So the staff here have all been going through their top 10 games and whining constantly about it as it’s impossible to narrow down a person’s top 10 games. Hogwash, this is easy and if you disagree with my list then you are obviously wrong. Simple.
To narrow down my list I’ve simply gone with the games that defined me as a gamer. The ones that left an indelible mark on my gaming psyche.
10. Gals Panic
Gals Panic is an arcade game where you need to capture land and avoid the enemies in a certain amount of time. All land that is captured slowly shows you the background image which is pretty much always a semi naked, or even naked, lady. My wife, before she was my wife, and I played this at Northgate for hours on end and if that isn’t a reason to marry someone I don’t know what is.
It horrifies me that this game doesn’t properly exist today but there is a pretty decent iOS version that you can find here.
9. California Games
Remember back in the days when one game could literally keep you entertained for months? Well California Games was definitely my first gaming addiction.
From BMX to footbag to the incredibly hard-to-master surfing I just couldn’t get enough of this game.
Oh and who made it to to the earthquake on the skateboarding stage? I remember back when I didn’t have a PC I literally broke into my friends house while they were on holiday to play California Games on his computer.
California Games was followed up by a sequel but that just didn’t have the magic that we enjoyed with the first one.
8. Leisure Suit Larry
My first computer was an XT that my parents got me for Christmas and this was one of the launch titles that came with it. Obviously my parents weren’t so good at reading the boxes as they were quite surprised when I started getting into this game.
But it was the first real adventure game I played and is still to this day the best adult game on any platform and if that doesn’t make you weep for society then I don’t know what will.
7. FIFA Series
Being a lifelong football fan, You Never Walk Alone, it is quite obvious that I was drawn to a game where I could emulate my heroes.
Out of all the football games that have come and gone I don’t feel anything has ever come close to the quality of the FIFA series. There is no singular best one for me here simply because it’s an annualised title with each iteration being better than the last.
So right now FIFA 14 is the best but each version brought something new to the table.
6. Borderlands 2
I’ve never been much of an RPG fan and that’s why you won’t be seeing Skyrim, Fable or Zelda in the list but the game that is closest to an RPG that I absolutely fell in love with was last years Borderlands 2 by Gearbox.
I’m not quite as addicted to it as some but I completely obliterated its single player campaign and then surprisingly just carried on playing and playing. The online co-op is an incredible amount of fun and retrying the campaign in Vault Hunter mode ratchets up the difficulty to insane new levels.
And then you have the boss battles! Darryn has even beaten Terramorphous all by himself.. with video proof.
5. Police Quest
During the late 80’s and most of the way through the nineties the quest games were god, it didn’t matter who you were you were playing one of them. From Police Quest to Kings Quest to Space Quest; each one had their own mini fan-club with most gamers trying their hand at all three. Police Quest stands out the most for me thanks to that idiot in the park who kept shooting me for days on end before I figured it out.
Games were harder back before the Internet appeared.
4. Unreal Tournament
The game that made killing people fun and entertaining comes into the chart at number 4 for now. It wasn’t the first shooter and it definitely wasn’t the best but there was no other game around that so blatantly rewarded you for killing. With each kill streak being rewarded with that epic sound
3. Super Mario Galaxy
Picking a single Mario game is absolutely impossible, truth be told I’ve never played a bad Mario game but Super Mario Galaxy brought something entirely unique to the series and while it maybe isn’t the best Mario game it does beat any other platformer on the planet that isn’t a Mario title.
And Nintendo gets bonus points for putting U R Gay on their title and then claiming it’s just a coincidence. Nintendo is extremely picky about it’s atheistic and I don’t believe for a minute those stars are just accidently placed there.
MDK is a bit of an oddity in this list because I didn’t really enjoy it that much but for me it was a defining moment in video game entertainment history. It was the first time my game had expanded to such a large stage and it brought so many weird and wonderful ideas to the table. Murder, Death, Kill or Mission, Destroy Kindness?
And we are here, the very best video game ever made and still to this day the true FPS shooter
1. Quake 1
Quake’s single player campaign was definitely forgetful but id Software defined an entire genre that is still the most popular one today. That’s online FPS multiplayer.
Yes Doom had done something similar before but it didn’t have the depth of gameplay and the intricacies Quake brought to the table.
From verticality to rocket jumps to unique sounds for each part of the map. At one stage in my glorious Quake career I could traverse the entire DM4 stage blindfolded and still beat the noobs who wandered into the Internet Cafe at Randburg Waterfront. This is the game that brought us our very first gaming superstars, like Dennis Fong – aka Thresh. During his professional career Thresh earned on average $100 000 a year and this was back in the nineties. He gave us all the dream that we could play games for a living.
If you like Battlefield or Call of Duty then you have Quake to thank for their existence. It is also why I’m so excited about Titan Fall next year, it’s the first game I’ve experienced since Quake that made gaming feel great again.
Last Updated: November 25, 2013