The first sandbox game, this open-ended space opera hit the BBC Micro like a homing missile in 1984. You could go
anywhere, shoot up cops or pirates - or both - as you saw fit, upgrade your ship as you liked, all in glorious, wireframe 3D.
2. Final Fantasy VII
Final Fantasy VII
The game that turned Final Fantasy from a cult to a phenomenon. PlayStation owners
across the world still talk of it in hushed tones, and little wonder.
Aeris dies, by the way.
3. Super Mario 64
Super Mario 64
Will our jaws ever drop as far as they did the first time we played this? Mario's N64 changed gaming forever, putting every 3D game before it - and many that came after it - to shame.
4. Counter - Strike
Counter - Strike
This Half-Life mod introduced a
generation to online FPS counter-terrorism. Nearly ten years later, thousands lie dead and virtual Guantanamo is full of failed combatants, while
manufacturer, Valve, remains at large
5. Deus Ex
The scale and ambition of Deus Ex still amazes, nine years on from its release. The cyber-punk shooter offered real choices to the player, stunning RPG elements and one of the bleakest
game endings ever.
6. Doom Wolfenstein 3D
Doom Wolfenstein 3D
Established the template which all subsequent first-person
shooters followed, but it was this demonsmiting classic that
pulled the elements into an unmissable whole. A gaming icon.
7. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2
Extreme sports, licensed soundtracks and the world's third most charismatic Tony were put on the map by this gaming crack. Allows the more mature among us to "kick-flip" to our hearts' content, even if we're not quite sure what that means.
8. World of Warcraft
With over 12 million subscribers, WoW is the biggest game of all time. Do promise us you'll wrap up warm, and avoid "the ancient Blood God, Hakkar the Soulflayer," won't you?
Bungie's epic cast you as a super-soldier, then dropped you in the middle of a genocidal war against a vicious alien race. In the even bloodier console wars, it almost single-handedly made the Xbox a success.
Facility, Remote Mines and no one be Odd-Job: these are the rules of GoldenEye multiplayer, and if you're male and older than 15 you'll know them very well. Another solid gold hit from the N64.
11. Gran Turismo
Sony's PSOne racer revolutionised virtual driving and the series sets the standard for the more austere end of the racing genre to this day. So good, The Cardigans named an album after it.
12. Resident Evil 4
Capcom's survival horror fourquel rewrote the rules for the series, upping the action, turbo-charging the graphics and making the voice acting a little bit less awful. The most incredible game of the last console generation, especially on the Wii.
13. Street Fighter II: Turbo
So addictive and well balanced was this arcade fighter, it caused the UK's arcades to run out of 20p coins. Yes, that's how much games cost to play 15 years ago - ah, memories...
14. Super Mario Bros
The father of a genre and the best selling game of all time. Not featuring the original Mario Bros on this list would be like having a top ten of auburn haired morons and not including Prince Harry.
15. Grand Theft Auto III
When Rockstar dropped the first 3D instalment of GTA, our lives changed as we went from quiet wimps to tooled-up thugs, swaggering round Liberty City. The rest is gaming history...
Recent news reports suggested that this, the greatest Russian export since vodka, is so attention-consuming, it can be used to relieve post-traumatic stress. We still see the blocks and hear the theme tune in our dreams.
17. Wii Sports
The Wii's flagship mini-games introduced the world to a new method of playing games, attracting new fans in the process. The key to successful play? Timing and short, precise movements. The most enjoyable way to play? Wild swings and massive exertion...
An incredibly potent blend of perfectly pitched mood, plot and ass-kicking, this was another genre redefiner. Its sequel was equally dazzling.
19. Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
Ocarina of Time wasn't by any means the first time Princess Zelda had been kidnapped. This 2D adventure is the purist's favourite and offers hundreds of hours of perfect puzzles and fights.
20. Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
The oft-called "best game of all time", Link's 3D debut is still a must-play for any self-respecting RPG fan. Dazzling and deep, Ocarina is a work of art.