A few months ago, when I was working on my "Top 10 GameFAQs Top Ten Lists" list, I came across an early list titled, "Top 10 according to the Poll of the Day board", written way back in 2005. The list got me thinking: what would the various different GameFAQs social boards rank as their Top 10 games of all time?

So, I decided to do this little project. Conduct a series of polls on several of the major GameFAQs social boards, and tabulate the results. To make it more of a community effort, though, I didn't want to just write what I thought about each winning game: I wanted to see what the board members themselves had to say about the games they chose. So, each individual game's write-up comes from a board member of the actual board for the list.

Because that meant having to reveal the winners in order to solicit write-ups, I've also included two honorable mentions, just to keep a little surprise as to what made the actual Top 10. If you're interested in the actual methods that went into tabulating this list or in the full results, check out the Conclusions section. Additionally, this series initially consists of five lists, but I plan to do more in the future: if you'd like to suggest a board for a future list, drop by the Top 10 Lists board and suggest it.

Now, without further ado: The Top 10 Games of All Time, According to GameFAQs' The Couch Board.

"Welcome, Jack. No, shut your mouth, kid, you're here, your name is Jack. Be quiet and listen. Okay, sit. Yeah. Take it in. This big thing? This.... this is The Couch. Yeah. Can't you hear the capitals in my voice? You should. This is THE Couch. The COUCH. Don't call it a sofa. It's a Couch. The Couch. You see Josh over there? Yeah, he's our resident hipster. Dalton is the dude who never shuts up. You see the guy? Yeah. That guy. The one still talking. Yeah. About nothing. Uh huh. That's him. We've got a few more notables, look around and take them in. Yeah, that's right guys, say hi to Jack. Listen, shut the hell up. You're Jack, goddamnit. Now, Jack, couple things you need to know: For one, we don't care that you're new. Crack open a beer, tell some tales, listen a lot, and you're fine. Second thing is, don't mention the smell or the big pile of skulls in the corner. That's all you need to know. Now, take your Sam Adams and shut up. Listen to some stories. Have some fun. Don't touch the Guinness. It's for Josh." -- Written by Seefu Sefirosu

Honorable Mention: Tales of Symphonia: "Describing what makes Tales of Symphonia such an amazing RPG in only one paragraph is a challenge, as many fans of the game will attest. Every aspect of the game is polished and refined for maximum enjoyment. The story pulls you in from the first cutscene, and is slowly but pleasantly fleshed out as it goes from a simple escort quest into something much bigger, incorporating themes of racism, acceptance, and the value of one’s life. Plot twists and turns are everpresent, and the characters help advance the story in a way that will have you love and hate them. The presentation is wonderful, with great visuals, beautiful environments, and excellent voice acting. Of course, what Tales of Symphonia is widely known for is its battle system. You fight in real time with four party members, all while controlling one character for the duration of the fight, unless you choose to switch mid-battle. You earn new attacks by using old ones, and special stones called EX Gems can be equipped to alter what kind of moves you learn. The music is another high point in the game, from the battle songs to the themes of each character. The song always matches the mood of the environment, and makes the cutscenes much more meaningful. Overall, the large fanbase for this game is proof that this game has done a lot right, and is deserving of the title it holds as one of the best RPGs ever made." -- Written by sykilik101

Honorable Mention: Super Mario Bros. 3: "Boing! Boing! Stomping on Goomba heads and one-upping its way right into your living room, 1988 brought us many things, including Gradius II, Dragon Warrior III, and this fan favourite, Super Mario Bros. 3. SMB3 is the 9th highest selling game of all time (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_video_games#20_best-selling_console_games), beating every Pokemon release ever except Red and Blue. SMB3 introduced some different power-ups into the Mario franchise, and had critical acclaim.

Super Mario Bros. 3 was another interesting and fun-filled romp through another pipe-filled fantasy land, and not another game yet has made me waste away more hours of my life playing through it again and again. It sold 18 million copies. In musical terms, one critic put it as "the ****ing game went platinum 11 times. go on and hate it". Although many people have criticized some elements of the game, very few have been more universally enjoyed. Here's to you, Shigeru." -- Written by Seefu Sefirosu (originally nominated by DarkAngel13)

"In 1998, I fell in love. My love's name was Banjo-Kazooie. Two years after Super Mario 64, another platforming gem on the N64 was released. From the moment the game starts you're sucked into the game by the slightly goofy yet fantastic soundtrack, funny dialogue and the urge to kick Grunty's green butt. The game had a simple plot, the witch Gruntilda kidnapped Banjo's little sister, Tooty. Banjo and his best friend Kazooie set off to take Tooty back from Gruntilda, who conveniently lives next door. Within Gruntilda's Lair are several worlds that you have to collect Music Notes, Jiggies, Mumbo Tokens, and Jinjos. You didn't expect Jinjos on this adventure, did you?

Banjo-Kazooie is an example of platforming and a collect-a-thon at their best. There are so many memorable moves, transformations and items you use playing as the bear and bird duo, such as turning into a pumpkin, or flying. And who can forget Kazooie shooting eggs out of her behind? The game is supported with great music, good graphics for the time, easy to learn controls and good dialogue that will have you laughing. Banjo-Kazooie was and still is a must have for gamers." -- Written by StarWolf22 (originally nominated by ghost0022)

"Many have said that video games are an art form, just like music and movies and any other method of expression. They’re a way of telling a story, of getting someone to feel something and to experience sights and sounds beyond what they could dream about. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves stands out because it feels like it combines the best of two of the most popular forms of entertainment. If you love video games, and you’ve always wanted to be a hero in an action movie, this is the game for you.

You start off the game as fortune hunter Nathan Drake, who has found himself in a near-death situation, an instance he’s no stranger to. You are soon shown how he got into such a mess as you go from a simple museum heist to an epic search for the legendary Shambhala, the home of the world’s largest sapphire. The story is compelling and action-packed, with enough gunplay and puzzles to keep you wanting more.

The graphics are top of the line, from the locals you visit to the details in the clothing, even going so far as to show saturation whenever Drake takes a dive. The lip-syncing and movements of the characters feels very natural, and adds to the cinematic experience. This is all accompanied by a score that certainly solidifies the feeling of an interactive film. Many of the characters are quirky and fun, and you’ll often find yourself grinning at a punch line or retort from one of them, while others are devilish and cruel, and you’ll find yourself anxious to lay down some justice upon them.

Very rarely does a game manage to do all that Uncharted 2 has accomplished. With a gripping single player, an addictive multiplayer mode, and plenty of treasures to find and secrets to unlock, this game has the whole package. If you’re a fan of action, guns, and more action, this treasure is certainly worth seeking out." -- Written by sykilik101 (originally nominated by Super Espio)

"In a time where countless MMMORPG's are sucking in more and more gamers, most have to wonder which one would fulfill their absolute needs and wants. World of Warcraft would be the decision many would make, quite easily actually. Not because of the massive population who contributes to the ever so growing number of obese men, but because it IS the best MMO on the market at the moment and the foreseeable future. There are almost continues streams of content being created by Blizzard to stop even the most devout gamers from saying "I have nothing to do". It is also one of the only MMO's that have been able to cater to the casuals and the hardcore, and they do it oh so well. This pattern continues through most of the game, such as system requirements. Being able to run this game on a toaster while and also being able to push this ever so (but still magnificent) outdated engine to really take in the beauty of Azeroth.

What WoW is to me in a sentence is, an easily accessible MMO that will give you days, even years for some, of addicting gameplay while still being ridiculously cheap even after 2 major expansion and a monthly bill, plus 12 million (and growing) other fellow people to interact with in what I'd call, a social network.

It still baffles many when some people refer to upcoming MMO's as "WoW killers". We should all know by now that only Blizzard games can kill Blizzard games. So why are reading this description instead jumping in to this wonderful world, of Warcraft." -- Written by CDNfrne

"The Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past, also known as Zelda no Densetsu: Kamigami no Triforce (lit. Triforce of the Gods), is another Shigeru Miyamoto megahit that came to the States in 1992. Much like the original Legend of Zelda, the top-down camera angle was either loved or hated, and using a Magic Mirror, one could switch dimensions between the "Light World" (where you started) and the "Dark World" (a process this author found somewhat similarly used in Ocarina of Time, difference being that OoT was time-travel). Ergo, a quaint little village in the Light World is a dilapidated town of thieves in the Dark World.

Link to the Past sold nearly five million copies of the SNES release alone, and another two million when it was re-released in 2002 with The Four Swords on GBA. In other words, this game sold more copies than any game on the PS3 ever has (Gran Turismo 5 is PS3's highest seller, with 5.5 million copies; other lauded titles such as God of War III sold 1.4 million, and Call of Duty MW2 sold 4.8, Black Ops even fewer), and is a great addition to a franchise that has sold nearly 60 million copies. Successful? Yes." -- Written by Seefu Sefirosu (originally nominated by ghost0022)

"When one buys a video game console, it is generally because there are a multitude of games released for the system that interests the player. Very rarely will someone buy an entire console specifically for one game. Let's face it, one game doesn't justify the price of a new gaming console...except when it comes to one game.

The game I am referring to is Super Smash Bros. Melee. This innovative and ridiculously fun fighting game took the ideals of its predecessor from the Nintendo 64 and managed to craft one of the best video games ever made. The amount of Nintendo history stuffed into this package is astounding, as is the addicting and exciting gameplay, the sleepless nights of four-player multiplayer battles, and the exciting feeling that explodes in your stomach when "a new challenger approaches!"

There is no doubt in my mind that Melee is single-handedly responsible for quite a bit of the GameCube sales. I know I bought Nintendo's little purple box for this masterpiece--this absolute classic of gaming perfection. Even today Super Smash Bros. Melee is one of the most celebrated games of all time, just like it was responsible for consumers pulling GameCubes off the shelves, it will also be responsible for GameCubes still being plugged into TVs for many years to come (and it’s already been out for nine years).

So, grab three friends, four oddly-shaped GameCube controllers, and have Link shoot Mario in the face with an arrow. A word of warning: you won’t want to put this game down." -- Written by horror_spooky (originally nominated by StarWolf22)

"I was first introduced to Pokemon when I got Red and Blue as presents for my 8th birthday. I, like many gamers, fell in love immediately. The one aspect of these games that I find really made them amazing is the huge amount of replay value they offer; there are 151 Pokemon to choose from to form a team of six. That leaves literally millions of ways to comprise your team, which resulted in countless playthroughs for myself and, I would assume, many others, trying out all of the different Pokemon. I’ve played through them so many times, in fact, that numerous game content has become engraved in my brain, ranging from knowing where every Pokemon can be found and which ones are version-exclusive, to knowing that TM 12, Watergun, is found to the immediate left as soon as you enter Mt. Moon. Another aspect that makes this series great is the cross-game trading and battling, and the fact that each generation is released as two (or more) separate games. Yes, the latter may be a way to squeeze money out of people, but I feel as if it strengthened the experience; it made catching all 151 Pokemon require that either you had both games, or, more commonly, that you had friends who also played. This made the gameplay extend beyond the game itself, as you connected with your friends, whether it be to trade version-exclusive Pokemon, evolve Pokemon, or see who’s the greatest trainer. I never got into the tournament scene, but, after four generations, a trading card game, 4 animes, 13 movies, and countless spin-off games, I, along with many others, still play Pokemon to this day, and will continue to play it for years to come." -- Written by And Man

"97.48%. That percentage represents the highest rated game of all time…one of the most influential, important, and simply greatest game in the history of the industry. A whole generation of video games has gone by, and this current one is nearing the end of its life, and yet, no game has yet to topple The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time from its place as the most critically acclaimed video game in history.

The classic gameplay blends the features and mechanics that made Zelda so popular during its debut on the NES in the 80s with new gameplay ideals and the result is gaming perfection. The visuals are beautiful and full of charm, making Hyrule one of the most memorable locations ever. From the classically catchy Zelda tunes to the pure joy in abusing chickens and having them maliciously swarm you like a feathery gang, Ocarina of Time isn’t just a game, it’s an experience. And it’s one that every gamer should enjoy." -- Written by horror_spooky (originally nominated by magus22)

"It was 1995. Doom and Quake were dominating professional gaming (a still budding industry at the time), and Sega and Nintendo were rearing their heads. People were excited. Very excited. Then, at E3 1996, Starcraft made a debut. "Ugh", came the responses. "Warcraft in space?" Blizzard listened, and on 31st March, 1998, a whole new Starcraft was released to the public. As all of you very well know, not many said "ugh" to that one. Starcraft was the first popular real-time strategy game (possibly the first ever) to feature differing build trees for the different races offered. Each unit within a race is unique to said race, and each race requires a differing tactic to succeed. Starcraft influenced and introduced the principles which have made other real-time strategy series so successful, including Age of Empires, Total War, and dozens of others which don't immediately spring to mind, but use principles introduced here anyway.

For further proof that Starcraft was revolutionary, just look at the statistics. The entire nation of South Korea is obsessed with it, with world championships and an entire TV channel dedicated to nothing but Starcraft. Players like Jaedong and Flash have made fortunes off of victories in a game that is 12 years old. 180,000 people in the US still play a game that is 12 years old. Some of you reading this list still play a game that is 12 years old. Starcraft has a sequel which was recently released. People still play this game. Blizzard made a mint. Successful? Indeed." -- Written by Seefu Sefirosu (originally nominated by magus22)

"I have always been an avid fan of the Final Fantasy series. Currently, I've played and beat a total of fifteen titles. But, when one is asked what their favorite number of a series is, they are often conflicted with what to choose. For me, the choice will always be obvious: Final Fantasy IX. To me, this title is the epitome of what a true Final Fantasy should have. No other Final Fantasy had character development that could rival Vivi's, an antagonist as evil and powerful as Kuja, or as finely tuned of a story. The themes and plot developments throughout the game are tied perfectly together as Nobuo Uematsu creates his finest soundtrack.

The story follows the bandit Zidane, a member of the group Tantalus. What starts as a simple kidnapping of the beautiful Princess Garnet turns disaster when his airship is shot down during the escape. Following the event, Zidane and his crew are immediately thrown into the disparities of national turmoil, war, conquest, doubt, and love. All of these elements are strung together to create the most breath-taking video game that anyone could ever dream of. Offering a huge amount of replay value, this video game certainly has the elements necessary to survive for generations." -- Written by Major_Marth (originally nominated by kliqlMB)

"I stepped outside of Vault 101 for the first time and was blinded by the overwhelming brightness of the sun. As my blurred vision returned to normal, I was able to see the destroyed landscape that surrounded for miles. The ruins of obliterated buildings lay on the ground everywhere, and the world was an uninviting, grim place. Still, I trudged on to Megaton and began my adventure in the Capital Wasteland.

This moment in Fallout 3 is one of my most memorable gaming experiences ever. The game's atmosphere is just so amazing, and the world is so brilliantly realized and well-done that it's hard not to get lost in it. I have dumped well over one hundred hours into Fallout 3, and for good reason. It's one of the most addicting, engrossing video games released not only in this generation, but of all time. It reinvented the Fallout franchise and is quite simply one of the best games ever. Period." -- Written by horror_spooky (originally nominated by And Man)

Method: First, the board was solicited for a list of nominees. Each user was allowed to submit up to ten games for the nominations list. The purpose of the nominations list was two-fold: first of all, to give users a chance to nominate games they would like to write for if they won (nominators were given 'first dibs' on write-ups), and secondly, to have a public list of potential games. The second is to guard against a voter suggesting a game late that many previous voters would've voted for had they thought of it.

Then, the games (114 total) were entered in a large week-long poll. Users were allowed to vote for up to four games. As was the case with four of the boards in this batch, one round was not sufficient to get a list of 'finalists', and thus, an intermediate round of voting was conducted where users could vote for two additional games besides their initial votes.

Then, the top vote-getters from that round (26 total) were entered into a final poll, where users were allowed to vote for up to three games. The totals from the second round of voting were added to the totals from the first round of voting. With that, the Top 12 games were announced and write-ups were solicited.

Full Results: 26 total games made the final voting round. The rest are, in finishing order:
Chrono Trigger, Halo: Combat Evolved, Super Mario 64, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Dwarf Fortress, LittleBigPlanet, Resident Evil 4, Eternal Sonata, Gran Turismo, Harvest Moon 64, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Star Ocean 2: Second Story, Super Mario Bros.

DDJ's Brief Analysis: Fallout 3 is the 11th different #1 game we've had in this process, and it is also the newest by a pretty good range -- the next newest would be Tales of Symphonia and Psychonauts. Uncharted 2 and World of Warcraft contribute also to the board's more recent skew, but aside from those three the board is dominated by older Nintendo games, with six of the twelve being ten-year-old Nintendo games. The appearance of World of Warcraft is notable as the key example of a game that's high-selling, highly-acclaimed, but rarely appears on these lists. And it appears that once the Chrono Trigger streak were broken, it couldn't come back -- it ranks 13th in both this and the next list.

List by DDJ

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