80 – Infamous
The action genre is filled with mediocre third-person titles. They are often riddled with bugs, camera and control issues and an all around bad story. Sucker Punch, the guys behind Sly Cooper, said “Screw YOU!” to those notions and released what is one of the greatest video games of the last ten years. Infamous is an epic action/adventure with a wonderful hero/antihero that is filled with amazing action, totally awesome powers, and all around fun gameplay. You never feel bogged down by the combat because you are constantly trying to see how far you can push Cole's powers.
79 - Air Fortress
Air Fortress is an exceptionally simple title. Each level is divided into two sections: a Defender-style side scrolling space shooter and a side-scrolling platformer with some nice anti-gravity elements added in. The game does the same thing over and over in every level yet it never gets boring due to its perfect difficulty curve, and solid gameplay.
78 - Quake 2
By the late 1990's the first-person shooter genre was already well established. There were several popular franchises that were consistently churning out new titles. The first Quake, from Doom developers Id Software, was a success, and it was no surprise that they released a sequel. There was something different about Quake 2 however. It may have been the first time I picked up a sequel to an FPS and was just completely blown away, immediately considering it to be superior to its predecessor.
77 - Little Big Planet
I love to create stuff. I create blog posts, I paint, I play instruments; it's just me. Little Big Planet is the first major title that allows you to customize almost everything in the game right out of the box, and share your creations on an easy-to-use, always accessible network. Online you have access to a seemingly limitless series of creations from other players. Some of them were so clever that you just get that feeling that the fun will never end. The levels that make up the main portion of the game are equally exciting, filled with hidden unlockables that keep you returning again and again.
76 - Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge
When Crimson Skies came out, I was sort of indifferent about playing it. The box art was cool though! It was after reading a review that I decided it may be worth checking out. I played Crimson Skies and was immediately drawn in by the tight, easy-to-handle controls, fun missions, interesting characters and exciting multiplayer. Crimson Skies was somewhat of a sleeper, but those who played it know how fantastic this game really is.
75 – Alundra
Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (a game that has about a 50/50 chance of showing up later... he he he) is such a good game. The franchise was immensely popular so naturally there were wannabes. Alundra was a very tight Zelda clone that is one of the few attempts at imitation that actually did it right. It looked great, had a good story, boasted fun gameplay elements and a ratcheted-up challenge level, especially later in the game.
74 – Rampage
This one is an arcade staple. This Godzilla-inspired punch fest was chaotic, clever and just plain fun. Some games are so simple they are perfect, and this game does everything just right, without any excess. The humor and design of the game made it more accessible and the arcade graphics looked really good for its time. Plus who wouldn't love to play a giant who knocks down buildings? Really?
73 - Devil May Cry 3
Two sequels in this franchise picks up the pace even more. Devil May Cry 3 is a very solid action game that has a great deal of variety in the combat. Encouraging the player to find creative uses of each style in the game (the game forced you to play your best so that you can achieve that SSS rating). Dante is also a very fun character. He ranks among my favorite characters of the last ten years. After the disappointing Devil May Cry 2, Capcom succeeded in bringing the franchise back with bombast.
72 - SSX 3
Snowboarding games never resonated with me. I didn't get into 1080 on the N64, I didn't like Playstation's Cool Boarders; hell, I didn't even really care much for the first two SSX titles. It was the way the controls felt to me, and the lack of freedom I felt in those games. SSX 3 came out and changed all of that. The open-world (err... mountain?) design, great characters (many of which were returning from the existing franchise), and fun, newly-designed missions, put this one up on top for me. I still love this game to this day.
71 - Blaster Master
Ha, ha! Sunsoft. You guys are sooooo funny! Blaster Master is an awesome mix of platforming and third person action-shooting from the NES era. As you played through the game you unlocked new abilities, steadily increasing your powers as the levels went along. The bosses were intimidating as well, and some of them were legitimately difficult. It's funny that the game was so good that funny ol' Sunsoft recycled the shooter portion's engine for several other games including Fester's Quest and the video game adaptation of Gremlins 2; because we wouldn't notice. AH-HA!