Great Video Games: And the winner is…

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers

First Place

In what was admittedly a surprise, “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” for the Sega Genesis won the title for the “Greatest Game” in our online poll.

The results were overwhelming, with “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” receiving 26.3 percent of the overall votes — more that 11 percent higher than second place and almost a full 20 percent higher than third place.

The game, which was added to our “Great Video Game” list by San Antonio graduate student Farzeen Dhalla, was released in several different forms over several different consoles, including SNES, Sega CD, Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, Game Boy and the Sega Game Gear. Perhaps the wide range of consoles that the game was released for helped to contributed to its success (and ultimately, its victory) in our online poll.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Second Place

“The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time,” the game probably expected by most to win the title, ended up in second place with 15.1 percent of the votes.

Outside of “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers,” “Ocarina of Time” was well-ahead of the rest of the competition, with over twice the amount of votes that the third place “Halo” received in the poll.

Critically acclaimed and financially successful, the appearance of “Ocarina of Time” in the top three is hardly a surprise. The only real surprise here is that it didn’t take first.

Halo: Combat Evolved

Third Place

“Halo: Combat Evolved” earned the third place spot in the Lariat’s online poll and this is hardly a surprise, given that “Halo” is one of the best-selling games of all time and also one of the most critically well-received.

Generally regarded as having redefined the first-person shooter genre on consoles, “Halo: Combat Evolved” spawned an entire franchise of successful games, including “Halo 2,” “Halo 3,” “Halo: Reach” and “Halo Wars.”

Other winners include…

Best Character

Link is the lead and only major playable character in “The Legend of Zelda” and its sequel, “Ocarina of Time.” Link has also appeared in all three of the games in the “Super Smash Bros.” series.

Yoshi is the only character on to appear as a playable character in six games on the list (“Yoshi’s Story,” “Mario Kart 64,” all of the “Super Smash Bros.” games and super remakes of “Super Mario 64”) and so he clearly wins the title of “Best Character” based on the submissions received.

Arguably the most famous gaming character ever, Mario is in “Super Mario 64” and is also a playable character in “Mario Kart 64” and the “Super Smash Bros.” series.

Most Disappointing

Star Wars: Episode I Racer

Star Wars: Episode I Racer
Despite critical acclaim and enough financial success to spawn a sequel for PlayStation 2 — and even use in academic studies — “Star Wars: Episode I Racer” received zero votes in our online poll. Even the “Star Wars” franchise lost to “Power Rangers.”

XGIII: Extreme G Racing
Much like “Star Wars: Episode I Racer,” “XGIII: Extreme G Racing” was a critically well-received science-fiction racer that led to even more sequels (“XGIII” was itself a sequel) and yet it received no votes in our online poll. This was not the finest day for “XGIII.”

The Genre Definers

Somewhat surprisingly, “Tetris” was the only puzzle game to get added to the “Great Video Game” list over the course of the year. Maybe this is just because “Tetris” is so clearly the greatest puzzle game of all-time — it’s certainly one of the best selling ever. Regardless, the impact of “Tetris” on the puzzle genre cannot be overstated given that, at least in this poll, nothing else even came close.

Star Fox 64
“Star Fox 64” has elements of so many genres — and has shaped so many others — that it’s hard to even place it within a single genre. The best label we could come up with at the Lariat was “Piloting” but even that seems too limiting given that it has elements of shooters and racers.