The idea for this article stemmed from Infendo Radio Episode 400. If you have not listened to that show….why are you here? Go listen! It was fantastic. The group had the idea to do an individual top 25 list, and I was the first one to say that sounded like a great idea. I was not able to be on 400, and was very disappointed by some of the games that got cut.
For those of you that know me, you will know that I am very methodical in the way I think and categorize things. Because of that, I feel that I must have some rules attached to this list. This will give you some insight as to how I chose a game.
Rule #1: This my Top 25 Favorite Games on Nintendo Consoles. This means that not all of my games will be first party Nintendo games, or even console exclusive. They just need to appear as a cartridge, disc, or download, legally in the United States.
Rule #2: The version I prefer must be denoted, if multiple versions exist. It is no secret to any listeners of the podcast that I am a huge fan of Donkey Kong Country. However, Donkey Kong Country is an SNES game, a GBA game, and a Virtual Console game. And of the 3, the GBA game is a very different experience than the other two.
Rule #3: I will only allow myself one game per franchise. So if multiple games from a franchise make the list, I will use a similar ordering process (see below) to decide which one will make the list.
Lastly, the ordering process will be as follows. I will begin by putting all of my games in a list by platform. I will then decide which version I prefer. Then I will pick a random game. Let’s use Donkey Kong Country again. I will add that to an list with no numbers. Then I will go down, top to bottom adding games to the list, asking one question. “Do I prefer Game A or Game B?” If B is better than A, I will place it above A, and pick another game. Is game C better than A? If yes, it moves up. If not, it remains in place. Once I can not move a game up in the list, that will be it’s place in the list. Once All the games are on my list in order, I will draw a line at below 25. Everything below that will be considered an honorable mention.
So let’s begin with the honorable mentions.
27. Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon
26. Metroid: Zero Mission
I must include both of these games for one reason: They are the only games of their franchise I have actually completed. Both amazing games, but neither quite made the cut. I started with 73 before I began cutting games from the list. I finished with 27. I had to draw the line.
25. Star Fox 64 3D
24. Puzzle & Dragons Super Mario Edition
23. Resident Evil REmake (GameCube)
22. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Wii Virtual Console)
21. Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam
20. Wii Sports Resort
19. WarioWare, Inc: Mega Microgame$!
18. Tetris DS
16. Cave Story 3D
15. Kirby Super Star Ultra
14. Bit.Trip Saga
13. Bravely Second
12. Shantae and the Pirates Curse
11. Yoshi’s Wooly World (Wii U)
10. Monster Hunter Generations
This was the first Monster Hunter I ever played. In a short 2 month period, since I joined Infendo, I have already logged 60+ hours with Mike and Lukas. It’s addicting, and takes you back to what it means to be human. To hunt, gather, and get stronger.
9. Donkey Kong ’94
This was simply titled Donkey Kong, and it was on the original Game Boy. It is one of the few versions of the game to feature all four levels of Donkey Kong. After you complete them, you find out you are in for a puzzle filled, platforming, amazing, and long game. And you don’t even see it coming. Plus, it was the introduction of Mario’s triple jump, as well as the beginning of the Mario vs Donkey Kong series.
8. Super Smash Bros. 4 (Wii U/3DS)
In my humble opinion, the culmination of everything Smash. It has the competitive nature of Melee, the amazing roster of Brawl, and the introduction of Amiibo. It brought Cloud, Sonic, Pac Man, Mega Man, Bayonetta, and Mario all together. Plus, it sports some of the nicest 3D available on 3DS.
7. Donkey Kong Country 2 (Super Nintendo)
As much as I love the original, Donkey Kong Country 2 takes everything good from the first, and does it better. I really struggles with this or Donkey Kong Country Returns, but in the end Donkey Kong Country 2 won out. By far one of my favorite games of all time. Bonus points for one of the most memorable soundtracks in video game history.
6. Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove
What can I say about Shovel Knight. I talk about it all the time. I’ve completed the game on 5 different consoles, and I have two copies of it for 3DS. It was my favorite game of 2014. The soundtrack for this game is my favorite soundtrack of all time. Shovel Knight.
5. Pokémon Sun/Moon
Pokémon is the sole reason I play RPG’s. I got hooked by Pokémon Blue growing up, and I’ve played every generation since. I have a completed Living Pokédex stored in Pokémon Bank. I’ve logged thousands of hours over the years, and some of my current monsters I have been using as far back as generation three. Not to mention, without Pokémon, there is no Pikachu. So why not any of the other games? After looking through my play history on 3DS, Pokémon Moon is my second most played game of all time on that console. X is number 1, but only because I bred a shiny Charmander and a shiny Froakie in that version. Without any breeding or anything, Pokémon Moon is my most played Pokémon game of all time.
4. The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX
This was really hard for me. Nearly every Zelda game made my to 73, and I had to rank all my Zelda games top to bottom. I was amazed by how difficult that was. In the end Link’s Awakening won out. This game is the reason I love Zelda to this day. It is also the first Zelda I ever completed. I didn’t ever have a guide for this game, so I wrote my own. On graph paper. In pencil. Not to mention, the color version was the first game I ever played on a handheld color screen.
3. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
When I put Mario Kart on my top 73, I didn’t even bother putting any of the other games on the list. I knew from the beginning my Mario Kart game was going to be 8 Deluxe. It has a perfect mix of randomness and skill required to win. It is absolutely stunning in HD both on the go, and on the TV. I am not a fan of the battle mode in this game, but online, local multiplayer, and the sheer amount of cups and characters make this game a 5/5 for me, and the culmination of a franchise.
2. Super Mario Galaxy 2
Super Mario Galaxy was a perfect game in my opinion. It was equal parts wonder, and familiarity. It demonstrated the evolution of a franchise. In my eyes it could not be topped. No Mario game could ever be better. Then, they released Mario Galaxy 2. Like DKC 2, Galaxy 2 took everything Galaxy did, and did it better. Plus, it added Yoshi. And who doesn’t love Yoshi? (You don’t? You’re crazy!)
1. Minecraft: Switch Edition
It is no secret I am a huge fan of Minecraft. For me, it is like a survival game meets Lego style creativity. The goal of the game is in the title. Mine for resources, craft them into tools, weapons, housing, crops, etc, and survive. There are endless amounts of strategies to do this. You can build whatever you want, however you want. There is no “correct” way to play, and that’s fantastic. I own this game on every console I own that it exists on, and have put hundreds of hours into each version. But the one aspect of this game that keeps me coming back is the co-op play. This is a game I can play with my wife, and this is also a game my wife and I can play with our friends. And We have played with friends. A Lot. There is a reason Minecraft is the second best selling game of all time.