Inspired by those “15 Movies That Changed Your Life” and “10 Books That Stayed With You” posts I keep getting tagged in, I decided to change things up a bit and do “10 Video Games I’ll Likely Replay Until The Discs Stop Playing.”
Yes, I know I am adding to the problem, but you don’t mind, right?
My picks may not be for everyone, which is fine, because I AM TAGGING YOU TO MAKE YOUR OWN. See what I did there? Great. Let’s get started. In no particular order…
1) Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars – I have no idea why I am so in love with this title. I didn’t even know what an RPG was when it came out in 1996. All I knew is that in my small town, it was always checked out of the local Video Store (Remember those?). The few rare times we did get our hands on them, either I was playing or my sister was and I was watching. We had to do this thing called sharing, it sucked. What didn’t suck was the game. Nintendo, in their infinite wisdom, decided they would release it on Virtual Console my Senior year of college. Their plan to get me to fail out my last year was thwarted by my solid work ethic and my Journalism major. If you haven’t played it, you must.
2) The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion – Before I loved video games, I loved Star Trek. Star Trek involved me loving Patrick Stewart. I still love Patrick Stewart. Patrick Stewart voiced the Emperor who literally lives for twenty minutes of the game, if that. This was why I bought it pre-owned for the PS3 the first winter I spent in the Northeast. This was the game that taught me how to use a PS3 controller, taught me what an RPG should be and kept me sane through the cold, cruel winters spent on the Great Lakes.
3) Fallout 3 – The best part of this game…it’s Northern Virginia without the traffic. Liam Neeson voices your father, what could possibly go wrong? Well, a lot. This was recommended to me by a former coworker who I had told about my Oblivion obsession. This game became that. It’s also completely synonymous with Death Cab for Cutie in my world because I had crafted a glorious playlist that accompanied me throughout the Capitol Wasteland for over a year. The game had so much story, so many amazing voice actors, and limitless awesomeness. I think about it often and hope that Fallout 4 is announced soon. (I’m one of the true believers who don’t consider New Vegas to be Fallout 4).
4) Dragon Age: Origins – This one took me by surprise. I had seen it on the shelves while I worked at a previous job and thought “That one looks interesting” but never thought to try it. I was a recovering WoW addict and the last thing I needed was a fantasy RPG. Oh boy was I wrong. I borrowed it from my brother-in-law who was less than psyched to have it. I now own it on almost every console you could play it on. I also discovered mods, which made some aspects of the game better. And by ‘some aspects’ I mean romancing Alistair. Yes, I’m one of those. Shut your mouth, there are still six games left on my list.
5) Super Mario World: Yoshi’s Island – I’m not talking one of the knock offs that have hit the 3DS and others. (Nintendo, if you are listening, please in the name of all that is holy GIVE ME THE ORIGINAL ON VIRTUAL CONSOLE). I’m talking the original SNES title that probably had more of an impact on my childbearing plans than any Sex Ed class could. Baby Mario’s piercing screams still echo in my brain sometimes. Fun fact: A lot of the awesome in this game is actually brought back in the Super Mario Bros. Wii game.
6) Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie’s Kong’s Double Trouble – I recall one summer that I spent holed up in my room with this cartridge on a quest to beat it. I am happy to report that I was successful. There are some levels in this game that are hard to get through. I probably spent a week or more on the stupid boss in the level of the caverns. The guy that you fight as the swordfish. That one pissed me off, but through my persistence and perhaps a little insanity, I got it. This was before the internet, people. I didn’t even have a strategy guide. And of course, I was pretty amped that I could play as Dixie. There weren’t a lot of games at that time that had a female protagonist.
7) World of Warcraft – What game list of mine would be complete without the title that changed everything for me? If you’ve known me long enough, you know that my husband and I met playing World of Warcraft. I started playing my freshman year and played on and off for the rest of college. I met a lot of awesome friends from WoW that I still keep in touch with from time to time. It was a grand adventure. It was also my first experience seeing how truly trite teenage boys can be. Despite the fact that I own a flawless Plantronics headset that has lasted me eight years, I spent a lot of this time with one that was “broken” mostly because I saw enough “ZOMG, you are a real life female? Show me your bewbs and I will give you gold” to decide that was not the life I needed. Also…general chat. You know what I’m talking about. This was also where Myrrick was born. She was a gnome warlock that I think I got into the 30s. She had the smexy demon horse mount. It was amazing. But she was not my main. I owe all that I have to a Night Elf Druid named Maoa.
8) Borderlands 2 – I remember not understanding this title and then somehow (I guess since everyone I knew had preordered it and were salivating around the time it was released) I bought it. The story was good, the gameplay was good and the humor was pretty on par with my own. It’s a game that didn’t mind making fun of itself and others but purely out of affection. Now that the Pre-Sequel is on its way, I do have to say it has worked its way into my heart. (Also I think Gearbox is an awesome game company, which is no small amount of praise.) I also named one of my cats, who is capable of transcending space and time, Maya after the Siren.
9) The Mass Effect Trilogy – Though this is technically (and actually) three separate games, it’s all the same storyline so I’m going to count them as one. Yeah, you could play one of them individually and probably be fine, but why would you? Say what you want about the end of the third game, I still felt most of the game leading up to that was on point. My journey to the game started when I got a free copy of ME2 following the negative reviews of Dragon Age 2, which I had pre-ordered and picked up the day of release. Bioware gave everyone who bought it a free Mass Effect 2 key, which I promptly redeemed and then realized I had to play the first one because well…I felt I wouldn’t have understood it. So I started playing and after a few failed customizations of my Femshep, finally got into the story. The universe dragged me in and would not let go. So I progressed to ME2, fumbling through the changed combat system, and then on Day 1 of ME3 jumped into that game as well. Probably two-three years of my life were all about this game. Heck, my cat’s name is Tali, that’s how far it went.
10) Lord of the Realm II – Looking back on this game, it’s awful. It is turn-based (which I hate), the graphics are awful, your control options are limited and The Baron is a jerk. But for reasons I cannot figure out, this was the first time I got addicted to a game. I was a kid, I had a PC in my room and I have no idea where the disc came from but it went into my CD drive and didn’t really leave until someone removed it and it got scratched into unplayability. That guilty party has yet to come forward but joyfully the title and I became reacquainted when I found it online (legitimately, might I add). I think either my standards have gone up or I forgot how annoying the game was originally but I still enjoyed it. My Germanity and territorial instinct were fully engaged as I pursued all out war on any number of fictional characters. My most successful match involved bringing down a Bishop. I hunted that jerk down for DAYS it felt like and then finally I got the “Hey You’re King Now” message. It was an amazing moment.
So there you have it. I’m sure there’s some type of psychological study that will reveal all sorts of compelling information about my personality, my fears, my dreams and all of that based on what I picked. I did promise only 10, but I realized there were a ton that I missed and for that reason, honorable mentions go to: Earthbound, Mario Kart, The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 2, Super Mario Bros. 3, The Sims, and Animal Crossing.