Our Favorite Games Through the Years - Part 4 - Gaming Thoughts

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

The disc-based rea was an interesting one. Hardware had more moving parts than ever, leading consoles to often break down more quickly than their cartridge-based ancestors. That being said, it opened up so much more storage space and audio fidelity. Gaming soundtracks evolved into more than a series of repetitive series of loops to full-blown music.


PlayStation One: Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

Those that know me may actually be shocked at this one- given my adoration of JRPGs, you'd think I'd pick one of the many, many influential and high-quality JRPGs on the PS One. But nope ... SotN is uniquely special because of the absolute rug pull that happened at the "end" of the game. Nobody saw it coming and it was well before the widespread availability of the internet so spoilers were minimal. A beautifully-designed game, Symphony of the Night brings me back to hot, humid summers (without air conditioning), Creed, and just genuinely loving the innocence of childhood.

The PS One is an interesting beast for me as it was the last console of mine that I played while still something of a child. By the time the Xbox generation appeared, I was a newly-minted adult and that very "childhood innocence" that the PS One so wonderfully represented would be shattered just a few months prior to the Xbox's November 2001 launch.


GameCube: The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker

I bounced a lot on this one. Skies of Arcadia was stellar but I never got to play enough of it. My brother actually bought me a copy a few years back and I need to set my Wii up to stream it for an Extra Life marathon one of these years… maybe that could be this year’s main event! Baiten Kaitos was also fun with a card based RPG system.

But, as much as I hate open worlds, Wind Waker was just fun as there was an ease to it that a lot of other titles still don’t have. This was also one of the first titles where Link was being given a personality which was fun. The cell shaded graphic also made this scary enough adventure a lot more approachable and I was more than happy to buy the Wii U Edition and the console of it.

PlayStation One: Breath of Fire III

Game of the everything and I’m sad that Capcom have left the series… nowhere. A bit like Mega Man if we are being honest.

Breath of Fire 3 had it all. Amazing story, accessible design, minimalist transitions to get to and from battle always keeping things moving, it was perfect, and it still holds up today. That’s it. This is probably my #1 game.

Sadly, most of what made BoF III amazing didn’t translate to BoF IV and the chance they took on Dragon Quarter for the PS2 didn’t work for most people. The series would basically see nothing until BoF VI which I don’t know much about other than being a mobile title that I don’t think has been localized.

Being that the PS1 has a vast and amazing library, honorable mentions go to: Lunar: Silver Star Story - Complete, Lunar 2: Eternal Blue - Complete and The Legend of Dragoon.


GameCube: Metroid Prime

Continuing with Nintendo consoles, we have the GameCube. This was an insanely easy choice for me: Metroid Prime. Yeah, this is probably one of the more "mainstream" entries on my list, but that doesn't matter. I've always been a big fan of Metroid games, and Metroid Prime really drove it home. From the soundtrack to the gameplay to the environment and tricks you need to do to earn some of the powerups, I loved absolutely everything about Metroid Prime. Every so often I still break out my GameCube for this, because man is it a great 1st person Metroid title. The boss fights, the environments, even the cool sequence breaks you can do are just so much fun. I love Metroid Prime, and really hope they continue making Metroid games like this in the future as well.

PlayStation: Spryo the Dragon

Moving onto the Sony consoles, we have our first title, and one I expect most people to recognize: Spyro the Dragon. Yup, that sassy purple lizard wins my PS1 category, and for good reason too. Spyro the Dragon is an absolutely amazing classic title. Even if you play the reignited trilogy, which is a sort of remaster, the game is still as great as it ever was. I've played Spyro the Dragon so many times and so often, that I actually once used to be able to complete it in a timeframe where I would be able to get it included in the 120% speed run listing. Not a great ranking, as I played it glitches, but not in the last 50 either. Spyro the Dragon holds a really special place in my heart and is almost always my go-to game when I don't know what to do. Well, it ends up turning into the first three titles, but it's Spyro the Dragon nonetheless.


Sony PlayStation: Final Fantasy VII – to say that there were a lot of great games on this console would be an understatement. Like the NES and Genesis, I had a ton of games for this. Early titles like Battle Arena Toshinden and Beyond the Beyond broke me in. Tecmo’s Deception still ranks as one of my favorites of all-time. Many of my sports franchises like Madden and NCAA Football hit their stride here. And the fighting games! But Final Fantasy VII just resonated with me from the start. It was the first game I ever pre-ordered (from an Electronics Boutique – anyone remember those? I got a free t-shirt with my pre-order…). It was this massive, multi-disc game. My friends would come over to play it while I was off at college or work. I think there were four or five of us playing through it at once. I know that to many people, this title has become overrated over the years, but there’s no discounting the impact it’s had on gaming since.

Sega Dreamcast: NBA 2K – The Dreamcast was an underrated console, and sadly Sega’s swansong in that market. There were a ton of really cool, underappreciated games that released on it. However, no game stuck with me and my friends quite the way NBA 2K did. It had a ton of arcade flair, but plenty of stat-tracking baked in as well. Playing a franchise mode was a hoot, and the little mini-units in the controls that updated you on things like player stats along the way were just cool.

Nintendo GameCube: Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance – The further I get into this list, the more convinced that if PY asked me to, I could almost do a convincing top 10 for about 80% of these categories, and the GameCube is another reason why. There were a ton of fun games on this console, but this was my introduction to the Fire Emblem series, and it was love at first sight. That you could later port this over to the Wii game, Radiant Dawn just made it that much cooler later on. But the combination of strategy and RPG elements, plus punishing tactical difficulty made this my favorite game on the platform, hands-down. 

Article by RobertPierre-YvesRichard, and Nick