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Top 10 Train Levels in Video Games

VO: Dan Paradis
What are the coolest levels in video games that take place on a train? Which locomotive based sequences in interactive entertainment are the most fun, the most visually impressive, the most off-the-rails in terms of enjoyment? Well, ask no longer & all-aboard, because our list of the Top 10 Train Levels is about to leave the station. Hope you brought your ticket. Special Thanks to our users “Robert Prejsewicz ”, “mac121mr0”, “Leo Kennedy” and many others for suggesting this topic on our interactive suggest tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 10 Train Levels in Video Games


Full steam ahead! Thrills, chills and nerve wracking excitement are packed within all these little train levels that could. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we will be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Train Levels in Video Games.

For this list, we looked at segments in video games that took place aboard trains and ranked them based upon their challenge, the level of interaction the player has with said trains and just how creative the developers managed to be with a scenario that has been done countless times.

#10: Wrong Side of the Tracks
“Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas” (2004)

Ahh yes, the level remembered for all the wrong reasons thanks to Big Smoke’s infamous line. (“All we had to do was follow the damn train CJ”) While engaging in high speed chases with other cars becomes second nature in these games, having to follow a train is definitely a huge departure from the usual mayhem you are tasked with causing. The challenge revolves not around how fast you can go, but how precisely you can follow a target; requiring you to maintain a steady momentum and pace to keep up with the train so that Big Smoke can shoot at the gang members onboard. Of course getting Big Smoke to actually HIT the enemies is another story, so you’re probably better off to jump the bike onto the train and take those guys out yourself.

#9: Khallos Express
“Timesplitters: Future Perfect” (2005)

Talk about having your work cut out for you. In the Timesplitters series, the player controls Vin Diesel look-alike Cortez through a bevy of insane set pieces and scenarios. However, the Khallos Express ramps said insanity up tenfold. The goal is to shoot your way through hordes of baddies as you move through the many sections of the train to stop the launch of a destructive nuclear missile. Easy enough, right? Well after all that’s done, how about being pitted into a deadly shootout with the game’s antagonist who happens to be the train’s namesake: Khallos. If you manage to survive that encounter, quickly hit the brakes to bring this express to an end and save Kitten Celeste from becoming a whole lot flatter.

#8: Ecliptic Express
“Resident Evil Zero” (2002)

Zombies and tight spaces; Yep it’s a classic Resident Evil game alright, with Zombies, Zombie dogs and … Zombie Leeches? Yikes! The Opening section to the prequel of the original game, continues with the Resident Evil’s traditional approach to survival horror, with zombies around every turn, limited ammo and such confined corridors to navigate. You can also find a hookshot in the rear car to climb up on the train’s roof, but just be sure to get back inside to brace for impact.

#7: Train Level
“Dead Space 2” (2010)

Taking notes from Resident Evil, Dead Space continues the trend of putting the player into small environments with lots of monsters ready to tear their face off. Boarding the train is clearly made to be a bad idea right from the get-go (bad idea clip), but fortune favors the brave as you hop on for a ride which is the equivalent of a roller coaster through hell (rollercoaster clip). Necromorphs rush out from the shadows, but when the train violently crashes its a whole new problem. The train ride prior suddenly looks like heaven in comparison to the vulnerable position you get stuck in (vulnerable position clip). This level may be shorter than others on our list, but its unbelievable tension still leaves a lasting impression.

#6: Stop The Bomb!
“Ratchet & Clank” (2016)

The game based on the movie based on the game was a completely revamped version of the PS2 original built from the ground up and one sequence in particular that shines from this upgrade was the Kerwan train ride. Similar to Timesplitters, the task is to fight through hordes of enemies and leap across train carts to guide Ratchet all the way to the front so that he may diffuse a bomb before it explodes at the Hall of Heroes. The amount of destruction caused aboard the train as you shoot, whack and blast away the baddies would have probably been equivalent to what the bomb was capable of anyway but, ah, details, details.

#5: The Forever Train
“StarFox 64” (1997)

This is one locomotive that takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’. The forever train truly lives up to its name, as it stretches so far across the tracks, never once leaving your sight as the level progresses. This stage encourages pure carnage, as you obliterate the train piece by piece leading up to a thrilling boss battle with the train’s defense system: Mechbeth. Words cannot express the satisfaction of hitting all the switches and delivering the coup d’etat to the enemy’s base by sending the forever train careening out of control into it. The amount of destructive intensity on display in this stage, at such a relentless pace, provides a fast paced rush; an impressive and ironic feat considering the slow nature of trains.

#4: Subway Shootout
“Max Payne 3” (2012)

The lengths that hard boiled and bloody knuckled ex-cop Max goes to in order to bring the ‘Payne’ to the bad guys blurs the line between vigilante justice and suicidal tendencies; however, we feel his choice to engage in a blistering shootout while riding the subway really leans towards the latter. Ah well, makes for damn fine gaming entertainment. Bullets fly and glass shatters in an action sequence straight out of a Hollywood movie. Cover is key, as steering clear of enemy gunfire is just as crucial as shooting back; best offense is a good defense, right? Or is that the other way around? It’s a simple setup done with brilliant execution in a guns blazing fight to the finish line.

#3: Train Mystery
“Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door” (2004)

Leave it to Mario to spice up the conventions for train levels proving they don’t all have to be about big explosions. Upon discovering that the next Star to be saved is located in Poshley Heights, Mario and company board the luxurious ‘Excess Express’ for a nice relaxing ride to their destination (well, at least that was the plan). Over the course of the three-day journey, strange and unfortunate events happen to the passengers aboard, causing Mario to jump into action to solve the mystery. Moving through the many sections of the excess express, Mario must search for clues on just how the perpetrator of all these oddball occurrences is able to cover their tracks so well. Get it? Tracks? Because we’re on a train? Okay.

#2: Mexican Train Robbery
“Red Dead Redemption” (2010)

How could a video game centered around the days of the Wild West be complete without a rip-roaring train robbery sequence? Luckily for us, the minds at Rockstar never miss a beat and provide us with the ability to live out all of our thieving cowboy fantasies. When John Marston agrees to help Reyes with robbing a Mexican supply train they quickly discover it’s stationed at a heavily fortified outpost. After quietly detaching the rear cars with the desired loot from the rest of the train, you’ll have to deal with a number of armed guards; but that’s where the gattling gun comes in handy. Once they’ve all been blown to smithereens, you are all clear to blow the hatch and crack open the safe.


Before our top pick rolls into the station, here are a few honorable mentions…

Bury My Shell at Wounded Knee
"TMNT IV: Turtles in Time" (1992)

Rail Canyon
"Sonic Heroes" (2003)

Supply Train
"Metal Slug X" (1998)

Ord Mantell Junkyard
"Star Wars: Shadow of the Empire" (1996)

Train
"GoldenEye" (1997)

Train Stage
"Time Crisis II" (1997)

#1: Locomotion
“Uncharted 2: Among Thieves” (2009)

We feel pretty confident in saying that this action packed sequence from the award winning follow up to the original Uncharted is probably what most gamers immediately think of when you say “train level”. Naughty Dog truly hit it out of the park, crafting a level that was actually moving, meaning that not only did the player have to deal with armed guards onboard, but also had to watch where they would leap and take cover. The blistering battle with an enemy helicopter is just the icing on the cake. In a game already exploding with incredible moments, for this one to shine out the brightest speaks wonders of its excellence and leaves little competition for deciding the greatest video game train level of all time.


Are you “ALL ABOARD!” with our list? Which video game train levels did you enjoy the most? For more Top 10’s published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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