Why are Lists and Rankings so much Fun?

G4TV has compiled a list of the top 100 video games.  Really, it was far from right of them to do that without consulting me.  I would have put KotOR II in the top spot, just for starters.  And frankly, I thought the list generally placed too much value on historically significant games.  Yes, Pong was indeed a major milestone for gaming, but I refuse to believe that it has anything to offer players that any tennis sim made in the last three console generations cannot.

Lists and rankings like this are fun, aren’t they?  Me and a friend of mine were chatting the other day about the top 5 NFL quarterbacks.  It took some hashing out, but we ultimately agreed that Roethlisberger was #3 and Brees #4.  The post-season records speak for themselves.

I am not sure why rankings matter so much, and indeed oftentimes comparisons are simply inane.  Roethlisberger and Brees have no control over most of the factors which determine their success in the play-offs.  (Both of them played very well in defeats last postseason, after all.)  Likewise, how can you really compare Angry Birds and Metal Gear Solid?   They are in different genres, in different styles, on different platforms–comparison is pretty much impossible if you think about it rationally.  But that doesn’t deter me or lots of other people from doing it. (My personal opinion: Angry Birds has no business being in the top 1,000.)

What's your stake in this, cowboy?