Tanks are awesome. We've been drooling all over tracked war machines this week, thanks mainly to a soujurn down to Tankfest 2012 and an interview with World Of Tanks CEO Victor Kislyi. We've done tank PWNcasts. Tank daily bites. Tank updates. So what better way to finish our love affair with rolling treads and massive guns than a hostile takeover of our weekly Top Ten list?
So, here it is: our top ten favourite tanks taken from throughout videogame history. Whether they have the biggest guns, the thickest armour or the fondest memories, these epic gargantuan killing machines have earned a place in our hearts.
For fairness' sake, Mechs (and Wanzers) have been disqualified from the list. Besides, they have a Top Ten of their very own...
Honourable Mentions: M1A2 Abrams [Battlefield: Bad Company 2], Prism Tank [Red Alert 2], Devil's Tongue [Tiberian Sun], Rhino [Grand Theft Auto]
10: Siege Tank [Starcraft]
When is a tank not a tank? When it's also an artillery piece. Starcraft's Siege Tank (of which there are a number of variations) are a boon to any Terran commander, capable of bolstering a defence, supporting troops with twin guns or raining death down on entrenched enemy positions with its Shock Cannon. We also love the voice acting, which is straight out of every hammy war movie ever.
Sadly, the Siege Tank can't move while shooting, which leaves it a little vulnerable when Zerglings come knocking.
9: Tankbot [Kirby's Epic Yarn]
If a picture is worth a thousand words, I probably could have submitted this article early.
8: The Landmaster [Lylat Wars]
Sometimes, a legendary space fighter just isn't legendary enough. When this bizarre situation occurs, Fox McCloud favours the Landmaster: a hovering prototype tank with an enormous railgun and manoeuvrability beyond what you'd ever expect from an MBT.
Sadly, for both of the Landmaster missions, we wish that we were strapped into an Arwing instead...
7: Tank [Battlezone]
Does Battlezone's tank actually have a name? Let me know if it does, but frankly, I'm not convinced it needs one.
Whether you're playing the original or the remake, you can always rely on your massive cannon and heavy armour to sneak out from behind a rock and crush any enemy resistance - wireframe or no.
6: Neotank [Advance Wars 2]
Regular tanks bow down before the spherical, disarmingly adorable might of the Neotank. Those great big cannons are all business, ripping enemy armour and infantry to shreds in seconds. Short of deploying an airstrike or using the terrain to advantage, your foe's best bet will be to run fast and far.
5: Jagdtiger [World Of Tanks]
Look, before you flame me, I'm basically using this entry as a shout out to World Of Tanks as a whole. There are too many tanks for this top ten. So many tanks. Just imagine that your chariot of choice is sitting pretty on the list.
But I've got to pick one, so I'll pick my favourite. Though I have to rely on some obliging team mates to protect my hilariously vulnerable lower glacis plate, the Jagdtiger is an absolute beast at long range: seventy-one tons of fun with a great big gun. Done, son. Apologies for the weak rhymes.
4: Big Shiee [Metal Slug 2]
Metal Slug is actually named after a tank, so it was bound to feature in this list. The playable SV-001 tanks are an absolute blast and almost entered the top ten, but there's one other tracked vehicle that arguably deserves a bigger shout-out.
Meet Big Shiee. Yes, that tank is to scale. Essentially a castle... on the Battleship Yamato... on treads... this lumbering amphibious assault vehicle is too outrageous to ignore, and presents a formidable opponent thanks to its many, many guns. Look at those guns. Just look at them.
3: Atomic Taaaank! [Heavy Weapon]
If tanks are awesome, then Atomic Tanks are enough to give you a full-blown wargasm. Small, fast and incredibly tough, these next-generation war machines can be outfitted with a fearsome array of modular weaponry including lasers, homing missiles, flack cannons and even lightning bolt projectors, making them the kings of both land and skies. Plus, if all else fails, they can summon a tactical nuclear strike.
Basically, go play Heavy Weapon. Hurry up with a long-overdue sequel, PopCap.
2: Mammoth [Command & Conquer]
The Mammoth is one of the iconic gaming tanks, right back from when Command & Conquer helped to popularise the RTS genre. It's adept at smashing armour and crushing infantry alike, and best used in enormous, all-conquering groups.
In fact, it's this tank that gave us the 'Tank Rush' strategy. Because the only thing more dangerous than a single mammoth tank is a baker's dozen of them.
1: Scorpion M808B [Halo]
It may not be the biggest tank on this list. It may not be the most powerful, the fastest or the most heavily-armoured. But the ever-reliable Scorpion M808B Main Battle Tank is our most fondly-remembered tracked vehicle of this generation, indeed, possibly of all time. We've whiled away countless hours comparing our myriad Scorpion escapades, no two of which are ever the same.
Whether you're assaulting Halo's Control Room with a squad of Marines riding on your flanks, pounding across the New Mombasa bridge in Halo 2, leading an armoured column on the Ark or even using it as a makeshift Ghost stunt ramp in the original game's splitscreen multiplayer, there's no getting away from just how satisfying the Scorpion is - and just how enduring its memories proved to be. Bungie called it "Rolling Thunder" for a reason, and Sergeant Johnson knows what the ladies like.
They like tanks, apparently. I'd take that under advisement.
As always, these Top Tens are a jumping-off point rather than a definitive, immovable edifice for the ages. What are your favourite videogame tanks or tank-related gaming memories? Tanks in advance! [Get out- Ed]