59 thoughts on “Query:

  1. Man, that’s a tough-un.

    Most of my favorites are old, and it depends on “how old” you are talking.

    Far and away, my favorite is the old Starflight. It was so complex for its time, and the universe is huge and fun to explore. Hell, you can just drive around and mine for hours. The graphics are seriously hardcore dated these days, tho.

    After that, probable Descent: Freespace 2. The story is compelling, the action is intense (particularly on the harder levels), and in my opinion, its probably the best space-based shooter ever.

    1. Oooh, Descent Freespace. That game was outstanding. Only my crazy fanaticism for Star Wars puts it behind the X-Wing and TIE Fighter space fighter sims.

    1. I’ve not heard of Crysis. But, yeah — if it involves aliens and high tech weapons, then I’d say it counts.

      Is it console or PC? (meaning, could I hit my local Game Fellers and pick up a copy for my console)?

    1. Hey, thanks! (checkenzee the QA credits for a Bon name), 🙂

      I loved Deus Ex. It was new territory back then.
      The story was tight and the graphics were (at the time) phenomenal.

  2. hm. tough choice, I haven’t played much sci-fi in ages.
    Best remembered is Starcraft of course, multi player, multiple races/teams to play. Very easy to learn VERY tough to master.

    Before that… I really can’t think of many. The only one cmes to mind is an old “Civ” type game, where you had to develop worlds, trade recources etc. The most fascinating part for me was the travel system, in that it actually took into account the 3D part of space. Two stars this far apart * * in a flat map, could be inaccessable to each other because they were radically different Z-elevations. and you only saw the difference if you spun the map in 3D. Very fun.

      1. Tradewars!

        Ah, yes, I remember hosting that (and Barren Realms Elite, and one other that I’ve forgotten) on my little BBS…

    1. That was a nifty (and accurate) touch.
      I haven’t played that one. I like the RPG-ish games, my own self. But, I think I recall a friend saying that it was very interesting.

      1. yea it was well done i thought. I seem to recall they colored stars you could jump To, and back from in one run as Green, Stars that were one-way trips (in your turn) were yellow, and ones you couldn’t jump directly too were red. So you had to set up routes like in Tradewars. A to B, B to C, C to A, kind of thing.

    1. forgot the ‘unt why’ part!

      Because the game was based around a ship-melee that was exciting and fun and varied enough to be a great game on its own, but around that they built a fun, exciting, frequently humorous, sometimes creepy, and occasionally even sexy RPG plot, and within THAT they put a neat little exploration/resource grabbing game.

      Really, it’s one of the best computer games ever made.

  3. Lots of Deus Ex love here, and yet no fans of System Shock 2? For shame! That game had it all.

    Although I also did play the hell out of X-Wing and TIE Fighter. Easily my favorite flight sims of all time.

      1. Made by some of the same people who made Deus Ex. It was one of the first of the “sci-fi survival horror” games; if you’ve played Bioshock or Dead Space, then those games are pretty much photocopies of what System Shock 2 was, except SS2 had a much more tense and unsettling atmosphere than those two put together. SS2 was a PC game, it’s maybe 9-10 years old by now. But even though the graphics are old by todays’ standards, it really set the tone for that style of game.

  4. Currently warhammer 40k

    Especially if you save the game when its finished and then get to zoom around watching the pretty graphics without distractions like trying not to lose.

    Freespace… and Descent (seperately)

    a rare, nifty, under-rated little game called “Gunmetal” was excellent. remotely piloted hover-tanks.. but the cinematics and artwork/textures/game maps had some hilariously good stuff and the graphics were way ahead of their time and still presentable after all these years.

    Master of Orion was fun… more fun than MOO2.. in fact, despite the cheezy graphics , if someone made a mod of MOO1 for multiplayer or internet play.. I’d give it a shot (though MOO2 was fun too)

    1. Re: Currently warhammer 40k

      aww man.. Totally forgot about 40K being a video game 😀
      Did you ever play the older version where it was terminators in a spacehulk fighting the genestealers?

      And Descent! Excellent reminders.

    2. Man..

      I played MOO 2 until my eyes crossed. If I could get it to run on my current computer, I would totally still be playing it.

      I love, love, loved that stupid little game.

      1. Re: Man..

        I challenge you to a contest of Galactic Domination!

        Brian and I played MOO2 a lot also 🙂

        Perhaps the game could be the centerpiece of an intergalacticly themed costume party?

        Or internet play.. I’m sure that old 1 bit app can be pushed into working on a 32 bit system.. I may give it a try tonight 🙂

  5. Metroid Prime. No contest.

    Why? Hmm. I liked that it was a platform game (which I like) mildly disguised as a first-person shooter (which I don’t, generally). More to the point that it was more about exploration than shootin’ things, though there’s a good amount of shootin’ too. I like about the Metroid games how you slowly get more and more abilities that let you go more and more places. “Hmm… how the hell do I get all the way up THERE? Well, I guess I can’t, yet, but I’ll be back, insanely high up door!”

    I dunno, I’m bad at explaining these things, I just know what I like. It’s awesome. I think I still have it somewhere; I’ll lend it to you if you want. It’ll play on your Wii if you have a GameCube controller and memory card.

  6. Flawed question because you only specified Genre and not game type.

    Best Space Ship Combat. Tie Fighter. Leave your Wing Commanders at home. Tie Fighter is the perfect blend of arcadey shoot’em ups and hardcore flight sims set in one of the best Universes of all time (and it came out before the prequels).

    Best FPS? System Shock 2. Developed by Ken Levine who also did Thief, Bioshock and Freedom Force. Deus Ex is good, but character building, story and setting of SS2 beat it.

    Best Action RPG? Fallout 3. One of my top 5 games ever. The sheer size, the post-apocalyptic ’50s setting, the humor (there’s a whole Cthulu side quest), the characters, the voice acting, the ambience, and the game mechanics all ROCK. And before you argue that it’s a shooter, the VATs system allows for freeze combat at any time and treat it strategically.

    Best RPG? Knights of the Old Republic. Star Wars Classic, Bioware, awesome.

    1. Flawed, NOT.

      I didn’t have to put a limitation because I wanted to poll the entire database, not just specific columns.

      Yours is the second System Shock 2 kudo I have seen. I will see if I can find a way to play it.

      I am currently …well, in my ADD sort of way, playing F3. I got sideswept by Mass Effect and appear to be playing that one through. Once I am done, I will go back.

      1. Re: Flawed, NOT.

        I understand the motivation but the question is damn near unanswerable in it’s current form. 😛

        It’s like asking which is the better movie, Star Wars or 2001? Although they have the same setting, it’s apples to oranges. One is a Swashbuckling Space Opera and the other a slow Drama about the nature of Humanity.

        SS2 was released freeware by the developers a while back, AND there was a fan patch that completely updated all the textures. It should actually run well on your netbook.

        How far did you get in Fallout 3? The game doesn’t get good until after you are out of the vault.

  7. Looking back to my childhood, I’ll go with Spacequest. My memory is fuzzy as to which is the best, but its a hilarious series that does a good job mocking sci-fi stereotypes/cliches. Plus its got some neat puzzle solving in the King’s Quest vane, just with more humor.

  8. It’s an impossible 4 way tie between Elite, Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri, MOO2, and Mass Effect 1.

    Elite because for all it’s primitive tech, it felt boundless and immersive.

    Alpha Centauri for really making me think about the future of human society, and for real mature beauty in the endgame.

    MOO2 for the feeling of rolling up to an enemy world with a bunch of Doomstars, or flattening the Guardian.

    Mass Effect 1 for Jennifer Hale’s voice acting (Sorry Mark Meer) and the overall great space opera flavor.

    1. I am playing Mass Effect right now. Being a Paragon and all that. I am going to play it through again, methinks, to Renegade it all up.

      Yeah, I know it’s a space opera. That may be why I love it so.

      And MOO2 ate my brains for many years. LOVED that game.

    2. I still play Alpha Centauri. It’s the best Civ-derivative game around, although it’s only better than Master of Magic becuase MoM suffers from some of the most grotesque “computer cheating” I’ve ever seen. Doesn’t stop me from playing it, but it’s the principle involved. 😉

  9. In order of preference:
    1- Yars Revenge
    2- Star Craft
    3- EVE: Online

    Yes. I said I prefer Yars Revenge to those titles. And all the others listed here. It was made of win. I don’t care how “outdated” the graphics might be. The game still kicks ass.

  10. Robotron: 2084 (coin -op version)

    ‘Cause I rock it old school like that (’cause I’m… old).
    Seriously, I was obsessed with that game in the 80s.
    I could actually “turn it over”.

  11. Turn-based Strategy: MOO2. The customization and addictiveness.

    Action/Strategy hybrid: Battlezone. It had a great blend and was very controllable.

    Flight sim: X-Wing Alliance. It had a bit more story and was more playable than TIE Fighter, but only by a teensy bit. Freespace 2 is a good contender too.

    Open-ended sandbox: Privateer 1. Great options, and it was very playable. If you add user-created mods, Freelancer is awesome.

    RPG: Knights of the Old Republic had some great plot and character building options abound. Fallout 3 is great if you want some FPS with your RPG.

  12. I dunno. I am playing something called “Mass Effect” right now. It isn’t nearly as OMGtouchmyselfSQUEE that Deus was. (But, I admit to being more than a little biased on that count) However, it IS darn good.

  13. What a great question. I want to echo what people said about Deus Ex. The ability to customize your abilities and use said abilities to overcome hurdles in a variety of ways made the game feel less linear. The good news is that there’s a (good) sequel on the way. IGN has a preview here:


    Now, there are far too many sci-fi games to list, but my entry would be Infocom’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, penned by the creators of Zork and the man himself, Douglas Adams. It was quite the rage in the 80s, and it was fun as hell to stow away aboard a Vogon ship, battle the bug-blatter beast, make tea, and interact with GPPs. If only more famous authors would turn their novels into interactive fiction. These days you can play it online for free here:


    1. More icon love

      I will be using the Ricardo Montalban (as Khan) accent for the rest of this comment.

      Thank you. It was a great game. During testing, I had to play a version of every type of skill set. I also got to run around backwards and run against walls (looking for holes). It was a lot of fun.

      Sequel?! *does victory dance, complete with appropriate Shakespearean commentary*

      Ah! I have never played the THGttG game before. Thank you for the link, I will have to look it up once I get MamaSan (my desktop) up and running.

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