Saturday, March 04, 2006

The 100 greatest games of all time.. in Japan

Massive Japanese gaming mag Famitsu has published a top 100 games of all time list based on the results of a reader survey. The list makes for very interesting reading if only to note how truly different Japaneses gaming tastes are from those in the west. Two things are clear, the Japanese love RPG, be they tactical, turn based affairs or fast paced action titles, particularly the ones from Enix and Square and they love their franchises, although the same could be said about western gamers. Combine the two points and note the dominance of Dragon Quest (with 6 titles in the top 20) and Final Fantasy (with 8 titles in the top 25).
The most interesting point in my mind is that Japanese gamers simply don't seem interested at all in games produced internationally. Just one truly non-Japanese game features on the list, GTA: Vice City at 76. Some may contest that Japanese gamers simply have different tastes but this list seems to indicate they, or at least publishers there, actively avoid western products. While Role Playing Games absolutely dominate the list titles like Knights of the Old Republic series and Jade Empire don't get a look in despite being very story/character driven “Japaneses style” RPGs, and in the case of KOTOR having a leading franchise behind it. Similarly while third person action games like Dynasty Warriors, Metal Gear Solid and Resident Evil feature heavily, particularly in the lower half of the list, acclaimed titles like Gods Of War, Tomb Raider (the original one), the rest of the GTA series miss out.
Another noteworthy point is that the top 25 features only one title released since 2002, seeming to reinforce the fact that traditionally console gaming is in decline in Japan bucking the trend of growth in the rest of the world.


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