What is the Video Game Canon?

Sorting Rules
The rank order for the Video Game Canon was compiled using a formula that measured each game’s Average Ranking across every list, as well as the Selection Percentage of how many lists it was included on. Combining these two factors allows us to create a list of games that have universal appeal across a long period of time without punishing any game for being “too old” or “too new.” Games released after January 1, 2014 were excluded to remove any recency bias.


Average Ranking + (100 – Selection Percentage) = Scientifically Proven Score


The lower the Scientifically Proven Score, the higher a game is ranked on the Video Game Canon.

If a game was released at the time of a list’s creation and didn’t make the cut, it was given a ranking of one beyond the bottom of the list from that publication for averaging purposes (i.e., any games not included in a Top 100 list would be entered into the Average Ranking formula as a 101). However, if a game was unreleased at the time of a list’s creation, it was not included in the game’s Average Ranking or its Selection Percentage. And all games included on lists that chose not to rank their selections were given a ranking of 1 for averaging purposes.

Games with multiple remakes or revisions (i.e. Street Fighter II: The World Warrior, Street Fighter II Turbo, and Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers) were consolidated into a single title for ranking purposes. Rankings for yearly sports franchises and peripheral-based music franchises were also consolidated into their core “Series” as most publications treated all entries in the franchise as a single game.

If a publication ranked a complete “Series” or “Franchise” in lieu of an individual game, all games from the “Series” or “Franchise” available at the time of the list’s creation would receive credit for the ranking.

Video Game Canon’s Alternate Sorting Options
Sorting Rules and Publications
All Games
All Publications

Version 2.0 (2018)
Version 1.0 (2017)
Alphabetical

All Games
Publications By Date

Since 2000
Since 2005
Since 2010

All Games
Publications By Region

North American
International

Games By Release Date
All Publications

1980s + Earlier
1990s
2000s
2010s

Publications
The 48 “Best Video Games of All Time” lists that were used to calculate the Video Game Canon were pulled from a mixture of US-based and international publications. Some are general interest publications, but most point their editorial focus solely on the game industry.

Hyper
Top 100 Video Games of All Time
Publication Region: International
Published: February 1995
Cut-Off: December 31, 1994

Next Generation
Top 100 Games of All Time
Publication Region: North America
Published: September 1996
Cut-Off: September 30, 1996

Next Generation
The 50 Best Games of All Time
Publication Region: North America
Published: February 1999
Cut-Off: December 31, 1998

Edge
Top 100 Games to Play Now
Publication Region: International
Published: 2000
Cut-Off: December 31, 1999

IGN
Videogame Hall of Fame

Publication Region: North America
Published: April 2007 – October 2009
Cut-Off: December 31, 1999

Game Informer
Top 100 Games of All Time

Publication Region: North America
Published: August 2001
Cut-Off: December 31, 2000

GameSpy
Top 50 Games of All Time

Publication Region: North America
Published: July 2001
Cut-Off: December 31, 2000

1UP
The Essential 50

Publication Region: North America
Published: Throughout 2004
Cut-Off: December 31, 2001

GameSpot
The Greatest Games of All Time

Publication Region: North America
Published: June 20, 2003 – June 1, 2007
Cut-Off: December 31, 2001

Entertainment Weekly/G4TV
The 100 Greatest Videogames

Publication Region: North America
Published: May 13, 2003
Cut-Off: December 31, 2002

IGN
Top 100 Games

Publication Region: North America
Published: 2003
Cut-Off: December 31, 2002

Edge
Ten Top Tens
Publication Region: International
Published: October 2003
Cut-Off: October 31, 2003

IGN
Top 100 Games

Publication Region: North America
Published: 2005
Cut-Off: March 31, 2005

Yahoo! Games UK
The 100 Greatest
Computer Games of All Time

Publication Region: International
Published: 2005
Cut-Off: March 31, 2005

The Age
The 50 Best Games

Publication Region: International
Published: October 6, 2005
Cut-Off: September 30, 2005

IGN
Top 100 Games of All Time

Publication Region: North America
Published: 2007
Cut-Off: December 31, 2006

Edge
The 100 Best Games of All Time

Publication Region: International
Published: July 2, 2007
Cut-Off: June 30, 2007

Stuff UK
100 Greatest Games
Publication Region: International
Published: September 2008
Cut-Off: February 29, 2008

Empire Online
The 100 Greatest Games

Publication Region: International
Published: 2009
Cut-Off: December 31, 2008

Edge
100 Best Games to Play Today

Publication Region: International
Published: March 9, 2009
Cut-Off: January 31, 2009

FHM
100 Greatest Games of All Time

Publication Region: North America
Published: January 11, 2010
Cut-Off: March 31, 2009

Game Informer
Top 200 Games of All Time

Publication Region: North America
Published: December 2009
Cut-Off: December 31, 2009

The Phoenix
Top 50 Games of All Time

Publication Region: North America
Published: December 2010
Cut-Off: September 30, 2010

GamesTM
100 Greatest Games Of All Time

Publication Region: International
Published: September 2, 2010
Cut-Off: October 31, 2010

GamesMaster
100 Games That Shook the World
Publication Region: International
Published: February 2016
Cut-Off: December 31, 2010

Games Radar
100 Best Games of All Time

Publication Region: International
Published: 2011
Cut-Off: March 31, 2011

Gamereactor
Top 100 All Time Best Games

Publication Region: International
Published: August 31, 2011
Cut-Off: April 30, 2011

Stuff UK
100 Best Games Ever

Publication Region: International
Published: October 2011
Cut-Off: May 31, 2011

G4TV
Top 100 Video Games Of All Time

Publication Region: North America
Published: 2012
Cut-Off: December 31, 2011

1UP
The Essential 100

Publication Region: North America
Published: 2012
Cut-Off: December 31, 2011

Games Radar
100 Best Games of All Time

Publication Region: International
Published: 2012
Cut-Off: March 31, 2012

Time
All-Time 100 Video Games

Publication Region: North America
Published: November 15, 2012
Cut-Off: March 31, 2012

Games Radar
100 Best Games of All Time

Publication Region: International
Published: February 15, 2013
Cut-Off: December 31, 2012

Gaming Bolt
Top 100 Greatest Video Game Ever Made

Publication Region: International
Published: April 19, 2013
Cut-Off: March 31, 2013

Electric Playground
Top 100 Games

Publication Region: North America
Published: August 2013 – December 2013
Cut-Off: June 30, 2013

Hyper/PC and Tech Authority
100 Games to Play Before You Die

Publication Region: International
Published: November 1, 2013
Cut-Off: September 30, 2013

Games Radar
100 Best Games of All Time

Publication Region: International
Published: March 7, 2014
Cut-Off: December 31, 2013

Popular Mechanics
The 100 Greatest Video Games of All Time

Publication Region: North America
Published: June 18, 2014
Cut-Off: December 31, 2013

Slant Magazine
100 Greatest Video Games of All Time

Publication Region: North America
Published: June 9, 2014
Cut-Off: December 31, 2013

Stuff UK
Best Games Ever
Publication Region: International
Published: February 2014
Cut-Off: December 31, 2013

Games Radar+
The 100 Best Games Ever

Publication Region: International
Published: February 25, 2015
Cut-Off: December 31, 2014

Edge
The 100 Greatest Videogames
Publication Region: International
Published: September 24, 2015
Cut-Off: September 30, 2015

IGN
The Top 100 Video Games of All Time

Publication Region: North America
Published: October 20, 2015
Cut-Off: June 1, 2015

Time
The 50 Best Video Games of All Time

Publication Region: North America
Published: August 24, 2016
Cut-Off: December 31, 2015

Edge Magazine
The 100 Greatest Videogames

Publication Region: International
Published: August 2017
Cut-Off: April 30, 2017

Jeux Video
Top 100 Best Games of All Time

Publication Region: International
Published: September 10, 2017
Cut-Off: March 31, 2017

Polygon
500 Best Games of All Time

Publication Region: North America
Published: November 27, 2017
Cut-Off: January 31, 2017

Stuff UK
The 50 Greatest Games of All Time

Publication Region: International
Published: December 26, 2017
Cut-Off: March 31, 2017