Your Best Gaming Experience



  • It's a pretty definitive question, and I don't expect the answer to come easily, but yeah, what is that game that sort of transcended every other game you've played?

    For me, there are a few that immediately spring to mind; Super Mario Bros, Revenge of Shinobi, Actraiser, Super Mario 64, Castlevania: SOTN, but the one game that just completely immersed me, and is responsible singlehandedly for bring me back in to the video game fold is Dark Souls. Little did I know that when my friend gave me his Xbox 360, I'd get the opportunity to play, what I consider, the best game ever made.

    So, that's me, and it may change as time goes on.

    What's yours?



  • for me it will always be Chrono Trigger. CT brings backs so many memories, like telling my 3rd grade crush that i named Marle after her. i was heavily invested in all the characters, and it impacted me greatly. it was the first game that i didnt want more, i needed more. from the soundtrack, to the battle system, to the character development it blew young me away and made my itch for JRPGS an insatiable thirst.



  • Mass Effect 2, specifically the Suicide Mission. I went on media blackout for the game before and during my first playthrough so the game was just one bombshell after another for me. The only thing I new going in was that pretty much anyone could die during the Suicide Mission. So I prepped the shit out of it. I did everything I could in the game before giving the go ahead.

    I played through it at 2am on a Sunday night with my headphones on and the volume turned up to as loud as was comfortable. I then proceeded to play the best 2 hours of gaming I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing.

    I was on the edge of my seat the whole time.

    The music alone for it is beautiful,
    https://youtu.be/e2z28mutY1E.

    The are just so many little moments within it that are perfect. While it has a break neck pace there are a couple of nicely placed breathing moments. The combat is intense and the final boss is a looming monstrosity of a horror of man and technology. It was me and my team against overwhelming odds and it really felt like it.

    The whole section makes you feel like everything you've done in the game has been leading up to this moment. Every choice has counted in someway and the choices you have to make during it are tough. At any point any one of them could fall and their death would be on me. There really was weight to it.

    Man I really want to play Mass Effect 2 again now!



  • @thenerdtheword I'll second Mass Effect 2.. the ending really is fantastic. I remember poor Kelly getting digested or whatever in front of me after talking to her throughout the game and learning her life story ;_; and it was all my fault. Then seeing her name (and others) on the memorial in ME 3 hit me hard. I think that was a great addition btw

    I'll also add Zelda Ocarina and then Twilight Princess.. which had just enough nostalgia to give me a great experience playing it. Also.. my first Halo CE playthrough, TES Oblivion, Bioshock, beating Mario 64 all those years ago.. and most recently The Witcher 3 and Uncharted 4.



  • Dark Souls 1. Mic Drop!

    Youtube Video



  • Twilight Princess, Okami, and Psychonauts (just beat it today), we're all really amazing experiences that just compelled me to keep playing. But there is one that tops them all, Persona 3 Portable.

    I just could not stop playing. No sleeping, just Persona. And it didn't stop when the game was over. I played it 2 more times within the week, trying to finish more social links, fuse better Personas, unlock more endings. I was addicted, it still pulls me in whenever I pick it up.



  • I've mentioned this in other threads but for me, games are largely a social thing. I play games either with friends or with the intention of talking about the story with friends later. With that in mind, after I saw the GT group stream playthrough of Until Dawn I organized a similar group play event with a bunch of my friends at college. It was a fantastic time. I also organized a group playthrough of Life is Strange, which had equally strong (but very different) emotional reactions from the participants. My best solo gaming experience was definitely with Persona 4, though. The first time I played it, I was a hardcore completionist and used a guide from beginning to end. Now that my priorities have changed to be more focused on the story instead of making sure everything I do is optimized, I'm replaying the game with as little use of a guide as possible. It's completely changed my experience with the game, and I'm finding that I'm growing even more attached to these characters now that I'm giving them the attention they deserve.



  • Darks souls 3. While not my favorite game ever, it is the best one in my library. Never during the gameplay have I thought anything bad about it. It just works so well.



  • Lunar: Eternal Blue. A jolly, heartfelt adventure that actually made me care about the characters (which rarely happens for me). The gameplay itself is relatively standard JRPG-fare of the time, but the story, and the music, and the emotion just blend beautifully together into an intoxicating cocktail. It's certainly an "anime" RPG but it wears its heart on its sleeve and it eagerly guides you through its world of magic and wonder. This was a game I never wanted to end, so much so that after I beat it, I could not bring myself to go back because I wanted to keep that ONE experience pure and unfiltered. I did eventually though and it's just a wonderful trip down memory everytime.



  • The Witcher 3 is a relatively recent game, and normally I wait longer until I form an opinion on a game's status in my personal pantheon of gaming. However, it's just impossible to deny what a masterpiece this game was. Never before had a game completely engrossed me in its world quite like the Witcher 3. Every encounter felt meaningful, every new location was beautiful. I couldn't stop playing once I started.



  • Kingdom Hearts 2. This is the only game that has made me want to play it again after every play through. The game has never frustrated me while playing and is so fun and jolly. No game, outside of the Kingdom Heart series, has come close to entertaining me as much as Kingdom Hearts 2 has.



  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. My friends and I were so hyped for this game but I was the only one with a PS2. After we discovered there was co-op in the game we had regular sleep overs where we just played GTA:SA the whole night.



  • Most unique gaming experience and atleast close to being the best because I got to share it with my friends, was server first Ulduar raid clear in World of Warcraft. We worked so hard on it and the raid is still my favorite in encounter design and also one of the favorites in visual design. We had fun and we accomplished something.

    For best single player gaming experience I really don't have an answer. It's hard for me to compare feelings that I had 25 years ago. But for the more recent ones I could name Witcher 3, it's a phenomenal game. Also Walking Dead season one hit me really hard, while I had played tons of point and click adventures in the 90's. Walking Dead felt really fresh to me and ofcourse it was emotional as hell. The story and characters felt so real and grounded (but still really interesting and layered) even with a zombie apocalypse backdrop. Been a Telltale fan since, though they still haven't topped what the first season did.



  • There are some very obvious answers to this (great) question: Demon's Souls, Dark Souls, Dragon's Dogma, Kentucky Route Zero, Nights into Dreams, House of the Dead, Level 5 in Rez, Street Fighter 4, the original Smash Brothers, various arcade experiences (a topic unto itself?).

    Despite that list I'd like to give a somewhat left field response.

    Blades of Exile is a little known shareware title from Spiderweb Software:
    http://www.spiderwebsoftware.com/blades/winBOE.html

    A school friend discovered it and spoke well of it, sharing it with a few of us. We messed around with the game and generally had a good time. Unlike the previous titles Blades included a fairly robust editing system, for creating unique scenarios.

    I was, for lack of a better word, room mates with one particular friend at the time (the British private education system is a strange beast). One day he gave me a custom made scenario of his own creation. I thanked him and agreed to play through it.

    Most of the edit was pretty standard, well made but not noteworthy for any reason. Then, near the end of the adventure, I came across a small house in the game. It was empty, but highly detailed, including books and notes of various length.

    To my complete surprise those books and notes contained very personal letters directed at me. Things he wanted to tell me and say to me that he didn't feel able or ready to say to my face. Many of them were complaints, difficult feelings, frustrations in our friendship. It turned out he was gay - boarding school then was not an environment you wanted to come out in - and I learnt that fact through playing this custom version of a tiny little shareware game.

    We more or less resolved most of the issues, but I'll almost certainly never have the experience of learning so much about a person close to me via a computer game again. It will always stay with me, that letter written in a level editor.



  • I have two. Total Annihilation and Dark souls 1. TA because my brother and I used to LAN it up back in the 90's and endlessly battle against each other as either Arm or Core and it's probably my favorite memory with my bro. That game got me into 1v1's hardcore. Then more recently I finally tried dark souls and holy sweet baby Jesus. That game consumed me, the lore, the world, the challenge, the number of hours trying to beat pikachu and snorlax and the incredible feeling of accomplishment when you finally do. It's a one of a kind game and it is definitely my favorite gaming experience. I still dream about anor londo and will always praise the sun.



  • @flower_arrangement said in Your Best Gaming Experience:

    There are some very obvious answers to this (great) question: Demon's Souls, Dark Souls, Dragon's Dogma, Kentucky Route Zero, Nights into Dreams, House of the Dead, Level 5 in Rez, Street Fighter 4, the original Smash Brothers, various arcade experiences (a topic unto itself?).

    Despite that list I'd like to give a somewhat left field response.

    Blades of Exile is a little known shareware title from Spiderweb Software:
    http://www.spiderwebsoftware.com/blades/winBOE.html

    A school friend discovered it and spoke well of it, sharing it with a few of us. We messed around with the game and generally had a good time. Unlike the previous titles Blades included a fairly robust editing system, for creating unique scenarios.

    I was, for lack of a better word, room mates with one particular friend at the time (the British private education system is a strange beast). One day he gave me a custom made scenario of his own creation. I thanked him and agreed to play through it.

    Most of the edit was pretty standard, well made but not noteworthy for any reason. Then, near the end of the adventure, I came across a small house in the game. It was empty, but highly detailed, including books and notes of various length.

    To my complete surprise those books and notes contained very personal letters directed at me. Things he wanted to tell me and say to me that he didn't feel able or ready to say to my face. Many of them were complaints, difficult feelings, frustrations in our friendship. It turned out he was gay - boarding school then was not an environment you wanted to come out in - and I learnt that fact through playing this custom version of a tiny little shareware game.

    We more or less resolved most of the issues, but I'll almost certainly never have the experience of learning so much about a person close to me via a computer game again. It will always stay with me, that letter written in a level editor.

    That is the craziest thing ive ever read on this forum. The feelings that must have been rushing through you as you sat their "playing" that game.



  • @Ellis said in Your Best Gaming Experience:

    That is the craziest thing ive ever read on this forum. The feelings that must have been rushing through you as you sat their "playing" that game.

    It was a long time ago now but absolutely. I was blindsided and actually completely humbled. I'd really hurt him in some ways without even knowing it. At it stands it's faded into being more or less just a story, but I think it speaks to how pleasingly odd life can be, and if nothing else serves as an example of a side of video games that you rarely hear about, especially in the face of "game experiences" being solely the story the developer wants to tell, rather than one reflecting the unending colour of everyday life.

    • Edit: Not saying all games are linear stories at all, just poking a stick at a certain obsession with "story" as a one way street a la narrative drama in popular film that sometimes pervades and even drives modern games.


  • Spending a summer playing Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles, Four Swords Adventures and PSO with my younger brother and a couple friends was pretty much unmatchable. I miss those days.



  • The Witcher series. I read the books, played the games multiple times in order. Love putting together the little things, realizing and finding out on the first game that Alvin ended up traveling through time and becoming a certain someone, then getting a letter from "A" in The Witcher 3. Love reading little notes that you find on bodies or dead enemies that aren't really part of any side quest, and aren't necessary to read, but they add a whole story to the world themselves. Amazing games.



  • @Faaip said in Your Best Gaming Experience:

    @thenerdtheword I'll second Mass Effect 2.. the ending really is fantastic. I remember poor Kelly getting digested or whatever in front of me after talking to her throughout the game and learning her life story ;_; and it was all my fault. Then seeing her name (and others) on the memorial in ME 3 hit me hard. I think that was a great addition btw

    I'll also add Zelda Ocarina and then Twilight Princess.. which had just enough nostalgia to give me a great experience playing it. Also.. my first Halo CE playthrough, TES Oblivion, Bioshock, beating Mario 64 all those years ago.. and most recently The Witcher 3 and Uncharted 4.

    ME2 was the first game that I played where time mattered. I just put off saving people.... and it bit me in the butt.
    I now am far more careful about important missions.