I'm guessing everyone here has a few games that occupy that special place in your gaming heart where every time you think of them, you're transported back in time to that experience. What are those games and what was it about them that was so fantastic?
It was 2player split screen... and we would always hold an uneasy truce along our border while beating up on the computer players. And then, after many many hours of planning and preparing, we would cry havok and let loose the dogs of war (or rather, wait till my brother had run off to the dunny and then attacked with everything I had).
I also really dig Fallout 1 and 2. I loved the universe, the atmosphere, the tone, but I was drawn in mostly by the dark humor. Love a good smirk, me.
RPG / Strategy: Diablo2, Diablo3, The Sims, Battle for Wesnoth, Civilization series/Alpha Centauri, Battle for Orion II, SimCity2000 - Deep strategy, randomized event & item generation, involve exploration, character development and/or research, competitive multiplayer
MP Action: Super Smash Bros 64, MarioKart64, Worms, Halo - BRING THE SMACKTALK!
...i totally forgot to actually say games, did I not?
Exalted holds a fond place in my heart due to the epic scale and the.... the encouragement of arrogance and overconfidence? You are not expected to do little things and that makes for a great story.
Shadowrun will always be important to me with the loosely toed in link to a cycle of history, the mix of magic and technology, the gritty overwhelmed feel of fighting against something to big to really win.
Weapons of the Gods had one of the most amazing concepts in a game, the notion of buying an aspect of the setting into the story outright as part of your character creation. The sense of destiny imparted had a really nice feel.
Other then that game, a lot of Table top games, and finally the Civilization games.
TC the game was alright too, I guess (I see wizzie raising an eyebrow, so I explain right here, after this sentence, JUST LET ME FINISH WIZZLE-DIZZLE *shakes fists*).
I liked it a lot *before* all the crazy equipment was put in. Then, it was about how you built your little dudes, how you upgraded them. You were scared of specific characters. That was cool.
Once all the rad and bad spikey things got put in, it became about collecting those and it didn't really matter who carried them, making it much less about growing characters. That made me sad.
That's totally fine, Finji. No worries.
I learned a good bit from that and it will definitely be a point of dialogue as we develop and reveal this game. Loot will absolutely be a big part of what you collect here in Paragons, but the idea is that you'll develop your character (his/her stats, abilities, even Traits), your camp (which will have minions to do your bidding on missions and upgradeable support systems) and your loot stash and loadouts.
I'll SMITE you
If I were to go out and buy all the best sporting equipment, I would still suck and fail hilariously. But if a pro was to pick up the same equipment, they could perform magic with it -- because they've already developed the skillz to use it yes? It's about the player and their ability, equipment should augment that but not *be* that. It shouldn't be more powerful than I am.
Also, I do very much like the sound of minions...
Super Mario World (yes, World, I'm a little too young to truly appreciate SMB3): It was long. It had secrets. It had unified themes in its worlds, but was still somewhat predictable. You were rewarded for remembering patterns while also being rewarded for exploration (Cutting out the middle of the freaking game with the right shortcuts, also, colored yoshis!).
MegaMan X: Combined a lot of the classic MM difficulty with the improved control scheme and abilities offered by the SNES (Dashing, new weapons, interactive environments). You started out pretty awesome, and got more awesome as the game went on. You could build X up into the ultimate bot Dr. Light feared he would be forced to become, or you could rely on nothing but determination and skill. Again, exploration, patterns, and no little amount of skill and perseverance.
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the 7 stars (and the first two Paper Mario games): My first genuine beginning to end JRPG experience. Forced me to make decisions about my party (Damage, tank, healer. I like how this guy plays, but my skills don't mesh with his active skillset). It also introduced me to Active skills in JRPG combat (Press the button at the right time, deal bonus damage!).
Age of Empires (1 and 2): the RTS where CYA was a way of life. Prep work was worth a lot in these games, it wasn't all about speed and micro like SC and C&C, walls meant something, and a properly fortified fortress was actually a fortress that required planning and skill to take on. Also because it was simple, the unit superiority was fun and easy to use to your advantage. I'll never forget the time I had an ally online betray me after wiping out our mutual enemy. He walked into my town and started destroying everything, but only my infantry, he missed me ranged production facilities. A fatal mistake that let me win the match.
Mark of the Ninja: Bar none my favorite stealth game. It gave immediate feedback as to how well you were doing with your stealth in an organic way. The abilities in the game could be used in interesting ways, and the controls were tight. Great stealth/platformer with a pretty good story.
Kingdom Hearts (1 and 2): This came down to two things for me (Besides the fun mechanics and gameplay): First the music. The music and the ambience of the game just made you feel like you were in the Disney world you were currently playing in (This was no doubt helped by the fact that I was familiar with those disney movies, but you take shortcuts where you can get them). The second thing was though you played a stranger to the disney worlds, you always had someone from the world you were in to help you, to make you feel a part of the world (your characters costume even changed between worlds).
Bastion: The soundtrack and Narrator. I'm still somewhat convinced the soundtrack for this game was written first, and the game was made around it.
Mass Effect: The sheer size and background details of Mass Effect 1. Wandering the Citadel. Yeah, I need to play that again.
I will wax eloquent about the single player experiences I've listed above, and I enjoy them. I enjoy learning about a world and beating it's challenges. But my fondest memories are when I got to play with other people in a cooperative manner regularly. A regular group can make all the difference for me. I remember those moments of individual triumph, how I felt beating a particularly tough challenge, but the experiences I crave are the ones where I can look at my friends and high five them because we just rocked it.
Diablo 3 couch coop on PS3: Holy crap, so much fun. Lasers and leaping barbarians and undead kings galore. Couch coop. With friends and all the fun.
Spades: Yes, the card game. Easy to learn, fun to master. A blast to play with a regular group of people. Having a regular group of people to play any game with. Just so much fun.
Raiding in WoW: Having a guild and raiding Ice Crown Citadel was awesome. Jumping on Vent and giving crap to my fellow DPSers while getting it in return. Its all about the people with this one.
I'm gonna stop now before this gets too long (Too late! I know).
Taking it a bit further, I'm into games where I can find unique strategies and character builds that perhaps other people haven't thought of. If the mechanics are deep enough and the amount of content vast enough, there may feasibly always be an opportunity to do so.
Games that don't have these qualities aren't necessarily bad for me, but I tend to stick to the ones that do and invest a lot of time in them. That is, until I inevitably feel I've achieved "mastery" and move on to some other game that has more to discover.
My all time favorite games are the likes of Dwarf Fortress, Dominions 4, Tactics Ogre, Civilization, Shining Force and The Continuum.
You're definitely not alone there. FFT and Tactics Ogre are both awesome, though I never beat TO, I was only able to borrow it for a time and it wasn't enough. I should track it down and try again, though honestly I preferred the Ogre Battle series.
I'll SMITE you
I currently am running a Star Wars RPG campaign in the new fantasy flight rules. It is really fun.
Console games nothing beats the old Kights of the old republic 1 and 2. I also occasional play the MMO.
My true passion is board games. I have over 200.
Love a bit of nation building, me.
Also up there is the Football Manager series, which is really about team building and club management for me... jostling for space alongside single player RPGs like Skyrim, Dragon Age, and Mass Effect.
And rounding out my biggest time investments are turn-based strategy games like Xcom and Banner Saga.
The only multiplayer game I really have in the mix at all is Blood Bowl, and even that is turn-based (because I love to sit with a cup of tea and mull over a decision before I commit).
TC from 7L
Dungeon & Dragons - table top style
The list goes on
others include but are not limited to:
command and conquer (strategy and chaos)
age of empires (building)
Minecraft (building but more importantly, exploration)
Demon/Dark souls and Blood Borne
(Character development and story)
Planetside2 (Character customization and large
Destiny (Playing with friends)
The thing that makes or breaks a game for me is the multiplayer. I wasn't a fan of the dark souls series' take on it. But Planetside2 and Destiny nailed it.
Minecraft produced the most memories of all the games on this list.
RuneScape - I have a long standing love/hate relationship with it.. It is just one of those game sI love to be the nice helpful high level guy running around making other gamers days in XD
WoW - I love the comradeship you get in guilds in WoW it is just so fantastic on many levels and always makes me think of the raiding.
Total War Series as a whole - I can't even tell you how much these games make me love them... the history is fantastic, the battles are almost always memorable at least for me.. not to mention the multiplayer ones oh man... XD
The Continuum - It has a special place because of the community that surrounded it as well as it being a very well done game for its genre which imho was a bit before its time.
The Continuum Veteran
TC - like most people here, I loved TC. The community was very tight knit and friendly. The game itself had a good bit of depth, though I agree that it was before its time. Dev communication was the best I've ever seen.
Lord of the Rings Online - my first MMO and still my MMO of choice. Even though I play WoW now with my my wife, I still go back every few months.
Command and Conquer - Mostly because of Kane. In Tiberium Sun that "I LIVE" moment was the best.
GBA - Lord of the Rings Two Towers and Return of the King games - so many hours playing through. This was a great RPG.
Monkey Island (full series) - The humor and art style are fantastic. Always left me wanting more.
Claw (by Monolith) - Pirate Cat... I mean really? Pirate Cat! I loved this gave throughout my childhood and even now I get it working and play again from time to time.
Borderlands 2 (particularly Tiny Tina's Keep DLC) - Some of the best story in that style of game.
For silly puzzle games, they have no right to leave me in tears for 15 solid minutes.
i like me a good strategy game.
@xeru, Fire Emblem another classic...
I'll SMITE you
Adventure was mainly on N64 and it made me fall in love with Mario 64 and Banjo Kazooie; the graphics and emerging environments made me just hooked until I finished.
Speaking of N64 and leaving Zelda: Ocarina of Time unmencioned is just a sin. One of the best games I have ever played, with strong and envolving character personalities together with an immense world full of magic.
Diablo 2 and World of Warcraft were so addicting with the item customization and huge amounts of stuff to explore and collect that showed me I could stay weekends without sleeping.
Warhammer Online, Age of Wreckoning gave me the unforgettable multiplayer PvP experience I never managed to have again so far.