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Top Ten Tuesdays | Supremely Satisfying Gaming Moments

Jonathan Lester
#Winning, Animal Crossing, Borderlands 2, Call Of Duty, FPS, Guitar Hero, Halo, Mario Kart, Portal 2, RPG, Super Meat Boy, Tetris, The Secret of Monkey Island, Top Ten, Top Ten Tuesdays

Top Ten Tuesdays | Supremely Satisfying Gaming Moments

Videogaming is one of the most versatile and thought-provoking forms of entertainment out there. They teach us about ourselves, they enrich our lives, they let us bond with unforgettable new friends and push the boundaries of what it really means to interact with a work of art. But, let's not kid ourselves, usually we play games because they're barnstormingly fun and properly satisfying to the point of afterglow.

So, to this end, we've prepared a list of some of the most satisfying moments in videogame history. There's no rhyme or reason here, just ten of our most exquisitely gratifying gaming experiences that leave us smugly grinning at our tellies and handhelds like an utter loon. Naturally we want to hear from you in the comments, and perhaps create a brand new democratic list in the discussion thread!

Honourable mentions: Beating Shao Khan, dual-wielding anything (especially RCP-90s), getting a massive cascade in Puzzle Quest, beating Chrono Trigger, defeating Gannondorf, Wii Sports hole-in-one, scoring an impossible goal in FIFA, LOOTSPLOSIONS, "Monster Kill... kill... kill...kill!", annihilating the Four Kings, achievement unlocked, crushing your best lap/ghost time, surviving Ninja Gaiden

10: The Post-Mortem Hail Mary

Top Ten Tuesdays | Supremely Satisfying Gaming Moments

We've all done it, even though we all know better. When staring death in the face, we should go to ground or use our equipment, but in the heat of the moment it's all too easy to clench the triggers and throw a grenade god knows where in the vain hope that we take someone with us.

It's stupid, except that sometimes it works. And it feels just... so great.

By far the most satisfying 'post-mortem Hail Mary' comes courtesy of the Halo series, when you manage to stick a plasma grenade to a fully-manned Warthog the split-second before it runs you over. Dying has never felt so awesome.

9: Paying Off Tom Nook

Top Ten Tuesdays | Supremely Satisfying Gaming Moments

Animal Crossing is fantastic, but as someone who's played it for many years, I freely admit that it's a chore simulator. Catching fish, catching bugs, digging, digging, digging, all to pay off an avaricious raccoon who saddles us with infinitely more insane levels of crippling debt.

Thankfully, the joy of finally paying him back is well worth the hours of work... though of course, there's always another room to add...

8: Shooting Handsome Jack In His Stupid Face

Top Ten Tuesdays | Supremely Satisfying Gaming Moments

Who's the Butt Stallion now, Jack?!

If only we could do the same to Tom Nook.

7: Eureka!

Top Ten Tuesdays | Supremely Satisfying Gaming Moments

The best puzzle games are full of "Eureka Moments," those uniquely satisfying instances when you suddenly, out of the blue, realise that a solution has been staring you in the face. Perhaps a basic gameplay mechanic can be used in a surprising new way. Perhaps you can deploy another portal to increase your speed. Maybe what you need, more than anything, is a rubber chicken with a pulley in the middle. Regardless of the specifics, Eureka Moments tend to be heralded by players whooping with delight, if not running naked around the municipality and hugging the concerned citizenry.

6: Levelling Up... Just As You're About To Die

Top Ten Tuesdays | Supremely Satisfying Gaming Moments

The situation's looking bleak. Mobs assault you from all sides. You've aggroed the boss. Ganky death awaits you, and as you quaff your last potion, there's no hope of survival.


Suddenly, out of nowhere, you gain the last few experience points necessary to level up, causing your health and mana to instantly replenish. Fear turns to nigh-orgasmic delight as you clean up the horde, and kick back with some new skill points and attributes to assign. Mmm.

5: Slotting The Line Piece Into Place

Top Ten Tuesdays | Supremely Satisfying Gaming Moments

"Where's the line piece? WHERE'S THE ****MOTHERING******* LINE PIECE?!"

Oftentimes, it never comes, teasing you expertly as tears well up in your eyes and cramp sets into your white knuckles. But when a line piece finally makes its glorious appearance, slotting neatly into place, it's hard not to throw your Game Boy into the air in a fit of absolute toe-curling ecstasy.

4: That Last-Minute Mario Kart Overtake

Top Ten Tuesdays | Supremely Satisfying Gaming Moments

You know what I'm talking about: that glorious last-second overtake as you approach the final corner, when your mate suddenly screams in anguish as you powerslide past to the win. There's nothing quite like it, regardless of which version of Mario Kart you favour, and the rush of endorphins means that you won't even feel the thudding pain of the inevitable dead arm.

Of course, if your opponent got hit by a blue shell, it tastes all that much sweeter. Yes, yessss, your tears taste so good [that's enough of that - Ed]

3: Showboating With Plastic Guitars

Top Ten Tuesdays | Supremely Satisfying Gaming Moments

Beating the toughest songs in Guitar Hero is one of the most enjoyable gaming experiences out there, but it pales in comparison to grabbing a wireless axe, climbing onto the sofa, playing it behind your head and then leaping down onto the floor in an epic metal stance. The broken AV equipment (and shins) is well worth the dopamine hit.

2: Beating Super Meat Boy (Or, Erm, Any Level Therein)

Top Ten Tuesdays | Supremely Satisfying Gaming Moments

Over the last few years, we've come to crave tough challenges, and Super Meat Boy absolutely delivers. It's sublime torture, a constant reminder that you, the player, just aren't quite fast and smart enough to beat the next outrageously difficult level. I found myself making up ad-lib lyrics to each of the backing tracks, a sweary improvised monument to all my failings and my fat impotent fingers.

But, sooner or later, the head rush of endorphins and pure pleasure upon finally kicking that level in its level-hole is enough to knock you out cold.

1: #Winning

Top Ten Tuesdays | Supremely Satisfying Gaming Moments

Cop-out? Oh yes. A big fat one. But the fact remains that nothing compares to that singular glorious moment when you triumph against all the odds and WIN. Whether you've just aced a perfect serve in Wii Sports tennis, survived an enormous EVE Online fleet battle, run back the flag in Facing Worlds, pulled off a fatality against Shao Khan or smashed your own best lap time, the glowing feeling of accomplishment and victory is why many of us play games in the first place. Taking part is its own reward, of course, though it's always nice to be the player behind the killcam rather than on the screen.

Basically, insert your greatest victory here.

So, dear reader, it's time for you to have your say... before you get back out there, and WIN!

Add a comment10 comments
DivideByZero  Jul. 30, 2013 at 13:20

I think my number one would be laughing with mates. Be it someone blowing themselves up in Worms or Bomberman through to pointlessly diving out of a window mid gunfight in Black Ops or angering a witch in L4D so they go for your mate. For me, messing about and having fun with mates is by far the most rewarding part of gaming.

A fun game > a win, even in a serious game.
(Though obviously both is best ;))

Last edited by DivideByZero, Jul. 30, 2013 at 13:21
sits69  Jul. 30, 2013 at 13:29

Hilarious article!

JonLester  Jul. 30, 2013 at 13:57

@DivideByZero: In all honesty, I'm actually saving cooperative shenanigans for a follow-up article. We have so many fond memories of co-op multiplayer (ESPECIALLY local) that they deserve their own list, frankly.

"angering a witch in L4D so they go for your mate"


@Sits69: Thanks (I think)! :D

Quietus  Jul. 30, 2013 at 14:00

There are a few I can think of:

I remember back in the day when I finally broke the hour mark for a 100% speedrun of Super Metroid. I was grinning from ear to ear.

Finishing Streets of Rage 2 solo on Mania difficulty.

Beating a Unreal Tournament Godlike bot one-on-one for the first time without any cheese tactics was a thrill.

I recall finishing the original Halo on Legendary was quite an achievement. I remember that a few of my friends did the same, but they employed the 'run past everything' tactic, whereas I killed everything I could. The only let down was at the end, because The Maw is much easier than levels before it.

Oh, and every time you get to Omnislash some hapless victim.

There are probably loads more, but that'll do for now.:)

Late  Jul. 30, 2013 at 14:11

The wife and kids going out for the day.

Breadster  Jul. 30, 2013 at 14:46

Beating Emerald Weapon in FF7, dogs jumping through the window in Resi 1, finally playing a different level of Halo after playing a demo of Silent Cartographer practically everyday in a game shop on the way home from school, finishing Alien Storm for the first time, unlocking all the characters in Timesplitters 2, first leaving the sewers in Oblivion, I could go on for a while here... :p

DivideByZero  Jul. 30, 2013 at 15:19

@Jon - good stuff, local multiplayer is amazing.

Korma  Jul. 30, 2013 at 15:28

Not the greatest, but some of the most satisfying were in Halo 3 Multi-Team when you had 3 or 4 teams neck and neck, but you managed to pull through with a nailbiting win.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=-GMMdjajXxk&t=102 - A couple of 50-49-49 finishes, the clip starts with a lucky doublekill from the grave (not a hail mary though) leading to a comeback win. The second one I don't think I've been in a closer game ever, neck and neck all the way with 4 (to start with) teams.

You can see the scores changing constantly in the bottom right. The only reason the Red Team wasn't right up there too was one of them dropped out. The beauty of Theater Mode let me see exactly what happened at the end and it really could have gone to any one of us. As I was dying my teammate grabbed the final kill from under Blue Team's nose because they took a split second to grab the overshield.

Halo 3 was full of moments like that though so this is just an example. Burnout 3 had an equal number of similar moments.

Completing 6 laps of Tropical Drive (the longest track) as the Blue Team in online Road Rage was always very satisfying. Not only have you got to avoid and stay ahead of the Red Team but just crashing 7 or 8 times on your own would be enough to eliminate you. On your penultimate crash you got a 'Damage Critical!' warning.


RiKx  Jul. 31, 2013 at 05:18

The moment I most recently remember whooping and telling my now dwindling circle of gamer mates about was in BB:BC-2 Vietnam. Having just strafed the hell out me a chopper touched down and a bunch of guys jumped in filling it and it starts to climb...

In a moment of supreme skill (blind luck) I looked down the scope firing a single shot at the pilot. *BOOM* headshot, the chopper drops back to the ground before any of the unaware occupants can jump, out killing the lot!

I literally patted myself on the back. Then died a microsecond after. Worth it. ;)

Jddpc316  Aug. 1, 2013 at 21:23

Catching the Hylian Loach in Ocarina of Time on the N64, that took me a very very long time! A lot of swear words and patience but I remember getting it on VHS as well I was so proud :)


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