I've been an avid gamer for as long as I can remember. I first started in the mid-late 80's when I was 6 or 7 years old playing Frogger and Elite on the BBC micro. From there progressing to the Atari ST, Commodore Amiga and eventually to a PC in the mid 90's. I've had a few consoles and handheld but the only one I really enjoyed was the Gameboy, the original one. Over these years I've played hundreds, if not thousands, of games so it's really difficult to pick (or remember) all of them. Here is a list of games past and present which have stuck in my mind since playing and some I've even come back to with the aid of emulators.
10 - Dungeon Keeper 2 (1999, PC)
This was my first game of the series. It was really fun to play the evil genius building dungeons to trap and kill the heroes as they attempt to steal the treasure and slay the evil inhabitants. A really fun twist on the hero RPG. You have to mine out the dungeon from rock, lay traps and populate the dungeon with all manner of evil minions, from goblins to warlocks, spiders to the "Horned Reaper". Very fun, funny and fondly remembered. Several clones have been made, but none capture the essence and game play of the original.
9 - Drakan - Order of the Flame (1999, PC)
Drakan: Order of the Flame was an action-adventure game from the late 90's which follows Rynn and her dragon Arokh on a quest to rescue her brother from an evil sorcerer. The game contains third person dungeon exploration, adventures with the dragon and aerial combat where you fight other dragons from the back of yours. One of the few games to make me sad for completing it, because I'd had so much fun playing it and then its over. Eagerly awaiting a remake or sequal.
8 - Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (1993, Gameboy)
The game responsible for wearing out the buttons on my gameboy! One of the first major RPG's I played as a kid and due to the portable nature, sneaking in game time whenever and wherever possible. I forget how many Zelda games there are, but I think this was the sixth. You start the game as the main character, Link, who washes ashore a strange island. You gradually recover your equipment and set out to find your way home, which inevitably involves recovering lost musical instruments and slaying an evil force enslaving the island.
7 - Elite: Frontier (1993, Amiga)
How many hours did I sink into this game? Far too many probably. Following on from my attempts to play Elite on the BBC, I played the sequel on the Amiga. Better graphics, easier controls and an all round very enjoyable game, one of the first sandbox - do what you want - style games. Trade, mining, mercenary, courier to name a few career paths to chose from. I'd eventually reached the coveted Elite rank, got all the ships, explored everywhere, got all the money I could ever need and then what?
6 - K240 (1994, Amiga)
My first 4X game (Explore, Expand, Exploit, Exterminate) set in space on a bunch of asteroids. You start out with one asteroid colony, explore, expand, discover other races to exploit or exterminate until you meet the mission objectives. You can mine asteroids, construct fleets of ships, launch missile attacks and more. I had a lot of fun playing this game and its another that I'm eagerly waiting for a remake or squeal.
5 - Mordor: Darkness Awakening (1992, PC)
A relatively unknown game, unfinished I think, which I picked up as a shareware version on a magazine cover disk. It was a dungeon crawler where you build a party of adventurers and head into the dungeon to explore. I forget the story, I don't think it was story rich, but it did have a fantastic character progression system and a dungeon crawling system. The game featured lots of various windows for characters, encounters, inventory management and so on and has really stuck with me. They did several remakes (Infinite Worlds, Depths of Dejenol, Demise: Rise of the Ku'Tan), or continuing development but I don't think it was ever finished and released a full product.
4 - Elder Scrolls Online (2014, PC)
If you love the Elder Scrolls series, or RPG games in general, you have to try Elder Scrolls Online. Don't let the MMORPG tag put you off, you can play most of the game "solo" without ever getting involved with other players. There are hundreds, no thousands, of hours of content in the base game and expansions which take you back to original game locations from the previous games as well as new areas and lore. Although you don't have to get involved with other players, joining a guild and doing group dungeons can be a lot of fun as well as getting help when you need some and eventually as you learn to play and get better you can return the favor and help other players. PVP is by consent only, either accepting a dual or entering a PVP battleground zone, so you are free to explore Tamriel without having to worry about other players spoiling your experience.
3 - James Pond 2 - RoboCod (1991, Amiga)
One of the vast number of platform games I've played over the years, but this I believe was the first one that I sat down and completed from start to finish. You play James Pond on a mission to stop Dr. Maybe's dangerously fishy plans for world domination. In a slimy effort to sabotage the world's largest toy factory, he has planted penguin-bombs in toy factories inside the North Pole!
2 - EVE Online (2003, PC)
A natural progression from playing Elite and Elite 2: Frontier and after a long wait there is finally a worthy successor. EVE Online is a MMORPG (the first I played) which sees you in a sandbx universe where you can do almost anything you want, from mining, trading, pirate, bounty hunter, mission runner, explorer or any anything else you can think of. Then you can join up with (or against) other players, form corporations (guilds), alliances and conquer the universe together, or if you want, sabotage their efforts and steal corporation assets. I stopped playing for a while when the game became F2P and a lot of gankers game to the game and it went downhill. After writing the post I think I may give it another go, see if it has improved since.
1 - Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (2011, PC)
Skyrim is by far the best Elder Scrolls game made and is huge! The game starts as you are caught up in the capture of Ulfric Stormcloak and captured yourself. Before you can be executed, a dragon shows up and in the chaos you escape. You head to the city to warn of the attack, after which you get caught up in another dragon attack and become "Dragonborn". You now learn the Way of the Voice and seek to destroy Alduin who wants to enslave the world. The world in Skyrim is vast with hundreds of missions and locations to discover, all the skills, treasure, equipment and lore to explore. It took me nearly 400 hours to complete and I loved every minute of it.
Whilst writing this guide I was reminded of Dungeon Siege (2002) on the PC. I tried really hard to put it into this list, but couldn't bring myself to remove one of the others. Maybe I should have renamed the article "top 11 games of all time". Anyway, Dungeon Siege is a dungeon RPG which follows a young farmer and companions as they journey to defeat an invading force. Initially only seeking to warn the nearby town of the invasion of a race of creatures named the Krug, the farmer and the companions that join him along the way are soon swept up in finding a way to defeat another race called the Seck, resurgent after being trapped for 300 years.
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