Shack Reels: Top 10 Videogame Soundtracks

Greg takes a look at ten of the top videogame soundtracks to ever hit our speakers.

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Music is a vital part of many media forms from advertisement to movies, and even beyond that to video games. Nobody likes when a game has a terrible soundtrack, and to help iterate that point Greg Burke has compiled a list of the Top 10 Videogame Soundtracks to ever lull our ears into new worlds. We don’t want to steal the show, though, take it away Greg.

From The Chatty

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    March 20, 2015 3:00 PM

    Shack Staff posted a new article, Shack Reels: Top 10 Videogame Soundtracks

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        March 20, 2015 6:14 PM

        Oh god, this gave me nostalgia chills down my back. Triggered that flashback feeling.

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          March 20, 2015 6:19 PM

          i have the actual CD here somewhere

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            March 20, 2015 7:37 PM

            How did you come by that? I never heard of it being released.

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              March 20, 2015 7:39 PM

              it was a pack-in with the game , Deluxe version maybe?
              (I was living in the UK at the time)

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              March 22, 2015 12:14 PM

              [b]upto I saw the receipt which had said $8641 , I accept that...my... best friend had been actualey bringing in money in their spare time at there labtop. . there moms best frend has been doing this for less than 9 months and at present repaid the dept on there place and purchased a great new Mazda . pop over to this site .................... http://7.ly/JobsEarnOnline2015[/b]

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      March 20, 2015 3:32 PM

      Disappointed by a lack of "Beyond Good & Evil," but overall a good list.

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        March 20, 2015 4:14 PM

        I've actually never played that game.

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          March 20, 2015 4:24 PM

          !!!

          I highly recommend it. Right now, the remastered version on XBLA for the 360 is the best version. You can get through the game in ~6 hours if you don't try to be a completionist.

          If you play the PC version and the eyeballs are all weird, turn off hardware vertex processing to fix it.

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            March 20, 2015 4:35 PM

            Beyond Good and Evil was tremendous. I second this recommendation

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            March 20, 2015 10:50 PM

            Did they ever fix the problem where you can't invert look? I couldn't play it otherwise.

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        March 21, 2015 1:37 AM

        PROPAGANDA!

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      March 20, 2015 4:16 PM

      10 is too short. Especially considering all the platforms and generations.

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        March 20, 2015 7:37 PM

        Ya, you'd need one per platform.

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      March 20, 2015 4:22 PM

      No Revengence, FF10, or Xenoblade. :(

      Play more games!

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        March 20, 2015 4:30 PM

        Haha FF7 OST is way better then FF10, the only one that might compare is FF9

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          March 20, 2015 4:37 PM

          Well 11 has the best soundtrack out of all them but no one played that one :|

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      March 20, 2015 4:29 PM

      Dragon Age Origins and not Halo. You're on drugs Shack Staff.

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      March 20, 2015 4:44 PM

      No Streets of Rage 2? No Wipeout?

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      March 20, 2015 4:52 PM

      Not a bad list. No FF6 over FF7 is usually something that dates the SNES players over the people that grew up on the PS1, but don't mind us old guys :)

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        March 20, 2015 5:50 PM

        Which is exactly why I dont Put NES and SNES themes on this list, too many good tunes.

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          March 20, 2015 5:55 PM

          If you ever want to put together a list of underrated (or unknown) soundtracks, I'd love to help out.

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      March 20, 2015 4:55 PM

      I really, really, enjoyed the EQ2 soundtrack. Unlike the graphics it had tremendous coherence.
      https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLF7E7D9BCA292570D

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      March 20, 2015 5:47 PM

      "I'm focusing on Console-only titles; so there will be no PC-only titles. Console and PC gaming gaming are...different in a lot of ways, and they should be treated as such."

      Ok that's fine, but you put the following on your list:

      Fallout 3
      Dragon Age: Origins
      Skyrim
      Mass Effect 2
      Assassin's Creed 2
      Final Fantasy VII

      Hey, at least you placed 4 games in the Top 10 that fit your own rule criteria.

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        March 20, 2015 5:53 PM

        Cross Platform is okay, just No PC only titles, IE DUNE, EQ, WoW, etc etc

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          March 20, 2015 5:55 PM

          lol "Console only titles" there would be like 6 games to choose from.

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            March 20, 2015 5:56 PM

            Damn, wanted to change that...oh well guess you can't "edit" in chatty

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              March 21, 2015 1:38 AM

              I guess you're new around here.

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          March 20, 2015 5:59 PM

          Why not?

          And why name the article misleadingly?

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            March 20, 2015 6:57 PM

            What's misleading about it exactly?

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              March 20, 2015 7:05 PM

              Shouldn't it more like

              Shack Reels: Top 10 Console Videogame Soundtracks (PlayStation era and later)?

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                March 20, 2015 8:38 PM

                Kind of a bad title though, don't really think it's misleading, I see much worse stuff that's misleading

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            March 20, 2015 7:01 PM

            My PC gaming knowledge is very very small, I did grow up in a house with PCs and when i moved out i was a MAC fanboy, so 25 years on just Playing console Games, and Blizzard games.

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      March 20, 2015 5:57 PM

      I guess for console games, I can't disagree, these are all great.

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      March 20, 2015 6:09 PM

      #1 Brütal Legend

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      March 20, 2015 6:16 PM

      An ok list. It needs to be bigger though, as Deus Ex:HR, Half-life 2, Portal 2, FTL, Brutal Legend, Fall of Cybertron, Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines, Doom 3, Mirror's Edge, Bastion and Wolfenstein: The New Order are all cross platform titles with as good to better soundtracks.

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      March 20, 2015 6:39 PM

      Mass Effect at #5!? For shame Greg! No Halo? You monster! Good choices mostly, though I might argue over order. :)

      All nitpicking/joking aside though, why no love for PC? Missing out on some true greats by excluding PC games. Greats like:

      Hell March: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tb-gI_pFog0
      Homeworld soundtrack: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lO8r8PSCdNI
      Baba Yetu: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJiHDmyhE1A
      Battlefield 1942 theme: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vg0Tmydj29M
      Rise of Nations soundtrack: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_XyJF-J1Dk
      Evil Genius theme (maybe not top ten material but a personal favorite): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwcoM8tD_Rw

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        March 20, 2015 6:56 PM

        I'm not well versed enough in the PC gaming space, I've never played Dune, or Myst, or any PC games in the last 20 years.

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          March 20, 2015 7:02 PM

          Oh man, you've been missing out on some of the best stuff gaming has to offer!

          Maybe we should have a community vote style top 10 soundtracks list for PC games. I bet a decent number of people would participate.

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            March 20, 2015 7:05 PM

            I definitely offered to help up above. Unfortunately it probably wouldn't be a popular article, but chatty might appreciate it.

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        March 21, 2015 6:24 AM

        1942: So good.

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          March 21, 2015 12:41 PM

          Wasn't it!? I still get it stuck in my head sometimes. So many good shackbattles.

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      March 20, 2015 7:13 PM

      I know I like some obscure soundtracks, but I think we can all agree Jet Grind Radio should be on this list. :D

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        March 20, 2015 7:22 PM

        I own that game, but I've never played it. One of my greatest gaming shames :(

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          March 20, 2015 8:40 PM

          It's a hard game - I can't say I've ever finished it. It really holds up well in every way, though. I will get through it one day.

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      March 20, 2015 7:34 PM

      No Freedom Fighters?

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      March 20, 2015 7:42 PM

      I get that top 10 articles are always highly subjective and meant to be divisive tools to stir up conversation, but the way they're worded like "these are THE BEST" is such a conclusive and knower way of putting it - it just rubs me the wrong way. I'm always so much more open to these things if they're qualified as "these are MY top 10 x, what do you all think?", feels way more inclusive to me.

      Anyway, rant over :) Out of that list the only soundtracks I thought were memorable are obviously ones from games that resonated with me - Mass Effect 2, Kingdom Hearts, FF7 and Zelda. Out of all of those, I still actually listen to the ME2 soundtrack; I just love it.

      The others, well, I really enjoyed the games but apart from the one track from Skyrim - I'd be extremely hard pressed to name anything from the others. Again, not because they're not good, but because I didn't find them particularly memorable.

      As far as soundtracks I'd include in my list - pretty much the soundtracks I still listen to on an almost daily basis, I'd need to find spots for (excuse how big this post is hehe):

      - Dead Space 2 by Jason Graves - such an amazing, dissonant thing
      - Final Fantasy Tactics - I hum these tunes every day, just about every track on this soundtrack is memorable
      - Vagrant Story - Bit of a Hitoshi Sakimoto bias here, I just love how this thing comes together so coherently to tell the story that still manages to have real bombast and nuance. One of my all time favourites for sure
      - Shadow of the Colossus by Koh Ohtani - Not sure I can say much to do this justice
      - Dark Souls by Motoi Sakuraba - It's possible I listen to this so much because Dark Souls just resonated so much with me, but all of the themes, all of the areas evoke so much when I listen to it

      and the one that I think is just criminal not to be on everyone's list - Fez by Disasterpeace. Along with Dark Souls, I think Fez is one of the most important, most memorable, most stunning games I've played in many years and it has a soundtrack that I think will be forever ingrained in my memory. I listen to this thing daily even after all this time and I love the remix albums. It's just... I can't think of how else to describe it but say it's probably my favourite soundtrack of all time.

      Lots and lots and lots of memorable mentions, but all of the soundtracks that make up my list are matched with games that I absolutely adore and while that's totally subjective, I think that's what makes this sort of argument worth having :)

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        March 20, 2015 8:48 PM

        it's called click-bait. just ignore and move along.

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        March 20, 2015 9:47 PM

        All my list are subjective, would've thought that was clear.

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          March 20, 2015 10:06 PM

          Yeah, of course they're subjective, I'm not talking about the content of the lists at all - It's just how it's all framed:

          "Shack Reels: Top 10 Videogame Soundtracks"
          "Greg takes a look at ten of the top videogame soundtracks to ever hit our speakers."
          "...Greg Burke has compiled a list of the Top 10 Videogame Soundtracks to ever lull our ears into new worlds."

          That's the stuff that annoys me is all. I probably should've left that out because I wanted to contribute to the discussion, but I don't tend to leave things alone :(

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            March 20, 2015 10:09 PM

            Well we're all just trying to make our way through the crazy thing called SEO ;)

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      March 20, 2015 10:08 PM

      Having not seen, listened to, nor read any of this, I'm still going to call bullshit. Seems the thing to do as I'm pretty opinionated as far as scores go.

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        March 20, 2015 10:10 PM

        Seems far

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          March 20, 2015 10:43 PM

          I'm glad you can take that in stride. Or is that a sprint? I can't quite tell, you're so far away.

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          March 20, 2015 10:47 PM

          A short list of others that fit your restrictive criterion (though especially given the time frame restriction I don't understand how there is a notable difference between PC/Console music):

          Bastion
          https://youtu.be/GDflVhOpS4E

          Deus Ex: Human Revolution
          http://youtu.be/ZiN6t7K7txw

          Dreamfall: The Longest Journey
          http://youtu.be/jootxdBswTU

          Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles
          https://youtu.be/WbSOKVx9fcY

          Katamari Damacy
          http://youtu.be/gFLJX-T7LPk

          The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
          http://youtu.be/sPDCHr3H_Hw

          We ♥ Katamari
          http://youtu.be/XbRb0m7YPHs

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            March 21, 2015 12:14 AM

            Having not seen, listened to, nor read any of this, I'm still going to call bullshit. Seems the thing to do as I'm pretty opinionated as far as scores go.

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              March 21, 2015 8:13 AM

              Aww yeah, I've made it!

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              March 21, 2015 8:27 AM

              By the way while I'm not sure I would include all of your picks on my top ten, there was nothing in there I thought was a bad pick. I had to cull many of your entries from my list so as to not repeat them.

              Also I absolutely agree with the choice of Mass Effect 2 specifically, while the Mass Effect theme and Vigil are great tracks in Mass Effect the rest of the score was "only" just good. The work Wall of Sound (Jack Wall, Sam Hulick, David Kates and Jimmy Hinson) put in for ME2 was solid all the way and took advantage of the central mission. The way they built the letmotif leading to the Suicide Mission was great.

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      March 20, 2015 10:51 PM

      If Dustforce is in the top #5 your top 10 is validated.

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        March 20, 2015 11:02 PM

        Oh hey, Dustforce does meet the console requirement, however I can kind of see it getting cut by the emotional resonance aspect... Though I still count Katamari , so perhaps?

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      March 20, 2015 10:51 PM

      I gotta say The 7th Guest. That one always sticks out in my mind as something I would play [the soundtrack] over and over growing up. I still give it a listen now and then.

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      March 20, 2015 10:55 PM

      No Shin Megami Tensei titles? No Rez? No music games (the ones with original music)?

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      March 20, 2015 11:04 PM

      Top Ten Shackers who commented on this thread... Go!

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        March 21, 2015 3:09 AM

        1. Click-bait
        2. Click-bait
        3. Click-bait
        4. Click-bait
        5. Click-bait
        6. Click-bait
        7. Click-bait
        8. Click-bait
        9. Click-bait
        10. Click-bait

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      March 21, 2015 12:25 AM

      I am missing The Last of Us on this list, it had a fantastic soundtrack https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y97u-U0nvJM

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      March 21, 2015 12:56 AM

      Star Control 2 :(

      ...still awesome.

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      March 21, 2015 1:09 AM

      Where's the printed list? I'm not watching ten minutes of video when I could read five seconds of text.

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        March 21, 2015 2:37 AM

        Ya I mean why support Shacknews. right?

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      March 21, 2015 1:39 AM

      "Console and PC gaming are different in a lot of ways."

      None of those differences have anything to do with score or music.

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        March 21, 2015 2:04 AM

        Well, again I'm not well versed in the PC gaming space, therefore I don't pretend to know what I'm talking about. Rather just stick to what I know, rather than google searching "best PC game music" and copy and paste. Just saying.

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          March 21, 2015 2:51 AM

          The headline suggests some kind of authoritative list by the Shacknews team. The expectation is that through consensus and varied tastes, a diverse set of games would make their way onto the list.

          Why not call the article Greg's Favorite Game Soundtracks?

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            March 21, 2015 3:07 AM

            Casue Top 1o Video Game Soundtracks, sounds better.

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              March 21, 2015 3:10 AM

              I'd disagree there. It's been done to death plus those sorts of definitive sounding lists are always contentious. A headline that reflects the personal choices and favorites of you, the individual, would have been far more interesting and would be more appropriate given the content. And people would discuss your selections more than disagree with everything outright. Because they'd know going in it was an opinion piece without a doubt.

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                March 21, 2015 3:28 AM

                Even the subtitle saying Greg takes a look at ten of the top videogame soundtracks to ever hit our speakers is misleading as it makes it sound like a group effort from the staff.

                At first I thought you guys got together and voted on the best of game OSTs all time which would have been fascinating, or maybe you polled the community a while back and I missed that. I don't know. I definitely wasn't expecting a list of one man's console only favs, but maybe I'm stupid. I usually am. Sorry!

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      March 21, 2015 3:33 AM

      Jet Set Radio and Wipeout would like a word with you. Also, I hate myself for clicking a top 10 list link.

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      March 21, 2015 3:34 AM

      Shack Reels: Top 10 Shack Reels Top 10 lists.

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      March 21, 2015 4:04 AM

      I don't understand why anyone would pick Mass Effect 2s OST over Mass Effect's.

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        March 21, 2015 8:46 AM

        One of the requirements in Greg's list was that it made you feel something, and while that seemed kind of vague, based on the list, it seems he was looking for scores that had emotional resonance with the onscreen narrative. While the first game has a few good moments, the only music that stuck with me was the intro theme and Vigil. Mass Effect 2 did a better job having the score build emotional resonance, if only due to the composers taking advantage of the game's narrative structure and building letmotifs through out.

        That's not to say Mass Effect 2 was a better game, but it's structure lended itself better to a score of spiraling and blended letmotifs that are always building.

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        March 21, 2015 12:43 PM

        It's definitely a tough call, but https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTsD2FjmLsw&list=RDVTsD2FjmLsw#t=6 is pretty freaking amazing.

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      March 21, 2015 5:04 AM

      Greg, I don't get offended by lists like so many people. I don't always agree with your list picks, but when does that ever happen?

      However, I would like to say that I have one problem with all of your list videos: the transition videos. In this video it was OoT clips. I get what you're trying to do - tying the list together with something visual, but these transitions always feel weird and confusing. And in this particular case, I felt like it even spoils your video. Perhaps try using something else, like a quick sweep in of the Shack logo with the title of the video overlaid on it. But something else. The current style just bugs me big time.

      Also, Assassin's Creed II is one of my favorite soundtracks. "Rome Countryside" is so beautiful and relaxing.

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        March 21, 2015 11:41 AM

        If I had it my way it would be just a number, full screen number, but I can't do it that way.

    • ArB
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      March 21, 2015 5:33 AM

      I enjoy the threads these lists produce.

    • gmd
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      March 21, 2015 5:38 AM

      ughh bullshit doko doko doshi 5 released for the PC in 1992 wasnt on the list

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      March 21, 2015 8:52 AM

      Was a good watch, thanks Greg!

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        March 21, 2015 8:53 AM

        And for the rest, typical shacknews. Don't take it personal, most of these people don't enjoy anything.

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      March 21, 2015 3:15 PM

      I don't want to be that guy, but how has no one said Deus Ex? That game's soundtrack was like 50% of the reason it's become a legend of videogaming.