Poll Question 011 – 1 Great or 3 Average?

29th December 2006

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half Life 1, 2 and 3

I’ve decided to use this question as poll Question 11. Not because I couldn’t think of anything else but because I thought it deserved a wider audience. SO the question is 1 Great or 3 Average?

A Tricky Question

Don’t ask my why this question popped into my head (Actually because the answer is rather rude!) but here it is:

Think of your favourite game of all time, the one that beats the rest for enjoyment. Now think of three good games, perhaps they are not exactly second, third or fourth on you all-time list but around seven, eight and nine.

Now imagine you had a choice between keeping the one great game and keeping the three good ones. Which would you choose?

In my case the games are as follows:
Number One ALL time favourite: Half-Life 1
Three good games: Return to Castle Wolfenstein, Elite Force 1 and Chaser.

My answer? Probably Half-Life 1. For some reason I think the answer (not mine specifically but generally) is important but I can’t put my finger on why! It’s as if the answer revels something important in game and mod making but it’s just out of reach.

Maybe there is some sub-conscious process that says “Good is not enough, aim for great”! Maybe it’s telling me that Valve got it right when they went for quality over quantity? Maybe it’s telling me short really IS sweet. I don’t know. Do you?

Wednesday 21 June 2006 Update

Okay a quick update to clarify. NO mods or addons can be considered. Makes it too easy for HL1 to win. Also imagine I’m a game show host and you have won your all-time favourite game. Because the show has to be a bit more exciting I offer you your number ten, nine and eight on the list to swap for the number one. You perhaps say “No” I then offer your number 11 or maybe number 7. How many games would it take to make you swap? For me I think about five games. I love HL1 but having five other games to play would be too much to resist.

The Results

Which would you prefer 1 great game or 3 average?

  • 1 Great Game…88%
  • 3 Average Games…12%
  • Total votes…58


  1. Zhouy

    I would easy choose Half-Life ^^

  2. Genesis

    yeah half life 1 forever

  3. Joe

    Oooh. Good one. Best games for me are The Secret of Monkey Island 2, Baldurs Gate 2, System Shock 2 and Beyond Good & Evil. I highly reccomend any of those to anyone whose not tried them – any of them can be picked up for under a tenner now.

    Oh, and Deus Ex.

    Now, would I swap Deus Ex for, say, Duke Nukem 3D, SiN and Farcry? Thats a tough question. I think personally it depends on the replayability of the game above all else. I could easily play Deus Ex again and again, but would get bored quickly of Beyond Good and Evil because theres not much plot branching in the latter. I’d keep Deus Ex in this instance, but if forced to swap Beyond for Mario, Sonic and Rayman then I’d rather have the latter three.

  4. dougjp

    For me, it would be all about the number and quality of SP add-on maps, so Half Life 1 wins. If it was only the original games I could have/keep, then my answer would be 3 other games. For me those would be FarCry, HL2 and Call of Duty or RTCW (tie).

  5. Ok, I’ve updated the post and added a few extra points.

    Joe, your comment made me think: “Is it possible to have an all time favourite that didn’t have replay value?” It would be inconceivable to have an all-time favourite film that you only watched once, unless of course it had some emotional connection to a life-experience.

    However, I then started thinking about how many times I’ve replayed HL1. And the answer is zero. I’ve never played the game twice. Perhaps playing mods counts in some way because you are getting the feeling but not completely.

    So, I suppose it is possible to have an all-time favourite that you only played once. Anybody else agree or disagree?

  6. Darth Marsden

    Hey, someone else who enjoys Chaser! I’m not alone!

    But yeah, it’d be Half-Life 1. And I do replay it occasionally – I’m going through it looking for areas to use in my mod, which will be finished shortly before America decides to nuke everybody who isn’t American.

    Also, I tend to go through it with new models made by fans. You don’t get that sort of work done on other games, do you? Indicative of just how great HL1 really was that you’ve still got people making new weapons models for it.

  7. Carolyn

    I’ll have to say Half Life. I really enjoyed HL 2, but it just didn’t have the power to obsess me like the first. I’m still play HL 1 mods, one after the other. I can’t go too long without hearing the charming song of the head crab chirping. Such a sweet little sound!
    The only other game to capture my attention this one pointedly was Starflight…way back in the late 80’s.

  8. amckern

    I just want my AVP2

  9. vashts1985

    its a tough call really, I would have to chose from 2, although I apsolutly love the hl series, cause gameplay is outstanding and their verstility when it comes to modifying then, one of my all time favorite FPS is still quake 2. the flow was great, gameplay was spot on and the monsters kept you on your toes constantly. honestly I have yet to find a FPS that can outdo Q2 in gameplay, mainly because back then they didnt rely on a bunch of eyecandy to fill a game, it was all about gameplay. unfortunatly im gonna have to go with the HL series (sorry you really cant put a defining line between 1 and 2 and it would be evil to make someone chose this) because of its outstanding gameplay and the fact that no other game ive seen has had the sheer ability to accept user made content which has enabled the community to create a plethora of new and amazing content to keep the game going, hell I was still playing HL1 with user made content up untill HL2 hit the shelves so many years after its predicessor. how many other series can hold a claim like that?

    on a side note though, if I was able to pick one game to erase from my memory of ever playing, it would be halo. im still baffled at how that subpar piece or crap got so much attention and award. throwing waves and waves of the same monster at the player over and over is not a great excuse for good gameplay.

    enugh ranting though, thanks for the good question

  10. JC

    Number One: It has to be Doom (the first one), it was the first FPS I played and it definately has a very special place in my heart 😉
    Three good games: Half-Life 1, Unreal Tournament 99 and Max Payne (yes, I know Max Payne is not FPS, but it rocks anyway).

  11. Before the update it was going to be just HL1. After the update where mods can’t be considered, its 3 – FarCry, Chaser and RTCW. Why? Simple, volume of good SP playing time.

  12. Luke L

    My number one game would almost certainly be Halo, followed by Splinter Cell 1, Far Cry and Half Life.

    I think I’d have to take the 3 as they offer more gameplay than just one great game. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve put in loads of time with Halo, got all the books, even written my own stuff for it, but the varied-ness of the other three games more than makes up for that greatness.

  13. well if it was a gameshow prize I would totally pick the 3 good games over the 1 great game. Then I would go to the store and buy the great game because it wouldnt cost as much as the 3 good games.
    So then I could have ALL my favorite games.

    (Sorry if that didnt answer your question lol)

  14. Oh, if my above choice is not a choice then I would get the GREAT game over the good games.

  15. I might be showing my age here but, the very first game I played on pc as an adult was Hexen & Hexen II which I loved at the time. Boy have games come a long way since then. I sort of fell out of the loop with anything that had to do with computers for quite some time. Then nephews & nieces came along & with them, Half Life. THE GREATEST GAME EVER. I loved Far Cry too & would love to play it again but, I can’t find one of the damned cd’s to it!! Damn kids!

  16. Show your age?Hexen& Hexen were mid to late 90’s?So you cant be old.As for Far cry missing cd I can supply a replacement.

  17. JC

    Talking about Hexen… well, I didn’t like the first one but loved Hexen II.
    BTW, I heard there’s a port for this game, is it any good? I’d like to play Hexen II again.

  18. Ha! Andyb, I bet I’m one of the oldest ones posting here. I was in college then! How are you going to be able to supply a replacement cd?

  19. Actually, I was just a few yrs out of college at the time … so, yeah, I’m pretty old.

  20. Talking about Hexen… well, I didn’t like the first one but loved Hexen II.
    BTW, I heard there’s a port for this game, is it any good? I’d like to play Hexen II again.

    Are you talking about the mission pack, Portal of Praevus?

    Dang, now I’m wanting to play that game again.

  21. I’m 41 and there are others older.As for farcry cd I can just image it and or send or make an ftp available of it.

  22. AI

    Age, Hmmmmmmm! I started messing with computers back in 1982, at work no less, we were making small Pong type games to run on the milling machine computer I used to run!! I think my favorite game was Commander Keen! anybody remember that?? Oh yes, in 1984 I got my kids an Apple IIc OOOh what a hot machine! I think we played one called Wavy Navy, kinda like Asteroids plus lots of others!! Alyria if you are over 60 ya got me beat!! I’ve been hooked ever since!!

  23. JC

    Are you talking about the mission pack, Portal of Praevus?

    Nope, I’m talking about a source port (similar to Tenebrae-Quake, ZDoom, JFDuke, etc…)
    You know, Raven released Hexen II source code a while ago and some people started to mess around with it; I just found some info about it:

    BTW, seems like PlanetPhillip is now the official site for adult gamers.. I like that, feels like home 😉

  24. Actually, I must say that I do feel more at home now … & not so self conscious about my age. You know, it’s harder for women to admit those kind of things so I’m 33 (I feel like I’m in a 12 step program or something here). Reason for playing now … great relationship therapy. Highly recommend it for any other adult women out there. Beats weaving a basket or making pottery. You get to blow stuff up, kill people … and all the while not feel guilty for it. Hell, andyb posted somewhere about how horny he was & I asked him to marry me! Sad, but true. As for Phillip’s main question, I would rather have one great game.

  25. And me too, I can’t remember the second or third time I replayed Half Life (But I’m sure they are not far between each other 😉 I think Half Life is the greatest game ever made but I haven’t played games like FEAR or Far Cry or even Half Life 2, but I don’t think I will play them as much as I have played Half Life.

    I prefer having one great game.

  26. Are you talking about the mission pack, Portal of Praevus?

    Nope, I’m talking about a source port (similar to Tenebrae-Quake, ZDoom, JFDuke, etc…)
    You know, Raven released Hexen II source code a while ago and some people started to mess around with it; I just found some info about it:

    BTW, seems like PlanetPhillip is now the official site for adult gamers.. I like that, feels like home 😉

    Try this link too: http://www.raven-games.com/essential.php#hw

  27. Sorry, I haven’t joined in the discussion sooner but I think most of you are either European insomniacs or live in the Americas.

    I’m happy when people use the site as a place to chat about games and life etc. However, sorry to seem a spoil-sport but we should keep the comments on topic. A new user would perhaps like to join in but would never find this because is not the place they would look.

    I’m not blaming anybody because these are just natural the way conversations snake along.

    I think it’s clear I have to implement some sort of IM sidebar system very soon. I was hoping to do it after the redesign but I think I should do it now.

    I hope you understand my reasoning – I’m just trying to keep PP focused. These types of conversation are perfect for the forum (Hint Hint)

    I’ve always tried to welcome older and newer gamers because few sites make an effort to help them. In fact a lot of the things planned for 2007 are aimed at those types of gamers.

    For those that are interested about older gamers I recommend reading my post:
    Gray Gamers Unite!

  28. Passerbywhoneedstothinkofabetternick

    Non-acned rather than gray might be more applicable in my case…but over three decades under my belt nonetheless…

    I use the latest comments page to keep track of discussions (I think I might be the person who asked for it in the first place). A shorter version of that page in the sidebar would probably be more useful than an IM bar.

    As for the forum – as I’ve noted many times – we like to chat here! It’s got pretty pictures and it presents your post in full at once. Rather than constantly being disappointed at low forum use, you could applaud and enhance the facilitation for discussion (on-topic and otherwise) on the main site 😉

  29. Andyb, I’ll get back to you on the Far Cry cd .. probably in the forum section. Thanks for the offer.

  30. Mel

    No contest, it’s Half Life. Until Half Life came along I played Doom, Quake and others but since Half Life just can not get interested in any other game and kept to both HL 1 & 2 custom games to keep me going, but with new HL1 games drying up I guess HL2 may take over for me. However Half Life 1 is still out they on it’s own and I would not swap a 1000 other games for it. Did play Quake 4 a while back, what a bore just the same old set up repeated throughout the game; go do this, then come back and go do this, never finished it and rushed back to HL never to wander again.

  31. I’ve just posted the results. Very clear winner this time although the numbers voting were quite low.

    I wonder if this question is translatable to Levels? For example would you prefer a mod with one brilliant level or a mod with three good levels? The levels are the same size and require more or less the same time to complete.

    What do you think?

    Could this be another poll question do you think?

  32. Well,one great game of half-life 1 calibre takes hours and hours even days to complete where as most games there days can be over in a couple of hours, with not not much thats ejoyable so the results look accurate to me.

    As to your question,thats a tough one since its hard to find mods of equal size.(example is Cto A and rock 24 of which both were great but different lengths)Since you say equal size and time then I’d have to go with a single map because if its brilliant its goona have great scenery and scripting and those to me are important in gaming,where as I probably couldn’t immerse myself in a mod if it wasn’t capturing my attention with details.

  33. Anonymous

    yeah half life 1 forever

    Half-Life 1 Lives on!

  34. What if the 1 great game actually includes 5 games total? Orange Box pretty much takes top slot for me. However, I’m not sure how much of that is skewed by the fact that it supports modding, which gives me access to about 5-10 great mods and another 30 really good mods on top of the 5 great games it already includes.

    It’s not really a difficult choice to compare the best game you’ve ever played against 3 that are only maybe in your top 10. I’d personally make it so you were pitting Game#1 vs game#2-4. That would be a difficult question to answer. Orange Box vs Half Life, Psychonauts, and Twilight Princess, I’m not sure I could make that choice.

    As it stands though, top game wins out. I’m not really sure what my 3 “average” games would be, but I’m pretty sure I could go the past year without playing them, I’m not sure I could say the same about Orange Box.

  35. Dusty

    That is an IMPOSSIBLE question..lol I love’em all

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