Games of a Lifetime: Xav's picks

After more than ten years devoted to video games and the people who make them, Joystiq is closing its doors. We won't be reporting on the best games of 2015, so join us for one last hurrah as the Joystiq family reveals their Games of a Lifetime.

Chrono Trigger
In my recent Joystiq Presents episode I talked about the profound impact the strategy guide of Chrono Trigger had on my love of games. Being able to finally play the game, just thinking of the first time I had that chance, still gets me a little choked up.

It still stands as my favorite game of all time. I've played it a countless amount of times on so many platforms. It has wonderful characters, a story about fighting fate and shaping the world. I don't know if was supposed to be so "heady," but I think of it that way. It was meaningful, it showed the consequences of action, it had a talking Frog and a badass Robot.

To me, Chrono Trigger is perfect.

Chrono Cross
Less than perfect to most, but still special to me. There's not much more to say other than I love it and must play it again. And the music... I can't put it into words. Yasunori Mitsuda's "Dream Of The Shore Near Another World" is one of the best pieces of music I've ever heard in any medium.

Metal Gear Solid
I remember replaying the PS1-era Metal Gear Solid demo disc again and again, being spellbound by its creativity and the excitement one small section of a game could offer. My love for that demo translated into a love for all things Metal Gear, from comics to games and extended fiction. I still have the Metal Gear Solid 4 Database installed on my PS3. I love its complicated story, its troubled characters, its passion. Interviewing Hideo Kojima and talking to him about how he tells stories, about the important role storytellers have in society, is one of my most rewarding experiences at Joystiq.

BioShock / BioShock Infinite
The complete Irrational BioShock series gave me some of the favorite moments of the last generation. Beyond "Would you kindly" and beyond the river at the end of Infinite, that franchise is rife with creative gameplay ideas. Its environments are so detailed they stand as their own three dimensional characters, its protagonists venture forth and deal with complex emotional issues, moral quandaries and infinite quagmires. Having an opportunity to talk to Ken Levine about the worlds he creates was another cherished memory of my time here.

Metroid Prime
My favorite game of the sixth console generation and perhaps my favorite video game franchise, Metroid Prime did the impossible: it made me admit I was wrong. When I heard they were transforming my favorite series into a first person shooter I was livid ... we've all been there ('sup, Fallout 3 fans?). But boy, did Retro pull off something special. If you can get a copy of the original release – before they crazily patched out sequence breaking stuff – then play it immediately and have fun picking its bones apart. Oh, and that game has some of the best menu music ever (and they ditched it for the Wii Trilogy release! Blasphemy!).

NHL 94
I'm Canadian.

The Game of Life
We've been hit with a lot in a short amount of time: the loss of people we love and a place we love to visit and work. But life is made up of the good and the bad. Our future is a bright one! We've done great work here and I'm confident that you'll see these bylines again soon. My life is slightly more uncertain because of other complications, but life is an evolving machine. We adapt, we survive, we learn to focus on what we love. My focus right now, other than looking for my next challenge, is to be the best damn husband ever. Oh yeah, I got married on Sunday!

Life is an evolving machine. (That's my wife up there, she's way out of my league. Don't tell her, please!)

I don't want to be dramatic. This is video games. Video games are fun. But I wanted to say it has been a pleasure to share our love of games with you all. Video games have been a part of our professional lives for years and, with any luck, we can keep working in this business. I'm so happy I was a part of this team and had the chance to talk about something I love with you all. Now, on to the next thing because "Sorry, we're closed."

Follow me on Twitter and on YouTube, please! I'll still be creating new content related to games and more and it would be great for us, you the reader and I the content maker, to keep sharing something we love.