By Michael Sawh Last updated
Super Mario World (SNES)
Super Mario World (SNES) | Johnny Minkley, Radio 1 and Eurogamer
The joy of jump – a game full of wonder, toying effortlessly and endlessly with the form Nintendo created and mastered.
The Curse of Monkey Island (PC)
The Curse of Monkey Island (PC) | Andy 'SuperKaylo' Farrant, Xbox Live
Like a brilliantly funny, playable Disney cartoon about pirates, with voodoo, ship battles, talking skulls and banjos.
Fatal Frame 2 (PS2)
Fatal Frame 2 (PS2) | James McMahon, Kerrang! and ex-Dep Ed of GamesMaster
The best survival horror ever. Revisited it recently and it made me realise how next-gen killed the very idea of survival horror.
Barbarian (Amstrad) | Jeff Franklin, T3 Facebook fan
The best finishing move (decapitation) in a fighting game ever followed by a little goblin kicking the head! Gaming gold! (plus it had an 80's page 3 model on the cover! lol).
Grand Theft Auto III (PS2)
Grand Theft Auto III (PS2) | Nick Cowen, T3, The Guardian, OXM
Because it's still as dark, dangerous, zany and laugh-out-loud hilarious today as it was 10 years ago.
Heavy Rain (PS3)
Heavy Rain (PS3) | Ben Parfitt, Online Editor, MCVuk.com
It shows there's more to gaming than guns and explosions - they can be emotional, too.
Grim Fandango (PC)
Grim Fandango (PC) | Pete Dreyer, Staff Writer, T3
One of the great gaming stories. Neo noir hero Manuel 'Manny' Calavera is a suave - but dead - travel agent who risks it all to guide people through purgatory to the afterlife.
"Bound only by the paper-thin wrapper of mortality, a soul here lies, struggling to be free. And so it shall, thanks to a bowl of bad gazpacho, and a man named... Calavera."
Populous: The Beginning (PC)
Populous: The Beginning (PC) I Aaron Odedra, T3 Facebook fan
Simple controls and gameplay, but elegant in design. It just shows that games don't need amazing graphics or millions of weapons or upgrades to be challenging or fun.
Portal (PC) | Steve Hogarty, Deputy Editor, Official Nintendo Magazine
Arguably Valve's best game, it merges classic puzzles with an unexpected and captivating narrative.
Railroad Tycoon (PC)
Railroad Tycoon (PC) | Dan Maudsley, Presenter, T3 Podcast
Only Sid Meier could make a game about trains this stupidly addictive.
Rez (Dreamcast) | Rory Buckeridge, Nuts
No game's immersed me so completely before, or since. It's just a perfect fusion of shooting, geometric visuals and trance soundtrack.
SabreWulf (Spectrum 48K)
SabreWulf (Spectrum 48K) | Paul Vale, The Star on Sunday
My dad got a Speccy and this was the hook. I played it solidly through 84. Q (left) W (right) E (downn) R (up) T (sword).
Shadowrun (SNES) | Matt Hill, deputy editor, T3
No, not the ropey Xbox FPS from a couple of years ago, but this cyberpunk oddity from Data East (remember them?). Audaciously constructed and uncharacteristically dark for a SNES game, it was part Blade Runner, part FIFA (mainly the old isometric viewpoint). You began on a morgue slab with no memory and ended fighting a company CEO who was a dragon, with talking dogs, eerie shamen and gun-toting mercenaries. They don't make 'em like this any more.
F-Zero GX (Gamecube)
F-Zero GX (Gamecube) | Will Jewson, T3 Facebook fan
Combine cornea-splitting graphics, gut-wrenching tracks and ball-busting difficulty with awesome spaceship racers straight out of ridiculous Japanese design 101 that go faster than a rollerskate-wearing greased pig on an ice rink, and you've got yourself one of the most charismatic, intense and fun racing games of the last decade!
Strategery (iOS) | Christopher Phin, Editor, Tap! Magazine
This deceptively simple multiplayer game regularly brings office life to a standstill. It's a kind of distilled, abstract version of Risk, and its genius is in the fine balance of skill and luck. Best of all, it has a nice 'playing-chess-by-post' quality, pushing turns over the internet so you can play with people all over the world.
Street Fighter II (Arcade)
Street Fighter II (Arcade) | Dan 'MrPointyHead' Maher, Xbox Live
It has to be this, and all of its canonical updates and sequels. Few other games have managed to consistently elicit so much unbridled joy, hand-shaking tension and outrageously bad language.
Fallout (PC) | Richard Wordsworth, T3.com
Shunted from the shelter of your underground sanctuary into a post-nuclear wasteland, the original Fallout lets you sneak, talk or blow your way through everything from rickety frontier towns to sprawling secret bases, all packed to bursting with B movie mutants, cultists, raiders and giant scorpions. It was also the first game I ever played where shooting someone in the nads was a legitimate tactic, and reverse-pickpocketing a live explosive onto an unsuspecting enemy a messily ironic way to defuse a conflict.
Maniac Mansion 2: Day Of The Tentacle (PC)
Maniac Mansion 2: Day Of The Tentacle (PC) | Jonathan Pile, ShortList
The pinnacle of LucasArt's adventure gaming achievements. The three different time zones working with the twisted logic of the puzzles (paint a kumquat tree red so George Washington mistakes it for cherry tree and chops it down, freeing your friend who's stuck in it 400 years in the future) produced a unique and timeless experience that is yet to be bettered.
Final Fantasy VII (PlayStation)
Final Fantasy VII (PlayStation) | Jayga Ryan, Super Super
I've never found a game I empathised with more. From saving the world to Cloud's internal identity battles, it's perfect.
Gunstar Heroes (Mega Drive)
Gunstar Heroes (Mega Drive) | Matt Lees, Staff Writer, oxm.co.uk
Two player arcade shooting doesn't get much better than this. Great music, amazing action, and a hilarious showdown with a monster made of curry and rice make this Megadrive classic a solid-gold classic.
Lotus Turbo Challenge (Amiga)
Lotus Turbo Challenge (Amiga) | Charlie Parrish, Loaded
Stretched my Amiga 500+ to its limits, as it did my mother's patience with my Dad and I playing long into the night attempting to crack level codes and out-do each other's times. Fake F1 drivers names worth a mention, too. “Ayrton Sendup” and “Alain Phosphate”. Arf.
Bit.Trip Runner (iOS)
Bit.Trip Runner (iOS) | Gav Murphy, Official Nintendo Magazine
One of the most inventive, addictive and punishingly vindictive games ever. The Bit.Trip games have consistently been the best titles on WiiWare.
Commandos 2: Men of Courage (PC)
Commandos 2: Men of Courage (PC) | Adam Bunker, Staff Writer, T3
'OK' you think; 'I just about got the hang of the fact that I have 8 men (and a dog) to control, all with different skills and attributes', as you make them sneak into a compound and knock out a guard. But that's the training level, and it's the size of a playground. Level 2 has 900 objectives, a billion nazis and is the size of Ireland. There's never been such a maddening difficulty curve like it in gaming, before or since. "I was trained for this!"
Daytona USA (Arcade)
Daytona USA (Arcade) | Mike Channell, Deputy Editor, oxm.co.uk
The quintessential 3D arcade racer, from an era when SEGA was still blowing away home consoles in the arcades, an eight player race with friends is still better than the vast majority of entertainment in Britain's beleagured seaside towns.
Kid Chamelon (MegaDrive)
Kid Chamelon (MegaDrive) | Kris McCarty, T3 Facebook fan
An insane amount of challenging levels and multiple routes throughout the game. Also, it had really cool interchangeable helmets which granted you a diverse array of abilities from a samurai sword through to a hover board. Amazing level design too!
Deus Ex (PS2)
Deus Ex (PS2) | Duncan Bell, Operations Editor, T3
One of the first games to feel truly bleak and adult, this cyber-punk FPS-cum-RPG epic was all black trenchcoats, black helicopters, looming architecture and ruminations on the meaning of "humanity" in a near-future era of nano-modifications. As JC Denton you had to chase the truth about your brother's death and a globe-spanning conspiracy involving UN agencies, Chinese Triads and the Illuminati. The ending was exceedingly bleak. But it's okay, you also got to creep up on people and shoot them in the back of the head, and incinerate robot aggressors with a rocket launcher.
Diner Dash 2
Diner Dash 2 (PC) | Rob Temple, Features Editor, T3
You basically have to wait on a load of tables, serve food, clear up etc. Very addictive. Available on a lot of formats, but I play it on PC, as it came free with it.
Double Hawk (Master System)
Double Hawk (Master System) | Michael Sawh, Staff Writer, T3
There are so many Master System games that don't get the credit they truly deserved, and Double Hawk was one of them. It's a two-player shooter with characters that shared more than a passing resemblance to Stallone and Schwarzenegger, and the end level took weeks to get past. I want a re-make!
Final Fantasy XII (PS2)
Final Fantasy XII (PS2) | Jon Hamblin, freelance games writer and maker of Say What You See app
Not just because it was a peerless RPG, but because it was weirdly like the Star Wars prequels as they should have been.
Gauntlet (Arcade) | Simon Munk, MSN
Superbly balanced, knife-edge, four-player collaborative/competitive gameplay yet to bettered.
Hogs of War (PlayStation)
Hogs of War (PlayStation) | Kieran Alger, Web Editor, T3.com
Just like Worms but with pigs in 3D. You could use rockets and even fly around with jet packs. What more could you want?
Hunted: The Demon's Forge (Xbox 360)
Hunted: The Demon's Forge (Xbox 360) | Edwin Evans-Thirlwell, Online Editor, OXM (oxm.co.uk)
Because Gears meets Tolkien is more than the sum of its parts, and because we need somebody making fantasy action games besides BioWare and Bethesda.
Kick Off 2 (Atari ST)
Kick Off 2 (Atari ST) | Tom Cullen, ShortList.com
Pals with the swankier Amiga swore by Sensible World Of Soccer. Sensible World Of Soccer my foot. SWOS was way too slow. Way too simple. Being great at Kick Off 2 was similar to being great at table football. Kick Off players had absolutely no built in control of the ball , it would simply bounce off them like pinball. But master the game and you could tame the ball and pass it around your players with pace and control. The Dutch called it totaalvoetbal. I called it 'skillzaah'.
Knights of the Old Republic (PC)
Knights of the Old Republic (PC) | Jane Douglas, Gamespot
Gloriously talky Star Wars RPG. Pretend Episodes I through III never happened and we got this instead.
Metroid Prime (Gamecube.
Metroid Prime (Gamecube., Wii) | Andy Robinson, Deputy Editor, CVG (CVG.co.uk)
Everybody's heard of Mario and Zelda, but Metroid - Nintendo's other lead franchise - gets far less attention than it deserves. Prime masterfully transports the moody sci-fi series into the third-dimension – and first person – and it's one of the most beautiful and atmospheric titles the Japanese giant's ever produced.
MX vs. ATV Untamed (Xbox 360) | Luke Johnson, News Writer, T3
The best release in a great off-road franchise, Untamed betters its replacements through sheer diversity in possibilities and great gameplay.
MX vs. ATV Untamed (Xbox 360)
Quake 3 Arena (PC) | Jon Hicks, Editor, oxm.co.uk
Twelve years after it was released, this is still the purest, fastest and most nerve-jangling multiplayer shooter in the world. The looks may have dated (although even then, not as much as you'd think) but the gunplay is still the most effective adrenaline shot videogames can offer.
Quake 3 Arena (PC)
Red Faction (PC) | Thomas Tamblyn, Freelance/Writer, T3
Arguably the father of physics in-game, Red Faction was ahead of its time, defined by its destructable environment and dark atmosphere. Its ground-breaking graphics made it a joy to play and with a storyline as dark as it was plentiful you found yourself pining after the dark twisted mines of Mars.
Red Faction (PC)
R-Type (Arcade) | Richard Galpin, Project
I was obsessed by R-Type in the late Eighties, early Nineties. As a side-scroller it seemed, at the time, cutting edge. The spaceship looked very cool (metallic, with a large cockpit, excellent power-ups) although I don't think I ever actually defeated the Bydo Empire (thank you Wikipedia) and finished the damn thing.
The Secret of Monkey Island (PC) | Michael French, MCV
Funny, intelligent & original. I've played it on numerous platforms over the years - it's aged well, Special Edition or not.
The Secret of Monkey Island (PC)
Silent Hill (PlayStation) | Alex Sim-Wise, Front
It was the first game I really played the shit out of. I played it so much I got all the different endings.
Silent Hill (PlayStation)
Robotron: 2084 (Arcade) | Christian Donlan, Eurogamer
Move, shoot, survive: 30 years on Eugene Jarvis' original twin-stick marvel remains the purest action game ever made.
Robotron: 2084 (Arcade)
Starship Patrol (DSi-Ware) | Andy Robertson, Game People http://www.gamepeople.co.uk
A pixel perfect tower defence game from the makers of Star Fox and Pixeljunk games. Not only is it cheap to download on your DSi or 3DS, but it creates a perfectly balanced challenge with a retro Star Wars theme -- all mapped out on graph paper. For afters why not try the follow ups: 3D Space Tank or Reflect Missile.
Starship Patrol (DSi-Ware)
Streets of Rage 2 (Mega Drive) | Dave Cook, NowGamer
The move list is huge for just three buttons, the music captures the 90s dance culture and the sprite work is amazing.
Streets of Rage 2 (Mega Drive)
Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii) | Chris Schilling, The Observer
It's the ultimate platformer: a joyous intergalactic journey through worlds of endless imagination from the Pixar of games.
Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii)
Myst (Mac) | Peter Street, T3 Facebook fan
It defined a genre, created a mythos, originated a style and is still a beautifully crafted, fully featured world. If you must, play RealMyst in 3D; but for the full experience, the original.
Rockstar Table Tennis (Xbox 360) | Matthew Evans, Developer, T3
Easily the most playable and fun sporting game I have ever played.
Rockstar Table Tennis (Xbox 360)
1942 (Amstrad) | Luke Peters, Editor, T3
Back in the day when monochrome green screens and tape-loading games were the height of sophistication, 1942 on the Amstrad provided hours of post-school joy. This vertically scrolling shoot 'em up set during WWII was like a turbo-charged Space Invaders. Two people could play at once, both squeezed onto the same keyboard jostling for space and arguing who would have 'W-A-D-X-Space' and who would be left with the cursor keys and '0'. But these were the days when a pack of football stickers cost 6p and you could buy a quarter of rhubarb and custards for 15p. So no-one cared.
Full Throttle (PC) | Matt Hussey, Freelance writer for ShortList and Wired
A desperate Dan lookalike charging around an apocalyptic wasteland on a bike with 16 exhausts trying to catch the vice president of a bike company? What's not to like? Designer Tim Schafer - maker of Day Of The Tentacle, and would go onto make Grim Fandango, Psychonauts and Brutal Legend - managed to combine humour, gripping plot, and ridiculous playability at the height of the point-and-click genre. For anyone who missed out on those days, this is a must.