This article was originally posted on 9/12/20

In honor of National Video Games Day, the GGA Gaming crew wanted to pay homage to the titles that have impacted us the most. We’ve all played a ton of games throughout our lives, some great and some… well, not so great. But only a few titles have truly influenced us as writers, gamers and as people overall. Below are just a few of the video games that have left a mark on our lives. 

Renee – What Remains of Edith Finch

Over the last 35 years, I have played many games that have impacted me in different ways. From Dragon Warrior IV to A Link to the Past, or even Final Fantasy VII to Mass Effect, I have experienced joy, sorrow, anger, hopelessness and triumph. When asked to choose which game has made an impact on me, it’s a difficult decision. But this time, I’m going with Giant Sparrow’s What Remains of Edith Finch. 

What Remains of Edith Finch is a narrative game that follows Edith, a young woman, as she explores the old Finch family house. While she is there, we learn about the extraordinary lives and unusual, tragic deaths of all her family members. The stories of each family member are beautifully told, but they make you feel uneasy. These are stories that stay with you long after you’ve played the game. I cannot forget the story of little Molly’s dream of being a cat, an owl, a shark and a monster. Or Calvin Finch and the swing. Or Gregory and the bath. Or Lewis and the cannery. Especially Lewis and the cannery.

The Video Games That Have Impacted Us

What Remains of Edith Finch (Annapurna Interactive)

RELATED: GGA’s Most Inspiring Female Video Game Characters

Julia – Shivers

I’ve played many games that have left an impact on me long after the credits roll, but none have had a more significant impact than Sierra Entertainment’s Shivers. It debuted on the PC in 1995, and over the years it has continued to influence my genre of choice: Horror. But this goes beyond enjoying the adventure horror game full of mysteries and puzzles. Shivers was one of my mom’s favorite games to play. We would spend hours watching her take notes and solve puzzles as she explored the haunted museum.

Finally, when I was old enough to play on my own, it was the reminder of how happy my mother was while playing that made it more worthwhile. The feeling of enjoying a game so much you simply have to share it worth the world. I’ve continued to carry this idea of sharing the things I love into my adult life. It’s why I am so passionate about writing and sharing. And it all started with Shivers.

The Video Games That Have Impacted Us

Shivers (Sierra Entertainment)

RELATED: Gamescom 2020: The Medium Gameplay Trailer Shows a Different Side to Horror

Emily – The Last of Us

If you know me, you’ll be shocked to see that I am NOT talking about Bioshock for once. Instead, I wanted to focus on another narrative game that has profoundly impacted me as a gamer, writer and actor: The Last of Us + Left Behind DLC. I was utterly blown away by how this title instantly hooked me within the first 10 minutes. Just like the Pixar film UP, I was left sobbing with my Playstation 4 controller in the middle of my apartment. The Last of Us’s success comes from its unparalleled combination of thrilling gameplay and heart-wrenching storytelling. I was continuously terrified every moment of the game, yet yearning for more of Joel and Ellie’s story.

Moreover, The Last of Us + Left Behind features some of the best MoCap acting within the past decade. After playing both the game and DLC, I wanted to create art that impacted me as much as that game had. This title is one that I can play over and over again, and it will never lose its brilliance. And while this year I truly enjoyed the sequel, The Last of Us + Left Behind will always hold a very special place in my heart. 

he Video Games That Have Impacted Us

The Last of Us (Naughty Dog)

Which video games have left a huge impact on your life? Let us know in the comments below or on social media! 

Additional contributors: Renee Lopez and Julia Roth 



Emily Rose Jacobson
Follow me