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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

Xbox Game Pass launches June 1 but Gold subscribers can try it out now

Microsoft has announced that their Netflix-like game subscription service, Xbox Game Pass, will be available to all Xbox One owners on June 1. But if you’re an Xbox Live Gold subscriber, you can sign up for a free trial right now at Xbox.com.

Unlike Sony’s streaming-based PlayStation Now service, the Xbox Game Pass gives subscribers the chance to fully download any of the games on offer. Players will also be able to earn Achievements with these full-game downloads, and they can even be played offline for up to 30 days.

All Xbox One and backwards compatible Xbox 360 games available with the Xbox Game Pass can be purchased at a 20% discount (so you can keep playing them if they’re ever delisted from the service), and Microsoft is currently offering more than 100 games to subscribers. Some of the first games available include big hits like Halo 5: Guardians and the BioShock trilogy, as well as smaller games like Mega Man Legacy Collection and Pac-Man Championship Edition DX. The full list can be found at the Xbox Game Pass’s official website.

After your free trial expires, Xbox Game Pass will be available for $9.99 per month.

Posted in News, Xbox 360, Xbox One |

Take-Two has shipped more than 80 million copies of Grand Theft Auto V and GTA Online is more popular than ever

Grand Theft Auto V continues to steamroll the competition. Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick lead off yesterday’s quarterly financial report by announcing that the publisher has shipped more than 80 million copies of the game since its release in 2013.

Even though that’s an absolutely astonishing number, Grand Theft Auto V still trails Wii Sports and Minecraft on the list of best-selling games of all time.

Grand Theft Auto V’s continued sales success is mostly due to the way its sprawling single-player story draws in new players every month. But the game’s multiplayer component, “Grand Theft Auto Online,” has actually never been more popular. According to Zelnick, Take-Two made more money through microtransactions in “Grand Theft Auto Online” during their last fiscal year (April 1, 2016 – March 31, 2017) than ever before. Not bad for a game that’s almost four years old.

New content for “Grand Theft Auto Online” is released on a nearly weekly basis, and Zelnick confirmed that Rockstar Games is currently hard at work on even more updates to the game mode:

On “GTA Online,” we have said that plenty more content is coming. More announcements will be made by Rockstar Games. The title is absolutely being supported by the label.

With Red Dead Redemption 2‘s recent delay, this strategy will surely sell more copies of Grand Theft Auto V (and keep “Grand Theft Auto Online” players happy) for a long time.

Posted in News, PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One | Tagged

The Switch continues to soar as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe was the best-selling game in April 2017

Nintendo continues to dominate the retail charts with another strong showing in April for their Switch console. According to The NPD Group, Nintendo added another 280,000 Switch consoles to its tally last month, and the newly-launched Mario Kart 8 Deluxe sold more than 459,000 copies (in just two days) to take the top spot on the list of best-selling games. The company’s success also seems to be great for the industry as a whole, as the industry generated $636 million in sales in April 2017, a 10% increase over the year before.

The other big news in April is that Persona 5 pushed the franchise and gave the RPG the #2 spot on the best-seller list, just below Mario Kart 8.

“Persona 5 experienced the strongest debut month for any title in Persona franchise history, with packaged dollar sales five times that of the previous best-selling debut, Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4,” NPD Analyst Mat Piscatella told GamesIndustry.biz.

Additional new releases were thin on the ground in last month’s Top 20, but Lego Undercover‘s re-release on the PC and current-generation consoles helped it secure a spot (#13). And as expected, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild continued to sell well, landing in the #3 position for the month. But the big retail winners in April all came from the backlist, including Grand Theft Auto V (#6), Overwatch (#9), Call of Duty: Black Ops II (#10), and Minecraft (#20).

The NPD Group’s complete list of best-selling games for April 2017 can be found after the break. (more…)

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NBA 2K18 Legend Edition will feature Shaquille O’Neal

Shaquille O’Neal will crash NBA 2K’s “Legend Edition” fraternity this Fall, joining previous honorees Michael Jordan (NBA 2K16) and Kobe Bryant (NBA 2K17). Scottie Pippen continues to wonder when it’ll be his time to shine.

“Shaq” was a larger-than-life player for the Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Lakers, but O’Neal’s post-basketball life has seen him transform into an even bigger pitchman and NBA commentator. Naturally, 2K Games is creating a Legend Edition and a Gold Legend Edition for NBA 2K18 that befits his stature.

Set to launch on September 15, the Legend Edition ($99.99) will include a limited-edition poster, five Panini trading cards, exclusive stickers, and a variety of in-game content. The Gold Legend Edition ($149.99) will add five more trading cards, a lenticular poster, and more in-game content.

2K Games will release the Legend Edition and the Gold Legend Edition for the PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. The Legend Edition will be available at a wide array of retailers, but fans will need to visit their local GameStop if they’re interested in purchasing the Gold Legend Edition.

“I want to thank NBA 2K for their continuous support of my basketball and broadcast career,” O’Neal said. “I’m excited to be on the cover of the NBA 2K18 Legend Edition and I hope my fans have a blast playing it up big man style and re-creating my most legendary in-game moments!”

The Standard Edition of NBA 2K18 will be available for the PC, PS3, PS4, Switch, Xbox 360, and Xbox One on September 19. A closer look at the contents from the Legend Edition and the Gold Legend Edition can be seen after the break. (more…)

Posted in News, PC, PS3, PS4, Switch, Xbox 360, Xbox One | Tagged

Grand Theft Auto IV: Nine Years Later

The highly anticipated Grand Theft Auto IV hit store shelves on April 29, 2008.

I was a sophomore in high school, and I remember it quite well. My mother totally disapproved, so if I wanted to play violent games, I’d have to ask my dad or grandfather to purchase them for me. In the months leading up to Grand Theft Auto IV’s release, I practically drooled over the latest news coverage and store ads (especially the Special Edition with its neat duffel bag, art book, soundtrack CD, and safe deposit box). I never did get the Special Edition, but my dad did purchase Grand Theft Auto IV for me.

My mother had relocated for work, so I had moved in with my father and grandfather in order to finish out the school year. A few months prior, my dad had made the jump from PlayStation 2 to Xbox 360. So on most days, I’d spend the evenings holed up in my grandfather’s basement, with an extra large bag of Peanut M&M’s in my lap, a bottle of Coke at my feet, and a bulky white Xbox 360 controller nestled between my slender teenaged hands. I’d sift through my dad’s video games, randomly popping in anything that appeared interesting, playing until either my dad came home from the NIH Power Plant, or my grandfather yelled down the stairs for me to turn off the TV and go to bed.

But on that Tuesday in April, my dad came home with a surprise… he’d purchased Grand Theft Auto IV! I finished my dinner, grabbed my go-to gaming snacks, and headed for the basement. I’ll never forget those opening scenes of Niko Bellic stepping off of the Platypus, waiting for his cousin Roman to arrive and indoctrinate him into the American way of life. (more…)

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

Nintendo smashed sales records in March 2017… but Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands was the top-selling game

Nintendo told us all about their record-setting sales month last week, but the NPD Group made it official today when they revealed their retail report on the video game industry for March 2017.

NPD analyst Sam Naji told GamesIndustry.biz: “March 2017 will go down in history books as the month Nintendo broke records.The Nintendo Switch had the biggest hardware launch for a Nintendo platform and the second biggest launch for any video game platform since 1995, the time NPD began tracking this category.”

However, even though The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild managed to sell more than 900,000 copies, it wasn’t able to secure the #1 spot. Instead, Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands was the best-selling game last month, likely due to Nintendo’s unwillingness to share their digital sales figures with the NPD Group. Other strong sellers on the Switch included 1-2 Switch (#13) and Super Bomberman R (#17).

Big debuts weren’t limited to Nintendo’s Switch, and it was a banner month for several new releases last month, as Mass Effect: Andromeda (#3), Horizon: Zero Dawn (#4), and Nier: Automata (#9) also smashed expectations. Combined with impressive Switch hardware sales, these games helped the industry record more than $1.36 billion in total sales for the month, a 24% year-on-year increase over March 2016.

The complete list of best-selling games from March 2017 can be found after the break. (more…)

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NBA 2K17 predicts a Cavs-Warriors rematch (and a Warriors win) in 2017 NBA Finals

The 2017 NBA Playoffs kicked off late last week, and 2K’s NBA 2K17 was there to provide a simulation of this year’s bracket.

If you’ll recall, last year, Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors blew a 3-1 lead in the 2016 NBA Finals to the Cleveland Cavaliers. They eventually lost the series in Game 7, and LeBron James was able to hoist his third NBA Championship.

But if NBA 2K17’s simulation comes to pass, this year’s NBA Finals will end in a rematch that once again goes the distance… and this time the Warriors will emerge victorious in Game 7.

So how do we get from here to there? According to the simulation, the Warriors will easily roll over their opponents in the first three rounds with wins over the Portland Trail Blazers (4-0), Los Angeles Clippers (4-1), and Houston Rockets (4-1). The Cavaliers will have a tougher time to reach the Finals, ultimately pushing past the Indiana Pacers in five games, the Toronto Raptors in six games, and the Washington Wizards in seven games. Cleveland’s more brutal schedule might be the reason behind their eventual defeat in the Finals.

In the real world, the Warriors and the Cavaliers are both doing their part to accurately reflect the action in NBA 2K17s crystal ball, as each team won their first playoff game this weekend. But we’ll have to wait until June 1st, and the start of the 2017 NBA Playoffs, to see if the game’s full simulation is on the mark.

Posted in News, PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One | Tagged