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The evolution of Tetris - and why Tetris Effect is "the perfect game"

UPDATE: New video with real arcade hardware and more games!

UPDATE 14/11/18 9:20am: We've updated the original video with two additional games and made changes in accordance to Arika's posted guidelines on The Grand Master series. The video is now more accurate than ever with footage capture from original arcade hardware bringing it inline with the rest of the content featured.

Original story: Tetris Effect is out now for PlayStation 4 and it's a bit bloody special, as Christian Donlan explained in our Tetris Effect review last week and as we hope you have discovered for yourselves by now.

Digital Foundry's John Linneman is also a huge fan, describing Tetsuya Mizuguchi's spectacular synaesthetic version of the classic puzzle game as "the best Tetris experience I've ever had, and one of my favourite gaming experiences in decades. It's that good." Strong words - especially since, it turns out, John has played an awful lot of Tetris games.

In his latest DF Retro video, John traces the evolution of Tetris through many of its console, PC, handheld and arcade versions across the 80s, 90s and 00s, from ubiquitous classics like Game Boy Tetris to far-out esoterica like the supremely chill version of Tetris for the Philips CD-i. He finishes with a deep dive on Tetris Effect and why he thinks it's the best of the lot.

The video's quite a long watch but, I venture to suggest, well worth the time of any retro enthusiast, Tetris scholar, or person who likes video games. However, I can't resist the temptation to reproduce here, from the end of the video, John's authoritative ranking of the top five best Tetris games ever made - with his comments.

5. The New Tetris (Nintendo 64, 1999): Introduces the modern-style Tetris gameplay that we all know and love.

4. Tetris Plus (Arcade, Game Boy, PlayStation & Saturn, 1996): A beautiful, fun, puzzle-oriented game with a mean variant of standard Tetris. Plus it looks absolutely gorgeous.

3. Tetris DS (Nintendo DS, 2006): One of the most all-encompassing versions of Tetris available and the best portable Tetris ever made.

2. Tetris: The Grand Master 3 - Terror-Instinct (Arcade, 2005): Just an insane combination of weird crazy modes, beautiful visuals and a pulse-pounding soundtrack.

1. Tetris Effect (PlayStation 4, 2018): One of the only games that I would truly describe as the perfect game.

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Oli Welsh

Oli Welsh

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Oli is the editor of Eurogamer.net and likes to take things one word at a time. His friends call him The European, but that's just a coincidence. He's still playing Diablo 3.

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