As a gamer, you will always have games that you look back on with childhood joy, enthusiasm and immense nostalgia. It’s like looking into a portal and seeing the happier, carefree times of your younger self.
Every person is different, but in my mind, there are five games that most, if not all gamers played at some point during their youth (whether they owned them or their family/friends did); games that will stick with many of us forever.
These blockbusters include (in no particular order): Halo, GTA, Super Smash Bros., Mario Kart, and RuneScape. There are definitely games, for some, that I have left off this list, but in my younger life, these were the games that I, and most kids I knew played, and were around the most.
Halo: Combat Evolved was the sole reason I asked for an original Xbox during the holidays, after I had spent months binge playing it at my buddy’s house. I lied a little when I said that my list was in no particular order, there’s a reason I’m starting with Halo; the first trilogy will forever be my number one overall pick, my nostalgic pot of gold.
GTA is the opposite in a way. My parents didn’t let me play them when I was younger for obvious reasons, but there wasn’t a game I wanted more when I was a kid. I still managed to play San Andreas and Vice City when I was fortunate enough to be at the right kid’s house, getting my short opportunities to revel in the glory of crime.
During family gatherings at my cousins’ house, we would play Super Smash Brothers on their Nintendo-whichever-one-it-was, and then on their Gamecube. Hours were spent sitting on the floor in front of their television, as we fought to be the last team standing; it was the original Battle Royale.
We also played Mario Kart sometimes because they had that too, but for the most part, I played it with people at my own house when I had gotten a little older, and my parents had grabbed a WII. I don’t think there’s a racing game that is more iconic or has been played by more people than Mario Kart. It’s easier than most racing games, but still amusing and full of excitement; especially with the abilities you attain mid-race, the diverse set of interesting characters, and the wacky, vibrant maps.
It’s like looking into a portal and seeing the happier, carefree times of your younger self.
RuneScape, though slightly different from the other games on my list, only trails Halo regarding the feelings it induces for me. I remember when I first started playing this game, everyone I knew was as well. A few were playing World of Warcraft, but for most of us, the membership for RuneScape was cheaper than WoW and easier to grasp as a game.
I used to wake up as early as I could on the weekends, in hopes of beating my sister to the only computer in our house so that I could play it; she was trying to get on Webkinz and I couldn’t let our computer be subjected to a torture of that magnitude. It was the first game to immerse me in the MMORPG experience, and I’m eternally grateful.
In this day and age, infatuating video games will come and go quickly, just like albums from great musicians or novels from incredible writers. Some of these franchises are still in the hunt today, as developers continue to make better and better additions every few years. But the joyful memories that come from the classics can stick with you for a lifetime, and you can always go back and play them again and again. Even if you only do it once a year for an hour, it’ll still be worth it, I promise.
Nick is a second-year Professional Writing student at Algonquin College. He’s originally from Kingston and doesn’t know what he wants to do with his life yet.