This isn’t really a top 5 list. These are in no particular order; they’re the computer games I liked best as a child/preteen/teen. Feel free to reminisce with me if you remember any of the awesomeness below.
1. Road Rash (1995)
My brother (who is three years younger than me) and I got an immense thrill out of the cartoonish violence of this game. You could get on your motorcycle, go zooming down the streets at what felt like warp speed, then when you came upon your competitors, you got neck-and-neck with them. That’s when the chains came out. You can literally whip the other guy with your chain until he flopped off his bike. I could go on for paragraphs talking about the wonders of this game.
To make it even more awesome, Road Rash’s soundtrack is totally epic. It was because of this soundtrack that 90s rock is my favorite genre of music to this day.
2. The Petz series (1995 – 2002)
I’m not talking about the remakes that are still on the market now. I’m talking about the older series that went from Dogz and Catz 1 to 5. The graphics might have been hokey, the game itself had no storyline and was cheesy (now that I look back), but it was probably my favorite game of all time. Ever since Mindscape (then Ubisoft) bought PF Magic (the original company), the game just hasn’t been the same – but then again, I was growing out of it, too.
3. Torin’s Passage (1995)
This is the only PC role-playing game I ever played all the way through. The challenges and quests it involved were difficult for a child, but of course, not impossible. It took real brains (and a lot of patience) to get through this game, but it was well worth it. There’s sometimes some gross-out humor, and inside jokes that only adults will understand. According to the Wikipedia page for the game, it’s for “a parent to share with a child.”
4. The Lost Mind of Dr. Brain (1994)
This is the third in a series of four educational games. I never played any of the others – and I never completed every puzzle in this game. The music region was hardest for me (I’m extremely musically inept) and it was mainly because of that region that I could never get to the final stage of the game. I enjoyed frustrating myself with trying the puzzles over and over again.
5. The Creatures series (1996 – 1999)
I played the first three games in the series (Creatures 1-3) and also the first Creatures Adventures game, which I didn’t really like because it was geared more towards small children. The main idea of Creatures was to breed your own “Norns” which were lovable alien creatures. There was a certain amount of strategy to the game and a very sophisticated use of artificial intelligence. This game taught me nearly everything I knew about biology at the time – very educational.