15 games that aged horribly

15 games that aged horribly feature header

Remember when Unreal was just, like, totally the most unreal thing you’d ever seen, ever? That was almost fifteen years ago, and graphics technology has improved somewhat since then.

The thing about nostalgia is that it puts one of those romantic soft focus filters on your memory, to help you deal with the horror. What horror? This horror.

Alone in the Dark (1992)

What’s scarier than a haunted house full of monsters? Everything about this screenshot.

DOOM (1993)

I’m just going to say what we’re all thinking – that looks like poo with teeth.

7th Guest (1993)

I don’t remember who the seventh guest turned out to be in the end, but it definitely wasn’t hi-res textures or anti-aliasing.

System Shock (1994)

Shodan has nothing on this low polygon catastrophe.

[Edit – As one reader has pointed out, this isn’t even System Shock, it’s System Shock 2. Five years after the first game, and they still couldn’t put a face onto head properly.]

The Elder Scrolls: Arena (1994)

Not quite as pretty as Skyrim.

Descent (1995)

… Okay, so it does look rather a lot like Minecraft, doesn’t it? Maybe Descent was ahead of its time.

Phantasmagoria (1995)

Games featuring full motion video were a big thing for about two and a half minutes. This is why.

Hexen (1995)

Terrifying for all the wrong reasons.

Duke Nukem 3D (1996)

Hail to the king… of what, exactly? This game didn’t even have proper mouse-look.

Quake (1996)

Gears of War might have popularised the “drab brown shooter” genre, but Quake started it.

GoldenEye 007 (1997)

To be completely fair, I’ve seen amateur 3D art just this week that looks about the same. If that describes you, try harder.

Turok – Dinosaur Hunter (1997)

Not even dinosaurs could save this game from that nauseating cliff texture in the background. And that’s not even a dinosaur. What is that? A crocodile? Technically, crocodiles are dinosaurs, but not dinosaur dinosaurs. That’s not a proper crocodile, anyway.

Unreal (1998)

LOL.

Half-Life (1998)

Oh, I went there. And then I fled in tears.

Outcast (1999)

It’s like the sky vomited all over everything, everywhere. Maybe that’s why the protagonist was an outcast. “Cutter Slade, you smell gross!”

BONUS HAEMORRHAGE! Deus Ex (2000)

I got this game bundled with a new graphics card for Christmas that year. The graphics card has probably aged with more grace.

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  • Jose

    Most of
    these games were created during a time when gameplay was king and graphics
    quality was a secondary priority for developers. Of course, this was because of
    technological limitations that prevented developers from creating the eye-candy
    rich titles available today. While they may look horrible, these titles are
    still playable and still fun for those who have the patience to give them a
    chance.

    We can
    mock the above the same way that we can mock a car made in 1884 when comparing
    it to our modern day vehicles, but we should also realize that our
    vehicles have progressed to this point because of the hard work put in by the
    pioneers over two centuries ago that lacked the resources that modern day car
    manufacturers enjoy.

    We enjoy
    the amazing graphics quality found in modern day games is because of the hard
    work that previous developers put in to get those ‘horrible’ graphics to
    display as shown in the above screenshots. Like the pioneers that invented the
    automobile, these game developers did not have a single percentage of the resources
    that modern day game development studios enjoy. Graphics technologies like FXAA,
    HDR, Bloom, etc. exist because many of the above mentioned games laid the
    groundwork for their development.

    It’s easy
    to make fun of the past but do not forget where you came from otherwise you’ll
    never remember where you’re going.

  • Jose

    Most of these games were created during a time when gameplay was king and graphics quality was a secondary priority for developers. Of course, this was because of technological limitations that prevented developers from creating the eye-candy rich titles available today. While they may look horrible, these titles are
    still playable and still fun for those who have the patience to give them a
    chance.

    We can mock the above the same way that we can mock a car made in 1884 when comparing it to our modern day vehicles, but we should also realize that our
    vehicles have progressed to this point because of the hard work put in by the
    pioneers over two centuries ago that lacked the resources that modern day car
    manufacturers enjoy.

    We enjoy the amazing graphics quality found in modern day games is because of the hard work that previous developers put in to get those ‘horrible’ graphics to
    display as shown in the above screenshots. Like the pioneers that invented the
    automobile, these game developers did not have a single percentage of the resources that modern day game development studios enjoy. Graphics technologies like FXAA, HDR, Bloom, etc. exist because many of the above mentioned games laid the groundwork for their development.

    It’s easy to make fun of the past but do not forget where you came from otherwise you’ll never remember where you’re going.

  • Alex

    I don’t agree with Half-Life or Deus Ex being on that list. If you bump those games up to a decent resolution it’s not that bad.

    Next up, 15 games that aged beautifully? Proof that pre-rendered backgrounds will win in the end. And ultimately it’ll look like an FPS vs RPG issue.

  • Johann Botha

    PSOne tiles still sell on PSN and they look just as crap.

  • Uberutang

    I read that in a Capt Kirk Voice 😛

  • http://www.mygaming.co.za/ Jeremy Proome

    The Unreal screenshot is too good! #photoshopped!!

  • Erwin Kempff

    Some of these games brings back some goooood memories!

  • PsiCoRe

    I’ve played Unreal (Gold), Doom 1 and 2, Hexen, Duke 3D and Quake in the last year. All of them are still awesome. Yes Quake, Hexen, Doom and Duke 3D were using source ports but so what! stfu. Outcast I played just over a year ago but never managed to resolve all the bugs that come with running it on Windows 7. That Hexen screenshot is actually Hexen 2 released in 1997 using the Quake engine.

  • xolani

    Super Mario 64 – is top of games that aged beautifully!

  • Jose

    KHAAAANNNNNNN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Ebrahim Ally

    I recall being quite bitter about not being able to play Turok (or was it Turok 2) because I didn’t have a 3Dfx graphics card.

  • Ebrahim Ally

    Problem with increasing the resolution on Halflife was your HUD and crosshairs got so small you could barely see them :)

    (Hardcore mode if you must…)

  • http://tumblr.exhibeo.com/ Axon1988

    Have to agree! Most of these games had atmosphere and ‘soul’ behind them. A lot more passion were put into these classics.

  • http://egamer.co.za/author/cavie Caveshen “CaViE” Rajman

    Why Tarryn. WHY. My poor, poor Gordon… :’/

    Also, I fucking lol’d at that Unreal magazine cover spread. Wish I was into gaming magazines and the like back then, so I could understand exactly how it feels to see that now.

  • Jason

    I agree 100%, this article doesnt make any sense. Perhaps the writer is trying to be sarcastic. Having classics like Half-Life, Quake and the original Unreal on this list??? WTF!!

  • Nero55

    Id love to see in 2020 what we will say about games of 2012…

  • Marius du Plessis

    Yeah, I agree, wtf. Of course they have aged, but to simply judge them because of the graphics…and even then, they are still very playable today. More than have those games are classics imho. I get what she was trying achieve with this article but I think you missed it somehow, especially with the word “horribly”. Many gamers have a softspot for these games, dont use them in the same sentence as horribly.

  • Stefan Reinecke

    Tarryn van der Byl – the Duchess of Satire!! I see what you did there. You could have chosen many other even worse looking games to put on this list, but you didn’t. Instead, you chose some of the best games ever made (imho). In the end this article became a heart warming nostalgic trip down memory lane. And thank you your royal Duchess for that.

  • Lupus

    Unreal was pretty, but Gameplay it was a bit meh, perhaps it was cause I was a Quake player but it felt as if they spent more time making the game world than the actual gameplay.

  • ogk_malice

    ….wow….just….wow….

  • GTBOY0

    This article is a troll post.

    If not, then show us which games have aged beautifully…

  • http://twitter.com/GalenSchultz Galen Schultz

    I finished playing the original Deus Ex just recently. That game still rocks hard!

  • http://www.facebook.com/stolsie Hennie Nel

    I agree! I still play Duke Nukem 3D on my phone, this article is kinda bad taste in my opinion but it was fun reminiscing about the old times

  • Jaco Schutte

    What an awesome idea… Now I can walk up to any older person and tell them that they aged horribly, because they don’t look as good as they did 20 years ago. After all, looks are all that matters, right?

  • Slib

    How dare those developers not have access to technology from the future. Idiots. Their efforts definitely deserve to be mocked for their lack of foresight. They should have designed their games to be played 10 to 15 years in the future. Never mind the fact that almost all the games listed have stronger and more meaningful storylines coupled with more compelling gameplay than the vast majority of games being released today. I mean, today’s games may have contrived narrative and uninspired gameplay, but at least they have bloom and motion blur!

  • Guy

    everyone calmdown it’s just an unthought article that entertained no one. quick word of advice try making a positive article and people will enjoy it. laughing at a caveman with his fancy new wheel while you drive around in your car wouldn’t happen if he never made that wheel in the first place

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