My Top 5 Favorite Video Games of All Time

By Chongchen Saelee

I’ve been playing video games for most of my life (and contributed a lot behind the scenes as well). Most gamers are attracted to the visuals, the story, the music, the characters, the puzzles, etc. Everyone has their own taste. But here are my top 5 favorite video games of all time:


5.New Super Mario Bros (Nintendo DS, 2006)
Sure, the Super Mario games are gimmicky as hell, but seeing the new 3D + 2.5D graphics just adds so much more spectacle to it. There is also new gimmicky powers like Ice Flower, Propeller Suit, Giant Mario, etc. Playing on Nintendo DS doesn’t necessarily need to utilize those two screens all the time, but there are some levels that do and it’s cleverly designed. For the most part, you’re playing on only one of the DS screens and the other is a progress menu or for power-ups that you can tap with the stylus. A lot of the nostalgia for me is just the sheen of the new 3D graphics, which makes the previous Mario title Nintendo 64’s Super Mario 64 look antiquated.


4. Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX (Game Boy Color, 1998)
So many Legend of Zelda games are up there for me, but I have to choose one. There’s Ocarina of Time (Nintendo 64), Link to the Past (Super Nintendo), Wind Waker (Nintendo Gamecube), all of them even, but the stand-out for me is Link’s Awakening (DX version in particular because colorized graphics added so much to the experience back then). The bizarre way the story starts tells you it’s not like the games before it because up until then, the Zelda games seem a little generic like any fantasy adventure games with a sword and shield. Now we have flying whale and giant eggs to hatch. The sprite are cuter than every, the music is charming as hell. It’s so fun to chop grass for rupees!


3. Thief II: The Metal Age (PC, 2000)
The stealth sneaker first-person genre was the first game I experimented with and I fell in love with it. Thief Deadly Shadows, the first game in this series, might have very much been the first stealth sneaker video game in the genre. I love the ambience, the snarky protagonist Garrett’s banter, the bad guy’s AI was revolutionary for it’s time. The world’s seem so deep and expansive. The lighting was ahead of it’s time, a true technical feat!


2. F-Zero GX (Nintendo Gamecube, 2003)
I’ve had a taste of every major F-Zero game since its debut on the Super Nintendo, but my most favorite ones are F-Zero Maximum Velocity (Nintendo Game Boy Advance) and F-Zero GX (Nintendo Gamecube). I picked GX because it’s in 3D and just truly thrilling to play. Your reflexes have to be lighting fast, but if you master the controls, and the controls are pretty solid compared to Nintendo 64’s F-Zero X. Also, F-Zero GX has expansive backstories and 3D pre-rendered cinemas to unlock for the first time, which are quite hilarious, very fitting to the tone.


1. Banjo-Kazooie (Nintendo 64, 1998)
The funny dialogue, the colorful goofy characters, the music, the dynamic controls all adds up to my most favorite video game of all time, one that I can come back to every year or so and enjoy as if it were the first time. It was hard to decide between Banjo-Kazooie or it’s sequel Banjo-Tooie, despite Tooie being more refined and overall technically better. However, Kazooie was my top pick because it had the best story despite having to replay levels and collecting Musical Notes all over if you ever died.

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