My Top 10 Favorite Games (WIP)

This is a list I've thought about more than once and it always seems to be changing a little. "What are your favorite games?" is a really hard question, so I decided to write down my thoughts in the hopes of sorting through them and figuring this out for good. Maybe instead of the term "favorite" I should use the term "pivotal". Games that somehow impacted my life are way easier to consider my favorites and it shows in this list. While I stand by these games in the sense that they're all good game, they are not necessarily games that I would want to play again right now.

List items

  • I think this is the easiest pick for me. When I first played EverQuest, I was completely blown away. It has been so long that I have hard time remembering all the little details, but I believe my first character was a Dwarf of some sort. I embarked upon an adventure with him and ended up getting lost. I seem to remember wandering in a forest for what felt like hours, before admitting to myself that I was lost forever and deleting the character. Back then, there were no minimaps or maps at all - if you wanted one, you needed to find maps drawn by other players online (bless you EQAtlas). Another one of my characters fell off the boat into the sea and I had no idea how to get back anywhere - so he drowned and was lost forever with whatever items he had on him. I think I could've petitioned a GM to get my corpse back, but I didn't know it back then.

    The galaxy brain meme is pretty much what EQ felt to me. I felt my mind expand to all sorts of new possibilities. It really was a whole new world at my fingertips, just waiting for me to explore it. I also met some of the most wonderful people during my stay in Norrath. I still think about some of those people even today. It is a shame we all lost contact when the guild was split in two during the release of World of Warcraft and then further fragmented over the years as people found WoW lacking in comparison to EQ and quitting.

    I played EverQuest during my teenage years and those relationships, experiences and feelings shaped the person who I am today. I still play EQ occasionally even now. Sometimes on emulated servers and sometimes on officially released Time-Locked Progression servers where the timeline starts from classic EQ and they unlock the expansions over time (but at a pace faster than the original release schedule). It is impossible to relive the experience I had back in the day, but it is still fun to wallow in the nostalgia with other EQ veterans. And with every new MMO launch, I jump in, hoping to recapture some of that lost magic and then inevitably being disappointed.

    I don't see anything dethroning EQ on this list ever. Only an MMO could reach these heights and they would have to be something completely new (expansive world with endless AI built quests or maybe a functional VRMMORPG - stuff you read in novels about).

  • This was a bit harder to decide upon, but DE:HR seems like the right choice. This was the first Deus Ex game for me, because obviously I was in the thrall of EverQuest during the release of the original Deus Ex game and never had a chance to play it.

    I love the world of Deus Ex and especially Human Revolution. I've gone back to play the original and found it to be good, but it is sometimes hard to go back in time when it comes to games. The downgrade in ease of use, UI and graphics were too much for me to enjoy it as much. But more than that, I loved some of the design choices made in DE:HR - I really want to live in Jensen's apartment.

    The main point, however, is that on this list I am valuing games that affected me in various ways more, than those that just had good gameplay or story. I played Deus Ex: Human Revolution when I was considering a career change. I had been thinking about going back to study something and doing something different, but I could not settle on any one thing. I wasn't able to figure out what I wanted to do. Then I played this game and was sucked into a wonderful scifi world (ok, I guess it's a dystopia, but still) with all sorts of technological marvels. But most importantly, they were technological marvels that seemed achievable - they weren't the super advanced nanomachines of the original game, but rather robotic prosthetics that could actually be built someday.

    I had thought about a career in engineering, but I was always apprehensive about the amount of math and physics I would have to study, so I never really considered it a real option. Until this game. It ignited my passion for...I don't know, future technology? Science? The end result was that I started looking into engineering degrees, picked one that interested me (biotechnology) and applied for it. I discovered that I had underestimated myself and had been apprehensive for no reason. These days I've already graduated and have been thinking about advancing my studies even further.

    Perhaps I could've reached this point eventually on my own, but I have no idea how long it would've taken. This game, aside from being a really fun immersive sim, was integral in creating the person that I am today.

  • This choice is interesting and a good example of why this list maybe shouldn't be named "favorite games".

    I never owned Dune 2 myself, but it was the first PC game I ever played. I played it at a friends house who was showing off their PC and I was sucked right in. The thing I remember the most about this game is that the music is amazing. Also, the tension created by the existence of sand worms was great - your units were never safe while traveling on sand. This game was the reason I ended up asking my parents to buy me a PC and is how I embarked upon my current path. If not for Dune 2 and that friend, I think I might've ended up as a console gamer, never experiencing the wonders of majority of the games on this list.

    Due to Dune 2 being my first PC game, it was no wonder I really loved RTS games back in the 90s. Westwood and Command & Conquer were a huge part of my childhood, because of it. I don't play RTS games much these days as I discovered I'm not very good at them, but I still listen to Dune 2 OST every now and then.