Top picks from gaming’s past and present

The gaming season is coming to a lull now, so I decided to change up my game review into a who’s-who list of games. I honestly can’t order the following games by which one is “better” or more “revolutionary,” but I can tell you that they have definitely made an impact on a lot of people’s lives.
We’ll start with one of my personal favorites: the “Final Fantasy” series. Still going strong, the game has evolved and was probably one of the first true RPGs ever born. Of course, certain titles stick out more than others (VI, VII, VIII and X), and almost all of the games are solid and, if given enough time, will draw you in and allow you to play through a story that you won’t forget.
“Final Fantasy VII” has been specifically hailed by most gamers as their all-time favorite game and probably comes from the fact that everything in the game came together in just the right way to make it touching at some points and badass at others.
Moving on, I think it’s safe to say every single Blizzard Entertainment game has pretty much started its own genre. Blizzard’s three main universes (“Diablo,” “Starcraft” and “Warcraft”) have been unique titles that have drawn in millions of gamers for millions of hours and taught them that PC games can really own. “Diablo,” probably the most serious and adult of Blizzard’s titles, follows a lone hero (the player) on his quest to cleanse a cursed cathedral of the demonic presence that has taken it over.
“Starcraft”’s take is humorous, as it gives you an idea of how futuristic, redneck expedition trips would work out for humankind.
Lastly, “Warcraft,” the first title put out by Blizzard, follows the old orc-versus- human lore seen so many times.
The next two games don’t need an entrance because I’m pretty sure every single person knows of each series: Mario and Pokémon. That’s right; you read it. Who could forget taking ’shrooms to grow bigger, eating wild flowers to shoot fireballs and jumping on weird creatures to flatten them and gain coins?
If ’shrooms aren’t your style, you could take your Blastoise and hydro pump your opponent’s Charizard for a one-hit K.O. The countless hours spent beating Bowser or “catching them all” were cherished by those who grew up in the ’90s.
Whatever system it has been on, I think everyone can recognize the plumber in the red suit riding a lizard who sucks things into its mouth with an extendable tongue or the Pokémon trainer trying to be the best.
On to games that require you to shoot people. The first-person shooter genre has seen handfuls of titles people would say are “the best,” but I would say three can be recognized by any gamer as great.
“Doom,” a game by id Software, follows a lone survivor of a demonic invasion on a moon base, as he solves puzzles and shotguns his way through demons to close the portal to hell as the ultimate badass.
“Halo,” following yet another lone badass, Master Chief, is an adventure series that pulled online console gaming into the running with online PC games. I think everyone can agree that the Covenant had some humorous and menacing villains.
Lastly, “Call of Duty” recently has been by far one of the most played online FPS games of all time. Being a super-soldier of sorts and able to do any ridiculous mission is attractive to gamers of all ages.
With new generations just around the corner, and old ones dying out, I thought taking this time to honor new and old games alike is worth it. I know I wouldn’t be the same if I hadn’t picked up a controller and played “Doom” and “Final Fantasy VII” with my dad or “Starcraft,” “Diablo II” and “World of Warcraft” with my cousin.
I hope this review causes you to dust off your favorite game and show it some love with a play through or two, I know I am definitely going to go kill some demons later.

Clayton Martin/Freelancer
Clayton Martin can be reached at

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