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Japan's Top 100 Games 108

Next Generation has a piece with the Top 100 Games of All Time, as voted by the nation of Japan. From the article: "1. Final Fantasy X (2001) 2. Final Fantasy VII (1997) 3. Dragon Quest III (1988) 4. Dragon Quest VIII (2004) 5. Machi (1998) 6. Final Fantasy IV (1991) 7. Tactics Ogre (1995) 8. Final Fantasy III (1990) 9. Dragon Quest VII (2000) 10. Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998)"
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Japan's Top 100 Games

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  • by Gr8Apes ( 679165 ) on Monday March 06, 2006 @02:11PM (#14859676)
    What was the question worded like?
    • Finally, what was your favorite fantasy game of all time? (Don't forget to add which sequel if your answer is "Final Fantasy"!)
    • Or maybe they're just good games?

    • by Anonymous Coward
      The entire thing reads like a freaking Square-Enix ad. When you remember that DragonQuest (3 of the top 10 slots) is also a Square-Enix game, you get seven out of the top 10 being Square-Enix games.

      I'm thinking this was a poll conducted by Square-Enix to the members of the Square-Enix Fan-Club. The only Final Fantasy game that doesn't appear on the list is Final Fantasy XI - which is good, because it's widely considered one of the worst MMORPGs of all times!
      • I'm surprised that FF actually ranked higher than DQ. I'd always heard that DQ was more popular in Japan (take the law passed about DQ releases for example) which is why Enix ended up buying out Square and not the other way around.
        • Enix ended up buying Square and not the other way around because the Final Fantasy movie was just a financial drain and flop at the box office that it left Square quite weakened. Sadly, the movie division hurt the games division.
    • Don't forget to add which sequel if your answer is "Final Fantasy"!

      All the subsequent Final Fantasy games are NOT sequels. The only (and infamous) exception is Final Fantasy X-2 which is a sequel of (obviously) FF-X.

    • I saw this on Kotaku, and thought it was pretty hilarious. I can't understand how Dragon Quest III is rated above the Ocarina of Time. That particular iteration of Dragon Quest was not particularly outstanding, from what I've played of it ... it's immediate successor, Dragon Quest IV was a lot better, IMO, but neither come close to touching the Ocarina of Time, which was a fresh, exciting game at the time of its release and screamed quality and fun from beginning to end.

      Of course, you have to keep in mi

    • Easy (Score:2, Informative)

      While we played Doom I & II, Quake, Heretic, Wolfenstein, Unreal

      they played Final Fantasy, Zelda, Dragon Quest

      its a culture thing.
      • "We" played Zelda and Final Fantasy as well. I just don't think "we" were as myopic about our game selection as that presented in the list.

        • >>I just don't think "we" were as myopic about our game selection as that presented in the list.


          Well, that much is true :)

          Although, Zelda and FF are taken to a whole new level in japan... what I meant was, here we like Zelda and FF, you know, they're good games, they sell well, its a hit. but in japan, its really part of the culture of gamers. why do you think square created like 3 final fantasies that were just sold in japan, its because the sales figures were much more impressive over there.

    • 4 are ff and 3 are dragon quest. perhaps the question was worded as 'what is your favorite square/enix/square-enix game of all time'
    • This does seem strange, especially since Japan isn't as gung-ho about FF as even North America is. It seems more like they asked a group of FF fanboys in Japan what their favorite games were.
  • Not again... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lightspawn ( 155347 ) on Monday March 06, 2006 @02:17PM (#14859733) Homepage
    * my favorite isn't on the list, so it can't be "right"!
    * the list is biased toward older / newer / console / PC / handheld / RPG / arcade / puzzle games!
    * the list doesn't mean anything, lists like this never do (of course they don't)
    * oh man, I completely forgot that game, that was fun.

    Lists like that are compiled regularly. It's hardly news, but hey, if it reminds you of a game you haven't played in years or lets you know of a gem you'd never have known about otherwise...
    • I think this list gets better recognition and merit than the typical lists compiled by 1Up, Gamespy, or GameSpot due to the fact that this is data is a reflection of a market that isn't the English-speaking Western market that we're a part of.

      Just take a look at that list. Most of the games listed are role-playing games and/or games developed by Japanese developers. This data tells us numerous things about the electronic gaming market in Japan and certainly reflects attudinal differences between us and th
    • I think you nailed my initial response to every video game list I've ever seen:
      Why is the NES Legend of Zelda "not on here" or "ranked so low"? This is crap.
      Why are these all newer games, have people forgotten the greatness of NES?
      These people are obviously idiots (i.e. uninformed youth), but that's alright.
      Hey, where's my copy of "Ikari Warriors"/"SNES Legend of Zelda"/etc.?
  • Tactics Ogre? Final Fantasy Tactics was much better IMHO. Maybe they thought the list was getting a little too heavy with Final Fantasy titles? TO is a fine game, but FFT is superior IMHO.
    • The Japanese version of Tactics Ogre was originally released in 1995 on the Super Famicom / SNES, many years before Final Fantasy Tactics came out. Considering that its graphics and interface were nearly on par with many PS titles (besides the pretty summoning and magic effects, even FFT really doesn't outdo it), and that the gameplay and class system of Tactics Ogre was arguably superior to FFT, it's not hard to see why Tactics Ogre was considered a more groundbreaking and influential game than FFT in Jap
  • 7 of the top 10 games of all time was made by Square or Enix... says a lot about this company, and about the type of games the Japanese culture tends to enjoy.
    • Actually, it says more about the readership of Famitsu. Sport games are immensely popular, and fighting games are also, to a degree. Let's not forget rhytm games, which the list entirely neglects. A lot of people who read Famitsu are "Akiba-kei", which is the new and cool word for "otaku". No surprise that RPGs and dating sims are overrepresented.
  • No Castlevania, No Contra, No Metroid, No Mega man? Kungfu was ok, like it was the final scene of Game of Death the movie, but there are better games even for its era.
  • by RobertB-DC ( 622190 ) * on Monday March 06, 2006 @02:25PM (#14859808) Homepage Journal
    No Katamari listed in the top 100 Japanese games? Outrageous! We are most displeased!

    Where was cousin Ace? Playing Animal Crossing (#43)?
    We have no idea what you are talking about.
  • I know this is a popular vote, so it's going to be heavily skewed to whatever is recent and flashy, but still...

    I'm both scratching my head at the voters for placing FFX at #1 and thanking them for putting FFX-2 down at #32.
  • That's pathetic. Not a single FPS on the list? Only two PC games that I can see (Wizardry and SimCity?) Only a two sports games I noticed (Gran Tourismo 4 Super Family Fun Baseball Pro Gold Happy or whatever.) Do they sell video game consoles over there as "RPG Machines?" or something?
    • No, it's just a different market. Just like Adventure games are doing ok in Europe but are almost non-esistance in the US. But looking at the game list is there any wonder why Microsoft has been having so many problems selling consoles there?
    • That's pathetic. Not a single FPS on the list?

      Some of us would call that pretty much the opposite of pathetic. I personally think it's refreshing.

      Only two PC games that I can see (Wizardry and SimCity?) Only a two sports games I noticed (Gran Tourismo 4 Super Family Fun Baseball Pro Gold Happy or whatever.)

      Wow, so you're saying an entirely different culture values games differently than we do? I'm shocked - SHOCKED, I tell you!

      Seriously, what's up with your Amerocentric-ness? Just because we like FPS'
      • The point I was making is that a top 100 list made in the US would have a wide selections of genres represented, not a single one dominating utterly like in that list. I agree with you about Doom, as a kid who played both Doom and Marathon through in the same year, I think Doom is vastly over-rated.

        I wouldn't say what's up with my American-centric-ness, I'd say what the hell's up with the game industry's Japan-centric-ness? I think Microsoft has the right position on this issue, personally. About time th
        • The point I was making is that a top 100 list made in the US would have a wide selections of genres represented...

          Yeah really, there is certainly no way the top 100 in the US would be totally made up of FPS, Sports and RTS games.

          Every culture has it biases, including the US. True the list of 100 top games in Japan does not fit what the US has, but it certainly is not limited in it's genres any more than we would. The geners I found a a quick glance are RPG (fantasy and otherwise), 3rd Person shooter,
    • Only two PC games that I can see (Wizardry and SimCity?)

      Even those probably aren't the PC versions. The 1991 SimCity is more than likely the Super Famicom / SNES title. (The PC version was released in 1989.) The 1997 Wizardry was likely the Famicom / NES title, with the original PC release waaay back in 1984. (I have no idea when, or if, a Japanese PC version was ever released.)

      Gaming in Japan is largely done on game consoles. Computers are, oddly enough, mostly used for computing. If you visit

  • OMFG! 7 of 10 games in the list are Square-Enix! They must have like totally biased the results somehow!

    Or maybe Square-Enix just made some really good games?

    Recall Blizzard in the PC world... every title in the Warcraft, Starcraft and Diablo series is in the top 20 sellers of all time, and most won Game of the Year awards across the board.

  • No Shaq FU --- This japanese style fighting game was what they designed the SNES for!!
  • I think, based on the list, which shows people rating all the FF titles about the same, that some form of slate voting must have occurred, with people ranking all "their" versions of their game 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,...

    Unless people who play Animal Crossing and Pokemon (both Japanese) tend to be too young to vote in this poll.

    I've noticed people frequently do ballot-stuffing when we have film festival voting here - it's really obvious, because you get something like 500 votes of 5 (best), and maybe 30 votes of
    • by rohlfinator ( 888775 ) on Monday March 06, 2006 @03:20PM (#14860401)
      I don't know that it's an age problem necessarily, but I'm sure Famitsu's market is a fairly limited demographic.

      If the readers of say, PC Gamer (in the US) were to be polled with the same question, their list would likely be dominated by FPSes and strategy games, probably ignoring less "hardcore" games like The Sims. Likewise, if you were to survey the readers of a European Nintendo mag, they'd probably favor Nintendo games over any others.

      This isn't a case of ballot stuffing; it's just a matter of demographics... the people who read Famitsu tend to favor traditional, Japanese RPGs. In reality, there are Yu-Gi-Oh games that have outsold some of those top-ranking FF titles, so clearly this list isn't a very accurate representation of game popularity.
      • If the readers of say, PC Gamer (in the US) were to be polled with the same question, their list would likely be dominated by FPSes and strategy games, probably ignoring less "hardcore" games like The Sims. Likewise, if you were to survey the readers of a European Nintendo mag, they'd probably favor Nintendo games over any others.

        Well, I've got the Sims (PC, many add-ons), Sims (GameCube), Sims: The Urbz (GameCube), Sims 2(PC, many add-ons), Sims 2 (xBox) and I don't think I've ever even seen a magazine tha
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 06, 2006 @02:43PM (#14860000)
    The real winners here are Roman Numerals.
  • by NetDanzr ( 619387 ) on Monday March 06, 2006 @02:54PM (#14860121)
    This list is yet another good example of east-west differences in gaming. If you look at the list, the biggest group are games that are heavily story-driven, but which don't give the player too much freedom. In fact, I found only one typical Western game on the list, Wizardry, which placed 66th. This doesn't mean that eastern gaming culture is bad; it's just different. However, with the proliferation of Japanese consoles in the US, resulting in larger numbers of Japanese games here, the eastern culture seems to take over the western one in gaming, at least on store shelves. It is no wonder then that whenever a western-style RPG is released (Arx Fatalis, Gothic, Morrowind), it creates a very fierce following of people who are starved for more freedom in their games.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I think that we have to look at Japan as a very narrow market when it comes to games. Of the top 10 listed in the summary, all of the ones that were released in America sold well (Tactics Ogre being the exception, due to limited supply). The thing about the US is that we have many, many large markets for games of all genres. The majority of the people that play Final Fantasy will also vote for various Blizzard games as the best games of all time alongside it. These are the same people that probably enjoyed
      • The majority of the people that play Final Fantasy will also vote for various Blizzard games as the best games of all time alongside it.

        I don't think this could be farther from the truth. Tthere is a huge reviene of a gap between the console RPG community and the RTS/TBS communities, as there is with the MMORPG community and the PC RPG community. You're dealing with some huge devides, and a lot of intense in-fighting between these crowds. You've just compared two game series: one is a PC series, one is

    • There is no such thing as "Eastern culture", unless you water down the definition so that it means nothing. Starcraft is neither heavily story driven nor does it severely restrict player freedom -- in fact, one of its key selling points is the variety of strategies is very wide and that Internet play lets you play it every day for a decade and it will never get old. Would you consider a nation where something like 20% of the population has played Starcraft to be an "Eastern" culture or not? Take another
  • Insert the biggest middle finger here you have ever seen.

    29. Kingdom Hearts II (2005)

    I still have to wait another 22 days for this to come out in the US.
    • Apparently we Europeans are getting it in October, so it could be worse. Especially as we pay more for the privilege.

      If I get a new console, I'll probably get a US one...
      • A question on that (and remember that you'd need an NTSC->PAL converter or a computer card that can take in NTSC), are some of the next gen consoles going to be region free? The Nintendo DS is, as is Blue Ray (or is it HD-DVD). So mught some of the consoles be region free as well?
        • A question on that (and remember that you'd need an NTSC->PAL converter or a computer card that can take in NTSC)

          Quite a lot of European TVs are happy to take NTSC as well as PAL. Plus PAL / NTSC is a none issue with HDTV, as far as I know all HDTVs basically use the same standards.

          Sadly I don't have either, but my Japanese PlayStation that I picked up is perfectly happy using a European RGB SCART cable, so I'd imagine a PS3 would be the same as it still uses the same connector for SDTV. I could either t
  • ... and the most important of these would be the amount of time that the voters like to spend playing games.  In the linked-to list, it's clear that the voters spend *much* more time on games than I prefer.

    I would much rather see a "top fifty" list compiled where the voters do not like to spend any more than five hours per week on games.  I would expect titles like Wario Ware, Inc and Katamari Damacy to be close to (or in) the top ten.
  • by dougmc ( 70836 )
    I look at the list, and I've only played three of the games listed --

    66. Wizardry (1987)
    93. Sim City (1991)
    96. Tetris (Gameboy) (1989)

    and of these three, I didn't play Sim City much, and didn't exactly play Tetris (Gameboy) because I've played Tetris on other platforms. Wizardry, on the other hand, was the first game I got for my Apple II and I played all the way through it and the first few expansions.

    Considering how much I like RPG games, I'd have thought that there would be more overlap. But I gu

    • Though I have to wonder if we're talking about the same Wizardry game. The one I 'm thinking of [wikipedia.org] came out in 1981, not 1987

      The Japanese version is a port of the original version. During the late 80s it was ported to PC98 series [wikipedia.org] (Sorry its Japanese.) by company called ASCII [ascii.co.jp] (Which owns Famitsu by the way). It came in 5" floppy and you had to abuse the silver write protect sticker so the characters don't get erased if things went wrong. The ported version had the same line art maze but the

      • The Japanese version is a port of the original version. During the late 80s it was ported to PC98 series ...

        Arrrrgh! The Japanese got some good ports.

        Just today I ran into a look at FM-TOWNS version of Ultima VI [solsector.net]. That's full speech. The rest of the world had to wait for Ultima IX to get our share of awful voice acting. (The samples on the above page are absolutely brilliant compared to U9's garbage.)

        As for what this has to do with the article... um... oh yeah, I'm glad Ultima III got 7 places out of

  • According to http://www.the-magicbox.com/ [the-magicbox.com] last time Kingdom Hearts II was on the top 30 list (feb 6 to feb 12), it sold a total of 1,088,607 copies. According to the newest (feb 20 to 26), where Animal Crossing DS is number 5, AC:DS has sold a total of 1,957,677 copies.

    This does not correspond with TFA.
  • I'm kinda disappointed Boong-Ga Boong-Ga [syberpunk.com] didn't make the list.
  • The Japaneese all have one thing in common: their disdain for all games and consoles not japaneese. The reason Microsoft is suckin a big nut in sales in japan is their loyalty. The reason Square-Enix rules the top 10, is because they are based in and cater to Japan. Their games and future ideas all comes from what sells well in Japan. The gamer market is incredible in Japan, as almost everyone (if not everyone) has a console of one form or another. Quality of games is therefor much better, because they have
    • The reason MS has problems in Japan is that the marketing is terrible (They use English terms like "high definition" the Japanese don't know), there are almost no games released, and those that are tend to be awful and VERY American (Madden is coming out on 360 next month IIRC. wtf?)
  • Never heard of Machi though, and I would have put Chrono Trigger a bit higher.

    If it doesn't take an hour of random repetitive turn-based monster battles to walk from one edge of the continent to the other, it's not a game I'm willing to waste my time with.
  • Honestly, I didn't think FFX was that great. If it was on the PSX, or the other games had been on the PS2, it wouldn't have gotten anywhere NEAR that kind of recognition.
  • I don't find it too big of a surprise that the list is full of Final Fantasy titles, but the order was a bit of a shock:

    1. FF X
    2. FF VII
    6. FF IV (Released in west as FF II)
    8. FF III (NES - Not released in west until much later)
    15. FF V (Not released in west until much later)
    22. FF VIII
    24. FF IX
    25. FF VI (Released in west as FF III)
    60. FF II (Not released in west to my knowledge)
    63. Final Fantasy

    Seeing the original rated lower than ANY of the sequels was a surprise, but nowhere near as big of a sho
  • by master_p ( 608214 ) on Tuesday March 07, 2006 @10:25AM (#14866004)

    1. PacMan: best all-around game, for all ages and sexes (especially Ms Pacman), and its gameplay (or parts of it) still lives in many modern games.
    2. Legend of Zelda:best action RPG ever; I had so much fun with this game!
    3. Outrun: best and most atmospheric racer ever. It helped revived arcades back in '86. Best arcade console (a mini Ferrari moving according to the action on the screen helped by hydraulics). Best soundtrack for racing games ever (Magical Sound Shower).
    4. R-Type: best shoot-em-up ever. An audio-visual experience still not matched yet: there are shoot-em-ups with better graphics, or better sound, or more gameplay, but not with better graphics/sound/gameplay in the same game!
    5. Donkey Kong: it introduced Mario and Donkey Kong.
    6. Bubble Bobble: one of the best arcade games ever; number 1 for gameplay ideas. One of the most addictive games ever.
    7. Arkanoid: best bat-and-ball game ever. No matter how many OpenGL polygons modern games throw at it, Arkanoid is never matched: the metallic hypnotic ping-pong sound can not easily be forgotten.
    8. Metal Gear: First stealth game, with lots of important ideas. Released on MSX.
    9. Space Invaders: most important game ever released: it kickstarted the video game industry.
    10. 1942: Father of all vertical shoot-em-ups. Lot's of fun.
  • 1985 - 2 entries - avg rank: 54
    1986 - 4 entries - avg rank: 59.75
    1987 - 5 entries - avg rank: 61.6
    1988 - 4 entries - avg rank: 58.5
    1989 - 3 entries - avg rank: 62
    1990 - 8 entries - avg rank: 53.62
    1991 - 4 entries - avg rank: 44.75
    1992 - 8 entries - avg rank: 37.87
    1993 - 4 entries - avg rank: 75
    1994 - 6 entries - avg rank: 52.16
    1995 - 6 entries - avg rank: 31.16
    1996 - 4 entries - avg rank: 46.25
    1997 - 4 entries - avg rank: 59.5
    1998 - 6 entries - avg rank: 28.83
    1999 - 2 entries - avg rank: 24.5
    2000 - 5 entrie

10.0 times 0.1 is hardly ever 1.0.