The 251/1001 Milestone Awards

Source // Ars Technica

Good Lord, we've actually done it. We've gone through a quarter of the 1001 list. Haven't played all of them, sadly, and definitely haven't finished many (any?) of them, but what a trip it has been so far. The things we've learned! The sights we've seen! The games we're finally aware of beyond having heard the title, once, in passing!

The arcade still calls to us, but the consoles are coming thick and fast. We're moving into territory that I'm more familiar with, and picking out the top tens of each batch for The Milestone Awards is getting harder and harder.

For The 251/1001 Milestone Awards, we're trying to prune through fifty titles from Super Castlevania IV to The 7th Guest. Which titles will run away with an award? Let's find out.

Continuing with tradition, we start with The Indifferent 5, a list of five games that merely contribute to the mise-en-scene. They're not bad, but they're not scene-stealers either. They are what they are - there for those who want them.

Mega Lo Mania, Sensible Software
The Incredible Machine, Kevin Ryan
Axelay, Konami
Secret of Mana, Square
Plok, Software Creations

I wonder how many of those were untouchable classics to some people...

Now that list was tricky, so this next award is nigh on impossible. In this latest batch of fifty must play video games, which title urges me to ask What Was That 1 Even Put On The List For?

Oh no, wait - this one is easy.

What Was Lemmings Even Put On The List For?

Bloody Lemmings. Ugh.

A 1001 list without 1001 entries is a silly list, so if we've taken out all the Lemmings, we have to plug the hole with something else. What forgotten gems are there that should have been included first time round? Let's find out by shouting You Forgot What?! and listening for a response...

Kirby's Dream Land! How in the name of all that is Holy could you leave Kirby's Dream Land off the list? It's Kirby's goddamn Dream Land for Christ's sake.

Sorry. Childhood favourite.

With that error firmly corrected, we can shove enough quarters into the coin slot to get through the rest of this post. Bring on The Top Ten.

10: Cybernator, NCS Corp
Mechs! Mmmmmmechs!

9: Micro Machines, Codemasters
Wee mini motor racing around the breakfast table. It's genius.

8: Sonic the Hedgehog (2?), Sonic Team
They're basically the same, right?

7: Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting, Capcom
The absurd title caused it to drop a few places.

6: NBA Jam, Midway
It's on fire, and hopefully, you are when playing it too. Not literally.

5: Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, LucasArts
This is how you do point and click games. Trust me, I'm an expert now.

4: UFO: Enemy Unknown / X-COM: UFO Defence, Mythos Games, MicroProse Software
The business management simulator you didn't know you wanted.

3: Doom, id Software

2: Super Mario Kart, Nintendo EAD
Such a fun part of my childhood and it still holds up.

What, then, could possibly top the list? What game filled me with so much joy that nothing else could compare - not even Super Mario Kart, which is incredible? Well, Nintendo EAD is on form once more, because the number 1 spot belongs to The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. No contest. Clear winner. Don't even try to argue.

To finish up, we must mash together The Top Ten with the current best of the best to form The Topper Than That Top Ten list - the ten best games from the 251 we've seen so far. The Oregon Trail seems so far away now that we're at The 7th Guest, and we're still only 1/4 of the way through this 1001 list. It's going to get tough picking out my top picks, but here are the current champions.

10: Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, LucasArts
Other LucasArts titles might get all the praise, but this is where I want to spend time gaming. You know, if I was forced to play point and click adventures.

9: UFO: Enemy Unknown / X-COM: UFO Defence, Mythos Games, MicroProse Software
Don't take it seriously and it's a blast.

8: The Oregon Trail, MECC
250 games preceded it, and it's still in this best of the best top ten. How? How?!

7: Bomberman, Hudson Soft
I just see his name and all those childhood multiplayer sessions come right to the front of my mind.

6: Tetris, Alexey Pajitnov
What will topple Tetris? It's slipping down the list, but we're still waiting for that one piece...

5: Super Mario Bros., Nintendo R&D4
Slipping, but it's a go-to game for good times.

4: Doom, id Software
It's just so iconic, isn't it? Whether you're good at it or not, you've got your memories of it.

3: Super Mario World, Nintendo EAD
Yoshi, nooooo!

2: Super Mario Kart, Nintendo EAD
Absolute winner. It just had the sad fortune of being around at a time when a certain other absolute winner was...

1: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Nintendo EAD
This absolute winner. It just screams SNES to me, and I can't believe I've not played it until now.

Would you believe I'm a devotee to Sony, their hardware, their exclusives? How my tiny little gaming brain has changed thanks to this list, eh? Recommending Nintendo title after Nintendo title. Well, they're probably going to be staying there for a while, so we'll have to wait and see what the next batch of games contains.

It begins with a title by the name of, ooh, what was it now, The Legend ooooffff... Zelda.

Ah nuts.