I sat down two hours ago because a Top 10 favorite games list seemed like fun. I didn't expect it to be as difficult as this. Within ten minutes I had dozens of contenders with more flowing from my fingertips. After finishing this list I think a Top 10 per console would be difficult.
What it came down to were personal memories connected to these games. There are games not on this list that I enjoyed more than these, but time spent playing with people and memories with friends and family trumped better game play or story lines when I actually thought about it. These are all great games and don't need much explanation as far as reviewing the quality.
#10 - Duke Nukem 3D - PC
"Those alien bastards are gonna pay for shootin' up my ride." Duke Nukem 3D came out when I was in high school. My dad bought it for me and my brother. We would sit next to each other taking turns and it seems like whenever we were at a standstill we'd go into the strip club an say "Shake it baby!" to the strippers. We still quote this game to this day.
#9 - Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island - SNES
This is the first game my wife and I beat. At the time I was working about 60 hours a week and we had just had our first daughter. Even though we were both always tired we found time every night to play Yoshi's Island. It was easy enough that we could beat levels quickly and didn't have to try over and over to get past a certain area.
#8 - Gauntlet: Dark Legacy - GameCube
This game brought together new friends. A friend of a friend of a friend came over to a party we were having one time and noticed my NES collection. This was the early-mid 2000s and you could literally buy 200 NES games on eBay for $100 + shipping costs. I was buying any cheap games I could and amassed well over 2000 games from all different consoles. Three strangers all saw Gauntlet for GameCube and we made a bro date to play. Two weeks later we were all buddies and still keep in touch occasionally.
#7 - Rocket Knight Adventures & Sparkster - Sega Genesis
We were pretty poor when I was younger, so when my grandma and grandpa bought us a brand new Sega Genesis we were overjoyed. We initially only had Sonic the Hedgehog 2 but my brother and I went to all the neighbors and did as much work as we could for two months. We also walked along the country roads and picked up aluminum cans and saved as much as we could. Instead of buying the new popular games like Gunstar Heroes or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, we went to a Big Lots store who had more obscure titles for a quarter of the price. Rocket Knight Adventures, Steel Empire and Global Gladiators are what we ended up buying and they are a few of the actual games I still own physical copies of.
#6 - Sonic the Hedgehog 2 - Sega Genesis
I'm pretty sure every retro gamer has fond memories of some sort of Mario or Sonic game. I've always liked the Sonic the Hedgehog series, but the games are far from my favorites. But Sonic 2 is the first game other than Duck Hunt that my daughter got into. I'm sure the memories of helping a four year old beat Dr. Robotnik will always be in my mind when I think of my kids.
#5 - Psychonauts - XBOX
One of the few games I bought because of a recommendation. I started playing and it is a great game, but it is in my Top 10 because it's my wife's favorite game. She has played through and beaten it at least five times. We even named our dog after a character in this game, Pokeylope. The only factory sealed and graded game we have.
#4 - Galaga - NES
Everybody had that favorite arcade style game when I was a kid. Most of my friends were either Pac-Man or Tetris fans. There were a couple that were into Millipede or Arkanoid. I was Galaga. I was better than everybody so naturally I wanted to show my stuff. Easily the game I've invested the most time into.
#3 - Battletoad - NES
There are multiple Battletoads games and I like them all. Battletoads in Battlemaniacs, Battletoads and Double Dragon the Ultimate Team. Giving the pigs the big foot. Battletoads on NES is the hardest game I ever beat. It was a summer weekend more than a decade ago. I sat in our party room and drank who knows how much beer and smoked I can't remember how much weed, but around midnight on a Sunday I finally beat Battletoads. I screamed in celebration and woke up my roommates and we all celebrated together.
#2 - Super Mario Sunshine - GameCube
It seems like my wife has a lot of push when it comes to my favorite games. This is another game we beat together in our free time after the kids were sleeping. I'm pretty sure having the WaveBird controller become part of my hands made the experience that much better.
#1 - Conker's Bad Fur Day - Nintendo 64
Hands down, without a doubt my favorite game of all time. This is my perfect game. Everything from the difficulty, to the story lines, to the cut scenes were everything I could ask from a game. The characters and dark humor are memorable. Pushing shit balls down a shit mountain, shooting teddy bears with a mini-gun. I haven't actually played this game in 5 years but I still remember everything about it. Beat it multiple times with my wife, of course.
Make a Top 10 game list of your own! Just comment here and I'll go check it out and 100% upvote it!