When my parents bought the first home PC for me and my sister, I doubt they could have predicted quite how profound an effect it would have on me for years to come. Way back in what I want to say was the Christmas of '90 or '91, the first PC was ideal for of course working on our homework or checking out websites on it's state-of-the-art 56K modem (I'll hopefully never have to be without a cable modem from now on) but one of the coolest things about the new PC was that my parents had gotten a couple of games from a friend of the family loaded up for us to enjoy. One of them was Lucasarts' The Secret of Monkey Island. The irreverent, hilarious game from the mind of Ron Gilbert introduced me to the geeky but enthusiastic Guybrush Threepwood as he ventured to become a pirate, seduce the Governor of Melee Island, and defeat the evil Ghost Pirate LeChuck, in an adventure as cool and whimsical as it was challenging and hilarious. It's one of the games that influenced my gamer development, and certainly made me into one of the few dedicated adventure gamers out there, a medium that sadly few game companies take a serious stab at.
Dialogue is funny and fresh, and it helps that the characters are well thought out, with motivations and reasons for the things they do. Interacting with characters using the dialogue trees was a delight, especially since there are no "wrong" answers that would prematurely end the game for you, so you can say the snarky thing just to be fun and still get the job done. Puzzles are also unique, with many of them involving you cheat (like in the game's spitting and drinking contests), others involving recipes (the voodoo doll), or sabotage (dumping a rat in a cold vichyssoise), meaning you don't have to do the same puzzle over and over again like you do in some games.
Having played the game on-and-off over and over since it's release so many moons ago, it was a no-brainer for me to pick the game up in S.E. form, but even if you haven't played the games before, I heartily recommend grabbing these Special Editions while they're available. At only $9.99 each, there's no reason not to give it a shot and see why so many people think Guybrush Threepwood is among the best video game characters of all time.