A couple of weeks ago, I decided to use the Decade/10 Year Challenge that was running rampant across social sharing platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others (where people shared a picture of themselves from ten years ago compared to a picture of themselves from today… or their most recent) and share what movies I was watching ten, twenty, and thirty years ago. People seemed to really love that particular “challenge” and it seemed like everyone that I know and/or follow was taking part of it and I thought that by changing it to films it would be a fun change to showcase here on my site. And I had so much fun doing that I have decided to now do the same thing with video games. So, if you don’t mind, I want to share with you the five games from 2009, 1999, and 1989 – and it might give you a gleam as to what kind of gamer I am and where I come from, especially when you compare it to the list I did a few days ago sharing which ten old game franchises I would like to see remade or reimagined.
Five Favorite Video Games of 2009
Assassin’s Creed II
Developed by: Ubisoft Montreal
Published by: Ubisoft
Release date: November 17
Why I Liked It: While I enjoyed the first Assassin’s Creed game, it was the story, setting, and characters of Assassin’s Creed II that really sold me on the series. The struggle of Ezio and his quest for revenge and the strengthening of the Assassins against the Knights Templar, especially as it crossed three games total, showed how much potential there was in the series.
Developed by: PlatinumGames
Published by: Sega & Nintendo
Release date: October 29
Why I Liked It: Sex-appeal aside, I am a huge fan of director Hideki Kamiya, whose previous works included Devil May Cry and Viewtiful Joe, and his penchant for beautifully rendered action sequences in gaming. Taking what he did in those previously mentioned games and adding it to the ultra-stylized Bayonetta really made me fall in love with this game as I played it non-stop after I bought it.
Developed by: FromSoftware
Published by: Atlus USA
Release date: October 6
Why I Liked It: As an old school gamer raised on the challenge and difficulty settings of games like Mega Man 2, CastleVania, Gauntlet, and Battle Toads, to see a game like Demon’s Souls released in 2009 was like a breath of fresh air. It had this classic sense of difficulty and a renewed sense of challenge that brought back a lot of what made video gaming fun in the beginning made Demon’s Souls one of the best games that I have ever played.
Halo 3: ODST
Developed by: Bungie
Published by: Microsoft Game Studios
Release date: September 22
Why I Liked It: As a fan of the Halo series, I was surprised that Bungie was able to develop a game within the series that not only didn’t depend on the use of its most popular character, Master Chief, but also told a story as deeply compelling and engaging as the originals – but Halo 3: ODST managed to do just that and actually had me liking the game just slightly more than Halo 3.
Developed by: Sucker Punch Productions
Published by: Sony Computer Entertainment
Release date: May 26
Why I Liked It: This was perhaps one of the first games that I played in which I really enjoyed the “karma” system that many games had utilized and still utilize to this day – a system where the player’s choices in the game greatly affect the outcome of the game. inFamous did it quite well in conjunction with the parkour-inspired gameplay and engaging story.
Five Favorite Video Games of 1999
Developed by: Verant Interactive, 989 Studios, Sony Online Entertainment & Daybreak Game Company
Published by: Sony Online Entertainment
Release date: March 16
Why I Liked It: I don’t know if “like” is the best word used to describe EverQuest, but it was the first game that I became dangerously addicted to. But it was because of how much I liked EverQuest that I became addicted to the game. The feeling of belonging and sharing a quest with friends. I really began to understand how important video games were to me, even if I was gaming since the early 1980s. Now let’s never discuss how many trips I took to “meet friends” because of this game.
Final Fantasy VIII
Developed by: Square
Published by: Square
Release date: September 9
Why I Liked It: The characters, the story, the settings, the splendor… everything about Final Fantasy VIII that it presented to the player is why I still hold true to the fact that it is my all-time favorite entry into the storied franchise of Final Fantasy. Hell, even the in-game mini game of Triple Triad was something that I fully put myself into. I guess that’s why I put in more than 100 hours into playing FFVIII.
Developed by: Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo
Published by: Konami
Release date: January 31
Why I Liked It: I thought that I knew what survival horror games were until I played Silent Hill. There was something so chilling and horrifying about Silent Hill that really shook me to my core wherever I played it. And there was something about the story of Harry Mason and his quest to find his lost daughter Cheryl that really stuck with me. Admittedly, even since then, I have had a soft spot for stories about fathers protecting their children.
Super Smash Bros
Developed by: HAL Laboratory
Published by: Nintendo
Release date: April 26
Why I Liked It: Come on, who didn’t enjoy Super Smash Bros when it was first released on the Nintendo 64 back in 1999? The chance to play as Mario, Link, Kirby, Star Fox and others battle it out in one of the most competitive fighting games of that generation was something that no gamer could really pass up. I remember my friends and I playing frenzied round after round, trying to outplay and outfight each other for gaming supremacy… those were some of the best gaming memories I have ever had.
Developed by: Epic Games & Digital Extremes
Published by: GT Interactive Software
Release date: November 30
Why I Liked It: And yet, despite how competitive Super Smash Bros made me, despite how much I loved playing EverQuest with friends, nothing would match the feelings I got when I started really playing and getting into Unreal Tournament. It’s funny, I never really got into Unreal as a game itself, but when Epic released this expansion for the game and introduced its arena shooter, head-to-head multiplayer component that made the game something that I would continue playing for years. Even to this day, as I enjoy another Epic game, Fortnite, I am still a huge fan, longing for the return of Unreal Tournament.
Five Favorite Video Games of 1989
Developed by: Chunsoft
Published by: Nintendo
Release date: August
Why I Liked It: While I have long said that I have been a fan of the JRPG genre since I started playing Final Fantasy in 1990, the game that first introduced me to the genre was Dragon Warrior – even if it did take me a few years as a young gamer to really appreciate the legacy and developments that it brought to the genre, both in Japan and in North America, and added to the popularity of the genre in both regions.
Developed by: Capcom
Published by: Capcom
Release date: September 14
Why I Liked It: DuckTales was one of those games that had a nice balance between enjoyable gameplay and being just challenging enough that it didn’t upset or dissuade you from continuing to play. I used to have a blast playing through the game, even after beating it, because it was simply a well-designed game based on some of the most popular characters at the time.
Mega Man 2
Developed by: Capcom
Published by: Capcom
Release date: June 11
Why I Liked It: Mega Man 2 is still my favorite game in the Mega Man series because, for as fun as the first game in the series was, Mega Man 2 made some additions that made the game more fun and accessible while still retain the level of difficulty that made the game rewarding. The addition of the all too important Energy Tank, as well as the password system, went on to make Mega Man 2 that much more rewarding than the first game.
Developed by: Maxis
Published by: Maxis
Release date: February
Why I Liked It: SimCity was a game that I really wasn’t very fond of when my dad first got it for me. In fact, it took me several months to get back into the game after I first played it. But when I did go back to it, I fond myself getting into the “quirky” nature of the game and building up my city. Remember, for an eleven-year-old, this wasn’t exactly the kind of game that would hold their attention. But as I continued to develop the city building skills I needed to enjoy the game, it became one of my favorites… even if my friends did clown me for playing it.
Super Mario Land
Developed by: Nintendo R&D1
Published by: Nintendo
Release date: August 1
Why I Liked It: Princess Daisy. I could leave it at that and be happy because this was the game that introduced Princess Daisy to the Mario family. But if you need more info, as Super Mario Land was a launch title for the then recently released Game Boy, it was a game that I used to play a lot thanks to the portability of the Game Boy system. And because Super Mario Land was equally as fun as the previous Super Mario Bros games on the NES, it was no wonder why I and many other gamers at the time fell in love with this game.