When Fallout 3 released, it'd been a few months since my father died. I'd been in a funk because of it and trying my best to not showcase it. As these sorts of things go for me, I failed. And horribly so. So, I decided, one random day during my junior year, to go to Gamestop and pick up Fallout 3. I had $60 and figured between spending that $60 on a new game and spending it on booze/party favors (not those party favors), I'd rather eat it on the game. I hadn't heard much of Fallout other than "this series is amazeballs, so you NEED to play it."
"I don't want to set the world on fire...," The Ink Spots' crooned as I saw Washington DC in shambles, with this neo-50s/nu-nostalgia feel to everything. It was eerily beautiful. Disturbing, but beautiful. This disturbed beauty drew me into the game, and the game's final act featured some of the most difficult choices I'd faced in video games to that point. Yeah, I watched Aerith die. But, Aerith's death, for me, has nothing on the final decision in Fallout 3. War never changes, but neither do life's difficult decisions.
As noted in several posts on SpeedontheBeat.com, my relationship with my father was strained. And, after his death, I was faced with several difficult decisions--with little or no real training on how to handle them. Thus is life, a 70-to-100-year journey where you're learning on the fly and will have to live with the consequences of your actions. Do you die a hero or do you live afraid of making tough choices? Do you destroy bonds that once held you together or do you strengthen them, potentially at the cost of everyone involved? Add that sort of weight to a pretty kickass, do anything storyline which features engaging characters who feel real? You've got a GOAT game.