Release Date: July 14, 1993 (JP)
Super Mario Bros. Great. Super Mario Bros. 2. Great. Super Mario Bros. 3. Great. Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels. Great. Four great games, one great cartridge. I don't think there ever had been or ever will be a compilation that can top this one in quality. Being able to re-play all of these games with 16-bit graphics, improved sound, and a save feature...I struggle to find a single flaw with this fantastic collection. In my opinion, this is the greatest compilation to ever be published...By far.
Release Date: June 12, 2012 (NA)
Developer: Armature Studio
While the Playstation Vita version of this compilation lacks Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker (Which is kind of weird. I'd imagine the handheld game would've made the compilation on the handheld system.) it still has two of my favorite games of all-time on it...And they're in high definition, with trophies, and I can play them whenever I want, wherever I want since they're in portable form. I really can't ask for more than that. That said, the games are just as fun as they were back when they came out. If you're a Metal Gear Solid fan and you've got a Vita, you need this compilation. Likewise, if you're new to the series, this is a great place to start.
I patiently waited for years for Konami to bring this fantastic collection to North America...And they never did. In the end, I had to import it to play it (it's not import friendly, by the way), but luckily I played both Suikoden and Suikoden II so many times that despite the language barrier, I knew what I was doing. That said, if you're okay with a ton of Japanese text, this is a must-buy compilation for the PSP if you're an RPG fan. Having two opportunities to find the 108 Stars of Destiny (that's like 216 Stars of Destiny, people), on the go, is a dream come true for Suikoden fans, like myself.
Release Date: November 28, 2002 (JP)
This nifty compilation of Ocarina of Time and the more difficult Master Quest was given away as a freebie for anyone who reserved Wind Waker. As a new Gamecube owner, I jumped on the opportunity to get a free game in the collection. I'm glad I did. Having Ocarina of Time on the disk is great in itself...But having the Master Quest version on the disk as well, which changes up the dungeons, making them more challenging, is like adding frosting to that delicious cake known as satisfaction. If you've beaten Ocarina of Time countless times, getting this and playing Master Quest might be worth obtaining a Gamecube for alone.
Release Date: November 17, 2009 (NA)
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developer: Bluepoint Games
The first two God of War games were two of the best games put out for the Playstation 2, so it's only natural that when you put them together, you've got one of the must-buy titles on the Playstation 3. These HD remakes look better than their PS2 counterparts, but play just as great as they did a few years ago when they first came out.
Release Date: June 22, 2004 (NA)
Developer: Atomic Planet Entertainment
Mega Man: Anniversary Collection has all 8 (at the time) Mega Man games that had been released in one disk, along with the two Mega Man arcade fighters - Mega Man Power Battle and Mega Man Power Fighters. I've noticed most folks have one of two reactions to this compilation...One is absolutely loving it, and playing through until they've mastered each game. The other is immediate frustration and hatred to the games for being "too hard." A little patience goes a long way in these titles. Learning the level layouts and enemy patterns is essential to making it to the end. Without that, you'll likely end up using language that would make sailors blush directed towards the game. Personally, I love these games and having them all on one fancy little disk makes my heart glow.
Release Date: November 10, 2002 (NA)
Developer: Sonic Team
Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine alone was enough to make me want to purchase this title. Toss in the first three Sonic games and a few other goodies and you've got a compilation that for its time couldn't be matched. This compilation was an upgrade from the Saturn's Sonic Jam, which was in itself a great compilation. The oddest part was that it was a Sonic compilation on a Nintendo system...I still remember seeing the Nintendo Seal of Quality by Sonic's foot and thinking how weird that looked. Sega has since released compilations better than this one, but if you want mostly Sonic games, this isn't a bad choice to go with.
Release Date: June 20, 1997 (JP)
Developer: Sonic Team
Sonic Jam is a compilation of Sonic the Hedgehog 1, 2, 3, and Sonic & Knuckles. It also contains a neat little feature where you can roam around a 3D world as Sonic, which was supposedly to be the 3D Sonic game planned for the Saturn...And no, Sonic 3D Blast doesn't count. But anyway, as far as compilations go, I think I'd place Sonic Jam in my top five personal favorites, as it's got four great, classic Sonic games in one handy, dandy little package.
Release Date: December 11, 2007 (NA)
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Much like the God of War Collection listed above, the Orange Box is easily one of the best video game compilations ever put out. With just Half-Life 2, this game would place high on this list. But also included is Team Fortress 2, a decently fun multiplayer game, and the first Portal game, which ultimately stole the attention from the other two games with its unique and very enjoyable action-based puzzle gameplay. As far as compilations go, there aren't many better than this one.
Street Fighter II Collection is a compilation of Street Fighter II, Street Fighter II Turbo, and Street Fighter II Special Edition...And they all play on the iPhone wonderfully, even with the touch controls. Like all touch control controllers, you're not going to get 100% accuracy with your attempted inputs, but from my time playing all three games, I can say that it's one of the most accurate touch controllers I've used in a fighting game yet. If you love the original Street Fighter II games and don't want any fancy graphics to go along with the gameplay, then Street Fighter II Collection is a fantastic addition to your iTunes gaming library.
Metal Slug Anthology is a compilation of one of my favorite game series - Metal Slug. As a result, it's also one of my favorite compilations of all-time. Containing Metal Slug 1-6 and Metal Slug X, each and every game in the compilation plays similarly....Simple, but fun. If you're unfamiliar with Metal Slug, think Contra with some comedy tossed in...Though, honestly, I prefer Metal Slug to Contra in just about every way.
TwinBee Portable is a compilation of the TwinBee games in one, convenient, portable package. For those unfamiliar with TwinBee, it's a scrolling shooter that's probably most known for the bell power-ups found in the game, which you can shoot to prevent them from exiting the screen, and in the process, you can volley it until it's the color for the specific power-up that you want. It transforms the game from being a simple shooter to a game where you're trying to juggle your attention between the power-ups and the enemies on screen, and this is a pack of the TwinBee series. If you're a fan of scrolling shooters, this is a worthwhile addition to your PSP library.
Raiden Legacy is a compilation of Raiden, Raiden Fighter, Raiden Fighters 2, and Raiden Fighters Jet - all of which are pretty dang fun vertical, scrolling shooters. If you haven't played a Raiden game before, then this is an excellent place to start. If you have played one before, then you'll likely enjoy the four of these games squeezed into one, tiny, downloadable package.
Release Date: November 18, 2012 (NA)
Nintendo Land is a compilation of mini games that shows off all the features of the Wii U, similar to how Wii Sports did the same for the original Wii. The games found within are varied in quality. Games like Pikmin Adventure, Balloon Trip Breeze, and Octopus Dance are pretty dang fun and addicting. Others, like Captain Falcon's Twister Race and Takamaru's Ninja Castle aren't horrible...But not all that fun, either. Playing games earns coins, which you can use to play another mini game to unlock items that range from ornaments to decorate the theme park to more interactive things like a music player or a switch to change the time of day at the park. As a whole, this is a worthwhile purchase. The good games make up for any stinkers and it'll help you familiarize yourself with what the Wii U can do.
Release Date: December 13, 2005 (NA)
Developer: Digital Eclipse
Midway Arcade Treasures is a compilation of various Midway arcade hits from early games like Joust to more modern ones like Mortal Kombat III. It's a nice range of various titles from various times and various genres, meaning there's likely at least a few titles here for everyone. That's not to say that every game in this compilation is an absolute winner, but there's more good than bad here, making it a decent game for folks who'd like a little nostalgia on the go.
Release Date: June 23, 2011 (JP)
Developer: Namco Bandai Games
While the two games exclusive to this compilation (Pac-Man Tilt and Galaga 3D Impact) both use the motion sensors of the 3DS to create an interesting experience, it's not necessarily a good experience. Luckily, this compilation also includes the original arcade versions of Pac-Man and Galaga as well as Pac-Man Championship Edition and Galaga Legions. The inclusion of those four great games helps offset the annoying, exclusive games and their motion controls. If you like Pac-Man and/or Galaga, this is a great compilation to pick up.
Release Date: June 30, 1997 (NA)
Developer: Digital Eclipse
If you like old, Atari arcade games then you'll like this compilation of 'em. Asteroids, Battlezone, Centipede, Missile Command, Super Breakout, and Tempest make up the gems found in this compilation. Personally, I could (and have) lose hours on Super Breakout, Centipede, and Tempest alone and the other games aren't slouches either. If you're a younger gamer and curious what young'uns plugged quarters into back when arcades were popular hangout spots, then give this compilation a try.
Release Date: May 30, 2008 (NA)
Genre: Compilation - Puzzle
Columns Deluxe should be a must-have compilation on the iPhone, with Columns and Puyo Pop included in the package, and it is good fun...When the controls work. The controls are done so sloppily in Columns Deluxe that it's absurdly easy to make moves that you didn't mean to make. That being said, if you can get used to the terrible controls, you'll make fewer mistakes, but you're never immune to them. If the control issues were taken care of, this would shoot up the list...But until then, it'll be down here.
Release Date: June 16, 2009 (NA)
Developer: Digital Leisure Inc.
I loved Mad Dog McCree when I was a kid. The corny acting in this live-action video game always made me chuckle. However, the gimmick of using real video back in the early 90's helped hide the poorer aspects of the games in the series as most folks were more focused at the technical achievement of an interactive video than they were at the actual gameplay, which wasn't exactly the best. This compilation really exposes that, as we're now in an age where in-game graphics can sometimes look very close to real-life, so poorly-acted video probably won't impress most folks quite as much as it once did. That being said, if you remember Mad Dog McCree from the days of old, this is a nice way to revisit them...Just don't expect the games to live up to the fond memories you may have for them....Except for the acting - that's still as wonderfully bad as it ever was.
Let's face it - A Mystique/Playaround compilation is almost certainly destined to be horrible. I thought it'd be mildly good with the mildly entertaining Beat 'Em & Eat 'Em as one of the two games here...But the other game is Lady in Wading...A game that was never released as a stand-alone game. In this game, you're a naked woman that has to build a bridge across a dangerous moat while avoiding various obstacles in order to get to the tower on the other side of the water, where a naked prince charming is waiting for you. Unnecessary adult theme aside, the concept sounds like it could be fun...But unfortunately, it's not. It's a case where the developers seemed more intent on putting naked people in the game (and adding in animations of the two having intercourse in the tower) than they were in creating something that was actually enjoyable to play.
Release Date: 1991 (NA)
Publisher: Active Enterprises
Developer: Active Enterprises
I have survived Action 52. I have played all 52 games and beaten quite a few of them. Heck, I played them all so much that I made videos for each and every game in the compilation...Why? Because I like pain. I'm too pretty to cut myself, so instead I play Action 52. Action 52 is a compilation of 52 games and nearly all of them are total abominations. There are some playable titles in the bunch, but not many. And for the record, the worst game that I think I've ever played, Hambo's Adventures, calls Action 52 its home. For more detailed thoughts on all 52 games (and the videos I mentioned), feel free to check out my giant Action 52 review...So big that Listal made me put it as two separate entries. CLICK HERE FOR PART ONE and CLICK HERE FOR PART TWO.
Like the "ranked by preference" lists I do for systems, I'm doing for genres now as well. The comments and such are the same as found in those lists, unless the comment(s) were list-specific, in which case, I wrote up a new little diddy for it.