So a relatively new and novel sociological study out of Oxford University has been making its rounds on the internet last week, aimed at dissecting whether or not video games causes us to turn into arsonists, thieves and murderers during our formative childhood years.

While you can read a more detailed account of its findings here, the gist of it is that children between the ages of 10 and 15 who play up to an hour a day are “happier, more sociable and less hyperactive than those who don’t play at all”. On the flipside, those who play an excessive amount of video games (three hours or more), begin to experience “harmful effects”, the details of which are not elaborated upon.

But wait! There’s more:
While the study may provide some sort of insight into the never-ending debate on whether or not video games cause violence in leveling-up adults (read: kids), the study’s author concludes that an individual’s personal and socioeconomic background has a more concrete correlation to a child’s social well-being than video games, and that set-gaming hours have “little scientific basis”.

So in celebration of this essentially useless study, I’ve decided to take a trip down memory lane and contemplate my childhood in video games. Though I’ve assumed the unofficial moniker of being Girls On Games’ FPS girl, I was brought up in a house where video games had flair, diversity and multiple consoles to choose from. For shits and giggles, here is what I grew up with:

This is my family's collection.

This is my family’s collection.

Without further ado, here are my top 15 childhood-defining video games. It’s not that they were the most popular, or the most fun… they’re just vividly imprinted onto my brain. I’ll skip over the NES/SNES Mario games because those have acted as gateway drugs games for everyone anyways.


Crazy Taxi:
Dreamcast released 2000
“Yeah, we gonna have some fun!” – B.D. Joe. Oh man, the hours I put into this game. What fun it was scaring the living hell out of the passenger and destroying San Francisco, all done to the sound of The Offspring. It still makes me sad that the Dreamcast got K.O-ed by Playstation

2.mortal kombat 2 sega

Mortal Kombat 2:
Sega Genesis released circa 1994
Now, I played the original Mortal Kombat as a kid, but for some reason it was MK2 that I played the heck out of. I sucked pretty bad, button mashed my way through everything and I always, always, without fail, chose Kitana. The only special move I could do was babalities. DOWN DOWN DOWN LOW KICK, y’all!

3.Ridge Racer PlayStation

Ridge Racer:
PlayStation released 1995
RIIIIIDGE RACER! Hands down, this is my favorite conventional racing game. It was fast, uber challenging and set in the AT transmission, I used to do the time trials over and over again. It played like the arcade game, and the added bonus is that the audio was the bombs hit!

4.fatal fury snes

Fatal Fury:
SNES released 1994
I’ve played a few games that had anime releases (I’m looking at you, Ranma ½ and Samurai Showdown), but none was as wicked as Fatal Fury. Sure, it looked like a Street Fighter rip off with the Bogard brothers channeling their inner Ken and Ryu, but still. The game is great fun and I had a major crush on Joe Higashi. SNK was the bomb, which leads me to…


World Heroes:
SNES released 1992
Mother-effing World Heroes. This game was insane. It was abour Dr. Brown who built a time machine to bring (mostly) historical figures into death matches to see who would reign as the ultimate conquer. You know who I played as? Rasputin. As in the Russian mystic who had a huge part in the Russian Revolution. His giant hand of doom was epic.

6.Cool barders 2 PlayStation

Cool Boarders 2:
PlayStation released 1997
I don’t snowboard. Never have and never will, but that didn’t stop me from playing this game religiously. I used to pick Cindy, customize my snowboard so that it was pink on pink and try to do crazy moves. There were also 3 elusive boarders that were unlocked by scoring crazy high points in tournaments. Did I ever get them? Nope. I was about 8 or 9 when I played and sucked pretty hard.


Resident Evil:
PlayStation released 1996
Disclaimer: I never finished the game. I just couldn’t figure out any of the puzzles. Even so, I used to always play as Jill Valentine. It was the second zombie game I ever played, and used to be terrified when I’d come across the B.O.W. That’ s when I’d put the controller down, and go play with my Barbies.

8.zombiesatemyneighbors snes

Zombies Ate My Neighbors:
SNES released 1993
The eerie music, the Uzi watergun and huge demonic babies. Man, they don’t make zombie games quite as good as this anymore. This game was HUGE. And for some reason, I always used to let the cheerleaders die. This suburban showdown would feed my weird horror obsession as a kid. Play a little bit of this, watch some Return of the Living Dead and BAM! Cat was a tiny, happy human.

9.Castle_of_illusion_Mickey_mouse sega genesis

Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse:
Sega Genesis released 1990
What kid didn’t like Mickey Mouse? And further, what kid didn’t like playing with anything Mickey Mouse-related? This side-scrolling platformer used to frustrate the hell out of me. All I had to do was get the gems and save Minnie Mouse. Never ended saving the old gal. But I still had oodles of fun throwing apples at the bad dudes.

10.goalstorm PS

Goal Storm:
PlayStation released 1996
Oh man, this game was my jam. There were no skill differences between countries, and you could literally slide-tackle your way to the net and score, and for some reason, I’d always choose Team Cameroon. I gave this up when Fifa ’98 came out for PC, but I was just as much as cheater on that one as well. I’d choose a random team and just max out my skills and kick errbody’s ass.


Dead or Alive 2:
Dreamcast released 2000
Ahh, the glory that was DOA2. The graphics were amazing, the characters were interesting and I used to sing along to the intro song though it was completely incomprehensible (I don’t think it was in English). What really set DOA2 apart from other fighting games of the time was how diverse and alive every level was, from Japanese wilderness to skyscrapers. Also, if you booted your opponent off the map, you could jump down after them.


Sonic the Hedgehog:
Sega Genesis released 1991
Okay, pretty much everybody and their grandmother has played Sonic the Hedgehog at one point in time. Hell, I recently downloaded it to my iPhone until I had to delete it due to lack of storage space. Regardless, the game was addictive. I always chased after the golden rings and would giggle excitedly when I’d defeat Dr.Eggman and he’d release his horde of cute little bunnies.

13.crash bandicoot PS

Crash Bandicoot:
PlayStation released 1996
This was my favorite game on the PlayStation, and I used kick ass in it. I’d do speed runs through the levels, and replayed the boar one a few times over. Even the bloody theme was addictive to hum along to. Little did we know that Naughty Dog would eventually bring us top-rated titles like Unchartered and The Last of Us. Still, Crash is the best in my (unpopular) opinion.


PlayStation released 1996
This futuristic racing game was stylish and cool. It kind of reminded me of Mario Kart in that you not only raced to win, but you were able to gain items to either defend your hovercraft-racer or blow your opponents out of the water. This could have been great fun with friends, but I gamed alone (Womp, womp) and hence, used these tricks against the AI. Did I mention the music was cool? It was a weird 90’s techno mix. It was awesome all around.

15.wolfenstein 3d snes

Wolfenstein 3D:
SNES released 1994
And finally… there was Wolfenstein 3D. This game was more or less the reason why I now play every FPS I can lay my hands on. I preferred it to Doom even though I was never, ever able to finish it. The hidden walls, the guilded chalices and the creepy Nazi posters all made Wolfenstein my childhood shooter. The latest installment in the series, Wolfenstein: The New Order is still one of the best games I’ve played this year, and you can check out my review over here. Keep doing your thang, Blazkowicz!

Honorable mentions: Tekken (PS), Panzer Dragoon (Sega Saturn); Twisted Metal; Donkey Kong Country, Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest; Super Adventure Island; Ranma ½: Hard Battle; 007 GoldenEye; Wario Blast; The Sims

The 90’s were a golden age of gaming for me, and these games provided me with my fondest memories.Did they mess me up? Don’t think so. Did I play only 60 minutes a day? HA! Yeah, no. Now it’s your turn. Sound off in the comments section and let us know which games could have potentially turned you into maladjusted, antisocial adults!