What game kicked off your love of video games?


#1

In the vein of Kate Gray’s article on Waypoint, what was the first game you played that made you fall in love with video games?

The first game that really did it for me was Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Before that, I had played a few mediocre PC games, but my 8 year old self found OoT to be the first truly affecting game I had come across. I first experienced the game by watching my dad play through it, and I distinctly remember pleading with my father at one point to put the Master Sword back into the slab so that we could go back to when Hyrule was still lively and cheerful.

The final fight in particular, taking place in the smoldering ruins of Ganon’s Castle under bleak, stormy skies and set to an incredibly somber tune, actually drove me to tears as a kid. When I played the game for myself not too long afterward, I stopped playing just before entering Ganon’s Castle because I didn’t want to have to go through that last experience again. OoT definitely opened my eyes to the power of video games and I have been infatuated with them ever since.


#2

It wasn’t any one particular game I don’t think, but my aunt had a NES and my grandpa had a SNES, so I was basically doomed to begin with


#3

The time I played the original Sonic the Hedgehog on my brother’s Sega Genesis. At one point a couple years ago I was writing a book about video games and I actually outlined the whole thing, but it would probably be a little too long to copy and paste here.

The short version is that I got to play my brother’s Genesis exactly one time ever. Some of his friends came over to watch a horror movie for the night and I was too young, so I was locked in his room with Sonic 1 and it blew my mind. But: my brother is 14 years older than I am, never let me in his room, and I was too shy to ask him if I could ever play it, and in 1992 he moved out and took the Genesis with him.

So I spent the next two years begging for a Genesis of my own. Instead, my Mom got me a Super Nintendo. I wasn’t ungrateful, but I wanted to play Sonic again, and by now Sega was really ramping up the marketing machine, so Sonic was everywhere.

That quest to play Sonic games sort of turned me in to the crazy Sonic fan I am today because it kind of never wore off.


#4

I loved renting different games to play each weekend on the N64 or original Xbox when i was a kid. I can’t say a single game put me on immediately, but playing Goldeneye was amazing to me. Especially since my parents were strict about T rated and later M rated games growing up. I think every time I went to blockbuster I’d look at the shelves of games that I wasn’t allowed to play and began to fantasize about being 13 or 17 and being able to play all those forbidden games. Going to other people’s houses or watching my older brother play when my parents were gone were cherished moments to me. of course by the time when i was 14 my parents stopped giving a shit and i played red dead redemption. that 14 year build up really made that game enjoyable but i heard a study on the bombcast a long time ago that everyone plays their favorite videogame ever by the time they are 14? I think whatever psychology that was conducted behind that study makes just as much sense in my case.


#5

Kingdom Hearts.

I feel it explains a lot about me and my tolerance for nonsense plots, in retrospect.


#6

The N64 being my first console, classics like Smash, Mario Cart and DK64 formed a decent chart of my childhood, but I logged a lot more play time during GameCube/PS2 era. The Jak and Daxter series–especially Jak 3 which came when I was about 10–maintains a special place in my memory. I have returned to the series a number of times even in more recent years. They weren’t the first games I fell in love with, but they definitely are a truly special part of my formative years in gaming.


#7

I had a Genesis when I was very young, but for whatever reason I preferred LEGOS, games just never grabbed me. I liked them, but I hadn’t fallen in love. A few years later, the golden age of Squaresoft JRPGs are what got me. Particularly Front Mission 3, FF8, Chrono Cross - that spiraled out in to obsessing over each issue of EGM and the rest is history.


#8

Super Mario World was my first love. I had already played Duck Hunt, and some older games, but Super Mario is what set me on the path.


#9


#10

Super Mario Kart on the SNES. First real game I remember playing and truly enjoying. All uphill from there.


#11

Pokemon Blue Version on my Clear Game Boy Pocket. Still play through it every year or so.


#12

God, it had to be Pokemon Red or FF7, i was helping my younger cousin play and I just, fell in love with worlds i could drop into. As for being able to get actually into playing for marathon sessions, Fallout 3
Also playing Soul Calibre 2 with my uncle and constantly getting my ass kicked


#13

Damn, this is a weird one for me. My earliest gaming memories are Commander Keen, the Duke Nukem 2D games, and Duke 3D (with the parental advisory mode turned on). I was too young to really play them well, but I gave it a shot. My cousins also had a Genesis with Sonic The Hedgehog and NBA jam and an SNES with Link to the Past and Super Mario All-Stars. Then of course I ended up getting into Pokemon pretty early as well. My early gaming tastes were all over the place.


#14

Super Mario World.

That game blew my five year old mind. It felt limitless. There were so many secrets, so many weird locales. I was just in awe.

Of course it took a few more years before I got past the Forest of Illusion but that’s besides the point


#15

Sword and Sworcery. I didn’t really play games as kid—a half-hour of Mario at a friend’s house here and there, that’s about it—so when I bought a Humble Bundle on impulse in college, I was totally unprepared for what I was getting into. It was maybe the best one they’ve done, with Bastion, Limbo, Amnesia, and Psychonauts all in the pack. Sword and Sworcery, though, was the one that won my heart. Even though it was the easiest of the bunch to play, I found it so entirely engrossing from the first notes of Jim Guthrie’s synthy soundtrack—and found the second half’s slow physical decline of the Scythian so wrenching—that I immediately started it again, even though it was boiling, sticky summer night and my laptop was starting to burn my thighs.


#16

i think the first game i ever played was spy hunter on the nes. i remember being very young when my dad got the family into his tiny office in our restaurant to show that he bought that and the NES. i fell in love with it’s high speed hijinks instantly, even though to this day i’m still no good at it!!!


#17

Here’s a story about how I realized I loved games through a public copy of Super Metroid and repeated lies.

My family took me to church when I was younger (none of us practice religion now) and there was a rec room there. When we got there early before Sunday School, there was an SNES with three really random games–Tetris Attack, Super Star Wars and Super Metroid. At this time I had no consoles and the only games I’d played were Windows 95 demos and Super Mario Bros on a borrowed NES while I had bronchitis.

All the kids always wanted to play Tetris because it was multiplayer and competitive, but as soon as I glimpsed Metroid and realized it was trying to do Ridley Scott’s Alien film for kids (films I wasn’t allowed to watch but was dying to) I had to have it.

So, I’m begging my mom to go to church early, that I’m really excited to get there as fast as we can. She probably thinks I’m really into Jesus, but I’m just trying to lock down that SNES before the Tetris kids get there. I’m really into Samus.


#18

Going waaay back it would have been Repton on the BBC Micro. I liked playing that so much I had a birthday cake in the shape of that little green alien.

But when it went from a kid’s hobby to something where I first realised ‘woah, these are things I’m probably going to be interested in for all time’ was The Secret of Monkey Island on the Amiga.

I remember being shown it by my teacher’s husband (my parents were also teachers) and he used to write tips for an Amiga magazine under the pseudonym The Boggit. And he showed off the start of Monkey Island 1 and 2, and at that point I didn’t really understand what I was looking at. I’d never seen an adventure game, or even really a game that had written dialogue to any great extent. But I knew I needed to see more.

Soon after that, I remember a couple of things: first I begged my dad to get me Monkey Island 2, and he persuaded me we should get the first game instead (good call, dad! 2 is the best, but it was better to play 1 first). In my mind the higher number game was the one you wanted, obviously. Never even occurred to me that there might be plot continuity.

Second, I remember going into a shop and they didn’t have the game and I asked my dad why don’t we just get a copy like we usually do, and he shushed me from asking in front of the shopkeeper, and THAT was when I learned that those boxes of floppies he brought home every so often weren’t exactly legit.

Monkey Island was influential in countless ways to me. It informed my sense of humour, my love of playing video games, my sensibilities as a music composer, it’s… rather close to my heart.


#19

Honestly it was way too early for me to remember properly
Super Mario World is my most vivid first memory but from what I remember it most certainly wasn’t the first. I know a Atari 2600, Genesis, and Gameboy were within my reach before the SNES was.

If the Atari was first it was probably Pitfall, Bomber, Breakout, or River Raid.

If it was the Genesis it was probably Sonic, Sonic 2, Tiny Toons Adventures: Buster’s Hidden Treasure, TMMT: The Hyperstone Guest, or hilariously enough MK/MK2.

If was the Gameboy then Tetris.


#20

Played Super Mario Brothers at my aunt’s house and knew these video game things were gonna be my jam, then and always.