It is a long time ago since I started gaming. I started on an old Atari system that was gifted to me by a family member and I haven’t stopped since. i have played many, many games but there are a few that have stuck with me over the years as some of the best experiences I have had in gaming and while they might not be considered the best games ever released over history they are stand out favorites to me. These are in no particular order as I enjoyed each one as much as the next.
F-16 Combat Pilot: ATARI
This game took up most of my time on my Atari system. While the game was as hard as nails for a 6 year old I just could not get enough of it. I could take off and sometimes complete the objectives but when it came time to go back to base and land, returning as a hero I always ended up in a piling heap of pixelated fire at the end of the runway. Nonetheless I played this game religiously every day until it finally wouldn’t load anymore and I had to hang up my fighter pilot helmet and give the fire crews a well deserved break in the base.
Sonic The Hedgehog
While the original Sonic is not regarded as one of the best games, this was the game I made the big leap onto the SEGA Megadrive with. For a good few years I never owned a SEGA and spent many days annoying my older cousin calling to his house and just sitting there for hours taking over his SEGA to play his copy of Sonic. When I finally got my own SEGA I had time to really practice and finally finished the game leading it to be the first game I ever truly completed on my own. It is also the first game that the cheat code was introduced into my life….even if I refused to use it.
One of the hardest choices most of us had to make as a child, Pokemon Red or Pokemon Green. I chose Red just because I was cool and only losers picked green. This game was owned by almost everyone in my class at school and we spent our days at home catching Pokemon and training them to battle the guy whos parents had bought him the all important cable that would connect two Gameboys together. If you were that person in school you will have had a glimpse of what it feels like to be God. Then the cheat was discovered to duplicate rare candies which led to real fights breaking out between the real trainers and the glitchers and the game had to be banned from the school ground……which led the way to pokemon cards. Didn’t see that coming Mr. principal did you.
Final Fantasy VII
Now this is THE favourite game of my childhood. I pumped hours and hours of my time into this game as a young lad and to this day I don’t regret any of those wasted sunny days spent in a dark room trying to catch up with Sephiroth and give him whats what for trying to kill everyone. This is the game that introduced me to JRPG’s which very quickly became my favorite type of game over the years. It was aslo the first game I found out that I could get hooked on a story and games weren’t all just about shooty shooty bits, racing or fighting.I am still playing this game today and the my 12 year old self is looking very much forward to the remastered version coming soon.
To this day I am not sure how myself and three other friends played this game split-screen on a 16 inch TV, but we did and for hours on end. The single player was as addictive and the game seemed so ahead of its time back then that it felt like it was almost real. With challenges to complete on each level and figuring out how to unlock the last two levels it seemed like there was no point we would stop playing this game…..wait there wasn’t, I still play this game. This was the original competitive shooter, however unfair some of the characters were to play as. I defy anyone to find fault with this game to this day.
So there you have the games that shaped gaming for me today pretty much. There are some games which must be given an Honorable mention, Jedi power battles, Timesplitters, Final Fantasy series, Dragon Quest: Journey of the Cursed King, Mario Kart 64, Tony Hawks Pro Skater 2, Star Wars: Rogue Squadron and Super Mario 64. Only gamers will know what games they played in their childhood will mean to them and I would love to hear your favourite games you played over the years.
Written By: Blain O Neill