This page was originally a static page on my website. I have incorporated it into my blog, entry dated the last time the page was edited, as a more appropriate place to archive old things like this.

Here’s my top ten computer and video games.

Skies of Arcadia: Legends


Everyone has their limits, their codes, their morals. But everyone also has a weakness. If you find that weakness and exploit it, those limits, codes, and morals seem to fade away. —Belleza

Impossible is just a word to let people feel good about themselves when they quit. —Vyse

Maybe losing hope because you’re afraid of the future is the same as living life with your eyes closed because you’re afraid to see the truth. —Old lady

Skies of Arcadia is a proper old-fashioned turn-based RPG, in the style, tone and feel of games like Final Fantasy VII. The world draws you in and while the combat has a number of flaws, it does require you to think a bit in some of the harder fights. A fascinating world with engaging characters; I have so many good memories from this game.

The music is very good; the Dreamcast version of the game had better music that got made worse for the GameCube release, but you can get the Dreamcast music on a CD/find it online.

As well as turn-based hand-to-hand combat there is also ship-to-ship combat which is pretty broken, but slots really well into the story.

The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind


They have taken you to the Imperial City’s prison, first by carraige, and now by boat. To the east, to Morrowind. Fear not, for I am watchful. You have been chosen. —Azura

Make it quick outlander, I haven’t much time. —Citizen

Go on about your business. —Ordinator

It’s hard to talk about Morrowind without also talking about Oblivion, it’s successor. Both feature massive worlds with a myriad of quests and factions, okayish main quests with along with the infinitely more interesting task of developing a powerful character and rising in standing in society.

Oblivion fixes Morrowind’s shoddy combat, which swiftly breaks if you know just a little about what you’re doing. Yet, it doesn’t get this quite right: the levelled monsters make the world seem a lot less threatening, whereas Morrowind there was no guarantee that what you faced would be appropriate for your character’s power level.

Oblivion’s great failure is how utterly generic the world is, compared to Morrowind’s imaginative spleadour. Without fast travel, just moving between towns in Morrowind was a real experience. You’d be given vague directions talking about rocks to turn left at; some routes had signposts, but not all of them did. There was a great wonder in moving slowly (oh so slowly until you levelled) through the world, waiting for that glimpse of towers of the settlement in the distance that you crunched into as dusk fell, to a cool reception as an outlander—and with such variety of cultures and architecture to greet you. Oblivion comes nowhere close to this.

Also stunning music.

Diablo II


Stay a while and listen! —Deckard Cain

Hi there, I’m Charsi, the blacksmith here in camp. —Charsi

You have quite a treasure there in that Horadric Cube. —Deckard Cain

Not even death can save you from me. —Diablo

Tyreal was a fool to have trusted me! You see, it was I who told Diablo and his brothers about the soulstones, and how to corrupt them. It was I who helped the Prime Evils mastermind their own exile to your world. The plan we set in motion so long ago cannot be stopped by any mortal agency. Hell, itself, is poised to spill forth into your world like a tidal wave of blood and nightmares. You and all your kind… are doomed. —Izual

Stop! The beast contained herein shall not be set free, not even by you. —Tyrael

We travelled together into the east. Always into the east. —Marius

My brothers, at long last we stand re-united. The infernal gate has been prepared, while the time of our final victory is at hand. Let the way to hell be open … and the evil that was once vanquished shall rise anew. Wrapped in the guise of man shall you walk amongst the innocent, and terror shall consume they that dwell upon earth. The sky shall rain fire, and the seas will become as blood. The righteous shall fall before the wicked. And all creation shall tremble before the burning standards of Hell. —Mephisto

I stood in the doorway between light and dark. What was left of my sanity implored me not to enter. But that voice was just a whisper now. —Marius

The game of my generation? Diablo II drew us all into a dark world of heroes and monsters, keeping us their for so many hours. And without a doubt the best cinematics I have ever seen in a game. I can probably quote the third word for word.

Great music too (noticing a pattern?).

Final Fantasy VI


People seem to only want power. Do they truly want to be like me? —Tina

This little hamlet has too much boring and not enough burning… TORCH EVERYTHING! —Kefka

Why do you build, knowing destruction is inevitable? Why do you yearn to live, knowing all things must die?

Life…Dreams…Hope…Where do they come from? And where do they go? None of that junk is enough to fulfill your hearts! Destruction…Destruction is what makes life worth living! Destroy! Destroy! Destroy! Let’s destroy everything! —Kefka

What can I say, it’s Final Fantasy VI! This is a game that immersed me despite me playing it much later than most of the others on this list. A solid turn-based RPG with interesting combat, what makes this game stand out for me is certain sequences that it does so well. The opening, with the three mechs walking in the snowstorm. Tina’s theme when you step out into the overworld: to me, the best piece of video game music ever composed. The opera sequence! An experience not to be missed.

SpellForce: The Order of Dawn

I watch over the treasures of Mulandir, until the world is ready for them again.

An entirely underappreciated RPG/RTS. A great campaign with a really interesting mix of hero, party and army combat, with a decent enough plot most of the way, and an absolutely jaw-dropping final conclusion. The concept of how your hero builds armies is effective, and there are some great moments, such as the above line which you get from a strange masked warrior atop a hill top overlooking a city overrun with demons.

The game forces you to be defensive, but not too defensive! The difficulty works well even if it varies wildly. And when you’ve got your base up, and your army is getting going, you can switch into third-person and return your main character from a scouting expedition past your defences, into the workings of the base with workers chopping down trees etc.—this is very cool, and all looks really good.

Great music. Shame the expansions and sequel aren’t so great.

Here’s a nice review.

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker


Zelda is hard to beat, and for me Wind Waker is the best. Its gameplay is more sophisticated than Ocarina, and it maintains that Zelda magic that only Nintendo seem to be capable of infusing.

image source

The Legend of Zelda: The Oracle of Ages


Another really enjoyable Zelda game. The main theme, despite being 8bit, somehow hits me really hard. Great puzzles, an interesting adventure progression (weak plot) and a detailed world to explore.

The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time

Reputed to be the best game of all time. I’m willing to accept this, I think, but I didn’t get quite as much out of it because I came to it late, and so its lack of polish took some of it away for me.

Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance

My first games were strategy games, but this is one that I keep coming back to. Take your average strategy game and blow up the scale to a map that it takes your starting unit forty-five minutes to cross, add a strategic zoom which allows you to view combat at any level, add really cool megalomaniac macro capabilities and you have the ingredients for what could be the ultimate strategy game. Unfortunately there are problems when it comes to executing this (such as totally unreasonable processor demands for hosting games), but this game allows real long-term strategic planning and plotting unlike games like StarCraft. Highly recommended; my friends and I have had so many hours out of this one.

HalfLife 2

Welcome to City 17. It’s safer here. —Dr. Breen

Yes, you did it! Come on, Gordon! We have to get out of here! Maybe we still have… —Alyx

Time, Dr. Freeman? Is it really that time again? It seems as if you only just arrived. —The G Man

The only shooter I’ll play; lots of fun as you get carried along by memorable characters and an urgent need to save the world.


Honourable mentions: Tiberian Sun, StarCraft II (maybe it will graduate up there soon), Portal, Transport Tycoon Deluxe.