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Childhood Favourites

I grew up as the kid with the Super Nintendo in a generation of kids who owned N64s. Much confusion resulted.

The games on this list are ordered (roughly) chronologically by the first time I ever played them.

List items

  • Donkey Kong Country was the first video game I remember ever seeing played. My cousins were playing it at their house; I couldn't have been more than three. This was my second-favourite game (after Super Mario World) when I was six or seven. Bigger, more detailed sprites than Mario and monkeys that fly around from barrel-cannons? Sign me up.

  • I played a ton of this game when I was really young, before I even had a Super Nintendo. It was in black and white and I loved it to bits.

  • I played this game so much. I played it so much, the overlay graphics (the ones that powered the closing circle graphic at the end of each level) glitched, flickered and otherwise broke. The game itself still plays, though. I could never beat the bonus level "Tubular" as a kid, but I recently booted up my SNES and finally put in the hours and finished it for old times' sake.

  • I never got into this one as much as the first (mostly because I got stuck on the parrot-racing level of the final world), until I was told by several friends that it was the best of the trilogy and that I should finish it. So I dug it out and played it through again, this time finishing it.

  • Holy crap, this game blew my mind when I was little. 3D was a big thing. I bought Star Fox (or, rather, my mom did for me) when my mother refused to buy me Street Fighter because it "looked gross".

  • As the only game anybody in my immediate family would play with me, this one got a lot of playtime when I was little. I always delighted in watching my opponents accidentally jump into the lava in Bowser's Castle.

  • One of the few sports games I actually enjoyed. I remember I always played as Dallas because they had Wayne Gretzky in '95, and he was the only player whose name I knew as a kid.

  • A strange game for sure; I never made it past the third level. I tried playing it again recently and found it hasn't aged well. I loved it when I was a kid though. I got it second-hand, and then played it until the graphics were too fucked up to play it anymore. Not even contact cleaner and Q-tips will fix my old Earthworm Jim cart today.

  • This was first first-person shooter I ever played. I remember the Hoth level and how the storm troopers would scream (possibly the Wilhelm scream?) as they fell off the cliffs.

  • This was on a friend's computer. I played it first at age four, and then again when my grade two and three teacher had it on a computer in his class.

  • Keen Dreams was to Commander Keen what Lost Levels was to Super Mario Bros.

  • This game, more than any other, was THE game in elementary school. Everyone knew it, and you were looked-at funny if you owned an N64 and didn't also own this game. Nobody knew how to unlock Ness, not even those who had him. To us, he just seemed to appear once you played enough.

  • I remember this game because they had it on an N64 at the local McDonald's for the kids to play. Why they thought an epic adventure game requiring focus and reading skill was a good game to use to get young kids hooked on the N64 while waiting for their burgers I'll never know, but the two machines that had this game instead of Kirby were always unmanned because nobody could figure out the damned game. A couple of friends had it, and it was always an older sibling who played this game and had to try to explain it to us young'uns.

  • This game was excellent. For years I only ever played it at the McD's because none of my friends had bought it. I think it was because of the bizarre nature of the cover art. I mean, if you were a kid looking through games, you're not exactly going to pick this one if you don't necessarily know Kirby.

    This game remains my favourite Kirby game to date.

  • This game was the first great adventure game I truly got into. I played it first at (you guessed it) McDonald's, but friends of mine also had it or rented it. Many of them preferred to rent it, actually, because the pre-existing saves would be farther along in the game than any of us could ever get.

  • This game was everything Banjo-Kazooie was, but better. The first-person egg-shooting multiplayer was fun when we didn't have a copy of GoldenEye around. It remains a favourite today.

  • A friend of mine absolutely adored this game when we were ten or eleven. He had played through every level on all difficulties and had unlocked every bonus character and we all played the multiplayer to death whenever we went to his house. He talked about it incessantly.

    A different friend of mine bought an N64 and this game when he was twelve. We began playing it on his TV for the first time, when his dad saw it and declared that although he was alright with his son playing it somewhere else, he would not have such violence on his television in his house. We only played it at his mother's house after that.