This game deserves the #1 spot because it is so accessible but so addictive. Anyone can easily play and get hooked. After a while, you start to develop "Tetris Vision" where everywhere you look, you see blocks falling and you try to arrange them in your surroundings. The worst case of Tetris Vision I suffered was when I was playing volleyball and I thought I could see pieces in the squares of the volleyball net.
Just FYI, this is what happens behind the scenes when you play Tetris:
This game hooks you on several fronts. First is the "collector" mentality. Throughout the game, you are rewarded with weapons, armor and skills that are just a little bit beyond your current skill level, so you are driven to continue playing in order to level up to use your new items as well as to continue looking for more items. The diabolical addition by the developers was to put the "save points" approximately 70% of the way into the level, but when you load a saved game, you have to fight all the same monsters you've already destroyed. You get to a point where's it's not worth saving and quitting, so instead it's better to just grab a Coke and another bag of Doritos.
I think the business model for this one speaks for itself. $15 per month just to play? Not only is it incredibly addictive that people are willing to shell out $100+ per year, but you have the added pressure of making sure you get your money's worth month after month. Fortunately, I've managed to steer clear of this one... so far.
When this game came out, it was during the "Golden Age" of custom maps. Not only could you sink hours and hours into the game itself (trying to get past the insanely difficult "Nightmare" mode),but you could also go online and download a seemingly limitless number of custom maps. I think the Star Wars add-on was one of my favorite total conversions.
141 cars, 20 tracks and a little something called "Endurance Races". I remember I kept a printout of all the cars next to me as I played so I could go in to work the next day to show off my new acquisitions. Most of the races were anywhere from 2 - 5 laps... sometimes 20 laps... but then there were the Endurance races. 200 miles of racing, 2 hours of racing, 78 laps... etc. All in real time. And you couldn't knock out 20 laps, hit save and then continue the next day. It was all or nothing. I think the Gran Turismo 3 sound track will be permanently embedded in my brain.
Quake III seemed to be when "online frag-fest" came of age. It was one thing to shoot at computer controlled monsters, but to be able to shoot away at your closest friends upped the adrenaline levels 10 fold -- especially when you were within earshot of the victim and could hear their cries of defeat after a well placed Railgun shot. Quake III alone accounted for countless 3D video cards, ethernet cards, and high speed connectivity.
Who runs back into a swaying building immediately after an earthquake? Me and five of my friends did so we could finish our epic multiplayer battle in Age of Empires. At this point, Age of Empires has essentially supplanted my entire knowledge of history. All I know is that the Brittons have kick-ass archers and the Mongols can't build walls....
This one is like Tetris for the lazy... Tetris required moving and rotating the falling pieces. For Bejeweled, all you need to do is click on two shapes to have them swap positions. All you needed was a free hand to move your mouse. It was essentially Minesweeper with a bigger payoff. Again, anyone with a mouse and a good clicking finger could get hooked on this game.
Guild Wars is like the poor man's World of Warcraft, but many argue it's just as much fun. A $30 one-time price of entry (which I've seen as low as $10) scored you frequent and extensive updates and expansions.
But the Guild Wars characters don't just go on epic adventures...
I think most conservative efforts will peg this game at 100 hours... and then there's the side quests. I picked this game up when the price dropped, but I haven't found the courage to pop the disk in because I just can't spare that kind of time...
Plus, they've got all sorts of flaws in their storyline...
I'm a technology early adopter. I thoroughly enjoy geeking out with the latest hardware, software and electronics. I probably have as much fun setting up, tweaking, and configuring systems as I do actually … more