Top 5: Games That Have Aged Gracefully

Consoles and computers are evolving at a rapid pace, that’s no secret. But what about those people who haven’t experienced games from previous generations? Is it even worth going back to classics that have been released years ago? Well, yes but those people should know that some titles age better than others. In this list I’ll focus on the former, those games that have aged gracefully and those which have the same appeal they did back in the day. Playing these games now is as pleasurable as the first time.


5) Chrono Trigger

This role-playing game was extremely innovative when it came out. Chrono Trigger featured no random encounters (as most enemies were visible on the map;) its Active Time Battle system was redesigned, becoming a little more complex; and the main story included elements of time travel, allowing the possibility of multiple endings. Many years after its release (the original SNES version came out in 1995,) this title still feels innovative, so it isn’t very surprising that it has been rereleased on various platforms, including the PlayStation, Nintendo DS, Mobile Phones, Virtual Console, PlayStation Network and iOS.


4) Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

In my opinion, when Symphony of the Night came out in 1997 it changed the video game industry forever. This was an action adventure title that mixed role-playing elements, but what made it different to the rest was its open-ended gameplay. The control scheme was refined and the main story wasn’t linear at all, making this iteration highly replayable. More importantly, when this game was released, most developers were focusing on 3D graphics (Super Mario 64 and The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time are two clear examples of this trend,) so with Symphony of the Night, Konami proved that 2D worlds could be as deep and enthralling as three-dimensional ones. Initially, this game was released on the PlayStation and Sega Saturn, and later on appeared on the Xbox 360, PlayStation Network and PSP (as part of The Dracula X Chronicles compilation.)


3) Diablo II

It’s a known fact that Blizzard Entertainment can iterate very well. After all, most of its games (even the old ones,) weren’t innovative at all. Blizzard has always taken already established ideas and put them in their games, but the American company can do that exceedingly well and as a consequence of this, most of its games are time-tested. Although Diablo II came out in 2000, you can start playing it right now and you’ll definitely have fun for hours. Graphics haven’t aged that well, but the gameplay is surprisingly good even after so long.Furthermore, I don’t know a lot of twelve-year-old titles that still have hundreds of people playing online. A digital copy of Diablo II costs 9.99 in the Blizzard Store (or you can buy the physical version with its expansion and their respective strategy guides for 19.99) so you can kill thousands minions, at least until Diablo III comes out.


2) StarCraft

How many video games do you know that can become national sports? Not electronic sports, just sports. StarCraft has been massive especially in South Korea where professional players and teams participate in televised tournaments. This title debuted in 1998 and it quickly became a bestseller, but what made StarCraft so popular was the fact that the game was so well balanced. Like fighting games, real-strategy titles are all about balance, if not they are criticized and quickly forgotten. In addition, the game is quite accessible to newcomers to the genre, as it features myriad options that guarantee that anybody can finish a given mission, even if they choose different paths to do so. It’s worth noting that a sequel came out in July 2010 and for many, StarCraft II has rendered the original pretty much obsolete. For others, this couldn’t be further from the truth and popular tournaments have acknowledged that by featuring matches of both StarCraft and its sequel.


1) Tetris

Who hasn’t played this game? More importantly, who doesn’t like this game? How many games can you name that have come out on every single console and operating system known to man? Tetris was created by Alexey Pajitnov in the Soviet Union and was released in June 6, 1984.  When the game was released in America many people thought that it was a Russian secret weapon (remember that in the 80s there were still disputes between Communism and Democracy.) Tetris is simply the best puzzle game ever created, mainly because of its sheer simplicity as the player’s main objective is to move and rotate the pieces that fall from the top of the screen in order to create horizontal lines. When lines are created they disappear and after clearing a couple of lines the game enters a new level. New levels mean faster pieces and if they accumulate, reaching the top of the screen, the player loses.  Adults love Tetris. Kids love Tetris. This is one of those games that anybody could enjoy. And enjoy they do. There have been myriad new releases that feature cooperative play, three-dimensional environments and updates mechanics. In my opinion, the original Tetris is still the best version.


Honorable Mention:

Choosing only five titles was extremely difficult and I can assure you that countless other titles were taken into account. Some of these include various games from the Super Mario, SimCity and Zelda series, just to mention a few. Naming all of them would be a waste of time but in any case, I’ll eventually update or create a similar list. Nevertheless, if you want to share some of the titles that you think should have been featured in this top five, please feel free to do so in the comment section of the site.