Woah!? I know…it’s been a while. Life tends to do that sometimes and I’d like to apologize for my absence. PopChomp’s original intention was to be a sort of garden for the cultivation of ideas and opinions. It’s not a site that will rely on a glut of content or clickbait. It’s a place for passionate people to share their opinions on everything Entertainment Culture has to offer. I’m incredibly happy to see that some folks are still working on the site to write some GREAT material. I just wanted to jump back in and spend some time with you.
I’ve wanted to do a video game podcast for quite sometime, but I often have a hard time thinking about what to talk about. My idea was to start a series of posts about what I consider to be the Greatest Games Ever. I know that I had done my Top 100 Games of All Time in 2016, but this is a bit of a different way to look at it. Here are some pointers going in:
- This is not a countdown list at all, it’s an in-depth look at great games
- Each post will tackle ONE game and its significance
- Eventually these ideas will find their way into a podcast form
- Feel free to chime in on our Facebook page!!!
Before we jump into “Greatest.Games.Ever” let’s discuss a few things.
What makes a game great?
What I see as a great game may be incredibly different than what you see as a great game. We also both can respect a game for what it did stylistically and thematically. There are plenty of games that may not have resonated with me to a degree that it may impact others. Simply said, there are games that I don’t like, but can understand what would make them considered “great”.
Firstly, greatness can come from cultural impact. If we look at Super Mario Bros. we can understand that it was instrumental in saving a dying industry. It also gave us the first real mascot to conquer the industry since Pac-Man. While it’s a technical masterpiece, its cultural significance stands out just as much as it’s mechanical excellence Everyone knows Mario! The same could be said for games like Grand Theft Auto III, Pokemon Red & Blue, or World of Warcraft.
Secondly, It can create some kind of technical achievement that completely creates or reinvents a genre. We see this when we look at games like Resident Evil, Super Metroid, or Skyrim. These games may not have the largest cultural impact, but their impression on the future and continuation of game design has allowed the entire industry to grow and try new things.
Thirdly, It achieves exactly what the team was trying to do. Story is an incredibly important part of game design in many cases. Does that mean every game has to have compelling narrative to be considered great? No. Super Mario, as a franchise has always shied away from telling a compelling story to focus developing interesting and fun experiences for the player. Judging a Mario game by storytelling standards is like judging a fish on its ability to play checkers. It’s unfair. In the same breath, we can judge a game like Uncharted 4 or Final Fantasy X on it’s ability to craft a compelling narrative. So we must ask ourselves, what was the development team trying to achieve? Did they achieve it? Or did it fall short somehow? In addition, was the vision any good? Great games tend to have great vision and beautifully showcase it.
Lastly, What’s the longterm impact? How has the title aged? While it will be somewhat unfair to judge an older game by today’s standards, it’s definitely something that must be addressed. The Sonic series is the easiest example to showcase. Those games celebrated the extreme culture of the 1990s, but some have ultimately fallen somewhat flat over time. Does that make games like Sonic 2 and Sonic 3 bad? Not at all, it’s something that must be addressed when discussing the “greatness” of a game. Some games get better with time! If we take a look at Mega Man X, I think that game has proven to withstand the test of time and rise out of the quagmire of mid 1990s action games to be one of the greatest games of the SNES era. Will the games of today hold up? I will try my hardest to be as forward looking as possible when discussing games like Horizon: Zero Dawn, Persona 5, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. While I think those games should be considered great, we need to look towards the future to see how they can impact the industry moving forward. Zelda, for one, is already changing the industry, which is pretty great.
Is This Series Limited to Just Console Games? Just Retro Games?
I love the preservation of retro gaming. Whether it’s through the retro gaming market, emulation, or re-releases I think that these games are no different than classic films. It would be amazing to have a “criterion collection” for video games one day. Luckily, there are plenty of great enthusiasts on the Internet who feel the same way and have been working to preserve the history of these great games. It will help the industry move forward as a whole.
But to answer my own question, no. This series is not just limited to retro games, console games, or a particular genre. I want to be as open-minded as possible. I want to discuss Shooters, RPGs, Action Games, Puzzle Games, and everything under the sun. Greatness is not tied to one particular genre or console. There are new games that can easily stand up with their retro brethren. To increase visibility and appreciation for these games, I will talk about any and every console: From NES to PC or Arcade to mobile. Great games come in all shapes, sizes, and genres.
How Will Your Bias Effect This Series?
I’m incredibly biased like everyone else. There are genres I like more than others and developers I hold with higher regard as well. There are publishers I trust and series I don’t like. I assure you that I will try my absolute hardest to be as objective as possible when discussing greatness. My opinion will sneak in a bit, but when discussing a game I will constantly refer to my first point here to see if that game meets the standards discussed.
What Is Your Plan Moving Forward?
I plan to start writing at least once piece per week. These posts will take some time as I will need to revisit or visit many games to make this series effective. I plan to stream some of my gameplay and post videos on my YouTube channel as well. If I’m talking about a game here, I’d like to be able to share my experiences on the Internet. It’ll be a slow process at start, but hopefully I can help it grow naturally. The plan is to start with streaming and writing and gradually include audio podcasts as it gathers momentum.
I can’t wait to go on this journey with you!! Feel free to send me your favorite games!! I want to discuss the games you love and play them…if I haven’t already.