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1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die Hardcover – October 26, 2010

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Editorial Reviews


"[This book] contains contributions by a handful of my favorite writers, so even though I haven't yet got a galley-glimpse of the finished product, I can just about guarantee it's going to be a good one. The book's already up for pre-order at Amazon, and, should you make your way chronologically through its list, probably will indeed just about last you all of your remaining years."

"Compiled by an international team of critics, 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die is a collection of chronologically-ordered games from the 70s to 2010."

About the Author

Tony Mott is the longtime editor-in-chief of Edge, the leading magazine review of the video game industry. With more than thirty years of experience, he draws on a wealth of expert and in-depth knowledge.

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Product Details

  • Series: 1001
  • Hardcover: 960 pages
  • Publisher: Universe (October 26, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789320908
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789320902
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 2.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,081 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 35 people found the following review helpful By meta Tron on January 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I've been a gamer since the early 1980's. It's a special hobby for me because video games (at least on a larger scale) came to be around the same time I was born, so it's something that I feel that has grown with me. With that said, I really, really like this book. Not only does it feature a large selection of classic and not-so-classic games across the entire spectrum of platforms (including arcade, home consoles, portables and PC) going back to the very beginning of video games, but also a very well-thought out and contemporary analytical view of each game. This is what elevates the book above other "lists" to me. The editors of Edge Magazine discuss each game in both a historical and a modern context that is very easy to relate to, all while making it a very informative and enjoyable book to read. Another nice aspect of the book is that most of the writers who assembled this book work out of the UK (a burgeoning gaming market), so it's nice to get a different perspective on these games and the industry rather than the usual American or Japanese angle. It is different and always interesting. As a bonus, most of the games in the book include a screen shot of the game, which is always nice to bring back those memories of the good old days.

Also, I think some people have been missing the point about this book's selections. This isn't necessarily a 1,001 "Best Games" book. There are obviously some very good games from across all the gaming generations that are not on here. Rather, this is a list that encompasses the entire spectrum of gaming...the important games that you should play if you want to have a complete picture of the history of video games from the 1970's through mid 2010. An example...
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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful By David on April 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover
The book should be re-titled 1001 MODERN Video Games You Must Play Before You Die. The games are listed in chronological order by year; 70s -10 games, 80s - 167 games, 90s - 253 games, 00s - 562 games, 10s - 9 games. The book was published in 2010 and there are more entries in 2008-2009 than the entire 80s, which clearly shows a focus on current titles. This is a slap in the face for all retro loving game fans. The use of a hardcover, high quality paper and a color screenshot for many games is a plus. I suggest checking this book out at the library first before buying to see if you like the content.
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38 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Crisler on October 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Or anyone looking for a balanced history of video games.

The book is a disappointment. It spends 155 pages on the 70's and 80's, about 240 on the 90's, and 600 on the 00's. This is like saying you should read all the Dean Koontz there is but pay scant attention to those Chaucer and Shakespeare guys. There are whole systems left out-- ColecoVision, Intellivision, Vectrex-- and others are barely mentioned. Did this book really need 4 Civilization games, 11 Final Fantasy games, 4 Call of Duty games, 5 Halo games, 12 Legend of Zelda games, 6 Resident Evil games, etc? They even have two different Bejeweled games. Couldn't it have lumped them in together and worked in some classic video games like Zaxxon, Crazy Climber, Star Castle, Pitfall, Scramble, Kaboom, Berserk, Rastan, Pole Position, and Popeye? Those are just a few off the top of my head that are missing in this stunningly disjointed collection of mostly poorly written reviews.

If you're interested in a long list of games that came out in the last ten years, especially the last few, this book is for you. Otherwise, not so much.
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58 of 80 people found the following review helpful By Melante on October 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This book really left me with very mixed feelings. It's a fantastic idea and it works great as a coffee table item but, overall, its actual execution left me disappointed.

The game reviews are written by several journalists and, when there are too many hands writing a book, a lack of consistency in style and quality becomes apparent. While most reviews are entertaining and some make you wish to really pick up a few old games that most people may have forgotten by now, the superficiality and lack of important information in others really left me appalled.

For example, take Atari's game Breakout. The review just quotes Nolan Bushnell as the one who came up with the original concept but completely forgets to mention that the actual game was designed by Steve Jobs and programmed by Steve Wozniak! This game is fundamental because it deeply influenced the whole computer industry as it inspired the development of the Apple II besides helping Jobs to kickstart Apple thanks to the thousands of dollar bonus he received from Atari! But all these important bits of information, which make the game unforgettable and worth playing today, are missing. Omissions like these are unforgivable, IMHO, and seriously compromise the value of the whole book.
But that's not all. While the selection of the actual 1001 titles is obviously subjective and I won't get into any debate on why they picked title X instead of Y, the book is obviously skewed towards very recent games: there are more than 100 entries from 2009 alone while there are only a few dozens from the classic days. Was 2009 the best creative year in the gaming industry? I doubt it.
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