Thanksgiving is nearly upon us, and there is so much to be thankful for this year in the world of video games. We’ve had monumental game releases like Elden Ring or God of War: Ragnarok, as well as amazing announcements like The Legends of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom for next year. And while you may find yourself being thankful for family, friends, health, or any number of things, let’s spend some time today looking at different video games that some of us here at Boss Rush Network are thankful for this year.
Brad Melville: Super Smash Bros. Melee
“I’m thankful for Super Smash Bros. Melee. When I was in high school, I was involved in the school’s choir program. The school’s choir hall had a practice room near the back that had a TV on one of those carts you’d wheel into a classroom. The choir teacher never used it, so one day my brother and his friends decided to set up a GameCube and play Super Smash Bros. Melee during lunch. Being the awkward 15-year-old that I was, and the younger brother of one of the “founders,” I loved being included in this small community of students who would meet up and play. We’d come in during lunch, stay after school, or sometimes sneak off to “the library” when we weren’t working in class. I made new friends and was able to catch a break during the hectic days of high school. These small breaks during the day where I got to play Super Smash Bros. helped get me through some of the roughest days.”
Josh M: Super Mario Sunshine
“Moving is never fun, especially when it’s across state lines. When I was 11, my family moved from Los Angeles to Utah. It wasn’t easy to leave friends or a place that I had known my whole life. At the time of the move, the GameCube was Nintendo’s console and I was a big fan. While I loved Pokémon Gold, I didn’t enjoy it as much since my friend and I used to play regularly and he was two states away. The game that helped me stay grounded through the transition was Super Mario Sunshine. I know this one is often the least-popular game in the franchise, but it is one of my favorites. I used to play it in California and the familiarity of the game helped me settle into my new home. I will always remember the music of Delfino Plaza, especially since my dad used to play it before he’d go to work. There was something calming about hearing that music prior to heading off to an unfamiliar school. Eventually I came to see Utah as home and have deep roots in the area. I will never forget how having Super Mario Sunshine was such a grounding experience that eased the worries of moving. For that, I will always be grateful for this quirky title, warts and all.”
Mary Helen N. (girlinpink44): Horizon Franchise
“This year has been largely about me finding my identity as a gamer beyond the games I’ve been playing since high school. A large part of that was visiting open world games for the first time. I have to say that this year, I’m thankful for the Horizon series. I have spent most of 2022 playing through both games (still need to beat Forbidden West) and it’s brought a lot of fun and memories. The games have strengthened friendships and got me to reach outside my gaming comfort zone. It gave me experiences with my work bestie and gave my brother and I another game to bond and talk over. Thanks to this franchise, a new world has opened up to me and I’m excited to see what treasures I find in 2023.
Stephanie (the madpharmacist): The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
“There’s no doubt in my mind that I am grateful for The Legend of Zelda franchise. I owe all my creative spirit to Ocarina of Time. When I was young and my parents would not yet buy me video games, I’d watch my eldest cousin play Ocarina of Time. I was slack-jawed as I followed Link venture through deep woods, a volcano . . . and even inside a fish! Seeing Link grow up–both physically and through his journey, inspired me to be brave in pursuing life passions. It is also because of this game that I wrote novels. In fact, my first publication was initially a fan-fiction inspired by events taking place after Ganondorf was sealed away. Now, I have four published fantasy novels with a fifth novel in process. Thank you to The Legend of Zelda, and thank you, Link for giving me the courage to be me.”
Patrick Knisely: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Pikmin 3 Deluxe, and Hollow Knight
“There are so many video games that have impacted me in a number of positive ways that I feel gratitude for. But when this question came up, I immediately thought of three recent examples. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has brought my cousin and I closer together. While we used to hang out from time to time, he is now one of my best friends, and we regularly get together to play Smash. Pikmin 3 Deluxe came out at a difficult time, during the pandemic, when my young son and I were spending lots of time together at home. We both fell in love with the game and the franchise, and have played through it together multiple times. He even had a Pikmin theme for his last birthday party. Lastly, Hollow Knight was a hugely inspirational game for me, and while I was already leaning toward getting into game development and making my own game, it gave me inspiration and motivation to learn the craft and dive deep into what I’m currently doing. So I am immensely thankful for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Pikmin 3 Deluxe, and Hollow Knight.”
Andrew Millard: Stardew Valley
“My daughter recently heard a friend of mine’s phone go off. She instantly recognized his alert tone as the sound of a fish snagging your line in Stardew Valley. A cute moment ensued where she and my friend traded fishing stories and other accomplishments in the game. Heartwarming connections between old gamer and new aside, it made me realize how important Stardew Valley was to my daughters during the darkest parts of COVID quarantine. They made many different farms with their friends, one in particular whose name was a great Final Fantasy nod. The sound of them chatting over a conference call while checking up on Chocobo Farm makes up a good chunk of the background noise in my memory of those days. I don’t think there should be such a thing as quarantine nostalgia, but if there ever is, I’m thankful my girls had a gentle game like Stardew Valley to keep them connected to their friends during such tragedy.”
David Lasby: Aliens: Fireteam Elite
As a child of the 80s and 90s, I grew up playing video games and watching sci-fi movies. No film captured my heart and imagination more than the 1986 classic Aliens. Bad-ass Colonial Marines with futuristic weapons investigating a mysterious incident on a colony deep in space, caught up the battle of a lifetime with terrifying monsters—what could be better?
Getting to play Aliens: Fireteam Elite as an adult is a childhood dream come true. No game has ever replicated “a day in the Corps” so realistically. I love the teamwork, the insane degree of difficulty, and the myriad of customization options that let me get my marine just right. Along the way, I’ve met some great folks online; and we’ve survived the hive together. After all, “there’s some places in the universe you don’t go alone.” Thank you Cold Iron Studios for the amazing work you’ve done as a small indie studio entrusted with a major franchise.
What games are you thankful for?
As we celebrate Thanksgiving this year, we here at Boss Rush Network hope that you have games to be thankful for. Old or new, past or present, we know that video games have the power to help us in some of our hardest phases of life and to draw us closer together with family and loved ones. The games we play can inform the gamer, player, and person we are. So take a few minutes this Thanksgiving, and give thanks to those games that have helped you, and let us know on the Bosh Rush Discord and Facebook about what games you’re grateful for!
Happy Thanksgiving from Boss Rush Network!
Featured Image: Nintendo