Editorial: Stranded On A Desert Island...
Yeah, it's the classic: if you were stranded on a desert island...but we're going to add one extra twist. First of all, we'll just abandon reality for a moment and assume there's a magical set of electrical outlets on this desert island, and everyone has a bad-ass 52" 1080p high-def Plasma. In other words, you have the option of playing any system and any game; but which console would you take, and what would the games be? Now, you could be cheesy and take the original 60GB PS3, which would give you access to most all PS3, PS2 and PS1 titles, but as the current default PS3 does not offer backwards compatibility for PS2 software, that can't be used. You can, however, use the PS2 for PS1 games.
Which is what I'm gonna do. Here's what I'd take-
Final Fantasy Tactics: Because, that's why. Because it's the greatest game ever made. Because it's my favorite game ever. I could survive just fine with only this game if I was stranded on a desert island with a PS2, a TV, and a magical electrical outlet. Oh, and I'd need a PS1 memory card, so I'm going to add a last-second addendum. Get me my Lv. 99 Mastered Wizard with a Mastered Math Skill, Robe of Lords, Magic Gauntlet, MP Switch, and MagicAttackUp, and I'm good to go!
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night: I was surprised at just how quickly I took to this game, as I had never even finished a Castlevania title before Alucard's adventure. Perhaps it was because it was easier than previous entries in the series, or maybe it was because it had RPG elements that I vastly enjoyed. Or it could be due to the best soundtrack in history...oh, there are plenty of attractive elements, and I wouldn't be without it.
Final Fantasy VII: In my opinion, it's still the best RPG ever and after having gone through it four times and started a new game countless other times, it has yet to grow old. The characters, the story, the world, the Materia and overall gameplay; it was just so stellar and memorable. I still remember freaking out when Aeris died (yeah, it's a spoiler but if you didn't know about it, you're not a gamer), and threatening to drop $50 for a Game Shark in order to get her back. FFVII has a permanent place in my heart, plain and simple.
Hot Shots Golf: Fore!: Surprised? You shouldn't be. I've loved the HSG series since the beginning, and while Out of Bounds for the PS3 is awesome, I think they screwed up the implementation of the Advanced Shot system, and Fore! remains the best in terms of balance and overall fun. I challenge anyone to take me on in any HSG - provided they don't use the uber-lame Advanced Shot mechanic in OoB - and I promise you it won't be easy to win. I was one of the best online players in Fore!, although I'm probably out of practice now.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City: Still my favorite of all the GTAs, and that's primarily because I'm a huge '80s fan. I'd be perfectly happy if the next GTA is a direct sequel to this one, and set in the exact same time period. Tommy Vercetti, the obvious "Scarface" references, and the rest of the atmosphere got me from the start, and I'll still drop it in to play even today. Just cruising around listening to my '80s tunes is enough for me! And I will fight you if you start slinging wisecracks. ;)
I suppose my next option would be to take the PS1 with the three titles above, along with Twisted Metal 2 and Suikoden. My third choice would be the SNES with Super Mario All-Stars, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, NHL '94, Madden '92, and Final Fantasy VI.
2/20/2009 Ben Dutka