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The Dissection of a Top 50 List
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on January 27, 2003   |   Episode 29 (Show Archive)  

Every year hundreds of game players make their lists for what the best games were. Generally, they all look somewhat similar, and offer a lot of the same information, which is either a good thing, or a bad thing, depending on your viewpoint. Being the lazy guy I am, I didn't have any desire to actually write up a list of the best games of 2002, instead I thought I would pick apart somebody else's. So I give you G4's TOP 50 GAMES OF 2002, as counted down on their show Filter. We thought we would take this time to look at the five things we should take from that list. And then perhaps ponder a few of the missing games from the list. In all, there is over 10 pages of information, charts, and more to keep you busy pondering how G4's list could get so screwed up. So, let's get on with the first order of business, what we took from this sad, pathetic list. The amount of press a game gets apparently affects how good the game is. We'd all like to believe that people do not judge things based on the news they get, or what they are licensed from, but that is clearly not true. This year especially we saw that people were more interested in advertising and media write-ups about a game. So was the case with Tekken 4 (#11), which was talked about all year, but when it finally hit was considered a disappointment. Yet, it made the list, whereas other deserving games, like Virtua Fighter 4, couldn't find any love. There's also the example of Steel Batallion (#16), which got a lot of press, but didn't sell extremely well. Or in the case of BMX XXX (#29), you can see that there really is no bad press. It's a useful game that has been all but written off by the serious media, yet, somehow, gamers still put it in their top 50 lists. G4's List tilts towards "classic" franchises When it comes to G4's List, you can see a few titles that stick out. Games like Shinobi (#14) and Contra: Shattered Soldier (#13) may have received mixed scores by the general media, but had the name recognition they needed to get on the list. And it's not just isolated to consoles, game players embraced WarCraft III (#25), even though it had been a half dozen years since WarCraft II had hit the scene. Though not entirely related, the Thing (#47) gives gamers a chance to take control of a classic movie. There is a serious lack of originality in the list. Maybe there is a serious lack of originality in the entire industry, but that's a whole other issue for another day. But really, outside of a few odd choices, this top 50 list is pretty predictable. I'm impressed with them including games like NeverWinter Nights (#35) and Mafia (#43), which did marginally well, but didn't get a lot of fan fair. They also chose Shenmue II (#48), which certainly surprised me. Let's face it, the original Shenmue (on the Dreamcast) didn't exactly set the world on fire, and this sequel didn't sell well at all. Of course, I'm surprised they included Animal Crossing (#41), but Nintendo always has those wacky titles. Those big name games still hold a lot of weight on G4's List. We know classic franchises are big this year, but so were games with already popular names. Just about everything that was popular last year, or the year before, was big this year. A Games like Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (#1) was already destined for the list, and it's not hard to understand why a movie franchise like Star Wars: Jedi Knights 2 - Jedi Outcast (#10) would find its way there, either. But the list doesn't stop there, countless huge franchises were voted on, even if they weren't as deserving as others. Games like Tekken 4 (#11) or Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance (#32), just to name a couple. But when it came to keeping the name alive, it was Nintendo who did the best job of that. Just about every franchise they resurrected managed to make the list, including Legend of Zelda: a Link to the Past (#5), Star Fox Adventures (#20), and Super Mario Sunshine (#8). But it was their revival of the Nintendo's main girl, Samus, that brought the most support. Metroid Prime (#2) didn't just blow up the charts, it also topped many publications year end list. With all that, though, Nintendo is still in third place in the United States. Maybe a new Zelda game for the GameCube will be just what the doctor ordered. When it comes to choosing games, most gamers don't actually need to play the game before recommending it. You don't think they are judging games they've never played?? Then how on Earth do you explain voting for the Sims Online (#42)? The game hadn't even been released when the G4 special had aired, so there is no way gamers had a chance of knowing how good (or bad) the game was. Furthermore, I bet you money most of the people that voted for BMX XXX (#29) and Contra: Advance (#34) haven't even played them. And considering how poorly Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II (#17) sold on the GameCube, I find it awfully hard to believe Sega's online adventure would be able to get enough votes to do better than Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance (#22). But then, we all know that the general public has no taste. Have you ever watched one of those Blockbuster Peoples Choice awards? Well, you can ponder the list all you want and see just how foul humanity has become. -Cyril Lachel Random information you should read, but you probably won't: The G4 List was made up from people who visit their web site ( ), therefore the people who run the site, and actually play these games, didn't have much of a say in the matter. So, if you want to blame anybody, you should blame the people that watch G4. As for the rest of the reviews, both the IGN website ( and GameSpot websites ( were tapped for the article, you should really go and read their reviews instead of just looking at the number. But hey, we all know you won't, so I made it simple enough for everybody. When it came to Electronic Gaming Monthly, actual math was done. To clear up any confusion, I always rounded up, so if three reviews (such as a 7, 8.5, and a 9.5) were to get an 8.333, it would remain an 8.3. Whereas, if it were an 8.388, then it would be an 8.4. I did the same when it came to averaging all of the three scores together to get the official average. Is this system perfect, far from It, but hey, it's not messy ... and I don't like dirt. Did you know that you can look at this list any way you want? That's right, it's all about having things your way, you selfish beast. Um, wait. Forget I said that. Instead just click on any one of the headings, be it IGN, GAMESPOT, EGM, or AVERAGE, and you'll see the chart adjusted with their scores. Or you can just click on GAMES ON THE G4 LIST and go back to the main G4 list. It's that easy. THE GAMES ON THE G4 LIST GAMESPOT IGN EGM AVERAGE #50 Red Faction II 8.3 9.2 7.5 8.3 #49 James Bond 007: Nightfire 7.9 8.1 8.5 8.2 #48 Shenmue II 7.3 8.3 7.0 7.5 #47 The Thing 8.4 8.3 6.5 7.7 #46 Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee 6.9 8.4 7.2 7.5 #45 Sly Cooper 7.8 8.5 8.3 8.2 #44 The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowmind 8.5 9.4 7.7 8.5 #43 Mafia 9.3 9.2 --- 9.3 #42 Sims Online 6.9 7.2 --- 7.1 #41 Animal Crossing 8.1 9.1 9.2 8.8 #40 Robotech: Battlecry 6.8 8.2 8.0 7.7 #39 Mario Party 4 7.2 6.9 8.3 7.5 #38 Suikoden III 9.1 9.4 7.0 8.5 #37 SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs 8.9 7.5 9.3 8.6 #36 Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 8.5 9.0 9.2 8.9 #35 NeverWinter Nights 9.0 9.2 --- 9.1 #34 Contra Advance 7.4 7.0 6.5 7.0 #33 Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell 8.6 9.6 9.0 9.1 #32 Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance 8.1 8.6 6.5 7.7 #31 Battlefield: 1942 8.8 9.3 --- 9.1 #30 Ratchet & Clank 9.0 9.2 8.3 8.8 #29 BMX XXX 5.4 6.0 3.0 4.8 #28 MechAssault 9.0 9.2 8.5 8.9 #27 Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3 9.2 9.4 9.2 9.3 #26 Time Splitters 2 8.7 9.2 8.3 8.7 #25 WarCraft III 9.3 9.3 --- 9.3 #24 Madden NFL 2003 9.0 9.1 9.3 9.1 #23 Star Wars: Bounty Hunter 5.4 8.2 6.0 6.5 #22 CastleVania: Harmony of Dissonance 8.2 9.2 9.7 9.0 #21 Lord of the Rings: the Two Towers 8.1 8.3 8.2 8.2 #20 Star Fox Adventures 8.3 9.0 7.2 8.2 #19 Super Monkey Ball 2 9.0 9.0 --- 9.0 #18 Hitman 2 8.6 8.4 9.0 8.7 #17 Phantasy Star Online Episodes I & II 7.8 9.0 9.3 8.7 #16 Steel Batallion 7.3 8.3 8.5 8.0 #15 Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 9.5 9.3 9.3 9.4 #14 Shinobi 7.6 7.8 7.3 7.6 #13 Contra: Shattered Soldier 7.6 8.0 8.7 8.1 #12 Unreal Championship 8.5 9.2 8.5 8.7 #11 Tekken 4 8.4 9.0 7.0 8.1 #10 Star Wars: Jedi Knight 2 - Jedi Outcast 9.0 9.0 --- 9.0 #09 Medal of Honor: Frontline 9.0 8.0 8.3 8.4 #08 Super Mario Sunshine 8.0 9.4 9.5 9.0 #07 Unreal Tournament 2003 8.8 9.0 --- 8.9 #06 Metroid Fusion 8.6 9.5 9.2 9.1 #05 The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past 9.2 9.7 9.5 9.5 #04 Resident Evil Zero 8.0 8.2 8.3 8.2 #03 Kingdom Hearts 8.2 9.0 8.5 8.6 #02 Metroid Prime 9.7 9.8 10.0 9.8 #01 Grand Theft Auto: Vice City 9.6 9.7 10.0 9.8 Did you know that you can look at this list any way you want? That's right, it's all about having things your way, you selfish beast. Um, wait. Forget I said that. Instead just click on any one of the headings, be it IGN, GAMESPOT, EGM, or AVERAGE, and you'll see the chart adjusted with their scores. Or you can just click on GAMES ON THE G4 LIST and go back to the main G4 list. It's that easy. MISSING GAMES GAMESPOT IGN EGM AVERAGE Sky Gunner 7.2 7.8 8.3 7.7 Twisted Metal Black: Online 8.2 --- 7.7 8.0 Mark of Kri 7.5 --- 8.5 8.0 Hot Shots Golf 3 7.2 8.0 9.0 8.1 Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon 8.4 8.8 7.8 8.3 NBA Street 9.3 9.3 8.2 8.9 Sega Soccer Slam 8.8 8.2 7.8 8.3 WipEout Fusion 7.3 9.0 8.5 8.3 Maximo: Ghosts to Glory 7.9 9.2 8.5 8.5 Tactics Ogre: the Knight of Lodis 9.1 8.5 8.2 8.6 Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem 9.4 9.6 8.2 9.1 Resident Evil Redux 8.9 9.0 9.2 9.1 Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2 9.4 9.3 9.0 9.2 NFL 2K2 9.6 9.2 9.0 9.3 Virtua Fighter 4 9.3 9.3 9.8 9.5


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