Donoran here! Lately, I’ve been craving to play some video games, but I’ll be honest, money is a bit tight right now. I’ve been going through some older games and some games in my Steam library that I either haven’t played in a while or… I’ve never played. I wanted to write a post about some of my favorite games of all time. Some are old classics and others are more recent. Some are shooters and others are turned-based strategy games. These are in no way in any particular order and some games might have a more emotional, nostalgic attachment rather than actually being a good game. But who cares. These are some of my all-time favorite video games! So here we go!
I talked about this a little bit in another one of my older posts but my first console was a Nintendo 64. I remember first getting it in grade school and I loved it! It’s impossible to focus on just one game from this classic console; there are just too many amazing games and great memories. Some of my favorite games were Star Fox 64, Mario Kart, Super Smash Bros, and Mario Tennis.
I don’t consider myself to be great at many things… but I am a master at N64 games. Occasionally I’ll dust off the ol’ console and play some of these classic games, just to stay sharp and reminisce on the good times I had growing up. These games are great for playing with others at parties and who also grew up with these games. In college, my roommates and I always had a blast playing these games. One of my roommates and I would get super competitive with Mario Tennis. There was always a lot of yelling and screaming at the TV, playing the AI opponents in doubles on expert. You can’t beat the classics.
I’ll admit, I was a little late on the Halo train when it first came out. But after playing it for the first time way back in middle school, there was no turning back. Even to this day, I’m still a huge fan. I was in my prime for Halo 2 and 3. I remember watching the Halo 2 demo on the first game and I don’t remember ever having that much joy for a video game, ever. When Master Chief picked up two SMG’s and started duel-wielding them, tearing through grunts, I lost it! It was the coolest thing ever!
For a while in middle school, we would play Halo 2 every weekend (or at least it felt like every weekend). And it was awesome! We would always stay up really late, playing round after round of team slayer, juggernaut, oddball, or just making up goofy custom games. We would pig out on tons of junk food, finally pass out, and wake up four hours later and keep playing, all while eating doughnuts and drinking chocolate milk. If I were to try to do that now, I think I might die. It made for great memories though.
And then Halo 3 came out. The what-should-have-been final chapter. Before Halo 3, I had only played LAN with close friends. Halo 3 was the beginning of Xbox Live for me. It was a totally different experience and I remember being scared the first couple of times playing online. After a while though, I was hooked. In high school, I would stay up all throughout the night with a buddy of mine and we would play over and over again. We would destroy our enemies! They stood no chance.
As Halo continues, I still play the game and enjoy it but it’s just not the same as those middle school and high school years. As far as I’m concerned, Master Chief is still in cryo in the middle of space, waiting to be woken up when he’s needed.
XCOM is a turn-based strategy game about aliens attacking Earth. You are part of the XCOM project to protect Earth, kill aliens, research the aliens and figure out why they’re attacking Earth. There is a lot that you control in this game. From resources, to your command center, to soldiers on the battlefield, you are in charge of it all. It is one of the best games I have ever played, and one of the most difficult.
The story of this game is super interesting. The XCOM team is trying to piece together why the aliens are on Earth to begin with, as well as trying to figure out information about the alien species and equipment. It is challenging trying to use the finite amount of resources and space to best utilize your command center and buy the best equipment and research for your troops and the human race. And the combat can be hard and frustrating. You spend all this time and research on your soldiers, customizing them and upgrading them, only to have them killed or used against you in battle. There were many times where I had to start over because I did not like how a soldier was killed.
Anything above normal difficulty is super tough. Good luck to you if you try anything harder than that. There is also a mode called Ironman, which automatically saves your game, so there is no going back or restarting. Whatever happens, happens. It is brutal, but is also really fun and has made for awesome gaming moments.
Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Probably my favorite game, ever. I want to be Dragonborn. I want to live in Skyrim. And I want to slay dragons. It’s everything I have ever wanted from a game… and maybe even life.
In Skyrim, you are the Dragonborn, a great warrior that can slay dragons, absorb their souls, and use them for super crazy spells using your voice. It is your destiny to slay the dragon king and bring peace back to Skyrim once and for all. Along the way, you will meet interesting people, encounter awesome towns and dungeons, and fight lots and lots of dragons.
This is a huge open world where you can basically do anything you want. I know people who have played this game so many times, and still have never beat the main quest. There a ton of side quests and adventures that you can go on. I have played this game many times, and every time I discover something new. Whether it’s a new town, cave, dungeon, group, whatever! There is always something new to discover, which makes the play-ability for this game awesome. You can also customize your character to be a warrior (focus on melee weapons and health), a thief (focus on stealth and stealing), or a wizard (focus on magic and spells).
Pikmin is such a beautifully, weird game. I love everything about this game and it was one of the first games I bought for GameCube. Even to this day, it ranks as one of my top favorite games. It is different, difficult, and just plain strange.
The story of the game is about a space mailman named Olimar. As he is traveling through space, his ship hits an asteroid and he crash lands on a strange planet. The planet is toxic and his life support systems can only keep him alive for 30 days. During that time he must try to find all the missing parts to his ship… all 30 parts. This would be impossible without the help of the strange alien locals, the Pikmin. These little creatures are tiny, fearless, and numerous.
The Pikmin sprout from a little onion like ship and grow in the ground. Olimar then plucks them out when they are ripe for picking. They then follow their fearless mailman leader around the strange toxic world and help him fight terrible carnivorous creatures, overcome obstacles, and find his missing spaceship parts. To add to the stress, Olimar has to go up into the atmosphere every night because the carnivores of this planet are nocturnal and hunt at night. So you have to make sure you get everything done each day before you go up into the atmosphere each night. And you have to take the Pikmin back to their ships before nightfall, otherwise you will lose your friendly little helpers to nocturnal hunters.
If you find all 30 parts before 30 days is over, Olimar gets to fly home! If you don’t, well… that’s bad news. When I was young, I couldn’t beat the game. When I was in college, I went back to try to beat it. I had more fun playing in college then I did when I was a kid. It was still challenging, but I eventually beat it. There were times where my roommates would gather round and watch me play, and they enjoyed the heck out of it! They would cheer along with me whenever my Pikmin defeated a terrible, carnivorous, beast alien or when I was able to collect a part at the end of the day and get back to my ship just in time. Super fun game!
Pokemon: All versions
I don’t think I need to explain this one. The old school Pokemon games (Red, Blue, Yellow) on the GameBoy are classics! These were such great and well put together games. If I could go back in time and take back all the time wasted on playing these games and put it towards something else, I would still use that time to play these games. Defeating Gym Leaders, the Elite Four, and trying to capture rare Pokemon was a main concern for me in my younger years.
Car rides, waiting rooms, rainy days, sunny days, hanging out with friends inside and outside. It didn’t matter; in my younger years I always had my GameBoy Color on my person ready to play Pokemon: Yellow Version. Even to this day, I’ll break open the ol’ handheld game system and play old school Pokemon. None of the new stuff though. In my book, there are only 150 Pokemon.
Star Wars: Battlefront
Star Wars: Battlefront was a great game that I played a lot of when I was younger. This game allows you to play as the soldiers of Star Wars, rather than playing as Jedi or Sith. You are on the frontlines of every major battle in this fantasy space opera. You can play the good or bad guys, from either the old or new movies.
Now I am a fan of the original Battlefront and Battlefront 2. The campaigns for those games, especially the second one, were amazing! And the Galactic Conquest was one of my favorite game types ever. These are another series of games that I will go back and play from time to time. Now the new Battlefront on Xbox One was solid, but the campaigns from the first two were very much missed! And I don’t think I am the only one that thinks that. The newest one coming out is supposed to bring back the single player campaign, hopefully it’s just as good! Looking forward to it!
Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor
This game was a dream come true for me, and I was so excited when I first heard about it. My excitement was childlike; I couldn’t wait for Shadow of Mordor to come out. And I was not disappointed. A lot of the mythology of Lord of the Rings has been completely thrown out the window, but I’ll make an exception for this game.
You play as Talion, a ranger of Gondor stationed in Mordor. Which is perfect timing because the Dark Lord of Mordor, Sauron, is making a comeback and regaining strength in the area. When his orc forces fight off the Gondor occupation, Talion’s family is killed and so is he… well, kind of. A wraith enters his body and keeps him alive. How and why, you must find that out along the way as you seek revenge against the ones who murdered your family.
The made up story for this game is actually pretty epic and the gameplay is awesome. Talion’s upgrades are versatile. This allows for the player to play the game the way they want to. If you want to sneak around and stealth kill orcs, go for it! Or if you are impatient and want to jump right into the fray, executing orcs left and right, do it!
The best part of this is that there is a sequel, Middle-Earth: Shadow of War, and it’s supposed to be even more epic than its predecessor. There’s that childlike excitement again!
Well there you have it! Some of my favorite games of all time! Please feel free to comment and share some of your favorite games! Thanks for stopping by!
Peace and love,
Matt “Donoran” Fuhrmann