As E3 continues to drop gaming bombshell after bombshell, it made me think about some of the most iconic games of all time. Now before you destroy me, chill, these aren’t the best games of all time. Rather the games that when you look at them leak nostalgia, inspiring a run to your garage for an old fashioned dusting off the collection.
Russia is known for a lot of things Vodka, fur hats and Matryoshka doll’s – but one of the most well known items among gamers is Tetris. With that iconic theme song, fast paced puzzle solving and its timelessness, Tetris spans generations. Responsible for pushing the handheld-gaming scene when it was bundled with original Game Boy in 1989, it gave us the opportunity to experience anxiety simply as blocks dropped from the top of a screen as the speed increases. Although modern iterations are available with new features, modes and even (sadly) micro-transactions, there is nothing like loading up free-play and basking in that chip-tune nostalgia.
What a time a time 1997 was. Harry Potter and the Philosophers stone hit book shelves, Titanic was destroying the box office, the Spice Girls was your favourite band. But if you were like me and weren’t concerned with any of that, you and your (legendary) mates were huddling around the television playing one of the best shooters of the day; GoldenEye 007. Coming from the then prominent Rare Studios, GoldenEye’s split-screen multiplayer was king of settling those playground scores. With a collection of different characters, gadgets and a really well created user-interface, GoldenEye was hours of fun… until someone played Odd Job that’s just not friendly at all.
Now if you weren’t someone who played many PC games in the late 90’s to early 00’s then you might want to skip this one, but Blizzard’s Diablo II is one of the most innovative games of all time. This dungeon crawling role player took players from the harrowing fields of Tristram to the depths of Hell itself, on an ever ending quest to find copious amounts of phat loot. There were much new experiences to he had, with procedural generated caves/dungeons, an array of character classes, and the ability to jump in with up to eight friends on either LAN or Blizzards online. The game was so well received that Blizzard are still providing support for the game today, four years after its sequels (Diablo III) release.
Half Life 2
Half Life or specifically Half Life 2 is a ground breaking FPS stemming from the creative minds of Valve Corporation. Half Life 2 expands on its predecessor with gorgeous graphics, in depth storytelling, puzzle solving and futuristic weaponry. One of the best features of all is the games physics engine, being able to interact with most items by picking up, throwing and generally just moving them like a baller, creating all kinds of fun as Gordon Freeman and his trusty crowbar make their way through the game. It’s Valves commitment to immersion that really makes this game truly masterful, never separating the player from the game with all storytelling told through the game’s NPC or the environment. If only Valve could commit to a third instalment.
Ask your most media unaware relative to name you a character from a video game and there is 99% chance they will say your favourite little Italian, Super Mario. Yes the face of not only Nintendo but Video games himself takes out top spot, and although we could probably name multiple games here, I’ve gone with Super Mario 64. The game that changed it all, it took us through the shenaniganns of an Italian plumber, jumping through paintings at his Girlfriends place. Super Mario 64 made any wide eyed teen (or younger) wonder in awe at the pure size of the environments that varied from the sunny plains of ‘Bob-omb Battlefield’ to the dark dank depths of ‘Hazy Maze Cave’. Mario 64 not only paved the way to the success of the Nintendo 64 but its competitors too. With mechanics, missions and power up’s still used to this day, it’s hard not to say “Lets ‘a go” when someone pops in the cartridge.