Yes, another retrospective of the GameFAQs days, but I think it's interesting and that's all that matters in the end.  I always followed my own path, beat my own drum, and so on, and so on, and so on.  Anyways, in this article, I go over the best five games I ever had in my days as a youngster.  However, there are no Rattatas or gushing over shorts.

5. vs Lesm - finals of GameFAQs Summer Tourney (September or August 2003)

This wasn't a great or even interesting game by any means, but it makes the list because I won in dominant fashion, capping off an overall dominant performance throughout the tournament.  On my road to the finals of this tournament I won my subsequent matches by a score of either 3-0 or 4-0, and beat Lesm 4-0 in the finals.  As I said before (read "My top 5 victories in the GameFAQs era"), this event was essentially a "who's who" of the era, for it contained many of the bona fide stars of the time as well as the hungry young lions such as myself and Lesm.  I played some solid Pokemon throughout the entire tournament, and was able to beat Lesm without much trouble, proving that I could play as well as I could troll in other tiers.  Shutting up an elitist idiot along the way by winning was also a nice added bonus.

4. vs kuleguy18- round one of Pokemon World Cup (Novemer 2003)

I played in the first World Cup, way back in November of 2003 as a member of team US East.  We faced team Canada in round one; my opponent was kuleguy18, who was one of my rivals back then.  Kuleguy, Lesm, and Fuzion were what I refer to as "the big three" because they were all prospects who were around the same skill level.  I had some intense, memorable encounters with "the kule one" prior to this game, and this one more than replicated our previous bouts.  It was a well-played game on both sides that came down to my Persian against his sleeping Gengar.  I landed a Thunderbolt crit on the turn it woke up to barely win the historic encounter--or so I thought.  A few of my detractors attempted to revoke my victory because I used Double Kick Jolteon--sounds innocuous, right?  Well, on the Azureheights PBS, moves that hit more than once (Double Kick, Fury Attack) deal more damage than they're supposed to, making them far more deadly than intended.  However, ultimately the result was not changed because the rules weren't established, and glitched moves were kind of accepted.  For example, Focus Energy guarantees Critical Hits on the PBS, but was never banned in tournament play. 

3. vs David Kirk - tournament finals (March 2003)

I took David Kirk under my wing at the beginning of the year--what a difference two months makes.  Now, he we were, squaring off against each other in the finals of a tournament in which the student was eager to prove he had become the master.  It was a brutal, back-and-forth battle until the very end, when it was just my Rhydon and David's sleeping Starmie.  Earthquake did 50% both turns and Starmie woke up on the turn it was knocked out, making for one of the most memorable finishes to a game I ever had in the era.

2. vs Syberia - semi finals of TOS (December 2002)

I didn't want to put this on the list (and especially so high) because I've talked about this game so many times throughout my career, but it absolutely must be included.  To go toe-to-toe against Syberia--an established veteran and tournament champion--in such a high-stakes encounter and come out on top solely because I outplayed him easily makes it arguably the best game I ever played in the three years I spent on GameFAQs.  I kept up with him, didn't make risky plays, didn't make egregious mistakes, and executed my gameplan perfectly.  Slowbro came out at the end and knocked out Alakazam, Charizard, and Nidoking to complete one of the most satisfying sweeps I've ever had--to this day, honestly.  I showed tremendous potential in this game that would be highlighted even further shortly after.

1. vs Hipmonlee - the 90-minute classic (February or March 2003)

Those who have my read my book know about this game, which I gave the ostentatious title "the 90-minute classic." I first played Hipmonlee in a highly competitive UU game that went over 20 minutes which I won, which inspired me to track down his AIM account and introduce myself.  He became somewhat of a mentor to me, and we would play each other about 40 times throughout 2003.  By far the game that stood out the most was the 90-minute classic, which, as the title implies, lasted 90 minutes and is the longest game I've ever had to this day (my first game against Diegolh in week 1 of SPL came somewhat close, lasting 70 minutes).  The length was partially due to how slow the Azureheights PBS was, but it was also because this was a long, thinking-man's game in which I was actually able to make some fantastic, high-level plays and prove I could hang with the game's elite players if I put my mind to it.  I still vividly recall the ending; it was my Tauros against his Lapras and Rhydon.  Body Slam paralyzed Lapras, which retaliated with an Ice Beam that put Tauros down to just 17%.  Now I had to decide whether or not I wanted to go for the kill and use Hyper Beam, or anticipate the incoming Rhydon and use either Blizzard or Body Slam.  Hipmonlee switched to Rhydon, which took a Body Slam that put it into Blizzard range.  Thankfully neither Blizzard nor Hyper Beam missed, winning me the most dramatic game I ever had at this point.  Hipmonlee was the cream of the crop back then, so to win a game like this against one of the best easily makes this my best game in the GameFAQs era.

Publication date - 1/6/2020