Goafer

Your Gaming "Hall of Fame"

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We all have them: Games which achieve a special place in our gaming collections. Great games come and go, but certain ones stick out as a whole other level of perfection and will remain timeless classics.

 

For me its:

 

Shadow of the Colossus

So little actual story, but so much being told. The loneliness of the environment and the questionability of what you're actually doing set an unforgettable tone throughout the game. It shames me that it took me so long to complete this. Thankfully I righted that at a previous Extra Life and completed it in one sitting. Such a beautiful game.

 

Skies of Arcadia

It's mainly the setting that does it for me. The world just feels so interesting and ripe for exploring. Plus pirates. Sky pirates. The journey from lowly crew member (albeit son of the captain) to your the captain of your own ship and island was just lovely throughout, with the writers holding off the reward of your own ship just long enough to keep you interested, but not frustrated and impatient. I think I 100%ed the Dreamcast version and I've still got the GameCube version to play.

 

Fallout 3

So much to discover and a creepy, dilapidated world to explore. Every environment tells a story, but it doesn't shove it in your face. It's down to you to figure out what happened. Sometimes it's a series of journal entries on an insignificant computer terminal, sometimes it's just the layout of dead bodies that tell the story. So many little details make the world seem full of stories.

 

The Last of Us

For me, it's the very definition of mature gaming. Not in a gory, adults only sort of way, but for its grown up take on story telling. There are some genuinely chilling moments combined with truly beautiful ones. I still rate the ending as one of the best ones of all time and I'm still impressed they went in the direction they did.

 

Journey

Stunning all the way through and another game that manages to tell a story without much storytelling. The final push to the summit was almost heartbreaking. Aside from the aesthetics and story, it was also a clever approach to multiplayer, with players forming bonds with anonymous users.

 

 

Honourable Mentions

Shenmue

Panzer Dragoon Saga (may be upgraded if I can ever get a full copy. Soon...)

Jet Set Radio Future

The GTA series

Pokemon Red and Blue

Zelda: Link's Awakening

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2

Phantasy Star Online

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I could list dozens of games, it's hard to narrow it down, but here's just a few off the top of my head:

 

Zelda: Ocarina Of Time

Zelda: Majora's Mask

Zelda: Windwaker

WWF No Mercy

Metroid Prime

Resident Evil 4

Super Mario Galaxy 2

Goldeneye 007 (N64)

Winning Eleven 6 FE

 

I wouldn't know where to start with honouable mentions, so many good games. :)

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So, so many games I’ve played over the years. I’d consider these timeless classics

Ocarina of Time

First 3D Zelda, and it had such an amazing story. I loved it from beginning to end. The way Nintendo developed this game, when you helped some characters out it felt great to do this. The first time seeing Hyrule Castle Market after 7 years in deep sleep made me go “whoa”. And stepping out into Hyrule Field for the first time ever, it felt magical and took my breath away. I wish I could relive that exact moment again.

Goldeneye 007

Many people played this after watching the film, I played this before watching the film. Rare’s first (and only) 007 game and they set the way in terms of how each game was to play in terms of objectives in missions. The level designs were great, music was great. And I loved them easter eggs.

Super Mario World

One of the finest Mario games made, I can’t really argue with that. Have played it a few times, each time I’m discovering it’s more than just a simple “point a to point b” plat former game. Well, it is that as a basic, but adding extra exits made it a point a to point b/c or d

A Link to the Past

Until Ocarina of Time came along, this was developed. Arguably one of the finest Zelda games ever made, it certainly feels like Nintendo put all their effort into making this on the SNES. Such a vast game in terms of story, things to collect and the size of Hyrule itself.

Entwined

Even though I’ve recently finished this on the Vita (thank’s to a Black Friday sale + extra PS+ discount). I found this to be a simply marvellous game. A game which is so simple in terms of the objective, which feels like it’s a story of sadness and joy all rolled into one.

The Last of Us

In the modern gaming world we live in now, there isn’t many games which you could class as a masterpiece. The Last of Us is one such game. In terms of what Goafer said, this is a mature game story-wise. Not gory or scary (there were one or two moments I thought which were a little jumpy). Having played it on the PS4, I believe this console does the game justice in terms of how stunning it should look. I loved the environments and the detail Naughty Dog went into with this.

Pokemon Red/Blue

It set the path in motion for what is one of the top selling gaming franchises of all time. A game where collecting, raising and battling virtual creatures (of all sizes) became so popular, it spawned many movies, TV shows. Not forgetting the card-based game, not as popular today as it was, but still popular. Leaving Pallet Town with either a Charmander, Squirtle or Bulbasaur off onto an adventure is a moment that sticksi in my mind.

I’ll probably add to this list as and when I think of others.

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Some games which hold a special place:

 

Pilotwings (SNES)

Not only one of the first games I actually played to completion, but a game that had me and my brother having a mini competition for who could clear it first.

Real fun times, and a great game too.

 

Super Mario Kart (SNES)

I didn't own this back in the day, but I did lend it from a friend. I thought the game was awesome in every way - great visuals; great music; and super fun.

It's even more special though, for the look on my friend's face, when I gave the game back having beaten all of his best times.

 

Starwing (SNES)

I'd only owned a C64, and didn't really know much about what the graphics were like on other platforms. One day though, my mother took me to Toys R Us, and they had a SNES out on demo with Starwing. Needless to say it, but I was gobsmacked!

From then on, I guess I became hooked on Nintendo consoles.

 

Mario 64 (N64)

Again, another game that blew my mind when I first saw it. I think that would have been from the free VHS tape that came with the first issue of N64 magazine; however it may also have been on the demo unit in Woolworths. Either way, both of those times left a huge impact, and I just had to own a N64; and that I soon did, becoming the first console I'd owned that was new and not at the end of it's life.

 

GoldenEye 007 (N64)

The N64 was the console that kept on giving. I have so many good and happy memories from those days.

I didn't even like the new Bond film, but this game was something else. Being impressive from a technical standpoint (I think it was one of the first games to have the 3D model's seams skinned over - it has a technical term that I happen to have forgotten) , but also high in the fun department too.

That multiplayer though. Never before had a video game brought me so much fun, playing with friends and family. An experience that online gaming will never be able to emulate.

 

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64)

Everyone who owned a N64, was awaiting this title from the moment it was first announced. I remember however, that on first play, Kokiri Forest left me feeling quite unimpressed. Yet I stuck with it, and then that first glimpse of Hyrule Field - oh wow!

The game just kept getting better from that moment on, with the Spirit Temple being one of my fondest gaming memories, being quite a magical level at the time.

 

Ikaruga (GC)

I had never really been a fan of difficult games before. Always arguing that games are meant to be fun, and somehow not realising how the two could be combined.

This game though, allowed me to see the truth, and I'd even say grow up as a gamer.

I didn't even know these types of game existed, the whole Japanese Arcade scene was literally out of sight. Playing for score and fastest times, I already had experienced before, but this game was on an altogether different level.

The super play videos, were truly beautiful, being almost like a dance, almost like a martial art. Seeing for the first time how these types of games are meant to be played, opened my mind to a brand new (for me) video gaming experience.

 

DoDonPachi DaiOuJou (PS2)

Having played Ikaruga, I quickly developed an addiction to similar types of game. Ikaruga seemed intense and difficult, but now I had witnessed bullet hell, and there was no going back.

DoDonPachi DaiOuJou is probably the most ultimate of the 2D Shooters. Being perhaps the most difficult to 1CC the 2 loops (but fair), but also extremely difficult to score a reasonable amount in.

Not many people will ever clear this game, never mind get a good score in it; but it's a game that everyone who likes score based games should at least witness and attempt to understand. Probably one of the most perfect games ever made, and it has to be, considering how difficult it is; otherwise it'd be just another of the many games that attempted to be difficult, but ended up being just plain unfair.

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So many SNES/N64 games...

 

Apart from the DKC Trilogy, the game that I find timeless is..

 

WaveRace 64

 

I could play this game until the end of time. I still play it annually and that control feel as well as the swelling and undulating waves still feels perfect. It's the ultimate testing racer to me. I love how you can play it with one hand too - with the analogue to move and Z trigger to accelerate.

 

I love the Arcade-esque presentation mixed with the tropical setting. It reminds me of those 90's SEGA games mixed with Nintendo's fabled nuance for control. The announcer and upbeat, confident presentation and slickness of the package still feels fresh and welcoming. (The intro still feels welcoming.)

 

The music is fitting yet never obtrusive and the entire audio package is pitched perfectly.

 

Track design is challenging, inventive and based within the realms of reality. Drake Lake's mirror-esque clarity on lap two. Sunset Bay's orange hues, Southern Island's fading tides. This wasn't just a graphical showcase, the sea formed a backdrop for new racing challenges and lap shortcuts.

 

Still my favourite Nintendo racer and the pinnacle of control for the racing genre. A joyous game. Timeless.

 

Edited by tapedeck

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Yeah, Wave Race, too! Damn, the SNES and N64, were really either special or happen to have just been available at the right time in my life. I can't think of any new games on the latest consoles that affect me in the same way. Long cut scenes and so-called story telling, tend to turn me completely off some of these new games. I'm not saying they aren't good, but for me, they seem to bore me. :/

Anyhow, Wave Race's controls and feel, seem to share something that Nintendo was prolific at in the N64 era. Somehow you felt connected to the game world, as if your character/vehicle had real weight. Even Mario 64 was the same, something which Mario Sunshine lacked, and the Mario Galaxy games still aren't quite there (but very close). 1080° Snowboarding like Wave Race, really let you feel each and every bump and dip in the surface.

Surprising that with all the power available in the new consoles, that a small team back in the N64 days, managed with Wave Race, what few seem able to match nowadays.

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Double Dragon

The first game that ever "wowed" me, and the first I ever wanted to be good at - really wanted to be good at. I first encountered it at a leisure centre in the '80s. After inserting my coin, I hit a few enemies and then got beaten by the bloke who punches through the wall. From that moment on, I was hooked - Double Dragon mattered. As far as I was concerned, I would never be cool until I'd mastered it. It's funny, I always think back to this when I hear of some youngster being overly passionate about a game nowadays.

 

Landstalker

Although many people's favourite 2D game from the '90s features Mario, Sonic, Link or Samus, my pick of the 16-bit era is this Zelda-a-like. OK, I won't lie, I didn't finish it on Virtual Console, but it's in my Hall Of Fame because of how much it mattered to me at the time. No other game has given me the same sense of going to a mysterious place, with its own culture and practices, and getting deeper into an island.

 

Zelda: Wind Waker

Skipping the N64 era, this is my pick of the Zeldas. I've said a lot about it in the past, so all I'll add here is that it pretty much includes everything I like from all the other Zelda games, and so is currently the one I use to represent the series. Even if it's bettered, I don't there'll be anything quite like this adventure on the high seas.

 

Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King

Probably my No.1 game of all time. It's a game of staggering quality, and one that shows how sophisticated a turn-based RPG can be, whilst still sticking to tradition. If only all JRPGs (or any, come to that) were as good as this, I genuinely don't think the genre would be held in such suspicion. There are no compromises - it is simply what happens when the work, passion and budget are put in.

 

Shantae: Risky's Revenge

To me, the best 2D platformer of all time. RR takes everything I used to love about the Monster World series and does it even better. Perfect graphics, music and controls, all wrapped up in a unique charm. A definite case of quality over quantity.

 

Metroid Fusion/Zero Mission

OK, I have to make room for these too. The best pure "Metroidvanias", in my opinion.

 

Honourable mentions

Gauntlet

Bad Dudes vs Dragonninja

Super Mario World

Sonic the Hedgehog

Wonder Boy in Monster World

Dragon Quest V

Zelda: Link's Awakening

Zelda: OOT

Shadow of the Colossus

Etrian Odyssey IV

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