Top 100 All-Time Adventure Games is a bit of an institution in the adventure game community: they give out the “Aggies”, arguably the most renowned award for adventure games, and they have also published a list of “all-time top adventure games”, updated in 2011.

Here follows the first page of the list and for each game you can read what motivated the website to consider it a “top” adventure game:

Of course, while “Adventure Gamers” can be considered an authority, this list is still the result of their subjective opinions, so I wanted to ask you: do you consider their top 20 games a good choice? Here they are:

  1. Grim Fandango
  2. The Longest Journey
  3. Gabriel Knight: The Beast Within
  4. Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars
  5. Riven
  6. Day of the Tentacle
  7. The Last Express
  8. Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge
  9. Tex Murphy: The Pandora Directive
  10. Portal 2
  11. Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis
  12. Zork Grand Inquisitor
  13. King’s Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow
  14. The Secret of Monkey Island
  15. Syberia
  16. Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers
  17. Machinarium
  18. Myst
  19. Beneath a Steel Sky
  20. Still Life

I would say that I agree pretty much with their choice; of course my favorite adventure game is “The Secret of Monkey Island” and I would have liked to see it in a better position, but I can understand why they put “Grim Fandango” in the best spot.

The only thing that surprises me is the game in the third position, “Gabriel Knight: The Beast Within”. We were just discussing in another thread how cheesy it is, so I’m quite curious to understand why they thought that the game was so good. I’ll read their motivations.

What’s your opinion about the list?

I can’t comprehend their list. I would put “The Secret Of Monkey Island” in the first place. Reason: The story is one of the best written stories in the adventure history. The puzzles fit (mostly) perfect into the story and the game has this great and subtle humor.

I can’t. :slight_smile: For me, Grim is one of the most overrated adventures. The story is great and well written. But the controls were weak (i only say “the elevator puzzle”), the graphics were “sterile”, the camera positions aren’t good and the puzzles were, well, Tim Schafer, puzzles. :wink:

It surprises me more that the “The Last Express” is at position 7. I only liked the graphics style of that game … (is The Last Express an adventure game at all?)

I think that from an artistic point of view “Grim Fandango” is a more mature game and it provides a richer experience. The authors were able to mix very different elements in a seamlessly way: Art Deco architectures, mesoamerican art, noir films, jazz music… For me it’s a real delight. I will always remember the atmosphere of Rubacava, just like I remember the atmosphere of Melee Island; both of them were magical to me. I don’t know if I would have been able to fully appreciate the artistic richness of “Grim Fandango” when I was a kid but I was about 25 when I played it and I was already infatuated with jazz music. :slight_smile:

They consider it so. They also consider “Tex Murphy” an adventure game, so I would say that it makes sense to treat “The Last Express” as an adventure game too.

I agree with you regarding the story and the atmosphere. But if you look at it as a game, it’s not so well designed as other LucasArts adventures. Without question Grim is a good adventure (especially if you compare it with the Sierra games), but I wouldn’t put it at the first place.

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Ask 25 gamers the top 10 games of all time and you will get 25 different lists. :laughing:

It’s all personal preference. For me, personally, other than Day Of The Tentacle and perhaps _The Secret Of Monkey Island, none of them would make it to my top 10 list.

My list would include at least one Space Quest and Leisure Suit Larry game, and at least some more non-Zork Infocom games. It would also include influential games like The 11th Hour or The 7th Guest, which I also enjoyed a lot.

I don’t think it’s necessary for me to justify why, because that’s just my own personal preference. Horses for courses, and all that. :slight_smile:


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But is it more fun? I love Casablanca and I’ve watched Orson Well’s oeuvre quite a bit; but at the end of the day, when I wish to be entertained, I’ll watch Ghostbusters or Back To The Future, or any of a number of mindlessly fun movies. :slight_smile:


Who Framed Roger Rabbit or Dead Men Don´t Wear Plaid would be a much better comparison to Grim Fandango than Casablanca.

No. I for myself liked other LA adventures more. But …

… that has nothing to do with the absence of humor. In Grims case there are just some flaws in the game design (like some weak puzzles and the controls).

But generally speaking you are right: If I have the choice, I would chose a game with (more) humor. Nevertheless is Grims story one of the best in the adventure history.

I wasn’t comparing. I was merely using two contrasting examples of visual and artistic qualities.

My point is that we all have our own preferences, but it’s silly to expect others to have the same. :wink:

Okay then, I just got confused because you just happened to use examples from the noir genre.

Sorry for the confusion. I was just contrasting artsy films like Casablanca and the works of Orson Wells, to mainstream popcorn flicks like Ghostbusters. :slight_smile:


I disagree with this list. Not only because Zak McKracken And The Alien Mindbenders is missing, but also because there are adventure games multiple times better than Grim Fandango.

I ask you : did you ever play all the 20 adventure games on that list?


I agree about the later chapters of the story but I still think that the first two years are quite well designed. About the puzzles, even if they weren’t particularly interesting, I can be entertained more by a good story with simple puzzles than by a bad story with bad puzzles or puzzles that don’t make much sense, but that’s just my preference.

That’s understandable. My impression is that AdventureGamers doesn’t have a preference for comedy; the top five games in that list aren’t considered comedy games. I think that it’s a phenomenon similar to what we see in “top movies of all time” lists created by critics and not by simple moviegoers: you can bet that serious stories like “Citizen Kane” rank quite well:

I played 14 of those 20. If I put away my personal taste and preferences, I can understand many of their choices. For example I find it acceptable that “Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge” ranks better than “The Secret of Monkey Island” even if the first game of the series will always have a special place in my heart.

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Absolutely disagree with that list.
I agree with Zak.
Every list that has not TSOMI in its top 10, and forgets to mention ZMATAM in its top 20, cannot be seriously considered by me :yum:
I completed 7 out of 9 games played among those above (never completed Broken Sword 1, only a half, and just wondered around in Myst for half a hour). Among those seven,
my order is MI1, MI2, INDY4=BASS, DOTT, GF, Machinarium.

Zak doesn’t even appear in the full list. Maniac Mansion is #72.

Rolls right of the tongue. Could be a caponian saying. “ZMATAM and hail to the king!”

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I played 14, but I own more (someday I will play them ;)).

How did Portal 2 make it on the list? I love Portal 2, and it’s one of my all-time favorite games, but I certainly would not call it an adventure game. It all it takes to be an adventure game is to have a character on an adventure and the presence of puzzles, then I’m putting Dark Forces and Deus Ex on my adventure game list.

And you don’t have to worry about (mis)spelling it! :rofl:

I follow that website (almost) since its beginning and after all these years I’m still confused by their definition of “adventure game”.

For example, they have considered “Portal 2” and “The Witness” adventure games, but not “Firewatch”. In their introductory article “What are adventure games?”, they say:

Many games push traditional genre boundaries in new and interesting ways while still remaining adventure games at their core. Dreamfall, sequel to the point-and-click classic The Longest Journey, includes some stealth and fight scenes. Heavy Rain is a new breed of interactive movie-style adventuring featuring motion controls and Quick Time Events. At the other end of the spectrum, titles like Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove mix in plenty of Where’s Waldo?-styled scavenger hunts. Even Portal, which gives you a gun to solve physics-based puzzles instead of killing, has a right to be called an adventure.

A more comprehensive explanation of what they consider to be an adventure game can be found in the above mentioned article.