Almost an imposable task, I know, but lets hear a few opinions.
Now, I've been playing computer games since the days of the ZX Spectrum 48k, and have owned most consoles since then, Master System, Mega Drive, SNES, PS1, N64, DreamCast, GameCube, PC, various dodgy Atari's, GameBoy Advance, etc.
Taking everything into account, these are my top 5 games of all time, in reverse order:
5. Final Fantasy VII. SquareSoft. Playstation.
The RPG of modern gaming, in my opinion. Coming on 3 packed CDs, this game was a revelation when it was released on the PS1. It wasn't perfect; the random battles got annoying after a while, and the graphics were nothing to write home about, but the sheer scale of the game, coupled with a superb plot, make this game stand out.
You start out as a renegade doing a one-off job for a 'good guy' terrorist group, and end up as an all powerful warrior, able to dispatch all comers in a single blow. The final battle with Sepiroth (the ultimate gaming villain), and then going on to complete the side quests, such as killing the 1 million-hit-point Emerald and Ruby weapons, are a fitting end to this superb RPG, and extend the already epic quest by many hours.
Then you can raise Chocobo's, level-up, collect the mighty Knights of the Round summon, and much, much more. A touch of Japanese brilliance from a wonderful series of games.
4. Command & Conquer. WestWood. PC.
Probably the best point-and-click RTS ever, this series of games, which is still going strong with Command & Conquer Generals, peaked with the original C&C. Perfectly balanced wars were fought between the GDI and the secretive Brotherhood of NOD.
I don't think I spent as many hours playing any series of games as this one, with this, and the brilliant follow-up Red Alert, taking up days of my life. From tank rushes to one-woman assaults with the Tanya commando unit, a game of C&C was always great fun.
Also a contender for best multiplayer game ever; once you'd played through the massive mission campaigns for both the GDI and NOD, you could take on other generals, and really learn the subtleties of the game engine.
Still a top game today.
3. Super Mario Kart. Nintendo. SNES.
The best racing game ever. Better than Gran Turismo 3, better than anything out on today’s consoles, better than Mario Kart 64, and Double Dash; this was Nintendo doing what they do best - creating absolute perfection, and dressing it up as a light hearted, mascot heavy, game.
Wonderful track design (again, a touch of genius that only Nintendo, and more specifically, Shigeru Miyamoto can pull off), perfectly balanced characters, and a brilliant weapon system make this game an all time classic. I have never met a single person who didn't enjoy playing the original Super Mario Kart, and it says a lot that no racer to date has been as much fun to play as this title.
This was during the golden age of gaming, when Sega and Nintendo were battling it out with their 16-bit systems, and it showed, with classics such as Super Mario World, and Sonic the Hedgehog being released, as each company tried to out-do the other.
Sheer, unadulterated fun, from the Big N.
2. Manic Miner. BugByte Software. Sinclair ZX Spectrum.
Coded by complete gaming genius Matthew Smith, this is the grand daddy of all platformers. This game, and its follow-up Jet Set Willy, are as much fun to play today, as they were, back in the early 80s, when I first got my hands on them.
The level design shows a touch of genius, and the limitations of the system are not only avoided, but made to feel unimportant, as the game is as simple as it is brilliant. The gaming world owes a lot to Manic Miner and Matthew Smith, as even without my rose-tinted spectacles on, this game is a superb platformer.
Insanely hard (as were most games back in the day), and with levels comprising of little more than key collecting, whilst avoiding the baddies, it amazes me, that games written for the current crop of consoles, often fall way short of the quality of this title, written on a 48k machine.
The best game ever written by a single person, coded by someone every bit as important to gaming as Shigery Miyamoto, and proof that us Brits can code with the best of them.
1. Street Fighter II \ Street Fighter II Turbo. Capcom. Arcade \ SNES.
I remember running; not walking, not jogging - running to a local arcade, when I heard that they had this game in. The absolute peak of 2D beat-em-ups, and still the best fighting game of all time. This game has been copied endlessly by a million different companies, and Capcom themselves have released endless sequels, but nothing comes close to this original arcade version, and the SNES port.
In fact, it was largely due to Mario Kart and Street Fighter II being available for the SNES, that I consider it the best console I've ever owned. Street Fighter II was relatively easy to pick up and play, but to master you had to spend an immense amount of time.
Just finishing the game at the arcades, with the AI set to level 8 was next to imposable, but beating a good human player, skilled with Ryu, Ken, Dhalism or Guile, was the real test.
I actually played this game non-stop for several months (stopping only to play Mario Kart), and became pretty good at it, if I say so myself. I can remember people cueing up, at the local youth club, to play me, and me dispatching them one at a time. Happy days.
In my opinion, Street Fighter II Turbo is the best game ever.
Anyway, see what the rest of you think.