Twenty-Five Games for my Son

This is something I’m shamelessly ripping off, based on something I saw on YouTube.

Randy Yasenchak of had the really nice idea of building a list of games for his young son to play as he grows up, and I was totally smitten with it, so I’ve decided to do the same thing myself, for my son.

Games are a massive part of my life, they have been for as long as I’ve had a computer, which must be about 1984 (give or take a year or so). It started with a Sinclair Spectrum 48K and kept going from there.

Along the way there have been some games which are indelibly etched on my memory for one reason or another. They’re not necessarily the greatest games in the world, nor the most memorable for most people I expect, but they’re important to me and tend to flood me with memories. These are the games I want RAR to play when he’s old enough to, just so he has an idea of what it was that has kept me playing to this day, almost thirty years later.

I told my wife about the idea and her initial reaction (after giving me a ‘really?!?’ expression) was ‘Twenty-five?! That many?’ I guess it seemed like a lot to her, but quite honestly I wondering how I’m meant to whittle it down to that few.

So now my task is to build a list of the twenty-five games which define my video game history. No mean feat! Off the top of my head as I sit here writing this, I’m looking at the following systems to potentially pick from: ZX Spectrum 48/128K, Sega Master System, Sega Megadrive, NES (although to be fair I didn’t pick one up until I was nearly thirty), SNES, PC, Amiga, Gameboy, Coin-op, Playstation, PS2, PS3, Xbox, Gamecube, N64, Xbox 360, Nintendo DS. (I’m probably missing some.)

Narrowing down this list is going to take some real thinking, but I’m looking forward to it, for nostalgia’s sake if nothing else. I’m debating making myself play right through each one again too.

So, does anything spring to mind for you? What would be immediate picks for you?

4 Responses

  1. Prophet says:

    I think . . . I’d pick one game from each system. So from one game to another you’d effectively be playing through the evolution of gaming. For me it would probably look like (and i’ve put no prior thought into this) :

    SPECTRUM = Manic Miner
    MASTER SYSTEM = Phycho Fox
    AMIGA = Cannon Fodder
    MEGADRIVE = Strider
    GAMEBOY = Tetris
    SNES = Zelda
    GAMECUBE = Rogue squadron
    N64 = Pilotwings
    COIN OP = Double Dragon
    PC = Not sure . . . Probably a flight-sim, such as 1942

    NB – I would also probably put the coin-op in after spectrum. To show just how vast the difference was back then and why people actually went to arcades.

  2. Billy says:

    I’m with you, no way I could whittle down to a list of just 25, but off the top of my head I’d probably have to at least include (and I’m loving the look of some of James’s list already)…

    Speccy (and C64/Amstrad) – I’d also have to go with Manic Miner (actually Jet Set Willy as I probably played that more) but also Chaos for sure, and Skool Daze…and Elite but I probably played that more on PC. Oh, and Knight Lore of course, and the Dizzy series! And Laser Squad (on the Amstrad, oh and Colony!)

    Amiga – Speedball 2, Cannon Fodder, Sensible Soccer, Lemmings, Populous, Monkey Island 1 and 2 (and Day of the Tentacle). Turrican 1 & 2, and I have to say Lotus Turbo Challenge 2 just for the soundtrack! And the original Worms, and Moonstone.

    Coin-op – Street Fighter 2 Turbo, Bubble Bobble, Joust, Defender, APB, Choplifter, Pacman, Star Wars (in the cockpit cabinet), Outrun (again for the music), Mortal Kombat just because it blew me away when it first came out, Missile Command, and Ghosts n Goblins, and 720… and Gauntlet! (I miss arcades!)

    SNES – Mariokart, SF2 Turbo was actually really playable (best console version IMO), Axelay, UN Squadron, Super Bomberman…

    N64 – Goldeneye and Perfect Dark of course, The Ocarina of Time, Space Station Silicon Valley

    I’d better skip PC and the other consoles otherwise I’ll be here all day 😉

  3. Adam says:

    Tricky, isn’t it? 🙂

    I’m going to have to draw up some shortlists I think. Billy: SF2 Turbo on the snes was good, but the one that blew me away was the version on PC Engine – SF2:CE. Technically the SNES version just had the edge, but the PC Engine was 8-bit and was awesome, they even brought out a 6-button pad just for it.

    Surely Head Over Heels deserves to be in here somewhere too? I’m surprised that no-one went for what I’m thinking about on N64 (along with Zelda OOT) – Mario 64. Nothing came close before it, and not much since has bettered it.

    Sadly the demise of the arcade also brought about the end of the most hallowed of phrases for home games players – ‘Arcade Perfect’ 🙁

  4. Billy says:

    I never had a PC Engine, one of the few systems I’ve never owned (and I have owned most including some of the slightly more obscure ones like the Atari Jaguar and Lynx, CDTV, CDi, CD32, Colecovision, Intellivision, 3DO…)

    Head Over Heels, how could I forget that – yes it definitely deserves a mention! I’d love to make a modern 2 player co-op version of that game!

    Mario 64 was a great game. So was the original Super Mario Bros. on the NES, the level designs on that game were amazing (every single tile placement in the first couple of levels is perfectly positioned to teach the player all the “rules” without needing any sort of instructions – you just don’t get that kind of attention to detail these days, you’re much more likely to have to play through a ‘tutorial’ instead!

    Donkey Kong should probably be mentioned too – arguably the first platform game, one of the first games to use multiple animated sprites, such innovative gameplay and probably inspired more 80’s games than just about anything else.

    And of course the daddy, Space Invaders, how did I not put that in my first comment?

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