The Exigent Duality
Favorite Games Analysis - 15:48 CDT, 1/30/21 (Sniper)
Earlier today I refreshed my "favorite games of all time" list, something I'm apt to do every few years. For fun, I counted up the genres and came up with a "favorite genres of all time" meta-list:

  • 2D Fighter - 5
  • 2D Platformer - 4
  • Japanese RPG - 4
  • 3D Platformer - 2
  • First-Person Shooter - 2
  • Game Creation System - 2
  • Racing - 2
  • Strategy RPG - 2
  • Action Platformer - 1
  • Action RPG - 1
  • Adventure - 1
  • Brawler - 1
  • Roguelike - 1
  • Sandbox - 1
  • Simulation - 1

Sixty percent of the games were made by Japanese developers. Today, Japanese developers are essentially cloning Western games-- thinking about it now, the decline of game development from the "Rising Sun" over the past twenty years definitely patterns my perception of the medium going downhill, especially in the music category.

Average year was 1995.76, median year was 1994. In fact, a whopping thirty percent of my favorite games came out during 1994: what a year!

People often use "nostalgia" as a blanket explanation for people like myself who prefer older games-- "you like whatever you grew up playing". Uh, except that doesn't apply to me: I grew up playing 70s and very early 80s arcade games-- I was a teenager in 1994. Besides that, a significant portion of the games on this list, I didn't play until perhaps 2009 or even later-- so I had no nostalgic point of reference.

In fact, here's maybe the most interesting fact of all: not one game from my actual childhood systems-- the Atari 2600 and 7800-- made the list! When you boil it down, I don't really care for arcade games much, even though I have "nostalgia" for them.

Really, 1994 was when games hit this magical sweet spot between gameplay-first sensibilities-- "narrative" games outside of adventure titles were basically non-existent-- and greater-than-arcade depth, but without being over-complicated either. Starting just a few years later, "Half-Life", "Metal Gear Solid", and "Halo" ushered in the Hollywood era, and it was game over from there. I lightly explore some of these themes in this post.

As for a "favorite platforms of all time" meta-list:

  • 3DO - 8
  • Sega Genesis - 7
  • IBM PC - 6
  • NEC PC Engine - 3
  • Sega Saturn - 3
  • Nintendo Switch - 1
  • Sega Dreamcast - 1
  • Sony PlayStation - 1