Some things get better with age, like a fine wine or a leather jacket, for example. But this rule doesn’t always apply to the gaming world. What seems like cutting-edge graphics and innovative gameplay at the time, can quickly seem laughable once viewed many years down the line. GoldenEye is perhaps the prime example of a game which was revolutionary and a fan favorite back in 1997, but in the present? Those blocky humans and square guns are almost hard to look at now.
However, we’re not here to shame titles into how their looks have aged, but instead focus on four PC games which are several years old, but still command a lot of attention and are played to this day. Sure, new and amazing titles are constantly released on PC, but despite that, you’ll find time and again that people love to return to games they know and love best.
It seems odd that a game with worse graphics than most current titles is actually one of the most popular in the world. Proof that solid gameplay trumps any fancy visuals, Minecraft has gone from strength to strength since its release in 2009 with a whopping 106 million copies sold (for comparison, a huge title like GTA V sold 65 million copies).
Helped largely by the fact that Minecraft continues to flourish via the creation of private gaming servers, it’s fascinating to see that the blocky world-building game has largely stayed the same since release. There is no Minecraft 2 or promises of bigger and better things by developer Mojang, instead, the game has simply spread its reach across all major platforms and let the gamer decide which direction they want to be taken.
Occasionally, you just get a game that tears down everything you thought you knew about gaming. With a 10/10 score on games distributor Steam, Portal is still a hugely entertaining game to play for any age. An FPS that doesn’t let you actually shoot anyone? Rare, but Portal absolutely nails it with a simple approach that is actually anything but simple once you get going. Portal really makes you think, as along with your portal-firing gun (we want one), you’ll solve delightfully tricky puzzles that don’t go easy on you.
Released in 2007, Portal still holds up because of its solid graphics, immersive gameplay, and the incredibly funny AI character GLaDOS. Plus, the setting is very engaging, as you’ll discover that there is a dark reason as to why you’re firing portals all over a test center. Even though a sequel was released in 2011 and was equally, if not more impressive than the original, Portal still remains an absolute gaming icon in today’s world.
League of Legends
LoL was reported last year to have 100 million monthly active players. Stop and think about that for a second – 100 million. This is beyond huge, but not that surprising when it’s all said and done, considering LoL has its own eSports tournament, reality shows, and devout following across the world. The amount of playable characters is quite staggering – men, women, wolves, aliens, monsters, dragons, and just about anything you can imagine. Furthermore, the customization and upgrade options are plentiful, new characters are constantly added, and the online community is always thriving.
In other words, there’s never a dull moment with League of Legends since its inception in 2009. Other MOBA games like Overwatch and DOTA 2 might be close to LoL’s gameplay, but they will still take a long time to get anywhere near its level of renown.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, equally with its own eSports tournament and a massive amount of global supporters, came onto the scene in 2012 to nothing but rapturous applause. Although not the first in the Counter-Strike series, the multiplayer FPS game beefed up the graphics, customization possibilities (weapons, equipment and maps) and made matchmaking far easier due to players being paired up with others with a similar skill ranking. The game continues to be upgraded by developer Valve and the gaming community, and because of this, CS:GO never feels old or stale.
Unfortunately, due to many of the modification options that Valve allows its players, this also results in a lot of cheating when codes are being written. However, Valve bans tens of thousands of players every year and are constantly working on new solutions to the cheating epidemic. But all in all, most CS:GO players respect the rules and play fairly, which is really the only way to play any game.