A couple weeks ago, while driving back from lunch, I was scolded by a coworker for having never played The Secret of Monkey Island, or any of the SCUMM games beyong Maniac Mansion and DotT. That weekend I threw a copy of ScummVM on the DS and started to play catchup. And it got me thinking.
We all have gaps in our history. Home computers we didn’t grow up with, consoles we didn’t have. Those two years of prime gaming missed while working the boats off the coast of Alaska. Whatever. We all have gaps in our history.
But what if there was a list to help you fill in those gaps, a sort of AFI top 100 for video games? To make it easy, what if we broke that list down by platform (and possibly time period, for the PC), so that when, for example, you completely missed out on the original Playstation, you could pull up the PS1 list and get cracking?
And hell, lists are fun.
Okay, so the rules. To keep the whole thing from becoming too unwieldy, let’s limit each list to 10 items.
The games on the list should be either genre creators, blockbusters, revolutionary, just massively fun, or otherwise historically significant in some way. Additionally, the games need to stand the test of time; we want these lists to be enjoyable to play through, not a chore. A recent playthrough of an old favorite would probably be a good idea to make sure nostalgia is clouding your judgement. Having a personal and huge nostalgic attachment to Pooyan because your grandma bought it for you that snowy day when you were home sick from school is wonderful, but don’t mistake that for true historical value as far as the list is concerned.
My eventual goal is to end up with a list of lists, something for every platform out there. My personal goal is to play as many of the games on those lists as possible.
So, the first list. I’m starting with a classic, the Atari 2600. Really easy to come by, and most cartridges are dirt cheap. I’ve posted this in a few different places, and will be assembling the list based on the discussions that follow.