I first started playing video games in the early 1980s. My buddies and I would ride our bikes to a corner store by the name of Cecil’s grocery in Bridge City Texas. Cecil had put in a Donkey Kong arcade next to the front door. My buddies and I would buy a coke, then spend what felt like hours pumping quarters into that machine.
Shortly after Cecil put his Donkey Kong arcade in, Howards grocery store in Bridge City put a Space Invaders and I think a missile command arcade game. The bike ride to Howards was long then the ride to Cecils. for some reason, riding the bikes all the way to Howards made the games less enjoyable then going to Cecils.
I guess it was somewhere around 1981 or 1982 mom and dad bought my brother and I an Atari. We must have played Pong and Pac Man for hours on end.
Fast forward 10 years. I got married, had kids and bought a Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES).
Between 1995 – 2000 is when gaming really got interesting. My family and I bought a Packard Bell computer with windows 3.11, 75mhz processor and 8 megs of memory.
The first game I bought for the PC was Command & Conquer. One day my wife came home from walmart, handed me a game she bought me and said something like “this looks like something you will enjoy.” The game was Ultimate Doom. Doom changed everything, and I mean everything.
I joined Steam on November 16, 2004, the day Half-Life 2 was released.
Today (August 18, 2012) I have 88 games in my Steam library.
I would like to discuss some of the revolutionary games that have been released over the past 3 decades.
1980s, was a time of learning for games. Things started off with huge arcade games that cost thousands of dollars. Donkey Kong, Asteroids, Missile Command, Joist, Space Invaders,,, were the games of the day.
1990s, if the 1980s is considered the birth of video game, then the 1990s was a time of growth. Super Nintendo was released in 1991. 20+ years later I still consider Super Mario World one of the greatest games ever made. PC gaming was brought to the forefront with windows 95 and the internet. Games like Doom, Quake, Diablo, Team Fortress, Quake II, Half-Life redefined gaming.
2000s have to be divided into two sections, early 2000s and late 2000s.
Early 200s was a time of development and creation.
Late 2000s was a time of stagnation. Games started being developed for cross platform. Which means games were being developed with outdated console technology. With Windows Vista and Windows 7 came Dx11. Game developers had to take consoles into consideration, so games continued to use Dx9.
There are some good games on the horizon. So we will have to wait and see what happens.
My list of best games ever:
Doom / Ultimate Doom – changed everything. Finally a game with half a story plot; scientist open a portal to hell, which demons start to appear from. The demonic images portrayed in toom changed the face of gaming forever. The one thing Doom lacked was built in TCP/IP support for internet gaming.
Half-Life – probably has the best introduction scene of any game very made, period. Great story line, improved graphics, sounds, map design, no more having to find a series of keys to open doors.
Quake – why is Quake listed so high? Because it kicked off the online gaming revolution. The single player side of quake was “ok” at best. Where Quake really shined at was in multiplayer. What other game has a yearly convention named after it? Which is Quakecon.
One of the big things with Quake is that people were free to make all different kinds of modifications. Capture the flag, team fortress, death-match, painkeep,,, all came from Quake.
Diablo – finally a multiplayer role playing game with built in TCP/IP support. Diablo proved a simple game can be successful.
Fallout – much like Diablo, but based in a post-nuclear war world.
Warcraft / Warcraft II – harvest resources, build units, upgrade, research,,, destroy the enemy.
Daggerfall – created a role playing world the size of England. It was a revolutionary game for the time period.
Command & Conquer – build a base, collect resources, crush the enemy.
Team Fortress – introduced class based gameplay. Quake ushered in multiplayer TCP/IP gaming. But Team Fortress gave us classes.
Counter-Strike – refined the idea of objective based gameplay.
Team Fortress Classic – is a remake of the original Quake team fortress, but with the improved half-Life engine. My kids and I probably played TFC for 6 or 7 years.
Diablo II – not quit as refined as the original Diablo, but still a good game.
Half-Life 2 – ushered in what I call the age of stagnation.
From 2004 until around 2010 there was a decline in the number of epic games being released. As windows vista and windows 7 was released with Dx11, developers clung to the console limitations of Dx9. There were a lot of good games released from 2004 – 2010, but few are what I would consider epic, or brought anything new to the table.
Left 4 dead / Left 4 Dead 2 -between L4D and L4D2 I have put in over 2,000 hours of play time. What did L4D / L4D2 bring to the table? The answer to that is cooperative gameplay. L4D / L4D2 forces players to work together as a team. No more doing your own thing with no regard given to your teammates. L4D / L4D2 also introduced us to a zombie filled world.
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion / The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – I liked Oblivion, but I like the graphics of Skyrim better. Skyrim is epic, and that is all there is to it. Skyrim sports of the best graphics I have ever seen in a video game.
Fallout: New Vegas – as much as I liked Fallout 3, I liked New Vegas more. Open world, lots to explore, crafting,,, what is there not to like?
STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl – what game list would be complete without a game from the STALKER series? What makes STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl So special? It has to be the atmosphere. From the wind, to the sounds, to everything about the game makes for an immersive experience.
Borderlands – my son and I spent an epic weekend playing a Borderlands marathon. Massive world, tons of quest, drivable vehicles,,,. Borderlands single player is good, but multiplayer is where the game really shines.
Borderlands 2 is on the way and should be here next month.
There are so many games that have not been mentioned, such as Team Fortress 2, Serious Sam 3:BFE, Dead Island, Fortress Forever, Metro2033, Portal, Portal 2, Payday:The Heist, Titan Quest, Call of Duty, Torchlight, World of Warcraft,,,,.
It would be impossible to mention “all” of the games that brought something new to the community.
Post your comments below.