Five Video Games That Have Had the Biggest Impact on My Life

I was going through my WordPress reader feed when I noticed an interesting post by Megan from A Geeky Gal about the five games that have had the biggest impact on her life. Traditionally, this is a tagging challenge, but as I’m really not as deep into the geek blogging community as I would like to be, I’m going to leave this as an open nomination. If you’re inspired by this post and want to take it on your blog, you’re more than welcome to.

Most of these games I’ve written about extensively in the past. In instances where I have, I’ll be sure to link to the original posts, though I’m excited to revisit and rewrite the impact these games have had on me based on what I’ve learned in the years that I’ve been blogging.

Final Fantasy XV

Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows
Release Date: Nov. 29th, 2016
Rating: T

With the recent release of Final Fantasy VII Remake, I’ve been thinking a lot about the franchise as a whole. I’ve played a number of the games in the franchise to some capacity, though Final Fantasy XV is the only game to date that I’ve actually finished. As of the time of this writing, I’m almost at the end of Remake and finishing IX is on my to do list. Still, my interest in the franchise only got super serious after devouring this game.

I had an interest in the game from the time the initial demo came out, although I did hold off on buying the game for a bit once it released. Maybe that was a mistake or maybe it was for the best — I don’t really know. What I do know is that at the time I played it, it was some of the most fun I had ever had with an RPG.

The game gets a lot of hate and criticism from long time fans of the series, but for me the game was great. I can look at something I love and realize there are some flaws with it. Some of the story pacing is a bit off, though I admire the work that Square Enix put in to try and correct as much of that as possible. Honestly, at some point in the future, I’m due to give the game a New Game+ run so I can really explore what they added to the final part of the game and also to re-experience what I thought was a great story.

I really hate that the game had several additional DLC episodes that were cancelled due to Square Enix abandoning the game, but I’m very much looking forward to re-entering the world of Eos when Dawn of the Future is released in March. While I’d love to actually play whatever stories were planned for the DLC, I’m still very excited I’ll get to read them.

Kingdom Hearts

Platform: PlayStation 2
Release Date: March 28th, 2002
Rating: E

This is a game I’ve written about in the past for a very important reason: it’s the first video game that ever truly felt like mine. Every game I played before this was handed to me, either on consoles we had before I was born or through my mothers love of Nintendo. Even our early PlayStatIon 2 collection was purchased through what we’d love as a family and not through any one person’s interests. Then came Kingdom Hearts.

I still remember seeing the game for the first time — seeing Sora and Donald and Goofy and having no idea what Final Fantasy was but still being in love all the same. I loved the game when I got it and I was so proud of myself because I had discovered it. I saw it and said it looked cool and that I wanted it. That was important to me and probably a big reason the franchise has stayed so important to me all these years.

GoldenEye 007

GoldenEye
Platform: Nintendo 64
Release Date: Aug. 25th, 1997
Rating: T

I think the first time I wrote about GoldenEye and my love for it was in an old Nostalgia Alley post that I did when this blog was still 1138 Geek Confessions and I had no idea about branding. Unlike most of these games, I didn’t buy the copy of GoldenEye that I play to this day. Instead, it was left at my house by one of my father’s friend’s children and they stopped coming over. They never asked about the game so I never brought it up.

When I first played the game, I thought it was pretty good but I didn’t find it to be anything special. This may have been because I was so young. Since then, I’ve not only revisited the game, but I’ve come to realize that all the time i spent playing it is why I’ve developed such a love for first person shooters.

One of the things that I really respect this game for is how accurate the developers tried to be to the film in terms of characters and settings. As is customary with movie-based video games, concessions had to be made. Still, the developers built this game based on actual blueprints of and visits to the set, which gives it a level of accuracy and authenticity that you don’t see in many of these tie-in games.

Looking back in it, I’ve also come to greatly respect the titles multiplayer mode, as that was never planned for the game and was thrown together at the end. Regardless, it became one of the most popular multiplayer shooters of the day and I can understand why in hindsight.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the fantastic music in this game, composed by Grant Krikhope and Graeme Norgate, with contributions by Robin Beanland. While I’d rather not get into the specifics of how, the music from this game is something I still like to listen to while writing to this day.

Out of all the games I grew up with, this is the one I most wish would get an HD remake, a project I know was started at Microsoft but never completed due to rights issues. Recently, Nintendo and Microsoft have been working well together, so we can only hope that maybe one day the rights issues will get cleared up and we’ll be able to revisit GoldenEye on modern hardware.

Super Mario Bros.

Platform: Nintendo Entertainment System
Release Date: Oct. 1985

This is effectively the game that started in all, both for myself and the American gaming industry after its death several years earlier. My mother had discovered Super Mario Bros. and the Nintendo Entertainment System several years before I was born, but this effectively made it the game that was used to introduce me to gaming.

This is probably the Mario game I’ve most written about so instead of tying to find a new angle, I’m going to instead direct you to a post I wrote and a recent episode of my podcast. This is the one game where I think past-Dan said everything just right.

Pokémon Yellow

Platform: Game Boy
Release Date: Sept. 12th, 1998
Rating: E

Last on this list is Pokémon Yellow, which was both the first Pokémon game I ever played, as well as the first Japanese Role Playing Game in my life. Ever since experiencing this journey, I’ve had a lifelong love of Pokémon. With respect to JRPGs, I’ve had an interest in all these years, but I admit that I still haven’t played as many as I should or would like to. That’s something I’m hoping to work on in 2020.

I will be the first to admit that this title hasn’t aged well due to a number of quality of life improvements that Game Freak has added to the franchise over the years — still, because of the impact that this game had on me, I do like to go back and revisit it every couple of years.

That wraps it up for the 5 Games that Have Had the Biggest Impact on My Life! This post wound up being a bit longer than I had hoped but I hope you enjoyed reading it. I’m curious about what your 5 most important games are that have impacted you. Let me know in the comments below or write a post on your blog!

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