Top 5 of All Time (So far): Favorite Games
Here it is, amigos! The mother of all personal “top” lists. Now, I realize that is should be a Top 10 but, believe me, 5 was agonizing enough. I guess I will do a 2-part list to complete it as a top 10.
I also realize how trivial it is to post about my personal favorite games.. So we will call this a sort of time capsule in the form of a list. Will I look back at this in 30 years and still agree with myself? Stay tuned!
5. GoldenEye 007 (Nintendo 64)
It was a toss-up between GoldenEye and Super Mario World for the #5 spot so really either of them could go here. Most of the choices I make in this list are based on nostalgia and which games were most captivating and mind-blowing to me when I first played them. Rare’s GoldenEye 007 was on my favorite games list for a seriously long time and I see no reason why it shouldn’t still be. A lot about this game was great and I am not particularly a fan of modern FPS but GoldenEye made me think that I would be for the rest of my days. The main reason for its inclusion in this list is the simple fact that it is the best multiplayer experience I’ve ever had. In a million years I will never think of a greater time I had playing multiplayer on a game with a bunch of buddies. I was always Boris. This game trumps any Call of Duty game you can name. Case closed.
4. Final Fantasy VII (Sony Playstation)
This game screamed greatness in just about every aspect in the universe of gaming. Square were years and years ahead of their time in creating this– in a lot of different ways. Most notable is its astronomical scale for its time (3 discs, 40+ hours) and it’s graphics. Before this game it was all hallways and paths for the RPG. This was the first time that you really felt like you could explore a game’s world (which has come to be one of my favorite qualities in gaming). This blurb really only needed one word: Sephiroth. Here was the first time that I thought a villain would almost certainly be impossible to mess with, for all of his badass savagery. There was Chrono Trigger and there was Illusion of Gaia (don’t laugh) but this is the first great RPG for me and it remains, after 14 years, one of the greatest.
3. Psychonauts (XBOX)
Twisted. That is the best word I can think of to describe Tim Schafer and his most awesome creation: this game. It is foreseeable that Double Fine’s Psychonauts will go down in history as the most mind-bendingly original game you or I will ever play. As the main character, Raz, you have the ability enter peoples minds at will. If that’s not interesting enough; it just so happens that the minds of everyone at the psychic camp you sneak into are absolutely f*cked! The sheer level of imagination that went into designing the levels alone is just beyond comprehension. Think of it’s overall tone, feeling, humor and visual style as Tim Burton meets Terry Gilliam meets Ren & Stimpy meets Invader Zim. Not necessarily in that order. This is creativity at its peak and its fun as hell. I love, love, loved the experience of this game in all its wackiness and it is one that will most definitely stay with me for longer than any other.
2. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (Xbox)
Alright then! In addition to calling me a space nerd there is also a sub-level of nerd you can call me. STAR WARS nerd. The varying degrees of Star Wars fans are important. For instance, you will never see me at a convention, I wouldn’t argue with anyone about the movies/characters as if they were real and Leia doesn’t give me a boner (except when she’s Jabba’s slave. Damn). Having said all that; this game is a god damned marvel of modern science. The choice to gradually side with the light or dark side by way of actions and choice of words in conversation was mind blowing when I first played this. My favorite dynamic of any game ever. The characters you meet are all great..HK 47 is the man. I loved the weapon customization and leveling up and purchasing new things like powers or the ability to equip stronger, cooler looking armor/weapons, among many other things. The minigame/card game Pazaak had me hooked for longer than it probably should have. I spent hours playing it. Also, I wasn’t going to admit this but I even tried making my own Pazaak labels to tape onto regular playing cards. Yeah — I love this game. Everything about it.
1. Mutant League Hockey
1. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
It took me 15 damned minutes of staring into space to decide whether Old Republic or Ocarina deserved tops on such a definitive list. The deciding factor would eventually be level of fun. Ocarina won.
In all my 15+ years of serious post-“Excite Bike”, post-“Cobra Triangle”, post-“Ice Hockey” gaming I can’t remember having as much fun as I did playing this game. I remember being so excited to ride Epona in an open world I almost peed (Whether I’m joking about that or not isn’t the point.) This game was absolutely electrifying to me when it came out. It’s early, if not pioneering, 3-D sandbox design, the ocarina and it’s songs, all the side-mission/minigame type things to do, the gradually changing day to night, the Z-targeting, the sometimes surprisingly complex temples. Every single pixel. I loved this game so much that I felt like I was Link during the period in my life that I played it. Among my favorite personal memories is physically making friends with some Gorons. Oh and that time I avenged the Great Deku Tree. What a day…
To be continued in what will complete a top 10… with games including Super Mario World and Doom!