Games that shaped my interests

List items

  • My parents had two paddles hooked up to I-don't-know-what to play this game. I want to say it was on the Atari 2600, but I could be wrong. Anyway, everyone had some kind of Pong game in their house when I was a kid.

  • An amazing game on the C64 that I still get the urge to play (emulated) every now and again.

  • A revelation of a game and I remember when my dad brought it home for that CGA PC we had.

  • I realized how awesome and addicting turn-based empire building can be with Civ 2.

  • Loki's Minions CTF (lmctf) throwin' it down! My first online multiplayer shooter. I haven't looked back since...

  • No surprise here. Square wowed everyone with this one.

  • Imaginative storytelling in a Quake-style game. Sign me up.

  • The game that got me into a hardcore wargaming kick in the early 2000's.

  • More of a trip than "fun," but Silent Hill does a great job experimenting with horror and gameplay.

  • This game showed me what is possible with console games that PCs could not do in those days. The game is a masterpiece.

  • My first dose of a non-RPG open world game.

  • The game that made horror fun again for me.

  • The first MMO that consumed me. I could argue that it's the ONLY one that really did it for me.

  • Quite possibly the most inspiring strategy game ever made.

  • My first 2600 game.

  • Pitfall was my first realization that games can be more interesting and persistent than something like Space Invaders.

  • 1-on-1 karate action. When my dad sold the C64, I cried.

  • This was my dad's substitute for Karate Champ, but it was on an IBM PC with CGA graphics (cyan, magenta, black, & white). It was an inferior game system, but I ended up liking Karateka a lot.

  • This game was a revelation, and while our family never bought a NES, I went over to my friend's house every chance I could get to play this.

  • An amazing educational game that makes you use deduction and geography to put some losers in jail. We played a lot of this one.

  • My first flight sim.

  • This is a text adventure game akin to Zork, but not as popular. I'll have to do a write-up of this one one day.

  • Probably my first exposure to an RPG? We had the Sega Master System, but this game was actually owned by a friend.

  • Likely my first fun experience in a co-op game (at home at least).

  • The classic that again pushed the adventure game forward.

  • My first beat-em-up. What a great classic. Even the NES version was fun in its own weird way.

  • This was the game that got me completely hooked on CRPG gaming. Most had the Bard's Tale, but for me this was the game that captured my imagination.

  • Sega made a big leap forward with this game launching with the Genesis. There was nothing that looked like it at the time, and it was a fun co-op beat-em-up. A timepiece.

  • Yeah, I played Gradius and Life Force prior to this game, but this one made me a fan of the genre. Gaiares was my other favorite on this system.

  • Another one of the those "revelation" games for me. I knew nothing about Phantasy Star, but when I played this one, I became a JRPG fan for life. There was no adventure/RPG as good-looking and sounding, and as deep as this game. It's crazy to think that Final Fantasy came out after this game. Phantasy Star II is probably the reason why I had no idea FF existed for quite some time afterward.

  • I was always a fan of space games, and this was one of the most significant ones to hit the PC, sparking my interest in space sims with cinematic storytelling, and kind of a choose-your-own-adventure aspect to it.

  • 1 vs. 1 fighters were cool again, and SF2 was light-years ahead of anything that came before it. It's still my favorite fighting game of all time.

  • Probably the Sierra point-and-click adventure that made the most impression on me.

  • Games should be funny? Actually, this one isn't funny, except to a teenager in the 90's, go figure.

  • I hesitated to put this one on here since it's a sequel to MM2, but the systems in the series were improved so much, and the story and setting was better than ever. A hell of a game.

  • I probably had more fights with my brothers over this game than any other times in our lives. This was a game that made hockey fun to play on a TV screen.

  • My first class-based multiplayer game.

  • MK1 was really just a technical curiosity for me in the arcades, but MK2 was the real deal, and the first game to make me forget about SF2.

  • A good strategic D&D game finally that also had a great story.

  • I don't know how many days and nights I lost killing Diablo and Mephisto over and over again to get a dumb piece of loot.

  • I was captivated by this game so much that I imported Shenmue 2. (I still have to finish that one.)

  • This made me buy a PS2. It's still great.

  • This game proved to me that consoles still rock.

  • This amazing shooter is still my all-time favorite. A masterpiece.

  • Even better than the first one.

  • What an amazing game. My favorite of the series.

  • I found out I like really fucked-up games sometimes.

  • Another masterwork of art in a game on the PS2.

  • Possibly my favorite JRPG of all time. I wish they were all like this.

  • I never liked Morrowind, but this one hooked me right away.

  • This was and in some ways, still is, the pinnacle of large-scale RTS gaming. I still play this from time to time.

  • I think this is one of those games that may have inspired so much of the creativity we see in gaming today. It was a good short game.

  • Crysis took Far Cry's freedom and added badassedness to it.

  • I was just as swept up by this as everyone else. It was fun, and I bet we will all go back to it again sometime.

  • This is my kind of open world game.

  • Though many would disagree, the first in the trilogy is in some ways the best one, mostly because of the world it successfully builds and the characters it contains. Incredible game.

  • This game got me back into fighting games.

  • One of my favorite games on the PS3. The atmosphere and style of this game is unparalleled, except by it's own sequel.

  • Total War games have always rocked, apparently. Where have I been all this time?

  • I don't know if I've ever felt as much emotion about a budget-priced indie game. Bastion is a bit of a masterpiece.

  • Saints Row finally corrupted me, so I guess I like juvenile dumb games now.

  • The emotional ride this one took me on was incredible.

  • I rarely get out the pencil and paper anymore for games, but Fez did more than that. It put my rudimentary cryptoanalysis skills at work for the first time in ages.

  • Turn-based strategy has always been cool... EVERYONE knows that. But XCOM made turn-based strategy great in 2012.

  • Probably the first atmospheric action adventure that I couldn't play through in one sitting. It had a way to get back into the action the second day: long-ass passwords! I was completely captivated by this game, even though I didn't own the NES as a kid.

  • Maybe should be called, Brian Reynold's Alpha Centauri, this might be the best Civ game ever made, even though the Civ5 and Beyond Earth have refined the gameplay. The faction differences and personalities are incredible and the overall atmosphere of this game is unparalleled. I still play the GOG version on occasion and it's sad when I leave. "Please don't go, the drones need you. They look up to you."