Those of you who know me know I’m a gamer, first and foremost. I’ve played games that were awesome, games that were not so great, and games that were just straight up weird. But out of all the games I’ve checked out over the years, there are still a few select titles I find myself going back to again and again. These are my go-to games, the ones I always bring out when I’m feeling down, feeling stressed, or just when I want to kick back and relax for a while. These are the games, regardless of what system they’re on or how old I was when I first played them, that always bring a smile to my face every time the title screen comes up. These are my all-time favorite video games.

Super Smash Bros.

Ever since its first iteration on the Nintendo 64, Super Smash Bros. has always been my first pick for multiplayer mayhem. I can’t tell you how many hours I spent in college at my friends’ dorms and houses playing Smash. We’d go round after round cycling through all our favorite characters - Kirby, Zelda, Pikachu, you name it – and beating the living snot out of each other before switching over to random battles and playing even more rounds. Far more than Nintendo fan service, Smash has never been your typical combo-heavy fighting game. The basic controls are simple enough for anyone to just pick up and play, which I appreciated. But once you’ve learned the ins and outs of your favorite characters, it takes the game to an entirely new level. And with two new Smash Bros. coming out this year, there will plenty more brawls to be had between my friends and I in the months to come.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

There are some games out there that just suck you in for hours at a time, whisking you away to a completely different world and allowing you to forget all the troubles of the real world. For me, that game was Skyrim. My boyfriend first introduced me to the land of the Elder Scrolls, and I never looked back. I had never seen such an incredibly expansive fantasy world in a game before, and certainly not one that looked this gorgeous. You can literately run around for hours and see something new to explore every minute, whether that be a hidden bandit lair, a long-forgotten temple or fortress, or even a dragon burial ground. Not to mention the tremendous volume of quests in the game, and just the sheer overwhelming sense of freedom you get when playing this game. Whether you want to be an all-powerful wizard, a heroic knight, a sneaky thief, or even a freakin’ werewolf, Skyrim gives you the freedom to be anything you want and play anyway you want. And it’s that kind of freedom that keeps me coming back to land of Tamriel times and time again.

Paper Mario

While I love a good open-world RPG like Skyrim, I find more traditional turn-based RPGs to be a little tedious. The concept of your character growing stronger and traveling the world on a grand adventure is still there, but having to cycle through endless menus and wait patiently as your characters do all the fighting with out any input from you just never appealed to me. However, one turn-based game I never got tired of was Paper Mario. Maybe it was the bright and colorful world to explore or the unique pop-up book style of the world. Maybe it was the loveable characters, the unique members of the party and the familiar tale of Mario saving Peach from Bowser told in a totally new way. Maybe it was the fact that Nintendo figured out how to make turn-based RPGs fun by actually allowing the player some tactical input during the attacks instead of setting the characters on autopilot. Whatever the case, Paper Mario has always been a blast to play, and is still one of my favorite games to play over and over again.


I enjoy a good shooter, but there’s one little gripe I have with them: they’re all the same. Take a quick glance around at any game store and you’ll find at least 20 different shooters with the same grungy brown and gray color scheme, the same “hyper-realistic” graphics and physics, and the same gritty story of Soldier/Space Marine A having to save the world from evil terrorist organization/evil space empire B. It’s all been done before and frankly, it’s not all that interesting. But Borderlands took me completely by surprise, in the best way possible. From its over-the-top, comic-book style to its brilliant melding of the shooter and RPG genres to its crazy characters and wicked sense of humor, Borderlands had what so many shooters at the time, and even shooters today, didn’t have. It was entertaining, it was engaging, it was memorable, and most important, it was actually fun. You can go have a blast with your “realistic” shooters. I’ll just be over here laughing my head off as I run midget bandits and psychopaths over with my buzzsaw-spitting, tricked-out buggy and acidic rocket launchers.

Sonic the Hedgehog

As much as I love Nintendo now, the Sega Genesis is where I got my start as a gamer. And the first game I ever played, the one that ignited my love of video games and got me hooked right from the start, was Sonic the Hedgehog. I remember Christmas morning when I got my Genesis with Sonic 2, plugging it into my TV, and never looking back since. It was like nothing my little grade-school self had ever seen before: bright and colorful, the catchiest music in gaming, blindingly fast, (well, for the 90s, anyway…) and one of the coolest video game protagonists ever. Even today, I still like to pull up the digital versions of those classic games and throw down on some good old-fashioned 16-bit fun.

Author’s Note: Thanks to everyone who’s been keeping up with The Geek Girl Report for the past 3 years. I regret to announce that this will be the final Geek Girl on However, the Geek Girl isn’t going away forever. I invite everyone to check out the new and improved Geek Girl Report on I’ll continue to bring you all the latest tech news, products and advice every week, along with tons more geeky stuff. And as always, you can follow me on Twitter: @the_littlest_a. Thanks again for an awesome three years, I’ll see you guys down the road!

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