Top Ten Top Tens

As would appear to be customary with video game sites these days, we thought it would be interesting to grab hold of the old top ten bandwagon as it trundled through town, flanked by scattered tumbleweeds, and put our hive mind to work on a top ten of our own. Unfortunately, we couldn’t think of anything that hadn’t already been done or was a little too crass for our own liking. Instead, we’ve subverted the trend a little and decided to pay homage to that vacuous underbelly of journalism by bringing you the Top Ten Top Tens. Normal service will resume shortly.

Wiiiilderness Girrrrrls...

Top Ten Villains
While this may be a little too high brow when compared to most top ten lists, the “who’s who” of villainy certainly provokes more considered thought than many. Weighing up the difference between those who dress like they’ve crawled out of the losing contraption in Scrapheap Challenge and those who, were it not for their over-played cackle and gaping tooth-filled mouth (yes, I mean YOU, Tim Curry), look no more threatening than your average door to door duster salesman is never easy. That said, the top ten villains are a must for any discerning video game site with a gap in their schedule.  Robotnik sucks.

Top Ten Protagonists
Seriously, why? If there’s one thing that’s sure to spark the greatest fanboy flame war of all time, it’s giving your opinion on who the best lead character is. The Xbox fanboys are sure to throw out Master Chief, Marcus Fenix or even Alan Wake while the Playstation fanboys will undoubtedly roll out… well, I suppose there’s always Sackboy or Nathan Drake if you want to scrape the bottom of the barrel. Yes, yes, I did that on purpose… bringing up fanboyism and yet doing the same thing myself for comedic effect. This is a top ten list, after all.

Top Ten Sex Bombs
Just when you thought it was safe to reach for the tissues, those oh-so-promising sex bomb lists leave you cold to the point where the only fluids leaving your body are tears of dismay at seeing the same old trouts being paraded around for yet another decade. We know that Lara Croft looked hot when Tomb Raider first sashayed into our field of vision ten years ago but, if you cast your mind back to the Commodore Vic 20, there was once a time where our idea of titillation was watching a series of forward and back slashes form triangular breasts with “at symbol” nipples in Strip Poker. Stop dwelling on the past, and spare a few tissues for the beautifully presented polygons of the more recent games such as Mad Moxxi, Miranda Lawson or even the slightly mental fisting fanatic from Fallout New Vegas, Veronica Santangelo. Lara Croft is mutton dressed as an oft-flogged horse. Move on. Please.

Top Ten Video Game Deaths
You guys are aware that not all gamers live the rock and roll lifestyle where they’re given all the latest games for free, or can actually afford to buy them all as they hit the shelves, right? You do know that, even six months down the line, there are people who still haven’t played the latest AAA title and don’t particularly want to stumble across your site where they’ll suddenly have an entire game ruined because you’re nonchalantly discussed how the protagonist has an anvil dropped on their head whilst trying to catch that lightning-fast bird? I don’t relish the thought of starting New Vegas for the first time and finding out that your number one death was when Matthew Perry lowered my character into a lava pit, thanks all the same.

Top Ten Things To Do When Your Console Dies
Now, this isn’t one that I’ve ever found on any gaming sites but it should be out there! There’s a great big world out there, even bigger than some of the best RPG and MMO maps… seriously! The beast that calls itself “social normality” would suggest that those who choose to play video games are nothing but socially retared geeks who can’t perform in regular society and who opt for a life of relative solitude surrounded by pizza boxes and Star Wars figures. Show them it’s not true by getting out there in the big wide world… call a few of your Warcraft friends round and dismantle the neighbour’s car, then rebuild it in their porch! Get some competition in to your life by giving a way a prize to the first of your friends who can paint a Warhammer figurine without going over the lines… fight against the stereotype, people!

One was enough. Nuff said.

Top Ten Failed Sequels
Let’s be honest here, the easiest thing in the world for any critic is to jump on the all-too-familiar bandwagon of hating the sequel. Sometimes it’s not even necessary to actually play the game because you know, unequivocally, that the game is going to be nothing but arse stench. We don’t need anyone to tell us that Duke Nukem Forever doesn’t hold a candle to Duke Nukem 3D, or that Banjo Tooie didn’t quite live up to its predecessor… but we don’t need an entire article to tell us something we could work out ourselves by playing it.  Hell, some franchises have even reached that ridiculous stage whereby you only have to apply the same Star Trek “odd or even” formula to know whether or not it’s going to be good.  Someone break the cycle, please??

Top Ten Games Of All Time
Everyone loves Ocarina Of Time, we get it. You don’t need to keep ramming the same games down our throat year after year and pass them off as the the best games ever made just because they take you back to a time when sneaking a peek at the latest knockers on page 3 when your dad turned his back was the highlight of your day. Just because it made you moist, doesn’t mean it should be up there in the top ten. Sonic really wasn’t that great you know. What about Mercenary, what about UFO: Enemy Unknown… what about PONG?! A game consisting of nothing more than two sticks and a square, yet it was capable of keeping kids and adults amused for hours on end. Now THAT is a great game!

Top Ten E3 Moments
This little bugger keeps cropping up like the snot-nosed cousin who forever scratches his arse and sniffs his finger at family gatherings. Before we get into just how abhorrent Jamie Kennedy was as the host of the Activision conference, let’s just remember three things: he was shit when he first came on the scene, he was shit when “The WB” started providing pointless vehicles for him, so he was bound to be more shit after his show got cancelled for being shit… so the talent booker at Activision should have been shot for this one. The only saving grace is that it wasn’t actually Kotick making you hate Activision for a change. If anything, Kennedy should be applauded for diverting hate for a few hours.

Top Ten Shit Movies Based On Games
Bob Hoskins has a lot to answer for. It’s bad enough that he’s solely responsible for easing Britain in to the idea of privatisation by sneaking around and eavesdropping on intimate conversations by telling us that “it’s good to tawk”, as long as it’s with BT rather than Mercury Communications, or muscling in on people cooking as he produces crap looking super-imposed flames from his thumb, reminding us to use British Gas. He’s also the hell spawn that fronted the first ever movie to have been based on a video game… the rancid pile of steaming guano that is Super Mario Bros. For some reason, thankfully, nobody had ever considered making a movie from a game until that point, yet this celluloid abortion from 1993 somehow managed to prompt studios to produce another 107 live action and animated movies since then. The worst thing about this spate of diarrhoea is that the wonderful Raul Julia was unfortunate enough to have Street Fighter widely recognised as the last role he played before his death, as very few are aware of Down Came A Blackbird, which seems to have died along with him. Shame video game movies didn’t.

Top Ten Boss Battles
Who the hell are you trying to kid here? There are two types of boss battles: those which take an age because of how damned punishing they are to the player, with no sense of realism whatsoever in terms of balance. You know the type… your Ass Blaster 3000 cannon that can normally take out an entire battalion with one shell somehow only appears to do one point of damage, and that’s if you’re lucky enough to land a critical hit. When people tell tales of how “that last boss took me two hours to kill”, they’re not enthusing about how it was tricky, but they got there in the end, they’re actually saying “whatever asswipe developer thought it’d be funny to throw in a boss with twat million hit points against a level one Etonian Prefect needs skinned and pissed on”. It’s never going to be fun. Ever. The flip side to this is the boss where, after spending god knows how many hours trudging through corpses and avoiding a fuck tonne of ammunition and fists, you reach that final boss… the cut scene begins, introducing you to that final battle where all life will undoubtedly be brought to a swift end, you ready yourself and exercise your fingers to avoid the onset of gamerthritis… then it happens… you fire off a few rounds and the bastard hits the floor. Dead. All that preparation, that monstrous journey, for some fanny with teeth that falls to the floor in a purple sludge after mere seconds. Don’t talk to me about the best boss battles.

24 seconds... really?? Yeah, "The Destroyer" my arse.

So now, with us moving from the most contrived of all top tens through to the all-too-obvious end game, we come to the end of our first top ten list. Whether there will be others is anyone’s guess. As long as there are thoughts to convey, feelings to unearth and games over which to enthuse or rant, I imagine there’ll be more to these pages than mere lists but, as much as it pains me to admit it, what started off as annoyance at the last resort of journalism actually turned out to be a lot of fun. Tune in next week for the Top 100 uses of the phrase “Fuck, I’ve sold out!”.

Last five articles by Mark R



  1. Doug Richards says:

    This is awesome! I see so many of these things popping up on game sites all the time and wonder how someone gets paid to do it. I love that you have done this!!! Have emailed you my Twitter details to your main email address

  2. Samuel Samuel says:

    I enjoyed that. About time someone hoisted these top tens on their own petard, never understood why web sites and TV stations think those things are a good idea.

    I am mildly disappointed not to see Stuart Maconie giving his vacuous and mercenary whoring opinion on each item though. Stuart Maconie, who is aware of all things, and who selflessly dispenses his immense knowledge and criticism on top tens for a small fee. For the betterment of humanity.

  3. Ben Ben says:

    Top ten lists….nothing but lazy journalism in my opinion. Granted there are occasions when list style articles are great but for the majority of the time I’m sorry but that shit don’t fly.

  4. Richie Rich says:

    That was a typically unfuckwittable article there, Marquis.

    In fact… IT WAS IN MY TOP TEN.

  5. Edward Edward says:

    Nice to see you write something off-beat and fun!
    I actually don’t mind list articles; I’m always massively addicted to and I don’t mind a couple others every now and then. Top tens I rarely read, but because they’re conjecture articles rather than anything you can actually prove a lot of the time they get a lot of ire, possibly deservedly so if they’re flamebait. That and the fact I can’t rarely list all my favourites of anything, let alone a certain criteria of something.

  6. Rook says:

    My viewing of top ten lists more foten come in the form of video lists rather than me having to actually read. I like them, if I have an interest in the topic of the list; I like to see games/characters/worlds that I am familiar with and think “Yes, that should definitely be on the list”.

    I have seen many of your list of lists and will no doubt continue to check out more in future – oh and Ocarina Of Time is one of my favourite games of all time too. :)

  7. Lee says:

    At least you didn’t paginate it.

  8. Lorna Lorna says:

    If this were a proper top ten list, it would be spread out over half a dozen pages to force extra clicks ;) Love it. Some of the wackier and more interesting lists can be entertaining – some of GamesRadar’s for example – but otherwise, when the usual suspects are trotted out, I can’t help but sigh.

  9. Chris Toffer says:

    This is number 4 on my Top Ten, Top Ten articles…

    Great article dude. Something different :)

  10. Furie says:

    A top ten list without a meme or Star Wars related comment? You fail at the journalisms…

  11. Mark R MarkuzR says:

    Apologies for missing stuff out mate, I’m afraid I wasn’t at my post :)

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