I Sat down with a notepad in hand and set myself the task of naming 26 games that define me as a gamer.
Not a challenge at all you might think......
BUT when you throw in the fact that this is actually an A-Z list then that's where it gets a little bit trickier as you will not necessarily get to name all your fave games ever and may have to settle for a few games that you might not necessarily love.
So I set about wracking my brain for an A-Z of the best games I've played over the years....
I've based it on the games beginning with the certain letter that really had an impact on me or left me with a lasting memory.
The letter with the most choices had to be "S" with plenty of Supers & Street Fighters etc
The toughest letters for me were "J", "Q", "U" and "X"........BUT I did it!
So take a look at my personal A-Z list and see if YOU can come up with your very A-Z list that defines YOU as a gamer........
"Eyes Down For A Full House"
A - Alex Kidd In Miracle World (SMS) 1986
Anyone who played a Master System 2 back in the 90's most definitely played this brilliant platformer as it was built into the system.
Memories of playing as Alex in the "Paper, Scissors, Rock" competitions and the tough but fair challenge of the actual game always make me smile fondly at the heyday of the platform game genre.
B - Bioshock (X360) 2007
Watching the trailer for this game on YOUTUBE was both intriguing and made my skin crawl as I witnessed what a BIG DADDY was capable of....
I knew then that it was a game that I most definitely NEEDED to play.
Much has been written about the atmosphere of Rapture and it is all true, this game has it all.
ATMOSPHERE, STORYLINE and HARD AS NAILS BIG DADDIES!
C - California Games (SMS) 1987
When I say "Axel Foley" what do you think of?
Beverley Hills Cop?
No silly....surely you'd think of "Footbag" from California Games??!!
California Games multiplayer was brilliant as you tried to beat each others records on each event. My surfing record was tough to beat to say the least and I was proud of my achievement. Plenty of California love for California Games!
D - Desert Strike (MD) 1992
Having recently re discovered my Megadrive to my delight I also unearthed my copy of Desert Strike. When I originally played this game it was like having a front row seat at the Gulf War. The game is still awesome to this day. Nothing fills my heart with happiness more than winching those P.O.Ws up into into my chopper whilst I shoot down the baddies. Classic video games gameplay, brilliantly executed!
E - Earthworm Jim (MD) 1994
Watching my best mate play this on his Megadrive in 94 was like watching an interactive cartoon but with an adult sense of humour. There was brilliant animation, sound effects and a beautiful art style backed up with marvellous gameplay.
A masterclass in platform/run n gun video games that still one of the most enjoyable experiences on the MegaDrive!
F - Fallout 3 (X360) 2008
The ultimate game to get absolutely immersed on for hours on end. Fallout 3 was the first fallout game I played and to say I was blown away by the sheer size and scale would be an understatement. This game represents me falling back in love with RPG games again. That moment when you step out of the vault is one of the best oh my god moments in video games history. I'd love to bottle that feeling up.
G - Gears Of War 2 (X360) 2008
I'm sitting in a cinema waiting for Slumdog Millionaire to begin when a trailer comes on the screen. From the moment the music starts, it makes me want to see this film and then I realise it's a video game. It's a trailer for Gears Of War 2 and I now realise that I need to own an XBOX 360 with a copy of GOW2. For me this was the FPS that made me realise how visceral games had become in the current gen of video games.
H - Half life 2 (X360) 2004
I discovered Half life 2 after a recommendation to buy the Orange Box. I'd heard of HL2 and had heard all the superlatives that were lavished upon the game and how it changed the First Person Shooter genre forever but had never gotten round to playing it. When I played it in 2012 it was like a breath of fresh air for me (even though the game was already 8 years old!) This game is everything you need in an FPS. Great story, setting, characters and pitch perfect gameplay.
I - Indiana Jones & The Fate Of Atlantis (AMIGA) 1992
Point n Click Perfection.
Many nights were spent huddled over my Amiga trying to solve the puzzles in this amazing game (it was only recently that I actually completed the game!)
This was Lucas Arts at the height of their powers.
Indy I love ya!
J - Jack Nicklaus Greatest 18 (AMIGA) 1988
This was the first golf game that really made me think about the next shot I was going to take and actually have a game plan for each hole. Simple but effective gameplay that laid the foundations for future classics such as the PGA Tour series (my personal favourite is PGA European Tour on the AMIGA)
K - Kick Off 2 (AMIGA) 1990
A footy game that didn't look amazing but had bags of hidden depth. You couldn't just pick it up and play it, you had to master it which was refreshing when compared to the stick to the foot merchants of the time. Beating your best mate at Kick Off 2 was a feeling like no other. Dino Dini take a bow!
L - Lemmings (AMIGA) 1991
A puzzle game that made me laugh and was also fiendishly difficult at times. The addictiveness of this game is on a par with the Angry Birds of this era. In my opinion these little green dudes still deserve their place in the video games limelight.
M - Metal Gear Solid (PS1) 1998
This game made me realise how a video game could break down the "4th wall". Hideo's masterpiece was something to behold that was like nothing I had played before. It was engrossing and ingenious and seemed to have a thousand ideas that were perfectly implemented into the game. A game that is so good it even got a run out in Metal Gear Solid 4 in it's original state. That Hideo Kojima is one cool guy. So cool that he lives in the Freezer ;)
N - NBA Jam (ARCADE / SNES) 1993/1994
At this time I was heavily into the NBA as it was being shown on Channel 4. I was a massive Orlando Magic fan and especially loved SHAQ. When NBA Jam came on the scene I just had to play it. The over the top gameplay led to one of the most enjoyable multiplayer games that was up there with Bomberman and Super Mario Kart. BOOOOMSHAKALAKA!
O - OutRun (ARCADE) 1986
When I see an Outrun cabinet in an arcade I instantly have to play it. I'm then transported back in time to family holidays on the south coast of the UK. This game evokes countless memories of the arcades in Hastings, Bournemouth, Brighton and many other great childhood places of wonder. Outrun is cool, Arcades are cool.
P - Pro Evolution Soccer 4 (PS2) 2004
For me PES 4 is footballing perfection. It had the right balance of realistic gameplay mixed with fun. Nothing was frustrating about this football game. The refs were just right, the controls were perfect and the challenge was well measured AND it also let me change the Arsenal fans flags to SCUM so that when I played them their fans would be happily waving SCUM flags above their heads...GENIUS! I love this game so much that I recently bought it again for 19p on eBay and plan on launching my Master League campaign very soon. First signing will be Babangida!
Q - Q*Bert (ARCADE) 1982
Dear old Q*Bert is an iconic character from the early days of the arcade. I remember seeing this odd looking game in the Hastings arcade and thinking "What the hell is that all about then?!" I loved the way he had the swear bubble coming out of his snout and just how colourful the original arcade cab was. When you get to Q in an video games oriented A-Z list it just has to be Q*Bert....that's the LAW! @!#?@!
R - Resident Evil 4 (Wii) 2007
Resi Evil 4 was the game that put my faith back into the Wii. I enjoyed playing this game so much. The controls and gameplay are perfect. Resident Evil 4 is by far the most fun on the Wii.
S - Super Mario World (SNES) 1990
So much time was spent in Super Mario World that I know it like I lived there. In my eyes, the perfect platformer that started my love affair with the SNES and will always have a special place in my heart.
T - Track & Field (ARCADE) 1983
The ultimate button basher that gets my money every time I see it in the arcade. My favourite event has got to be Javelin, it's all about the 43 degree angle you see!
There's been loads of updates on various systems but I still think the original is the best.
U - ?????I'm totally stumped for a game beginning with U that I've actually played. I never got into the Ultima series and i'm still yet to play the Unchartered games. Beyond those two behemoths there's not many other alternatives that I could attempt to play....
Can YOU Think Of Any?
V - V-Rally (PS1) 1997
This game was the first rally game that made me feel like I was actually taking every corner. I love the co driver sounds as he advises you on the next corner and the on screen arrows that tell you what type of corner to expect. A brilliant non complicated racing game that is just pure fun!
W - Wonderboy In Monster Land (SMS) 1988
This resided in my Master System for months on end as I tried to complete this beauty of a game. No game saves meant you needed to try try and try again to completed this. It meant that a mapping out of the Labrynth level was required to have a chance to beat the end game boss. So many days and nights with this game earn it a place in this list.
X - Xenon 2 - MegaBlast (MD) 1989
Yes I struggled to even think of a game beginning with X let alone one that I have actually played! Whilst clutching at straws I remember a few sessions on the Megadrive playing my mates copy of Xenon 2. It was a decent shoot em up from what I can recall so it makes my A-Z.
Y - Yoshi's Island (SNES) 1995
Nintendo had to go some to follow up the best platformer ever and they delivered the goods with a Yoshi focused sequel. This game is lots of fun and has a beautiful visual style that lives long in my memory. Just a shame about baby Mario and his bloody annoying cry!
Z - Zork (AMIGA) 1980
I remember picking up a copy of Zork on the Amiga from a car boot sale in the early 90's. I'd played a version on the C64 when I was younger and I kind of dismissed it as I couldn't get very far in the game. Then that all changed with the Amiga version as I was that little bit older and immersed myself in the world of Zork. The grandad of text adventures that holds a special place in my video game collection.
That's my 26 games that make up my personal A-Z of video games, what does YOUR A-Z look like?