Welcome to “Games To Know Me,” a series where Sidequest writers tell us about the games that have affected them! Inspired by Chris Leddy’s viral tweet, we’ve asked our writers to think about five games that are important to them and why.

Wendy Browne has been a Sidequest writer since 2014, and she’s written numerous series and articles for us, including our weekly Get Your Game On news updates. She regularly writes about her BioWare obsessions, chats about her experiences as a gaming mom, and writes game diaries documenting her gameplay to save you the countless hours of playing the games yourself. To help you get to know her better, she’s put together this list of five games that have shaped her evolution as a gamer.

Final Fantasy XI

Square Enix
May 16, 2002

I had no idea what I was getting into when I started my very first MMO. A decade later, I was still going, strategizing missions and leading the charge against gods and monsters all over Vana’diel and beyond. This is where you’d find me on a regular basis, guiding my linkshell mates to glorious victory and hilarious defeat. I had no interest in the elite aspects of the game. I just wanted to hang out with friends and, as it turns out, I was pretty good at leading and organizing them too. They all trusted me to do it, for better or for worse. I mastered several jobs over the years, but I was and still am first and foremost a red mage.

Final Fantasy XI, Square Enix, 2002

Mortal Kombat

1992 (1)–2016 (XL)

Prior to Final Fantasy, fighting games were my thing. More specifically, Mortal Kombat. I hit my stride with MK3 (NOT Ultimate) at the local Laser Quest joint. That’s where I mastered the fine art of cheat codes for random combat, which leveled the playing field and frequently resulted in guys getting pissed off about being beaten by a girl. These same guys also found it disconcerting when I kept killing them in Laser Quest, too. Go figure.



I was introduced to BioWare through my friends’ chatter about Mass Effect, but it was Jack who really sold me.

Sure there were interesting characters in the other games I’ve played, but there was something about Jack that got to me. I’ve since learned that there’s always something about BioWare companion characters that will get you. Especially if you dig deep and find all the details and the love the writers have put into shaping them. BioWare games are great, even when the plot and execution are lacking, but, Maker’s breath, I will always come back for my babies. Go ahead and try to say anything bad about Jack. I will cut you, you hear me. Cut you! So proud of my girl.

BioWare games also taught me that it’s important to try to sleep with everything possible. If a flirt option presents itself, you take it. Always. And then get angry when other games do not offer this.

Saints Row: The Third

November 15, 2011

Apparently, the first two games are about an epic love story and gang warfare and drama and they were a lot like GTA. In The Third, they tossed all semblance of logic and reality out the window and made a shameless world where I could sing along to Paula Abdul songs and let my Boss run around nekkid, cover her in tattoos (that have inspired at least one real one), decorate her HQ with strippers, drive like a maniac, and lay the smack down with a giant, deadly purple dildo. Sometimes, being complete and utter trash is good for the soul. #mindfulness

Saints Row: The Third, Volition, THQ, 2011

The Boss in her element.

The Walking Dead: Season One

Telltale Games
April 24, 2012

BioWare taught me that video games can make you feel. The first The Walking Dead game taught me how intense those feelings can be. My ex was seriously concerned about me when I got to the end of the story and curled up into a sobbing mess. Now I’m playing Telltale’s Guardians of the Galaxy and am still forever unprepared for the pain. Worse, my daughters were playing Telltale’s Minecraft: Story Mode Season 2 when my youngest came downstairs bawling over a terrible decision they had to make. There there, baby. Fictional characters aren’t real (BUT THEY TOTALLY ARE AMIRITE? *Sobs quietly*).


Read the rest of the Games to Know Me series.