1. Hunter X Hunter (2011)
5. Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu
6. Ping Pong The Animation
7. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
9. Berserk (1997)
10. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
14. Run With The Wind
15. Mawaru Penguindrum
16. Sangatsu no Lion
17. Rurouni Kenshin: Trust and Betrayal (Tsuioku-hen)
18. Houseki no Kuni
19. Death Note
21. Durarara!! (Season 1)
22. Kuroko no Basket
23. Kaguya-Sama: Love Is War
24. Kekkai Sensen
25. Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
My Favourite Anime Antagonists:
My Favourite Anime Protagonists:
My Top 30 Favourite Video Games:
1. Xenoblade Chronicles - Poor graphics at times with some lame sidequests, but regardless it is the greatest game of all time for me. Witty, strange eccentricity defines the little moments of the epic narrative. A story that sprawls and covers many topics with great pacing, amazing characters/development and one of the most unique, integrative, interconnected and beautiful settings I have ever seen. Phenomenal hype and cutscene direction, stunning soundtrack, moments of absolute brilliance, and a battle system with so much depth, nuance and replayability that it boggles the mind. I don't know if any game will ever top this one.
2. The Witcher 3 - Mindnumbingly amazing. The best story-driven RPG ever made. Beautiful graphics and audiovisual direction, an immersive OST, decent enough combat - but the characters, voice acting and story are where the magic happens. A main quest filled to the brim with moral ambiguity, darkness and intrigue captured by several great story beats. And this game has sidequests whose story would put most other games to shame. Masterpiece, no doubt.
3. Chrono Trigger - A legendary classic in every sense of the word. Characters, aesthetics, plot, atmosphere, setting, little touches, music - Chrono Trigger has it all. Decades ahead of its time.
4. Final Fantasy IX - A tapestry, a majestic work of art in game form. The best FF world, and the best method of theme communication in the series, with every major character arc contributing to the themes of identity, the beauty of living and the value of affection. Beautiful game with legendary, tearjerking moments and absolutely beautiful characters.
5. Final Fantasy VI - The ultimate character piece with a brilliant cast and a wonderful villain, the thematic antithesis who was everything the story needed him to be and more. It's all poetically executed to demonstrate the narrative's messages about the importance of human connection and it comes together beautifully in the end.
6. Paper Mario - Simplistic and base, but pure fun. Smart writing, deceptively good world-building and just a great time overall. The aesthetic, music and gameplay all combined to make this one of the games of my childhood and I love returning to it again and again. It isn't just nostalgia speaking, either - each chapter has it's own charm and style, and it combines for a finished product better than the sum of it's parts. It's got this indescribably, ethereal spiritual aura about it at times that is among my favourite uses of tone in any medium. Amazing music as well.
7. Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door - Literally a textbook example for making a quality sequel. Contributed innovation, flair, cleverness and spice to the complexion of the series. Added to the gameplay, expanded the world brilliantly and added darkness and a bit more to the plot, but kept the clever writing, charming art and core gameplay that made the original special.
8. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess - Comfortably the best Zelda for me. The most expansive and interesting Hyrule other than BotW, the most cinematic presentation and the best story, accentuated by two of the series' best characters in Midna and Zant. The final battle is legendary, and easily the best Ganondorf fight in the series. It is very poetic in approach as well. "Tell me.. do you ever feel a strange sadness as dusk falls?" A true classic.
*See my analysis for it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivDNcnNosfU
9. Dragon Age Origins - Remains to this day as the benchmark in video game decision making. Your choices here truly influence everything, from your character relationships to the fate of the world. The characterization and character depth in this game has not been bettered by anything I have played, the world and lore is multilayered as hell, and the story is great. Using a natural force in the darkspawn to display the nuances of humanity, it has such a richness in thematic presentation and execution. It was also the best voice acting of its time by far. So good.
10. Bioshock - Immersive and integrative storytelling at it's finest. Near perfection narratively - dense with well-executed themes, societal commentary and an iconic twist to boot. Aesthetics are beautiful, atmosphere is sublime and Rapture remains one of the greatest video game settings ever. Uses the medium very well.
11. Persona 5 - A masterstroke in presentation and style, with a great cast, empowering themes, amazing music and an engaging, weaving narrative. An amazing, endearing experience throughout despite some suspect writing throughout. Pure fun and engagement.
12. Pokemon Gold/Silver/Crystal (+HG/SS) - Not only were these games ahead of their time in terms of design, but.. Nostalgia. Music, locales, world-building - it all entranced me as a kid and still captures my imagination to this day. Johto is a special region in terms of atmosphere, topography, lore and culture.
13. Animal Crossing - The most nostalgia-inducing and comforting game ever. I adore everything about this; nearly every design choice, piece of music and aesthetic characteristic. I can't thank it enough for making a good portion of my childhood so magical.
14. Nier: Automata - An extremely eccentric masterstroke that uses the medium to it's fullest to tell a story all about the human condition. An amazing experience with tremendous music and an extremely profound use of the medium to give us a glimpse into Yoko Taro's philosophies. Beautiful.
*See my analysis for it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wruUZ9Gc9Go&t=456s
15. P.T. - The most terrifying thing I have ever played. A masterpiece in ever sense of the word when it comes to minimalistic, subtle psychological horror in video game form. It's a travesty that this project was cancelled.
16. Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords - The best Star Wars story. Kreia is a marvel. Takes the Star Wars universe and explores it in the most imaginative ways possible. Just brilliant.
17. The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask - A super innovative story experience that masterfully captures a malevolent atmosphere. Stunning conclusion and arguably the best Zelda story in the series along with Twilight Princess. The sidequests are stunning and all feed into the main theme.
18. Final Fantasy VII - The big one. A masterpiece in peeling back layers of character psyche to slowly unravel a mystery. I have nitpicks about the total experience but the presentation of the plot is the star here and more than compensates for the flaws. Can't wait for the remake.
19. Final Fantasy X - Despite weak presentation at times, an exceptional story about humanity's tragic tendency to condition oneself, societal rebuild, dogma, cyclical tragedy and what perspective and a fresh mindset can truly do to influence change. Explores the effects of enduring tragedy very well. Rich with themes that come to a head in a tearjerking conclusion.
*See my video for it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mtDZ4tujsig&t=78s
20. Bloodborne - An amazing integrative experience. Uses the medium fully to it's advantage to create a subtle and intricate narrative and world with thrilling Lovecraftian overtones. A beautiful mix of cosmic and gothic horror that form one of the best atmospheres I've ever been immersed in. Loved it.
21. The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings - An incredibly rich narrative, dripping with dark themes, politics and that classic Witcher take on humanity. If Witcher 3 displays the effects of war from the perspective of the people, this one shows it from the perspective of those in power. Very dreary but so effective.
22. Fire Emblem: Awakening - An all-around awesome strategy RPG experience. Story was really quite good, some characters were endearing and replayability is through the roof.
23. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - Captures a pristine sense of comfy wanderlust through it's beautiful world, music and aesthetics. A lonely fire in a dense wood.. The silent beauty of a snowstorm.. The distant invitation of a warm stable offering respite in a rainstorm.. The settlements dripping with culture.. BotW knocks this sort of thing out of the park. Although I wasn't a big fan of certain gameplay and design choices, what this game does with exploration, visuals and immersion alone gives it a special place in my heart.
24. Pokemon Diamond/Pearl/Platinum - Love Sinnoh, love the atmosphere, love the music, have tons of nostalgia for this. Sinnoh is brilliant, with such a cohesive sense of lore, culture, geography, visuals, and music that ties it all together.
25. Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald/ORAS - My second favourite region along with Sinnoh. I spent more hours with this game than almost any other in my life, along with Animal Crossing and Gen II. It's just pure fun and I love nearly everything about it. Hoenn is an extremely unique, fresh, variable and creative region, and a joy to explore. And it doesn't have too much water.
26. Final Fantasy IV - The benchmark for many of the JRPGs that come after it. It has some very strange story decisions and it isn't the most thought provoking work, but the characters are what make it. Cecil and Kain in particular are a fantastic duo that display the idealism and realism of man, and how we can approach our inner darkness.
27. Mother 3 - A strange and quirky yet emotionally charged sprawling story with plenty of endearing characters.
28. Persona 4 - Great gameplay with awesome characters. A more conventional and smaller story but the narrative flow is very good and the character interactions are top class. The themes associated with Personas this time around integrate beautifully with the closeness of the cast.
29. Super Mario Sunshine - Tons of fun. My favourite Mario platformer due mainly to it's vibrant and awesome world. Isle Delfino is creative and gorgeous, and the music is great.
30. Super Paper Mario - A delight. Brimming with narrative creativity, innovation, wit, sharp writing, memorable and good characters, and is the best Mario plot. Plays around with the medium and flashes a wink at the fourth wall. Very meta. Count Bleck and Dimentio are both fantastic.
31. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening - The most unique, and arguably one of the most sentimental Zeldas. Covers some surprisingly deep philosophical concepts (dreams, reality, existence and illusion) while being very fun to play. Great atmosphere, does so much with so little.
32. Final Fantasy XII - Incredibly deep and brilliant conceptually. I don't have too much of an emotional connection to this one due to a bit of a lesser internalized character focus, but I adore thinking about and reflecting on this game. Some of the best world-building and setting design in gaming, some truly engaging political exploration, a well-rounded cast of characters (Basch, Rosler, Balthier) lead by the wonderful Ashe, and a great politician antagonist in Vayne. Not without its problems (truncated final act and boring dungeon design, Vaan is lacking, etc) but it captures the imagination.
33. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim/The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion - Severely flawed games that I adore getting lost in. Without the bugs and jank I wouldn't love them as much as I do. Bethesda's main strength is creating an immersive fantasy world and building the setting and lore, and it shows here. Beautiful, gorgeous landscapes.
My Favourite Movies:
An explanation of my scores:
10/10: Along with obviously being great, it has to resonate with me deeply on an emotional and almost transcendent level. Something "clicks" in my brain during or after watching a show that lets me know that it was a 10. These shows are not perfect, but they were perfect for me and will always hold a special place in my heart. In most cases I'd rather rewatch these than look for new stuff to watch.
9/10: Absolutely amazing shows that I adore. Great ideas, brilliant execution. One or two elements stopped it from "clicking" for it to become a 10 but anything with this score is likely a favourite of mine. I'd rewatch these without a doubt.
8/10: Great shows that I have very few grievances with. Probably didn't connect with me much or had some debilitating characteristics but still super impressive. Most of these are very memorable and I wouldn't mind rewatching most of them.
7/10: Very solid anime that had a notable amount of flaws or things that I didn't like, but in which the parts I enjoyed vastly outweighed the bad. I'm definitely glad that I watched these but they don't stick out much in my mind and I don't think about them often. At this score I usually wouldn't rewatch anything.
6/10: Usually limited, messy, or disengaging in some way but I still generally enjoyed it. This is the score where the shows are split between stuff I'm glad I watched and stuff I wish I skipped out on. Still a net positive.
5/10: Basically neutral. Not good, not bad. Usually boring, or held back by a lot of problems. In the majority of cases I wish I hadn't watched these.
4/10: Actively bad shows with a lot of elements that I disliked, but with some redeeming qualities. Not disgraceful or anything.
3/10: Generally terrible. One or two decent elements or ideas but nothing that comes close to salvaging it. Or maybe it was okay and I just hated the type of narrative it was.
2/10: Embarrassing. If I continued watching, it was only out of morbid fascination.
1/10: Nothing shows, with literally no value.
**Regarding my "Favourite Characters" list at the bottom - I have more than a hundred favourite anime characters, and I cycle through new ones from that pool every few weeks. So it should be noted that my favourite characters list is never in order and is never my actual top ten favourite characters - it's just 10 from my pool of 100+ favourites. I will always have Chrollo Lucilfer and Shaiapouf from HxH in there, however.**