2. Metroid Prime – GameCube 2002
I’m sure there are other places on The Young Folks that I’ve spilled my guts over Metroid Prime onto a page, but I still can’t say enough good things about it. Despite not being High Definition, despite originally lacking in a simple dual joystick control, this remains one of my most replayed games right next to Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time and Metal Gear Solid 3. To this day, I use music from this game to wake up to in the morning with my cell phone, to motivate me while I write. This game inspired me in 2002, and it inspires me today. To me, Metroid Prime is comfort food. It’s a chicken pot pie. It’s a homemade pizza. It’s a goddamn lemon cake scented candle.
For a franchise that has always succeeded in building atmosphere, Metroid Prime does it tenfold, inciting excitement and anxiety in combat, or melancholy and determination in discovering desolate overworlds. Finding bonuses, and gaining new powers, challenges you with rewarding puzzles, and if you’re interested in a story, the introduction of the scan visor depicts the saga of the Chozo and their research into the Phazon, and the Space Pirates foolishly cloning Metroids and fusing them with the irradiated substance.