One hundred and twenty-five hours later, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is finished, and all other video games are ruined for the year. Dramatic? Maybe–but Nintendo’s latest Zelda game is that good. Really.
Like an exquisite meal or a work of art that speaks to a particular need at the right time of your life, a generational video game holds the same power to move, to transform, to inspire. For today’s Boss Rush Banter, we want to ask you which games you’ve played over the years that have “ruined” other games for you for a period of time by leaving you so emotionally moved that all other games fail to live up to the experience.
I don’t have to think back too far to find another game that gave me a similar experience. I really enjoy playing horror games, particularly those inspired by my science-fiction / horror favorite Alien. The Dead Space remake captured my attention that few games within the genre had since Alien Isolation. When I finally finished the game and got to the end of Isaac’s (first) journey, I stared at the screen as the credits rolled, wondering how I would fill the hole in my life that beating this game had immediately created. Sure, I could start a New Game+, but nothing quite replaces the wonder of the initial voyage through a game’s story, the delight of surprising plot twists, or the thrill of defeating a boss for the first time. Nevertheless, beating the remake of Dead Space (my first time completing the game in any of its releases) left me with an experience I will never forget.
My earliest memory of the “post-game bewilderment” was back in the summer of 1992, upon defeating Ganon in Pyramid of Power in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. Previously, my earliest gaming memories were playing the original Mario and Zelda games on the Nintendo Entertainment System. Zelda was my favorite game, and I had waited years for the Japanese gaming company to release a third installment in the franchise that would live up to the original, particularly as I didn’t appreciate Zelda II at the time. When I rolled credits on the SNES classic, I didn’t think I’d ever play another game again. Indeed, I probably replayed A Link to the Past several dozen times.
I’m sure I will enjoy many other games in 2023. In fact, by the time this article publishes, I’ll be knee-deep in Aliens: Dark Descent, a game I’ve been anticipating for quite some time. But it’s going to be hard to shake the emotions that Tears of the Kingdom left me with; the beauty of gaming, of course, is that I don’t have to. And I’ve found that switching genres and story universes helps alleviate the temptation to compare.
Tell us what you think! What video game has temporarily “ruined” other games for you? Share your reactions in the comments below or join in the conversation on Boss Rush Network’s Discord and Facebook pages.
Featured Image: Nintendo