The Ten-Week Gaming Initiative: Gaming classics I’ve never played before


I like to think of myself as a pretty decent gaming critic. But with that said, with the many new releases that I cover (and the fact that I’m a busy college student), I often don’t have time to play what many consider to be hallmarks of the video gaming medium. Don’t get me wrong; I’ve played my fair share of classics. But there are too many missing to justify my status as a gaming aficionado, which makes me a bit sad.

Well, no more! Releases have started to dry up this summer, and I think it’s about time I get around to playing these gems. I’ve compiled ten games that many people consider classics, and I’ll try to finish one a week. There are still a lot of important games I’ve never played before, even when I don’t count these ten, but with this initiative, it’s a start.

#10: Conker’s Bad Fur Day

One of the most crass games ever made, “Conker” tops many “funniest games of all time” lists, and it features everything from a sarcastic, drunk squirrel to a literal singing turd. It was a departure from Nintendo’s more family-friendly policies, making it a landmark title for the publisher.

#9: Red Dead Redemption

Many consider “Red Dead Redemption” to be Rockstar’s magnum opus, with a vast breathing world filled with more Western tropes than you can shake a buffalo chip at. In addition, protagonist John Marston is also considered by many to be one of gaming’s most interesting characters.

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#8: Kirby Super Star

The only other “Kirby” game I’ve played is “Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards,” which I didn’t even finish. As a something of a “Kirby” newcomer, “Super Star” seems as good a place to start as any, featuring eight adventures/games with lots of “Kirby” saccharine goodness.

#7: Dishonored

This one has actually been reviewed by a previous TNL writer, but as a fan of games like “Thief” and “Deus Ex,” I’m shocked that I haven’t really touched it. With interesting new mechanics that bring new meaning to the stealth genre, it should be a stabby-good time.

#6: Banjo-Kazooie

“Conker” may be considered one of developer Rare’s finest game, but “Banjo-Kazooie” is often heralded as the king of the “collect-a-thon platformer” genre. With the spiritual successor “Yooka-Laylee” becoming a Kickstarter success story, “Banjo” has become a must-play.

#5: Resident Evil 4

This is considered one of the most important games of all time, introducing the world to third-person shooting in an intuitive new way. This, combined with the horrific atmosphere, scary enemies, and goofy story, should make it a no-brainer for me to play. Even if I haven’t. Yet.

#4: Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest

Now that we’re on Rare’s third game for this list, I have to wonder if I haven’t played enough of their games yet. However, I am a huge fan of the first “Donkey Kong Country,” and if what I hear is true, this should be an even greater experience. According to many, this is one of the best platformers ever made.

#3: Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island

But if “Diddy’s Kong Quest” is considered one of the best platformers, “Yoshi’s Island” is considered the best. And again, I’m already a fan of the original “Super Mario World,” which is timeless platforming bliss. And “Yoshi’s Island” looks to be more of that, and with a unique crayon-like art-style to boot.

#2: Silent Hill 2

I’m kicking myself over this one in particular. I’m a huge believer in video gaming’s storytelling potential, and many claim that “Silent Hill 2” tells one of the best stories in gaming history. And yet, I’ve never experienced it, in part because horror games aren’t really my thing. But hey, it’s worth a shot.

#1: Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

This is the real shocker, though. I’ve been a huge fan of Star Wars for as long as I remember, and I’m a big BioWare fan as well. And yet, I’ve never played “Knights of the Old Republic,” which is acclaimed as one of BioWare’s best games, and one of the best “Star Wars” games ever made. So I owe it to myself to finally play it.

Every week, I’ll be reviewing one of these games, starting with “Conker” next week. If you have these games and want to follow along, feel free! Or better yet, if you have a backlog of old games that you’ve never played before, now is the best time to give them a go.