So recently GQ-UK released a top 100 games list. They polled 300 experts to rank their top 10 games and compiled a pretty bog standard list as you’d expect. Aria (fae/faer) on the Waypoint Community Discord is creating a Waypoint Top 100+ with a catch.
Instead of submitting 10 games, you get one (1) submission. That game is guaranteed to make the list. There can be no overlaps – if someone already submitted that game then you might as well have voted for nothing. So what will you do? Will you vote for a fan favorite to make sure it gets onto the list or will you go ultra niche, having faith in your community that they’ll cover the bases.
At the time of writing there’s already been 89 responses😅. Good Luck!
I wavered on this for a very long time between Hyper Light Drifter and Unexplored 2 and ultimately picked Hyper Light Drifter cause at the end of the day I just gotta pick my favorite, even if it’s more likely to be picked by somebody else.
I had a lot of thoughts about this, and took a punt on something I didn’t think people would choose - and seeing the current list, I’m feeling pretty good about having guessed the games that the community would pick without my needing to (Although there’s at least one other game I would have picked if I’d had one more choice that I suspect isn’t getting in there…)
Also, at the time of writing, the list is at 106, so I’m fascinated to see how high it goes with how many responses.
I was pretty disappointed by that GQ list since it’s built so heavily on “favorites” not what I consider to be “greatness”, which would be artistic novelty, historical importance, and cultural impact. It has very few PC-exclusives and I don’t think any from earlier than 1998, I don’t think it had any arcade games, there was no Pong, the list was heavily weighted for a Western audience too. Guitar Hero was one of the biggest games in the world just a decade ago, and it couldn’t make it here, along with very little else you can’t buy in a second on Steam or the eShop.
And yeah, I guess GQ isn’t going to be Sight & Sound or anything, but no top 100 list needs BioShock Infinite on it, that game has not stood the test of time. But also, why don’t we have a Sight & Sound list? What’s gaming’s Jeanne Dielman, something only the real freaks with deep historical knowledge have heard of but know deeply is an incredible work?
I bet Waypoint’s list will be more interesting at least.
Yeah, that GQ list is weird. Very geared towards a current AAA console audience. Only 2 strategy games, and neither are Dwarf Fortress or even a Warcraft/Starcraft!? Only one racing game and it’s not even the most interesting Mario Kart (Mario Kart 64). Huh, and choosing the original Street Fighter 2 over Hyper Fighting or Super Turbo is an odd choice since those are such superior versions.
You can never get away from personal favorites when making a list like this, even the Sight & Sound list. But one thing with the Sight & Sound is that its at least interesting and makes me want to search out included movies and writing on those movies. The GQ game list is kind of just dull and obvious.
Here’s my guess about gaming’s Jeanne Dielman: Wizardry.
I’ve never played a wizardry game, and really want to this year, because it’s history is interesting and the influence its had can’t be overestimated. I’d love to hear other people’s suggestions on that.
Also, I think I’ve changed my submission like 3 or 4 times… its a hard task!
I have very little issue with lists being about favorites vs greatness. I understand why there is value in recognizing the importance of a game for something like advancing a genre or medium on whole, but that holds less interest to me than why something resonates with somebody. I don’t think there’s a way to make a list like this that won’t feel incomplete for one reason or another so I find more interest in lists compiling the games the people making the list are very passionate about.
My taste is very much not what you’d call out there, and I decided against nominating either of a pair of games, more or less my #1 and #2, that I’m imagining someone else may pick due to their recency and overwhelming popularity. (Though if Elden Ring doesn’t end up on this list and other Fromsoft games do, I’m going to be a little annoyed with myself). And this being the forums-formerly-known-as-waypoint, I 100% knew Outer Wilds and Disco Elysium didn’t need me to pick them.
So what I did was I went with a game that’s up there with those for me, but which I’m pretty sure no one on this website loves quite as much as I do, which was Returnal. Which I should really go back to at some point, because of the massive update endless mode I would probably really like.
I’m too new to the community to know whether Waypoint would put Outer Wilds on the list so I had to. When I submitted it, at around 107, it wasn’t on the list. But today it was on earlier than mine so maybe someone changed their entry? They also put The Outer Wilds!
Why this game
I’d actually not heard of Outer Wilds until Austin’s review which made me curious enough to give it a spin and… well, it just blew me away in a way that I didn’t think was possible any more. It really got me. That sense of mystery, child-like adventure and discovery fuelled by wild curiosity—curiosity that the game cultivates and trusts you to indulge in! It had been a long time since I felt those things so viscerally, and all without any instruction (getting the launch codes aside). Each night I went to sleep thinking about what I’d discovered and spent the working days rolling over what to do and where to go next when I got home. It was so exciting to not know where a game was going and it never stopped surprising me. Wide-eyed awe was frequently punctuated by moments of terror and the soundtrack always accompanied these perfectly. And who would have thought a game about cosmic annihilation and the end of everything could be so beautiful and life affirming? It was a really special experience and I was convinced I wouldn’t play anything like it again. Then Echoes of the Eye came along and despite my (initial!) reservations, it did just that, not only building on the base game but, somehow, making it even more affecting. The confidence, the sensitivity and design chops on display throughout these experiences is just a miracle to me and I’m so glad I was fortunate enough to have played both of them.
As for the GQ list, I don’t generally get too animated with certain inclusions in these rundowns but GTA IV, Bioshock Infinite and Destiny made me do double takes.
For my favorite game I wound up submitting a relative oldie, though the series has gotten a lot more love recently. My favorite game is Monster Hunter for the PS2 released in 2004. This was, to the best of my knowledge, the game that I’ve easily put the most time into (roughly 2000 hours).
I think, for me at least, there is always the question of was it the game itself or was it the time period you played it in when discussing favorites. In this case, it’s a little of both and is a little odd in that I will likely never revisit this particular game. The biggest reason for that is that the game I knew and loved is gone. It doesn’t exist anymore. As with most console based games from that era that had online play, the servers were shut down and major parts of the game are just inaccessible now. But I fondly remember my friend bringing his PS2 and copy of the game over for a weekend. One of us would set up upstairs near the modem and the other in the basement with a wifi adapter and we would play online using walkie talkies to communicate.
Subsequent games in the series clearly improved on the formula and expanded the player base and its popularity, but nothing compares to that original for me.
I voted for Fantasy Life, which is neither the game that most resonates with me nor the most mechanically exciting game to me, but it is the game I most want to play when the loose concept of ‘play a video game’ is the activity I want to do, and I think that counts for something.
And Austin made it his GOTY in 2014, so I’m not completely out of alignment with Waypoint sensibilities with this pick, haha.
It is a hell of a list, although I am pretty sure now that it’s never going to gain the two other games I considered submitting before submitting what I did. ( Quake - for the community that exists right now, and the formative nature of it on a bunch of other games, plus open source engine! and Transistor, which is still the best SuperGiant games game and you will never convince me otherwise - I submitted Super Hexagon instead, as I really wanted to represent “pure minimalist flow games”, and it’s one of the few games I still come back to today ). Super happy about the range of what is in the list though - and a lot things there that I absolutely did not submit because I knew someone else would and am happy I was proved right
Someone seemed to beat me to it, but my pick was Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan, a rhythm game on the DS. Concise and comedic writing are difficult in gaming. Ouendan pushes both to their limits. Every song is a mini story told with manga panels in short interludes, about someone in need of help. Naturally, they call for you, the cheerleading squad, to back them up!
It’s a great framing device, as your play is directly linked to if they succeed. The emotional stakes are high as you help a salarywoman finish work in time for her date, a new crybaby gym teacher earn the respect of his class, or a newly deceased person return as a ghost for a final chance to say goodbye to his girlfriend.
This list is fucking rad and I love it. I think the format is really clever.
I don’t wanna spend too much time dumping on the GQ list but… I wonder if it’s just the nature of averaging things out that makes it simultaneously bland but also lopsided (IMHO if you’re capping the number of entries on a list like this you have to curate a little and filter series, it is absolutely wild that there are three different GTA games and five different Zelda games, but no Dwarf Fortress or Crusader Kings, for instance)
I wavered on my pick out of a handful but ended up going with AI War 2 which I was pretty confident no one else would pick, but is one of my favorite strategy games and IMHO deserving of a spot on a big tent list like this. But now I am having second thoughts because although some of my other choices are on the list I don’t see others that I would have guessed someone would pick. The “19 more responses are hidden” is very tantalizing!!
I’ll wait until seeing the full list but I hope more folks post their picks that didn’t make the cut later when the full list is revealed because there is nothing I love more than to see this community talking about their bullshit
My choice of AI War 2 was definitely influenced by the dearth of strategy games on the GQ list, I admit. But even within the strategy genre I think it stands out and manages to achieve something many other games fail to do: singular focus on strategic scale (as opposed to tactical) gameplay and a richness that comes more from the emergent AI opponent behaviors than from a proliferation of detailed systems.
The format works cause this list is legit as hell. So many favs on here. I really appreciated the extended deadline cause I was fretting on what to add haha. I’m really happy with my final choice of Quest for Glory 1 (VGA) as a beloved game, personal taste maker, and maybe unsung touchstone in game design. Other games I strongly considered: Assassin’s Creed: Origins, a game that translates the the open world format to encompass time and emotion as well as space.The Witcher 3 which for all its reputation and blockbuster status is a deeply thoughtful game/short story collection about the work of providing a service and all the ways it can exclude and tie one to a community. A finally the real contender Lanota, a narrative rhythm game who’s mechanics perfectly emulate the emotional experience of listening to music.