I was born in 1982. The first games I remember having at home were Adventure, Pele's Soccer, Centipede, Joust and Yar's Revenge for the Atari 2600 console around 1987? We had mail order catalogues (possibly Raven Games) that I remember reading but I don't really remember asking for anything particular, or getting games as birthday presents, but we did eventually end up with quite a lot of 2600 titles - Jungle Hunt, Summer Games and River Raid being three I remember fondly. My cousin also had an Atari (a woody) and so did a couple of friends, so we used to swap or play each others games. I also remember Binatone sets with Pong type games on, probably from a similar time.
In 1990, in my first year of Junior school, my Mum won first prize in a raffle and I got to take home a NES Action Set - I was pretty chuffed! I played a lot of Mario and Duck Hunt and got other games for Birthday/Christmas (Kung-Fu, Rad Racer) as well as at boot fairs (Zelda) and second hand shops (Kick Off, Double Dragon III). My cousin also had a NES and so did most of my friends at school, so again, a lot of trading carts happened and I think it was at this time that the local video shops used to start renting out carts. In fact, looking through some image galleries of the PAL NES releases - I'd say I probably played 50% of them at some point. It was definitely the NES that got me into gaming.
I don't remember any computers from School until I started senior school in 1993, where they had a suite of Acorn A3000's. I think my Dad already had one, or bought one around that time as I have lots of memories of the games on that system (mostly 4th Dimension titles) including Holed Out Golf, Break 147, Cataclysm, E-Type, Saloon Cars, Nevryon, Dropship, Inertia, Lemmings, Zarch (Lander), Chocks Away, Pac-Mania and a PD version of Asteroids with awesome music!
Christmas 1993 was when I got my SNES (Mario All-Stars pack). That title in particular was a little underwhelming as I had played 3 of the 4 games to death on the NES already! But the SNES library probably holds the biggest space in my heart. It was far more popular with my friends than the Mega Drive and I just loved so many of the games. I lived very close to school and about 8 of us would bundle into my bedroom to play Bomberman 2 or something at lunchtime. Before school my mum would drop me off at a friends house on her way to work and we would play Super Mario World until it was time for school. After school I would regularly play Super Mario Kart or Killer Instinct among others. Some games were so good I used to get up early to play them before it was time to get ready for school (Secret of Mana).
Christmas 1997 I got the PS1 for Final Fantasy VII. I reckon the Playstation was as popular as the SNES and there were lots of people to swap games with again. There was also the piracy alternative. My cousin knew somebody who would chip your machine and could source copied games. I finished school in 1998 but college just meant more PS1 love (Tony Hawk's 2) plus I had more money to buy new games (which were also getting cheaper).
Throughout all of this there was always the arcade at the seafront. Fond memories of The Simpson, Turtles, Top Skater, Die Hard Arcade, Xmen VS Street Fighter.