Video Games That Converted Me From Casual Gamer To Hardcore Addict [MUO Gaming]

addicting gamesThroughout the life of a gamer, there are certain games that make us cross over from the realm of casual gaming to being a hardcore gamer. If you look back at your gaming life, you can probably remember what the first games were that you kept coming back to. Those were the games that you did not just pop in to play casually. Instead, these addicting games kept you coming back for hours. After hundreds of hours, you moved onto the next game, and before you knew it, you were hooked to the world of video games.

When I look back, there are a few games that stand out to me as the first games that really brought me in and made me a gamer. Some of them are really old, and came about when I was around 5 or 6 years old. Other ones happened later in life. Some of them are games you might expect, as they are the ones that many people get hooked on, and some are a little on the odd side, but one way or another, these are the first games I got hooked on, and the ones that made me the addicted gamer that I am today.

Snake Rattle ‘N Roll

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This is a pretty obscure NES game, but it is the first one I really remember coming back to over and over. It’s brutally hard (I own a copy today, and I still struggle with it), but when you figure out how to beat a level, it was so satisfying. One of my first memories of a video game was Snake Rattle ‘N Roll. I remember playing it with the help of my mother, and I remember playing it on my own. I loved Mario too, but Snake Rattle N’ Roll is the addicting game that I could not stop coming back to time after time.

Age Of Empires II

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This was my first experience with a competitive game on the PC. I came home from junior high school every day and played this game against other people online. It might not be the deepest RTS ever made, but it was so much fun, and it had a very robust online system that worked surprisingly well for the time.

It was more than a battle of building lots of units; there was a “rocks, paper, scissors” element of building the right units to counter your opponents. While most people were playing Starcraft, I was hooked on Age Of Empires II.

SOCOM II: US Navy Seals

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SOCOM II was the first console shooter I ever really got into. I remember running out to the store to get the broadband adapter for my Playstation 2 and going online and shooting it out in some third person action. I remember many days being half asleep in high school from being up far too late playing this addicting game. I hooked up with a clan, and we spent countless hours playing.

That was my first experience with forming a clan with strangers  and those people became more than my teammates; I was as close with them as I was with real life friends. I was never a fan of Halo, and while everyone else I knew was hooked on it, I was on my PS2 playing SOCOM II.

Battlefield 2

addictive games

I stayed on SOCOM for long after it was released, but then, a cyber cafe opened in my town. I did not have a gaming PC, and I was content to be a console gamer. A few of my friends and myself decided to go and check out the place. The owner was all about Battlefield 2, and we decided to check it out. I never played SOCOM again. I was hooked on the depth of Battlefield 2, and I went out and purchased my own gaming PC to play it. We still went to the cyber cafe at least once a week to play in the same room. Sadly, it went out of business, and were forced to play online, but it was still awesome.

Call of Duty 4

addicting games

The final evolution for me as a gamer is Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare. The day this game hit the Xbox 360 everyone I knew ran out and purchased it, and we’ve been playing Call of Duty ever since (except World at War – I hate that game). As you’ve probably seen in my other articles, I collect classic games, and I play most major releases on modern systems, and plenty of random obscure games. I even dabble in MMOs and have some level 90s in World of Warcraft. That being said I always come back to Call of Duty, and it is a game that has gone a long way in defining me as a gamer today.

Your Turn

Now, I turn to you, our loyal readers. I want to know is what games turned you into the gamer you are today? Which addicting games do you remember becoming hooked on? Hit the comments section below and let us know!

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  1. Anonymous
    March 18, 2015 at 11:08 am

    My bother was addicted and it was a huge proble for our family. We wanna help him so my mom installed parental control software called PCWebControl on his computer and it was a good decision. Of course- he still plays but not so often!

  2. Aaron Sanchez
    January 15, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    Playing arcade/console/PC games were always a hobby for me. Playing tekken tag at the arcade, Half Life on the PC, and Marvel vs Capcom 2 on Dreamcast were hobby's. But when a friend had me try Counter Strike on PC, I was hooked. Played for hours on end, staying up late. Joined a clan and moved up the ranks, It was bad, but I eventually worked my way out of it and became a hobby gamer again. Until.....WoW. Friend at work talked me into the trial account, "You don't have to pay for it unless you really like it and want to play more." After I hit level 10 I wanted to be able to melt the faces of those who were killing me. And so it started. A 3.5 year escapade that had me working, and playing. That was it. Now I'm free of WoW and am playing casually again on PS3. Still love the classics though, NES is still the favorite.

  3. bronxler
    January 4, 2013 at 11:17 am

    Duke nuken, doom, half-life, diablo2, age of mithology, delta force,..wolfenstein, project igi.. and desert storm,..

  4. God Of Gaming
    December 30, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    Tank 1990 on NES
    Ninja Gaiden 3: The Ancient Ship of Doom (NES)
    Arkanoid 1 and 2 (NES)

    PC arcade FPS: Doom 1 2 3, Quake 1 2 4, Unreal and UT, Serious Sam TFE and TSE (still my favs) Duke Nukem 3D, Half-Life 1 and 2, System Shock 1 and 2, Descent 1 2 3, Shadow Warrior

    PC realistic FPS: Counter-Strike (my first PC game), Delta Force series, Rainbow Six series, Operation Flashpoint and ArmA series, Far Cry 1 and Crysis 1

    racing games: Trackmania series, Test Drive series, Need for Speed up to Porsche Unleashed/2000, Colin McRae Rally series, Richard Burns Rally, Live for Speed, GTR 2, rFactor (currently the only one I play)

    RTS: Age of Empires 1 and 2, Tzar: The Burden of the Crown, Warcraft 3

    Other: Touhou series, The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, lots of fan-made mods for my favorite games.

    I've played a lot more games than these, but these are the ones that had the most influence over me becoming a hardcore gamer, and currently trying to become a game developer.

    P.S. Call of Duty series are casual games btw, they only look hardcore but their gameplay is oversimplified, both single and multiplayer.

  5. Bobby Smith
    December 29, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    For me it goes back a little further to Ultima Exodus III, SunDOG, and platform games like Ratchet and Clank on the PS2 and SONIC on the saga.

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

  6. Ankit
    December 29, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    my first game was Assassin creed, and i played every single of the series, although bully,and prototype also my favorite.And call of duty is every one's fav.

  7. Andreas Athanasoulas
    December 29, 2012 at 11:21 am

    i have been playing call of duty 4 for so many years and its definitely my favorite one !

  8. Andreas Athanasoulas
    December 29, 2012 at 11:20 am

    i have been playing call of duty for so many years and is still my best one !

  9. Popyachslo Shachslo
    December 29, 2012 at 5:16 am

    First video game was "Road Race" at ATARI 3600, but most exiting game and game which make me gamer - it was DOOM

  10. Ryszard Grodzicki
    December 28, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    For me it all started with Nintendo 64 and Super Mario 64 which for me is still one of the best games. Other games that 'defined' me were Banjo Kazooie, Conker, Bomberman, Lylat Wars and, of course, The Legend Of Zelda. But that was quite some time ago, then came PSX with Gran Turismo, Croc, Crash, Spyro and many many more. Personally I think these games are way better, especially for a kid, than shooters you are all mentioning. They are really great games, but I was playing them since being ~15 years old and still have to admit they are dull and not as... 'developing' as games with deeper stories, requiring perfection (GT or WipeOut) or just not focused on killing.

  11. Ankita Bhatnagar
    December 28, 2012 at 2:30 am

    Wolfenstein 3D,
    AoE II
    GTA:Vice City
    Tomb Raider (PS1)
    Played them for hours till Mum threatened me to leave the PC(so others could use it :P)

  12. Ankita Bhatnagar
    December 28, 2012 at 2:30 am

    Wolfenstein 3D,
    AoE II
    GTA:Vice City
    Tomb Raider (PS1)
    Played them for hours till Mum threatened me to leave the PC(so others could use it :P)

  13. James Hudson
    December 27, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    Starwars battlefield 2 and GTA SD

  14. Zviad Mikadze
    December 27, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    i was 4 years old when i started playing mario on NES :D and i was playing it all time and the jump button on controller was always broken and my parents were buying new one every week :D
    well 3 years later i got laptop,my grandmother gifted me gta vice city disk and i loved this game,it was fun,you could do practically everything,it was very fun
    little bit a later i got counter strike 1.6 and it was great,i couldn't stoped playing it,i how to say,forced to play it :D

    at 1january i got new pc which should be able to play modern pc games,so i purschased call of duty 4 and....... u maybe now what would be happened :D

  15. Steve Easton
    December 27, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    I am getting old - the first computer game i got addicted to was a text game - Colossal Cave Adventure - it was amazing but required a lot of work you can get versions that will run on an iPad, on Windows, on Mac and on Linux - it's worth giving it a try.

  16. IceWolf
    December 27, 2012 at 11:56 am

    LOL It's seems that i am the oldest here. I saw some wrote Warcraft, Call of Duty, Diablo... Wow. I began in 1991 with a little cute game named Fantasy World Dizzy (the third in Dizzy series), on a Spectrum Sinclair - a nice adventure/quest with 16 colors with an egg with boxing gloves :)
    After that, River Raid, Raid over Moscow, Death Star, Cybernoid... well, let's say one need a lot of imagination those days. And yet, i felt more satisfied then than now. Too few games today make me feel like those. But here I am, 22 years later, fighting with my six year old kid over my Steam account :)

  17. mus
    December 27, 2012 at 9:59 am

    I would have to say i all started with Dune 2, then moved on to Command & Conquer, Warcraft 2 and the rest is history...

  18. Iain Wolstencroft
    December 27, 2012 at 9:46 am

    You're missing the classic space trader game originally for the BBC and then for the Sinclair amongst other platforms , the one and only Elite!

  19. Bobbie Turniansky
    December 27, 2012 at 6:27 am

    You are all so young!
    Does anyone else here fondly remember "Rogue" or "Hack"? At the time it was definitely the ultimate way to spend long hours gaming while searching for the amulet. Step by step you could expose the map of one of the many levels of the dungeon, all the while collecting artifacts and fighting assorted nasties with weapons and spells. The best part --- the map was different each time you played and the possibilities were endless.

    • Nevzat Akkaya
      December 27, 2012 at 7:18 am

      Well I'm old as Wolfenstein 3D :)
      Prince of Persia was also popular at those days.

  20. Dominic Chang
    December 27, 2012 at 5:40 am

    It all started with Diablo 2.

  21. mike
    December 27, 2012 at 3:00 am

    I remember when I had a Atari but we didnt have allot of money for games back then. Plus mom thought is was something that you played every now and then not everyday. So I would go to the local arcade. I remember playing spy hunter and golden axe with 1 quarter me and my friend would beat that game had some much fun. Also remember kung fu. It reminded me of the great Bruce Lee movies back in those days, and shinobi . There is just to many game to remember and enjoy. Im a gamer for life and if anyone want to game with me. My steam, gamertag, and xfire is all mikepronin hit me up Im always playing something

  22. Obed Cutaran
    December 27, 2012 at 2:57 am

    Starcraft, Counter Strike, Battle Realms, Red Alert, Half Life

  23. Ron
    December 27, 2012 at 2:51 am

    What about Tribes. That was the game that really set the stage for FPS games. And, the only one that had jet packs. That added a third range of movement that no other game has really offered.

  24. Swaroop Hegde
    December 27, 2012 at 2:27 am

    Age Of Empires II, Age Of Empires III, RIse of Nations, GTA Vice City, Road Rash

  25. Ted Wolf
    December 27, 2012 at 1:35 am

    Oh, and lest I forget all those wonderful 25 cent games like starship fighter, tanks, galaga, tempest, and many more!

    • Dave LeClair
      December 27, 2012 at 2:09 am

      I miss the days of arcades. Here in the US they are all but dead.

  26. Ted Wolf
    December 27, 2012 at 1:33 am

    doom, spear of destiny and duke nukem 3d

  27. tyson granger
    December 27, 2012 at 1:27 am

    It was Age of Empires and Warcraft the did it for me!. I still love them and wish further versions with today's graphics and interfaces could be released!

  28. Vivian Deliz
    December 27, 2012 at 1:24 am

    For me, it was Age of Empires and Simcity.

  29. David B
    December 27, 2012 at 1:02 am

    Civilization, GTA 3, Dynasty Warriors 3, which led to an indie game called ASCII Sector, Minecraft, etc etc...

  30. Tony Gonzaga
    December 27, 2012 at 12:56 am

    i started playing games with my apple IIc clone. i played pong. then came atari with space invaders and pacman. with my first ibm pc i played doom, warcraft II, duke nukem, starcraft. now i only play the command and conquer series - red alert 2, yuri's revenge, generals, zero hour and reborn.

  31. Trevor Lenten
    December 27, 2012 at 12:51 am

    Diablo 2, CS, Sim City, and just about any game with Sid Meiers name on it.

  32. Andrei Bogdan
    December 27, 2012 at 12:43 am

    I learned a hell lot of history from the age of empires series . :D

    • Dave LeClair
      December 27, 2012 at 2:08 am

      I am not sure how accurate it all is, but it's better than nothing!

      • Andrei Bogdan
        December 27, 2012 at 1:45 pm

        I looked into it over the years , of course , I didn't rely stricly on what I learned from the game but it was a good start .

  33. Kris
    December 27, 2012 at 12:41 am

    Age of Empires and Battlefield 2 were big for me, other games that spring to mind...

    Pac Man for Atari
    Barbarian for Amstrad 464
    Cannon Fodder for Amiga 1200
    Tomb Raider for Playstation

    Dues Ex, Elder Scrolls series, Diablo 2 for the PC!

  34. Mary Watson
    December 27, 2012 at 12:35 am

    My first game was Ultima Online...then I went on to Guild Wars...and now I just play games on the Wii and more recently the Wii U. I do miss those days of UO with the friends and guild affiliations. The meets at the bank, the killing dragons in the caves, killing sea serpents on a boat, getting robbed and killed in Fellucca (if I remember that right). It was a fun time in my life!!

    • Dave LeClair
      December 27, 2012 at 2:08 am

      What Wii U games do you like so far?

  35. Gloria
    December 27, 2012 at 12:32 am

    AoE - all three of them, with expansions. I don't really play games otherwise.

  36. Ebuka Mmaduekwe
    December 26, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    call of duty rocks but how about brothers in arm

    • Dave LeClair
      December 27, 2012 at 2:07 am

      I never got into that franchise. I'm a COD guy through and through.

      • FAS-LT.DAWGG
        December 30, 2012 at 3:27 am

        delta force black hawk down team sabre online verson. im member of a squad called fast attack squad . its old game but never gets old

  37. Dr Theopolis
    December 26, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    DC Universe Online has changed me from a very casual gamer to a hardcore MMORG fanatic.

  38. Avish Kansakar
    December 26, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    Here is my list, started from games like mario, adventure island, double dragon and all those oldies after that moved to arcade fighting games like King Of Fighters, Street Fighter, samurai showdown then moved on to gta series, warcraft 3, DOTA, World Of Warcraft and now League of Legends

    • Dave LeClair
      December 27, 2012 at 2:07 am

      Do you still play fighting games at all, or have you moved away from the genre?

      • Avish Kansakar
        December 27, 2012 at 8:44 am

        i rarely play fighting games on my own. i am still a fan of the king of fighters series. I have tons of memories tied to that game. Me and friends coming up with combos on our own, teasing one another when we beat each other. I am originally from a different country here in the US pursuing my bachelors degree. If I meet my friends i'll definitely play but playing it all alone is just too boring.

  39. AP
    December 26, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    1) GTU

  40. Harshit Jain
    December 26, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    Road Rash and GTA Vice City

    • Dave LeClair
      December 27, 2012 at 2:06 am

      I wish they would make a new Road Rash!

    • James Hudson
      December 27, 2012 at 1:52 pm

      i love GTA Vice city

  41. Patrizio
    December 26, 2012 at 10:19 am

    Sensible Soccer
    Eye of the Beholder (1 e 2)
    The Football Manager

  42. Nez
    December 26, 2012 at 8:43 am

    Not in order, obviously, but I started many years ago:
    The Legend of Zelda-NES
    Many other NES games, too long of a list.
    The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind
    The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion
    Diablo 2
    Half-Life 2
    Battlefield 2
    Way more, I've been a gamer since I can remember and played nearly all systems.
    Now playing Guild Wars 3 and it's quite nice, I expect it to get better.

    • Dave LeClair
      December 27, 2012 at 2:06 am

      I've been meaning to check out Guild Wars 3. It looks interesting, and no monthly fee is always a good thing.

      • Nez
        December 27, 2012 at 4:02 am

        I realized as I saw your reply, it's Guild Wars 2, not 3, that was my mistake. But yeah, it's a nice game and indeed, no monthly fee is one of the biggest things for me.

        • Dave LeClair
          December 27, 2012 at 4:03 am

          Ah yes, you are correct, although I bet Guild Wars 3 will be awesome when it inevitably comes out! lol

        • Nez
          December 27, 2012 at 8:38 pm

          Lol, no doubt.

  43. Lisa Santika Onggrid
    December 26, 2012 at 8:07 am

    Playstation's RPGs (I suppose it's JRPG to be exact). Of course, our definition of 'hardcore' might not be the same (seems like it only applies to PC Gamers there?), but since I spend hundreds of hours to play and conquer the games, I think it's hardcore enough.
    Suikoden, Wild Arms, Final Fantasy, Legend of Mana, and SaGa Frontier, to name just a few.

    • Dave LeClair
      December 27, 2012 at 2:06 am

      Not for me, I played Call of Duty 4 on console and Socom II as well. I jump back and forth. I don't care what platform you play on; if you love games, you're a gamer to me!

  44. Michael Teague
    December 26, 2012 at 7:59 am

    At work we downloaded the original Doom and were playing on all the computers at fire stations until someone in IT finally figured it out and they locked down the computers. Nothing like the BFG 9000. I was hooked on gaming after this.

    • Dave LeClair
      December 27, 2012 at 2:05 am

      Not a bad way to get through the work day, that's for sure!

  45. Junil Maharjan
    December 26, 2012 at 7:26 am

    I was really into ages of empires II and the old gta with 2-d graphics. they were really awesome games. i still play ages of empires II whenever i got time but have moved into a mobile based gaming platform now. mostly playing FIFA and other versions of GTA, and such.

    • Dave LeClair
      December 27, 2012 at 2:04 am

      I must admit, I have not gone back to the AOE games in a long time. I should install AOE 2 and see if I am still any good, but something tells me I won't be.

  46. Nevzat Akkaya
    December 26, 2012 at 6:59 am

    I remember playing "Wolfenstein 3D" for hours :) So my list begins with it.
    Wolfenstein 3D

    • Dave LeClair
      December 27, 2012 at 2:04 am

      Very good choices. Clearly you know your shooter roots!

      • Nevzat Akkaya
        December 27, 2012 at 7:14 am

        Those were the good old days :)

        No I'm joking, today we have much more powerful computers and much detailed and quality games. However I don't have much time for PC games. Now is the time of mobile gaming. Smartphones are always on our hands, ready to play for any amount of time.

        Now is the time of Angry Birds, Cut the Rope, Asphalt 7, Need 4 Speed, we can also play NOVA 3, but I don't think such shooters are well suited to our small screens and touch controls.

  47. Vishal Srivastava
    December 26, 2012 at 5:28 am

    I didn't own a PC till 2007 so my gaming started then. Till then it was just gaming I had in my school (solitare) and my friends house (Counter Strike) or Mario if I visited my cousins. There were no Cyber Cafe offering gaming in India (at least none that I knew about then) and most places that offered gaming were Arcade games which come back from the era of Atari and Apple 2. I started with FIFA 2006 after I bought my own PC and it was what made me consider gaming seriously. After a few smaller titles, I was playing FIFA 09 and GTA San Andreas and did a fair enough job. Then one day, a cousin of mine (a hardcore gamer himself) bought over an old rusting CD of Call Of Duty 1 for me (along with a few others). That game changed the way I looked at gaming completely. It was no longer a past time, it was an addiction. I got through that game at least 10 times from end to end through all difficulties. Next big title for me was NFS Underground. I got it from a friend after he was bored with playing it. We actually traded NFS for COD. I play NFS to this day. Then I got COD 4-Modern Warfare and the story line was so compelling that I actually stopped studying for 1 week to just complete that game. COD 4 was, is and will always be the best title I've played...

    • Dave LeClair
      December 27, 2012 at 2:03 am

      Did you also play multiplayer of the COD games, or did you prefer to stick with the story?

  48. Nohl Lyons
    December 26, 2012 at 5:22 am

    Diablo 2, Mule, Adventure Construction Set, Ultima III, Tron, Sim City

  49. Benny Teo
    December 26, 2012 at 2:12 am

    1) Starcraft
    2) Diablo 1 & 2
    3) Counterstrike
    4) Rush on Seven Episodes( wasted 7 mths of my life on this, MMORPGs are a youth sapping tool)
    5) DOTA!
    6) Battlefield
    7) L4D2!!!!!
    Waiting for a new computer to play better games...or a console ;)

    • Dave LeClair
      December 27, 2012 at 2:03 am

      Very good choices!

  50. Eric Wilborn
    December 26, 2012 at 1:09 am

    Halo got me on the right path, but I've often derailed. I've got to work on that..

    • Greg
      December 26, 2012 at 4:00 pm

      I know what you mean, all I have is Halo games for my 360

  51. Anonymous
    December 26, 2012 at 12:45 am

    For me, the list is longer :D ... warcraft 3, diablo 2, crash bandicoot, soul reaver, battlefield 1942, clive barkers undying, counter strike, half life, gta3, max payne etc :D

    • Dave LeClair
      December 27, 2012 at 2:02 am

      After playing all those great games, there is no way you could not have become a gamer!

  52. Drieze Levensque
    December 25, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    I have to agree to your list seeing as I regularly play Call of Duty 4 and will soon be getting Battlefield 2. The new Call of Duty games irritate me.

    • Dave LeClair
      December 27, 2012 at 2:02 am

      You will definitely have fun with Battlefield 2. It might look a little dated, but the gameplay is still quite fun!

    • Lönja Selter
      December 27, 2012 at 5:14 pm

      cod 4 and aoe 2 for me

    • Drieze Levensque
      January 2, 2013 at 12:16 am

      Thanks for the reply. Have yet to get Battlefield 2!