What game would you play if you HAD to win?

What game would you play if you HAD to win?

As much as we all love gaming, whether it's on our PCs, consoles or smartphones, it's pretty inconsequential. Sure if you are a pro gamer or streamer with an income of several hundred thousand dollars a year, gaming is an important part of your life, but for the rest of us it's a fun time killer, or a great tool for social interaction.

But it doesn't really matter. Whether you lose that last game before you go to bed or not doesn't have any impact on anything of consequence.

That's why when Ernest Cline released his recent second novel, Armada, which features a protagonist that must play video games to save the world, it got me wondering which game I would pick to play if I absolutely had to win. What is MY game?

As some of you may know from when we talked about whether you tended to pick one game and stick with it for years, or chop and change between them as they are released, I'm a mixture of both. (https://megagames.com/editorials/gamer-divide-one-vs-many) While I don't keep up with the big AAA releases very often, for the most part I play something for a couple of months and then move on; so I don't have some title I've played for years to fall back on here.

So let's imagine the scenario. We won't rip off Mr Cline in this instance, but how about Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey? I've died (thanks to an even robot me) and Death himself has challenged me to a game. What do I pick to give me the best chance of saving my eternal soul?

If I was feeling cocky and judging by my most recent games, I might pick Rocket League, but considering my play time on that is barely in the double digit hours, that would be a brash choice and one likely to see me fail. Death is a master of all games lets not forget.

Maybe I would go for something classic. Age of Empires II is a game I've played repeatedly over the past decade+ since it was released, but again I'm no master. I might have a good opening game, but if Death is a strong rusher, I'm probably sunk.

I've shown some measure of competence in shooters and MOBAs in the past, but never to the skill level of other human players. With an average win/loss ratio of 1.3:1, it's hardly enough to save me from the endless horrors that await below. Plus, it's not like four people are likely to die with me here to make up a LoL of HoS team.

If I was to go by the game that I have put the most time into, Mount and Blade: Warband would be the big one. With more than 400 hours of game time I feel pretty competent with its single player experience, but competitively I tend to fall apart. I'm certainly not good enough at faux swings to make it past the steely defence of the reaper.

I could of course decide that Death's reflexes are simply too sharp to allow it to bring them to bear. Perhaps a turn based experience would be my best bet of getting to live another day. Bloodbowl is a game I've put a lot of time into in the real world and online, so I know the strengths and weaknesses of teams, how to utilise skills properly and a good order for telling my players what to do.

But the chances of the dice gods frowning on me would be too great. If my life depended on it, there is no way I could allow a dodgy pick up roll or a double going-for-it to ruin it for me.

Perhaps though I could figure out a way to have Death race me to compete a single player game segment quickest. If that was the case, it opens up a lot of opportunities and with one game in particular, I think I would stand a chance. Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate on the Wii U is a game that I've put in a modest 200+ hours into, but I also dumped 350 hours of my life into its previous iteration, Tri, on the Wii.

With that play time combined I became quite adept at taking on some of the game's greatest foes and since it's a game based on skill, timing and knowledge built up over many hours of play (or an equal number reading the Wiki) I'd be impressed if Death knew as much as I, or had the built in muscle memory to know just when to block, when to roll and more crucially, when to begin charging its great sword attack.

Yes, I think when it comes to Monster Hunter I would probably have Death beat. Whether I'd be able to fend off aliens from another world, I don't know, but I'd feel quite confident.

I'm sure I'm not the only person to have imagined what it would be like to bring my video game skills – as limited as they are – to bear in a scenario that really mattered. If you were put in a situation where you had to save your immortal soul, or the world for that matter, by playing the game that you are the absolute best at, what would you pick?

Would you time trial something single player? Would you go head to head in real time or take a step back and allow your strategic mind to bring you victory over several minutes of heart pounding turns?

Image source: Crown publishing