ArqadeA gamer wakes up from a 10 year coma. What games should he play?
[+13] [13] Sparr
[2010-10-22 06:22:05]
[ game-rec ]

I was an avid PC and console gamer until about 2001, during my college years. I spent 20-30 hours a week playing new and old games, split evenly between single player and multiplayer (online, LAN parties, console tournaments). I enjoyed action games, strategy games, shooters, almost anything except sports games. Then came college and a working life, and my gaming hobby was left behind. Now I find myself wanting to rekindle it, and realize that I have missed a lot of huge revolutions in gaming. I have never played a game on the PS3, almost nothing on the XBox 360, and little on the Wii. I played a few early games on the XBox and PS2. I haven't played any PC games requiring a top end video card in at least 5 years, and few in the last 8.

So, the question is, given only 10-15 hours a week of time for gaming, what are the amazing games that I missed? I'm not necessarily looking for just the best games of the last 10 years. What I want are the games that, when they came out, made people go "WOW". New technologies, new interfaces, paradigm shifts in gameplay, etc. Games that, as a Penny Arcade reader, I often miss inside jokes for not having played. Games that are "required reading" before jumping into their modern day sequels, in some cases.

This question is subjective, it should be marked community wiki. - therefromhere
(1) @therefromhere In case you don't know, non-moderators cannot mark questions as CW anymore, as per this post on Meta.SO. - DMA57361
@DMA ah, I wasn't aware of that. So is it open season on subjective questions, or are we supposed to flag stuff for moderator attention, or what? I mean, I know this site should probably have a more relaxed attitude than other SE sites, but still. See here I guess...… - therefromhere
@there Each individual SE site across the network has their own policy. But I've not been involved in any of the meta discussions here on gaming, so cannot comment on local policy. You'd need to search or ask on meta.gaming (which you've done it seems) or maybe try and ask some of the high-rep users on chat to find out what the policy is. And remember, moderators apparently can flip the CW switch on if necessary. - DMA57361
This question is particularly subjective and should definitely be closed. Asking objective game-rec questions, such as "what fps games allow you to shoot a bow", is already borderline, so this one goes way over the edge of what we allow. - StrixVaria
(2) I'm going to have to agree with closing this. This is well past generic and broad... this is really just going to be everyone tossing out whatever they liked from the past 10 years. There's no structure or anything to come to a real conclusion. It is, as the close reason states: overly broad, and we're simply not a place for discussion polls. Please review our FAQ if you have not yet done so. - Grace Note
@there That's old hat. Try this one for something more up-to-speed. As far as our policy on what to do... right now we're still in heated debate with this particular class of question. But for other subjective questions, judge whether the question even belongs before thinking about whether it might benefit as Community Wiki. - Grace Note
(2) Remember, folks, the only valid questions on this board are questions that only one or two people on the board (and perhaps in the world) can possibly answer. If you find that you, as an average human being, can easily participate in answering a question, and not merely reading it, that's a clear sign that the question is far too general and should be closed. - Kyralessa
[+18] [2010-10-22 06:39:04] Fabian

Portal [1], it's a really good game, if a bit short.


(2) Spoiler Alert! :( - GaiusSensei
I've removed the possible spoiler, although I don't think it really spoils much, and probably everybody already heard that sentence. - Fabian
(4) Not if they've been asleep for 10 years... - Kylotan
[+6] [2010-10-22 07:40:54] Aubergine

I've racked my mind for some games which made a lasting impression on me in recent history, and here's what I came up with:

  • Braid: This game will literally blow your mind. A brilliant puzzle game which makes you, in turn, feel brilliant with each puzzle you solve. Also, it's not that long so that's a plus for someone with limited time.
  • The Witcher (Enhanced edition): Though this game has its shortcomings (I find the combat system lacking) this is a very unique and worthy RPG. The main appeal, the way I see it, is that the game incorporates choices in a brilliant manner. None of that "Save the orphan/kill the orphan" nonsense. Most times you have to make choices not knowing how they will affect you, or which is the "right" choice (sometimes there is no "right" choice). Also, you won't know how a choice affects you until much later in the game, and then you will have a flashback to the choice you made. Brilliant.
  • God of War series: These are, in my opinion, the very best action games ever crafted by mankind. Amazingly responsive controls, engrossing action, ingenious level design, you name it. I literally could not stop playing these games until wrapping them up.
  • Shadow of the colossus: It is hard to sell this game, because it will probably sound boring. However, this is one of the most special games I can think of. You owe yourself to try out this unique experience. If you really must know what it is, this could help [1].
  • Vampire - The Masquerade - Bloodlines: This early source engine game by the defunct Troika studios is full of bugs (though community patches have fixed nearly everything), and yet one of my favorite games ever. A miraculous blend of FPS/RPG with the most intense atmosphere I have encountered in any game I can recall.

I think this should get you going.


(5) +1 for mentioning Braid which is really unique - Olfan
The Witcher and Vampire - Bloodlines are both great RPGs - Fabian
[+5] [2010-10-22 07:10:03] PigBen

Super Mario Galaxy

[+3] [2010-10-22 07:15:16] Mehper C. Palavuzlar

Just like you, I've had a break on playing games till I bought my Xbox 360 last year. As I have limited time for gameplay, I decided to choose specific games to concentrate on. The below is the list of games I played and finished. Normally, I'm not a start-and-finish-a-game guy, but these games led me to an addiction:

  • Batman: Arkham Asylum
  • Bioshock 2
  • Alan Wake
  • Dead Space

(1) +1 for Batman: Arkham Asylum, also a great game. - Fabian
(1) Batman: AA was a superb experience indeed. - Mehper C. Palavuzlar
(1) well he did say "Games that are "required reading" before jumping into their modern day sequels, in some cases." So you should have included Bioshock before Bioshock 2 :P - corroded
[+3] [2010-10-22 10:15:10] Bora
  • Mass Effect 2: Lively scenes, lots of NPC interactions, non-linear story.

  • Left 4 Dead /2

  • Portal (agree with the above said)

  • Amnesia - The Dark Descent (if you are into the horror genre, don't miss this one )

  • Team Fortress 2 (to see where things are going)

Would advise Mass Effect 1, before 2, also great story (that changes every time you play it due to the choices you make) and you can import your character from 1 into 2 which does change events that happen in 2 and the way characters react to you based on what you did in the first one. - GAThrawn
[+2] [2010-10-22 08:02:29] RCIX

Supreme Commander 2 is an awesome and fast-paced strategy game that has a small but dedicated community. Ignore most of the negative reviews, as they were written by fans of the previous game who can't move on :P

Tidalis [1] is a puzzle game great for casual and hardcore gamers alike. It features an innovative mechanic (with tons of twists sure to keep you busy!), a rich art style, and hundreds of levels plus a custom game system and a level editor.

You absolutely cannot miss Minecraft [2]. It's perhaps the best sandbox gamed ever made, and is discounted in alpha. Get it today! :D


Dwarf Fortress is better. :p - Ullallulloo
@Ullallulloo: Mmmh, i've tried both and prefer minecraft. DF is for the hardcore geeks who still think ASCII looks better than anything with polygons ;) - RCIX
Then get a graphics pack. DF is free and has way more stuff in it. - Ullallulloo
@Ullallulloo: that still doesn't address the massive complexity. :) - RCIX
@RCIX: Complexity is good. You have to be a little smarter, but I like it at least. - Ullallulloo
@Ullallulloo: If you like complexity, sure. I prefer simplicity :) - RCIX
[+2] [2010-10-22 08:21:53] gman
  • Ico
  • Shadow of the Colossus
  • Portal
  • Left 4 Dead 1 or 2 with 3 friends (it's meant to be played with 4 people)
  • Rock Band (at a party)
  • GTA4

[+1] [2010-10-22 09:16:42] Iceag

So you lost 10 years, well i think you should take a closer look up to:

Fable (PC/XBOX) is a RPG, was one of the first where you had to choose which path you will take, everything you do will affect your Karma. Also everything that will happen to your "Avatar" will affect his appearence, for example: so if you bask without clothing your skin gets tanned..

Fallout 3 (PC/XBOX360) an Action-RPG great Athmosphere, much to discover and very non-linear.

Final Fantasy XIII (PS3/XBOX360) i think i don't need to explain!

(1) Fable is not that great game, imho; The Witcher EE and Fallout 3 are far better - Manrico Corazzi
[+1] [2010-10-22 10:07:54] Olfan

Of those not mentioned already, you might want to try The Void [1] ( official page [2]) for its unique gameplay (sort of an RPG, but all your inventory is Colour which at the same time is your HP and Mana, and all your possible actions are painting, yet still there's quite some action in the game and it's carrying a deep message).


[+1] [2010-10-22 10:55:31] crypto

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (for its fast-paced multiplayer)

[+1] [2010-10-22 11:15:28] Samrat Patil

Amnesia - the dark descent....he'll go back in coma!

[+1] [2010-10-22 12:22:06] Jonn

No WOW yet? Seriously?

'Round 2001 Warcraft 3 was just about to come out. If I were a guy in a comma who just woke up in 2010, it would just blow my mind to see a frikin' whole WORLD OF WARCRAFT!

What else is there to say about the game? IMO, it brought the whole genre to an epicly unreachable level that to this day, you can't help but gauge a new MMORPG against WoW at some point. Blizzard still continues to innovate with every patch and expansion and the whole world just keeps on getting better and better.

Speaking of Warcraft 3, by itself it deserves some credit. The games within the game in Battle.Net, the slight mix between RPG and RTS.

And of course there's Starcraft 2 If that guy were Korean or played the first Starcraft, seeing Starcraft 2 might blow his mind if WOW didn't already do it.

(2) I would never recommend a time-sink like WoW to someone who only has 10-15 hours a week of gaming! - GAThrawn
[0] [2010-10-22 08:09:27] PeterK

I would recommend Thief 3 [1]. It has an awesome atmosphere and if you like to play something different than a regular FPS, then go for it. And play on higher difficulty to get the most of it!