The difference between games that aged horribly and games that aged gracefully is mostly a matter of perspective. With very few exceptions, 3D games age much faster – and much, much worse – than 2D games, in part because the majority of 3D games make some attempt at realism, where 2D games use real art direction instead.
Dragon’s Lair (1983)
Okay, so technically it was more like an interactive movie than a proper game, but it’s also almost 30 years old now and it still looks better than most of the stuff shipped today. Also, this game was notorious for breaking entire Laserdisc players decades before Crysis shorted out even a single GPU. Respect.
Day of the Tentacle (1993) / Full Throttle (1995)
Because I just can’t choose between the two.
Chrono Trigger (1995)
Actually, a lot of SNES games hold up rather well almost twenty years later, but Chrono Trigger seemed the most appropriate choice because of the whole time-travelling thing. It’s, like, meta.
Curse of Monkey Island (1997)
There could be a hundred thousand million three-headed monkeys behind you, but this game will still keep you looking at it.
Abe’s Oddysee (1997)
Fifteen years old, and still sexy. Wait, that didn’t come out right at all.
And not just the in-game graphics, but the cinematics too.
Dungeon Keeper 2 (1999)
After submitting this article for editing, James insisted I go back and add this one or I’d lose my job. So here it is, and I’m still employed.
Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings (1999)
I always felt sad for those poor sheep. On the other hand, it’s probably a quick death compared to mismanaged siege ballistas.
Planescape: Torment (1999)
Planescape: Torment was built on the Infinity Engine – the same engine that powered Baldur’s Gate the previous year – but its baroque / gothic / steampunk aesthetic is… wait for it… infinitely better than the drab medieval stylings of the other. Plus this game had a flying, talking skull.
Diablo II (2000)
There is no cow level. Seriously, those aren’t even cows. They’re bulls with udders, but no teats. WHO DESIGNED THIS MONSTER!?
WarCraft III: Reign of Chaos (2002)
Hands up if you remembering marvelling at the way the grass swished around units as they moved through it.
What are your favourite classic games that have aged really well? Let us know in the comments below and on the MyGaming forum.
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