While it has probably done the rounds before and will do again there was a recent Facebook trend I took part in, what 10 games are your favourite/influenced you/hate the least. I had to create a Word document as usual with these things and figure out what 10 games influenced me at some point and am still playing now. I decided that the games I played between 1997 and 2004 were probably the most influential and informed my gaming habits since, with a few notable games left out:
- Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64)
- Pokemon Red (GB)
- Super Mario All Stars (SNES)
- Civilization 2 (PC)
- Age of Wonders (PC)
- AoE 2 (PC)
- Star Ocean 2: The Second Story (PS)
- Smackdown! 2: Know Your Role (PS)
- Eternal Darkness (GC)
- Halo 2 (Xbox)
I chose Ocarina of Time because it felt like the full game and was the first one I played. It got me to appreciate sword, sorcery and adventure. Pokemon Red is there because it got me into handhelds as well as teaching me about the power of friendship and an addiction to collectibles. Super Mario All Stars is a bit of a cheat because it as my favourite game Super Mario Bros. 3 is in it as well as Super Mario World and other older ones like the original remastered game. Bros. 3 made me love 'secrets' as did World with its various secret levels and whole secret world. Civ 2 I used to play on my brother's old Windows 98 and I distinctly remember listening to the Presidents of the USA 'Peaches' while playing it. I generally play Civ 4 now but I still boot up Civ 2 on Emperor for a real challenge. Age of Wonders was a staple I played almost religiously from around 2003 until 2013! It had a really good map maker for making pretties that I also indulged in a lot.
Age of Empires 2 was the first game I played online but before that I played it a lot offline and I played some of its predecessors when I was even younger. It would psyche me up for the ridiculous pace of online games like Halo 2 and Call of Duty 4. Star Ocean: The Second Story was a game I played a few times on the Playstation and was the first Enix game released outside Japan, so despite the terrible voice actors and poor translation in places it was still a ridiculously deep game. I am still trying to beat 2 of the 3 mega bosses which have millions of HP. Smackdown! 2 was bought by myself and Royce one lazy weekend and we had immense fun with the CAW, this was also around the time I watched wrestling on Saturday mornings roughly from 2001-2004. Eternal Darkness helped me appreciate horror and was so well made and yet underrated. Halo 2 was the first triple AAA modern game I got and I managed to stay with the herd until around 2011 when my money ran out and game releases outpaced my savings.
I left out Goldeneye mainly because while I thoroughly enjoyed the single player and still play it every now and then I thought this game belonged in a list of multiplayer games that I enjoy. It has been a long, long time since I played 4 player Goldeneye and the first few dozen times were in the late 1990's/early 2000's with a group of neighbourhood kids and the second few dozen times was with Aaron, James and Royce around 2004 to 2009 at the very latest.
I loved the Final Fantasy Games, I must replay them again soon. For all their story and gameplay I liked aspects of VII, VIII, IX, X and XII - perhaps the first and last of these were the most complete to me, closely followed by X and IX; VIII has some of my favourite features and least favourite flaws - the story getting weaker and weaker as time went on for example.
I play Civ 4 now more than Civ 2, while AoE 3 had guns and cannons that were also immensely enjoyable - Pokemon Silver I almost preferred to Red, but this list is about influential games. If I didn't play the 10 games above I wouldn't be into these. While I don't really like platformer/adventure games any more perhaps playing LoZ got me into Fallout down the line.