DZ's Top 60: #50-41 - Funny Subtitle Here



50. Super Mario Land 2: Six Golden Coins


I got my Game Boy as a hand-me-down and it only came with four games. Paperboy, Killer Instinct, and Return of the Jedi; all decent ways to kill time but none that piqued my interest too much. But the fourth game, Super Mario Land 2, was special.


I didn't actually get my Game Boy until after I already had a GBA, which had the Super Mario Advance series as a way to play the older 2D Mario games on the go, but this game was an original experience I couldn't play on an NES or SNES, and I appreciated it for that. The worlds all had their own unique theme which allowed levels to take advantage of ideas made specifically for them, like the low-gravity levels in Moon Zone or being tiny and exploring the insides of houses in Macro Zone. This sparked my young imagination into imagining new worlds for Mario to explore and what themes they could have.


It's a shame this game never got a rerelease until the 3DS Virtual Console, as it's every bit as fleshed out as the console Mario's of the time and deserves to be appreciated more. But at least it's legacy lives on in the character of Wario, who debuted in this game and has gone on to be one of Nintendo's most recognizable mascots in his own right.



49. Mega Man 6


It's a fairly unpopular opinion, but I think Mega Man 6 is one of the better ones for the NES, and my personal favorite. Why is this?


Well for one, the music. This was Yuko Takehara's first game credit, who would go on to compose for more Mega Man games as well as Street Fighter, Marvel VS Capcom, and even Zelda. The instrumentation isn't particularly amazing, especially for 1993, but her compositions have a distinctly bold and melancholic sound to them, with very hummable choruses.


I also think the addition of the Rush Adapters in lieu of the standard Rush Coil and Rush Jet setup that the last three games did makes the game stand out and opens it up to more experimentation.


This game is just comfort food to me, and I can't really justify it's inclusion any better than that.



48. Deltarune


Back when it was OK to go out for Halloween, I wasn't home when Deltarune Chapter 1 was shadowdropped on October 31, 2018 and didn't find out until I got home that night. Having just played through Undertale for the first time the month prior, I was excited to see what a sequel could bring.


Well, it's not a sequel, really. I mean, it kinda is, but it's more of an alternate universe Undertale. You don't need to have played Undertale to enjoy this, but if you have played Undertale, it very much uses that knowledge to screw with your expectations. A lot of familiar faces return in unfamiliar roles, some with wildly different personalities, and some new characters who fit right in alongside everyone else.


I really can't talk too much about this game without going into spoilers but it was so fascinating to play through when it came out and I'm very excited for the full release.



47. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4


I grew up playing the two Tony Hawk's Underground games, and didn't get into other entries in the series until much later. THPS4 is a bit divisive in the THPS community, but opinions have warmed up to it over the years and many appreciate this game for it's unique take on the series.


Unlike previous entries, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 is the first to break away from the timed runs and instead give you lists of objectives to complete at your leisure, while also sprinkling in cash collectibles to hunt down and go after. I can totally see the seeds for what would become Tony Hawk's Underground in this game, but I still think it stands apart even from the later games. The lack of a timer or story beats makes it feel more free and open than other entries while still giving you an actual campaign to play through.


Also it has Alcatraz, which is one of the most fun levels in the series for it's size and variety of terrain.



46. Splatoon 2


Splatoon is the shooter franchise for people who don't like shooters, but also people that do. It's also one of Nintendo's newest franchises, and one that has the most personality.


Maybe part of it is just that it reminds me of 90s Nickelodeon with all the slime and extreme sports vibes, but it's so much fun to just wander around the plaza and soak in all the little details of the world, it really feels like you're there in Inkopolis.


And of course the gameplay is fun, too. No matter how good your aim is, the goal isn't strictly to rack up a good kill count or survive as long as you can, but simply to ink more of the stage than your opponents. This can be done as aggressively or as passively as you like, so it's a good way to have players of different skill levels on the same team and have them all play an important part.


It's one of those rare games where I find the multiplayer more fun than the single-player, and I'm interested to see what Splatoon 3 does on either of these fronts.



45. Tales of Symphonia


I'm not an RPG person and I'll admit this. It's not that I don't enjoy my time with them, but I don't like grinding at all and I have a tendency to give up on a game halfway through when I get to a boss I'm just not strong enough to beat.


Tales of Symphonia completely changed the way I think about grinding, because the battle system is this game is SO MUCH FUN. It's a real-time battle system that feels a lot like a fighting game, being on a 2D plane with a focus on blocking and combos. Each character controls differently and have their own strengths and weakness, and party members you aren't playing as can either be set to follow specific patterns or controlled manually via macros. It's very deep, and even in my 50-hour playthrough I feel like I only scratched the surface.


I'll admit that I probably would have enjoyed the stories and characters more if I was younger when I first played this game. Sometimes I couldn't help but see the anime/JRPG tropes for tropes and I don't think that's a fault of the game at all, I'm just a very jaded adult who has a hard time getting invested in fictional characters anymore. But overall the story and tone of the game is good, it does a good job of balancing action, humor, pathos, and racism metaphors in the context of a fantasy setting.


I hear some people can beat the game in slightly less than 50 hours, but I'll believe that when I see it. ;)



44. Mega Man X


I'll just say what we're all thinking: the game truly gets good halfway through Chill Penguin's stage.


This was the first Mega Man game to not be a part of the Classic series, instead being set 100 years in the future, and following Dr. Light's creation known simply as X. It's more or less the Mega Man you know, but now with the ability to dash and wall jump, which significantly changed how the game is approached, and opened the levels up to being larger and more exploratory.


Mega Man X really feels like classic Capcom firing on all cylinders. The artstyle, level design, character design, and music are all top-notch. And after 6 games on the NES following a similar formula, MMX established Mega Man as a franchise that can take the source material and build a new identity with it, one that truly feels at home on 16-bit consoles.


Sadly, X2 just barely didn't make the list, as much as I like that game, but I feel like the first game is just a bit more polished.



43. Wario Land 4


Wario Land 4, in some ways, feels like the intersection between the GBC Wario Land games and the WarioWare series. It's definitely a Wario Land game, but the addition of microgames, the sound test, as well as the sound design in general, definitely makes it obvious that this team then went on to create WarioWare just a year or two later.


The atmosphere can bounce between calming, upbeat, and eerie, sometimes at a moment's notice, but is always underscored by a note of quirkyness. I don't typically think of the GBA as a system that can deliver this type of atmosphere effectively, but WL4 does. Combined with the level design often requiring you to take note of your surroundings and finding ways to use mechanics in combination with them to find collectibles or even progress, it makes each level feel memorable.


I haven't replayed Wario Land 4 in like... 10 years? Maybe I should do that sometime.



42. Baba Is You


So OK, I never actually finished this game. I'm not galaxy-brained enough. But the cool thing about it is that I feel like I can jump back into it at anytime, since it's not about memorizing and internalizing mechanics as much as it is about problem-solving, intuition, and creativity.


For those who don't know, Baba Is You is a puzzle game where you have words represented as blocks, and you can push these blocks around to form sentences that can change the reality of the game. The phrase "Baba Is You" is such as example, as it tells the game that Baba is the character you control. Breaking this sentence will often softlock the game unless you replace Baba with something else you can control (and even then, that may not even be part of the solution).


Baba Is You has a sort of eerie-yet-soothing vibe to it, almost like "the world is scary but you're safe with me". It somehow is a perfect compliment to the season of autumn, when I first played the game.


If nothing else, Baba Is Cute.



41. Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics


Hoo boy, this game was a big deal last summer. Everyone was in lockdown and looking for a way to pass the time, and here comes this offical Nintendo release, a collection of 51 games! Surely one of them is good, right?


The 51 games in question are almost all variations on different tabletop, card, party, etc. games from all around the world, and they're all in a well-polished package and many are even playable online. It was certainly the first I'd heard of games like Mancala, but it turns out not only is it fun but I'm also really good at it. >:) I also had a lot of fun with Six-Ball Puzzle, Yacht Dice, Chinese Checkers, Blackjack, Billiards, and Solitaire, among others.


I don't see people talking about this game anymore, which is fair, since I haven't touched it in a while either, but it was for one moment in time, a fun distraction from a lousy situation that seemingly everyone was getting in on. There's another Switch game that accomplished the same thing, but we'll be getting to that later...


The list so far:


60. NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams

59. Sonic Advance 3

58. The Spongebob Squarepants Movie

57. Friday The 13th: The Game

56. Mario Party

55. Nicktoons Racing (GBA)

54. DuckTales Remastered

53. Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Movie

52. Castlevania: Rondo of Blood

51. Super Mario Maker

50. Super Mario Land 2: Six Golden Coins

49. Mega Man 6

48. Deltarune

47. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4

46. Splatoon 2

45. Tales of Symphonia

44. Mega Man X

43. Wario Land 4

42. Baba Is You

41. Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics

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