Some video games just don’t stand up to the test of time. The stories, pacing, gameplay, and graphics don’t always carry over very well to the next generation. However, some games are timeless- regardless of how much progress gaming has made since they were published, these titles are still an absolute blast to play. Here are 8 games we think have aged incredibly well:
Super Mario World
Considered by many to be the best 2-D platformer of all time, Super Mario World is still one of the best games out there. The simplicity of the game’s controls coupled with amazing level design makes for a great combination and an incredibly fun and challenging experience. Even though the graphics and concept (2-D platformers aren’t very common anymore) are a little outdated, the game still packs a huge punch. The art styles are fantastic and the soundtrack is top notch. For anyone who played the game as a kid, the nostalgia factor is almost overwhelming. If you haven’t played it before, I suggest you download an emulator as soon as you can. Everyone should play this game.
I don’t even know where to begin with this game. Borderlands 2, although a fairly recent game by the standards of this list (2012 release), never ceases to impress me with how much fun it is. Everything about this game is unforgettable. The cell-shaded art style is unique and beautiful, and it fits the in-game world perfectly. The story is amazing, both enthralling and hilarious without having to sacrifice good storytelling for humor. The characters in the game are second to none, especially the villain, Handsome Jack, who in my opinion is the best video game villain of all time. The gameplay is smooth and very fun, and the RPG elements of the game are well put together. Even if Borderlands 2 is too young to be considered a classic, there is no doubt that it will continue to be a blast to play for years and years to come.
A good story is timeless, and the story BioShock tells is nothing short of amazing. Besides having the biggest twist of all time, BioShock weaves an interesting narrative on the concept of utopias and the dangers of vanity through both excellent writing and Rapture, the underwater city the game is set in. Story aside, the gameplay is very fun and polished, the concept of injecting yourself with plasmids to be able to shoot lightning out of your hand is wicked cool, and the eerie atmosphere and genuinely creepy enemies keep you on your toes. Surprisingly enough, the graphics have held up over the years and even though the game came out almost 10 years ago, it still looks pretty great.
Many arcade games don’t age well, but Galaga is an exception. Developer Namco did an excellent job balancing the difficulty of the game to make it challenging and exciting for more experienced gamers but also accessible for those who haven’t played before. The fast paced gameplay and iconic visual style have made it a staple of arcades of all shapes and sizes since its release back in 1981. The fact that you can still see Galaga cabinets at most places that have arcades(movie theaters, bowling alleys) is a testament to how timeless this classic really is.
Bethesda’s Fallout 3 pioneered the Action RPG genre. The expansive in game world, complex karma system, engaging story, and beautiful, desolate in-game world combine for an incredible gaming experience. Even though the graphics are no longer up to standard, the other facets of Fallout 3 make up for it. The Capitol Wasteland is still a treat to explore, and the action (although VATS heavy) is still exciting. However, the best part of this game lies in the deep lore of the Fallout Series. There is so much to learn about the post-apocalyptic hell you’ve been exploring, and all of it is interesting. Fallout 3 is so good, most gamers think that it’s still better than Fallout 4, a game 7 years younger.
Super Smash Bros. Melee
The longevity of the competitive scene for Super Smash Bros. Melee is a testament to how timeless this game really is. Melee was released back in 2001- people are still playing it competitively over 15 years later. The competitive aspect of the game isn’t the only thing that makes this game great- it’s just a blast to play. There’s nothing like a 4-man slugfest underneath Hyrule Castle on one of the most famous stages of all time, Temple. This game is still incredibly fun to play with friends and due to the fluidity of gameplay and incredible attention to detail paid to the controls and physics of the game, it is one of the best handling fighting games ever.
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare recently got a remaster and re-release, but honestly, the game is so good that it didn’t even need to be updated. Modern Warfare is the best game in the Call of Duty series, hands down. The game’s incredible campaign and legendary online multiplayer propelled the Call of Duty Series to the forefront of the FPS genre. Even though the online multiplayer is no longer functional, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare’s campaign has aged very well. It’s still considered one of the best FPS campaigns to date. The graphics, although not the best by today’s standards, are still pretty damn good.
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
This incredibly challenging 1997 RPG-esque platformer is widely considered to be one of the best games of all time, and for a good reason. The art style, music, and overall design are unparalleled anywhere else in gaming. The layout of the game is interesting and unique- unlike other platformers, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night doesn’t have levels. Instead, the entire castle is a single level. It’s almost like an open world platformer. The game is notoriously difficult, but the challenge the game poses makes completing sections very rewarding. There are few games that are as fun, challenging, and rewarding as Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, and that fun hasn’t faded over the years.