A Farewell to Video Games: My Top Ten (#10)

I write this lament with sadness in my…well, not voice, but…fingers, I guess. I no longer have the time to be the gamer I want to be. Too many other dreams and obligations have arisen and I have less and less time to play the games I love. And now, I have a son coming around Christmastime. While I’m overjoyed to even write that sentence, video games will take a further back seat.

I don’t plan on quitting entirely because it’s a preferred “day off” activity, plus a surprising way to bond with my wife. Still, it’s like saying goodbye to a big part of my life. I’ve been gaming since I was about seven. That’s about twenty years for me. So, I thought I would actually say that goodbye by celebrating the ten best and most important games to me.

A few words about this list: it’s not a traditional “Top Ten.” These games aren’t necessarily the best in the industry, they’re simply the ones that I either enjoyed more than others or games that helped shape me as a person. Yes, video games really can do that when you grow up with them. My number 1 may not be the finest game on this or any list, but it helped make me who I am.

These games will span multiple generations from Super Nintendo to XBox 360, from Gameboy to Gamecube. However, all are console games; I never was a PC or App gamer. They’re also games I’ve PLAYED and BEATEN. There are lots of good ones I haven’t had the pleasure to play, so don’t be offended if I don’t have your favorite. Of course, it’s also an extremely personal list, so my opinion and experiences weigh heavily.

How I Judge:

  • Story, if applicable–Story is very important to me, so they had one, it had to impress me.
  • Gameplay–Is it fun or dull? Responsive or clunky?
  • What was it trying to do?–Was it trying to be sad, happy, ridiculous? Did it fail or succeed?
  • Music–Music is also very important to me and can seriously make or break a game.
  • Replayability–Was there more than one way to play? Or was it just so fun I had to do it all over again?
  • Personal Impact–As mentioned earlier.

If you agree or disagree with me, I’m open to responses. Let’s talk!

Each post will cover just one game because I’ve got a lot to say about each one. So without further ado…

NUMBER TEN: METROID FUSION (Gameboy Advance)

Metroid_Fusion_box_art

Let’s start with ticking off some fanboys, eh? Many will say that Super Metroid was the best. Maybe, but I haven’t played it. I didn’t get into Metroid until Prime, and then Super Metroid was impossible to find. And while I enjoy Prime, and it those games have their own fan base, Fusion won for me because of one reason: accessibility.

This is a game you can pick up at almost any point and just go. The controls are simple, the objectives are pretty clear, and it’s a lot of fun to run around shooting things. Yet the game is big enough and winding enough that you still have to use your head. That’s the perfect middle ground to hit: accessible, but not hand-holding.

This was the game I took on trips. Since it’s a Gameboy Advance, you can take it anywhere, and like I said, you can pretty much pick it up and go without a lot of fluff, save for the opening narration (Other M wasn’t the first game to make Samus and blabbering idiot). It’s a relatively short game, but not overly easy. So while it still takes some skill, it doesn’t suck up your whole life. This all adds up to an incredible accessibility that’s hard to find, especially in modern games.

So while I have nothing against the other Metroid games and Prime is one of my favorites, this is the title I keep coming back to for the simple pleasure of having a fun game when and where I want it.

NEXT: See number 9

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