Favorite Game For Every Year of my Life

   I've finally decided to use this space for something other than collecting dust and housing the family of doormice I found on my front step the other night. I'm a regular at Giantbomb but I'm one of those people who lurks around, offering the occassional input on something but otherwise just keeping to myself. Well here's where that's going to change, I've decided to start my blog with an introduction to my life, my favorite game for each year of my life to be exact. This list goes from 1987-2009 so that's 22 games for people who have a tough time counting, also I don't really care about exact release dates, as long as it was released somewhere that yearit's good enough for me. These games aren't necessarily the games I was actually playing that year (well how could I play them if I was a baby), they're my favorites now.  So without further ado let's get this personal reveal going.
 
1987- Final Fantasy ( NES)

NES Box Art
   Ah the glorious year of my birth and not just because it brough me into the world, this was a hell of a year for gaming and I had a tough time picking just one. Ultimately I have to fall back on Final fantasy, the original for the NES. Final fantasy has always been one of my favorite names in gaming and even today the first game is arguably one of the best, which is saying a lot. Without this little gem, the company we know today as Square-Enix might not even exist, which would be a real shame. 
 
   The story of the game is bare bones, you play as the four Warriors of light and it's your mission to save the world. That's about it, though it does have a couple of twists along the way, none of which I'll bother spoiling here. What always brings me back to this game is the fact that it lets you create your own adventuring team from the start and you can make them anyway you want to. It's got a degree of personality that wasn't duplicated in any of the later games.
 
 
1988- Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (NES)
    Okay this year gets a little tougher, but it's certainly not without it's great games. One that I only just discovered fairly recently is Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. This game had actually come out earlier in Japan on the Famicom disk system (another thing I only just got hold of) but this was the year of it's western release. I remember admiring this game from afar in the odd issue of Nintendo Power my brother would occassionally get hold of (since we didn't have Nintendo Power in England) and thinking it looked like the best game ever made.
 
   I like this game for the way it attempted to change up the then very new Zelda formula and it actually works very well. The game's pretty tough though, but that's part of it's charm, still one of my favorite entries in the Zelda series.
 
 
1989- Ninja Gaiden ( NES)
 
Front cover of Ninja Gaiden (US) for NES
    This is a great game to just jump in and play for awhile, it feels surprisingly satisfying to play despite the fact that it's hard as hell. It features some interesting innovations for the time, including some pretty nice looking cutscenes. Aside from that it's just a fun game to play, there's not much more to say other than it's a stellar example of simple 2D platforming on the NES.
   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1990- Fire Emblem: Ankoku Ryu to Hikaru no Tsurugi ( FC
    Haven't heard of it? Neither have a lot of people I'm sure, but this is the game that started the Fire Emblem series and the first game to star Marth, known mostly over here due to his appearance in Smash Brothers. It's very primative compared to later games in the series but it's remarkably advanced for it's time. I won't bother explaining the story because anyone who's interested should definitely check out the DS remake Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon, it's pretty much a 1-1 remake. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1991- Street Fighter II ( ARC)
    Oh yes, now we're getting serious. Street Fighter II is and always will be one of the best fighting games (THE best fighting game depending on what circles you're a part of) ever made and I really did sink hours and hours of my youth into this game despite barely understanding how to play. I remember most fondly playing against my brother who played as Ken, whereas I mostly played as Ryu, it was truly an epic and fitting rivalry. Actually did I mention my brother's 11 years older than me and one night shattered any notions I had of being decent at the game by utterly crushing me in less than 10 seconds? Well he did and from then on I vowed that I would become better than him.
 
 
 
 
1992- Sonic 2 ( GEN
 
   The first but certainly not the last appearance by the hedgehog on this list. When I was growing up you were either a Sonic kid or a Mario kid and most people I knew were Sonic kids. I played a lot of Sonic 2 growing up, I was always blown away by the graphics and the speed of the gameplay. Sonic was my hero for the better part of my life, I read both the english and american versions of the comic, watched the first two TV shows and bought way too much of the merchandise. I was also always a fan of the dynamic way it handled 2 player co-op play, if one of your friends wanted to join in as Tails all they had to do was pick up the controller and start playing, simple as that.
 
 
 
 
1993- Rocket Knight Adventures ( GEN)
Rocket Knight Adventures Mega Drive front
    I fear that once again this is a game not too many people will have heard of. I myself never actually got to play it when I was younger, but I did read the short lived comic strip that appeared in the english Sonic the Comic. Sparkster was Konami's attempt to create a mascot along the lines of Sonic or Mario and Rocket Knight Adventures is certainly a great attempt. It's a fun and original game full of that trademark Konami quirkiness. Also, it could just be me, but I think an opossum with a sword and a jetpack is pretty badass.
 
   This game was followed by some great sequels, both called Sparkster and released for both the SNES and the Genesis, though both were completely different games. Unfortunately after that Sparkster disappeared into obscurity.
 
 
 
 
 
 
1994- Sonic 3 ( GEN)
US Box Art
    Now this is the Sonic title that I truly played to death. It took everything that was great about Sonic 2 and made it even better, with bigger levels and set pieces and it even included a save feature which let you play any level you like over and over. It could lock onto the later Sonic and Knuckles and become an even bigger game, joining all the features of the two games into one. You could now play as 3 very unique characters, all of which had slightly differing storylines. Fans of Mario may lynch me if they wish but I think this is the best 2D platformer ever made.
 
 
 
 
 
 
1995- Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness ( PC)
   From the best 2D platformer to what I believe is the best real time strategy ever made. Nowadays it's all World of Warcraft, but back in the day it was just plain old Warcraft. I remember sinking hours and hours into both of this game's campaigns and then where I was bored of that I'd make my own scenearios using the game's easy to use map editor. Most people will try to tell you that Starcraft is the best RTS ever made, but they're wrong I'm afraid, Warcraft II is where it's at.
 
 
 
 
 
 
1996- Fire Emblem: Seisen no Keifu ( SFC)
    Fire Emblem's back on the list with easily my favorite game in the series and possibly my favorite game ever. The story of this game plays out like a Shakespearean tragedy and there's plenty of sacrifice before it's over. The hero, Sigurd is one of my favorite characters in gaming and with good reason. I can't really say enough good things about this game so I guess if you want to know my complete thoughts on it check my review on Giantbomb.com, that's a website.
 
 
 
 
 
 
1997- Final Fantasy VII ( PSX)
Front cover of Final Fantasy VII (US) for PlayStation
    Once again the second appearance of a game in the Final Fantasy series, it's my favorite in the series and another contender for my favorite game of all time. I think the reason I really like Final Fantasy VII so much is because I really like it's characters, mostly Cloud who I think I identify the most with out of almost any fictional character I can name. This is another game I could go on about for a very long period of time but I won't for the sake of keeping things brief. Just for the record though I was one of those poor saps who thought that there was actually a way to bring Aerith back to life.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1998- The legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time ( N64)
   Oh let's keep it simple shall we since I'm getting sleepy. This game was mindblowing at the time, it's awesome even now and if you don't agree you obviously missed out and I feel for you in the deepest part of my heart I really do.
 
   Alright so a little more than that, Ocarina of Time was Zelda's jump to 3D and it was perfect in ever single way. Some games of this age struggled and a lot failed to make the jump to 3D, but Zelda became several times better.
 
 
 
1999- Garou: Mark of the Wolves ( ARC)
    Another niche title, but one that I think deserves a lot of respect. Garou gets points with me for pulling of some very fluid looking 2D animation without making the controls feel stiff. All in all it's a very satisfying fighting game and one that I greatly prefer over more popular alternatives such as Street Fighter III. I also like the characters a lot in this game, mostly Rock Howard who almost strikes me as a character who's a little deep to be in a fighting game.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Apparently I've been alive for a long time, who knew? Break music anyone?
22 Comments
23 Comments
Posted by Neon941

   I've finally decided to use this space for something other than collecting dust and housing the family of doormice I found on my front step the other night. I'm a regular at Giantbomb but I'm one of those people who lurks around, offering the occassional input on something but otherwise just keeping to myself. Well here's where that's going to change, I've decided to start my blog with an introduction to my life, my favorite game for each year of my life to be exact. This list goes from 1987-2009 so that's 22 games for people who have a tough time counting, also I don't really care about exact release dates, as long as it was released somewhere that yearit's good enough for me. These games aren't necessarily the games I was actually playing that year (well how could I play them if I was a baby), they're my favorites now.  So without further ado let's get this personal reveal going.
 
1987- Final Fantasy ( NES)

NES Box Art
   Ah the glorious year of my birth and not just because it brough me into the world, this was a hell of a year for gaming and I had a tough time picking just one. Ultimately I have to fall back on Final fantasy, the original for the NES. Final fantasy has always been one of my favorite names in gaming and even today the first game is arguably one of the best, which is saying a lot. Without this little gem, the company we know today as Square-Enix might not even exist, which would be a real shame. 
 
   The story of the game is bare bones, you play as the four Warriors of light and it's your mission to save the world. That's about it, though it does have a couple of twists along the way, none of which I'll bother spoiling here. What always brings me back to this game is the fact that it lets you create your own adventuring team from the start and you can make them anyway you want to. It's got a degree of personality that wasn't duplicated in any of the later games.
 
 
1988- Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (NES)
    Okay this year gets a little tougher, but it's certainly not without it's great games. One that I only just discovered fairly recently is Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. This game had actually come out earlier in Japan on the Famicom disk system (another thing I only just got hold of) but this was the year of it's western release. I remember admiring this game from afar in the odd issue of Nintendo Power my brother would occassionally get hold of (since we didn't have Nintendo Power in England) and thinking it looked like the best game ever made.
 
   I like this game for the way it attempted to change up the then very new Zelda formula and it actually works very well. The game's pretty tough though, but that's part of it's charm, still one of my favorite entries in the Zelda series.
 
 
1989- Ninja Gaiden ( NES)
 
Front cover of Ninja Gaiden (US) for NES
    This is a great game to just jump in and play for awhile, it feels surprisingly satisfying to play despite the fact that it's hard as hell. It features some interesting innovations for the time, including some pretty nice looking cutscenes. Aside from that it's just a fun game to play, there's not much more to say other than it's a stellar example of simple 2D platforming on the NES.
   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1990- Fire Emblem: Ankoku Ryu to Hikaru no Tsurugi ( FC
    Haven't heard of it? Neither have a lot of people I'm sure, but this is the game that started the Fire Emblem series and the first game to star Marth, known mostly over here due to his appearance in Smash Brothers. It's very primative compared to later games in the series but it's remarkably advanced for it's time. I won't bother explaining the story because anyone who's interested should definitely check out the DS remake Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon, it's pretty much a 1-1 remake. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1991- Street Fighter II ( ARC)
    Oh yes, now we're getting serious. Street Fighter II is and always will be one of the best fighting games (THE best fighting game depending on what circles you're a part of) ever made and I really did sink hours and hours of my youth into this game despite barely understanding how to play. I remember most fondly playing against my brother who played as Ken, whereas I mostly played as Ryu, it was truly an epic and fitting rivalry. Actually did I mention my brother's 11 years older than me and one night shattered any notions I had of being decent at the game by utterly crushing me in less than 10 seconds? Well he did and from then on I vowed that I would become better than him.
 
 
 
 
1992- Sonic 2 ( GEN
 
   The first but certainly not the last appearance by the hedgehog on this list. When I was growing up you were either a Sonic kid or a Mario kid and most people I knew were Sonic kids. I played a lot of Sonic 2 growing up, I was always blown away by the graphics and the speed of the gameplay. Sonic was my hero for the better part of my life, I read both the english and american versions of the comic, watched the first two TV shows and bought way too much of the merchandise. I was also always a fan of the dynamic way it handled 2 player co-op play, if one of your friends wanted to join in as Tails all they had to do was pick up the controller and start playing, simple as that.
 
 
 
 
1993- Rocket Knight Adventures ( GEN)
Rocket Knight Adventures Mega Drive front
    I fear that once again this is a game not too many people will have heard of. I myself never actually got to play it when I was younger, but I did read the short lived comic strip that appeared in the english Sonic the Comic. Sparkster was Konami's attempt to create a mascot along the lines of Sonic or Mario and Rocket Knight Adventures is certainly a great attempt. It's a fun and original game full of that trademark Konami quirkiness. Also, it could just be me, but I think an opossum with a sword and a jetpack is pretty badass.
 
   This game was followed by some great sequels, both called Sparkster and released for both the SNES and the Genesis, though both were completely different games. Unfortunately after that Sparkster disappeared into obscurity.
 
 
 
 
 
 
1994- Sonic 3 ( GEN)
US Box Art
    Now this is the Sonic title that I truly played to death. It took everything that was great about Sonic 2 and made it even better, with bigger levels and set pieces and it even included a save feature which let you play any level you like over and over. It could lock onto the later Sonic and Knuckles and become an even bigger game, joining all the features of the two games into one. You could now play as 3 very unique characters, all of which had slightly differing storylines. Fans of Mario may lynch me if they wish but I think this is the best 2D platformer ever made.
 
 
 
 
 
 
1995- Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness ( PC)
   From the best 2D platformer to what I believe is the best real time strategy ever made. Nowadays it's all World of Warcraft, but back in the day it was just plain old Warcraft. I remember sinking hours and hours into both of this game's campaigns and then where I was bored of that I'd make my own scenearios using the game's easy to use map editor. Most people will try to tell you that Starcraft is the best RTS ever made, but they're wrong I'm afraid, Warcraft II is where it's at.
 
 
 
 
 
 
1996- Fire Emblem: Seisen no Keifu ( SFC)
    Fire Emblem's back on the list with easily my favorite game in the series and possibly my favorite game ever. The story of this game plays out like a Shakespearean tragedy and there's plenty of sacrifice before it's over. The hero, Sigurd is one of my favorite characters in gaming and with good reason. I can't really say enough good things about this game so I guess if you want to know my complete thoughts on it check my review on Giantbomb.com, that's a website.
 
 
 
 
 
 
1997- Final Fantasy VII ( PSX)
Front cover of Final Fantasy VII (US) for PlayStation
    Once again the second appearance of a game in the Final Fantasy series, it's my favorite in the series and another contender for my favorite game of all time. I think the reason I really like Final Fantasy VII so much is because I really like it's characters, mostly Cloud who I think I identify the most with out of almost any fictional character I can name. This is another game I could go on about for a very long period of time but I won't for the sake of keeping things brief. Just for the record though I was one of those poor saps who thought that there was actually a way to bring Aerith back to life.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1998- The legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time ( N64)
   Oh let's keep it simple shall we since I'm getting sleepy. This game was mindblowing at the time, it's awesome even now and if you don't agree you obviously missed out and I feel for you in the deepest part of my heart I really do.
 
   Alright so a little more than that, Ocarina of Time was Zelda's jump to 3D and it was perfect in ever single way. Some games of this age struggled and a lot failed to make the jump to 3D, but Zelda became several times better.
 
 
 
1999- Garou: Mark of the Wolves ( ARC)
    Another niche title, but one that I think deserves a lot of respect. Garou gets points with me for pulling of some very fluid looking 2D animation without making the controls feel stiff. All in all it's a very satisfying fighting game and one that I greatly prefer over more popular alternatives such as Street Fighter III. I also like the characters a lot in this game, mostly Rock Howard who almost strikes me as a character who's a little deep to be in a fighting game.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Apparently I've been alive for a long time, who knew? Break music anyone?
Posted by W0lfbl1tzers

While reading that last line, the break music started playing because I am listening to the most recent Bombcast.

Posted by BackpackKat

Good list lots of obscure games on there.

Posted by Hailinel

An interesting mix in this list.  It looks like we share many of the same tastes.

Posted by Neon941
@W0lfbl1tzers: Sweet, am I a wizard of timing or what?
Posted by W0lfbl1tzers
@Neon941: Possibly. Or just a stalker.
Edited by Hot_Karl
@Neon941: *fistbump* YES! Rocket Knight Adventures is one of the best games on the Genesis, period. That game needs to come out on Virtual Console or XBLA/PSN so everyone can play it. It's ridiculously hard, kinda like a Contra type game, but it's definitely worth playing.
 
On the same subject, I can't wait for the new Sparkster game that's coming out next year.
Posted by TheGreatGuero

Cool idea, man. Nice to see you went back and played games that are almost as old as you are. You've made some solid choices.

Posted by Neon941
@Hailinel:  I have noticed this aswell sir, we are both gentlemen of good taste.
Edited by fishmicmuffin
@Neon941:  There is little in this world that I love as much as Fire Emblem. You can't find anything as difficult as the hard modes of those games. I've never played the Japanese games (only the 2 GBA games, the GCN game, the Wii game, and the DS game released here in the US) but I loved going through on 5-star hard mode in Shadow Dragon and doing Hector's quest on hard mode for the first GBA game. I'm tempted now to find an emulator somewhere and play the Japanese ones. 
 
On another note... What about the last 10 years? Or did the tired-ness just get to you? =]
Posted by Neon941
@fishmicmuffin: Yeah the Fire Emblem series has always been excellent, I highly reccommend the original Japanese titles and if you're in it for the challenge then look no further than Fire Emblem Thracia 776, that game'll kick your ass until you start coughing up your intestines (grim I know). Haha and the last ten years are coming most certainly, I just had to take a break, plus it's a lot to read at once.
Posted by demonbear

I feel old.

Posted by W0lfbl1tzers
@demonbear said:

" I feel old. "


If it makes you feel any better, I wasn't alive for three of those years listed.     
Posted by Video_Game_King
@Neon941 said:

 
1996- Fire Emblem: Seisen no Keifu ( SFC)
    Fire Emblem's back on the list with easily my favorite game in the series and possibly my favorite game ever. The story of this game plays out like a Shakespearean tragedy and there's plenty of sacrifice before it's over. The hero, Sigurd is one of my favorite characters in gaming and with good reason. I can't really say enough good things about this game so I guess if you want to know my complete thoughts on it check my review on Giantbomb.com, that's a website.
 
 
 
 

Finally, somebody who appreciates true greatness.
Online
Posted by natetodamax
@W0lfbl1tzers said:
" While reading that last line, the break music started playing because I am listening to the most recent Bombcast. "
Are you a prophet?
Posted by Torrim

Warcraft II still has the best soundtrack of any Blizzard game.

Posted by PenguinDust

This was a cool idea.  I might try and make a list myself, but I'll admit right up front that for some of the games on my list, I can't recall if I played them or not and one I'm sure I didn't.  However, if the list is going to be complete, I'd have to choose that one because according to Wikipedia it was the only game made that year.
 
@Neon941 said:

"1991- Street Fighter II ( ARC)
    Oh yes, now we're getting serious. Street Fighter II is and always will be one of the best fighting games (THE best fighting game depending on what circles you're a part of) ever made and I really did sink hours and hours of my youth into this game despite barely understanding how to play. I remember most fondly playing against my brother who played as Ken, whereas I mostly played as Ryu, it was truly an epic and fitting rivalry. Actually did I mention my brother's 11 years older than me and one night shattered any notions I had of being decent at the game by utterly crushing me in less than 10 seconds? Well he did and from then on I vowed that I would become better than him.
 
 
 

Cool to see you've got an arcade game in the mix.  The original Street Fighter only had Ken and Ryu so that might have worked for you and your brother, too.  SFII was definitely a better game.  I sunk a lot of coins into that machine for a chance to better understand my first video game love, Chun Li.  Later, Championship Edition came along and introduced other characters, but I've always stuck with her.  Now, don't misunderstand me.  In the near two decades since Street Fighter was introduced, I have never gotten any better than I was when I let my first token drop, but I can't deny that's is always been a fun minute and a half...of course, I've been told the same thing. ;-)
Posted by W0lfbl1tzers
@natetodamax said:
" @W0lfbl1tzers said:
" While reading that last line, the break music started playing because I am listening to the most recent Bombcast. "
Are you a prophet? "
Yes.
Posted by Neon941
@Video_Game_King: Yes sir, but we remain the only two people on this site to write a review for that game. We should spread the word of Sigurd, he died for our sins!
 
@Torrim: Oh yeah I remember the music very fondly, I'd buy the soundtrack for that game if I ever saw it.
 
@PenguinDust: Haha yeah me and my brother were doing the Street Fighter I thing mostly playing as just Ryu and Ken. I'll tell you what though man, I bet you're better than you think you are, sometimes years of playing just nurtures in you a real instinct for fighting games.
Posted by Video_Game_King
@Neon941:
 
I shall begin spreading the word by posting the most significant spoiler I can:
 
 
Online
Posted by Neon941
@Video_Game_King:  noooo Siguuuurd! God man, I remember just how depressing that was the first time I saw it.
Posted by Video_Game_King
@Neon941: 
 
I remember finally getting to the second generation, after so much crap happening to keep me from doing so the way I liked. Hell, I even remember navigating my way out of a potential game-ending move. Awesome times.
Online
Posted by Xanth93

I haven't heard of about four of those games. The others I've either heard of, played, or have heard of the series but not the specific game.
 
Ocarina of Time is the greatest game of all time. I don't care what anyone else has to say.