Video games are capable of some truly world-rocking twists, turns, and revelations that can stick with players for years to come. Here are five of the most unforgettable gaming moments every gamer owes it to themselves to experience.
1. The opening sequence in Yoshi’s Island when the Yoshis are nearly wiped out by an invasive rat species
Talk about major stakes! When the Mushroom Kingdom sends some ships to capture Yoshis for their horrible Yoshi zoo, they inadvertently unleash a plague of rats on the island that decimates the Yoshi population by first eating the eggs and, later, when starvation pushes them, the adult Yoshis. Once the 90-minute cutscene showing the rats eating every Yoshi they find finally comes to an end, players take control of one of the few surviving Yoshis, who must somehow forget the rat-induced horrors he has just witnessed in order to save Baby Mario from the evil Koopas.
2. The first time you steal a car in Grand Theft Auto IV and you hear God crying from heaven
Gamers who broke God’s heart and made him cry by stealing a car in GTA IV always include it in their top-three unforgettable moments. Throughout the game, God keeps begging you to stop sinning as you commit endless murder and theft across the game world of Liberty City, but that first time you hear him cry after your first stolen car just can’t be replicated.
3. Resident Evil 4’s original soundtrack by Billy Joel
The fourth installment in the Resident Evil franchise is a fan favorite due in no small part to the haunting lyrics of Billy Joel’s 14-track a cappella soundtrack. Okay, so this might not be just one moment, but from the opening song of “Use Left Joystick Plus X To RUN!” to the end-credits theme of “I’ve Just Had A Lot Of Problems With Zombies (So Don’t Ask Me For The Rent),” this soundtrack made literally the entire game one unforgettable experience.
4. The moment in Super Mario 64 where Mario publicly executes Luigi for denting his van with a Koopa shell
You can’t call yourself a gamer until you see Mario scream at Luigi for dinging his van with a Koopa shell and then watch the green plumber crumple onto the foyer of Peach’s Castle and begging for forgiveness. Mario carries Luigi to the roof of the castle, and, with all of the fantastical creatures of the Mushroom Kingdom looking on, players have the choice to either burn Luigi at the stake for the crimes he committed against Mario’s van or behead him for no reason.
5. Finding Kevin James’ house in Final Fantasy VII and trading him copies of Los Angeles newspapers in return for special items
Final Fantasy VII was groundbreaking in many ways but the sequence where players finally get to explore the open world to find the tent where superstar comedian Kevin James lives is truly one of the greatest gaming moments of all time. James is horribly depressed to be living in the fantasy world of Gaia and desperately misses his home city of Los Angeles. Meeting him starts a side quest wherein you receive a valuable X-Potion for every fresh issue of the Los Angeles Sentinel you bring him. After you bring him six issues of the Sentinel, Kevin James dies from what the characters of FF7 refer to as “Los Angeles Mania,” and they spend the rest of the epic role-playing adventure talking about how much they hated him. It’s an experience that truly makes Final Fantasy VII special, and more than a decade later, it remains one of the greatest gaming moments of all time!