GamerSushi Asks: What Games Changed How You View Games?

Aeris and Highwind

This is a topic we’ve kind of covered before, but I love talking about it so much you’re not going to get me to stop. In my mind, there’s always that one game that gamers have that changed the way they felt about gaming in general. Somehow, it stretched beyond the boundaries of what we thought a game could be and do, and it stuck with us in ways that other games never did. Whether that’s because of emotional impact, story, a certain mechanic changes depending on who you ask.

For me, that game will always be Final Fantasy VII, and I say that completely unapologetic. As I talked about on our S games podcast, it’s a game that I played at exactly the right time in my life, and it not only turned my expectations of games on their head, but also the way I viewed story. As with anything I liked at that age, it’s by no means perfect, but it was perfect for a young dude like me and I think that matters.

I’ve written at length today about FFVII on my blog, but I thought the question would be pertinent here as well. What games changed the way you viewed games? Which have affected you most deeply, and for what reasons?

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I write about samurai girls and space marines. Writer for Smooth Few Films. Rooster Teeth Freelancer. Author of Red vs. Blue, The Ultimate Fan Guide, out NOW!

9 thoughts on “GamerSushi Asks: What Games Changed How You View Games?”

  1. Wolfenstein 3d was pretty damned revolutionary when it came out. I think that was the moment I realized that games were going to move far beyond the 2d confines of Mario and Sonic style platformers that had come to dominate the 8 and 16 bit console era. I recall feeling like I was on the cutting edge of something when I first played it, though I don’t know if I could pinpoint exactly what that “something” was. It did seem to clearly draw a line between what games used to be capable of and what they would be doing in the future.

    I had a similar feeling playing the original Halo for the first time. I’d never seen a console fps that looked and played that good before and there was sort of a sense that every game afterward would be influenced by its example.

    As far as changing the way I actually look at games, though, I’m not sure what else would qualify for me. I probably didn’t realize that I could become so emotionally invested in a game until I played Final Fantasy VIII. Not that I wasn’t drawn into the story and characters of Final Fantasy VII, but there was just something about FFVIII that hooked me and left me thinking about the characters even when the game was off. Although the gameplay was fun, after a certain point, I was playing solely because I wanted to see Squall and Rinoa get together. It was like watching a soap opera on a regular basis. Unfortunately, I’ve never felt the same way towards a game before or since, so I guess I could say that FFVIII changed the way I look at characters in games.

  2. see: Dues Ex.

    I just played it at the right time at the right “stage” of being a gamer. It opened me up to the idea of RPG elements. Up until that point, the RPG games I played all involved magic and spells and all the fantasy stuff that makes me dislike a lot of what other geeks appreciate. But with Deus Ex, it was futuristic, it was about gadgets and nanocommunication, much like MGS. I’m still not into magic and ogres/wizards/zerglings/trolls/invisible martians etc, and I believe Deus Ex is directly responsible. Can you believe it’s almost 11 years old (those of you who have played it)? Same year as The Matrix!

    On the flip side, the way games HAVE become really makes me appreciate the old days, where a game like Super Mario World can still challenge you today because you’re trying to play the levels as fast as possible, and fall into pits you KNOW you can run over simply because you’re just having fun. I love that. You can’t really do that with a lot of games now adays, with all the cinematics and dialouge jamming you up. I’m not saying those are bad advancements, but every once and a while it’s nice to throw in a cartridge, Hold down Y and hit B whenever necessary!

  3. To be honest as much as I like FFVII it didn’t really change my view, might have been because I was so young. The game that really changed how I viewed gaming was the first Metal Gear Solid The Dialogue and cut scenes amazed me kind of like how Eddy said on that last podcast it was like watching a movie.

    Another Game that changed my view was Counter-Strike:Source as it was the first time I played online with a community(of sorts) of players talking and going on about nothing, as well as owning bitchez with my deagle. Whoa hold up having a relapse….resist installing css …resist…. ok I’m good.

  4. I feel like everyones memory here is like 5 times better then mine lol. I cant pinpoint a specific game but I guess Super Smash Bros 64 was the game that showed me you dont just beat a game and move on. So many hours sunk into it, and then some more hours on an emulator senior year, we had some little tournaments in class

  5. One sticks out in my mind, one that was recent and not when I was a kid playing games like Super Mario 64, a game that I remember and I know changed how I looked at gaming: Oblivion. A little cliche I might say, but for me that game came at the right time. I was in High School, I had never played anything remotely close to that style of game, and it was ground breaking for its time and still remains one of, if not, my favorite game(s) of all time. A game that was so expansive, graphically beautiful, leveled, and continuous….it was perfect for a game. Modding only made it better, you were able to expand and make the game last longer. It just made it so magical and honestly, I think thats one game that changed how I would view RPG style games and just games in general.

    Oblivion was the last game where when I first played it, I had this feeling of being in an alien world. I had no idea how to play or what to do. It was honestly new and awe inspiring. Defiantly a game changer for me, no pun intended.

  6. Maybe the most influencial game i’ve ever played was Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2.

    All the rage. All the noobtubes. All the commandos and quick scopes.

    In Valve we trust.

  7. Super Mario World – so many secrets, so much time replaying.

    Final Fantasy IV – First game that a story mattered to me.

    Final Fantasy VII – First game that felt like an event.

    Halo: Reach – First Halo game I loved.

    Castlevania: Symphony of the Night: Utterly Sublime.

  8. @zayven

    I missed out on Wolfenstein when it came out, but I felt that same way about Doom when I first played it. It just was otherworldly and so not what other games were I was fixed on it.


    Great point about how old games can still challenge you, in a way that’s not frustrating. Games these days have gotten too easy or cookie cutter. They’ve even removed bosses!


    Counter-Strike is the game that I still judge other online shooters against to this day.

  9. @Eddy

    I almost said Doom, actually, but then I remembered that I played Wolfenstein a couple of years earlier and was super excited about it. Doom was kind of like a fulfillment of the promises Wolfenstein made, if that makes sense.

    I remember reading previews of Doom in magazines and marveling at the screen shot of the player pumping the shotgun. For some reason, I thought the fact that you got to see yourself actually pumping another shell into the chamber was the coolest thing I’d ever seen in a video game. I guess that goes to show you that it’s the little things that count!

    Speaking of the shotgun pump animation, has anyone else noticed that EVERY fps uses that same animation? Is there any game that features semi-automatic shotguns? Even in games with super high tech weaponry and armor, the player is always running around with a shotgun that could be in your grandpa’s gun cabinet. I think that maybe the combat shotgun in Fallout 3 was semi-auto, but I can’t remember. We can safely credit that design aesthetic to Doom, right?

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