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When Does A Video Game Start Feeling "Old" In Your Estimation?

"Old" is a very, very subjective term in all walks of life.

What is an "old" video game to you? Where's the cut-off point? Where does a game really start to show its age, and when do you look back and go, "yep, that's freakin' old"?

The inspiration for this article can be found at Gamemoir, where they list 10 games that will be turning 10 years old in 2014. It's not exactly shocking to see some of those titles; I remember most of them well, and in fact, it really does feel like a decade has gone by. For instance, as much as I loved Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, I'd say it looks and feels "old" right now, and same goes for Fable.

By the way - and I know this is beside the point - does everyone remember the hullabaloo surrounding Fable? Peter Molyneux said it would be the "greatest game ever made" or some such thing; that title was hyped through the roof. Thing is, I remember enjoying it thoroughly, but I also remember thinking that it fell well short of that "greatest ever" moniker. Anyway, back to the subject at hand, I'm just wondering when video games start to seem old in your eyes. It's tough for me because with my memory, they all seem current in one way or another.

See, I can still remember playing Final Fantasy Tactics for many hours at a clip, and because I typically return to that game, it doesn't feel "old." It's obviously merely a matter of perception, which is why I'm asking; I'm sure the answer will be different depending on the person.

Tags: video games, retro games, gaming industry, gaming culture

12/30/2013 9:44:05 PM Ben Dutka

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New Comment System

Legacy Comment System (16 posts)

Monday, December 30, 2013 @ 10:07:34 PM

i've been playing Ratchet and Clank. The original game. It looks old. It sounds old. The game play and platforming is a bit dated, but not as bad as the rest.
It's hard to look at the whole of it as either old or not old. THere's plenty of it's parts that are old, but there's plenty of it, game play wise, that still holds up well enough.
I think that'd be true of most games. Going across console generations will usually always present older feeling graphics. And those same games or genres that happen to get regularly updated today, would probably feel old. It's the titles that are an exception from this that probably still feel worthwhile.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 12/30/2013 10:08:29 PM

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Monday, December 30, 2013 @ 10:13:57 PM

I am currently playing through DA:Origins again, and it does not seem old to me.

I agree with fable though. It definitely seems old. Its the only RPG that I can think of that feels old.

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Monday, December 30, 2013 @ 10:38:14 PM

I'm playing Assassin's Creed 2 again for the first time in years and it's showing it's age. The cities look good and up close some of the buildings are downright beautiful but the character's faces and the countryside definitely look old. It plays as well as I remember but it doesn't look as good as I remember it.
I've also run into that recently with San Andreas and Destroy All Humans. The graphics are dated but the games are still awesome. All that I have to do is to adjust my way of thinking and after a little while I don't even notice it. That's really the trick for playing old games: get your mind into the right outlook to appreciate what's on offer and you'll have a good time.

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Monday, December 30, 2013 @ 10:59:30 PM

Your last sentence is very important, a person absolutely positively has to have the right mindset in order to enjoy something older. If you aren't in the mood or have the capacity to regress to a younger, simpler self it will usually be an exercise in futility.

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Monday, December 30, 2013 @ 10:57:45 PM

There are so many issues that make up the oldness of a game but two big ones to me are controls and ground tread.

So many of the games we enjoyed on PS1 are almost completely unplayable at this point because of the controls and camerawork. It's positively absurd trying to play something like the early Tomb Raider games where you have to aim the person and then propel them forward like a tank while the camera goes haywire. If the mechanics can't hold up then the game seems old, but some mechanics like turn-based battles are just timeless because whether you like them or not they work very well to accomplish the goal.

Ground tread is important to me because it's all very "box-ticked" familiar. It's one reason I'm skipping GTAV. I'm sure I'd enjoy it, but it's still all been-there done that to me.

Graphics don't matter much because once you are 20 minutes into an engaging experience it all stops mattering to your mind, your imagination takes over to fill in any gaps.

Franchises tend to die around or after part 4, which has me worried about Uncharted because part 3 felt like a globe-trekking box checker at many points to me.

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Monday, December 30, 2013 @ 11:07:35 PM

I guess age but there some games that r old that look better than some games release this yr gta4 still look good

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Lawless SXE
Tuesday, December 31, 2013 @ 2:21:55 AM

For me, it's when the controls just don't hold up. I tried to play GTA: San Andreas a few months back, and while the story and the world and all that were still good enough, the controls just felt horribly clunky. You get the same with some of the games that get HD Remasters, but the issues don't seem anywhere near as bad.

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Tuesday, December 31, 2013 @ 3:18:32 AM

Its the control and the difficulty/obscurity and save locations for me. Grabbed Fear Effect 2 and Silent Hill for my Vita and couldn't get through either without a guide and some perseverance. Puzzles are obscure, controls are wonky and you can spend ages back tracking looking for save points. All these little iterations and improvements over the years really add up when you jump back a decade or two.

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Solid Fantasy
Tuesday, December 31, 2013 @ 4:05:33 AM

Once the new gen ramps up the PS3 and 360 gen will feel old. The PS2 and earlier will feel "classic." Not sure why it always feels this way, but it takes a whole gen to pass before a game can go from "old" to "classic"

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Tuesday, December 31, 2013 @ 6:07:47 AM

Been replaying some of my favorites from the N64/PS1 era. I still find these games quite enjoyable. The only thing that bugs me is the atrocious game camera which was common place back then. It's especially bad in 3D platformers and makes some of the trickier jumps more difficult than it should be. Thankfully I'm using emulators, which allow you to save anywhere. So I can just keep loading and retrying until I get it right.

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Tuesday, December 31, 2013 @ 7:30:39 AM

When the game is no longer fun for me to play. I still play Super Mario Bros, look at the age of that game.

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Tuesday, December 31, 2013 @ 8:07:00 AM

Peter Molyneux is world famous for making promises he can't keep.

As far as games feeling old, I guess anything from the PS1 era seems old to me now mostly because of the lack of analog stick control. Everything's just forward, back, left and right, i.e. tank controls. With other games it depends on the individual title though; Drakan: The Ancient Gates, which was the first PS2 game I ever played, could be a current title if they did an HD remake. While on the other hand something like Resident Evil 5 felt old when I first played it due to the archaic controls. Fixed camera angles make something feel old too, like God of War 3.

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Tuesday, December 31, 2013 @ 8:48:00 AM

It depends for me. If it's a game I've always liked and play from time to time, then it doesn't seem old, even if it came out in 1990. (i.e. Sonic the Hedgehog) But if the game play mechanics are totally different from modern games, and I haven't played the game or it has been a while since I played it, then it does feel old to me.

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Tuesday, December 31, 2013 @ 10:49:14 AM

I think it depends on how well the game was constructed in the first place.

For example I can go back to Super Mario World, and it still feels really good to play.

Same with some Dreamcast games, like Soul Calibur.

I think PS1 games feel the oldest to me, because their graphics and gameplay feel the most limited by the hardware.

I loved the Tenchu series on the PS1 but I played Tenchu 2 earlier this year and had a hard time getting into it again.

However I think that this generation has stagnated so much that some of the old games from the older generations actually feel surprisingly refreshing. Its all perspective I guess :P

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Tuesday, December 31, 2013 @ 6:50:20 PM

I still play Dragon's Crown to no end. Guess what? Our highest level to attain WAS 99. But they gave us another level to fight, another TOWER to fight, and raised our limit to 255!

Loot is the name of this game and it destroys all other games in this. Not even Diablo 3 can touch it.

Dragon's Crown is HANDS DOWN the game of the year. It is game of the year in japan and should be here. The Last of Us is a one play through game with the crappiest multiplayer almost ever made.

I would rather play Dragon's Crown on my ps3 and vita(yes I have both) than I would anything on the ps4, or any other system for that matter.

End of line.

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Wednesday, January 01, 2014 @ 1:23:51 PM

Well, does anyone remember an old RTS for PC that came out in the late 90's called Age of Empires II? While all activity for its sequels has died off, this game is still played competitively. In fact, there is currently a $50k tournament in the works. People wanted to play so badly again after Microsoft closed the gaming zone support that they created their own multiplayer client. Hell, in April even Microsoft released an HD Edition of the game available on steam and them proceeded to make a new expansion with mostly user created content. Somehow that game never feels old.

Last edited by somethingrandom on 1/1/2014 1:31:50 PM

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