The PC Gamer Top 100 has been an annual feature of this magazine for more than a decade now - I've been personally involved in eight of them. But I'm not sure if we've ever really explained what it is, and why we do it.
Put simply, it's love. We're not ordering the games in terms of their review score. We're not re-reviewing old games by today's standards, or including something because it was there last year, or because it's one of PC gaming's supposed heroes - we're celebrating them because we love them.
Here's a message I sent to the nine other PC Gamer men who would be discussing this list, before we started. "At this meeting we will devise a list of the Top 100 Games 2007, and its order. This list is to reflect the games we love, games which we would gladly play today. Argue for the inclusion of your babies - not at the expense of other games, but in support of your favourites, telling us why. Whether released in 2007 or 1987, if you love it and honestly want to play it right now, its inclusion is valid."
With that firmly in mind, we quit the office for a day and locked ourselves into Tim's flat. We had an arsenal of games to play, cash liberated from our boss for pizza and pop, and a whole lot of arguments to get through.
We had a couple other rules, though. In the case of a series of great games, we've usually only picked our favourite of the series, in order to free up space for other games to appear in the list. Also, we're not including expansion packs - just the original game that first sparked our passion. Finally, last year's list has no relevance to this one, hence there's no indication in this list of where a game was placed last year.
Yes, you could argue that we've placed a game too high, or too low, or that we shouldn't have included it at all. You're welcome to disagree with us, but this list is our opinion, not some kind of scientific document or survey. We do it to celebrate our favourite games, and hopefully to make you think about your own top games. In fact, we really want to hear your opinions, and as I write we already have internet-minions working on a clever online system to run the world's biggest ever survey of PC gamers' favourite PC games. It should be ready to roll in the next few months - we'll let you know.
As for why we do it... Well, if you're lucky enough to be able to talk games with your mates in the pub, you'll know why. 'X is better than Y' arguments rage unchecked every Friday night in the pubs of Bath, but here is the ultimate answer to what are really PC Gamer's favourite games, thus letting us talk about other, serious matters. Speaking of which: a gorilla would definitely beat a crocodile in a fight.
Ross Atherton, Editor
To jump directly to part two, click here.
Grand Theft Paradise: in Just Cause's strange world your parachute and grappling hook are your ultimate weapons, enabling you to hook onto jet fighters and speedboats, and hijack them at 3,000 feet above the ground and 300 miles per hour.
Craig: "What Just Cause offers in the way of exploration, sight-seeing and fun is almost enough to save on holidays for the next few years. It's achingly beautiful, and utterly preposterous. I've always wanted an infinite parachute."
Giants: Citizen Kabuto