Welcome back to GameSpot Q&A, a section where we ask our staff and readers an interesting discussion question about video games. Look at this as a forum where you and others can discuss and compare your opinions of this beloved hobby of ours. Let us know what your answer is to this week's question in the comments below!
This week's question is:
What was the best gaming gift you ever received for Christmas?
The holidays always hold fond gaming memories for us. After all, it's a time where our loved ones and family members gave us some of the most thoughtful gaming gifts ever. But it had us wondering, what was the best gaming gift you ever received during Christmas? Below are some of our most cherished memories.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time | Rob Crossley, Editor
I still remember Christmas Eve of 1998 (that's a year in the previous century, kids) when I was wandering through HMV (a shop) looking for a copy of Ocarina of Time, which more than anything I feared had sold out in the holiday madness. I still remember the specific wave of relief and excitement as my dad handed me this beautiful black and gold box, resplendent with an N64 logo and a Hyule emblem. He asked me to queue for it. I can't recall ever being that excited about a video game as I was at that moment. (As you probably know already, the game is outstanding).
Sega Genesis | Chris Watters, Host/Producer
After years of unsuccessful lobbying for an NES, the Christmas morning that I unwrapped a Sega Genesis was like a dream. I had been playing computer games in my home for some time, but the arrival of a dedicated gaming console really solidified the presence of gaming in my life. After a scary moment figuring out how to hook up an RF Adapter, I was cruising the Green Hill Zone with a smile on my face and joy in my heart.
Xbox 360 | Aaron Sampson, Senior Producer
My wife got me an Xbox 360. I've never had a platform deliver such solid content for such a long period of time. My family still watches movies and works out with Kinect even though gaming in now done primary on a PC and PS4. I do miss my avatar. Speaking of, I need to get him some warm cloths for winter. For the record Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts red ringed my X360 a few days before the warranty ran out. Got lucky.
Nintendo 64 | Mike Mahardy, Editor
My family's Nintendo 64. By far. We had Wave Race, GoldenEye 007, and of course, we had The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. My brothers and I played through it together on Christmas weekend, taking turns solving puzzles, find secrets, and exploring Hyrule, just as content to watch as we were to play. The N64 remains my favorite console, both for its library, and the memories I have of it.
Fireball Island | Justin Haywald, Senior Editor
Board games have been making a big comeback in recent years, and there are so many wonderfully crated adventures out there that you can only play on a physical board. But I don't think any will be able to compare to my memory of Fireball Island.
A frightening Tiki head sits perched in the center of a monstrous island, ready to rain down fireballs on any unsuspecting trespassers. As you climb the paths to the island's summit to claim the ancient treasure, do you take the quick shortcuts across unstable bridges, or the longer, winding roads that might put you behind your opponents?
As a Christmas present, Fireball Island was seared into my childhood memory as a massive area to explore--something that rivaled the scope of a world like Fallout or the adventure and excitement of Tomb Raider. It was a board that was so full of possibilities, I would host expeditions on my own with toys to explore the island's nook and crannies while avoiding the game's famous fireballs.
I don't know if I could ever go back to Fireball Island, and I haven't tried playing it for a long, long time. But that first Christmas exploring the game's impossibly dangerous environments is a feeling that few movies, books, or games have ever been able to replicate.
Razer Blackwidow Keyboard | Zorine Te, Editor
It was the year of 2013, the year I remember as the peak of my LAN tournament attendance. The final year my infamous keyboard would make an appearance at any sort of competition. It was old, even by normal standards, let alone gaming standards, but what made it stand out the most was what it housed. That keyboard was home to grime, food from a decade ago, and much more--so much so that it had all accumulated to an inch-deep mess of grossness underneath the keys. My team would recoil in horror every time I unpacked it at our LAN parties. The running joke was that it housed a colony of new bacteria that would threaten the survival of the human species. The space bar would sometimes get stuck. F9 and F12 were long gone. Left shift was non-existent. Then my best friend came to the rescue, gifting me with a Razer Blackwidow. It was beautiful, and it changed everything.
Spyro the Dragon | Mary Kish, Senior Producer
We didn't have a lot of money growing up, so I was used to getting bargain bin games for Christmas. Sometimes I would ask my parents for a specific game, but they'd only get me whatever was on sale. Imagine my surprise when I got Spyro the Dragon in 1998. I played that game so much that Christmas, collecting treasure, and hanging with Sparx. Money does NOT buy happiness, but that Christmas, it got close.
Nintendo 64 | Scott Butterworth, Editor
Basically every kid that grows up playing games has this moment at some point: The morning of a major birthday or holiday arrives, and you find that one particular package that’s just the right size and just the right weight and OH MY GOD IT’S A NEW CONSOLE. I had that moment with the Nintendo 64, and while I totally lost my mind for all the obvious reasons, my joy was particularly pronounced because I genuinely didn’t think it was going to happen. Remember, the ‘90s wrought unprecedented holiday mayhem thanks to the consistent, inexplicable scarcity of each season’s must-have toy, from Beanie Babies to Tickle-Me-Elmo. The N64 was nearly devoured by this gluttonous consumerism--by which I mean, the damn things were really hard to find. Lucky for 10-year-old me, my parents managed fight off hordes of other rabid parents to deliver what remains the best Christmas ever. Thanks, Mom and Dad!
GameBoy Color | Eddie Makuch, News Editor
A brand new GameBoy Color (with a copy of Pokemon Yellow!) was the best gaming gift I ever received for Christmas. This was years and years and years ago, but I still remember unwrapping it. I remember my total surprise (I was told previously that I could not have one; at least not yet) and elation, knowing that my wishes had come true. Our family traveled a lot growing up, so it was great to have something to do in the car. I ended up playing a lot of Pokemon Yellow, possibly more than any Pokemon game ever.