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The Top 100 Games of the 21st Century 82

Ground Glass writes "Most top ten or top 100 lists are pure opinion, and thus a source of great debate as their objectivity is questioned by everyone with a personal favorite. Next Gen has chosen a different route — this is the top 100 games on PlayStation 2, Xbox, and Gamecube, calculated since the start of the decade by unit sales in America." As you'd expect, GTA, Halo, and Madden are in the top ten ... but did you know Smash Brothers Melee has sold 3.2 million units? Interesting stuff.
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The Top 100 Games of the 21st Century

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  • No PC games? (Score:2, Insightful)

    Screw 'em.
    • Re:No PC games? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DesireCampbell ( 923687 ) <desire.c@gmail.com> on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @12:49PM (#15825698) Homepage
      This is why I don't do 'awards'. They never explain why one thing is better than another - and they always choose 'winners' that suck.

      And this isn't "The Top 100 Games of the 21st Century" it's "The 100 top-selling console games of the last 5 years".

      Lame - with a capital 'L'.
      • Re:No PC games? (Score:2, Insightful)

        by badasscat ( 563442 )
        And this isn't "The Top 100 Games of the 21st Century" it's "The 100 top-selling console games of the last 5 years".


        You people are saying this as if a) you're giving the rest of us some great revelation that we couldn't otherwise figure out ourselves, and b) it matters.

        So let me get this straight - you clicked the link actually expecting to find the definitive list - no further argument or debate necessary - of the top 100 games of the 21st century? I'm guessing that based on your literal interpretatio
      • I'm always wary of poorly-stated awards things like "best games ever". What does that even mean? What are we basing this on? How much we like them now? How well they were originally received? Sales? Impact? This is why I am an admirer of EGM's Greatest 200 Videogames Of Their Time [wikipedia.org]. A much better-stated question, to be sure.
      • Re:No PC games? (Score:3, Informative)

        by richdun ( 672214 )

        This is why I don't do 'awards'. They never explain why one thing is better than another

        Top is a relative term, and the 21st Century is the last five years...and when in doubt, RTFA.

        Here are some notes on how this list works.

        • Stats, ordering and research: thanks to game publishers, retail analysis sources and NPD data.
        • Games are ranked by units sold; then by revenue generated. This tends to favor games released earlier, rather than later, and games which have spent a long time at a lower price
    • who don't include PC games, I mean.
      • Not only ignoring PC Games, (as mentioned, I'm sure Blizzard and Valve sells some units) but ignoring the rest of the world. If they are counting world wide sales, then it changes the rankings significantly.

        Nintendogs Out sold Halo and Pokemon consistantly outsells GTA.

    • Yeah, it was my understanding that The Sims, with all its addons, was the top selling game of all time. I'm sure Myst and The 7th Guest and probably a sleeper hit like Bejewelled are all up there as well.
    • by WidescreenFreak ( 830043 ) on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @12:55PM (#15825740) Homepage Journal
      I fully agree with you. The PC is no less a gaming "console" for a lot of people than are the "real" consoles. In fact, one could easily argue that the consoles are all trying to become PCs with media play and Internet capabilities. I won't be surprised if you can have an e-mail address specifically for the console of your choice in the near future. (After all, keyboards are supported on some consoles.)

      I would guess that games like Half-Life 2 and World of Warcraft would rank very highly in term of dollars produced, and last time I checked -- they're games. PC games deserve full recognition in this category as well. The fact that they're not included makes the article meaningless.

      And does it really make sense to offer a Top 100 of ANYTHING where we're only five years into the 21st centry?
      • Yeah! WebTV, your time has come!
      • I don't doubt WoW has brought in more than the rest of the top 10 combined if you factor it in... come on, we're talking a BILLION DOLLARS every year just from the monthly fee.
        • Not only that,

          #2, Halo has Estimated Sales: 4.2 million
          #1, GTA:VC has Estimated Sales: 7 Million

          I think it's pretty safe to say WoW's had more than 4.2 box sales, which puts them at either #2 or #1.

          After all,
          "World of Warcraft's European customer base is currently at more than 1 million players, with the worldwide total now at more than 6 million players."
          http://www.blizzard.com/press/060228.shtml [blizzard.com]
        • Don't forget The Sims and The Sims 2, plus their "expansions packs" that consisted mostly of crap that took their artists and designers all of two weeks to make, assuming they didn't make some of it during the initial development and just remove it for later milking of the consumer.

          Sold damn well.
      • First off, I'm a PC gamer and I couldn't agree more.

        Secondly, this sentence brought a question to mind:

        I would guess that games like Half-Life 2 and World of Warcraft would rank very highly in term of dollars produced

        If they did include PC games and they did it based purely on "unit" sales, wouldn't that unfairly underrepresent the importance of games like WOW where subscriptions are a huge portion of the revenue? Similarly, wouldn't it overrepresent them if it was based purely on revenue?

        A lot of people s
        • Bundling a game with an operating system is a totally different thing. This list is based on sales. With respect to games, there's a direct 1:1 correlation. People bought the game for the game. People did not buy Windows for Solitaire.

          In fact, that makes the inclusion of PC games into this list even more critical. It shows that games like World of Warcraft could easily be the most popular games of all. Why? Because people keep paying the monthly subscription fees!! After all, if people suddenly d
        • I don't think it would over prepresent them because if you were not happy with the game then you would no longer subscribe. The monthly cost completely represents the popularity because the people are paying for gaming they enjoy. I would however agree that it is very hard to compare these games to games of the other pricing model but from a publishers point, revenue is revenue.
      • The fact that they're not included makes the article meaningless.

        ...to a PC only gamer. In defense of Next-Gen they did say they'd do more lists, one just for PCs and one for handhelds. The PC and handheld markets are vastly different sizes than the console market, it'd be misleading to directly compare unit sales of such different markets.

        And does it really make sense to offer a Top 100 of ANYTHING where we're only five years into the 21st centry?

        Absolutely. PS2, GC and Xbox were all released in or after t

        • Personally, I was surprised by a couple of the list's findings. One was how few XBox games were on there and the other was the complete dominance of the PS2.
          This is mostly because for games that are available on multiple platforms (a lot of them on that list) they did not list all 3 consoles and combined sold units (and they probably should have) - they just put PS2 by default.
      • And does it really make sense to offer a Top 100 of ANYTHING where we're only five years into the 21st centry?

        Sure it does... there won't be any new games made after Jack Thompson shuts the video game industry down for good later this year!
      • The PC is no less a gaming "console" for a lot of people than are the "real" consoles.

        Yeah, I'd suggest never buying a Gamecube. Updating the graphics drivers is always a fight.


        -software bugs
        -hardware bugs
        -hardware performance
        -installing new drivers (a version that actually supports your game)
        -installing the game
        -waiting for the patch
        -finding and installing the patch
        -defragging your drive
        -tuning your system (killing tray programs, reading readme files, etc)

        Of co
    • Re:No PC games? (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Here's a list of PC games along with the consoles:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best_selling_ computer_and_video_games [wikipedia.org]
    • Please, they didn't include the handhelds either and I know damn well I play my DS the most, followed by games on my PC then my PS2.
    • Considering that PC games are wildly different from console games, I don't really mind. As a PC gamer, I took a look through the top 30 titles and was intrigued to see that

      1. I recognised remarkably few of the titles (barring obvious things like "EA $RANDOM_SPORT 200x"), and
      2. most of them are games that I would not be remotely interested in.

      You get the same kind of thing if you go and compare the top-ranked games on the various platforms over at Metacritic.com [metacritic.com] or similar. Are Halo 1 and 2 really the best an

  • Popularity = Money? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ExE122 ( 954104 ) * on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @12:43PM (#15825650) Homepage Journal
    I know its a bit of a pointless argument since these lists are really just for entertainment. But I think there's a subtle detail missing:

    Software piracy!
    ::dramatic music::

    MPAA and the like are quick to quote numbers on how much revenue is lost due to illegal downloads and file sharing. Yet where are these statistics when it comes to determining a game's popularity and longevity? Industries are so quick to point these statistics out only when they cater to their own demands.

    I know all my illegal downloads of "Spongebob Squarepants: Battle for Bikini Bottom" alone would've easily bumped it up from #67 to #66!

    And yes, I know the stats on lost revenue are stupid since downloading a game illegally doesn't mean you would've paid for it.

    I think the point I'm trying to make is that while they did try to take many factors into account, ultimately they're defining "popularity" as "sales" and I don't think that's entirely accurate.

    "A man is asked if he is wise or not. He replies that he is otherwise" ~Mao Zedong
    • Regardless of accuracy, there is value in this ranking. Although the specific rankings do not mean very much, this gives a general impression of what the most popular games really are. I agree that there are many confounding variables (ex: can a game be played multiplayer with only one player?), but take this as a whole.
    • They chose a limited stat: sales, for a limited market: consoles. As noted in there if you included the PC version, The Sims beats out all others, though that's probalby not true if you count MMORPGs since World of Warcraft has ANNUAL revenues of over $1 billion. This list isn't inteded to be a definitive list of the best games, in fact I'd say it's a great example of the saying "popular sure don't mean right" but it's not worthless. It's just saying that, by sales, these are the most popular console games
    • The list is already out! Piratebay already has a "Top 100 PC Games" liste.
    • I have never seen any unbiased research on how much piracy actually affects sales of software and computer/video games. Obviously, it does. The real question is how much.

      As for this article, it only looks at console games. We need to keep in mind that it is much easier to download crack.rar from a website than to mod your PS2/Xbox/Cube to play copied games. This means that only the more determined will attempt it, further lowering the number.
  • Please..... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by acvh ( 120205 ) <geek@m s c i g a r s.com> on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @12:45PM (#15825661) Homepage
    "This list's order and content is copyright to Next Generation and must not be reproduced or copied without the permission of the publisher."

    OK, content I can go along with. But trying to claim copyright on the rankings themselves? That's kind of like the NFL claiming copyright on the standings and prohibiting newspapers from publishing them without a license fee.

    Come on kids. You're writing about VIDEO GAMES. Not exactly "War and Peace". Be happy that Slashdot picked up your link, is sending all kinds of people to visit, and get off the IP bandwagon.

    • Re:Please..... (Score:5, Informative)

      by vodkamattvt ( 819309 ) on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @01:01PM (#15825796) Homepage
      If Im not mistaken .. the MLB has copyrighted their statistics and the NBA has claimed copyright over the actual events in a game and challenged commentators in court.

      Its stupid, yes, but as a business you look for any revenue you can. Better safe than sorry, copyright everthing under the sun, and then sue everyone who looks at you funny. Who knows? If your lawyer is scary enough you might get some free $$$ in a settlement.

      Dont you love the litigious society we live in? Myself, it makes me want to puke.

      • Uh ... how exactly can you copyright numbers that have no direct bearing on your entity and that you did not plan for before they became those numbers? If I write "he had a .245 batting average last year" I'm violating a copyright? o_0

        Where's my duck/duct tape? My head's about to explode thinking about that one.
      • Bullshit. Statistics are facts, and by law, you cannot copyright facts.
        • I agree, but I believe its currently in litigation. The MLBs argument is that statistics have a much more important role in baseball than other sports, and that makes it different from the 1990's decision where the NBA sued motorola for sending out scores (in which scores were declared facts like you say).

          But hey, when you fall from the nations past time to the nations dirty steroid infested bore fest you have to do something to get some $$$ back. Personally I would rather watch the WNBA than major league

    • IANAL, but as far as I know, you cannot copyright facts or ideas, only the expression of those ideas. Although the notice claims that the order of the items in the list are copyrighted, I doubt a court would agree.

      The factual information regarding sports results, rankings, etc. is not copyright-able, but the expression of those facts is. You should be able to copy the data (but not any commentary / opinions) by re-writing/re-typing it, but if you photocopied the newspaper page, then you could be in trou

    • Ironically (or not), Major League Baseball is trying to do just that [startribune.com]...
  • 11 pages? (Score:5, Informative)

    by linvir ( 970218 ) * on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @12:46PM (#15825664)

    11 pages for one article? It starts at 100, and gives you no option to click through to the top ten. next-gen.biz are pageview whores, and deserve their ad-free printable version link [next-gen.biz] to be published.

  • Anyone paste the results here?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      It's 11 pages and contains screenshots.

      NOTE: To view page, simply copy and paste the URL in your browser (it is blocking based on /. referrers)
  • page has been slashdotted
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I feel the need to give props to their mambo server and its graceful admit of defeat. At least it doesn't just time out perpetually.
      Perhaps we should all email the administrator as suggested ?
      • Suggested by what? My Firefox just says this:

        Unable to connect

        Firefox can't establish a connection to the server at next-gen.biz.

        * The site could be temporarily unavailable or too busy. Try again in a few

        * If you are unable to load any pages, check your computer's network
  • by 0racle ( 667029 )
    Top selling 100 games of the past 4 and a half years. How very significant.
    • The century's been on for 5 and a half years, really. Not that this makes it much more significant.
    • Top selling 100 games of the past 4 and a half years. How very significant.

      Actually, it is. Pac-Man does not compare very well to Grand Theft Auto, not only because of the type of game, but the venue of playing it. Modern games tend to be 3D and you tend to buy the game. You usually don't rack up "points" against a computer that will then take away "lives", but aim to "finish" the game or gain the most "frags" against a human opponent.

      Sure, there are a lot of similarities too, but I think there are more
  • Unlike box office numbers from movies and record sales in music, the US gaming industry does not publically (as far as I am aware) release their sales stats. So where do these numbers come from? I know Japan publically releases these stats, and there is a company in the US that you can buy reports from that give these numbers (how accurately, I don't know), but I have yet to see individual title numbers be made fully public. Does anybody know why the game industry in the US has not elected to release the
  • This article is only talking about the last 5 years. They're skipping the first, oh, 40 or so years of video games.

    Waste of time and bandwidth. My bets are lots of games from the 80's and 90's would blow most of these titles away in sales.

  • The 21st century is less than a decade old and already some pretentious hacks are lame enough to declare the top 100 games. Anything to suck in readership...

  • by ShadowSonic ( 910417 ) on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @01:16PM (#15825950)
    ...but I was under the impression that there were still 94 1/2 years left in the 21st century.
  • by spyrochaete ( 707033 ) on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @01:28PM (#15826040) Homepage Journal
    Mirrordot cache: http://www.mirrordot.com/find-mirror.html?http://n ext-gen.biz/index.php?option=com_content&task=view &id=3537&Itemid=2 [mirrordot.com]

    This link works sometimes but not others. I was going to paste the article but there's about 3 sentences X 100 listings so it's not really feasible.
  • the 100 best are spread out onto 200 click through ad revenue money pits?
  • For the magazine that is. It has people talking about what appeared even if the content is a load of tripe. Summer is traditionally a low point for game releases and they need content. Stuff like this always gains an audience. Does it make them relevant as a conduit for game info? Well, you decide.
  • Wow look, another steaming pile of shite... !!

    (And I feel I am being nice....)

  • Ground Glass, are you a fanboy? The only way you wouldn't know that Smash Bros sold so many copies is if you are a Microsoft or Sony fanboy, or are just not that knowledgeable about video games. Most gamers who aren't fanboys know that Smash Bros did exceptionally well. I can see it now: "But Nintendo is too kiddie! They COULDN'T have sold that many games!!!!11!!"
  • 1. USA is not the world.
    2. The 21st century is only 6 years old.
    3. PlayStation 2, Xbox and GameCube are not the only ways to play computer games. Where the hell is the PC?
    4. I don't think you can copyright the _order_ of a list.

    Seriously, is that site done by 10 year olds?


Q: How many IBM CPU's does it take to execute a job? A: Four; three to hold it down, and one to rip its head off.