Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Share on Reddit Share on Pinterest Share on Linkedin Share on Tumblr Video games have become a very popular pastime. From gaming conventions like E3 to competitions in the esports industry, there’s no doubt that video games have been evolving. Just like other entertainment media we grew up with, we owe it to the games that shaped us as kids. So, here at ComicsVerse, we have gathered together to bring 14 of our classic and most memorable titles we’ve played from our childhood. Without further adieu, let’s have a look! (Note: These games are in no particular order.) 1. MISCHIEF MAKERS Developer: Treasure Date Released: October 1997 Platform: Nintendo 64 What is the game about? Robotics genius Professor Theo is kidnapped while visiting planet Clancer. It is up to his creation, the Ultra-Intergalactic-Cybot G Marina Liteyears, to rescue him from the clutches of the Evil Emperor and his Imperial forces. What is memorable about it and why would you recommend it? If the words “shake shake” doesn’t bring any memories of this underrated 2.5D side-scrolling Nintendo 64 gem, then you’re missing out. You may ask with a premise like that, shouldn’t I just play SUPER MARIO or some other equivalent? Well, the difference is that MISCHIEF MAKERS likes to “shake” things up with its unique combat system and stage designs. Marina is able to grab, toss and shake just about anything in the game. READ: Speaking of underrated gems, see why WAR OF THE MONSTERS should have received a sequel! Each level is unique with different puzzles that require a combination of Marina’s jet-boosting and grabbing skills while others will be more action-oriented (boss battles). One stage that’s still fresh in my mind was “Missile Surf!!,” where you literally surf on a missile and maneuver it while avoiding obstacles. Boss battles were also a thrilling experience as enemy attacks can be countered, grabbed and thrown back with Marina’s shake system. In one battle, you can tilt a tank’s turret upward so it’ll fire its own projectile upwards and downwards onto itself. Talk about an interesting concept, right? It’s an excitingly straightforward game that isn’t difficult to beat but still remains fun to replay. I’m just happy to experience MISCHIEF MAKERS as one of my very first video games. (Soren Sum) 2. SILENT HILL 2 Developer: Konami Date Released: September 2001 Platform: PlayStation 2, Xbox, PC What is the game about? James Sunderland receives a letter from his dead wife, beckoning him to come to Silent Hill. The player must uncover the truth behind his wife’s death, forcing James to face the consequences of his actions as well as the monsters of the desolate town. What is memorable about it and why would you recommend it? SILENT HILL 2 was the very first horror video game I ever played, and anyone who knows me knows that I love horror. I was nine years old when I first picked up the controller and I had zero knowledge of the series. I was just drawn to the cover and the premise. The monsters are not just monsters; for James, they are the representations of his guilt and sexual repression. Pyramid Head, who makes his debut in this installment, is the manifestation of James’s desire to punish himself. The atmosphere of the game is just constant dread; there is no moment of peace, no chance to catch your breath, and no one to trust. For me, SILENT HILL 2 manages to bring the player into James’s mind, convincing them that they’re playing the good guy before destroying that image and revealing the truth. It was a lot to take in as a kid, but it was the game that made me love horror games. (Bella Vanessa Sotomayor) 3. DIDDY KONG RACING Developer: Rare Date Released: November 1997 Platform: Nintendo 64 What is the game about? When an Intergalactic Pig Wizard invades Earth, a group of anthropomorphic animals team up to defeat the mystical evildoer by besting him in a series of elaborate go-cart races. It’s a tale as old as time… What is memorable about it and why would you recommend it? Sure, the “plot” is nonsensical, but who cares? This is a racing game! The real reason to play is the competitive multiplayer. I have fond memories of me and my brothers huddled around our N64, playing until the crack of dawn. We’d duke it out in one of four battle modes or put the pedal to the metal across its twenty distinct race tracks. On top of this, the game offered three different vehicles to choose from (cars, planes, and hovercraft) and eight playable characters, including some iconic video game legends like Diddy Kong, Conker the Squirrel, and Banjo the Bear. CLICK: Ever wondered if nostalgia in geek culture could be bad? Find the answer in Carlos’ geekdom piece! While it never received a proper sequel, DIDDY KONG RACING has been remade for the Nintendo DS, giving old fans a chance to revisit Timber’s island and allowing a new generation of gamers to experience this adventure for the very first time. This game may be an inferior MARIO KART clone, but it sure is a lot of fun and definitely worth checking out. (Tyler Vertrees) 4. CRASH BANDICOOT 3: WARPED Developer: Naughty Dog Date Released: October 1998 Platform: PlayStation What is the game about? In this classic 3D platformer, the mischievous marsupial returns to unleash more mayhem, this time, with the help of his sister, Coco. The nefarious scientist Doctor Neo Cortex, Crash’s arch nemesis, traps Crash and Coco in time. Cortex plans to use the powers of time traveling villain N. Tropy to wreak havoc across time. To stop Cortex, Crash and Coco must collect gems and crystals needed that are scattered around exotic locations throughout time such as Ancient Egypt, the Medieval age, and the distant future. In these engaging interactive levels, players take Crash Bandicoot on a whirlwind journey through time. What is memorable about it and why would you recommend it? Crash Bandicoot was my favorite childhood video game character. He possessed a wicked zaniness that immediately drew attention and playing as Crash was an endless good time. He slid, he spun, he double-jumped, he collected Wumpa fruit, he broke wooden boxes and made sure to avoid TNT crates. The gameplay mechanics in the CRASH BANDICOOT series gradually improved over the course of the first three games and hit their peak in WARPED. The game added jet skiing, motorcycle racing, and dinosaur riding to the gameplay. In addition to the usual crystal and gem collection, WARPED also added Time Trial mode, which allowed you to try and beat certain set times to reach the end of a previously completed level. Doing so granted access to a time relic, which came in bronze, silver, gold and platinum. The better the time, the more precious the relic. This mode added incentive for almost unlimited replayability. The game also held plenty of hidden goodies, such as secret levels that you could only get to by jumping on the back of a pterodactyl, or crashing your motorcycle into an Area 51 sign. It all added up to a game that was pure, unadulterated fun. The game is nearly 20 years old now. But when I fire up the old PS one, CRASH BANDICOOT: WARPED is usually in the disc drive. (Aaron Berke) 5. SOULCALIBUR II Developer: Namco (Project Soul) Date Released: July 2002, November 2013 (HD) Platform: Arcade, GameCube, PlayStation 2, PS3 (HD), XBox, Xbox 360 (HD) What is the game about? Nightmare, the azure knight, and his followers attempt to restore the wicked sword Soul Edge to its full power but are stopped by three sacred warriors. The battle results in shattering Soul Edge into fragments. Various warriors pick up these fragments and seek to possess or destroy the evil sword. Elsewhere, Siegfried, still under the sword’s influence, begins slaughtering souls anew. The nightmare will never end. What’s memorable about it and why would you recommend it? There’s no 3D fighting game that I loved more when it came to the SOULCALIBUR series, especially this title. It was the fighting game of my childhood. It had the swords and the characters. This series is also the reason I play sword characters in other fighters. I first remembered watching Adam Sessler’s X-Play review of SOULCALIBUR II and that’s when I saw Link from LEGEND OF ZELDA for the GameCube version (PS had TEKKEN’s Heihachi and Xbox had Spawn). Let’s face it, who doesn’t like Link. I got the game solely for him, but later on used other characters like Yoshimitsu (I did like him from TEKKEN) and Nightmare (because of big swords). For me, SOULCALIBUR II also had some of the best tracks I felt that really defined the tone and atmosphere of the game. To this day, even the opening intro (see above) still sends shivers up my spine. Aside from the epic soundtrack, the gameplay felt flawless. The movement was crisp and smooth compared to its newer iterations. Soul Charging was a fun power-up mechanic that I missed and let’s not forget Guard Impact or parrying. It was one of my favorite defensive mechanics from the game and it didn’t cost any meter. READ: Want something different from fighting game mechanics? Check out this breakdown of video game combat physics! The game had everything I ever would want in a weapons-based fighter. If it weren’t for Link, I surely would’ve missed out. Currently, it’s been rereleased as an HD upgrade for the PS3 and Xbox 360. For now, my only wish is that Namco can somehow bring out a new SOULCALIBUR title. (Soren Sum) 6. TOMB RAIDER II Developer: Core Design Date Released: October 1997 Platform: PlayStation, PC, Mac OS What is the game about? Lara Croft is investigating the legend of the Dagger of Xian, which allows the person who possesses it to turn into a dragon. Marco Bartoli, a Mafia leader, is obsessed with the Dagger and serves as the main antagonist in the game. Lara must find the Dagger before Bartoli and his men, traveling through China, Italy, and Tibet in her search. What is memorable about it and why would you recommend it? TOMB RAIDER II was the very first video game I ever played; it was the game that made me love games. I was really young when an old family friend gave me his PlayStation, along with a couple of CD sleeves with some games to play. I had the first five installments in the TOMB RAIDER franchise, but I chose to start with the second one. I was immediately pulled into the game from the very first cutscene of a dragon wreaking havoc before melting into nothingness. The graphics were definitely of the time, but the story was still interesting. I wasn’t very good at the game and it definitely terrified me at times (I still have nightmares about the shark level), but I adored Lara Croft. I wanted to be her. I wanted to explore caves and jungles, looking for ancient relics and fighting bad guys. She was my hero! (Bella Vanessa Sotomayor) 7. SUPER MARIO LAND Developer: Nintendo Date Released: April 1989 Platform: Game Boy What is the game about? Similar to the original SUPER MARIO BROS, this side-scrolling platformer puts players in control of everyone’s favorite plumber as he traverses a magical kingdom in order to save a kidnapped princess. What is memorable about it and why would you recommend it? What can I say that you don’t already know? It’s a Mario game: you run, you jump and you save the princess. But it holds a special place in my heart as the first game I ever played (or at least the first one that I remember). I had just inherited my brother’s old Game Boy and his collection of cartridges. The first one I popped in was SUPER MARIO LAND. I played until my thumbs were callused and my eyes were sore. This game gave me hours of enjoyment, but it’s also the source of my very first rage quit. During my journey, I had accumulated over a dozen extra lives only to lose them all in the game’s fourth and final world. Keep in mind that this was a time when failure meant having to start the whole thing over. I was so frustrated that I never played the game again. Every now and then, I get the urge to track down a copy for one last playthrough. (Tyler Vertrees) 8. TEKKEN 3 Developer: Namco Date Released: March 20, 1997 Platform: Arcade, PlayStation, PlayStation 2 (2005 as part of TEKKEN 5’s Arcade History) What is the game about? The King of Iron Fist Tournament is taken to the next level in this legendary fighting game from Namco. Heihachi Mishima, CEO of Mishima Zaibatsu, holds the tournament for the world’s greatest fighters. However, his true purpose for the tournament is to capture the mysterious Ogre, an ancient God who is killing fighters around the world. The game features classic Tekken characters such as King, Yoshimitsu, Paul, Nina and Law, and new additions like Bryan Fury, Lei Wulong, and Jin Kazama. Together, this diverse array of warriors makes up the unique roster of characters in Namco’s greatest fighter. What is memorable about it and why would you recommend it? “Round 1 – FIGHT!” is the battle cry that used to send chills down my spine. The TEKKEN series has the unique distinction of being a fighter that combines elements from other types of games. It also has a particularly dark and disturbing storyline, involving family betrayal and murder. The series boasted unique character designs, such as King, a wrestler wearing a jaguar mask, and Yoshimitsu, a robin hood alien ninja from another planet. Then, of course, you had the Mishima dynasty of Heihachi, Kazuya, Lee, and Jin, all of whom seemed bent on competing for the title of “most absurdly evil” (and most absurd hairdo). These elements that made TEKKEN so engaging all hit their peak in TEKKEN 3. Yoshimitsu (left) and unlockable Gon (right) in Tekken Ball mode. The game had two distinctive new modes: Tekken Force and Tekken Ball. The first was a side-scroller that utilized platforming game mechanics as you battled through ninja-filled streets. The second was a volleyball tournament, in which you used a character’s distinctive move set to hit the ball back and forth. Each of these modes unlocked a super-secret character. Ball mode unlocked Gon, a tiny orange dinosaur from a popular Japanese manga. Force mode unlocked Dr. Boskonovitch, a wrinkled old scientist who literally attacked his opponents by rolling around the floor and flailing at them. These modes added to traditional fighting modes, such as Arcade, Survival, and Team Battle. CLICK: Love fighting games? Check out two of Capcom’s best titles in the last decade here! With the representation of diverse fighting styles such as capoeira, tae kwon do, karate, wrestling, street brawling (and floor rolling) this was a fully fleshed out fighting game with insanely addicting replayable content. I’ve been playing it for 20 years. In fact, my copy went missing, so I recently re-purchased the game. I didn’t have my old memory card anymore, but that’s okay. I just started from the beginning. And you know what? “Round 1 – FIGHT!” still sends chills down my spine. (Aaron Berke) 9. SPYRO THE DRAGON Developer: Insomniac Games Date Released: September 1998 Platform: PlayStation, PlayStation 3 & PSP (PS One Classic) What is the game about? Spyro is a youthful purple dragon who lives in one of the five dragon realms. The leaders of the dragon community insult their arch nemesis, a large green creature known as Gnasty Gnorc. This turns into a big mistake. Gnasty turns all of the dragons into emerald statues, and only Spyro is spared the imprisonment. With his trusty pal Sparx the Dragonfly by his side, Spyro must traverse the five realms, free all of the dragons, and defeat Gnasty. What is memorable about it and why would you recommend it? SPYRO THE DRAGON is a 360-degree 3D platformer with immersive worlds and memorable creature designs. The game mechanics gave you the abilities to charge enemies with your horns, scorch them with fire breath, and fly for limited bursts. Special levels granted you unlimited flight powers as you flew through speed rings and collected gems. The game was always challenging but always gave you the incentive to push forward, with the promise of freeing more dragons and exploring new realms. Each realm took on a distinctive environment, such as a desert, a forest, an arctic tundra, a crystal realm, and even a Gnorc wasteland. It’s a testament to the lasting appeal of SPYRO that games based on the character are still being made. Later games in the series improved the mechanics but lacked the broad scope and sense of exploration that the first game provided on such a great scale. The original SPYRO THE DRAGON gave you a sense that the world was your oyster, with unlimited levels to explore and unlimited dragons to find. It’s the kind of recipe that made SPYRO a proud addition to my collection. (Aaron Berke) 10. RESIDENT EVIL 2 Developer: Capcom Date Released: January 1998 Platform: PlayStation, Nintendo 64, PC, Dreamcast, GameCube What is the game about? Two months have passed since the mansion incident that occurred in the mountains of Raccoon City. The whereabouts of Chris Redfield and his team are unknown. His sister, Claire Redfield has just arrived in town to search for him. She meets with new rookie cop Leon Scott Kennedy who also has only just arrived. Together, they learn that the whole town has been infected with a virus that reanimates the dead. Desperate to find a way out, they escape into the local police department for protection, but what they find will change them forever. What is memorable about it and why would you recommend it? RESIDENT EVIL 2 (RE2) was the first RE game that I played on the Nintendo 64. I was first introduced to the series by my dad’s roommate, who showed me gameplay of the first RE. This made me grow fond of the series and eventually, I picked up the second title. I still remember struggling with the controls as I vividly watched Leon die numerous times in the beginning. I was a bit scared, but eventually got the hang of the game’s movement with the N64 joystick. Aside from the horrid controls and bad camera angles (actually miss these), RE2 is a step above its predecessor in cinematic storytelling. It features two separate, but intertwined scenarios where players can choose to start “A” scenario with either Claire or Leon. Beating the first scenario unlocks “B” scenario for the other character, which totals to four scenarios. That’s a lot more replayability compared to the first game, which only allowed for one scenario even though it featured two characters as well. Additionally, each scenario has its own set of puzzles to solve (if you’re into that), Did I mention the how superb the background music for RE2 is? It perfectly captures the game’s tone as you explore certain hallways and corridors. Hopefully, nothing leaps out at you! Currently, Capcom is in the process of creating a remake that is sure to be just as good as the original. For now, I’ll revisit the game on my PlayStation Vita. (Soren Sum) 11. THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: TWILIGHT PRINCESS Developer: Nintendo Date Released: November 2006 Platform: Wii, GameCube What is the game about? Zant, the King of Twilight, has invaded Hyrule, corrupting and engulfing the inhabitants in darkness. Link must once again save the world and rescue the princess. This time, however, he has help from a Twilight creature named Midna, as well as the special ability to transform into a wolf. What is memorable about it and why would you recommend it? I first played TWILIGHT PRINCESS on my friend’s Wii before my freshman year of high school. It was the very first ZELDA game I had ever played and I was hooked. It was the sole reason why I bought the Wii. Now, I didn’t just ask for the console and then receive it. No, I collected every penny, saved every bit of the money I earned from babysitting and even took out a loan from my mom (which is a whole other story), just so I could buy the console to play the game. The graphics and storyline were beautiful, and the ending was just heartwarmingly tragic. I will never tire of this game! (Bella Vanessa Sotomayor) READ: There is never enough ZELDA! Read why BREATH OF THE WILD returns the series to its roots. 12. GOLDEN SUN Developer: Camelot Software Date Released: November 2001 Platform: Game Boy Advance What is the game about? The game is set in Weyard, a fantasy world ruled by alchemy and magic. You play as Isaac, a young boy who sets off with three childhood friends on a quest to save civilization from the forces of evil. In this world, Isaac and his friends are known as Adepts, meaning that they have the ability to use elemental powers (Earth, Wind, Fire and Water). What is memorable about it and why would you recommend it? I am a huge fan of RPGs, and my love of the genre stems from this game. GOLDEN SUN was my first, true roleplaying experience. It’s a highly addictive game that mixes classic JRPG gameplay with Pokemon’s “creature collecting” mechanic. Throughout the game, players acquire numerous little creatures known as Djinn, which could be assigned to one of your characters in order to unlock new powers or improve existing ones. With the ability to assign multiple Djinn to every character, you could mix and match these little monsters in order to change up a character’s class and enhance their skill set. Much of the fun comes from attempting to find that perfect combination. At first glance, it may seem like a simple child’s game, but make no mistake, this is one challenging experience. In fact, it was so difficult that I wasn’t able to complete it the first time. I made it all the way to the final segment, which pits you against two incredibly powerful enemies, and once they’re defeated, they fuse together to create a boss that is even stronger (Seriously?! How do you expect a child to handle that?!). For years, that cartridge sat on a shelf, gathering dust. Until recently when I picked up my old SP and gave the game another go. I played it all the way through to the very end and finally defeated that final boss (which was still rather difficult). I can honestly say that GOLDEN SUN has stood the test of time. (Tyler Vertrees) 13. STAR WARS: KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC Developer: Bioware Date Released: July 2003 Platform: Xbox, PC, MAC What is the game about? Set 4,000 years before the fall of the Jedi, STAR WARS: KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC (KOTOR) is an RPG that follows a ragtag group of characters as they fight to save the Republic from the fleet of all-powerful Sith lord Darth Malak. You are Revan, the fallen Jedi who turned into Darth Revan, and now has a chance to either redeem himself or return to the path of his fallen apprentice, Malak. Along with Bastila Shan, a Jedi with the power of battle meditation, Carth Onasi, fearless fighter pilot, HK-47, a hilariously bloodthirsty assassin droid, and several others, you will lead the galaxy to freedom… or subjugation. What is memorable about it and why would you recommend it? My memory of this game is nothing but pure joy. The characters, the interactions, the massive levels, the possible romances, the path to becoming a Jedi, the choice between the light side and the dark side, and more had me living and breathing STAR WARS. I spent a total of about 250 hours on this game. Sleep wasn’t important. What was important was successfully romancing Bastila (if you were a male character). What was important was solving the case of a murdered fish alien (one of the game’s many unique side missions) on the planet Manaan. The possibilities were endless. No other game has compelled me to devote the number of hours I did to this game. I literally played through the whole thing four times. Good guy, bad guy, good girl, or bad girl. Each path led to unique interactions that couldn’t be found otherwise. And dammit, I was going to find every single bit of dialogue hidden in this game!! Then there was your main character. At first a cipher with no memory, but then revealed to be Revan midway through the game. Playing Revan gave you such a sense of power. You had the fate of the galaxy literally in the palm of your hands. Plus, the revelation that you are the former Sith lord is a twist as shocking as Darth Vader’s famous “Luke, I am your father” line. CLICK: Would KOTOR be a craft or quest game? Maybe both? Find out in Bella’s analysis of open world games! With powerful storytelling moments like this and fresh characters modeled off of traditional good and evil archetypes, KOTOR was pure STAR WARS. It was an experience unlike any other. There’s a reason I don’t play RPGs anymore, but this game was so addicting it literally consumed my life. KOTOR stands in my mind as the greatest video game of all time. If you haven’t played it and you have a chance, buy this game. It’s available on Steam for 10 dollars. It will change your life. May the Force be with you! (Aaron Berke) 14. BATMAN: GOTHAM CITY RACER Developer: Ubisoft Date Released: April 2001 Platform: PlayStation What is the game about? Batman and his Rogues Gallery drive around Gotham City. The villains steal stuff. Batman chases them. What is memorable about it and why would you recommend it? Batman racing? That’s right! It’s the greatest game you’ve never heard of! Actually, the game is just okay. But it’s certainly unlike anything you’ve ever played. It’s a racing game in which you drive around in the Batmobile chasing after the villains in their various getaway cars, trying to catch them before they escape with their loot. On the flip-side, you can also play the villains and steal money represented by floating dollar signs, and you have to get away before Batman catches you. Honestly, the game barely qualifies as a racer, since you’re not really competing against anyone. But you do drive around in cars. A lot of the cars are really creative too! There’s a Joker mobile, a Two-Face mobile, a Mr. Freeze truck, and even a little Robin car just for the Boy Wonder! Looking back, there wasn’t much of a story here, but the game did use various cutscenes from THE NEW BATMAN ADVENTURES as a kind of vague tie-in. Even though these cutscenes were oddly re-scored with a repetitive yet somehow catchy new soundtrack exclusive to the game, it all added up to a game that’s actually… not very good at all. The mechanics were pretty rough – can’t tell you how many times my vehicle got wedged into the side of a building and never drove again. And yet, the game was still a bonkers good time. There’s a maniacal thrill in shooting volleys of Batarang-bullets (yes, those are a thing) into the back of a fleeing Riddler-mobile. I played GOTHAM CITY RACER more times than I probably should have, and even now, it proudly sits on my shelf. It’s covered by an inch-thick layer of dust, but still, it’s a proud addition because it’s BATMAN! (Aaron Berke) What is your most memorable game? So there you have it, readers. Did you enjoy the games we covered from our childhood? Were there ones you really wanted us to talk about? If so, comment below on what your favorite childhood game was and how it was memorable for you. You can also comment about any of the above games we covered. We would definitely love to hear what you would think!