Okay, so I know my editorials are occasionally difficult to read – the MGS4 piece was a bit dense – so I'm going to make things light and breezy this week. Who wants to get nostalgic? 🙂

My Top 10 Best Gaming Memories

10. Twisted Metal 2 two-player co-op

I loved this game, but what I remember most is playing through the game co-op with a friend; he always used Mr. Grimm and I always used Warthog. It was tough to beat that game, but we did it a few times, and had an absolute blast doing it. There was one rainy afternoon back in our freshman year of college when we probably played through (or attempted to play through) Twisted Metal 2 four or five times. Ah, so very fuzzy.

9. Bringing home the PS2 for the first time

There are a few reasons why this sticks out in my mind. It was the first system I could afford to pay for myself and purchase immediately upon launch, and after becoming entirely hooked on RPGs during the PS1 generation, you can't imagine where my expectations were for the PS2. Of course, it took a while for the big RPGs to hit for that system (as is typically the case), but it ended up with a ton of awesome role-playing titles, as expected. Also, when I say "immediately upon launch," I mean that literally. I worked for EB at that time, and we had a late meeting the night before the launch. As soon as the clock ticked over to 12:00 a.m. on October 26, 2000, we rushed for the counter. I bought mine at 12:03 a.m. Bet I was one of the first 100 in North America to own one.

8. Super Mario Kart late night sessions

A friend of mine, his cousin, and me would play this game quite literally all night long back in the day. We'd toy around at first (doing Battle or whatever), but we always ended up racing against each other in the Ghost House. Why? Just because we all had it memorized, and we all wanted to see if we could nab the mushroom, fly off that jump at silly speed and land clear on the other side of the track. It rarely happened, but when it did… We learned hopping around a corner was faster than actually turning, too; I always used Koopa. Good times, good times.

7. Getting 200.6% complete in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

I loved this game the moment I saw it, and being a completionist back in those days, it stood to reason that I'd have to open up every section of the map and get every item in the game. It wasn't really tricky, but it did take some time and patience, and when I finally got that 200.6%, it felt like a real accomplishment. I think I still have that save file on an old PS1 memory card somewhere… I still play this game at least once a year, just like Final Fantasy Tactics . It's like a rule.

6. Seeing and trying Pong for the first time

I believe I was only 4 years old and I saw my father and uncle play it on the Atari 2600. If memory serves, they put the joystick in my hand at one point, and I tried to stop that little white square from making it past my side of the screen. It was hard…but I was fascinated . What else can I say?

5. Hexen and my first silly online multiplayer moment

Most of you young'uns don't remember (and some don't even know this), but there was a time when playing a game with someone clear across town – at the same time – was considered quite the phenomenon. It was nothing short of magic to us. And I still remember just watching (not playing) a buddy of mine playing Hexen online; he was playing a one-on-one deathmatch with another friend of ours. I think that was the only option at the time. Anyway, I remember watching the screen as he snuck up behind the other dude with this big-ass weapon. He's just standing there, back to us, surveying the landscape. My friend tells me to type in "Boo" and hit enter. I do that, and then we see the guy slowly turn; we could watch the realization dawn on him…

BAM! Flew a loooong way. Splattered all over the place. I can't remember laughing that hard.

4. Aeris' death in FFVII

I suppose that's a big ol' spoiler, but if you're not aware of it by now, I refuse to acknowledge you as a gamer. I just remember really loving Aeris – always loved the pure mage character in my RPGs – and when Sephiroth did what he did, I was about to rage. I've never been more pissed at a villain in my entire life; I actually swore revenge (sounds corny in regards to a video game, but whatever). I also remember yelling at the screen, "Cloud, you idiot, use a Phoenix Down!" Sadly, all he did was lay her to rest in that pool of water. Holy God, I was this close to buying a Game Shark to get her back. In all actuality, by the way, this entire game is one of my best all-time memories.

3. Earl Weaver's Baseball and Hero's Quest, baby!

Okay, so maybe you don't know what I'm talking about. Well, not long after I got the NES and GameBoy, I started to play my old IBM/Tandy computer a lot. The two games I played all the time are right up there; I played whole seasons in one and constantly loved going through the second with the Fighter. Yep, this ol' machine with 640k RAM could barely run both games, but I didn't care if things were slow and sometimes weird. For quite a long time, there wasn't anything I liked to do more than play these two games and only these two games.

2. Becoming an absolute God in FFT

My favorite game of all time suddenly got even better when I realized what I could do with certain Job combinations. The day I stumbled on the Wizard/Math Skill/MP Switch/Robe of Lords/Lv. 99 character (both Wizard and Calculator Mastered, of course) was the day I became God. No, seriously. It's probably the most Godlike you can become in any game, unless you count Knights of the Round in FFVII. Plus, much like FFVII, FFT is another game where the entire experience will always have a prominent place in my rosy gaming memories.

1. Playing Super Mario Bros., becoming hooked on games

Yep, for me and so many others, this is where it all began. I may have played Pong first back in '82, but I didn't officially become hooked until I stomped my first Goomba on my first video game system. Furthermore, because my parents didn't have a whole lot of money in those days – and cartridges were pretty darn expensive, remember? – I was stuck with SMB for almost a full year before I ever got another NES game. And I didn't care in the slightest . A lot of younger gamers today just don't realize the revolution of the NES; just how advanced something like SMB was in comparison to anything on the Atari 2600, Intellivision, or Colecovision. I know I sound old when I say this, but…you had to be there.

I would also like to clarify that these are memories , so they have to be at least a few years old for them to qualify in my eyes. We need time to look back and absorb the impact of the experience before it sticks with us forever, but for future reference, here are a few that may make the list: playing all the GTAs, watching the endings to both MGS3 and MGS4, and seeing true high-definition gaming for the first time. Gotta love the ever-changing list; it means nothing grows stagnant. I'm always entertained and even influenced by certain titles in each and every generation.

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Zaben
Zaben
12 years ago

Well I haven't had nearly as much gaming experience as you and probably can't recall ten memories as clearly either. I will, however, tell you all how I personally got hooked on games. The game was Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. I've played through that game so many times… A bit after that, I played a bunch of SMB and that got me even more hooked.

recks1jtp
recks1jtp
12 years ago

Wow…Hexen. Haven't thought of that game in a long while… Nicely done Ben, bringing back some good flashbacks here. Here's to another memoriable 25!

Affliction17
Affliction17
12 years ago

Man,man,man Super Mario bros was the first thing that ever got me into gaming and duck hunt.Personally SMB 3 was my favorite.I'm only 17,but my mom still had her old NES and one day she pulled it out and we played it and from that day on I loved video games.Then when my uncle came and lived with us and brought over his PS1 thats when I got into Twisted Metal 2 and Need for Speed hot pursuit.Then when he left me and my dad went and picked one up.Hey Bed did you play Zelda on your NES? I still remember the Gold NES Cartridge that game was got me so frustrated.

Vivi_Gamer
Vivi_Gamer
12 years ago

My favourite gaming moment would be the intro of FF8, its perfectly crafted! & the end boss battles, you had no idea what to expect next!

but my favourite playing moment would be the 4-player night sessions of Crash Team Racing, we'd play it till all hours, to bad i can't find anyone whos interested in PS1 games anymore.

ceedot
ceedot
12 years ago

Thanks for the FFVII spoiler.

OhYessss
OhYessss
12 years ago

*Spoiler Warning!*

Finding out that Jak was Mar on Jak II.

Reccaman18
Reccaman18
12 years ago

You mean Jak 3.

Scarecrow
Scarecrow
12 years ago

Man that was awesome
I love the whole Jak series, Jak 3 was the best.

LightShow
LightShow
12 years ago

my favorite was jak II, simply because the city wasnt ruined and you had simple options: Shotgun, rifle, machine gun, PURE DESTRUCTION

Xanavi23
Xanavi23
12 years ago

Gran Turismo 1. Taking it home from Block Buster before i bought it and renting it for 3 weeks continiuously pissing off one friend who wanted to rent it but couldn't cause i had it. Taking a slower Silvia Q's and racing SOO many races to finally get it competitive and win championships. Goodtimes.

phantom93
phantom93
12 years ago

Cool Article. My friends and I still run a Baseball Fantasy league with Earl Weaver. One of the best games ever made/never mentioned (until now!)

one of mine was when i made my first character in Meridian 59. One of the earliest graphical MMOs. I was so excited to be playing a game like that and even though Everquest and WOW eclipsed it, the first thrill is still the best.


Last edited by phantom93 on 9/20/2008 7:43:02 AM

Riku994
Riku994
12 years ago

Picking up Sonic The Headgehog for the first time when I was two… And finall beating the first 3 titles when I was 3 haha. My definate favorite though was playing Sonic 3 and Knuckles endlessly. I still do that sometimes, and is definately one of my all time favorite games.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
12 years ago

I'm sorry, I just have extreme difficulty that anybody 3 years old could beat…well, anything. 😉

Riku994
Riku994
12 years ago

That's because I spent most of my time playing the good ol' genesis, I had a keen eye for doing things in video games and I actually did beat them at the age of 3 lol.

Digby
Digby
12 years ago

I'm gonna go with NHL 94 on Sega with 10 friends playing all day tournements and Descent on PS1 with systems linked playing on back to back TVs. Plus Pong, Intelivision (those slidding plastic cards, and Colecovision. Or how about Combat w/invisible tanks and richoceting shots. Damn Ben, I'm old too.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
12 years ago

I've got NHL '94 for the SNES! In fact, I think I'm going to play it today. 🙂

Willcome2Urf
Willcome2Urf
12 years ago

for me it would be my first real computer. I grew up with an atari, but my first computer was a Laser 486sx. I remember my dad would take me to a store called microcenter to buy new games. That was a time when box art for games wasn't standardized, and the size and shape of the boxes were out of control! one awkward box would take up a whole shelf. It was great going in and picking out new games. games like, quest for glory, return to zork, sam and max, the age of the "point and click"

good times…

rjmacready
rjmacready
12 years ago

Good article Ben.
My first experiences were with the Atari and some of my best memories were loving most of the Activision games, even making a cardboard "car" box and sitting in it while racing on Enduro, playing Frostbite, Private Eye, Pitfall and Megamania of course, Keystone Kapers, Hockey, and maybe my favorite – River Raid. Also playing Super Challenge baseball with both joysticks myself sometimes, also some Imagic games, even forming a league with Dragonfire, etc.
Then moving up to the Colecovision and Rocky, Jungle King, etc. Then the Nintendo with Kid Icarus and Wizards and Warriors (loved W

Digby
Digby
12 years ago

Ok, I been going back in my head (Thanx Ben) and I'm also thinking Aztec Challenge on my Atari 400, loading it in off casette listening to it play into the system like a fax machine…I think I just got even older.

Aftab
Aftab
12 years ago

Speaking of getting older, the other day (actually a couple years ago), I was driving back from work, listening to "Don't go chasin' waterfalls" by Destiny's Child (I know that can't be the title of the song, but you know which one I talking about), getting my "groove" on, and suddenly getting surprised when the DJ chimed, "You're listening to oldies 103:3. It left me depressed for the rest of the ride home.


Last edited by Aftab on 9/20/2008 11:50:29 PM

LowKii
LowKii
12 years ago

:O oldies?? whaaaat? ok now im a little depressed 🙁

Troy Powers
Troy Powers
12 years ago

SMB bragging rights:
Tipsy-Turtles
"I can't beat Super Mario only fighting ONE boss."

www
www
12 years ago

I remember playin a video game for the first time,Sega mega drive 2 with 3 games in 1(super hang-on,italia 90,columns).Can u believe at the beginning of super-hang on where it says "press start" with a gameplay video rollin,I actually thought i was the one playin n neva bothered to press start…lol

AntDC
AntDC
12 years ago

That's a sweet list. Would have to agree with the FFVII one. I'm playing Crisis Core atm and it's awsome. I was wondering who the hell "Aerith" was cause I have a Hong Kong version of the game and "Aeris" is the english translation. I thought it was her mum or something lol.
5. Playing The Neverhood for the first time on the PC back in '96 or '97, the first PC game I ever played, and the giant crab sequence.
4. Unlocking the Gnastys Loot level in Spyro by collecting ALL the gems. Back then, that was a monolithical task. And being able to fly was sweet.
3. Playing Quake LAN against my uncle when it first came out. I sucked at it, but that game was gold.
2. When James finds out who really killed his wife in Silent Hill 2.
1. Stalking the hallways of the original Quake. Playing that game in the dark and hearing the monsters grunt from some distant hallway used to scare the hell out of me.

Maz
Maz
12 years ago

ohh i remember gettin ma ps1 wiv gran turismo 1 and crash team racin, i loved my ps1 then ps2 came along wiv fifa 2001 and midnight club 1, goooood times ang i remember gettin gta vice city wen it first came out aswell XD

Maz

Aftab
Aftab
12 years ago

10. I remember seeing an ad on TV, about an insect coming out of a TV (giggapede I'm guessing), swallowing a kid who was in front of the set. I don't know how old I was. I remember thinking how twisted some people are. I also remember it as "message", because although I was too young to know what videogames were, I never forgot it.

9. I remember seeing Mario at a cousin's house for the first time. I remember thinking, wow, look it all the colors! Thinking now, 8-bit would mean 2^8 or 256 different colors. That was a lot compared to the Atari stuff before then!

8. I remember playing AfterBurner in the arcades, and being amazed that stuff like this was impossible on consoles, and how consoles would always just be cheap, weak immitations, and having a dream that night of playing "the arcade" at home.

7. Then, I remember seeing digitized graphics of the 16 bit era, and being mesmerized of multichannel music (streets of rage 1,2,3 had me hooked just from the tunes)
I remember being blown away by the speed of Sonic, but always being secretly jealous of the scale and rotation effects that Mario had on the SNES.

6. I remember getting the ps1 through a wholesale club, before it was even on retail. I remember finding it strange that Sony would be releasing the next big thing, instead of Nintendo or Sega. I looked at it with a cautious eye, until I played the included demos of WipeOut and Battle Arena Toshinden. I smiled and remembered the dream of being able to play afterburner arcade at home. Simultaneously, I got creeped out when I remembered the ad of Giggapede.

5. I remembered playing Wipeout XL, and thinking this game has been made for me, and playing ff7, and being moved by a game in a way that only a movie could before.

4. I remember taking off at night with my cousin at night in a huge-ass dodge ram conversion van, while my parents were going out to eat. I was without a license and underage. But this was the only opportunity I had to spend some of my summer earnings on a video game, knowing fully well my parents would never allow it. My cousin and I got back home before the rest of the family did and we hid the nintendo64 with a copy of wave race under the bed. I think he was more excited about the ride than the game.

3. I remember playing through DMC, and thinking how I couldn't have imagined something like this during the days of Contra.

2. I remember when I picked up a ps3 recently, at the age of 28 (last year), and thinking how, I've been swallowed by the Giggapede.

1. I remembered playing online on my psp (wipeout pulse), and ps3 recently, and playing online for the first time, against kids in Europe, and China, and thinking about the dream I had in my (previous) childhood, about playing in an arcade from the comfort of my home.


Last edited by Aftab on 9/20/2008 3:41:57 PM

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
12 years ago

That reminds me, playing the DMC demo that came with RE:CV for the PS2 would rank in my top 15, probably. I just kept playing it over and over and OVER…never really believing an action game could be THAT good. 😉

Aftab
Aftab
12 years ago

I think my math was wrong. For a nintendo, if it was 8 bit, two of those bits had to be for the x and y coordinates for each pixel, thus leaving only 6 bits for color. That would mean only 2^6 colors, or 64? Compare that to the lovely polish of DMC.

tlpn99
tlpn99
12 years ago

My earliest memories are Completing Pitfall 2 on my commodore 64, Kokotoni Wilf, Mutant Monty, Ikari Warriors (without losing a life, ended up with 10 with the bonus one) oh and of Course Mr Angry all on the 64, took myself and my dad ages to complete those.
The best I ever remember my dad doing on a game was Leaderboard with 18 under par. I never even came close to that.
My best memory is Bubble Bobble with my mate, we completed it twice in the one night, we were meant to be revising for an exam in school thought we deserved a break haha.
The one thing I do remember tho is paying £1.99 for Wizball, games back then were bought in the corner shops and £9.99 games were asked for as presents at Christmas off relatives.
The Amiga came along so much easier to get games back then as nearly everyone had one in school. Upgraded to my PC to play Championship Manager 2.
I missed out on the early consoles Mega Drive etc started off a year and a half later into the PS1's cycle, first game was Crash Bandicoot, also was the first game I completed on the PS1 also. Happy Days. Even happier now with high def graphics. But the one thing I do remember saying and that was "There is no way this will ever be topped graphic wise!" and now looking back on some great games out for the PS3 MGS4, Call Of Duty 4, Gears Of War (360) and just thinking wow, cant wait for whats going to happen in the future 🙂

Aftab
Aftab
12 years ago

Friend, you didn't mention Drake's Uncharted Fortune, which was, I think, by far the prettiest game of this generation (that or Ratchet and Clank: Tools of Destruction). The game was not only more colorful, detailed, and animated than Gears, but it also had tighter gameplay, not to mention crisper sound, and more beautiful cinematics. Gears did set the bench mark, but it has been outdone.


Last edited by Aftab on 9/20/2008 11:58:41 PM

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
12 years ago

Just out of curiosity, I'd like to know how the myth continues to abound that Gears of War is the best-looking console game to date. NOBODY with an eye for graphics really believes that at this point; a lot of great games have been made that are on par or better than Gears since its release.

And trust me, I'm not saying anything bad about Gears. I loved that game to death, but for some reason, a lot of people just take this "Gears is best" visually thing as gospel.

Jed
Jed
12 years ago

I dont get it either, it was a great game, but surely not the best looking game. Maybe we should tell those people to get a PS3

Draguss
Draguss
12 years ago

Ah yes, Aerith's death, yelling at the screen "I'LL KILL YOU, I SWEAR I'LL FU**ING KILL YOU YOU SILVER HAIRED BASTARD!!!" that was the first time I said the word fuck out loud, my mom prctically fainted.

Draguss
Draguss
12 years ago

Ah c'mon, I was just quoting!

Jed
Jed
12 years ago

My greatest gaming moment, and unfortunatley the worst, was when I finally beat sephiroth on FFVII, and then waited 20 minutes for the ending cinema before realizing it would not load. sniffle…

I also love the first time I play a next gen system, It's the best. Opening the box, setting it up, smelling it, lol.

Aftab
Aftab
12 years ago

It is said that, neurologically, the sense of smell is closely connected to the faculties of memory 😉


Last edited by Aftab on 9/21/2008 5:07:23 PM

Daedusian
Daedusian
12 years ago

I have to agree with a lot of what everybody said up above, but I have to add one more. I think just about every game on the Dreamcast qualifies for me but most notably, Power Stone 1 and 2. For me, these were my best memories. PLUS Sega Bass Fishing with the reel and all lol, I know it's corny, but OMG that was fun!


Last edited by Daedusian on 9/21/2008 1:29:39 PM

Aftab
Aftab
12 years ago

Ya know. I had a dreamcast. And I don't know why I sold that damn thing. It had some awesome games for it, that were widely acclaimed, and one of the first if not the first, to utilize internet connectivity. For someone reason, it just never caught on. I think between Sony, and Nintendo, they came in just too late, to be recognized by the general masses. Pretty sad, especially since a lot of initiative, interest, and high quality support was put in to it.

Jed
Jed
12 years ago

I still have my dreamcast, but I dont have any games for it. 🙁

Daedusian
Daedusian
12 years ago

Yeah the problem definitely was that the Dreamcast came out a little too late. With the PS1 being so successful and the PS2 being right around the corner, there was no doubt it was going to die. Quite sad really.

I do remember too that I was unsure of what system to get at the time (since, I think, nothing was really out that was relatively new), so my dad ended up buying the system for me for Christmas without me even knowing or realizing what the heck it was. Then when the games stopped coming, I got the PS2 a year or so later and then fell in love all over again haha.

Yeah I still got my Dreamcast as well and a LOAD of games for it too, although it's collecting a lot of dust. Wish I could go back, but I just can't. Whenever I get newer and better things, I just can't go back. Wish I wasn't like that lol.

LowKii
LowKii
12 years ago

OMG I still have my Dreamcast lol i have like 7 games for it the best one i have i Slave Zero yeaahhaa

nickolars
nickolars
12 years ago

it took me about a month and a half to get through the temple of ancients on final fantasy vii. the wall monster kicked my ass thousands of times, i spent days in the temple fighting monsters and those f'ing frogs just leveling up only to be killed by the wall again and again. the feeling i got when i beat that ass hole was maybe the best feeling i've ever felt while playing a video game. i remember my friend and i would play college football 96(?) and chase each other around after every play. and i remember getting a SNES for Christmas and a sega-genesis for my birthday. I played Super Mario and sonic almost non stop. and even before that i remember playing mario 3 with my cousin, that's one of my favorite games ever. all the things everyone mentioned brought back a lot of memories. did any one ever jump off the top of the big spire thing in jet moto for the ps1? I remember spending hours just launching off that thing.

LowKii
LowKii
12 years ago

4. Aeris' death in FFVII

"I suppose that's a big ol' spoiler, but if you're not aware of it by now, I refuse to acknowledge you as a gamer."

Thats right bud you tell 'em

LowKii
LowKii
12 years ago

I'd have to say my favorite memory is Christmas when i was about 7 years old (now im 25) and opening that great big gift hidden behind the tree. when i opened it i saw a grey machine on the box. and above the machine was japanese characters. I had just opened up a FamiCom. and taped to the box was another box with a familiar logo on it. Final Fantasy 2. I was the only kid in my region to have played and beaten FF 2 at the time.

LowKii
LowKii
12 years ago

P.S. I had already had a NES at the time.

LightShow
LightShow
12 years ago

*thinks hard*

2 big ones are very closely related: getting blown to hell in every Halo match i played and subsequently swearing off FPS' as evil, then picking up Battlefield: Bad Company and finding out a FPS could be fun. I'm still not very fond of Halo, simply cause it produces amazingly skilled individuals that i dont stand a chance against =D

then there was wanting a videogame system for sooooo long, seeing all the other kids with their nintendo 64s and their gameboys, then opening up a PS2 one christmas morning. I was seriously the only kid in my entire school to have one for a very long time. It ranks on my top 50 moments in my life, and it's certainly number one in regards to videogames.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
12 years ago

Ah, as a matter of clarification, I believe "Don't Go Chasin' Waterfalls" was by TLC. And considering that was mid-'90s, there's no WAY that can be "oldies." Impossible! 🙂

But anyway, great memories everyone. It's always fun to read them.

LowKii
LowKii
12 years ago

One of my other favcorite memories isn't one of my own accomplishment but it was pretty badass. I have a buddy who played FF tactics SO MUCH that the timer rolled over from 999:99 back to 0:00. and yes it actually happened.

Doopy
Doopy
12 years ago

my first ps2 game was silent hill 2 running down that forest area at the beginning on christmas day that was great and the hours and hours of playing split screen mario kart for snes oh and this ones a real oldie but i have to give it a mention because the amount of time i spent hunting for jason on the friday the 13th game for commodore 64 was ridiculous lol