There are some video games that you’ll never stop replaying, and this inevitably means revisiting their first levels repeatedly. It doesn’t matter if these levels are particularly good, as we’ve played them enough times now to know them like the back of our hand.
Team GR shared the first levels they’ve played the most below, and now we want to hear what you have to say. Leave your responses in the comments section below!
Yoshi Island 2
Paul Tamburro, executive editor: “Super Mario World‘s Yoshi Island 2. Technically, it’s the second level, but we all played this one first. Given how many times I’ve replayed SMW, I could comfortably complete this level with my eyes closed. It’s not the best first level ever, but it does introduce you to Yoshi, so that has to count for something.”
Jason Faulkner, senior editor: “It’s not so much a level, but I think I’ve had to have gone through Midgar in Final Fantasy 7 maybe 10-15 times. When the game first came out I was around 9 years old and it was the first JRPG I had tried to play from the beginning. I didn’t really get the mechanic past the basics when I first started playing FF7, and I was way more into the story than the combat, so I ran from a lot of battles so I could keep trucking forward. You can get through a good chuck of that game easily without leveling much, but there’s a boss that introduces a major difficulty spike right as you’re leaving Nibelheim. The Materia Keeper is a real bastard and he stopped a ton of my playthroughs dead in their tracks. So, unable to beat him, I’d just start the game over. Eventually, I figured out Materia, leveling, and all that, and stopped him, but not before restarting the game like five times. In the years since, I like to start a new game from time to time and just play through Midgar. It’s my favorite part of the game, and in a way it’s a self-contained little story.”
Mack Ashworth, lead editor: “Crash Bandicoot 3‘s first area, which absolutely counts! I played those five mini-levels over and over when I first got my PS1 sans memory card. So much variety contained within those five slices of Crash Bandicoot gameplay. After shutting down my console at bedtime, I looked forward to replaying those same levels again.”
Toad Village… again
Michael Leri, features editor: “As Mack was replaying Crash 3‘s Toad Village in England for the billionth time in the late ’90s, I was also doing the same in America. Like Mack, I did not have a memory card for quite some time, which meant I would have played those levels ad nauseum because I did not want to go outside. And then once I got a memory card, I replayed that game over and over because it was my favorite Crash game.”