Fifteen years ago my brother and I purchased the world’s best game (’95 was the one we actually had, it was like ’94 but with some small gameplay improvements – graphics were the same). We played the game all the time in head-to-head mode. At some point we played the game every day for several hours – we waited for the school to end to play the game. We didn’t play the league, but mainly the 1 versus 1. (Also our big brother joined the matches every now and then).
Even though there was certain tricks on how to score against AI, those same tricks weren’t so easy to do since there was human player whose way of playing you knew inside out. Often both of us had players stopped exactly the same time. Often we could knew where the puck will go next. We knew when a pass would come.
It was bloody addictive, but eventually (like after 3-4 years of playing or something) we slowly faded away from that game and tried the newer versions (none of the newer versions ever could match with 95 version).
Years (more than a decade) passed, until some time ago my brother hinted that there’s the emulator available for the the world’s best game. Nowadays I’m slightly less available to play games (much more time goes to making them), but occasionally I take time to play something. Now we have played NHL94 online, and it’s still the world’s best game.
It’s bit strange, but almost nothing has changed: the same old graphics and (almost) the same gameplay is just bloody addictive. What’s different that now we play it online instead of sitting next to each other.
To me, NHL94/95 has given me one of the best gaming moments in my life, and amazingly the same game (now with online multiplayer) is still easily in TOP2 of the games I enjoy (Left 4 Dead being the other game – multiplayer of course).
I guess to me the best experience comes from playing together, rather than from the actual game features.
I suppose games can be bit like a food: best served in good company.