Saturday, July 24, 2010

Top 10 Strangest Video Games

Top 10 Strangest Video Games

The top 10 Weirdest and/or Creepiest Video Game Characters! This is actually the first list that I ever completed about a year ago.
Top 10 Strangest Game ... Yes, that's actually a video game controller and not some sci-fi movie.

Warning: Some of the videos may contain material that is offensive to some readers. does not support these games and lists them here only as a matter of showing how strange some video games, especially their storylines, may be. Unfortunately, some of these strange video games also are in extremely poor taste.
Many different types of videos games exist, with the most common being arcade, console, computer, and handheld.  The first commercially sold video game was an arcade game named Computer Space.  Computer Space was released in 1971 and the technology helped pave the way for video game expansion all over the world.  In 1983, Atari was mass producing large amounts of computer games and systems.  The company often times developed more merchandise then they could sell and this ultimately led to a collapse of the entire North American video game market.
However, the release of the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1985 changed everything.  Video game manufactures became smarter and today the video game industry is one of the largest in the world.  In the last 20 years there have been incredible advances in video game graphics and technology.  Since the time of Computer Space, tens-of-thousands of video games have been released under various system platforms.  This article will be examining ten of the strangest and controversial video games.

10. The Great Giana Sisters

Video Game System: Commodore 64
giana sisters video game 302x400
The Commodore 64 is an 8-bit home computer that was developed by Commodore International in January of 1982.  The Commodore 64 is the best-selling personal computer model of all time.  In 1987, the German company Rainbow Arts developed a platform game named The Great Giana Sisters.  The game was made available to a wide variety of computer systems, most notably the Commodore 64.  However, due to the blatant similarities between the game and The Super Mario Brothers, Rainbow Arts was forced to withdraw all copies directly after its initial release.  The cover of the original C64 game poked fun at the Mario Brothers directly, by using the tagline “The brothers are history.”
Game Plot

The Great Giana Sisters has two playable characters, Giana and Maria.  The goal of the game is very similar to that of the Super Mario Brothers.  However, instead of collecting mushrooms from blocks, the sisters gather brightly-colored balls from blocks.  After gaining the power balls, the characters do not get large, but instead their hairstyle changes into a brightly colored Mohawk.  In both games, the advanced state allows the characters to break blocks.  The Giana Sisters break the blocks with their heads, while Mario and Luigi use their fists.  Most of the games enemies are extremely similar to those used in the Mario Brothers and the games interface and backgrounds are almost identical.
After the first two levels, the Giana Sisters breaks into a more original design.  The game was never made available commercially, but it has gained a large following over the years and illegal copies have been published on the Internet.  In 2005, a version of the game was made available for mobile phones.  A copy of the Commodore 64 version of the game was also released for the Nintendo DS.  It proved to be a success, so in 2009 an updated copy of Giana Sisters was made for the Nintendo DS.  The new Giana Sisters game features all new levels and a code to unlock the original game.

9. Metal Wolf Chaos

Video Game System: Microsoft Xbox
metal wolf chaos 533x400
The original Xbox is a video game console that was manufactured by Microsoft from 2001 to 2006.  In 2004, Microsoft released a game named Metal Wolf Chaos.  The game was only sold in Japan, but was made with a full English dialogue.  The Western World became aware of Metal Wolf Chaos by way of a series of YouTube videos.  The videos were poking fun at the games cheesy voice work and unusual plotline.  Over the years, Metal Wolf Chaos has garnered a cult following and has received many positive and negative reviews.
Game Plot

The game revolves around a fictitious United States President named Michael Wilson.  Michael Wilson is a relative of former U.S. President Woodrow Wilson.  In the game, the U.S. Vice President is named Richard Hawk, which is a play on the phrase War Hawk.  War Hawk is a term that was originally used to describe the members of the 12th Congress of the United States who advocated waging war against the United Kingdom in 1812.  Over the years, the term has evolved to describe a political stance of aggression, which is used to improve the standing of one’s own government.  In the game, Richard Hawk decides to plan a coup against Wilson and succeeds in taking over the country.
President Michael Wilson survives the initial attacks and travels to the west coast of the United States and starts liberating cities by moving west to east.  The game is completed after Wilson battles his way to the White House, fights Hawk in space, and ultimately saves the U.S. from nuclear destruction.  During battle, President Michael Wilson wears a powerful armor that contains shoulder pods with weapons.  The character of Michael Wilson has appeared in other media and he was ranked #1 on Electronic Gaming Monthly’s list of video game politicians.

8. Monster Party

Video Game System: NES
monster party 280x400
The Nintendo Entertainment System is an 8-bit video game console that was first released in 1983.  The NES helped revolutionize the U.S. gaming industry after the crash of 1983.  In all, over 1,000 games were made for the NES and a particularly strange one is the 1989 release Monster Party.  Monster Party is a platform game that has gained a strong following over the years.  The game contains many standard horror themes and revolves around the story of Mark and Bert.  Bert is a monster who recruits Mark to help him save his homeland, called the Dark World.  Critics of the game note that many characters are extremely bizarre and disturbing, while supporters claim that the strange features make the game stand out.  It was a bit surprising that Nintendo released a game in 1989 that contained blood and the word “hell,” as the company was a strong supporter of video game censorship.
Game Plot

Monster Party begins when a boy named Mark is accosted on his way home from a baseball game by a winged, alien-like monster named Bert.  Bert speaks to Mark and asks him to assist in ridding the Dark World of evil monsters.  Mark is initially reluctant, but Bert insists and whisks him off to the evil land.  Upon arrival, the two are joined as one being and throughout the game Mark is occasionally allowed to transform into Bert.  The monsters and characters used in the game are quite strange.
They include mummies, giant spiders, zombies, Medusa, dragons, and the Grim Reaper.  Along the way Mark encounters a haunted well that throws giant plates, walking plants, oversized caterpillars, a bouncing piece of fried shrimp, and a huge cat that throws kittens.  Some other strange occurrences are killer umpires, masked elephants, imps, and a caterpillar named Rolls Royce. The game features eight levels and the final boss is named the Dark World Master, as is represented as a giant face that shoots eyeballs.  Many critics of the game have complained that it is too easy to master.

7. Revolution X

Video Game System: Arcade
revolution x aerosmith 305x400
Arcade systems are entertainment machines that are used to provide public businesses with a form of video game entertainment.  In the 1970s and 80s, the arcade industry exploded, but has since declined due to the expansion of home gaming entertainment.  In 1994, video game publisher Midway developed an arcade game named Revolution X.  It was a follow-up to the successful T2: The Arcade Game.  Revolution X features the rock band Aerosmith and was a popular game with a strange storyline.  Similar to many other arcade games, Revolution X was released on many other video game platforms, including the Super Nintendo, Mega Drive/Genesis, Sega Saturn, and the PlayStation.
Game Plot

The storyline of Revolution X starts by describing an alternate version of 1996 where a corrupt group of military forces have taken over the world.  The group is known as the New Order Nation (NON).  The NON have waged war against the world’s youth and outlawed all music, television, and video games.  Everyone between the ages of 13 and 30 are at risk.  Right before the game begins, members of the NON kidnap Aerosmith during a concert.  Revolution X then takes the form of a rail shooting game and the goal is to shoot targets as they appear on the screen.  The five members of Aerosmith are hidden throughout the game and they all need to be found and recovered in order to win.
Many Aerosmith songs are included in the video game, including Sweet Emotion, Toys in the Attic, Walk this Way, and Love in an Elevator.  The final battle takes place in London’s Wembley Stadium.  During the game, after a large explosion, Steven Tyler can be heard saying “Toasty!” in a high-pitched voice.  This is a reference to an easter egg found in the game Mortal Kombat II.  At one time there was a plan to create a sequel to Revolution X.  It was set to star the band Public Enemy, but Midway thought the Aerosmith game was not making enough money, so the sequel was never developed.

6. Penn & Teller’s Smoke and Mirrors

Video Game Platform: Sega CD & PC
Penn and Teller Sega
Penn & Teller’s Smoke and Mirrors is a video game that was intended to be released in 1995 for the Sega CD, but was never made available for purchase.  The game stars the comedy-magician duo Penn & Teller.  It is regarded as the official video game of Penn & Teller’s comedy video Cruel Tricks for Dear Friends.  In recent years, Smoke and Mirrors has gained a significant following over the Internet, after being featured on various websites dedicated to unreleased video games.
Game Plot

Penn & Teller’s Smoke and Mirrors is composed of several small mini-games and magic tricks.  All of the games are designed to help the owner trick their friends in a variety of different ways.  The game contains many mini-adventure challenges.   The best known and most used mini-game is called Desert Bus.  The realistic objective of Desert Bus is to drive a bus from Tucson, Arizona to Las Vegas, Nevada.  The video game takes place in real time and the bus in not allowed to exceed 45mph.  In order to complete the task, the user must play the game nonstop for 8 hours, and it doesn’t have a pause option.  The bus contains no other passengers, no scenery or other cars.  It also veers slightly to the right, so it is impossible to tape down the controller button and finish the task.  If the bus fails to stay on the road then it will be stopped and towed back to Tucson, also in real time.
If you complete the task and make it to Las Vegas, then you get one point and the option to return the bus to Tucson.  The scenery never changes, but approximately five hours into the first trip to Vegas, a single bug splatters on the buses windshield.  On the return trip home, the daylight fades with dusk and at one point the bus travels on a pitch-black road being guided by headlights.  Penn & Teller have suggested that Desert Bus was meant to be used in video game competitions, with the winner gaining a free trip on a party bus between Tucson and Las Vegas.
In 2007, the first Desert Bus for Hope marathon was conducted.  The goal of the marathon was to raise funds for children’s charities.  Four players continuously played the game, while raising donations.  On November 20, 2009 the 3rd annual Desert Bus for Hope marathon was held.  The drivers reached a record breaking 14 points before the bus crashed.  The marathon lasted 5 days and 16 hours, and raised a total of $140,449.  The Desert Bus for Hope events have raised a total of $233,678 over the past three years and another marathon is scheduled for November 2010.  Some of the other mini-games included in Penn & Teller’s Smoke and Mirrors are Mofo the Psychic Gorilla, Buzz Bombers, What’s Your Sign, Sun Scorcher, and Smoke and Mirrors.

5. Communist Mutants from Space

Video Game System: Atari 2600
communist mutants from space 286x400
The Atari 2600 was a video game console that was released in October of 1977.  In the early 1980s the Atari 2600 was very popular and widely distributed around the world.  In 1982, a U.S. company named Starpath developed a new video game named Communist Mutants from Space.  The game was made for the Atari 2600 and was compatible with the Starpath Supercharger.  The Starpath Supercharger is an add-on component that is used to expand the capabilities of the Atari 2600.  The Supercharger gives the Atari system higher resolution graphics by multiplying the consoles RAM from its built-in 128 bytes to 6,272 bytes.
Game Plot

The plot of Communist Mutants from Space revolves around a group of aliens from the communist planet of Rooskee.  The deadly aliens are on a mission to attack and destroy peaceful, democratic planets and turn the inhabitants into “Communist Mutants.”  The game is played in a similar manner as most space invader games created during the 1980s.  The player is given a cannon gun which they use to destroy all incoming alien invaders.  In the game, the communist mutant armies are controlled by a leader, who is known as the Mother Creature.  The ultimate goal is to destroy the Mother Creature and rid the planet of the communist mutants.
In another storyline twist, the Mother Creature is said to have gone insane due to irradiated vodka.  Communist Mutants from Space has been categorized as a propaganda video game, as the Cold War was really heating up in 1982 and 1983.  Interestingly, the game has a hidden easter egg.  If you hold down the fire button and then press the power switch on the Atari 2600, it will cause the “HI” on the high scores screen to change to “SHL,” which are the initials of the games programmer.

4. JFK: Reloaded

Video Game Platform: Windows
jfk reloaded
The online gaming world has really exploded in the last ten years.  Thousands of computer games have been developed and released under various platforms, with the most common being the biggest company, Microsoft Windows.  In 2004, a Scotland-based business named Traffic Games released a game titled JFK: Reloaded.  According to various inquiries, the company has said that the game’s purpose was to establish the facts surrounding what happened on November 22, 1963 in Dealey Plaza.  This was done “by running the world’s first mass-participation forensic construction.”  The goal of the game was to help prove whether Lee Harvey Oswald had the “means and the opportunity” to kill U.S. President John F. Kennedy.
Game Plot
JFK: Reloaded places the games user in the role of Kennedy alleged assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald.  The player is scored on how closely his shooting matches the report of the Warren Commission.  The Warren Commission was the group of government officials assigned to investigate Kennedy’s death.  They ultimately named Lee Harvey Oswald the sole gunman.  The game is difficult to master because each bullet you fire has a random probability of where it will hit, making it is impossible to predict precisely where the bullet will land.  This means that there is a lot of luck involved with gaining a perfect score, especially in regards to the “magic bullet.”  Over the Internet, many people have argued that JFK: Reloaded is not a game, as much as a controversial simulation of a historical event.  However, various gaming websites have reviewed it, with some positive reviews.
The majority of people feel the game is in bad taste.  JFK: Reloaded even garnered a response from John’s brother, the late Senator Edward Kennedy, who called the game despicable and questioned why it was ever allowed on the market.  People have argued that the game’s manufacturers were only interested in making money.  Upon release of JFK: Reloaded, Traffic Games ran a contest that paid the person with the highest score a prize.  Ultimately, a man named Stephane Krupa won $10,712 with a score of 782 out of 1000.  The game is no longer available on its original website.  However, various computer programmers have altered the game over the years, and some versions include a motorcade, while others allow you to shoot from the Grassy Knoll.

3. Hong Kong 97

Video Game System: Super Nintendo
hong kong 97 video game
The Super Nintendo or Super Famicom is a 16-bit video game system that was distributed all over the world in the early 1990s.  The Super Nintendo was an advanced piece of technology and ended up being the best selling 16-bit video game console, eclipsing the highly competitive Sega Genesis.  In 1995, a Japan based company developed a game for the Super Nintendo named Hong Kong 97.  Since the games release, it has gained a considerable following in Japan and Taiwan.  Hong Kong 97 is routinely included on lists documenting the poorest quality video games, but many people feel that the game is so bad that it is good.  The game is controversial and contains many racial undertones.
Game Plot

Hong Kong 97s storyline is set around the transfer of the sovereignty of Hong Kong in 1997.  On July 1, 1997 the United Kingdom officially returned Hong Kong to Chinese rule.  The introduction to the game claims that at this time in history many Chinese people moved to Hong Kong, thus increasing the areas crime rate.  In response to this, the game develops the character Chin, whose job is to wipe out all of the 1.2 billion Chinese people.  Chin is portrayed by Jackie Chan on the box and is described as a relative of Bruce Lee who is represented by British politician Chris Patten.  However, the Chinese have developed a plan to bring back the dead “Tong Shau Ping” (Deng Xiaoping) as an ultimate weapon.
Deng Xiaoping was the longtime leader of the Communist Party of China that passed away in 1997.  After the introduction, the game immediately starts with Chin trying to avoid and kill the Chinese populace.  The game is not very long, but extremely difficult to master.  The final boss is actually a picture of Deng Xiaoping’s head.  Hong Kong 97 can be played in English, Japanese, or Traditional Chinese.  In the English version, the first two sentences of the game are: “The year 1997 has arrived.  A herd of fu**in’ ugly reds are rushing from the mainland.”  A company named HappySoft Ltd. distributed the games themselves, but few retail stores purchased copies, so they are extremely rare and valuable.

2. Mystique Games

Video Game System: Atari 2600
Mystique is one of the first video game companies that attempted to use sex to sell games.  In the early 1980s, Mystique developed many pornographic video games for the Atari 2600.  Some of the most popular were Custer’s Revenge, Bachelor Party, and Beat ‘Em & Eat ‘Em.  These three games are known as some of the fist pornographic video games.  They were extremely controversial and contain many racial and sexual stereotypes.  The company Mystique went out of business during the video game crash of 1983, but many of their games have gathered a cult following over the years.
Game Plots
Custers Revenge 304x400
The most recognized Mystique game is Custer’s Revenge.  In the game, the player controls a man with a cowboy hat named Custer, which is an obvious reference to General George Custer.  Custer is naked and has to overcome many obstacles in order to have sex with a crudely depicted Native American woman.  The woman is shown with large breasts and is tied to a post.  Once the obstacles are completed, a visible erection appears on Custer and he continues to have sex with the tied up woman.  Almost immediately the game received strong criticism from Native Americans and woman’s rights organizations.  Many claim that it is a clear depiction of rape, while others pass it off as only a game.  The Native American woman is given the name “Revenge” in the game.  The booklet for Custer’s Revenge famously states “if the kids catch you and should ask, tell them Custer and the maiden are just dancing.”
bachelor video game
Bachelor Party is a Mystique game that was loosely based on the 1984 comedy film starring Tom Hanks.  Bachelor Party is a simplified version of the game Breakout.  Breakout is one of the first video games ever made and is similar to pong.  A large collection of bricks are situated on the top of the screen and the user has to bounce a ball and destroy all the bricks without letting the ball hit the bottom of the screen.  However, in Bachelor Party the ball looks like a nude male body, while the bricks are females.  The naked males also bounce from left to right, rather than up and down.  The game is very simple and the goal is to let the bachelor have a final fling with a room full of nude women.  A reversed version of the game does exist, it is named Bachelorette Party.
Beat em and eat em
The dirtiest pornographic game developed by Mystique is named Beat ‘Em & Eat ‘Em.  The game was released in 1982 and originally was an extremely poor seller, but with the expansion of the Internet, the game has become a cult classic.  However, similar to other Mystique games, Beat ‘Em & Eat ‘Em is regarded as one of the worst quality video games ever made.  In this pornographic game, the player controls a pair of nude women who move back and forth underneath a building.  On top of the building a man with a large penis is masturbating and the player’s objective is to maneuver the women so that they can catch the man’s semen, which is colored yellow before it hits the ground.  To make things a bit worse, when the player is successful, the two women look at the screen and lick their lips.  In the game, a score of 69 points and every 69-point interval receives a free guy.  The gender reversed version of the game is called Philly Flasher and it includes two men who are trying to gather drops of breast milk lactated by a witch.

1. Super Columbine Massacre RPG!

Video Game Platform: Windows
Super Columbine Massacre is a role-playing video game that was developed by Danny Ledonne and released in April of 2005.  It was made available on April 20, which was the 6th anniversary of the school shooting.  The game was released as a freeware and a donation of $1 was requested upon download.  Danny Ledonne originally attempted to avoid controversy and the game was released anonymously.  However, after a donation was made through PayPal, Ledonne’s identity was made public and he began to receive calls from mainstream media outlets.  In the game’s first year of release, it was downloaded only 10,000 times, but after it became a large news story in the United States, the game exploded with over 400,000 downloads.
Game Plot

Super Columbine Massacre recreates the events surrounding the 1999 Columbine school shooting.  The game’s players assume the role of gunmen Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold and ultimately act out the massacre.  Super Columbine Massacre has a pretty extensive plot, and starts as Eric Harris’ mother wakes him up on April 20, 1999.  Harris phones Dylan Klebold, and the two meet in Harris’ basement to plot the attack.  The two boys think about their past bullying experiences.  They make a video and load up their bags with guns and bombs.  Once the pair arrives at the school, the player has to enter the cafeteria and plant bombs without being detected by the school’s video cameras.  After the bombs fail to explode, the goal is to enter the school and shoot as many innocent people as possible.
At the end of the first part of the game, the two gunmen commit suicide.  The second part of the game places Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold in hell.  The pair continues by fighting demons, monsters, and Satan.  They also travel to the Island of Lost Souls and meet historical figures J. Robert Oppenheimer, JonBenét Ramsey, Malcolm X, Ronald Reagan and John Lennon.  The media reception to Super Columbine Massacre was generally negative and many people were offended by the game.  Victims of the shooting came forward to express their disgust with Danny Ledonne.
In many interviews, Ledonne claimed that the game was made out of respect for the memory of the victims and that he personally knew a girl named Rachel that died in the massacre.  In Super Columbine Massacre, players have the option of killing Rachel over and over again, which is disturbing.  CNN labeled the game as something that a subculture that worships terrorists would play.  Other people praised the game for opening up the dialogue about the problem of school shootings.  In September of 2006, a man named Kimveer Gill killed Anastasia De Sousa and injured 19 students at Dawson College in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  After it was revealed that Gill was an avid player of Super Columbine Massacre, the game was taken down from its original website.

Top 20 Most Beautiful Women In The World

Top 20 Most Beautiful Women In The World (The Official 2009)

The 20 Most Beautiful Women in the World, information and pictures. ... suggestions to compile our Annual Top 20 Most Beautiful Women List.

 20. Eva Mendes

The top 20 Most Beautiful Women in the World! With so many beautiful woman world wide.  These women are selected from fashion, movies, music and other arenas are filled with exquisite women each unique not only in respect of their talents but also in terms of their looks. The one thing linking them together is their beauty that shines through. Following is a list of the 20 most beautiful women in the world as per the official 2009.  Let us know through comments who is the most stunning and breathtaking?
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19. Katie Holmes

18. Rosario Dawson

17. Alessandra Ambrosio

16. Jessica Alba

15. Bar Rafaeli

14. Aishwarya Rai

13. Penelope Cruz

12. Rihanna

Nicole Scherzinger

10. Jessica Biel

9.  Adriana Lima

8.  Naomi Campbell

7.  Alicia Keys

6.  Janet Jackson

5.  Angelina Jolie

4.  Monica Bellucci

3.  Heidi Klum

2.  Halle Berry

1.  Claudia Lynx

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Top 25 Universities Of The World Rankings 2010

Top 25 Universities Of The World (World University Rankings 2009)
25. Kyoto University, Japan
Kyoto University rated as 25th best university in World University Rankings 2009. Founded in 1897, Kyoto University has deeply considered its traditions of liberal and academic freedom, educating many. We continue to actively maintain these principles, which are the foundation of academic freedom. Kyoto University places top priority on basic research, develops advanced technology leading to the acquisition of intellectual property, and then returns this knowledge to society through education, social cooperation, and the opportunity for lifelong education. Kyoto University has 3 campuses nestled in a basin, which forms the main part of Kyoto, a city which in tradition and culture of which Kyoto University is a part.

Lets take  a look that which university has which position according to world university rankings 2009.
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24. University of Hong Kong
University of Hong Kong rated as 24th best university in World University Rankings 2009. The University of Hong Kong is the territory’s oldest university, and with a history that stretches back more than 90 years, it has grown with and helped shape the city from which it takes its name. The University of Hong Kong, as a pre-eminent international university in Asia, seeks to sustain and enhance its excellence as an institution of higher learning through outstanding teaching and world-class research so as to produce well-rounded graduates with lifelong abilities to provide leadership within the societies they serve.  HKU has won a proud reputation as a world-class comprehensive research university.  It offers internationally recognized qualifications and it is renowned for its academic and research excellence worldwide.  As an English-medium university in China, HKU also offers researchers unique opportunities to bridge cultures and continents, and to explore more on China-related studies.

23. King’s College London
King’s College London rated as 23rd best university in World University Rankings 2009. King’s College London is a constituent college of the University of London in the United Kingdom. The college was founded by King George IV and the Duke of Wellington in 1829, and its royal charter is predated in England only by those of Oxford University and Cambridge University.. There are currently more than 19,000 students in nine Schools of study based at our five London campuses. We offer a vast range of undergraduate programmes, and whichever programme you choose to pursue, you will work with academics who are often national or international leaders in their field. As an undergraduate at King’s, you will become part of a vibrant and intellectually stimulating community. You will be inspired by researchers, discoverers and inventors who are pushing the boundaries of knowledge and will mix with students from across the UK, Europe and almost every country in the world. King’s has played a major role in many of the advances that have shaped modern life, such as the discovery of the structure of DNA. It is the largest centre for the education of healthcare professionals in Europe and is home to five Medical Research Council Centres – more than any other university.

22. University of Tokyo
University of Tokyo rated as 22th best university in World University Rankings 2009. The University of Tokyo abbreviated as Todai, is a major research university located in Tokyo, Japan. The University has 10 faculties with a total of around 30,000 students, 2,100 of whom are foreign. Its five campuses are in Hongō, Komaba, Kashiwa, Shirokane and Nakano. It is considered to be one of the most prestigious universities in Japan.

21. University of Edinburgh
University of Edinburgh rated as 21st best university in World University Rankings 2009. The University of Edinburgh was founded in 1583, making it one of Scotland’s ancient universities. The University offers over 600 first degree programmes, which includes over 300 joint degree combinations, spread across some 100 academic disciplines. More than 22,000 students study here, from all over the world and from a variety of backgrounds. The University has 22 Schools in three Colleges: Humanities & Social Science, Medicine & Veterinary Medicine, and Science & Engineering. World renowned and well respected, a degree from the University of Edinburgh will be recognised wherever you go. The University of Edinburgh’s success is not limited to Scotland, or even the UK. We have a well-deserved international reputation for excellence, as demonstrated in our partnerships with other key institutions worldwide, such as our work with Stanford University on Informatics. Many of our degree programmes offer the opportunity to spend some time studying abroad. Perhaps this international dimension helps explain why we have the largest proportion of international students of any Scottish university.

20. ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology)
ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) rated as 20th best university in World University Rankings 2009. ETH Zurich’s 16 departments offer Bachelor, Master and Doctoral programmes in engineering and natural sciences. The language of instruction in the Bachelor programmes is German, whereas English is the prime language on the graduate level. All degree programmes provide a solid scientific foundation combined with outstanding all-round skills, equipping ETH graduates with the abilities and flexibility needed for a career in industry, business or the public sector, as entrepreneur or scientist.

19. University of Michigan, United States
University of Michigan rated as 18th best university in World University Rankings 2009. The University of Michigan, one of the world’s leading public universities, has 26,000 undergraduate and 15,000 graduate/professional students from all 50 states and 117 countries. Students may choose from over 200 undergraduate majors, over 90 master’s programs, and over 100 doctoral programs. Numerous research and study abroad opportunities are offered at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. A wide variety of social, cultural, and athletic activities are available. There is something for everyone here. The University is located in the culturally rich and exciting community of Ann Arbor. Distinct yet closely integrated with the University, Ann Arbor offers its own array of social and cultural offerings, to which University students are enthusiastically welcomed. The city is home to numerous parks and athletic facilities, and boasts an excellent public transportation system.

18. Mcgill University, Canada
Mcgill University rated as 18th best university in World University Rankings 2009. Innovative research programs and cutting-edge facilities including our brand new Life Sciences Complex attract internationally respected faculty. Our faculty excel at research; in 2008, McGill professors Nahum Sonenberg and Charles Taylor took home, respectively, the Gairdner International Award and the Kyoto Prize, two of the world’s top research prizes. McGill’s faculty are committed to excellence in teaching, too, bringing their cutting-edge breakthroughs into the classroom. McGill’s 21 faculties and professional schools offer degrees in more than 300 fields of study. McGill offers a full range of bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs as well as professional degrees in law, dentistry, business and medicine. The world-renowned Faculty of Medicine has four affiliated teaching hospitals and graduates more than 1,000 health care professionals each year.

17. Australian National University
Australian National University rated as 17th best university in World University Rankings 2009. The Australian National University is one of the world’s foremost research universities. Distinguished by its relentless pursuit of excellence, ANU attracts leading academics and outstanding students from Australia and around the world. The primary educational objective of ANU is to become the university of choice for talented students locally, nationally and internationally by offering a unique range of research-led degree programs. Graduate education continues as one of the major focuses of the University and about one quarter of the total enrolment is undertaking post-graduate study. Regardless of whether those students are enrolled in the Institute of Advanced Studies or the Faculties, the full resources of both and of University Centres are available to them through the Graduate School.

16. Stanford University, United States
Stanford University rated as 16th best university in World University Rankings 2009. Stanford University, founded in 1885, is recognized as one of the world’s leading research and teaching institutions, with one of the most renowned faculties in the nation. Stanford students  men and women of all races, ethnicities and ages are distinguished by their love of learning and desire to contribute to the greater community. Stanford University offers its students a remarkable range of academic and extracurricular activities. We are committed to offering an education that is unrivaled among research universities.

15. Cornell University, United States
Cornell University rated as 15th best university in World University Rankings 2009. Once called “the first American university” by educational historian Frederick Rudolph, Cornell University represents a distinctive mix of eminent scholarship and democratic ideals. Adding practical subjects to the classics and admitting qualified students regardless of nationality, race, social circumstance, gender, or religion was quite a departure when Cornell was founded in 1865. Today’s Cornell reflects this heritage of egalitarian excellence. It is home to the nation’s first colleges devoted to hotel administration, industrial and labor relations, and veterinary medicine. Both a private university and the land-grant institution of New York State, Cornell University is the most educationally diverse member of the Ivy League.

14. Duke University, United States
Duke University rated as 14th best university in World University Rankings 2009. Duke University was created in 1924 by James Buchanan Duke as a memorial to his father, Washington Duke. The Dukes, a Durham family that built a worldwide financial empire in the manufacture of tobacco and developed electricity production in the Carolinas, long had been interested in Trinity College. Trinity traced its roots to 1838 in nearby Randolph County when local Methodist and Quaker communities opened Union Institute. The school, then-named Trinity College, moved to Durham in 1892. In December 1924, the provisions of James B. Duke’s indenture created the family philanthropic foundation, The Duke Endowment, which provided for the expansion of Trinity College into Duke University.

13. Johns Hopkins University, United States
Johns Hopkins University rated as 13th best university in World University Rankings 2009. The Johns Hopkins University, founded in Baltimore in 1876, was the first university in the Western Hemisphere founded on the model of the European research institution, where research and the advancement of knowledge were integrally linked to teaching. Its establishment began a revolution in U.S. higher education. The Johns Hopkins University, commonly referred to as Johns Hopkins, JHU, or simply Hopkins, is a private research university located in Baltimore, Maryland, United States. Johns Hopkins also maintains full-time campuses elsewhere in Maryland, Washington, D.C., Italy, China, and Singapore. Johns Hopkins University has an affiliated hospital and medical school. It is one of fourteen founding members of the Association of American Universities.

12. University of Pennsylvania, United States
University of Pennsylvania rated as 12th best university in World University Rankings 2009. The University of Pennsylvania (commonly referred to as Penn or UPenn) is a private research university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. Penn is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States, and is one of several institutions that claims to have been the first university in America. Penn is a member of the Ivy League and is one of the Colonial Colleges. University of Pennsylvania has been committed to excellence in scholarship, research and service. From its highly regarded undergraduate, graduate and professional schools to its wide-ranging program of interdisciplinary research and scholarship, Penn takes pride in being a place where students and faculty can pursue knowledge without boundaries, a place where theory and practice combine to produce a better understanding of our world and ourselves.

11. Columbia University, United States
Columbia University rated as 11th best university in World University Rankings 2009. Columbia University is one of the world’s most important centers of research and at the same time a distinctive and distinguished learning environment for undergraduates and graduate students in many scholarly and professional fields. The University recognizes the importance of its location in New York City and seeks to link its research and teaching to the vast resources of a great metropolis. It seeks to attract a diverse and international faculty and student body, to support research and teaching on global issues, and to create academic relationships with many countries and regions. It expects all areas of the university to advance knowledge and learning at the highest level and to convey the products of its efforts to the world.

10. California Institute of Technology (caltech)
California Institute of Technology (caltech) rated as 10th best university in World University Rankings 2009. The mission of the California Institute of Technology is to expand human knowledge and benefit society through research integrated with education. We investigate the most challenging, fundamental problems in science and technology in a singularly collegial, interdisciplinary atmosphere, while educating outstanding students to become creative members of society.

9. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (mit), United States
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (mit) rated as 9th best university in World University Rankings 2009. The Institute is committed to generating, disseminating, and preserving knowledge, and to working with others to bring this knowledge to bear on the world’s great challenges. MIT is dedicated to providing its students with an education that combines rigorous academic study and the excitement of discovery with the support and intellectual stimulation of a diverse campus community. We seek to develop in each member of the MIT community the ability and passion to work wisely, creatively, and effectively for the betterment of humankind.The mission of MIT is to advance knowledge and educate students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the 21st century.

8. PRINCETON University, United States
PRINCETON University rated as 8th best university in World University Rankings 2009. Princeton is the fourth-oldest college in the United States. As a research university, it seeks to achieve the highest levels of distinction in the discovery and transmission of knowledge and understanding, and in the education of graduate students. At the same time, Princeton is distinctive among research universities in its commitment to undergraduate teaching. The University provides its students with academic, extracurricular and other resources — in a residential community committed to diversity in its student body, faculty and staff — that help them achieve at the highest scholarly levels and prepare them for positions of leadership and lives of service in many fields of human endeavor.
7. University of CHICAGO, United States
University of CHICAGO rated as the 7th best university in World University Rankings 2009. The University of Chicago was founded in 1890 by the American Baptist Education Society and oil magnate John D. Rockefeller. The University of Chicago has had a profound impact on American higher education; curricula across the country have been influenced by the emphasis on broad humanistic and scientific undergraduate education. The University also has a well-deserved reputation as the teacher of teachers.

6. University of OXFORD, United Kingdom
University of OXFORD rated the sixth best university in World University Rankings 2009. Oxford is the oldest university in the English-speaking world and lays claim to nine centuries of continuous existence. As an internationally renowned centre for teaching and research, Oxford attracts students and scholars from across the globe, with almost a quarter of our students from overseas. More than 130 nationalities are represented among a student population of over 18,000. Oxford is a collegiate university, with 39 self-governing colleges related to the University in a type of federal system. There are also seven Permanent Private Halls, founded by different Christian denominations. Thirty colleges and all halls admit students for both undergraduate and graduate degrees. Seven other colleges are for graduates only; one has Fellows only, and one specializes in part-time and continuing education.

5. IMPERIAL College London
Imperial College London, rated the fifth best university in the world for 2009. Imperial College London is a university of world class scholarship, education and research in science, engineering and medicine, with particular regard to their application in industry, commerce and healthcare. The College has over 3,000 academic and research staff and almost 14,000 students from over 120 different countries. Our reputation for excellence in teaching and research in science, engineering, medicine and business attracts students and staff of the highest international calibre. Imperial College staff are frequently consulted by governments, and also act as members of professional bodies, advise industry, and offer informed comment to the media.

4. UCL (University College London)
UCL (University College London) rated the fourth best university in World University Rankings 2009. UCL is a multidisciplinary university with an international reputation for the quality of its research and teaching across the academic spectrum, with subjects spanning the sciences, arts, social sciences and biomedicine. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) UCL was rated the best research university in London, and third in the UK overall, for the number of its submissions which were considered of world-leading quality. The university is located on a compact site in the very heart of London and is surrounded by the greatest concentration of libraries, museums, archives, cultural institutions and professional bodies in Europe.

3. Yale University, United States
Yale University rated as third best university in the World University Rankings 2009. Yale University is one of the most famous schools in the United States, with a long history of service and an alumni list that reads like a “Who’s Who” of successful people. Yale University is the fulfillment of a European vision of intellectual freedom that is aimed at the service of the community and country. It has championed over history and survived the most destructive calamities such as the American Revolution. Since then, the university has continually grown and progressed to a center for high quality education that is recognized by the global community. The university is considered one of the oldest institution of higher education in the US. It was founded in 1701 and is a proud member of the prestigious Ivy League.

2. University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
University of Cambridge rated the second best in World University Rankings 2009. The University of Cambridge is one of the oldest universities in the world and one of the largest in the United Kingdom. Its reputation for outstanding academic achievement is known world-wide and reflects the intellectual achievement of its students, as well as the world-class original research carried out by the staff of the University and the Colleges. Its reputation is endorsed by the Quality Assurance Agency and by other external reviewers of learning and teaching, such as External Examiners. These high standards are the result of both the learning opportunities offered at Cambridge and by its extensive resources, including libraries, museums and other collections. Teaching consists not only of lectures, seminars and practical classes led by people who are world experts in their field, but also more personalised teaching arranged through the Colleges. Many opportunities exist for students to interact with scholars of all levels, both formally and informally.

1. Harvard University, United States
Harvard University rated as the number one university in World University Rankings 2009. Harvard is America’s oldest institution of higher learning, founded 140 years before the Declaration of Independence was signed. The University has grown from nine students with a single master to an enrollment of more than 18,000 degree candidates, including undergraduates and students in 10 principal academic units. An additional 13,000 students are enrolled in one or more courses in the Harvard Extension School. Over 14,000 people work at Harvard, including more than 2,000 faculty. There are also 7,000 faculty appointments in affiliated teaching hospitals.

Via TopUniversities

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