Five Video Game Series I Love

Today is one of those days where I woke up and knew that I didn’t make any significant progress in any games the night before. I knew I didn’t have any concrete MTG brews lying around in drafts, and I hadn’t purchased anything worth talking about, be it hardware or software. As such, I did the rounds and found a new trending thing in the blogosphere. Credit has been given to Krikket for starting the idea, and because I didn’t have something else to write about today, I thank you.

I have more than five series that I can easily name that have had big influences on my life and gaming habits. The most memorable have stuck with me over the many real world changes I’ve experienced, and are still being produced today. There are a ton of alternatives I could have picked as well, because gaming has been a thing for the entirety of my earthly existence. As such, I’ll list out some honorable mentions here before we get onto my official list of five, though I must admit that I’m combining some game series into one pick, and you’ll see why as we go.

Honorable Mentions:

  1. Final Fantasy. I love Final Fantasy 7, and have played almost every game in the series, but very few to completion. I’m currently playing the FF7 Remake, but I don’t think I can really count the series as a whole.
  2. Shining Series. I can’t tell you how many hours I spent playing Shining Force 1 & 2, and I played through them both within the last 5 years and they’re still good. I also enjoyed Shining in the Darkness. I realize there are other entries in the series though and I have never played them so I didn’t feel I could include.
  3. Phantasy Star. IV is one of my absolute favorite JRPGs of all time. III was great to a lesser degree. II was hard to play. The first game was pretty terrible to retroactively play. There are also online versions I haven’t played so again I omitted this series.
  4. Half-Life. So obviously 1 & 2 are classics. The mods they spawned were epic. I never played the other episodes for #2, and I have no interest in the new VR Alyx game. Give me Half-Life 3 and we’ll see if I can put you on the list.
  5. Souls Series. Though not all entirely related, I own Demon’s Souls, Dark Souls 1, 2 & 3 and Bloodborne. I am interested in Sekiro and the new game that is in development. However, I’ve only completed Demon’s Souls, and I didn’t even really deep dive to do everything you could have done. I still want to finish the others, but they take some serious dedication that I hadn’t been willing to give. Perhaps I should get on that during this time of isolation.

The Picks (in no particular order):

1. Wolfenstein/DOOM/Quake

I’m combining these three series because they all have iD Software all over them. They might as well be the same games too, in their own way. Obviously the newer DOOM and Wolfenstein games have a handle on the narrative over the top portion of the FPS genre, while Quake has brought amazing competitive multiplayer to the masses for two decades. While there are individual titles in each series that I haven’t played, I have played and completed most of the above that are referenced, and I have always loved their style of game. As such, they are separate series that do different things, but at the core these are all part of the same design core. Love it.

2. Resident Evil

I have been playing Resident Evil since the original game came out on Playstation. Despite the games making their way over to other platforms, I have always stayed true to playing these games on the Playstation systems because they felt at home there. Either way, I did own various copies of the core games over the years, and did end up buying the collector’s edition of 6, which packed in download codes for the prior games, so I technically own a copy of them all between my PS3/4. I obviously recently wrote about completing the RE3 remake, and had finished the RE2 remake the year prior. I believe it was only a couple of years before that I was completing 7. Whatever the case, this series is still one of my favorites to date, and though some of the individual games don’t hold the same place in my heart, overall the series has been a fun ride.

3. Street Fighter

Street Fighter is one of those games that came out of nowhere when I was a kid, and I lapped it up. Admittedly I didn’t play the original in arcades, but I discovered the sequel in arcades and soon enough it was at home on my SEGA Genesis. I was hooked, and would come to play every major game in the series, along with many of the derivative games that would come from Capcom themselves (Darkstalkers, Marvel vs Capcom, Capcom vs. SNK, etc). I’ve enjoyed most, though some more than others. The most recent main series release, Street Fighter V, is currently installed on my PS4 along with the 30th Anniversary Collection that has multiple iterations of the first through third games. I think I own a copy of IV on my PS3 as well, so I think I own most of the library. The only major thing the series suffers from for me is that the older ones are still great, but only really fun to play while sitting next to your opponent. I have found that I don’t care for online play as much as I would have thought, but I also don’t have the time to hone my skills like I once did. That doesn’t stop me from playing them from time to time though. Overall it’s my favorite fighting game series of all time.

4. The Elder Scrolls

As much as I wanted to lump Fallout into this selection as well, I find that I’ve only really enjoyed Fallout 4 (though still planning to give 76 another go) and to a lesser extent New Vegas. I didn’t like 3. I don’t really remember 1 or 2 and I don’t have the patience to go back. But The Elder Scrolls stand on their own. The first game was never on my radar, but I do recall either seeing the box for Daggerfall on a shelf or reading about the game in a magazine. Whatever the case I never played it. My Dad introduced me to Morrowind, and I played it a bit but it was big and sprawling and I had no direction and at the time I didn’t want that. I played a pirated (gasp!) copy of Oblivion, but didn’t get into far enough to really have much to write home about. Then came along Skyrim, and I was absolutely in love. I played the hell out of this game, just like many others who really got into the series at this point in time. I bought the expansions and completed everything I could. Got the platinum trophy to boot. Really wanted to get into modding the game once I had the revamped version but everything I did made the game break and well maybe mods aren’t for me. I should probably just play through it again anyway on PC just to see how much better it could look. Regardless I had a blast with it and can’t wait for 6, though I really hope they don’t pull the same shit they did with Fallout 76. Finally, they sort of made the jump to the MMO world with The Elder Scrolls Online, and though it’s one of the best looking MMOs to come out in recent memory, it unfortunately has always felt hollow when I’ve played it. I know plenty of people who have fun with it still, but I just don’t see it ever clicking for me.

5. Diablo

It took me some time to pick my 5th option, mainly because I managed to eliminate a few series in the honorable mention section above. At some point it clicked that I had obsessively played all of three games in the series at different points in my life. When the original released I was a younger teen that had plenty of time to play but ended up not playing too much due to having to use my Dad’s PC to play it. I do remember he got the Hellfire expansion that added the monk class as well, and I’m pretty sure I completed the game, but wasn’t aware of how much of a grind you could partake in after completing the main story. I discovered that facet of the game with it’s sequel. This one I was able to play on my own PC, and said PC was in my room and I was an older teenager with enough free time to play it for hour stretches. I truly loved it, but then there was a swathe of action RPG games that came from it and many of them seemed better than Diablo or the next best thing at least, but when I finally bought Diablo III I was in love all over again. I played it through quickly, played through the expansion after it released, played seasons, played hardcore, killed off more high level characters than I can count, and generally spent more hours on it than the other two combined. Diablo IV is in development and hopefully it has a smoother launch than it’s predecessor, but either way I’m sure there will be a point in the future where I play it and get sucked in once again.

So there it is. I’m sure I could go on and on about plenty of other titles and series, but I’ll call it done for now.

DOOM Screenshot Dump

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I started off my long weekend by completing one of the games that I’ve been working on for a little while now. That’s the trouble will playing multiple games at once and growing your backlog during sales — sometimes it takes far too long to knock one game off of your list. However, in the past few months I’ve finished several games so I don’t feel too bad, the only trouble is that I could easily not buy anything else for the rest of the year and I might, barely, finish off my backlog. Even then, it’s not likely. It’s also ridiculously unlikely that I don’t buy another game for the rest of the year, especially when you consider No Man’s Sky, Civilization VI, and some other anticipated titles are coming soon. Still, when all is said and done, I can scratch this game off of my list, and can now move onto another game.

This DOOM felt better than any FPS I’ve played in a long time. It had all of that old school feel, but with modern graphics and mechanics. Gone is iron sight aiming, but back is puzzling level designs that make you think and remember where you need to go. Playing it on some of the harder difficulties also meant waves of huge baddies to kill, and nearly non-stop action. I loved it from start to finish, and if you have hesitated to this point because you were skeptical, stop. It’s a fantastic FPS, one of the best in years. It’s also on sale on Steam for another few hours, so do yourself a favor and pick it up! Without further comment, here are some screens I captured during my playthrough (there might be light spoilers here, but there isn’t a whole lot of story to ruin either):

What I’m Looking Forward to in 2016

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The New Year is here, and now that the holiday festivities are over, we can get back to focusing on the next wave of great games that will be releasing. Over the past month the blogosphere (and Internet at large) has been listing off its favorite games, moments and stuff of 2015 but why stop now? Let’s kick off 2016 with a list of games I’m most looking forward to, and some titles that I’m hoping for more information about.

Coming This Year:

Street Fighter V (February)

I’m a Street Fighter fan boy. Always have been, always will be. The mechanics required to play the game are superior to that of any other fighting game in my opinion. I’m really looking forward to the next title in the series, as I enjoyed Street Fighter IV, but I think there are some better characters in this iteration. I also love the fact that you don’t need a bunch of friends to be able to have people to play against (like we used to back in the day), you can just hook up with people online. Many fighting games die out over time, but Street Fighter tends to have staying power in that department. I hope to get this one on release.

XCOM 2 (February)

I loved XCOM back when it was a 2-D pixellated mess, and I especially loved the reboot of the series. I played the game on both console and PC, and look forward to seeing how the battles and grand strategy will play out this time. Apparently the aliens run Earth in the sequel, so you’re in charge of reforming the XCOM program and taking back earth. It’s not a huge twist, but it should be interesting enough.

Uncharted 4 (April)

I’ve talked about Uncharted 4 a few times over the past couple of years. It was announced at E3 year before last, and was on the last two of my E3: Most Anticipated lists, but it deserves a slot here as well because it’s actually coming out. The multiplayer beta was running a couple weeks ago and I really enjoyed that as well. It took the best elements of the multiplayer from 2 and 3 and ditched some of the stuff I didn’t really care for. The addition of the grappling hook adds a new element to an already vertically-minded game. I can’t wait to see how the story shakes up as well, in what will likely be the last entry into the series. I’m also hoping that we hear what Naughty Dog has up their sleeves in the way of a new series. Or perhaps we’ll be hearing about The Last of Us 2? One can only hope.

Doom (Spring)

DOOM, as it’s being called (but was at one point referenced as “Doom 4”) is sort of a reboot of the series. It’s taken the fast-paced, hip-firing action of the originals and paired that with today’s graphical capabilities. The campaign looks to be solid, carnage-filled fun, and the multiplayer reminds me of Quake III Arena. I managed to play some of the multiplayer Alpha on PS4 and it ran beautifully. I had technical hiccups when trying to play it on my PC though, so hopefully that won’t be the case once it releases. Either way it had an old school feel that was very welcoming and I look forward to it!

No Man’s Sky (June)

Provided this game goes off without a hitch, and is as grand as the vision I have of it, this will likely be my GOTY for 2016. I’ve spoken about it many times on the podcast and on this blog (it too made the last 2 of my E3 Most Anticipated lists), but it’s supposed to be out this summer. Originally I was under the impression that it was a Playstation exclusive, but it appears to be launching on PS4 and PC simultaneously. Either way it still looks fantastic and I can’t wait to go exploring. I’m torn as to which platform I should buy it on, because I’m hoping to have a PS4 with my tax return this year. I suppose we’ll have to wait and see what the multiplayer situation is going to look like. I have far more friends on Steam than on Playstation Network.

Mass Effect Andromeda (Q4)

This is slated for a quarter 4 launch but it’s a possibility that the game gets delayed. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was. That doesn’t stop me from being very intrigued. I loved the Mass Effect games, though I still need to get ahold of the first title, as it wasn’t ported until much later (originally an Xbox exclusive). I’m sure Bioware is going to have a whole new world with familiar ideas prepared for us, and I can’t wait to dive into another worthy Sci-Fi RPG.

Divinity Original Sin 2 (December)

I’ve honestly not played enough of the Original game, but I know that I rather enjoyed what I did play of it. Since this isn’t launching until December, I have the year to beat the original and be prepared for the sequel. I’m sure that it will be just as good. I’m a bit of a fan of the isometric RPGs of old, so I might be biased. Here’s hoping it doesn’t suck.

Final Fantasy IX PC (TBA)

Final Fantasy IX released back in 2000 on the original Playstation. One of three main-series Final Fantasy games to debut on the system, for some reason this one isn’t available on PC yet, despite pretty much every other title being on Steam already. Besides VII, this is my favorite in the series but I never got to finish it because my Playstation was stolen when my apartment got broken into. I’ve though about buying the downloadable classic version on my PS3 a few times, but now that it’s coming to PC I’ll likely just pick it up via Steam. I’m starting to toy with the idea of playing through them all, but I’d have to start collecting them from the beginning, as I currently only own Final Fantasy Tactics, and that’s it.

Dark Souls III (TBA)

Another fantastic game series that I’m too far behind on. I played through and completed Demon’s Souls, the first of the Souls games to come out as a Playstation exclusive on PS3. Dark Souls soon followed, and I own that one on PC, but haven’t beaten it just yet. I have Dark Souls II on my Steam wish list, and Bloodborne is a title I can’t wait to pick up once I grab my PS4. Dark Souls III will likely be a PC purchase just to keep that series all on one platform. As this one is still “to be announced” it’s possible it won’t release this year, but I think it will pop up. I’ll just have to dig into the older titles or it’ll end up in the backlog.

Allison Road (TBA)

This is one of those under-the-radar titles. Remember PT, the Silent Hills demo-thing? That whole deal got nixed when Konami and Kojima parted ways, but apparently the PT demo got some fan attention. Enough so, that a fan-created full-fledged game is coming, and it’s called Allison Road. Honestly, it looks equal amounts of creepy and awesome, and definitely has the same feeling to it that PT had. I just hope that they manage to keep things compelling. It’s supposed to release this year, but we’ll see.

Overkill’s The Walking Dead (TBA)

I didn’t hear about this game at all somehow. I’m a huge Walking Dead fan, including the show and the comics, but the only game that’s really hit the mark when it comes to that IP was TellTale’s two seasons that were mostly based on the comics. There have been other titles, but they were pretty meh. This one is also supposed to be based on the comics and looks more like The Last of Us, in that it’s a mixture of survival horror and gunplay. If I hadn’t been doing research for this article I wouldn’t have heard of this game at all (yet) so I’m glad I stumbled upon it.

Want More Information:

Final Fantasy VII Remake

This is the second trailer to have come out since E3 last summer, and it shows more in-game footage, but we still don’t have a total picture for the game. I feel like it’s going to be fantastic, but I’m not sure that it will make it out this year. As my favorite of the series, I can’t wait to see this in action and I hope that it holds true to the nostalgia while eliminating some of the dated annoyances coming from old-school mechanics.

Resident Evil 2 Remake

Another great classic title that is being remade. Capcom has gone pretty crazy with Resident Evil remakes lately, as many of the older titles have received HD upgrades. The original had a remake from top to bottom though, and it looks a hell of a lot better than it did back in ’95. This looks to be something of the same, where it’s not just an HD (resolution) upgrade, it’s supposed to be reworked from the ground up. If they preserve the storyline but give it a new coat of paint it should be pretty good. Time will tell, but it’s likely we won’t see this one release in 2016.

Crowfall

The game that still remains my MMO of the future, the next MMO I plan to play, the only MMO I’m looking forward to. Crowfall. There has already been some pre-alpha testing, and it’s likely they’ll be into either deep alpha or early beta testing by the end of the year. This latest video from the devs focuses on new systems added to the game, crows and vessels, which is a brand new concept in an MMO world, and looks to tackle some of the issues present in the current crop of titles on the market. Honestly I’ve been hating on MMOs for a long time, but I still love them. I just don’t love what’s on offer (even if I dip my toes in them once in a while). Crowfall is the only game I’ve ever backed on Kickstarter, and there’s a good reason for that. They are trying new things and sound like they’re going to hit the nail on the head. I can’t wait to see what further developments occur and I hope that it meets expectations.

Indivisible

Finally, a game that came out of left field for me. I happened to get Skullgirls packed in with a Humble Bundle, and as a result caught word of that developer’s next project, called Indivisible. The Kickstarter page had a downloadable alpha demo that was surprisingly fun and unique. The game combines platforming and turn based RPG mechanics with some elements from 2-D fighting games like Street Fighter. It’s hard to describe, but cool to play with. They were successfully funded but the game isn’t due until 2018, so I’m just hoping for more information before year’s end.

So there you have it. What games are you looking forward to the most in 2016?

The Influential 15

Wilhelm, The Ancient Gaming Noob, along with some others in the community have posted their top 15 games of all time. He took things a step further by picking games that he felt influenced his love for various genres/styles of games, and then towards the end of his post invited others to treat this as a meme. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a meme around the blogosphere, the last time I participated in one was years ago and it was Everquest II themed. So anyway, here’s the picks for my 15 most influential games of all time, listed in chronological order (release dates, not necessarily saying one is better than the other):

Tetris (1984):

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Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE has played Tetris. If you haven’t played Tetris, not only are you living under a rock, but you’ve at least see in, heard about it, you know what it is. Tetris isn’t an amazing game. It’s about the simplest concept ever. There isn’t anything graphically astounding here, the sound was what you would expect out of a puzzle game, and the game play is repetitive, there is nothing dynamic about increasing the speed of the pieces. But this simple concept has captivated millions around the world, and for good reason — it’s about the most addictive game ever. And, without a game like this you wouldn’t have games like Angry Birds or other puzzlers that have added depth over the years. I’m not sure if I originally played the game on the NES, Gameboy or my Dad’s Atari, but I’ve owned a copy on nearly every platform since, and nearly every cell phone I’ve ever owned. A timeless classic, and one that introduced me to the puzzle genre, without Tetris I’d have never played games like Dr. Mario, Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine, Columns, and many others. Bejeweled anyone? You can thank Tetris for that too.

Ghosts ‘n Goblins (1985):

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Yeah, I played Super Mario Bros. (and even the regular old Mario Bros) before I played Ghosts ‘n Goblins. My true love of this series was Ghouls ‘n Ghosts on the Genesis, but have to credit the roots here, because Ghosts ‘n Goblins gave me a love for platformers that would continue for years to come. Hundreds of these types of games spawned during the late 80’s into the 90’s, all trying to tap into Mario’s success. I think this is probably where my relationship with Capcom began as well, though we didn’t become super close friends until Resident Evil and Street Fighter later on. I actually played this one in the arcade, and the “port” to the NES was a bit different, but still good. Console wars of the 90’s split the franchise into Super Ghosts ‘n Goblins and the Genesis title I mentioned earlier, but I was fully invested in Sega by that point (still would be if they didn’t go belly-up outside of software). Still, this was my kind of platformer, and I preferred Nintendo back in these days when they had games with darker content, rather that all of the family oriented stuff they do now.

Angband (1990):

Angband

I’m not sure when I initially played Angband, but my Dad introduced me to it, and I remember putting copies on 3 1/2′ floppies to get my friends in on the action. Some of us had started playing games like Magic The Gathering and AD&D, so this was a graphical representation of our imagined adventures. This was also my introduction into Rogue-likes (which wasn’t really a genre at the time), which were games that were based on the original game called Rogue, a game that featured procedurally generated content and permadeath. This meant ever trip into the dungeon would be different, and if you died you had to start all over. There were tricks to getting around this, but that sort of destroys the purpose. I have gone back and played this game several times on several machines, and I’d play it again, given the time.

Street Fighter II (1991):

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Fighting games are a strange beast. It makes sense that they were instant hits in the arcade, because people could gather around and challenge the guy who kicks everyone’s ass, and he earns that arcade tons of quarters. Sometimes it felt like someone was paying that shorter-than-average adult to dress and act like a kid, just to take all our money. He secretly worked for the arcade. Or Capcom. Or something. I never heard of Street Fighter in the 80’s when the original was out. I don’t think many people did, but when the sequel released, everyone ate it up. It changed the way fighting games were marketed (read: it was everywhere), the way they were played, and came during a time when consoles were still trying to define their futures. Since then, more titles and new series have launched it’s not even funny, and in most cases these types of games are garbage. There was always something about Street Fighter though, and I’ve played them all in some form or another. My true favorite was the Marvel vs. Capcom series, followed by SF Alpha, but we owe it all to this classic. Though I don’t play them all that much anymore, I still own SFIV and spent some time with MvC3.

Shining Force (1993):

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To this day, Shining Force is one of my favorite RPGs of all time. More specifically, the series is known for it’s turn-based grid-style tactical play. Games like Final Fantasy Tactics took this formula and added some more depth and polish, but this is the true progenitor. If I recall correctly, I rented the first game in the series, but didn’t own it until after I had acquired a copy of the sequel. I spent hours playing both games, trying different teams, beating them over an over again. I re-purchased them via the virtual console on the Wii when I had one of those. I just realized they are on Steam, and I am seriously considering buying them both again. I cannot express enough how much these games changed my life, and truly turned me into a RPGamer. The story wasn’t half-bad, but the battles was where the true fun was at. If you are one of those PC master race types, you need to do yourself a favor and play these games. You will not be disappointed.

Doom (1993):

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Yeah, Wolfenstein 3D came out before it. And yeah, many games have improved upon the formula. But you cannot be a fan of the FPS genre and not mention Doom. Doom took blood and gore and senseless violence to a new level, and at the time it shocked people. This was around the time Mortal Kombat came out and people were freaking out that their kids would turn into serial killers because of a video game. Everyone was susceptible, even my parents wouldn’t allow me a copy of Mortal Kombat (silly parents, and silly media!). The ESRB formed around the same period. I played through the originals back in the day, and played through them again when I got a copy of the Doom 3 BFG edition a couple of years ago, and they were still enjoyable (but harder than current gen shooters!) Say what you will about it, but Doom deserves a place on everyone’s list.

Resident Evil (1996):

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Resident Evil was the first game that actually scared me. Well, that’s not true, there were some spooky games that my Dad used to play on his computer when I was really young that he will attest freaked me out, but I mean the first game I was playing on my own that actually got an emotional reaction out of me. That’s not something that’s easy to do, and the memories of when I bought the Director’s Cut of the original game on my PSOne, and spent the night at my friend Jason’s house playing into the wee hours of the morning will always stick with me. Every door opened was another tense experience, everytime you could hear the zombies or dogs nearby but couldn’t see them would cause the hairs on the back of our necks to stand up. Later, we grew more accustomed to the genre (although Silent Hill 2 had some moments that got me) and the newer iterations of the series are less scary and more action packed, but the first game will always resonate well with me. I wouldn’t be such a fan of Horror movies and games if it wasn’t for this title.

Final Fantasy VII (1997):

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Final Fantasy VII was the reason to buy a Playstation. Xbox didn’t exist yet, the Sega Saturn got assed out, as did the Nintendo 64. These days you can get it just about anywhere, as its success catapulted it onto other platforms. I actually bought a Playstation just to get this game, but also because it was apparent that the Saturn was losing the console war, and did anyone actually buy a Dreamcast? Anyway, this game turned me on to JRPGs, which have a style all their own and I never really played before. Later I would go back and experience earlier Final Fantasy games, but it wasn’t until after I “broke the clock” (maxed out the hours played counter in the game) and played it through more than once besides that. I did EVERYTHING there was to do in this game. I bred chocobos. I beat Emerald and Ruby weapon. I maxed my characters out at level 99. Despite all of that, I haven’t ever gone back to play this one. I could have sworn I had a copy on my PS3, but upon inspection I don’t. I might have to rectify that eventually.

Starcraft (1998):

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Starcraft came at a time when I actually had my own computer, which meant that I could play it to my heart’s content. This I did, and this was the ONLY RTS game that I ever devoted much time to. Sure I played Command and Conquer, Total Annihilation and many many others (there was a huge market for these types of games in the late 90s), but none of them grabbed me the way Starcraft did. I spent hours playing the campaigns, playing multiplayer with friends via modem (that was an ordeal in itself) and even made my own custom maps and game modes. I was heavy into this game for a long time, and I haven’t played any RTS games since, until Starcraft II that is.

Baldur’s Gate (1998):

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Baldur’s Gate was the first time I got to know Bioware. It was the first true cRPG I ever played. Sure there were others, but this was one that I owned, loved, and played through. I recall buying the expansion as well, but never finishing it. I also picked up the sequel when it first released, and spent even more time with that game. If you enjoyed games like Dragon Age today, this is what we were playing almost 15 years ago, and in some ways these original games were better than their predecessors. This game blended so many good aspects from other games, it had the D&D setting which is almost always awesome, a party system, interactivity in the group, dialogue choices that affected gameplay, and tactical battles with an active pause. Every bit of this game can be seen in modern games, and that’s a testament to how good this game really is.

Gran Turismo (1998):

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Although I did play the original Gran Turismo, I didn’t really get into the series until the sequel. I spent countless hours with friends trying to complete that game, and doing so was quite an undertaking. The endurance races still give me nightmares, hours-long races that would require you to be your best the entire time, or play catch up for many laps. A simulator, the game has the best controls in a racing game that I’ve experienced, and had some of the best graphics possible at the time. The series continues to push the envelop on that front. I have played all of them except for the fourth, and the newly released sixth game. A true masterpiece if you’re into that sort of thing.

Half-Life (1998):

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I already had a FPS on this list, and yes, that still gets the credit for getting FPS games off of the ground and running. But what about the competitive aspect of these games? Half-Life had its own multiplayer deathmatch, but no one played that. What people did play, were the mods created by the community, and some of those actually went on to be sanctioned by Valve. Counter-Strike and Day of Defeat were my favorites, and I was pwning noobs long before Call of Duty was even in development. Not only that, but this was the first FPS game that had some physics involved, and a hair brained story that actually worked. Now if we could just get Half-Life 3 for fuck’s sake.

Everquest (1999):

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Yes, there were technically MMOs before this game, but this was the first MMO I ever played, albeit not as seriously as most. I only tried it out when it first released, played it more seriously in the early to mid 2000s. I never reached cap, I probably only saw a third of the game world, but it was still fun for a time. I really got into MMOs later with Everquest II, and I plan to give Everquest Next a whirl once it releases. But we must give credit where credit is due, and this is the game that opened up the possibilities long before World of Warcraft.

Diablo II (2000):

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Wait what, you’ve been paying homage to the originals through this whole list, and now you’re skipping an OG for a sequel? What gives? Yeah, I know, it’s not congruous but it is what it is. The original Diablo was a game I enjoyed, but never owned and never beat. Diablo II was the game that hooked me into a loot hungry frenzy. Diablo II did everything its predecessor did only better. It sucked you in and didn’t let go. I played it through multiple times with multiple characters, and to this day it’s still better than most Action-RPGs that have come since. I’m rather fond of Diablo III as well, but I’m not sure it’s got the same level of “just a few more minutes, mom” to it.

League of Legends (2009):

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Finally, the last game on my list is League of Legends, because well, just because. Seriously, it’s the first MOBA I invested time and money in. I know it’s based on DOTA and DOTA was a Warcraft III mod, and DOTA 2 is out and there’s all kinds of competition, but League does it for me. There are others I have tried and a few that I have liked, but this was my first, and Shen makes me feel safe 😛

So there you have it. My top 15. Feel free to make your own list and/or mention mine.