Let me start off by saying I am completely copying hazel's idea to post his favorite games. The only difference is the amount of games and the games themselves. Just thought I'd give a shout out to him before we move onto the list.
I chose 11 games because 10 is so cliche and because 14 was done by hazel. I've also been buying lunch from 7-11 lately, so there's the reasoning for 11. My basis for my top games is the wonderment or awe that each one of them brought me. Whether that was through gameplay, setting, or something else these games had a huge impact on my childhood and life. I will also list originals, sequels, and different versions of games as 1 game. So my Top 11 might have more games really, but I like to include the series as one entity if I so choose.
Before we begin the Top 11, I do want to list my honorable mentions. The games that just missed the list, but the ones that deserve recognition as well. I'm just going to list these with no description or pictures.
Persona 3, Tales of Vesperia, Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne, Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga 1 and 2, Donkey Kong Country, Donkey Kong 64, Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Land, Halo, Call of Duty 2, FF Tactics
Ok, now the true Top 11:
11. Balloon Fight NES
I start my list off with a game possibly none of you have heard of. If you have then forgiveth me. Balloon Fight is an old NES game with basically the most simple gameplay ever. Repeatedly tap A and float your guy around hazards, lighting, and weird bird creatures. Your objective is to avoid all those hazards, keep your 3 balloons in tact, and destroy the bird creature's balloons before yours are gone. Do that and you move to the next level. Oh yeah, and don't float too close to the water or a giant fish will eat you whole. No kidding. This is one of the games that brought me so much joy and happiness as a child. I'd stare at the screen for hours playing this game, and when I was done I would draw pictures of the levels with the bird and fish creatures coming after me. This game would probably be smashed by critics everywhere, but it's so awesome. It's currently on the Wii Virtual Console as well as in Animal Crossing as a secret unlockable game. Balloon Fight is pure fun, and that's really what your childhood should have been about.
I guess you could say Balloon fight "popped" my gaming cherry as a child. Yikes.
10. Lumines PSP
Talk about addiction. Lumines is the best puzzle game I have ever played. The fantastic music, the simple gameplay, and that addiction I was telling you about. This is the game that never truly ends even if you do happen to lose. The first game ever for my PSP happens to be my favorite PSP game. It's not the most flashy of games (in a popularity sense), but it's one of the most well-done games I have ever played. That's why it crack my Top 11.
Gorgeous visuals and presentation, no?
9. Tales of Symphonia Gamecube
Perhaps the 2nd console RPG I ever played remains one of my favorites to this day. Tales of Symphonia was a wonderful adventure for me at the time. I was going away to college, needed something to entertain me during the boring summer and first rough couple of weeks of the school term, and I was starting to get an RPG hunger due to another game that will be featured in this list. That led me to Tales of Symphonia. I spent a long time with Tales of Symphonia and I'm glad I did. The battle system was awesome and like nothing I experienced before. The characters were fun for me and just the whole game was/is really great. I consider ToS a follow-up RPG for me to make sure the genre was right for me. Thanks to ToS, it was.
Sheena's hidden arte: Scrotum Blaster
8. Valkyria Chronicles PS3
I think you all know how big a fan of Valkyria Chronicles I am. You all might be thinking the next 7 games on my list must have really blown me away for VC to be only 8th on the list. Well, you're right. VC is a spectacular game. It breathed life into my once quiet PS3 (I credit VC for getting me back into PS3 gaming), was a refreshing experience, and just made me all fuzzy inside. I'm one of the lucky few who actually knew about this game before it released. Hell, I pre-ordered it online for no reason about a month before its release. After playing the short demo I knew I had made the right choice buying this game. After adding Janneth Walker to my squad, I knew this game would hold a special place in my heart forever. I actually hope in the future VC gets knocked from my Top games list. Might sound crazy, but I think we'd all be happy to witness more games like it, regardless of genre, and know that there are some talented people out there who can create gems like this one. I will never forget VC though. My sig says it all really.
"Stop! Where you going without Valkyria Chronicles in your PS3 collection!?"
7. Pikmin 1 and Pikmin 2 Gamecube
And here is one of those hybrid choices I was talking about earlier. The Pikmin games are all about fantasy. The Pikmin are adorable, the premise is awesome, and there is just some sort of strange feeling I get whenever I play the games. A strange feeling in a good way I mean. I love using my Pikmin to gather items, fight creatures, and conquer the day. The charming presentation makes me feel all gooey inside. I love it! The Pikmin games are almost mysterious. I can't really explain it, but it gives me that sense of wonderment I talked about in the opening. If you haven't had a chance to experience Pikmin yet, please do. They are a wonderful blend of strategy, adventure, and puzzling that really hasn't been matched to me. Great games. Can't wait for the 3rd installment to eventually release.
I hate to spoil your group photo, guys, but you bout to be eaten.
6. Kirby's Dreamland Gameboy
Ah, Kirby. You delightful little pink ball of something. Kirby is one of my favorite characters. I remember seeing a commercial for Kirby's Dreamland for the Gameboy when I was a small child. I immediately whined and cried to my mother to get it for me, and luckily she gave in and did. I love you, mom. You gave me one of the best Gameboy titles, and obviously best games overall, I have ever played. I remember the music themes for the levels and all that jazz. Back in those times Kirby could only consume and spit (stop it, I know what you're all thinking) and that's the way I liked it. No special powers, just some good ol' sucking action (ok, it's funny now). Kirby is yet another one of those games that made my childhood so enjoyable. Without Kirby I probably would have grown up a drug addict and doing a lot of Kirby-esque moves in order to score some smack. Ok, maybe not, but you get the point. Kirby is awesome and my childhood would have been a bit more boring without it.
"Oh hey, Kirby. You can, uh, start sucking my branc... er, I mean that apple anytime you're ready."
5. Super Mario Bros. 2 NES
This is not a typo. I did not mean to put the original or the 3rd one here. I am absolutely, 100% serial about Super Mario Bros. 2 for the NES being my #5 favorite game of all-time. This game felt like an acid trip everytime I played it as a kid, and I didn't even know what acid was back then. I love the weird-ass environments, the catchy tunes, the potions, the warp vases, the enemies, the fact you can pick different characters (watching Luigi move his little legs in mid-air is golden), throwing objects, and the Birdo bosses. I love this game. I don't care if was toned down for American audiences, it was still fun as hell. I get giddy everytime I do play it. Maybe all those mushrooms from the first Mario Bros. game led to this freaky acid trip of an adventure. I'm glad it did though.
"I can show you the world!"
4. Pokemon Red/Blue/Yellow Gameboy
Ah, now we're getting to the really good stuff. Pokemon shaped my childhood. It was the biggest thing I had ever witnessed. I was obssesed with the Pokemon franchise. Pokemon just kind of hit me. I didn't really know about it until my friends in my neighborhood let me borrow the game. I was hooked. More hooked than I was on the acid trip known as Mario Bros. 2. Countless hours of exploring, trying to capture all 151 Pokemon, learning every secret and glitch, training all my favorites to level 100. Hundreds of hours just constantly beating the Elite 4 so I could earn enough money to buy Porygon at the Casino. I played it so much that when I finally went to bed the theme music would still ring in my head. Oh, man. Such great times. I will never experience anything like that ever again. I chose RBY because they were my first experience with Pokemon. I'll admit that Gold and Silver were perhaps the better game overall, but nothing will ever top the feelings and awe I experienced with Red, Blue, and Yellow. They are perhaps the most special games to me. They might not be at the top of my list, but if I were forced to get rid of all games but one, Pokemon Red or Blue would be the one I keep. I need something to remind me of all the good times I had. Pokemon is the best, but yet it's not at the top. Let's find out why...
Where the magic first begins...
3. Megaman 3 NES
Ironically my 3rd favorite game is the 3rd one in a series of games. Megaman 3 is my favorite side-scrolling adventure of all-time. If Pokemon gave me that magic I'll never experience again, Megaman 3 gave me that passion for gaming I will never experience again. I dreamed of being the Blue Bomber and having all those weapons he collected. I loved the variety of enemies and all the stages. Megaman 3 has the best soundtrack I have ever heard. They were incredible, yet so simple. Megaman 3 called out to me. I felt cool playing it. As cool as a 5 or 6 year old kid could feel I guess. I still play it to this day. I might know all the moves and when to jump, and when to shoot, and when to slide, but it still remains fun as hell. There's still that chance I mess up that keeps me going. Oh, man. Gaming doesn't get much better than Megaman 3... unless you're the next two games on my list.
Hard Man ain't the only one who gets hard when playing this game. Gross.
2. Persona 4 PS2
I. Love. Persona. 4. A lot. Shin Megami Tensei is my favorite franchise in gaming. The stories are dark and compelling, the gameplay is fantastic, the characters are great, and all the demons/personas are like more badass versions of Pokemon. Persona 4 is the best example of all of these. I was blown away by this game the first time I played it. As I play through it a second time right now, it's somehow even better. Even though I know what's going to happen and memorized some of the enemies' weaknesses, it doesn't matter. I still get a sense of excitement from the game. It's a winner of a game, no questions asked. It includes my favorite character of all-time (Chie), and some of the best gameplay I've ever played as well. What I love about the Persona games is the social aspects. Persona 3 was great because of it, but Persona 4 improved on it by a lot I think. The s.tyle of the game is also killer. The colors and setting and music are all wonderful. Best boss battle theme I've ever heard as well. There's not much else I can say about it really. I wrote a review on it, but I don't think I did the game much justice. Persona 4 is just awesome. Simple as that. And with that, we move to the best game I have ever played.
You've just been punted. Hardcore.
1. FFX PS2
We've made it. My favorite game ever: Final Fantasy X. This is the game that got me hooked on RPGs. It's also the game that got me hooked on games in general. I had always been a casual player of games. You may notice I'm missing a lot of "c.lasscs" (seriously, they are gonna censor c.lassics?) from my list one might associate with favorite games: Metroid, MGS, Zelda, other stuff, etc. While I was a privileged child, I was also not well informed on many of the popular games one might consider c.lassics today. I didn't not get internet access till later in life and I was too young to work and make money to buy games. I only had magazines and occasional trips to the store to get my gaming info from. So I bought a lot of games that looked cool, but were not really that great. I also wasn't a huge gamer. I came home from school, horsed around on Mortal Kombat or Donkey Kong Country and called it a day. I was actually a big sports game fan back then.
Anyway, I finally purchased a PS2 years after its release. I had heard things about FFX, but I didn't really know what an RPG was or what FF was all about. I had played Pokemon sure, but I was too young to realize it was actually an RPG. I basically got it on a whim. What an awesome whim. I instantly fell in love. It was my first console RPG. The graphics were amazing for the time (and are still pretty solid even today), the story was emotional and compelling, I had no problems with the characters at the time (I guess now a couple could be seen as annoying), the battle system was fun, the summonings were sweet, the music lovely. Basically the game won my heart. It remains number 1 on my list because it impacted me so greatly. Without it I probably wouldn't be on this site and I probably would have not played a lot of the games mentioned here. It is both my favorite game ever and my sentimental favorite. Because it's so sentimental to me, I honestly believe it will never be knocked from the number 1 postion. Ever. I've played it numerous times and it still never loses its charm. It filled me with wonderment, much like the other games on this list, but just on a completely bigger scale. I wish I could say more about it, but words escape me. It is an important game to me on so many levels. FFX is the reason I game today.
Sure, Auron is a badass, but where would be without Kimahri? Dude is boss.
Well, I hope you enjoyed my list. These games are all special to me, and I'd love to hear what you all think about them. Toodles~
I also have no idea why some of the font is messed. Gamespot rules!