MWN Discusses: 5 Must-play Games before death

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So I read an article today over at Crispy Gamer listing out 25 games a gamer must play before death. I wanted to do my own list, but to be honest I’m lazy so I thought I would ask all of the editors to come up with 5 games each and tell me why they are a must-play. Five games and your reason for choosing them. I’ll go first.


  • 1. Chrono Trigger – No other RPG I have ever played did more with less. Story was the deepest and most meaningful of any RPG I have EVER played.
  • 2. Final Fantasy Tactics – Simply the best Final Fantasy to be made. The story was amazing(even if the translation did suck at time) and the strategy element had me coming back for more. The customization of your party for each battle and possibly the best Class system ever implemented all adds up to one of the best RPG’s to ever come from Squaresoft.
  • 3.Myst – This was truly the first game to make a breakthrough with 3D technology, even if it wasn’t freely explorable and more like snapshots of the world as you move through it. The puzzles, setting and music gave it such a unique feel that I still love playing this game even today.
  • 4. Warcraft III – The best RTS I have ever played. Haven’t seen a company balance four factions as masterfully as Blizzard did. And the story/plot was great.
  • 5. Rock Band – Nothing beats multiplayer gaming then getting 3 friends together and playing this game for hours on end. Simply a must-play.


  • 1. Oddworld: Abe’s Exoddus – You know how much I love this series and if you have to play any of them before you die, it would have to be Oddworld: Abe’s Exoddus.
  • 2. Sonic The Hedgehog 2 – In my opinion the finest platformer there’s ever been, even better than Super Mario Bros.3.
  • 3. Pokemon – No matter which version you pick, this was Pokemon at it’s peak in quality and remains one of the only RPGs I love to bits. I’m still amazed at how much they crammed into that little GBC cartridge.
  • 4. Resident Evil 2 – Again, if you pick any RE game, it would have to be RE2. It did so much for horror games.
  • 5. Half-Life 2 – To find an FPS with a great story is impressive. To find an FPS with a great story and great gameplay is even better. It has to be played to be seen.

Top 5 eh?

  • 1. Secret of Mana – By far the most addictive and beautiful action-RPG to ever be released by Square (in America). You can’t play this game without immediately becoming a child sitting in front of your SNES…but the best bit is that you could grab 2 of your friends and share the entire experience.
  • 2. FFVIII – This is THE quintessential PS1 RPG which has a story that is 20x better than the usual FFVII fan can handle, the draw system allowed for drastically improved character customization over the Materia system in its predecessor. But the real reason I have to give it to FFVIII is the soundtrack…I’ve listened to it over and over and over again and have thoughts of giving it another go in the iPod as I write this. I’ve never been more moved than I was at the end of that game.
  • 3. TLoZ: A Link to the Past – The Zelda game that defined what it is to be a Zelda game…seriously.
  • 4. Super Metroid – Its you (Samus Aran) vs the entire fucking planet of Zebes as you make your return to the planet from the first game…I like nothing better than the fact that they reused the maps from the original with little touches to let you know that you had been there before…like Mother Brain’s chamber.
  • 5. Space Quest IV: Roger Wilco and the Time Bandits – PC gaming at it’s best..nothiing funnier than the Sierra quest games that don’t take themselves too serious. Just make sure you get the right connector for the laptop computer you find at the beginning of the game..otherwise you’ll never beat it. I especially love how when you travel back in time to Space Quest II, the characters are still in monochrome and obviously 8-bit while Roger is much more advanced looking…and the villains even make fun of you for it.

Nik Monroe

  • 1. Half Life 2: Episode 2 – Half Life 2 was good but episode Two was a revelation in storytelling. And the ending, fantastic! I really can’t get enough of playing this game.
  • 2. Resident Evil 4 – The first sequel I’ve ever played that has successfully managed to reinvigorate a franchise, great characters and a great story too.
  • 3. Grand Theft Auto 4 – The first time I’ve played a sandbox game that felt like a living breathing world.
  • 4. Fallout 3 – Completely immersive Action RPG. I’ll never get tired of exploring the captital wasteland and finding news things everytime I play.
  • 5. Sonic 2 – The first console game I’d ever played and still my favorite in the series. If only Sonic was still this good.

Ryan Wilson

  • 1. Secret of Monkey Island – Arguably the best point and click adventure game out there.
  • 2. Earthbound – Has some of the oddest enemies I’ve ever seen in a game. Still fun to this day to beat up skateboard punks with a baseball bat.
  • 3. Doom – Being able to play an FPS without going into a twitch aiming based spasm is a big plus.
  • 4. Fallout – Great sense of humor with addictive GURPS-style gameplay to boot.
  • 5. Sonic CD – Because, it’s Sonic.

Evan “king3vbo” Burkey

  • 1. Earthbound (Mother 2) – Earthbound is the best game I’ve ever played, hands down. It’s got everything I want in a game: humor, a turn-based battle system that is actually intense (If you’ve ever defeated an enemy that’s already “killed” you by by killing them before your HP bar rolls to 0, you know what I’m talking about), and an engaging story. Plus you get to beat up New Age Retro Hippies while the battle music changes to a parody of Johnny B. Goode. How could you not love that?
  • 2) Beyond Good and Evil – The ultimate example of an amazing game that no one played. While I’ll admit that the combat system was, for lack of a better term, kind of wonky, BG&E was a perfect example of how to create a world that you actually cared about. When [spoilers about a character dying], I was devestated… and I had not felt that way about a character in a game since I was a kid. Combat not withstanding, the game exudes perfection, and is a must play for any gamer.
  • 3) Deus Ex – Deus Ex did everything right. A game ahead of its time, it mixed RPG, free-roaming adventure, and FPS in a way no one had seen before. It speaks volumes that I’ve played through Deus Ex more times than I can remember, and the story is still immersive and engaging each time. Though the graphics have not aged well, Deus Ex retains its playability and enjoyment to this day. Just remember not to put any skill points in swimming….
  • 4) Freelancer – A spiritual sequel to Wing Commander: Privateer, Freelancer is a defining game in the space sim genre. Though the game has a solid story structure that you must go through at first, unlike Privateer, Freelancer truly shines when it opens up and lets you do whatever you want. I’ve spent countless hours making dangerous diamond runs from the edges of known space, dodging pirates and barely limping into safe territory in order to make a tasty profit, and it never gets old. Freelancer defines how to do an open space sim, and it’s an absolute must play.
  • 5) Final Fantasy VI – Everyone and their mother has played this game, but that’s no reason to leave it off the list. The epic story, the large cast of characters that you fall in love with, Kefka… this game has everything and more. I could gush about all the normal things like the story and the battle system, but one aspect stands above all others: the opera scene. It’s probably my worst secret that I’m a huge fan of the opera (go ahead and laugh, I’m used to it), and the opera scene in FFVI is a delight. The ability of Uematsu Nobuo to make something so wonderful with only an 8-bit SPC 700 processor blows my mind every time I hear it.

So what do you guys think. Any games we forget that you feel we just HAVE to play?

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