1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die

I’m not sure if anyone would argue that video game journalism is a rewarding profession. In fact, arguing that it’s a profession at all is stretching it in most people’s opinion. So to see my work included in a book that is emblazoned “Selected and Written by Leading International Critics” is something of a benchmark in my career.

Available now in the US, Canada, the UK and probably other countries whose version of Amazon I can’t be bothered to search (sorry) 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die is a genuinely beautiful book, and something that strikes me is not simply that I’m (implicitly) included as a “leading international critic” but the company I keep as such, with the book featuring writing from Brandon Boyer, Kieron Gillen, Simon Parkin and many other of my most admired contemporaries. Pouring over it, in fact, I’d go as far as to argue that it’s not so much the games that are essential as the writing about them; this book is a wonderful reference piece if you want to get an honest opinion and historical context for pretty much any worthwhile game in the last 40 years written by someone whose opinion counts. I expect I’ll be referring to this rather than the traditional (and lazy) Google/Wikipedia/Mobygames trifecta when requiring a little background on a certain game that’s slipped my memory.

I was–unfortunately–only able to contribute a small number of the entries in this tome and with no author index (an oversight, I think) there’s no quick way to find my articles in particular. So in the interest of self-interest, here’s the list. All my entries are marked MKu in the book:

Stargate, p. 45
Gorf, p. 48
Ultima I, p. 48
The Hobbit, p. 50
Xevious, p. 57
Boulder Dash, p. 75
Knight Lore, p. 84
RebelStar, p. 120
Defender of the Crown, p. 124
Super Hang-On, p. 133
Xybots, p. 152
Laser Squad, p. 158
The New Zealand Story, p. 163
Exile, p. 164
Final Fight, p. 170
Pang, p. 172

Stunt Car Racer, p. 176
Out Zone, p. 186
Raiden, p. 194
Sid Meier’s Railroad Tycoon, p. 196
Mega Lo Mania, p. 207
NHL Hockey, p. 210
Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, p. 222
The Lost Vikings, p. 225
Street Fighter II Tubo: Hyper Fighting, p. 230
Plok, p. 246
Samurai Shodown II, p. 265
King of Fighters ’94, p. 273
BioForge, p. 279
Star Wars: X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter, p. 336
The Last Express, p. 343
Interstate ’76, p. 348
Street Fighter Alpha 3, p. 368

SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighter’s Clash, p. 399
Team Fortress Classic, p. 414
Perfect Dark, p. 418
Return to Castle Wolfenstein, p. 457
Uplink, p. 474
Grow, p. 504
Astro Boy: Omega Factor, p. 522
NBA Street Vol. 2, p. 533
Torus Trooper, p. 592
Rogue Galaxy, p. 633
Rebelstar: Tactical Command, p. 638
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3, p. 681
Flywrench, p. 720
Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters, p. 742
Retro Game Challenge, p. 745
Saints Row 2, p. 817
Art Style: Intersect, p. 840
Flight Control, p. 866

Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes, p. 880
The Sims 3, p. 912
Torchlight, p. 925
Bioshock 2, p. 943
Army of Two: The 40th Day, p. 944

Some notes:
– If you find any of the selection odd, I was brought on after the majority of the games had been curated, and generally selected which games I thought I could write intelligently about. I think each of my pieces argues fairly well for the title’s inclusion.
– There are literally hundreds more games I wish I could have written about. It thrills me to have written about titles like Retro Game Challenge and SNK vs. Capcom: Cardfighter’s Clash in an actual book that actual people will actually buy, but while reading it jealousy seeps in–argh! Brandon Boyer got to write about Chibi-Robo! Gnngh! Simon Parkin bagged Faselei!
– I managed to write about games from every decade except the seventies.

1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die is a book edited by Tony Mott and published by Universe Publishing. It is available at retail in all good book stores, and online from stores including Amazon (.com, .ca, and .co.uk).

Published by Mathew Kumar, on October 26th, 2010. Filed under: Articles,News4 Comments

4 Responses to “1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die”

  1. Oh man, I did do Chibi Robo, didn’t I. I hope I did it justice — I genuinely can’t remember what I wrote! Jealous you got to do Retro Game Challenge + Clash of Heroes, obviously. And Rebelstar:TC!

    Comment by brandonnn on October 27, 2010 at 11:45 am

  2. Interesting (or perhaps not so interesting) fact: Rebelstar: Tactical Command was actually the first game I ever wrote a (paid) review of. You can still read the review over at Eurogamer.

    Comment by Mathew Kumar on November 12, 2010 at 5:46 pm

  3. Any chance you might sell a couple of copies of the book in here to combine with the exp issues so we can save on shipping?

    Comment by EdEN on November 19, 2010 at 7:39 pm

  4. Unfortunately, the book is so heavy (it’s over 900 pages!) that it would cost a fortune in postage, and compared to buying the book alone from a big commercial venture like Amazon (which offers free postage, etc.) and buying issues here, you’d end up spending more rather than saving. Sorry about that!

    Comment by exp. Magazine on November 20, 2010 at 11:24 pm

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