The greatest video games ever coincidentally comprise the table of contents of But Our Princess Is in Another Castle, or, “Are you going to let your emotional (video game) life be run by Time Magazine?”

Last week, TIME came out with its All-TIME 100 greatest video games.  Its overall author is listed as “TIME staff” and each individual game has a three-paragraph write-up by one of a handful of said staff.  Those summaries feature the journalistically piercing yet well-wrought sentences that TIME is known for, such as “Chup-chup-chup-chup-boop-boop!”.  There’s no methodology, no grand tract describing what does or does not make a “great” game, making this list as valuable as a broken PS2 controller, which is to say not very.  Still, if there’s anything people on the Internet love to do, it’s complain, which results in page after page of “wtf? why is x on here but not y“-level commentary, or this piece from Slate which calls the whole thing “insulting.”  TIME has anticipated this, allowing an up or down vote on any of the hundred entries to give an air of caring about what readers think.

But fret not, dear Internet friend.  I am happy to present you the definitive list of the most bestest and greatest video games ever:  the table of contents of my forthcoming book of prose poems inspired by video games, But Our Princess Is in Another Castle, due out in March from Rose Metal Press.  I’d much rather have people arguing about why my book includes the games it does.  TIME doesn’t love you, but I do.

* * *

THE STORY

Golden Axe

1. BEGINNING WORLD

Commander Keen

SimCity

Super Mario Bros.

Kid Icarus

Suite for TI-99/4A

Mega Man

Gauntlet

2. HEART WORLD

Donkey Kong

Ms. and Super Pac-Man

Asteroids

Double Dragon

Altered Beast

The Legend of Zelda

Rampage

3. MAP WORLD

The Oregon Trail

Pole Position

Journey

Sinistar

Astrosmash

Frogger

4. HEART WORLD

Qix

Don’t Go Alone

River Raid

Our Year in Atari

Bubble Bobble

Maniac Mansion

Excitebike

5. DO WORLD

The Incredible Machine

Mr. Do!

Elevator Action

Space Invaders

Dig Dug

Where in the Retirement Home Is Carmen Sandiego?

6. MIND WORLD

Loom

Perfect Dark

Rad Racer

Marble Madness

Ice Climber

Doom

The Secret of Monkey Island

7. DARK WORLD

Pac-Man

Q*bert

Grim Fandango

King’s Quest

Smash TV

Tempest (by way of Worms)

Joust

8. LIGHT WORLD

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

God Plays Tetris

Breakout

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

Psalm: GoldenEye 007

Shark! Shark!

GAME OVER

Congratulations, Enter Your Initials

* * *

(Oh, and that’s an Allen Ginsberg reference in the header, in case you missed it.  He loves you, too.)

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