The games I've played (properly)

This is to be an authoritative (and chronological) list of all the games I've ever played for a decent amount of time, including all those games that I haven't actually owned or bought, but have still played at friends' houses or have borrowed from a friend. Yeah...I really haven't played that many in comparison to most.

List items

  • After reading a stirring Rock, Paper, Shotgun write up about this then mod I eagerly sought to try out this experience for myself. It was creepy, mysterious and intriguing. Another milestone in showing what can be achieved with interactive experiences.

  • The first of a number of classic arcade games that were on our first computer, a 486. I had fun playing them and going for that elusive perfect game which would net my high score which proved increasingly hard to beat. With hindsight I feel kind of glad I was able to play these while I was young since they get constantly referenced these days and yet if I'd been born just a few years later I probably would have never of played them. At least I wouldn't have played them when young, when they became my introduction to gaming, the very first games I played extensively. It seems fitting that my first real gaming steps were had with these arcade classics - it shows me how far games have really come now.

  • See Asteroids.

  • See Asteroids. There was definitely an atmosphere to Battlezone - it constantly kept me on edge with the throbbing noise in the background and the slow turning of the turret. There was always that moment when you'd seen the other tank but just as you were swinging your turret into line with it ever so slowly, it would fire on you and kill you. I eventually evolved to the strategy of just holding down forwards pretty much constantly since you could then outrun any tanks that had the initial advantage over you.

  • See Asteroids.

  • I want more games like this: a mysterious environment to explore forming the major part of the gameplay and combat of a sort, while present, was more incidental that in the vast majority of games. I think its greatest achievement for me was the successful creation of a sense of place in the castle you're exploring. I was drawn in by the story and a fondness and connection to Yorda naturally and inevitably comes as it was meant to, just from progressing through the entire game with her at your side. There's a great sense of atmosphere, especially in the final act, which I played through in one sitting having been about end my play session shortly before it began. Fighting through the dark in driving rain beautifully mirrored and set up the emotional intensity of the last moments of the game. I tracked this game down to play and I'm glad I did so.

  • See Asteroids. Yep, I've only ever played Tetris on the PC and only when I was younger. I haven't touched it in over 10 years probably and doubt I'll ever really seek it out again. Good to play for a while but I'll take a new and more complex and interesting gaming experience if it's on offer.

  • It's hard to refer to this game without using the word 'charming' because it really is. A gem of a game, it really delivers on the scope it sets for itself. It creates a lovely world where the artistry in the visuals and accompanying music (I still listen to the soundtrack) really add so much by adding an almost magical quality to it all. I loved my time with it.

  • For a good 2 or 3 years, whenever I went round to my cousins' house I would insist on playing Civilization. Each time I would always start a new game and never get very far but I was entranced by the gameplay - I think my cousins got bored of me asking to play this after a while.

  • One of my cousins had this game on his PC and I was already an emerging Discworld fan. It was one tough game especially for a relative game novice - it wasn't helped by the fact that for some reason he wasn't able to save the game.

  • I played this when I was very young and loved the great puzzling action. It had a renaissance when starting uni and I got through an awful lot of levels in that time.

  • A really fantastic game. I think the most important thing for me ended up being the fully fleshed out world that is created within the game and which it then had me adventuring through. It really did feel like a grand adventure and moreso than the first I would stop to look at the details within the environments and take it all in to build my sense of what Aperture Science etc. is all about. The story is so good as are all the characters and the pacing is really perfect I think. There's the bits just by yourself where you're puzzling things out in isolated areas and there's more dramatic moments and they all work. It just ended up being a very satisfying and enjoyable experience from top to bottom. I wish more games were like this and had such colour, care and detail in their world and the stories they tell with them.

  • Oh wow, this is easily the game I played the most from all my childhood years. We happened to have a copy on our first PC which was leftover from the people we bought it second-hand from. I spent literally years working my way through these levels. Some levels had me frustrated and I would leave them for months at a time. For some levels I even went to the extremes of drawing a map because there was just no other way to complete them. I am proud to say that I finally completed the last 144th level - what a sense of achievement!

  • And another game that I found on our 486. Was great fun. I remember trying to shoot those ships when they were just one pixel on the screen. I just really wish I hadn't bough those Tribbles!

  • Another game left on our PC by the former owners of our 486. I just happened to stumble across it and I'm so glad I did. I had a lot of fun playing all the different mission types but I eventually got stuck and found it too hard to progress - particularly on this one level where you had ensure the safe passage of a med shuttle to the rebel ship. It always got destroyed no matter what strategy I used.

  • Weird say some. Weird is good and there's frankly not enough of it about. I agree with the first thoughts I read about the game that the world and the odd characters, which are like nothing you've ever dreamed of before, are the best parts of it. The characters, and story in general, have a quirkiness and bizarreness of a children's fairy tale but as conceived by those outside of a traditional western mindset. In the end I thought the fighting/shooting gameplay was pretty good but it took me over half the game to 'get' it and I was often frustrated with it before then.

  • The game with which I probably first encountered the eye-strain you get from staring at a screen for 5 hours straight. Played this at a friend's house where we would just play deathmatch against each other constantly. He probably won most times, but then it was his game and he actually knew the maps. Had an awful lot of fun with this one.

  • Ah, all those countless hours I've spent playing this game when Goldeneye was THE game to play when over at any friend's house for a good 2 years or more.

  • For quite a while, the Worms games were the go-to party game among my group of friends at school. The fact that you could have 8 people controlling a different worm in the standard 4v4 game meant you could really involve a lot of people in just one game, hence great for that context. Loved the mix of action and tactics, as well as the gentle humour of it all.

  • The replacement Worms game once it came out, Worms Armageddon seemed to be the pinnacle of the Worms series - very polished with all the added crazy weaponry you could wish for. I even borrowed this off a friend for a while and completed most of the single-player missions, if not all.

  • Didn't play quite as much as Goldeneye, but it was Goldeneye's successor and it's what all my friends moved onto playing after Goldeneye.

  • Ah, Soul Calibur. There was a period in my life when almost every day after school we would go to a local computer games shop where they had just got in a Dreamcast and hence Soul Calibur. It looked absolutely awesome and for maybe two terms that's pretty much all that was played with winner stays on. I decided I should just get really good at one character and chose Xianghua as mine. I never got beyond simple button-mashing though, evolving my grip on the controller to have 3 fingers over the face buttons at all times which made it easier to pull off moves. I don't think I'm really cut out for fighting games, ultimately.

  • Most gamers who've played the Civ series will refer to either 'II' or 'IV' as being the stand-out games for them. I just happened to pick up the series when it was in it's 3rd iteration and now am loath to pick up another as I fear that all my time will disappear with it. There were a number of holidays where whole days and weeks disappeared while playing Civ III. Also it's such a long game when played on any decent map size that all that time got spent on only a handful of games, at least at the speed I play at. I probably never played enough games to even evolve the best tactics.

  • My first RTS. I played quite a lot of this particularly because I had a friend who was also into it. I got really stuck fairly early on into the single-player campaigns. I eventually got bored by playing single-player skirmishes though I played it a fair bit.

  • Perhaps the first game I bought with a mainly single-player experience that I really got into. I loved the whole concept and the freedom it gave you in rearing your creature and playing it the way you wanted. My alignment was on the really good side except for a brief while when I got carried away experimenting with throwing fireballs! My only sadness is that I never completed the game because for some reason it didn't register me getting the required amount of belief to conquer the penultimate village on final island - really annoying.

  • There really isn't much like Black %26 White out there, so I immediately bought the 2nd one without any hesitation. This one has more of an RTS slant than the first one but still has the quests than need carrying out. The creatures had far more detail in this version and it was made far simpler to teach them things, though maybe this transparency caused some of the magic to be lost in training them.

  • Even more Black %26 White! The non-expansion version was probably made too easy by not having to go up against any other gods but merely other civilisations - this was rectified here, and was a lot of fun because of it.

  • I don't know which version I played (it was one that had 30 episodes in it) but I sunk a lot of time into it, which stretched over quite a while considering I got stuck at some points. Probably my favourite free online game - by the time I got to the last levels I truely did have ninja skills having perfected all of the timing. Don't know if I could be that good instantly, if I played it again.

  • This is the first, and one of the very few, single-player console games I've played through pretty much myself. We had it at our house at university and played it through as a group, but I got so into it that I would avoid seeing what they were doing and use a different account as much of the fun is had by the discovery of each new colossus and then working out yourself how to beat them. Truely epic battles - an amazing game. [Check out the list of my top 9 colossi for more enthusing about this game and my experience of it.]

  • I got into this late on, picking it up cheaply having seen housemates playing it previously during that year. They weren't playing by the time I got this so I never went up against anyone in multiplayer. I tried to just get good at one faction, the Chinese in my case, but I don't think I was ever particularly great and it made me wonder if there's just too much going on in these strategy games for me to really get a grasp of them. Enjoyed playing skirmishes for quite a while, but got completely stuck during the single-player campaign relatively early on. Ended up just leaving it.

  • Another recommendation from a uni housemate. A very unique game that manages to conquer up a haunting yet beautiful atmosphere that really drew me into it. I think I really felt like I was playing inside of a virtual space within a computer. The personality of the Darwinians really added a lot to the game as well despite it being seemingly minimal. Definitely left an effect that seems to be greater than the sum of its parts.

  • Wow. Having seen my housemate play this for literally hundreds of hours I decided to borrow it off of him and give it a go myself. It has one of the steepest learning curves I've experienced in a game (you really need the manual and often the game forums to help you out) but once i got into it I also played it quite extensively and succeeded in completing the single-player campaign. There's obviously much more to it than that though. There's so much to learn - all the ways off setting up your factories and traders so then can run automatically. Also notable: I actually felt compelled to make some spreadsheets to help me with making decisions in the game ... yeah.

  • See Asteroids. Man, nothing served to raise my stress levels as a youngster quite like Pipe Dream. That moment when the slime starts flowing down the pipe and just doesn't stop and you really don't know how you're going to finish your pipe network in time especially when you're searching for that one elusive type of pipe. I could only ever play this in short bursts as it stressed me out too much.

  • I bought the Orange Box and I absolutely loved Portal - it was the first thing myself and all my housemates from uni played upon getting it. A really awesome and innovative concept that was made so much better by the atmosphere that was created by GLaDOS and the rooms themselves. A really great continuous and immersive single-player experience

  • I love the story and probably value that above the gameplay, though that in itself has a good mix of puzzle and action. Couldn't wait to get out of Ravenhlom - that place was just creepy. Enjoyed the open enviroments when going between the different locations and using the vehicles. Also, can't beat controlling a squad of antlions.

  • Not a huge fan of the spooky atmosphere, but all for more Half-life and the great atmosphere created as well as the story, of course.

  • This is probably the first ever game I can ever remember there being discussion about in the playground. I remember a friend describing the concept of the game to a group of us and us listening in awe as he described struggling with just a few balls in the early stages. I soon realised I had a copy on my own computer and over time I got seriously good at this. Once I had my tactic down I would just nail each ball into it's own small box. Nothing better than trapping a ball in a space that was only the size of the ball itself and just seeing it spin there gently.

  • Really loved this game, more so than Episode One because the creepy environments gave way to wide open, bright forest environments which I just felt more at ease in when playing.

  • I'll just about count this as being a game I've played properly since I've never completed it but it certainly holds fond memories. The big thing was that we were allowed to play it on our classroom computer when in the last year of primary school. So I got to play it with someone else once or twice a week for maybe half an hour for a month or two. I was absolutely fascinated by it and it certainly taxed the puzzling skills of even a very clever 11 year old. We never made it off the first island though we got close. It was literally the last thing I did in primary school on my very final day even while all the girls were crying around us - I almost had to be dragged away from it. I picked it up a few years later and got a lot further but the emptiness of all the locations unsettled me a bit with its constant sense of loneliness and I eventually didn't pick it up again and persist with it to the end.

  • I've now playing well over 50 hours of soldier alone. Yes it's a great game for just chilling and relaxing with some action. The fact that you can change up the game-play whenever you want with a different class is great pull for coming back for more and not getting tired of it.

  • I think this must be the very first game I bought (requested to be bought for me). I spent quite a long time playing it and produced a number of cities sprawling across the whole map. Really enjoyable and a huge time sink.

  • Felt like a bit of arcade action where you could just turn off your brain and let your instincts take over. Turned out to be great in between revision breaks when revising for exams just to give me a brief break and give my brain something completely different to do. Ultimately it's a bit limited, having only the one game mode and having to start from the beginning each time. The 2nd one sounds much more compelling, but sadly it's not been released on PC.

  • Even from the few hours it took to play through this game it sets itself apart by being very imaginative and genuinely funny. If you're a fan of adventure games you should play this without hesitation.

  • This became the go-to online game among my friends and uni housemates for many months. I've played many hours of it and gotten pretty good and used to the strategies involved in both surviving as the survivors and then dividing and conquering as the infected ... I love being the smoker. I've had some pretty embarrassing tank deaths though - falling off the top of No Mercy hospital anyone? Has given me many great gaming experiences and it's so good when you're all together chatting over Skype when playing.

  • I was hyped for this game and it delivered for me. The narrative and general immersiveness is what pulled me in, with such a large and well-realised universe. I loved just wandering around the Citadel at the start and exploring and finding about the characters and races. Learning about the members of my squad was also great. It's interesting how the storyline can really diverge for different players based on your choices, as well. Many months after, I heard some discussion about Mass Effect and I was like: "What!! You can kill Wrex!?" I had no idea.

  • One of my uni housemates alerted me to this game and it's really awesome because of the fact that you can use whatever music you own with it to generate new tracks and that you can tell the tracks really match the audio (though some work better than others). Love the visuals as well.

  • I love Assassin's Creed. I did feel slight tedium at having to repeat the same missions and was aware that more could have been done with world, but it was nevertheless an awesome experience of a game. The world is amazingly immersive and relatively fleshed out, with beautifully created cities. The considered stealth style of gameplay is exactly my kind of thing and the whole surrounding sci-fi conspiracy storyline intrigued me. I really kind of dug the Desmond side of things as well. Having to back out into his world from the animus each time just reinforced the sense of realness to it. Utterly enjoyed it.

  • I'm not quite sure where I stand with Spore. I was eagerly looking forward to this game two years before it even came out. I've only evolved one species at this point. I quite enjoyed the first 2 stages, though for the creature stage I'm disappointed it wasn't about finding a really good set of characteristics that would allow you to survive in harsh world, though I understand why they did that. There was a shallowness to the gameplay and that carried on into space where I eventually got bored. I didn't find the x-factor in the game I was expecting, but I feel like I should give it another chance. I haven't yet.

  • Introversion may have considered this game a huge mis-step on their part (at least in terms of sales) but I loved it and got an awful lot out of it. A style of RTS in which the correct strategy isn't obfuscated by tech trees and too many unit types to remember worked perfectly for me. I actually joined a ladder for a game for the first time in my life and even got into the top 20. Playing against highly skilled players was the most satisfying but I also found it perfect for just bashing some AIs while listening to a podcast or similar in the background.

  • It is hard to overstate the charm that this game has - it is what elevates it above many games. The music is also of outstanding quality and sets a very intricate tone for the game of endeavour, struggling against the odds but always with a hopeful optimism. The game really drew me into the whole experience and I got lost in its world while I played it.

  • For me Braid is incredibly special in that it has some element to it that surpasses what games are normally able to aspire to through just mechanics and even normal story. It's puzzles are beautifully crafted and ingenious, but that is not what makes this game special. It is the perfect marriage of this gameplay with the moving, slightly cryptic story behind it that sets it apart. It creates a unique and special atmosphere which culminates in an incredible ending with a twist that changes everything. Even beyond that it seems the story might hold greater significance than you first think, and whatever the truth is of what it's a metaphor for, the game seems to have extra weight once you're aware of this. This is almost my perfect game. I mean it to be more than mere hyperbole when I say it transcends almost any other game ever made.

  • This is a really good game. Very well executed and (crucially for this genre) really well balanced with a smooth learning curve. I sunk a lot of hours into this and found it great fun as well as being a real challenge.

  • I eventually borrowed this off of a housemate a year or two after this came out and made great waves among many. I'm still not sure what impression this game left on me and if it tells me something about how I relate to games of this type. I guess I enjoyed it and it takes you on a ride, but given that it pushes you so constantly through the game I'm not sure I really felt like I 'owned' the experience and I think part of brain was switched off while playing this because I didn't need it and this just made it less satisfying.

  • A very fun game which has great humour in all of its elements, from the plants and the zombies themselves, to Crazy Dave and the notes from the zombies. It also has a lot going on in it from the normal campaign to lots of mini-games and puzzles. PvZ's cartoonish and humorous presentation elevated it above other puzzle games for me and ensured I simply had a lot fun while playing it for the many hours that I did. It also distinguishes itself by being the first game I've earned an S-rank in by getting all of its achievements.

  • This is an absolutely beautiful game and I definitely appreciate beautiful visuals. The gameplay is really solid and constantly interesting and it was a great and lengthy adventure that I felt I'd gone on by the end of the game haivng travelled through many varied and stunning environments. I love the tone of the game: it somehow manages to pitch itself as feeling genuinely magical, and despite traversing some seemingly dark environments I always felt uplifted and entranced by it - that might be its most special achievement.

  • I was hyped for this from a few years before it got released and played it more than a year after release. It didn't disappoint and I really loved it. Just having the freedom to move about the world and approach situations as I pleased made it immensely satisfying and counts for a lot. I loved the world with the richness of all the different habits nestled together, especially where my actions had the ability to change it permanently. I've had few better moments in gaming than lying in some long jungle grass in a heavy downpour carefully lining up sniper shots to take out a few dudes across a valley from me.

  • Counted as an absolute classic by many I finally got to see why that's the case by playing the Special Edition who's improved graphics and voice-acting I greatly appreciated. I was somewhat surprised and equally delighted by the fact that not all the gameplay was pure traditional point-and-click but that the gameplay was changed up on occasion. The humour is still great - there were a few moments that had me properly laughing out loud for a while. I really enjoyed it from start to finish.

  • Perhaps the first full game I sat down to play involved pressing space once, perhaps for a second time and then more quickly a final time sending a small pixelated ball flying across a virtual golf course. It was at the house of one of my cousins (the one where I also played Discworld) as with many of my earliest gaming memories. I think I requested that we get this for our own computer when we finally got one a few years later since it was one of the few games I knew.

  • It seems kind of weird to be adding a chess game to this list, but if this list is going be the authoritative and complete one my gaming experience then this definitely needs to be added. This was one of the few games I had access to for a long time so I used it quite a lot, but the computer AI was either way too easy or way too difficult for me. Also, look into those eyes on the box art! LOOK INTO THEM!! They gazed at me from beside the computer for a number of years and you kind of get lost in them.

  • The first game I installed and playing on our brand spanking new 2nd family computer. It all looked very shiny and I played it a fair bit but never got particularly good. After a while I think I realised that the gameplay didn't really grip me particularly.

  • Only ever got to the music level (the 2nd/3rd one?). It at least taught me some traditional platforming. I still remember freaking out after jumping innocently off a ledge and landing on this massive black ant. I died instantly and was always nervous on the few occasions I reached it again.

  • A valuable game to play in just exploring what games and pure mechanics can achieve. I think it succeeded reasonably well with communicating its intended meaning to me.