Friday, October 14, 2011

Gaming Culture: You haven't played all the best games of the past ten years. Are you ever going to?

ImageSource IanD Creative Commons License use
 (Never playing the best games of the last 10 years means you'll miss out on some of the best games made of all time. Invest time in past blockbusters because they're probably better than the new release you just bought.)

A problem in the gaming community has been getting increasingly worse and as a result gamers have trouble identifying some of the greatest games of the past ten years. The problem is that we always anticipate new games and invest time in playing them rather than going back and playing the proven amazing games of the past that we never got a chance to try.

Very few people can make the statement that they've played all the great games of the past ten years. You also can't make the excuses that you can't play them as a result of the older graphics of those games because the vast majority of the games are visually tolerable and are sometimes better than today if you look at games made after 2006.

So with the literally hundreds of great titles out there spanning a decade of gaming's golden era, why is it very few people take time to experience the older games or even RESEARCH into finding the older gems?

Why do most gamers obsess about the next Gears of War coming out or the next Halo or the next EA sports game? Sure, these may be amazing games but while you're waiting why not try some other games you missed.

So many people missed out on playing Heavy Rain because it was a PlayStation Exclusive and even today when i ask people if they've experienced the beauty and elegance of that game, they say they skipped over it and SADLY will NEVER revisit past games again! That's our Gaming Culture! That's what most gamers do; they NEVER revisit past games, even if they're only a few years old!!

Why would you gamble on new release titles when instead you can play some of the older blockbusters of gaming?

Then maybe a month after a game is released and proven to be good, you take the time to experience those new games. That saves you unneeded headaches with average or horrible games, especially when gaming is meant to be a time to have fun.

Wouldn't you save time, money, effort, and stress by not having to play those over hyped games, simply because they're new and everyone is talking about them? Why not wait til that hype dies down, the game gets cheaper, and others tell you if the game lived up to everyone's expectations?

Are you really looking forward to playing another Halo:ODST bust that was over hyped and frankly... sucked?

The Exception

There are definitely exceptions to every rule and there are a few reasons why you wouldn't want to wait to play that game you've been looking forward to.

Certain games are made at such high caliber levels by top of the line gaming studios, that you know they won't let you down.

Skyrim is a very good example of a game people look forward to for good reason. Obsidian Entertainment and Bethesda have a track record of making top of the line games, especially when it comes to the Elder Scrolls franchise.

To want to play and experience Skyrim, knowing it will probably be amazingly good, is not an issue and I wouldn't bother you for going that route.

Other games like Call of Duty have rarely if ever let down their fan base by producing high quality content for each and every installment of their games.

These games are the exceptions to the rule. If you don't want to wait to buy them, then by all means, feel free to rush out and play them on release day.

But the vast majority of games are a bit of a crapshoot. If you're a gamer you know this from experience. Even powerful developers like Disney can't be trusted simply because of their name, as we saw when Epic Mickey was released and thousands of gamers were united in disappointment.

Final Thoughts

Gaming culture needs to shift away from this problem. People should take the time to research and look into some of the best games of the past, experiencing them instead of a stress inducing random new release that may or may not live up to the hype.

When I say past, I don't really mean it has to be 10 years old. Maybe a great game that's 3 years old, that people have written about and vouched for, would be a better game to play than the next random new release of this year. If it's only 3 years old and has high production values, it could end up having better graphics than the game you want to play that's BRAND NEW!

PS2 has a lot of great titles and Ps3/Xbox have been making great titles for years. Do you honestly think you've played or experienced all the best games during that time? 99% of gamers haven't.

Very few gamers have. I know because I've routinely asked them about those games and everytime they don't know what I'm talking about.

This problem is getting worse and I guarantee you someone in a few years will tell me they haven't played either Red Dead Redemption, Starcraft 2, or Fallout 3.

Shouldn't we tell them to play that game INSTEAD of an unknown new game that probably won't be as good?

I know most people don't want to play games from the classic era on the Super Nintendo or the Sega Genesis because of the graphics and the possible gameplay issues. But that's why I used a 10 year frame instead of 20 year. After the year 2000, nearly every game is visually tolerable and some of the greatest games were released around this time. Just to give you a time frame, the PS2 was released in 2000.

The Classic era of SNES/Sega FAR precedes that time frame. So I'm not asking you to force yourself to play classic games.

For the few that have the stomach to play classic games, I'd definitely recommend you try them out, especially the early Zelda and Final Fantasy series of games.

No one has an excuse to not play older games. These games have engrained themselves into the history of gaming forever. We only live so long on Earth, so why waste our time playing sucky games, when a couple times a year we can play older games that were the best of their time.

It makes perfect sense, it saves you money, it keeps your gaming experience high, and lets you wait out the periods of the year where there are no good games being released.

This is a shift in gaming culture I hope all gamers adopt.

Since this is the year 2011 and to help support me in changing the perception of Gamers and Gaming culture, I'd suggest a Hashtag on twitter. People could use the hashtag to support the idea of playing the best games of the past instead of gambling on random new games.

If you tweet/use twitter be sure to mention: #BestGamesofPast>LatestGamingOutcasts

A few resources to help you find some of the best games of the past:

Don't Forget Flash Games! :D

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