Games Of The Generation, For Every Generation

Games Of The Generation, For Every Generation

For some reason I got myself thinking about my favourite games of the generation for all the generations. Then I thought, wouldn’t this be fun to do on Kotaku!

I’ll go first. Here’s how we’ll do this. You have to choose one game for every generation. For reference, I’ve been using this Wikipedia list of consoles to define each generation. You must choose one game as your favourite of that generation, and a sentence explaining why. You can also choose one honourable mention as a runner-up.

Here are mine…

I’m so old that I started with the third generation!

The Third Generation

Winner: Midnight Resistance I played a lot of terrible video games during this period of time and when I think of the ones that were actually good, Midnight Resistance is the one that springs to mind. Honourable Mention: Way Of The Exploding Fist

The Fourth Generation

Games Of The Generation, For Every Generation

Winner: The Legend Of Zelda: A Link To The Past Pound for pound the best designed video game ever made. Honourable Mention: Street Fighter II

The Fifth Generation

Games Of The Generation, For Every Generation

Winner: Super Mario 64 It changed everything. Miraculously still manages to hold up to this day. Honourable Mention: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

The Sixth Generation

Games Of The Generation, For Every Generation

Winner: Metroid Prime [Swoon] Honourable Mention: Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater

The Seventh Generation

Games Of The Generation, For Every Generation

Winner: Dark Souls Maybe it’s just fresh in my mind, but I haven’t loved a game like this since… Metroid Prime! Honourable Mention: Red Dead Redemption


  • 3rd Gen:
    Alex Kidd in Miracle World.
    It was the first game I played that sucked me in and begged to be finished, was over the moon when I eventually did complete the game.

    4th Gen:
    Street Fighter 2 on Megadrive.
    Man… to be able to play my favorite game at home, whenever I wanted… That was THE best thing ever!

    5th Gen:
    Tony Hawk 1 on PS1
    3d Graphics, stereo and ACTUAL songs for audio, brilliant. Spent wayyyyy too many hours on this.

    6th Gen:
    Although I had both a PS2 and XBOX – I’m struggling to think of a game that I can list here.

    7th Gen:
    The Last of Us.
    I can’t remember the last time I felt so engrossed in a game, this one blurred the lines of gaming and story telling. Utterly amazing game.

      • I think you’ve missed the point. It’s supposed to be each person’s individual games of each generation. One person’s list can’t be more or less accurate than another’s list because it’s purely opinion-based.

    • I have one for the 6th gen: Quantum Redshift. An unappreciated gem for the original Xbox.

      The biggest selling point of Quantum Redshift was the graphics detail it possessed. Water and glass would show real-time reflections, each of the game worlds were abundant with high-resolution textures (Not that you can see most of them due to the motion blur!), and the camera “lens” would be flecked with water droplets after being submerged. And it could do all of this at 60 FPS without framerate drops in 4-player split-screen! Where Halo 2 struggled, this game breezed along! And all while having racetracks set around the globe with a truly global feel on each track (Each track has the countdown in their native language!) and in 5.1 surround!

      All on a 733 MHz Intel Pentium III, 64 MB of DDR SDRAM and 233 MHz nVidia graphics!

      EDIT: I almost forgot, you can also use music on the Xbox hard drive as the soundtrack for races!

  • 3rd generation: Aussie Rules Footy (“Out of bounds…..on the full….”)
    HM: Super Spike Volleyball

    4th generation: Mario Kart. And by a country mile too. Pumped so many hours into this game and still break it out occasionally.
    HM: NBA Jam TE, Super International Cricket, Donkey Kong Country 1&2, Yoshi’s Island, Mario All-Stars and about 50 others.

    5th generation: Syphon Filter
    HM: Metal Gear Solid

    6th generation: GTA Vice City
    HM: GTA San Andreas, GTA3, SSX Tricky, Jak3, could list games all day haha.

    7th generation: The Last Of Us. (Maybe, I dunno, it’s so recent but loved the game)
    HM: Red Dead Redemption, Fallout 3, Skyrim

    • 3rd generation: Aussie Rules Footy (“Out of bounds…..on the full….”)
      Played this for the first time recently… my god it’s awful.

      Mario Kart
      Have never and will never understand the appeal of this or its sequels. Overly cutesy, simplified arcade racers where winning involves a large dose of random chance. Heresy I know.

      Fallout 3, Skyrim
      I sort of assumed we were excluding things which were much better on PC.

      • Haha I wouldn’t have played Aussie Rules in 20 years, or any other NES game for that matter.

        The beauty of Mario Kart is that it is very precise. So much so that when doing the time trials your top 5 scores can all be within 0.01 or 0.02 of each other. A thing which I feel the sequels lack. Also the randomness in GP’s also only really comes in in a 2-player game too, as otherwise you know exactly what the other players weapon will be. Even in two-player I think skill plays a much larger role.

        • Up until the Playstation was released I played almost exclusively on various home computers, so splitting by generation doesn’t make a lot of sense to my eyes. If we map the dates approximately:

          1st Generation: I don’t recall the name of the console – my parents bought one of those 16-in-one paddle/ball consoles with various “sports”. The best builtin by far was the light gun target game, although the foosball soccer playalike was also pretty good.
          2nd Generation: Ms Pacman (on Atari 2600).
          3rd Generation: Amiga Moria (a roguelike with some graphics for characters). HM to Lemmings 2 and of course to Tetris (on PC).
          4th Generation: Command & Conquer
          5th Generation: Final Fantasy VII. (The horribleness of the PC version of this is what led me to buying a PS1.)
          6th Generation: Grandia 2. HM to Tales of Symphonia and to Persona 4. (6th gen was the golden age of JRPGs, it really was.)
          7th Generation: Skyrim (on PC). HM to Tales of Xillia.

    • Aussie Rules footy is one of my greatest memories as a young kid simply due to the out of bounds on the full.Hell you could play as Tasmania 😛

      • I was always bummed that I had to play as “Perth” and not the West Coast Eagles. Particularly since the Eagles were featured ON THE FRONT COVER

        • I remember for christmas in 1996 my parents asked me what do you want and i said Aussie Rules for the nintendo sadly i never got it….. Playing an emulator of it nowadays just doesn’t feel right to me either.

    • NBA Jam for 4th Gen for absolute sure in my opinion. That game created friendships, destroyed friendships and everything in between. I mean seriously, it was THE BEST time for NBA ever coupled with (at the time) the coolest game.

      6th Gen: Gran Tourismo and/or FF VII

  • This is too tough for a passing comment on my behalf and I would most likely get bogged down on the differences between the games impact on it’s generation or it’s genre.

    I could spend the better part of a week trying to compile my own list.
    I can say I agree with Mario in the 5th gen, which is actually hard when you consider the 64 pumped out quite a few home runs in the beginning when talking terms of innovation.
    Goldeneye, Zelda, Shadows of the Empire, god even Waverace was something special when it came out.

  • Answer to every generation is “something on PC”. That aside:

    Gen 2 – Frogger

    Gen 3 – Bubble Bobble

    Gen 4 – Puyo Puyo Tsu

    Gen 5 – Goldeneye. Come on, people.

    Gen 6 – Gran Turismo 3

    Gen 7 – Red Dead Redemption

  • 2nd Gen: Pitfall (Atari 2600)
    3rd Gen: Too busy playing Quest for Glory and Monkey Island on PC to own a 3rd gen console
    4th Gen: Super Metroid (SNES)
    5th Gen: Ocarina of Time (N64)
    6th Gen: Tales of Symphonia (Cube) – Runner up: Super Smash Bros. Melee (Cube)
    7th Gen: Tales of Vesperia (360) – Runner up: Monster Hunter Tri (Wii)

    Not necessarily the ‘best’ games, but on reflection, these are the games with which I got the most enjoyment from the console(s).

  • So third gen is NES/Sega Master System then?
    I only had the Sega Master System myself and looking back it pales in comparison so the NES. I did enjoy my time with my games and while Alex Kidd will hold a special place in my childhood heart it was certainly no Super Mario Bros. However, there’s no doubt in my mind that Duck Tales was the best game on the NES.

    4th Gen
    I never had my own Mega Drive or SNES, so this gen kinda passed me by. However from the limited exposure I had on each console, I will say Earthworm Jim was the clear winner for me.

    5th Gen
    N64 beats out the PS1 here by virtue of the lack of loading times compared to the minutes you’d often wait to play a single round of Destruction Derby. Sure, Playstation had Crash Bandicoot but was that really ever a match for Super Mario 64? Anyway, the best game of this gen is a toss-up for me between Lylat Wars (aka starfox 64) for it’s split-screen multiplayer, or Goldeneye for it’s split-screen multiplayer. Oh, who am I kidding. Goldeneye by a broad margin.

    6th Gen
    This is where I really re-entered the world of consoles after years of PC gaming and fell in love with what I could do with a set of twin thumbsticks and triggers after years of keyboard/mouse. Sure I could have bought a joystick for the PC but it never felt right unless I was playing a flight sim. I’ll throw an honorable mention to Jet Set Radio on the Dreamcast (even though it was surpassed by it’s Xbox sequel, Jet Set Radio Future) and FFX on the PS2, but the real winner of this gen had to be Halo. It’s local multiplayer was strides ahead of the competition, it redefined the deisgn of FPS gaming, and had a killer story to boot. It has it’s haters, but Halo is the winner here.

    7th Gen
    With so many games I’ve yet to play on my 360/PS3, and so many still in living memory I don’t know if I can really call a winner here. There were some really high points. I think in recent years there’s been a lot more thought put into what makes a good story, and put the player more in the driver seat instead of the passenger seat. It became less about shiny graphics and more about giving us worlds we wanted to live in and really explore. And while I have hundreds of hours in Fallout 3 and New Vegas that might argue in their favour, I think the best game at accomplishing that was Mass Effect 2. Sure, some of the impact of the Mass Effect franchise wouldn’t really be felt until Mass Effect 3, and the world was built (and certainly grabbed my attention) in the first entry in the trilogy, but if you asked me which game to give to someone to tell them what the last 9 years of gaming have really been all about, I’d hand you a copy of ME2.

  • Gen III

    Winner – Wonder Boy III – The Dragons Trap (SMS)
    Runner Up – Impossible Mission 2 (C64)

    Gen IV
    Winner – Legend of Zelda-A Link to the Past (SNES)
    Runner Up – Secret of Mana (SNES

    Gen V
    Winner – Final Fantasy VII (PS)
    Runner Up – Chrono Cross (PS)

    Gen VI
    Winner – Final Fantasy X (PS2)
    Runner Up – Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec (PS2)

    Gen VII
    Winner – Legend of Zelda – Skyward Sword (Wii)
    Runner Up – God of War II (PS3)

  • This is mine. Interestingly I was into some different genres with each generation..

    3rd Generation –
    Winner: Zach Makraken & the Alien Mindbenders
    Played this on the ol’ C64 and was really into the point & click adventures back then, this one being my favourite.
    Honourable Mention: Ghost and Goblins (so hard, but played it so much)

    4th Generation –
    Winner: Street Fighter 2
    My most played game on the old SNES. Was big into fighting games at Timezone at the time, and this was like the first ever arcade game I could play at home.
    Honourable Mention: Mortal Kombat (same reason as SF2, but this wasnt as polished)

    5th Generation –
    Winner: Golden Eye
    Being a bond fan, absolutely loved this game. The opening gun barrel sequence always gave me goose bumps, I was finally living the fantasy of being 007.
    Honourable Mention: Resident Evil 2 (my first ever PS game)

    6th Generation:
    Winner: GTA San Andreas
    Toss up between this and Vice City, but had to choose this one for the sheer size and things u can do it, plus being into ol School hip hop, i really dug the South Central LA influence of it.
    Honourable Mention: Zelda Ocarina of Time

    7th Generation:
    Winner: GTAV
    Tough decision but had to go to this one just for the amount of money it made.
    Honourable Mention: The Last of Us

    also props to Midnight Resistance. That image alone is bringing back all the fond memories of that game.

  • Stop being so Nintendo Mark (only because I never had one until the Wii :P).

    Third Gen – Toss up between Gauntlet and Rainbow Islands, both on Spectrum
    Fourth Gen – Sonic 2
    Fifth Gen – Metal Gear Solid or Final Fantasy IX
    Sixth Gen – GTA San Andreas. About the only generation I’m certain on the game of the generation
    Seventh Gen – Fallout 3 or Red Dead Redemption. (Can I include Medieval 2 as a 2006 PC seventh gen game?)

  • It’s funny to see Nintendo taking out your top award 3 generations in a row from SNES to Gamecube.
    I’d have to agree with you though for the SNES and N64 years as least (although not necessarily those games in those orders).

    The PS1 got LOTS of great games, the N64 got the absolute classics.

  • 3rd Gen: Super Mario 3 – how is that even a question? (Runner up: Bubble Bobble. Played for hours with my Dad)
    4th Gen: Chrono Trigger – still one of the best games of all time in my opinion. (Runner up: FF6 – my favourite FF game)
    5th Gen: This one is tough for me because I didn’t spend much time in this particular gen. Mario 64 though. First game I ever 100%’d without a walkthrough. Was very proud of myself. (Runner up: FF8? Maybe?)
    6th Gen: GTA3 – Total game changer. (Runner up: We <3 Katamari. The original, made betterer. Loved it. to bits.)
    7th Gen: Mass Effect (Series?) – Like taking part in a giant sci-fi movie. Love the universe, love the story, love “MY” Commander Shepard and talking about her compared to friends’ playthroughs. (Runner up: Guitar Hero World Tour + Sequels (they’re the same game) – Hours of fun with friends.)
    The problem with Gen 7, by this point, I’ve pretty much moved on to PC exclusively and I’m trying to think of games I played on console and totally enjoyed. Also I’ve only just picked up The Last Of Us so I’m about to start it. That could change my answer. GTA5 is great but too recent for me to count.

  • I’m even older and get to start at 2nd gen!

    2nd Gen:
    H.E.R.O – Atari 2600 – while it started out pretty simple the game soon got punishing with the complicated levels where you had to use your dynamite sparingly and would run low on fuel.
    Runner Up: Pitfall

    3rd Gen:
    Wonderboy in Monster Land – Master System – Platforming and RPG elements the game had lots to do.
    Runner Up: Alex Kidd in Miracle World

    4th Gen:
    Secret of Mana – Snes – I can remember spending hours just levelling up before tackling the next section. It was basically Dark Souls for the Snes
    Runner Up: Sonic 2 – Megadrive

    5th Gen:
    Banjo Kazooie – N64 – Pretty much the perfect 3D Platformer with things to collect and secrets to find. Tooie and DK64 went overboard with stuff to collect but the original Banjo got the balance right
    Runner Up : Zelda Ocarina of Time – N64

    6th Gen:
    Wind Waker – GCN – Still the best Zelda game ever made.
    Runner Up: GTA San Andreas – PS2

    7th Gen:
    The Last of Us – PS3 – I struggle to complete games now but The Last of Us I was absorbed until the very end, then I replayed it again immediately afterwards!
    Runner Up: Dark Souls – PS3

  • My favourites

    3rd: Super Mario Bros 3
    4th: Final Fantasy IV
    5th: Vagrant Story
    6th: Resident Evil 4
    7th: hmmmmm jury is out on that one for the moment. I put Xenoblade here for the time being 😉

    • Shit me, forgot about Vagrant Story. I put FFIX instead, but Vagrant Story was a brilliant gem right at the end of the psone’s life that always gets overlooked imo. Awesome story, characters, setting. Gameplay was great, good replayability, bosses were tough unless you figured out the best weapons and affinities to beat them. Imo, the second best RPG ever, the first being FFIX as that’s the best ‘traditional’ RPG and the charm of that game gets me every time

  • My first ever console was a ps2 so you could call me late to the party, but my games for the 6th and 7th generations would have to be Halo and CoD4, both were massive in their effect on the gaming industry (for better or worse) and both were genuinely good games

  • Another old fart clocking in here, starting at 2nd Gen.

    2nd Gen:
    Tron – Intellivision – Revolutionary in it’s own way.
    Runner Up: River Raid – Atari 2600 – Rote learning was every so much fun.

    3rd Gen:
    Wonderboy in Monster Land – Master System
    Runner Up: Alex Kidd in Miracle World
    (Shamelessly stolen off @Stevorooni due to exact same choices)

    4th Gen:
    Sonic 2 – Megadrive – It gave so much colour and movement for a 2d game, the animations gave the characters character – something which I’d argue hadn’t happened before the capabilities of the Megadrive.
    Runner Up: Altered Beast – Megadrive

    5th Gen:
    Final Fantasy VII – PS1 – Lots of reasons, but mostly tackling a large, mature story line with complex game mechanics and sure enough, you truly came to care for those characters you followed all the way to Lvl 99.
    Runner Up : Zelda Ocarina of Time – N64. Revolutionary time altering mechanics and it forced the player into thinking in another plane – not only 1, 2, and 3d, but having to figure out puzzles in 4d? Youch.
    Honourable Mention: Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver for doing what Zelda did with the shadow realm.

    6th Gen:
    FFX – Playstation 2 – for a lot of reasons as per FFVII, but also for showing what can be done with landscape. Spira became a character, especially when you get to the reveal about the travels being undertaken and why when you finished an area, Yuna would stop and look.
    Runner Up: God of War – PS2 – It brought back platforming to a non-Nintendo system in gory, glorious detail.
    Honourable mention: Conkers Bad Fur Day for showing what good writing and humour can do to an otherwise slightly mediocre game.

    7th Gen:
    WiiSports – Wii – A classic because it showed how fun party games with motion controls could be like. Many people scoff at it, but you should remember the fun times you had with mates and tennis.
    Runner up: Tiger Woods 2k11 – Wii – I had to think long and hard about this. But I will have to go with Tiger Woods. Simply because it showed how a mature handling of motion controls could be used in a game to make it go from outstanding to brilliant. Like it or not, the 7th Gen was defined by motion control and both of these games show it from it’s infancy to it’s useful application (Note: there was a LOT of useless application)
    Honourable Mention: Too many, but to pick one I would say The Last of Us.

    8th Gen:
    pffffffft It’s just come out, what classics?

  • I’m so old that I’ve gotta start at 1st gen.

    Gen 1 – Pong (on a hanimex 667 I think)

    Gen 2 – Pitfall (Atari 2600) or Burgertime (intellivision)

    Gen 3 – probably Mike Tyson’s Punch Out or Bart vs. The space mutants

    Gen 4 – Legend Of Zelda: A Link To The Past Castlevania IV (runner up) (SNES)

    Gen 5 – Super Mario 64 (N64)

    Gen 6 – Beyond Good And Evil, Darkwatch, GTA Vice City, Fable (Xbox)

    Gen 7 – Ref Dead Redemption (Xbox 360) or Super Mario Galaxy (Wii)

    Gen 8 (so far) – haven’t played a lot of games from this gen, but so far it would have to be Ryse: Son Of Rome and Peggle 2 (Xbox One), that may change this weekend after playing Thief and PvZ:GW.

    So many other great games I could have mentioned, but they’re the ones that came to mind first.

  • 3rd Gen:
    Aussie Rules Footy (NES)
    HM: Wonder Boy (MS)

    4th Gen:
    Super International Cricket (SNES)
    HM: Shadowrun (SNES)

    5th Gen:
    Final Fantasy VII (PS1)
    HM: Shane Warne Cricket ’99

    6th Gen:
    Halo (Xbox)
    HM: Final Fantasy XII

    7th Gen:
    Uncharted 2 (PS3)
    HM: Oblivion (Xbox 360)

  • 3rd Gen: The Legend of Zelda. Fantastic game that was so unique at the time. It’s still really fun and re-playable even nowadays.
    Honorable mention: Super Mario Bros. 3

    4th Gen: Final Fantasy VI. My favourite game ever, yo’. Play it at least twice a year.
    Honorable mention: Chrono Trigger

    5th Gen: Metal Gear Solid. Such an interesting game with really fun gameplay and fantastic cutscene direction. Great bosses, great music, always new things to find.
    Honorable mention: Final Fantasy VII

    6th Gen: The Legend of Zelda the Wind Waker. I don’t even need to explain this one. It’s incredible in every sense of the word.
    Honorable mention: Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater

    7th Gen: BioShock. I still can’t fully explain why I love this game so much, but my love is real. This game has such an amazing environment and the word is so interesting and unique. I don’t care if it’s just System Shock 2 with more water.
    Honorable mention: Xenoblade Chronicles.

  • Of the consoles I actually had:

    1st Gen: Hockey (Hanimex TVG8610 – )
    2nd Gen: Pitfall! (Atari 2600)
    3rd Gen: The Legend of Zelda (NES)
    4th Gen: Mutant League Football (Mega Drive import)
    5th Gen: PaRappa the Rapper (PS1)
    6th Gen: Psychonauts (PS2)
    7th Gen: Rock Band 3 (X360)

  • I’ve always been more of a PC guy, so my real favourites through the ages would have come through C64 – DOS – Windows.

    Anyway, these are the games that I played the most, and would go back to even when I had a newer system:

    2nd: Pitfall! (Atari 2600)
    3rd: River City Ransom (NES)
    4th: Comix Zone (Megadrive)
    5th: Tombi! (PSX)
    6th: Time Crisis 2 (PS2)
    7th: Batman: Arkham Asylum (technically on PC for me, but let’s say PS3 ’cause that’s what I have)

    ANd apparently the Gameboy doesn’t fit into any generation, so I’m just going to say that Link’s Awakening and Gargoyle’s Quest are awesome, regardless of the generation.

  • gen 1: marksman ( i think it was called that). telstar colormatic (coleco telstar)
    gen 2: pitfall. atari 2600
    gen 3: alex kidd in miracle world. master system
    gen 4: altered beast. mega drive
    gen 5: mario 64/ ocarina of time. n64. metal gear solid. psx.
    gen 6: rival schools 2. dreamcast. shadow of the colossus. ps2
    gen 7: metal gear solid 4. ps3. xenoblade chronicles. wii
    gen 8: resogun. ps4 (i know it’s early but i don’t see anything beating it ever)
    yes, i am that old.

    edit: forgot xenoblade

  • Ok, let’s give this a shot.

    3rd gen (NES): Battletoads
    I used to just love this as a kid, before it even had its reputation for being what it is. But even on top of that, playing it now (and actually getting to see more than the first three levels), it just seems like such a technical marvel doing things I didn’t even know the NES was capable of. Very well-crafted game.
    Honourable mention: Super Mario Bros 3, because it’s the best Mario. Maybe.

    4th gen (SNES): Super Metroid
    This one I didn’t play at the time, but only ended up grabbing some time after high school once I’d become hooked on Metroid. I really wish I had played it when it was new though, to this day it’s just stunning and I can only imagine it would have been moreso when brand new.
    Honourable mention: Unirally. Simple but fun fast-paced racing game, and still has one of my most favourite videogame soundtracks ever. Also Super Mario World, because other best Mario.

    5th gen (N64): F-Zero X
    As cool as GX is, I still prefer this one if only because of its overall aesthetic. Although when you throw the Expansion Kit into the mix it becomes even greater. I may just have a thing for high-speed racing to a metal soundtrack…
    Honourable mention: Perfect Dark. Because it too kicks arse.

    6th gen (GCN): Donkey Kong Jungle Beat
    Something weird. Something completely unexpected. Something awesome. A platformer where you control things using a set of bongos sounds like a silly idea, but damn it makes for a fun game. The only thing I don’t like about it is that I always feel inclined to try and play it to the rhythm of the music, which doesn’t always work out. The whole combo/score system gives it so much replayability too, there’s much more to it than just trying to reach the end.
    Honourable mention: F-Zero GX 😛 And RE4, it’s amazing how replayable that game is.

    7th gen (Wii): De Blob
    This is a tough one, and I’m still not entirely sure I’d pick this over one of the others. I have a thing for games with cool soundtracks I guess. But this one ties it in with the gameplay so well, and it’s pretty much the only game where I feel like a “waggle” control actually worked in the game’s favour than against it.
    Honourable mention: House of the Dead: Overkill for its perfectly nailed grindhouse aesthetic, and for bringing back the light gun game. Deadly Creatures for a different way of handling story. A boy and his blob because pretty. Little King’s Story! Dammit this is hard…

    8th gen (Wii U): Wonderful 101
    Because this game kicks arse. All of it. And then some.
    Honourable mention: Pikmin 3 because it was the best until the above came along. Also ZombiU, for constantly scaring the crap out of me, half the time without even doing anything at all.

  • I joined in for the 4th Gen so here’s my list:

    4th Gen: Secret of Mana (SNES)
    This was the game that brought me into gaming. I just completely fell in love from the moment I started playing.
    Honourable Mention: Rocket Knight Adventures (SEGA Mega Drive)

    5th Gen: Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask (N64).
    This is the first game where I felt a world was truly alive. Every single NPC had their own stories to tell. This game completely blew my mind at the time and I still go back to it every so often!
    Honourable Mention: Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time & Super Mario 64 (N64).

    6th Gen Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker (GCN)
    Huh, starting to see a pattern here, all Ninty games. Oh man, what can I say about this game. It was just … beautiful. From the sound track to the art style. I just LOVE this game.
    Honourable Mention: Super Mario Sunshine (GCN)

    6th Gen: Dark Souls (PS3)
    This game is my jam! I love every moment, every broken controller, every bead of sweat, every horrible curse word hurled at my screen. This is my number 1 game of all time (so far).
    Honourable Mention: Super Mario Galaxy (Wii)

  • 1st Gen (shut up, I’m old!): Pong. All I had was a cheap knockoff console the size of a brick with 2 sliders, a coax out and that was it, no power button, no reset, heavy enough to use as an emergency bludgeon and it didn’t even keep score.
    No honourable mention unless you count the “wiggling the coax because the picture hadgne fuzzy again” game.

    2nd Gen (Wood Grain A2600 FTW!): Mountain King. Dynamic lighting (well, a torch that could reveal hidden stuff), chiptunes that were INDSTINGUISHABLE from a full orchestral performance of Hall Of The Mountain King and that had locational volume, character reactivity based on the height you fell from… fantastic stuff.
    Honourable Mention: Berzerk!

    2nd Gen Computer (Shut up, making my own categories too!): Paradroid. A combination of hectic shooting, rapid fire decision making and long term tactical thinking married to a damned stylish minimalistic graphical style and a really interesting suite of enemies.
    Honourable mention: Racing Destruction Set

    3rd Gen Never had it, the C64 was so badass it bestrode 2 console generations like the master race colossus it was so I’m picking 2 more C64 games!

    2nd Gen Computer: The Revenge!: Ultima V. Correcting the majority of the control limitations from IV, creating temptations and challenges to the virtues you spent the last game building up with minimal pressure so you had to really think ethically, creating a vast underworld to explore and a damaged land to heal, possibly the best Ultima ever.
    Honourable mention: Death Knights Of Krynn

    4th Gen/3rd Gen Computer I won a CDTV but that was for our school which kind of sucked but really it was okay because the CDTV kind of sucked too. Thus, on with the Amiga!
    Gunship: The start of my close air support fantasy life, learning helicopter flight physics while doing low level ground attack supporting my weird triangles with a stick coming out so they could finally beat those bastard enemy triangles with sticks coming out!
    Honourable Mention: Shadow Of The Beast (that music…)

    5th Gen: Tomb Raider. No debate here, biggest 3d game I’d played to date, incredibly immersive, intricate levels, looked fantastic, excellent music, this was the game you showed your mates when you wanted them to be impressed with your Playstation
    Honourable Mention: Colony Wars

    486 Era PC (Yeah, screw generations, its all PC now anyway): Syndicate. Kind of a cheat since I was going to put it in my Amiga list but I played at least as much of the PC version, a dark cyberpunk vision of the future with corporate brainwashing, extremely high levels of violence, tactical and strategic planning, whats not to love?
    Honourable mention: Red Storm Rising

    6th Gen: Robotech Battlecry. Easily one of the best licenced adaptations of a TV show, the controls might have been clunky, the game might have had weird difficulty spikes and the story might have been a bit jumpy but by fuck did it really feel like you were in Robotech!
    Honourable Mention: Halo

    Pentium 1-4 Era PC: Planescape Torment. Best game ever made and screw anyone who says otherwise, possibly the best story in gaming, excellent characters, gorgeous graphics, jokes about necrophilia, you can’t go wrong.
    Honourable mention: Operation Flashpoint

    7th Gen: Mass Effect. For all the faults you can pick with the series, it was all in all a fantastic space opera, a competent shooter, a good RPG and had Garrus so it had the edge over everything else.
    Honourable mention: Heavy Rain

    Contemporary PC: Arma 3. It’s still rough around the edges, it still needs optimising, it still has some of the problems that were resident in Operation Flashpoint back in 2001 but by fuck is it the most engaging game I’ve played in years.
    Honourable mention: Dark Souls (bit of a cheat but the mods make it better on PC)

      I have been trying to remember the name Paradroid for like 10 years now, I played the shit out of that too!

      • Heh no probs mate. I loved the hell out of that game, I’m tempted to say I’d love a remake but they’d probably find a way to turn it into angry birds or some shit.

        Something with an isometric diablo-ish perspective though, that might work if done exactly right.

  • 3rd Gen: Wonderboy 3: The Dragons Trap (SMS)
    Solid platforming gem that had a great feel to it, with a main character-switching mechanic that allowed you to access different areas due to each character’s abilities. One of the pre-cursors to RPG-platformers with a semi-open world full of surprises and secrets.
    Honorable Mention: Alex Kidd in Miracle World (SMS)

    4th Gen: Super Mario World (SNES)
    The near-perfect design of previous SMB games except with extra polish, lush graphics and an epic-scope world.
    Honorable Mention: Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (SNES)

    5th Gen: Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time (N64)
    Still holds up to this day as a perfect example of how to make a game. My all-time #1 of any console.
    Honorable Mention: Super Mario 64 (N64)

    6th Gen: Shadow of the Colossus (PS2)
    The first game that made me feel like I was the bad guy, and therefore actually contemplate the medium I was interacting with. Beautiful art, breathtaking battles, gorgeous scenery, an emotional masterpiece.
    Honorable Mention: Guitar Hero 2 (PS2)

    7th Gen: Portal (Xbox 360)
    Clever, subversive, difficult, funny, meta and incredibly rewarding. Makes each small victory feel like a true achievement as if you bested the game’s logic, until you realised you were playing exactly into the designer’s hands. Brilliant.
    Honorable Mention: Fez (XBLA)

  • Midnight resistance: surreal and weird – the last level was a freaken acid trip. Not having enough keys for the right guns was horrible.

    Gen 2: Dodge ’em (Atari 2600). I had this and skiing. Dodge ’em got intense. Skiing got frustrating.

    Gen 3: Ranger X (Mega Drive). This game took the ageing hardware of the Mega Drive and melted your eyeballs. Explosions and scaling effects were unlike anything I’ve seen before it, the levels were ingenious. its ADD in a cartridge

    Gen 4: Super Probotector (AKA Contra III: alien wars). Mode 7 was used for top down levels, ships crashing into the screen and super size bosses. Japanese anime style epilepsy simulator.

    Gen 5: Wipeout. My uncle brought me a playstation from the US before it was released here – before that, the only time I ever heard of the machine was as a prize on the show gladiators (ARREEE YOUUUUU READDDYYY). The soundtrack had Chemical Brothers, Future sound of London to name a couple, The vertical dive in one of the tracks gave me my first sense of vertigo in a game.
    – Honorable Mention – Omega Boost. Look it up. Seriously.

    Gen 6: Resident Evil Remake. Definitive Resident Evil.

    7th: There’s WAY too many to mention, so I’ll pick out one – Dead Space. That opening scene on the crew deck is STILL amazeballs.

    To each their own, gamers are gamers and every one has his/her moment.

  • Started gaming with the 5th generation with the PS1.

    5th Gen
    Winner: Crash Bandicoot, easily.
    Runner up: Conkers Bad Fur Day

    6th Gen:
    Winner: This is a really hard one, as there were so many games I loved from that era. The winner is Kingdom Hearts, though.
    Runner up: GTA San Andreas. Was groundbreaking at the time.

    7th Gen:
    Winner: So, so so many good games here. Gun to my head, I’d choose Skyrim.
    Runner up: GTA V

  • I’m actually going to be honest here; my first videogame console generation was the fifth generation, so I’ll start there:

    5th gen: Diddy Kong Racing
    It was my first game and it WAS SO AMAZING! I loved the ability for three different vehicle types, and the multiplayer mode was legendary!

    6th gen: Super Mario Sunshine
    In my opinion the best Mario game ever. I loved the risks that Nintendo took with this one; it is truly a masterpiece.

    7th gen: Infamous OR Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
    I have a hard choice here because both were legendary in their own way; also, I’m not sure exactly what generation Twilight Princess is…

  • Started gaming in 3rd generation.
    All based on amounts of hours playing.

    3rd gen: Super Mario Bros 3.

    4th gen: Street Fighter 2

    5th gen: GoldenEye

    6th gen: Super Smash Bros Melee

    7th gen: Mass Effect Trilogy

  • 2nd Gen:
    Double Dragon (2600) – ultimate co-op smashing fun. This is what consoles should be about
    HM: Pitfall

    3rd Gen:
    Alex Kidd in Miracle World (SMS). I owned the SMSII with AKIMW built in. Learning every Jakken game off by heart by playing over and over and over….
    HM: Ultima IV Quest of the Avatar

    4th Gen:
    Mutant League Football (MegaDrive). Single handedly got me interested in American football with funny, fast paced arcade action
    HM: Sonic the Hedgehog series

    5th Gen:
    Goldeneye (N64). “Multiplayer, facility, proximity mines”. If I had a dollar for everytime we uttered those words while playing GOldeneye, I’d probably have a couple of hundred dollars.
    HM: Tony Hawk (PS1)

    6th Gen:
    Soul Calibre (Dreamcast). For every night I had playing Goldeneye multiplayer, I had two playing Soul Calibre. It was a great equaliser, in that unlike some other fighting games of the same era, anyone could pick up a controller and put up a good fight against a seasoned pro. Only once you mastered the counters could you consistently beat them. Then you got into massive counter rallies with other players, going 40, 50, 60 hits in a row…
    HM: Halo (Xbox)

    7th Gen:
    Guitar Hero series (Xbox360). Playing music games was never so fun as when you had the two guitars, drums and vocals all smashing out awesome songs. Heaps of DLC meant you could pretty much play what you want
    HM: Elder Scrolls (PS3)

    8th Gen:
    Have they released any good games yet?!

  • Gen3 Super Mario Bros 3
    That game really accomplished things that shouldn’t have been possible on its hardware and cemented Miyamoto’s status as a living legend

    Gen4 Mortal Kombat
    More for what it did than the game itself

    Gen5 Banjo Tooie
    Took every idea from Mario 64 and improved upon it with a massive interconnected world which changed as a result of your actions – has never been topped in the realm of 3D platformers

    Gen6 GTA San Andreas
    Just blew open the scope of what games are capable of

    Gen7. TIE Assassin’s Creed & Team Fortress 2
    AC because that showed what games would look like this generation – complex animations and systems with a level of realism. AC have us massive historic cities to climb – everything you could see you could interact with – it was the new type of platformer… The parkour simulation! Eagle vision was a precursor to Detective Vision and a dozen other ‘vision modes’ that have popped up in games since.

    TF2 because it introduced a brilliant class system as well as the concept of games as a service constantly changing and evolving with its audience – even changing to a FTP game years ago without upsetting its fan base!

    Gen 3: Zelda II: The Adventure Of Link
    Gen 4: Super Mario All Stars
    Gen 5: Super Smash Bros
    Gen 6: Resident Evil
    Gen 7: The Last Of Us
    Gen 8: Battlefield 4

    Gen 3: Zelda II: The Adventure Of Link.
    Despite getting stuck and never beating it I loved this game. Named my character Frog 😛 (I think it was because he was green)
    HM: Kung fu
    HM2: Fantasy Zone as it’s my earliest memory of playing games (possibly the first I ever played)

    Gen 4: Super Mario All Stars. (is that cheating?) first game I saw on the SNES and loved it. Particularly mario bros 3. The Tannoki power up was great, always trying to get a run up and fly.
    HM: X-Men Spider Man Arcades revenge.

    Gen 5: Super Smash Bros.
    I always wanted a game where with Nintendo characters fighting (and sonic). I stil lremember remember the page of the game magazine I read talking about it being potentially made. it had a picture of Yoshi. That game blew me away. It was the sort of game you dreamed about being made but you’d never actually expect to see.
    HM: Golden Eye, Jade Cocoon, RE3 , Armored Core and Pokemon Stadium.

    Gen 6: Resident Evil remake. I didn’t play RE1 on PS (started on RE2) and this was a perfect chance for me to play the original with modern graphics with 30% extra content if I recall the magazine I read correctly.
    HM: Eternal Darkness (amazing!!!), Smash Bros: Melee, Morrowwind, RE4 and PSO.

    Gen 7: The Last Of Us.
    That was a truly amazing game. I have a very short attention span and the fact that I loved it so much that I actually played through again on Survivor through to completion, goes to show how much I enjoyed it. It did an amazing job of making me care about Ellie.
    HM: Smash Bros: Brawl (notice a trend? :P), RE6, MK9, Heavy Rain,Bayonetta and BF2

    Gen 8: BF4 because there isn’t anything much else out on the PS4. Though not having team mates sucks.
    HM: Tomb raider which I’m currently playing and enjoying.

  • Oh god I’m such a baby…

    5th Gen: Crash Bandicoot.
    HM: Spyro The Dragon.

    6th Gen: Kingdom Hearts II.
    HM: Crazy Taxi, Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4.

    7th Gen: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
    HM: Heavy Rain, Mass Effect 2.

    And since there’s no generation for the handhelds, giant honorary mentions to Pokemon Sapphire and Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward just because.

  • 2nd – Human Cannonball – Atari 2600
    Because it was stupid, pure and simple. Fire a man out of a cannon to some oft times arbitrary location because reasons.

    3rd – Bubble Bobble – NES
    I sank a lot of hours into this game but it wins for me due to the music, and guaranteed, anyone who has played it and read the words Bubble Bobble was already humming along to it in the back of their mind.

    4th – Chronotrigger – SNES
    Do I really need to elaborate?
    HM – Final Fantasy Mystic Quest because it made me love what JRPGs stood for and made me play Chronotrigger

    5th – Banjo Tooie – N64
    I put it ahead of Kazooie only because I liked some parts of the soundtrack more and I liked the sprawling worlds with more hidden stuff. The game was the epitome of a 3D platformer for me.
    HM – Final Fantasy 8, I am basically a walking talking encyclopedia of this game and can still name all the creatures.

    6th – Kingdom Hearts 2 – PS2
    The game was just fun. Convoluted story aside, every minute spent actually playing the game, fighting bosses (yes, even Demyx), grinding mats, floating around in wisdom and master form was a joy, the soundtrack kicked some ass too

    7th – The Last of Us – PS3
    One of the few games I wanted to keep playing to find out where the story went and probably the only game I can claim I had any sort of emotional investment in the characters. Naughty Dog hit it out of the park with The Last of Us and there is a reason I put it on my best games of all time pillar right next to Chronotrigger.

  • Hmm, here’s my list then.

    3rd Gen: Alex Kidd in Miracle World. My brother and I played this game so many times as for the first month or two of our first console experience, this was the only game we had. But it was fantastic. Tight controls, varied levels, and JANKEN MATCHES. And you could punch animals so hard they exploded.

    4th Gen: Sonic 3 & Knuckles. This was simply the best iteration of the best series of this generation. The graphics were never brighter or more detailed, the levels were big, varied and could be attacked a number of different ways, and it felt like an epic, fitting finale to the Megadrive’s greatest series.

    5th Gen: Nights into Dreams. Not only was this game hugely imaginative and great to play, it helped to revolutionise control pads with the introduction of a sensible analogue controller. (yeah the N64 did it too, but it’s controller was crap in comparison) Honourable mentions to the Sega AM2/AM3 arcade ports, VF2 and Sega Rally – best videogame soundtracks ever, and to Gran Turismo, for finally putting grown-up car racing on consoles.

    6th Gen: Grand Theft Auto San Andreas. Not a technical leap over Vice City, but a clever improvement in a lot of regards. The inclusion of Gang Turf Wars was a masterstroke, and the open world stuff, as primitive as it looks now, demanded hours of exploration.

    7th Gen: Well, I’m still playing some fantastic games (just started into Skyrim on my PS3), so I haven’t got a winner yet. Highlights have included the Uncharted series, Red Dead Redemption and to a lesser extent, GTA5, and certainly The Last of Us. Biggest surprise for me was Max Payne’s stunning return from Rockstar. I thoroughly enjoyed playing through that story.

  • 2nd: Pitfall! HM: Pole Position
    3rd: Super Mario Bros. 3 HM: Final Fantasy
    4th: TLoZ:ALttP indeed HM: Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
    5th: Final Fantasy 9 HM: TLoZ:OoT
    6th: Shadow of the Colossus HM: TLoZ: WW
    7th: The Last of Us HM: Xenoblade Chronicles
    8th: Super Mario 3D World

  • Somewhat a youngun but not by much. Also going to add handheld games because why not

    4th Gen: Sonic The Hedgehog (Megadrive)
    -The series may be insufferable now but the original games is still pure platforming genius
    HM: Metal Slug (i may have the generation wrong but the series rules nonetheless)
    Didnt have a brick game boy so i’ll add Lego Blocks as my favorite handheld. I got to play Wario Land 2 later though so i’ll add that.

    5th Gen: Donkey Kong 64 (N64)
    – Still blows my mind how massive and adventurous it was. (this applies to all the Rare games)
    HM: F-Zero X (Everyone is going to vote for Ocarina Of Time so I chose the first N64 game i ever owned)
    Handheld: Pokemon Blue, Yellow and Gold

    6th Gen: Super Smash Bros Melee (GC)
    – Pretty sure i was addicted to this game.
    HM: Halo (Same for this)
    Handheld: Advance Wars

    7th Gen: Red Dead Redemption
    – I phased out of video games for a while, this brought me back in.
    HM: Arkham City (You get to be Batman, duh) and Rayman Origins (cant decide between the two, its just goes full circle back to my platforming love)
    Handheld: Patapon

    I noticed that i am a fairly big Nintendo fan and that most of these games have amazing music soundtracks and compositions which what has inspired me to be an accomplished composer

  • Man, this list is all wrong. Not one of those games mentioned deserve to be on that list. Losing faith in kotaku posts… :/

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