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For years, I allowed people to tell me what games to spend my money on. I listened when they told me not to play a game because I assumed they knew what I would like. While they were probably trying to save me from disappointment, sometimes it’s important to play what you want.

For example, people said I wouldn’t like Red Dead Redemption, so I never bought it — until last year. I did so despite my friends telling me that I was making a mistake. Red Dead Redemption is now one of my favorite games ever. I even played through the downloadable content pack Undead Nightmare.

My advice to gamers everywhere is to step out of your comfort zone and try new games. If you never try anything new, you may miss out on some incredible experiences. If I hadn’t, I’d still be playing Wii.

I grew up only owning Nintendo consoles and handhelds because I was satisfied with them. I never had a Dreamcast (I don’t think I’m alone on that one, though) or a PlayStation, and I’m probably the only gamer my age who didn’t have a PlayStation 2. I was perfectly happy with my Wii until I realized something important: it doesn’t have very many good games.

I took a brave step when I decided to purchase (well, ask for) a PlayStation 3 for my 17th birthday. I had never owned a Sony console before, so when I first started playing it, I was really bad. It took me forever to get used to the controller. Once I realized how many good games I had been missing out on when I only owned a Wii, I couldn’t believe it had taken me so long to get a “real” console. My childhood would have been better if I had tried systems other than Nintendo’s.

I grew up with Mario but completely missed out on Sonic. I was so afraid to try new games when I was younger that I never even played Zelda. It’s one of my biggest regrets because even if I visit the series now, I can’t share in the nostalgia that all of my friends feel when they play.

It’s also important to give games you say you “couldn’t get into” a second chance. Some of my new favorite games are ones that I hated the first time around.

Is there a game you think you may like, but people are telling you that it’s not worth it — even if that person is you? Why not take a chance and try it? It may end up being one of the best you’ve ever played.