Let’s face it: games are getting worse. At least that’s what the critics have been saying since the dawn of gaming. Many consider the late 2000s to be some kind of “golden age” of gaming. It was a time when AAA titles like Call Of Duty and Battlefield were more than soulless clones, when a game you bought from the store would run on pretty much any system.
But we can’t dismiss the following decade as a failure. The early 2010s saw the release of titans like GTA V and Skyrim: games that hold a decent following a decade later. Let’s take a walk down memory lane and look at some games that still hold up to scrutiny many years after their release.
One of my most played games of all time, Dishonored deserves all the honor it gets (pun entirely intended). Set in a dystopian steampunk world, a marriage of arcane knowledge and modernist technology, Dishonored follows a royal guard accused of treason on his quest to avenge his blackmailers and rescue the rightful heir to the throne. Along the way he meets a shadowy figure, known only as the outsider, who grants him powers that emanate from his left hand. His right hand is kept busy with a variety of guns, crossbows, and swords as he sneaks, stuns, slices and blasts his way through a beautifully haunting city.
From the moment players got their hands on the title, they knew they had something special. Dishonored’s strength is its ultimate replayability. Players are offered numerous solutions to every situation that presents itself. Stealth is a major mechanic in the game, but players are rewarded for speed, strength and using less than lethal force. Every level can be played through using a combination of patience and timing, avoiding every guard, courtesan, and party goer they encounter on their quest.
But the game’s mechanics did more than just offer players options. By using a combination of spells, abilities, maneuvers and devices, players could truly create and hone their personal playing style. Whether opting for blindingly fast chain kills or creating a series of booby traps, the game’s gory visuals and brilliant sound design gives a sense of crunch and satisfaction to every kill.
Visiting this game over a decade after its release proved it has stood the test of time in a way few games ever will. The scenery is as beautiful, the violence as brutal as it was when I first played it all those years ago. No disappointment here.
2. Far Cry 3
While we all know and love Far Cry, the series is far from where it once was. Since the release of Far Cry 3, Ubisoft has simply continued to release Far Cry 3, only in different settings. The Assassin’s Creed of open world FPS, the producers are rightly derided for their lack of ingenuity, and opting to release safe games that are sure to make sales, while alienating their core fanbase.
That doesn’t mean that their initial blueprint, Far Cry 3, is anything short of brilliant.
Flung into a dangerous, beautiful island paradise, players must quickly learn to adapt and survive in their newfound landscape. Crafting, hunting, and exploring the map are encouraged and necessary to level up and complete the game’s core missions. The animals can easily overpower and kill you, the sheer drops and deep waters are daunting, and the island’s deranged inhabitants leave you wondering who you can really trust.
While the storyline was epic in every sense of the word (kudos to Vaas for being one of the best video game villains in history), the sandbox gameplay and the sense of true exploration were what made me truly fall in love with the game. Finding the remains of World War 2 Japanese soldiers or stumbling into enemy territory only to hear voices echoing off a nearby cliff made the game feel visceral and alive.
And, just like Dishonored, the game still feels that way over a decade after its release!
3. GTA V
You can’t speak about 2010s games without speaking about GTA V. After a decade of waiting, GTA 6 is coming soon, with a trailer apparently arriving in December. So it’s the best time to jump back into the living, breathing, record breaking world of GTA V.
With 3 playable characters, each with interlinking storylines, GTA was set to be both visually and conceptually complex. And if any other hands besides those of the all-to-capable developers at Rockstar had tried their luck with such a massive game, it surely could have ended up another overhyped game dead on arrival after a stack of E3 promises. But boy, did they deliver.
GTA V is a game that still feels ahead of its time and is still a record holder for the highest grossing media product of all time. Jumping back into gameplay now is as rewarding and satisfying as ever, with countless side quests, exploration and hidden details still being discovered by fans to this very day.
The storyline is, for the most part, still as enjoyable as ever. For a game with such a captivating world, making the storyline interesting enough to draw players in beyond the scenery and downright fun you can have playing in the sandbox environment was a challenge that Rockstar managed to pull off with flying colors.
Hindsight is 20/20
It can be hard to revisit games that you remember from years gone by. Oftentimes they don’t live up to the memories you cherish: the fun you had with friends, the feeling of wonder and magic that appearing in a whole new world with new rules brings to a teenager. But, like the classic games available at sites like Black Lotus online casino, the above titles won’t let you down either, and probably never will.
Classics are classics for a reason, and it’s never a bad idea to go back in time and play them again.