Suggestions, Confirmed and Denied Games

To facilitate suggestions of games or game series that folks would like me to play, this page will act as the central location for where you can recommend things for me to play! There are rules to how this will work so that I can keep this organized, so PLEASE READ THESE RULES BEFORE YOU LEAVE A SINGLE COMMENT. 

1) Please make a suggestion for a specific title only onceDo not make a new comment thread for it. Upvote and add your comment to an existing thread. This way, I can see which title is the most requested; I tend to do those first. PLEASE READ THE CONFIRMED/DENIED LISTS FIRST TO SEE IF YOUR GAME IS ON A LIST. If it’s on neither, then read the comments.

2) List the title of the game and what platform you can play it on. For example, if you’re suggesting Fallout 3, list that title and say, “PC, Steam, PS3, Xbox, etc.” Whatever fits! If you’re suggesting a game that’s all online, link to it. If it is a board game, a tabletop game, a card game, or something that is not a video game, please tell me that, too. Sometimes, I will specifically seek out a new project by looking for a specific type of game.

3) Pitch the game to me. Why should I play it? Why do you think I will like it? Why do you think it would be interesting to see my take on it? Please avoid any and all major spoilers. Hell, if you can, tell me as little as possible so that you don’t bias me against the game. But do tell me stuff about the gameplay being fun, the story being challenging, the existence of great queer characters, the possibility of me having something fascinating to say about the setting, stuff like that. Is it going to be vague? Yes, I realize this. But it’s worked in the past, so it’ll work here, too.

4) DO. NOT. SPAM. ME. EVER. You are not only breaking the rules, you risk annoying me so much that I won’t cover a game just to spite you. I’ve done this in the past. DEAL.

Below, you will find games that I have CONFIRMED that I will do for Mark Plays. This is not listed in the order that I will play these games; it’s merely alphabetical so that it’s easy to find if a game is on the list.

CONFIRMED GAMES

  • 7th Guest (on the iPad)
  • Ace Attorney games
  • Amnesia
  • Assassin’s Creed series
  • Batman: Arkhum Asylum
  • Beyond Good & Evil
  • Borderlands 2
  • Chrono Trigger series
  • Deus Ex games
  • Dungeons & Dragons. Yes. Really. I’ll figure out the logistics.
  • Dragon Age series
  • Fable series
  • Final Fantasy series (Yes, ALL of them.)
  • Ghost Trick
  • Half-Live series
  • Hatoful Boyfriend
  • Heavy Rain
  • Kingdom Hearts (I’ll figure out the logistics of this)
  • Limbo
  • Loom
  • Mass Effect series
  • Metal Gear Solid, 1-4
  • Minecraft
  • Monkey Island series
  • Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors
  • Okami
  • Planescape: Torment
  • Pokeman SOMETHING. I’ve never played any of them, but I’ll figure it out.
  • Portal 2
  • Resident Evil series
  • Silent Hill 2 (possibly 3 and 4, too)
  • The Sims 3 (SHUT UP I WANT TO DO THIS)
  • Skyrim (I played this once for 6 hours and I was so awful at it that I must document a full playthrough for the world.)
  • Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 1, 2
  • Team Fortress 2
  • World of Goo

DENIED GAMES

The games on this list are all ones that I will NOT play for Mark Plays. I might give a reason why I rejected a game, but generally, it’s because I have already played it or I have been too spoiled about it.

  • Bioshock 1, 2
  • Borderlands
  • Dead Island
  • Fallout 3
  • Fallout: New Vegas
  • Guitar Hero (all of them pretty much)
  • Katamari Damacy (OH GOD THE BEST GAMES EVER)
  • LEGO: Harry Potter Years 1-4, Indiana Jones, Batman, all the Star Wars ones.
  • Little Big Planet
  • Portal
  • Resistance 1, 2
  • Rock Band (all of them, too.)
  • Silent Hill (only the first one)
  • Uncharted 1, 2, 3

1,024 Responses to Suggestions, Confirmed and Denied Games

  1. David says:

    Valkyria Chronicles for the PS3 is a Strategy, RPG and has shooter elements
    you control a militia squad as they fight an invading army
    you can use 5 different infantry classes and tanks
    Its a great game with a compelling story, with great main and side characters.
    The game play can be quite challenging and you really have to use good strategy.
    This video contains examples of game play with no plot spoilers http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-0RY4TTNwE

    • Psyched180 says:

      Seconding Valkyria Chronicles! The most interesting take on jbeyq jne gjb, be ng yrnfg n pybfr nanybthr gurerbs I’ve personally played in a video game, wrapped up in an anime aesthetic…

    • BradSmith5 says:

      Excellent suggestion. If only because I can't imagine Mark going through life without meeting "Wnaa."

    • Balthier says:

      This is a great game, its one of those games that is well received but no one knows about. It has several honors and awards including a Guinness world record in 2010 for "SEGA earned records for Most Critically Acclaimed Strategy RPG for the PS3 " http://www.ign.com/articles/2010/06/21/guinness-w…. ( did not see any spoilers at the link).
      Also I look forward to Mark's take on Vffnen trggvat xvyyrq naq Wnaa

    • David says:

      I forgot to mention there is DLC wich adds new mission and items for your main play through(I would play them after the main game because of spoilers and the missions require familiarity with the game play) and it spun two sequels Valkyria Cronicles 2 and 3. (unfortunately the third is only avaiable in Japan)

    • illacquiredtaste says:

      Yesyesyesyesyes! One of my favorite games on the PS3… Hell, one of my favorite all- time games. I introduce friends to it whenever I can, and me and my husband have logged in well over 200 hours playtime collectively.

  2. I'd recommend the PS3 & Steam game 'Spec Ops: The Line'. It's short, only about five hours or so, but manages to have one of the most intense, stark, and frankly upsetting plots of any game I have ever played.

    It's kind of a subversion of franchises like Call of Duty, which I suppose might be a reason not to play it immediately- it's as much a subversion of the entire genre of modern war shooters as anything else- but it's basically my go-to example whenever there's an Are Games Art discussion.

    This actually doesn't spoil as much as it might seem, but the game draws pretty heavy inspiration from Heart of Darkness.

  3. DavidZAarons says:

    Oh god, Mark, please play Persona 4 for the PS2 (Or, once it's released, Persona 4: Golden for the Playstation Vita, if you have access to one of those. It's going to have extra content, but I think they swapped out a couple of characters' voice actors and I can't speak to the quality of their replacements). Persona 3, too, if you want, but 4 is one of my favorites.

    It's a Japanese RPG set at a high school in present-day Japan, with supernatural/murder mystery elements. The characters are great, the writing is strong and well-translated, the voice acting is great for the most part and helps define the cast. The characters are one of the strongest things about it; they all feel very human and real (to me, at least), and I'd love to see your reactions to it. I'd especially be curious about how you'd view one particular character whose sexuality is, to some extent, examined.

    (Minor spoilers for those who've played it, should they want to discuss it):
    Xnawv'f frkhnyvgl vf arire ernyyl qverpgyl nqqerffrq, naq gur gbcvp vf xvaq bs fxvegrq nebhaq nsgre ur wbvaf gur cnegl. V qb jvfu gurl jbhyq unir orra n yvggyr zber qnevat nobhg vg, ohg V guvax vg'f xvaq bs n ovt qrny nf n fgrccvat fgbar ba gur jnl gb gehr znghevgl ol gur fgnaqneqf bs ivqrb tnzrf (juvpu ner fgvyy irel, irel onq jvgu traqre cbyvgvpf naq gbcvpf bs frkhnyvgl va trareny).

    Just keep in mind if you do decide to play it that it's an Atlus game and technically a cousin to the Shin Megami Tensei franchise, so it's not gentle, haha. It may be a little more tender than some Atlus/SMT games, but it has no intention of letting you waltz right through it without a fight.

    • @whoisfriend says:

      Came to recommend this as well. The characterizations in this game are fantastic. It also has one of the best instances of a character confronting their sexuality AND one of the most blatant examples of homophobia as well. It only appears in a few instances, and Japan isn't exactly the most forward-thinking country, so it's interesting more than anything else.

      Lbhfhxr vf cerggl zhpu na nff gb Xnawv ng gur ortvaavat. Vg'f fb zhpu jbefr va gur navzr jurer Lh wbvaf va gbb. Ng yrnfg gur tnzr Cebgntbavfg pbhyq pubbfr abg gb or hapbzsbegnoyr ubzbcubovp.

      • Liz says:

        Bu zna lrf gung jnf zl ovttrfg ceboyrz jvgu gur navzr. V nyjnlf znqr gur cebgntbavfg or ba Xnawv'f fvqr va gur tnzr, naq jura V fnj gurl'q tvira fbzr bs Lbhfhxr'f yvarf gb Lh va gur navzr V nyzbfg unq n entr narhevfz.

      • Alfram Corte Real says:

        v qb abg guvax lbhfhxr vf ubzbcubovp. ur jnf zber qhzo guna nalguvat.
        abg guvaxvat gbb zhpu nobhg jung ur vf tbvat gb fnl vf bar bs uvf punenpgre synjf.

    • Shiroikami says:

      Yesssss. Persona!!

      They are a very good combination of "life sim" and "dungeon crawler" games. I was first introduced to these games when P3 came out while I was in college. I currently own every Persona game (1 and 2 I only have for the PSP, but I've got 3, FES and 4 for the PS2, and P3P for the PSP… and I'm going to buy a Vita just so I can play P4: The Golden I AM EXCITE!!)

      Pros: In addition to being very simple to learn in terms of both the battle system and the day-to-day life-sim activities, each Persona game has a very specifically defined end point. You know exactly when and where it is because the game TELLS you. Also, P3 and P4 both have a (very small) real-world educational value.

      Cons: The battle system in 3 was a little difficult to manage when you wanted to characters to do specific things. Also, saving is only at save points, so if you forget to save before a boss battle, and you haven't saved for awhile (it's easy to forget), then you're SOL. Likewise if the dungeon area you enter happens to be a little more difficult than expected… which happens a lot. Also, grinding can get a little monotonous after awhile, when you're between missions.

      Overall, very good games, very story driven with strong plots and twists that you will NEVER see coming. Difficulty can be a little unexpected at times, but if you're willing to put in the 60 or so hours that it will take to finish one of these games (without 100% collection and completion, since that's really only possible on multiple new game plus files, and using completion maps) they're totally worth it.

      • Amanda says:

        These games are great! I definitely agree with the downsides to P3, but honestly, I liked the storylines a whole lot better than P4, so I would recommend that mark play the third game if he were to only play one. However, they are both fantastic! :)

    • Rebecca says:

      Yeah this should be played,Also remeber that it will get Hard. Also I agree with the Persona 3, I got a PSP basically for Persona 3, Loved it (kept the PSP cause of all the PS1 games i missed out on)

    • NeonProdigy says:

      Oh gosh, this is the exact first game I thought of to recommend to Mark the moment I found out Mark Plays is now a thing.

      Good god, Persona 4 was my favorite PS2 game of all time, and I might be getting a Vita eventually, if only to play P4: Golden.

      I would also be ridiculously happy if he played some of the other SMT games, but Persona 4 is the big one for me.

    • Syncyes says:

      Or he could do ALL THE SHIN MEGAMI TENSEI GAMES

      …I feel like I'm over excited for Mark Plays but I don't care; VIDEO GAMEZORZ! :DDD

    • Tara says:

      all the personas. please. specifically 3! 3 was pretty darn good.

    • Hella says:

      So happy to see someone suggested Persona 4. It's my favorite out of the series. I would suggest trying 1, 2 and 3 (either the remake for the PSP for the 1/2 or the originals for the PS1, and of course either the original P3 for the PS2 or the remake for the PSP) but if you had to choose one, I'd say P4 is the best out of them all.

      It is a beautiful blend of dating sims and dungeon crawling.

    • Alfram Corte Real says:

      v qb abg guvax xnawv`frkhnyvgl vf ernyyl vzcbegnag. v pbhyq rkcynva ohg guvf negvpyr rkcynvaf vg orggre guna v pbhyq. http://www.giantbomb.com/profile/mattbodega/kanji

    • TCM says:

      And yet another thing I have to second — though I’d recommend playing Persona 3 first, either the FES release (which you can get for 10 bucks on the playstation network) or the Portable release (which you can get for 15 bucks pretty much anywhere, assuming you have a PSP). It isn’t as good as Persona 4 as a whole, but it is a similar game with a very good plot, and P4 will spoil your experience of P3 (not necessarily plotwise, but definitely mechanically — playing P3 is difficult after P4’s updates to key mechanics)

    • Lycheee says:

      Yes, yes, please play Persona4! It is one of my favorite video games at the moment, and it is so much more than just a murder/investigative rpg. You also go to school, do quests, talk to people and see how they change, and do normal stuff. Not only that, but there is so much character development – the characters are not at all 2D. There is so much you can do with it, and a great plot, so you should definitely play it.

  4. Xue_Bai says:

    Any of the LEGO licensed video games, on any platform are fun adventure-y games, which include:Batman, Batman 2:DC Super Heroes, Harry Potter Years 1-4, Harry Potter Years 5-7, Indiana Jones, Pirates of the Caribbean, Star Wars: Complete Saga, and Star Wars II: Original Trilogy.

    Yeah, I have no idea how to pitch these, but they're lots of fun (the Harry Potter ones are so much better than any of the actual Harry Potter games). Lots of things to to/collect that keep them from being too "kiddie" game, plus weird LEGO jokes. I've never played through one all the way through, but I have played a number of them at various points in the game, and they all pretty much play the same, it's just a choice of fandom and platform…

    Though you might want to wait until the Lord of the Rings one comes out, just because…

  5. theunlikelyone says:

    Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Both games in the series are available on Steam right now. I just played through both games for the first time. They're easily on my top ten list. KotOR 2 is easily the best game that was never finished, but installing the Restored Content Mod fixes a lot of the unfinished-ness of it.

    Ib. It's a freeware game available for the pc. It's another one of my favorite games right now. It's a surreal horror game that will crush your heart into a million tiny pieces. Seriously. Go play it.

    • I'll second the KOTOR games. Although I personally hope he does Mass Effect and Dragon Age first.

    • Bookman230 says:

      I support this. Knights of the Old Republic 1 & 2 for the PC(especially in KOTOR's 2 case, since there's mods that restore some very important and very fun cut content) are classics. Both games are amazing. KOTOR 1 is Star Wars at its best, even better than the old trilogy, with action and strong characters galore, a beautiful soundtrack, and the perfect mix of light and dark. KOTOR 2 is darker, a perfect deconstruction of the Star Wars series. You'll never look at it the same way again.

    • iamwinterborn says:

      OOOH KOTOR!

      Definitely!

      Uheel hc naq cynl guvf, zrngont!

    • threeparts says:

      OH GOSH, YES.

    • Mark Does Stuff says:

      I'll do KotOR 1/2

    • @BajnokPapp says:

      You absolutely have to try the 2 KotOR games, those games are old now so it's not like the games in these days, but the game experiance and the story is so enjoyable, that you forget about what the graf. is like. I also want to suggest the Star Wars: The Old Republic – Revan book because I think if you like the story you will want to know how it continues (just a suggestion: play as a man in the kotor 1 [that's the canon version of the game] and the kotor 2 as a women [also canon version]) and speak a lot with the crew in your ship…a lot of fun conversations will happen and it's going to be a little more expanded, more like a full story.

    • Jasmin says:

      I just played the second game there, Ib, and it really does crush your heart into a million tiny pieces afterwards ;;
      (so I'm seconding Ib)

      Even though it's just a free game made on an RPG-maker, it's got surreal elements of horror that mirror the kind of effect you get from Amnesia (even if you haven't played it yet, Mark, you've heard of how it is yes?), and is actually really well done with a nice storyline; you can also end up with 5 different endings based on your choices made throughout the game while solving puzzles and the like!

  6. Psyched180 says:

    I’d like to suggest ‘The Company of Myself’, a short flash game on Newgrounds… Please don’t let the fact that it’s a Newgrounds flash game turn you away!

    It’s a really short puzzle/platformer with an interesting mechanic (which sort of reminds me of Braid, if you’ve played that?) with a story that I want to call thought provoking, but I feel like that might sound pretentious… It’d certainly give you something to talk about, at least, and again it’s really short and would make for a good one-off thing, methinks…

    http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/518729

    Hope I did this right…

  7. Pingback: Welcome to Mark Plays! | Mark Plays

  8. atalantapendrag says:

    Gloom. Card game. You'll need at least one other player. It's like someone made a card game of the opening credits of MYSTERY, combined with lots of Charles Addams.

    There's a Cthulhu edition as well, a friend of mine has and likes that, but I can only speak for the original.

    • Mark, I have Gloom; I love Gloom; let's play Gloom.

    • amyalices says:

      I LOVE GLOOM.

      It is my go-to pub game – because sitting in a pub playing cards is basically my ideal afternoon. Ver funny, and especially good with geeky types – get a bunch of RPers or writers together, play it in storytelling mode and it gets especially good.

      • atalantapendrag says:

        I totally agree, it's a perfect game to play with a couple of writers! I haven't played it in a pub, but I have played it in a coffeehouse and a hookah lounge. That's about the perfect level of focus, I think, where you're playing socially and care more about having a good game than who wins.

      • I love creating our own Gloom canon each time. Bar gvzr zl oebgure jnf cynlvat Erq Qrnq Erqrzcgvba, jurer gur znva punenpgre vf anzrq Wbua Znefgba, fb V perngrq uvf gjva oebgure, Eba Znefgba, jub eboorq gur genva fb gung bar bs uvf punenpgref jnf Genccrq ba n Genva.

  9. Chloe K. Evil says:

    If you want to try an MMORPG, I was playing Guild Wars 2 the other day and had a lot of fun! It doesn't have a monthly fee, and it's really exciting.

    For board games and card games, you could try Arkham Horror, which is a board game, and Guillotine, which is a card game. Both can be lots of fun!

    • Crazed Day says:

      The original Guild Wars is a lot of fun too, and only like $20 or so without a monthly fee. Not as exciting as GW2 (they changed the system between games), but fun with or without playing with other people.

    • psyberwraith says:

      I second this, though I don't know how well an eternal game like an MMO could fit into the Mark Does Stuff format. Guild Wars 2 is Really Awesome though, and the lack of a monthly fee is a definite upside.

    • lisab says:

      I'll second Arkham Horror! It's basically an easy way to get the feel of a tightly run Call of Cthullu (table top horror role playing game) game, without having to try and find a good GM for it.

  10. Gonzo says:

    Given its plot based nature and magnitude of HOLY CRAP WHAT moments, I can't help but feel the Ace Attorney series is PERFECT for this format.

  11. Genny_ says:

    My first thought was the Ace Attorney games, playable on the DS! They're sort of like adventure games, I suppose, with puzzles and a lot of dialogue. The games are Phoenix Wright, Justice for All, Trials and Tribulations and Apollo Justice (plus a couple of sidegames, but one thing at a time). The basic concept is essentially that you're playing as a lawyer solving cases in the single most ridiculous, over the top legal system in the world.

    For a start, these games are REALLY funny when they want to be. They're silly, slapstick and packed full of references. They've got great characters, too- the text-heavy format gives you plenty of time to get attached to them. The puzzles are neat and the plots are creative, taking full advantage of how ridiculous the setting gets. I also figure that these would suit the format you generally post reviews in well. They don't feel like games that would require videos or anything for you to post. You could just type up a blow by blow account and, perhaps, add screenshots. Plus, they're divided into easy chunks with breaks in the gameplay!

    Oh, plus there are many, many SHIT GOT REAL moments that it'd be fun watching you encounter.

  12. tanbarkie says:

    I have three (well, technically, four) suggestions.

    (1) Portal and Portal 2 (Xbox 360, PS3)
    Simply put, two of the best games ever made. Brilliant game design backed by some of the best writing and voice acting in gaming (nay, any media) history. Seriously, these are the only games made in the past ten years that crack my "Top 5 Games of All Time" list – and they BOTH DO. EASILY.

    (2) Bastion (Xbox Live Arcade, PC)
    This action-RPG was a big indie hit last year, and for good reason. It's a well-built little brawler in its own right, with more gameplay depth than immediately meets the eye, but what sets it over the top is the stunning art design, haunting and gorgeous soundtrack (aptly described as "acoustic frontier trip-hop"), and of course, UNBELIEVABLE WRITING, backed by incredible voice acting. The story in this game is a perfect, self-contained little piece of short fiction that has one of the most singularly beautiful endings I've ever seen, and one that I think will resonate deeply with Mark's personal experiences. The main "gimmick" of the game is the dynamic narrator who tells your story as you play it, and the game milks the conceit for all its thematic worth without ever overdoing it. It's an incredible achievement.

    (3) Braid (Xbox Live Arcade)
    Hailed as brilliant storytelling by some, loathed as pretentious melodrama by others, the one thing everyone who's played "Braid" can agree on is that it's one FUCKING BRILLIANT piece of game design. It takes the simple idea of rewinding time and uses it to produce puzzles so mind-bending, it'll… well… blow your mind. OK, not the most inspired bit of writing I've ever done, but it's true. Just thinking about some of the puzzles in this game make my head hurt (in a good way).

    • Genny_ says:

      Oh, seconding Portal and (especially) Portal 2. (They're for PC by the way, Mark, or Xbox.) Those games are wonderful. I do wonder if he's miraculously unspoiled for them, though?

      …if he is, he's a) lucky and b) definitely got to do them, because an unspoiled Portal player is a rare sight indeed nowadays. For the first game, anyway.

      • tanbarkie says:

        Yeah, I would be surprised if Mark managed to not be spoiled for Portal one way or another. But it's still a brilliant game, even if you've already been memed to death about it.

        • Genny_ says:

          And spoilers for the second game are often easier to avoid. If he's spoiled to death for Portal, he could always play it on his own (I mean, it's only about 3 hours tops) and then do 2 for the site?

          • tanbarkie says:

            I sort of assume that Portal would be a single one-off review kind of dealie, given how short it is. Although I guess he could fcyvg vg hc ol grfg punzoref. Ohg rira gung jbhyq cerggl zhpu obvy qbja gb bar erivrj ba gur svefg gra grfg punzoref (nxn gur ghgbevny), bar erivrj sbe gur erfg bs gur npghny grfg punzoref, naq gura bar erivrj sbe gur rfpncr. Naq V unir ab vqrn ubj bar pbhyq cbffvoyl rkcynva gung fgehpgher gb Znex jvgubhg fcbvyvat gur tnzr va gur cebprff – nsgre nyy, cneg bs gur sha bs gur rfpncr vf lbhe qnjavat ernyvmngvba gung gur tnzr vf abjurer ARNE bire lrg.

          • Genny_ says:

            Nterrq. V srry yvxr gjb erivrjf, znk, jbhyq or orfg- znlor n erivrj sbe gur cer-rfpncr fghss, naq gura n erivrj sbe jura fuvg tbrf qbja? Vs ur'f hafcbvyrq nobhg gur fgehpgher bs gur tnzr, gubhtu, vg jbhyq or jnl gbb tbbq gb cnff hc yrggvat uvz cynl vg bhg uvzfrys.

            This is one I could actually see being best done as a video review with him talking over it for the above reasons, actually?

    • Atrus says:

      Second Portal and Portal 2!

    • Kiki says:

      Braid is a perfect game, I second this and Portal.

    • Mark Does Stuff says:

      I have played the first Portal on Steam AND I AM STUCK ON THE FINAL LEVEL WHAT THE FUCK UNFAIR.

      I just added Portal 2 to the Confirmed list!!!

    • Liz says:

      Seconding Bastion! It's such an amazing game, I can't even second this enough. I will second it and third it and fourth it and millionth it.

    • NB2000 says:

      Yes to Portal/Portal 2! (yeah I deleted my post, it wasn't very good, this one is better). Both are on Steam.

    • kaleidoscoptics says:

      I came on here to make sure the Portal series was suggested. They are my absolute favorite games ever. Everything about them is perfect.

      Bastion is pretty fucking amazing too. The narration, visuals, music, plot… It all just WORKS. I spent a couple days just playing it over the summer.

    • DktrAgonizer says:

      Just going to add that Bastion's soundtrack is one of my favorite game soundtracks. JUST. SO LOVELY, ARGH.

      • dazyndara says:

        I have never played that soundtrack on repeat for an entire day. Ever. Honest. *shifty eyes*

      • tanbarkie says:

        I bought one of the autographed soundtrack CDs just after the game first came out. I still listen to it about once per day.

        Both Portal and Braid have amazing soundtracks as well, but their music is more ambient and doesn't feel as "listenable" as an album as Bastion's (jryy, nfvqr sebz "Fgvyy Nyvir" naq "Jnag Lbh Tbar," bs pbhefr).

    • Beabird says:

      Another second/third/fourth etc. for Bastion.
      That game blew my mind. It was an amazingly emotional experience for me, and I thought it was superbly beautiful in most if not all aspects.

      • tanbarkie says:

        Yeah – and now that I think about it, Bastion (even moreso than the other two games I suggested) lends itself to a "Mark Does Stuff" format since it's actually broken up into discrete, more-or-less linearly arranged levels.

        As much as I love Portal, I think Bastion might actually be the game I want to see Mark review the most.

    • ZOMG Braid yes. So fucking creative, it makes platforming seem fresh and new.

      • iwakunirose says:

        I have an EXTREMELY large want for Mark to play Braid. It is without a doubt one of the most interesting games I have ever played.

        (Also, my uncle was the developer. My life is colliding with the internet right now, and seeing Mark review Jon's game would be… surreal.)

      • etherealclarity says:

        Yes. Yes. Braid is wonderful, in game design and art and music and just YES. So good, and a wonderful game for Mark to play through and review.

      • Jupiter Star says:

        YES YES YES. Mark, do you or do you not love time travel more than most things? Because there are two essential time travel games out there and since you're already doing the Chrono Trigger series, it only makes sense to do the other one!

    • ZeynepD says:

      Since you're already started with the _Portal_ games, I'll strenously push for _Bastion_ here. Especially since the story. And the writing. And the music. I've pushed the music to people who have never so much as played _Tetris_. And the story. The story.

    • rudeguest says:

      Seconding Bastion, it is a wonderful game and well worth playing. Excellent plot and gameplay. You need to check it out, best indy game of 2011, no joke or hyperbole.

  13. Ashley I. says:

    Batman: Arkham Series

    XBOX 360/ PLAYSTATION

    These are the video game equivalents to the Christopher Nolan movies (in terms of quality, not storyline). It successfully uses LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS of the original canon. Both games manage to be creepy as fuck at some points, the characterization of the Batman and Joker is absolutely fantastic, and so many of the supporting characters are just SO AMAZING. Gameplay features you as Batman, having to use his stealth to clear rooms of Joker thugs and sometimes his detective work comes into play, analyzing crime scenes. Storyline has you on edge the whole time. My favorite game series. Second game is all this times forty. Jesus, please play this. I'm not very articulate, but I promise, this is one of the best game series you'll ever play.

  14. @mattpanico says:

    How do you feel about sports? You can play them. I suggest muggle quidditch. You have quite a few fans in the community already, and there are plenty of teams out in California.

    I'm not sure how to avoid spoilers for a sport, so I'll just put out that it's a mixed-gender, full-contact interpretation that is everything you hoped it could be and more. And if anyone else wants to see it in action, http://www.internationalquidditch.org is a great place to start.

    • Angelina Johnson says:

      We agree with Matt! You should give Muggle Quidditch a try – it is so much fun, the people are excellent, and it's full of things you already love :) Just get in touch with the IQA team nearest you, I'm sure they'll show you a good time. It's fun, it's challenging, it's great. (Although obviously we're biased :P)

  15. Wen says:

    Journey for PS3! It’s very short (3 hours tops), tremendously beautiful, and one of the most poignant games I have ever played. It’s really best to go into it not knowing too much, but I’d like to stress again that it is GORGEOUS.

    • Benfuy says:

      I'd like to second Journey! It really is a gorgeous game, in all the ways! I would like to say more, but I think it's one of those games that's best if you go in knowing absolutely nothing.

      Flower is also another game by the same company that made Journey (thatgamecompany). Since I find it difficult discussing the game without spoiling the fun, I'd like to talk about how I found the game in the first place. Flower first came out on PSN in 2009, but I didn't hear about it until 2010. Mostly, I kept noticing people mentioning it in game forums and such arguing against Roger Ebert's claim that games couldn't be art. Watching some clips from the game, I didn't think much of it but agreed that it was very visually impressive.

      A couple months passed when I finally decided to buy it to see what the fuss was all about. And then I found out it wasn't just a game, but something you had to experience. A few of my friends and my brother initially shot it down because it looked boring, but once I got them to try it out, it was anything but. The same can be said of Journey. It isn't like any other game I've played before (though admittedly, I haven't played too many).

      Well, I'm not sure how I did with pitching them, but I do hope you consider Journey and Flower! Both are available on PSN.

      P.S. Long time lurker, first time commenting! Thank you, Mark, for starting another amazing project!

      • Wen says:

        I keep trying to think of things to go back to say to make it a more compelling pitch but I feel like knowing anything about Journey spoils it a little. You're absolutely right though, it's really much more of an experience than a game.

        Gur svefg gvzr V cynlrq, fbzrbar fgnegrq sbyybjvat zr fbba nsgre gur ortvaavat naq V fcrag gur svefg gra zvahgrf pbzcynvavat naq gelvat gb trg gurz gb tb njnl. Ol gur raq V jnf ersreevat gb gurz nf zl sevraq (v.r; "ybbx, zl sevraq fubjrq zr nabgure cngu!") naq sryg trahvaryl nggnpurq gb gurz, puvecvat onpx naq sbegu pbafgnagyl.

        Vs gurve fperraanzr unq orra qvfcynlrq qhevat cynlguebhtu, V'q unir yvxryl vtaberq gurz.

        V'z irel ful va tnzrf naq eneryl vagrenpg jvgu bgure cynlref tvira gur bcgvba, fb gur snpg gung gurer ner ab anzrf be jnlf bs pbzzhavpngvat jvgu jbeqf ernyyl sbeprq zr gb trg bire gung naq vg znqr gur rkcrevrapr gung zhpu zber zrzbenoyr. V jvfu V pbhyq zragvba guvatf yvxr guvf gb cvgpu vg jvgubhg fcbvyvat vg!

    • threeparts says:

      Journey looks amazing and I am so jelly of all the PS3 owners because I am DYING to play it. Thirding this recommendation!

    • Erin says:

      I was going to suggest this too. I love this game, it's one of my very favorites. Gorgeous is the perfect word.

    • Genny_ says:

      I haven't even played Journey (woe, no PS3) but from what I've seen of it: YES. And I agree that going in with no inkling whatsoever would be best.

    • Xocolatl. says:

      YES. PLEASE YES!!!!!

    • firedawn says:

      I AGREE WITH THIS SO HARD. I came in here just to suggest Journey.

    • EvaLilith says:

      Please, please, please play Journey, Mark. It is the best example I know of a video game being art, and also a wordless story, and… just so amazing. It is the most beautiful game I have ever played, and the one to give me the most feelings. It also only takes about 2 hours total. I agree that trying to explain much about it would spoil it, but it does hold true to its title.

    • Tsu says:

      Yes! Pleeease play Journey! It is so unbelievably fantastic. It's more than just a game, it's an experience, and art, and… well.. a journey! It's so wonderfully fun and pretty.

    • RectPropagation says:

      11th vote for this.

  16. sirintegra42 says:

    Definitely the Monkey Island games, or at least Secret of Monkey Island and Le Chuck's Revenge, although I actually love Curse of Monkey Island too. They're point and click adventure games but most of the fun comes from the humour running through them. They're pretty hard in places if you're not used to the weird logic of combining items but they're definitely worth it.

    Also the first couple of Broken Sword games, which are also point and click adventure games but with more of a complex plot. The plots are pretty silly but they work if you like a mystery. They've got a bit of an Indiana Jones vibe to them which I like anyway. The first one's called Shadow of the Templar, which I personally think is the best of them.

    EDIT: I forgot to mention that they're all really fun games to play again as so much effort was made into adding funny things into the combination of items and bits of dialogue you choose. I notice something new every time I play them. Plus they've released special editions on XBox in the last year or so so they're easy and cheap to get your hands on. The Monkey Island games at least. I have no idea how easy it is to get the first two Broken Sword games now unfortunately.

    • dazyndara says:

      Yes Monkey Island! They're just so witty!

    • magpie says:

      I strongly recommend the Monkey Island games, and I would love to see Mark play all five! I started in the middle with Curse of Monkey Island, played part of Escape from Monkey Island, and then fell deeply in love with Tales of Monkey Island. Having gone back and played all five in order, I think this series is a perfect way to watch a group of stories evolve with the technology, look, and style of game, all with the same themes, sense of humor, puzzles requiring some pretty weird logic, and rewarding references to previous games for people who have played through it all.

      Re: logistics, SoMI, MI2:LR, and ToMI (that's the 1st, 2nd, and 5th games) are all available on Steam, CD/DVD-ROM, Xbox, Playstation 3, and as apps on iPhone/iPod/iPad (I wouldn't recommend the last, as it looks like the apps still have the bugs that were fixed on the later releases/other platforms), and ALSO with ToMI available on Wii. SoMI and MI2:LR have been re-released as special editions with new art as well as voice acting (voice acting wasn't originally part of the games until the third game), and these releases give you the ability to toggle back and forth between the original edition and the special edition. Games 3 and 4 (CoMI and EfMI, respectively) are only available via CD-ROM, as there has been no re-release of those games. However, you can still play them on newer machines (and Macs in the case of CoMI) with the help of ScummVM, which is a tool designed to help run a lot of the early famous LucasArts adventure games (plus a bunch more).

      (Also, anyone who lives in/is planning to visit DC any time until the end of this month: Secret of Monkey Island is one of the featured games in the American Art Museum exhibit, "The Art of Video Games"– very much worth a visit and a 30-second play on their console with a big projection!)

      • sirintegra42 says:

        What did you think of Escape? It was the first one I played as it was the easiest one to get hold of at the time but I'm not the biggest fan of it. Gur gvzr ybbc cneg vf sha vs sehfgengvat ohg gur Zbaxrl Xbzong guvat vf evqvphybhfyl pbzcyvpngrq. V raqrq hc univat gb jevgr rirelguvat qbja gb xrrc genpx bs vg. Vg ybfg fbzrguvat pbzcnerq gb Phefr.

        • magpie says:

          Yeah, I know it's not the most popular, and it's not my favorite by any stretch, but when I came back to it after a… 10-year hiatus where I pretty much played CoMI and ToMI over and over again, I actually enjoyed it quite a bit? The character/plot continuity is generally good as a part of the series, and I think there are some really compelling things about it. It took me a LONG time to get used to the graphics (which were vastly improved upon in ToMI [OH GOD the animation in that makes me want to weep in a good way]), but eventually I did.

          V gbb unq n ybg bs sha jvgu gur gvzr ybbc, naq gb or gbgnyyl ubarfg V'z abg irel tbbq ng chmmyrf gung erdhver lbh gb gnxr gur xvaq bs ybtvp yrncf gung gur Zbaxrl Vfynaq tnzrf nfx lbh gb qb, fb V unq pncf bs gur tnzr ba zl vCbq nybat jvgu abgrf, ohg V unq gb qb gung jvgu Gnyrf nf jryy, juvpu vf pbafvqrerq gb or gur yrnfg pbzcyvpngrq va grezf bs chmmyrf bs gur jubyr frevrf. Fb V crefbanyyl qvqa'g unir n ceboyrz jvgu gur yriry bs pbzcyrkvgl orpnhfr V rkcrpgrq gb unir gebhoyr jvgu vg. V nyfb ybirq gur pbaprcg bs Zbaxrl Xbzong va fcvgr bs vg orvat EVQVPHYBHFYL uneq.

          V jnf qvfnccbvagrq/naablrq jvgu gur punatr bs ibvpr npgerff sbe Rynvar naq jnf irel tynq gb frr gur bevtvany erghea sbe Gnyrf naq gur fcrpvny rqvgvbaf. V'z nyfb abg n sna bs fxrril!Thloehfu (jura ur qbrf gung qrrc, "url onol…" ibvpr), juvpu fubjf hc n srj gvzrf zber bsgra guna ur rire qbrf va gur bgure tnzrf. Hey, I enjoyed myself, but I'm more interested in re-playing Tales, Secret, or Curse most of the time rather than re-visiting Escape.

          • sirintegra42 says:

            I'll have to play it again sometime. I tend to play Curse most because I love it so much. Jryy rkprcg gur raqvat. V jvfu jr pbhyq trg gb frr jung gurl npghnyyl unq cynaarq orsber gurl xvaq bs ena bhg bs zbarl naq gvzr.

            Gur ybtvp bs nqiragher tnzrf vf n ovg jnecrq. V qba'g guvax V jbhyq unir tbg guebhtu nal bs gurz jvgubhg Tnzrsndf, nygubhtu rira gura V qvq grne zl unve bhg n ovg ng fbzr cnegf. Gur raq bs YrPuhpx'f Eriratr pbzrf gb zvaq, jvgu nyy bs gur ehaavat nebhaq pbeevqbef naq uvz frrzvat gb zngrevnyvfr evtug arkg gb lbh rirel gvzr.

          • magpie says:

            It used to be re-playing Curse most of the time for me, but once I got an iPod and found out I could get Tales on it, I'll break it out every so often on my commute (in fact, the first time I was figuring how the controls on the iPod worked was on the Metro on my way to Mark's Tour last February!)… of course this invariably ends up with zr univat RAQYRFF SRRYF va choyvp (BU TBQ GUR SRRYF), so that's a thing I have to look out for when playing on a mobile device.

    • TeaLovingDave says:

      I strongly second this suggestion – particularly Secret of Monkey Island and Le Chuck's Revenge.

    • sirintegra42 says:

      I don't know what I can do to persuade you to play these games without spoiling every single great line but here's the opening sequence for Secret of Monkey Island to give you a tiny idea of their greatness. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejgBZGqKRD4

      • magpie says:

        How could I have missed talking about the GREAT music on these games!? Introduction & Main Titles for Curse of Monkey Island is one of my most-played pieces of score. LOVE LOVE LOVE.

    • TDM says:

      A million yeses to the Monkey Island games! Curse is my favourite too, but may be hard to get hold of. They're all great though.

    • Mark Does Stuff says:

      Wow, lots of upvotes and comments. I'll do the Monkey Island series!

    • Rachel says:

      I'd add Grim Fandango to the list – it's another LucasArts game so similar in that it's point and click adventure with great lines, but it's got a film noir feel where you're adventuring through the land of the dead

      I definitely second the Broken Swords and I'm so excited Mark is doing Monkey Island!

      • sirintegra42 says:

        I really need to play Grim Fandango but every time I've looked for a copy online it's been pretty expensive, probably because everyone loves it so much and isn't willing to get rid of their copy.

        I'm glad someone seconded my love of Broken Sword. It seems like everyone loves Monkey Island but I don't see that mentioned as much. The first game at least is brilliant.

        • Rachel says:

          I know! My dad got me the first two MIs when I was pretty small, and I was hooked on the series ever since, but it was only a few years ago at uni that someone mentioned if I loved MI I should play it, and it was really difficult to find for a good price. I think I eventually got it off eBay for about £8. It's definitely a great game though, so if it's the question of a few extra pounds/dollars/currency of choice, I would say it's very much worth it.

          The Broken Sword games I don't love quite as much (but Monkey Island is the (second) best game I've ever played), but I love George and Nico. There just aren't enough point-and-click style adventure games, and this is a quality series in that respect.

          • sirintegra42 says:

            I'll have to get it sometime, although then there's the fun of trying to get it to work on a newer PC. It took ages for my brother to work out how to transfer the first Broken Sword over and get it working properly. George and Nico are both great. I love the humour in those games and how clever some of the puzzles are, which is why I suggested them. Plus they've got more of a plot than the Monkey Island games.

    • sirintegra42 says:

      Replying to myself as I realised a couple of days ago that you can actually get the first Broken Sword game on DS now in a Director's Cut form. I haven't played it myself but my brother's playing it at the moment so it reminded me. You can get it on your phone as well as that's how he's playing it. I think he said it was really cheap through that way so it might be worth a try if you enjoy Monkey Island and haven't played it.

  17. arctic_hare says:

    In addition to being thrilled about Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy, I have to recommend the Ace Attorney series of games for the Nintendo DS. We talked a bit about this one during one of your Reads Ask Parties, but I'll put things down here to refresh memories.

    The premise of the series is that you do, indeed, play as a defense attorney, and you have to solve murder mysteries. You do that via two different types of sequences: investigation, and courtroom. During the investigation portions, you inspect crime scenes for evidence and interview witnesses and suspects. Once you have everything for that particular segment of the case, you proceed to the courtroom, where you listen to testimony and must find the gaps and contradictions in logic. This is very fun, because you have the option of yelling things like "Take that!" "Hold it!" and "OBJECTION!" into the DS' mic. :D The cases themselves tend to be well-written, full of colorful characters and interesting plot twists. There is much you will be unprepared for!

  18. @kingofdoma says:

    … Batman: Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, for PS3, Xbox, and PC.

    Both fantastic games with great puzzles, great visuals, great characters, a FANTASTIC fighting engine, the most fun you'll ever have with stealth, and… IT'S BATMAN.

    Also, Asylum is the best-reviewed superhero game of ALL TIME. But BATMAAAAAAAAAAAN. :D

  19. Alex says:

    Amnesia: The Dark Descent
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OfqWr4eQvmM

    ^That's all the reason you need.

    • DktrAgonizer says:

      In case Mark doesn't want to watch the video (and Mark, if you're reading this, then PLEASE DON'T because spoilers):

      Amnesia's a really scary game wherein you play a character being chased by monsters and you're completely helpless, pretty much. You can get it on Steam!

      • Bill says:

        To add to that, the game is inspired by lovecraft, but with less racism and better pacing. I suggest no one tell him why its scary or what to expect if he plays it. Just know that it will scare you.

    • xyliane27 says:

      Amnesia's also one of those games that is terrifying to play on your own (with headphones…in a pitch black room…) but is ridiculously entertaining to watch someone else play. Mostly because the player spends most of the time in a state of overly tense waiting-for-something-to-happen and it is all too easy to sneak up and shout BOO.

      • RedRoses2 says:

        I love this game. I personally can't play it for more than a minute at a time because it's so scary, but I love the story and I love watching other people play it. Mangaminx introduced me to it, though PewDiePie is apparently a really popular Let's Player who played it – so much so that he is mentioned in basically every Amnesia the Dark Descent fan fic summary.

    • Laurellas says:

      I was going to recommend this, seriously awesome, fairly interesting storyline, and one of the best atmospheres in a game, these guys really know how to terrify the shit out of you.

    • Sarah says:

      Yes! Mark, you should play this! I was going to suggest it. It has a fantastic story line and I absolutely love this game. Actually, my cousin even started a really cool RP blog based on the main character of the second game and she does awesome cosplay of it. It's a really awesome game, and I'd be thrilled if you played it. Frictional is amazing.

    • Mark Does Stuff says:

      I did not watch the video, but lots of people want me to play this. I'll do it.

  20. beeftony says:

    Batman: Arkham Asylum series. PS3, XBOX 360, etc. Consists of Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City.

    These games are legitimately fantastic. They helped kick off the recent Metroidvania trend in games by giving you a large, open environment that encourages you to revisit areas as you unlock upgrades. They have the smoothest combat engine I've ever encountered in a video game, the "predator" gameplay gives you a sense of power as you pick off enemies one by one, and the boss fights are outstanding and tailored to fit each of Batman's many rogues. Basically they let you feel like Batman for roughly 8 hours. What more could you want?

    Also the voice acting is incredible (they got most of the actors from BTAS, including Kevin Conroy as Batman and Mark Hamill as Joker), the script is pretty sharp by video game standards, and the games are just plain fun to play. You'll really enjoy them.

  21. Danny says:

    Since you confirmed Final Fantasy, you should seriously play Kingdom Hearts. The series spans PS2, DS, 3DS and PSP and the titles are Kingdom Hearts (PS2) Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories (GBA) [Or you can play Re:Chain of Memories which is the PS2 port] Kingdom Hearts 2 (PS2) Kingdom Hearts 358/2 (DS) Kingdom Hearts Re:Coded (DS) Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep (PSP) and Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance (3DS)
    It's a game that puts Disney Characters and Final Fantasy characters in the same setting, has it's own original plot that's REALLY good, and it has fun gameplay (I guess it's an RPG but it's not turn based or anything). I'm not really good at pitching this I guess but hopefully people will back me up.

    • Christi says:

      Kingdom Hearts is a vast undertaking, and even aside from that there are some legit criticisms, but there really is no other game series quite like it. I second this suggestion, Mark–for the gameplay, the story, and the experience that really goes to levels and depths you never expect from a game series that has both Sephiroth and Winnie the Pooh in it. The KH series is about memory and identity and how malleable they are, which is weaved in tandem with discussions on the nature of good and evil. The backdrop is pretty straightforward: you play as Sora, a young boy with a special sword shaped like a key called a "keyblade", and your mission is to free the worlds of darkness. It starts out as a very simplistic game and then grows, and grows into something that is actually very hard to describe. I guess my point is, I really think you're not going to get an experience like Kingdom Hearts anywhere else, so please keep it in mind.

    • sirintegra42 says:

      I've only played the first game and 358/2 so far but I'd definitely recommend those. I didn't know what to expect when I first played the first one but it sucks you in pretty quickly. Now I just need to get my hands on the rest of them and hope that they eventually get around to making 3. I need a flipchart to keep track of the order of them all now.

      • Christi says:

        Kingdom Hearts III should be the next one to come out, if this is any indication: http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2010-11-17-king

        • sirintegra42 says:

          Hmmm, that was two years ago now though. Here's hoping it doesn't take too long.

          • Silverilly says:

            There's been a lottttt of setbacks. What kills me is that I'll have to get a PS3 if I want to play it. But I doooooo.

          • sirintegra42 says:

            Ugh yes. I wish they would stick to one console. It's pretty crappy that you can't play PS1 or PS2 games on it as well.

            I have the same issue with the big Final Fantasy collection they're bringing out sometime soon-ish.

          • Christi says:

            My bad, that wasn't the link I was looking for and now I can't find it again! But regardless, (rot13 for possible 3D spoilers?) Vg'f pbasvezrq ng gur raq bs Qernz Qebc Qvfgnapr, npghnyyl. Lrf, gurl naabhaprq gur arkg tnzr ng gur raq bs gur cerivbhf bar.

          • celestineangel1 says:

            V unira'g svavfurq QQQ lrg, ohg V arire trg gur frperg raqvatf naljnl. Vf vg naljurer ba LbhGhor lrg, qb lbh xabj? V'q ybir gb frr vg bapr V qb svavfu gur tnzr (JUVPU ZVTUG OR N JUVYR SSSSSSSSSSSSSSS.)

    • Silverilly says:

      Mark, I literally played Kingdom Hearts for three and a half hours today. And this is my sixth time playing it. PLEASE DO THIS SERIES AS IT IS AMAZING.

    • Time-Machine says:

      Totally adding my voice to this. Kingdom Hearts is simultaneously this really straightforward game while also being this weird meta philosophical epic Disney crossover that is just— it does things to your feelings, okay?

    • knut_knut says:

      ALL THE KINGDOM HEARTS!

    • Kingdom Hearts. Ugh Yes. Another thing I should have thought of. Although I must admit I've only played the first two.

    • AnnGalla says:

      YESSS!! Kingdom Hearts is made of awesome. You may have to put it off until a certain game in the Final Fantasy series, if you don't want any character spoilers, but even so the characters are slightly different between Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts.

      Now that I've added my piece, I'm really, really tempted to go replay Kingdom Hearts I for the third or fourth time. Or maybe after I've finished replaying KHII. Or replayed KH:BBS.

    • Mark Does Stuff says:

      Okay, i'll do this

      • Kiryn says:

        For the record, these are the games in chronological order, since as far as I can see, no one's said yet.

        1. Birth by Sleep (PSP)
        2. Kingdom Hearts (PS2)
        3. Re: Chain of Memories (PS2—I'd recommend this one over the GBA version, as I'm playing it myself at the moment, and it's a blast. Plus, I don't think the GBA version had the cutscenes and such like Re:CoM does, and I don't know exactly if this is right, but I think they also added an additional playable storyline to Re:CoM as well.)
        4. 358/2 Days (DS—The timeline of this game overlaps with CoM, but then goes on past it)
        5. Kingdom Hearts II (PS2)
        6. Re:coded (DS)
        7. Dream Drop Distance (3DS)
        8. Kingdom Hearts III (won't be out for another few years, probably, but it's thought that it'll come out on the PS3)

        • Kiryn says:

          Now, while that's the chronological order, you really shouldn't play them in order, because that was not their release order, and there are some spoilers that I think you would prefer to avoid, and that would increase your enjoyment of the story if you were to remain unspoiled. So, here is my personal recommended playing order:

          1. Kingdom Hearts
          2. Re:Chain of Memories
          3. Kingdom Hearts II
          –Warning: I would VERY STRONGLY RECOMMEND playing these 3 games in order, and ESPECIALLY do not play KH2 without having played Re:CoM, otherwise you will be hopelessly lost and confused.
          4 & 5. Either Birth by Sleep or 358/2 Days should go next. Really, it depends. If you want to prolong the suspense and mystery, Mark, then play Days first, and then BBS. There are only a couple things in Days that make more sense if you're already familiar with BBS, but they're not crucial to understand, they're just character nuances. But make sure you've played these two before the following.
          6.. Re:coded
          7. Dream Drop Distance
          8. Kingdom Hearts III (obviously)
          I hope you find this helpful! I'm a huuuuuuge fan of this series, if you can't tell. ;)

          • Noybusiness says:

            There are only a couple things in Days that make more sense if you're already familiar with BBS, but they're not crucial to understand, they're just character nuances.

            True. But there's also an argument for playing 358/2 Days before Birth by Sleep, which is the order they came out, because Nkry, Ebknf naq Kvba nccrne va gur raqvat frdhrapr, juvpu yrnqf gurzngvpnyyl vagb Xvatqbz Urnegf pbqrq.

          • Kiryn says:

            I'm mostly leaving it up to Mark to decide, though I personally slightly lean for Days to go first, and then BBS. Naq gung'f bayl va gur frperg raqvat, vfa'g vg?

            Anyway, I was mostly just trying to be even-handed about both sides of the argument.

          • Noybusiness says:

            Yeah, that's why I mentioned it.

            Lrf, ohg jr pna ubcr ur haybpxf vg.

      • Noybusiness says:

        I just remembered that there's crossover from The World Ends With You in the latest Kingdom Hearts game, and playing TWEWY first is probably best to avoid spoilers about its plot.

    • celestineangel1 says:

      ::FLAILS:: I AM SO EXCITED KINGDOM HEARTS IS ON THE ACCEPTED GAMES LIST OMGs THIS IS AMAZING I THINK I AM GOING TO PASS OUT FROM EXCITE.

    • bookishchick says:

      Kingdom Hearts!!!! <3

  22. I don't know the logistics for which consoles or means you'll have for this. But the first game that came to mind (that's not already confirmed or suggested) is Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem for the Gamecube. That game really messed with my head. And I guess I want it to mess with yours too.

  23. Christi says:

    Shadow of the Colossus for the PlayStation 2.

    First, because it's a stunningly beautiful game. I feel like I don't want to go into a lot of detail because SOTC is a game you need to experience yourself, but it's really beautiful, and does an excellent job in rendering a truly open world that can be explored infinitely. It's an eerie game, and one of the few games that I think really succeeds at immersing the player in the strange world it takes place in. (It's also by the same team that developed Ico, if you know anything about that) "Atmospheric" is a good word to describe this game.

    (ALSO ECHOING THE ACE ATTORNEY SERIES BECAUSE SERIOUSLY)

    • Christi says:

      OH RIGHT and I guess I could give a short description as to what you do in the game! You play as a young warrior with a horse who's trying to save a young girl, and to do so he traverses a strange land inhabited by gigantic creatures called Colossi, whom he must defeat. It's built like an RPG but it's effectively a puzzle game.

      • Shiroikami says:

        It might be easier to find this game in its PS3 version (bundled with Ico and really cheap since it was kind of a niche game). But yes, I upvote Shadow of the Colossus.

        • Benfuy says:

          YES! Please play Shadow of the Colossus and ICO, Mark! My two favourite games! (Strange that I've only played both once, while I've replayed other games multiple times…)

          SotC is much more action-orientated than ICO, but yes, they are essentially puzzle games. Both games have this lovely, dark, and quiet atmosphere that's both eerie and awe inspiring. They both have these beautiful environments that you just have to take some time to stare at and appreciate and dfkljsd;flaskdjf;!!! I also have to add a gigantic plus for SotC for its music. It's one of the best soundtracks I've ever heard. It seriously gets you excited for fights even if a little panicky.

          In regards to time, ICO will probably be the faster one to finish. But I'd estimate both games to take around 10 hours to play, but it really depending on your puzzle solving skills. There are enough save points throughout the world that I don't think you need to worry about when to stop a segment of a review. Though, the ideal spot to stop at would be after completing a puzzle.

          The two games are available as a bundle in their HD remake for the PS3. Even if you only decide to play one of the games, I'd still recommend the bundle, as it's a pretty good deal. It's not necessary to play one before the other; they're both great standalone games. Personally, I find the gameplay more enjoyable in SotC, but I was more emotionally invested in the characters in ICO.

          The following isn't exactly a spoiler, but does hint at what the games are like: V ernq fbzrjurer orsber gung juvyr zbfg tnzrf ner yvxr abiryf, gurfr tnzrf ner yvxr cbrzf. I really love this description and I can't stand not to say it.

          If I couldn't convince Mark, I hope I got someone to at least consider playing these two amazing, amazing games.

    • Koryos says:

      Yes yes yes this!!

    • illacquiredtast says:

      Absolutely 100% yes! One of the best games of all time.

    • nobody says:

      Yeeessss, ICO and Shadow of the Colossus are both amazing games and you should totally play them. I mean if you'd like to not trying to sound demanding or anything :(

  24. lovelyhera says:

    Portal I and Portal II, steam, valve. Wickedly funny, incredibly clever, very popular puzzle games. If you've ever heard people going on about how the "Cake is a lie" it comes from this game. It's a first person game, there's no fighting since it's very much a puzzle game, with a female protagonist and lots of fun Easter eggs. The mechanics are also interesting – you use something called a portal gun to mess with physics while solving puzzles. If you're a fan of excellent story telling, superb writing, fun puzzles and dry, dark humor, then I totally recommend the Portal games.

  25. Lumosnox says:

    Oh my god let's do this

    AMNESIA: THE DARK DESCENT.

    Available on Steam. Is it a horror game? Yes. Is it scary? YES, but not in a gory or 'jump scare' kind of way. Instead, it relies on psychological terror of darkness, silence, and paranoia. I normally hate all horror games and movies but I LOVE Amnesia because it scares you in such a way that you'll be walking down an empty corridor and hear a background noise in the soundtrack and FLIP OUT even though absolutely nothing has happened. That is what most of the game is like.

    It's not an action game at all, really; more of a puzzle game and a what-was-that-noise-oh-nevermind-it-was-me game. Your best chance at survival is running and hiding. Fighting is literally not even an option.

    You play as Daniel, who has lost his memory and woken up in some weird castle with rose petals on the floor. Throughout the game you have to find out more about yourself and the castle by means of journal pages you find littered around.

    It's got a hauntingly beautiful soundtrack and beautiful graphics (when the game reaches rare peaceful moments). Also the voice-acting of Daniel and the other main character of the game is HILARIOUS. and that is all.

    Mostly what I love best about Amnesia is the story. It's got a great narrative and plenty of incredible plot twists. I really do encourage you to check it out.

    • Andie says:

      Seconding. I have problems, so I can't actually play this game unless somebody's in the room with me, but I'm about an hour into it.

      • iamwinterborn says:

        So you are basically a rational and sane human being?

        I probably would be able to play it in a well lit room. During the day.

        Just WATCHING an LP causes me to keep my back to the wall in bed, and need a flashlight handy. And extra batteries (just in case).

    • Gillerami says:

      I was going to suggest this! I have watched many hilarious youtube videos of people getting the crap scared out of them playing it :). I haven't actually played it myself yet, but I bought it last Steam sale and it's on my to- play list, so I would definitely play along in my own game if this one was chosen.

    • Langaren says:

      I would freaking pay money for mark to do a lets play of amnesia!!!

    • stumpoman says:

      i only ever play it alone in the dark with headphones.

      once in a big empty house during a thunderstorm. good times

  26. arctic_hare says:

    Also, I'm not sure if you'll need this advice, but for Chrono Trigger and FFs IV-VI, please avoid the PS1 ports. They were TERRIBLE.

    • I'll second this. And man. I'm probably more excited about Mark doing Chrono Trigger than anything else. Very probably my favorite game ever. But yeah. Don't care for the PS1 ports.

      • TakeABow says:

        Chrono Trigger is my personal #1 game ever. It's just that awesome. It's brilliant, fun, epic, emotional, it's got awesome music, and the drawings from Toriyama-sensei up the nostalgia factor to eleven for a DBZ old fan like I am. There's no escaping it. It's just… it's just that. Best JRPG ever (with FFVI possibly a close second).

  27. gorn-flakes says:

    I think you would love Analogue: A Hate Story, which is available for PC, Mac and Linux (and on Steam) for 10$.

    Analogue: A Hate Story is hard to discuss without divulging any spoilers and I won't because 1) That's a shitty thing to do and 2) It was such a pleasure going into this game without any prior knowledge.

    Analogue: A Hate Story is a visual novel. It involves a heavy amount of reading but the story is very compelling and very well written. It's the kind of story where you want to read all of it in one sitting. The music and art are both great and really add to atmosphere of the game. I got so sucked into the game and into the writing and I didn't even notice it was pouring rain right outside.

    Analogue: A Hate Story, as vaguely as I can put it, is a horror story about what happens when women lose their rights. It has great queer character that were well written and really stuck with me. Anyone who considers them-self a feminist, even in the slightest, should buy this game. Even if you never get around to playing it you should still buy it and vote with your money. There is a desperate need for there to be more games like this.

    Anyway, I'm super excited for this site. I love video games and I really enjoy your writing and commentary so this is gonna be the bee's knees.

    • theunlikelyone says:

      I would play Digital: A Love Story first. Not because they're in a series (because they're not), but because I feel Digital was a superior "game" to Analogue. In Analogue you go in after the fact and discover what had happened. In Digital the player has a more active role.

      There's also Don't take it personally, babe, it just ain't your story which I would like to hear Mark's thoughts on as well. I didn't really like that one at all, to be honest.

      Analogue has a pretty good sound track. I would suggest picking it up if you get the chance.

    • Jupiter Star says:

      ANALOGUE: A HATE STORY IS SO FUCKED UP I CAN'T EVEN. Not the game itself, just the concept. Well, and the game itself. I just…OH GOOD GOD.

      (Translation: Yes, excellent recommendation!)

  28. Kiki says:

    Okami!

    If you've not heard of it, it's this really gorgeous game that literally looks like an ink drawing. It's similar in gameplay to the Zelda series, with many puzzles and a huge amount of interesting places to go, and cool characters to meet.

    The music is also amazing, the controls smooth and it's just ONE OF MY FAVOURITE GAMES EVER.

    Did I mention that you're playing as the Japanese goddess of the sun in wolf form? No? Well, you're playing as Amaterasu. In wolf form. And. It's. Awesome.

    (Also can I suggest the Zelda series because it's JUST CLASSIC)

  29. sidrabutterfly says:

    "The World Ends With You" (TWEY) for Nintendo DS
    Reasons to play:
    It makes me want to giggle uncontrollable during math.
    There is a queer character! (Implied at least)
    There is also bonus content on the internet which more than implies the sexual orientation of said character.
    Made by Square Enix
    I really enjoyed the music and downloaded.

    And this maybe awkward for some, but my sister and I played it together, by each of us using one screen.

    • Bill says:

      Oh god please let this happen

    • FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK! I WROTE AN ENTIRE SCHPIEL AND THEN LOGGED INTO TWITTER BUT THE DAMNED THING REFRESHED. IM NOT REWRITING IT AGAIN, SO PLAY IT OR I SHALL START KILLING KITTENS

      To sum what I wrote before:
      1)You also have iPhone ($18) and iPad($20) options (I've payed for the DS and iPad options and was very happy with them) that have redone art, redone battle system, and new music remixes.
      2)Story: THE POWER OF FRIENDSHIP! But done amazingly

    • Kiryn says:

      No, seriously, Mark, from all that I've heard about TWEWY, you NEED this game in your life. It's…so incredibly complex and it's all about friendship, and all of my friends are seriously going out of their minds RAVING about this game, and the gameplay is interesting (if a bit challenging for me, disabled as I am), and….I really want to say this next bit, but it's a potential spoiler, I guess?

      The game, to me personally, kind of seems to be like the Hunger Games, and then His Dark Materials in tone. Please correct me if I'm wrong. But seriously, it's made by Square Enix, the same creators of Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts (and maybe also Chrono Trigger? I don't remember), and if you're going to do Kingdom Hearts, you really can't play at least the newest game, Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, without playing TWEWY. I mean, you can, but it's better to have TWEWY under your belt. KH is, after all, a Disney/Square crossover game.

    • Michelle says:

      Hi :) I am here to agree on The World Ends With You. The gameplay is fascinating, the art is incredible, the music is awesome, and the characters and plot are really cool. (There are a few regional adaptation issues, since it's a Japanese game rereleased in the USA, but those fairly genre-standard and pretty ignorable.) TWEWY is complex and engaging, and even though I "beat" it a year or so ago I still go back and replay my favorite parts. The plot will have you thinking about lots of cool stuff, and all the twists consistently turn everything you thought you knew on its head. The themes are deep, the character development is intense, and the gameplay has stunningly innovative uses for both screens of a Nintendo DS. Basically you will not for a single second regret playing this game, and I like you enough that I don't want you to go through life deprived of it.

    • Alice says:

      Fifthing or whatever number this game! The plot's fantastic, the character development amazing, the dialogue hilarious and poignant and deep without being cheesy, the soundtrack addicting, and the gameplay's incredibly unique and takes full advantage of the touchscreen – you're going to want to make sure you have your stylus on hand for this one. And yes, one of the main characters is heavily implied to be queer. The game takes place in modern day Shibuya, Japan, and it's insane how accurately they got down the details right.

      How great is this game? One of the core gameplay mechanics is boosting your stats via an insane array of clothes covering pretty much every current fashion trend. Not only can you shove your male characters into gothic lolita dresses, but the game will actively encourage you to do so.

    • @undefined says:

      I was coming here to suggest this one! It's one of my favorite games EVER, love the story and gameplay, particularly the character development. and the music! ooooh man, the music.

      Also, I would like to note that the game was also remade for iOS, and I've heard it's actually a decent remake! That might be easier to get than trying to track down a copy of the DS game, since it was something of a cult hit and can sometimes be hard to find these days.

  30. Jamie says:

    Limbo. It's half a work of art, and half a game. It's basically a 2D platform puzzle game, but it's the music and the environment that make this game spectacular. I'm probably not selling it well, but I don't want to spoil anything, so…

  31. Atrus says:

    My suggestions are mostly adventure game series you can play on PC, either natively or using emulators like Dosbox and ScummVM.

    Myst and Riven
    Yes, there are other games in the series, but these two are really worth it. Riven in particular has one of the best bad guys ever, mind-numbing world-spanning puzzles and graphics that look gorgeous even 15 years later.

    Monkey Island
    The series that launched a thousand memes. If you like pirates, adventure, bad puns and three-headed monkeys, you can't miss this.

    Sam and Max (the Telltale games ones)
    A walking dog in a suit and a psychotic rabbit work as freelance police, shooting things and cracking jokes as they fight improbable crime from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the moon.

    Psychonauts
    A 3D action adventure where you play a young boy who infiltrates a summer camp for psychic children, trying to learn how to use your powers before your father comes to take you home, and uncovering conspiracies on the side. Humor all around and awesome gameplay.

    • acityofdoors says:

      Oh god yes, some classic point and click adventures right here!

    • shyfully says:

      PSYCHONAUTS!!! Love that game forever.

    • Genny_ says:

      This is a good list and you should feel good.

    • Nix says:

      These is a fantastic list, but I am particularly voting for Psychonauts. I came here to suggest it!

    • ravenclaw42 says:

      I second the Myst series with all my heart and I want to pitch it a bit more, so here goes:

      Myst is a point-and-click adventure/logic puzzle game from 1993; Riven is its sequel from 1997. Myst was like nothing that had ever come before it in gaming, and its graphics are astonishingly beautiful even now. Riven's are even moreso. They were the first computer games I ever played and afterwards I was ruined for gaming forever: ever since then I have been trying to find something with the same masterful level of atmospheric immersion, depth of characterization, and uncompromising mental engagement. These two games are the pure embodiment of Show, Don't Tell.

      But really I want to say why I think they are a great match for Mark's personal tastes: two of the strongest themes of the series are the creative and destructive potential of the written word, and isolation. I don't want to say more, because it is something that can be truly mind-blowing if experienced completely uninformed.

      As far as platform, it might be difficult: There's the 10th Anniversary Edition, which is packaged as a trilogy (Myst/Riven/Exile) – Myst & Riven are only Mac OS9 and below, Exile OS 10.3.1 and below. I can't speak to Windows compatibility as I am a Mac user (haven't been able to play any of these games personally in years, to my unending sadness). There was a PS3 port that is no longer in print, and a Nintendo DS version that I strongly advise against (screen too small, controls not well developed). Most recently there've been iOS ports for Myst and Riven only: they should be available to play on iPads and iPhones now.

      I will just sit here clutching my old first-run Broderbund CD for Mac OS7 and cry deeply about not having an iPad.

      • amyalices says:

        Excellent summary! I also really enjoyed Exile, the third game – but Myst and Riven are something special.

        …Be prepared for intense frustration if you insist on doing it without hints. :D

        • ravenclaw42 says:

          Thanks! It's so hard to say what makes the games special without spoiling them…

          I love Exile too! Vg'f abg nf jngregvtug va cybg naq chmmyrf, ohg V ybir Fnnirqeb'f fgbel. I love the whole series to bits; nostalgic value carried me through even when it got silly or iffy. But I'm trying to have restraint. :D

          Yeahhhh, for the sake of not boring the Mark Plays audience to tears, hint books might be necessary to carry the gameplay forward. IDK, it would be a hard series to do in this format. But it's so good.

          • amyalices says:

            I think this is going to prove a problem when pimping some games…

            Va fbzr jnlf V guvax Rkvyr jbhyq or orggre cynlrq orsber Zlfg be Evira – vg znxrf ab frafr fgbel-jvfr, bs pbhefr, ohg gur jubyr pbaprvg bs gur tnzr jnf gung gur Ntrf ivfvgrq unq orra genvavat yriryf sbe Fveehf naq Npurane – fb rirelguvat orvat… fvzcyre znqr frafr. V guvax vg zvtug trg crbcyr vagb gur jnl bs guvaxvat erdhverq. Ah well. It could be that I'm remembering everything being harder because I was so young when I first played them. :)

          • ravenclaw42 says:

            Lrnu, V xvaq bs nterr gung Rkvyr vf zber npprffvoyr va n ybg bs jnlf… gur fgbel vf fhpu abafrafr vs lbh qba'g xabj gur oebguref naq Ngehf, gubhtu. V qrpvqrq gb cvgpu Zlfg uneqrfg orpnhfr V'q ybir Znex gb rkcrevrapr ubj pbby vg vf whfg va gung irel ortvaavat jura lbh unir AB VQRN jub be jurer lbh ner, be jung lbh'er qbvat, naq gur jbeyq bssref lbh AB pyhrf, lbh'er fb vfbyngrq vg'f nyzbfg yvxr frafbel qrcevingvba? naq lbh whfg unir gb yrg lbhe zvaq bcra hc gb gur yngreny guvaxvat vaibyirq. (yby znlor gung'f orpnhfr V hfrq gb cynl va gur cvgpu qnex jvgu gur fbhaq hc.) Vg'f abg sbe rirelbar, gubhtu, naq vg'f abg ernyyl ragregnvavat gb jngpu? Gur zber V guvax nobhg vg, gur zber V guvax gung Znex'f sbezng jbhyqa'g znxr sbe n tbbq YC. :/ Znlor jung V ernyyl jnag vf sbe uvz gb cynl vg ba uvf bja gvzr naq jevgr n uhtr bar-bss erivrj, unu. :Q

            V gubhtug nobhg oevatvat hc Zlfg Bayvar: HEH Yvir orpnhfr vg'f serr naq n cerggl tbbq jnl gb fnzcyr jung cynlvat n Zlfg tnzr vf yvxr jvgubhg pbzzvggvat. Rkprcg gur fgbelyvar vf fb zrgn naq ovmneer vg qbrfa'g znxr NAL frafr gb nalbar jub unfa'g znqr n fghql bs gur frevrf. Naq vg unf abgbevbhfyl greevoyr chmmyrf yvxr gur ulqebcubovp sversyvrf…

          • I absolutely third Myst/Riven/etc. These games are what started me off as a geek. One of many things that started me off as a geek.

    • Gillerami says:

      Monkey Island and Psychonauts are amazing games, if they are chosen i'd suggest Grim Fandango too (point and click adventure by some of the same people as Monkey Island).
      As for Myst, I have heard many great things about the Myst series- apparently I just tried to play the only bad one in them.

    • etherealclarity says:

      Seconding both Monkey Island and Psychonauts.

      Monkey Island – it has its issues (most notably the issue of really bizarre solutions to some puzzles) but it is also hilarious, charming, and really, really fun. Plus heaps of nostalgia factor.

      Psychonauts I would ESPECIALLY like to second. It is ALSO hilarious, charming, and really really fun, but it also has absolutely BRILLIANT level design. Imagine, if you will, the possibilities of a game where each level is someone's mental landscape, and each mental landscape is very distinct and unique and tells you something about the person whose mind you're in… where if you search hard enough, you can find secrets about the person (but they aren't essential to win the game, so it's more about fleshing out the world you're in), sort out their mental baggage, clean out the cobwebs and collect mental figments.

      Man, now I really want to replay Psychonauts. Again.

    • Toby'c says:

      Seconding the Sam and Max recommendation, though it may be worth tracking down the comic book for Mark Reads first. And Sam and Max Hit the Road is worth a look if you can find it:

      Sam (holding a bomb): Max, where should I put this so it doesn't hurt anyone we know or care about?
      Max: Out the window, Sam. There's nothing but strangers out there.
      (Sam throws the bomb out the window. It explodes offscreen)
      Sam: I sure hope there was no one on that bus.
      Max: No one we know, at least…

    • Tara says:

      Ah yes, please do Psychonauts! It really is a great tile with a cool quirky art design.

    • Jupiter Star says:

      Adding to the Psychonauts love! It's worth it just for the jokes and level designs alone!

    • Sparks says:

      DEFINITELY Psychonauts. Barely started and already it's one of the best games I've played!

    • stefanie says:

      I came to recommend Psychonauts and I'm glad to see someone else already has! I really hope you decide to do it. It was the first video game that made me want to play and to play other games.

    • Margaret says:

      Also voting for Psychonauts! It is so great.

  32. Rebecca says:

    Hey Mark,

    If you play The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim you should do The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind and/or The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion first. The reason why is because the mythology and lore is integrated throughout the entire series, which gives the sequels more depth. They are both on XBOX 360 at least (I don't know about the other platforms) and Morrowind can be played on the 360 even though it was originally made for XBOX. Have fun playing!

    -Rebecca

    • TeaLovingDave says:

      I heavily recommend that if only one of the above two suggestions is played, that you play Morrowind. Although Oblibion is the newer game, I feel Morrowind has the better plot and a lot more moral ambiguities to get your teeth into.

      • Gillerami says:

        It would possibly be over ambitious time wise for Mark to try and play all 3, but I agree Morrowind is the better game of the 3 and would almost suggest it over Skyrim. Also, you can buy them on Steam for PC.

        • misterbernie says:

          I would pitch for the PC versions, too. If only because bugfixing mods exist for both of them that you just can't have on the consoles.

          • Kaz says:

            I definitely agree. I don't know how Mark feels about mods, but there are some excellent Morrowind mods out there that seriously improve the playing experience. Graphics and bugfixes, for one (Morrowind is over ten years old, the original graphics are pretty dated by now), but also more game-altering things a la the Less Generic NPC project that aims to give all the NPCs unique dialogue – the original dialogue gets pretty wooden when it's shared by several dozen NPCs, and the modding group has done a fair chunk of the game world by now.

            I haven't played Oblivion, but Morrowind remains one of my favourite games of all time – after so much pseudo-medieval-Europe or thinly-disguised-historical-society fantasy I want to hug the setting and take it home with me, the plot is amazing, and you have all these tangled themes of colonialism and nationalism and racism and slavery and oppression of indigenous groups and religion in that kind of setting interacting… It's relatively easy on the combat difficulty scale, but I personally like that because it means I don't have to worry about the gameplay so much and can just go explore and find things out and generally submerge myself in the game world. And if you don't, there are mods for that too!

  33. RatInLady&TheTramp says:

    Jak and Daxter series.

    There's three main games ( I tend to not count the racing one or the fourth game, since it was made by a different company) and each one is a little different in gameplay. The first is more of a punching/kicking game, while the second is more of a shooter. The controls are easy and all the characters are quite fun. The story itself is also very interesting and rather unique. In addition to punching or using guns you have several "magic" abilities that let you do other things (from having an increase in speed or strength, shooting energy blasts, and eventually even things like stopping time). The storylines themselves involve friendship, darkness vs light, love, revenge, humor, and even time travel. Each character has a distinct personality, and overall the games are just plain fun.

    • Bookman230 says:

      Yes, Jax and Daxter is amazing fun!

      • soraina says:

        It really is. I hope Mark plays these!

        I tried to edit my original comment to add more information about the gameplay, but I couldn't. So, to update:
        Its primarily third person, and the games are for the PS2, though you can order some HD versions on the PS3. In terms of storyline/characters, I'll give brief descriptions. Again, I'm in particular talking about the three main games for the series that you should play, not the racing game sequel or the sequel made by a different company.
        The main character is Jak, a man in his late teens to his early twenties, who has the ability to channel magical properties known as 'eco' through his body. The various types of eco give him power boosts, and he spends much of the first game trying to help keep his hometown, and his friends, safe. Quiet, innocent, and sweet, he goes through ever changing environments (from seaside towns to swamps, volcanoes, and more) gaining more power as he goes.
        His best friend is Daxter, a wise-cracking character around the same age. Flirtatious, cowardly, and sarcastic, he's one of the few people that makes Jak both roll his eyes, and outright smile or laugh. In turn Jak is one of the people that Daxter is truly loyal to. They grew up more like brothers than anything else, and Jak has always sort of looked out for Daxter, as Daxter is awful at fighting.
        Samos the Sage: A wise, cranky, sarcastic mystic man, he is a sage of 'green' eco, or life giving eco. He can communicate with plants and various other creatures. He's somewhat antagonistic toward Jak and Daxter, as they are always getting into trouble (not to mention they seem to take notice of his attractive daughter), but at the same time he is very much a father figure to both of them.
        Keira Hagai: Samos's daughter and a talented mechanic, she makes most of the vehicles that Jak uses to get around. She's rather no-nonsense and kind, and flirts a bit with the flustered Jak. She's very supportive and is a bit of a geek when it comes to machinery of all kinds.

        Despite the fun and generally cheerful atmosphere of the games, still, as they say, something wicked this way comes.

        Add in a bunch of different creatures, fun settings and gameplay, and you have a recipe for one of my favorite game series.

    • qwop says:

      oh my god please play this. i grew up playing these, 'Jak and Daxter: the precursor legacy' was the first game i ever completed. i just
      love
      these
      games
      so
      much

  34. Ellie says:

    I would like to suggest Kingdom Hearts. Its a crossover between Final Fantasy and Disney. It's a lot of fun and very weird. You fight with a keyblade! I'm not good at writing long descriptions, sorry XD

  35. jedigal125 says:

    I think it would be really awesome if you played the Mother/Earthbound series. (Although to play these games you'd have to get a ROM, and in the case of the third game, download the fan made English translation). Basically the series is an RPG and all I can say without spoiling anything is there are three games but each game had different characters and a different story (although there are a few character that show up in more than one game).

  36. Triforce-Kun says:

    I'd like to recommend The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask.

    While so many people seemed to find it frustrating, it was actually a wonderfully-crafted game. While in most games, NPCs are just background characters with nothing to them, the NPCs in this game have names, and lives. You get very involved with so many of the people and get attached to them in ways that you couldn't really in other games.

    The only thing that may seem frustrating is the time limit of three days [72 minutes real-time], but that barrier is hardly ever brushed against. That, and time can be rewound, and even slowed when you learn how.

    Otherwise, the game's got some very solid characters and LOADS of heart-wrenching moments. It's a dark game, and underrated as far as 3D Zelda titles go [though it seems to be gaining more popularity these days], and, well, it's my favorite game of all-time. Not a qualifier, but it's why I, personally, would love to see you play it.

    And it's got lovely music. What's not to love about that?

    It was originally an N64 game, though you can also find it on the Gamecube on the Legend of Zelda: Collector's Edition [which comes bundled with three other Zelda games], or you can download it for the virtual console on the Wii, I believe.

    • sirintegra42 says:

      I really need to play that one. I've still got a Gamecube floating around so hopefully someone's put a second hand copy online somewhere cheaply.

      • Ashley I. says:

        The Gamecube version comes on the collector's disc that also comes with gamecube Ocarina Of Time and the very first two games. Just in case you didn't know :) YOU PROBABLY DID BUT NOW I FEEL BETTER.

        Also, to the suggestion, seconded. It's very jarring to play this after Ocarina of Time, which you should probably play first btw, because the tone is so different. END OF THE WORLD AND ALL.

        • sirintegra42 says:

          I've got a version of Wind Waker which came with Ocarina of Time and Master Quest I think at least. I still haven't even played Ocarina of Time all the way through for some reason. I should probably do that first :).

          • alan713ch says:

            I completely upvote and favor this recommendation, but I also recommend Ocarina of Time. Both of those games are considered some of the best games ever (Ocarina of Time still holds the best rating at IGN I think) not just because of their story, but their gameplay and the easiness in which you find yourself immersed in the story. Seriously, those are two you have to pick up!!!!!

          • stefb4 says:

            Ocarina of Time *sobs*

            you must! you must finish!

    • Yes. If I were to pick a LOZ for Mark Majora's Mask would be it. It's not my favorite (pretty close between LTTP and OOT.) But MM is right up Mark's alley.

    • stefb4 says:

      Arghh I really have to find a copy of Majora's Mask somewhere. I know my cousin has it but she's never going to play it ever again why doesn't she just give me it but I know she won't…

      wait i can download it for wii? (although N64 controls are like…the best ones imo)

    • Mark Does Stuff says:

      So, I've never played ANY Zelda games ever. Is there a sequence or a way to play all of them? I DON'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT IT.

      • Natalie says:

        ohmygoodness you must play Zelda…YOU MUST.

        There is an offical timeline somewhere on the internet…I'll try and find it. But I don't think it really matters what order they are played in. As long as you play Ocarina of Time (greatest game EVER) before Majora's Mask. There are a couple of other connections…the cell-shaded games for example…

        I AM NOT BEING VERY HELPFUL. I just got super excited and REALLY WANT YOU TO PLAY THEM but somebody else can help more than me XD

        • I would pretty much encourage Mark to NOT follow the timeline. It won't really add to his experience and it's confusing to explain to someone not in the know anyway. What I recommended was following release order but making exceptions for games that are linked by continuity directly.

          And it might be interesting to see if Mark can figure out the timeline(s) anyway.

      • stefb4 says:

        I think the best way to go about playing Zelda (if you plan on doing all of them WHICH WOULD BE TOTALLY AWESOME IF YOU DID) is to play them by release date, rather than the official timeline of the games. I believe the ones from NES and SNES (if those systems are unavailable to you) are downloadable.

        Majora's Mask is a direct sequel to Ocarina of Time (my forever-game <3), but I'm not sure if there are other games directly related to each other (there are some events all vaguely referenced, however, especially for OoT for all the games that came after it). Ocarina of Time is very groundbreaking in the way that RPGs go, and I suggest if you're not going to play all of the Zelda games, that you at least play this one (originally released for N64, but I think it was converted for Gamecube and is actually available for Wii somehow? I'm not entirely sure since I've only played the N64 version). It's considered near perfect by IGN.

        I'm currently in the middle of playing Twilight Princess on Wii for the first time, and I enjoy it immensely. ALSO THE MUSIC IN ALL THE GAMES ESPECIALLY OOT AND TP IS WONDERFUL.

        ANYWAY I WOULD BE SO VERY VERY VERY HAPPY IF YOU PLAY LOZ MARK. SO HAPPY.

        • It's nearly a miracle that Mark hasn't played any of them. I mean even ignoring any of the handheld games they are extremely influential and important games in gaming history. I think going release date order is more or less the best way. But there are some games that are linked by continuity that might make moving a little out of order ok. But Mark could play them in any order and it would be just fine. It'll be one hell of an undertaking though. Probably the second biggest project (after FF. My god it will take Mark like 2 years at least to get through those. Assuming he does all the games plus spinoffs/sequels.)

          But I'm more excited for him doing all LoZ than pretty much anything. But he might want to start slow with smaller projects before diving into something so massive.

      • alan713ch says:

        While yes, there is a timeline, it is a complete mess of a timeline. And like I heard a movie "critic" (there are TWO Legend of Zelda movies out there, both of them fan made. Oh, they would be awesome Mark Watches projects) say, the main gameline is the same in all the games, the only thing that changes are the details of how to. So it is not that necessary to follow it.

        The only ones that have a direct and completely related storyline would be Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask, in that order.

        Again, if you are starting to play any of the games I recommend Ocarina of Time. It's not the hardest, but it's not the easiest. The storyline is the easiest to follow. The music is astounding (I went to an orchestrated concert with music of the game called Symphony of the Goddesses. I cried). The graphics were pretty good for its time (Majora's Mask has BETTER graphics, that add up to the effect that game has on you). You don't spend that much time learning stuff, but go straight into the game (the thing that bothered me with Twilight Princess).

        But honestly, Mark, you MUST play at least one Legend of Zelda. It's such an iconic element of the gaming community and history. =D

      • Syncyes says:

        Personally I think they all stand on their own, the only real connections between games are character names, references, and a very tentative, slow over arching plot THAT IS REALLY NOT THAT IMPORTANT

    • WinterRose16 says:

      Ditto to Zelda. I think you should go for the Wii versions, if they exist. Also, the games are very different from each other, so it isn't merely doing the same thing for 15+ games. That said, spare yourself the dreadful Nintendo cartoon from the '80s–it was mostly episodes involving Mario & friends, and the Zelda stuff was A) Only on Fridays, and B) It sucked.

    • Pottersaurus says:

      Oh my gosh Mark needs to play Ocarina! Flawless in every way! …rkprcg bar. URL! YVFGRA!

  37. Avit says:

    INTERACTIVE FICTION/TEXT ADVENTURE RECOMMENDATIONS!!!!!

    The Dreamhold is an IF designed especially for beginning players who may be new to the medium; IF has a lot of wonderful experimentation in it, but Dreamhold is a solid classic in style/structure. Atmospheric, fantastical, surreal — and with a built-in anti-frustration system :P Apparently the author, Andrew Plotkin, has even made an iPhone/iPad-compatible version now, with a map and other extras!

    Still along classic lines, but on a massive scale, Aaron A. Reed's Blue Lacuna is an epic SFF game whose development involved crowdsouced beta/gamma-testing (is that a thing I can say? gamma-testing?). Also, it's not hugely relevant to the plot, but as yet another IF would say: heteronormativity off. (Binarism still 100% on, sadly.)

    The last classic-style game I'll recommend is Suzanne Britton's Worlds Apart — it has that kind of extremely immersive and well-imagined fantasy universe which you like, and it was a real pleasure to explore it as myself along with the amnesiac player character.

    Emily Short is one of the pillars of the IF community, both as a writer and critic (and developer of IF tools like Inform 7). She's more into experimentation with structure and game mechanics (from a developer's point of view); from her repertoire I recommend Galatea — a minimalistic but highly multifaceted little game that focuses on conversation and the discovery of backstory –; Metamorphoses — another fantasmatique, and one that allows a ridiculously in-depth amount of player/environment interaction –; and Alabaster — a recent collaboration based on the Snow White story, but of course with its own twist. Or twists, depending on which storyline you end up following. The first two are fairly short & sweet; the latter is more time-intense.

    Speaking of experimentation, Plotkin also has the highly experimental (and highly replayable) The Space Under The Window, which he describes as "interactive poetry". The one under that, So Far, is another wonderfully surreal tidbit which plays with words in a very satisfying manner; on the same page is Shade, which… I can't say anything without spoiling it, but it's a very quick play and delightfully weird.

    More wordplay: The Gostak, a fun demonstration of how nonsense-language an English speaker can parse as long as syntax and grammatical morphology remain the same; and Ad Verbum, which is a puzzle-focused, rather drolly self-aware little game that tickled my wordplay-loving soul to no end. Both relatively short, and the latter has a hint system :)

    And finally, I must recommend Delusions. I haven't replayed that for a while, so I'll just quote the reviewer: "Head games galore in this one. You're working in a Virtual Reality lab, helping to debug the next generation of sim technology, until a suave stranger forces you to confront the creeping air of inconsistency that's been in the corner of your consciousness. A dark one, with surprises up to the end, one of the coolest villains I've seen in a long time".

    Anyone got more recent ones to add to my list? What have I left out, fellow IF aficionados — if you exist? :P

    • Avit says:

      Oh, yeah — I should mention that the playtime for these is way, way less than your typical console game. And of course, MMORPGs are theoretically neverending :P

    • Avit says:

      //EDIT!!!: I meant to recommend For A Change, not So Far! I played those two simultaneously (or, well, pretty close to simultaneously); For A Change is the gentle surreal wordplay one, and I never finished So Far :(

    • Genny_ says:

      Oh man, I dunno about Mark but I'm just gonna use this as a rec post for myself. I love IF and have never played enough of it.

    • Jade says:

      I think Adam Cadre's Photopia should be included up there too. It's one of the most moving IF games I've ever played, and I often see it recced as an ideal introduction to the world of IF.

      Also, I throw in a hearty second recommendation for all of Emily Short's works. They're all awesome, even those that made me want to yank my hair out with their fiendish puzzles.

      • Avit says:

        Ahhhh yes! I can't believe I forgot Photopia. I played it pretty late into my acquaintance with IF, so it wasn't formative for me, but it's definitely 1) beautifully done, 2) historic IF, and 3) just the kind of plot structure Mark would like, I think?

        • Jade says:

          Photopia was the first IF I played, so it's got a special place in my heart. :)

          So Mark, if you're reading this, here are the reasons you should play Photopia: it's a great way to dip your toe into the field of interactive fiction because it's not too lengthy or difficult and is really like an interactive story that might be confusing to follow at first but all ties up together beautifully in the end. Without going into too much detail, it's the kind of game that will almost certainly leave some kind of emotional impact on you once you realize what it's REALLY about and one you will want to replay afterward to make sure that you really understand everything. Oh, and like Avit said, you'll probably like the way the plot's structured.

  38. ppyajunebug says:

    "THE ROOM" GAME.

    YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO. YOU KNOOOOOOOOOOOOOW IT

  39. firelizardkimi says:

    You said board games, too, right? How about the Battlestar Galactica board game?

    First off, it's Battlestar Galactica. The game is complicated and can take a few hours, but it's totally worth it. You play as whatever character you want, and each character is one of four groups (military leader, pilot, executive leader, support staff) has strengths and weaknesses and a specific skill set that they draw cards from. There's always at least one hidden Cylon, and if you have someone who's an experienced player, you can have a "Cylon Leader," who has specific goals. The board game basically follows what happened in the show: players are human or Cylon (in disguise). The humans are trying to get away from the Cylons, the Cylons are trying to damage Galactica (and Pegasus, if you have the expansion). There are four dials that represent food, people, morale, and fuel, and if any one of them hits zero, the Cylons win. You can choose to end the game when you get to Kobol (shorter) or New Caprica. There's a lot of strategy involved on everyone's part, and especially since you can't really trust anyone until the hidden Cylon chooses to reveal. IT'S AWESOME.

    • I have the game and have been wanting to get together and play it with Mark for aaaaages. MARK NOW YOU CAN GET PAID TO DO IT.

      Um, with advertising revenue or whatever.

      • dazyndara says:

        I have it too, and the Caprica expansion! It's so awesome!

      • firelizardkimi says:

        OH GOOD. That means you know how to play and can probably explain the rules better than I can. The last time I played was a few months ago, and my friend had just gotten the Exodus expansion, but I think he should start with either the base or the Pegasus expansion. Exodus has a lot of extra rules and stuff that get super confusing really quickly. Even for the significantly more experienced players I was playing with.

    • dazyndara says:

      Seconding this! It's one of the best board games I've ever played. It's so much about interpsersonal dynamics, so the game can totally change depending on who you're playing it with!

    • TCM says:

      WHY CAN’T I HOLD ALL THESE UPVOTES

      Allow me to sum up my own experiences with the BSG Boardgame:

      This freaking game. Is brilliant. I went into the game with zero knowledge of BSG as a series outside of the fact that it was definitely a thing that existed, and came out the other side buying the Blu-Ray boxset and marathoning the whole thing (okay not the WHOLE thing, I am stuck in season 4, BUT STILL IT COUNTS).

      Here is how this game works: Pick a character based on their awesome abilities. Look at your loyalty card to discover if you’re a Human or a Cylon. PROCEED TO YELL AT EVERYONE AROUND THE TABLE, BITE NAILS FURIOUSLY AS YOUR RESOURCES RUN DRY AND OH GOD THERE’S ONLY ONE MORE JUMP UNTIL WE REACH KOBOL GUYS HOLD IT TOGETHER FOR ONE MORE JUM–ADAMA WAS A CYLON AND HE JUST SCREWED US OVER FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF—

      Ahem. This is a game of suspicion, bluffing, truth, betrayal, hope, despair, chance screwing you over, Gaius Baltar fidgeting, and being trapped in a small space with 4-5 people who you don’t trust as far as you can throw them. In other words, it is a perfect simulation of the show.

      I would say to get both the Pegasus and Exodus expansions if possible — though I wouldn’t recommend using EITHER ONE for your first few games. The game is complicated enough without everyone having to work from the ground up on learning the rules. As far as Pegasus goes, skip the New Caprica phase imo, it’s never clicked for me — use every single component from Exodus, though, it all collides into a mishmash of awesome.

      • TCM says:

        (frig why isn’t there an edit comment function — If you were willing to do this online, PBF/PBE/Vassal style, I’d totally be willing to get involved. Just saying.)

  40. David says:

    Half-Life, Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2 Episode 1, Half-Life 2 Episode 2.
    Platforms: All are Steam games, available for PC, Half-Life 2 and on available for X-Box 360, PS3, and Mac OS X.
    Why? Because these games are AMAZING sci-fi games with an intriguing plot, lots of puzzles, and (in Half-Life 2 and sequels) fleshed-out characters. There are sequels to Half-Life (mainly Blue Shift and Opposing Force, each focusing on a different protagonist), but you might want to skip those, depending on how many games you confirm/time constraints. Half-Life 2 was a crucial part of my getting-through-early-teenager-years, so it holds a very special place in my heart.

    • David says:

      Just realized that I didn't give any details to avoid spoilers. Protagonist is a scientist at the Black Mesa Research Facility when stuff happens, leading to the main events of the game and its sequels. Takes place in (vaguely) the same universe as Portal.

    • acityofdoors says:

      Oh yes these would be great! As an added bonus, the Half-Life 1 fan remake Black Mesa Source is coming out in about 15 hours as of the time of this post!

    • birdbrainblue says:

      Seconding the Half-Life series! Not only is it considered to be the greatest FPS franchise in history, but the games are also incredibly story-heavy and deeply complex in terms of world building and character development. Oh my gosh, they're amazing.

    • Mark Does Stuff says:

      I figured out that they must have something to do with Portal because of BLACK MESA.

      I'll do these games!

  41. Triforce-Kun says:

    And I know I've just posted, but I have one other recommendation: Silent Hill 2.

    Psychological horror at its finest, and with a beautifully disturbing soundtrack and sound effects to match. You'll have LOADS of moments you weren't prepared for; I know I sure as hell wasn't. I think it would be great to see you analyze the game, the characters, and the titular town itself, as well as the creatures that inhabit it. Because everything you run into in Silent Hill has some meaning behind it instead of them just being random monsters thrown in to scare you. And it's not made of cheap jump scares; Silent Hill games are the kind of games that get under your skin and then burrow into your brain, haunting you for long after you've played them.

    Silent Hill 2 was the game I started off on, and it stands best on its own out of the first three games; it's not linked to the first or third games in the series in any way aside from it taking place in the town of Silent Hill.

    Platforms it's available on are the PS2, as well as the Xbox 360 and PS3 as part of the the Silent Hill HD Collection, thought I'd recommend AGAINST the HD Collection; from what I've heard, it's buggy and laggy and generally a bad experience.

    And if you end up loving SH2, then I'd definitely recommend the first and third games. It's more of the same twisted, mindfuck kind of stuff, but with different characters who have their own stories and reasons for being dragged into the town.

    The original Silent Hill is, sadly, only available for the first Playstation, and may be difficult to track down. Silent Hill 3 is available for the PS2, and the PS3 and Xbox 360 on the HD Collection which I already talked down earlier.

    I would avoid playing anything beyond the first three titles to start out; everything from SH4 on was made by different teams of people than the one who worked on the first three, so they're very different, and genereally not very…Silent Hill-like.

    So, there we go! I hope you'll take my recommendations into consideration, Mark.

    • dasmondschaf says:

      Man, I want to second this! SH2 is one of my favorite games of all time, and one of the only games in the horror genre to ACTIVELY TERRIFY ME. I once put it down for an entire month because it scared me so much, and when I picked it up again I basically could only play it with a friend in the room with me. IT IS SO GOOD.

    • Bill says:

      Yes Silent Hill 2! It has one of the best stories I've ever played! SO MUCH SYMBOLISM! No seriously, that game helped me understand the full depth symbolism in stories can have.

    • I would love to see Mark do the first 4 Silent Hill games. Personally I like 1 and 3 more than 2. But he can do at least the first 3 games (I thought The Room was scary enough to warrant a play.)

    • RedRoses2 says:

      I second this! Though SH4 is one of my favorites, so I wouldn't count SH4 out. But if he plays SH1 and SH3, he can also do Mark Watches for the Silent Hill movie and Silent Hill Revelations that comes out this year. (I'm working on my cosplay of Heather Mason for Halloween/the movie premiere.)

    • Mark Does Stuff says:

      I can't do the first Silent Hill game, as I played it like 8 years ago, but I've never played the other three!

  42. Plactus says:

    Jade Empire. RPG, set in a fantasy version of China. Available for PC and Xbox; probably easiest to pick it up via Steam these days.

    Story: You are the star student at a martial arts academy, nearing graduation, but all's not well in the Empire…

    As much as I love KotOR and Mass Effect, this is my favorite BioWare game, easily. Gameplay is fun (one reviewer described it as a fighting game for people who aren't very good at fighting games), the cast is engaging, and the story is very tightly woven. My only complaint is that the game's too short. And it was even better on a second playthrough. Every now and again they say they'd love to do a sequel, and if it ever actually happens I'd buy it in a heartbeat.

    • Bookman230 says:

      Yes to all of this! Jade Empire has an amazing world, awesome characters, hilarious comedy, great queer romances(though they are annoyingly hard to trigger), and fun martial arts gameplay.

    • ensignkt says:

      Like other Bioware games, Jade Empire has a wonderfully created world and an excellent, amazing story. And it's got martial arts fighting. Oh, and it's gorgeous.

  43. Nat says:

    The Longest Journey
    &
    Dreamfall: The Longest Journey

    Two games with some of the most stellar writing and character work to date. Follow April Ryan as she travels between worlds and dreams. I will say you will struggle to get through these games without walkthoughs :P
    If anyone can think of any spoiler-free comments to add in favour of these two please do! There's quite a lot I want to say, but I'd just end up fangirling out and spoiling stuff :P

    • I have only played Dreamfall but… man what a fucking unique game. I can say that I've literally never played anything else like it. I think Mark would love these (although like I said… I've never played TLJ so I'm just assuming.)

    • Foxfire says:

      Yes yes yes it's beautiful and funny and clever and April is SO SASSY and I love the characters and the setting and the puzzles and honestly the most Mark-friendly spoiler-free way I can describe it is somewhat like The Golden Compass except Lyra and Will are fused into a cynical art major who's a little bit less of a liar.

      Naq vs Cna jnf ernyyl ehqr naq nyfb n oveq.

    • Charlotte says:

      Oh, I think Mark would love these ones! April Ryan is one of my favourite characters of all time, as are some of the other people you meet. Also, the setting is amazing and the mood just have a tendency to go under my skin, so that even after I've closed the games, I still walk around feeling as if I haven't.

    • Laurellas says:

      Yupyupyup
      I was going to recommend these too, played the first one about 6 years ago, it was incredible. 100% yes to this.

    • kartikeya200 says:

      This, this, this, this.

      I think the only thing I can think of that is not really a spoiler is to note that this series isn't finished (damn you, Funcom, and your insistance to make everything but the next game), but that the head writer has said that he fully intends to continue it, even if he has to do it in novel form.

      It probably helps to note they're both adventure games, of the point and click puzzle variety. Dreamfall adds a few (very clunky) action elements, but they're used very very sparingly.

    • etherealclarity says:

      I was never able to finish Dreamfall, but I absolutely ADORE The Longest Journey. It plays out as this lovely Scifi/Fantasy adventure and April Ryan is such a fun character to play. The world is rich and detailed… but not so detailed that you struggle to keep track (like I did trying to play Mass Effect). One of my favorite games of all time.

      As far as I'm aware these are PC games only and not ported to any other system.

    • ensignkt says:

      The Longest Journey is one of my favorite games ever. It's such a great tale, with wonderful characters and worlds that are just seem endlessly detailed and fascinating.

  44. shyfully says:

    Odin Sphere!

    Odin Sphere is a PS2 game about mythology, love, war, growing up, dying, living, fighting fate, family, love (again!), loneliness, and so much more. This game will punch you in the feels and then kiss it better and then punch you right in the same spot in the feels so much harder because this game is tragically beautiful and hates your feels. But then it turns around and is ADORABLE and amazing.

    Odin Sphere has some of the most beautiful art. So much so that it might lag your system at times, but it is well worth it because every single setting and character is beautifully rendered and just so lovely to look at.

    The story is also amazing, one of my favorites, as it slowly is revealed. You get to see how such different characters living in the same world struggle with and against each other, each trying to do the right thing. As you discover each character's journey, you uncover the secrets of the world they inhabit. Also, since the story is so complex, you can go back and rewatch all the cutscenes you've unlocked, as well as getting a full timeline of when the scenes took place relative to all the main character's stories!

    Also, the music is awesome – here's the mostly nonspoiler-y (it has an image of several characters, but that's it) theme song:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrWzkHxYB9o
    Link because I can't figure out embeds.

  45. SS2Dante says:

    I'd like to suggest the "main" Metal Gear Solid series (aka games 1-4) on the PS3. I can't suggest a single title as they really all contribute to one major story.

    In these stealth-focussed 3rd person(ish) games you play as a lone operative sent into a remote region in order to carry out a mission. I literally cannot say any more without spoilers.

    The games were unique in that the main objective was to avoid enemies, rather than kill them. What really made these games famous though was the story. This is always an example I think of when I consider a game in which the story is taken seriously (aka not just as an afterthought). It's complex and deals with a lot of themes not often found in video games such as free will, genetic destiny, nuclear and memetic proliferation, the properties and absurdities of "patriotism", etc.

    A lot of these issues are perhaps unusual for you to review, and I think it'd be a great challenge/change of pace, for both you and the audience.

    Here's where I'll lean on the series wikipedia page :P

    "The series is famous for pioneering the stealth game genre, in which the character initially has only one weapon and has to go through the game to accomplish his mission by himself. Other notable traits are cinematic cut scenes, intricate storylines, offbeat humor and exploration of political and philosophical themes"

    I don't know if you consider reviews important, but every one of these games has an over 90% score on Metacritic. Again, from the wikipedia page of the first game – "It is recognized by many critics as one of the best and most important games of all time".

    This series, along with the FF series, are what opened up my eyes to the possibilities of video games as an art.

  46. Shiroikami says:

    Okay, okay, I'm all ABOUT the video games. Suggesting a few of my absolute favorites (i.e. ones that I've played a ridiculous number of times)

    For DS:
    Professor Layton – the whole series
    What they are and why you should play: The Professor Layton series of games are basically entire mystery stories where everything is driven by devilishly difficult puzzles created by a Japanese puzzle master. As you move through the game, the puzzles get progressively harder and harder. They span an entire massive range from simple "hidden picture" and maze-type games to mathematical and logic puzzles. Each game has over 100 puzzles to find and solve, as well as downloadable content (although the first three games' dlc might be gone by now). While they can be frustrating at times, being able to say that you solved all the puzzles AND whatever the game's big mystery was is a lot of fun.

    Pokemon Black 2/White 2 (don't judge me!)
    I list this particular version of the Pokemon games because I think it's probably likely that you've already had the rest of them spoiled in one way or another since they're like, one of the most popular game series there is. B2/W2 hasn't even been released in the US yet, so there's little to no chance of it having been spoiled, and I think that everyone should play a Pokemon game at least once. :D

    Golden Sun – series
    What they are and why you should play: Golden Sun is one of the very first RPG video games (that wasn't Pokemon) that I ever played. The first two are actually for the Gameboy Advance, but you could probably still find them (and a working Advance or first generation DS or DS Lite with the GBA port). The first two games are essentially one game split into two parts, with the second picking up just before the end of the first. I… don't really know how to advocate for this game without spoiling it, but it's really a lot of fun, and you should totally play it. The third game, Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, was released in just the past year or two for the DS. You could play it without having played the first two, I guess, but you'd be missing out on a lot of the mythology. If you like DragonQuest, then you'll really like these games.

    • Shiroikami says:

      For PS2:

      Tales of the Abyss (also available for the 3DS)
      Category: JRPG
      Why you should play: This game is just so much fun. The story is VERY complex, the world massive, and the characters are really fun to play with (and to watch interact with each other in the cutscenes). Basically, if you're looking for a game with a LONG gameplay, this is a good one. The story moves forward relatively easily, and there are a multitude of optional side quests that can earn you fun titles for your characters (the costume titles are especially fun). There are only one or two medium-sized "problems" with this game. First, there is content that can only be unlocked on a second playthrough on a harder difficulty level, and second, it's WAY more fun if you have three friends (and three other controllers) to play with you. That's the way that I first played this game, and no subsequent playthrough without my friends has ever been as much fun.

      .hack//GU – series
      Category: JRPG
      These games are best played if you have ever watched the .hack//SIGN and .hack//GU anime series. They are, essentially, a single-player MMORPG. Each of the three games links to the next by way of data transfer (you complete the first game, then use that save file to start the second, and the save file from the second to start the third) although it's not necessary to do so, but the story is continuous throughout the three games. There's also a significant amount of "post story" play value in the "Forest of Pain" event which only opens up after you finish the main story at the end of game 3.

      Both of these games are all about the personal, emotional growth of the main character. Also, since they're both Namco Bandai games, they use a lot of the same voice actors which can be HILARIOUS when you realize what you're hearing.

      Xenosaga I and III
      Category: JRPG
      Possibly some of the most iconic of their class of games, the Xenosaga games I and III (don't bother with II, it's filler, and not worth your time) cover a huge storyline. If you like space, giant robots, and WTF JUST HAPPENED I DON'T EVEN?!? Then these are the games for you. That's really all I can say here without spoiling.

      For PS3:
      Okay, last game system, I SWEAR… but only because I don't have an XBox system. Too many American sports games…

      Eternal Sonata
      Category: JRPG
      Eternal Sonata is basically a video game about Frederick Chopin and his music. Literally, the entire game takes place as a dream he has while he is in bed dying from tuberculosis. The game is divided up into "chapters", each one centered around one of Chopin's musical creations including "Raindrops" and "The Minute Waltz". In between each chapter there is a short history lesson about Chopin's life around the time when he was writing the related piece of music. All in all it's a beautiful game, although the theme of accepting death runs very strong through it. There are three loose "groups" of characters who meet up and separate at different points in the game, with a total of nine(?) playable characters which you gain or lose access to depending on the point of the game you're in, so you can't depend on any one group the whole time. The music is beautiful, the graphics are gorgeous, and the story ends with a rather unexpected twist.

      Star Ocean: The Last Hope
      Category: JRPG
      The Star Ocean series actually has four (or six, depending on how you're counting) games in it, although none of them are really related to each other. I'm suggesting this one because, outside of the PSP versions of 1 and 2, The Last Hope is actually the only Star Ocean game that I've (almost) finished (I keep getting stuck halfway through 3… -.-;;). Anyways, the Star Ocean games are great because they don't take place on just one world, they take place on at LEAST two. The Last Hope actually has, if I recall correctly, 5 worlds that you visit and play on. Naturally this makes the game take AGES to finish, but the time you put in will be well spent. The story and characters are equally strong, with a nice use of anachronistic weaponry (the playable characters use swords and magic despite coming from highly technologically advanced civilizations) with a futuristic setting and space flight. Because you've got entire worlds at your disposal, that means, of course, that the dungeons are equally large and complex.

      And yes. There you have it. My ridiculous list of games with me trying to not spoil them. I'm bad at this, so if anyone wants to help out by further describing these games without getting into plot-stuff, please, do!

    • The story to B2/W2 is a direct sequel to B/W unlike in previous generations (e.g. Yellow, Crystal, etc.), so I think Mark should start there instead

    • eulaliavox says:

      I'd like to add my extraordinarily late "+1" to this comment.

      Professor Layton: My God, these games. Everything from the gorgeous aesthetics, to the sensational soundtrack, to the beautifully animated cut scenes, and the exemplary voice acting. And my goodness, the story lines which, I am not too proud to admit, have wrenched my heart quite often, And there are quirky, humorous, interesting characters. Everyone you meet is unique. Not to mention the puzzles (there are times where you'll be "I'm so fucking smart!" And then,five seconds later, you'll be the reverse), the game mechanics, the sense of humor of the game — just EVERYTHING is fantastic. I could gush forever about them. <3

      While I'm at it, Golden Sun deserves another +1. The first two Golden Sun games for the GBA are some of my very favorite games. I love a well-done RPG, and these are so freaking well done. They are so much fun to play, a joy to look at and listen to, and a plot that begs completion.

  47. ABBryant says:

    Any of the Pokémon games. (Nintendo Handhelds, GB/GBC to NDS) I would recommend either Pokémon Yellow (GBC) or Pokémon Emerald. The latest (Black 2 and White 2) will be coming out Oct 7.

    You train a bunch of Pokémon to fight and fight an international team of criminals, lather, rinse, repeat thoughout any of the games. Yellow and Emerald, however are the best out of them.

    All of them are available by less-than-legal means online through the use of ROMs and emulators.

    • Mark Does Stuff says:

      I HAVE NEVER PLAYED NOR SEEN POKEMON

      i must rectify this

      • Bill says:

        Yes you must, even if you end up disliking it. It will be fun either way.

      • magpie says:

        OMG ME TOO. So many of my college friends were obsessed with it, and I'm like… I have no knowledge of this. The most I know is that my little brother's high school class president made his whole speech about how the graduating class was like evolving pokemon (my sister and I were the only ones cackling away at this), and that my brother bought like four pokemon backpacks when we were at Epcot!Japan.

      • I'd say Black or White is a great place to start.

        • Illuen says:

          Mark Plays Pokemon B/W would be AMAZING. B/W especially has the best storyline of any of the Pokemon games (One I think Mark would find lots to enjoy and talk about), and I am super excited to see if Znex cvpxf Bfunjbgg, Favil naq Grcvp. V'z tbvat sbe Favil, orpnhfr phgr fnff!

          • ABBryant says:

            Qhqr. Ur fubhyq gbgnyyl tb jvgu Bfunjbgg. Fnzhebgg vf xvpxnff naq unf njrfbzr punenpgre qrfvta!

          • Gonzo says:

            Ah yes, Pokémon Black and White would be perfect to get into the series with AND its awesome plot would give plenty for Mark to talk about! Oh, and lest we forget, Black and White 2 is right round the corner which would be a great continuing point (not to mention the fact it has n ohapu bs gur bevtvany 493 Cbxézba JUVPU JBHYQ OR FB NJRFBZR SBE FBZRBAR ARJ GB GUR FREVRF GB OR YVXR "JUB NER GURFR ARJ THLF? VZ ZHPU ZBER SNZVYVNE JVGU FJBBONG GUNA MHONG" nfhuhcetw v qhaab V'q whfg svaq gung sha naq xvaqn bevtvany gb frr!)

          • Kara says:

            V whfg jnag gb frr vs ur qrpvqrf gb avpxanzr gurz naq vs fb jvyy gurl or Znex Ernqf/Jngpurf pnyyonpxf yvxr "Tb! Ohssl!" be "Gerrorneq, V pubbfr lbh!"? :C

        • Black or White would definitely be best. There's much more to the story! <3

        • kathy says:

          Nah, it'd be best to start at Ruby/Emerald/Sapphire, then FireRed/LeafGreen, then HeartGold/SoulSilver, then everything else (starting at Diamond/Pearl/Platinum) in generation release date. Also, all spin-offs other than Stadium, Stadium 2, and Battle Revolution.

      • NeonProdigy says:

        OH MAN, Pokemon was my CHILDHOOD. SO MANY HOURS OF MY TIME AS A LITTLE KID SPENT ON THESE GAMES *sob*

        I'm with the others who are suggesting you start with Black or White, those games really are a perfect jumping on point for someone new to the series.

      • Kara says:

        I agree with Black/White for a starting point, but if Mark likes them then it would be awesome to see a Mark Play Pokémon Colosseum (which is for GameCube, btw) because it is basically the most badass of all the Pokémon games and has a really interesting setting and storyline.

    • Genny_ says:

      Oh my god, yes.

      Personally I always think SoulSilver/HeartGold are good places to start, on the DS. The B&W series is the only one I'd say is a bad place to start, to be honest, because they change a lot from previous games and don't really feel representative. Yellow is also awesome.

      • Amanda says:

        I totally agree. I didn't really like B+W at all and don't feel that they are representative of the series as a whole. On the other hand, HeartGold and SoulSIlver are fantastic games.

    • Yes. Pokemon! Those games are soo addictive. I get so frustrated when people who haven't played them mock them. Bottom line is if you like turn based RPGs and collecting things then Pokemon is for you. As far as which one he should play I'm not sure it matters. Yellow and Emerald seem like fine suggestions.

    • Sato says:

      Long time lurker on Mark Watches for Buffy/Angel here, first time poster.

      Pokémon has been a long time favourite of mine (both the games and the TV series), and while I do believe that Black and White are probably the best in the series, I'd recommend FireRed or LeafGreen (Game Boy Advance remakes of the original Game Boy games) as the best place to start.

      Not only do they provide a basic introduction to the world of Pokémon (including certain twists regarding final bosses that are assumed as common knowledge in later titles), but it provides more detailed tutorials on basic gameplay and even includes a Help Menu activated by the L and R buttons, as well as brand new additions to the plot not in the original Red/Blue/Yellow which foreshadow events that occur in Gold/Silver (and their DS remakes, HeartGold/SoulSilver, which are absolutely wonderful games in themselves.)

      From these ones, you can pretty much go anywhere as the only direct sequels in the series are Gold/Silver to the originals and Black 2/White 2 to… well, Black/White.

      • Sato says:

        Y'know what, I'll give a basic rundown of the series here:

        Gen I (Game Boy)
        Red/Blue – The original games. (Known as Red/Green in Japan.)
        Yellow – An enhanced version of Red/Blue which includes additional aspects brought in from the TV series.

        Gen II (Game Boy Color)
        Gold/Silver/Crystal – Sequel to the original games set 3 years later. Crystal is an enhanced version of the former two including new features including the option to play as a girl.

        Gen III (Game Boy Advance)
        Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald – Set in a region far from the previous games, they have little connection to the previous games in terms of plot. The two former games have different villains, Emerald is an enhanced version which involves both villainous factions.
        FireRed/LeafGreen – Remakes of Red/Blue. Include extra additions to plot which foreshadow the sequels.

        • Sato says:

          Gen IV (DS)
          Diamond/Pearl/Platinum – Once again, feature little connection to previous games, however there are minor allusions to certain events and at least one old character turns up. Platinum is an enhanced version of the former two.
          HeartGold/SoulSilver – Remakes of Gold/Silver, largely expand and improve upon details from the originals, deepening the original plot in the progress.

          Gen V (DS)
          Black/White – The most obvious refreshing of the series, close to nothing from the older games is back, not even any of the Pokémon species. Delves much deeper with plot than any of it's predecessors.
          Black 2/White 2 – Sequels set two years after the previous games, English release coming next month.

          • I have a feeling Mark is going to have a hard time picking one of the games to play. But it feels like people are saying Black/White a bit more than others. I'd like to go ahead and suggest he do FireRed/LeafGreen and then do Black/White.

          • Sato says:

            I can definitely get behind that. Playing FireRed or LeafGreen first will allow gur snpg gung gurer'f n punzcvba jub pbzrf nsgre gur Ryvgr Sbhe to be a surprise, with Black and White chyyvat gur pnecrg ba guvf ybat gvzr rkcrpgngvba jurer gur punzcvba vf cer-rzcgrq ol gur sbhegrragu yrggre bs gur nycunorg. (… vg'yy or ernyyl njxjneq fnlvat gur anzr A va Ebg13)

            Not to mention, if he did HeartGold or SoulSilver before one of the Kanto based games gung'q gbgnyyl ehva Tvbinaav orvat Ivevqvna Tlz yrnqre.

      • Pottersaurus says:

        I think either Black/White or FireRed/LeafGreen would be great options for first choices. FRLG would be fun because it would take many of us back to our first experiences with Pokemon (whether you started there or with Red/Blue/Yellow), but if I had to pick a newer game, I think B&W are a great place to be introduced to the series and it would be fun to see how Mark receives it, having no previous exposure to Pokemon.

    • Tara says:

      Yaaaay, pokemon! Your should either do Emerald on the GBA, Heartgold/Soulsilver on the DS or Black/White, also on the DS. (The games that have slashes between them are pretty much the same game, but with different main legendaries. So if you do one of those just choose whichever you thing have the cooler creature on the front.)

  48. Maya says:

    Neverwinter Nights, 1&2.
    Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning.
    Bully. I know you have a history, but I liked the game regardless.
    Dungeon Siege.1&2 at least. 3 was okay.
    Kingdom Hearts. Omfg KH.
    Pokemon.

  49. Silverilly says:

    For the sake of the classics, how about at least one Mario game? It would just be so much fun! Maybe you could play Super Mario for the Wii? It's pretty straightforward, not too different from the past Mario games, but one of the cool parts is that you can have up to four players. YOU COULD HAVE GUESTS!
    OR PAPER MARIO. THAT GAME IS RIDICULOUS. It switches back and forth between 3D Mario and 2D Mario and it is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. This game is also for the Wii and it's just such an incredible concept. It's more RPG style than your average Mario game, too, which appeals to many people, but it still draws on those simple Mario concepts that make you feel . . . at home, I guess.

    I'm also with the people suggesting Zelda. ALL THINGS GO TO ZELDA.

    • I would love to see Mark do Paper Mario and Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door (my favorite) and Super Paper Mario.

    • magpie says:

      Oh god, I had my doubts about Super Mario Wii, but it combined all my favorite things about the old-school Mario games into a freaking beautiful Wii version. And the whole multi-player dynamic is awesome, since depending on the mood of the group, it can help you get through the level faster and more thoroughly, or it can devolve into a super smash bros situation. :D

  50. DktrAgonizer says:

    Bully: Scholarship Edition, available for the Xbox 360, Wii, and PC. (The original is on the PS2 as well, but the SE has got extra content , and it looks nicer than the original.)

    You play the character of Jimmy Hopkins, who has a reputation for getting kicked out of various high schools for being a troublemaker. His mom and new stepdad are going on a year-long cruise and Jimmy has just been sent to Bullworth, basically his last chance of finishing high school. Only Bullworth is a tough place where the cliques are constantly fighting.

    Pretty much you go through the story with Jimmy trying to control the cliques (bullies, jocks, nerds, preps, greasers, and townies) and rule the school.

    FEATURING:

    -The ability to beat people up!
    -Classes you participate in! (Via minigames)
    -Bike races for money!
    -A bunch of clothes and haircuts you can purchase and then make Jimmy wear! SE includes tattoos, as well.
    -Though Jimmy likes to mack on the ladies, there's also one boy in each clique that you can kiss! Rad!

    It's pretty fun, and the best thing is that after you beat it, it's an open sandbox so you can keep going around to get anything you may have missed while doing the actual story stuff.

  51. acityofdoors says:

    Planescape: Torment (on PC)

    An old D&D RPG that takes place in the amazing city of Sigil that has doors to every part of the multiverse, all the heavens, all the hells, elemental planes and every planet on the Prime Material Plane.

    It has hugely memorable characters (a physical embodiment of the universal letter O, a succubus that runs the Brothel for Slaking Intellectual Lusts, your best buddy is a floating, wisecracking skull). Words and ideas can literally shape the world around you.

    It's heavily text based and there's a lot of reading in there, tons of world building. The fighting part of the game is it's weakest part but you can avoid a lot of it through dialogue or just being sneaky.

    There are no words for just how much this game owned my soul, I've been going by City Of Doors for the past 10 years because this game, it's story and the characters in it.

    • BornIn1142 says:

      Seconding. Torment has one of the most brilliant and imaginative stories to be found in fiction. The gameplay is, unfortunately, clunky as fuck and rather frustrating, but the amazing writing more than makes up for it. You could make the argument that it should have been a novel, not a game… but the choices you make playing it are so involving and important that it simply couldn't have worked in a non-interactive medium.

    • DavidZAarons says:

      Absolutely. Planescape: Torment is brilliant.

    • ZeynepD says:

      _Planescape: Torment_ is a very unique game in its storytelling and characterization. I don't think it has ever been done at that level again. It's deep and powerful and it's got its own sense of beauty and it is, quite simply, a game not to be missed if you value storytelling at all.

  52. stellaaaaakris says:

    Maybe you can gather a bunch of people and play the board game Clue! You can dress as characters and quote the movie. It would be lovely.

  53. @_Weaver says:

    I also came to advocate the person games, though I admit I like Persona 3 more than P4 (I played it first, and fell much more in love with the characters than I did the cast of P4, rkprcg Xnawv orpnhfr gurer ner irel srj ivqrb tnzr punenpgref V ybir zber guna V ybir Xnawv).

    I would also like to advocate the other Shin Megami Tensei games, ESPECIALLY Digital Devil Saga and Digital Devil Saga II. They're a beautiful blend of Buddhist philosophy and post-apocalyptic, high-technology setting, in the framework of a Japanese RPG. The fighting system is similar to P3 and but (I think) more fun and satisfying. The plot is stupendous (especially when you get into the second game), subtle and brilliant and mind-boggling. Also there's TONS of queer subtext, whether it's intentional or not, so. If you're into that kind of thing, y'know.

    • Christi says:

      HOLY SHIT HOW COULD I FORGET DIGITAL DEVIL SAGA. DDS plays with themes of identity and humanity and does it incredibly well, I think. I should also note that DDS1 and DDS2 are games you want to play as a package deal, because they're effectively a single game narrative-wise and you don't want to finish the first one without having the second one to play as soon as possible.

    • Illuen says:

      While I LOVE the Persona series, and I'm giddy with the thought of Mark playing P4, I'm concerned that P3 might be very triggering for Mark/many commenters. V xabj gur nffubyr jub vagebqhprq gur frevrf gb zr n srj zbaguf nsgre V unq nggrzzcgrq fhvpvqr qvq abg gryy zr nobhg gur ribxref, fb gur svefg gvzr V cynl vg, naq vg fgnegf jvgu grrantref frrzyvatyl fubbgvat gurzfryirf va gur urnq, V unq n zvabe sernxbhg.

      • Shiroikami says:

        Guvf vf n tbbq cbvag.

        Juvyr rnpu bs gur Crefban tnzrf sbphfrf ba n "yvsr vffhr" (C3'f vffhr vf yvsr naq qrngu, C4 vf yrneavat gb npprcg bar'f frys naq bguref), gur cerfragngvba bs gubfr vffhrf pna or n yvggyr oyhag naq hcfrggvat vs lbh'er abg rkcrpgvat gurz.

        Ohg lrf, V guvax gung, orpnhfr Znex qbrfa'g yvxr fcbvyref, naq ur jbhyq UNIR gb or fcbvyrq orsber fgnegvat C3 gb ryvzvangr (be ng yrnfg qvzvavfu) punaprf bs gevttrevat sbe uvzfrys be bguref, gung 4 jbhyq cebonoyl or n orggre pubvpr.

  54. Earthbound for SNES
    I believe someone may have suggested it, but didn't list reasons why.
    Well,
    *It's a good natured, modern day RPG.
    *Has a lot of absurd humor.
    *Bright colors (This is important stuff)
    *Great soundtrack, with some pop song influence.

    The graphics usually turn people off to it, but I think that's kind of what gives it its charm.
    Overall, I think you'd definitely enjoy it. :D

  55. Brittany says:

    Munchkin card game!!

    • rabidsamfan says:

      YES! I knew someone would mention this. You might want to play it after you've dabbled a bit in Dungeons and Dragons or something similar, but it isn't actually necessary. Munchkin is a loving, but hilarious take on tabletop RPG games. Best played with at least three friends, and even better if you're all up way past your bedtime.

  56. kelseypolo says:

    This suggestion is inspired by Hank Green's Hankgames Youtube channel…

    DEATHSPANK on Steam.

    It was one of the first things I watched on Hankgames, and I liked it so much I got a Steam account to play it myself. It's fun, funny, and extremely quirky. The setup is very similar to Diablo if you've ever played any of those… but with vicious chickens and evil monks rather than zombies.

    There is also a 2nd and 3rd one. I've only played the 2nd, but it was just a good as the first.

    Here's Hank's first video on it if you're interested: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-2lGpMrcYc&fe

  57. Jen says:

    Silent Hill 2!

    It's got a very morose atmosphere, a wonderful/sad story, and relies more on atmosphere and ambiance than jump scares. It just gives you this constant feeling of dread, which is a lot more scary than being frightened outright, in my opinion.

    • Bill says:

      Oh I suggested this too but I didn't know this was already here. The game's story is FANTASTIC! Its also the kind of game where you don't need to have played the first entry into the series. Also the music is some of the best in any game I've ever played!

  58. karate0kat says:

    I've recently become COMPLETELY addicted to Minecraft. Which has no story and therefore no end, so that'd be weird. But it could be something you play in the background and occasionally update us on between other projects. Or something. My friends always describe it as kind of like legos. Basically, everything in Minecraft is made out of blocks. You can mine raw materials and then craft objects and build things.

    I play it on computer and I think that's the only platform? But not sure? Tech people, help me out, I'm still a newb. You just buy it through the Minecraft website. Also, I play on a moded server (it has extra stuff) called Tekkit. I'm probably explaining this really badly, and I can have the friend who set up all my tech stuff give more details if it sounds interesting to you. Because he literally just set it all up for me and I'm probably not even using the right terms, IDK.

    But it's super fun. You just…build stuff. Whatever you want. And there are caves and all sorts of landscapes to explore…the server will just keep generating landscape wherever you go exploring, indefinitely. And it's also relaxing. Sometimes there are monsters that come out at night that you have to fight, but you can turn it to peaceful mode and just build stuff if you want. Also you can create or join a group server if you want to build things with friends.

    And when I say I'm addicted, I mean it. I was up until 3 AM this morning. I have lost as much as 7 hrs to this game without meaning to. Time just fucking flies when you're building whole villages.

  59. david says:

    legend of zelda because i cannot words now until alter bceacuse reasoneaoweijo

    • psyberwraith says:

      But which one? I recommend Ocarina of Time. It is the Mario 64 of Zelda games. It brought Zelda into the modern era.

      • david says:

        You know, that's really a tough one. Ocarina of Time is by far my favorite, but I can see so much potential for each title. I just like the idea of The Legend of Zelda being thrown out there and which one could be left up to a poll or something. I'd never be able to pick one myself – the more I think about them, the harder the decision gets.

      • Koryos says:

        the answer is ENTIRE SERIES obviously

        though maybe skip the first two? Just because they're a bit… dated.

        • Mark Does Stuff says:

          How would I go about doing this? I REALLY WANT TO DO THE WHOLE SERIES.

          • You can pretty much play them in any order. Might be easiest just to do them in release order though.

          • I suppose to clarify:

            You can play the games in any order but there are certain games that are linked plot wise.
            There is an official timeline but what you might want to do is more or less play them in release order except for when games are linked continuity wise.

            So that would be something like this:

            The Legend of Zelda (NES)
            The Adventure of Link (NES)

            A Link to the Past (SNES)
            Oracle of Ages (GBC)
            Oracle of Seasons (GBC)
            Link's Awakening (GB)

            Ocarina of Time (N64)
            Majora's Mask (N64)

            Four Swords (GBA)
            Four Swords Adventures (GCN)
            The Minish Cap (GBA)

            The Wind Waker (GCN)
            Phantom Hourglass (DS)
            Spirit Tracks (DS)

            Twilight Princess (GCN/WII)

            Skyward Sword (WII)

          • Koryos says:

            I agree with going in order but I still say hold off on at least the first two just because they have such a different feel/style from the fest of the series due to being ancient. And they're really hard (especially Link's Adventure, god damn). I'm a huge Zelda fan and I've never beaten them because I just get so frustrated and there isn't much of a storyline to give me incentive to keep playing.

            A Link to the Past is complex and difficult, especially for inexperienced players (at least I think) compared to the later console games, but it's definitely got a decent storyline that it follows.

          • Personally I don't find LoZ that difficult. In fact I'd place Majora's Mask and being harder and gur jngre grzcyr va BbG. AoL on the other hand… is hard. I don't know it's hard to know what Mark will or won't do. Especially since he's never done games before. My preference would still be for him to play them all but if he decided to not play some of them I could live with that. Although I would still rather him cut the handheld titles over the first 2.

          • James says:

            GUR SHPXVAT JNGRE GRZCYR

          • Koryos says:

            Yeah, I guess it's not so much difficult as it feels… tedious? At least to me. Just because I never felt a strong incentive to keep playing other than "it's a Zelda game and I should play all of them." But I'm in the generation that actually grew up playing windwaker and the like, so you could say I've got a much different mindset when it comes to playing games then people who grew up when LoZ was new. (Not that I'm assuming anything about you in particular, btw.)

            Jura V svefg tbg Bpnevan bs Gvzr V tbg gur Znfgre Dhrfg rqvgvba sbe tnzr phor naq V nppvqragnyyl cynlrq Znfgre Dhrfg SVEFG naq qba'g rira gnyx gb zr nobhg gur jngre grzcyr

          • I did play LoZ when it was new lol. So yeah I can definitely understand why gamers who grew up with the more modern titles would find the old ones a bit tedious.

            Jbj. Gung'f cerggl njshy. Gb or snve Znfgre Dhrfg fbhaqf zber yvxr "Fhcre Njrfbzr Irefvba" guna "Pevccyvatyl Uneq Irefvba".

          • Koryos says:

            Lhc. V qvq orng vg, gubhtu, nsgre n srj jrrxf bs dhvrg fboovat, naq gura jura V yngre cynlrq gur bevtvany BbG V jnf fhcre pbashfrq orpnhfr V xrcg rkcrpgvat fbyhgvbaf gb or zhpu zber qvssvphyg guna gurl jrer- V fcrag yvxr na ubhe gelvat gb ohea gur jro arne gur obggbz bs gur qrxh gerr orsber ernyvmvat V pbhyq whfg whzc guebhtu vg… ba gur cyhf fvqr, gur jngre grzcyr frrzrq eryngviryl rnfl!

            Anyway that was a tangent lol

          • Psyched180 says:

            As dated and difficult as the first two can be, I really can't recommend skipping them… The first at least has aged quite a bit better than certain other games of the era…

            I almost want to recommend using a walkthrough though… Or, maybe not quite that, but what about just a map of the overworld, showing you where things are, if not how to actually get them (or how to get through dungeons and such)

            Zelda 2 really is excruciatingly difficult at times, though… I don't hate it like a lot of Zelda fans, but I don't love it either… I'd say give it a try, and if you don't think it's your cup of tea then it's easily one of the most skippable game in the series

            Besides that, just keep in mind that Majora's Mask is a direct sequel to Ocarina of Time, and Wind Waker takes place X amount of years after Ocarina as well (it comes up in the plot frequently, mostly treated like an historical event)… Twilight Princess technically does as well, but it doesn't matter to the plot, it's just something Shigeru Miyamoto said to establish the setting a bit…

            Also there's Four Sword, which is a little extra thing added to the Game Boy Advance port of Link to the Past… It's short and I'm pretty sure it's co-op only (so 2-4 games, Game Boys, and a link cable, plus at least 1 other player required)… Four Sword Adventure I believe basically re-uses the exact same plot (but with new stuff added in), and allows you to play it single player if you need to… (Minish Cap is a prequel to them…and also a much better game, but that might just be my bias against forced multiplayer)

            Link's Awakening is technically a sequel to Link to the Past, but it doesn't matter at all to the plot, so whatever order is fine here…

            Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons, despite sounding like a Pokémon-style cash-grab, are actually 2 really distinct and rather good games, which are linked but are designed to be playable in either order (but should definitely be played together!)

            Finally, Phantom Hourglass is a direct sequel to Wind Waker, and Spirit Tracks is to Wind Waker what Wind Waker is to Ocarina of Time…

            There's also 3 CD-i games… You'll, uh, want to avoid that… Just stay as far away as possible… Don't even make eye contact! (Unless some time down the line you decide to get into bad games? They're certainly endlessly riff-able)

          • Lots of good enough there that you posted. Mark should be able to find pretty much out all the info you could need on this series by the time he decides to do it. I agree that Mark should not skip the first two games. And I certainly wouldn't begrudge Mark for using a walkthrough for AoL. I should look up and see if there's a Let's Play of AoL that's played blind. Would be interesting to see how doable it actually is. I mean I know it's doable. But doable without turning your brain to dust. Naq rknpgyl ubj vf Znex tbvat gb qb Gur Jngre Grzcyr va BbG jvgubhg n jnyxguebhtu. V frevbhfyl qba'g xabj nalbar jub unf znantrq vg jvgubhg bar be jvgubhg pbafhygvat jvgu fbzrbar jub unf qbar vg.

            I guess since timeline issues keep coming up I'll just go ahead and post the official timeline here (spoilers in ROT13):

            ——-

            Skyward Sword
            The Minish Cap
            Four Swords
            Ocarina of Time

            Qbjasnyy Gvzryvar:
            A Link to the Past
            Oracle of Ages
            Oracle of Seasons
            Link's Awakening
            The Legend of Zelda
            The Adventure of Link

            Puvyq Gvzryvar:
            Majora's Mask
            Twilight Princess
            Four Swords Adventures

            Nqhyg Gvzryvar:
            The Wind Waker
            Phantom Hourglass
            Spirit Tracks
            ——-

            So that's the official timeline as of last november. I still think Mark is better off just playing them in release order but I thought it was worth posting the timeline. Admittedly parts of the timeline are still controversial and some fans don't want to accept it. But if this is the timeline they are using then I suppose I'll accept it.

      • Bill says:

        I hope for Windwaker, as that was always my personal favorite. Of course the simple solution is ALL OF IT.

  60. psyberwraith says:

    Settlers of Catan!

    One of the greatest board games ever invented. Soon you too will have wood for sheep ;)

    From their site:
    Players are recent immigrants to the newly populated island of Catan. Expand your colony through the building of settlements, roads, and villages by harvesting commodities from the land around you. Trade sheep, lumber, bricks and grain for a settlement, bricks and wood for a road, or try to complete other combinations for more advanced buildings, services and specials.

    Trade with other players, or at local seaports to get resources you might lack. The first player to achieve 10 points from a combination of roads, settlements, and special cards wins.

  61. Danielle says:

    I would really love you to try table top Dungeons & Dragons. I know this will be a little different for you since it something you can't do on your own. It requires a group–a Dungeon Master to run the game and at least another person to be a player character. And it actually probably lends itself to a video (which I will totally sponsor). Perhaps a group of us on here could do one via skype or could do one in a far flung future Mark Does Stuff tour.

    • psyberwraith says:

      I would 100% participate in a skype game of D&D. I grew up on various tabletops and it would be AMAZING!!! to see Mark's take on it.

    • DavidZAarons says:

      Oh, yes. I've been a tabletop roleplayer since I was about 14, and it'd be great for video content. The problem with suggesting D&D is the matter of edition wars; which edition would Mark play?

      I'm primarily a 4E player when it comes to D&D, but the combat in it is so tactical that you'd have to use something like http://www.roll20.net to be able to manage it. 5E (D&D Next) is in development right now, but I don't know much about it. 3.5 or Pathfinder are still beloved by a lot of folks. And I even know a few crusty old grognards who won't leave AD&D behind for anything, haha.

      If Mark wanted to venture outside the D&D realm (which is pretty hardcoded into a specific kind of elves/dwarves/dragons high fantasy), there are lots of other awesome systems. I'm partial to Strands of FATE, a generic version of the FATE 3.0 ruleset, which really heavily encourages roleplaying and interesting characters. I currently use it to run a Hellboy/BPRD universe campaign, and one of my friends is running a Norse fantasy campaign in it as well.

      Then there are some very cool one-shot systems, like Fiasco, a storytelling game designed to be played in one night that replicates Coen Brothers-style criminal disaster movies. Dread's a really cool horror-movie RPG, but that'd have to be played on a tour; it's impossible to play online due to the fact that rather than dice, it uses a Jenga tower for conflict resolution, etc.

      Whatever the system may be, I'd love to participate if we get something together, whether it's as a player, a GM/DM, or even just a spectator, haha.

    • ajaxbreaker says:

      Yesss I think this would be so fun – and we can all watch Community's fantastic D&D parody episode afterwards :)

  62. *sighs* I'm just going to go ahead and tell you about my favorite games even though they're mostly really old/remakes of really old stuff. Basically, I'm going to pitch Sierra On-Line, which was a terrific game company in the early days of PC gaming.

    King's Quest is a historically-important adventure game series that also happens to be one I quite enjoy. Late '80s-early '90s, the first four are parser-driven and all of the first six run in DOS (or DOSBox, these days, which is an excellent open source/free emulator for old games). A company called AGD Interactive has done remakes/expansions on the first three games in the series which are freeware and also awesome. These games are heavily fairy- and folk-tale based: in the first, you are a knight seeking to recover magical treasures and win the throne; the second is a sort of princess-rescue story but (especially in the remake) better; the third has you as an evil wizard's slave boy who must escape and also save an entire kingdom; the fourth is I think the first computer game that ever had a female protagonist, and you are a princess who must save her father, a fairy queen and an entire country; the fifth has you as a king whose entire family has been kidnapped by an evil wizard; the sixth is technically a princess rescue but the actual story is not at all typical of one; I didn't like the seventh and nobody liked the eighth to my knowledge, so I wouldn't recommend those. (I don't play conventional "save the princess/your girlfriend/some other helpless woman" games any more; I've never considered giving up KQ, though.) King's Quest is the brainchild of Roberta Williams, famous inventor of devious puzzles, rewarder of nonviolent solutions, and also writer of evil evil murder mysteries.

    Quest for Glory is an adventure RPG series created by one of my personal heroes, Lori Ann Cole, and her husband Corey Cole. You're a nobody who wants desperately to become a hero, dumped unceremoniously into the troubled pseudo-German valley of Spielburg, where you must rescue the Baron's two children, drive out a pack of brigands, and defeat a magic-using ogress. The series then winds its way through pseudo-Arabia, several different pseudo-African regions, a vampire-ridden pseudo-Russia, and finally pseudo-Greece. You pretty much always end up nearly destroying the world and having to save it at the last minute. You can play as a thief, a magic user, or a fighter; later in the series, you can become a paladin as well. The basic storylines don't change by your character class, but character class and specific choices you make will change the subplots available and puzzle solutions significantly. QfG is still probably my favorite game series ever, and Lori Cole inspired me to want to be a real-life hero, so. The Coles are working on a new game right now called "Hero U" which promises to be differently fantastic. Also, Lori Cole is writing a spoilery series of posts on the women in Quest for Glory and how much or how little she feels she succeeded as a women's libber in writing the games, starting here for anyone who's interested.

    Both KQ and QfG are available relatively cheaply in their original forms on GOG.com, and free remakes of KQ1-3 and QfG2 can be found on AGDInteractive.com for Windows and Mac and might actually be more fun than the originals. King's Quest 4, however, is not to be missed.

    Outside of Sierra's stuff, may I suggest the indie RPG Avernum series, or at least the newest game in it, Avernum: Escape from the Pit? Really huge, in-depth game universe with loads of optional sub-quests, complex ethical questions to face, and really evil monsters. Windows and Mac versions; the more recent stuff has iPad versions and is on Steam, too.

    • magpie says:

      King's Quest!!! I played KQIV as a kid whenever I went to my cousin's house, and those were some GOOD times. It wasn't until much later that I learned how significant that game really was! It wasn't the first computer game with a female protagonist, but it was the first major adventure game with one. Hurrah!

      And yeah, my family got KQVII, and… heh. At the time, I appreciated the Disney-fication, but looking back, it was not up to par with the previous games.

      • I played a bit of KQV but couldn't get very far (V xrcg trggvat fghat ol n fpbecvba va gur qrfreg naq qlvat), but I loved KQVI!! Although, holy shit, it is one of those fucking evil games where lbh orggre unir zhygvcyr fnir cbvagf orpnhfr vs lbh qba'g gnxr gur fuvryq sebz gur ynolevagu lbh'er tbvat gb or shpxrq znal ubhef yngre. But I also loved nyy gur zhygvcyr raqvatf!

    • Andie says:

      ahhh KING'S QUEST.

      HOW I LOVE YOU.

    • Gillerami says:

      I grew up playing these two series, I still get a nostalgia kick out of replaying them every so often.

      As for KQ 7 and 8, when I was young I liked 7 as much as the other titles, and was shocked when the internet existed to find people didn't like it,. As for 8, in my opinion it is actually a pretty good game for what it was trying to do (action/ 3D puzzle solving), it just isn't a KQ game, if you know what I mean- It's a completely different genre to the rest of the series.

    • eruonna says:

      The one thing you fail to mention about QfG is the horrible puns.

    • Arthur says:

      I second the suggestion! King's Quest and Quest for Glory are still amongst my all-time-favourite games.

      While we're on the subject of Sierra on-line games: You should definitely check out the Gabriel Knight series.

      The eponymous protagonist is the owner of a New Orleans bookshop and a writer of mystery stories.

      In the first game – Sins of the Fathers – he gets involved in the investigation of a series of ritualistic murders, in the course of which he discovers links to supernatural secrets within his own family.

      In the second game – The Beast Within – Gabriel and Grace have moved to the ancestral home of his family. Taking on the responsibilities that come with the Knight family legacy, he tries to uncover the truth behind the disappearance of a little girl.

      In the third game – Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned – Gabriel is asked to protect the son of an exiled prince from "night visitors", and when the child is abducted he and Grace follow the trail to a mysterious French village.

    • WinterRose16 says:

      I'd agree with King's Quest, BUT here's a caveat: Sierra Logic. Sometimes the puzzles make absolutely no sense at all. You will be looking at the computer going, "WTF am I supposed to do THAT?!" Also, save early, save often, and don't delete your old saves. It's very easy to make a mistake that renders the game unwinnable and for you not to find out until several sessions later.
      I hope that's not spoilery. If it is, please Rot13 it for me, thank you!

    • Hanna_the_Glam says:

      Oh yes, the old Sierra games. I loved King's Quest, and also Space Quest.

  63. JT91 says:

    Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask

    While OOT gets all the attention, I maintain this is actually the better game. It's certainly much heavier; it has a bunch of legitimately scary moment, and some of the stuff it talks about. . . well, it's certainly not a kid's game. The gameplay is fantastic and the masks are some of the best elements of any Zelda game. It's surprisingly long (it has fewer dungeons than any other Zelda game IIRC) and it's one of the hardest games in the series. This is a fantastic game, and I think a lot of people would be surprised at some of the stuff in it.

  64. psyberwraith says:

    Final Fantasy, Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Chrono Trigger, Skyrim. This list alone that you have already confirmed will probably keep you busy for YEARS unless you play at a really breakneck pace. Each one of the individual entries in each of these series is a 25+ hour endeavor, with some being 60+ and Skyrim being theoretically infinite.

    You have a big job ahead of you Mark.

  65. Cassidy says:

    Mark Play Soccer!

    That is all

  66. Alex says:

    Hi Mark!

    I second the Kingdom Hearts suggestion, because seriously, what is better than Disney and Final Fantasy game-babies? It's funny and stupid and touching and challenging and is great fodder for speculation/fanficcing (if you're into that sort of thing).

    My board-game suggestion: QUELF. It's a board game of randomness and hilarity, but you have to have friends AND be prepared to make a total ass of yourself (that's the only way to play the game properly – let go of your dignity).

  67. Christi says:

    I JUST HAD A STROKE OF GENIUS: Please play Hatoful Boyfriend (PC).

    NO WAIT COME BACK

    It's an otome game (basically a visual novel/dating game aimed at women, and not explicit) set in the future where the human race's population has dwindled due to a deadly avian flu virus, but the bird population has developed rapidly in response. You play a young girl attending St. PigeoNation's Institute, as the sole human ambassador. The game follows your school life as you develop relationships with your classmates and teachers, all of whom are intelligent, sentient pigeons. It's very fluffy and cute and then there's a secret hidden route where everything goes epic sci-fi and saying any more than that would ruin the surprise.

    I honestly can't think of what else I could possibly tell you that would make you want to play this game any more.

  68. Bill says:

    Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors for the DS. Its a visual novel and is very much a thriller. You play as a kid named Junpei who wakes up trapped on a sinking ship with a device strapped to his arm with a 5 on it. He finds eight other mysterious individuals trapped on the boat with the same devices strapped to their arms and they all have nine hours to escape the sinking ship, but not all of them can be trusted.

    Seriously one of the most suspenseful visual novels I've ever played. It really nails the mystery vibe too.

  69. Bill says:

    You should definitely play the silent hill series! Its a psychological horror game series set in a small town. The second one in particular is often ranked as one of the scariest games of all time, and it should because its story is amazing! You have a fondness for horror so definitely check it out!

  70. Susa says:

    The first game that jumps to mind is Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker (Gamecube). It's the first video game I ever really played, and it's still my favorite game nine years later. The story is pretty much a coming-of-age story (it's a Zelda game, that's par for the course) but it's got so much heart that it stands head and shoulders over most coming-of-age story games. The characters are all loving, hilarious, and occasionally very very evil. Not to mention, I absolutely love the graphics; they've stood up amazingly well for a game that's almost ten years old. I'm probably doing a really terrible job of selling this, but–if you decide to do any Zelda games–Wind Waker should definitely make the list.

    The other game series that I love is the Fire Emblem series. Fire Emblem is a strategy RPG series that has titles on the Game Boy, the Game Cube, the DS, and the Wii. There are five of them that have been released in America:

    Fire Emblem (GBA): the seventh game in the series overall, but the first one to be released in our region.
    Sacred Stones (GBA)
    Path of Radiance (GC)
    Radiant Dawn (Wii)
    Shadow Dragon (DS): a remake of the first Fire Emblem game

    The plots for each game vary between simplistic and wildly intricate. Each game has its own separate plot; none of them are connected except for Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn. The gameplay is challenging, and it's the best strategy gameplay that I've ever seen. What really sets Fire Emblem apart is the "anyone can die" policy of the game. Literally, ANYONE CAN DIE. Any one of the characters under your control can fall in battle and be lost forever (unless they're a main character, then they get "mortally wounded" and show up sometimes for plot reasons). And you will want to keep them alive, because the driving force of each game is the characters. They all have their own cast of brilliant characters, and you unlock "support conversations," where they sometimes pair off to talk about their past, their ambitions, and their fears.

    Fire Emblem has its problems, but it's a fantastic series that will challenge you and still keep you coming back for more again and again.

  71. Bill says:

    I don't know if anyone else has suggested this, but Shadow of the Colossus definitely. It is one of the most unique and artistic games I've ever played. Its a prequel to a game called Ico, but I haven't played that. Could someone else give background for that one?

    • Inky says:

      I've only played part of Ico (I borrowed it from a friend once but my PS2 died on me before I could play it, grrrrr) but here's the reasons to play it that I know of from having played part of it/from its reputation:

      -It tells a story with VERY little dialogue, through cutscenes and gameplay mechanics.
      -At the heart of the game is a sweet, innocent love (or friendship? or partnership?) story between two kids. It also uses gameplay in a unique way to make YOU, the player, really invested in what's happening.
      -REALLY amazing atmosphere–creepy and mysterious but also very heartfelt and almost storybook in quality.
      -It's a big cult hit, which is why Shadow of the Colossus even got made.
      -It's likely to make you cry.

  72. My friends and I play a board game called Pandemic all the time.
    http://www.amazon.com/Z-Man-Games-7021ZMG-Pandemi

    Basically the premise of the game is that there is a worldwide pandemic and you and the other players have to work together to save the world. I think the two things my friends and I most like about the game are that it's very strategy based (you have to think!) and that it is cooperative, so we aren't playing against each other, but together against the pandemic. It's super fun- there's also an expansion pack, which I highly recommend, though it and the original game together would be a bit pricey.

  73. My friends and I play a board game called Pandemic all the time.
    http://www.amazon.com/Z-Man-Games-7021ZMG-Pandemi

    Basically the premise of the game is that there is a worldwide pandemic and you and the other players have to work together to save the world. I think the two things my friends and I most like about the game are that it's very strategy based (you have to think!) and that it is cooperative, so we aren't playing against each other, but together against the pandemic. It's super fun- there's also an expansion pack, which I highly recommend, though it and the original game together would be a bit pricey.

  74. Koryos says:

    Beyond Good & Evil. I've only played the Gamecube version, but I believe there is a PS2 version and a PS3 HD version too.

    It's an awesome game, focused mainly on stealth. I am terrible at stealth, so I was happy that it is also very forgiving. Story's great, and the characters are so surprisingly heartfelt. Basically you play as an undercover reporter on another planet. Not sure what else I could say on the topic, other than that it has an awesome soundtrack as well.

  75. James says:

    All of the Legend of Zelda games are fantastic, but Ocarina of Time is pretty much my favourite game ever and I'd love to see you play it. It's for the N64 but there are emulators available (I just found this out recently and have been playing it joyously). It has awesome world-building and a fantastic plot with MAGIC and TIME TRAVEL and really great game-play with lots of fun side-quests and challenging dungeons (GUR SHPXVAT JNGRE GRZCYR) and it's just so much fun as well as having some fucking creepy stuff (gubfr mbzovr shpxref naq gur onfgneq unaq guvatf gung snyy sebz gur prvyvat, tnu).

  76. James says:

    All of the Legend of Zelda games are fantastic, but Ocarina of Time is pretty much my favourite game ever and I'd love to see you play it. It's for the N64 but there are emulators available (I just found this out recently and have been playing it joyously). It has awesome world-building and a fantastic plot with MAGIC and TIME TRAVEL and really great game-play with lots of fun side-quests and challenging dungeons (GUR SHPXVAT JNGRE GRZCYR) and it's just so much fun as well as having some fucking creepy stuff (gubfr mbzovr shpxref naq gur onfgneq unaq guvatf gung snyy sebz gur prvyvat, tnu). Oh, and some of the most gorgeous music ever.

  77. @RadagastWiz says:

    My primary suggestion: A gloriously obscure game called the Doctor Who Solitaire Story Game, a fan-made creation that's basically a one-person role-playing game. Through a mix of player choice and die rolls, you pilot the TARDIS to various locales, get mixed up with the locals, uncover the enemy and their plans, and work to disrupt them and win story points. Along the way you'll meet allies that help you at each adventure, or even companions that stay with you; get equipment and skills that help you in future scrapes; and learn of places you can choose to bring the TARDIS to. It's amazingly efficient; the core game works from four books you print yourself. Everything you need, including multiple optional expansions, is available here: http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/42142/doctor-w

  78. 111 says:

    Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island(SNES). A cute and a really well designed platformer with a perfect soundtrack.

  79. lisab says:

    I'm entitling this post as Table-top RPGs: The vast worlds beyond D&D.

    I'm going to suggest a bunch of table top RPGs–But i'm not going to rec D&D. Its not a good starter game, really. the rules are complicated, its not as much fun without the splat books, and everybody has heard of it. Its not the best designed game, and its hard to sit down and just play it.

    That being said…with any RPG, the game experience is dictated first and foremost by the group you are playing with–and especially your Game Master (Dungeon Master, Story Teller, Narrator what have you). These games require work to set up–but I tried to pick games that you can make characters fairly quickly, pick up the rules fast without requiring extra books, and has some amount of plot bunny included in the concept or in the main book.

    These games are fun to play, with simple systems that can be done as simple one-shots OR a longer campaign. They are easy to pick up, but some of them are a bit hard to find.

    Hong Kong Action Theater: A game where the character you make is…an actor. To be starring in the "movie" or "television show" of the game. Your character has a martial art they are trained in, some traits they tend to have in every role they play (sacrificial friend, a signature piece of clothing, bad dubbing, ect) and your Star Power, which is used to bid for roles, re-write the script, or do awesome stuff. Stunts rule the day, so this is a game for quick witted folk who don't want to take the game super seriously. It's a lot of fun, and its easy to pick up. Mostly uses D6s. Needs a more story-heavy game master, and it's more fun with folks who can come up with complicated/interesting/awesome stunts on the fly.

    Toon: Toon is a game where you make a cartoon character. Again, a less serious game. The characters are as varied as any classic cartoon type character. You want to make a sentient shoe with a penchant for bad puns and a literal Magic Marker? Go for it. It's a hard game to describe, because it varies so widely with Game Master, people playing and what the story is going to entail. Think the Toon Town of Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Or the Toon Town of Cool World. Or any sort of classic cartoony Toon Town/WB cartoon/what have you. Good fun! Lots of antics and randomness. D6s.

    Cyberpunk 2020: One of my favorites! There's only one required book, and its pretty easy to find. The world is classic 80s cyberpunk. The game likes to focus on the gritty world, the question of how much can a person be human if they are mostly machine, and dealing with the huuuuge chasm between the haves and have-nots. It's got a really intricate character backstory generator, and it is closer to the classic RPG experience of "find a party to do things with, get cool things and upgrade your stuff" type game. The book has a couple of interesting prompts for games and character types and its a neat world to play in. D10s. Easy system to figure out, easy character creation system, but it can be long if you've only got one book–mostly because of the character back story generator. I LOVE THIS GAME. I like playing twisted medics and mad scientists and demolitions folk. This is a good game.

    But it is not my favorite game. My favorite games are both out of print, so if you can find them, GET THEM.

    Mekton: Anime Giant Robot Roleplaying. Ever wanted to play as the plucky gundam pilot? Close to Cyberpunk 2020 for game system and character generation. If you get really into the game, you can get into building your own mecha, but that's pretty involved. Deadly game. Lots of fun. I've done Evangelion-type mecha games, Gundam-type mecha games, Less robot-y, and more starfighter type games…SO MUCH FUN. D10s. Out of print. Is more fun if folks are familiar with Giant Robot Anime. Specifically, Gundam, Robotech, or Macross.

    Space 1889: Oh, gosh, folks. This is a game that was steampunk before steampunk was a thing. It's Victorians! In! Spaaaaace! It uses Aristolian Physics! It doesn't try to hide the sexist/racist/classist society of 1889 England! It's SO MUCH FUN. D6s. EXTREMELY HARD TO FIND. I'd be willing to send my copy off if I could be sure to get it back if you decided you wanted to play this one. I'd looove to see what you thought about this one. This might be my favorite game of all time. It really needs a good GM, though, or it can get gross pretty quickly.

    I hope that all is useful! Good gaming!

  80. SS2Dante says:

    Yeah, if it's been a while you'd want to replay before playing 4.

    Naq lrnu, gurl unir gjb arj tnzrf, barf n unpx naq fynfu, naq gur bgure gung jnf whfg naabhaprq…V jbhyqa'g ybbx vagb vg, vg znnnl (ernq:cebonoyl) unir fcbvyref va gur zngrevny nyernql eryrnfrq. Ubjrire, V'z abg gbb pregnva jurer gurl svg vagb gur fgbelyvar lrg.

  81. alan713ch says:

    I want to suggest a little game for the PSX (but now available in the XBOX360 arcade) called Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. It's a mixture between platform, action/adventure and RPG games, with a rich environment, a completely twisted scenario and a really, really long gameplay.

    In this game you are Alucard, the stranged son of Dracula, who was slumbering after having defeated his father a couple centuries ago with the aid of one Trevor Belmont. However, Dracula has been awakened for a second time between his prophecized 100 years of slumber, so feeling something amiss Alucard decides to explore his Old Home, Castlevania.

    Seriously, it is one of the best games ever! It has beautiful music, beautiful graphics (for the PSX), a coherent storyline, and lots and lots of secrets! And it is REALLY AWESOME.

    And as a teaser, this is one of the songs you get to hear in the game. GORGEOUS
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wwpof1o2_Y

    • Mark Does Stuff says:

      I SWEAR I PLAYED A CASTLEVANIA GAME ONCE. On the PS2?

      • alan713ch says:

        Was it 3D! Then definitely it was on the PS2. If not, then it probably Symphony, unless it was another console.

        I forgot to include in my pitch that the original game (I don't know about the Xbox version) incoudes some of the It's-so-bad-it's-good dialogue you'll ever see. EVER!!!!!! That alone should make a good reccomendation to play it :)

  82. John Small Berries says:

    I’d like to suggest Deus Ex: Game of the Year Edition (Windows, Mac OS, PS2, PlayStation Network), and Deus Ex: Human Revolution (Windows, Mac OS X, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Cloud [OnLive])

    Why should you play them? They are basically interactive novels – and since you love The X-Files, you’ll feel right at home in the world of Deus Ex. The original game, though it’s twelve years old, is still the yardstick by which I measure all other first-person role-playing games. Its graphics are dated, certainly, but it is still the best game, story-wise, that I have ever played. And its sequel is a close second.

    Unlike some games where it’s pretty obvious that you have a single path through the world to take, and must complete each task before you’re given the next one, Deus Ex gives you multiple goals (some of which can be ignored, others are mandatory), excessive freedom (you can go through shooting everything in sight, or sneaking around behind NPCs’ backs), and multiple possible endings. Something I found even more impressive was that choices you make early in the games have consequences later on.

    Its prequel, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, released last year, is visually much more beautiful, with a storyline almost as good as the original. But I think the actual storytelling is more polished in DE:HR.

    (The second title in the series, Deus Ex: Invisible War, was a real stinker. I regret having bought it.)

    Tangentially related anecdote: some friends and I were planning a LAN party and discussing what games to play. Since Deus Ex had a deathmatch mode, I suggested it. Several people thought I said “How about a day o’ sex?” So ever since then, I’ve been extra careful when pronouncing it…

    • BornIn1142 says:

      This is what I was going to recommend. Deus Ex is my favorite game of all time. It's one of the all-time classics of PC gaming and one of the most influential and critically acclaimed games ever – and it's from an era where "critically acclaimed" actually meant something in gaming journalism. I honestly can't think of a better cyberpunk work.

      While the game's greatest achievement is probably its incredibly variable gameplay that lets you play it however you want (you almost don't have to kill anyone to complete it), it really stands out to me because of its genuinely intellectual plot. The story focuses on a mess of conspiracies that would seem fit for a pot-boiler, but Deus Ex is imbued with a sense of depth and sophistication that goes far beyond what most games offer. It's a work that presents genuinely interesting ideas about political philosophy and the information age. The choice at the end of the game completely defies typical video game conventions about good and evil. It's a true moral quandary, not just a decision between feeding a starving child and killing a starving child (though you can do both of these things throughout the game if you wish).

      There's precisely three works of fiction that I consider to be more than just favorites – I consider them formative experiences. They have shaped my tastes in fiction and my views of the world. One of those works is Watchmen. The other is Neon Genesis Evangelion. And the third is Deus Ex.

      (The prequel, Human Revolution, is also very worthwhile. It has flaws both big and small, but is ultimately a great game and a worthy follow-up to the original.)

    • threeparts says:

      Upvotes for these! Awesome gameplay, utterly fascinating story.

    • Mark Does Stuff says:

      Sounds amazing. I'll do them!

  83. Oh I'd like to submit the Resident Evil series. At least the main series games. My favorites are 2 and 4 but they are all pretty good to some degree. And if you do choose to play this series I would recommend making sure to play the remake of RE1 for the gamecube (in addition to the original just because of the lolzy dialog.)

    • Bill says:

      Wle I'm all for mark playing 0-4, it should be noted that 5 has… Issues. I don't know if I should even be saying this now, but the game was accused of heavy racism. Its the only one in the series that was and not everyone sees it, but still it should be noted at least.
      I haven't personally played the game so I really can't speak for the accuracy of these claims at all, but I feel like it should be brought up. Should this be brought up in the suggestion box at all? It really shouldn't discourage people from playing the other games. The style of 5 is pretty different and people swear it was unintentional.
      Again, I don't know if this shold even be brought up in the suggestion box, and 4 is what got me hooked on survival horror in the first place so thats definitely worth everyone's time. I just felt I should say something, since its kind of a big deal in this community. Perhaps someone who actually knows something about the controversy should say somethig though?

      • Having played 5 extensively I have mixed feelings on whether or not it's racist. I don't think it was at all trying to be racist. I completely disagree with claims that it was deliberate racism. It's more perspective racism in that it's easy to see it as racist and if anyone feels like it's racist I really don't fault them for seeing that. I personally don't see it as racist but as I'm not a POC it's possible I'm just blind in this case. I don't know. It's hard to defend the game without spoilers. And with all the outrage the game caused it's possible Mark is already aware and might not want to play it on those grounds. But like I said… I don't feel like it's racist but I don't in any way begrudge the people who do or think they are totally unreasonable.

        • Bill says:

          Yeah from what I've heard they were trying to do the opposite and just fucked it up a bit. I'd love to see him do the other games though… Or at least 4. Or possibly 5 to make his own opinion.

          • Yeah. I think it's just more lack of sensitivity.

            Kind of like (Buffy Spoilers):
            Gnen'f qrngu naq ubj vg vf creprvirq ertneqyrff bs gur vagragvbaf. Gurl fubhyq unir orra zber pnhgvbhf naq njner bs ubj vg jbhyq or ivrjrq.

    • Mark Does Stuff says:

      I've always wanted to play these! I'll do them.

  84. flyingcheeses says:

    Apples to Apples – It is a great party game. Not a board game, but more like a card game. I have played it and it is a lot of fun.

    Bunco is another party game. I haven't played it, but I will later this month.

  85. Viridescence says:

    I would like to suggest an absolutely fabulous game called "7th Guest". It used to be a PC game when it was released in 1993, but it's been adapted for the iPad and iPhone, and I don't think you can actually get the CD anymore. The gameplay style is (I've heard) similar to Myst, in that it's exclusively clicking/poking the screen to explore and do actions and whatever.

    But "7th Guest" is a delightfully creepy puzzle game. From the TV Tropes page for it: "The Seventh Guest is a horror story. The player controls an unremarkable amnesiac trying to figure out just what he's doing in [a] mansion, which is the setting for the entire game; the player wanders the mansion, solving logic puzzles — and some suspiciously illogical logic puzzles — and watching scenes that further the story."

    There's a big exposition bit when you start a new game, but it's also fantastic. There's also solutions and walkthroughs for all the puzzles online, if you get stuck.

    It's one of the most fun games I've ever played, honestly.

  86. dazyndara says:

    Loom – it's a LucasArts game from 1990 (you can get it on Steam), and you manipulate the world through spells…that are musical sequences. It's a beautiful game and a really original control concept.

    World of Goo – (also on Steam) it's a physics-based puzzle game (with game physics that actually make sense!), but what really makes it is the music and atmosphere. Think Tim Burton meets Dr Seuss, with music ranging from haunting to triumphant.

    I'd also like to give high fives to the people recommending Bastion and Kingdom Hearts and BSG

  87. I'm sure I'll keep coming up with more suggestions but it just occurred to me to recommend the Fable series. They are action RPGs that have focus on morality and choices. I'm pretty terrible at describing things but these games are great fun and have an interesting feel to them. They sort of look cute but are darker and more adult than they appear.

    Oh and what about The Sims 3? Would that be something you would do? If so I'd recommend also getting the Ambitions, Pets, and Supernatural expansions (those are the 3 that I feel add the most to game overall.) But even if you just play the base game it might be interesting.

  88. Bill says:

    A game for the ps2 called Katamari Damacy. You play as the prince of the cosmos whose father partied too hard and knocked the stars out of the sky and you have to roll objects up into a ball on earth to make the stars and constellations again. The game is renouned for its humor, music, unique art, and downright addicting gameplay!

    And it is also far stranger than can be put into words.

  89. buyn says:

    Oooh. Card games, say ye? I have a game for you. It is one of the funnest and most hectic card games I have ever played.

    Fluxx.

    How do you win this game? It depends. On what cards you've played.

    What are the rules? It depends. On what cards you've played.

    How do you play a round? It depends. On what cards you've played.

    But, they have several versions! Including Zombie, Monty Python, and much, much more! I have the original version only, but you can mix decks if you so desire… But yes. There's thinking involved, and a boatload of luck.

  90. Okay, I am going to recommend my default favorite computer game, except I don't even know whether you can play it. So mostly I am posting to see if there are any other fans.

    Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers is a point-and-click adventure game where you investigate a series of murders in New Orleans that have voodoo overtones. The box describes it as a "supernatural psycho-thriller," which is a pretty good description, since it has elements of the supernatural as well as psychological horror and thriller elements. It's been years since I played it, but it has an involving, complex story that draws you in more and more as you investigate the murders, and there is also some mystery surrounding Gabriel Knight himself. Plus, the gameplay rewards you for thinking outside the box; there were several times where I did something just because it seemed like fun, and it turned out to be the correct solution to the problem.

    Also, it features voice acting by Tim Curry, Mark Hamill, Michael Dorn, Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., and Leah Remini.

    • The one reservation I had about recommending GK is that there's some troubling racial implications, especially around African cultures. I can't say too much without spoilering, but I cringed when I watched a playthrough of that for the first time because of the library sequence and the finale.

      (OTOH, it has Grace, who is probably the best sidekick ever written.)

      • Gillerami says:

        Ok I think I have fangirled about nearly all of the point and click game suggestions here, but I love this game too. I haven't played it in years and years, but thinking back unfortunately I think you're probably right about the racial implications.

      • +1 for Grace :)

        And yeah, I know what you mean, but the series is truly fantastic. I know this is easier for me to overlook because this isn't my cultural background, so I understand if someone feels uncomfortable playing it. It doesn't ruin the game, but it is troubling at times, yes.

    • YES, THANK YOU, IT IS AMAZING.

      As for playing it, it might be available as a digital download. If so, confuguring DosBox to run it is easy peasy :) I backed up all my old adventure games when I saw that disks and CDs were becoming obsolete and have been able to play them all (with the exception of Dark Seed, which I didn't recommend because it gave my 11-year-old self nightmares FOREVER) on either DB or ScummVM.

      The Beast Within is a little trickier (because of the CD swaps and it needs to be played via virtual machine). Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned runs just fine. Er, at least on XP. Never tried it on 7.

      P.S. (I checked through the posts before I made mine to see if it had been recommended, but I must have missed this. Sorry mods!)

  91. darklight12 says:

    L.A. Noire!!! Its a fantastic story that lets you be a cop in post WWII Los Angeles. There are puzzles, driving, and shooting so YAY! Seriously one of my favorite games =D

  92. Bookman230 says:

    Now, I'll admit that in terms of gameplay, this game has a lot of faults. But in terms of story, choices, and overall storyline fun? No RPG has trumped Alpha Protocol(PC). Seriously, the impact your choices have on the narrative are MILES ahead of Mass Effect. And the story itself is full of twists and turns, subtle clues, things you don't expect. And there are several laugh out loud and memorable characters. I'd love to see you play it.

    You are Michael Thorton, a master spy who's been recruited into the top secret, officially non existent program Alpha Protocol. Your first mission is deceptively simple; find and deal with the leader of a terrorist cell. But things are far more complicated than they seem, and in the end, it will not be your skills that save you. Your greatest strength has always been your charisma, your affinity at making connections good or bad. That just might help you turn the tides.

  93. Skies of Arcadia, (Sega Dreamcast or Nintendo Gamecube)

    Welcome to Arcadia, a place where continents float and transportation comes in the form of airships. And when there are airships, there will be ass pirates. Erm, AIR pirates. Basically, there are two kinds of pirates: the traditional Black Pirates that steal and plunder and the Blue Rogues, which are essentially Robin Hood. Theres magic, giant weapons of mass destruction, and HOOOOPE! When it was originally released, Oh, My, I Am So Moody And Edgy RPGs were the norm (I think around the time of Final Fantasy VII) so this game was a huge contrast to that trend. That is not to say that shit doesn't happen. Because it does. And wow, does it… do. Its one of the corniest games I have ever played but I do love it ever so much. Amazing characters, story, battles, and dungeons. One of my top two favorite games, tied with The World Ends with You, which someone else already recommended.

    • And as with nearly every JRPG, you have to save the world

    • arctic_hare says:

      OMG YES THIS GAME IS SO FANTASTIC. <3 Personally, I'd recommend he goes with the Gamecube version if he picks this one. The music quality took a hit, but there's more to do in the gameplay (and additional story on one character), and the encounter rate has been lowered (I hear it was <i>horrific in the DC version… I wonder if it's worse than the one in Breath of Fire II, that one gives me fucking nightmares, man).

      In conclusion, PIRATES.

    • Rachel Shia says:

      I loveloveLOVE that you're recommending this game! I just finished playing it a year ago, and it was amazing. I wish I could've finished all the sidequests, but alas my brother wanted his game back. And I LOVED how cheery and upbeat the main character was, he was adorable. Also (rot13) gung Qnex Evsg fpnerq gur fuvg bhg bs zr jura V jnf cynlvat! Nyfb, jurarire V unq gb tb orybj gur abezny pybhq yriry vagb gur qnexarff, V jnf greevsvrq. Nunun.

  94. Ragnarok635 says:

    Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic I and II.

    If you haven't played these before, good god you need to play them now! They take place 4000 years before the events of the Original Trilogy as you take an adventure through the Old Republic. The story is amazing, the characters have depth and are nuanced.

    If you decide to play KOTOR II, I do advise you do it on the PC and get this mod. http://www.moddb.com/mods/the-sith-lords-restored

    KOTOR II was rushed and a lot of the story content was cut out to make deadlines, that restoration mod will let you play through the story that Obsidian envisioned.

  95. Ryan Lohner says:

    Well, I see Ace Attorney has already deservedly been very suggested here, so I'll go with Ghost Trick, by the same development team. You play a guy who's just been murdered, and wakes up as a ghost with no memory, and no ability to communicate with anyone (at least at first). All he can do is possess different objects, and manipulate them, and decides to do what he can with this ability to solve his own murder. A very fun central dynamic, and the story is extremely twisty and quite moving by the end. It's also on the DS, though it's also available on Iphone/Ipad (where mine is).

    Also, the Midnight Mysteries series. The first one, about Edgar Allen Poe, is available free online, while you have to buy the others, about Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mark Twain, and Harry Houdini. In each of them, you're contacted by the ghost of a famous person who is being tormented beyond the grave and needs your help to sort out the true circumstances behind their death and give them peace. They're chock full of creepiness, as well as super-complex plots that you'll seriously need to keep notes on to have a prayer of following. The one downside is that they're peppered with annoying "find the objects" puzzles where there are always at least a few that are damn near invisible, but at least you can collect ravens to show you where one is, and if you have a good eye for spotting the ravens you should always have enough to get past those tricky spots. They're downloaded from Big Fish Games, and are also on the Ipad (not Iphone, as they're too graphics-intensive).

  96. FuTeffla says:

    Please play Planescape: Torment, Mark. Please, oh please, oh please. I tell everyone on the planet to play PS:T on account of it being the best computer game ever made by human minds but I am double-extra-special telling you because I think you would love it.

    P.S. I love that you are doing this. It makes me so happy.

    P.P.S. Oh please.

  97. echinodermata says:

    Oh I actually do have a suggestion!

    Whenever you get around to reading Hitchhiker's Guide, I'd think it'd be pretty funny to see how you fare on the Hitchhiker's Guide text-based game. Spoilers: you'll fare poorly. It's notoriously difficult and a walkthrough is pretty much required to get past the equivalent of the third chapter in the book.

    But fun and funny and wouldn't it be nice to review a text-based adventure game on this site at least once?

    • I've been trying to figure out how to recommend Zork. And whether to recommend the whole series or just the first game and, say, Beyond Zork and Zork Zero. I don't remember much about Zork II and Zork III.

      Planetfall was also fun. Oh, Infocom.

    • Elexus Calcearius says:

      Ha, yes, I support this game.

      My friends and I tried it and gave up half-way through to work on the more difficult parts of Portal 2, 'cause they were easy in comparison.

    • sirintegra42 says:

      Oh god that game. I died so many times and I've never even got anywhere near so much as the middle. Vfa'g gur raq cneg cerggl zhpu vzcbffvoyr vs lbh qvqa'g cvpx hc n pbzcyrgryl enaqbz vgrz arne gur ortvaavat? NQNZF!!! *funxrf svfg.*

      • anobium says:

        Lrf, yvgrenyyl enaqbz: gurer ner nobhg unys n qbmra enaqbz vgrzf arne gur ortvaavat bs gur tnzr, naq bar bs gurz jvyy or enaqbzyl fryrpgrq gb or whfg gur guvat lbh arrq gb fnir gur qnl ng gur raq. Fb lbh unir gb cvpx gurz nyy hc naq pneel gurz jvgu lbh nyy gur jnl guebhtu gur tnzr, orpnhfr lbh qba'g xabj juvpu bar lbh'yy arrq. Naq, jbefr guna gung, vs lbh zvff nal, gur tnzr qryvorengryl cvpxf bar bs gur barf lbh zvffrq.

  98. Elexus Calcearius says:

    Team Fortress 2, Valve
    For the PC and X-Box- but seriously, you’re gonna want to play on PC. That’s not even up for discussion.

    <img src="https://fc06.deviantart.net/fs38/f/2008/349/6/3/TEAM_FORTRESS__R_E_D_by_haruningster.jpg/"&gt;

    (Meet the Team: Heavy Weapons Guy, Scout, Engineer, Spy, Demolition Man, Pyro, Soldier, Medic and Sniper)

    So…how do you describe TF2? Simply put, you could say “18 mercenaries in the desert blow each other up” but that would be underselling it. This is a game filled with a dark and wacky humour, often described as playing a super-violent Pixar film. It’s a game of eccentric personalities, unusual weapons, sandvitches and above all, team-work.

    Also, it’s not quite fair to say it doesn’t have a plot. It does, although only hints are in the game itself. Instead Valve has produced an ongoing series of free comics detailing the game’s strange, strange world. We follow the story of the brothers Redman and Blutarch who own rival organizations that secretly rule the entire world. In desperate competition they keep two (oddly identical) teams of mercs constantly fighting a land war. They’re all being manipulated by a mysterious administrator, however, in a game of chess that will involve everything from hats, possessed eyeballs, magicians and robot armies.

    Also- the whole game is FREE!

    The best place to start is with their series nine “Meet the Team” shorts, beginning with “Meet the Heavy”.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QM1eTAwOYc

    (Okay, I might just want to lol at Mark trying this game for the first time, can you blame me?!)

    • RedRuM says:

      I would also put a recommendation in for TF2. Like Elexus said, the game has a whole story that it told outside of the game. I recommend that you start at the official website, http://www.tf2.com, and start at the beginning of the game (i.e. oldest post first). There are many things that explain the team members, back story of the companies they work for, the weapons manufacturer they get their gear from, and several side stories. These are told in blog posts, comics, and special sites (several of which contain hidden links). The Meet the Team videos are part of this process. If you play the game alone, Team Fortress 2 is a quirky team based FPS. If you want to really appreciate how much has gone into the whole TF2 experience, investing time in the back log is definitely worth it.

  99. arctic_hare says:

    Tales of the Abyss, for the Playstation 2. This is one of my favorite games. <3 It's a member of the prolific Tales of series of RPGs, but like most of the entries in the series, is entirely standalone and shares nothing in common save for a few references via items and whatnot to other Tales games (and other Bandai Namco games for that matter – one of the playable characters has a belt buckle shaped like Pac-Man).

    You play as Luke fon Fabre, a duke's son who has been confined to his family's manor ever since he was kidnapped seven years ago, an experience so traumatic that he lost all of his childhood memories. Naturally, such a sheltered upbringing would fuck someone up, so of course he is shortly thrust into the outside world and must learn about it, and himself, as he embarks on a journey both personal and large-scale (hey, it's a video game, of course you eventually have to save the world). The back of the cover gives you more information than that, but I'm going to stop there to be more vague and share my personal feelings. I think it's a pretty well-written game, with a cast of well-developed and very likable characters, excellent villains, and dealing with themes I think you would enjoy delving into, Mark (not saying any more because spoilers, duh). Shit gets real and there's some pretty heavy stuff, but there's a lot of humor too. It gives me a LOT of feelings.

    It's also a hell of a lot of fun to play. The Tales system of semi-real time combat is a lot of fun, even moreso now that Abyss adds Free Run (enabling you to move much more freely around the battlefield and get behind enemies), and the Field of Fonons system that lets you transform your Artes into special new abilities.

    The only caveat I have is that you WILL need some sort of spoiler-free FAQ or guide to access a lot of sidequests and subevents, some of which add to characterization, because the Tales team insists on making things obscure and often with tiny windows of accessibility. Sigh. Otherwise, though, it's a fantastic game.

  100. Andie says:

    1) Atmosfear: the DVD board game — I originally played this as a VHS board game when I was a kid. It scared the bajeezus out of me. I would totally pay to watch you play this game. Basically, the idea is to travel through these six different areas of the board and collect a key from each one, and then when you have all your keys, you go to the Well of Fears. You have to do it all in 49 minutes or less, or you lose automatically. And there's the Gatekeeper, this scary guy who pops up randomly on the DVD and tries to make you pee your pants.

    2) Resident Evil — The first one is available on PSN. I would suggest going with the remake, though, which is available for Gamecube or Wii. It's about zombies (yay!!!). It's one of the pioneers of the survival horror genre of games. And it has nothing to do with the movies, so you can totally forget what you know about those. In the first one, you can play as Chris or Jill, both members of the Raccoon City STARS (Special Tactics and Rescue Squad). At the beginning of the game, all you know is that you're being sent out to investigate a series of grisly murders in the Raccoon Forest. It's my favourite game of all time. Or, the series is my favourite of favourites. George Romero originally wrote a script for the movie that was super faithful to the games and I'm super mad they didn't use it. But really, if you love zombies, this is a must-play.

  101. You literally do not know how happy I am about Portal 2 being on the confirmed list. HNNNNNGGG THAT PERFECT GAME.

  102. fizzybomb says:

    I have some suggestions for interactive fiction/text adventures.

    1) Curses (by Graham Nelson). You play an aristocrat who is searching the attic for a tourist map of Paris. In the process of searching, you slowly uncover the truth about a family curse. It's quite surreal at times, as you are transported to other realms and times. The game also has a sense of humour that shows through in even the little moments.

    2) Spider and Web. You are an ordinary tourist. <No you're not. How did you get through that door?> Okay, you're a spy. You tell your story in flashbacks, as you're being interrogated. Along the way, you learn more about the situation you're in, start to question who's in the right, and figure out what your character isn't telling.

    3) Wishbringer. You are an ordinary postal clerk, and you have a letter to deliver. Without going into too much detail, let's just say that you undertake a quest to help someone, and find yourself in for more than expected. This game was made for younger audiences, which shows in its relatively low difficulty level and a humorous touch which keeps it from getting too scary.

    4) Zork. A classic trilogy in which you play a nameless adventurer, explore some increasingly odd surroundings, search for treasure, and of course solve puzzles. It's one those games that gets referenced a lot, since it was one of the pioneers of the interactive fiction genre.

    5) Violet. A one-room puzzle game in which you play the boyfriend/girlfriend (you can change your gender at any time) of Violet, who is narrating the game through your imagination. You must finish your graduate thesis in the next six hours, or she will leave you and return to Australia. The problem is, you're a ridiculous procrastinator, and there are distractions everywhere… A short game, but rather sweet, and also very silly at times.

    All these games can be played online, and there are a variety of places to do so, such as here and here. You can also download them, which would allow you to save your game.

  103. TeaLovingDave says:

    My number one suggestion, other than those made by others which I have seconded – Day of the Tentacle!

    It is, like a few games suggested, a point-and-click Lucasarts game from the early 90s, and is the funniest game EVER. There's been a lot of call for a Steam re-release, but currently the only means of playing it is the original CD-ROMs run through DOSBox. It's worth it though. A spoiler-free summary – three students get sent through time and have to stop an evil tentacle taking over the world. It features many historical injokes, as one of the students is sent to the days of the American Revolution and meets figures such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Havoc ensues :D

    It also features a cast of mad scientists, tentacles, hamsters, mummified bodies and a plant called Chuck.

    • W00t, found your thread!

      I would upvote this a thousand times if I could. It's actually the sequel to an older game, but you don't have to play it to be able to follow DotT's storyline. One of the very unique things in DotT was that the programmers actually put the older game inside DotT. There's a point during the game where you can access a console and play through the entirety of the first game (called Manian Mansion) if you so wish. So basically, you get two games in one :)

      ALSO ONE OF THE CHARACTERS IS KINDA LIKE LUNA LOVEGOOD, IF LUNA WAS A MED STUDENT WITH A BIT OF A VIOLENT STREAK .

      DOSBox works, but I would suggest ScummVM for all the oldie Lucas Arts games. It instantly recognizes the game when you load it, plus it has a lot of nifty configuration options that make the games seem a little less dated (like optimal sound configs for example).

    • Michelle says:

      Like this game. Great adventure game in my opinion.

  104. fizzybomb says:

    The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, for the Gamecube and Wii. Unfortunately, this is the only Zelda game I can talk about to recommend, since it's the only one I've played in depth. BUT WHAT A GAME IT WAS.

    Adventure, exploring, monster-fighting, a pretty epic storyline, tons of sidequests, some memorable characters, cool environments and creatures, and overall just a really fun game. It was also dark and creepy at times, and had more realistic graphics than most Zelda games (though… they were actually kind of outdated for its time).

    But seriously, super-fun, replayable, and unexpectedly moving. I recommend it whole-heartedly.

    • Frankly I hope Mark just agrees to do the whole series. And each game is so popular and enough people's favorites that he's going to keep getting them all recommended.

      • stefb4 says:

        It's best to go in order they came out, but if he doesn't do them all I think OoT should definitely be one of them, and TP.

        …those are the only ones I've played so far.

        • OoT is still the highest rated game ever. And it basically revolutionized 3d action/adventure gaming. If Mark was to only do one LoZ game (but I hope he does them all) OoT would need to be it. Even though he might enjoy Majora's Mask more. I suppose that remains to be seen.

      • Josh says:

        I still think Link's Awakening was best. Heck it had the best soundtrack – on the frigging first gen brick of a gameboy! I still get ballad of the wind fish stuck in my head sometimes…

        • I love Link's Awakening. It's probably my second favorite after OoT. One thing I love about LoZ and it's fans is that basically all of the games a lot of fans. I mean sure AoL is a bit of a black sheep (for all the wrong reasons since it's actually a good game and pretty influential in it's own right) but it still has fans. Plus the games have more or less been consistent in both quality and fun. Although to be fair… I haven't played Skyward Sword at all. I have a wii so I'll get it at some point. I also need to go back and finish Twilight Princess.

    • t09yavosaur says:

      Twilight Princess was the first Zelda game I bought myself so it has a special place in my heart. Also all the other games are kind of a downer now because there is no wolf. Gur ynpx bs jbys novyvgvrf vf fb sne gur bayl synj V unir jvgu Skyward Sword (the newest one), which I also love.

    • stefb4 says:

      I am still playing TP–if he does it it may actually motivate me to finish it (not because I wasn't enjoying it because I spent hours and hours at a time for days playing but because I got busy and had to stop for a bit and in that time my mom threw away the walkthrough I printed out WTF MOM why would you throw away your adult daughter's stuff what if that was for school).

      ALL THE ZELDA GAMES!

    • sirintegra42 says:

      I was going to recommend Wind Waker, only I was afraid I'd get mocked for loving it. Cyhf FB ZHPU FNVYVAT!! TBBQ TBQ. Gur jbefg cneg vf jura lbh trg pnhtug va gur qnex va n fgbez naq lbh frr ybnqf bs gubfr guvatf jvgu gur cebcryybef (V'z gbb gverq gb erzrzore gurve anzr evtug abj) ba gur ubevmba. GREEVSLVAT.

      Bu lrnu, naq shpxvat Gvatyr. V ungr gung onfgneq.

  105. MagicSchoolTARDIS says:

    I know someone already mentioned the Professor Layton for DS, but I think it deserves its own post. As the previous person said, the gameplay is entirely puzzle based, which includes pretty much any puzzle type you can think of that incorporates logical reasoning (sliding puzzles, number/math puzzles, code breaking). Admittedly, this may make it much less enjoyable for people who don't like games that make their brains hurts occasionally, but there are hints for those who need them, thankfully. The story aspect is also well done, and I love the characters. And the music is frickin' gorgeous. If you don't play the games, at least listen to the soundtracks via YouTube or something.

    • jada says:

      I second the Professor Layton series!

    • iwakunirose says:

      Thirded Thirded Thirded!

      -The music is so wonderful, and the plotline is so simple, and yet engaging.
      -Doesn't take away entire days of your life like games such as Skyrim or Final Fantasy.
      -Comes in convenient chapter breakups.

      In short, it is a wonderful, light game that does nothing but make you happy, smart, and a little bit emotional/sentimental.

    • riannemarie says:

      These games are the reason I stole my boyfriend's DS. He can't have it back until I finish!

    • ecesis says:

      My boyfriend and I love these games and buy all of them and fight over who gets to play them first. The puzzles can be difficult sometimes but the art and music are beautiful and the stories and characters absolutely lovely. Although the plots are sometimes a bit surreal, if you can believe in Doctor Who…

    • kathy says:

      Yeah! You'd need to play it to not be spoiled for it if you play all the Ace Attorney games!

  106. Tauriel_ says:

    The Witcher

    <img src="http://media.giantbomb.com/uploads/0/4005/242765-geralt2nj7.jpg"&gt;

    It's an awesome PC RPG based on the fantasy books of an excellent Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. The main character of the books, the one you play in the game, is called Geralt of Rivia and he's a witcher – a professional monster slayer, who was subjected to mutation and changes as a child that gave him supernatural fighting abilities. While not a wizard himself, he has limited magical abilities – he can use magical Signs that help him in combat. The books are not a prerequisite, though (and sadly, only two of them have been translated into English so far) – at the start of the game, Geralt has lost his memory, so the players unfamiliar with Sapkowski's books can discover the world and its history through Geralt's eyes.

    There is no clearly defined good or evil in Sapkowski's world, and the same applies for the game – all characters have their own moral codes (or lack thereof), so it's a lot of shades of grey (not unlike A Song of Ice and Fire). Throughout the game, Geralt needs to make choices (often between two evils), and those choices have consequences in future events – so the game can have a very varied outcome. There also very often different approaches he can take to solving problems (for instance, if he needs to get somewhere, he can either bribe the guard, or get drunk with him, or simply beat him up).

    The design is gorgeous. The locations and creatures are varied and beautifully rendered. The daytime and nighttime have effect on the characters – most of them retire for the night, but there are some (rather shady) characters who only come out at night. Same goes for the monsters. The music is beautiful, too.

    The swordfights are incredibly realistic – they were motion-captured from real swordfighting experts. Geralt also has the option of using different fighting styles, based on the type of opponents he's encountering – strong style, fast style and group style for fighting multiple opponents.

    Aside from completing quests and moving along the story, Geralt can also do other things – play dice poker with other characters, get into fistfights, drinking contests, and even have sex. He can also collect herbs and various ingredients from killed monsters that allow him to brew special witchers' potions that enhance his abilities and are useful in fights.

    Thanks to the multiple storylines based on Geralt's choices, this game has a pretty high level of replayability and offers many hours of playing. Highly enjoyable, gritty, with adult themes and captivating characters (some original, some taken from the books) – I heartily recommend this game. :)

    It's a game for PCs and Macs and I recommend getting the Enhanced Edition game – here is the official site.

    • psyberwraith says:

      I can't believe this wasn't suggested earlier than page 5. AMAZING game! I would love to see Mark play through both 1 and 2.

      • Tauriel_ says:

        I would love to see Mark review the original books one day… the problem is, only two of them have been translated into English so far (there are 7 altogether – two collections of short stories and a pentalogy of novels – and the English publisher skipped the second book of short stories altogether and went straight to the first novel of the pentalogy, even though there are a couple of short stories in the second collection that are a direct prequel to the pentalogy and introduce one of the main characters… a very nonsensical decision, if you ask me). And even for those two the translation leaves a lot to be desired (frankly I think the translator wasn't a very good one). But it's a fantastic, rich world and Sapkowski has an amazing writing style (he's called the "Polish Tolkien" for a reason…), brilliant dialogues and sparkling wit. Oh well, maybe one day…

  107. BornIn1142 says:

    I have some ideas to put on the table, I suppose…

    My Number One Suggestion Is… Deus Ex. Someone already recommended it up above, and I sung my praises there.

    My Number Two Suggestion Is… the Thief series. Thief (Gold), Thief II: The Metal Age, and Thief: Deadly Shadows. In an era where first-person games were dominated by simplistic shooters like Doom and Quake, one company decided to go for something different… a game where you sneak around, avoid confrontation and steal stuff. You simply aren't strong enough to take on enemies in open fighting, but that's all right, because it turns out that nothing feels quite as badass as ghosting through a level without anyone even noticing you were there.

    The story of the Thief games takes place in a bizarre steampunk-ish universe where magic and technology co-exist. There's a zombie in every crypt and an asshole in every mansion. The two main factions are the Hammerites, a religious order that worships the Master Builder by construction, and the Pagans, wild men and women that worship the trickster god of the forest. An ancient secret order called the Keepers maintains the balance between these two forces in society. The protagonist – the eponymous thief – is Garrett, who was once selected to join these Keepers but left the order to use his skills to enrich himself. I can't say too much about the story, except that although Garrett wants nothing more to be left alone to evade the authorities in peace, each of the three games sees him embroiled in a plot with far-reaching consequences, forcing him to play the good guy.

    These are games of exploration, analysis and patience. The story they tell is quite interesting as well. The second Thief is considered perhaps the finest stealth game ever made. The third was produced by a different company, but is still quite good (and features one of the scariest levels in gaming).

    IIRC, Mark, you've mentioned liking China Miéville's Bas-Lag novels. The setting of Thief is quite similar – or at least as similar as something can be to something as unique as Bas-Lag.

    Oh, and congratulations on expanding your interest in gaming. There's a ton of rewarding stories to be found.

  108. Vikikiwa says:

    I never recommend stuff so I hope I do this right:

    Octodad!
    Loving father, Caring Husband, Secret Octopus http://www.octodadgame.com/octodad/download/

    It's a short free pc game about a dad who is secretly an octopus and he has to do normal household tasks. It's alot of fun and surprising difficult but in a hilarious way. They're making a sequal to be released in 2013.
    It is genuinely one of the best games I've ever played.

  109. ChanceImagine says:

    Any of the Silent Hill games and the game Catherine. Though my personal favourite is Mortal Kombat 9 story mode.

  110. Bill says:

    As long as people are also recommending old favorites may I suggest a series called Pikmin? Its a nintendo game from the gamecube era (though it was remade for the wii). You play as an alien named Olimar who crash-lands on an unknown planet and all his ship parts were scattered during the crash of his ship called the dolphin. Now Olimar has 30 days of air left and has to gather all the parts to his ship and get home. T do this he is aided by creatures native to the planet called pikmin, which can carry his parts for him and be used as an army to fight off the native life. The pikmin are very reminiscent of ants in that they work together as a team to take on much larger obstacles than they could handle individually. Pikmin 2 is my personal favrite in that it does away with the 30 day time limit and has so much more to do. Pikmin 3 was just announced this year for the Wii U and it looks FANTASTIC! The games have a very peaceful and serene atmosphere and the music to this day just makes me feel like maybe, just maybe, everything is going to be alright. The environments are also well designed but I don't want to give too much away.

  111. Dee says:

    Red Dead Redemption for the PS3 and Xbox 360. It's the game that made me love the Western genre … briefly. It's a shooter and an open sandbox and is about a former outlaw looking to take down his old gang after he retired to have a family. He comes to a new part of the world and gets accustomed to the new town, the people there, and what he has to do to survive and finish his task. It's in 1911 when the Old West is starting to change. It got a 95% all across the boards, all positive reviews from the biggest review sites, and has an extra downloadable content where you can have a zombie wild west. It's just great.

    • @bakerbelle says:

      I will second that. I don't play many games, but I really liked this one. Nice story too. Also, there is the zombie version of the game, which I have not played yet, but it looks pretty interesting.

    • Rachel says:

      I wish I could triple thumbs up this! RDR is one of my favorite games ever, possibly even my most favorite. I never cared for Westerns before but this game changed that! It's got a fantastic plot and the landscapes are gorgeous. Plus (it's such a small detail but it just goes to show…) ALL of the musical score is at the same BPM but with different "stems" of melodies making it integrated and interactive in a way since it changes depending on the situation you're in :D

      It didn't win Game of the Year for nothing!

  112. FioreItaliano says:

    The Submachine Series. They're a series of point-and-click flash games available online from Pastel Games by Mateusz Skutnik. It started out as his version of one of those "escape the room" games, and then it grew into this huge, awesome series. It has fabulous world-building, and as you go along, you get just enough detail to sort of figure out what is going on, but it leaves so much to the imagination that coming up with your own theories is also a huge part of the fun. I don't really know how to explain the plot without spoiling things, but at its most basic, it really is just "escape from X," but with a wider scope than most escape games.

    There are 7 games on the main storyline (an 8th is currently in development), 3 side games, and 1 side "experience," which is all about exploring the world of submachine and reading fan theories that were posted on the forums for the game. Here is a handy place that links all of the games and lays them out in a way that makes it easy to see what is in the main storyline and what is on the side.

    These games have a great atmosphere—awesome music and art—that's mysterious and intriguing. There are lots of logic puzzles in each game (and they get much more complicated as you go along) to solve, which is what attracted me to them in the first place. Each game drops more and more hints as you go along as to what the story really is and how you as the player fit into everything. They really are fantastic; I can't recommend them enough!

    • quenstalof says:

      I was just going to rec these so I'm glad I read the comments first. You did a much better job at describing it than I can. I've pretty much got:
      It's like a point and click escape game but with puzzles! and the music! and the story is so weird. I replay them often just because I like to come up with more new theories about what the heck is going on.

      I'm glad to hear an 8th is in development.

  113. iamwinterborn says:

    I am probably the 100th person to recommend Amnesia: The Dark Descent. (PC)

    Yes, there are tons of LPs on this out there on youtube.

    But that's because it is such a great experience to watch someone going in blind.

    It's lovecraftian. It's a puzzle/exploration/adventure? game. It's scary for all the RIGHT reasons. This is not a game in which you are only scared until you pick up a crowbar, at which point you can hack your way through the monsters with ease. Oh goodness no. When you start the game, it politely informs you that no, you cannot fight the monsters. All you can do is run and hide. RUN AND HIDE.

    Before the game begins, it recommends you play it in the dark, with headphones. The number/intensity of LPers SHRIEKING when their significant other walks behind them and makes a noise could easily fill Monsters, Inc.'s quota….

    The atmosphere, the story… all excellent. I cannot recommend this story enough to be one of your first LPs.

  114. hausofashley says:

    Okay, so I don't have good reasons for the games I suggest, it's just because I mostly like them? I've only played two suggestions here.

    Mortal Kombat – (2011) version. The past ones are fun, but probably aren't available to grab. I've played these games since I was a young child. The 2011 version is basically a "reboot" to the series. Great graphics, and has story mode.

    Harry Potter (not Lego) – Honestly, there are so many games for Harry Potter that once you finish the series, these are great things to play. There are interactive Trivia games, but there are "Clue"-esque games for HP too. Every movie has an actual non-Lego game to go with it. I've played DH1 thus far, but have DH2. It's frustrating, but once you get the hang on it, it can be fun. =)

    Buffy the Vampire Slayer – there are two games. The first is titled "Buffy the Vampire Slayer", and the second is "Chaos Bleeds". Both are on XBOX. I would wait until the end of your watch on Buffy, just to be sure.

    Alice & Alice: Madness Returns – It just looks cool?

  115. Patrick721 says:

    Pokemon: Gold Version or HeartGold Version.

    Because the 2nd Generation games were the best.

  116. jsh357 says:

    While I'm here, I have near encyclopedic knowledge of the Final Fantasy series. Since you're planning on playing them all, please listen to my suggestions on which version to play. It will save you trouble.

    Final Fantasy I – Contrary to what some say, the Playstation version is arguably the best. The GBA and PSP ports butchered the difficulty, and the NES version is totally broken. FF1 for PSX has the best of both worlds, even with its load times.

    Final Fantasy II – Most FF fans hate this game (not me), but if you're going to play it, I recommend the GBA [Dawn of Souls] or PSP versions. They make it much easier, which eliminates the hurdle involved in getting in to the game. As a hardcore player, I like the PSX version the most for the same reasons as FF1, but I still recommend the others.

    Final Fantasy III: The US versions of this game are ALL based on the DS version, which really sucks in my opinion. The original Famicom/NES version is vastly different and is a much more interesting game. If you aren't against emulating it, please play that version. Otherwise, any version of FF3 is about the same.

    Final Fantasy IV: So there are a ton of versions of this. The main thing you must keep in mind is that FF4 for DS is a TOTALLY different game. Save it for a replay if you like the original. Now, for the original: all but the PSX and SNES (US) versions have their merits, but I recommend the PSP then GBA versions in that order. They flesh out the game some and have bugfixes, better translations, etc. PSP is my favorite, but I have played FF4 over 10 times so my view is skewed.

    Final Fantasy V: The best US version is the GBA version, which is an excellent port. Getting a legit copy may be expensive. Do not EVER play the PlayStation version: it will RUIN the game for you. Emulate the SNES version if you cannot find the GBA game.

    Final Fantasy VI: GBA and SNES versions are both great (Wii version works too). Do not play the playstation version)

    Final Fantasy VII/VIII/IX: All of these are best on Playstation, in FFIX's case only

    Final Fantasy X/XII: PS2

    Final Fantasy XIII: PS3/X360 are both fine.

    Final Fantasy XI/IV: These are MMORPGs. I admit I have not played them and doubt they'd work well for your blog.

    The only spinoff games I recommend playing are Final Fantasy Tactics (PSX version–PSP version is godawful) and Mystic Quest.

    • Noybusiness says:

      I vote for the updated versions of III and IV over the originals, personally (unless you're doing the originals and then the updates). Not only for improved music and visuals, but also because the DS update to III gives actual names, personalities, and individual stories to your player characters, who are blank slates in the original III, and the sequel to IV is in continuity with the updated version rather than the original.

      For IV, it's important to note that the best thing to get is Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection, a PSP game. It includes the DS update of Final Fantasy IV (for PSP, of course, but identical to the DS version), the sequel Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, and a game bridging the two of them called Final Fantasy IV -Interlude-. Interlude is not available separately, unlike The After Years, so getting the Complete Collection is essential.

      • jsh357 says:

        I am with you on FFIV (although you are incorrect. The PSP version includes the GBA remake of IV. The DS version is the 3d one with voice acting), but man, I just can't agree about the updated FFIII. Sure, the characters have 'personalities' but they are minimal at best and completely unimportant after the first hour of the game. Yeah, the game looks nicer, but I think the changes to the gameplay deviate very far from the original's intent. The original Final Fantasy III was a game about adaptation–changing job classes to match situations (ie, the tony mazes, Gardua boss fight, Cave of Darkness). The new game is more like Final Fantasy V and VI (pick whatever classes you want and it'll probably work out). It's also significantly easier. This is kind of a subjective thing, but to me the original has more satisfying gameplay in the end. It's also very impressive and groundbreaking for an NES title whereas FF3ds looks pretty bad compared to later 3D DS games. That said, as far as a legal copy of the game goes, you don't really have a CHOICE other than the DS remake. Why Square refuses to bring the NES version to America is beyond me.

        • Noybusiness says:

          although you are incorrect. The PSP version includes the GBA remake of IV. The DS version is the 3d one with voice acting

          Oh, darn. I was confused because you have the option of the DS version's music on the PSP version. It'd be best to have the DS version and Interlude.

          Sure, the characters have 'personalities' but they are minimal at best and completely unimportant after the first hour of the game.

          Doesn't Nep orsevraq gur fba bs gur xvat bs Fnebavn?

          That said, as far as a legal copy of the game goes, you don't really have a CHOICE other than the DS remake.

          Well, there you are, I guess.

          Why Square refuses to bring the NES version to America is beyond me.

          Not to mention Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-. They had better hurry up and localize Final Fantasy Type-0.

    • pal_sch says:

      Just wanted to note that the PC versions of VII and VIII are both perfectly good, pretty much direct ports of the Playstation versions. At least in the case of VIII they even ported across the incredibly broken random number generator that always follows the same seed list.

      I'd actually recommend the PC version of VIII simply because it's the only realistic way you can play the Pocketstation minigame. Not that you need it (and it's essentially cheating to get extra items) but just for the sake of completeness.

      Of course, I have no idea where you can get a PC copy these days, and the rumoured re-release might change all this.

      • jsh357 says:

        The PC version of FFVII (the old one, not the new one) had some issues iirc, and might be hard to run for Mark (who I am like 99% sure has a Mac). Can't comment on the new one, but it should be fine I hope. You can get FFVII for PlayStation very cheap on PSN or from the Greatest Hits release, so it's still my recommended way to play it.

        As for FFVIII, I also had the PC version back in the day. I had a save game glitch happen twice that gave me a bunch of items, but otherwise it was ok. Probably hard to run for the same reasons, though.

        • Kiryn says:

          Okay, I have a question that I've been trying to get answered for ages, and I'm really hoping you can help. So, like, a year ago, I bought and downloaded FFVII from PSN onto my PS3 (as I've never owned a PS), but I've never been able to make it save any progress in the game. Someone told me a few months ago that this is because that it is the FFVII game that is flawed, and that no copy of the game will save no matter what I do. Is….this true? Because that seems to be a bit strange to me, but…well. I don't really have much knowledge when it comes to my PS3. I've also been told that what I needed was a PS1 memory card, but the problem with that is that there is no place on my PS3 which would allow me to insert such a thing.

          So….help, please? Again, the game plays just fine, it just won't let me save it.

    • Christi says:

      Why the PSX version of Final Fantasy Tactics over the PSP version? The PSP version fixed the broken gameplay issues, added tons of new content both narrative and gameplay-wise, and made the translation both coherent and stylistically appropriate.

    • SS2Dante says:

      It's possible (probable?) that FFX HD will be out on the PSN by the time Mark gets round to it so we'll have to investigate that when the time comes.

    • Kiryn says:

      As for not playing most of the spin-off games….well, Mark did say he was going to play ALL of FF. But either way, I think he should also play Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, because it was the best game that was added to the FFVII Compilation, and it really helps with the clarity of a lot of things in FFVII, plus, I just think that it shouldn't be missed. I love it to pieces. And for the record, in case Mark reads this, Crisis Core is on the PSP, and that's the only version of it that I'm aware of.

      And maybe the original Final Fantasy that's on the PSP is much easier, but maybe that'd be for the better for Mark's first foray into FF? Also, I'm playing it right now on the PSP (for the first time ever, but still), and I think it's a blast.

      And….has anyone actually given Mark a list of what "ALL of FF" entails?

  117. jsh357 says:

    Hi Mark, big time gamer here. I strongly recommend you play these games:

    Board/Card Games:

    Dominion – My favorite board game of all time. Endlessly replayable and maniacally addictive. Be warned.

    Seasons – A newer game with a surprising amount of depth. Requires a bit of reading to get going/

    Saboteur – The best game I have played for lots of players (7 preferable). You dig your way to gold while some players secretly try to stop everyone else from getting there.

    Stone Age – The game is gorgeous and the gameplay is very simple economy/building management.

    Video games:

    I will try to recommend games that others wouldn't, sorry if there are repeats here.

    Earthbound [SNES[ and Mother 3 [Game boy Advance] – NOTE you will probably have to emulate both, but the Mother series is my favorite RPG series ever, and both of these games are total masterpieces.

    Little King's Story – A game where you play as a little king and conquer the entire world. The bosses are goofy and over the top, and what you eventually learn about your world is a true NOT PREPARED revelation.

    NIER [PS3/X360]- One of the craziest Action RPGs ever, with an excellent twist ending(s). This game does amazing stuff like becoming a visual novel for a while and deleting your save files (it makes sense in context). You are accompanied by a snarky, pestering talking book the entire game. A little 'adult' but I doubt you'd mind.

    Thief: The Dark Project [PC] – My favorite stealth game, available on Steam. Be warned: it's terrifying. (The only monsters that have ever scared me in a video game)

    Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (the entire series) [DS/ios/Wii]- My favorite adventure games. They're on DS, Wii and ios I believe. Must not be missed.

    Soul Blazer series (Soul Blazer, Illusion of Gaia, Terranigma) [SNES] – Trippy, surreal world-building action RPGs for the Super Nintendo. I recommend starting with IoG.

    Metroid series [Nintendo consoles. The best is SM, on SNES and Wii]. All of them, but Super Metroid/Metroid Prime are the easiest to get in to.

    King's Quest VI [PC]. You can play all of them, but this is the only one you MUST play. If you choose to play the earlier games, the fan remakes of KQ 1, 2 and 3 by AGD Interactive are SUPERIOR to the originals and much easier to get working.

    Metal Gear Solid 1-4 [PS1/2/3]. Necessary gaming for intellectuals, not much else to say. You play as a super spy, sneak around, beat robots up.

    I realize I did not go in to much detail, but I have written up about all these games here if you need more info: http://rateyourmusic.com/list/jsh357/favorite_vid

  118. num6 says:

    Little big planet a really funand silly worldbuilding game.

    • Ellie says:

      I'm going to expand on this. You play as an adorable little sack doll and the levels all take place in dream worlds, it's a side scrolling game, and it's kind of fun how the levels all look like they're made of real stuff. Once you finish the main plot you can create your own levels! It tends to get labeled as a kiddie game, but I got it when I was 18 and I enjoyed it very much, it's actually one of the few games I finished (mostly cause whenever I play a video game I keep starting over to do things EXACTLY RIGHT or to redesign my player character, but LBP lets you play levels repeatedly and you're actually expected to keep editing your PC as you get new clothes and wigs and skins for your doll)

  119. CynicMom says:

    No board game love! Let's suggest board games:
    -Settlers of Cataan
    You build your own empire while trying to prevent others. The economics can get as complicated as you allow (we do futures trading in ours – you could also do a minor stock exchange). It's a strategy game but if you've never played it before you'll be competent your first time. 1.5 hours to play

    -Puerto Rico
    Colonial governors try to gain power (our governorships are inclusive and fair!) . Again really fun to play. 1.5 hours/game.

    -Axis and Allies
    This is the mother of all board games. You're a country (or more than one) during WWII. It's complicated. It takes 6+ hours. You'll probably have homemade rules attached like "no planning for more than 30 minutes/turn". You'll want to do it again. It's a little addictive. Best played overnight.

  120. Gnerdus says:

    The "Souls" games (Demon's Souls and Dark Souls) for the PS3.

    Both of these games have a really unique multiplayer system. While playing the game you can leave messages for other people, summon other people for co-op (or leave a summon sign so they can summon you), or invade/be invaded where the main goal is to kill the player you have invaded before they make it to the boss of the level they are in

    The story of the games is told through talking with shopkeepers and item descriptions instead of mandatory cutscenes.

    The game itself is a difficult action game that sets itself apart by going for a slower more methodical combat system instead of a fast paced flashy one like Devil May Cry or Bayonetta. A Youtube comment I read gives a pretty good description compared to other games. "In other games they have you as a god fighting thousands of normal soldiers, in Dark Souls you are but a normal soldier fighting against gods."

    I really hope that came across clearly, I'm terrible at explaining things.

  121. t09yavosaur says:

    Just Dance (Wii and Kinect) because I am evil.

    Any dance game could be fun but the Just Dance series is my favorite. You do the dance moves that the screen tells you to do. You look ridiculous but can have loads of fun doing so. And you get points so you can win. This is more fun when you have someone to play with though.

    I don't know of any off the top of my head but there are probably some games online that might be fun to have a community play someday.

  122. Noybusiness says:

    "Final Fantasy series (Yes, ALL of them.)"

    Excuse me while I dance every dance known to Man or Beast.

    • I would like to be a bit pedantic and wonder what he means by ALL of them. Does he mean any game with the FF moniker? Or just the numbered games. Or maybe the numbered games plus any direct sequels to those games. And what about 11 and 14? Obviously playthroughs of those would be a bit… complicated.

      • Noybusiness says:

        Probably the numbered games plus direct sequels and prequels (IV: The After Years, Crisis Core -VII-, Dirge of Cerberus -VII-, X-2, XII: Revenant Wings, XIII-2 and Lightning Returns -XIII-). Perhaps he should skip XI and XIV because they are MMO's, but on the other hand, they do have campaign missions that form a linear storyline.

        He should include Tactics: The War of the Lions (the superior, PSP version of Tactics), Tactics Advance and Tactics A2, since they are part of the Ivalice Alliance continuity along with XII, as well as Type-0 and Versus XIII (when it finally comes out), since they are part of the Fabula Nova Crystallis along with XIII.

        Dissidia and Dissidia 012 are crossovers of all the numbered games and of ambiguous canonicity. It would be interesting to see Mark play them. Or just Dissidia 012, because it contains an updated version of the Dissidia storyline along with its own new one, making the first Dissidia game redundant.

        For I, II, III and IV, I think that playing the PS and DS versions is better than doing the originals (better music, better graphics, additions to the story, additional locations, etc.). Unless he feels like he wants to do the originals and then the updates. I wouldn't have that level of dedication, myself. Also, IV: The After Years and Dissidia/Dissidia 012 reference continuity from the updates of IV and I, respectively.

        Now, if only we could get him to read The Neverending Story. He thinks he's prepared, but he's not.

  123. Gonzo says:

    Oh, I think ANY of the Mario RPGs would be great to do also – they're representitve of the colourful creativity of the Mario-universe, with the added bonus of having engaging plots, GLORIOUS characters and they're absolutely hilarious.
    So far we've had Super Mario RPG on the SNES, Paper Mario on the Nintendo 64 (both of those are available on the Wii Virtual Console online store, so yeah!), Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga on the GBA, Super Paper Mario on the Wii, and Mario and Luigi: Partners in Time and Mario and Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, both for the DS. All are great, and any of them can be picked up and enjoyed on its own (although I think Paper Mario for the 64 is probably the best place to start overall)!

  124. Noybusiness says:

    Syberia and Syberia II are beautiful PC games from Microids/The Adventure Company with epic scope. You control one character throughout the game and advance by talking to people and solving puzzles using objects found in your current location. There is a fair bit of excitement involved! All the locations are gorgeous, not to mention having great names, and your method of getting from one to another is really cool (don't want to say more!). They're unusual games from an American perspective, which may be because the writer, Benoît Sokal, is Belgian. Your character undergoes significant character development as the story, which is really interesting and emotional, unfolds. I can't recommend these games enough; my mother and I had a wonderful time playing through them together; it was better than TV.

    Amerzone is a related game with a different setting and main character that I haven't played; I remembered it just now because I saw that all three are included in the Syberia Collection.

    The Myst series: Myst (later updated as RealMyst), Riven, Myst III: Exile, Myst IV: Revelation, Uru: Ages Beyond Myst and Myst V: End of Ages, is the archetypical puzzle game series, playable on PC and Mac, with Xbox and PS2 ports for some titles. The franchise has had various developers but began and ended at Cyan Worlds. These games involve a lot of manipulating the environment and much less talking to other characters. You don't actually see or hear your character as you move from one place to another. However, these games are very atmospheric and immersive, and renowned for their visuals and music. The nature of their worlds (plural) has an intriguing premise for fans of literature.

  125. jsh357 says:

    That is actually from the fan translation of the Super Famicom version. (not the one I'd recommend)

  126. tehrevel says:

    I'm not really sure if I'm being serious about this or not but what about Deadly Premonition? A lot of people think it's shit and seem to love it ironically but I think it's got some genuinely good points and was clearly made with a lot of love (maybe not talent though). It's pretty long and the gameplay is either kind of boring or outright terrible depending on the difficulty and how lucky you are in finding some good weapons from the world. You can't really describe the good points without edging into spoiler or at the least expectation spoiler territory though. There are also about a billion games that probably deserve attention first.

    I know Fallout New Vegas is on the "denied list" (probably you played it already right, remember you mentioning a Murlock scaring the shit out of you in one review so you played Fallout 3 definitely) but can you say if you liked it or not? Just personal curiosity.

    • tehrevel says:

      Oops, I forgot to actually sell the game. It's on the 360 everywhere and the PS3 in most places now I think. It's kind of a survival horror/detective game with a town of quite interesting characters with their own stories, sidequests and schedules and a case that needs solving. The story and characters are definitely the reason to play and it has one of the quirkiest and most interesting main characters in a videogame.

    • TDM says:

      Going to chip in here as don't want Mark to think the game is terrible: there are certainly flaws with Deadly Premonition, but overall I think it's a really good game. Here are some things it does well (probably going to be repeating you here, but doesn't hurt to have it confirmed)

      -Main character sells the game. He is fascinating, and definitely one of the most interesting videogame protagonists in a very long time. Really well written.
      -Interesting, ambitious story.
      -Lots of opportunity to explore other character's backstories and do your own investigating (you don't have to only do bare minimum) and doing side quests if you want to do them.
      -Quirky characters with distinct personalities.
      -The voice acting is pretty good (I've heard complaints about this, so suppose it's not everybody's cup of tea, but I think it's good – I think that's just people looking for errors because they've heard it's a flawed game).
      -The game has lots of "heart" – that's what I call it. Not everything works, but you can tell how much love has been put into this game and if you can see past some superficial issues, you'll likely find yourself smiling because of this.

      Deadly Premonition has a "so bad it's good" reputation. I don't think that's fair, which is why I'm writing to try and convince you to give it a chance. I think it's a genuinely good game, with some issues (mostly commonly complained about being the graphics since it's low budget, but there are others too) –