Key milestones in my trip down memory lane:
I started out on a ZX81 that my dad would borrow from work (he was a teacher at a high school) over the weekends. I'm not sure if he was actually allowed to do that, but there you go. We had two games, Bomber and Space Invaders (it may have been called Space Raiders, I'm not sure). I can't really remember playing them, but I do sorta remember the cassette case cover. I woulda been age 3 or so :p
I also remember loving Dare Devil Dennis on the BBC Micro, but I don't recall where I actually played it (pretty sure we didn't ever get a BBC at home). I also remember not much liking Chucky Egg, despite it apparently being the go-to choice for games on school computers (I was always disappointed that they had that and not Dare Devil Dennis).
We upgraded to the classic rubber keyed 48K Spectrum at some point in my childhood, not sure if we bought one or if my dad was still borrowing it. The earliest game I remember playing on that was "Thro' the Wall", taking it in turns with my family in front of the tv. It was one of those games where you bounce a ball with a paddle to break bricks for profit. A precursor to Arkanoid I guess (is that the most well known one? It's the one I remember being popular). Also Hungry Horace, and Horace Goes Skiing. Never had Horace and the Spiders though - I was jealous of the guy I knew at school that had that one. Oh, and Jetpac!
First game I played with a joystick instead of just keyboard was Sabre Wulf - I think my dad bought the game and joystick at the same time, and I remember being awfully excited about it. I don't think I really knew what I was doing though.
The only other game from the Spectrum era that sticks out in my mind (and I'm not sure why) is Jack the Nipper. I can't even really remember what type of game it was, but it still jumps to the fore whenever I'm thinking back.
At some point I upgraded to a 128k Spectrum, with a whopping two games that used that extra ram: Daley Thompson's Supertest (destroyer of joysticks everywhere) and The Neverending Story (which I couldn't get further than about 4 rooms on). 15 minute load times for games that really weren't worth the wait :p
Around age 11 or so my auntie's boyfriend got an Amiga 500. I remember being blown away by the sounds of the monks chanting in Bards Tale (which seems silly now, but at the time the next best thing I'd experienced was Ghostbusters
and it's terrible crackly speech. So I saved up my pocket money for about a year, convinced my mum and dad to chip in, and got one of my own. First games were Elite (don't really need to say more about that one), Bards Tale, and Turrican. I remember being similarly amazed by the intro to Turrican as I was by the monks chanting in Bards Tale.
For Christmas I got a 512k memory expansion, along with the classic Dungeon Master (which required that expansion to run).
I could easily list so many more games if I put any thought into it, but those are the key memories and I consider that to be roughly the end of "ancient" and moving on into merely "very old". I don't think I ever completed any of the games mentioned (although in fairness some of them you couldn't "complete", they just cycled infinitely).
Oh, I forgot to mention Chaos. I loved Chaos. Got it on the front of a gaming magazine (might have been a demo?). And someone made a flash version
of the game!
(edited for a missing "not"... also I forgot arcade games! The main two I remember loving were the TMNT one, and Wrestlemania - we didn't have arcades as a permanent fixture where I lived, but there was a sorta carnival that came to town once a year that had them and some of our family holidays involved them, which made them extra 'special' when I got to play on one).