A few of the gaming blogs I frequent have been tossing around a list of the fifteen most influential games–or something like that–and I thought I might contribute my own list.
In light of the exercise, I don’t want to think too hard about which games have meant the most to me, but I am moved to note that every time I read something that stresses the influence of gaming I think about H.P. Lovecraft and how he seemed to have a low opinion of gaming in general; yet I know a few people who have a dear place in their hearts for games who got their start playing titles influenced by Lovecraft’s stories. Keeping this beautiful irony in mind, onto the list:
- Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (My first tabletop)
- Dragon View (My first epic VRPG)
- Ninjas & Superspies (Probably the most played game of my youth)
- War Room (A Coleco Classic and my odd introduction to war games)
- Rifts (Something I always enjoyed and wished I played more)
- HeroQuest (Search for treasure)
- Risk (Don’t underestimate Kamchatka)
- Chess (I have played it way too much)
- Traveller (Overwhelmingly fun CharGen)
- Final Fantasy Tactics (An instant and far-reaching classic)
- Call of Cthulhu (Epic creepy)
- Dragon Warriors (Only ever PBP, but wow great fun)
- Axis and Allies (I beat my social studies teacher)
- The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind (You N’wah)
- Zork (Attack the House)
Recently, I haven’t been playing many of these, though I’m currently running an AD&D campaign online PBP, playing in a Rifts PBP, and just finished a Dragon Warriors PBP. I miss many of these games and have most of them just sitting untouched in my collection.
Of course, I’m also leaving games out of the mix–these were just the first 15 that came to mind. If I had more time to think, I’d likely have added Tekken 4, Shadowrun (1st ed), Myst, and the Smurfs Coleco game. There are so many games I’ve played that have been influential in some small way. I’m looking forward to starting with a D&D 4e gaming group sometime soon. What games do you play?