If you could go back in time to visit your adolescent self and show them any 3 games of the future, what would they be? I've pondered this more often than necessary and had numerous debates with friends over this issue. It's fun and stupid at the same time considering what seems amazing now would seem terrible in a few years but let's go ahead and do this anyway.
In reality this would be a really terrible idea because who knows what kind of scarring ramifications this action would have on future events. If I were to go back in time and show my younger self an underwhelming game of today like say... Red Steel, I would've blown little Fist's mind and made him forever yearn for the day of the Wii and motion control gaming. And of course, no matter what I showed my past self, the excitement would be uncontainable and he'd go on to brag to past Murdernator and other friends at school about completely inconceivable notions like fully explorable 3d worlds, enemies that hide behind cover, Sega no longer making consoles, and guns that reload. Adolescent Abortion Fist would be burned at the stake as a heretic.
But let's pretend for one moment that there are no major consequences, good or bad. Your past self won't change the course of history by investing in Activision-Blizzards stock when you explain the ludicrous money they'll make from World of Warcraft. He/she also won't tell anyone else what was seen, and most importantly your past self won't commit suicide when they find out arcades are extinct and their future self is an out of shape not-billionaire. And you won't be viewed as a creepy pedophile luring children with video games. What exactly would you show yourself with the simple intent of amazement?
I'm going to revisit 1995 Abortion Fist in a year of Mortal Kombat 3, the beginning of the Playstation-Saturn war, and the silent queef-like launch of the virtual boy. 3D graphics were rare, Doom was still king of first person shooters, and no one had heard of regenerating health. This is what I'd show a pre-teen Abortion Fist.
2001's Star Wars Rogue Squadron 2: Rogue Leader
This entry shows a sad state of Star Wars gaming but this is one I've held on this debate since it's release. The graphics may be shitty by today's standards but 1995 Abortion won't know the difference, especially if I show him this one first. He'd be blown away by the extreme detail in the Death Star trench run, the full Star Wars orchestral soundtrack, and the fact that one day, Star Wars flying games won't suck as bad as those shitty, slow, incomprehensible Tie Fighter/X-Wing flight sims. I don't think any game since this one has really captured the spirit of the original trilogy, not Force Unleashed and certainly not any of the games in the Old Republic. And I don't think my past self could ever understand a future of Lego games.
2004's Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
For some reason I don't know many people who played the original Metal Gear game on NES but I did and I loved it. The sneaking, the gadgets, the non-level based design, all of it left an impression on me that I was constantly trying explain to my friends who didn't play games out side of Mario and Zelda on the original 8-Bit appliance. I had a moment of "I done fucking told ya so!" when Metal Gear Solid finally hit in 1998 but 1995 Abortion Fist didn't even know that game was on the horizon. That's why I'd show him Snake Eater, my favorite of all the MGS games. It had the least convoluted storyline and the most similar design to the original 8-bit classic complete with jungles, skydiving intro, and sneaking around tank parking lots. Young Fist (I don't know if that would make a better porn or rapper name) would be floored by the graphics, the guard AI, the music, and the relief that one day Metal Gear would return.
2007's Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
This was a tough one to call and I hate to make such an obvious choice but pound for pound, this is the first person shooter to show my younger self. First person shooters have been my favorite genre since Wolfenstein 3D so I have to show off the future of this defining western medium. Nevermind the cutting edge graphics, the intense storyline, and all the other elements that knocked OUR socks off when this game was released. You have to think of all the little details that someone in 1995 couldn't even fathom. Real world guns that reload, have usable sights including ZOOMABLE sniper scopes and can actually be silenced. I was simply impressed by Doom's pump action shotgun. Enemies that hide, flank, react to where you shot them, and throw back you're fucking grenades. The fact that the Doom zombies got pissed and fought each other in crossfires blew everyone's mind in 1995. There would be so much shit within the first 30 seconds of gameplay that '95 Abortion Fist would probably have a stroke. I wouldn't even need to show him the groundbreaking multiplayer that would ultimately revolutionize and then ruin the gaming world forever.
And with that presentation, I'd bust out the defibs to revive young Abortion Fist, hit him with the Men In Black Memory Eraser, and be on my merry way, ripping off my Jnco shorts and Tommy Hilfiger shirt disguise. All before hitting 88 mph and accidentally leaving a 2012 sports almanac inside my old stash of Sports Illustrated swimsuit issues hidden discretely under my Game Players Magazines. I wasn't ballsy enough to hide Playboys so fuck you Mr. bad-ass cigarette smoking rebel teen.
Check back later this week for the rest of the staff's time traveling picks and feel free to give your own on the Facebook wall.