Claire are the best heroes this franchise has produced
+ Lots of replay due to the swap system
– Tank controls, while designed to up the tension, can cause unneeded frustration
– As can the forced camera transitions depending on your placement in a particular space

96) Saint’s Row IV
+ Fucking crazy in almost entirely the best ways possible
+ Gameplay bliss that is almost unrivaled in the open-world sphere
+ A fairly likable supporting cast and a great creation engine for your Boss
+ Worth seeing to the end just to witness some of the best gaming parodies within a game ever
– Sometimes crosses the “being crass just to get a rise out of you” border
– The super powers render the guns and cars nearly pointless..but hey, they’re there if you want them I guess

97) Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse
+ Wayforward’s beautiful sprite work is on full mastery here
+ Jake Kaufman delivers a splendid soundtrack
+ Adopts a Metroidvania format to great effect
+ Controls like a dream
– The final stage may be a little much…high in precision and low in joy
– Rottytops’ runner bit is too fucking long and demanding
– The costuming designs and forced sexy princess segment pushes fanservice way too goddamn much

98) Shinobi III: The Ninja Master
+ Dynamic action sequences that mix up various gameplay superbly
+ Looks fantastic
+ The 3DS version gives Joe better control options for his attacks, drastically improving the combat
– The Genesis version, however, makes all attacks one button, and it’s a definite downer
– Some bosses are a little cheap

99) Sid Meier’s Pirates!
+ A delightful simulation of seafaring and piracy
+ Building an armada of ships and fighting off rivals in sea battles are awesome
+ Goofy sense of humor
+ Excellent music helps the atmosphere
– Raids suck oh my god do they suck
– Sword fights are okay, but I feel that they could have been implemented much better
– A bit glitchy

100) Silent Hill 2
+ Amazing narrative that tackles psychological depths most games can’t even fathom
+ A “mature” game that actually means it — issues of sex and violence are explored in a smart and philosophical manner
+ Akira Yamaoka is a god and this soundtrack proves it
+ Atmosphere for days
– Not the smoothest game to control
– Some voicework is rough to put it nicely

101) Sin & Punishment: Star Successor
+ Behind-the-back shooting action at its finest
+ Incredible combat engine geared around combos and precision makes it amazing to slide into a groove
+ Crazy stages full of stunning setpieces, especially Stage 4
+ Co-op!
– Some elements aren’t well executed (the crane, for instance)
– Can get really bullet-hellish

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