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Games That Keep You Coming Back? 601

The Guardian Gamesblog kicked off a great discussion on their site, talking about games that just keep pulling you back in. Games that, even if you've played through them once, you just have to pick them up again. eToyChest and Kotaku both have related threads. So, what about you? What are some videogames that, even years later, you just have to play through one more time?
For me, besides my ongoing fascination with World of Warcraft, Star Wars Galaxies, and Everquest II, there aren't that many that needed more than one playthrough. Both Half-Life titles, of course. I needed to play HL2 just to get everything I missed the first time. Jedi Academy and System Shock 2 required additional plays to try the game at a different angle. Similarly, I've played through the Diablo titles more than once each, as there's just so much clicking to be had. I somehow managed to avoid the gravity well of Civ4 for the most part, but Civilization 3 was almost the only game I played in college. Good times.
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Games That Keep You Coming Back?

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  • by falzer ( 224563 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @03:24PM (#14588924)
    The Legend of Zelda
    Nethack on []
    Star Control II
  • BZFlag (Score:2, Informative)

    by bwd ( 936324 )
    BZFlag [] is one of those free multiplayer games that keeps pulling me back in almost every day. The competitiveness of the game coupled with the community is hard to beat. And it's open source to boot!
  • Obviously... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by joe 155 ( 937621 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @03:25PM (#14588932) Journal
    ...It has to be the Zelda games... almost every one is a classic, my personal favourite has to be Ocarina of Time, its so fantastic.

    The newest game to captivate me like this is Resident Evil 4, its a classic, getting to shoot anything with a shotgun, brill.
  • Koules (Score:3, Informative)

    by Mr2cents ( 323101 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @03:26PM (#14588936)
    One of the koulest games around for linux, eighties style.
  • by CyricZ ( 887944 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @03:26PM (#14588938)
    Even though I'm a geezer, I find games like Vice City and San Andreas to be supreme. Why is that? Because I can easily edit the vehicle properties, for instance. I like having Cabbies that can go 800 km/h, while cop cars and paddy wagons that top out at 2 km/h. Even modifying the landscape is fun to do. People have added additional islands to Vice City, for instance.

    Then again, card games are also always entertaining, and keep me coming back for more.

  • Tetris (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I still haven't got to the last level :(
  • Diablo! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mrobin604 ( 70201 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @03:26PM (#14588941)
    I think most people will agree on this game. I play a lot of games, most of them once through (I'm not a huge FPS/online player, so a trip through the single player game and I'm usually done). The addictive thing about Diablo is the play mechanic... I was actually done with the game, and didn't have a desire to keep playing it, but for some reason I had to go through and play it again anyways.
    • Re:Diablo! (Score:3, Insightful)

      What I like about Diablo II (with expansion) is the number of character classes, plus the variety of skill trees. Just because you've won as a Necromancer specializing in curses doesn't mean you can't play again as a Necro specializing in Bone spells or Golems. The stratagy is quite different for each type of skills. Not only that, even if you do try the same skills again you're going to find different weapons, armor and items and that can change things considerably. Even if you only play in single-play
  • X-Com + Fallout (Score:4, Interesting)

    by falloutgib ( 585732 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @03:26PM (#14588942) Homepage
    X-Com was a brilliant blend of strategy and role-playing elements that manages to make every game exciting and different.

    Fallout 2 was amazing -- a huge world, violent weapons, and intensive role-play action. Anything post-apocalypic gets marks up from me :)

    NESkimos -- Best. Nintendo. Metal. Ever. []
    • Ironically enough, I'm in the middle of X-Com: Ufo Defense right now (*AGAIN*) running under dosbox. I have the original CD media and everything. Seriously addicted in college (a buddy of mine and I played *literally* 24/7 in shifts for about two weeks at one point) and it just keeps coming back...
  • Nethack (Score:4, Informative)

    by undeadly ( 941339 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @03:26PM (#14588945)
    is the one game I've been playing for more than a decade, on and off. No fancy graphics, but great gameplay. Yeah, cool slick graphics and corresponding sound is nice, but no substitute for great gameplay.
    • adom (Score:3, Informative)

      adom of course. I started playing it about 9 years ago. 3 years ago I've won for the first time. This christmas I just won for the second time. So diverse gameplay, each class/character combination is so different I never can belive it.

      oh, and system shock 1, and fallout 2, and elite 2/frontier

      I even bought system shock 2, but it wasn't that good.
  • Yo, bud... I've got some Evercrack here. By one hit, get one level free...
  • I just love this game. Probably one of the best RPGS EVER. I'm also playing Civ 2 and Civ 4 on the side.
  • X-COM UFO DEFENSE (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Zelph ( 628698 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @03:28PM (#14588958) Homepage
    X-COM UFO DEFENSE was my all time favorite. I even played it a year or two ago. I wish they would re-release it with the exact same A.I. only with AWESOME graphics. That would be great.
  • I'm an old fart (Score:3, Informative)

    by Nuclear Elephant ( 700938 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @03:28PM (#14588960) Homepage
    You guys are probably too old to remember some of these classics, which I still play occasionally today:

    Crystal Castles (Rocks)
    Omega Race
    The original Star Wars, with the vector graphics
    Xybots (this one isn't too old)
  • Hey, ALL games would be so much better if the main character was wearing a goose outfit.
  • "Half Life". You know you had to complete it a second time with just the crow bar!
  • Pong is the only game for me.
  • by Kohath ( 38547 )
    I like Joust. 1982's finest
  • Tetris (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Nerviswreck ( 238452 )
    Best game ever. Bar-none
  • System Shock 2! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PontifexPrimus ( 576159 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @03:33PM (#14589011)
    ... and Deus Ex (played that one on my last four computers). Both great games with extreme replayability, since they offer so much customzing options for your character. And, what's more important, those choices actually matter in terms of gameplay and are not purely cosmetic, resulting in sometimes radically different games.
    Don't get me wrong, I like (for instance) the Splinter Cell series, but if you don't sneak in the levels where you're supposed to sneak, you simply lose the game; when I've made it through such an obstacle course once I see no motivation to do the exact same thing again the next time through.
    • In my opinion, both SS2 and Deus Ex (the first one) were two of the best two RPGs ever made. Why can't more developers spend more time on open-ended plot lines? I hated half-life; it was a glorified side scroller.
  • Street Fighter 3 Third Strike
    Mr Do's Castle
    Mrs Pacman
    Garou: Mark of the Wolves
    Kung Fu
    Mario Brothers (the two player original)
    RC ProAM
    Escape from Robot City
    Any Neo Geo or CSP1/2 arcade games.

    Mame rules so much. Thank you world for Mame :)

  • Call me old-fashioned, but at least once every year or two I fire up Karl Buiter's Sentinel Worlds [] and play through it from beginning to end. I played it first in 1989 in glorious CGA, sharing the keyboard with my dad for hours every night. My life has shifted dramatically since then--family members have died, jobs and homes have come and gone, but when I sit down and start up that game and hear the PC-speaker music start up, it's like I'm eleven years old and I've come home.
  • Master of Orion 2.

    MOO3 completely destroyed any fun in playing.
    • Too bad my mod points are gone. This was the game at the top of my list. I've played MOO2 so many times off-and-on over the years. It just has tons of reply value. I just wish there were even small updates available for the game. (It is more fun when you don't know what the Space Amoeba or Dragon is going to do.)

      Regarding someone else's reply, MOO I vs MOO II, I think I'm more MOO II. It just seems more refined, IMHO. And of course, MOO3? WTF were they thinking??!?
  • Monkey Island (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DarkDust ( 239124 ) <> on Saturday January 28, 2006 @03:35PM (#14589029) Homepage

    Monkey Island II is the game I play the most. I normally play through at least one Monkey Island game every year, I just love the humor (I like the first two parts the most but enjoy III and IV as well).

    Maniac Mansion II: Day of the Tentacle is also one of those games I replay quite often. Like Monkey Island, the humor is just great.

    Too bad Sam and Max II was cancelled and that the gaming industry doesn't produce good adventures (especially humorous adventures) any more... at least I haven't heard of any.

  • Diable (1 and 2)
    Civ (the original)
    Masters of Magic
    Masters of Orion
    XCOM (most of them)
    Continumm (formerly Subspace)
    Heroes of Might & Magic

    Most of them are games from the ealry 90's and their sequels.
  • Diablo 2 (is this old enough to qualify I put it down and pick it up almost annually)
    Fallout 2 Nothing better than trying a role that I've never played yet.
    Masters of Orion series I even fired up MOO on DOS Box the other day just as sweet as it always was.
    Frontier: First Encounters Holy crap do I wish I could get x2 working or that they would release Elite 4. That series has always led with graphics, unstructuredness, and fun.
    X-Com--Fighting my way to mind control and then making the etherials do m
  • Counter-Strike (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dnixon112 ( 663069 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @03:37PM (#14589045)
    If what you like out of video games is competition, nothing beats CS. It's so easy to organize 5v5 matches, hop in a server with some friends and it's as if you're in a high stakes shootout with all the tension. There's always TONS of people playing, always tons of competition, it's no wonder it's the top competitive video game around.

    Think of it this way, why do you go back and play the same sport you like over and over. Because you like to compete in basketball, or football or whatever. Same thing with CS, it's all about competition, and it'll keep you coming back.

    P.S. If you're worried about cheaters, there's many communities that are organized with the specific goal of stopping this threat with sophisticated anti cheat software and admin support.

    Check out ESEA [] CEVO [] NEL [] CAL [] GGL []
  • Addictive games (Score:2, Insightful)

    by HalAtWork ( 926717 )
    Contra & Super C (NES, Konami) - I memorized the game as a kid getting through it, going back to the game and running through it once more to play out all of that memorization is always fun

    Gunstar Heroes (Genesis, Treasure) - It just has great gameplay, your characters seem like an extention of you. The stages are each unique and are fun obstacle courses to run through.

    Megaman (NES, Capcom) - It's just a really unique and weird game, one of the first of its kind, the enemies and characters had a lot mo

  • Super Metroid (Score:2, Interesting)

    by techrolla ( 902384 )
    Definitely Super Metroid. Perhaps because the game has the most amazing music and a slew of secrets that just give you a sense of satisfaction to find over and over again, years after you beat the game with 100% of the items. Not many games can do that.
  • My choices (Score:5, Interesting)

    by vectorian798 ( 792613 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @03:38PM (#14589056)
    Starcraft: For a RTS with such diverse races, it is amazingly balanced and has some very interesting gameplay in UMS maps. Time and again I uninstall SC only to reinstall it soon after. It is the one game for which I can say that I enjoy it as much as I did the day I got it.

    Super Smash Brothers Melee: My and my friends spend hours battling it out. One of the few games of this last (meaning pre-X360) generation that really had incredible gameplay. For the majority of people I know that own a GameCube, this game is the reason why they bought it.

    Diablo 2: Patch 1.10 added a whole lot of material and pulled back a lot of people who left during the 1.09d era because of hackers, dupes, and overall lack of depth.

    Pokemon: Fun to replay it with different creatures...what can I say. I didn't believe that my friends were actually going to spend several hours playing this all over but I have to say, I kinda wanna play it right now haha.

    Baldur's Gate II: So much depth in this game. Tons of classes and races, tons of items, over 200 hours of play time because of a myriad of subquests - and this doesn't include the expansion.

    Fallout 2: One of the best RPG's ever. And so unique in comparison to the stale overused 'fantasy' setting RPG's. Fun to go run around towns doing side quests and talking to all those people I never talked to before.

    Unreal Tournament: Still a great Lan Party game, because it runs well on everyone's computers and just has outstanding FPS gameplay overall. A few years from now, I'll add 2004 to this list because it's gameplay modes are also amazingly addictive.

    Note: I know there are a lot of CLASSIC games that aren't on this list (esp. on consoles), but I leave them out because I think the important factor here is replay value and so the grading is a little different. Games that tend to be strictly linear especially hurt from this.
  • C & C (Score:4, Interesting)

    by iggy_mon ( 737886 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @03:39PM (#14589060) Homepage
    I play Command and Conquer - Renegade all the time. Renegade was the only FPS in the C&C universe and it rocked. Wish they'd make a second one.

    I bought the game the hour it was released locally (Mechanicsburg, PA, where I was at the time) and was eventually recruited for every clan on the net ;^) I always shot down every offer 'cause I liked to kill without prejudice ;^)

    Yeah, I play as iggy_mon there, too. If you pick up the multipack for around $20(us) join me!
  • I know that there are a few other taffers on Slashdot; where are you? Come out of the shadows and give praise to The Builder! Er, I mean Garrett.
  • I've beaten it at least 4 times so far, right now I'm going back and seeing how far I can get without any of the special caps. You can get a surprising amount of stars you would supposedly need them for, without them.
  • 1) Age of Empires. The original, not II, III, or any of the expansion packs. There is something about that game that just keeps me playing it.

    2) Quake. Again, the original, not II, III, IV, or any of the derivatives. Occasionally I like to kill all the lights and at about one in the afternoon, fire up Quake and just start playing. I can usually get through the entire game by midnight or 1 AM. I find it - refreshing ;-).
  • Deus Ex (Score:5, Insightful)

    by __david__ ( 45671 ) * on Saturday January 28, 2006 @03:42PM (#14589083) Homepage
    I loved the original Deus Ex and played all the way through it twice and played just the first few levels a number of times since then. I would definitely consider playing it all the way through again! It's a shame the second one wasn't as good as the first.

    The sad thing is I have it for the Mac and it only runs in classic mode now. When the intel move becomes ubiquitous they aren't going to do classic and I'm going to lose Deus Ex (as well as all my nostalgic classic apps). Very sad.

  • pathways into darkness
    escape velocity
  • by guidryp ( 702488 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @03:43PM (#14589085)
    I have played these two more than any other games I bought. Played them each for years, still will play them today.
    • I remember going ape shit over TA when i saw it in PCZONE, double page spread, Arm bombers dropping a load over Core Tanks. I bought it there and then in my mind. My only regret was not having enough time to get all the updates over the years and losing the game. God damn, its the only game I regret not playing any more. What made it worse, it still hasn't been surpassed. Warzone 2100 came really close but it wasn't as really gripping (except for that level where there is a nuke heading to your base an
  • Personally, I don't really enjoy playing against the computer at all.
    So my favorites are online games, and most of them are free.

    America's Army (3d first-person shooter) [Free] []

    Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory (3d first-person WW2 shooter) [Free] []

    FreeCiv (online multi-player civilization 1) [Free] []
  • Civilization. (Score:3, Informative)

    by darkmeridian ( 119044 ) <william DOT chuang AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday January 28, 2006 @03:44PM (#14589097) Homepage
    From the original all the way to Civilization IV. Addictive.
  • My biggest problem is spending money on a game, only to find I'm bored with it rather quickly - and can't even get enough gameplay out of it to justify the price tag.

    Civilization 1, 2, and 3 were all excellent games with lots of "staying power" though. Every time I run across the installation discs for one of those titles and decide to load it back on a computer for the heck of it, I end up playing another round or two of them.

    I've never completely grown tired of Warcraft III (with the Frozen Throne expans
  • Well... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Kegetys ( 659066 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @03:46PM (#14589107) Homepage
    System Shock - Simply a stunning game... And although it isn't as scary as it used to be when I played it the first time, I'm still afraid of going to the third level

    Nethack - Of course. Though I'm not that good at it :P

    Transport Tycoon Deluxe (And OpenTTD) - This one never gets old, and with OpenTTD it gets new features all the time.

    Thief 1 & 2 - Simply great, too bad Thief 3 (imo) wasn't nearly as good as these two

    Fallout 2 - I hope Bethesda can make Fallout 3 as good as this one...

    Operation Flashpoint - Not that old yet, but a superb game, especially in multiplayer co-op

    Doom 1 & 2 - Somehow I still can enjoy playing the same old original maps through one more time :)

    And of course many C64 and Amiga games, though most of them feel too hard today. I guess the new games have spoiled me.
  • I started playing Empire [] with my Atari ST about 1987? Move forward to today, and I'm still playing it, albeit a newer version. [] Speaking of Atari games ... FTL's Sundog and Dungeon Master
  • But I find the sim games are pretty timeless too (The Sims, Sim City). One game I wish I still had was Star Control II for the 3DO... man was that game addictive!
    • Re:Tetris (natch) (Score:4, Informative)

      by falloutgib ( 585732 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @03:56PM (#14589181) Homepage
      You can get a free version of SCII for 3DO that runs on PC -- voice and everything! Check out The Ur-Quan Masters []
      • Star Control II (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Myself ( 57572 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @04:34PM (#14589397) Journal
        When I found out the music in SC2 was MOD files, I found a ripper on my local BBS and promptly extracted the music. That was in June of 1994, and the files have followed me from drive to drive, filesystem to filesystem, with their timestamps intact. I still love listening to that music, having burned bits of it to CD for the car, and all of it still enjoying a place in my Winamp playlst.

        Occasionally when a discussion of game storylines crops up, I'll pitch in a few kind paragraphs for Star Control 2. The conversation archives on The Pages of Now and Forever still relate the same compelling story, and I still remember my horror when I initially learned of the Kohr-Ah's plight. The most convincing villain is one you feel sympathy for, and they had that going, for sure.

        A few weeks ago, I downloaded the most recent build of The Ur-Quan Masters. The first build I tried a year or so ago wouldn't start up, but this version ran flawlessly. The music was perfect, the graphics were just as I remembered them, and the interface took a little getting used to but then felt very comfortable.

        So why did the game bore me? I played for probably half an hour, and couldn't seem to get interested. It's not that I knew the ending -- I played the game through 3 or 4 times back when it was new, and it didn't seem any less fun the second time around. I haven't been much for games in the last few years, and I'm still struggling to figure out why.
  • I still play Halo and Wolfenstein : Enemy Territory, but I've got a Mac and I don't like Unreal, so those games are pretty much it in terms of modern FPS that'll play on my home machine.

    Emulators, on the other hand, do a dandy job of making the pile of still-functional cartridges I have for my long-dead consoles very enjoyable:

    Bionic Commando (NES, I'd kill for a Metal Gear Solid styled "update")
    Final Fantasy 6 (SNES please, the Playstation version introduced load time)
    River City Ransom (NES- single player'
  • Ultima Underworld. Brilliant it still is.
  • Escape From Butcher Bay
    Master Of Orion
    Deus Ex
    System Shock 1 & 2
    X-Com 1 through 3 (#4 is a little disappointing)
    Fallout 1 & 2 .....
    and many others.
  • Sid's Alpha Centauri (Score:2, Informative)

    by SsShane ( 754647 )
    Great strategy game. Decent AI, good story, and very deep gameplay. You can micromanage to death or automate what you want. I've been playing it since 1999; it's the one game that is always on my hard drive. The Civ games never did it for me.
  • Nethack (Score:4, Insightful)

    by YGingras ( 605709 ) <> on Saturday January 28, 2006 @03:57PM (#14589187) Homepage
    There are games are fade away when you realize how dull the graphics are. There are games that let your mind make all the graphics.
  • Morrowind, Civ, and Star Wars Rebellion
  • Galaga - No one loved Atari? You just have to get a better score than that!
    Tetris - The old gameboy version, very addictive.
    Armagetron AD [ [] ] - A very nicely done Tron light cycle clone.
  • quake (any)
    dune 2
    wing commander
    unreal tournament
    railroad tycoon
  • I *still* haven't finished this old PC game, Dune. I'm a fan of the book, and I'd just like to finally once and for all destroy the damn Harkonnens. I've been playing it using the "dosbox" program available in Gentoo, which works like a charm. Not to mention all the old NES titles I've been playing that I never quite managed to finish when I was a kid.
  • Outside of things like Nethack etc. that have already been mentioned several times, I'd have to name the old LucasArts adventures - in particular, the ones between LOOM and Sam'n'Max. (I didn't really care about the later ones like CoMI etc., and neither the earlier ones either really.)
  • ... Civ4 for the most part, but Civilization 3 was almost the only game ...

    Hell, I still play Civ 1 all the way through at least once or twice a year!.

  • COUNTER-STRIKE (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ltwally ( 313043 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @04:01PM (#14589224) Homepage Journal
    Last I knew, Counter-Strike and Counter-Strike: Source were the most played FPS's around. Even with CS:S running on the HL2 engine, it's still very much the same game -- just a little prettier. That's pretty damn impressive considering the game has been around for ~8years.

    The irony, in the 6 years that I've played the game, I have yet to learn how to aim.. instead, I've learned how to improve my spray-and-pray. <shrugs> I must be the most leet noob I know.

  • The three games that pull me back time and time again are:

    Final Fantasy 3 (Or 6, depending on who you ask)
    It's like a favourite book - even though you know what happens, and where the story's going, you enjoy the telling of the story so much you keep picking it up.

    Must. Fill. Holes. With. Falling. Blocks.

    Quake 3
    OK. So it's hopelessly outdated compared to other FPS's, but it's got just the right level of complexity (that is, almost none) for me to kee
    • Civ II
    • Pirates
    • Boulder Dash
    • Manic Miner
    • Elite
    Lot's of others too. Generally, older Speccy stuff and some older PC titles. Gawd, that makes me feel so old...
  • I still play this arcade game almost daily with my colleagues at work -- we've been playing it for 10 years now, on and off. It started when we ported SS1 to Sega CD, then we played SS2 for ages - when I changed workplace later, some of the other people from Funcom put their money together and bought an arcade cabinet with a NeoGeo arcade unit in it. We've tried SS3, which has beautiful graphics - but the gameplay is just not quite as tight as in SS2. SS4 is a joke, bad graphics, bad gameplay.

    The main reaso
  • Here's a few that I still dream about:
    • Raid on Bungeling Bay
    • Mission Impossible
    • Jumpman
    • Infocom games
    And from a little later in the game, Armor Alley, which I still play in classic mode on my Mac...

  • The graphics are palatable at best, the animations are wooden, and the physics engine leaves much to be desired. Why do I keep playing?

    Excellent storyline, deep characters, and the thrill of finding stuff I missed.

    Every choice I make, whether to kill or let live, has an impact. I've yet to find a game with a level of depth and choice like this. And it's been at least 5 years since I first had it...
  • "Slashdot Effect: Trolling for Servers". The goal is to submit as many articles as you can that point to blogs you hate.

    Close runners-up would have to be "Smash the Taco: Signal 11's Revenge", and the sequel, "Attack of the GNAA".

  • Quake2 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Stinking Pig ( 45860 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @04:17PM (#14589316) Homepage
    10 years old, and I still play it with some friends. It's small and fast by modern standards, quake2evolved gives it updated looks, and I don't need to learn new controls, carry an external mouse with my laptop, or have a dedicated "just for games" console at home. I've tried the newer FPS games from Id and played Quake3 for a little while, but I keep coming back to Q2.
  • Asteroids - Thousands of MAME ROMs and I choose to play 1 over and over.
    Puzzle Bobble - Well, make that 2.
    Galaga - All right, 3.
    Alpha Centauri - Best writing in a video game.
    Katamari - The gameplay keeps me occupied. The music keeps me coming back.
    Diablo II - Therapy
    Mario Kart (original and DS) - Weapons are fun, but the racing is second to none.
    Wipeout (1 and 3) - Best futuristic racer. Best music in a racer. Psygnosis made them with love.
    Pilotwings 64 - Relaxing, beautiful, frustrating.
    Goldeneye - How cou
  • --- ELITE --- (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Alioth ( 221270 ) <no@spam> on Saturday January 28, 2006 @04:35PM (#14589409) Journal
    Elite. So much so, that I'm now the Linux maintainer for the tribute game, Oolite (originally for Mac OS X). Oolite is an open source Elite clone written in Objective C and Cocoa for the Mac, GNUstep for Linux/BSD. Oolite is extensible with scripts and new ships, too. [] - for the Linux binary installer (autopackage or tarball, your choice - has *no* dependencies for most distros) and source code. [] - for the Mac OS X version.
    A windows port is also under way (currently in alpha, you can get it from
  • by syousef ( 465911 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @05:19PM (#14589647) Journal
    The types of games that I keep coming back to are simulators with a sandbox interface, that require you to develop a new skill or learn something new. Flight simulators are particularly challenging - There's always something new to learn on Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004, and similarly for remote controlled aircraft on Realflight G3.

    In fact I'm a bit of a flight sim nut so long as the sim is sufficiently complex. There is always something new you haven't tried. Learnt Acrobatics? Try navigation. Learnt to navigate, learn to fly a 747 properly. Learnt that too how about crosswind landings, night flying etc. With the remote control sims there's always a new trick to try and master and your accuracy to improve. What's more you don't have to spend $200 and 3 weekends fixing things after every crash.

    Then there's software that teaches you a classic game like Chessmaster. You can always get better at chess, and there are lots of tutorials in Chessmaster 10 so you can go through them again after a year or so and you're reminded of something you'd learnt but almost forgotten. The I can play in a virtual tournament against a number of virtual opponents.

    These are the sorts of games I keep coming back to. They manage to keep your mind and/or your reflexes going without being completely artificial...and sure it's a cartoon world with virtual this and that, but hell I'll never get to land a real 747 or play chess against a grandmaster for real, so I appreciate these experiences.
  • Freespace 2 (Score:3, Informative)

    by Phleg ( 523632 ) <stephen&touset,org> on Saturday January 28, 2006 @06:20PM (#14590002)
    Possibly the greatest space flight sim of all time. Freespace 2 was the sequel to the phenomenal Descent: Freespace. The sequel surpassed the original giving you an incredible feel for the massive scale of the ships involved (sometimes many kilometers long, while you flew in a fighter or bomber only a few meters long), and had absolutely incredible dogfighting. Tons of varied weapons, and extremely diverse gameplay; you've got escort missions, stealth reconnaisance, bombing runs, search and rescue, etc.

    The game gets complicated with all the different tasks it requires you to do (switch the targetted subsystem to destroy critical points of capital ships, commanding squadmates to attack specific targets, targetting bombs, etc.) but flows into it smoothly with a very forgiving learning curve.

    This is an all-around fantastic game. It's showing its age, but still looks excellent graphically.
    • Re:Freespace 2 (Score:3, Informative)

      by quantax ( 12175 )
      This is an all-around fantastic game. It's showing its age, but still looks excellent graphically.

      I agree completely, as far as space-sims go, Freespace II is the single best overall, even compared to newer ones such as the X series and Freelancer which was a bit more arcadey.

      However, theres good news regarding the game's aging graphics. If you are unaware, Volition released the source code for FS2 a whiles back and since then the players have unified their efforts into the FS2 Source Code Project in w
  • M.U.L.E. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Ksisanth ( 915235 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @07:26PM (#14590411)
    And my heart still pounds as I press the keys with all the force I can muster, as if this will make my planeteer go faster.
  • Super Mario Bros (Score:5, Interesting)

    by m50d ( 797211 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @08:25PM (#14590724) Homepage Journal
    Every platform game since has been basically a poorer imitation. It's just good fun.
  • by FromWithin ( 627720 ) <stuff&fromwithin,com> on Saturday January 28, 2006 @08:26PM (#14590731) Homepage
    Carmageddon 1, 1.5 and 2 are among the greatest games ever created in my view. The third is very good, but lacking something, especially the way the multi-player modes were changed. Why mess with perfection? Playing Fox and Hound Carmageddon 1 with eight players over IPX was the pinnacle of gaming for me nine years ago. I wish I could play it again now. Sigh. It was hilarious hurtling down a mountain road chasing the fox car with six others, only to have someone cock it up and cause a pile-up sending a couple of cars somersaulting over your head and into the sea. I've never laughed so much playing any other game.

    Such a shame that Carmageddon 4 got canned. I still have hopes for its appearance though. Fingers crossed.
  • Tetris and Quake (1) (Score:3, Interesting)

    by WMD_88 ( 843388 ) <> on Saturday January 28, 2006 @09:10PM (#14590927) Homepage Journal
    I consider Tetris the best game ever created, and the original Mac version the best version of it. (I usually get really picky about the physics, and that version gets it perfect.) It's the game that never gets old, and has the simplest concept (next to Pong).

    As for Quake 1...I first played it in 1997 on my Windows 95, Pentium 1 computer. I've since played it at some point on every computer I've owned since then. I don't know what it is, but I have yet to find a finer FPS, especially one to replay so much. Perhaps it's the complete lack of scripted events mixed with the oldest-considered realistic graphics and atmosphere...but whatever it is, I can't get enough.

    I also have a soft spot for Novastorm, a somewhat mediocre Playstation (1995) sci-fi blaster game. Despite its flaws, I have to play it every now and then, for the primitive charm.

Machines that have broken down will work perfectly when the repairman arrives.