Gaming certainly has become a popular hobby for a huge number of Australians, and it’s not just young people, either. According to last year’s report from IGEA, the average age of Aussie gamers is 34 years old.
And even if you don’t play now, I’d wager you played at least one game back in the day, be it on the Nintendo 64, SNES, Sega, PlayStation, or any other console.
But there’s always one game in particular we remember the most. Maybe it’s still your favourite, or maybe it just had the biggest impact on you. Either way, it was something you loved to play.
Feeling a little nostalgic, I asked the PEDESTRIAN.TV office what their favourite games of all time were and ended up with a pretty wide range of answers.
Here’s what we love the most, starting with myself.
Matt – Half-Life
The original Half-Life was released all the way back in 1998, but I ended up getting it as part of my 11th birthday present in 1999. Even though my tiny mind only had Doom II and GoldenEye as references to the first-person shooter genre, I still knew what I was playing was something very special.
I loved it because it put you into the shoes of Gordon Freeman. He never spoke, there were no cutscenes, no levels or missions, just you on one long continuous journey through aliens and marines to get the hell out of the Black Mesa complex.
Given the title will be 20 years old in November, it looks pretty dated these days, but a small team has since remade the game (sans the last part, which is coming soon) in the Half-Life 2 engine. There’s a trailer for that title – Black Mesa – below.
Patch – Crash Bandicoot
Who can beat Crash? The bloke is a legend who rocks high tops with some serious swagger. Riding polar bears, motor bikes, and collecting truck loads of apples.
Forget Marvel and DC Movies, we need a Crash Bandicoot franchise.
Hell yeah. Like Half-Life, the Crash trilogy has copped a remaster as well, and it’s now coming to the Nintendo Switch and Xbox. You bloody beauty.
Myles – The Simpsons: Road Rage
Being able to drive like a maniac around Springfield was literally a fantasy of mine.
Everything form the iconic sound bites to the amount of letterboxes I drove over made this game the one game I wish I still owned!
Mel – The Sims 2
The Sims 2 is absolutely the best of all the Sims versions. Don’t ask me why, I have no idea. I mean, I do know the reason TheSims 3 never grew on me was because I didn’t like the complexity of moving around town so much. But in general, I just LIKE The Sims 2.
I like to think this is because my creative-yet-organised brain loves the challenge of growing and developing a family and building pretty homes, and not because I’m secretly a psychopath and all the murdering and pillaging I committed during my gameplay is just the precursor to IRL serial killer shit. But who knows…
Cam – Red Dead Redemption
“Grand Theft Auto might be the “premiere” title of Rockstar, but Red Dead is its true moment in the sun. Stunning graphics that make sitting still on a horse and overlooking the plains fun as hell, and an immersive storyline that culminates in one of the all-time greatest gut-punches in gaming history.
It’s a masterpiece in every sense of the word.”
Pete – Call of Duty: World at War
I’ve always found WWII & the part the Japanese played in it fascinating, and for a game to be released combining these elements was amazing.
The buzz you got when you’d hit a 7-kill streak and could hear the sound of a pack of vicious attack dogs bearing down on your competition was simply epic!
Alex – The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
I am a gaming basic. I loved The Sims, Pokémon, RollerCoaster Tycoon, and all the other wildly popular games that weren’t a first-person shooter.
But Ocarina of Time was my first experience in being truly, deeply moved by a game. I still feel sad when I think about leaving the Temple of Time for the first time as an adult and finding the marketplace abandoned, I still feel happy about the moment Link and Epona leap over the fence of Lon Lon Ranch to freedom, and the music just makes me FEEL things.
Does this make me a huge bloody nerd? Absolutely. My biggest grievance with the game (apart from the obscene amount of time it took to cross Hyrule Field) was that after you defeated Ganon, you never got to experience the world of Hyrule, saved from evil. It just… ended. And that was deeply unsatisfying.
Ben – The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
It’s janky as hell but the world is so deeply strange and the game absolutely refuses to tell you how you’re supposed to interact with it or where anything is, so there’s a very palpable sense of discovery as you try and figure out what the hell is going on.
It’s one of the only open-world games I’ve played that’s genuinely compelling to just walk around and discover new things.
Steff – Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King
Hella old school with turn-based combat and a hella good plot line, as is most of the adventure fantasy series. The characters are ridiculously fab and have really quirky dialogue. It’s also a Japanese game, so the monsters are adorable in their own strange little ways, especially the slimes.
Boss fights in turn-based combat can be the most frustrating process with the amount of buffs available to the enemy, but every time you win, there’s a ‘hurrah’ tune and it’s the best thing ever.
Also the opening sequence to every game is the most epic/ nostalgic thing for fans.
Alasdair – Persona 3
I’ve poured thousands of hours into RPGs over the years, and my favourite is probably Persona 3 for the good old PlayStation 2. By day, you are a normal student trying to manage high school and social life, but by night, you and your friends hunt shadowy demons in a creepy-ass skyscraper called Tartarus.
The battles are fast-paced and fun and there’s an added time pressure, thanks to the fact that you have to defeat each very difficult boss by the next full moon, or it’s game over. Persona 4 was equally great, and Persona 5, which came out last year for PS4, is totally outstanding, and well worth a play (y’know, if you happen to enjoy long and punishing Japanese role-playing games).
David – Fallout: New Vegas
Want to overthrow a horde of bloodthirsty slavers? Launch a cadre of irradiated ghouls to the Moon? Restore a cybernetic dog for his die-hard Elvis-impersonating owner? Embed yourself in a cannibalistic casino dynasty? Repeatedly shoot Matthew Perry in the balls? Want to say “screw all of that” and claim the New Vegas Strip as your own sovereign kingdom?
Go for it. Or maybe you just want to play cards. Whatever. Jingle jangle.
Josie – The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening
I mainly wanted to play this game because my brother played it first and said ‘You will never finish it’. Okay, so it took me about a year, but I managed to do it. I love all the Zelda games (Ocarina of Time on N64 is up there) but I enjoyed Link’s Awakening the most because the music and story played out so beautifully on GameBoy.
It was 20-odd years ago, so it’s pretty cool that all that adventuring could unfold on a handheld device.
Side note: how good were ads for games in the 90s? You could sell just about anything with hip-hop.
If you’re keen to taking your gaming to the next level and gain some insight into the industry, we’re running a masterclass in Melbourne with world-renowned Aussie game producer and Girl Geek Academy co-founder, Lisy Kane. Suss out more details here and register below.
In the meantime, make sure the gaming stuff you just can’t live without is protected with RACV’s Single Item Insurance. Because we all know how expensive gaming hardware can get.
Cover starts from as little as $2.17 a month and everything is managed online through the Single Item Insurance Portal, where you can instantly file a claim if something goes wrong.
Product Issued by Insurance Australia Limited. Check out the PDS at racv.com.au.Image: Nintendo