Flamebait Friday Debate: What was your first game?

2 min read


Yesterday was March 10th, also known as MAR10 day. For many of us from the older generation, Mario was one of the first games we ever played. I remember watching my brother play it was a kid, and the joy I had when I finally had the fine motor skills necessary to play it myself (without just dying in the first minute). But since I had to share it and other games with my brother, I’m not sure it counts as my first game.

Being a younger sister, I almost always had to share gaming experiences with my big brother. Or, more aptly put, he had to share them with me. It was only as he got older and less interested in gaming that I was able to play games to completion on my own.

The first game I ever beat without watching someone else do it first was Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego on PC. It was an MS DOS game and I remember using the almanac to find out what country he had traveled to next – I had to look up foreign currencies and flags. Perhaps that was my first ever use of a cheat.

It’s hard for me to remember which game I played totally on my own to completion. I was thinking it was Final Fantasy II or III, but I believe I had to share the controller still then. Secret of Mana I played as couch co-op, so that doesn’t really count.

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I think my first ever game that was all mine that I played from start to finish was either Secret of Evermore or Chrono Trigger. No wonder I have such fond memories of both, and it makes sense why both games have continued to inform the genres and gameplay elements that I enjoy so much to this day – single-player RPGs for life!

What was your first gaming experience? Did you also have to wait before you could play games on your own? Or did you start by playing with friends and continue that tradition to this day?

Last Updated: March 11, 2016

Zoe Hawkins

Wielding my lasso of truth, I am the combination of nerd passion and grammar nazi. I delve into all things awesome and geek-tastic. I believe people should stop defining themselves and just enjoy playing games, so let’s get on with it!

  • Sim Farm

    Good old Sim Farm~

    • Pariah

      Man, that game… And Windows 3.11. Haha, more afternoons and weekends lost.

      Do you remember Sim Tower?

      • That crazy levels on levels style game

        • Pariah

          Yup. So much fun. There was also Sim Ant and Sim Copter, both of which were terrible. But lols for days.

      • HvR

        Replayed Sim tower 4 or 5 year ago.

        • Vulcha

          There was actually a sequel of sorts. More like version 1.5. Yoot Tower. Made by Yoot Saito, the lead developer of SimTower itself.

  • First game ever from start to finish was probably Contra 2 followed closely by Urban Strike

    • PoisonedBelial

      Have you tried to play Contra 1 recently?

      I have a new appreciation for how hard Nintendo games were.

      • No, I am trying to get my hands on a an original NES. These emulators suck all the fun out of retro games xD

        • PoisonedBelial

          Good luck.

          I resorted to an emulator. 😐

          • Pariah

            That sounds like Darryn’s sex life. I’d also be quite depressed about that.

          • I got myself a Nintendo 64 recently with Mario 64, Donkey Kong 64, Ocarina of time and Star wars Racer. So that will keep me busy until I can track a NES down πŸ˜›

  • For the Emperor!

    If I remember correctly, something like DigDug…

  • Trevor James

    Midtown Madness.

  • Pariah

    Golden Axe and Xenon 2000 – played both on my 386 from floppy disks. 1 for Golden Axe, 2 for Xenon 2000.

    Many afternoons were lost.

    • Guava_Eater

      I could never get past the second stage of Xenon 2000….

      • Pariah

        I can’t remember how far I got to be honest. I preferred Golden Axe, and I finished that often.

  • GBoy

    Pong or Space Invaders or Asteroids on the Atari 2600.

  • PoisonedBelial

    I think it was either Enduro, Pong, or Dig Dug on the Atari or Monty on an old-school DOS PC.

  • Guava_Eater

    I can’t remember the game’s name but it was on a Green Screen and you have to climb a building avoiding hazards thrown out the window… pot plants and stuff.

  • Jan Prins

    Space Invaders. In the Cafe on the corner. I had to stand on my dad’s safety boots to reach, and he did most of the playing. But it was MY hands on the controller and shoot button.
    His big hands merely guided my own tiny digits…

  • AfricanTime

    Ice climber first game i finished on my own

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    One of those hand-held clamshell Donkey Kong games that I got as a hand-me-down from my older siblings. With my 1st PC it was stuff like Battle Chess, Airborne Ranger, California Games – all in a lovely monochrome.

    • Jan Prins

      Street Rod, all in green. Great times…

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        I remember that one. Racing for pink slips, bro! Also Outrun, Death Track. I loved Death Track.

        The very first Sierra Quests too.

        • GooseZA

          Death track!!!

    • GooseZA


  • Francois Knoetze

    Super mario and some tennis game on the famicon. Loved those games

  • Super Mario and tetris

  • konfab
    • I think all of us had the “Jump Start” games at some point πŸ˜›

      • konfab

        Probably, but this was the first game that I actually wanted to finish.

      • Pariah

        I didn’t. O_o

        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          Me neither. Guess some of us didn’t need it. *run fast*

          • Damn, sudden realization that I was an idiot as a kid πŸ™

          • Alien Emperor Trevor


          • Pariah

            I forsee 2 more realisations. First, that you spelled a word there incorrectly. Second, that Trevor is an ass. I mean, joking. Yeah. That.

          • I spells it like i says it

        • My mother bought stacks of these for me xD

      • HairyEwok

        Only jump start i did was blowing into a cartridge :/

      • Guild

        Nope was too old by then so I never saw these

    • Pariah

      I raise you:
      Edit: It’s actually this one:

      • I forgot about that game xD

        • Pariah

          So did I until you posted the racing game screenshots. Also, I got it wrong, I Played an older one than I linked. I edited, so refresh. :/

          • That was Need for Speed 2 in my pics. I remember having to wait 6 months for our first vacation to go and buy this in the big city.

            (I had no internet and cell signal until I was 18 years old, we lived in the middle of nowhere xD)

          • Pariah

            lol I had no internet until I was 18 either. But then I had a job, so nobody could tell me otherwise. Fuck em. MY INTERNET!

          • True, when I was finally unleashed upon the world. I went and found the fastest internet at the time and kept upgrading as speeds increased.

          • Pariah

            Aww look at us. All grown up. πŸ˜›

          • I wouldn’t mind going back to 15 year old me sometimes xD

          • Pariah

            Me neither, but pretty much just for the afternoon naps and no responsibilities. Everything else is better as an adult. Well, sort-of-adult.

  • The Sten

    Completed it approximately 30985768490398475 times…

  • ApolloTubby

    Pong, TV console, in 70’s… before Atari… in black and white… some refer to it as “good old days”.

  • DragonSpirit009

    Alex Kidd… It was a built in game in one of the Sega consoles. Those were some awesome memories!

  • Captain JJ the Isolated

    I have no idea
    But THANK YOU.

    • Pariah

      Because it was shit?

      • GASP! You take that back!

        • Pariah

          It’s my opinion, I never relinquished it to you. So, in fact, I can’t take it back. It never left.

  • eish. Good question. Let’s see now…. Contra. aaah yes. That good old Golde…. Ur I mean Famicon console

    • Pariah

      Let me guess, you played it every day of the week. So, how many days is that?

      • Will I ever outlive the 7’s?

        • Pariah

          We can’t outlive 20+ year old games. So, probably not.

  • Captain JJ the Isolated

    I remember playing that tank game in dos a lot where you had to launch bullets using trajectory and stuff.

    • I remember it but never played it a lot, was pretty boring even by olden time standards πŸ˜›

      • Captain JJ the Isolated

        Haha. Back when you rather went outside because the pc games weren’t exciting enough.
        These days I don’t even know where outside is anymore most of the time.

        • Pariah

          It’s that evil place where creatures lurk in the light.

          • Captain JJ the Isolated

            Sunblock is expensive.

    • Jan Prins

      That reminded me of this Gorilla game we used to play in school. You chug explosive bananas at your mate…

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      Scorched Earth!

      • Captain JJ the Isolated

        That’s the one

  • It wasn’t my first, but who remembers this gem: http://dosomegames.com/Images/Screenshots/DukeIa.png

    • Duke!?! what are you doing?

    • Captain JJ the Isolated

      I was playing this just the other day.
      Bought an entire bundle of these classics (included 42 games) for $5.
      It also had Wacky Wheels, which I quite thoroughly enjoyed playing last Saturday. πŸ˜€

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      πŸ˜€ I have that on my work laptop right now, play it from time to time.

  • Vulcha

    The saddest thing is that I can’t remember exactly what it was. Either it was LHX in MS-DOS, Super Mario Bros on NES, or Pong on an old system stored in the back of some cupboard… I can’t remember which one came first.

  • VampyreSquirrel

    Some bowling game on an ancient console… and then I was blown away by Striker! SO MANY MONOCHROME PIXELS!!

  • GooseZA

    Earliest gaming memory is putting a lot of 20c pieces into Tiger-Heli at the corner cafe when I was about 5 or 6 i think. So… 1986/7? There was a top-down soccer game there as well. Can’t remember the name.

  • Ryanza

    First video game – Leisure Suite Larry Dos black and yellow

    Trying to prove I was 18, a game in it self.
    Trying to play the game = how do you spell that.

    • Ryanza

    • Vulcha

      Ah, yes. Didn’t that game ship with a form of DRM/anti-piracy? Explains a lot.

      • Ryanza

        Proving you were 18 was the DRM lol. But the DRM did get really bad for some games. Not like today. Today DRM is far worse, just easier to use, unless you not on Steam or playing always online DRM.

        • Vulcha

          I might have been thinking of King’s Quest or Monkey Island.

          • Ryanza

            yeah one of those two had the really fucked up DRM.

          • Vulcha

            I think Monkey Island had a compass thing of sorts where you had to line up different symbols that you found on specific pages of the manual.

            Imagine that in today’s industry…

          • miaau

            I enjoyed the crap out of the DRM for Leisrue Suit Larry 3. What a great Quiz game! With so many different questions. I would get in and then quit, to redo the quiz. 13 year old me. yeah. play mostly for Quiz.

          • miaau

            And monkey island had the questions that you needed the manual for, in order to play the game.

  • HvR

    One of those X-in-1 game cartridges with Super Marios Bros, Islander, Circus and Sky Destroyer. Probably Mario because it was first on the list menu.

    But the game that bit me and got me hooked was Dune 2 on a friend’s PC.

  • Jac7

    Wicked Game, Chris Isaak.

  • Guild

    Pong is the first one I remember. Then somewhere after that was Test Drive and California Games.

  • miaau

    Hereos Quest 1, Kings Quest IV, Leisure Suit Larry III

    Other than Hero”s quest, two games caught me with the whole infinite possibilities in gaming thing.

    Master of Orion 1
    Civilization 1 + 2

    There were games before this, Test Drive, DigDug and the like, but these are the games that really got me hooked.

    • Captain JJ the Isolated

      The Dig was also a good one.

  • Morne Nell

    Brick breaker and DigDug.

    But the best was a Golf Game think it was the first links or something, with the first ever voice over the internal speaker.

    Always remember the bad shots.

    “Can’t be to happy about that one”

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      Links Golf?

  • Darren Peach

    Yikes, My first game was………..I have no Idea. It could have been Rogue. It could have been Tetris or Pong. I also remember playing a game called California games.

    • Darren Peach

      PAC MAN comes in there somewhere. Also those type your adventures. A mate of mine had a game called Astro Tit. Space Invaders……

  • Darren Peach


  • I really don’t want to say pong so I am going for Nibbles.

  • OpticFusion

    One of my first games was Alley Cat.

    • VampyreSquirrel

      I loved this game

    • Captain JJ the Isolated

      Alley Cat!!
      Man, that game was awesome

    • Mossel

      Yes!!!!! Omf blast from the past! And then you get into the cheese and climb on the telephone wires!

      • Captain JJ the Isolated
        • Mossel

          Soundcloud is blocked at work, sadly. But Ill listen to it at home!
          EDIT: Oh no, wait, I’m still waiting for Telkom to install my telephone line.

          • Captain JJ the Isolated

            Damn man.
            Soundcloud is one of the few things that aren’t blocked here.

  • Captain JJ the Isolated

    Hugo’s House of Horrors was a good one.

  • ChaosPixy

    Was in Standard 1(Grade 3) playing on my 286 it was either Cadaver, Civilization 1, or KIngs Quest 1. I can’t remember the order but winning a game of Civ on Warlord sent me over the moon!

    • Guava_Eater

      Damn I remember those, wasted many hours!!

      Did you ever play Cadaver: The Pay Off. was the sequel?

  • Mossel

    Ladies and gentleman, I present to you: Dangerous Dave.


    • Captain JJ the Isolated

      You just blew my mind

    • Dresden

      Think Dave 5 was the first game i played on PC with my brother. That game was so damn hard at the time, could never finish it.

  • Mossel
  • Deceased

    Should come as absolutely no surprise to the dwellers on this site:

    Sonic 3 – man I don’t think I’ve reached the hours invested yet, and I’m on almost 4K hours on DotA 2

  • Johann

    First game ever played, that would be Asteroids on the Atari… First ever completed from start to finish? Space Quest 3: The Pirates of Pestulon

  • Ghost In The Rift

    Aside from the old Nintendo stuf like Mario and Bomber Man(Duck Hunt ofc) my first 3D games was with a Playstation 1 i got, games were Toca World Tours, Digimon World 1 and 2, Metal Gear Solid, GTA 2, Dino Crisis and Resident Evil Nemesis, that was when the bug bit me and a a gamer was born.

  • Probably Breakout, Space Invaders and Outlaw on the Atari 2600 that my dad used to rent for us every month or two.

    On my own pc? Hmmmm. Alley Cat, Battle Chess, Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego and Prince of Persia on our first 286 πŸ™‚

  • Matthew Holliday

    played the odd mortal kombat game on my friends sega, but on my first pc, the first game i actually played played, when i finally got a PC i was allowed to use, was Total Annihilation, an old RTS game, it was pretty great and stuff.

    Or Felix the cat on Game Boy

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