As my backlog continues to grow I’ve often thought about what are the games I truly want to play before I die. The games that I’ll look back and say “man, I really wish I had made time to play that!” So I’ve come up with 10 games that I look at and say, I need to play this.
So before I dive in, a couple notes. I’m going to break this up into probably 3 posts. I tend to be verbose and don’t want to drone on too much about specific games and why I want to play them. In addition to that I am only picking one game per series meaning I won’t include both Final Fantasy VI and Final Fantasy XV on my list. I also am not going to include replays of games I have already played. These will all be games I have never played. Lastly, while not specific to this list, I just want to add that I have problems playing games out of order, meaning that I’m not going to jump to Dead Space 2 and skip Dead Space 1. I may look at Dead Space 2 and say “That’s the game I want/need to play”, but I won’t play it until I finish the first Dead Space. So without further ado here are the first few games on my gaming bucket list:
Silent Hill 2
Outside of the Resident Evil games I have never really spent a lot of time exploring the Survival Horror genre even though it’s always interested me. I briefly tried to play the original Silent Hill back in the early 2000’s when I was in college but was discouraged by the way it controlled. In fairness I only played about 30 minutes, so I clearly didn’t give it a fair shake. At the time I was obsessed with JRPG’s, so if you weren’t a JRPG you had to be a truly exceptional game and grab me early on if you wanted me to pay attention to you. Outside of the Metal Gear Solid series there weren’t many games that accomplished this for me back then.
Fast forward to today and I find myself looking back at some of these genre’s that I ignored when I was younger and finding bonafide classics I’ve never touched. Silent Hill 2 falls squarely into that bucket. It’s fans, and most of the industry, consider Silent Hill 2 the pinnacle of the Survival Horror genre. I picked it up with some extra cash after Christmas last year so this is definitely one of those games I need to play sooner than later.
Red Dead Redemption
I have mixed feelings about Rockstar games. I’ve never been a big believer that their open worlds are all that great. I also never got the appeal of Grand Theft Auto. That’s not to say I haven’t enjoyed the GTA games. Vice City is, in my opinion, the pinnacle of the series (in fairness I haven’t played V) and one of the best games on the PS2. So I don’t typically jump to pick up their newest offerings as I usually end up disappointed by what they have to offer.
But Red Dead Redemption feels different. Maybe it’s the setting, as I have a little bit of a soft spot for Western’s in games since you don’t see the that often. Maybe it’s because I know far more about the game than I wish I did seeing as I’ve never played it, but whenever I read about this game, or see footage it just strikes me as one of those games that is an incredible journey that ends with a gut punch and leaves you saying “man, I’m glad I played this game.” Like Slient Hill 2, I picked up a copy of this after Christmas this past year.
It may seem odd to see Persona 4 on my list seeing as I just put up a post about my love/hate relationship with Persona 3. So if one were to ask why Persona 4 is on my gaming bucket list, that would be a reasonable question. I guess it comes down to the fact that even if I have mixed feelings about Persona 3, I still really love what the game is trying to do in the JRPG genre. In a genre that likes to stick with the same tropes, settings, and end results, Persona 3 has been a breath of fresh air in a lot of ways. And it’s not like I don’t enjoy the game. I just think it has some flaws.
I also have a hard time ignoring the fact that Persona 4 is highly regarded as one of the best JRPGs of all time. It’s really hard for me to look at Persona 4 as a game that I should just write off of have no interest in just because Persona 3 was a game I had mixed feelings about. One of the biggest draws about Persona 4 for me is the fact that much of the praise it receives is about its cast. And one of the things I’ve come to learn about myself is that good characters can make or break a game fo rme. To me, having a strong cast in a game is more important than having a terribly deep plot. Having a strong cast with memorable, unique, and developed characters can make up for some of the plot short comings that we often see in video games. Either way, as a longtime JRPG enthusiast, Persona 4 is a game that I really want to play before all is said and done. It will probably be a while before I play it though since I don’t think this is a game that will be best experienced by short play times that are broken up. I’m willing to wait, but definitely need to play this one.
When I say Disgaea, I mean any game in the series really. I have always been fascinated with this series. I bought the original Disagea at launch back in 2002 or 2003 (I can’t remember when it launched) and then sold it, and picked it back up again when I realized how dumb it was to sell my old games. And now I own digital copies of Disgaea 1 and 2, and picked up the Disgaea Triple Play after the holidays last year. But I have never played any of these games for an extended period of time. I played the original Disgaea for a few hours back when it first came out but never got past the first few fights.
The appeal to me in these games has really been the insane level building (you can build your characters up to level 9999) and some of the weird concepts like the Item World, where you were allowed to go inside items and complete stages and level up your item. There was also a mechanic where you could fight senators of the underworld to pass laws which could help improve battle mechanics in your favor. I wanted to dive into this content from the begining of the game, and it just isn’t feasible. So I never stuck around long enough to really play through the game and reach a reasonable point where the end game became available. One of these days I will truly dive into one of these games and drop the 200 plus hours needed to really unlock some of this end game content.
So that’s round one for me on my gaming bucket list. There’s no particular order to this, except for the top game on my gaming bucket list, but I’m saving that one for last!