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Newell talks about his 3 favorite games

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Earlier this month, interviewed Gabe Newell (co-founder and managing director of Valve) as part of their “Game Changers” series, a weekly feature on their website that takes a look at the favorite games of the industry’s leading figures. Hit the break to find out what Newell’s 3 favorite games are and why.

Newell talks about his 3 favorite games

Surprisingly, only one of Newell’s 3 most favorite games was on the PC. The first of the 3 was Star Trek on a Burroughs mainframe:

This was the first video game I ever played, although it’s hard to call it a video game when I was playing it on punch cards.

Newell talks about how he would play the game in high school with his brother; they would type out a move on a punch card machine, put it into the punch card reader and then wait for the machine to print their output. Apparently, each move took around ten minutes, but he was “hooked” nonetheless. Next up on his list was the 1993 version (the PC version was released in 1993) of Doom. According to Newell, Doom was a huge inspiration for him in terms of game design:

Doom was the game that made me rethink everything I thought about games…

Furthermore, it was also was the selling point for him in that games were future of entertainment. Last, but definitely not least (as it is Newell’s “favorite game of all time”), is Super Mario 64. Much like Doom, it convinced Newell of how much merit video games entailed:

It convinced me that games were art.

He also cites that he still has viid memories of all the different levels, and that the controls have not been matched in terms of quality to this day.

Be sure to read the full feature over at


  1. He doesn’t like his games.

  2. I remember reading an article about the development of Deus Ex, and it mentioned that Gabe had taken a look at it, and gave his opinion on what they had so far. I can’t remember what he said, though, nor where I read it or how I came across it.

  3. ‘It convinced me that games were art.’ – Yes!

  4. Where’s Deus Ex, Mr. Newell?

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