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What Are Your Top Five 'Comfort' Games? 588

Via GameSetWatch, an article at The New Gamer talking about comfort games. These reliable, fun titles are the old favorites you consistently look to for amusement and solace after a bad gaming session, a bad day, a bad week. From the article, with the author's comfort games: "Mega Man 2 - This Capcom classic has been with me since I was a kid, and I know it like the back of my hand. I'm sure that, if blindfolded, I'd somehow intuitively be able to maneuver through the levels, but I'd much rather be able to view it in all of its 8-bit goodness and remind myself of the good times." My current top five would have to be Super Mario World, Half-Life 2, World of Warcraft, God of War, and Civilization IV. What are yours?
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What Are Your Top Five 'Comfort' Games?

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  • My Top 5 Games (Score:4, Interesting)

    by celardore ( 844933 ) * on Sunday October 08, 2006 @02:43PM (#16356429)
    Comfort games? Not that I would usually 'comfort' myself with video games, more often I comfort myself with indulgence :p Anyway, mine would be:

    San Andreas. Sometimes I have a bad day and want to shoot stuff, beat some hookers, blow up some cars etc. Quite often I will load the game, and not do any missions. Just blow shit up for as long as possible. For fun.

    C&C Generals. It's so fun to play against friends on a LAN, and it's so warming to hear a Scottish pal yell obscenities after a carefully planned assult on his base. It's also fun on skirmish mode, solo. I'll do battle against the CPU, and win. That makes me feel a little better.

    Settlers. I loved this game, played it as a young teen. I played the first one to death. So did my younger sister, and occasionally I'd tell her the level password so she could try and beat it. That was fun. I remember enjoying the little swordfights.

    Transport Tycoon. Sorry, I love this game. It was and is great. Tried to get Locomotion working today, but XP is crashing on it for some reason (must me some driver error, I'll work it out). Anyway, what a classic game. So much fun.

    The Sims. Fine, it is basically a virtual doll house, but its mindless and easy to lose yourself in. I remember many years back, a friend and I tried 'hash cake' - my friend stared at the ceiling for hours and I played (the first) Sims. For about ten hours solid. All of the people in my house had top level jobs, not that it matters now though.

    While games are engrossing and fun to play, and it is so easy to spend that many hours on them, they're not the hours you're going to remember in ten years time. The comparison with 'comfort foods' is apt though, I don't remember what food I comforted myself with two years ago either. Labelling something a 'comfort' doesn't really say anything though. We're all different, and what comforts me may completely unsettle another. For instance, I might smoke in a tense situation and in doing that I make someone uncomfortable.

    Different strokes for different folks. This is just a poll rather than an article though.
  • New Vs Old (Score:4, Interesting)

    by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <eldavojohn AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday October 08, 2006 @02:51PM (#16356489) Journal
    So I'm sure there's a huge argument as to whether or not new or old games function better as comfort games. Honestly, I don't see how a racing game/destruction game could be a comfort game but to each their own. I would have to say that my comfort 'games' are
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
    • Tetris (Gameboy)
    • Bubble Bobble
    • Age of Empires
    • General Chaos
    I find it interesting that so many newer games are finding their way into the highly revered realm of gamer's favorites. The social aspects of the game are a double edged sword because although this increases the enjoyment, it also causes the enjoyment to be highly volatile because your friends aren't going to always be there playing with you. Had Star Wars Galaxies never underwent the combat upgrade, I would have it as a comfort game. Unfortunately, it's no longer there for me. I currently play World of Warcraft but I am wary about marking it as a comfort game. After all, the expansion is on the horizon and who knows what's going to change in the game? There is a chance that World of Warcraft suffers from the same corporate zeal that destroyed Star Wars Galaxies--all we can do is wait and see.
  • Re:My Top 5 Games (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Chosen Reject ( 842143 ) on Sunday October 08, 2006 @02:53PM (#16356509)
    My top 5 in no particular order are

    1. UT 2004 - nothing like a fast paced shoot to kill with no goals. I especially like to play Capture the Flag or Bombing Run in the CarPark map with as many bots as possible. Nothing but fragging there.

    2. Minesweeper - If I have just a few minutes, this is my standby.

    3. Warcraft III - I can do single player, against bots, or online and all of them are just fun. Plus, my wife loves this game. The DotA allstars mod is really fun as well.

    4. Half-Life 2 - If I just want a good shooter with a good story this is where I go.

    5. Jedi Outcast - This game is my favorite. This game alone caused me to switch from Bio-Chem to Computer Science in College. Sometimes, it's good to get back to your roots.

    Another fun game I love is the Trackmania series. I still think the original is better than Sunrise or Nations. Unfortunately, it has Star Force copy protection and after a year my DVD drive went nearly useless. I loved playing it, but I'm not too sure I ever will again. Do you hear that Nadeo? It was your DRM that made me not play the game. You had a big fan, and when I found out what was happening, you lost me.
  • by revery ( 456516 ) <> on Sunday October 08, 2006 @02:54PM (#16356525) Homepage
    1. Alpha Centauri
    2. Kohan - Ahriman's Gift
    3. Super Mario World
    4. Super Metroid
    5. Colonization
  • Re:My Top 5 Games (Score:2, Interesting)

    by mincho_praznikov ( 1010863 ) on Sunday October 08, 2006 @03:01PM (#16356585)
    Enemy Territory (from Splash Damage) is number one, of course. I play it even during work time. Tetris (mostly the classic one, no online tournaments) follows. Then Lode Runner, Kill Bill and... Yeah - Doom II.
  • Re:My Top 5 Games (Score:3, Interesting)

    by malilo ( 799198 ) on Sunday October 08, 2006 @03:05PM (#16356621)
    My comfort game is scrabble. Followed by bridge, hearts, rummy, and slapjack. oldies but goodies. who needs technology. :)
  • Five? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by SalaciousPucker ( 911419 ) on Sunday October 08, 2006 @03:05PM (#16356623)
    My 'comfort' VG's are Tetris (played manically), only while on an airplane, and the Civ series. The manic games of Tetris calm me down. It's basically escapism @ 30k feet, since I'm a nervous flyer. I usually play a Civ 4 game (or before that it's predecessors) when I'm sick at home, or in a hotel for work. There is no better mind numbing escapism than Civ 4.
  • Minesweeper (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Animats ( 122034 ) on Sunday October 08, 2006 @03:06PM (#16356629) Homepage
    Turned up to the biggest board size. It takes about 200 seconds to clear the board, and it's so mindless.
  • by phillymjs ( 234426 ) <.gro.ognats. .ta. .todhsals.> on Sunday October 08, 2006 @03:22PM (#16356757) Homepage Journal
    In no particular order:
    Time Pilot
    Mr. Do!
    Kung-Fu Master

    As for non-MAME: GTA3, GTA:VC or GTA:SA (when I'm in the mood to just run/drive/fly around and blow off steam by commiting acts of mayhem).

  • Re:My Top 5 Games (Score:2, Interesting)

    by yyttrrre ( 741310 ) on Sunday October 08, 2006 @03:23PM (#16356769)
    I would have to say my top 5 games in no order are, Tetris Attack, Mario World, Dr. Mario (especially the 4 player version for 64), Starcraft and any Mario cart. Yeah I'm a Nintendo fan. I don't get the idea behind grinding away at some game by yourself. It's much more fun to play other people. Even more so if they are in the same room.
  • Cloud (Score:4, Interesting)

    by DyslexicLegume ( 875291 ) on Sunday October 08, 2006 @03:25PM (#16356791) []

    One of the most relaxing games ever.
  • 3 decades (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 08, 2006 @03:33PM (#16356845)
    1. GTA
    2. Burnout Revenge
    3. Star Wars: Battlefront (1 or 2)
    4. Rez
    5. UT2004

    In the past, it would have been:

    1. Day of the Tentacle
    2. Monkey Island series
    3. Commander Keen (etc.)
    4. Myst (or Riven)
    5. Zork (any of them, really)

    Long, long ago, it might have been:

    1. Pitfall
    2. Mario Brothers
    3. Joust
    4. Missile Command
    5. Tempest

    Honorable mentions go to Nethack, Moria, Pole Position, Choplifter, Earthworm Jim, Gorf. ;-)
  • Re:What a WOPR (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SScorpio ( 595836 ) on Sunday October 08, 2006 @03:55PM (#16356985)
    Ya, Defcon is a pretty cool game. []
  • Re:Nethack (Score:3, Interesting)

    by joe 155 ( 937621 ) on Sunday October 08, 2006 @04:19PM (#16357195) Journal
    Just decided to play it, a damn fox got me...

    Final Attributes:

    You were fervently aligned.
    You had infravision.
    You were lucky.
    You are dead.

    What a game... if I can figure out how to change the controls or learn the "hjkl" it looks like a good game, thanks for spreading the joy
  • Good and gooder (Score:3, Interesting)

    by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Sunday October 08, 2006 @04:34PM (#16357327) Journal
    I like your list, Chosen Reject.

    UT 2004 is a fantastic game. I can think of all the times I'd take a flyer up to the top of a tower where there's a nuke shooter and just blow the hell out of a little group of enemy. Sniper is tops.

    It's been a long time but I remember being so enthralled by UFO, Total Annihilation and Starcraft for a good long while.

    Half-Life 2. Just the best FPS ever made.

    Eve-Online. I can't get enough. It's the first game that I've ever played that actually makes me feel at peace. Also the only game that doesn't make me scrunch up my neck muscles until I get a headache/backache. The only game my wife endorses for me to play. And I haven't even scratched the surface of this deep and involving universe.

    Gee, I enjoyed this little vacation from congressional sex scandals, secret prisons and phone taps. In fact, I think I'll log into Eve right now and see if I can finish Angel Extravaganza mission in my Brutix, by myself, with only 5 tech II Hammerhead drones for company.

    Wish me luck.
  • Re:My Top 5 Games (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 08, 2006 @04:46PM (#16357405)
    It's abandonware [] (sort of.) Anyhow, great improvements on the original: clicka and drag rail lines, online multiplayer, advanced light control etc.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 08, 2006 @07:02PM (#16358325)
    Well, I didn't have a Commodore, so my game is Wizardry (the first one).
  • Re:My Top 5 Games (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ShieldW0lf ( 601553 ) on Sunday October 08, 2006 @07:32PM (#16358481) Journal
    1) Quake MegaTF - I used to be one of the top ranked pyros in the game back in the day, and it feels some good to dust off the old skills. Nothing like sealing all the exits from a full room with napalm grenades and burning the entire enemy team to a crisp to get those frustruations out.

    2) Baldurs Gate Series - One of the finest games to play across a home network with your girlfriend ever made.

    3) Sid Meyers Pirates - You can rest one hand on the keypad, sit like a slug without moving at all and have an engrossing adventure for hours. A very lazy game to play.

    4) Neverwinter Nights - Another fine game to play across the network with your girlfriend. Fiendish laughter as the two rogues disappear into the shadows leaving death in their wake.

    5) Street Fighter vs X-Men running in MAME - Memories of high school. Wireless gamepads, beer a few buddies and an endless supply of credits.
  • Mario Karts x 5 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by davesag ( 140186 ) on Sunday October 08, 2006 @07:53PM (#16358615) Homepage
    Well okay, 5 comfort games.
    1. Mario Karts on my trusty 10 year old N64
    2. World of Warcraft on my new 24" iMac
    3. Wizardry - Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord on Virtual ][ on any of my macs
    4. Spaceward Ho! on my powerbook
    5. Golden Eye on the N64
    I bought Doom 3 recently just to try out the graphoics card in my new iMac but it's not really a fave - yet...

The unfacts, did we have them, are too imprecisely few to warrant our certitude.