The last video game to really capture my childhood imagination and the last JRPG I ever fell in love with. It's everything I'd ever wanted out of a JRPG leading up to that point and nothing since then has come close. I was 14 years old when I played this game and from about that point on I've never been as positive and excited to be playing a video game.
The Elder Scroll's III: Morrowind
Where Dragon Quest VIII was everything I'd ever wanted in a JRPG, Morrowind was everything I didn't know I wanted in video games as a whole. Morrowind was the first game I'd ever played where nothing felt off limits. I overcame all the shortcomings of playing this on the original XBox and put hundreds of hours into this game.
Kirby's Dream Land
The first game I ever owned.
How I spent ages 13-17.
Ori and the Blind Forest
You know how I said DQ8 was the last game to sort of capture that childhood sense of adventure? Well... I meant outside of Ori and the Blind Forest which is my game of the generation so far.
Super Smash Bros. Melee: Invested the most time into the game, made a lot of friends playing this game in elementary school with school people and again met people in college through the competitive scene. As a depressed individual in college spectating the weekend's biggest tournament is often the highlight of my week and one of the few things that really brings a smile to my face. That's probably kind of dumb especially since I actually suck at the game but it still means a lot to me.
Pokemon gens 1-3 (and HG/SS): Can't really pick one. The first one made me fall in love with gaming, motivated me to learn to read more, and felt like a real cultural event, the second one is my second most played game of all-time, the third is a game I bonded over with over my cousin and a couple friends I had (while previously I had just played the games solo, trading and battling with myself), and HG/SS inspired me to start learning some Japanese so I could play the game early. I like gens 4-6 more but 1-3 are the ones that are really "important," to me. Pokemon in general has kind of been a life-long obsession.
Rock Band 2 (and 3): Got me interested in music in general, spent tons of time playing it with my cousins during High School Summers.
Mario Kart DS: The first time I ever played a game online, one of my most-played games ever and the first time I ever got somewhat invested in a game's "community".
Animal Crossing (GC): I bonded with my younger sisters over it for years, and my sister and I taught my younger sister to read so she could play with us.
Honorable mentions include Fire Emblem: Rekka No Ken (spent a Summer playing with my cousins), DDR (got me to exercise a little bit more and was also my gateway to J-Pop), Harvest Moon: Magical Melody (also bonded over with it with my sisters, and while we didn't learn anything from it or do any memory card connectivity shenanigans we probably played it more than AC), and Katawa Shoujo (convinced me that I could potentially be in a relationship even though I'm disabled lol, even though I'm still unsure).
1. The Last of Us- Self explanatory
2. Earthbound - Quirky rpg that is still unique to this day
3. Sonic Generations- Cause I like sonic games, good sonic games
4. NBA 2K2- first sport game I played, still holds up compared to 2k16, still creating my own players and own teams to this day
5. Uncharted 2- First naughty dog game and third person shooter, just loved the over-the-top action of it all and never hated one second of it(except maybe the yeti)
I love these games to death, always makes me appreciate how far gaming has come.
I always find lists like this tough, my answers will probably differ depending on my mood etc. but here are the five that came to mind right now.
Mass Effect - I often cheat with Mass Effect in these kinds of lists and refer to the trilogy as one game but for the sake of this, I'll answer with the first game since it set the foundation for a fictional universe that I fell in love with more than any other. From the time I started it to the time I completed the trilogy, I grew up through my teens and spent a lot of that time in this world with characters I genuinely cared about.
TimeSplitters 2 - Thinking about this game takes me back to a simpler time, playing split-screen with my brother and occasionally my friends. Going through the story in co-op, creating a custom mode where we'd attempt to hold off hordes of Golems with max health on Ice Station, and setting up the blanket to prevent screen looking when playing proximity mines only deathmatches on Chinese. It was so much fun.
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty - While I think MGS3 is the better game, I will always fondly remember the hype for MGS2 and how it was the most technically impressive thing I had ever seen in gaming. I remember reading all the previews in magazines and being amazed by what you could do ("YOU CAN HANG OFF LEDGES"), then my brother managed to get the demo which was incredible. I will never forget the Saturday morning it arrived, my brother shaking me awake and the first thing I see being that beautiful Yoji Shinkawa art on the case right in front of me, followed by spending the entire day sat between his legs marvelling at the game.
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare - Not the first online multiplayer game I played, but the first to capture me enough to put 20 days into it. Many of my friendships were made or strengthened through a shared love of this game. Hours spent playing together after school, the occasional all-nighter on the weekend talking about the girls we fancied (and coming up with codenames for them so we could refer to them in the open without anyone knowing, so dumb
) and paying no attention in school due to us discussing it.
Pokémon Blue - I would have been very young playing this, enough so that I feel like it was probably the first game I truly became addicted to, although I could be wrong. My brother got Red for Christmas and I thought it looked cool enough that I eventually had to get Blue for myself. I spent a lot of time playing and replaying this, talking about it with my brother as we both went through it, and later getting involved with the trading cards and TV show.
Super Metroid - the very definition of the perfect game. Endlessly replayable, fantastic protagonist and villain, and the way the story unfolds was masterful. My favorite game of all time.
Flower - I know people will say that Journey was thatgamecompany's best game, but IMO it was Flower. A big reason why it was so good was the insanely beautiful and dynamic soundtrack by Vincent Diamante. Loved soaring through the fields, cities, and mountains.
The Last of Us - this was a blind buy for me, and it just captures everything excellent about legitimate gaming to me. The dialogue, music, and story all were fantastic. Joel and Ellie felt real.
Super Mario World - the GOAT Mario game. Hidden exits in levels, a great soundtrack, amazing level design, and fantastic art direction! The controls are sublime.
Chrono Trigger/Earthbound/Terranigma - really, the golden age of SNES JRPGs. When stories weren't bogged down by anime cliches. When soundtracks to the games were new and exciting. When Squaresoft and Quintet existed. I still have my original carts of Lufia II, Terranigma, Chrono Trigger, Earthbound, Illusion of Gaia, Final Fantasy II & III (US names), Secret of Mana, and Super Mario RPG. Opinions and all, I would dare say no other console could measure up to that output. And that's only the RPGs that were translated and came stateside (I own a PAL SNES & legit English copy of Terranigma. It's one of my proudest posessions).
One of the few great Christmas present memories I have, and the best one. The context around all that is life story material that really makes me appreciate it. I was like the kid in Neverending Story being "in" another world for days straight, and it's the first time I remember thinking "I wish I could forget everything and experience it for the first time all over again"
First game I pre-ordered and got day 1. Had to go way out in a blizzard to get it, I was consciously aware of the price and it ended up being worth every penny + more. Just magic. I wouldn't trade that experience for much.
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Not just my favorite game. It's a beautiful thing that I'm glad I got to love so much, for so long. It's like being glad I grew up how I did, with an appreciation for ethereal and fantastical art, music, film, culture etc.
Heart of Darkness
I bought that game the day it released with my first paycheck and it's one of my favorites. Feels like something that's all mine, since it's so rarely appreciated. This game is probably to me what Pixar movies are to other people.
Any memory of even just the story mode, the look, feel and sound of everything... gives me that warm, fuzzy feeling. Brought out the best in me, changed how I'm able to think about games, and lead to many priceless years of community.
Silent Hill 2 - My absolute favorite game of all time and the one that has the biggest emotional punch to this day. I've played this at least 20 times over the year and I still love it just as much as the first go around. I wish I could experience it fresh.
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask - Similar reasons to Silent Hill 2 above.
Resident Evil (original) - The very first video game I ever really experienced. It probably wasn't very appropriate but seeing the dog hallway on the TV as my uncle played when I was 5 or 6 definitely left a strong impression. When I finally played games for myself the first time awhile later my first games were Resident Evil and Tomb Raider on the PS1.
The Cat Lady - One of the few notable depictions of mental illness that I've come across in video games that I've played. As someone who has struggled and often been ~unwell mentally this game hit me like a ton of bricks at points.
Rock Band 2 - This can be interchangeable with any Rock Band title up to 3 really. These games had a big part in shaping my music taste over the years. More importantly however, I met my best friend in the world while playing with randoms in 2 online. We talked daily for years, shared things that I wouldn't dare to in real life (my teen years were messy/closeted), and just generally became really close friends until he passed away last year. I don't know if I'll ever experience a friendship like it again but I'm so glad to have known him.
Honorable mentions: Mass Effect (1), Animal Crossing, Tomb Raider (96), Hotel Dusk: Room 215, and The Sims 2.
Street Fighter II (Arcade)
Can't overstate how mind-blowing it was to encounter SFII for the first time in a grimy bowling alley. I enjoyed my 8-bit console experiences, tho suddenly became fervently devoted to games as a result of SFII.
Mario 64 (N64)
Another life changing game - hard to believe how right they got it first time. Total immersion.
Gran Turismo 3 (PS2)
Although I'd spent lots of time with GT2, GT3 was a game that dominated my PS2 disc tray for years. Pressure sensitive acceleration/breaking, jaw dropping graphics and endless competition against my own ghosts. True love.
Resident Evil 4 (GC)
I was reluctant to order RE4 - was feeling jaded with RE (and gaming in general at the time.) Was starting to believe that I was growing out of games. I was wrong - I just needed a better game.
I've been hooked on many shooters over the years. Goldeneye, COD4, Halo Reach etc. I've chosen BF4 because it's my pick for pinnacle of the FPS genre. Unparalleled production values - the sound, the physics and gun handling keep me coming back. Feel like I'm actually running around shooting guns. Hope BF1 takes this spot - we'll see.
Super Mario World: As a person who liked emulating things a lot when I was younger, this was the game I played the most. Still quite an excellent game, and one that ages like fine wine.
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater: This game showed me games could be art, and to this day it is my all time favourite game. The Boss is still probably the finest video game character.
Super Mario Galaxy 2: I took a break from gaming for a couple of years. This was the game that got me loving games again, and I haven't left since. Such good gameplay, and such stunning music.
Bayonetta 2: In addition to being one of the finest games ever made, on a personal level this game means a lot to me. I was going through sexual identity issues, you see, and I was feeling uncomfortable with myself and my gender identity. Playing Bayonetta 2 made me accept myself more. Here is a game with a female protagonist who isn't just empowered, but embraces her sexuality in a positive way. That helped me accept my gender and sexuality in a way that no other piece of media did.
Persona 4: Though I haven't played the game, I watched a lets-play. The character of Kanji is a character I can relate to a lot, as well as the theme of shadow selves.
1) StarCraft 2 - The only game I've taken seriously competitively, been playing it steadily since release. Got to have at least a dozen runs through the campaigns, thousands of hours in the multiplayer and arcade modes. It's my go-to game and it will stay that way for a long time with the way Blizzard is supporting it. The new co-op mode is great. I still like to watch SC2 pro games as well.
2) Left 4 Dead - This game got me back into gaming after I'd quit for a couple years during college. Lots of memorable co-op play with some of my best friends. I really hope the sequel rumors are true. Let me love you again, Valve.
3) Resident Evil Remake - I don't replay survival horror games in general, but this one for some reason I can always go back to. I bought it again on PS4 and it was a joy earning the platinum.
4) Pokemon Red - First Pokemon game, got it around launch as a kid. Loads of people had it at my school and those were some fun times. I fondly remember setting up a tent in my back yard and inviting my best friend over for Pokemon all night lol
5) Wind Waker - The sense of adventure to this game is fantastic. It's the most memorable and enjoyable Zelda game to me.
1) The Legend of Zelda
While I had an Atari, this game (and Super Mario Bros) was the game that got me hooked on gaming. It's also the reason why I fell in love with the fantasy genre, which opened my young mind up to entire new worlds. Getting to explore Hyrule for the first time back in 1988 was incredible. Here is this vast, giant world, that I can explore and find new things, all without leaving my living room.
2) Super Mario Bros
This was another game that got me hooked on video games. Whereas Zelda was a game that you could play at your own pace (due to the save feature), Mario was a different beast. You couldn't save your game, so if you beat it, it had to be done in one sitting and you were racing the clock. Precision jumps while trying to beat the clock made for a great challenge.
3) A Link to the Past
This game took everything that I loved about the first Zelda, and expanded on it. Two huge worlds to explore, great boss battles, lots of hidden secrets and dungeons to explore. It's been my favorite game since the first time I played it.
4) Tecmo Super Bowl
I'll never forget the memories I have of playing my Dad and brother in this. This was the first sports game we played and some of the games we had were fantastic. All I have to say is fuck the digital New York Giants and fuck the digital version of Matt Bahr (fuck the real version for not missing the FG in the 1990 NFC Championship as well)
5) Ocarina of Time
While it's not my favorite game in the series, nothing could prepare me for walking out into Hyrule Field for the first time. That's a moment in my gaming history that I'll never forget.
While there's a lot of different games that are memorial to me, those are the 5 that stand out.
Final Fantasy VIII:
My first JRPG and the one that resonated with me the most. The gorgeous soundtrack paired with the wonderful art direction and setting made for an amazing experience. Even to this day the cutscenes blow me away and I can easily find new ways to replay VIII due to it's junction system having so many options.
Final Fantasy Tactics:
This actually started my love for tactical games and much like VIII, it has an amazing setting and story. The music blends perfectly with the dark medeieval style and the job system had me addicted.
Legend Of Zelda Ocarina of Time:
Funny enough I actually prefer Majora's Mask to OOT but OOT is the game I played first and it started my love for the series. I think of this one as a tie between the two but overall Ocarina was a huge jump for the series and the music is fantastic.
Dragon Quest VIII
Noticing a trend? Yes this game was a first for me in the Dragon Quest series. The exploration and graphics are amazing. The characters were some of the best the series has to offer and the story is charming as hell.
The whole mecha suits and anime style had me immediatley. Paired with the fact the story was dark and complex, I was hooked which is why I love this game. The second disc is a disappointment but not enough to change my feelings about how good the game and it's music is.
It's hard making a top 5 because there's a few games that could easily sneak in like Pokemon Silver, Zero Escape, Final Fantasy X, Uncharted, etc.
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest
Super Mario 64
Golden Sun: The Lost Age
Honorable mention: Audiosurf
DKC2 is probably the 2D platformer I love the most. Don't get me wrong, I love SMW, DKC, DKC3, Yoshi's Island and others. But this one, it's probably that resonated the most with me.
Super Mario 64... This is pretty much THE childhood game. I have some many memories associated with this game. SO much, I can't even transcribe everything to words.
Perfect Dark is probably the game I played the most in my N64 days. It represents what I love the most in a FPS still to this day. I remember creating CPU teams and play with my friend's mom and laughing our arse off at the CPU's team and giving them names. Hahaha.
Golden Sun: The Lost Age. You saw that one coming with my avatar, hmm? Well, Golden Sun is probably the only RPG franchise, except Pokemon, that I give a f* about. I remember downloading the rom off a P2P software (now defunct but still won't name it), then spending tons of hours trying playing the game on emulator. It's still thanks to one of my friend that kind of introduced the first game to me and then was curious about it. It took me a lot of time before I went and purchased the carts off ebay. Still wish for a 4th installment.
Pokemon Gold... It's the only Pokemon game I had a complete Pokedex (minus Celebi). I always had the cart up until my appartment was hit by a fire. However before that, the battery died, so I lost everything but I still remember a "250 seen, 250 caught" in the pokedex still very clearly. Still a lot of memories of my bro and me duking it out.
Honorable Mention: Audiosurf. The original. Not the abomination that is the 2nd opus. I've spent next to 1000 hours because I just loved how the game plays and how I could listen to my music while playing. Still rocking Pointman Pro to this day. F* the haters.
Interesting idea. Some years ago I wouldn't feel emotionally moved by a fiction work but after my "return" to gaming during the ps2 era everything changed. Right now my top 5 would be:
-Jet Set Radio Future: My brother and I playing together to beat a single player game... Then we invested a lot of time in the multiplayer, every time our cousins came over we ended up playing this too. Good times.
-EarthBound: This game is so fucking weird but kind of emotional too. Every time I play it there's a sense of nostalgia that I can't get rid of.
-Pokémon Blue: this game was my first RPG. After that I fell in love with the genre even though I ended up accepting that Pokémon is not for me. Final Fantasy, Chrono Trigger, Persona, Dragon Quest, Suikoden, Tales of, SMT... I wouldn't have played any of those if it wasn't because I fell in love with Pokémon Blue.
-Persona 3: I never cared enough about NPCs and what happened to the world they lived in until I played Persona 3. Before that I would play a game, I'd recognize how rich the world was and how great a combat system worked and so on, but I got emotionally invested for the first time with this game and that "change" in the way I experienced videogames I talked about earlier is probably the result of me playing P3.
-Batman Returns: The game is awesome but this particular game brings memories of my little brother, my two cousins and me trying to beat this game together. Batman Returns is a very important part of my childhood, not SFII, nor Mortal Kombat or Contra or Super Metroid... Batman Returns is the game that defines my childhood.
1. Team Fortress 2
Team Fortress 2 is damn near perfection when it comes to core game mechanics. While weapons do break how the game was intended to flow, the rock-paper-scissors matchup of classes and weapons never get old. The system of Achilles' Heels, where each character is one and has an opposing class that is one, is something that really shines when you are in a server that gives a shit about team balance. Scouts hunting down Medics, Pyros getting that fire damage on said scouts, Snipers bodyshotting Pyros, Spies backstabbing Snipers, etc. etc. While the system has gotten muddled with weapons breaking the links, at the end of the day, the 9-class system is almost perfectly balanced. It doesn't hurt either that the weapons all feel responsive, the gameplay loop it generates for each of the 9 characters feels fun, and my characters look dapper as fuck in their virtual clothing.
2. Super Mario Galaxy
I was a Nintendo kid growing up. My childhood was the Gamecube, the Gameboy, and the Wii towards the end of it. While my peers had Playstations and Xboxes and the like, I was stuck with the "kids" console. And I never felt satisfied with the systems I had. There was never a game which made me think "I love my Wii/Gamecube/Gameboy." Cue Super Mario Galaxy. Super Mario Galaxy was platforming perfection. From the moment I started playing it to the moment I got that 121st star as Luigi, I never, not even for a second, stopped loving that game. Between the comets, the interesting locales and the varied level design that followed, Super Mario Galaxy was something spectacular in every facet.
3. Uncharted 2
Eventually, my parents got me a PS3 after I had been whining to them for months about how cool Gran Turismo 5 looked and the sheer awe that FF Versus 13 inspired in me. One of the first games I played on the system was Uncharted 2. Some backstory: before I got the PS3, I used to pretty much beg my family to go to Target. And every time we arrived there, I just yelled bye and sprinted to the gaming section. The PS3 there was almost always free and the only demo I even touched was Uncharted 2. I played that demo at least 5 or 6 times through and through and felt a need to play the game in its entirety. Eventually, a friend loaned it to me and I got hooked. The first time I played the opening of the game, I was struck by how damn pretty everything looked. It was one of the first games that really just gripped me and never let go. Everything about that game is great; the way the game mixes high-tension action scenes with slower moments, the dramatic turn in Tibet, the gunplay, and the scale of the platforming. Uncharted 2 is one of the games I don't hesitate to play through multiple times and considering I've already beaten it on Crushing, I might have to acquire a PS4 to play the collection's version on it as well.
4. Spelunky (flash version)
I love this game, and I hate. I want to strangle it to death in an alley, and I want hug and kiss it and tell it sweet nothings. I fucking hate you, but I love you, Spelunky. After I moved to India, I didn't have time to game. Power cuts, shitty internet, and a lot of schoolwork meant I never got to play video games. Then one day, I stumbled on an article promoting Spelunky as a Chrome attachment. I was intrigued. I downloaded it, entered the door, and promptly died. Over and over and over and over. See, I thought Spelunky was just another mediocre platformer. So, I was surprised when layouts started shifting, items were being introduced, and the spider monsters started appearing. Spelunky was my first rogue-like and I'll never forget my days of zoning out to music & trying to beat the damn thing. When I finally did beat it, after 1000 tries, the sense of elation and accomplishment I had in that moment is something I fear I will never experience again. Spelunky is perfection, brutally unfair perfection but perfection none the less.
5. GTA 5
Fast-forward to summer of 2014. I got accepted into college and was wiling my days away in an empty house as my parents and sister were doing things. I had convinced my mother to buy GTA 5 for me when she had gone to California for a trip, and I hadn't even touched the game till now. I popped it in, and promptly had to download what was gigs of data on 100 kb/s internet. I waited the requisite 8-10 hours, and then had to shut it down because my parents got home and they wanted to watch some TV. The next morning, I finally got to play it and when I did, I was blown away. I know GTA 5 gets a lot of shit for its "satire", its depiction of women, etc. etc. and rightfully so, but Rockstar just knows how to build worlds that feel inhabited, that feel alive, that make every second you spend in them feel like reality. I love just driving around the island, blasting the radio, and just looking at the cars pass. The heists were things of beauty and the build-up to each one though tedious felt like a realistic part of the process. The game is something of a masterpiece in its world building, in its detail, in its ability to make a city come alive. Its just a shame everything else can't match up to that high bar, but even then everything else is great.
Warcraft 3 + TFT: The best game of all time for me. It was the first game were I delved into the Internet community and the awesome UMS community; it was hundreds of games bundled into one. I've witnessed/played the peak of RTS games and the birth of the MOBA genre before it was a thing with the original DotA.
World of Warcraft: Thanks to Warcraft 3 I became invested in its lore and jumping into vanilla WoW was a no-brainer for me. Essentially WoW became my middle school/early high school life until I had to take a break due to it fucking with my grades.
Pokemon Red Version: First video game ever and got me into the Pokemon series which enabled me to meet many of my lifelong friends.
Diablo 2: Alongside Warcraft 3 I got into Diablo 2 and so far it is the only game which had me legit shook but that is mostly attributed to me being around 9-10ish at the time. Though the game's story isn't much, Diablo 2 was the first RPG I've played and I was very much invested into the lore thus the game enabled my love for the RPG.
Pokemon Ruby Version: My favorite generation of Pokemon and the last one I truly enjoyed to date, will have to see what Sun/Moon brings. I just really enjoyed this generation for some reason but I can't put my finger on it.
No real order and this is definitely a different list than what my top 5 favorite games would be.
1. Pokemon Gold/Silver - I ended ip getting both of them, when I think back to my innocent childhood days full of fun and sunshine this is the game I think of. To this day one of my most memorable gaming moments was playing in bed at night and finally reaching Goldenrod City and being so excited at how big it was and the different colors.
2.Super Smash Bros. Melee - the game that brought the family together, many long days and nights were spent playing this game with my cousins and friends, I didn't have a Gamecube so I'd alwaus beg to go to my cousins house to play some Smash Bros.
3. Devil May Cry 3 - the game that turned me into a real "hardcore" gamer, I mean yeah I played a lot of games before this but I wasn't really into the whole challenging/play things on the highest difficulty stuff. DMC3 changed that, made me GET GUD and next thing I know im playing Ninja Gaiden on MNM and getting into God Hand and going back to old games and playing them on hard. Probably wouldn't have cared for stuff like Dark Souls if it wasn't for DMC3
4.Metal Gear Solid 2 - the fine wine of video games, only gets better with age. My relationship with this game coincides with my growth as a "gamer"(boy I kinda hate that word) Back in my younger days when I didn't branch out in terms of genres and stuff(not just games but media in general) MGS2 was just some game I felt was "ok". As I got older I kept going back to MGS2 and loved it more and more each time. Came to think of it was a real masterpiece and made me crave for a lot of different types of media. I got into the point and click genre thanks to MGS2 greatly expanding my tastes, I could play stuff like Deadly Premonition and Killer 7, got into watching tons of genre tv shows. MGS2 made me HUNGRY.
5.Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion - honestly it was really hard to think of a 5th one, I decided on this one cause this was the last game that me feel like I was a kid playing video games for the 1st time again. Didn't know anything about this series, didn't play many RPGs before this, and I bought it on a complete 100% whim. Oblivion was nothing like I ever played before, a lot more intimate than something like GTA, and I could not get enough of that soundtrack
The Last of Us: The Last of Us made me pay more attention to the writing in games. I recently realized that it also had a huge impact on my own writing style, especially in relation to dialogue.
Call of Duty 4: I'll never forget setting up the Xbox downstairs and playing splitscreen showdown with my brother for hours on end.
Skyrim: 15 year old MattyG didn't have a job, but the day Skyrim came out he got hired for a little yardwork. I got paid $50 and had a little more in my wallet. I'd never played an Elder Scrolls game before, but I liked Fallout 3 a lot, so I spent all my hard earned money on it. 150+ hours later and I still love that game, despite all its flaws.
Crash Bandicoot 3: One of the first video games I can remember playing on my own.
And it's the best one don't try to fight it.
Pokemon Gold: My first Pokemon game. I remember being in Gamestop, and I was like 6 or 7 at the time, but my brother was in his teens and was in the "Pokemon is dumb" phase. I wanted him to think I was cool, but I also REALLY wanted to play Pokemon. We were with his girlfriend at the time and when he was gone on the other side of the store I told her I wanted to get a Pokemon game but I didn't want him to think I was dumb. She laughed and bought it for me and I was instantly hooked. This was before I had internet access too, so even though it'd been out for a few years at that point, the second region reveal blew me away. It also started me down the path of spending hundreds, maybe upwards of 1000 hours on that series.
Sonic the Hedgehog 3 - Genesis was my first console, given to me on my fifth birthday by my dad with Sonic 1 and 2 and a TMNT beat-em-up game. All of those games were a bit too tough for my 5 year old self, and I only really had a casual interest in games back then (I was more of an outdoorsy kid in my early youth). Sonic 3, a few years later, was the first video game that my dad bought for me that I liked enough to sit down for an entire day and actually beat. It was still something of a struggle, my hand-eye was bad when I was little, but I sat down and got through it. Accidentally discovered coop mode with my younger brother and replayed it a few times, with us taking turns playing Sonic/Tails on each playthrough.
Final Fantasy VII - not my favorite Final Fantasy game, but I do appreciate it for (a) turning me into a PlayStation fan and (b) making me see potential in video game narrative. Was a complete accident discovering this, a neighbor who was a few years older in his mid-teens brought it over when he was babysitting my brother and I (I was 10 or 11 at the time), and I had never heard of Final Fantasy or PlayStation before. I got hooked, and begged my dad for months to buy me a PS and a copy of FFVII, and eventually that request was granted, opening the door to a bunch of other gaming experiences I might have not cared to look into or known about at all. I loved the story and characters of FFVII at the time, and have been a pretty strong PlayStation brand fan ever since.
Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time - considered this my favorite game of all time for a good long time, and it was THE game that made me a video game enthusiast. Like I said, I preferred running around my neighborhood and getting out on my bike in my free time when I was really young, but as I grew older, I kind of had issues with bullies and socializing with my peers got increasingly awkward, and OoT hit me at a time of estrangement that kind of clicked and I've just been super into video games, among other things, ever since, and lost a lot of that youthful zeal for real-life adventure. This game soared past so many of my expectations, even after being absolutely blown away by Super Mario 64 and what it did for the 3D gaming space years earlier.
Dark Souls - the game that finally dethroned Ocarina of Time and altered my gaming preferences. I haven't gone "Dark Souls ruined other games for me" extremes, but it certainly elevated how closely I examine my own learning and skillful play while I play other games. It was also an intensely satisfying experience between the actual skill requirements, the novel multiplayer setup, and the art and lore speculation that was unfolding as a community. I personally think its follow ups have been progressively better and better, but Dark Souls 1 is the one that changed everything for me. Thanks to this game, I have a far more involved lens on how I examine game systems and mechanics in almost every other game I play, and it actually encouraged me to be more competitive in competitive multiplayer as well.
Resident Evil 4 - Just a really damn great game for me, so incredibly fun. It's probably the one game on this list that didn't really influence or radically alter my gaming landscape, and it's present on this list just for the sheer enjoyment I had playing it over and over and over since it's original Gamecube release in North America. I've replayed this game like 18 times on various platforms, I think it's just a well-tuned gaming experience.
World of Illusion on sega mega drive because my mum and I played it co op when I was a kid and it's one of my favourite memories.
Battlefield Bad Company 1 because it was the first mp game I really got into and gave a shit about.
Fallout 3 because I played it at difficult time in my life and it sucked me into its world rather than my world full of moping about how shit everything was. Helped me escape long enough to start to dig myself out the hole of bad shit.
I mean none of them are necessarily close to my favourites but those are the ones that mean something to me, can't really think of 2 more.
First resident evil maybe? And uh maybe the first Pro Evo Soccer cause it was just me and my bros growing up doing dumb shit and playing those games.
Pokemon Yellow - First game I got that was just for me, did not have to share playtime or have to watch my brother play it.
Dragon Quest Monsters - My favorite monster catching game, spent many all nighters at grandmas playing this.
Dragon Quest VIII - Talk about all nighters and early rising sneaking into my brothers bedroom to play this and get farther than him before he awoke. Really opened me up to jrpgs in a much bigger way than I had before.
Kingdom Hearts - One of the happiest memories I have is of playing this game, truly defines the word magical. One of the only games I ever replay besides Pokemon/DQM
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas - GTA 3 blew my mind when my brother brought it home, we did not have a PS2 mem card so we could only get so far haha, and then we bought one and it opened me up to a whole world of sandbox games. Vice City was amazing and a blast but it was San Andreas that truly defined the PS2 for me.
Super Mario Bros. I played plenty of games before the NES came out, Chuck E Cheese, donkey kong on atari, etc. But Mario Bros is absolutely what turned it from a sometimes past time as a little kid, into an actual hobby that I spend the majority of my free time on.
Chrono Trigger. My favorite game of all time. One of the first games I remember replaying more than a few times. I've beaten Chrono trigger probably over 60 or 70 times.
EverQuest. The start of the hole of social gaming, as far as mainstream games go. I suppose before this would've just been roleplaying in chat rooms or ultima online or MUDs, but EQ really went from 'I have some friends on here" to "These are lifelong groups of people I won't ever forget"
World of Warcraft. I don't see how I can't include this. 12 years and I've been friends with hundreds of people. Fallen in and out of love etc over this game.
Halo. Maybe? I'm not sure. This last spot has to be something in that era. I probably played more of Perfect Dark or Powerstone 2 or something, but Halo was a magical experience to me.
Uncharted 2 - I played this game during a very lonely abd difficult time of my life ( my high school years have not been so kind to me )
and this amazing game was for me at least way more than just a game - the strong sense of adventure,the wonderful dynamic between the characters was something that was missing from my life (not talking about mass murdering lol) and how stupid as it may sound,
I found it in this game.
Beyond Good and Evil - never have a game made me feel so..calm and immerse in the it's world. Played it as a child and always remember it as my first 'true' game.
I love games where not an objective or a static goal is given to the player, but where the gameplay at its core is itself the goal of the game. I think minecraft (at least for me) does that like no other game. I just love to discover the world and biomes and hidden caves and all that stuff and create my own adventures.
Fallout / Elder Scrolls
Despite the recent opinions about open world.....i still love it and the elder scrolls / fallout gameplay fits best with my idea of a open world game. I can play these games for hours and hour and not even touch the main story missions. To me that is great game design
Coming from the ps2 uncharted was my first ps3 game and from a visual standpoint it blew me away. I was playing with friends and we were all drooling in front o the tv. Also im a sucker for indiana jones-esque things.
Great dungeon crawler and the possibility (and necessity) of creating your own maps is great. Best dungeon crawler gameplay element ever. Reminds me of m old pen&paper rpg days.
Love the universe, the characters of the game. Despite its flaws and issues (especially with the morale system) it is still one of the best story driven space operas. Great times.
Yoshi's Island - This was the first game I ever played/owned and the reason I got intrested in the hobby. Playing it as a child taught me to always try and shoot for 100 in everything because you never know kinds of bonuses you'll get (I really liked the flashy fanfare you got when I was little) The ending screen of "Heroes are born!" really resonates with me when I think of it as my game completed since it was just the first of many, so in a really cheesy way I see it as referring to me as well.
Wind Waker - As someone who loves the feeling of adventure no game I've played has ever come close to capturing that feeling than Wind Waker. Sailing the high seas without a guide and coming across all the islands of the great sea and trying to uncover there secrets was an experience that can never be replicated.
Xenoblade - I bought this game purely because I enjoyed the OST and not being a fan of RPGs I didn't really think I'd enjoy it. I bought it just as I graduated high school and it was one of those things that just perfectly matches your current situation as you go through it. In typical JRPG fashion you start in your hometown and wind up going on a journey to new areas and lose some friends and make new ones and that's basically what was happening to me. I started traveling further from home, me and most of my friends went our separate ways for college all while I was thoroughly engrossed in this game. There's more to it than that but it's a really special game to me for that general reason.
Super Mario Galaxy 2 - I had sold my original Wii in 2008 since most of my friends were getting 360s and no good games seemed to be on the horizon for the system. By the time Galaxy 2 was about to release I was growing bored with the same old shooters on Xbox and it was a breath of fresh air for me. It perfectly captured what I loved about gaming and made me start to reflect on why I didn't really enjoy what the other systems had to offer and is basically why I started to look more critically at this hobby. Had it not come along I'd probably either be a serious dudebro today or have given up on gaming completely.
Certainly not the same thing for me. I'm thinking of games that might not be the best ever made, or among my personal favourites, but do strike a certain emotional chord whenever I encounter them;
Jetpac - Ultimate Play The Game (Rare) - Sinclair ZX Spectrum - 1983
The game that started it all for me. For about 6 months this game was part of a Sunday ritual between my Mum, Dad, and myself. We got so good with the rubber keys that we'd loop round the levels at least once with each of us taking well over an hour per play and constantly pushing the high score boundaries
Fantasy World Dizzy - Codemasters - Amstrad CPC - 1989
The first game I (almost) completed (one coin short at the end, doh!). Introduced to me by a school friend who brought a copy to my house to play. He played, I watched, for an hour or so before he buggered off home. I had to make sure the computer didn't get turned off/rebooted so I could keep playing.
This is the game the set the blueprint for what video games are all about for me. An 80's Nathan Drake, if you will. Story driven, puzzle solving, platform-adventure.
Sid Meiers Civilization - MicroProse - Commodore Amiga - 1991
I love this series! The only reason I have a 'gaming' PC (laptop) lying around. Revolution was good on the PS3 but I long for the days of Civ II on the PS1. Let's start the bring Civ back to console campaign. I want Civ 6 on the PS4!!! That said, for me, so far, Activision's Call To Power II has been the absolute best of the entire series.
This is the game I spent 2 nights with no sleep completing 1 campaign instead of worrying about college work. Probably why my grades were so bad?
Flashback: A Quest For Identity - US Gold - Commodore Amiga - 1992
The Arnold Swartzenegger Total Recall story line. The open world, free roam, second level. The puzzle solving platform greatness. The life like rotoscoped animation. What more is there to say? This is the moment I first saw what video games could (and largely now have) become.
Finally completed it when I downloaded the excellent PS3 remake last year.
Hitman 2: Silent Assassin - Eidos Interactive - Microsoft XBox - 2002 Assassins Creed - Ubisoft - Sony Playstation 3 - 2007
Okay, a bit of a cheat but unavoidable I'm afraid. These are the first (console) games of my two favourite franchises and along with Arkham Asylum and Red Dead Redemption they carry the exact same meaning for me.
These are the games that got me back in to video gaming. They re-introduced me to the hobby. They showed me that the future I'd seen with Flashback had arrived in the PS2/XBox era and I'd missed it. They reminded what it was I enjoyed about playing Tomb Raider and Final Fantasy VII on the PS1.
3D, 3rd Person, Action-Adventure, Puzzle-Platform, and preferably Open World, all mixed with an engaging story.
The modern roll call following these games is full of top draw stuff - The Last of Us, Sleeping Dogs, GTA:V, Lego Star Wars. This is AAA gaming.
Sly 2: Band of Thieves - The whole Sly Cooper series could probably fit here, but 2 is my favorite for the story and overall presentation, I think it was one of the first games I really dove into prerelease hype for.
WWE Smackdown: Here Comes the Pain - My favorite wrestling game, my brother and I have spent so many hours playing this.
Persona 4 Golden - After hearing about it on here I put it on my wishlist, my girlfriend got it for me for Christmas in 2012 and I just fell in love with it. It's just about everything I like in a game. I still replay it all the time.
Mata Nui Online Game - The first Bionicle game in 2001 is so important to me for the nostalgic memories and for the world building it does. I really love the art style too.
HoMM 3 - it was the first big PC game I really got into when I was young, I used to play it all the time with my best friend so I have lots of good and fun memories related to it. Then I played Heroes Chronicles and I loved Tarnum's story line. No other HoMM game ever came close.
LoK Soul Reaver 2 - loved everything to bits. The voice acting, the philosophical questions in it, the setting, the characters. God, it was excellent.
Vampire The Masquerade: Redemption - it was great, loved the setting and I remember it really shocked me going from the time of the crusades to the future, I was not expecting that at all. It was one of my first experiences playing a wRPG and got me into the genre.
Diablo - loved it so much, exploring the dungeons with my Amazon, it was my first Blizzard game and I think I broke a mouse or two playing it.
Bloodborne - I can't even be coherent about it. The Souls games never impacted me as much, I have yet to finish DeS and DS I but Bloodborne oh man. I love the horror setting, love the little bits of subtle hints and information that you get throughout in order to piece together the story, I adore the locations design and the enemy design, it's almost an obsession at this point. I bought DS 3 because of how much I love Bloodborne and after I finish the Old Hunters DLC I'll definitely give that one a try.
Notable mention - TLoU because it really impacted me emotionally. I though for weeks about that game after finishing it. I couldn't play anything else. It wrecked me completely.
1. Pokemon Blue
I played non-stop until my GB Color died.
My GB Color is my first console. Second is PS1. Third is PS3. Forth is PS Vita. Fifth is 3DS XL.
Bought a 3DS XL to play X and Y.
2. Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth
Third Digimon game after Digimon Rumble Arena.
Bought PS4 and Vita version at the 1st month for the DLC. Not a fan of day one exclusive DLC. Second is
Digimon All Star Rumble
3. Ace Attorney
Started the series after AA Trilogy was brought to the 3DS eshop.
Now i will need to get back eshop access for AA6. Already get otp but failed armhax.
I hope that Capcom will port all the series to the PC.
A staple PS exclusive. Finished Drake's Fortune and bought U4 Deluxe Edition today .
5. The Walking Dead
Pirated the PC version but bought the Vita, PS3 and PS4 version.
Ragnarok Online - Met my partner while playing (6 1/2 years together!)
Kingdom of Kroz - Used to play it with my dad on Sundays; we'd always have trouble navigating to the right directory. Extremely nostalgic.
FF VI - First RPG I finished.
SMT: Strange Journey - Absolutely one of my favorite games.
Pokemon Red - What got me into gaming on systems besides a PC.
Mass Effect 2 - After trying ME1, ME2 re-birthed my love for video games/
Persona 4 - I felt like I had friends....
Metal Gear Solid 2 - Thank you Hideo
Capcom Vs. SNK 2 - I love fighting games and it started here.
Dota 2 - Thank the heavens for Overwatch to replace you.