The game that made me read Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead, and three to four Ayn Rand Non-fiction essay compilations to fully understand Rapture and Andrew Ryan. This game is inspirational to me to say the least, and influenced my political ideals and expressed a deep storytelling atmosphere that has to be seen to be believed
2. Shadow of the Colossus
No game makes me care about the subwoofing power of surround sound than Shadow of the Colossus. The minimalism in storytelling and the intimidating stature of the Colossus led me to love playing this game, and replaying this game.
3. Final Fantasy X
The best FF hands down, although you would never want Tidus to teach you to laugh. The story had a fully realized and deep beginning, middle, and end, with twists and turns at each segment. The replay value with the Arena was HUGE! It allowed me a reason to capture creatures and navigate the sphere grid, which was to this date in my opinion the most amazing way to level up characters.
4. Kingdom Hearts
There is something special about taking old Disney characters and weaving them through a new network handed down from Square Enix. The magic of my best friend and I tackling this until 3 in the morning just to see what happens to Rikku and Sora was endearing to say the least. Call me young at heart, but those old Disney classics are something that seems to be slowly disappearing, and I hate that shit.
From buying this game and enjoying the campaign at an early age, to playing with Hamachi servers in college, this strategy game stuck with me and always convinced me to be better. It even convinced me to watch pro games on sc2gg.com. What's most important is its effect on the strategy world and in the online sports realm, which is amazing. Balancing the home gaming world and the competitive gaming world at once is something so amazing and delicate, you gotta hand it to Blizzard.
6. Halo: Combat Evolved
After Sega Genesis, I got the Xbox. And with the Xbox, I got Halo. The game that spawned dozens of system links and encouraged playthroughs with friends on legendary, Halo featured balanced multiplayer and an engaging story with huge environments and awesome vehicular combat. Considering the last thing I played was Duke Nukem 3D, this blew my damn mind.
7. The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
Hours upon hours upon hours. I bought the 400+ game guide, and I never left my house. I played everything I could, and then I played some more. I rubber banded my controller together overnight just to get my Athletics skill to 100. I wandered the Grazelands just to pick up flower and fauna to increase my Alchemy. I made my own God spells that could destroy towns after I glitched the game. I am in love with Bethesda, and their open ended RPGs
Although I never fully had 4 people to co-op with, Borderlands presented the unavoidable package of Diablo with guns for xbox. Looked great, shot well, and plenty of guns. I'm a methodical player, and nothing was more easily appealing than Borderlands. Great DLC too!
9. Doom II: Hell on Earth
I can remember my best friend pressing IDKFA so many times just to make it through the game. It was so hard and unforgiving, and even scary. I bought this game again on the Xbox Live Marketplace just to relive the moments that my best friend and I experienced. What was most important was the effect it had on me and my crazy collection of FPS's.
10. Sonic the Hedgehog 2
Damnit. One game that summed up my childhood would be Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Something so basic caused a whirlwind of frustration so late on weekend nights. The Air Base level. Could never get past those damn levels. And I was too young to think about the 99 lives trick. Platforming with the blue guy is important because of my methodical nature to accept and defeat challenges. And now that games are so much easier, I look for ways to make them harder, and play things to the limit. I still want to throw my controller, but for some reason I can't stop myself. Probably because nothing seemed so stupid difficult than Dr. Robotnik's crazy levels