Prelude to #ML100 - Top 10 Games That Should Be On My Top 100 But Aren't

Updated: Jul 8, 2021

Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your ears. Now that Ian has wrapped up his excellent and diverse list, the time has come for me to enter the Top 100 fray and give you my significantly more boring and predictable list of favorites. I hope you like Nintendo, because you're about to see that I sure as heck do.

But before I get into it, I wanted to give credit to a few games. Ten, to be exact. This is the list of games that almost certainly would make their way onto my Top 100 list, but...I just haven't played them. Or, if I have played them, I never finished them. Some of these are pretty tragic. For most of them, I really have no excuse by this point to have skipped them--other than, well, I have kids now and I just don't play nearly as many video games anymore.

I do, at some mythical point in the future, intend to get to all of these games. I really do. But for now, they remain on my backlog, and here they sit on this fictional list of games I know I'd like.

10. Castlevania: Rondo of Blood

Ah, one of my greatest gaming regrets, here on this list to mock me. I had the opportunity to buy Rondo of Blood on the Wii Virtual Console. My brother warned me they were taking it offline. He sent me a link to the games that were only available on that service, leaving the realm of purchasability before our very eyes. I received his link; I heard his encouragement; I procrastinated. Before I knew it, I missed my chance. No rare Wii VC games for me.

You could blame Nintendo for making this whole virtual console thing so arcane and bad in the first place, but I knew all of that going in, and I dropped the ball. I still really want to play this game, because I love both classic Castlevania and the Igavania-style games, and Rondo of Blood represents an interesting middle ground.

9. Dustforce

Indie platformer? Check. Tight controls? Check. High skill ceiling? Check. Developed by Super Smash Bros. Melee nerds? Gravy. This game has everything for me, and for some reason, I've just never started it. Part of it is that I have a weird mental block against playing games on PC, especially games with a controller. Not owning any consoles this has been released on, it rests on Steam, a platform that I just have a lot of trouble motivating myself to invest time in. If this ever finds its way onto Switch, it will be a day 1 purchase for me. As it stands, I need to just suck it up and plug in a USB controller and get on it.

8. A Hat in Time

I have this theory that the games you played between the ages of 7 and 11 are your Gaming Golden Years. Any game you play and love in that time frame not only sticks with you, but also ends up shaping your genre preferences for the rest of the time you spend playing games. Since I was born in 1992, my Gaming Golden Years saw me playing a large amount of 3D Platformers. As a result, for better or for worse, I have a soft spot for the genre, especially the Collect-a-thon style of design.

I really should have played A Hat in Time by now. From all that I understand, the game takes late-90's Collect-a-thon principles and revisits them with 20 extra years of development and design sensibility. That sounds right up my alley. I will play it, and I'm sure I will love it.

7. Ori and the Will of the Wisps

You will see Ori and the Blind Forest on my Top 100 (spoilers). That game hit me in a way I didn't expect, and it really stuck with me. Yet when its sequel came out last year, I was so wrapped up in Animal Crossing and World of Warcraft that I never sat down with it. It's only a year old, so I have a slightly better excuse here than I do with the rest of the list, but I absolutely need to get on it. Note: Here begins the theme of "Metroidvanias I know I'd love but haven't gotten to." Get ready for more. In fact...

6. Axiom Verge

I own this game. Twice. I bought it on Steam, and I bought it again on Switch. I am such an idiot. Why haven't I played it? Here I am, lamenting the state of the Metroid series and its neglect by Nintendo, but I'm sitting on this heavily Metroid-inspired exploratory platformer two times over and I'm just...not playing it. Maybe writing this list was a bad idea.

5. Final Fantasy XIV

When the pandemic threw everything into stationary chaos last year, I decided that it was the perfect time for me to sink comfortably back into the world of an MMO. Before me, I had two options: revisit my childhood and return to the nostalgic but all-consuming World of Warcraft Classic, or try something new and exciting with FFXIV. Ultimately, WoW Classic won out. Do I regret that decision? No, I don't, because I've had a ton of fun back in Azeroth. But there is a large part of me that wonders what Ivalice has to offer. This is probably the one game on the list I will probably leave squarely in the "what-if" category, which isn't very fair to it. But MMO's are a lifestyle, and I probably shouldn't be playing any MMO these days, let alone the one I already am.

4. Final Fantasy IX

I love JRPG's and I love Final Fantasy games in particular, but I missed the PlayStation Final Fantasies the first time around due to being a Nintendo kid with limited resources. As a result, two games sit on my backlog unplayed, despite their high regard among FF fans and people whose opinions I highly respect. I've started FFIX three separate times. Each time, I make it a few hours, and then another highly-anticipated game gets released that ends up absorbing all my gaming time.

Unfortunately, my last attempt at FFIX was long enough ago that if I wanted to play through it, I will have to start over from the beginning. Man. Why do I do this to myself? Someday, Zidane.

3. Final Fantasy VII

Do you remember what I said about FFIX one list item ago? If not, go read that first paragraph again, as it all applies to FFVII as well.

I am in the middle of an FFVII playthrough right now. For the first time in my three attempts at playing the game, I have made it out of Midgar. I'm really enjoying my time with it, but not I just haven't experienced enough to rank it on a list of 100. I can easily see it making its way on there at the end of this run, though. (Note: I'm writing this partially to give me some accountability. I need to finish this run, lest it fall into the FFIX territory....again.)

2. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

SotN is another casualty--probably the most serious one--of my lack of access to a PlayStation in the late 90's. I have played so many games inspired by SotN, including almost every Igavania-style game in the series afterward. Dawn of Sorrow will make an appearance on the Top 100. It is a massive gap in my gaming experience that I have not made the opportunity to play this game that is, by all accounts, on par with Super Metroid in terms of its design perfection and influence on gaming. Additionally, I want to wait to play Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night until after I play SotN, so that's yet another game I'd love that's locked behind this wall.

1. Hollow Knight

Ugh, Jared, you big, dumb, stupid idiot. How have you not played Hollow Knight yet?

Man, I don't even want to talk about it. I own it. I'll play it. It's officially the next game I'm tackling after I finish FFVII. What am I doing. Why did I write this list. Go away, dear reader. You deserve better than this. Don't look at me...don't look at me in my shame.

[Update: I played it!]

Nah, I love you all, thanks for reading. Top 100 over the next few weeks. Stay tuned.


Here is the list!

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