Pinback's Top 10 Games of All Time

#6 is devoted to Infocom text adventures:

And the fact is, the classic Infocom games (I have left it to the reader to pick his or her favorite, as there were so many of such a high quality that it is folly to pick one for this list) were just tremendous entertainment, mainly for two reasons:

Reason 1 is their goofy advertising slogan, which said in one way or another with great irony that their games “had the best graphics”. Ha ha ha, yeah, had the best graphics, even though they had no graphics. So clever! But goddammit, tell me you have any visual memory of any video game ever as crisp, vivid, and lifelike as standing in that field west of that white house. Because I sure as hell don’t. I can recall every inch of the first level of Doom, better than I can my own house, but I still only see it in 320×200 resolution. That white house exists, thoroughly and completely. And that just makes every moment of one of these games so much more real, more compelling than any graphics could muster.

Reason 2 is that finally unlocking that door and entering the hidden room is as satisfying as any experience to be found in any video game ever. It’s almost sexual. It was even better back when you knew you’d done it because the floppy disk drive would have to spool up. Just the thought of it is enough to bring on goosebumps.

The site is heavy on the nostalgia, but does a great job describing why the text games worked their way into our memories.