Favourite Games

Wouter’s Favourite Games List (not updated since 2007):

Rank Genre 1 Genre 2 Year Platform Name Most prominent reasons why
1 FPS   1996 PC Quakeworld (Quake 1) Most intense multiplayer ever invented, very satisfying physics, weapons and strategic teamplay. 10 years after I first tried it, I am still playing it pretty much every week.
2 FPS   1994 PC Doom 2 fast movement, large battles, great monster variety, large open dynamically changing levels, unique immersive atmosphere, there is still no other singleplayer FPS that does it better.
3 RTS   2007 PC Supreme Commander : FA This game totally ruined the RTS genre for me, as it is now impossible for me to enjoy an RTS that doesn't have the "strategic zoom" and a host of other features this game has. It is really just TA on steroids, but since that was already the best RTS ever, this just makes the addiction worse. Note to people making RTSes: you don't have to like their gameplay, but PLEASE steal their UI ideas.
4 RPG   2002 PC Gothic 1&2 normally game storytelling makes me cringe, but this had me engrossed. Wonderful immersive persistent world with a lot of life (every part of it feels unique) and freedom to act. I can't recommend this to most people since it has a long and steep difficulty curve, but that makes it all the more satisfying if you persist.
5 Racing   1998 PSX Gran Turismo 2 fun in racing = speed * control, and this game has more than any other, in an insane variety of forms (cars + tuning), with very satisfying physics.
6 TBS   2002 GBA Advance Wars 1&2, DOR a great variety of very balanced units that can be mastered to perfection makes this the benchmark of TBS games. simplicty + deep gameplay, yes please.
7 RTS   1997 PC Total Annihilation unlike other RTSes shifts the gameplay from micromanagement and tactics to creative strategies, giving endless ways to play. Large unit variety and huge battles don't hurt either.
8 RTS Sim 1995 PC Dungeon Keeper 1&2 building in games to me is tremendously addictive, and here the layout, connections and sizes all affect gameplay deeply.
9 Racing   2007 360 Forza 2 A total gran turismo rip-off, and certainly not as deep in the physics department (more arcade-y), but that also makes it a lot easier to enjoy, with less of the frustration that often comes with GT's less balanced cars.
10 TBS   2002 PC Etherlords II the gamedesign is a streamlined/simplified version of Magic The Gathering, but dare I say it is actually better? The large variety of opponents require constant new strategies.
Racing   1996 PSX Wipeout (1) well done flying/racing physics with great sense of speed and satisfying learning curve
RPG   2002 PC Morrowind huuuge world, very immersive, lots of freedom
TBS   2005 PC Domination: Massive Assault amazingly balanced TBS with great interface
RTS Puzzle 2002 GC Pikmin 1&2 the right way to do an "RTS" on a console: no frantic mouse actions, but all action centered around a single character. great puzzles/challenges, wonderful style.
FPS   1995 PC Descent 1&2 the endless tunnel structures get in your head... very surreal and immersive
RPG TBS 2003 GBA Pokemon the second game where I enjoyed reading the dialogue. interesting world, and fun battle system
RTS   2004 PC Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War lots of small but significant tweaks to the RTS formula that make it stand above all the usual blizzard/westwood clones.
RPG Action 1999 PC Diablo 2 I still don't know why this should be so addictive, but it is. The crack of gaming.
RPG   2005 PC Fable The third game with great dialogue. Does a lot of small things right as to what an RPG should be. Sadly no continuous world or as much freedom as promised.
FPS RPG 2007 PC Stalker Fantastic atmosphere, interesting world to explore. I normally don't enjoy "realistic" guns, but stalker somehow got the balance right.
Puzzle Action 1990 Amiga Lemmings puzzle + building + screaming little guys = fun. This game defies genre limits, you might as well add Sim and RTS as additional genres.
Puzzle Action 1996 PSX Puzzle Bobble / Bust a Move the best pure puzzle game of all time. genious concept like tetris, but unlike tetris, requires "aim" which linearly balances difficulty. brilliant.
Puzzle 2006 PC Armadillo Run Fantastically creative 2d physics puzzle game
Platform Action 1996 PSX Jumping Flash you can jump, then jump 2 times more on the apex of your jump, allowing you to reach insane heights (several hundred meters?), which defined the entire game
Sim   1989 Amiga Sim City (1) for me, this was all about creating nice city layouts. I couldn't care less about happy citizens.
Puzzle Action 1992 Amiga Tetris no comment :)
FPS   2001 PC Cube/Sauerbraten my own.. probably my second favourite FPS to play online.
RPG   2009 PC Fallout 3 Really polished and enjoyable RPG, if only they'd stop making the same mistakes they have been making since morrowind: repetitive indoor level design, and enemies whose level changes depending on yours
Racing   1996 PSX Need for Speed (1) the tracks is what made this game.. very long, made you feel like being on a roadtrip :)
FPS   1997 PC Jedi Knight (1) I don't care for star wars at all, but the interesting environments this weird fps engine creates immersed me
RPG   2007 PC Two Worlds Game reviews unanymously panned this one for bad dialogue/animation/bugs, but I really enjoyed the large game world. It is a bit of a gothic/oblivian clone, but incorporates plenty of good of both.
RPG   1999 PC Ultima 9 big continuous worlds with lots of freedom always get a thumbs up
RPG   2006 PC Oblivion Horribly flawed gameplay mechanics (I beat the game at level 1, since monsters level up with you, theres no point in levelling), but I can't resist enjoying the large open world and lush graphics.
FPS   2000 PC Serious Sam (1) it is really quite monotonous compared to their inspiration (doom), but it somehow keeps you going
Sim   2004 PC Railroad Tycoon 3 you can never lay enough track..
Action RPG 2005 PC GTA San Andreas I must admit I don't care for the "missions", but I spent days just driving around everywhere and doing random stuff. Maybe the biggest game world yet? If only it had better gameplay.
RTS Action 2007 PC Overlord "for teh ovahlord!".. if you liked Pikmin, you have to try this one.
FPS   1998 PC Unreal (1) great use of scale, a breath of fresh air after quake 1 & 2.
FPS   1998 PC Quake 2 Though the multiplayer was a dissapointment, the singleplayer was quite atmospheric

I must have played hundreds of games in the last 20 years, but I am not one for persisting and finishing them. Most games I toss aside after 1-5 hrs of play when I feel they aren’t good. For the enormous amounts of games that exist, there are suprisingly few really good ones, I guess what sets the above ones aside from the rest is that they got quite a bit more intense playtime from me than most games.

As you get to the lower half of the table, the ordering is less well defined, and there are probably lots of games I can’t recall right now that should be in the list instead. But these are some of the games I can remember. Also I would say that some of the games lower in the table may be a case of “fond memories”, but the ones higher up I certainly would enjoy playing them almost as much today as I did when I played them for the first time.

Interestingly 5 genres (FPS, RTS, RPG, TBS, Racing) are quite equally represented, and this does reflect exactly what I enjoy playing. Probably my least favourite genres (not represented) would be Sports (why o why), Adventure, Rhythm, and Fighting games.

I am clearly a PC gamer, but the PSX, Amiga, GBA and GC have quite a few entries too. From the platforms I have owned, the PS2 and C64 do not have any entries. The PS2’s best game, Gran Turismo 3, is outclassed by its predecessor, and on the C64 (and Amiga for that matter) I was far too busy programming to play games, 2D games in general never excited me. Something about being in a 3D environment that was my prime motivator to play games.

The timeline goes from ‘89 to NOW, with 94-98 being the era of a lot of the top games.

Some common trends: fun physics and sense of speed, large continuous environments with freedom to do whatever, environments far from “reality”, building/creating, variety in gameplay elements, streamlined controls, simplicity, obsessive compulsive collecting :)