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The Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time #71: Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!

“The Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time” is a statistical meta-analysis of 44 “Best Video Games of All Time” lists that were published between 1995 and 2016. Catch up on how we decided to sort the games and the rest of the Top 100 in the Introduction.

You can also help support the completion of this project through Patreon.

“They say I can’t lose. I say you can’t win!”
– Mike Tyson, to Little Mac, in 1987’s Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!

“There’s no one that can match me. My style is impetuous, my defense is impregnable, and I’m just ferocious. I want your heart! I want to eat his children!”
– Mike Tyson, about Lennox Lewis, in 2000

In the 13 years between those two quotes, Mike Tyson went from being the face of boxing (and Nintendo’s best-selling Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!) to becoming a punchline for late night comedians. In between, he was convicted of sexual assault in 1992 and bit off a part of Evander Holyfield’s ear in 1997.

From that moment on, Tyson would fit right in with the cartoon characters that made up the undercard to his eponymous game. After his retirement from the ring, Tyson would remake himself as something of a gentle giant, constantly tending to the pigeons he kept on the roof of his apartment building. His later decision to act in absurdist comedies like The Hangover and Mike Tyson Mysteries (an animated Scooby-Doo parody where Tyson is assisted by the ghost of the Marquess of Queensberry) just cemented it. (more…)

Posted in 3DS, Features, Retro, SPBVGOAT, Top Story, Wii, Wii U | Tagged

The Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time #14: Street Fighter II

“The Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time” is a statistical meta-analysis of 44 “Best Video Games of All Time” lists that were published between 1995 and 2016. Catch up on how we decided to sort the games and the rest of the Top 100 in the Introduction.

You can also help support the completion of this project through Patreon.

Street Fighter II: The World Warrior wasn’t the first fighting game ever released, but it single-handedly helped shape the genre for decades to come.

Capcom’s masterpiece rose to prominence by replacing the small and stiff characters of previous fighting games (including its predecessor, 1987’s Street Fighter) with highly detailed characters that seemed to fly around the screen. Instead of generic fighters clad in traditional karategi uniforms, Street Fighter II starred a diverse group of characters with fantastical “special moves.” And young fans lined up around the block to do battle with “World Warriors” like E. Honda, a sumo wrestler with a lightning-quick Hundred Hand Slap; Zangief, a Russian giant who fought bears; Blanka, a green-skinned prince who controlled electricity; and Dhalsim, a yoga master who breathed fire. (more…)

Posted in Features, PS3, Retro, SPBVGOAT, Switch, Top Story, Xbox 360 | Tagged

The Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time #82: Contra

“The Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time” is a statistical meta-analysis of 44 “Best Video Games of All Time” lists that were published between 1995 and 2016. Catch up on how we decided to sort the games and the rest of the Top 100 in the Introduction.

You can also help support the completion of this project through Patreon.

Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Start.

The rhythm of the words made them sound less like a controller input and more like a prayer. By “speaking” the correct phrase with their controller as the Contra title screen rolled into view, players were able to invoke the spirit of the developers and begin the game with 27 additional lives. In a way, the Konami Code was quite literally a gift from the gods behind the game’s creation, and not so dissimilar from the God Mode cheat that was included in early first-person shooters like Doom.

The Konami Code was originally programmed into 1986’s Gradius by Kazuhisa Hashimoto as a way to unlock a huge weapons cache in the notoriously difficult shooter. He has even joked that the button sequence was left in the game by accident. The Code quickly became an accepted part of the of the publisher’s identity, and its inclusion in Contra (along with Super Mario Bros.‘s Warp Zones and Metroid‘s password system) changed the way people progressed through a game’s levels. These features meant that players were no longer forced to follow the same trail through a game. Now, they could veer off in new directions, and discover what secrets a game held on their own. (more…)

Posted in Features, Retro, SPBVGOAT, Top Story | Tagged

The Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time #17: Final Fantasy VII

“The Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time” is a statistical meta-analysis of 44 “Best Video Games of All Time” lists that were published between 1995 and 2016. Catch up on how we decided to sort the games and the rest of the Top 100 in the Introduction.

You can also help support the completion of this project through Patreon.

Since the beginning, every new console cycle has existed as its own separate era that video game players speak of with as much reverence as comic fans who use “Golden Age” and “Silver Age” as a shorthand to represent the different decades of comic production. Ralph Baer’s Odyssey (1st Generation) directly lead to Nolan Bushnell’s Atari 2600 (2nd Generation). Atari’s machine gave way to the rise of Nintendo’s NES (3rd Generation), which in turn lead to the “16-Bit Wars” of the Super NES and the Genesis (4th Generation).

Up to this point, Square had only released three Final Fantasy games in America: 1990’s Final Fantasy, 1991’s Final Fantasy II (released in Japan as Final Fantasy IV), and 1994’s Final Fantasy III (released in Japan as Final Fantasy VI). Even though the remaining three games had yet to make their way across the Pacific, the publisher was determined to unify the franchise’s numbering across all regions with the next sequel. But they still had to find the right home for their game. (more…)

Posted in Features, PC, PS4, Retro, SPBVGOAT, Top Story | Tagged


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The Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time #73: The Sims

“The Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time” is a statistical meta-analysis of 44 “Best Video Games of All Time” lists that were published between 1995 and 2016. Catch up on how we decided to sort the games and the rest of the Top 100 in the Introduction.

You can also help support the completion of this project through Patreon.

What is the best-selling video game of all time? It’s a surprisingly hard question to answer as game publishers, unlike Hollywood film studios, refuse to release sales figures for their games on a title-by-title basis. But for years now, the conventional narrative has been that The Sims became the best-selling PC game of all time in 2002 after dethroning Myst, the graphical adventure game that sold more CD-ROM drives than every other piece of “multimedia” software combined. (more…)

Posted in Features, PC, PS2, Retro, SPBVGOAT, Top Story | Tagged

The Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time #64: Pac-Man

“The Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time” is a statistical meta-analysis of 44 “Best Video Games of All Time” lists that were published between 1995 and 2016. Catch up on how we decided to sort the games and the rest of the Top 100 in the Introduction.

You can also help support the completion of this project through Patreon.

With more than 40 years of history behind it, it’s not surprising the video game community has developed its own catalog of urban legends that have been passed from player to player over the years. Everyone who played it desperately tried to resurrect Aerith after her tragic demise in Final Fantasy VII, and we all heard stories about the “nude codes” that supposedly existed in games like Tomb Raider, Mortal Kombat II, and The Sims.

Unfortunately, every one of those rumors has more in common with the hook man at lover’s lane than they do with the unvarnished truth. But some of the legends are true. And nearly all of them revolve around Pac-Man in some way. (more…)

Posted in Features, PC, PS3, PS4, Retro, SPBVGOAT, Top Story, Xbox 360, Xbox One | Tagged

The Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time #78: The Secret of Monkey Island

“The Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time” is a statistical meta-analysis of 44 “Best Video Games of All Time” lists that were published between 1995 and 2016. Catch up on how we decided to sort the games and the rest of the Top 100 in the Introduction.

You can also help support the completion of this project through Patreon.

Game publishers have been concerned with digital pirates illegally copying their games since the very beginning of the medium. Some have even gone so far as to include booby traps in their code for these would-be thieves. But when it comes to depicting actual pirates, gamemakers (along with major Hollywood players and one of the most celebrated fantasy authors of the last few decades) are content to pillage, plunder, and steal all the best ideas from each other.

It all began in 1967 when Walt Disney himself oversaw the construction of the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction at Disneyland. Over the years, the ride would go on to be recreated at Disney World, Tokyo Disneyland, and Disneyland Park in Paris. Borrowing a bit from Treasure Island, the ride’s exciting ship-to-ship battle, raid on a coastal outpost, group of prisoners trying to bribe a dog for a key, and the frothy ditty “Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life For Me)” created the quintessential image of a pirate that was shared by kids the world over.

Tim Powers was not one of these kids. Already a teenager by the late 60s, Powers rose to prominence as one of the earliest authors of steampunk (and he, along with K.W. Jeter and James Blaylock, helped coin the phrase). In 1987, he published one of his most famous novels, On Stranger Tides. The novel tells the tale of John Chandagnac, an inexperienced youth who becomes the debonair pirate “Jack Shandy” and rescues the girl after he has a run-in with several undead buccaneers. (more…)

Posted in Features, PC, PS3, Retro, SPBVGOAT, Top Story, Xbox 360 | Tagged

The Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time #38: Tomb Raider

“The Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time” is a statistical meta-analysis of 44 “Best Video Games of All Time” lists that were published between 1995 and 2016. Catch up on how we decided to sort the games and the rest of the Top 100 in the Introduction.

You can also help support the completion of this project through Patreon.

For better or worse, Lara Croft is the most famous woman in all of gaming. But all her fame might be a fluke, because the developers behind her creation claim it was all an accident.

Formed in the late 80s, Core Design was an unlikely candidate to be creating a wide open 3D title like Tomb Raider. The developer’s biggest claim to fame at the time was Rick Dangerous, a game that could charitably be called an “homage” to Indiana Jones. Other gamers might remember Chuck Rock, a platformer created by Core that starred a dimwitted caveman. But like many British developers of the time, they didn’t think about their limitations and just went for it. This definitely applied to Toby Gard, the artist behind Lara Croft’s original look.

Like Rick Dangerous, Lara began life as a man with no name that bore a striking resemblance to Harrison Ford. Fearing a lawsuit, Gard redrew the character as a woman and began tinkering with a number of different personalities. The artist told IGN in 2008 that the proto-Tomb Raider began life as a “sociopathic blonde” before morphing into a muscle woman, a “flat topped hip hopster,” and a “Nazi-like militant in a baseball cap.” None of these looks fit the game that Core envisioned, but Gard’s final pass at it proved to be the winner. Laura Cruz, “a tough South American woman in a long braid and hot pants,” was born. (more…)

Posted in Features, Mobile, PC, PS2, PS3, PSP, Retro, SPBVGOAT, Top Story, Wii, Xbox 360 | Tagged