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The Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time: An Introduction and The Top 100
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“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 visit Video Game Canon to explore the complete list of “Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time,” as well as alternate sorting options.
And help support the completion of this project through Patreon.
A gambler will tell you that they believe Lady Luck will reward them for respecting a streak, and a professional football player will tell you that he doesn’t believe in the Madden Curse. The former is a wishful thinker, and the latter is a liar.
The sports world is filled with superstitions. As a Little Leaguer growing up, I could show you what a “rally cap” was and explain the importance of never touching the baselines. I understood completely why retired Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland refused to change his underwear during a 12-game winning streak in 2011. I’ve even got strong opinions on what you say to a pitcher in the middle of a perfect game. The answer is you don’t say anything, because talking to him at all is bad luck.
For decades, the Sports Illustrated Cover Jinx served as a well-known precursor to the Madden Curse. Those who believe in the Jinx are convinced that any player who appears on the cover of Sports Illustrated will experience some form of terrible luck, even though a handful of high-profile hits have obscured the long list of players who avoided the Jinx over the years. If the sheer number of cover subjects doesn’t dissuade you (more than 3,000 issues have been produced since the magazine’s launch in 1954), the illustrious career of Michael Jordan should. The basketball great has appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated a record 50 times, and he’s had the kind of career that other athletes dream about… not counting his detour through Minor League Baseball and Space Jam.
But what of the Madden Curse? Although you’ll find a few executives at Electronic Arts who enjoy hyping up the current year’s game with talk of the Curse, most of them like to downplay it. In 2008, the then-President of EA Sports, Peter Moore, said, “I guess when you look back there’s a grain of truth to the Madden Curse.” At the time, he wasn’t wrong. Five of the last six offensive players on the cover succumbed to some horrible calamity. The publishing giant even considered producing a movie based on the Madden Curse in 2010, though that project seems to have fallen off the radar in the years since.
And that’s probably because the Madden Curse is as mythical as a wild turducken. (more…)
Earlier this year, Microsoft and EA opened up the EA Access “Vault” to all Xbox Live Gold subscribers for a week of binge gaming. With this year’s E3 Expo set to kick off any minute now, they’re doing it again.
If you’re an Xbox Live Gold subscriber, you’ll have free to all 21 games in the EA Access “Vault” from now until Wednesday, June 22. That includes EA Sports titles such as EA Sports UFC, FIFA 16, FIFA 15, FIFA 14, Madden NFL 16, Madden NFL 25, Madden NFL 14, NBA Live 16, NBA Live 15, NHL 16, NHL 15, and Rory McIlroy PGA Tour, as well as Battlefield Hardline, Battlefield 4, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Titanfall, Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare, Need For Speed Rivals, and Peggle 2. A pair of Xbox 360 games, Dead Space and Plants vs Zombies, will also be available through the “Vault” thanks to the Xbox One’s backwards compatibility options.
Xbox One interested in subscribing to the EA Access service can do so for $4.99 per month, or $29.99 for a full year. A paid subscription to EA Access also includes “Play First” rental access to several of EA’s biggest upcoming games (including Battlefield 1, FIFA 17, Madden NFL 17, and Mass Effect: Andromeda) before they’re released to the public.
The NPD Group recently delivered their monthly report on the state of retail video game sales, and the market research firm once again crowned Call of Duty: Black Ops III as the best-selling game of the month. The military shooter’s January 2016 victory is its third straight, but the industry as a whole is in a bit of a slump due to last month’s lack of new releases.
According to GamesIndustry.biz, retail sales for new games totaled $212.7 million last month, down from $235.6 million in 2015. The NPD Group speculated that the lack of a highly-anticipated new title like Techland’s Dying Light might be the cause for the dip, which makes sense when you realize that only one new release, Lego Avengers, was able to crack the top ten. Across the entire industry, US consumers spent $605.2 million on games, consoles, and accessories in January 2016, which was slightly down from January 2015’s total of $627.6 million.
Grand Theft Auto V, Fallout 4, Minecraft, and a few others continue to tally impressive sales. And you can find them all in the full top ten list of January 2016’s best-selling games, which is available after the break. (more…)
The number 13 is definitely unlucky for EA Sports as the publisher’s annual Super Bowl prediction (their 13th) came up short once again.
A Madden NFL 16 simulation held a week ago predicted that the Carolina Panthers would beat the Denver Broncos in the final seconds of Super Bowl 50. However, Denver’s Von Miller had other plans. The linebacker, and Doom enthusiast, tallied 2.5 sacks and forced Cam Newton to fumble twice. His defensive prowess earned him Super Bowl MVP honors.
Even though his team won in real life, Peyton Manning’s digital doppelganger put up considerably better numbers than the actual quarterback. It seems likely that the insurance pitchman (I’ll probably never be able to eat Chicken Parm without humming that stupid song) will announce his retirement in the next few months.
Better luck next year EA, and congratulations to the Denver Broncos on their 24-10 win over the Carolina Panthers. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to spend the morning watching the new Captain America: Civil War commercial over and over again.
Gamblers everywhere surely appreciated Madden NFL 15‘s on-point prognosticating as EA’s annual Super Bowl prediction completely nailed the winner, final score, and Super Bowl MVP last year (Patriots, 28-24, and Tom Brady). With this year’s “Big Game” less than a week away, EA is ready to deliver their prediction for Super Bowl 50.
Using Madden NFL 16, EA has declared this year’s game will go down to the final seconds with the Carolina Panthers getting the W in the end. According to the simulation, Peyton Manning’s Denver Broncos will fall behind 17-0 at the half, but the quarterback will orchestrate a masterful comeback and put his team on top 20-17 in the fourth quarter. However, if real life matches Madden, Cam Newton will drive down the field and scramble in with the winning score (and a 24-20 victory) as time expires. Newton’s heroics, along with another touchdown in the air and 216 passing yards, will win the Panthers quarterback the MVP award.
Other highlights from EA’s Super Bowl 50 prediction include touchdowns for Greg Olsen, Jonathan Stewart, Demaryius Thomas (who added 98 receiving yards), and Emanuel Sanders. Defense should also keep the game close with interceptions from Carolina’s Josh Norman and Denver’s Aqib Talib.
While EA’s Madden Super Bowl Prediction has picked the winner in nine of the last 12 Super Bowls, they’re not always on the mark. Peyton Manning’s last Super Bowl appearance, Super Bowl XLVIII, was supposed to be a big win for the veteran quarterback. Instead, the Seattle Seahawks stomped the Denver Broncos 43 to 8.
Keep that in mind before you place your bets.
Call of Duty: Black Ops III is the best-selling game of 2015; CoD franchise sells more than 250 million copies since 2003
The numbers have been tabulated and the Call of Duty franchise once again reigns supreme over all other video games.
According to The NPD Group’s yearly report of retail releases, Call of Duty: Black Ops III was the best-selling game in 2015, besting EA’s Madden NFL 16 (#2) and Bethesda’s Fallout 4 (#3). The Call of Duty franchise also controlled the back end of the list with Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare taking the #10 spot. Activision’s Scott Lowe added (by way of the Activision Games Blog) that the entire franchise has sold more than 250 million copies since the release of Call of Duty in 2003.
Believe it or not, games outside the Call of Duty franchise found success in 2015 as well, though most of them were released after July 1st including Star Wars: Battlefront (#4), NBA 2K16 (#6), and FIFA 16 (#9). The only game to break that trend (aside from a few 2014 stragglers like Advanced Warfare) was Mortal Kombat X (#8), which was released in April. The game-playing public may not always like it, but this does explain why publishers constantly strive to release their games in the back half of the year.
On the hardware side, console sales surged in 2015, as the PS4 and Xbox One continued to outpace the PS3 and Xbox 360. The PS4 was the overall winner in 2015, but NPD analyst Liam Callahan told GamesIndustry.biz that both platforms did well: “After 26 months of sales, the combined cumulative sales of Xbox One and PS4 exceeds the 26 month total of the PS3 and Xbox 360 by 47 percent,”
The NPD’s list of the top ten best-selling games for 2015 can be found after the break. (more…)
While financial folks continue to claim that the Call of Duty franchise is in freefall, the latest game in the series still managed to top the sales charts in December. Call of Duty: Black Ops III, which also topped the list in November, beat out several other strong contenders for the public’s Christmas dollars including Star Wars: Battlefront (#2) and Fallout 4 (#3). There weren’t too many new releases available in December, but one, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege (#7), managed to crack the top ten.
However, the the biggest surprise in the NPD Group’s December report might be that Minecraft: Story Mode landed at #9… even though the game disc available in stores only contains the first episode. Interestingly, it placed just behind the original Minecraft, which was firmly locked in at #8.
Even with a dearth of new releases, December 2015 was a good one from a financial perspective, which NPD analyst Liam Callahan shared with GamesIndustry.biz: “December 2015 was the best month on record for PS4 and Xbox One, and the second-best for the Wii U in terms of new physical software unit sales. This also meant that it was the best month of total eighth generation new physical software sales.”
The full top ten list for December 2015 can be found after the break. (more…)
Not surprisingly, a trio of shooters took the top three spots in the NPD Group’s recounting of November 2015’s best-selling games.
Call of Duty: Black Ops III scored another big win for Activision (and the Black Ops sub-series) with its claim on the top spot. It was followed by Fallout 4 at #2 and Star Wars: Battlefront at #3. With shooters holding on to the top of the list, sports games looked in for the next four places… Madden NFL 16 (#4), NBA 2K16 (#5), FIFA 16 (#6), and Need For Speed (#7). What? I’m sure someone, somewhere, thinks of illegal street racing as a sport.
The final three spots in the NPD’s November 2015 list include repeat appearances from Halo 5: Guardians (#8) and Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate (#9), along with a strong Black Firday-assisted performance from Just Dance 2016 (#10).
Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, NPD’s Liam Callahan confirmed that the PS4 and Xbox One are having a monster Fall: “After 25 months, the combined sales for the PS4 and the Xbox One are 47% higher than the combined sales for 25 months of PS3 and Xbox 360 hardware sales.”
You can find the NPD’s November 2015 top ten in handy list format after the break. (more…)