Favorite Games Mosiac (Top 18)

On the Internet, there was a post about people making a mosaic of their favorite games. The mosaic used 9 square images to create a bigger square, and this was your Favorite Game Mosaic.

There wasn't any specific order to the games that you placed in your mosaic. This was just an image that represented your 9 favorite games or series of games.

So, I made one without too much deliberation. Though, unsatisfied that several of my favorite games had to be cut from my top 9, I made a second one to include all of those games.

Here they are.


Update — January 23rd 2021

Recently while streaming Pokemon on Twitch, I created a ranked list of all these games. The point of the Game Mosaic exercise wasn't to do this, but I did it anyways to see where things ended up.

I start the ascending list with the first runner-up.

19. The Witness

The Witness is a puzzle adventure game set around a specific simple set of rules to solve square puzzles over and over again. As you solve more puzzles, the world begins to open up more and more. It's a beautiful looking game that encourages you to explore and challenges your understanding of the game's simple mechanics.

I love this game quite a bit, and continue to think about it from time to time. I had to include it even though it went passed the top 18.

Read more here: Thoughts from January 29th 2016


18. Dead Space (series)

Immersion and Sound Design are what makes Dead Space an amazing. Dead Space completely removes any HUD elements, all typical "gamey" information is shown through the environment, and the sound pushes that immersion further. Dead Space uses the entire spectrum of sound to describe its environments from the overwhelming deafening sound of the engine room where you can barely hear anything else, to traversing in the vacuum of space where you can only hear your breath and nothing else.


Unfortunately, it was a bit of a fluke, as Dead Space 2 ignores the sound over the art direction. There's still environmental immersion, but it's more of an action game. I completely ignored Dead Space 3.

Dead Space 1 > Dead Space 2 >> Dead Space 3 > Other Games

17. Pac-Man Championship Edition

In later years, I started appreciated Pac-Man more than when I was a child. Championship Edition takes those original concepts that worked exceedingly well, and remakes the game completely. The boards dynamically change as you increase levels. The movement speed continues to build the further you get into the game. The music matches the fast pace and continues to push you. And you only get 5 minutes each run to get a higher score.

Championship Edition 2 adds more stages, more modes, and allows you to do stages in 10 minutes, too. Both games are fast and fun and one of my favorites. :)


16. Ikaruga

There was a point in time where I really loved Shooters, and Ikaruga was the absolute best of them. In Ikaruga, enemies are all black and white, and shoot black and white bullets. You can switch your own ship from black to white and absorb bullets of the same polarity. Additionally, there's a combo meter that builds with every three ships defeated of the same color. This gives Ikaruga a huge puzzle and organization element, rather than just killing everything on screen. It's more about recognizing patterns and following them.

I love the jagged abstract art design, too.


15. F-Zero GX

No other racing game has captured the speed and movement of F-Zero GX. Previous F-Zero games have had some speed, but F-Zero GX pushes it even further.

This was one of those games that seemed completely impenetrable to me until the movement completely clicked. I memorized the tracks enough and understood the physics to the point where I could move through each race with relative ease.


14. Metal Gear Solid (series)

I am never disappointed by a Kojima game. Metal Gear Solid 1 and 2 never really captured my interest to the degree of other people, but Metal Gear Solid 3 absolutely clicked for me. MGS3 sticks to its core concept of survival, almost to a fault. You have to eat, treat your own wounds, and make full use of the environment to fight the over the top villains through a lush jungle and swamp. The story is incredible, too, although some of it doesn't make sense.

As a follow-up, Metal Gear Solid 4 goes to absolute incredible lengths to tie together all of the nonsensical story elements of the previous three games, often at the expense of gameplay. And then MGS5 goes the opposite, sacrificing story for some incredible gameplay.

Metal Gears Solid 3 > 4 > 5 > 1 > 2


13. Wipeout (series)

The Wipeout series was my first introduction to the electronic music scene in England at the time. The futuristic pumping sounds of Techno, House, and Trance completely became my life from this point on. The movement of the music matched perfectly with the fast action of the race and the floaty dream-like movement of the "cars".

Wipeout XL was incredible experience, but Wipeout 3 became more of an art piece. The "cars" and tracks of Wipeout 3 became more abstract sacrificing detail for 60fps. Wipeout 3 is incredibly fluid, and DJ Sasha's soundtrack made it feel like you were moving through the music, rather than racing.

Wipeout 3 > Wipeout XL >> others


12. Actraiser

Actraiser was a very approachable civilization building game for me. I liked SimCity but it always felt too open. In the end, it is incredibly limited on what you can do in Actraiser, but as a kid, I loved being able to build out my city and allow my townspeople to spread into the environment.

The music was absolutely exceptional, too. The Super Nintendo was overwhelming with memorable music, but this one always comes up to the top for me.


11. Chrono Cross

The soft guitar. The sweeping sounds of flutes. The overall movement of the harps. Chrono Cross has the absolute best score of all time for any game. Every song tells the story of the environment, and the colors and depths of the environments match it completely. I think about this music a lot. Yasunori Mitsuda is a genius composer. He even toured playing the soundtrack for the 20th anniversary.


10. Hitman (2016) (series)

The 2016 remake of Hitman is an sandbox assassination game. You choose your layout of weapons at the beginning, and you are put into the level to kill your targets in any way that you see fit. The environments are pretty big with lots of hidden details and pathways. Additionally, unique story events can happen depending on the people you manipulate in the environment. Killing your targets becomes an interesting elaborate set up.

Hitman 1 was incredible and Hitman 2 continued with even larger environments. Eventually it just became too much to keep up with.


9. Mass Effect (series)

The Mass Effect trilogy of games has an amazing story that is roughly shaped by the actions you take as a player. The major beats of the story are always the same, but the atmosphere and dialogue surrounding the events are changed by the kind of player you become and the company you keep.

Mass Effect also had an expansive universe of alien species and characters you meet. Everything feels fully realized as much as a Star Trek or a Star War.

The story falls apart a bit in 3, which has all but killed the franchise, but there's still hope for the future. (Mass Effect 2 > Mass Effect 1 > 3 >> others)


8. Katamari Damacy (series)

The Katamari series of games ooze joy. You start off tiny, roll your ball around to pick up stuff, and get bigger and bigger until eventually rolling up the entire world. It's goofy, sure. But the overall atmosphere of Katamari it's super uplifting boosted by its quirky and fun soundtrack.

I instantly fell in love with the first game. The sequel, We Love Katamari, added new maps and new methods of completing maps. Hard to do, but its soundtrack out shines the original.


Later released was Katamari Forever, which had a unique story but collected levels from all released games. I really wish this was available on modern consoles.

7. Final Fantasy (series)

I have been a long fan of Final Fantasy. I skipped the original on NES, but picked up Final Fantasy IV on the Super Nintendo. I was one of the first games I played that had an expansive story where characters actually changed and grew. Final Fantasy VI didn't have the same impact on me as others, but I grew to appreciate it.

The Playstation Trilogy is where I was in constant awe of the story, of the environments, and of the characters. I played so much Final Fantasy VII and the remake is incredible.


Almost all classic series from the NES era that have continued today have had growing pains trying to adapt their original simplistic model to each modern era of gaming. As such, I skipped much of the games past Final Fantasy X. Final Fantasy XV really pulled me back in, though.

Every game is different in the Final Fantasy series, and none of them have connecting stories. Rather than individually rank each game, I did a tier list of my favorites.

S Tier - 7 / 7R / 8 / 6 / Tactics / 15 / 4
A Tier - 10 / 12 / 9
Whatever Tier - 11 / 1 / 2 / 3
Don’t Know Tier - 5 / 13 / 14

Update 2023: Final Fantasy XVI comes out soon and looks to be an absolute solid game having learned from the mistakes of XV.

6. The Legend of Zelda (series)

One of the key aspects of The Legend of Zelda has been exploration. Starting the game with the whole world in front of you, looking at all the small details in the land, and find secret caves and treasure. Each cave or dungeon always has a series of puzzle mechanics you must figure out in order to progress. It brings out the curiousness, creativity, and ingenuity of those that play it.

Much like Final Fantasy, the Zelda series of games have also grown up along with the game industry. But Nintendo takes its time to fully realize their vision for each game, and rarely does that vision ever fail.


The original Legend of Zelda was too much for me as a kid, and Zelda was too hard. A Link to the Past was absolutely perfect. The environments, the music, the dungeons, and items and puzzles. You always felt like that progress you made was an accomplishment. Ocarina of Time fully realized that vision in 3D, though it has aged a lot. Twilight Princess modernized that vision.

Having fully realized their vision, they tried to innovate with divisive results. They released a direct sequel to A Link to the Past entitled A Link Between Worlds, which opened up the world. No longer did you have to follow a linear story path from dungeon to dungeon. With people used to the idea, Breath of the Wild fully realized their direction for the future while still holding true to the past. A complete open world where exploration unveils the story and many other secrets.

Below is my tier list of Zelda games. I'm very traditional when it comes to Zelda, so I don't think the results are much of a surprise.

GOAT Tier - A Link to the Past, Breath of the Wild
S Tier - Ocarina of Time, Twilight Princess, A Link Between Worlds.
A Tier - Wind Waker, Minish Cap
B Tier - Skyward Sword
— others

Update 2023: The follow-up to Breath of the Wild entitled The Legend of Zelda Tears of the Kingdom is an absolute masterpiece of exploration, story, and innovation through gameplay. It's hard to think of a game dethroning Wild, but it is better in every way. It stands alongside A Link to the Past as the Greatest Of All Time for me.

5. Rez

When I first saw online previews of the Japanese release, I knew that I had to get a copy of Rez. It looked unlike any other game released at the time. It was an abstract vision of a person moving through colors and shooting down things. I bought one of three copies that my local Funcoland received on release day, and I became fully immersed in the sights and sounds of Rez.

Rez was like no other game at the time, and like no other game since.


The visual movements are a reaction to the adaptive soundtrack. As the background sounds move and thump, your actions all execute in sync with the music. You float through the world as an abstract expression of hacking a computer mainframe to rescue code which will save the consciousness of humanity.

4. Tetris

Tetris may be the most perfect game of all time. Its expert design has stood for nearly 40 years since its creation. Many parodies have come and gone, but Tetris always remains with few iterations.

The original Gameboy release was one I played for many hours. Later, Tetris DS released and became the definite version of Tetris. The movements were pixel perfect with no lag, pieces could be moved on the ground before being placed, and you could store pieces. All of the modern updates were included and felt amazing.


Update 2023: These days, I think Tetris DS has been outshined by the indie release of Apotris for the Gameboy Advance. Extremely tight controls and includes Zoning and Perfectrises adding from Tetris Effect. Unfortunately, it's been DMCA'd by the Tetris Company, so you can no longer buy it.

3. Dance Dance Revolution (series)

DDR is a game series that has now been lost to time. The rhythm game genre and arcade have moved on from the simple steps. But it will always hold a significant place in my heart.

DDR taught me the importance of exercise and how it's really not all that difficult to lose weight as long as you work at it each day. By playing DDR in college, at gaming events, random arcades, and other places both in American and Japan, I had met a lot of people and made friends. Some of whom I'm still friends with after a long time.


Many of the songs in the game were uplifting, and the button presses matches the movements you would do if you were just grooving to the tunes. It was fun to feel like you've become part of the music, and building a community around those songs and a physical space were some of the best parts of my college experience.

Those days are behind me now, but I always use music when doing exercise these days, and the movements and power I get from the music always pushes me further.

These are the best home releases of Dance Dance Revolution:

Playstation 2: DDR Max (USA), DDR Max 2 (Japan), DDR Party Collection, DDR Extreme (USA)
Playstation 1: DDR 5th Mix (Japan), DDR 3rd Mix (Japan)

2. Pokemon (series)

Pokemon is my brand. Almost all of the games on this list have consumed my life at certain points of time, but no series is ever present in my head than Pokemon. Pokemon is always evolving and always has something new going on for better or worse.

I first played Pokemon Blue back in the day, and came back to the series later with Pokemon Emerald and Fire Red. Since then, I've bought and played each main game release ever building to my goal of completing the Pokedex. I finally completed this goal in 2016 with Generation 6.


Also, in 2016, Pokemon Go was released for phones. It was fun at the time, but got boring. In 2018 I came back, and became something that I use on a daily basis. I love exploration in games, and Pokemon Go had me exploring my town in real life, driving to physical waypoints to meet up with other people and play together. I've met tons of people around town and at events as well as made plenty of online friends, too.

As the pandemic had many people locked down in the homes, I began streaming Pokemon on Twitch with Let's Go Eevee. A lot of students and young folk began watching me try to collect all of the shiny variants in the game. It became an incredible social experience that brought me back into programming and building an online community.

Much like DDR, it's fair to say that Pokemon has changed my life, and it often inspires me to do creative works around it.

I did two inner lists for Pokemon. First, was a ranking of each Generation of Pokemon. Even though I started with Kanto, I think Hoenn was what really got me back into Pokemon.

Gen 3 > 5 > 1 > 9 > 6 >> 4 > 8 > 7 > 2

I also did a tier list for each of the individual Pokemon games. Update 2023: I added all the games recently released to these lists.

S Tier : Emerald / HeartGold SoulSilver / Black White / OmegaRuby AlphaSapphire / Legends
A+ Tier: New Snap / FireRed LeafGreen / Platnium / Let's Go Pikachu Eevee
A Tier : Go / Conquest / Black White 2 / Scarlet Violet
B+ Tier: Snap / Red Blue / Diamond Pearl / Sun Moon
B Tier : Gold Silver Crystal / Ruby Sapphire / Ultra Sun Moon / Sword Shield
C Tier : Yellow / XY
F Tier : BrilliantDiamond ShiningPearl
— others

1. Snatcher

Snatcher has been at the top of my list of favorite games forever. I think some other games have changed my life more and hold more meaning, but Snatcher will always have a place in my heart.

Going from Mario, Zelda, and even Final Fantasy, the characters of Snatcher felt real, had distinct motivations, thoughts, and feelings opened my eyes to the potential of storytelling through games. As the overall mystery is uncovered, characters change and motivations make sense. It was the first game I played where death actually had meaning.


Snatcher uses both Blade Runner and Terminator to create a unique story of killer robots, Snatchers, killing and impersonating people. You play as Gillian Seed who had lost his memory and joined the Junkers, a police division which specializes in hunting down the Snatchers. Ultimately, the plot is uncovered and Gillian Seed gets more answers to his past. 

Snatcher was Hideo Kojima’s second game as a sole director. The Sega CD version was the one I played back in the day. It was released in 1994 and was the 4th iteration having prior been released on PC-8801 (1988), MSX (1988), and Turbo CD (1992). This was the only American release, and it was complete with English voice acting and cutscenes. 

The music is very futuristic 90s synthwave that matches the grimey, dirty, and metallic feeling of Neo Kobe City. As the story builds, the music builds with it. It was one of the first games I played where the music set a tense mood and atmosphere rather than just being background music. Snatcher’s sound and music was written and arranged by Akira Yamaoka. This was one of his first games, too. Later on, he would curate and write music for DDR, and ultimately move on to create the Silent Hill series.

I will always love Snatcher, and I don’t think I’ll ever knock it off my No. 1 position as my favorite game of all time.

My Favorite Games

As you can see from my list, my favorite games tend to be the ones that allow exploration of a massive world, have a compelling story with unique and distinct characters, and have a unique and memorable soundtrack that accurately compliments the setting, the gameplay, or the story. I tend to value those aspects over the actual gameplay.

It’s interesting to see how my favorites list has changed over the last few decades. You can view my list from 2007 below. Over time, I can’t really see this list changing much more. I think the top entries are pretty much set.