(A/N: This was a spur of the moment musing I decided to post in order to give shape to how I was feeling. So, here goes)
I was inspired to write this blog after seeing a list of another community member's favorite games. After seeing how radically different his favorite games were to what I consider treasured games, I decided to write a list of my own, just to see what I came up with. I thought back to all of the games I loved and consider close to my heart, and although it was difficult I came up with what I consider to be twenty of the games that are most special to me.
Megaman Battle Network 3
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3
The World Ends With You
Custom Robo Battle Revolution
Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker
Sonic Adventure 2 Battle
Super Mario Galaxy
Tales of Symphonia
Kingdom Hearts 2
Boktai 2: Solar Boy Django
Golden Sun: The Lost Age
Paper Mario and the Thousand Year Door
Chrono Trigger DS
Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles
As I'm sure you can surmise from this list, I'm not a particularly old gamer. Far from it, I'm a junior in high school and my first actual console was a Gamecube. So I'm sure there are plenty of crotchety old gamers who would shake a fist at my list and tell me how these games are shit compared to the games of the good old days. Which brings me to my point:
Above: As much as I hate to admit it, this game was critically a piece of shit
Most of those games I mentioned were never game of the year material. I mean, except for 2 or 3, they weren't critically bad. They were considered good games, but they weren't in the upper echelon of fantastic games. They wouldn't even be compared to the legendary games of yesteryear. And I know for a fact that I've played more than several GOTY material games over the years. So why don't more of those games, like Assassin's Creed 2 and Mass Effect, appear on the list?
The answer lies in the fact that I have beloved memories with each of those games mentioned above. Castle Crashers is a game I spent nearly six months playing with my best friend who I met in grade 9 of high school. I played Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door when I was extremely sick for a weekend and found comfort in the whimsical tale of Mario in a world made of craft supplies. Sonic Adventure 2 Battle was the first game I got for my Gamecube on my birthday. Tales of Symphonia earned a place in my heart when it was introduced to me by my best friend in the summer of grade 7. In fact, I'm sure I can come up with a similar story for most of these games.
These games are not just special because of moving stories, addicting gameplay, or fantastic worlds. These games are special because of they were 48 hour gaming binges with my best friend. These games are special because I found comfort in them, an escape from reality, during the more difficult times of my junior high years. These games are special because they brought my cousins and I together. I buy and rent games that score 9s and high 8s on metacritic, but they just can't capture my love the way these games of yore did. How can these new games compete with games associated with the most memorable moments of my life?
Then you might ask, why keep playing new games that you know won't recapture the special feeling of those treasured memories? I would then reply that I keep playing games, I keep escaping reality, I keep having fun with friends, and keep experiencing the moving stories these games have to offer in order to create new memories. New memories I can look back on with a smile on my face and a warm feeling in my chest.