Your Gaming "Mount Rushmore"

GasBandit

Staff member
Reactions
6,092 1,286 27
#1
A coworker asked me about this, it's an intriguing concept -

What would you consider to be your "Gaming Mount Rushmore?" and why?

Basically, you pick 4 games that, if you were to have carved on the side of a mountain and have it known you did it, what would you pick? You can decide for itself if it represents the 4 games most influential to you personally, or the 4 games you liked the most as your favorites, or whatever.

My gaming Mount Rushmore would feature:

Doom (original)
The game that came to codify the FPS genre was also one of the formative games of my PC gaming "career." So many hours playing, learning to mod, playing alone, playing with friends, playing with family - Doom is as much a part of me as any other game - and more than most. The PC game that made the console crowd jealous enough to put up with crappy ports, and the game that made me first entertain (and then realize!) the thought of owning more than one PC so that multiple people could play together.

World of Warcraft
Narrowly beating out Everquest for me (Everquest obviously a much lesser MMO in the long run, it comes close because it was a trailblazer for the genre and also because that's where I met Pauline, but Pauline and I also played WoW). I don't need to tell you all this still is the quintessential MMO experience, and even though I liked Warhammer Online later better, I can't deny how important WoW has been both to the industry, the genre, and my life personally. It was the game that took most of the "suck" out of MMOs, and even if it was an inferior PvP experience to MMOs before (DAOC) and after (Warhammer Online), the level of polish and detail to the world made it an experience nobody should have missed if they gamed in the mid 2000s.

Left 4 Dead
This is the game that made co-op gaming not suck. A cinematic and exciting experience that I've probably put thousands of hours into, both with friends and loved ones. The torch of its spirit is carried on today by Vermintide 2, but it's L4D that made it possible, and has the memories burned into me - be they playing with loved ones or Halforumites. Naturally, close runners-up in Vermintide 2 and Killing Floor 2, but if someone's getting carved on a mountain, it's Francis and Zoey.

Supreme Commander - Forged Alliance
Hands down, still the best RTS of all time. As with the others, I have thousands of hours in it, and as with the others, tinged bittersweet from teaching Pauline to play and then spending those thousands of hours playing together. Sins of a Solar Empire comes close, but SC-FA edges it out just barely with its intuitive ease of learning, lack of micromanagement, and wonderful selection of player-made maps available.

Honorable mention: Minecraft.
 
Reactions
1,502 279 4
#2
Left 4 Dead
This is the game that made co-op gaming not suck. A cinematic and exciting experience that I've probably put thousands of hours into, both with friends and loved ones. The torch of its spirit is carried on today by Vermintide 2, but it's L4D that made it possible, and has the memories burned into me - be they playing with loved ones or Halforumites. Naturally, close runners-up in Vermintide 2 and Killing Floor 2, but if someone's getting carved on a mountain, it's Francis and Zoey.
.
Really? Not Ellis announcing that he's grabbin' a gernade launcher
 
Reactions
135 26 0
#3
The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
Still the PC game I've put the most hours in, ever. Skyrim's a fine game, but Morrowind is the first game I ever put an allnighter in, just because the setting was so wildly different than any other fantasy rpg I'd played. The giant silt striders, the weird-ass monsters like guar and nix-hounds, the super cool architecture, everything added up perfectly. The mechanics may not have been grand (I do like Skyrim's better there) but I can put up with jank for the sake of a great world. And the sheer extent of mods make the replay value practically infinite.

Age of Empires: Rise of Rome
People are probably gonna call me out on not putting the second game in front of the (expansion included) first, but when this game came out I was big on my old-greek/rome phase so this game was basically perfect for me. Many fond days sitting in the high school library in later years playing a quick match with friends when one of our teachers was absent. Also, when not playing with friends, the AI felt more...fair than other RTS AI (like in WarCraft? I don't know if that's rose-colored glasses but for a non-diehard gamer like me that made things a lot more enjoyable.

Super Smash Brothers (Any edition)
This is the one fighting game I will never say no to. It's the perfect game to goof off in, the chaos is high with items which helps players with less skill, and it's just a blast. I've only played a little bit of Ultimate so far (not having my own Switch), but it's already my favorite; before that it was Brawl, but I also have fond memories of the original game on the N64. The lack of giant combo moves like in Tekken or Mortal Kombat or what have you make it a lot more accessible, which is great for a casual like me.

Pokemon
Pokemon Yellow was my first ever real videogame, not counting Go and Sokoban on my granpa's old MSDOS Machine. And boy, did it ever make our travels during vacation time so much easier. Gone was the time I got car-sick 'coz I had nothing to do but janky miniature boardgames with little space to move (I couldn't read books either coz they only got me more car-sick.) Basically any time we went anywhere in the car for more than half an hour I'd fire up the Gameboy (and later the GBA with Sapphire), and plenty of summer days were spent in the hammock with that thing. So many cool creatures to fight with, so many trainers to destroy, so many hours lost. Good times.
 
Reactions
669 200 0
#4
A Crowbar, to represent Half-Life
The game that put Valve on the map, which led to the development of Half-Life 2 and Steam, which revolutionized online content delivery for games. It all started on that tram ride into the Black Mesa Research Facility. Half-Life was a landmark game, in terms of its storytelling and level design, and deserves to be enshrined in stone for how it changed the gaming landscape. Plus I really liked Half-Life. I beat it on a laptop without using a mouse, which I consider one of my biggest gaming accomplishments.

A Line Piece, to represent Tetris
Another game I spent too much time playing. So simple, so fun, so ubiquitous, and so influential. You'd be very hard pressed to find a gamer who's never played Tetris, which is why it also deserves its place on the mountain.

A Pokeball, to represent Pokemon
Did you know Pokemon is the highest grossing IP in history? This is particularly impressive considering it was created in 1996, and beats out old favorites such as Star Wars, Star Trek, James Bond, and Mickey fucking Mouse. It started with two simple Gameboy games, and grew into a global phenomenon spanning games, television, movies, etc. Pokemon's influence on gaming, culture, and commerce should be recognized with a place on the mountain.

An Ascii Dwarf, to represent Dwarf Fortress
Because after spending all that time learning how to play this game, you bet your ass I'm announcing to the world that I know how to play it.
 
Reactions
221 33 1
#5
Super Mario Bros
The game that made gaming cool again after the Crash, that put Nintendo on top of the mountain. I'd certainly argue that this is the most important & influential game ever made.

Tetris
So simple. So easy to learn. So addictive. Probably been ported to more systems than any other game.

Street Fighter II
Defined an entire genre. Was probably *the* arcade game. And on SNES it may not have broken any of my friendships, but it certainly fractured a few (some people should be banned from playing as Guile.)

Civilization (either the franchise as a whole or Civ V as the best game in the series)
Just one more turn & then I'll go to bed, honest!
 
Reactions
529 150 0
#6
Frogger
This is one of my earliest gaming memories. When I was little, my parents bought me a mini arcade cabinet toy of Frogger (circa 1982). I played with it so much, and I think it steered me to becoming a video gamer.

Super Mario Bros
Like @mikerc said, its importance and influence on the industry cannot be overstated. God, I remember the hype train when Mario 3 was about to be released, it was unreal.

Mega Man
As much as I liked Mario, the Mega Man series on the NES was better in my eyes. It challenged me more and was overall more fun. My collection of the original six games on cartridges is still the prize of my game collection.

Chrono Trigger
This was my first RPG video game experience, and boy was I spoiled! This game opened my eyes to what a video game could accomplish. The story and gameplay are absolutely great, and the soundtrack still remains with me to this day.
 
Last edited:
Reactions
1,014 333 5
#7
Star Control 2
CUZ IT'S THE BEST FUCKING GAME. No seriously, it is. It's just the best game. If someone would neuralizer me MIB style and make me forget it entirely so I could play it start to finish with no knowledge but in return they'd kill a member of my immediate family I wouldn't even hesitate. I've owned three models of 3DO (buying a new one every time one stopped working) through the years just so I could play the superior 3DO version (now available free as The Ur-Quan Masters....or as long as that piece of shit at Stardock allows it via his bullshit overreach and I hope he drowns). It's the perfect example of being better than the sum of it's parts. It's like 27 years old now and it's still never been matched.

Street Fighter Alpha 3
My favourite fighting game of all time. My best friend and I put hundreds and hundreds of hours into this when I was 17 or 18. For months, I didn't play fighting games, I played Street Fighter Alpha 3. I'm still pretty good at it and could demonstrate an infinite combo available only with V-Ism Dhalsim. My experience with it still allows me to compete with actually good Street Fighter players to this day, despite my lack of interest in the newer games.

Final Fantasy 7
Now, this was a tough pick for me, but I'm picking it because of what it meant to me at the time. I loved FF3 (6, whatever) and it's a treasured memory getting it for Christmas but 7 caused me to literally get a job when I was 14 so I could buy a Playstation specifically for it. When it came out, I bought it and my PS1, Command and Conquer and Wing Commander 4....but I never bought a memory card.....because I didn't know you needed one to save games (fuck, even the 3DO had internal storage..Jesus). So I left my PS1 on for a week straight and literally faked sick (my mom knew, obviously, but she was a softy pushover) to play it. I got zinged when the power went out though and killed my game. Now, I was broke from these purchases and then, I fucking stole a memory card from Walmart. Yeah.

Fallout
Fallout was my major entry into CRPGs. These incredible games where my choices mattered and my character was my own and the world was mine to explore. It had witty writing, fantastic atmosphere and an engaging story. This game was my turning point from a mainly console gamer to a mainly PC gamer.
 
Reactions
627 230 4
#8
Roland
Arthur
Gat Paul
Underlined with that Tetris bar.


The games I found most fun or, in the case of Ghouls and Ghosts, the most satisfying when I finally beat it. Also, Arthur should be carved leaping, a lance in his hand, in his boxer shorts.

(Paul is perhaps the zaniest character in Saints Row)
 

GasBandit

Staff member
Reactions
6,092 1,286 27
#9
Roland
Arthur
Gat Paul
Underlined with that Tetris bar.


The games I found most fun or, in the case of Ghouls and Ghosts, the most satisfying when I finally beat it. Also, Arthur should be carved leaping, a lance in his hand, in his boxer shorts.

(Paul is perhaps the zaniest character in Saints Row)
"Fuck you, Paul!!"
 

figmentPez

Staff member
Reactions
1,930 264 3
#10
(Paul is perhaps the zaniest character in Saints Row)
Until you said this, I thought you were putting Deus Ex on your list, though I was a little puzzled as to why you went with the main character's older brother.

Also, is this the Roland you're putting on your mountain?
 
Reactions
81 8 0
#14
Without Pong, There Are No Video Games.
Sure, but that doesn't mean it had any impact on us as individuals.

For me, I think the list is Super Mario RPG, Final Fantasy Tactics, World of Warcraft, and Starcraft 2.
 
Reactions
1,502 279 4
#15
WoW and/or EverQuest would have to be on there just because of the amount of my life I spent on them. And probably a Fire Emblem character. It's really hard for me to pin down what specific games really define my gaming life though. I feel like it needs a JRPG, but I'm not really sure which.
 
Reactions
627 230 4
#17
Until you said this, I thought you were putting Deus Ex on your list, though I was a little puzzled as to why you went with the main character's older brother.

Also, is this the Roland you're putting on your mountain?
Roland is one of the playable characters in the first Borderlands, and a significant NPC in the second. I suppose CL4P- TP would be more recognizable. But no.

That fucking robot is something I suffered through for all the other awesome.
 
Reactions
627 230 4
#19
Fine! Roland's Turret is going onto my Mount Rushmore. Arthur can be leaping over it.

No. Wait.

A headless Bloodwing.
 
Reactions
1,942 565 15
#20
My version is going to be a little different. The four "faces" would be:

An Upright Arcade Cabinet
My younger days (mostly the early 80's) were spent doing the roll-of-quarters/pocketful-of-tokens thing. There were actual arcades I would go to (with friends, even!): Alligator Alley, Space Station, and a few more. Super Cobra, Zaxxon, Lock-n-Chase, Battlezone, Hard Drivin', and many others, but the cabinet that appears on the mountainside to represent the arcade period of my life is Crazy Climber, a video game apparently based on a Harold Lloyd film, and it is the Nichibutsu version, not the Taito one. The joysticks on the N version were closer together than the T version, making it easier for me to play.

A Gaming Console
I was a latchkey kid for a while. The lady down the street who ran a daycare out of her home for folks like me had an Atari 2600 that was always in demand. Later, my cousin got himself an Intellivision. My dad got himself an NES and Cranky (who has been one of my dad's friends for just about forever) got a Magnavox Odyssey. Then there was college [PAUSE || ]. After college, we would hang out at a coworker's house where they had a SNES for hours and hours (and hours) of Super Street Fighter II Turbo. Cranky upgraded to a PS1. I married into an N64 and finally got to play that pre-censorship version of Ocarina of Time I got when Blockbuster went out of business. I even stepped up to a PS2 later and finally got to play the Shadow of the Colossus disc I'd been holding onto forever. But the console I would put on the mountain would be an Intellivision II. In middle school, I won $100 in a radio call-in contest (remember them?). After claiming it, I immediately rode my bike to the nearest Toys-Я-Us and bought one, along with a Treasure of Tarmin cartridge. I then proceeded to play it in the living room on a small B&W television I had pulled from someone's curb*, but I played it with me, the console, and the TV all under a blanket, because I didn't want my mother to know I'd blown my prize money on a video game system. Ah, to be young again.

A Gaming PC
I built my first PC (for myself, that is) in 2000, a VIA MVP3.5**-based Super Socket 7 machine running Win98SE with 512MB RAM, a SBLive! 4.1 sound card, and an AGP 2x TNT2 Ultra GPU. It started out with a P233MMX, but in its final form it is running a 600MHz K6-III+ with a Voodoo3 2000 PCI card as a secondary GPU. I say is running because it is still very much working (even though these days it doesn't get out of the "garage" much). That machine took me through Diablo I & II, FF7, Warcraft I & II, Starcraft, Age of Empires I & II, Black & White, Bards' Tale I, II, & III, Masters of Orion I & II, Dune II, Myst & Riven, and who knows how many other games that I can't remember right now. The image on the mountain is that of a more or less generic tower PC with a DVD drive, a CD-RW drive, and both 5-1/4 and 3-1/2 floppies. But NO RGB ANYTHING because ... just no.

A Deck of Cards
I learned to play cards at a very early age. My mother taught me War, Concentration, and Crazy Eights long before I even knew what "Uno" was. In high school, my father taught me Pinochle, and then Double-Deck Pinochle, and later Canasta and Oh Hell. We tried Whist, but it never really caught on. Even later, we combined DDPinochle and Oh Hell into a game we called "Oh Pinochle," which follows many of the rules of both and can result in much hilarity (and sorrow). College, of course, taught me Euchre (including a 2-person variant). I would also learn multiple varieties of Patience (i.e., "Solitaire"), including Klondike (the "traditional" version most people know) and my personal favorite, Napoleon at St Helena. I didn't discover FreeCell until much, much later, but it never really grabbed me. There is also a deceptively simple form (whose name I don't know) where you just pick up a full deck of cards and call out any value to start (e.g., "Jack!") as you turn over the top card, and then proceed through the deck turning over cards one at a time as you call out each subsequent card (i.e., "Queen!" "King!" "Ace!" "Two!" and so on), and in order to "win," you must make it through the entire deck WITHOUT calling out a value matching the one you turn over (suit doesn't matter). It sounds easy, but trust me, it is not. The image on the mountain is the back of a squared off deck of cards with the J♦️Q♠️ pair face-up in a V kind of overlapping the deck's NE corner.

--Patrick
*And let me tell you, playing a game where item power is denoted by color on a B&W television adds an extra layer of challenge to the whole thing.
**MVP3 northbridge, but 686B southbridge (instead of the usual 586A/B) which allowed ATA/100 instead of the slower ATA/66 or ATA/33.
 
Last edited:
Reactions
210 27 2
#21
My personal gaming Mt. Rushmore? Hmm.

Defender (C64)
This is the game that still holds my all-time greatest achievement. I got to level 55 on it once. It also means a bit to me sentimentally. I only played this game on my Grandfather's Commodore 64 when we went to his house in Atlanta. Later I would own the C64 after Grandpa passed, but it started malfunctioning and my parents threw it all out. Still a bit sad about that.

Soul Edge (Arcade)
One of my first fighting games and still my favorite series. Used to play this game in the arcade at the student union for my university (god, I feel old saying that). My friends and I would take turns and we knew how to unlock Hwang and the best way to launch Sophitia off of her stage (Mitsurugi's low leg sweep and follow up vertical strike would send her flying). I have since owned every version of this series except Soul Calibur 3 (stupid PS2 exclusivity).

City of Heroes/Villains (MMO)
A really fun superhero MMORPG that probably had the best character creation system out there. I would sit, sometimes for hours, and just mess with that and not even play the actual game. It was a really fun game to boot and had a massive, mostly positive community. If you had ever been in the forums, you will probably recognize this meme: Go. Hunt. Kill Skulls.

Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword
The only entry in the Civ series I have played, but also probably the one game I have sunk the most hours into. I have installed it on several different systems and have easily played for thousands of hours. There is something just so satisfying about building up your empire and crushing your opponents, sometimes doing so before they even know what is happening to them.

Edit:
I am torn, I HAVE to include this, but don't want to bump any of the others off. So, I am going to have 5.

Diablo 2
I was working for Gamestop when this was coming out. My parents reserved it for me as a Christmas present and I got it the week of my birthday in July. Played the absolute hell out of (pun not intended). Friends and I would multiplayer it and I almost always played the Barbarian. So many good times. Diablo 1 was also a consideration, but 2 won out just by virtue of it hitting right at the right time for me.
 
Last edited:
Reactions
395 221 1
#22
Super Mario Bros.
- I remember playing the Atari and games on our TRS80, but I put in serious time playing those 8bit wonders.

Galaga
- Fond arcade memories.

Wing Commander
- First time that I felt like I was a character in the game. Great escapism.

Baldur's Gate
- Got me deep into D&D. I actually cared about my characters and team. I spent so many hrs playing this game, including my longest sitting session (~16 hrs).

Honorable mentions. These go on plaques inside the Mt Rushmore Museum.

Mario Kart. So much fun with my friends and brother
Goldeneye: ditto
Legend of Zelda. It should be in my rushmore, but it didn't quite make the cut. I still play this game.
Civilization. 'nuff said.
 
Reactions
574 254 7
#23
Daggerfall: I've spent every evening for two school years playing this. Yes, I loved Morrowind too, and yes, it's probably objectively a better game, but for me Daggerfall will always be my favorite TES game and first person RPG - even if there are much better ones out now. Thousands of hours. First game where you could be a vampire, or a werewolf, or an evil lich, and still carry on the main quest...Or never, ever meet any of the above and finish the game. Whole provinces as large as all of Oblivion, completely optional, with whole gameplay types and events hidden away in places people'd never meet them unless they knew what to look for. It's ridiculous.

Command & Conquer:
I was in doubt which one to pick, but I think I'm just going with Kane's face and call it a day. The Tiberium series has the better story and the more fun videos, the gameplay might be slihtly better with Red Alert. I liked the way they leaned into comedy and over-the-top tropes in the first games, disliked when it went off the rails and became....whatever RA3 is. And of course, EA completely destroyed the franchise.

Diablo II: Again, I was in doubt which one to pick. I've played all three quite a lot, but II wins out because it's the one I probably played most my first years at uni. No internet,so I solo'd to level 99. Believe me, that's a lot of grinding, even on /players8.

Civilization V: yet another series where I could've easily chosen another - II, or Call to Power were my other options; but Baba Yetu is just too good of a song to pass up. Also, I wanted at least one game that isn't from my formative years, and in general I think i've enjoyed V most out of all the Civs - it's just missing a throne room to upgrade.
 
Reactions
669 200 0
#25
Civilization V: yet another series where I could've easily chosen another - II, or Call to Power were my other options; but Baba Yetu is just too good of a song to pass up. Also, I wanted at least one game that isn't from my formative years, and in general I think i've enjoyed V most out of all the Civs - it's just missing a throne room to upgrade.
Isn't Baba Yetu from Civ 4?
 
Reactions
369 182 1
#28
Civ II - Just the best bare bones version of Civ ever. No taxing animation to slowdown game play. I do wish I could find a version that still has the 4 advisors. I still play it at least once a year. I really liked the original too.

F-19 Stealth Fighter - Man I love simulation games from this time frame.

World of Warcraft - Just some of my favorite gaming moments are from this game.

Fallout 3 - Mostly for introducing me to the Bethesda games. I still play a crap ton of Fallout 4.

Honorable mention.

Pirates! - This is the game that got me into computer games. And likely the reason that I love sandbox games.

SimCity 2000 - with Streets of SimCity and SimCopter - I miss the features of games that were interconnected. It was just awesome to fly around the cities that you created and rescue folks and put out burning buildings.
 

GasBandit

Staff member
Reactions
6,092 1,286 27
#31
Yeah, I ran it on a 16 color CGA rig too. Those solid black and purple mountains majesty...
I didn't know CGA did 16 color, I thought it was limited to 4, and only the advent of EGA gave us 16 color... (well, Tandy did 16 colors a little earlier but that was still not CGA)
 
Last edited:

Dave

Staff member
Reactions
1,812 817 13
#33
Almost all of mine have been mentioned before, but I know there's one which is different so I'll start with that one.

Wizardry - The very first computer RPG that was not text and had actual first person graphics. This game changed the way I felt about computer games. I know looking at it now you have a hard time believing this, but at the time these graphics were amazing! And you had to map everything out yourself and god help you if there was a trap that spun you around. I'm looking at you, 3rd level! This game is what locked me in to computer games for life.

WoW - I was reluctant to start playing World of Warcraft when it first came out because of the monthly fee. But once I started I was all in for a long time. I would stand in line at midnight for x-pacs, spent every waking hour online. I was not as big on the lore as a lot of people, but I loved being in the game and exploring the world. I loved the small population servers where you could go to a remote place and grind or find places without fear of getting ganked. Azshara was my favorite. There was a place you could go to farm Felcloth, which was only able to be gotten by killing specific monsters and was quite valuable. So many good (and bad) memories.

Diablo - Procedurally generated "RPG"? Hell yeah! It was the first procedurally generated game (IIRC) and was just fun as hell to play. Add in the multiplayer and you have a game that my friends and I played quite a bit.

Daggerfall - So you're looking at a map. You zoom in. Look! There's a town name. Zoom in more. Streets. Zoom in. People. And the people all had names. The towns all had stores. It was an amazing feat that basically kick-started the Elder Scrolls series that has just gotten better & better.

X-Com: UFO Defense - The first turn-based tactical combat game that used intelligent AI to make the game more difficult. You run across a field and the enemy sees you? They will shoot your shit. Pushing the enemy? They might run or try and get a better vantage point. A very well done game with AI mechanics that a lot of games these days can't or don't emulate.

I have several who fit the bill for honorable mention. Like Ultima, Bard's Quest, Wizard's Crown, Questron, Empire (not the one everyone thinks of - this one was a turn-based strategy). Hell, there are games I loved that I can't find the name for. Like the Amiga game we played that was a space strategy game. Everyone put in their moves and then the round ended. If you sent all of your ships to star A and the guy who has Star A sent all of his ships to attack Star B, then Star A will probably be taken, but the player isn't out because he still has ships going somewhere.

And then there's the D&D game from an old console - Atari? - that I played a lot.

Just so many games, man. Hard to narrow it down to just 4 or 5.
 
Reactions
538 237 0
#35
Tomb Raider (the original)
Diablo
God of War
Portal 2

Honorable mentions: Bayonetta, Uncharted

I’ll probably come back and expound more later when I’m not so lazy. :)
 
Top