D.M.’s Picks, #5 – #2
5. Star Wars: Dark Forces
Just like X-Wing brought that dreamed about feeling of being in the cockpit to gamers everywhere, Dark Forces gave you a blaster and put you on the ground, blasting Stormtroopers and saving the day. You’re armed with nothing but your intrepidity and your far superior marksmanship, and it’s absolutely perfect. It’s X-Wing with boots on the ground – Star Wars escapism done right.
4. Mortal Kombat 3
I think this just might be the finest figher ever designed. Easy to learn, hard to master, with an eye-poppingly deep roster that had something for every type of player. What’s more, mastering match-ups was just as important as mastering moves and combos. One could sink hundreds of hours into this one and still find themselves with a sea of stuff to learn, and I find that kinda cool.
An underrated gem of a platformer, the original Rayman has some of the more memorable stages and bosses of the 2D platforming era. What’s more, this is just a fun, fun game, with extreme replayability. The challenge starts at hard and escalates to staggering by the end. I can’t say I’ve found too many games more rewarding to beat front to back than Rayman. I’m just a huge fan of the franchise.
2. WarCraft II: Tides of Darkness
There had never really been anything like this. Tides of Darkness is an RTS of truly impressive size and scope, with an enthralling lore and a massive variety of units. Two separate campaigns kept you coming back, and a robust editor let players like myself create crazy scenarios to see and epic battles to play. To me, the Blizzard legacy of excellence truly started here, where they birthed a title that stood head and shoulders above the genre – to be surpassed only by their own, subsequent efforts.