Posted on June 18, 2008,

The Top Ten Greatest First Levels

The first level of a game can tell you so much about what you’re in for. In classic Metroid style, it even gives you a glimpse of your ultimate powers that you’ll play through the game to actually achieve, since they’re (in)conveniently taken away from you just as you’re done getting a taste.

With the spirit of the first level in mind, 61 Frames Per Second came up with a list entitled “The Ten Greatest Opening Levels in Gaming History.” (found via MTV Multiplayer) The Tanker chapter from Metal Gear Solid 2 is on there, which is very difficult to argue with, as it’s just a phenomenal example of what Metal Gear is all about.

Likewise, Mega Man X‘s Awakening Road (that would be the video above) shows off some classic Mega Man action before the franchise was literally milked to dehydration. That pesky boss brings back some bad memories though, as I have vivid memories of failing to kill it. About 300 memories vivid memories, to be more exact.

This is not your father’s Mega Man, says the opening stage of Mega Man X. Or it would, if it had a voice — but instead, it’s got a brutal snare roll leading into a heavy rock instrumental. It’s got a crumbling highway, complete with fleeing commuters (the latter of which ground the action in a more inhabited world than the NES Mega Man games ever featured.) And it ends with X almost getting scrapped by a mech-riding Boba Fett ripoff. Whatever our love for the classic Mega Man series, it never had this kind of drama

Check out the full list here.

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2 Comments on The Top Ten Greatest First Levels

ManOfTeal

On June 19, 2008 at 10:18 am

It’s all about the old school baby. Mega Man and Mega Man X were some of the most difficult and most fun games of my childhood.

Go Marlins!!!!

mooshimooshi

On June 19, 2008 at 5:25 pm

that music… those sound effects…. NOTHING will ever touch the perfection of the SNES. nothing.