Has Your "Favorite" Game Ever Changed?

  • We're in the year of greats, everyone. A common complaint most of us have lobbed against the year is that there is too much good stuff to play - what a wonderful complaint to have. It got me thinking though, with all the love and hyperbole this year has seen, has that actually changed what you would consider to be your favorite game?

    It has been absolute decades that I've been singing the praises of Final Fantasy Tactics. I've bought multiple versions of it, I've gotten into lengthy conversations about everything it has to offer, and I'm almost always "in the middle" of a game of it. It has been 20 years of loving this game to death, of stating it is my number one... and this year finally saw a shift. Persona 5 is my new number one and I'm not going to go into detail here about why I love the game so much (seriously, I'm sure I've posted about it in every thread by now) but it honestly did what I considered impossible - it killed the king. Being the weirdo that I am, I almost feel like I'm betraying my previous love but I've gotta go with my heart on this one.

    What about all of you? Has this year seen a change for you? Or how about any other year?

    Did that change come with a lot of deliberation, or does your favorite change pretty frequently? Or do you not subscribe to the notion of a favorite and instead have your own personal Hall of Greats?

  • It takes a lot to change my favorite game but it's happened. I too have had my confidence shaken by Persona 5 but until I finish it (I know I'm awful) I can't call it my favorite. As a child and for a lot of my tweens Kirby: Squeak Squad was my number 1. But that changed when I played through Super Paper Mario with my cousin and made some of my most treasured memories. Then of course I became a teenager (well I still am for a few more days) and I met Pokemon Black 2. The first game I played with an optional female protagonist and a story I became oddly invested in. It rekindled my love of Pokemon from when I was a kid. Honestly it changed my life. It even inspired me to become a mod for a Pokemon forum site and go competitive. I had many great years with Pokemon Black 2 until my cart became corrupted and I lost everything. A few years after that I was introduced to Persona 3: Portable. And that's my current favorite. I loved the story, the characters, the protagonist. I beat it for the first time in 3 days with no sleep. I've never fallen that hard for a game. So even though Persona 5 is really tempting me, I can't call it my all time favorite. Maybe it's because I've gotten older and have a job now but I haven't dedicated whole days to a game like that since P3P.

  • @michemagius That's why I had to take time off when Persona 5 released, I needed to give time for the love to blossom. The only other game I've touched this year worthy of additional time off is Yakuza 0 - which I also need to get around to finishing.

    A Yakuza vacation just sounds jolly.

  • I keep a running list of my favorite games, and it's constantly in flux. Whenever I complete a new game that strikes that special chord in my heart, I always have to excruciatingly bump one off to make room for my new entry.

    Also, as time passes and my honeymoon phase with a game gets further away, it's not uncommon for a game to drop down a couple of spots. It's difficult to place a game realistically whenever you're still caught up in the emotions of just having completed it.

  • @Billy Yep, I understand what you mean there. I had a friend that kept asking me about Persona 5 and I was hesitant to talk about it. "I think it's my favorite game... but I don't want to set that in stone yet." He thought I was saying that due to flaws, I just didn't want to speak too quickly.

  • Mine has been FFVIII since 1999. Up to that point it had changed quite a few times, I just havent found something I enjoyed more yet.

  • Unfortunately, I've been forced to change my favourite game which was SOCOM II on PS2.

    I've never played multiplayer so good in my entire life and each subsequent sequel never managed to excel upon the near perfection that SOCOM II was in terms of online tactical competitive multiplayer. Each sequel afterwards just kept trying to be more mainstream but the community didn't go anywhere and they stuck around with SOCOM II even when the PS3 and Xbox 360 launched and they said "no SOCOM II is fine".

    Sony killed the servers a few years ago and I'll never be able to play it again. To be fair, I had not been playing it in a very long time before this, but it really is a sad reality that online games eventually die. I suppose my favourite game can't be a game that I can't play.

    My other favourite game is Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4/Underground/American Wasteland, and those games aren't going anywhere for me and never will. They were an amazing time in my life, the gameplay is timeless, the music is timeless and representative of the person I became after playing those games. I don't think anything will top those as my favourite of all time.

  • I don't really have a 'that one'; a real favorite. I'm not a very sentimental person and my opinions change a lot, so I don't think I'll ever have one.

    I mostly keep track of my favorite games on a year-by-year basis rather than an all-time deal. It just makes more sense to me that way.

  • @GoTaco That's actually kind of a heartbreaking story. I don't know how I'd be able to handle just not being able to play my favorite game after awhile.. or in the case of people that love WoW, having the possibility of a new expansion kill everything you loved about the game originally.

    Lesson learned folks, don't fall in love with multiplayer games. You'll get burnt.

  • @SabotageTheTruth

    The lesson has been learned too. I barely play multiplayer ever at all anymore. Nothing has quenched my tactical thirst since. The Last of Us MP, Warhawk, and Halo 3 are the only MP games I've played heavy since SOCOM II. At this point in life I have nearly no desire to touch a MP game ever again. Not because of this specifically.

    But I do feel for the MMO fans who will have their favourite games die away in due time.

  • I think the first game I could have called a favorite was GTA San Andreas.

    Starting in 2007 the changes have been pretty clear to me Persona 3 when I first played it, 2010 Persona 4 when I finally played it, and now again with Persona 5.

    Because of these I bought a PS2 after I sold the one I had at first, and became one of the few people in my country at the time that actually bought original games for PS2, I bought a PS3 and then a PS4 for Persona 5, a Vita for Golden despite having played the original one, and a 3DS for Q.

    There have been a few other that had a huge impact on me, Papers Please, Odin Sphere, Suikoden V, Nier, but even if I really like them, it is nowhere near the level of Persona for me.

  • The short answer is ever since a friend introduced me to Final Fantasies VII and X, they've been my top two ever since.

    The long answer:

    I feel my ranking has shifted when there is a dichotomy of expectation and interest. I'll use Naughty Dog as an example. Having played the Uncharted trilogy and playing Crash Bandicoot as a kid (and I enjoyed the remaster), I was intrigued by the Last of Us for a variety of reasons. Primarily the expectation of quality, as I see it, from Naughty Dog and my interest in the story premise, world, etc. When that delivered, it felt, feels, and will continue to feel like a near masterpiece. Uncharted 4 came with the expectation of again, what I feel to be high quality and for me, it delivered.

    Uncharted 4 and The Last of Us are my third and fourth favorite games of all time respectively, and I don't think that will change because of how I experience things.

    There is one last aspect that HAS changed in terms of my preference and it's when trying to rank within a series. Three examples:

    Kingdom Hearts - For a long time, I felt that KH II was my favorite, however, as time as passed, I have grown more fond of the original and have more appreciation of it. Sure, the sequel has my favorite story sequence, but I've changed my mind and now consider the first as my favorite of the series.

    Gears of War - Trying to pick a favorite for this series has been difficult for a long time. For me, the first has the best story, the second has the best look, the third has the best variety, and the fourth has the best gameplay. And of course there's Judgment, but that just doesn't do it in any category. So, when it comes down to it, I have vacillated back and forth between 1 and 2, with 2 currently being my favorite.

    Ratchet and Clank - Another seminal series from my younger years, I hold steadfast that R&C Future: Tools of Destruction is my favorite for a variety of reasons, but after that has been ever evolving. The original is my second favorite for sentimental reasons from simple but engrossing planets, dynamic weaponry, and the fusion of platforming, puzzle solving, and shooting. Then came Going Commando and the level up system, the more compelling story, and the arena challenges made it my number two. Now, the most recent game, the reboot on PS4, takes almost everything great across the entire series and it is the most polished and prettiest game of the franchise and is currently my second favorite Ratchet & Clank game. And if there ever is a new one, then that could change.

  • @Brannox Question - what would Last of Us Part II need to do to beat out the first? Is that even possible for you?

  • A while back I was working on a piece about what Pokemon (specifically gold version) means to me, but I scrapped it because it was too schmaltzy and overly sentimental, which really doesn't go well with my writing style. That game has been my favorite game since I first played it back when I was 5/6 years old, and I don't expect that it will ever change. I have several games that I think are objectively way better than it, but in terms of personal meaning, I highly doubt any game will ever pass gold version.

    On the other hand, there are some games that I love but am too afraid of revisiting. A prime example of this would be Final Fantasy III DS. This was the game that brought me into "hardcore" gaming after watching gametrailers from a distance. It was mindblowing to me at the time, but I know that my tastes have changed since I first played it and there's almost no way I'd be able to put up with all the grinding now. I'd rather have that warm and fuzzy place in my heart for this game than have it be ruined by my more refined sensibilities.

  • @SabotageTheTruth Hmmmmm. That's a really tough question.

    I played the original shortly after launch and the talk at the time was: Should there be a sequel? When I completed it, I felt no, because of how the game ends. Don't get me wrong, when the sequel was announced at PSX, I lost my freaking mind. I MUST keep an open mind and take Neil Druckmann for his word: No one cares about those characters, that world, and that story more than they do, and they wouldn't do anything if they didn't believe in it. So, my only expectation is a great, if not phenomenal, story. I can't imagine at the moment any refinement to the gameplay, but I've seen the graphical fidelity they can pull off with Uncharted 4, so I KNOW the game is going to look so great. And I KNOW they will keep the tone and not hold back in how graphic with how they want to portray it.

    It's possible, and it wouldn't surprise me, but I can't begin to fathom how. Here's to 2019 or 2020!

  • When I was a kid it'd change all the time since I was constantly discovering new games but ever since around the end of high school or so my top ten's been pretty consistent. The only real changes have been when I finally took the plunge on some older games I've been meaning to play that managed to blow me away, like Symphony of the Night or Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3, but that's not really the question on hand I guess. Either way my number one hasn't changed since I first got a hold of it and while I don't wanna say it never will, I don't imagine it will in the foreseeable future.

  • After I played Deus Ex it hasn't changed again, no.
    I don't think any game has done what that game did since. In fact I feel that in many ways interactive sims has regressed since then.

  • Global Moderator

    I would say that I kinda have stopped just having "one favourite game" instead I see to "favourite game in a genre". This comes after tying to write a few "top 10 lists" where I just couldn't decide what made one game deserve a spot higher than another. Of course I have games I prefer to go back to and which always makes me smile when I think about them. But its hard to say "this one is the best!" because really, what makes a racing game better/worse than a RPG game? Feels like that could open up a whole discussion.

  • Banned

    My top three favorite games have been my top three favorite games for 15 years and nothing has really come close to dethroning them.

    Guardian Heroes
    Super Mario RPG
    Tribes 2

    Stuff like God of War 2 and Shadow of the Colossus clawed their way among the ranks, but I'm fairly confident that those three games will never be surpassed.

  • My favorite game of all time is Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, and before that game my favorite game was Kirby's Adventure. I played Kirby's Adventure for the first time when I could barely hold a controller, and I played Super Mario RPG maybe when I was in my early teens through a friend who had a SNES since I never had one. There's been many games since those times I've loved passionately, but only two have come close to topping Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars as my favorite game of all time.

    The first was Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door, but even as amazing as that game is it just falls a little short of surpassing Super Mario RPG. Scalewise if you were to consider your favorite game of all time the only 10 you could ever give and rate other games around that, TTYD is like a 9.7. That's how close it is.

    The second more recent game that came out of nowhere relatively, because I've never been a massive fan of this series before now was Breath of the Wild. Zelda games have always mostly just been alright to me. Windwaker used to be my favorite 3D Zelda and the Oracle games used to be and still are my favorite 2D Zelda games and just plain Zelda games period. There were moments however when I was maybe 50 hours in Breath of the Wild where I kept feeling like not only was this game going to top those other Zelda games, but it might actually become my favorite game of all time. Somewhere around the third dungeon those feelings finally cooled off and even though now 220 hours into the game I'm still finding new things and wanting to keep playing and would rate the game fairly highly on my favorite games of all time, I've definitely pulled back and realized it still just isn't the same.

    What it basically comes down to for me is replayability. I'm not rushing to replay Breath of the Wild now that Master Mode is out. Hell, I don't think I'll even touch it since it's just bloated hp on enemies who regen life over time now. But beyond that I don't even want to really replay it period. It was a great game obviously since I felt like I wanted to keep playing and keep playing for over 200 hours and having to physically stop myself from continuing at points because I was having such a good time the whole time. I even accidentally stayed up for 36 hours straight one (technically two) of the days launch week.

    I just don't care to do it over again. I'm looking forward to the next Zelda game using this same formula and having a whole new adventure to go on that hopefully improves my qualms with this one, but even that game just formulaically will not be something I want to replay over and over. I'd still rather replay Wind Waker start to finish for the vibes of revisiting that world than Breath of the Wild, even though I enjoyed Breath of the Wild more. I do think years from now I'll still turn Breath of the Wild on to goof around in every now and then, and I think if they ever release a remaster I'll at least start to play that.

    I've just kinda had my fill for now, whereas I'm like Huber with Resident Evil when it comes to Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. Give me the shoddiest excuse in the world to flip that game on and replay the whole thing, and I'm immediately in. I'll play it fifty times and never get bored and keep discovering new things. I love the world. I love the gameplay. I love the characters. I love the look of it. I love the writing/story. I love the music. It's going to take a hell of a game to ever top it for me, but I'm also alright if that game never comes since something doesn't have to be the best ever to you for you to have a great time with it and in the years since I was introduced to my favorite game of all time I have played many, many amazing games.