Top Rated

Oh hey, how's it going? Welcome to the special (though largely inconsequential) 'Top Rated' page here at Red Parsley which is, perhaps unsurprisingly, simply a list of the top rated games that have been reviewed here. I have of course reviewed a mere fraction of all games so it's not a 'Best Games of All Time' list, and nor is it a a list of personal favourites (although many will be featured here, naturally).

The list simply features all games to have received a nine or ten out of ten score in reviews here. Aside from the first five - the only games to earn a ten - the list is comprised of games that scored a nine. The order is therefore not set in stone and will also be added to over time as more games earn a similar score. For now though, behold unto the list of greatness and know thou are special.

67. Asteroids by Atari (1979) - Arcade

Many of the early arcade classics remain favourites today - nostalgia coupled with their simplicity make them irresistible to many, and Asteroids must surely be one of the best examples. Easy to play, more difficult to master, but great fun and dangerously addictive. A genuine classic. (mini review here)

66. Lumines by Q entertainment (2004) - Sony PSP

The 'falling blocks' genre of action/puzzle games had been done to death by the time Lumines appeared, so how did Q Entertainment manage to make their effort so spiffing? It had minor innovations like its 'timeline' but mostly it was great simply because it lovely flashy graphics and fantastic music. (full review here)

65. Thunder Force AC by Technosoft (1990) - Arcade

An unusual one this, in that it was an arcade conversion of a console release rather than the other way around, but when the console game in question is Thunder Force 3, I'm certainly not complaining! It's a bit of a TF remix rather than a straight conversion but it's nearly as good as the classic original. (full review here)

64. Manic Miner by Matthew Smith (1983) - ZX Spectrum

It's easy to see why Manic Miner is considered by many to be the quintessential Spectrum game. It was simple but worked brilliantly. It was an easy game to like and a hard game to stop playing, even if it was often teeth-gnashingly tough. Not that it stopped most Speccy owners from spending endless hours on it. (full review here)

63. Bomberman II by Hudson Soft (1991) - NES

There were earlier Bomberman games (as might be indicated by the 'II' - chortle!) but this was probably the first one that was really good. The one-player mode was good fun but this instalment is where the now-legendary battle mode was born too. Multi-player gaming would never be the same again. (full review here)

62. Frogger by Konami (1981) - Arcade

This classic by Konami was perhaps slightly more complicated than many of the other early arcade hits, at least visually, but the concept was as simple as ever - just get the hoppy little frogs to safety! Unusually, this didn't involve killing anything either, making Frogger a unique as well as highly enjoyable game. (full review here)

61. Oids by FTL Games (1987) - Atari ST

For many years, every time the subject of 'gravity games' comes up I've heard three names - Gravitar, Thrust, and Oids. The latter is one that I never played until this review but it's turned out to be the best of them all - as well as loads of stages featuring all the usual stuff, it even has a level editor too! (full review here)

60. Golden Axe by Sega (1989) - Arcade

There can't be too many arcade-goers that didn't play this Sega classic in the late 80's. I certainly did, as well as various conversions, and despite its fairly short length it's still a game I've never gotten bored of. That alone surely says much about its quality and hugely appealing nature. (full review here)

59. Yars' Revenge by Atari (1981) - Atari VCS

I missed the heyday of the VCS so I didn't get around to playing this highly-regarded title for it until many years after its release but first impressions of it were still great even after all this time. It's as simple as you would expect from the VCS but the challenge is just right and it's very addictive! (full review here)

58. Zupapa by Face (2001) - Neo Geo

A bit of an obscure one, this, even for the Neo Geo's standards! It was one of the last 'proper' releases for SNK's powerhouse and was surprisingly not a fighting game or shmup! It's actually a platform game - a real rarity on this system - and it's a pretty darn good one too. Typically weird but great fun. (full review here)

57. Hellfire by Toaplan (1990) - MegaDrive/Genesis

Jaz Rignall of C&VG/Mean Machines used to rave about this one, a rare example of a horizontal-scroller from Toaplan, but I never really thought it looked like much. Then I played it and discovered one of the smoothest and most well designed such games yet seen! It's tough but I still can't stop playing it. (full review here)

56. Angry Birds by Rovio Entertainment (2010) - Mobile

Yes, you might well be sick of the sight of these pesky flappers and their porky adversaries by now, after countless sequels, merchandise, and even a movie, but it shouldn't be forgotten how much of an impact this original mobile game had, and with good reason. Still one of the best phone games ever made... (full review here)

55. Super Star Soldier by Kaneko/Hudson Soft (1990) - PC Engine

I shouldn't think too many expected much from the sequel to the slightly whiffy Star Soldier but that apathy was soon dispelled when it was seen, and especially when it was played. An absolutely superb vertical-scroller - one of the PC Engine's best and part of one of the shmup world's best trilogies. (full review here)

54. Arkanoid by Taito (1986) - Arcade

Ahh, Taito... If it wasn't for their splendid Arkanoid, would the 'brick breaker' have died with Breakout? Possibly, but either way I'm sure glad they conjured it up! Their powered-up interpretation of Atari's classic is now perhaps better known and loved than the game it was inspired by, and deservedly so. (full review here)

53. Qwak by Team 17 (1993) - Amiga

Released by Team 17 during their glorious Amiga years, Qwak is a type of game that appeals to me a lot. It's a single-screen platformer, it has amusing/cute characters, it has lots of collectibles (including fruits), etc, and yet I didn't even play it until the review! It's never too late to discover a game this fab though. (full review here)

52. Shinobi by Sega (1987) - Arcade

I've probably spent much more time playing the MS version of this classic than this version but few could deny the charm the arcade original has. It's tougher, there's no doubt of that, but it's also very satisfying and enormous fun to play. The gaming world has seen many ninjas but none as cool as Joe Musashi. (full review here)

51. Fantasy Zone 2 by Sega (1987) - Master System

Sega's garish 'cute em up' series has many fans, myself included (believe it or not), and one of the finest entries in the series is the MS version of the second game. The music, graphics, and stages were better than ever and it was a perfect mixture of 'old plus new'. You'd better wear sunglasses while playing though... (full review here)

50. Mercenary Kings by Tribute Games (2013) - PC

This was at the time the newest game I'd reviewed so far and I was very eager to do so since it was Tribute's second game after Wizorb. Like that game it's a RPG-ish take on a distinctly un-RPG-ish type of game - the run 'n' gunner - and it once again works wonderfully. The best run 'n' gunner I've played. (full review here)

49. Thunder Force 4 by Technosoft (1992) - MegaDrive/Genesis

Many would name this as the finest of all shmups to grace the mighty MegaDrive. I wouldn't go quite that far but there's no doubt it's one of the best. It's a technical marvel, boasting some of the MD's finest audio/visuals, but it has it where it counts too. Top quality all around and endlessly replayable. (full review here)

48. Toki Tori by Two Tribes B.V. (1992) - Game Boy Color

There must be so many Game Boy gems I've missed out on due to my own idiocy. This one is a type of game I love but encounter all too rarely - the platform/puzzle game - and it's a very good example. It looks and sounds really nice, has an appealing main character, and the difficulty curve is just right. (full review here)

47. Pac-Man by Namco (1980) - Arcade

Well, what can I say about this one? It's unquestionably one of the most famous games of all-time and features one of the most famous characters as well. I first played it in a local arcade and I've since played in it a million places in a million incarnations, and it's still never failed to entertain. (mini review here)

46. Blaster Master by Sunsoft (1988) - NES

Until fairly recently, all I knew of this one was an advert I kept seeing in magazines of the day. It turned out to be quite different to what I was expecting though, and quite a bit better too. The mixture of side-scrolling Metroidvania action and overhead viewed shooty/puzzley sections works a treat. (full review here)

45. Cosmo Gang: The Video by Namco (1992) - SNES

I knew little of this one when I selected it for review but I was quickly taken in by its charms, being to Galaga what Parodius is to Gradius - basically a cute/strange version of the same thing! Fans of cute/strange Japanese games like me will love it then, and with good reason - it looks, sounds, and plays superbly! (full review here)

44. LocoRoco by SCE Japan Studio (2006) - PSP

There aren't many games that have the power to make me buy their host console just so I can play them but that's exactly what LocoRoco did. Just some screenshots of it, in fact! Happily, despite the significant outlay, I definitely wasn't disappointed either - this is still the happiest game I've ever played... (full review here)

43. Wiz 'n' Liz by Raising Hell Software (1993) - MegaDrive/Genesis

Most of the games on this list are celebrated works of brilliance but Wiz 'n' Liz is not. I've actually found it tough to even find someone else that has played it, never mind one who loves it as I do. I don't care though, it's fast, platformy antics are still hard to beat as far as I'm concerned. I demand you play it too (grrr)! (full review here)

42. Radiant by Hexage (2014) - Mobile

No, your eyes do not deceive you - one of the best games I've reviewed so far has been this humble mobile phone game! Its luminous, retro-flavour graphics are delightful as well as its decent ambient soundtrack, and the addictive blasty action offers a surprising amount of replay value too. (full review here)

41. Magical Pop'n by Polestar (1995) - SNES

The SNES was fab machine but an alarming number of its quality titles never left its native Japan for some reason. One of them is this, a wonderful cute platformy arcade adventure. Japanese text is kept to a minimum leaving players to revel in its sizeable and hugely appealing game-world. A real delight. (full review here)

40. R-Type by Irem Corp (1987) - Arcade

I had a milestone post coming up when this post was being planned (100th shmup review and 100th arcade game review) so I just had to select a game worthy of the accolade. What better than one of the most famous and revered of all shmups? R-Type isn't a perfect example but it is one of the most important. (full review here)

39. Mayhem in Monsterland by Apex Comp. Prod. (1993) - Commodore 64

Like many games to be released right at the end of a system's life, Mayhem in Monsterland wasn't nearly as successful as it deserved to be. It was arguably the first arcade/console quality platformer on any home computer and is truly jaw-dropping for a C64 game. An amazing achievement. (full review here)

38. Power Strike by Compile (1988) - Master System

Better known to some as Aleste, this vertical-scroller was a technical revelation on the Master System - it chucked dozens of sprites and weapon effects all over the screen with nary a hint of the sprite-flicker that so blighted other MS games. This helped make it the best, most frenetic blaster on the console. (full review here)

37. Star Wars by Atari (1983) - Arcade

This classic comes from what many call the golden years of the arcade and holds a very special place in the hearts of many gamers. It's rather short but the vector graphics are still very appealing, as well as the speech sampled directly from the movie of course, and it's always a thrill to play. (full review here)

36. Wave Race 64 by Nintendo (1996) - Nintendo 64

Unusually for me, I actually bought this one near the time of its original release, but despite having it for so long it's still always been one of my most played N64 titles of all. Part of the reason for this is its exceptional quality but I think it's more down to how relaxing it is to play. The definition of a chilled game... (full review here)

35. Super Aleste by Compile / Toho (1992) - SNES

I think this was the first SNES game I bought with my own money and it went on to be the one I spent the most time with, probably out of all of them. Lots of stages crammed full of frenetic blasting action, lovely graphics, and tons of weapons to play with... What more could you ask for from a SNES shooter? (full review here)

34. Gauntlet 2 by Atari (1986) - Arcade

The original Gauntlet has long been one of my favourite arcade games and this sequel offers... pretty much everything that game did! On the downside there's little that's new here, but the upside is, essentially, a crapload of new Gauntlet stages, and for fans like me, that's most welcome. (full review here)

33. Berzerk by Stern Electronics (1980) - Arcade

Another arcade classic and one I never actually played in its day besides a few quick goes of a Dragon 32 version, so its presence here in this list is based pretty much solely on playing it in recent years. If that's not a testament to its ultra-addictiveness I don't know what is. (full review here)

32. Golden Axe by Sega (1989) - MegaDrive/Genesis

It may be considered sacrilege by some to have this version higher than the arcade original but I don't know why - it's bigger, has extra play modes, and it even looks and sounds a bit better to me. It's possible I'm swayed by the fact that it was my very first MD game but I maintain it's still a fantastic game. (full review here)

31. Gunhed by Hudson Soft (1989) - PC Engine

During the PC Engine's early years, the one game critics and gamers alike used to rave about was Gunhed. As I discovered some years later, this was with very good reason - its quality is still hugely impressive today and it remains one of the finest vertical-scrollers to be found on any system. (full review here)

30. Treasure Adventure Game by Robit Studios (2011) - PC

I received this game completely free without even knowing it existed beforehand so I naturally expected its quality to reflect its price. Remarkably, it almost immediately because one of my favourite arcade adventures ever thanks to its ultra-pixelly retro graphics, wonderful soundtrack and immersive game-world. (full review here)

29. Gauntlet by Atari (1985) - Arcade

A true landmark title for the arcades, this one, and one whose name still commands the utmost respect from us retro-gamers despite the numerous sub-standard sequels/reboots that have been belched forth in the years since. I guess that's because we remember how frickin' awesome it was and still is! (full review here)

28. Burnout by Criterion Games (2001) - GameCube

Despite its technical splendour I wasn't too impressed with this landmark racing game the first time I played it. After some practise, though, I soon discovered it to be one of the slickest, fastest, most exciting driving games I'd ever played. A truly fantastic game bettered only by its immediate sequel. (full review here)

27. Bomberman '94 by Hudson Soft (1993) - PC Engine

I expect lots of Bomberman games will be popping up in this list and this one is among the very best. It was the only game in the series to appear on the MegaDrive and both versions are fantastic - tons of stages, colourful graphics, catchy choons, and the multi-player battles never get old! (full review here)

26. F-Zero by Nintendo (1990) - SNES

This was the game that not only caused me to buy a SNES to begin with but even broke my long-standing allegiance to Sega, and I hadn't even played it by that point! Happily, once I did, it didn't disappoint - from the first moment I played it, F-Zero was the fastest and most exciting racing game I had ever played... (full review here)

25. After Burner by Sega (1987) - Arcade

Some believe Sega faced an impossible task when following on from OutRun, but few had any doubts after bearing witness to the phenomenon that is After Burner. It is best played in the arcades but seldom has there been a more frenetic or downright thrilling experience in that environment, before or since... (full review here)

24. I Am Level by Smiling Bag (2014) - Mobile

Back when I posted my review of this game I was very sad to learn that its author, Stew Hogarth, sadly passed away about a year earlier. I'm sorry to say I never spoke to him personally but the passion he had for retro gaming was clear judging by this wonderful game which is still the best mobile game I've played... (full review here)

23. Beetle Adventure Racing by Paradigm Ent. (1999) - Nintendo 64

I suppose it's wrong to pre-judge a game but I expected this to be some crazy party game with no real lasting appeal. What I found, however, was one of the finest racing games on the N64! It isn't a serious game at all but the long courses with lots of short-cuts are fantastic and up to four players can join in too. (full review here)

22. Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap by Lizardcube/DotEmu (2017) - PC

Some were wary when news came of a modern remake of the amazing Wonder Boy 3 but happily any fears were quickly dispelled. Respect was paid to the wonderful MS version which saw its audio/visuals replaced with some decent compositions and truly wonderful new graphics. Sets a new standard for remakes. (full review here)

21. Chase HQ by Taito (1988) - Arcade

Ask gamers what their favourite arcade racing game of the 80's is and many would say OutRun, but those that don't will surely say Chase HQ. Released a couple of years later, it actually bettered some aspects of Sega's classic, and gave the player more to do too, soon becoming a classic in its own right. (full review here)

20. Bomb Jack by Tehkan (1984) - Arcade

For a long time this was my favourite arcade game ever. This was partly due to its long presence in a local takeaway but also because it's frickin' awesome! Steering brave Jack around the succession of busy screens collecting bombs and saving the day has never been anything less than enormous fun. (full review here)

19. Shinobi by Sega (1988) - Master System

As mentioned further up the page, I've spent way more time playing this version of Sega's classic than the arcade version since it was one of my first MS carts, and it has remained one of my favourites. It has nice graphics, catchy music, distinctive stages, and is thankfully a bit easier than the arcade game too. (full review here)

18. Dragon's Fury by Technosoft (1991) - MegaDrive/Genesis

This was the first pinball game I played that wasn't an actual pintable and I've still not played a better one, except maybe the PC Engine version of the same game. The fantastic demonic graphics, pumping music, and frenetic unrelenting action make this a truly awesome game and one of the MD's best. (full review here)

17. Test Drive Unlimited by Eden Games (2007) - PC

I actually first played this on a friend's PS2 and I'd been meaning to play it properly ever since. Soon after doing so, on the PC this time, I was hooked! It's set on an entire Hawaiian island and you have complete freedom to explore it in a wide variety of cars and take up all sorts of challenges. Awesome and immersive. (full review here)

16. Chuckie Egg by A&F Software (1983) - BBC Micro

I grew up playing the splendid (and neon green) Dragon 32 version of this but the version I've been playing more recently is this superb BBC version. Few platformers are as immediately-accessible as A&F's classic and even less are as addictive. Still one of the best single-screen platformers around. (full review here)

15. Wizorb by Tribute Games (2011) - PC

The world of indie games has become a wonderful place for gamers like me to find new retro-flavoured treats and Wizorb was the first one I discovered. Bizarrely, it's a bit of an RPG-ish take on the bat 'n' ball game which might sound a bit silly but it works superbly. Probably the best game I've played of its type. (full review here)

14. Psycho Fox by Vic Tokai (1989) - Master System

This may be a rather less well-known game than many on these lists, perhaps owing to its exclusive MS release, but it's one I've always had enormous affection for. The audio/visuals are among the MS's loveliest and it's a pretty darn large game which presents quite the challenge. Easily the MS's best platformer. (full review here)

13. Final Fight by Capcom (1989) - Arcade

Somehow I missed this one on its original release and Streets of Rage became my scrolling brawler of choice but, when I did finally play Capcom's game, the reason for its popularity was immediately obvious - kicking the crap out of hordes of street punks and hoodlums has rarely been as satisfying as this! (full review here)

12. Revenge of Shinobi by Sega (1989) - MegaDrive/Genesis

This was one of the first MD games I ever saw running and it absolutely blew me away at the time, making me very aware of just how much more powerful the console was. Technically awesome and super-slick to play, this is arguably the finest game to bear the Shinobi name and is still fantastic today. (full review here)

11. Thunder Force 3 by Technosoft (1990) - MegaDrive/Genesis

Few shmup series' have ever appealed to me as much as the Thunder Force series. This third game, a MegaDrive exclusive, is the pinnacle of the series in my opinion which, as well as boasting among the best graphics and music on the system, is also still the best horizontal-scroller I've played. (full review here)

10. Bomberman '93 by Hudson Soft (1992) - PC Engine

Almost any Bomberman game is special, we all know that. I've played most of them but, of those that I've reviewed here so far, I think this just about takes the title. Wonderful, colourful, varied graphics, appealing music, and simply an immensely enjoyable game for one or two (or five!) players. (full review here)

9. Devil's Crush by Naxat Soft (1990) - PC Engine

I almost couldn't decide between this version and the MegaDrive version but eventually I plumped for the original which, while harder than the MD game, is also more balanced, and looks nicer too. Easily the best pinball game I've ever played, and yes, that's including actual pintables! (full review here)

8. PixelJunk Shooter by Q-Games (2009) - PlayStation 3

By jingo, what's this - a modern(ish) game?! Yes that's right, for despite its humble origins (being a PSN indie and all), this addictive cavern-based shooter has proven to be the most enjoyable game I've played for years, and certainly the best I've found so far on my PS3. I haven't played the sequel yet either... (full review here)

7. Space Station Silicon Valley by DMA Design (1998) - Nintendo 64

Whenever the subject of unappreciated gems comes up I think of this game which, in my experience, many games haven't even heard of never mind played. A big part of its appeal is its sense of humour, from its menagerie of strange robotic animals to it funky jazz-tinged soundtrack. A brilliant and truly unique game. (full review here)

6. Robotron 2084 by Williams (1982) - Arcade

I'm not sure this was one of the most popular of the early arcade classics at the time but it's definitely proven to be the most enduring. Everything about it typifies what many consider the 'glory days' of the amusement arcade and its unrelenting shooting action shows no sign of ageing yet... (mini review here)

5. Star Fighter by Fednet / Krisalis (1995) - 3DO

Originally released for the Archimedes of all machines, this free-roaming, mission-based shooter amazed me with its smooth 3D graphics and superb soundtrack when I first played it, but I soon discovered a game of surprising depth as well. There are still few games I've spent more time on than this. (full review here)

4. OutRun by Sega (1986) - Arcade

What can I say about this one? Almost everyone who grew up in the 80's loves it, and that includes me. Indeed, it's almost single-handedly responsible for me even getting into video games to start with. Spectacular, even revolutionary in its day, and still great fun today, even without the nostalgia. (full review here)

3. Bubble Bobble by Taito (1986) - Arcade

This may not have been the first platformer ever but after nearly thirty years it's still one of the most popular, and that's no surprise thanks to its appealing characters, 100 stages, intricate scoring system, and tonnes of secrets. There can't be too many gamers in the world who don't love this Taito classic. (full review here)

2. F-Zero X by Nintendo (1998) - Nintendo 64

Many nincompoops prefer F-Zero GX over this, due no doubt to its flashy graphics, but this N64 game is without question the finest in the series for me. Each of the memorable course are superbly designed but it's also the purest racing game I've ever played and, quite possibly, the greatest example ever made. (full review here)

1. Star Control 2 by Toys For Bob / Accolade (1994) - 3DO

I bought this game for peanuts, purely on the strength of its decent prequel, and didn't expect a great deal, but I soon found myself lost in its immense, intricate world of empire building... and breaking. Don't let the un-3DO-like graphics fool you; this is quite simply the finest video game I've ever played. (full review here)


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