Video Games I Just Can’t Quit

I don't have Photoshop, so shut-up

Despite the fact that I have a backlog of video games that is, let me check… At least in the double digits (I haven’t updated it in awhile) I find myself returning to the same stable of games again and again.

Am I the only person who does this? I’m guessing not, going by all the videos, forum threads, and websites dedicated to old video games; how to find them, how to play them, how to beat them, how to exploit  them, and on and on. (I even indulge in this myself. Click on that ‘Let’s Play’ tab at the very top of the page to see.)

I like to think that this is more than blind nostalgia operating. That there are very good objective, quantifiable reasons why I play Megaman 2, Castlevania, or King’s Quest IV time after time and year after year. The problem of course is that games, as works of art, are notoriously difficult to objectively quantify or qualify. The hobby does have widely held corpus of “great” games, but the list is highly mutable and it has been argued contain sgames that are present merely for their age. Furthermore, what qualifies a game as “great?” The criteria available to use is nigh endless and contradictory.

I’m no ludologist (and I don’t have the time, energy, or inclination to pretend to be an amateur one ) so I’m not going to attempt creating a list of the various components of games that qualify them as “greats.” I’m sure if I could isolate said components they would not match up with others’ lists anyway.

Sometimes it is merely the presence of the ineffable that defines greatness, I suppose…

Here’s my list of games I just can’t, and wouldn’t want to, quit (in no order):

  • King’s Quest IV
  • Super Metroid
  • Castlevania
  • X-COM: UFO Defense
  • Megaman 2
  • Contra
  • Space Quest III
  • Super Mario Bros. 3
  • Ape Escape
  • Chrono Trigger
  • Tenchu
  • Final Fantasy

Do you find yourself going back to a set of “knowns” time and time again? Regardless of how many new “unknowns” you might have and want to consume? If so, please share them below in the comments and why you think it is you keep going back to them!

Author: Jonathon

Would rather be out swimming, running, or camping. Works in state government. Spent a youth reading genre-fiction; today, he is making up for it by reading large quantities of non-fiction literature. The fact that truth, in every way, is more fascinating than fiction still tickles him.

173 thoughts on “Video Games I Just Can’t Quit”

  1. Mega man 3 – had access to this, but never 2
    Final Fantasy 4/6 on SNES
    KQ V and VI
    Any SQ
    Tie Fighter
    Star Craft
    Homeworld (either)
    Civ II
    Half of this list is primarily nostalgic, but many of these could easily hold my attention any day.

    1. Great list! I can’t stop playing Sega Genesis Columns (I play on Playstation 3 now)- I’ve gone on three hour binges and the music haunts me in my sleep.

    2. I’ve never really been one to play video games, but I’ve always fantasized about doing so. There’s so much out there I wouldn’t even know where to start.

      This post was just what I was looking for. I think I’m going to try some of the above titles out. What consoles are most of these on? I’m sure they wouldn’t be too hard to find online.

      THANK YOU.

  2. Sadly, all my games are really old. I’m determined to keep games off of my new computer and keep them on my old and clunky Mac G3. Heros of Might and Magic 3 and Civilization 3 are the only games allowed. If I could figure a way to get Simm City 2000 on my hardrive, I would. Ah, the old games are always the best!

  3. The only games I was seriously addicted to were minesweeper and tetris. I LOVE abstract spatial games.

    Second place is Riven. Although I never got around to solving the puzzle; I just liked the world. It was pretty and scenic, and I enjoyed walking around poking buttons and looking at things so much that I completely forgot what the hell I was supposed to be doing there.

  4. I approve of those games. I’m addicted to a few of them as well. It’s hard to give them up, especially now that they represent my childhood and whatnot.

  5. I find myself playing X-Com and Wasteland every couple of years. I’d love to play Chrono Trigger again, along with FF III. Oh yeah, and all the Space Quests.

  6. I love playing my old video games. Last month I bought a $2 Dynamite Headdy Sega game from Amazon. I use to play it lots of times on the “Sega Channel” when I was in High School. I’m now trying to find the game Pulseman and some other titles to play on my Turbo Grafix 16.

  7. Sonic
    Super Street Fighter II
    Streets of Rage II
    Super Mario World II
    Secret of Mana
    Castlevania IV
    Eternal Champions

  8. Oh man!!
    1. Zelda (any of the games, really)
    2. Secret of Mana
    3. Super Smash Bros Melee
    4. Kingdom Hearts 1 & 2

    I have “wasted” so much of my life on these games!!

    1. Yes! Kingdom Hearts 1 & 2! Secret of mana, and Zelda too! Waste? Never!!

      1. Anything by square
      2. Any mario
      3. Any sonic

      Wish I had a wii so I could relive all these classics more. Someday when I have a little more cash…

      1. I bought a Wii for the soul purpose of playing Twilight Princess! Haha Other than that, I’ve probably used the thing like maybe 5 or 6 times!

  9. Torchlight.
    How many times am I going to finish the main quest and just keep going in the endless dungeon of stupidity? I just keep doing it.

  10. The only one I have played that doesn’t give me motion sickness is need for speed: Underground 2.
    And I played it until there was nothing left to play… Then I contemplated starting over again.

  11. Super Mario Bros 3 is my all time favorite. I have it for wii and still use my old school nintendo to play as well. Sometimes I miss having to clean our the cartridges to get the game to play

  12. Zelda
    Super Metroid
    Breath of Fire
    Secret of Mana
    Final Fantasy

    Super Metroid is an all time favorite for us. I even like watching my hubby play it. He is much more skilled at gaming than I am.

    When I tell people that we still have our Super Nintendo, they are amazed. Yep, we have Wii and PS3 but the Super Nintendo still isn’t going to the yard sale. Our 10 year-old son even plays it. I guess you can’t beat the classics. Good times….good times.

    1. One simply cannot beat the classics. Good times indeed!

      I will repeat what has appeared here many times:
      Any Mario
      Any Sonic
      Any Square

      These games represent significant time and emotional investments in my life.


  13. I feel moderately like this was written by me. At least, as far as Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy are concerned. I would add to this Secret of Mana, A Link to the Past, and Earthbound, though. The number of times I’ve played them is not countable anymore, despite the fact that I still haven’t actually finished A Link to the Past.

  14. I’m not a game player, but back when I was a kid I used to play Super Mario Brothers and Sonic all the time. I’d love to get my hands on them and play then once again. I love the old stuff!

  15. Flashback
    Castle of Illusions
    Road Rash
    Streets of Rage 1 & 2

    I think gamers will always look fondly upon the games they played at the start of their love-affair with consoles, and there’s no shame in that at all.

  16. #1 game (and sequel) I couldn’t get enough of —

    Star Control I & II

    Great story, great sci-fi graphics and art and fun gameplay.

    I spent hours and hours playing this game.

    There’s still a big cult following for it if you try and look it up.

    1. Star Control II is great and the the game is now free too, I think they call it Ur-Quan Masters or something because of copyright… If you want to buy it you can now over at They’re are certainly good games but I’ve never been any good at winning them…

  17. I actually just finished playing through Paper Mario 64 for the millionth time.

    I tend to stick with Nintendo 64 games for their nostalgia factor. But if I had a Sega Genesis (why oh why did my brother sell his?!) I would be playing Sonic, Where in Time is Carmen San Diego, etc.

  18. Baldur’s Gate II
    Icewind Dale
    FF 7
    Animal Crossing
    Eternal Champions
    Road Rash

    Wow, this takes me back…I should bring out the old consoles…

  19. Final Fantasy III was the best. Generations of Doom! Wicked concept. IV was ok, much better graphically and cool story line but not a patch on the 8 possible endings of III.

    1. Final Fantasy III (SNES) IS the best! Thank you! The only game that could pry my attention from it was Final Fantasy VII came out on the Playstation.

  20. For me, personally… the games would have to be

    Castlevania: SOTN
    Mega Man 2
    Final Fantasy 6 / 8 / 12
    Hero’s Quest (Ouest for Glory 1)
    Super Mario World
    Chrono Trigger
    Grandia 2
    Final Fantasy Tactics

  21. My games would be:
    Diablo (1 &2)
    Dark Cloud
    New Super Mario Bros 3
    Duck Hunt
    Baldur’s Gate II Dark Alliance
    Neverwinter Nights

  22. Is Megaman 2 represented in your collage? I spent many an hour playing that game, but I didn’t think it had any of those scenes.

    1. Megaman 2 is there in the bottom row, in Bubbleman’s stage. Clockwise it’s X-com, Contra, King’s Quest 4, Super Metroid, Space Quest 3, Megaman 2, Chrono Trigger

      1. Okay, now I remember that scene! For some reason, I thought it was from one of the Mario games.

  23. The only role-playing games I can keep play again and again are Dragon Warrior and Final Fantasy… it’s the story mixed with nostalgia.

    When Atari 2600 was popular, I never understood why anyone would ever play a game that ended. I’d rather just keep trying to get higher and higher scores. I still can’t walk by Frogger, Donkey Kong, or Arkanoid. Problem is that I only walk by them every other year or so.

    1. Do you mean Dragon Quest 1 and Final Fantasy 1? While they were revolutionary for their time, and FFs time loop story is interesting there really isn’t much of a narrative to either of those games.

  24. I agree with a lot of the list, though I find KQ IV curious; I don’t think of adventure and point-and-click games as being replayable.

    I actually rarely return to video games as much as much as think about them fondly (since I find I don’t always give myself enough time to play.)

    I’d add Kid Icarus, NiGHTs Into Dreams, Outrun, and any of the Ultima series (especially the earlier ones) to the list, and remove Megaman (not because I dislike it, but because I didn’t own it so I don’t have the same level of nostalgia) and any PS title (because I skipped/missed most of the 32-bit era.)

    I have a lot of friends that are fond of the classic Square RPGs (Final Fantasy and others) though I never really latched onto them for reasons I’ve written elsewhere, I have a lot of musical influences in common with the musicians that worked on those games, so I get a lot of “that sounds like Final Fantasy!” when people hear my work…

    Best wishes and congratulations on FP

    1. Even though I have KQ4 (and SQ3) memorized at this point. I take a great deal of pleasure out of playing them over and over.

  25. That’s quite a list! I’ve been into games since I was 2 years old, thanks to my uncle. I’ve played all the Square ones and Namco as well. Also, I remember THE Super Mario Bros, the first one, Sonic, and Contra like it was yesterday. But a game I will never forget is Asteroid! And a bit older from Playstation is Bust-a-Move! What pixelated times where those…

  26. OKAY! I’m throwing down here:

    Mega Man 5 (that’s right, 5, you got a problem with that?)
    Star Wars: Rebellion (Most exciting game where NOTHING moves)
    Diablo II (playing it right now)
    Zelda: Ocarina of Time
    KKnD (Krush, Kill, ‘n Destroy). I’m certain nobody played this.
    Crystals (Best NES Zelda Rip Off EVER)
    SimCity 2000, 3000, and 4.

    These are games I just can’t quit. And if you played them, then you would agree with me. And if you HAVE played some of these and still disagree…well you’re probably right, some of them might be terrible, but I love them.

  27. My biggest standby in recent years is Parappa the Rapper. The story line always makes me smile, the characters are fun and I always find myself bobbing along to the catchy music.
    P.S. The game that has stolen the most total hours out of my life is absolutely Mega Man 2

  28. Only Chrono Trigger. I may not have been born on a time where the NES and SNES games ruled, but I have been playing them instead of games of today for various reasons. One of them would be difficulty. I hate games giving super easy modes –‘ Well, not that I’m saying all games today are easy 😉 Just most mainstream ones.

  29. My roommate and I brought his Super Nintendo to our apartment several months ago. Although we bought each other a Wii for Christmas, we spend far more time on the Super Nintendo. We typically play Mario 3, Super Mario Brothers, and Pokemon (we have the gameboy adapter for the nintendo.) I don’t even want to know the hours we have logged on these three games… We just sit and play through from beginning to end over and over…

  30. AWESOME post!

    I’m glad this showed up on the front page of or I would have missed out. Really, some video games are timeless and, as good as games are today, most lack the essence and real spirit of gaming. Some would write off the classics of yesteryear as games we miss simply because of nostalgic value but, really, there’s just something magical about them.

    I can relate to just about every video game on your list. I’d also say that games like Battletoads, Panzer Dragoon Saga, Herzog Zwei, and Culdcept Saga are up there for me. It’s amazing that some of these games remain sleepers and never hit the mainstream. The biggest gems are often hidden amidst cookie-cutter releases and regurgitated junk. It’s a shame.

    Really, I am particularly impressed by your specific choices in video game series, especially Final Fantasy, which I feel will always be the best (and not merely because it is the first). King’s Quest IV was also one of those games that frustrated me so much but drove me to keep on playing. With regards to Mega Man 2, it’s a close tie between the first and that installment.

    Ah, yes, so many video games.. Not enough hours to procrastinate and put off work. ;o)

  31. There are some games that I enjoy so much that I just keep going back to them over the years.

    Now that I’m older, I even enjoy playing them with my kids.

    Here’s my list:
    The Legend of Zelda
    Super Mario Bros 2
    The Secret of Monkey Island
    Final Fantasy 1
    … and more

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

  32. I love Zelda games and often dig out my old consoles and play them endlessly until completed, over and over. It is the same with Sonic and Eternal Champions, amazingly playable games!

  33. Fun list. I still play anything and everything Contra and Castlevania, although my personal favorite is still Super C. I also tend to replay most of the early Mario games every now and then.

  34. I just wrote a post about a similar topic a couple weeks ago when I picked up FF4 for the PSP. This is at least the fourth version of the game that I’ve purchased, along with having had some roms of it before as well. Other games:

    Breath of Fire 3 (I have played through this about 5 or 6 times)
    Final Fantasy Tactics (20+ playthroughs easily)
    Lunar 1 & 2 (I have the playstation versions)
    Tetris (I agree with, played this alot)
    Diablo 2 (I had a lvl 90 Sorc who pwned everything)
    MegaMan X4 (Lots of other people said a Megaman game, this one is my favorite)

    So many old games just get it right. It’s the same as with some books and movies, it’s almost impossible to quantify exactly what they do right, but we know perfection when we see it.

  35. Neverwinter Nights 1
    Mario 1, 2, 3, World, Lost Levels, and even the old Gameboy versions
    Vampire: Redemption
    Diablo II

    ….. and Dragon Age Origins. Although it’s a recent game, it came creeping in and took over my time, then my entire Blog one day when I wasn’t looking. I don’t even want to try and calculate how much time has/is dedicated to that one. I just can’t manage to pry myself away, even though I have a stack of new games sitting next to the PC.

    The only thing which can pull me away are the games mentioned above. I still love to play them.

  36. OpenTTD // CIV II // AoE II // Theme Hospital // SimCity 2000 // Mortal Kombat 2

    The thing is, beside CIV II, the other games don’t last. I play, remember, enjoy, and quit. After a while, there I am again. As you said, great games, but there is something else here.

  37. Sonic – Fun and easy game to play. Very easy to pick up.

    Tetris – mind numbing fun while you’re waiting for something….anything.

    Kirby Squeak Squad – I love my Nintendo DS Lite, and Kirby is so easy to pick up whenever.

    Halo or Gears of War – when you feel like you’re on top of the world or like shit, it feels good to just shoot something.

  38. Civ IV holds a fond place in my heart, as my friend and I even played a round of it yesterday. Also, the number of times Super Smash Bros. could be seen on in my college dorm were too many to count, and the first play through of Ocarina of Time was a special time as a kid, but the list is truly too long to go over right now. I’m happy to have played most of the games you’ve mentioned, and I’m especially happy to see Ape Escape on that list, it’s so simple yet so much fun and so rewarding catching them in the net, great stuff. Thanks for sharing, game on!

  39. I’d add Elite to the list. I’m playing it loads still. It has a very good claim as being the very first ‘free-roaming’ game as well.

  40. my list would be huge – I love a lot of older games! Some of my highlights are:

    Sonic 2
    Sonic Spinball
    the Genesis Ecco games
    Rocket Knight Adventures
    Halo: Combat Evolved
    and as already mentioned in a reply to someone else, Streets of Rage.

    A lot of them have simple but generally good stories, good game play, and fantastic music! StarCraft and Halo have much more complex stories, both of which I really like!

  41. I’m still adding to the hundreds and hundreds of hours I’ve cumulatively pumped into Advance Wars and all its iterations.

    Awesome pick with Tenchu. Reviewers picked that game apart for its poor camerawork, but it was surprisingly easy to work around and Wrath of Heaven remains one of my favorite games of all time.

  42. hmmm..Nostalgia!I remembered how addicted I was with the Nintendo family computer back in the 90’s. Then from that, I shifted to Playstation. I was then really addicted to Final Fantasy..Played them from morning till dawn.LOL

  43. I do this too, I mean I do get new games and try them out, but at the end of the day, there are some old ones that I just really want to play.

    Civ III (although I do play the newest version fairly often too)
    Heroes Of Might And Magic
    Monkey Island
    Europa Universalis

    well if someone would get their act together and release a good new version of any of these I would definitely try them, but all the ones I`ve tried disappoint me.

  44. P.S. Then when PC games became popular, I was hooked to Heretic, CS, Half-Life, Diable, and Diablo II

    and now, all I am waiting is for the Diablo III to be released. It will then be my first time to play a true PC game after 3 years.LOL

  45. OK, i’m a very new, older-than-most gamer that is boggled by the amount of time i can sit there with mouse in hand, not eating or drinking bcz i’m concentrated on some game.

    I just discovered them about 2 months ago and am now struggling with my new found addiction 🙂 at least they’re not fattening….

  46. Loved this post! For me: absolutely Super Mario Bros. 3–I played it constantly as a kid, and my boyfriend and I regularly go through it on 2-player mode. Really any Mario game–the ones I seem to always return to though are SMB3, Super Mario Land for the GameBoy, and more recently New Super Mario Bros. for the DS.

    I also agree with a lot of other commenters on Tetris. And for me, I can’t walk past a Galaga cabinet without dropping in a quarter! I also love revisiting Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

    Hmm… now I’m itching to get home to my Wii/Virtual Console games… 🙂

  47. I go back to Super Metroid every few years. It’s one of the greatest games, and there’s always something new to discover in it, at least for me. Congrats on making the front page of WP!

  48. I play Legend of Dragoon about once a year and Dragon Age: Origins every few days lol.
    For LoD, I think it is the sweeping sense of nostalgia. The music, the characters, the drama: it’s all so familiar and fun. it’s kind of like visiting old friends in a way.

    For DA:O it is a combo of loving the world (i even have the books and comics) and the fact that I can play the game differently.

    oh and the Mario game with Yoshi lol… I play it on my SNES all the time but never remember the name… and I wish I knew why it was so addicting so I could stop!!

  49. Old school gaming is the best!!! I love the nes and snes. Some games just grab your heart and that is understandable.

  50. Chrono Trigger and Secret Of Mana, Street Fighter 2 Turbo, Mario RPG, Zelda: Link’s Awakening.

    Oh, and Mario Kart. I was a Nintendo kid and never moved on.

  51. Nice post, though my games that I wouldn’t want to pause would be:

    The Strike Trilogy (Desert Strike, Jungle Strike, Urban Strike*)
    Tomb Raider
    Road Rash
    Need For Speed: Underground
    Metal Slug
    Robocop (Arcade Game)
    Sonic The Hedgehog
    Street Fighter
    Mortal Combat
    Skyhawk (Commodore Vic 20 Game!!!)

    Probably the most hated game was Gumball 3000 absolutely pointless game ever.

    1. Oh and I forgot to add *EA weirdly predicted the World Trade Centre being destroyed in Urban Strike. As part of the mission was to save the World Trade Centre from being destroyed.

  52. I like playing minecraft, dont get me wrong, but I always have difficulty in wanting to play it. I find that all these “fun”, complex games aren’t as assisting as the simple ones like Robot Unicorn attack and what others call “older games”.

  53. I spend at least most of my live replaying old games and trying to make some of the old ones “work” as well as they used to at getting me excited. Some do, some don’t, but the ones that do are generally the ones that I’ve constantly, habitually returned to.

    Nice to see a fellow classic game lover showing up on Freshly Pressed–even if it is three months later and not really your main topic of blogginess. Will be checking back!

  54. Our house only has a wii with the sports game in it. It’s really intended as a exercise prompter rather than a game. I just stick to games you can play on the computer. This maybe RPG games or text based adventure games (Interactive Fiction?) but I’ve played Tetris on planes.

  55. I’ve been playing Pokemon since I was a kid. Although the newest versions have all these bells and whistles, I like to go back to Red and Blue from time to time. I guess this is mostly a case of nostalgia for me. I’m on the verge of adulthood (age 19), and I already miss my childhood. Other than that, it’s just fun to play because it’s a classic…to me at least. I’m also hooked on neopets, solitaire, and ffx.

  56. Hey Dude,

    Awesome post.

    Nothing beats old classics. :-)I always go back to

    Police Quest 1
    Police Quest 2
    Chrono Trigger
    Sonic The Hedgehog 2
    Mortal Kombat 2
    Mortal Kombat 3
    Chrono Cross
    Kings Quest 1
    Kings Quest 2
    Kings Quest 3
    Leisure Suit Larry 1
    Leisure Suit Larry 2
    Leisure Suit Larry 3

    That’s just a few that i always go back to…i play them over again just because it was the first few games that i ever enjoyed…..those games shaped my likes and dislikes..
    Since those games I’ve always needed a story involved when playing any game..


  57. I must say that Super Metroid, Super Mario World, Zelda 3, Majora’s Mask and Street Fighter II are games I keep going back to. The gameplay of all these games is fantastic, as well as the game design and level of detail.

    Super Mario World for example has a huge amount of levels, perfect belance between running, stopping, jumping, power ups, difficult levels en breeze throughs. All in all it became the epitomy of 2D platform gaming.

    Zelda 3 is the ultimate Zelda for me with the top view level design, the graphics, the music, the bosses, the weapons, and the memories.

    I guess it’s the memories I have of these games that keep making me go back to these games. Maybe it was my age when I started playing these games, but I don’t really have it as much anymore with the current games.

    But I remember when Street Fighter II came out in 1991 I was 12 and was absolutely amazed by that game!

  58. Chrono Trigger
    Pokemon Red
    Harvest Moon
    Civilization (Snes)
    Tales of Phantasia

  59. As a Ludite, the only games I could play or enjoy were Pong, Crystal Quest, and Space Invaders. Everything after that was just too complicated. And of course, now they have been lost to 20-25 years of upgraded computers.

  60. The games I continue to revisit over the years:

    Castlevania: SOTN
    Chrono Trigger
    Final Fantasy IV
    Soul Blazer
    The Legend of Zelda (1987)
    Mega Man 1-6

    There are some other games I’ve played through numerous times – Secret of Mana, Super Metroid, Final Fantasy IV;X, Goldeneye 007, Kickle Cubicle, just to name a few – but the ones I listed above I play either annually or bi-annually. (Side note: I have a tattoo of Crono the covers most of my forearm. My geekocity – or stupidity – knows no bounds.)

  61. Unreal and Need For Speed

    Two classics I haven’t played in a while and I better not start again!


  62. Pingback: Thanks to Wordpress for Noticing Me! « Di Mortui Sunt
  63. For me, it has to be

    Harvest Moon
    Super Mario
    Final Fantasy
    Alpha Centauri
    Warcraft II

    My sister absolutely loves

    Chrono Trigger
    Secret of mana
    Sailor Moon

    and I have no idea why!?!?!

    1. Well, Chrono Trigger and Secret of Mana are good I don’t know what Sailor Moon is doing there. Alpha Centauri?! Voxels! That was a great game and Civ took to long incorporating some of its best features. It’s a bitch to run on PCs now though.

  64. Most of my guilty pleasures are listed somewhere here…

    Secret of Mana
    X-Com: UFO Defense
    Super Metroid
    Zelda I and III

    And also allow me to add:

    Phantasy Star
    Faxanadu (damn those passwords!)
    King’s Field: The Ancient City

  65. Good Evening –

    I have a question for you since you’re an adult gamer and I am not at all. My teenaged boys are nuts about gaming and play the “Kings Quest” game that you mention above.

    A while back we were looking at games and I asked them if they ever played any of the games from the 1980s like Pac Man or Tetrus.

    My boys want nothing to do with them. They had played those old time games before with friends when they were kids, but say they’re not challenging and too boring.

    Why is that? Those old games are challenging, for me at least, lol. Great post and happy Saturday evening to you. 🙂

    1. I’m kind of impressed your teenage kids have ever played King’s Quest. That series stopped being popular in the mid 90s… Anyway I think a lot of it has to do with what you’re used to. Today’s gamers, mostly, have no experience with an arcade or the difficulty built into the system. The job of the machine was to eat as many quarters as fast as possible, so the difficulty reflected that. Earlier console games took their cues from arcades and so were equally difficult. Not to mention the limited memory of older consoles.

  66. You have to add SMB2J to the list.

    It is just so soul destroying in its difficulty, that it is impossible to resist.

  67. I do return often to Super Metroid, so I agree with it’s placement on your list. Majora’s Mask is another one that I can play again and again, and the primary reason I still own an N64.

    I’m a big adventure game fan, my favorite being the Quest for Glory series, at least, the first four. For some reason, I’ve probably played them about a hundred times since I was eight. There’s also The Curse of Monkey Island, along with the first two, and Loom.

    1. QFG the series is in my top 3 series of all time! The fantastic mix of adventure game and RPG! So good, those games also had a great sense of humor.

  68. Hi!

    Your post reminded me of my own fascination with these games while growing up and I’ve made a list of my own favourites on my blog. I’ve added a link to your post there. I hope you dont mind.


  69. Tales of Symphonia, Heroes of Might and Magic and Pokémon.

    Although HOMM IV wasn’t as good as III, I played it a lot. V just sucks, I’d say.

  70. Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas are two great games (despite New Vegas being accused of having too many “problems” [that I have yet to encounter on the 360 after several play throughs already]) if you like exploring wide, expansive areas. Character creation is simple and combat in either game can be adjusted to any type of play style. If you ever have a bunch of time to kill, I highly suggest these two games (especially Fallout 3 with the Broken Steel DLC since you will be able to continue your game even after the “original” ending of the game). And if you have any questions about either, you can ask me (I’m a little obsessed with both), or consult the Fallout wikia at

    Aside from those two games, I could go back to F-Zero GX, Halo: Reach, the Rogue Squadron series (cause flight sims are awesome) and honestly any Pokemon game (only handheld and up to Emerald version though).

  71. I loved Legend of Zelda so much I named my dog Zelda. Of course, Tetris and it’s many variations and the original Super Mario Brothers and Mario 3 were also great. The new Super Mario for the Wii isn’t a bad copy. Once in a while I go way back to Aliens and Asteroids for the Atari just because they were awesome then and are still awesome now. We love those joysticks that have the games preloaded and you just plug and play. Great way to get to oldies cheap.

  72. Mine are mostly 2d games

    Super Mario Bros 3
    Super Mario World
    Tenchu 3
    Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker
    Super Castlevania
    Metroid 4
    Mega Man X
    FF7 and FF8
    tons more but those are games i can go back and play 🙂

  73. Okay, I’m really sad but Pacman – and I’m really bad at it! Pokemon, Yellow – absolutely loved this game and could go a full day without speaking to anybody – in fact I was quite put out if I had to stop at any point (and I couldn’t stop until it was fully complete). More recently Sims – although I didn’t play this properly, I just built houses – all sorts of sizes, shapes, Mansions, full towns of stunning houses! (I will confess, shame faced – I had a cheat which gave me lots of money so that I could make and decorate huge houses). Nowadays – Angry Birds – I have to stay away from it otherwise it takes over!
    Really interesting post. I enjoyed all the comments. Good fun.
    Lynn 😀

  74. It’s interesting how all your “return games” are, by today’s standards, “retro”. I completely agree that they’re excellent games, but I also wonder whether there’s something more “returnable” about some of the earlier games that makes us more likely to replay them.

    For instance, while I obsessively replay a handful of classic games (Super Punch Out, Tecmo Super Bowl, Police Quest I and II, Baseball Stars, among some others), I don’t really have the same relationship to any contemporary games. While I become deeply immersed in them for long periods (I’m looking at you, Skate 3), once they’re out of the rotation, I often just don’t think of them again at all.

    There are some obvious explanations, such as not just nostalgia, but these games being the “comfort-food” of our youth and thus deeply familiar and easy to play (even when they’re difficult). Or the idea that earlier games are “simpler” both in graphical style and in interactive possibilities, making them easier to return to for a quick fix, without the need to relearn complex control systems, etc.

    For me, the central motivation does seem to revolve around a kind of “automatic play” – it’s not like Police Quest much more than a game of Memory once you’ve beaten it once or twice, but I keep playing. When I play Tecmo I’ve got a routine that I run through again and again. So perhaps it’s to do with the deep pleasures of mastery and “oneness” with the game system…?

    1. I think you have something there… I play a lot of new games too but none of them grab me the way old ones do. That might be because I don’t have the time to commit to them like I used to and/or games no longer require mastery as they once did, so games can be completed without understanding the ins and outs of them…

      Perhaps they don’t expect as much from us and so we don’t expect as much from them?

      1. Yeah, it’s hard to say. I wonder if contemporary games have “lost” some of the rhythmic nature of a lot of the old games… games like Tecmo and Baseball Stars mostly appeal to me in a ritual way.

        Perhaps, too, the older games are more purely like *games* rather than simulations or worlds. If you compare something like Link to the Past with Fallout 3, they both have big and interesting gameworlds, but Zelda has much more of the sensation of playing in a game system, while Fallout 3 is much more about the presentation of a world with various possibilities (and stories) in it. Likewise, comparing Tecmo with Madden, you’re looking at what borders on a rhythm game with something far more complex and oriented toward stories (both in the sense of the game itself as a story, and the surrounding narrative of a team and its passage through the seasons)… could be getting too highfalutin though!

        This would also explain a bit about people’s current (and perhaps future) obsession with games like Angry Birds, which maintain that same *gameness*…

  75. Pingback: Chiptunes that Bury Deep into Your Cranium and Stay There « Di Mortui Sunt
  76. i couldn’t get my hands on my old NES, so in high school, we had a required computer class, and i downloaded an NES emulator just so i could play the classics (SMB3, Contra, TMNT, castelvania, and of course, spy hunter)! it wasn’t the same on a keyboard compared to the controller, but i still loved going to that class lol!

    1. You wouldn’t be the only person who discovered emulation in High school and in doing so rediscovered the amazing world of NES games.

  77. There are lots of games from the 8 and 16-bit console eras that I remember fondly, as well as a good variety of PC games too.

    But if I had to pick one game, I think it would be Burnout 2: Point of Impact. It’s just ridiculously replayable. I can’t tell you how many laps I’ve done on Big Surf Shores in the Supercar… the music, the car, the flow of the track… it’s just arcade racing perfection. 🙂

  78. i’m not really a video gamer but i do love the pc games that my boyfriend buys for me.. totally addicted to Plants vs. Zombies & Flight Control.. I know totally not real video games but hey lol

  79. There are definitely a lot of old games I could still play, if I had them. From 8 bit oldies like Super Mario Bros and Mendel Palace (that game deserves to be more known) to slightly more recent games like Suikoden 2 (ok, not THAT recent) and Super Smash Bros. My list would consist mainly of RPGs though.

  80. Mine are:

    Castlevania – Symphony of the night
    Chrono Trigger
    Super Mario Bros 3
    Final Fantasy VII
    Civilization 3


  81. very true video games are very addictive…..

    I play rise of nations, age of empires III and age of mythology……

    I use to play it for 3 continuous days with the “obvious” breaks than a human being needs to take.

    Presently I have stopped playing so that I could return to normalcy…. 🙂

    The odd FIFA games with some cricket are also fun….

    But nothing beats those strategy games !

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