Stuff's 200 Greatest Games of All Time

Well perhaps not actually All Time, because that would include the future. But Stuff's 200 Greatest Games Up to Now didn't have quite the same ring to it.

The Stuff team has put in thousands upon thousands of hours of sofa-time hunting our prey, battling our foes, racing our friends and generally saving the world or blowing it up. Although we've also spent far too much time just playing poker in Red Dead Redemption. So while 200 games might sound like a lot, it's really just the highlight reel in several decades' worth of button-mashing.

We'll be updating this article as we work though the full list, so check back in for more polygon-pushing fun. 

1-10: Arcade Fire

From Gauntlet to Golden Axe and beyond, our 10 greatest arcade games ever is THE definitive list of what to play in the increasingly rare arcades, when you're not trying to figure out why the carpet is so sticky.

READ IT NOW: The 10 Greatest Arcade Games

11-20: the less friends you have, the more zelda you can play

Social contact, fresh air, food that isn't prepared using just a kettle: these things are all well and good. But what's really well and good is shaving another minute off your time on Rainbow Road, or completing every last side-quest in the Wasteland. We rounded up the games most likely to turn what's left of your social life down into a single yearly phone call to a parent to explain how well you're doing (at Dark Souls).

READ IT IMMEDIATELY: The 10 Best Games for destroying your social life

21-25: pony slaystation

You can drum up all the pretty polygons and fancy physics you like, but if there's one thing that makes us say OH COOL, A HORSE!, it's a horse. And while real horses are messy and expensive, a digital pony is a gamer's best friend.

PERUSE IT AT ONCE: The 5 best games in which you get to ride a horse

26-35: plane sailing

Like sky-bound metal horses with wings and spinning hooves that retract into their bellies when aloft, planes are fun to zoom around on. We put enough time into Star Wing on the SNES that we were actually offered a real pilot's license, but turned it down because they wouldn't let us have a Harrier jump jet. That really is true. It is.

COMMENCE READING: The 10 Best Flying Games Ever

36-42: MENACE TO SOCIETY

Games are a bit like music - sometimes you they're great because they a lot of personality, or they're beautifully made, but sometimes you love them just because you know they'll really annoy someone else. And one of the best things about some games is the warm fuzzy feeling of knowing that while you're playing them, Daily Mail readers are frothing with impotent rage, wishing you would stop.

OOOH, CONTROVERSIAL: The Six Greatest Games for getting an ASBO

43-53: the gore the merrier

It's all very well jumping through a charming fairyland of grumpy little tortoises and whimsical music, but what about the times when you want to shoot a man's lung off, then beat him senseless with it? It's a good thing there are video game that let us do that, or we'd all be doing it in real life. 

READ IT FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY: The 10 greatest, goriest games

54-64: sochi, so good

Partly in celebration of the Winter Olympics, partly in celebration of repressive regimes everywhere, we've rounded up the top 10 snow games that aren't the propaganda of a decadent society. Tongue very firmly in cheek, obviously.

READ IT OR REPORT FOR RECONDITIONING: The 10 best, most normal snow games

65-70: Playing for bleeps

If music in video games be the food of fun, play on. Game soundtracks are a genre of their own, one that's mercifully removed from the what's-cool waffle that surrounds other music like a big beige fart. In games, 8-bit sound can be arranged into baroque compositions, guitars can be shredded and DJs can go on deep, onanistic odysseys through hours of beats, because as long as you're blowing stuff up, everything sounds brilliant.

IT'S THE MIXTAPE YOUR CONSOLE WOULD MAKE FOR YOU IF IT COULD: The 6 best game soundtracks

71-80: Vroom with a view

When you put the pedal to the metal in real life, there's so much to think about - petrol prices, insurance, bewildering maintenance expenses, trying not to have a crash. In the digital realm, driving's like they always told you it would be - fast and free. And occasionally on fire. 

FILL 'ER UP (WITH WORDS): The 10 best games for just drivin' around

81-85: Play the strange

Some games are moving, some are witty, some are just plain good fun. And some games let you pretend you're a goat.

READ IT WEARING YOUR FAVOURITE CUSTARD SNORKEL: The 5 best weird games

86-95: gunny you should say that

There's no problem a gun can't solve*. Nothing on TV? BLAM! Car won't start? BLAM! Raindrops keep fallin' on yer head? BLAM BLAM BLAM! Take that, raindrops.

READ IT OR WE WILL OPEN FIRE: the 10 best games for getting your gun off.

*Excluding problems of murder, related gun crime and war. Guns not advised as a problem-solving solution. Don't buy a gun.

96-100: Climby-wimey stuff

From old-school platformers to free-running roof-ruiners (nobody ever thinks about the innocent people whose tiling and guttering is damaged by this kind of malarkey, do they?), these are the best games in which you ascend things. Well, the best games in which you ascend things minus GIRP. Which is a pity, because GIRP is excellent.   

READ IT HANGING FROM A LEDGE: The 5 best climbing games ever

More after the break...

101-110: scarin' the community

Because it's you that controls how slowly your character creeps forward into the darkness ahead and how quickly s/he reacts to the fanged horrors waiting in the shadows, games have a unique ability to deliver the most yelp-inducing, trouser-ruining frights.

READ IT FROM BEHIND THE SOFA: The 10 best games for scaring yourself silly

111-115: Hey, good lookin'

Cor, I wouldn't mind popping that in my optical media slot, eh? I wouldn't mind spending 20-40 hours getting sore thumbs on account of that, if you know what I mean, eh? Phwoooar!

UNDRESS THEM WITH YOUR EYES: The 5 best-looking games ever

116-120: Mainstream is so last year

Where have you been? It's all about locally-produced, crowdfunded, pop-up games now. Indie is the new Shoreditch.

GET WITH THE PROGRAM: 5 of the best indie games

121-130 Mind over matter

Sometimes, the visceral thrill of machine-gunning a horde of aliens just doesn't cut it any more. Time to put your thinking cap on.

TRAIN YOUR BRAIN: The 10 best games for giving your grey cells a workout

131-135: Funny delight

We've rounded up five side-splitters that served up their pixels with a generous helping of comedy chips.

TICKLE YOUR FUNNY BONE: 5 of the best funny video games

136-145: Knuckle sandwiches

The best beat 'em ups, boxers and fighting games? We've got ten of 'em right here for ya, pal.

HADOUKEN: 10 of the best games in which you hit people

146-150: Life's a beach

Winter blues getting you down? Take a break with these five titles, each of which'll whisk you off to bewitchingly beautiful climes.

YOU SUN OF A BEACH: 5 of the best games for a virtual vacation

151-155: flushed with success

There's no point trying to hide your shame. We all see you as you nonchalantly slip your phone into your pocket before walking off to the bathroom. Oh, of course, you just need to have your phone on you in case you get that important text you've been waiting for. Not because you're about to spend a crafty ten minutes playing Candy Crush Cubicle, oh no. Because that would be disgusting.

READ IT, THEN WASH YOUR HANDS: The 5 Best Games for Thrones

156-165: Under the influence

Well, obviously we're not going to get too lofty with the 'influential' here. They're not exactly Picasso, or Dickens, or the Beatles. Still, as in so many areas of creative endeavour, the true sign of success is that everyone else spends years making poor imitations of your work, and that's certainly the case with these genre-creating classics.

READ IT OR YOU WON'T KNOW WHAT IT SAYS: The 10 most influential games ever

166-170: school of rock band

Alongside more traditional student games like Who Can Be the Poorest, Who Can Drink the Most and the always-popular Kitchen Cidersick Cleanup Argument (three players or more), electronic entertainment is an essential part of student life. You live in a house with a bunch of other people who don't have any money, so opponents are never in short supply, and what else are you going to do, work on your dissertation? Not while there are zombies to slay, you're not.

READ IT OR WE'LL MAKE YOU GET A JOB: The 5 best games for a student house

171-175: space, the final fun-tier

Some people see nothing but terror and isolation in the pitiless infinity of the star-speckled void, and that's fair enough. But for the rest of us, space is mainly a realm for trading minerals, having battles with lasers and more nerditude than you can fit on a single planet.

READ IT FLOATING UPSIDE DOWN AND WEEING INTO A SPECIAL TUBE: the 5 best space exploration games

176-180: when the MMO-ing gets tough

Some games are enjoyable because they're so punishingly, fist-clenchingly, tooth-smashingly difficult that when you do fluke your way through a level, you're rewarded with a nice big dose of serotonin. And another, harder level.

IT'S EASIER TO READ THAN IT IS TO PLAY: The 5 best, most difficult games ever 

181-200: The final top 20

Oh, we've been dancing around the categories like a nimble Frenchman, parrying your opinions and sidestepping your suggestions. But now it's time to stop dancing and put our cards on the table, with the definitive list of our favourite games ever. Well, our favourite games so far.  

IT'S NOT JUST OUR OPINION, IT'S THE LAW: The 20 Best Games Ever Made

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