There was a trending topic on Twitter where folks shared their 7 favorite games of all-time. It was fun and we all got the chance to reevaluate our own lists, judge or peers and remember games we still need to play. My list has a few constants and some that shift and change depending on the day. I thought it would be fun to share my favorite video games of all-time. It was harder than I thought, and even looking at the final list now… I could make some adjustments. Either way… these are my favorite games of all-time (right now).
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
This is probably my number one pick. The N64 was an important console in my life. Where Mario Kart was the perfect multiplayer experience, Ocarina of Time was the game that made me a believer in 3D gaming. It changed what I thought video games could look like and the emotions they could evoke. More than playing, I remember watching my cousin play it. It was so cinematic. Hyrule was so beautiful. The story was so compelling. I love this game so much. This list might change tomorrow, but Ocarina of Time will always remain on of my favorites.
I loved my purple GameBoy Color so much. I took it everywhere. I only bought two games. Pokemon Red was my favorite handheld game until Pokemon Silver came out in 2000. It consumed my life. I caught every Pokemon, I caught the legendary birds, I traded with my friends and I won all the badges. The game was a bit slow and the turn-based, classic JRPG style had its flaws, but it was addicting and satisfying. Pokemon Silver combined my love of RPGs with my childhood love of Pokemon. It was a perfect marriage.
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
I remember when this game came out on Xbox 360 and all the critical acclaim it received early in the console generation. I was interested in the game’s setting and style. It was a massive open world, steeped in medieval high fantasy. There were dragons, swords, magic, and trolls. All things I was interested in. When the game finally came out on PS3 it was damn near broken, but I enjoyed the hell out of it. The world of Cyrodiil was crafted perfectly for travel and littered with hundreds of main quests and side jobs. I could join any guild I wanted, steal from civilians, sneak into homes, or enter ancient tombs. It was my first introduction to a proper Western RPG and I instantly fell in love.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
I’ve committed more hours to the Grand Theft Auto series than another other in video games. Grand Theft Auto III was a revelation and change the gaming landscape forever. I fell deeper in love with Vice City when it came out a few years after. San Andreas was different. With heavy emphasis on 90’s West Coast, Gangsta Rap culture and perfected gameplay systems, San Andreas was the culmination of Grand Theft Auto on the PS2. CJ was our vessel. We could give him crazy haircuts, dress him up, cover him in tattoos and make him fat. The map was huge and full of secrets. Jetpacks, crazy jumps and more. The central narrative was pretty compelling but came second to the gamplay. Causing mayhem on the streets of Los Santos has never been more fun.
Super Mario World
Super Mario World introduced me to video games. It gave me my gaming language and set the bar extremely high. The game is so challenging, fun and addicting. Yoshi was so much fun and levels were so dense. I’m terrible at the game, but I’ll always enjoy it. In terms of pure gameplay… Super Mario World will always reign supreme.
Tony Hawks Pro Skater 2
Random. I know… but do you remember this game? This was literally video game skateboarding perfected. The controls are simple, combos are easy to do but hard to master, and the park design is better than anything Leslie Knope could imagine. This might come off my list depending on the day, but right now it’s here.
Another Western RPG, another Bethesda game. Fallout 3 is the best game I played on my PS3. Taking the Oblivion formula and putting a post-apocalyptic, nuclear wasteland twist on it was spectacular. Leaving Vault 101 and entering a huge, depressing world, full of ghouls, radio hosts, and vampires caught all of my attention. Fallout 4 refined the gameplay, but nothing compares to playing Fallout 3 for the first time.