My Favourite Computer Games Part 1 - #10 to #7

Hello. Before we get started, this is something of a sad moment – one that I would’ve said a few years ago probably wouldn’t have ever come, but now it has and the era is over, I must look back with wistful eyes. My computer game playing career is pretty much over. There are a few different factors, but the most important of all is that I don’t like the games being made anymore. They are not what I want to play, and not what I want to spend my money on, and as such I’ve fallen out of the loop. Also, the idea that games can only be played on one type of machine by one manufacturer doesn’t wash any more, and that’s annoying more than anything.

I was and I am a massive proponent of computer games and their benefits, but my time with them has passed. And it feels like the passing of a great friend, one that has been with me since very early in my life, but it’s time. It’s time to let go, and this is my love note to the games that have impressed upon my life – my favourite games.


007: GoldenEye (Nintendo 64)
GoldenEye is a stone wall classic amongst my friends who were around at the time it was made. I played a lot of it on a friends N64 in the single player mode, but it was in the multiplayer that it came alive. License to Kill mode, where one shot kills, and five minute rounds, meant that the games were fraught with tension and excitement every single day. We played GoldenEye at a friend’s house daily for a while, even swapping controllers to compensate for the horrible fat fake controller that he had.

Slappers only was a good mode too, but it was the levels that I remember the most – Facility, Complex, Caves, Library and Archives. Temple was the one we avoided the most, it being really big and dark. But mostly, we hated proximity mines and moonraker lasers, but loved automatics. It was a glorious game, and a glorious time, and one that I will forever be nostalgic for.

Crazy Taxi (Dreamcast)
A few weeks ago I picked up Crazy Taxi for my iPhone. I found my self playing it in Central Station and I was stunned – above all, this game was my true score attack title, and it was so addictive. I used to play the 10 minute mode, where you had to pick up as many passengers as possible. I found a glitch that meant I could fork out thousands of dollars from passengers for a long time beyond their fare ending, and it meant my high scores were up in the $20’000 each time, much beyond the normal scores. I love the music, the humour, the graphics, the gameplay, but above all I love the just-one-more-go mentality the game had, which was truly addictive beyond anything I’ve ever played since. In this list you’ll note that I am not one to play these types of games, but this one was the exception.

Theme Hospital (Windows)

The Hospital Administrator is cheating!
I got this title for my PC back in 1999 after originally playing a demo that was on the cover of PC Gamer (I think). I remember finding the game difficult and the humour a little out there, but it was about two years later when I found the disc in the drawer that I returned to the title and utterly fell in love with it – the diseases being hilarious, and the gameplay being perfectly balanced. I loved the graphical style and, like a few titles, I’d buy the shit out of a remake for the iPad. It’s a classic, no question.

The Mass Effect trilogy (Xbox 360)
My Shepard.
Mass Effect is the last great computer game love of my life, and one that has completely redefined for me what computer games could be, and as such ruined me. Mass Effect was a punt of a purchase, £10 preowned on a whim, and it sucked me so far I could barely breathe. The second title exploded the universe to a massive scale and had me hooked, and up until 3 minutes before the end of the third game I was utterly convinced it was going to end with the title of being the grandest fiction I’ve ever been involved in. But alas, they dropped the ball in the last moments. But what I had before those last few minutes was around 100 hours over three titles that I had built my character, with decisions meaning things, people dying stayed dead, and the most incredible lore of any science fiction series ever. I am certain it will be remembered as being bigger than anything attempted in this generation of consoles, and the style and control it told it’s story made me wish all games were like this – and the fact that they are not is a big factor in me not wanting to play anything anymore. I need games to be more, and Mass Effect was that.