This week in the first of a two part column, the Retrobear bemoans “Top” lists and why such things are individual and unique. The second part, to be posted over the next couple of days, will definitely feature more on retro games. Honest…..

Originally Posted to on August 19th 2010


How we cried at both the film and game versions of ET.

One thing I always like to scan through when getting ideas for writing a column is what other columns have  done already. There is, for example, absolutely no point in me doing “My Top 50 Games” list because it’s relevant only to me. There can be no way a list I can put together will find universal approval, and is more likely have me tarred with the dribbling imbecile brush. I scan through other people’s lists with interest and have no desire to pull them apart because they believe Sonic 2 is better than Mario 64. If that’s your opinion, then that’s great and good for you. You’ll still be welcome here at Bear Towers for a cup of tea and a slice of cake. 

Now truth be told, I did do a Top 10 N64 list a few weeks back, but if you recall (and you can go back a few pages and read it here if you wish) it wasn’t my list, it was someone else’s. I purely did it because I had played some of the games and it allowed me to do a couple of elf jokes at the expense of Link. I therefore considered myself able to put some sort of comment on it. The thing is with retro games and playing them in the correct way, it takes a lot of time and that’s something I don’t usually have. So if you want my top 10 C64 games I have played, you’ll have to wait as playing 423 of them will take me years.

Of course, the lists we do like to read are the Bad Games ones, as they always raise a few chuckles. However how many people have actually played the bad ones which always occur, and simply include them because they have a reputation for being bad ? As a 7 year old kid I thought E.T. And Pac Man on the Atari 2600 were great (well not truthfully – E.T. used to really piss me off). Now history tells me they were bad and should be condemned and as such these now always appear at the top of Bad Games lists. It’s much better to find a really bad game no one seems to remember, for example last week’s Retro Bullet The Running Man. It was crap at the time and it’s crap now.

Angry Video Game Nerd

He likes to play the shitty games that suck ass.

I admire people like James Rolfe of Angry Video Game Nerd fame. He has never been scared to put his opinions forward and has unearthed some really quite awful old NES titles that most of us had forgotten about, or even knew existed. He has his own way of putting his thoughts and comments across, though not to everyone’s taste. Personally, going beyond the bad language and toilet humour, he does know what he is on about, and has a collection to die for. Good games, bad games, good systems, bad systems ; he has them all and deserves his successes.


It’s made it all the more difficult for people to put their gaming opinions across though. If you come across all angry and sweary, as I sometimes do, you get labelled with the AVGN imposter tag. The world already has one of those, so you have to forge your own opinions and get your points across. It seems that there is nothing better than waxing lyrical about how bad a game is, but the art of praising one seems to have disappeared. When you do put together a Great Games List, someone comes along and craps all over it. So what if you haven’t included Halo ? You might not have played it, and therefore one comment takes away any credibility from your list and then the nit picking begins. Before long, it’s been pulled apart and you’ll wonder why you bothered in the first place.

Spice World

Bend it, shake it, move it, make it, who do you think you are ?

So next time someone goes to the trouble of posting their favourite games list, remember it’s one person’s opinion which they are sharing with you. You won’t agree with all of them, but you might agree with some. Doesn’t make them a bad person or a bad expert on games, they just want to let you know why they love gaming so much. Unless they put Spiceworld at the top of the list : then you have grounds to blast the buffoon to kingdom come.


Till the next time – It was like that when I got here.