You're up playing games at four am. The lights are off, and you feel exhausted. You have little to no health, the last time you saved was seven cups of coffee ago, and you're not sure whether or not you can feel your legs. Your hands are clammy, and the analog stick keeps sliding from your thumb. It's all a bit too tense for your liking. Suddenly, something shoots from the wall, hurtling toward you. Your character stands still in the face of certain death. The game over screen rears its ugly head, and you find yourself looking for that controller you just launched 20 feet across the room, accompanied by the most feminine sound a man has ever made. You just experienced an 'Oh Sh*t' moment. Welcome to the world of gaming.

*There may be spoilers ahead!*

10 - Ganondorf Becomes Ganon


 There's nothing more disheartening than destroying the villain you've spent the whole game hating, only to have him rise from the rubble of his ruined castle.  Better yet, he returns to transform into one of the scariest sons of bitches ever featured in a video game to date.  To top it all off, he knocks away the Master Sword, your key to defeating him.  "Oh sh*t" anyone?

9 - Psycho Mantis Can Screw with My Console?


This is a now infamous encounter that many gamers will remember for generations to come.  Psycho Mantis was unlike any boss I had ever encountered up to this point.  He could read your memory card data, cause your screen to go blank, and switch your controller ports, and a whole lot more.  Initially, I thought my system was broken, and brought it to my father to bring back to the store, along with the game.  He just laughed.  Not cool dad, not cool.

8 - Nemesis Enters


A nightmare in every sense of the word, Nemesis stalked you throughout the entire game, having you in constant fear of his next attack.  When he first enters, however, he lands suddenly in front of you, and spears your buddy in the face.  You then have to fight him in what seems like an impossible battle.  By the time he said "S.T.A.R.S." in your first meeting, my mouth was open, and my dreams would never be safe again.

7 - Torture in Jak & Daxter?


Jak & Daxter 2 starts with Jak being violently tortured, and Daxter having to rescue him to save his life.  Gamers learned to sit up and take notice very early on, as it became clear that the kiddy friendly and cuddly first game that they all knew and loved was gone.  In it's place was a title that dealt with love, betrayal, insanity, and loneliness.  If any game has taken a more rapid turn toward the dark side of things, I'd like to hear about it.  On second thought, for the sake of my good mood, don't tell me.

6 - Raiden is So....Awesome?


It's alright to admit it.  Awhile back, when Raiden first appeared in Metal Gear Solid 2, no one liked him.  If you did, you were taunted and called a bigger sissy than the character himself.  However, as footage of MGS 4 first started making its way on to the net, and after the games release, those thoughts changed.  When Raiden first appears to save your life in the game, gamers could only stare as the once hated character dispatched multiple Metal Gears with a katana, by himself.  Yeah, I teared up a little too.

5 - Kicking Andrew Ryan's A**


After traversing the gorgeous world in Bioshock, I was totally ready to face my rival, Andrew Ryan.  The insane creator of underwater "paradise" Rapture had hunted you throughout the game, and you were going to enjoy beating him within an inch of his life.  That is, until you found out he was your father.  Then killing him, didn't seem all that pleasant.  Nonetheless, the "Would You Kindly" shocker was revealed, and you were forced to take a 9-iron to your dear old dad's skull.  Thanks to the graphical splendor of Bioshock, you saw every detail of it on the mans face.  Every swing was accompanied by an "Oh sh*t"

4 - Deku-Link


Fans who played through both Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask know how significant this one is.  We had already seen the amazing new back flips and acrobatics our dear Link could perform, in pursuit of the Skull Kid.  The little changes and excitement of the first minutes seemed like classic Zelda.  Little did we know what was lurking at the bottom of a gaping dark pit.  Link lands on a plant in front of a levitating Skull Kid, who reveals to Link that he has been transformed into a Deku.  The way you had played Zelda up to that point, everything you knew, changed in an instant.  "Oh sh*t" indeed.

3 - Sephiroth Kills Aerith


This one really doesn't need a paragraph.  This singular moment is, for many gamers, the only one they can admit crying for.  I won't admit anything, but if it helps ease the pain, I'm here for you.

2 - The Flood


Hey, know that game you've been playing for hours?  The one that has revolutionized the way you look at first person shooters on a console?  Along with that mechanic that's become second nature to you at this point?  Yeah, we're going to go ahead and throw in an entirely new race of enemies, make the game play a bit like a horror title, and give you The Library; a level so intense on higher difficulties, you may actually scream.

1 - Shadow of the Colossus: Colossus Number 13 (Phalanx)


Now, as I'm sure many of you are complaining that FF 7 didn't grab the number one spot, hear me out.  The debate of "Are games art?" has been raging for quite some time.  We as gamers can easily say that it no doubt is, with overwhelming assurance.  However, I wasn't always like that.  Before Shadow of the Colossus, games were a casual pleasure that I didn't take seriously.  Seeing the beauty, the majesty, the pure brilliance and feeling that this game brought to the table changed all that for me.  When I first saw Phalanx rocket out of the sands in Shadow of the Colossus, I dropped my controller.  Literally.  It was the most unbelievably beautiful and epic thing I had ever seen in my entire gaming life.  Let me say this now.  It changed my life.  From then on, I knew that to express myself creatively at the highest level, I would need to move forward in life pursuing gaming as my profession, in any capacity.  In that moment, I knew how important games were to me as a creative outlet, and I never looked back.

So there you have it.  My Top Ten favorite moments in gaming that had me thinking, or saying, "Oh sh*t."  I realize this won't fly with everyone, but let me explain one last time.  This is MY list.  These are moments that changed how I viewed games.  So, in the comments, I certainly want you guys to voice your opinion.  But instead of belittling my list, how about making your own suggestions.  Not ones that should replace the ones I've selected, but rather, share your experiences.  Hell, make your own lists.  As gamers, it's our job to keep the stories going.  So let's do it right.