Why is it so hard to tell my favorite game?

If your friends know you like games, chances are they already asked you what is your favorite game. And after the 3249586th time someone asked me this, it made me wonder why this question has the ability to trigger a vortex in my mind with pictures, scenes, and dialogue cuts of about every game I have played in my life. To me, it is hard to pinpoint what is my favorite game, and let me explain you why.

Games are a diverse media: Every year, more and more games jumps from the stores to our shelves, and some of those can leap to our hearts, because of a good history, an interesting character, a twisted plotline, or simply because you spent some time on it that made you feel happy, or entertained or reminded you of something you played as a child (in case you keep following the consoles after your 30's, like me).

To me, this is the most interesting aspect about games, and one of the reasons I cannot tell right now what is my favorite: every piece of them had something to add. It`s like asking a Beatles fan what is the best song of the band. Some might have a picked favorite, some might find it hard to select “The One”. (And all I can think of right now is The Beatles Rock Band!)

Let`s make it practical — right now, what pops in my head when I hear the term “my favorite game”?

Super Mario Bros, 1986 taught me all about game in a simple and engaging way; Alex Kidd in Miracle World, 1986 taught me how to pursue an objective, since it was my first selected game, and I must have played hundreds of hours on it; Sonic The Hedgehog, 1991: showed me what is a game with a great soundtrack, even in MIDI format (that started playing in my head as soon as I mentioned this game); The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, 1991 told a deep story in a simple and wonderful format; Metal Gear Solid, 1998 could tell a story about a spy that has stealth as a preferred course of action, instead of violence or shooting (and it had a Cyborg Ninja as a foe). Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, 2008 presented me some of the best characters ever portrayed in a game, inside an amazing and engaging story, and one of the best narratives I`ve ever seen in a game, capable of matching big titles from the movies world. And The Last of Us, 2013 was the game that made me mad about the end (at first), made me play again to make sure I understood it all, and finally made me walk in the character’s shoes, to question myself if I would do anything differently. I never saw a game change my mind this way, and made me passionate about it, certifying its position in my “best game” list.

Essentially that’s why is not easy to pinpoint one game. All of them matters to me, all of them showed me something, all of them told me something. Even some of the “worst games ever made” can bring something to the table. And also games you barely remember now, might have left something on the back of your head that marked you somehow.

Does it mean that EVERY game is the best? Hell no. But getting to the one is not as simple as people might think.

So I hope the next time you ask a friend this question, understand that somewhere in his head, can be spinning a very weird whirlwind of mementos from his past games.

And let’s play more games and build up more memories!

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