The 3DO Edition of the Totes Mathematical Top Ten Game List for Every Console Ever!

Dear lord, what a mess of a system I am bringing you today. No really. This system is a god damned blueprint in how to fail at making a video game console.

Two things before we begin.

1: There actually were very good games for the 3DO. That’s coming soon

2: I am super into the history part of the article. Everyone likes looking at, or in this case, reading about, a car crash. So let’s get into it! Behold!

3DO-Goldstar

That doesn’t look bad at all! In fact…

3DO-panasonic

Wait. What’s this?

3DO-Sanyo

Stop showing me different systems!

3DO All

I’m not. Those are all the 3DO.

Wat

Stick with me everyone. You think I’m crazy, but my story gets better. At the very least they all had the same logo. Behold!..Again…

We're Here To Play

We’re Here To Play

The 3DO
Released: 1993
Generation of Home Consoles: Fifth
Color Depth: 32 Bit
Rating: An interesting yet utter failure.

So in 1991, the founder of EA, (because of course there’s a connection there) Trip Hawkins (Because of course the founder of EA is named Trip) started the 3DO company with the very best of intentions. (Road to hell and whatnot.) The idea was to create a next generation gaming system while taking as little risk as possible. (Stay true to your roots EA founder.)

This occurred because there wasn’t a lot that the 3DO Company had in the first place. They had the schematics for a framework, but very little in the way of manufacturing capabilities. “No matter!” they said. “We’ll just give the specs to every tech company and they’ll pay us a few bucks on every system they sell! We’ll be super rich! We’ll also let anyone make games and we’ll just charge them 3 bucks per game sold. Way less than Nintendo or Sega, and we’ll be superer richer!”

With that plan in place, they drew some specs on a napkin and shopped them around. To everyone. Sega and Nintendo took a look at the price point it would cost to manufacture the thing and passed. Which should have been a red flag, but the 3DO team was not deterred. Panasonic, Goldstar, and Sanyo all agreed to make versions of the system and actually produced some. But that’s not all! While it never got to market, Samsung, Toshiba, and even AT&T made prototypes. Which all looked super different. This muddled the market a bit.

In addition to that, in order to make a profit with the licensing deal, the systems got very expensive. $599 to $699 ($1,000 to $1,200 or so with inflation) in order to sell the thing and turn a profit because the Samsungs and the Sanyos weren’t getting a cut of the games and this was, to be fair, very high end hardware. So muddled market plus a huge god damned entry fee.

While all of this was happening, the design team at the 3DO company kept making updates to the system software. But this was before high speed internet was a regular thing. So unlike the Wii-U, which could just do a 15 hour download when you plugged it in, 3DO had to keep sending actual software updates to the MANY companies who were making the systems. Which meant delays in the systems. So muddled market, huge god damned entry fee, and delays.

Then the company announced that it was working on the successor, like…before the system was really out. But don’t worry! It would be backwards compatible with your defunct before it’s on store shelves console! Which. We’re getting into “All the Flags” territory here.

And we’re not done. After the release of the 3 main systems, the price started dropping due to lack of sales (natch.) But not equally among every company who produced the system (Also natch.) So now you had an even more muddled already muddled market, you had a huge entry fee which seemed to be fluxuating, you had delays, you had no reason to buy it if a new one was coming out soon, and…AND, you had as your competition, very competent video game companies who controlled 98% of the market…And they all had your system specs. Because you gave said specs to said competitors.

Oh and just for fun there was only one controller slot. Now you COULD have eight players for certain games, but how it worked was that the controller for player two would be plugged into the back of the first controller, and the third controller into the back of the second. Daisy chained up to eight people. I literally can’t even with this system.

I could continue, but I’m going to end it here. I haven’t even discussed all of the problems (Which doesn’t seem possible, yet here we are.)

Trip Hawkins?

Least you tried

Anyway, despite the 3DO being a comedy of errors, the games were usually gorgeous. They were often frame perfect copies of the arcade or PC versions which, to be fair, had never been done to that point. So let’s hop in, shall we?

10. Road Rash. 1994. (EA)Road Rash
Although the series started on the Genesis in 1991, like a number of other games on this list, EA updated and ported their prior version for use on the 3DO and then the other CD-based platforms. One of the rare games in what I’m going to just call the motorcycle combat genre, the game was a staple among a certain type of player for a good long while. GTA filled the niche but Road Rash was an important step along the way. It looked good and you got to beat on your fellow racers with baseball bats and maces and the occasional swift kick. Fun times for all!

9. Trip’d. 1994. (WARP/Panasonic)Tripd_USEU_5
It’s hard to go wrong with falling blocks games. You just need a gimmick. Trip’d’s gimmick was people who liked drugs I think? The gameplay was very similar to Super Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo, but instead of gems you had tiny mutants which, when connected, could turn into bigger mutant blocks and then you could destroy the bigger mutants for more points. There were lots of eyeballs and mysterious demons to trip you up. When you lost, a giant skull came out and barfed goo on you while the demon tree in the middle laughed. Weird game, but pretty, and again, it’s hard to go wrong with a good falling block game.

8. Super Street Fighter II Turbo 1994 (Capcom)Street Fighter 2 Turbo
Well it was bound to get on a list at some point! Street Fighter II Turbo was the culmination of a lot of trial, error, refinement, and a LOT of quarters. Now nobody is saying that the arcade game wasn’t a success and in fact the game sold well on fourth generation systems, but this was the first time that you could actually play an almost frame perfect port of the game at home. The SNES and Genesis versions of Street Fighter were good, but never the best that the respective system had to offer. Only on the 3DO could you actually get a true arcade experience. Now it’s common place but at the time? Whether or not you wanted to spend 700 bucks for the system to do that is another question, but if you did, this game was an awesome version to own. Y’all know what Street Fighter is. For the first time you could truly play it at home.

7. The Need for Speed. 1994. (Pioneer Productions/EA Canada)Need for Speed
Fun little racing game and a 3DO original, which is not something that happened all that often with the system, unless EA was making the game of course. (Or EA Canada in this case.) EA teamed up with the magazine Road and Track to really try and put as much realism into the available cars as possible. It wasn’t as successful as Gran Turismo for the Playstation, (Though almost nothing is.) but it was still very successful. The game featured a number of racetracks, including just regular roads where cops were waiting for you. The selection of cars was actually unheard of at the time and it was designed with car buffs in mind. The lack of two player racing was a bit of a drag for the 3DO, but the graphics and gameplay were solid.

6. D. 1995. (WARP)D
Described as a psychological horror puzzle adventure game…eesh…D was the first entry into the D series of games which stretched across a few consoles. You play as Laura Harris as she investigates a hospital subsequent to her father’s mass murdering spree. The hospital then morphs into a castle and you had to explore and solve the mass murder mystery. (WARP was a weird developer.) This game was good and featured a bunch of alternate endings, which was somewhat new at that time. But oh man. No pausing and no saving. You had to WANT to beat this game. It featured a LOT of graphic violence. The game meanders through violent flashbacks and horror scenes until you find your father and he’s all, “This is fine. This is the family tradition. Hooray for human flesh!” And hooray for horror games! This one was one of the very first and the legacy it left behind made a LOT of money.

5. John Madden Football. 1994. (EA)Madden
If you were wondering who to blame…Well, it’s easy to blame EA for a whole lot of things. But this here was the first. No year. Just John Madden Football and what was at the time the best representation of the game on a console. Truthfully, EA figured out a lot of what the series was going to be in the first one. The menus, the video highlights, the commentary of course. (Which is even funnier the further you go back. There was only so much space on the CD so they reused a LOT of dialog.) On a personal note, whenever I buy a new system, I usually buy the previous year’s game (A value at usually 8 bucks). I can always play a game of Madden. Everyone can jump into a game of Madden. It’s been the same game for 22 years. This was where it all began.

4. Wing Commander III. Heart of the Tiger. 1995. (Origin Systems)Wing Commander
Another game, another port. This time of the PC game of the same name. It’s Wing Commander 3, Starring Mark Hammil, John Rhys-Davies, and Malcolm McDowell! (Which…really? Wow. I’d watch that movie instead of the garbage fest that came out in theaters…which I only watched to see the trailer for Phantom Menace…The nineties, everyone.) In any case, Wing Commander was a series of PC games where you fly a space ship and blow up evil cat people. (Which…that’s believable to me. I think a race of cat people would be terrifying. I think they WOULD try to kill us all and eat us.) The previous two games were basic shoot em ups. This game really delved into the story of the war and had a lot of video content to flesh out the story. Origin was really going for the interactive movie experience and did a pretty good job for 1995. Solid game and as with almost everything on the 3DO, a very solid port.

3. Gex. 1995. (Crystal Dynamics)GEX
Part of my weighted system for ranking games is game sales. It was hard for the 3DO because despite the games, and for reasons listed above, nobody bought the damned things. However literally half of 3DO owners bought Gex. It was the best selling game of the system. They sold more than a million games on a system which barely scraped by two million console sales. There’s something to be said about a well crafted side scrolling platform game it seems. It also didn’t hurt that it was the pack in game for the Panasonic version of the 3DO, but that’s neither here nor there because it became a pack in game AFTER they hit a million units. It was awarded the best 3DO game of 1994 AND 1995, and Gex the Gecko was slated to be the 3DO version of Mario and Sonic. It didn’t work out that way exactly, but it was still a pretty great game which a LOT of people bought.

2. Wolfenstein 3D. 1995. (id Software)Wolfenstein
So this was actually a port of the SNES version but it was a major revamp of said version. In addition to improved graphics, they also stayed true to the roots of the game. Killing Nazis. Since you were killing all these Nazis and those guys are all awful, they brought back the German language and the swastikas. They also brought back the blood because if you’re going to kill Nazis, you should do it properly. Wolfenstein was a very early but insanely important 3D shooter which was both a critical and commercial success. Without Wolfenstein there would be no Doom, there’d be no Quake, no Unreal Tournament. I mean. Actually the FPS genre would have happened at some point, but this game let everyone know that the genre could be monetized which made a LOT of people jump on board and start one of the most profitable game genres in video game history. Good for your id Software. Gold star and the number 2 slot for you.

And this brings us to…!

1. Fifa International Soccer. 1992. (Extended Play Productions)

FIFA

Fifa International Soccer! (And then a bunch of people who are into the 3DO are like…Where’s Star Control 2?! And the answer to that is that it’s at the 11 slot. Because it didn’t get great reviews. I talked to this high school friend of mine? And he was like. Why no Star Control 2?! And I was like…Dude. Put one review with a ranking online and I’ll add it to the aggregate score. Maybe it can slip up one slot into the list. And he ranked it a B. Which is what everyone did. So that’s at 11.)

Anyway it’s FIFA! The wildly corrupt soccer association brought to your living room! Now what you have to remember here is that in the U.S., people are sort of meh about soccer. Now personally, I used to live in Belgium and loved going to matches. I watch the World and Euro cups. I support Everton FC in the EPL for some reason. (Because seriously. Screw Liverpool) But I’m a slight anomaly here. In the rest of the world, soccer matters. More than almost anything. And this was, at the time, the finest soccer video game that had EVER been released. From a gameplay, game physics, and graphical representational point of view.

According to the world at large, it was, without a shadow of a doubt (And without any person in the world saying otherwise), the most realistic version of soccer to hit TV since actual soccer and there is, apparently, a LOT of nostalgia for this thing. As such the ratings for this were far and away above everything else on the 3DO and so here it is. Number 1. FIFA.

Hope you enjoyed the 3DO article! Did I leave something out! Tell me in the comments and as always, stay inside, play games, share this article and enjoy! Or if you’re mad that I left Alone in the Dark 2 off the list, tweet me @Whentheicebreak and let me know all about it.

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Philippe L.

About Philippe L.

When not out exploring the stars with his good friend Hotblack Desiato, he makes his living here on Earth keeping other people’s money safe from the hands of thieves and spinning the occasional yarn.

He enjoys beer and coffee very much, but unfortunately he can’t eat shellfish or tomatoes.

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