I honestly hadn’t forgotten – it just got placed a few steps back in the queue when wedding fever took over after New Year!
I know you’ll have forgotten by now, so here’s a rundown of the top fifteen so far:
Twenty to Eleven
20 – 11 went like this:
20 – Blitz – Commodore Vic20
19 – Jawbreaker (aka Bubble Breaker) – MS Mobiles
18 – Trackmania Sunrise – PC
17 – Mario Golf – Gameboy
16 – Delta Force – PC
15 – Virtual Pool – PC
14 – Afterburner – Spectrum
13 – Daley Thompson’s Decathlon – Spectrum
12 – Footballer of the Year – Spectrum
11 – Virtua Tennis 2 – PS2
Ten to Six
The next five went:
10 – Actraiser – SNES
9 – Speedball II – Amiga
8 – Monkey Island – Amiga
7 – Cannon Fodder – Amiga
6 – Tony Hawks Pro Skater – PSX/PS2
So that brings us back up to date.
For the top five I’m going to be a little more in depth with my summaries. so it will be single post for each one… starting quite logically with number five…
Five: Super Mario Kart
The SNES was my first taste of proper console gaming. It was actually Street Fighter II that lured me to the SNES in the first place, but it was Super Mario Kart that was the game that sits head and shoulders above all others.
I feel I should whisper this… but I’ve never been a massive fan of Mario! SMK is so far removed from the hopping stomping rubbish he usually gets up to it doesn’t matter. You could have put any character in those little karts and the game would still be one of the best racing games ever.
On paper it all sounds very silly, and I suppose it is.
Take most of the main Mario characters and squeeze them into tiny Go Karts. Let them all race around loads of circuits, some of which are made of chocolate. Have them throwing banana skins and shells at each other, And when you fall off the track have a little bloke – who obviously floats around on a cloud – come round and pick you up with his fishing rod.
But it all worked brilliantly. The graphics were spot on, capturing both the Mario world and the sense of low to the ground kart speed perfectly. The carts handle perfectly, especially with the top button assisted skids. The power-ups and weapons actually enhanced the game play rather than getting in the way.
The championships were well thought out and varied with a perfect learning curve.
If you got bored with flying round circuits you have a go at the brilliant battle mode. Swapping circuits for arenas, and racing for popping each others balloons… it was just a great package.
This is one of those timeless games that Nintendo seem to be so good at. It nailed the basics perfectly – ost importantly the balance was just right. In some of the later games in the series they mucked about with too many fancy weapons and things tipped a little to one side – the games were still great, but not classics.
However the more recent Gameboy Advance and DS versions of the game went back to basics and the original gameplay shone through. With WiFi play on the DS it was damn near perfect!
Bottom Line: Just a stand out classic, still one of the best driving games ever.