How It Works

The Video Game Canon is a statistical meta-analysis of 53 “Best Games” lists that were published between 1995 and 2018. To qualify for inclusion, each list must include at least 50 titles, some form of editorial oversight (lists made up solely of reader polls or fan voting were excluded), and no restrictions on release dates or platforms.

After feeding each “Best Games” list into the Video Game Canon machine, the games were ranked against each other using the C-Score, a formula that adds together a game’s “Average Ranking” across all lists with the complementary percentage of its “Appearance Frequency.”

This means that a lower C-Score results in a higher ranking on the Video Game Canon.

Want an example? Tetris appeared on 94.34% of all lists, and it has an “Average Ranking” of 15.33 on those lists. Plugging those numbers into the C-Score formula gives us this…

More than 1,000 different games were included on at least one “Best Games” list… where does your favorite rank?


The Latest From The Adventure Log

The Top 100

Last Update: 3/4/2019 (Version 3.0)

  • 1. Tetris
  • 2. Half-Life 2
  • 3. Resident Evil 4
  • 4. Super Mario 64
  • 5. The Last of Us
  • 6. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
  • 7. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
  • 8. Super Metroid
  • 9. BioShock
  • 10. Red Dead Redemption
  • 11. Portal
  • 12. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
  • 13. Street Fighter II
  • 14. Shadow of the Colossus
  • 15. World of Warcraft
  • 16. Halo: Combat Evolved
  • 17. Grand Theft Auto V
  • 18. GoldenEye 007
  • 19. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  • 20. Mass Effect 2
  • 21. Final Fantasy VII
  • 22. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
  • 23. Doom (1993)
  • 24. Super Mario World
  • 25. Journey
  • 26. Rock Band (Series)
  • 27. Chrono Trigger
  • 28. Metal Gear Solid
  • 29. Super Mario Kart
  • 30. StarCraft
  • 31. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
  • 32. Deus Ex
  • 33. Metroid Prime
  • 34. Minecraft
  • 35. Super Mario Bros. 3
  • 36. Dark Souls
  • 37. Portal 2
  • 38. Ico
  • 39. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
  • 40. Half-Life
  • 41. Grand Theft Auto III
  • 42. Super Mario Bros.
  • 43. Pokemon Blue / Red / Yellow (AKA Pokemon FireRed / LeafGreen)
  • 44. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater (Series)
  • 45. Counter-Strike
  • 46. Final Fantasy VI (AKA Final Fantasy III [US])
  • 47. Sonic the Hedgehog
  • 48. Tomb Raider (1996)
  • 49. The Walking Dead
  • 50. Silent Hill 2
  • 51. Diablo II
  • 52. Braid
  • 53. Fallout 3
  • 54. Grand Theft Auto IV
  • 55. Donkey Kong
  • 56. Super Mario Galaxy 2
  • 57. Ms. Pac-Man
  • 58. SimCity 2000
  • 59. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
  • 60. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
  • 61. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
  • 62. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island
  • 63. The Sims
  • 64. The Legend of Zelda
  • 65. Mega Man 2
  • 66. Super Smash Bros. Melee
  • 67. Resident Evil
  • 68. System Shock 2
  • 69. Okami
  • 70. Batman: Arkham Asylum
  • 71. Secret of Mana
  • 72. Team Fortress 2
  • 73. SimCity
  • 74. Batman: Arkham City
  • 75. Grim Fandango
  • 76. Advance Wars
  • 77. Final Fantasy Tactics
  • 78. League of Legends
  • 79. Lemmings
  • 80. Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! (AKA Punch-Out!!)
  • 81. Assassin’s Creed II
  • 82. NBA Jam (Series)
  • 83. Dota 2
  • 84. X-COM: UFO Defense (AKA UFO: Enemy Unknown)
  • 85. God of War (2005)
  • 86. The Secret of Monkey Island
  • 87. Galaga
  • 88. Pac-Man
  • 89. Star Wars: TIE Fighter
  • 90. Guitar Hero (Series)
  • 91. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
  • 92. Space Invaders
  • 93. Contra (AKA Probotector)
  • 94. Pong
  • 95. Madden NFL Football (Series)
  • 96. Planescape: Torment
  • 97. Civilization II
  • 98. Rez (AKA Rez Infinite)
  • 99. Super Mario Galaxy
  • 100. Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness