Lunchtime Discussion: Favourites

I’m hugely, terribly indecisive. It can take me ten or twenty minutes to decide I want the same thing I always order at a restaurant, and picking a favourite anything is just out of the question. My favourite food is pizza… or Chinese… or a steak… or a sandwich from my favourite pub with some cheesy chips. I honestly couldn’t pick between any of them if you handed me a bunch of take-out menus and gave me £20.

However, last night I picked a new favourite film. I went and saw The Social Network and it was simply amazing. Not only did it draw me in and educated me about the history of Facebook, but it inspired me to sit down and actually make something new. Of course my favourite film before that was Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, which was literally the last film I saw before The Social Network.

The thing is both of those films are films I’ve seen very recently, and only seen each one once. Can I really say my favourite film is The Social Network after watching it only once, and watching it so recently? Even with a little distance I’m not sure you can really call something your favourite. I’ve only played Batman: Arkham Asylum once, but it was about a year ago.

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It’s the same as people naming a title Game of the Year a week after it’s released. It frankly seems a little bizarre to me to give a game an accolade like that so soon after it’s released, and whilst I did love The Social Network I actually slightly dislike myself for calling the film my favourite so soon. Maybe once it’s out on DVD and I’ve watched it ten or fifteen times I can decide that, but right now it’s not something I really feel confident saying.

What do you think? Can you think something’s your favourite after only seeing or playing it once? Do you really need distance from it? Or is it like love at first sight, do you just know sometimes?

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21 Comments

  1. I generally pick favourite games if it made me enjoy every minute of said game. So far, there’s only been three games that I can call my favourites; Metal arms:glitch in the system; The orange box (as a whole) and Gran turismo 4.

    • If you’re wondering about metal arms, look it up on wikipedia.

      • Is Metal Arms the sequel to ‘R2D2: Why I Hate Playing Grab-Ass’?

      • Very funny mike.

    • Metal Arms was a great game!

      • So I’m NOT the only person that liked it.

  2. GotY lists and all the TV’s 100 greatest… are tainted by how recent they are in people’s memory

    But once it’s out of people memory it’s tainted by nostalgia and the rose tinted glasses which accompany it, so it really is a balancing act to get it right, even in an individuals own mind.

    My favourite games get a lot of play, and my favourite movies get a lot repeats. It makes me chuckle when someone says CoD is rubbish despite millions of people playing it a year or more after release and the very same people announce BFBC2/MoH the greatest thing ever despite only playing it for the opening weekend (you can swap CoD and BFBC2/MoH to whatever franchise or genre you want)

    True greats are played long after the ordinary shelf life has expired.

    My gaming favourites this gen are Warhawk, FlOw/Flower, FIFA09 Uncharted2 and SingStar, although I think PES2011 is going to get a whole year’s play as well. Last gen my fave’s were GTA Vice City & NHL 2002, before that Tomb Raider and before that about 100 Megadrive games… and so on, the thing all my faves have in common is they generally get at least months of play, re-play and re-re-play

  3. Some favourite games/films get multiple airings. Some don’t. Depends on the title itself. However, the knee-jerk reaction of saying something is an instant classic or “my favourite film ever” shows a lack of level-headedness as you’re usually wrapped up in the immediate emotion and how it made you feel (which makes perfect sense).

    Let it settle for a few months then go back and see if it’s still just as incredible.

    If this problem continues, Kris, we may have to tranquillise you. ;-)

  4. I find I am easily won over by recent experience so will generally not announce something is my favourite until months later when any novelty has worn off.
    Scott Pilgrim is currently pushing forth as a new favourite movie but I wouldn’t say that until I get the blu ray, watch it a few more times and some months go by.
    Gaming wise, I think my absolute favourite is Super Mario 3. There is obviously a big element of reminding me of being a kid but every time I play it, even now, I love it.
    More recently, Gran Turismo 4 and Just Cause 2 would be particular favourites

    • Oh and Monkey Island! The first 2 especially

  5. Favourites are determined by our mood and tastes over time. My favourite games/movies/music from a while back are not the same as they are now. That’s not to say they are any less ‘good’ it’s just that my taste in that area has shifted a little.

    As mentioned by cc_star, we often have a rose tinted view of favourites from our past. Many a time I have revisted something I loved from a decade or so ago, only to find that it doesn’t stand the test of time very well.

  6. Playing Monkey Island on my Amiga as a kid, it got me interested in maritime history and all things piratey, sad but it kind of shaped my mind for life. Whenever I think I have a new best game I compare it to this and realize its still my favourite, play it through twice a year at least, for me its the same as watching a favourite movie.

    Didn’t even notice how many times I had to swap discs between scenes back then!

  7. I’ve known since 2002 that Battlefield was the be all and end all of gaming to me . Its literally
    the only game I don’t need a demo for and I will pre order on day 1.

  8. its a hard one that because what other people think or say or even hype can influence you about how you like said film/game whatever. my fav all time film is the godfather, my fav all time game is probably GTA SA or The Getaway BM, but my fav “at the moment” game is red dead

    • Was The Getaway BM any good? I played the first one and quite enjoyed it but never got round to playing BM, and rememeber reading lots of negative reviews! If there was going to be a revamped one on ps3 I guess they would have done it by now….

  9. Resdient Evil series I still re-play them and re-re-play them again lol. Last year and probably this year was DeadSpace. Both are my favourite games.
    I think I have a favourite on each category like horror is Resident Evil, Racing is Burnout, Fighting is Mortal Kombat. RPG is Champions of Norrath, Stealth is Metal Gear Solid, FPS is Killzone and 3rd Person Shooter is Max Payne. Sci Fi is Deadspace (I know it’s in horror but I have to chose one :( lol )

  10. Burrito de Carne at my favourite mexican restaurant + their Long Island Iced Tea = Win for me. I decided this after my first visit there and I still feel the same way. So, yes. You can decide to favour something after a short timeframe. You can always de-favour it if it turns out to not be your favourite thing… :P

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