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Games that influenced your gaming tastes


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I saw this posted in a Facebook group and loved the question:

Can you name 3 or 4 games that have had a big influence on your gaming tastes, or your memories of playing games early in your life?


My list is longer than 4 😜 and in no particular order:

  1. Space Invaders hooked me and made me a video gamer. 
  2. Robotron 2084 made me love twin stick shooters. 
  3. Doom made me an FPS fan. I've probably spent more time with this genre than any other.
  4. Final Fantasy 7 turned me into a JRPG fan. Previously, I hated the JRPG graphics style with the big headed scrunched characters and favored the more realistic graphics style of Western RPGs.
  5. Halo and Uncharted for story-driven action adventures. I love adventure games and games that tell great stories, but these games felt cinematic with action thrown in.
  6. 2600 action games (e.g., Demon Attack, Room of Doom, Mines of Minos...) recently helped me realize that I favor simple action games.
  7. WarCraft turned me on to RTS games. After WarCraft, I spent a lot of time with Age of Empires I and II.
  8. Empire by Interstel helped me to see the joy of turned based strategy games. However, I never found another one that grabbed me as much.

I'm probably missing a couple games.

What games shaped your gaming tastes?

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Edited by socrates63
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This is a great topic, and your list is most excellent.

I'd add the following:

  1. Atari Adventure.  I can't stress enough how much this one influenced me.  This was a game that didn't keep score.  It was the first video game I ever played that built a world to explore.  I loved it then and I love it now.
  2. Star Raiders on the 8-bit.  This was the first 3D perspective game I ever played.  There are no compromises on this game (unlike similar games on the 2600).  Fly around, dock your ship, come up with a strategy!  All FPS games stand on the shoulders of this giant. 
  3. King's Quest 1-4 on PC.  I remember the old Scott Adams text adventures.  They were fun, but you really had to use your imagination.  King's Quest was different.  It had compelling graphics to go with the story and puzzles.  And each game in the series built onto the formula, finally getting rid of having to type completely. 




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I would put these on my list:

  1. Crystal Castles. It was a game-changer for me.
  2. Phantasy Star Series (1-4). This was one of the most successful JRPG series of all time. Also,  King Lassic (Lashiec) returns in PSIV to wreak terror! I loved it.
  3. Forgotten Worlds. My favorite Capcom arcade game of all time.

Those are the best games, in my opinion.

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@RickR awesome games on your list. Reading your post really makes me want to play them again. I haven't touched Star Raiders and KQ games for thirty years! Looong overdue to revisit those classics. I think I probably mentioned somewhere that I played Atari Adventure for the first time a few months ago.

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I have a few:

SUPER METROID, of course, was a really big one for me. This was a game where I could explore to my heart’s content, find secrets, and explore incredibly atmospheric worlds on the planet Zebes. From the moment I first saw the game I was blown away and intrigued. Not only did this game shape my gaming tastes, but it in a way helped shape me as a person. Ten years after first playing it, Super Metroid is still my favorite video game of all time. 
LUIGI’S MANSION is incredibly nostalgic for me. My sister and I spent many hours combing through the mansion for everything we could find. Building upon my tastes established in Super Metroid, Luigi’s Mansion had an atmospheric and foreboding (yet still friendly in a twisted way) mansion to explore, filled to the brim with portrait ghosts oozing with character. The lore of this game, as silly and one-dimensional as it seems, is what really drew me in.

And for my final two picks, VS. SUPER MARIO BROTHERS and SUPER MARIO BROTHERS (ALL-STARS EDITION). These two had arguably the most influence of them all; the former for introducing me to video games and the latter for making me fall in love with them. One day in 2010, my godfather was visiting from out of town for a couple of days. We live in a duplex that my grandfather owns, and at the time nobody lived in the other side of it so he stayed next door. My dad, to commemorate the occasion, hauled over a 27” CRT television (we had only recently stopped using it and switched to flatscreen) and his Super Nintendo.

I stayed up late (for a five year old anyway) playing Super Mario Brothers with my dad, my godfather, and his two kids. I was so excited to finally be able to play this game at home! I repeatedly died at the first Goomba and his nearby friends, but I had a blast. Nothing I had done up to this point was like this. Sure, I had played a little VS SMB in a resort’s arcade room beforehand, but not nearly as much. The music, the graphics, the characters, everything was jaw-dropping to me.

If it weren’t for that day, that game, or that Super Nintendo Entertainment System, I would have lead a very, VERY different life and probably wouldn’t have ended up on Atari.io. Super Mario Brothers, without a fraction of a doubt, of any digital medium has influenced not only my gaming tastes but my entire life up to this point the most.

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Crystal Castles was a game-changer for me because it was different and inviting to play the game. It was cute and horrific at the same time. It was my favorite Atari arcade game and still is. It just drew me in. It's like 3D Pac-Man with a plot. I don't think that it was done that way before, but I don't know. I loved the graphics and wished that they made a Saturday Morning cartoon after it. I loved it. When I got the A2600 version of it, I was a little disappointed because the levels were different in layout. But, I still played the game until I made it through every castle in the A2600 version, getting more than 700,000 points playing the game. I never have beaten the arcade version, but I want to see the castle at the end of the game for myself, playfully called "The End: Level 10." It redefined fun for me and was a great challenge. 

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Well now.  Let's see what I can come up with.

  • Space Invaders for the same reason as @socrates63 
  • Super Breakout was my very first game cart...on the 5200.
  • Galaxian and Star Raiders for turning me into a fan of space shooters
  • Pin*Bot influenced my interest in video pinball
  • Wolfenstein 3-D on PC was my first FPS experience in shareware form solo much I spent $60 to get the rest of it.
  • F-Zero on SNES sparked my interest in arcade racing
  • Gran Turismo changed the way I looked at serious racing games.  
  • Forza Motorsport was the reason I wanted an XBOX
  • Sonic Adventure influenced my decision to pre order a Dreamcast...
  • ...and Shenmue's open world aspect only proved I made the right decision.


Edited by Atari 5200 Guy
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I started off on the 2600 and arcades, so...

Yars Revenge - 2600 - Repetitive, but challenging.  First game I ever got for free.  Gotta love free games!
River Raid - 2600 - First game I ever thought I was actually good at.  Got a patch from Activision and everything!
Ms Pac Man - Arcade - The action, the sounds, the intermissions!
Dig Dug - Arcade - A favorite that I try any time I see it.  
Galaga - Arcade - I remember playing this at the local Dairy Queen.  Never was great at it, but another favorite.

But after that, the NES is what really made me love video games.

Castlevania - Loved the spooky aesthetic.  Challenging gameplay.  Still remember the first time I beat it. 
1943 - It took me forever to figure out how to beat the 3rd boss, and even longer to beat the game.  Cemented my love of shooters.
Super Mario Bros. - Classic platformer.  Not the first, but arguably the most influential and well known.  EVERYONE was playing this one.
Metroid - Talk about challenge.  The addition of a map would have made this quite a bit easier, but at least there was a password.  Exploration and backtracking gameplay became a huge influence on game design to this day.

And since people are posting pics.  🙂


1943_ The Battle of Midway-01.png


Super Mario Bros.-02.png


Yars_ Revenge-01.png



ms pac man.png

River Raid-01.jpg

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My dad won a 2600 and several games as a grand opening door prize at a local grocery store.  We already had a 2600, so he let us pick one game to keep from the stuff he won.  I picked Yars Revenge.  I mean, actually, back then I got all my games for free because my parents bought them, but this one always felt different because even my parents didn't have to pay for it.

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Just 4? That is hard to pin down to just 4. My list will be real "old" school.

Tomy's Digital Derby and Coleco's Electronic Quarterback-I know these are not video games, but these old handheld games started my appetite for Video Games.

Monaco GP-One of the first arcade games I loved to play.

Space Invaders for the 2600-Saw this at a friend's home and knew I needed to have that for my house.

Leisure Suit Larry in The Land of the Lounge Lizards and Space Quest-Saw these adventure games and had to play them so I went out and purchased my first computer. a Tandy 1000 HX for the extra graphics at the time. It was one of the all in one computers that plugged into the TV. You had to run all games off of floppies because it did not have a hard drive.

It is hard to pinpoint a type of genre I love because there are so many great games to play. But the list above is why I am know such a video game nerd to this day.

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