Sometimes it’s fairly easy to categorize the best games on a specific console, like the Nintendo Switch, or even the best games of a specific year. However, after opening up the boundaries and considering every video game made ever, things get a little more complicated. It’s difficult to encompass decades of game development in one place – even if it is a lengthy one – but here, we’ve done our best to do just that. Every gamer has their own personal view of what constitutes a good game, but it’s undeniable that the games presented here are each iconic in their own right.
These games vary wildly in age, genre, and replayability, but they have all helped shape the gaming landscape in some way. Whether they left their mark by establishing a new genre of game or reinventing an old one — or are just plain too much fun — each of these 98 games holds historical and pop cultural significance. Here are our top picks for the best video games of all time.
98. Ms. Pac-Man
Of course, some version of "Pac-Man" needs to be on this list. Alongside the likes of "Space Invaders" and "Galaga," it’s one of the most famous arcade games of all time, and it’s become a permanent pop culture staple over the years. While the original "Pac-Man" deserves all the credit for establishing the franchise back in 1980, its sequel made enough small improvements to become the definitive version of the game.
"Ms. Pac-Man" differs from its predecessor in seemingly minor ways, but they add up. There are four different maze variations, rather than just one, and some of them include more warp tunnels, which subsequently allow for more dynamic play. The ghosts are also upgraded, with more random behavior programmed into their movement to keep players on their toes. Lastly, the bonus fruit that appeared in the middle of the maze in "Pac-Man" stays mobile in "Ms. Pac-Man," increasing the risk of pursuing those delicious extra points. Taken as a whole, these changes make for a much deeper and more rewarding game (per GamesRadar+). "Ms. Pac-Man" remains a staple of bars and arcades even today, and for good reason — it’s just that fun.
Release Date: January 13, 1982
Game modes: Single-player