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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 2 November 2010
Those looking for a successor to Edge Magazine's fantastic "100 Best Games to Play Today" from their 200th issue will be sorely disappointed. Whilst you're certainly getting your money's worth with a book so large so as to require two firm hands on it at all times, its quality is all over the place, and many of is inclusions - questionable.

Though many of the game descriptions take up a good half page, the prose of those that I've delved into is a tad wooden and spends far too much time outlining each game's plot and mechanics rather than justifying its inclusion in the book. You're left with an encyclopedia of sorts, one that'll certainly tell you what to expect when you pop Advanced Warfighter into your 360, but one that doesn't spend enough time telling you why you'd want to do it in the first place.

Tony Mott edits a magazine widely regarded to be the best in the business, but the decision to take a wide range of contributors from other magazines leads to varying degrees of quality within the book. The lack of a single voice is harmful in other ways too, with some passages that undermine the inclusion of other games. There's a slight sense here that the editorial team struggled to find 1001 quality inclusions, but then I sincerely doubt I'd be able to do much better.

Anyone looking for an encyclopedia of some of the greatest games ever made could do a lot worse than this book. Having said that, if you can find a back issue of Edge 200, its superior inclusions and more eloquent brevity might be a better place to start.
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51 of 58 people found the following review helpful
on 21 October 2010
I'll just get straight to the point. The editors of the book have failed completely in the balancing of their selection of games for the book.

I'll give some examples:

1. According to the book there are 10 games worth playing from the entire 70's, yet there are 106 games from 2009. Yes, I'm not kidding, 106. In fact, the 70's, 80's and 90's make up half the book, with he 00's taking up the second half. It's almost unbelievable how skewed the book is in this sense. The entries for the last few years read more as a list of every game published in that year, rather than a list of recommendations. Even games that were met with mixed reviews at best are included. I smell kickbacks. In fact I kinda hope they were involved, because someone settling on this list without them is just too sad to be true.

2. Less importantly, but still an issue is a sometimes extreme bias towards certain genres. Most noticeably, there is an over-abundance of SCHMUPS and great lack of insight into the development of the graphic adventure genre. For some reason they've listed every single LucasArts adventure game, while listing nearly none of the competition, leaving a severely unbalanced picture. After all, this is supposed to be 1001 games you must play before you die, right? Not the 1001 best games every made. Because if it's the latter, then I guess the book is fine, but for the former I find it completely fails to give an appropriate overview of the development of the genres.

Before you buy it, at least keep in mind what kind of book you're getting. It reads more like an advertisement for recent games than any serious attempt to collate a list of games you must or should play. I had it on pre order from the day I heard about it, and I can tell you without dropping a beat, I would not have bought it had I know the direction they've taken the book in, which is a great shame because 1001 albums, books and movies are all great book. This one, however, is not.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 6 October 2012
When you compose a book like this you're going to recieve some backlash from joe public, it's innevitable. Yes some of my favourite games are missing, yes i'm slightly disappointed, no i'm certainly not angry. If you grew up during those heady days of SNES vs Mega-Drive (Genesis) madness then this will be right up your alley, trust me when I say they didn't miss much. One thing I do have to agree with is the author/publisher seems to think that the people reading this have never played ANY of these games so must feel obligated to fill you in on every games backstory, instead of giving you important info like game mechanics, level designs etc. It's only a slight niggle though and should'nt detract from your enjoyment of this trip down memory lane (early 70's - 2010) And they included Demons Souls!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 June 2015
The rating is focused on the one aspect that I wrestled with before buying it: What if I have the previous edition? Well, on that basis I'd suggest that it's not a savvy purchase. Yes, it does add some of the classics from the tail end of the last gen (such as Journey, Bioshock Infinity and Dishonoured), and a couple of the more laughable inclusions first time around (Army of Two: The 40th Day anyone?!) have been excised. But the lack of any update to the intro - which even retains the first's reference to a 'future edition of the book' - smacks of utter laziness. And despite the public admission that ICO had been accidentally missed off the initial list, it's STILL not included, which is embarrassing. If this is your first time buying this book, then it's a fine compendium, with many of the strengths and weaknesses noted by other reviewers. But it can only be hoped that the next iteration, if there is one, is spaced a healthy distance apart, and edited with a semblance of care.
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on 21 August 2013
This book is very well done - I was pleased to see my favourites included (particularly those that may not have been as popular as others) and the standard of writing while a bit piecemeal is overall very good. I guess it is aimed at quite a wide audience - from an old retro head like me - right through to a modern gamer. It would be a good purchase for modern gamers who may have an interest in earlier works which sadly aren't always easy to get to play because of the immaturity of the publishing model for games. (Imagine not being able to listen to Sgt, Pepper on your latest hifi system or watch La Strada on your new Bluray player).

The only issue I have with it is that not all of the games have a screenshot which I think is quite a bad oversight. These are video games after all - seeing what a game looks like is quite important. Just a pity the publisher couldn't justify the extra cost of making sure all entries got a screeshot. Overall though - well worth a look. A great book to dip into and the fact that the games are arranged in chronological order will help out younger gamers locate older stuff.
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on 3 January 2011
How many billions of "best games evar!" lists are there in the world? Too many. And they're all pretty dumb, they're all just giving people things they want to hear, rather than trying to say anything interesting or recommending anything important.

This book is better than that, if only because of its length. There are some great, obscure games in it that are hard to hear about at all unless you move in the right circles, and some very obscure ones that'll provoke a "hmm, interesting" kind of thought.

There are omissions! There's not a single Jason Rohrer game and I was a tad disappointed that I couldn't find Panzer Dragoon Zwei, one of the finest games of all time. Like another review says, it's pretty daft that the last decade is supposed to have contained half of history's noteworthy games, but I dunno, I guess it's hard for oldies to stand out. Think of it this way: very little of gaming culture is concerned with old games, so relatively speaking, and proportionally speaking, this book bigs them up more than most sources of game criticism.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 16 February 2013
Gamers of all ages will enjoy this book, as it covers games from the very birth of consoles through to the current day.

The Author is a legend in his own right, and this awesome book can either be read from cover to cover, or you can simply flick through and read about the games you are interested in.

Very cool item this!
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on 29 June 2014
I bought this book in the hopes of finding more games to add to my list, and it certainly helped in that regard. There's over a hundred new games I'm looking forward to playing as a result of this book. However, the short essays included with each game entry very rarely do justice to the quality of the games. They fail to convincingly present a case as to why the game is considered worthy of being in the book in a compelling way. There is also a general inconsistency in the writing, a side effect of having so many contributors.
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on 20 December 2012
I really like this book. I am a video game enthusiast since the 80's. It is very beautiful, with lots of pictures and briefly explain the history of each game chosen. But I do not understand some of the criteria chosen for that choice. For example the book has the game Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix, but do not have the original Street Fighter II (historically much more important). Maybe it's just me and my tastes. Above all this book is a must-have for all lovers of video games. 4/5 stars
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 28 February 2014
As a video game enthusiast with a collection of around 35 consoles from around the world, this book was originally bought for me as a Christmas present several years ago. This updated version includes a few newer games than the original release but is none the less as excellent.
It is clear, has many pictures and almost flawless.
There is the odd game that I feel should have made it in to this book, but that is subjective. If you are looking at something which will detail 90% of the greatest video games ever released then this book is for you. It is easy to read and although I've now had this (and the original) for several years I find myself thumbing through the pages on an almost weekly basis.
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