10 Most Memorable Moments In Video Game History
Some Gaming Moments are just great …..
10. Taking Down The Hydra – God Of War
The game that truly popularised quick-time events with a hefty dose of incredible boss battles and interactive set-pieces, the moment you knew you were in for something truly special, came with the game’s first showdown against a monstrous, multi-headed hydra.
Sony had sold the entirety of God of War off the back of the epic image of Kratos prying himself free from its jaws, and not only did you get to hammer on the circle button to break free, but it was followed by swiftly introducing the beast’s eye to a wayward ship mast.
9. The Death Of Aerith – Final Fantasy VII
I really wanted to keep this list mostly free of too many pop culture moments that have been covered ad nauseam. However, if we’re talking about one moment in a game that will stand the test of time for multiple reasons, it’s the death of Aerith at the hands of the dastardly Sephiroth.
Not only did we realise as she was laid to rest that we’d become incredibly attached to that bundle of polygons on screen, but there’s a degree of elegance in the way the scene is shot, that truly makes it iconic.
8. “How D’ya Like Then Apples?” – Assassin’s Creed III
t’s a toss-up when it comes to Assassin’s Creed most memorable moments (forgoing the horrific ‘faceless man’ from Unity, of course), as meeting up with Minerva for the first time in AC II was truly one of the most mind-boggling revelations of all.
However, whilst her reveal came from a game that was already dabbling in supernatural and sci-fi elements, AC III’s switcheroo of showing that your character was actually a Templar, dug a jibe at your kidneys specifically because the achievement that popped up was called “How D’ya Like Them Apples?”
You’d spent hours beforehand playing as Haytham Kenway, wondering why the guy from the press materials wasn’t in the game itself, although it served as a pretty crafty way to introduce the fact that the Templars were just as capable as the Assassins when it came to acrobatics and ideals. Although, in doing so, it also marked the point in the franchise where Ubisoft lost all semblance of knowing where the hell it was all heading.
7. Surviving The First Village Attack – Resident Evil 4
Resident Evil 4 was one of those watershed moments in game design; a real genre revolution where all third-person action would never be the same again. Sure, Gears of War would mix this with what Operation Winback had already started in 2006, but it was Resi that framed it within the horror genre, opening with one of the most iconic and replayable sections in gaming history.
By plonking you right at the front of a mysterious, dilapidated village, it was pure Wicker Man-esque horror from the get-go. Creeping forward, pistol at the ready, finding out the villagers all his sinister intentions was the least of your problems.
The entire section ends with scores of everyday-looking Spaniards baying for your blood with pitchforks and primal screams. They claw at the doors, throw themselves through windows and advance on you in swarms. You fire endless rounds into them, kick them, run and hide, and just when you think they’re about to kill you regardless, a mysterious noise calls them away.
6. Going Faster Than Anyone Ever Has – Sonic The Hedgehog
You wanna know the reason people still give a hoot about Sonic? Like, just the barest amount of hootery, no matter how many terrible instalments get put under his name? It’s because that first game – or rather, the first three games – were so good, they set a mental precedent in the minds of those who played, that it was one of the best gaming experiences they’d ever have.
More a ‘right place, right time’-type deal, Sonic’s appeal was routed in knocking down Mario across the 90s. Where the latter was porky and in search of coins and wayward royalty, Sonic was the blue blur; a super-powered, peace symbol-throwing hothead with Michael Jackson’s sneakers. He was the coolest thing on Earth, and embodying him was to put agency behind that ideology.
The second you hit a boost-spring or came down off a high jump only to literally fly across the next few kilometres of space in a matter of seconds was a sensation the newer games have come close to, but never bettered. Sonic’s home is on a 2D plane, and there, he’s unbeatable.
5. Sarah’s Death – The Last Of Us
Okay, one entry has to be super glum, if not just to show the sheer breadth of emotions video games can elicit from us.
In decades gone by, the sheer thought of emoting with a given character was mostly unheard of. Final Fantasy VII’s key death hit home thanks to solid writing and a timely want to escape into its world, but The Last of Us’ opening segment ends on one hell of a sad note, as father Joel is left cradling his mortally wounded daughter in his arms, the sheer astonishment and reality of what’s happening playing out across actor Troy Baker’s face, which is seamlessly mapped to the character.
From this point on you knew TLoU wasn’t going to pull any punches, and although its final shot is one of the most memorable and downright daring ways to conclude a story, this opening prologue established causality and tone better than many games do in their entire runtime
4. Riding The Warthog In The Silent Cartographer – Halo
Speaking of characters who were just fun to embody and control, Halo’s Master Chief brought the first-person shooter genre to consoles with a purpose that’s not abated to this day. The entire game may be a showcase in how to structure a campaign with varied level design and meticulous weapon handouts dropping every few minutes, but it’s the Silent Cartographer that became the one level we’d replay over and over.
From the beach landing that aped Medal of Honor: Frontline’s storming of Normandy, to manning the cannons on a Warthog or delving into the inner-workings of forerunner architecture, every inch of this was put together with a heartfelt level of craftsmanship that elevated Bungie far above their contemporaries in every respect.
3. Avenging Your Father – Red Dead Redemption
Going off the opening idea of games eliciting responses that no movie, book or TV show ever could, Red Dead actually managed to make you want to track down the killer of your in-game father, but by your own accord.
Following the brutal slaughter of John Marston (who to this point, you’d been playing as for 60-plus hours), we suddenly flashed forward and saw his son standing over the grave. Picking up where the old man left off, you could – completely optionally – travel to Blackwater, and the town where the person who betrayed your father, Edgar Ross, was last seen.
Sure enough, talking to random people leads you down a road to interacting with each member of Ross’ family, until you eventually find him fishing out by a small river. Time has aged him, but you approach and announce who you are, only for a standoff to ensue, and for you to empty the entire contents of your revolver into his chest, sending him floating off down the creek.
It’s then that the game pops up with its title card; “Red Dead Redemption” – a perfect accompaniment to your actions, and one that sealed Rockstar’s status as one of the premiere developers in the industry.
2. Your First Proper Multiplayer Experience
Whether it’s split-screen on GoldenEye, Halo or Timesplitters, or the online delights of Rocket League and Call of Duty, the first time you really share the competitive side of gaming with a group of other humans is life-defining.
You’ve probably got a handful of personal memories associated with all your friends piled into a room, ardently trying to score points on some split-screen affair, or screaming with the passion of a thousand suns down a headset as your team are seconds away from winning an online deathmatch.
Either way, as gaming is a medium mostly predicated on reaction times and interfacing with various systems of animation, when you start facing them off against each other, it’s something mighty fun indeed.
1. Your Favourite Childhood Console Boot-Up
SequenceThe PS4? Meh. The Xbox One? Meh. The 3DS, PSP and Wii U? Meh, meh and double meh.
That’s the sound of a revolution. Whilst the N64 would go one step further in pure adorability by having the then-mind-blowing polygonal Mario appear and play with the logo itself, the PS1 was the noise we came to associate with the shift to CD storage, with Crash Bandicoot, with more powerful processors and with gaming as a mainstay in pop culture, outside the arcades. Companies like THX and composers like Hans Zimmer would relish the power of the building “Bwaarm” soundbite, but Sony got it spot on first time, and it’s never been beaten.
#10 Most Memorable Moments In Video Game History