Old games are to gamers what wedding tapes are to married couples: a way to relive the happier, less problematic times in your life! (Hey, I didn't say that they were happily married...) A chance to reminisce and to look back on those far more simplistic days, the days of your youth.
The days where - when you were out playing with your friends - you knew it was time to go home when the streetlights came on and once you got home, you would more often than not spend your final few hours of the day playing on whichever console you had as a kid (its age specific of course).For example, my first console was a Playstation 1 - which I'm delighted to say makes me rather young! And I think in terms of which games bring us the most nostalgia, it is very much dependent on your age.
Some older folk may not agree with my list simply because of the fact that the games on it were released when they were a little older than I was at that time. And that's okay, it will vary from person to person. All I know is: if you are of a similar age to me and have gamed since you were young, I have no doubt that you will agree with the majority of my list. Are you ready to find out? Okay, let us begin.
Come with me as we take that nostalgia-evoking trip, down memory lane!
10: Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex
Who else used to love this little orange bundle of fun? I used to love this game, in fact I can almost guarantee, that if given the chance to play this game again, I would still love this game!
Progressing towards taking down your arch nemesis - who also doubles as your creator - Doctor Neo Cortex as he used the Elementals to act as a power source for Crunch Bandicoot - another genetically altered bandicoot who was created by Cortex, for the sole purpose of eliminating Crash. I can still remember having to collect the crystals in the game which were the ways in which you defeated Crunch as collecting all of them returned the Elementals to their hibernated state, thus meaning that Crunch lost his power. And the room of portals which lead to different levels! And the loading screen in which Crash was just eternally falling through a purple and red blotchy background! Ah the memories...
And let's not forget the boss fights against Crunch. That will be forever etched into my memory as one of the greatest moments in my gaming experience!
9: Call of Duty 2: Big Red One
This game was my first experience with the Call of Duty franchise and what an experience it was! I received the game as a gift for an injury which I received when I was about 11 or 12 and ended up in hospital. Looking back now, it's actually rather strange that you used to get gifts for being injured as a kid, or was that just me and my families weird values? Anyway, back to Big Red One!I found the campaign exceptional and it still contains some of my absolute favourite missions across the entire series - come to think of it, I should have included a few in my top 10 Call of Duty campaign missions article.
My favourite from this game in particular being Liberators - a mission in which the player adopts the role of a bombardier nicknamed 'Stretch' and is ordered to take out enemies using various different weapons aboard the B-24 Liberator. What a mission, what a game! A definite must and easy-to-choose feature, in my top 10!
8: Tekken 3
If you never got the chance to play this game, then let me tell you something... You missed out, BIG TIME!
This game revolutionised combat games. Everything about it was perfect, especially given its time period. Awesome graphics and fluent movements, close attention to detail in everything from character development (facial construction, outfits and move-sets), to surroundings and even sound effects. The game was golden! But my personal favourite thing about it, the thing which caused this game to become embedded in my gaming memory: was the weird, yet wonderful cut-scenes at the end of each characters playthrough.
They were highly creative and they added that little touch of uniqueness, and it is that very uniqueness which made - and still makes - the Tekken series, a great one.
7: Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, or should I say Assassin's Creed before it was even a thing... If you've ever played both games, you'll know that the resemblance is fairly uncanny, particularly in the climbing/free-running aspects of them. Of course, the graphics and visuals are more crisp in Assassin's Creed and the fighting is considerably better, but that doesn't change the fact that there are still some similarities between the two! I used to play Sands of Time for hours and hours on end and I think that's probably where my current love for the Assasin's Creed series stems from.
This game was brilliant, but boy was it frustrating!!! Especially considering the fact that I was only like 10 when I used to play it... Some of the puzzles got the better of me sometimes and even back then, my gaming related, wrath-like rage was almighty and my PS2 controller usually took - and withstood - the brunt of it. So yeah, I would like to offer my most profuse apologies to my old PS2 controller...
Despite it's sometimes complicated nature, it was still a kick-ass game and I still managed to complete it, despite being only 10... So that could mean one of two things: either I was a 10 year-old genius or the game just wasn't as hard as it seemed back then. Personally, I'm thinking the latter...
6: Smackdown vs. Raw 2007
Was it just me who used to fancy Trish Stratus in this game? Come to think of it, seeing as this game was released in the November of 2006, that made me 9 or 10 years old when I first played it... Fair to say I showed an early - and somewhat strange - interest in women.
For me this game brought two unbelievably good games modes: season mode - a mode in which you pick a character and play through a set storyline (which does vary slightly depending on who you're playing as and the results which you achieve) and my personal favourite: general manager mode.
Although it was first introduced to the series during the release of its predecessor Smackdown vs Raw 2006, I first encountered GM mode when playing 2007 - I'm not even sure if I ever played 2006 - and what a beautiful encounter it was. We hit it off instantly, we got to know each other through hours and hours of extensive periods in one another's company, during which our romance blossomed into a thing of true beauty. We were deeply and madly in intangible, yet unchangeable, love. In all seriousness though, I did really love that game!
5: Fifa 2002
Yes I know... Not another sports related game! *massive unenthusiastic sigh* Well, go ahead, sue me... In fact, go further than that! See that big red cross in the top-right corner of your screen? Click it, leave! see if I care... But just know, you'll be missing out on seeing what my number 1 is and you and I both know, that the anticipation is far too great at this stage to leave and never EVER find out...
So yeah, you had better stick around tough guy! Oh, wait... No. Stop. Where are you going with that mouse?! No, don't go any closer to that red cross up there! Please, it was just a joke. And besides, this is the last sport-related game on the list, I promise. Please don't leave me here, alone... *eyes fill up with tears*
Anyway... Where was I? Oh yeah, Fifa 2002!
I'm almost certain that you could set the match-length on this game to a full, real-life 90 minutes. It may have been this Fifa, or maybe a different one, or maybe I'm making it up... but somewhere in my memory exists a place where 90 minute matches were a real - yet tediously boring - thing. I mean what could be more fun that being 130 nil up at half-time?!
This was the game that single-handedly managed to get my dad to partake in a nice lengthily gaming session. He was a massive football fan and a decent player too! In fact, a team photograph in which he featured was used in one of the Fifa's (it may have been 2007, I can't remember exactly) and we spotted it when playing the game together - which I'm sure you can imagine was actually rather exciting! But there you have it: my claim to fame is that my dad is on a photo on a Fifa loading screen, go ahead, out-fame me!
4: Colosseum: Road to Freedom
There's no two ways around it, you want an epic gladiator-based, RPG-like fighting game that is playable on console? Look no further!
Colosseum: Road to Freedom brought with it all of those greatly loved features, like: character customisation, character upgrades and fairly open-ended, non-bullshit gameplay. Not to mention the graphics. I mean look at the above image! This game was released in 2005 and based on that fact, the graphics were out of this world! Of course the in-game graphics are a little different to those seen in this image, but nonetheless, they're still awesome.
This entire well-produced bundle was neatly topped off with a nicely polished cherry in the form of a wide variety of weapons to choose from, you can get all sorts of things from spears, battleaxes and maces to shields and entire suits of armor. In terms of overall weaponry, this game was epic.Just a brief insight to some of the games weapons.
Given all of these other aspects, a simple little background story is all that was needed to give the game some meaning and purpose, but at the same time it does not take the front seat as some stories do. In this sense, the games name is extremely accurate: your road to freedom is in fact quite free, because how you get there is based on how well you can make your character become and how well you fight in the arena. Go forth and conquer, young gladiator!
3: Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy
We're down to the final 3... It's getting tense, isn't it? Can you feel it getting tense? I can.
This game was one of the first games I ever played on the PS2. I got it for the same birthday that I actually got my PS2 if I remember correctly. What I can remember correctly however, is just how brilliant this game was.
It combined action, adventure, laughter and fun into one glorious bundle. What could possibly be better? I can remember having to collect the little bronze egg things and the blue eco stuff that used to pretty much give you super powers! It was just such a feel-good game. And you got such a sense of accomplishment when you got past a certain level or through a certain quest. And the cut-scenes were always humorously wonderful.
And between you and me, I actually prefer Daxter after he falls into the dark pool and is transformed into an ottsel (a fictional hybrid between an otter and a weasel) but shhh, don't tell him I said that!
2: Metal Slug 3
I kid you not, I wasted, no in fact, gloriously spent (wasted is a bad word choice) my 2 week holiday in Cyprus one year when I was younger, playing this game on an arcade machine at our hotel. I think that was what made me want to get a PS2 in the first place. When I got home I had withdrawals from this game, I shit you not! So my dad had a look online and discovered that it was available on PS2 format - the rest was history.
This game was just great. It is stupidly simple and easy to play but it is just so addictive.
Since starting this article, I ordered (and received) a PS2 from amazon - along with a whole array of games, most of which I've written about in this piece. And this game happens to be one of them and I can't wait to play it again!
But first, I have more work to do *SIGH*.
1: Mark Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure
Now remember, this list is totally subjective. But let me also tell you: if you never played this game, then you missed out, you really missed out!
All I can say about it is that it is fucking amazing. There's no better word choices to describe it. Everything about it from the storyline to the fighting, to the graffiti styles and the parkour aspect, everything fits and flows so well.
This happens to be another one of the games that I got with my PS2 and in the space of a week - with very limited gaming time - I've already almost completed it. It might not be everyone's cup of tea, but it's certainly my cup of coffee (I don't really like tea) and that is why it took the number one spot on my somewhat hard to devise list!
So, there you have it, 10 games from my childhood that I still love to this day. And how do I know that I still love them? Because since writing about them, I've not only manged to buy a PS2 along with most of the games, but I've also managed to play most of them again... And let me tell you, they taste just as sweet the second time around!