By: Steve Zachmann, contributor
We all have them; friends, family members, spouses, those people in our lives who don’t share our passion for gaming. Why we choose to surround ourselves with these people is usually a mystery but regardless, they’re a part of our lives. Next time you’ve got a friend that thinks you’re a geek or nerd for playing games, show them one of these beauties and maybe, just maybe, they’ll finally come around.
5. Diablo 3 (for the addictive personality).
Diablo 3 is on this list because it hits all the right notes for that friend of yours that can just get lost in something. It’s extremely easy to pick up and features some great design both graphically and audibly. The game can be played with just a mouse for the first several levels, and when played on easy, is so simple that it practically plays itself. All that said, serious Diablo 3 fans know that under the simple exterior is a pretty deep experience. At first the new skills and upgrades keep you playing, and once you’ve gotten to the max level, the gear starts getting really cool. Your friend with the addictive personality may fall headlong into this one and come out the other side a gaming fiend. I believe that you could make the argument that Path of Exile is a better game, but Diablo 3 is much more accessible to a new player.
4. Madden Football (for the sports nut).
I’m not a huge Madden fan, but as a gateway drug I’m all about it. Madden does a lot to make a gamer out of any sports fan. First off, it uses football, America’s favorite pass time these days, as a medium to teach players the reflex and muscle memory required to succeed with any game. Play Madden for a few hours and I guarantee that you’ll have a handle on which controller buttons do what. What’s more, football is a satisfying sport to watch, and even more so to play. You tackle, you pass, you score. You feel cool. It’s not a huge leap to go from being the star quarterback to the hero soldier to the knight. Before you know it your sports nut friend will be playing Persona 5 and loving it.
3. Civilization 5 (for the history buff).
For those types that can’t get enough of The History Channel or The Military Channel, Civilization is a great way to get them into gaming. First off, it’s slow. It doesn’t require twitch reflexes or perfect accuracy. It moves at whatever pace the player is comfortable with. Second, it appeals to the board game player which, if they’re a history buff, might be a big fan of games like Risk. Civilization scratches the history itch and the board game itch at the same time. Oh, and if your friend likes sci-fi, have them try Civilization: Beyond Earth instead.
2. The Sims 4 (for the designer).
My wife goes through periods where she simply cannot put down The Sims. Most of the time she just builds these extravagant houses, filled with all sorts of great decor. She spends hours choosing wall colors and roof types. And you know what, it’s kind of cool. Every once in a while I get into it with her and we’ll build our “dream home” in the game. It’s not just about building though. The sims themselves are pretty hilarious sometimes. So your designer friend is liable to come for the decor and stay for the gameplay. It’s a great way to ease them into game and also show them that not all games are guns and gore.
1. The Last of Us (for the drama fan).
To me, The Last of Us is the game to show a friend who’d be sold on games based on a good story. It’s a rich, mature tail filled with all the twists and turns you’d find on The Walking Dead, or Breaking Bad. There are moments that are sweet, sad, melancholy, and even genuinely heart-breaking. The graphics are also top notch, which makes it much easier for a non-gamer to accept the game’s story. Oh, and on top of all of that, the gameplay itself is very good. It can be a difficult game at times, which may turn some players off, but at it’s easiest difficulty it’s simple enough for most to get through.