If one wants to understand just how much technology has developed since the 1970s, they need not look any further than video games. Video games have advanced a lot since the days of the arcade halls where kids would throw quarters into machines in order to entertain themselves. To test this, break out an old Atari system and plug in Pong. Play it for a couple minutes and then switch over to a game on a modern system like Call of Duty. The difference is truly amazing.
There is a certain level of nostalgia associated with these old games. Many people grew up on them. Those in their forties saw the days of Atari, people in their thirties and late twenties got to witness the early Nintendo and Sega systems. Even people in their early fifties remember the days of Pac-Man and Pong at the local arcade.
However, today many of these games have fallen out of favor. Typically, it is not the earliest of games that have lost a step. It is the games that are from the second or third generation of gaming systems that have lost popularity. Typically these games were released on systems such as the Nintendo 64 or the first Sony PlayStation. Gamers expect that since these games look somewhat modern, they will be just like video games that come out today. This is a completely unrealistic expectation.
These games were the predecessors of what we see today. They were some of the first games to incorporate three dimensional graphics and different, more modernized controller schemes. However, they were still very much like the games that came before them. Game designers were still in the process of figuring out how to produce games with these new innovations like 64-bit processing and compact discs. This allowed for a lot of new great things that would become the basis for games today, but these game designers still had a lot of practicing to do before they could make the quality of video games that are standard today.
10. Super Mario RPG: The Legend of the Seven Stars
Super Mario RPG: The Legend of the Seven Stars was the final game released on the Super Nintendo before the company came out with their ground breaking console, Nintendo 64. It was developed in 1996 by Square. The game was released to great acclaim due to its three dimensional graphics. However, today the game is seen as highly monotonous. The way battling works never changes and never gets more interesting. The game seems to go on forever. Aside from that, many of the characters involved are not even used in the Mario Brothers games of today. These include such forgotten names as Mallow and Geno.
9. The Sims
The Sims was designed by Maxis and released by Electronic Arts for PC and Mac in 2000. By 2002, the game was the best selling computer game of all time. The franchise quickly released a number of different expansion packs such as House Party, Vacation, and Hot Date. These expansion packs hurt the original game. Today it is almost impossible to play the first installment of The Sims because of how limited it is without the expansion packs that have it such a long-lasting appeal for many gamers.
8. Tomb Raider
Though Tomb Raider has become outdated, it is still considered one of the most important video games of all time. It became the model that designers would look to when attempting to make a good three dimensional action game. It was designed by Core Design in 1996 and released on PCs, PlayStation, and Sega Saturn. The first installment of the Tomb Raider series is now seen as a joke. This is because of how simple it is in comparison to later installments of the game. This sentiment is due to the highly limited number of the moves a player can incorporate when controlling their character.
7. Rodent’s Revenge
Rodent’s Revenge was the Angry Birds of the early days of the Microsoft. It came standard on PC operating systems in 1991 as part of their Microsoft Entertainment Pack. It was one of the first games that people would use to occupy their time while at work because of its wide availability and relatively easy game play.
In Rodent’s Revenge, the player controls a mouse who tries to move blocks of cheese in order to trap cats. The player must stay away from cats who will try to eat the player’s mouse. Each time a player’s mouse traps all the cats, they advance a level and the cats get faster and increase in number.
This is just one of the many early Microsoft games that have been forgotten. Out of the original games included in the Microsoft Entertainment Pack, only Freecell, Chess, Minesweeper, and Taipei are still included on the operating system. If Taipei seems unfamiliar, it’s probably because you now know it as Mahjong.
6. John Madden Football
John Madden Football was the very first installment of the video game franchise that would go one to be the most successful in history. Developed in 1988 by Electronic Arts for the Apple II, it was very popular because it was considered to be more life-like than previous football games that had been released. This assumption came from the fact that it was sponsored by the legendary Oakland Raiders head coach John Madden.
John Madden Football did not have a franchise mode like the Madden games of today. However, it did have a number of customizable aspects such as weather conditions, injuries, and player fatigue. The reason this game is laughable today is because of how “life-like” the Madden games have actually become. If one plays Madden 25 and switches to this game, they would not believe they are both part of the same video game franchise. John Madden Football does not even have actual NFL franchises. This is because the series had not yet obtained all the licensing agreements necessary to have NFL teams.
5. Fuji Golf
Fuji Golf was a game released on PCs as part of the Microsoft Entertainment Pack of 1991. It was so popular that many people bought PCs just for the purpose of being able to play this specific game. Today it is no longer included on the operating system…for obvious reasons. Despite its incredibly basic nature, the game fell out of popularity due to how ridiculously difficult it was. Even today, it is considered tougher than many of the games that come out.
4. Mortal Kombat
Mortal Kombat is a household name. It was released in 1992 by Midway Games as an arcade game. It quickly became one of the most popular video games on the market because of its violent nature. It sparked the belief that violent video games would inspire young people to commit violent acts. This belief only became more prominent when it came to in-home gaming systems such as the Super Nintendo. Mortal Kombat was also innovative for another reason. It introduced the five-button control scheme known as the “X Pattern”. This pattern would become a standard for all arcade games to come after it. It is still incorporated on the controllers of today. By today’s standards, this game is considered tame. Many believe it was only popular because it was one of the first violent video games.
3. Crash Bandicoot
Crash Bandicoot was Playstation’s response to the Super Mario Bros. franchise. It was developed by Naughty Dog and exclusively released on Sony’s consul in 1996. It went on to sell over 6.8 million copies worldwide, making it the best selling game for the system. Today it is considered outdated due to the way the controllers work. Crash Bandicoot did not use joy sticks. This made it very difficult to move around and time moves properly. It also incorporated some very strange camera angles which just adds to the difficulty when trying to control the character.
2. 007 GoldenEye
007 GoldenEye was a breakthrough game that forever changed how action games would work. It was a revolutionary first first-person shooter at the time of its release. Today, nearly every violent video game follows a similar model. The game was based on the 1995 James Bond film. It was developed by Rare and released on the Nintendo 64 in 1997. GoldenEye went on to sell over eight million copies, making it the Nintendo 64’s third best selling game of all time. It included both single and multi-player game play, and at the time it was considered the best multi-player video game Nintendo had ever released. Today the game is often laughed at by gamers due to its poor graphics. It is also considered to be very hard to control. The button scheme is different from the games of today because the Nintendo 64 only had one joy stick which makes it very difficult to looking up and down. The joy stick is also extremely sensitive.
1. Super Mario 64
Super Mario 64 was developed by Nintendo for their Nintendo 64 in 1996. It was the console’s best-selling video game ever. The game was a pioneer in terms of graphics. It was the first video game to incorporate the use of 360 degree camera angles. The game was also popular due to its non-linear plot line. A player did not have to do what the game makers wanted them to do, instead they were able to pick which levels they would play. Despite how extremely popular it was in the 1990s, Super Mario 64 has fallen out of the good graces of gamers. This is because Nintendo has released so many installments of the Super Mario Bros. series. Gamers just feel this one does not stack up to the others. Even though today’s gamers may not appreciate it, Super Mario 64 is still considered one of the most important video games ever released.