DZ's Top 60 Games: #60-51

Everyone else is doing it and I wanna be one of the cool kids! But I'm only doing 60 games. Why 60? Who cares!


This list is based on which games I got the most enjoyment out of for whatever reason, and not which ones I necessarily think are the best. Also worth mentioning I haven't played every game ever, nor do I remember every game I've ever played, so there's probably some games that aren't here. It isn't that I think lowly of them, I just don't have sufficient knowledge to rank them.



60. NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams


I've always found NiGHTS a fascinating series, and I bought this back in 2009 when Walmart had it on sale for $20. Having played the original on Steam for the first time last year, I decided to order a replacement copy for this game (since I fucking ruined it trying to buff out the scratches with toothpaste even though that website SAID it would work!!) since I really didn't remember it that well.


It's a pretty good sequel; it tries to address the short length of the original by quintupling the amount of missions to play. They're a mixed bag, with some being fun and feeling like classic NiGHTS gameplay, while others just feel like bloat (looking at you, on-foot missions).


I really wanted to put it higher because this soundtrack is EASILY in my top 5 video game soundtracks EVER. It's so absolutely wonderful to listen to that I'm gonna link you to one of my favorites.



59. Sonic Advance 3


Arguably the best in the Sonic Advance trilogy, this game sets itself apart with the partner system, where you can select any two-character combination of the 5 playable characters and not only does this give you team-up moves, but also changes the moveset of who you're playing as depending on who you're partnered with.


In addition to the great art and sound direction of the GBA Sonic games, there's also collectible Chao in the game, often in hard-to-reach areas, making it an additional challenge to find them all.


I'd say the biggest weakness of this game, which it shares with the other Advance games, is that the level design is occassionally bullshit. There are some instances where you have to make a leap of faith and have no idea if it pays out or if you're just heading for a bottomless pit. I also feel like it's really easy to get crushed in some of the later levels.


Even if it isn't the best Sonic game ever, I think the partner system makes it unique, and it's still generally fun.



58. The Spongebob Squarepants Movie


Spongebob games typically range from bland to bad, but there are a few standout titles, with this being one of them. Essentially a sequel to Battle for Bikini Bottom (which we'll talk about later), this game is built on the same engine, but compared to that game, this is a much more linear platformer with more focus on combat and upgrading your characters.


The controls are tight and the platforming and combat are satisfying, which is good because this game is surprisingly difficult (but in a fun and fair way). I also think they did a good job capturing the kind of Eldrich eerieness that some of the environments in the movie did.


My biggest criticism of the game is that it sometimes asks too much from the player in terms of having to unlock the next level. It makes it so you have to grind earlier levels to get most/all of the tokens, which I personally wish would have just been optional.



57. Friday The 13th: The Game


This game probably doesn't offer much that you couldn't get from something like Dead By Daylight, but I personally enjoyed how much Friday The 13th love the developers put into it. The fact that I'm not a fan of slashers OR online multiplayer games should tell you something.


I had a brief Friday The 13th phase in October-November of last year, which all started when I was looking at one of my Maniac Mansion speedruns on YouTube and saw a run of the Friday The 13th game for NES. Anyway I was fascinated with the massive masked murderer to the point that I downloaded this game for Switch and for a good while I was hooked.


I played this game for a couple of months, I got burned out and probably won't go back to it for quite a while, but I had fun with it.



56. Mario Party


This is a pure nostalgia pick, because I think the balancing is lackluster and the stick-rotating minigames are arduous even on a good controller.


But you know what? I hear that sweet Mitsuda music, and I think about how awesome this game was when I was 5, and the cozy feelings it gives me. The colorful shrooms in the Mushroom Mix-Up minigame, the scrumptious-looking Peach's Birthday Cake, the giant melons :vgfAyy: in Yoshi's Tropical Island. It makes me feel like a kid again.


And to be fair the game's not THAT bad, but we have better entries now. Maybe we'll talk about them later? We'll see...



55. Nicktoons Racing (GBA)


I played a lot of these licensed games based on cartoons when I was a kid, and this is one of the few that I think actually holds up.


Now, I wanna be clear, this game is extremely a Mario Kart clone, it's basically just Mario Kart with a boost meter. But that's fine, because Mario Kart is good and this clone does a good job capturing what makes it fun. I'd even go so far as to say it's a better Mario Kart than Super Circuit.


It's somewhat light on content with only 12 tracks, but they're almost all good tracks that are fun to race on, and it's definitely a game I like to boot up and just plow through all the cups whenever I feel the urge.



54. DuckTales Remastered


This essentially shares a spot with the original DuckTales game since it basically is, but I'm mentioning Remastered because I love how it used modern hardware to better realize it as an episode of the cartoon. One of Alan Young's last performances as Scrooge McDuck, too.


Bouncing on stuff with Scrooge's cane is just FUN. It's no wonder Retro gave this ability to Cranky Kong in DKC Tropical Freeze. The remastered version keeps track of collectibles and total money count, and offers you things like concept art in exchange for it. It's not the greatest reward, but I actually had fun trying to unlock everything (despite the fact that I normally hate grinding).


Oh yeah and Jake Kaufman did the soundtrack. Having virt do an official cover of The Moon theme is pretty wonderful, I think.



53. Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Movie


The SNES era was lousy with beat-em-ups, and there's not much here you couldn't find anywhere else. So why is it on my list? Well, because it's the one I played!


Despite the name, it mostly uses bosses from the series, with the only additions from the movie being playable White Ranger and Ivan Ooze as the final boss. It's a really fun co-op experience, and the music is some classic Natsume goodness.


Oh and Mirror Maniac is maybe one of my favorite boss fights in a video game.



52. Castlevania: Rondo of Blood


This is my favorite Castlevania. Yeah that's right, no Castlevania games in the list proper, I'm as surprised as you are!


Rondo of Blood takes everything about Classicvanias and pumps them full of adrenaline. The graphics, the music, the controls, items, everything is more complex and fun than the NES games allowed, and the addition of Maria Renard as an unlockable character gives a whole new dimension to the game (which to be fair CV3 did multiple playable characters before but Maria is fun for being this game's Cream the Rabbit and just breaking everything).


Shame it's hard to find nowadays, the Wii version was my first exposure to the game but you can't buy that anymore. You pretty much have to emulate it yourself now.



51. Super Mario Maker


I had a lot of fun with this game when it came out. It was really fun to make my own Mario levels, and also fun to share them with other people and see what others were making.


I tried to recapture some of that magic when Mario Maker 2 came out, but I think I was just tapped out creatively since I only made three levels in that game. Still fun seeing what other people were making, but I feel like the zeitgeist wasn't here like it was with the first game.



If you thought some of these picks were obscure, well that's gonna be a theme throughout my list. Stay tuned for the next part where we MIGHT talk about a game you've heard of!


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