In celebration of both 4 years of Mega Dads and the 50th episode of Mega Dads Live, we are proud to present The Mega Dads 50 Best Games of All Time! Over the course of the next 5 weeks we will be presenting our picks for our favorite video games of all time. The two of us put together our own personal lists and then using a very complex mathematical algorithm smooshed them both together to form the definitive Mega Dads list. Each Monday we will present 10 games with an explanation as to why they are so rad, and it will all lead up to our 50th episode of Mega Dads Live where we will reveal our Top 10.
It should go without saying (but here we go) that this is a list of our personal favorites. Two guys with a combined 60+ years of gaming experience, but also two guys who have not played every game ever released so please do not be offended if your favorite game isn’t on the list or if you think we’re crazy for how high Life is Strange is. Of course, this being the internet somebody probably will be offended and to that we say…. oh well.
So without further ado, we present numbers 50 through 41 of The Mega Dads 50 Best Games of All Time! We hope you enjoy the feature and would love to hear your thoughts. And don’t forget to check back every Monday for the next installment. Enjoy!
Rise of the Tomb Raider
In 2013, developer Crystal Dynamics rebooted the long running and hugely popular Tomb Raider series in an attempt to bring new life to a franchise that had grown stale. While the game was a success, it was this 2015 sequel that really proved that this version of Lara Croft could stand tall alongside the original. Beautiful environments to explore, a deep combat system that allowed for both stealth and gunfights, and a story that takes you from Syria to Siberia to uncover the truth behind her father’s fate. All of these elements worked wonderfully together to create one of the greatest action adventure games of all time. -John
Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door
Mario has been no stranger to the the RPG scene ever since Squaresoft collaborated with Nintendo on the SNES game aptly titled Super Mario RPG. However the pinnacle of Mario’s RPG adventures is hands down The Thousand Year Door. This grand adventure has Mario teaming up with a rag-tag band of characters like treasure-seeking Goombella and the spunky mini-Yoshi (who refers to Mario as “Gonzales”) all on a quest to discover the mystery of the Thousand Year door, the evil secret society of X-Nauts… and save Peach I guess. Couple the hilarious story with awesome paper-centric gameplay techniques like turning yourself into a paper airplane or a paper boat, and this charming Gamecube era RPG cements it’s spot in our Best 50 with ease. -Adam
Mega Man Legends
Without a doubt my favorite game in the series (let the hate mail begin here), Mega Man Legends takes the Blue Bomber into the action RPG scene with this fantastic anime inspired adventure which sees Mega Man as a treasure hunter exploring Katelox island in search of the Mother Lode, the world’s greatest mythical treasure. Along the way Mega Man must fight off the Bonne clan of pirates, discovery the mystery of the Reaverbots which live deep below the city and ultimately save Katelox from an ancient force which is shockingly connected to Mega Man’s forgotten past. Mega Man Legends also introduced the world to Data the Save Monkey and the Servbots, which are among the cutest enemies in gaming history. -Adam
Few games have been able to convey so much emotion while saying so little like Ico did. The story of a young boy, banished from his villiage for being born with a pair of horns and his quest to escape a fortress with a princess destined to be sacrificed by her evil mother. The minimalist storytelling is beautifully told and compliments the gameplay which has you running, climbing and leaping to outrun your would be captors. The bond between the player and the princess was due greatly to the brilliant mechanic of having to grab her by the hand to lead her to her freedom. The gorgeous scenery and architecture helped to cement this classic as one of the best games of the PlayStation 2 era -John
Batman: Arkham Asylum
Superhero games have a pretty bad reputation. Sure, there have been a few decent titles over the years, but it wasn’t until Rocksteady Games’ masterpiece was released in 2009 that they really got the AAA treatment that they deserved. The amazing graphics and top-notch story set the bar high, but it was the combination of a brutal freestyle combat system and brilliant stealth mechanics that made this game stand out. The two sequels may have been much bigger in scope, but the focus and smaller scale of the original helped to tell an amazing tale. Arkham Asylum is not only the definitive Batman game, but the best superhero video game of all time. -John
Klonoa: Door to Phantomile
No game on this list will subvert your expectations more than Klonoa: Door to Phantomile. This game plays out for 90% of your experience as nothing more than a great whimsical mascot platformer. During the heyday of the PS1, these games were a dime a dozen and hardly remarkable. But as you play through Klonoa’s story it becomes clear that this game is something special. The art direction, characters, music and levels are all top-level for sure, but what sets this game apart from every other game in the genre is the heartbreaking story that unfolds as Klonoa comes to a close. The beautiful story of dreams, friendship and rebirth conclude in a scene that had me in tears, and the tale of Klonoa and Huepow’s friendship is something I still think back on to this day. -Adam
Dragon Quest 8: Journey of the Cursed King
Many of my favorite games that I grew up with were massive quests that today as a 37 year old father of two would probably take me 10 years to conquer, Dragon Quest 8 fits this bill. This massive adventure tells the tale of a knight questing to remove the curse befallen his king by the evil jester Dhoulmagus, and is one of the greatest (and largest) JRPGs I’ve ever played. With awesome cell-shaded graphics, a sweeping orchestral soundtrack and a lush world to explore, if you’re looking to lose yourself in a great PS2 era RPG, this is the one. -Adam
When the Nintendo 64 debuted in 1996, it had only two games available on launch day. Thankfully both of those games were brilliant and offered dozens of hours of gameplay to keep you busy. Pilotwings 64 put you in the role of one of six pilots as you attempted to get your license across multiple events including a jetpack, hang glider and gyrocopter. For me though, nothing quite beat the sensation of peacefully soaring through the skies of a miniature United States in your Birdman suit. Every year I hope and pray that Nintendo will finally announce a sequel, but for now I’ll just have to happily reminisce about this classic series. -John
The quiet beauty of Journey’s story is told behind the veil of lushly rendered sand dunes, acrobatic and rhythmic animation and a soundtrack that flows organically like the wind on your Sherpa’s robes. The game distracts you with it’s simple and meditative beauty and it’s not until you reach the end of your journey that you realize the message That Game Company was hiding in plain sight the entire time. Journey speaks to the importance of interconnectivity, struggle, determination and our own mortality, all without ever saying a word. It is true artistry. -Adam
Grand Theft Auto V
With each release of a new game in the GTA series, expectations are enormous. Ever since GTA III, developer Rockstar has been able to hit it out of the park with their outrageous and incredibly fun open world games, and GTA V was no exception. A beautifully realized version of southern California, 3 wildly different and entertaining protagonists in Franklin, Michael & Trevor, and a wickedly fun online multiplayer mode made this edition of GTA stand out from the rest of the pack. -John
Make sure to check back next Monday for Week Two as we reveal our picks for 40-31!