Wow, some great lists! Glad to see Lode Runner on a number of them.
Take a look at the developer credits on this imagehttp://www.mobygames...rt/gameCoverId,6923/
Doug Greene was my dad.
He ported Lode Runner from the Apple II to the IBM/Tandy, redoing/updating many of the levels in the process. I was around 5 when it was in development and I was his first tester.
So naturally Lode Runner is one of my all-time favorites. I was also glad to see a lot of people still interested in it any many versions for today's machines floating around the 'net.
So I started gaming way back then on an Apple II, playing games like "Captain Goodnight and the Islands of Fear" (which I never got very far in) and Karateka (the end ruled, once I "got" it, lol). I loved Crystal Quest on the Mac Classic (and got really good at it). My dad worked for Broderbund so we got a lot of those games for free. I moved to the IBM/Tandy when he ported Lode Runner. Wings of Fury came out a while later and I quite liked that (another Broderbund game). Prince of Persia was certainly a classic and a big favorite, as was the sequel. Later PoP games, especially more recently (from Ubisoft), have been great, but the original 2D approach still beats all. A little-known top-down shooter called (amusingly and very appropriately) "If It Moves, Shoot It" was definitely a favorite for a while.
Eventually things moved on and Wing Commander came out and everything changed for me.
I am a huge fan of the Wing Commander series (Privateer 1 in particular), and several of the other Origin sim/adventure titles, notably the underappreciated Strike Commander (best adventure flight sim ever! we need a sequel!). X-Wing and Tie Fighter were absolute classics and are very high on my list of favorites. Wolfenstien I used to play with a friend of mine - one of us on keyboard, one on the mouse. Later in life playing FPS's in a big way I thought back on that and it seemed a very odd way to play, but it worked surprisingly well. I was surprised to hear from a friend that he has also played FPS's this way - with two people controlling one character. True co-op!
One lesser-known game of that time that I absolutely loved was simply called "Stunts", again from Broderbund. It had about 10 wildly different vehicles (from Indy Car to Humvee) and 5 or 10 weird, roughly animated characters, with silly exaggerated personalities, who you raced against. The physics weren't spectacular, neither were the graphics, but the racing was pretty fun. What was remarkable about it were the stunts. Loops, jumps, slaloms, bridges, etc. What was even cooler was the built-in track editor that you could use to create your own tracks with all of these features. We spent hours and hours with the track editor! Many years later in the early 2000's when I was working at The Learning Company, which had just bought Broderbund, I tried unsuccessfully to get them to make an updated version of the game. Finally several years hence we have the "Trackmania" series which seems to do all the same stuff, except for the quirky characters to race against.
I also loved classic RTS's like Warcraft I and II (they lost me with III) and Command and Conquer. I tried in vain to get good at Falcon 3.0 but always had to settle for lesser flight sims. I just wasn't serious enough about it I guess.
A brief stop at console games, my biggest console experience was with the SNES. I loved Pilot Wings most of all. The helicopter level at the end ruled.
F-Zero was also a great one. As you can see I'm not much of a console gamer.
To this day I am still a huge FPS fan. Half-Life is of course a big one. I wasn't actually that big a fan of Quake, but loved Quake II multiplayer. The original Unreal Tournament probably remains my favorite multiplayer FPS though. The feel established in that game hasn't been matched or reproduced quite yet. I guess it must be a game feel that not enough people liked, but I vastly prefer it to the "looser" feel of Quake 3 and subsequent games. I also played a huuge amount of Marathon on the Mac in my school days. Tons and tons of fun. The Unreal Tournament mods for it are worth checking out. Deus Ex is probably my all-time favorite "FPS", though it's really an RPG/FPS hybrid. Truly a fantastic game - it's a shame what they did to it in the sequel, seeminly motivated by closer cross-platform (console and PC) development concerns. More recently I have really enjoyed Far Cry (mostly the first half - I thought the enemy difficult did not scale well on later levels) and FEAR, plus Call of Duty 1/2 and the like. CoD (the original) remains the best WWII FPS I've played.
I also want to make a special mention of some great underappreciated games. I've already mentioned several above - Stunts, Strike Commander, Privateer.
Strike Commander serves some more to be said about it. I really just feel it was the perfect mix of sim and arcade in a flight model. It also had extremely impressive graphics for the time. Added to that it had the classic Origin Wing Commander-esque storyline driven by animated cut scenes, sometimes with branching dialog. It also had a slight strategy and resource management aspect to it as you could eventually select your own missions and had to manage your money to purchase replacement fighter jets, weapons, etc. All these aspects were "light" enough not to interfere with the core of the flight sim, but meaty enough to enjoy and provide a great setting for the flight elements which could otherwise be very meaningless and disconnected. I still enjoy flight sims today but they always lose my interest because the stories are so poor, and in particular poorly told. The more mixed genre, arcady sim is almost a console-exclusive thing these days, and that's really a shame.
Privateer also deserves some more in-depth discussion. Here was a game based in an already rich universe created by Wing Commander I and II, both great games in their own right. Privateer takes that universe and literally opens it up to an unprecedented degree of freedom. Tons of systems, planets, a range of ship and upgrade options, and a broad, open-ended story. Absolutely a fantastic game! They really let it down with the sequel I felt. It was fun, but it just wasn't a real sequel and was nowhere near as good as the original. I was hoping that Freelancer would be the sequel we had always deserved but it just didn't hit the mark. These are all in the Elite mold, of course, but we really need a proper game to fill this genre today. The "X" games don't do it either. *sigh* It's tragic being a fan of an apparently unpopular genre.
Another very notable game, not all that old but not new, is Blade of Darkness. Here is a game that was doing full environment and character shadowing with multiple colored light sources, limb severing, blood dripping down walls, and all kinds of advanced graphical stuff well before Doom 3 made it big with basically the same features updated for newer systems. It also had a fantastic realtime combat system unmatched by any other game before or since. It was admittedly a bit clunky, but if given a bit of time it really is a gem.
For the future I am most looking forward to Spore, Crysis, the FEAR expansion, and the new Command and Conquer 3.
Hoorah for gaming!