Personal Piece: My Top 10 All Time Favorite Games
When thinking about my favorite games I’ve basked myself in throughout this lifetime, a refreshing wave of nostalgia and recollection overtake my senses. From my early years on the Sega Genesis console to my current run with the Playstation 4, I’ve put in serious hours into what feels like hundreds of games. Breaking down my gaming history into a mere ten titles is an overwhelming task; one I could hardly ask any other dedicated gamer to overcome. But, nevertheless, here it goes.
No game has quite matched the spiritual and emotional aura of the Silent Hill series, especially the earliest titles. The first entry featured on the original Playstation system, introduced us to some seriously ardent trauma, a desolate town and the cult-like religion that surrounds it. From horribly disfigured fiends to a capturing soundtrack putting you on the very edge of your seat, Silent Hill created an experience like no other in my life of video games. The rustic, apocalyptic town covered in dense fog and a slim but interesting cast of characters will drive a story about a man discovering the truth between his adopted daughter and this mysterious town right into your living room.
Sticking with the same era, on the Playstation home console a game existed in the form of a heroic adventure through the fabled land of Gallowmere. Medievil puts you in control of a mostly put together, mumbling skeleton, Sir Daniel Fortesque. With a generous helping of levels to soldier through and plenty of varying weapons, Medievil provided this young gamer with a refreshing taste of an exciting and generally humorous fantasy, slashing through undead zombies, imps and evil, world dominating sorcerer.
Super Mario 64
While I was figuring out the hype behind the powerful, 3D graphic producing console that became the Sony Playstation, Nintendo was also improving visual technology with the N64. Nintendo’s featured mascot, Mario, imprinted himself on the 3D world with one of the best entries in the long running series. Creating the series’ first “open” sandbox game designs, the 3D world provided the groundwork for a number of three-dimensional adventure games to release later on the N64’s life span, leaving Super Mario 64 as the best-selling game on the system.
My introduction to the Fallout series, like so many others, the Capital Wasteland left me speechless and without real-life human interactions for what seemed like months. Fallout 3 introduced the gaming world to new battling systems not found in other adventure games, providing unique RPG elements and a vast wasteland to roam and discover new, and often times, bizarre moments and quests left me wanting more. Luckily, the add-on content gave even more postapocalyptic chaos and bemusing characters to delve into, clocking in hundreds of hours.
Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit
Racing games have played a prominent role in my gaming background. Early on, Excite Bike grabbed ahold of my attention leaving a rewarding sense of satisfaction after each victory. Games like Road Rash and Super Monaco GP on the Genesis further advanced this feeling, growing more comfortable with the racing genre. Then, with a rush of high-speed exotic cars and gripping police chases, the Need for Speed series released their third installment, Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit, bringing a new racing hazard to the streets; active police. Not only does the adrenaline of blazing through country roads get you fueled up, but with squad cars right on your trail and race changing roadblocks and spike strips to avoid, the fast-paced action never lets up. Truly a game that I could play over and over, no matter how many years pass.
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3
Growing up as an avid fan of anime, it seemed inevitable that sooner or later I’d stumble across the perfect game that combines it with video games. Becoming more adapt to turn-base RPG’s, I was turned on to the series by a friend and I got soaked into the story of Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 immediately. With a likeable, believable cast mixed with a sci-fi thrilling story, the thrill of juggling a highschool life with a dungeon crawler became addictive. Increasing my bonds with the many friends in all parts of town, creating more and more powerful personas to finish off the ultimate conclusion of the long, thought-out story left this RPG series planted fondly in my memory.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
The Grand Theft Auto series has been breaking through barriers and setting trends in the video game world now for nearly two decades. With the unique play style and camera view from the original Playstation days to the innovative, mature games of the 3D era we know and love today, GTA has sold millions of copies to a very large, very broad fan base. The release of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas gave players a ton of side activities, covering a huge map of three big-named cities, forests, mountains and deserts. With a long narrative, filled of a colorful cast and extensive, engaging missions, loads to do like customize vehicles, races, go to the gym , buy property, fly around in a jet-pack, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas graciously stole hours and hours of gamers’ time everywhere.
I was relatively young the first time I played Mortal Kombat on the Sega Genesis. Beyond the interest in playing a brutal fighting game, the talk of blood and gore making an appearance in video games left me more than curious. I quickly fell in love, not with the brutal nature of the game, but the martial arts tone, the serious theme of the game with the short yet unique selection of warriors. The challenge of fighting my way up the ladder, defeating the four-armed dragon Goro and finishing with the defeat of the oldest rendition of the mighty sorcerer, Shang Tsung. The added fatality feature is the trademark amongst the long running, and very successful series. I’ve stuck it out through every MK title since, and it’s the original that still sits closest to me today.
Living on the Sony side of the gaming circle I never had much time with the ever-popular Legend of Zelda series. Coming near the tail end of the Playstation 2 era, Okami gave classic action/RPG fans exactly what we’ve been craving on the booming Sony console. Using brushstrokes from Amatarasu’s tail to create powerful techniques to guide you through the vast and beautifully painted lands of Nippon, reviving guardian saplings to restore the natural beauty, ridding the land of evil. With a huge roster of monsters and memorable bosses, and lively cast with plenty of favors to ask and rewards to give through a wonderful, unforgettable quest, Okami is truly a shining gem. Whether on the original PS2, the Wii or the HD version on PS3, Okami is worth a full run-through, showing that Capcom and Clover Studio hit the nail on the head with this one.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2
Closing off the list is a Sega Genesis classic. It made the cut easily as it’s the game that essentially turned me onto games forever. I remember fondly, a young Christmas morning in the early 90s to the surprise of a Sega Genesis console bundled with Sonic the Hedgehog 2. That was it, baby. The games of NES like Super Mario Bros. and Mega Man introduced me to the wonderful world of video games, but Sonic 2 got me hooked. Speeding through the thirteen different levels as the likeable “blue blur”, grinding out chaos emeralds to achieve Super Sonic status was my favorite way to spend my weekends.
This list, of course, is in no way a list of what I believe to be the top 10 games of all time, just simply some of my most memorable games I’ve played in my short time here on Earth. There’s obviously loads of other games that could easily fill out this list beyond an appropriate length, but these are just some of the first that came to me. A few honorable mentions are Metal Gear Solid, The Legend of Zelda: Links Awakening, Crash Team Racing, The Last of Us, Street Fighter 2: Special Champion Edition, Demon’s Souls, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and so many others. Regardless of what games you’re into or whichever console you choose, video games gives us gamers an outlet; a remarkable story or adventure filling our senses with strong emotions and a personal approach to entertainment. Let us know your top 10 in the comments!