It’s a perennial problem for gaming enthusiasts, young or old: how can I play all the video games? With so many across all the systems, it’s nigh-on impossible to play them all and there’ll always be revered classics or entire series that pass you by completely simply because you never owned a particular system.
Historically the problem stems either from a lack of funds to buy them (usually kids) or a lack of time to play them (usually adults). If only we could find a Zoltar machine and have the best of both worlds…
Cinephiles have it easy; a 90-minute movie is a walk in the park next to a JRPG with a triple-figure hour count. How many times could you watch the entire MCU catalogue in the time it would take you to play through every Final Fantasy? Compulsive tendencies can compound the issue and lead to playing things simply to tick them off the list, too. As a games writer, you do your best to have as wide a knowledge of the medium as possible. It’s impossible to play everything, though, and blind spots are inevitable.
With that in mind, it’s time to exorcise the demons in public with you lovely people as our living witnesses. Yes, you can comfort us, encourage us and reassure us that, no, not having played the 1983 Commodore VIC-20 port of Donkey Kong on original hardware doesn’t make us incomplete or bad people. Ah, if only they were that obscure!
Below you’ll find the confessions of Team Nintendo Life and the games that – for one reason or another – have slipped through our personal nets. Be kind!
Gavin Lane, staff writer
Gavin inexplicably managed to avoid the biggest game in the world (no, not that one)...
There are several I could pick, but I'm going with Minecraft. Yes, despite owning a half dozen platforms that run the game in some form, I have never once touched the massively influential phenomenon that, as of last month, still has a hugely impressive 112 million active monthly users. I know about that Steve chap and his pixel sword, and some sort of gribblies that come to get you at night. I've also read about obsessive builders constructing working computers, full scale renditions of the starship Enterprise and other such voxel-based wonders, but it was never enough to hook me.
As someone who adores LEGO, it's tough to say how I've avoided Mojang's creative sandbox, and there's a growing sense that it's simply too late now. Considering the mountain of games still unplayed on my Switch, I don't have the time to noodle about building things like I did for hundreds of hours in Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts. Ah, now that was a game! Well, actually, the 'game' part was lacking, but the editor and engine was brilliant. I'm sure Minecraft is brilliant, too, but I think that ship has sailed.
Liam Doolan, news reporter
Liam missed one of the best Zeldas of recent years thanks to some plumber or other...
I’ve played just about every Zelda game I’ve been able to get my hands on over the years, but one entry in particular that I never got around to playing was A Link Between Worlds on the 3DS. From memory, I received it as a Christmas present in 2013 not long after its release. The main problem was I also received Super Mario 3D World on the same day and ended up playing that instead – from start to finish – for the remainder of the holiday season.
By the time I returned to the latest Zelda game on the 3DS, I’d lost all enthusiasm for it and ran back to Mario. To this day a mint condition copy of A Link Between Worlds sits on my shelf waiting to be played. It’s a real shame considering how I've thoroughly enjoyed more recent top-down Zelda outings such as Cadence of Hyrule and Link's Awakening.
Feel free to crucify me in the comments below, or at the very least try to encourage me to take some time out for this "outstanding" 3DS classic.
Austin Voigt, contributing writer
Austin swears that she's played a game that isn't Animal Crossing, honest...
I try to live with a philosophy of honesty and transparency. Therefore, I must sadly admit I have yet to play the following games: Minecraft, Fortnite, Overwatch, or any of The Elder Scrolls games. Also, I think I never had a chance to play Super Mario Sunshine (I just remember watching a friend play their copy). Go ahead, world - disown me.
Ryan Craddock, staff writer
Ryan evidently has a small, hard block of ice where real gamers have a heart...
There are several games or franchises I could list here that would have you screaming from your rooftops, demanding that I be removed from the site at once, but the one I’ll go with is Animal Crossing (sorry, Austin!).
Look, the animals are cute, K.K. Slider seems like a pretty cool guy, and I can get behind the idea of a greedy real estate raccoon, but I don’t think it’s the sort of game that would hold my attention. Also, from what I gather, playing Animal Crossing is basically a life investment and I just wouldn’t ever find the time to keep on top of everything how I’d want to. If I’d have discovered Animal Crossing as a child with plenty of free time things might be different, but I think busy adult life is the sad - but very present - issue here.
If anyone reading this thinks they can convince me to give Animal Crossing: New Horizons a shot next March, by all means try your luck. I’d love to be truly won over.
Gonçalo Lopes, contributing writer
Gonçalo used to be the very best, like no one ever was. Now he's lost all credibility...
I knew this day would come. I can already feel the fingers pointing up at me, questioning my true status as a 'Legendary Nintendo Gamer God of Awesome', the jaws falling to the ground, the cries of children screaming how I have failed them, women saying “We need to talk” (no really, this was once an issue in my past love life!) and every other possible nightmare ever. Here goes: I never played any Pokémon video game before Wii U’s Pokkén Tournament.
So how is it possible that a guy who owns every Nintendo system from the Game Boy onwards (except you, Virtual Boy - you know what you did!) can have possibly missed out on the whole Pokéfever? Well, I am amazed at that myself, so I have vowed to change that on Switch. When the whole Pocket Monster craze hit the West in full force, I was watching mecha anime and playing Super Famicom imports, soon leaping onto the PS1 “arcade-at-home” revolution and never looking back. Every time a new Pokémon has released ever since I always feel truly alone: I don’t get the references, the jokes, the anime episode quotes or even the song lyrics. Nothing! Why, oh why didn’t I get a collectible F-Zero game instead...
While Switch enables us to ‘catch up’ on things we’ve missed, the tidal wave of software and excellent sales mean we’ve arrived at a point where our backlog of unfinished games is now joined by a backlog of ‘un-started’ games. What are the hugely popular and classic games or series that you've somehow managed to avoid? Feel free to share your secrets below and bathe in our collective, communal forgiveness.