Happy Birthday, 'Mass Effect 2' - Suicide Missions and All

Hi, my name is Liana and I am stupidly obssessed with Mass Effect. No, really. Disgustingly so. 29 playthroughs of the trilogy, collectibles out of the wazoo -- Commander Shepard's story that BioWare gifted us will forever be ingrained into my heart. My favorite of the trilogy, Mass Effect 2, turns 9 years old today so you can bet that sweet little turian tooshie that I'm going to use that to talk about my favourite series.

As we reflect back on a narrative that changed many lives, it's easy to see how Mass Effect is more than "just a game." It's hope, it's a story about never giving up - no matter the odds. It's learning about your crew and caring about them more than just a simple NPC. It was about the relationships formed during the fight for the galaxy, both romantic and otherwise. It's about learning your limits, what you're willing to do - to not do - in order to get the job done. It's about not losing yourself, but becoming yourself, and about the help along the way.

When Mass Effect 2 released back in 2010, players were immediately thrusted into an entirely new narrative with the returning Commander Shepard. After Saren's defeat in the first game and a much bigger threat looming on the horizon, Shepard overcomes death and is forced to team up with Cerberus -- a pro-human organization that evolved into an ugly terrorist sect -- to defeat the Collector forces while trying to warn the galaxy of the real threat: the Reapers.

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It's a #MassEffect kind of day, and I adore my collection ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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We saw familiar faces once more like Liara, Tali, Garrus -- and briefly Kaidan/Ashley -- while also meeting new ones that carved their own way into our hearts like Thane, Jack, Kasumi, and so much more.

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Though Shepard's story eventually continued -- and ended -- with Mass Effect 3, it was the second entry in the franchise that really marked a turning point for BioWare's style with this particular series. The character interactions felt more real, relatable and the stakes felt higher than ever before. In my 30 years of gaming, no other series has impacted me the way Mass Effect has and 2 will always be that one adventure I will always ache to return to.

What are some of your thoughts on this beloved franchise? Any favorite moments that stick out? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section below, or hit me up over on Twitter @DirtyEffinHippy!