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#1 Posted by BigSocrates (584 posts) -

There are some games that you know you will remember for a long time almost as soon as you start them, like Grand Theft Auto Vice City, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, Driver: San Francisco, and Batman: Arkham Asylum. Then there are games that are completely disposable. I know I finished Prey, Dead to Rights: Retribution, and Dark Void*, but they left almost no impression, in fact I had to look at my achievements to even pull those examples out.

Then there are the games that seem like they'll fall into category 2 but stick with you for some reason. For me these are often open world games. I played the first Just Cause out of curiosity many years after its release, and though it played like a PS2 game ported up to the 360, for some reason the lame cinematics, wonky controls, and gorgeous water effects created an experience that has me thinking back on it from time to time with a lot of fondness. I have similar feelings about Prototype, which is inferior in almost every way to Infamous, but stuck with me much longer despite the incomprehensible story and lack of polish. Brutal Legend had a weird and only semi-functional RTS combat system, but an incredibly memorable world and cast of characters that I desperately wish I could return to. That's not to say that every open world game grabs me in this way or that it's only open-world games (Spider Man: Shattered Dimensions is somewhat mediocre but also very memorable) but it's always interesting when upon finishing a game I'm somewhat lukewarm to it but my mind keeps returning to it and I find myself thinking about well after completion.

Do other people have these experiences? With what kinds of games?

*Dark Void is kind of an exception because the ending is so out of nowhere and leaves so many loose threads that I was left holding my controller and legitimately wondering whether I had somehow skipped three or four levels by some weird bug. I do remember that about it.

#2 Posted by Animasta (14840 posts) -

Nier, Persona 2, Binary Domain; mostly Nier though. I remember nearly all of the names of the bosses and shit (mostly because they are fairy tale references though)

#3 Posted by Humanity (12891 posts) -

Easy answer is Grand Theft Auto: Vice City which I spend more time with than any other GTA to date.

Otherwise I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed Bionic Commando and Dark Sector which are both generally viewed as poor games by the public. I thought each one had a pretty interesting world and especially remember liking the graphics in Dark Sector. I played those way more than I probably should have. Too bad I bought Dark Sector so late and I didn't get a chance to try out multiplayer.

#4 Posted by Devise22 (310 posts) -

I can vouche for Spiderman Shattered Dimensions. A mediocre game that I ended up getting a Platinum on simply because it felt oddly memorable to me. Both the Star Wars Force Unleashed Games had that effect on me as well. Nether were perfect games yet felt memorable. The reboot to Medal of Honor a few years back as well, despite being a shooter I for some reason felt hooked on the grittier more realistic story elements. Deadly Premonition is a title that should go without saying, given that it's allure at times is how ridiculous it is. I'd also say Mirrors Edge. A unique experience that was far from perfect that I will randomly go back to just to remember how different of a game it was.

Honestly I think what motivates this at times is if there is something in said mediocre game that scratches a certain itch that you wouldn't get from really any other experience. A lot of times certain games end up being mediocre simply due to a lack of development time or polish and the concept in the game or the ideas and systems in play are unique enough that they don't fit the pattern of many other games.

#5 Posted by AhmadMetallic (19302 posts) -

My only real answer for this question is Postal 2. That game is so weak and fucked up yet so amazingly fun and atmospheric, I'll always remember its crazy moments and occasionally brilliant satire.

#6 Posted by L44 (629 posts) -

@BigSocrates: Funny that you mention Prey as one that left no impressions on you. It's probably my best choice for this question, it was the game that made me realise we were experiencing next gen.

#7 Posted by UitDeToekomst (798 posts) -

Prototype 2 - I was pretty disappointed by the first Prototype game. I liked the idea behind it (keep in mind I am someone who is a pretty big fan of both CrackdownandCrackdown 2) and its open world exploration potential, but I found the controls and camera to be huge negatives that really put me off the game on many occasions. Despite that, i decided to give Prototype 2 a try, and was amazed by how much I liked it. Everything about it was an improvement from the first game, especially important among those improvements were the controls - which were much tighter and more precise - and the camera. I don't care much about achievements, but every once in a while I will come across a game that enjoy enough to actually purposefully go after them. Prototype 2 was one of them, of which I got 40 out of 43 (which is an extremely high percentage for me, someone who rarely gets more than half of a game's achievements). I know many people don't like either game, or perhaps like the first more than the second, but the experience of Prototype 2 for me was one of surprise and elation. I am quite sad that there won't be any more.

#8 Edited by crusader8463 (14755 posts) -
#9 Posted by Sin4profit (3271 posts) -

ZPC - terrible game but i was a huge fan of Aidan Hughes's artwork at the time so it had a special place for me.

Marc Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure - There's a lot about this game that is terrible, especially the combat system, but when played as a stealth game i thought it was pretty great. The story is better then it has any need to be and a great soundtrack that is scored well with the action in a lot of spots.

#10 Posted by medacris (711 posts) -

@Humanity: I have met other people who feel the same way, or who only ever played Vice City out of the franchise. I think it was the amazing 80's soundtrack, or the fact that at the time it was the closest anyone had gotten to a licensed Scarface game. Tommy Vercetti was also very charismatic, and his voice actor did a great job.

I think the first two games to come to mind that really made an emphasis on me were Pokemon Yellow and Kirby: Nightmare In Dreamland. Pokemon for the first game I'd ever played that allowed you to make choices, albeit limited ones, and Kirby for my first taste of old-school gaming action, even if it was a remake. I also remember the music in the Yu-Gi-Oh! games making an impact on me, because they had this sort of creepy-yet-jazzy feel with pianos, but I can't seem to find them online by themselves for some reason.

#11 Posted by Sinusoidal (2587 posts) -

Gokujo Parodius - the arcade version is the only shooter I've ever beaten more than once, and we're talking beaten dozens of times here. One credit, no problem. One life - sometimes...

Puyo Puyo 2 for Megadrive. Me and some friends had just discovered the wonderful world of emulation in university and after some tinkering with Dr Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine (North American Puyo Puyo 1, the sequel is - and no exaggeration here - a bazillion times better) this quickly became our go-to competitive multiplayer. It dethroned Starcraft! We'd have our laptops set up with shortcuts to the emulator set to automatically load the game (there was no other) and set the controls so you could both use the keyboard - which proved way faster and more precise than a controller. There's nothing so intense as two skilled players throwing full-screen combos at the same time at each other and having them completely cancel each other out. There's a reason Puyo Puyo is still a franchise in Japan.

#12 Posted by GalacticGravy (665 posts) -

Grandia II. I picked it up in a PS2 bargain bin years ago and it turned out to be one of my favorite RPGs of all time. I found the combat so fun that I INTENTIONALLY ran into enemies! A first for me.

#14 Posted by Atlas (2575 posts) -

Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon. It's a really weird Japanese 3D platformer for the N64 and has a very subversive sense of humour; it frequently breaks the fourth wall, and it's storyline is pretty ludicrous. I have no idea how I acquired this game as a 9 year old, but I beat it several times and it's one of my most nostalgic gaming experiences. Not really sure in retrospect if it was actually a well designed game, or if the controls were particularly tight, but goddamn it was just a lot of fun. Also for some boss fights you were a giant dancing robot. Also you build a robot ninja who becomes your team-mate. Also the villains in the game are trying to turn the world into a giant stage for them to perform their musicals. Also dragons.

#15 Edited by ProfessorEss (7794 posts) -

@BigSocrates said:

I played the first Just Cause out of curiosity many years after its release, and though it played like a PS2 game ported up to the 360, for some reason the lame cinematics, wonky controls, and gorgeous water effects created an experience that has me thinking back on it from time to time with a lot of fondness.

The original Just Cause also really stuck with me. There was just something about the environment and the music (and yes, the amazing water effects) that made it feel fresh and new. It was also the first game I recall that marked all collectibles on it's map making them exponentially less frustrating but still challenging enough. Just Cause 2 may go down as my favourite game of the generation but those seeds were sown with the original and as much as I like JC2 there is still a part of me that wishes it kept the softer, more tropical paradise vibe of the original.

The other big one is Demon's Souls. That game had a quiet loneliness I've never seen in a game before - or since. There was just something special about the way they combined that haunting atmosphere with unforgiving difficulty and brilliantly vile creatures that made it one of a kind. So much so that as much as I liked Dark Souls it just never grabbed me and sucked me in quite like the original did.

#16 Posted by Humanity (12891 posts) -

@medacris: I loved the story in Vice City and think it still hasn't been trumped. You're absolutely right in that it was basically Scarface/Carlitos Way The Game, but thats not really a bad thing is it! Tommy Vercetti seemed to me like the only GTA protagonist that had any sort of plan. You are doing things because they benefit Tommy and build upon his empire. What I hated about San Andreas was how you'd go around as an errand boy with no real justification for why you were doing any of it. GTA4 had a mess of a plot that ended on such an anticlimatic note that it actually left a sour taste in my mouth. I understand the whole commentary on the American dream, but I don't come to videogames so I can feel like a piece of shit at the end of them.

#17 Posted by Phatmac (5926 posts) -

Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga is a game that I still fondly remember.

#18 Posted by Nightriff (6613 posts) -

This year I would say Asura's Wrath, I was not expecting to love that game as much as I did. I'll have to come back to this, im sure there are some more but they are slipping from my mind currently.

#19 Posted by Nightriff (6613 posts) -

Darksiders, that is a fantastic game all around. Great story, gameplay, puzzles the majority of the time were well constructed and fun. Great great game

#20 Posted by BaneFireLord (3118 posts) -

Batman Arkham Asylum. I rented it on a whim, with no expectations, and it has become one of my favorite games of all time.

#21 Posted by c0l0nelp0c0rn1 (1976 posts) -

@BigSocrates: I second Brutal Legend, but I was totally stoked about playing at the start. Singularity was another one that I was particularly fond of. It was a pretty good shooter with an interesting exploration mechanic.

#22 Edited by BestUsernameEver (5026 posts) -
  • Destruction derby
  • San Francisco Rush 2049
  • SSX Tricky
  • original NBA Jam
  • Mario paint
  • Turok
  • Minecraft
  • Mortal Kombat 2
  • Crackdown
  • Wipeout HD Fury
  • Auto Modellista
  • Beetle adventure racing
#23 Posted by FancySoapsMan (5890 posts) -

Trails in the Sky (I wonder how many times I've mentioned this game)

All I can say is that the second half of the game was completely unexpected. What started out as a typical world-trotting adventure type story eventually turned into one of the most exciting and affecting plots in a game ever.

I would probably rank it as one of my top 3 games of all time.

#24 Posted by Chumm (291 posts) -

Dungeon Defenders seemed like a cute way to spend a few hours, and I got it for 3 bucks during the Steam summer sale. Then I put 300 hours into it in 3 months....

#25 Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw (7297 posts) -

Disgaea 2, the first I'd ever played in the series. I normally hate all things anime, but oh my dear Lord, the gameplay wouldn't (and won't) let me go.

#26 Posted by csl316 (11844 posts) -

Asura's Wrath. I expected spectacle, but it had so much heart. Fantastic.

#27 Posted by Kyreo (4683 posts) -

Fallout 3. I picked up this game on a whim and was floored.

#28 Posted by Universalize (197 posts) -

@BestUsernameEver: turok games ftw

#29 Posted by Xtrememuffinman (951 posts) -
Baten Kaitos: Origins
My dad got it for me as a Christmas gift one year, and I had never heard of it, but played it just to be nice. It ended up being one of my favorite games for that generation, though I'm not sure how well it stands up.
#30 Posted by Napalm (9230 posts) -

Call Of Duty: Black Ops II.


Fuck you, I'm not apologizing!

#31 Posted by Trainer_Red (318 posts) -

Mass Effect 3 will haunt me forever.

#32 Posted by DonutFever (3963 posts) -

Most recently Sleeping Dogs. I was surprised by how good the story was.

#33 Posted by Godlyawesomeguy (6421 posts) -

Crysis was one of those games that I sort of thought I might like, but was blown away by it and I smiled every time I thought about it even when I was out and about. When I finished a good session too, man I was PUMPED by how awesome it was.

#34 Posted by el_tajij (833 posts) -

Hunted: The Demon's Forge.

Played it right through to the end at the cost of other games. Some brilliant, brilliant ideas in that game. It was so totally obvious that it had been released FAR TOO EARLY. :(

#35 Posted by Vrikk (1112 posts) -

@Phatmac said:

Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga is a game that I still fondly remember.

Came here to say that.

#36 Posted by BoOzak (1101 posts) -

Halo. Yep. Didnt really know what to expect, i'd seen screen shots and my older brother was hyped, but it looked really stupid. People like to shit on the franchise because of how popular it's become but back then it was revolutionary.

Prior to that i'd played Half-Life & Unreal Tournament and they're both great in their own way but Halo always felt much more dynamic to me.

#37 Posted by NegativeCero (3116 posts) -

Dark Souls because I was intimidated by its reputation as a difficult game and Monster Hunter Freedom Unite because I bought it because it was cheap after just having gotten a PSP.

#38 Posted by bacongames (3943 posts) -

I was actually surprised how much I enjoyed and time I put into Puzzle Kingdoms despite the flaws it had. It also didn't help that I listened to a particular album (I can't remember now) which when I listen to any of it I almost immediately think of playing the game. I bought it because it was literally $1 on Steam and it looked decent enough. Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale similarly stuck. A game that was part of an indie bundle and decided to fiddle around with turned into over 30 hours of playing that game. While I was recommended it by Tested, I didn't nearly expect Ascension: Chronicle of the God Slayer to be one of my favorite games of the last few years, let along it being on the iPad. Now that I'm thinking about it, Darwinia was another game that I hemmed and hawed, pushing back playing it for a long time, and then finally playing it and being blown away by it.

Going through my list of games, I can also say Droplitz was probably the ultimately sleeper hit for me. That soundtrack alone was great and the gameplay had such a triumphant edge. One of my favorite S-Ranks for sure.

#39 Posted by Rebel_Scum (979 posts) -


#40 Posted by Mayu_Zane (694 posts) -

Suikoden 2 and Azure Dreams. Both are games I still remember fondly.

#41 Posted by mandude (2670 posts) -

I remember my brother playing Final Fantasy VII at a time when I would have been just slightly too young to appreciate it. I laughed at the state of it, graphics being what they were. A few months later, I decided to play it, just for the laugh, and I don't think I've been ever quite so blown away by a piece of art in my life.

#42 Posted by Lydian_Sel (2522 posts) -

InFamous. I remember enjoying it loads while playing it but I never expected it to stick with me as much as it did. I look back on that game with extreme fondness & I really wish InFamous 2 was better, it wasn't bad by any stretch, just maybe a little too incremental.

#43 Posted by BigSocrates (584 posts) -

@L44 said:

@BigSocrates: Funny that you mention Prey as one that left no impressions on you. It's probably my best choice for this question, it was the game that made me realise we were experiencing next gen.

I played Prey long after release and it's kind of funny, because it definitely felt like a relic of the previous generation. That's not to say it's a bad game, I played through the campaign and there were some good points, but the design felt kind of...haphazard. The weapons were cool looking but generic feeling (to me) and there were some very neat ideas like the gravity thing and the portals that got repeated a LOT to not a ton of effect. Also the story was pretty bare bones despite having some scenes that should have been absolute stand outs, like the last time you run into your girlfriend in the campaign.

#44 Posted by Levius (1337 posts) -

Persona 2:IS I only bought it as it was in a bundle with P3P, but I ended up loving every minute of it.

The ending of Bioshock 2 really moved me for some reason.

Dead Space is probably the biggest one for me. I really didn't think liked horror games (the only one I had played was resi 5 co-op), and I bought it cheap on a whim. Its easily one of my favourite games of the generation, its almost a complete package in terms of story, atmosphere and gameplay.

#45 Posted by Hizang (9359 posts) -

Metal Gear Solid, I know almost every line of dialogue before they speak it.

#46 Posted by Quarters (2225 posts) -

Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood stuck with me more than I expected, after having tried a snippet of CoJ 1 and not liking it. Now a big fan of the series. Another one was inFamous 2. I absolutely loved inFamous, and fully expected to love the sequel(which I did), but I was unprepared for how much it's Good Ending stuck with me. One of the more out of nowhere emotional responses I've had to a game in a while. Also, when The Walking Dead was first announced, I thought it would end up being mediocre, having not enjoyed much of Telltale's previous work. Now, one of my contenders for GOTY. Absolutely outstanding.

#47 Edited by I_smell (4215 posts) -

Bloody Roar 2 and 3. Hell even 4. I used to just roll into a shop with some pocket change n buy whatever I could get that had some cool boxart. I've played like a hundred damn hours o those. I also bought Zone of Enders 2 based on a screenshot in a magazine, NUFF SAID!
GOD KNOWS how I fuckin ended up loving Dark Souls. That's the opposite of a game I'd usually buy.
Don't like driving games: Loved DiRT 2 and 3. Rally games like this feel so completely different to the Gran Turismo that came with my PS2. Those games where you have to drive the shitty cars to work up your license? I hated those, they turned me off racing games.
I didn't think I'd like Vanquish as much as I did until about halfway through the game. I wasn't really enjoying it much until I had to figure out all the tricks. Also I thought Gears of War was completely broken and unfair the first night I played it, but it eventually turned out to be my favourite thing, I think that whole series is like the best thing on Xbox.
Same with Final Fantasy 7, the first time I played it I didn't know how to RUN, so I had the worst experience ever and didn't pick it up again for another month.
OH and I downloaded a demo on the Xbox for CRASH TIME 4 for a laugh. It is absolutely terrible, but the funny thing is that there's a glitch where if you go over a certain speed, you can clip through anything. And it's not even a high speed, it's like 60mph. This makes it a pretty fun and cool game, I actually played it for a while.

#48 Posted by Somadude (622 posts) -

I'd have to say Chatherine. Yeah, the game isn't perfect; far from it in fact. But the characters and story we're really great I thought, and it had a killer sense of style to boot. I still find myself thinking about it from time to time.

#49 Posted by Fezzan (8 posts) -


Never thought I'd remember those now, I recall them as being good but I wouldn't be surprised if they aged poorly.

#50 Posted by Jagged85 (216 posts) -

Final Fantasy VIII

As a big Final Fantasy fan, I was very disappointed VIII just couldn't live up to the high standards of VI or VII. While VIII had plenty of innovations (like the level scaling, timed attacks, and Guardian Forces, for example), it had plenty of flaws, the worst offender being the tedious draw system (an innovative yet failed experiment). The plot also had that ridiculous orphanage twist, and I even remember being annoyed at the slower pace compared to its predecessors. I just couldn't look past its flaws.

Yet long after completing the game, something strange happened: it became one of my favourite games in the whole FF series, just behind VI, VII, and X. Over the years, I came to appreciate VIII for the little innovations it brought, and found the plot very memorable, with Laguna's parts in particular being one of my favourite character arcs in the whole series.