Pix Ranks the Origin Games (10-1)


Origin historian Pix, inspired by this recent Spam Spam Spam Humbug podcast episode, has concluded his effort to rank every single Origin Systems game, from his least favourite to his most favourite. The last entry in this series of posts, ranking his top ten favourite Origin games, was published a few days ago…regrettably, it’s taken me until now to get around to posting about it.

In order, the 10th to 1st games are: Autoduel, Wing Commander 3, Ultima 6, Wing Commander 2, Martian Dreams, Privateer, Wing Commander 4, Ultima Underworld 2, System Shock, and Ultima Underworld 1. Regarding the game in the top spot, Pix had this to say:

It may not be a coincidence that my #1 game on the list is also the first Origin game I played. Playing UW1 was an experience unlike any other with its true 3D world making a huge impression on gamers like myself who were not used to 3D. I’d compare playing this in 1992 to anyone trying VR for the first time now. It really did feel like being there with the sudden switch to combat music making me jump out of my chair on numerous occasions if a denizen of the abyss had crept up on me. The music and visuals created an incredibly dark and foreboding atmosphere of the sort that I’ve only experienced since in games like Amnesia.

Beyond that, the dungeon was such a compelling place to explore with loads of inhabitants to meet (both hostile and friendly), a damsel to save and ultimately a demon to banish. Each level would bring something new and there were so many ways to approach the challenge. The simulation aspects that Looking Glass brought to this on top of the 3D visuals were the cherry on the cake. It’s ridiculous how advanced the game engine was compared to everything else on the market.

After days of traversing the abyss, there is a closing passage where the Slasher of Veils is banished and a breakneck run through the ethereal void with him breathing down your neck. It’s probably my favourite endgame of all time in what could well be my favourite game of all time. Looking back at this 30 years later, it would be impossible to play it with the same perspective but I have never been as immersed in any game before or since.

So…that concludes Pix’s ranking of the Origin games. He does not the irony in the fact that his top three games were only published — and not developed — by Origin, although at least it can be said that two of the three contributed significantly to the canon of one of Origin’s most beloved game series.