Originally Posted by A-Pathetic
171. Road Rash (1994), 3DO
Okay, I'm the resident Road Rash apologist I guess. I'm guessing this will be the only 3DO selection to make the list, and it probably should be. It's the reason I bought a 3DO, I know that much. It was also worth it.
Not at all. The 3DO as a console may have indeed been a spectacular train wreck of epic, clusterfucked, Ed Woodian proportions... but it DOES in fact have its tiny little share of cool gems. Road Rash is definitely among them. The Genesis Road Rash trilogy was also great and easily deserves to be here as well. And that's saying a lot coming from me, since I generally hate racing games with a passion. But Road Rash is a definite exception (as was F-Zero, which I'm glad someone brought up earlier).
And speaking of things that deserve to be on here:
173. Syndicate (PC, 1993)
I can't believe we've made it this far and this hasn't been brought up yet. Cause its easily one of THE best PC games ever made, of ANY genre or decade.
Remember isometric tactical shooters? Remember games like Cannon Fodder (thinking back again to legitimately great games on the 3DO)? Well this sucker right here's probably the best of that sadly short lived little genre.
Syndicate may well also be one of the best Blade Runner-inspired cyberpunk themed games ever made. You play the role of an unseen (cause he or she is supposed to be you) scumbag corporate executive in a dystopian future where every sovereign nation in the world is ruled over not by governments or monarchies of any sort, but rather a series of highly corrupt corporations. These companies go to war with one another and maintain control over the masses by way of propaganda, relentless marketing and advertising... and when all that's not enough, by sending out brainwashed, drugged cyborg assassins to enforce their rule under the barrel of a gun.
As a corporate goon for one of these conglomerates (you even get to make up the name of your company and pick out its logo) you're in charge of sending out small platoons of these cyborg soldiers to do battle against other rival companies, upstart militias, rioting, rebellious citizens, and anything else that poses a threat to your company's iron grip on the nations it rules over. As you progress in the game and defeat other companies and their assassins, you get to claim their territories (marked on a map with your corporate logo).
You make money via setting taxes on all the conquered areas of the globe that your company controls. You can invest that money in a number of areas, including R&D in newer and better weaponry, improved cybernetic upgrades and better drugs and steroids for your assassins to keep their strength and reflexes superhumanly high, and so on. Set your taxes just high enough and you'll be rolling in enough dough to arm up, dope up. and cyber up your units into unstoppable, unfeeling slaughter machines. But set your taxes TOO high, and you'll inspire civil unrest amongst the people and will have to deal with more rioting and anti-corporate sentiment against your outfit (manifesting in your troops getting attacked en masse on the streets in broad daylight by most random citizens they come across, which can seriously fuck with some of your missions). You also have to be careful in managing the dosage of the drugs you feed to your troops. Give them too much, and they eventually build up a tolerance to them and they lose their effectiveness, forcing you to ease back on the dosage.
Coolest of all, you can also kidnap and brainwash any of random citizens you happen across or even police officers in your troops vicinity via a mind control device called a “Persuadertron”. Round up enough citizens within the influence of your Persuadertron, and have yourself a small army of mindless, obedient pawns and meat shields to back up your troops; they can even pick up guns and other weapons off of fallen enemies and use them. You can even (with enough finagling) capture and brainwash the cyber assassins of enemy corporations, and add them permanently among your controllable ranks.
This game also beat GTA to its own punch by several years featuring levels that are fully populated cities unto themselves with the citizens going about their daily lives of their own accord, reacting primarily to what your troops do and what the public image of your company is at that given point in time. There are even random police officers who will jump into the fray and join in on whatever firefight your troops happen to be engaged in. There are random futuristic cars that drive about, even stopping to obey traffic lights and signs and whatnot. They can be randomly jacked by your troops at any point to get them from place to place in the city quicker.
The combat in the game is bloody, brutal, and destructive, with most buildings, cars, bridges, and structures being completely destructible (provided you have powerful enough explosives and BFG-caliber hardware at your disposal; equipment which certainly doesn't come cheap). Few things are more satisfying than dispersing a mob of angry protesters or a wave of enemy cyber-soldiers by firing a missile at an overpass, and having both the bridge itself and the train or cars passing over it come plummeting onto the crowd below in a spectacular fiery wreck.
And in true GTA fashion, you can just as easily fuck about in the city causing random havoc for no particular reason rather than carry out missions. Don't feel like breaking up a protest riot against your company? Fuck it, brainwash a bunch of random slobs and start another riot of your own. Go around blowing up buildings, and lighting random bystanders on fire with flamethrowers if you feel so inclined. The amount of freedom this game lends you is all the more awe inspiring considering that this came out in 199-fucking-3. This game wasn't just before GTA, it was years before the goddamned original Playstation entirely. The NES was still around (albeit on its last legs) and the 16 bit era was still young and had its best years ahead of it, and during that time we had a game like this; what was basically a proto-sandbox game.
First person shooters and real time strategy games aside, this was easily among my most played to death games on PC in the early 90's. Past the deeply intelligent and richly rewarding gameplay, just the sheer (at the time) ballsy idea of not only finally playing as an out and out villain, but a whole evil empire setting out to subjugate the people and generally cause misery and destruction purely for the sake of self-serving greed rather than playing as some generic, altruistic do-gooder out to save the world or some damsel in distress (again bearing in mind that this was the early 90's and that was the standard mold of a vast majority of video games) along with the dark, cyberpunk aesthetic and harsh amounts of unflinching violence made this game a crack-like addiction of immense proportions for me.
This game was an absolute must-own for all PC gamers of the early 90's. If you didn't play it, you seriously missed out on something incredibly special. But you're in luck, since gog.com as of quite recently has begun selling a modern operating system compatible version for dirt-ass cheap (as the game had up till now been exclusively a DOS title).
This is for my money easily and without question the finest game Bullfrog Productions has ever produced, and still to this day the single best thing that Peter Molyneux has ever been involved with or had his name attached to. This shit makes Fable look like the milquetoast piece of lightweight crap that it is.