15 Games That Defined My Formative Years

I want to begin by saying that these are not the fifteen best games I have ever played, these are simply 15 games from my childhood and teenage years that have left fond memories with me. These are the games that always make me smile. There is just one basic rule, nothing goes beyond the 6th Generation, so yes this list will be showing my age.

Duck Hunt – I might as well begin this list with an oldie but a goodie. This was the first game I ever remember sitting down to play and I was hooked for hours on end I would be practicing my shot against those ducks and always hoping for my chance to get that dam dog, sadly it never happened.  

Columns – This is not the best in its genera and it is often over shadowed by the more popular tetris, but I used to play this game with my father and I do have some fond memories of him kicking my ass at it.

Streets of Rage  – Though I wanted to put Final Fight in at this point I needed to do a shout out to Streets of Rage after all this is the first game I ever completed with a friend and also the first game to ever make me rage quit because another friend chose to betray me in it.

Street Fighter 2 – My first ever fighting game, I actually owned the Turbo version and my friends banned me from using Ehonda, still don’t fuck with me.

Micro Machines2 Turbo Tournament – This is the first game that ever let me customize anything and not only that it gave me the chance to enter into four way races, which at the time just blew my mind.

Ninja Gaiden – The first game that ever gave me a true sense of achievement, if you have not played this it is difficult, but the challenge is worth it, just do not try it on the game gear.

Bomber Man 64 – The N64 gave us plenty of fantastic 4 player games, Diddy Kong Racing, Mario Party, Mario Kart, Smash Bro’s, Golden Eye and Perfect Dark all come to mind, but for me the underrated Bomber Man 64 is my favorite, if you can just find yourself a copy and give it a go.

Star Wars Arcade – though I was tempted to add in Pod Racer, this game just spoke to me. I remember playing this one after school, at weekends and on my holidays, there are few games that could truly make you feel like your in Star Wars and this was one of them.

Sonic Adventure – The game that introduced the world to the Dreamcast this was fast paced and extreme in the most sonic way possible, this game was the reason I bought the consul and honestly, yes I really do enjoy this game, even if it comes off as very silly.

Final Fantasy X / X2 – I still remeber getting this game on a Saturday evening and playing it all the way through till Sunday morning, the game got me through a real hard point in my life, my first break up, it stayed with me for a whole summer and to this day the song Zanarkand can break my heart. Follow it all up with X2 one of the cheesiest games ever and these two have been there for more times that some of my friends.

Shemue – An entire Christmas holiday was spent with this game and I do not regret it one bit. It has aged a lot but in it’s time this game was perfection. To this day I still quite it, but only with those special friends who are truly close to me and would get the joke.

Crazy Taxi – Had to mention this one for the soundtrack alone. I was a teenager and the game featured the offspring, it was the greatest cross over ever, granted only a few years later and we would get vice city, but still in its day this was a fun and exciting way to pass your time and what made it so good, was that you where never trying to kill anyone just drive and have fun.

Armored Core 2 – To this day I am still proud of the final mecha I built in Armored Core 2, one so powerful no one could defeat it. A Mecha that shot so many missiles that the screen would slow to a crawl, so much so that your opponent was unable to even move, which made them a very easy target. If you are looking for customization options this will be the game for you.

Phantasy Star Online – My first ever MMO and I sucked at it. Every friday night me and the friends would go home early, sleep for like an hour then sneak downstairs to hook up the Dreamcast to the then mysterious internet so we could play this gem. We would log in under team Delta, password Bob, it took me many years to convince my friends that Alpha and Omega where maybe better than Delta but to this day we will always be Delta. I was the teams caster and I really wish they refined the system back then but alas I was the definition of glass cannon. To this day I am still hoping for a new one to catch on in the UK.

The only game that led me to having a 48 hour long campaign in, not all at once but over a week, Age of Empires 2 was and still is one of my all time favorites, only being rivaled by Red Alert 2. The game gave me something I really needed at a low point in my life, a distraction, hell the game made me feel powerful and it ignited a love for history that I still have to this day.

So what games did you love growing up?

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