My little girl might be little now, but eventually, she will be old enough to start gaming. For the record, I’m not saying that she has to be a gamer (she can have her own interests and hobbies–as long as they are appropriate), but I will be introducing her to gaming when it is developmentally appropriate (don’t put comments about how some of these games aren’t appropriate for (fill in the blank) age; I know that).
If I had to whittle down my list of games I would love to have my daughter play, here is the list that I came up with of the games that really had an impact on me, both as an adult and when I was growing up:
20.) Rebel Assault II
I do love a good Star Wars game, but this one was very special to me. I still have the discs for it, though I’m not sure I could get it running again. I bet my technically-savvy hubby could get it to run. This was one of the first good Star Wars games that I played, which got around graphics limitations of the time by having live actor shots.
19.) Tie Fighter
This is another Star Wars game, which I still have but have no idea if I could ever get running again (bet hubby could with enough motivation). Just like it’s X-Wing counterpart game, Tie Fighter was an excellent flight simulator that also portrayed the Empire in a different light. I spent HOURS playing this game.
18.) Wolfenstein 3D
It’s the first first-person shooter I ever played. I clearly remember the first time I got to play this revolutionary game, even though I was only six or seven at the time. Sure, there have been sequels and reboots or whatever, but nothing beats the original.
17.) Sim City 3000
I do love a good simulation, and this was the last good Sim City that I can still play without any special things done to my PC. Interesting story: When I was in high school, I studied for my AP Government local government test by playing this game. I had the highest score in the class. Woot! Woot!
16.) Duke Nukem 3D
Sure it’s a little raunchy, but I spent most of my middle school years playing this game. I bought every add-on that I could get my hands on. It’s just a really good and really funny first-person shooter, and I still find myself to this day quoting from it.
This is an absolutely essential classic first-person shooter that I think everyone die-hard FPS gamer should play. Sure, it was a bit scary for it’s time (now it looks a bit cartoonish), but it was revolutionary for when it came out.
Okay, this is definitely a game that my little girl will not be playing until she’s much, much older, but it’s probably one of the best, most original games that I have played for PlayStation 2. Screw the Hunger Games. This game is an amazing sneak game with a really good story, similar to “The Most Dangerous Game,” The Running Man, or Battle Royale. It’s amazingly violent as well, and I wish that Rockstar would either redo or remaster THIS game instead of some of the other games being redone.
13.) Jones in the Fast Lane
I do have an original copy of this game complete with packaging because it is one of the best life simulation games that I have every played. However, you can actually play this game on your phone or tablet now without worrying about getting it to work on a PC. My have times changed! The game is similar to The Game of Life: you get a job, work on advancing, and manage your time. And it can have up to four players, so I will be playing this one with my little girl as soon as she is old enough.
12.) Fallout 3
Besides having the best intro to a video game that I have ever seen, the game is absolutely amazing to play. Part first-person shooter, part action RPG, this game has it all. Another thing that I absolutely adore about the game is the size of the enormous map you get to play around in. No claustrophobic maps here!
11.) The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Another amazing Bethesda game and one of my favorite open-world, fantasy games, Skyrim is another must to play. Sadly, I’ve probably spent a couple hundred hours on this game and actually haven’t finished it yet. It can get you really side-tracked if you let it.
10.) Borderlands 2
This is one of my favorite cooperative games that I have ever played. It’s funny and a bit ridiculous at times, but that’s what makes it so great: it doesn’t take itself too seriously. With several different characters to play as, including two very strong female roles, and a TON of weapons to collect, this will always be one of my top FPS games.
9.) Final Fantasy VII
Okay, the graphics DO make my eyeballs bleed a bit, but there is no doubt that this game is one of the best Final Fantasy games ever. It’s got the best characters, the best music, and the best story line. And with the remake coming out soon, she hopefully will be able to play it without getting a headache.
8.) Tomb Raider II
The original Tomb Raider was a little fuzzy on graphics and TR III was a bit whacky in the plot. However, Tomb Raider II–to me–is the perfect balance of a cool story, interesting places to explore, and a trendy tone. It’s the game that really spawned my love for the franchise.
7.) Final Fantasy X
This is another one of my favorite Final Fantasy games. It’s got a great story and awesome characters, but the graphics have aged a lot better than VII (and I’m not even talking about the HD version that just came out). And, I now do have the option to update by PS2 version if I want to.
6.) Sims 3
Sims 3 is my favorite out of the franchise (and I have played 1-3 extensively). Some people don’t understand my obsessive with simulation games, but think of all of the cool things that I can do: create interesting Sims, design my dream home, design my dream town, go to new and exciting places, and do things I wouldn’t dream of doing in real life. Sounds like a win-win to me.
5.) Chrono Cross
This is one of my favorite RPGS of all time. The graphics STILL look awesome. The story is amazing, even though it’s technically a sequel. The music is amazing (I actually bought the soundtrack). It’s a great game, and would be my favorite RPG if it weren’t for the next game on the list…
4.) Chrono Trigger
A game that has consistently shown up on “best RPG ever” lists, Chrono Trigger really should be listed as one of the best games ever. Period. The graphics stand up to the test of time. The music is awesome. The story is amazing. My husband always likes to comment that it it one of the few games in which you don’t have to have the main character to beat the game. It’s just one of those games that you will always remember and want to play no matter how old you or it gets.
3.) Mass Effect 2
Not the original Mass Effect and definitely NOT Mass Effect 3–Mass Effect 2, to me, was the perfect balance of a good story, good game play, and cool characters. But it wasn’t just those elements that makes me rank this game so high. I was completely in awe of the really cool mix of genre and game play. I mean, how many space-related action RPGs do you see out there? Not many. One of the best things about the game, besides having the really cool character of Commander Shepard, is how engrossing BioWare was able to make the Mass Effect universe. As in games like Dragon Age, you could literally spend hours reading up on all of the technology, history, and species in the Mass Effect Universe, and that is a really important story element for me that I love in well-thought out games.
2.) BioShock Infinite
I never thought that another game could rival my precious BioShock, but I was totally wrong about this one. BioShock Infinite is an amazing game with some of the best graphics of the time and a story that will make your jaw drop. The game play was a blast to play as well, and the setting was totally immersing. This is a game and a franchise that have really upped my expectations on what first-person shooters should be like.
I thought about this for a long time and realized the BioShock is–hands down–my favorite video game of all time. There are many reasons for this. It was the first FPS that I have every played that demonstrated intelligence in its story: it discussed political issues, morality, all sorts of things that don’t normally make it into the standard FPS. Second, I absolutely, positively fell in love with Rapture. I can’t explain it. I just love being there and exploring. I love learning about the people who lived there and what all went wrong. I enjoyed the cool game play with the plasmids and ADAM. Third, I really enjoyed how awesome the graphics have aged (look at some of the other games that came out at the same time, and you’ll see what I mean). It still looks AWESOME. And lastly, I really appreciate the tone of this game, which many games in the genre fail to generate. It’s sometimes scary but always enjoyable. It’s a bit demented but doesn’t encourage what you see as being “normal.” It really does make you think, and I love that and hope that I can share that–eventually, when my little girl is much, much older.