KINKER KORNER’S TOP 35 VIDEO GAMES OF 2001 NSFW

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Ok then we’re fully into the “new” generation but the ps1 is still hanging on in there and delivering some classics. I love these crossover years when things are just getting started on the new consoles. Let’s see what 2001 has for us.

 

35. Mario Kart: Super Circuit-Gameboy Advance

The first GBA game on the lists comes courtesy of Nintendo’s main man Mario and the super popular Kart series. I’m a big fan of the series and having it available on the go was a very cool thing. It achieved a lot for the little GBA and pushed it to it’s limits with impressive courses and graphics. The usual characters are here like Mario, Luigi, Peach, Toad, Yoshi, Bowser and more.

 

34. Sonic Adventure 2-Dreamcast

Sonic is by the far the most overrated character in the history of gaming. There’s been about four good games in the franchise and a hundred awful ones!. Yet he still has a massive, obsessive (and often creepy as hell) fanbase. This one was a fun game and improved a lot on the promise of the original adventure game with the 3d world and cutscenes. The plot focuses on Sonic, Tails and friends saving the world from another plot by Dr Eggman.

 

33.Clive Barker’s Undying-PC

As a huge fan of Clive Barker’s writing, seeing his name attached to a horror game was pretty damn exciting and knowing he was heavily involved with the writing and design was a huge plus. It’s a gothic period horror fps that uses the Unreal engine and has incredibly creepy atmosphere and horrifying enemies. It’s front heavy with all the horror coming early on before it turns into a more straight forward action game but overall it’s an effective experience.

 

32. Spider-Man 2-Enter Electro-Playstation

After the polarity the first game  year previous, this one is more of the same which is a good thing. There are appearances from the likes of Daredevil, Shocker, Sandman and more with loads of unlockables like costumes. The final stage was meant to be fought at the twin towers but they had to completely scrap it when the terrorist attacks happened.

 

31. Project Gotham Racing-X-Box

An early exclusive for Microsoft’s new console and one that ended up being the second best selling game in the original x-box’s history. It’s a fast paced racing game where you have to score points based on doing cool powerslides, winning races, freaking out random drivers etc in cities like Tokyo, London, New York and more.

 

30. X-Men: Mutant Academy 2-Playstation

Activision followed up on their successful 3d fighting game with more of the same but a little more refined gamed gameplay. This time you can choose from more characters with a roster full of x-men and Marvel characters like Rogue, Wolverine, Storm, Psylocke, my boy Gambit, Spider-Man, Juggernaut and more.

 

29. WWF Smackdown!: Just Bring It-Playstation 2

The Smackdown series continues and this is one of the less favourably remembered one but it’s still a perfectly solid wrestling game with a great roster. You can choose between the likes of The Rock, HHH, Stone Cold, The Dudleyz, Raven, Kurt Angle and loads more including the divas.

 

28. Twisted Metal:Black-Playstation 2

The goofy but entertaining vehicular combat series took a dark turn with this entry and the stories and characters became very disturbing. Calypso is back and setting up the tournament for a group of misfits to kill each other off fighting for the ultimate prize. A single wish for anything they want. Being on a new console it was clear that the ps2 was a powerhouse with hugely improved visuals over the ps1 games.

 

27. Rez-Dreamcast/Playstation 2

A very unique and hypnotic rail shooter in which you create the music with the rhythm in which you shoot and the things you hit. It’s totally entrancing and unlike anything else of it’s time with neon, cyberpunk style visuals and the totally original rhythm based gameplay.

 

26. Jak And Daxter: The Precursor Legacy-Playstation 2

Not satisfied with one insanely popular mascot platformer in Crash Bandicoot, Naughty Dog hit another gold mine with Jak And Daxter. It’s an open world adventure about two pals, one of which, Daxter has been turned into a weird animal and Jax tries to help lift his curse. A lot of the humour comes from the obnoxious but funny Daxter constantly mouthing off and the adventure, despite occasionally being frustrating, is a fun and sprawling adventure.

 

25. Return To Castle Wolfenstein-PC

Seen as something of a remake of the original Wolfenstein classic, this PC fps game (the console ports weren’t nearly as good) adds loads of story to the franchise with Nazi occult rituals and all kinds of craziness. B.J Blazkowicz is your protagonist again and his beefy man’s man schtick is in full force as he blows Nazis away.

 

24. Pikmin-Gamecube

The first entry for the Nintendo Gamecube comes courtesy of Mario inventor and gaming visionary Shigeru Miyamoto. He adores this series and although it’s never got anywhere near the popularity of his Mario series he’s clearly proud of it and always talks it up as one of his finest achievements. It’s a cute but challenging strategy game in which you control an Alien who has control of a group of little animals called Pikmin with different abilities. you have to use all the Pikmin to find the pieces of your ship that crash landed wile you’re accosted by the planet’s wildlife.

 

23. Dead Or Alive 3-Xbox

An Xbox exclusive designed to help the console’s launch. The series was improving with every entry at this point and the big roster adds four new characters, Brad Wong the awesome drunken master, Christie the British Assassin, Hitomi the karate expert and Hayate who has become a series favourite. The focus on women is still there in both an empowering and sleazy way….it’s a very confused series.

 

22. Final Fantasy X-Playstation 2

After the pop culture phenomenon of the ps1 Final Fantasy trilogy hopes were high for what Squaresoft would be able to do on a new generation hardware. When screenshots first came out people couldn’t believe what they were seeing from a console game. For so early on in the ps2’s life cycle it’s incredible who hard they pushed the console with sunning visuals and a massive rpg world. It’s not many people’s favourite FF game but it’s still highly regarded and the first in the series to use voice acting which had it’s pros and cons. The usual epic but nonsensical style of plot is here with likeable characters an crazy hairstyles…..all series staples.

 

21.Super Smash Bros. Melee-Gamecube

The ultra popular brawler that acts as a massive celebration of Nintendo and it’s characters. This was the entry into the series that really started the insane amount of fandom it got. I think it’s a fun series and as a nostalgia whore I love fighting as characters like Bowser, Mario, Donkey Kong, Captain Falcon, Ganondorf, Kirby and all sorts on stages based on Nintendo games from the past.

 

20. Virtua Fighter 4-Arcade/Playstation 2

If you’ve followed my lists you’ll probably be thinking this is a little low and you’re right. I’m a massive fan of the series but for some reason the fourth entry into the series just didn’t click with me like the others did. Something felt a bit flat about it. Don’t get me wrong it still played very well as evidenced with it being this high on the list and beating out some very good games. New characters include my favourite new guy Lei-Fei the evil monk, Vanessa Lewis the vale tudo fighter, Goh Hinogami the weird judoka and Brad Burns the cocky Muay Thai fighter.

 

19. Ico-Playstation 2

An incredibly atmospheric and unique for it’s time action adventure game in which you must guide a young girl around by the hand to help her escape from her mother, a Queen who wants to use her for a ritual. Europe and Japan got the beautiful cover painted by Fumito Ueda based n Giorgio DeChirico’s “The Nostalgia Of The Infinite”. The lack of dialogue and unique way you guide young Yorda around by the hand helps build a strong bond between yo and the characters. A unique experience.

 

18. Alone In The Dark: The New Nightmare-Playstation/Dreamcast

Coming at the tail end of the Playstation and Dreamcast’s popularity and life cycle, this impressive entry into the series that’s regarded as the granddaddy of the survival horror genre was sadly overlooked and only became a cult hit. It’s an incredibly impressive game visually on the ps1 and only improves on the Dreamcast. Filled with gothic atmosphere, two different campaigns and an intriguing plot.

 

17. Devil May Cry-Playstation 2

Originally intended to be a Resident Evil game, Capcom decided to change things up and create a new I.P. It introduced us to Dante, a cocky, slick demon hunter who uses swords and guns in a stylish manner to destroy enemies. It’s action heavy, gothic in atmosphere but filled with dark humour and a protagonist that became a favourite with gamers. A very difficult game but one that is enjoyable to try and master.

 

16. Capcom vs SNK 2:Mark Of The Millennium 2001-Playstation 2

There was a time the mid 00s where I stopped being a hardcore gamer and would only play casually. I was touring and gigging with my band all the time so when I would get home I’d be shattered and only want to play something for a little while. Fighting games were perfect for this and this was one that I played the hell out of. A huge roster of characters from both developer’s games like Street Fighter, Darkstalkers, Samurai Shodown, King Of Fighters and more.

 

15. The Simpsons: Road Rage-Playstation 2

Basically Crazy Taxi with Simpsons characters. You race from A to B picking up passengers and taking to their destination within a time limit. So much like Crazy Taxi in fact that Sega tried to sue for patent infringement. Nonetheless it was a blast racing around and hearing the voices form the show cracking jokes.

 

 

14. Luigi’s Mansion-Gamecube

Finally after years of playing second fiddle to his glory hogging brother Luigi comes to prominence(I’m not counting Mario Is Missing!) in this excellent, inventive horror comedy game. A Gamecube launch title inspired by ghostbusters, you play Luigi as he searches a haunted mansion for is brother and sooks up ghosties with his spectral hoover. It gave Luigi personality and it’s a funny, cute game where h is constantly terrified and shivering in fear,

 

13. Star Wars Rogue Squadron 2: Rogue Leader-Gamecube

Another Gamecube launch title (what an early lineup!) and one that blew me away when I first saw it being played. It’s still pretty stunning to look at 17 years later. It’s incredible that so early into the new generation a game could look as good as this. It takes place throughout the original trilogy and you play part of the rebellion taking on the galactic empire, piloting X-wings, A-wings, snowspeeders and the like. The battle of Hoth is a highlight.

 

12. Grand Theft Auto-Playstation 2

Ok let’s just get this out oft he way. I like the GTA series, clearly, but I’m not a mega fan like most people are. I certainly appreciate that this entry into the series, the first 3d open world one was an absolute game changer and one of the most influential games of all time. You play Claude, a silent protagonist greaser as you do jobs for all sorts of gangsters in Liberty City, a fictional version of New York. Hugely controversial for it’s themes and the ability to jack cars, kill innocents and basically do whatever you want in the game.

 

11. Fear Effect 2: Retro Helix-Playstation

The ps1 is still hanging on in there and the sequel to the surprise cel-shaded espionage hit is even better than the original. It was relatively controversial, mainly by idiots complaining that it was overtly sexual and the lesbian relationship of the main characters was inappropriate…..So if it was a straight couple it’s all good? Morons. It’s a great plot with excellent protagonists and looks great.

 

10. Tekken 4-Arcade/Playstation 2

The hugely popular 3d fighting game return for it’s fourth main series entry. New characters include Craig the beastly vale tudo fighter, Christie, Eddie Gordo’s capoeira student and more. Namco continued their high quality output. 

 

9. Conker’s Bad Fur Day-N64

Probably the last great N64 and what a unique way to sign off. In a time when cutesy mascot platformers were all the rage along came Conker who , although cute was a drunken, sleazy, lecherous, rude little squirrel. Very unlike Nintendo in it’s adult humour but at times laugh out loud funny. He fights bosses like robots, giant poop monsters, nazi teddy bears and more on his adventure to make it home to his girlfriend. 

 

8. Onimusha: Warlords-Playstation 2

Capcom’s sadly forgotten smash hit franchise started here and acted like a cross between two of their other titles, Devil May Cry and Resident Evil with fixed camera angles, demon slaying, head scratching puzzles and deeply impressive atmosphere. A samurai game set in the Sengoku period with a horror twist. Right up my alley and the series s waaayyy due anew game

 

7. SSX Tricky-Gamcube

The second SSX game is probably the most beloved and a great party game to play with friends huddled around a tv. Hitting massive jumps and doing all kinds of cool tricks to a soundtrack consisting of Run DMC, Mix Master Mike and more is an absolute blast.

 

6. Final Fight One-Gameboy Advance

1989’s Final Fight arcade machine is my favourite game of ll time. It holds so many nostalgic memories for me and I still play it to this day. This updated version for the little GBA adds some new content like updated music and little cutscenes before each boss fight. It’s no doubt insanely high for some but for me, Final Fight is my absolute jam.

 

5. Virtua Tennis 2-Arcade/Playstation 2

True story, the ps2 was the first console I was able to buy with my own money and when I went into HMV to get one I ended up in an argument with the staff. I got a free game of my choice with the console and I chose Virtua Tennis 2 as I absolutely loved it in the arcades. The guy behind the counter was convinced I should get a game like MGS 2 or Devil May Cry or one of the big AAA titles. He literally wasn’t going to give me my game!. To be fair he felt he was educating me and was trying to not feel like he was ripping me off but I explained to him that I knew what I was talking about and I’d get more than my money’s worth with this classic tennis game. Anyway this one adds women like the Williams sisters and Lindsay Davenport….more importantly we get my boy Pat Rafter!. All that’s missing is a posh woman at Wimbledon shouting “come on Tim”.

 

4.Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons Of Liberty-Playstation 2

This is where the Metal Gear plot started becoming convoluted as all hell but what an entertaining load of nonsense it is. Famous for it’s bait and switch where you start of playing as the popular Solid Snake but end up playing most of the game as the whiny newcomer Raiden. It never bothered me all that much to be honest. The game was stunning for it’s time and holds up well today. Who can forget that cinematic intro?.

 

3 (Tied). Max Payne-Playstation 2/PC

This was probably the first new game that I completely fell in love with for the PS2. I couldn’t believe how stylish and cinematic the whole thing was. That darker than dark intro with Max’s wife and baby being murdered is just brutal for it’s time and the whole Matrix inspired bullet time action made you feel like a total boss. The film noir presentation and gritty voiceovers were just perfect for the grimy story and action set in the seedier parts of New York.

 

3 (Tied). Project Zero a.k.a Fatal Frame-Playstatin 2

“Based on a true story” the most overused bullshit selling point for horror media ever. Anyway this brilliant, atmospheric, terrifying horror game puts you in the shoes of a young woman looking for her missing sister in a haunted mansion. It differs from a lot of games in the sense that your only weapon is a camera that catches spirits. The kick is that you have to let them get close before you snap…..it’s a terrifying experience and an absolute must for fans of Japanese style horror.

 

2. Shenmue 2-Dreamcast/Xbox

Ryo is back and on the look out for more sailors!. Yu Suzuki returns to his baby to try and salvage some of the money the original game lost…..and it lost a LOT of money….but it never happened. It broke his heart that this couple of games that he put everything into and it became a massive critical hit never came close to making the money back. Anyway it’s another open world masterpiece where you walk around meeting people and doing jobs, getting into fights (using the virtua fighter engine no less) as you look for you father’s murderer in Hong Kong.

 

1 Silent Hill 2-Playstation 2

Like I often say, I like to keep these little write ups succinct if possible but I could write essays about the genius of this game. The emotional gut punches, the unmatched atmosphere, the enemy design, Pyramid Head, the misty setting, the music and everything in between is just spot on. Even the worst part of the game, the clunky combat actually makes sense in terms of the game because you’re not playing a grizzled war veteran…..you’re playing an everyman who has been lured to the town of Silent Hill by the promise of seeing his supposedly dead wife. Whereas the original game went for a really terrifying horror vibe, this one nails a more dream-like, floaty atmosphere that keeps you uncomfortable but completely sucked in. I went to see composer in concert when he came to Scotland a couple of years ago and hearing those fantastic, moody songs live was a trip. An absolute masterpiece in psychological horror.

 

Another strong year and the ps2/Xbox/Gamecube generation is in full flow now. Let’s see where it takes us. Until next time catch me ‘swing_kinker

 

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