Nobody's Top 100 Games of All Time: 90-81

These games have lower numbers in front of them than the last ones did.



#90: Divinity: Original Sin II (Larian Studios, PC, 2017)


The first DOS was a silly CRPG where you played two blank-slate characters on a journey that might well not involve recruiting any additional party members and that barely had an overarching storing attached. It worked on the strength of its battles, which revolved around creative use of elemental interactions and physics effects, and the depth of its RPG systems, which were almost unrivaled at the time.


DOS II is all the good parts of the original on steroids and with a real story thrown in. You're playing established characters who all have their own motivations and personal quests, and each of them can form their own relationships with the rest of the party. It's some of the best role playing you'll find in any game, and it'd be much higher on this list if not for a thoroughly underwhelming final boss. Everything before that is amazing.



#89: The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel (Falcom/XSEED, Vita, 2015)


Falcom has made a couple of attempts to be Persona, and this is the good one. It takes the remarkably customizable battle system from earlier Trails games and drops it on to a story about a bunch of military academy high schoolers who get caught up in the prelude to a civil war, then blatantly and unashamedly steals the idea of social links and a lot of the general feeling of the overworld from Persona. A lot of the time it's good in spite of itself - it can't resist being anime for no reason, it doesn't know when to just cut losses and admit a character is boring, and too much of its worldbuilding is just putting "orbal" in front of real technology. I'm honestly a little surprised it made the list, but that speaks to how well it works when it isn't working against itself. When it works, it's Persona 3 mixed with earlier Trails games and what Final Fantasy XII wanted to be. That's a compelling combination.



#88: 80 Days (Inkle, PC, 2015)


This is going to sound strange given that I apparently believe there are 87 better games, but I'm not sure I have anything to criticize about 80 Days. It casts you as Passepartout, valet for Phineas Fogg on his journey round the world, and makes you responsible for plotting the trip, managing finances, and keeping Fogg alive. There are a stunning number of choices to make, all of which the game reacts to in interesting ways. There are dozens upon dozens of cities you can reach, and each city has its own visual novel section to explore and unique characters to meet. Sometimes even the routes between cities have game-changing events attached. And on top of all of that, it's set in a unique slightly surrealist world that lets it have things like walking cities for you to find along the way. What's not to love?



#87: Medieval II: Total War (Creative Assemby/SEGA, PC, 2006)


Medieval II honestly wasn't that much of a change from 2004's Rome. It's still a mix of big RTS battles and a typical 4X for everything else. But instead of leading an ascendant empire whose only real enemy is its own internal politics, you're in charge of fledgling early medieval kingdoms. Everything is much smaller, the consequences for losses are more severe, and foreign powers are a real threat. It was also the last game in the series to have powerful mod support, which means there are total conversions available to set your wars in the LotR and even Zelda universes.



#86: Seers Isle (Nova-box, PC, 2018)


It's only about an hour long, and I've only played it once. But Seers Isle makes the list anyway because it's such a beautiful experience. You alternate playing as different characters from a group of shipwreck survivors on a vaguely-Celtic magic island. Some of those characters will probably die horribly. (but with pretty backgrounds!) It doesn't always feel fair, but it's short and well-written enough that I didn't mind.



#85: Tokyo Dark (Cherrymochi/Square Enix, PC, 2017)


Silent Hill may be long dead, but this is a great approximation of it. Detective Ito is haunted by a girl who has somehow returned from death. She's only rarely actually on screen, but Ito frequently hallucinates her voice or face, and sometimes ends up in a strange otherworld (like above) that's filled with references to her. There's a mystery plot about why the girl is so desperate to acquire a freaky mask and some choice systems driving everything along, but its real strength is in how weird and unnerving it all is. Tokyo Dark can get quite scary, but it never resorts to jumps scares.