Hmm… I’m gonna go with Final Fantasy Tactics.
Boy but that ending. Great game though. I don’t know that I’ve played anything quite like it since… the style/tactics yes but the package… nope.
AI War: Fleet Command. But ask me on another day and you might get a different answer.
Close Combat 2. So many great memories, and at a scale the computer could play reasonably well.
Mechwarrior 4: Mercenaries
Baldur’s Gate 2. Followed closely by Skyrim.
Wow, 73 posts already and I’m the first to say Diablo 2? (I know, I know, someone did say 3, but 2 was way better).
That game changed my whole outlook on what makes a good game and what it means to balance player options. I even remember writing a job application where I talked about how the economy was in perfect balance because it was inefficient enough to keep the random items in balance with the ones you could trade for, but efficient enough with SOJs and Perfect Skulls to let you actually acquire stuff like the runeword or the frostburns or whatever you needed to boost you to the next level. Turns out Diablo 3 managed to show how right that economy was by crashing and burning at first with a far more efficient market.
Anyway, uhh… Diablo 2. Five Stars. Would buy again.
It was Baldurs Gate, the original, that captured my fancy and turned me into a computer gamer.
Today I would have to say the Dark Souls games are my favorite. I am re-playing DS3 now in fact.
I was already kind of a PC gamer when I played Baldur’s Gate. Mostly by way RTS and FPS games. Baldur’s Gate (and CRPGs at large) simply hardened it to the point of no return. I think I didn’t play a single JRPG for a decade after and I stopped caring about new consoles opting instead to upgrade my PC. Them craze '90s.
Starflight is mine. I like it so much that I bought a Surface Go (the 4gig model) to play it on. That and the old gold box DnD games. Here’s a screen shot of Starflight.
If it wasn’t for Everquest, this would be it for me as well. Nothing before or since, has consumed me in the way Everquest did at release.
Tribes though…man…what a game. Nothing has even come close as a multiplayer game, it’s just perfect. I’ve said before, if they just reskinned that, and kept exactly the same mechanics, and pumped some money into E-sport tournaments for it, it would be massive.
Chaos: Battle of the Wizards
This was the original game that Julian Gollop based Chaos Reborn on. It’s essentially a board/card game with infinite replayability. Despite its primitive graphics, sound and UI, and unpredictable AI (part of the appeal) I can still pick this up and play it anytime and have a blast with it. I must have played many thousands of games over the years.
I’d have to go with Thief 1 - more uneven, but the highs are so high.
Everquest, OG through the Luclin expansion. Velious-era raiding was tops. I also loved playing a monk, pulling for groups/raids, doing the monk epic quest, etc. And the community that formed around the game was special.
I don’t think I could truly pick one favorite game, but I at least think I could make the argument to myself to pick Civilization IV. I put more time into that than any other, and still enjoyed my time with it when I played it as recently as a month or 2 ago. It could win the award for most consistent, slow burn - longevity.
There have certainly been games that I enjoyed more over a play through: The Witcher 2 and 3, The Last of Us, Dark Souls series, Wolfenstein reboots, Telltale The Walking Dead, Dying Light, Rayman Origin and Legends, Age of Wonders 3, Invisible Inc — but none of them has brought me back as much as Civ IV. Civ IV does have the advantage though that I got it during a time when I bought one game and played it a ton before even thinking of buying another.