The Mega Dads 50 Best Games of All Time: 30-21

week three

We’re at the midpoint of our Top 50 and things are starting to get really interesting! We’ve got some of the greatest RPGs of all time making an appearance this week, as well some of the most acclaimed adventure series. This week is also another great example of how certain games can connect so strongly with one of us but not the other. Firewatch for example was in John’s personal top 10, but Adam didn’t have it on his list at all. The same goes for Adam and Chrono Trigger. It was incredibly high on his personal list but John didn’t have any particularly strong love for the game. Thankfully our system allows both games to be represented on the list even if they land lower than their admirer would have liked.

week3-01Mass Effect 2

The Mass Effect trilogy was one of my personal favorite experiences of last generation. Bioware’s universe stands side by side with Star Trek and Star Wars as one of the best sci-fi worlds ever created. While the entire trilogy was amazing, the 2nd installment stands tall due to the gameplay that they refined and perfected from the 1st game, and an amazing “Ocean’s 11” style storyline that has Commander Shepard gathering a team of unforgettable characters from across the universe to take on a mysterious new race of enemies known as the Collectors. It’s absolutely science fiction at its best.  -John

week3-02Pikmin 2

The perfect example of building on what you started, Pikmin 2 takes the original concept of commanding an adorable army of plant creatures and expands upon it in all the right ways. The inclusion of a second character allowed you to divide your patrols to tackle the environmental puzzles in new and creative ways. Nintendo also added special Pikmin types with unique powers to further expand on the diversity of play. Pikmin 2 also marked the last time (to date) that the franchise charged you with collecting licensed real-world items for your ship. Nothing is more cute than watching a crowd of Pikmin struggle to carry a Coca Cola bottle cap back to your ship. –Adam

week3-03Resident Evil

There are few games on our list that are as iconic as the first entry in this beloved horror series. While the writing and voice acting may have been cringe inducing, it struck a perfect “B-movie” tone that would have you chuckling one moment and jumping out of your seat the next. It was the first game to ever be dubbed “survival horror”, and has spawned countless movies, books, toys, animated films, comics, and more. It it’s core though, Resident Evil was a damn great game that featured tense combat, tricky puzzles, and terrifying creatures. And thanks to the 2002 remake and more recent HD remasters, it holds up pretty damn well still today. -John

week3-04Assassin’s Creed II

The Assassin’s Creed series has most definitely had its ups and downs over the years. But when they’ve been good, they’ve been amazing. After a debut game that was promising but flawed, Ubisoft hit a grand slam with their follow-up, the story of Ezio Auditore da Firenze. They vastly improved the gameplay and mission variety, created a beautiful world to explore with their recreation of 15th century Italy, and told a story that hit on all cylinders. It’s maybe the one time in the series that the future portions were just as interesting as the trips into the Animus. Uncovering the mysteries of the First Civilization as both Desmond and Ezio was a thrilling experience I’ll never forget. -John


From the moment it begins with its unique and unexpected opening, I knew Firewatch was going to be special. It’s a relationship drama disguised as a mystery and the way it touches on themes of intimacy and commitment are nothing short of brilliant. Henry is a man trying to hide from his past, but over the course of the game discovers that there is no running from the choices that you make, your only option is to accept them and move forward. By the end of the game I had feelings of sadness and guilt, emotions video games rarely attempt to convey, and never so masterfully as Campo Santo has managed to pull off.  It’s storytelling at its finest. -John

week3-06Tomb Raider

There are a handful of video games characters who have become truly iconic. Lara Croft belongs in that group alongside Mario, Pac-Man & Sonic. Her debut adventure was a pioneer in 3D gaming and took players on a thrilling quest to Peru, Greece, and Egypt in search of a mysterious artifact known as the Scion. It was cinematic in a way most games of the time were not, with cutscenes, voice acting & an atmospheric soundtrack. While it may not hold up incredibly well by today’s standards, there’s no denying what an incredible accomplishment it was at the time and the huge effect it had on the entire gaming industry. -John

week3-07Resident Evil 4

This is the 3rd Resident Evil game to appear on the list, which is a testament to how amazing the series has been. Resident Evil 4 was a breath of fresh air when it was released for the GameCube in 2005. The series was in need of something new and RE4 delivered with a new over the shoulder control scheme and action packed quick time events. The return of Leon Kennedy was a great combination of action and horror, delivering genuinely creepy moments mixed with frenetic action and gunplay. It’s a formula that has been often imitated in the years since, but never done quite as well as Capcom managed to pull off here.  -John

week3-08Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

It made sense to include only one Mario Kart game in our top 50 list, and while there was a lot of debate about whether MK8D or Double Dash would make the cut, in the end we settled on this ultimate Switch edition for the spot. The inclusion of a Smash-esque roster of Nintendo characters, the selection of classic remastered courses from the series’ history and of course the return of Battle Mode gives Mario Kart 8 Deluxe the edge as the ultimate version of the most iconic racing franchise in all of gaming. –Adam

week3-09The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Skyrim was perhaps the last game before Breath of the Wild for me to sink upwards of 80 hours in and by the time I was “done” I still felt like I had only seen about half of what was there. The enjoyment of Skyrim comes from discovery. That feeling that around every turn, in every cave or ruin there is a new quest to discover or beast to slay. While the main story walks you along the path of the Dragonborn, ultimately it’s the way you craft your own character and story that makes this game shine. The skill tree had me refining my elves archery and stealth abilities until I was the perfect thief able to strike from the shadows at the heart of my foes. Badass. –Adam

week3-10Chrono Trigger

The Super Nintendo gave us some of the greatest video games of all time and undoubtedly the best in the JRPG field. Chrono Trigger is among those elite games and is a nearly flawless adventure. The story has our heroes traveling through the ages from prehistoric badlands to a post-apocalyptic future in order to stop a calamity from deep below the Earth. Yet like any truly great RPG, the magic of Chrono Trigger comes from its characters. Like Glenn, the aspiring knight-turned-frog on his quest for revenge, or Robo, the defective robot discovering friendship and peace in the face of his defective programming. Chrono Trigger is an amazing experience all gamers should have, and it is absolutely timeless. –Adam

Week Two: 40-31

Week One: 50-41

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