These are in order from least to most influential, but considering I can't even count all the games I've played over the years, of course all five of these had a huge impact just to make this list. They may not be my favourite games today, but these five games are beyond a doubt the reason I am the gamer I am today.
King's Quest VII: The Princeless Bride
This game may single-handedly be responsible for many of my frustration fits in my early gaming years. I was so young, I didn't really know why I enjoyed this game. At first I just played it because my father loved it, my brothers loved it, and all I wanted was to be just like them. As time passed and delved deeper into the game, I would learn to both love and hate the game's many puzzles and challenges. Struck with both fear and suspense, this young gamer-to-be loved to enjoy the thrill of over-coming puzzles because of this classic adventure game - a thrill I would seek in every game since.
Today, if I really think about it, I believe that most FPS-lovers probably got that love from one of two games: Doom, or Wolfenstein (and maybe, also Duke Nukem). I was of the Doom variety. I originally wasn't allowed to play this game, as I was young and this game was pretty graphic for its time. The irony being that even when I'd sneak in a play, or was actually finally allowed to play, I usually ended up quitting because I'd get too scared. Thanks to this game, for many years to come, I'd be scared to turn corners too quickly. But nevertheless, Doom II did wonderful things to my gamer dna. While slowly developing my love for first person shooters, it helped a young boy conquer fears, discover game modifications and enjoy saying "BFG," which I was convinced was the naughtiest thing I could get away with at the time.
The Lion King
While my family was focused around the PC in my early years, we did have a Genesis too - Just not many games, we couldn't afford them. But when we finally did get a new game, my brothers and I would often huddle around the TV whenever we could. At the time, I hadn't gotten much console playing done because the PC was the focal point of my family's gaming, so I hadn't experienced many NES, SNES or other console games unless I was at a friend's house, and even then I'd usually watch. The Genesis was, for me, the introduction to the idea of a game pad, and this game helped. While it's no Mario, I hold this game in my heart as a platforming classic. It was probably the first game that made me turn off in rage, throw my controller or scream at the television and I loved it. This game is without a doubt the reason I have the appreciation for platformers today.
Final Fantasy VII
Cliché, I know, but that doesn't make it any less true. This game was the center of my life, and my brothers' lives, for a very long time. It is responsible for a lot of bonding that occurred between my brothers and I, and solely responsible for my love of watching games, not playing them. Long before I ever experienced the desire to hold the controller in my hand, I experienced the desire of holding the strategy guide in my hands. I'd beg my older brother to just let me sit on his bed and watch him play - I'd offer to be his "Book Man," wherein I could focus on reading the strategy guide and giving him directions while he focused on the game. In fact, I in no way am ashamed to admit this game's probably responsible for my love of reading. I would read every word of dialogue, every page of the strategy guide, every single name in the ending credits. It helped develop the appreciation of challenge, and was the first game I'd ever dumped a great many hours into. A solid part of my gamer dna.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
It wasn't the first Zelda game I had played. I had tried the first two at friends' houses, but they never really stuck on me. I guess I don't know exactly what it was, but it was this Zelda that stuck. Even before Final Fantasy VII would take its toll on my life, this game sowed the seed that would develop into a deep and undying appreciation for lore, backstory and history in video games which would eventually be one of my majour deciding points on if I liked a game or not. This game would eventually lead me to one of my best friends, even to this day, as as early as seven years old I'd long to spend the night at his house so I could pump effort into this video game. Whereas at the time it just seemed like a great game, I can say now with confidence that if I had not discovered this game at that crucial part of my life, I don't think I would in any way be the same gamer I am today, and perhaps not even the same person.
In conclusion, I could definitely think of some games I loved more than these, but that doesn't mean they had the same effect on the kind of gamer I've turned out to be. I wholesomely feel this selection not only emphasizes my wide background in gaming, but also captures the kind of gamer I am. Because of these games I have grown an appreciation for nearly every genre, from adventure to sports, from real-time strategy to role-playing. I'm glad to have them as pillars of my gamer dna.