My first loves in Genre X Y Z

I love a lot of games in a lot of genres, but I haven't always done. In ages past my tastes were far more narrower and it look discovering games I love to broaden my tastes and show me what other genres have to offer.

Sometimes these will be the first game I've played in a genre, but not always. Sometimes I've played a second rate game in a genre and dismissed it until discovering the first rate game that does it right. There are also a few honorable mentions to games in genres that had previous loves in it but still felt like new to me due to the franchise or the take on the genre.

I'll go in chronological order.

List items

  • 2D PLATFORMERS! My first two games were DKC and Mario All Stars, but I only had eyes for DKC.

  • 3D PLATFORMERS! I remember being so distraught first time I saved and quit... Man what a game.

  • SMASH FIGHTERS! Playing SSB was a gateway drug to the rest of Nintendo for a young me. It was also pretty fun.

  • FAST RACERS! I really liked this game, though I wasn't very good at it. Invincibility cheats were used all the time.

  • LIGHT RPGS! As a boy I habitually rented Paper Mario. Whenever I didn't know what to rent I'd rent this and beat it. Those were the days.

  • KART RACERS! Though I had played Mario Kart games before this, DKR was so much more and easily won me over.

  • 3D ZELDAS! I got this for Christmas and I was convinced I'd hate it. Man, I couldn't have been more wrong.

  • MARIO PARTYS! First one I owned, love its introduction of Duels and the way it handled Minigame Mode, though I always wished it had Face-Lift.

  • FREE RANGE BOARDERS! This was the first one I owned. Hey guys, remember Foundry? Remember the ship? Good times.

  • JAPANESE RPGS! When I played Sapphire I only used Blaziken until I got Kyogre. My team came after the Elite 4 was done and I did nothing with them. Still fun though.

  • OPEN WORLD GAMES! At the time I was surprised it wasn't Crazy Taxi, which was good because I didn't like that style of driving game. Fine intro to open world games with its cool world and decent mucking about. (Honorable Mention to Saints Row The Third!)

  • MICROGAMES! Cool idea, great execution filled with so much great personality. Plus fantastic Minigames you can unlock!

  • 2D METROIDVANIAS! There's no better introduction to Metroid than this remastering of game one, mark my words. So good years after renting it I tracked down a copy for keeps.

  • ACTION RTS! I enjoyed Pikmin, but the time limit limited my enjoyment. Pikmin 2 removed it and increased the scope, making for a fantastic sequel.

  • 3D METROIDVANIAS! In fairness I liked the first Metroid Prime as well, but Prime 2's world, upgrades and increased linearity just hit the sweet spot for me.

  • 2D ZELDAS! Solid game. Not much more to say but I loved it. Great world, great weapons, great writing. Shame the DS Zelda games were shit.

  • WESTERN RPGS! Another game I was irrationally convinced wasn't for me! I was wrong! It was good fun.

  • DOWNHILL BOARDERS! (DS Version) I bought this game after owning the previous DS Tony Hawk game, a flimsy port of a full game. Imagine my surprise that Downhill Jam was hardly a Tony Hawk game at all but also damn good. Fun fact, I was #1 on the leaderboards for a bit. (Honorable Mention to SSX!)

  • CLASS BASED MULTIPLAYER SHOOTERS! You know, this game has issues. Serious issues. Really serious issues. But with friends it was an incredible good time. A whole summer was spent in it for a bunch of us. It was a good summer.

  • FPS RPGS! Despite beating it and doing everything worth doing in it during the time I rented it a year later I decided to buy it. Why? Because Bioshock is the sort of game you should own. (Honorable Mention to Mass Effect 2!)

  • FPS! The Half Life games within this pack was my first foray into FPSes and though I was rubbish and had to cheat my way through them they still were a ton of fun. Portal too, only with less cheating.

  • COOP FOCUSED FPS! Even today a good chunk of my Xbox Live friends were made during the period where I played a ton of Left 4 Dead. I don't think I've ever engaged so much with randoms before or since then. It was just a marvelous good time.

  • PROPER RTS! Yeah Starcraft! I got into Starcraft after watching Giant Bomb's livestream and being driven to seek out commentated videos. Eventually Starcraft II became my GOTY. Really glad I got into it.

  • DETECTIVE ADVENTURE GAMES! Man, Ghost Trick is amazing. The world, the characters, the way you interact with both... it all just works together perfectly.

  • PROPER FIGHTING GAMES! For a long time I thought proper fighting games weren't for me. I hated SC4, and am easily bored by Street Fighter. However when GB's streams for MK were going I found myself drawn in, especially after I learned of the game's full suite of Single Player modes. Its accessible and it has character, what's more to say?

  • ACTION DIET-RPG! You know, the RPG part of Bastion's Genre bothers me because it's not really an RPG is it? It's like an Action RPG without the RPG. Don't get me wrong, I'm into it and Bastion was a lot of fun, but it needs a better name.

  • STEALTH BRAWLER HYBRIDS! I thought the first one was alright, but the openness and scope of this one really spoke to me and made it something more than a linear little trifle but a big world full of bad guys who are fun hit in the face with fists.

  • OPEN ENDED PUZZLE GAME! There is a new breed of puzzle game these days which use a big world full of puzzles you are free to solve at your leisure. Get stuck on one? Go find another! Solve one? There were 3 more behind it! The specifics don't matter. Like in Fez where it's ostensibly a puzzle platformer. It can be anything! (Honorable mentions to Botanicula & Antichamber and a nod to Kirby & The Amazing Mirror)

  • TELLTALE ADVENTURE GAME! Walking Dead trades the tedious and arcane traditional Telltale Puzzles for emotional and diplomatic puzzles, which suits it very well. It additionally does great work with suspense and drama. Real great work!

  • DIABLO TYPE GAME! The only other game of its sort I'd played before it was Torchlight which I bought for $2.50 and got bored of in a few hours. Diablo 3 is just a much more satisfying, much more engaging, much more addictive game.

  • PLATFORMER ROGUELIKE! I played the free version years ago and didn't get it. However after seeing the Quick Look and coming to understand what was compelling about the game, I was motivated to give it a proper go. I tell you, when you go in with the right angle you don't come back out.

  • DATING GRAPHIC NOVELS? It's telling that I feel I have to explain I don't play any of these games even though it's obvious because otherwise it wouldn't be in this list. Dating sim Graphic Novels just feels like a shameful genre. It's the quality of Katawa Shoujo's writing which inspired me to take a chance on this western developed free graphic novel, but its the strength of its characters and story arcs that will leave a lasting impression on me.

  • 10000000LIKE. I just realized this game is a 10000000like while writing this. Shit. What does that mean? Well that every run you want to go as far as you can and in between runs you upgrade based on how much you were able to score in said round. It's rather ingenous stuff really. In some ways it's like an Endless Runner meets an RPG, in other ways it's a Roguelike with progression between runs rather than during. It's a genre I think is important as hell going forward. (Honorable Mentions to 10000000 and Rogue Legacy)

  • DIGITAL CARD BUILDERS. This game is really fun. I'm way into playing it mindlessly.

  • SUPER BRUTAL DODGERS. Games in which you move left and right to not die. Not sure this is really a genre outside of Hexagon but maybe it should be.

  • DEVELOPMENT SIM. There's a lot about the development of videogames that makes for fantastic ground for a videogame in a way few other games do. It's a creative addicting feeling you get as you choose genres and workers and watch as the random numbers come in.

  • DIGITAL CCGS. Hearthstone is the best. It grinds away a lot of the rough edges that make regular CCGs horribly complicated and avoiding the many little mistakes that make digital CCGs generally crap to play. It's fast, intuitive, polished and really fun.

  • MOBAS. All the prior MOBAs I've always thought to be too dense to get into, too steep a learning curve. This is still true but Heroes doesn't have that. It's super accessible yet, far as I can tell, as habit forming as any other MOBA. Mmmmmmmm.