NewsClassic Games that Stand the Test of Time

Classic Games that Stand the Test of Time


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Pretty much everyone (within a certain age range) has fond childhood memories of playing video games growing up. From the imagery to the sound effects, the nostalgia factor has just as much to do with these games’ popularity as their actual quality. Of all the video games that have been introduced over the years, just a few of them have kept their appeal. The games mentioned below are just as iconic as those played in the real world, like chess or checkers. In fact, you can even play games like Four in a Row online – thanks to sites like Foony, they’ve evolved to reach even wider audiences. 


Who hasn’t heard about Tetris? Even non-gamers have heard of it, as this game has made its way into pop culture all over the world. Originally from Russia, this block puzzler is simple enough to be accessible to anyone, yet complex enough to keep you occupied for hours. Even more impressive, Tetris has inspired numerous remakes that have tried (and failed) to improve on the original formula. This game is somehow so simple, yet so perfect. No matter how hard game developers tried, they’ve never been able to produce something that could top the original 1984 version. 

As of March 2023, Tetris even has its own movie, made with big-name stars and quite an impressive budget. As it turns out, the game’s origin story is just as engrossing as the game itself. You can learn more about that on your own, though; suffice it to say that the more you learn about Tetris, the more you’ll love it!

Street Fighter II

The original Street Fighter may have fallen by the wayside, but Street Fighter II lives on as one of the early iconic fighter games of the 90s. It was a titan of its genre, and (just like so many other games) was followed by numerous spin-offs. Mortal Kombat was another early competitor for the title of “best fighter game”, but Street Fighter II is arguably the winner. Not only was it released before Mortal Kombat, but it also had more influence on the next decade’s worth of games released in this genre.

Compared to the first iteration of this game, Street Fighter II had more colorful characters that had unique abilities and were brilliantly designed. It was also the first game of its type to introduce the combo system, a mechanic that later became integral to fighter games. Regardless of what decade you’re living in, Street Fighter II offers some of gaming’s greatest experiences ever.

Half-Life 2

This timeless classic gave us Gordon Freeman, the voiceless protagonist who’s every bit as iconic as Sonic, Mario, and other well-known figures. The physics-based first-person shooter game is a must for anyone who calls themselves a gamer; it’s practically a rite of passage at this point. What makes this game such a classic? It’s mainly due to its advanced physics-based mechanics, as well as its innovative game engine. This engine has provided the framework for countless games thanks to its strength and versatility. Even at 17 years old, Half-Life 2 still feels just as fresh as it did the day it was released.


No discussion of classic video games is complete without mentioning Doom. This first-person shooter has gotten a new lease on life thanks to a revival of the series, but the original version still holds the soul of the game. It’s a bit like the Star Wars franchise – nothing will ever be as good as the originals. There’s plenty to be said for the newer versions, but the original Doom titles have a simplicity that makes them easily portable to any platform. The controls are easy to handle, letting players enjoy fast-paced action throughout the entire game. The graphics may be a bit janky, but they still have a certain charm and artistic style that keeps them from feeling dated.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

One of Nintendo’s staples over the years, the Legend of Zelda series has been thriving since its inception. Its fifth and most iconic installment was released in 1998, called Ocarina of Time. Even now, more than two decades later, it’s known as one of the series’ best releases. It has amazing playability, with an action-adventure-fantasy vibe that easily captures the imagination for hours at a time. The game has even been enjoying a renaissance of sorts over the past several years; core elements like rewards and quest items are randomized in order of appearance, making an entirely new experience for even the most seasoned Zelda fans.


The later installments of this game may have faltered, but the original 2001 Halo has stood the test of time. This sci-fi shooter was absolutely ground-breaking when it was released, and fans are still flocking to the early games for both fun and nostalgia. It’s possible to play glossier remasters, but die-hard aficionados can use the original graphics setting for a blast from the past. Halo’s early campaigns can still be considered masterpieces, proving that this multiplayer game can hold its own against all comers.

Mario 64

From Mario’s mustachio to the iconic magic mushrooms, Mario 64 has influenced not only the gaming world, but the imagery of pop culture as well. Even people who have never played the game recognize many of the references. The game mechanics of the initial Super Mario Bros. was unprecedented for its time, cementing its place in video game history. From the appealing visuals to the enjoyable adventures, it’s no wonder that this game is still so popular. These days, it’s often played by gamers who are livestreaming “speedruns”, in which they try to beat the game as fast as possible.

The takeaway

Most older games simply can’t compare to their newer counterparts – the graphics are too clunky, the controls are frustrating, or there’s some other fatal flaw. With these games there’s no such problem. No matter what you compare them to, they’ll always hold their places as timeless classics.

Andrew Edney
Andrew Edney
I am the owner and editor of this site. I have been interested in gadgets and tech since I was a little kid. I have also written a number of books on various tech subjects. I also blog for The Huffington Post and for FHM. And I am honoured to be a Microsoft MVP since January 2008 - again this year as an Xbox MVP.

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