Forums - Gaming Discussion - Are games as good as they used to be?

I think most games today are better than older games. They have better controls and quality of life improvements and such.

I think the problem with newer games is that they just don't impress us as much as the older games did. Because most of the time they just improve upon or rework what older games did rather than doing something actually new. I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing. I think it's natural that there would be less innovations as time passes. and reworking ideas can still lead to fun games.

But I will say there are certain franchises that just aren't as good as they were before and it's not because of a lack of innovation. It's because the developers forgot what made those franchises really enjoyable in the first place.

Last edited by Eric2048 - on 08 April 2019

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tripenfall said:
It's hard to say - but at least when you bought games in the day they were complete and finished. No patches were possible and no opportunities to sell you more crap down the line. People are more tolerant of games being released and still needing work to be complete. No Man's Sky anyone?

Games released unfinished back then too. There was just no internet for people to make a big deal out of it.

My favourite 3 games were released last millenium, out of my top 50 games maybe only 7-8 were released in the last 10 years. My favourite games tend to come from the NES, SNES, PS1 and PS2 generations but I think games are getting better. If I honestly look at the quality of games 20 years ago, I don't think most people would play them compared to what we have now.

But if you feel the magic has gone that you felt as a kid, it's because you aren't a kid anymore. You were easier to impress and everything seemed new. It happens to us all, but I have to say that VR gives me the same excitement that just regular games gave me as a kid, it really feels like something new right now.


Microtransactions have become an industry norm and their very inclusion warps the progression system to being as tedious as possible. Games are deliberately being made more boring as a matter of corporate philosophy. On the multiplayer side of things it is either a deliberate imbalance that is only corrected by a credit card, or it rolls with the alternative of having countless items hidden behind a slot machine when they should be unlockable. The mere presence of these is the industry's method of putting gamers into a state of perpetual psychological siege, and developers have shown themselves willing to quietly add them post-launch.

In the Bronze Age you often needed an expansion pack for additional content, but DLC offered that possibility over the Internet. Awesome. However, these expansions are typically getting smaller, duller and more expensive, while sometimes being carved out of the game itself to be sold back to you at a later date. Information that is important to the narrative is hidden behind a paywall. In some games, not buying the DLC results in an incomplete experience as some features cannot be accessed in the base game without the DLC.

Despite companies making more money than ever, they feel it necessary to execute mass layoffs while releasing broken, unfinished games. To compensate, now they're saying that they have "roadmaps" to improve the game, which is them basically taking a year-long grace period to fix what shouldn't have been broken to begin with so they can rush some uninspired garbage to the shelves before the development cycle is even complete.

In the airline industry, developments like these are part of a formula called "Calculated Misery". Developers are choosing to make games smaller, duller, and just plain worse, not because they can get away with it (they are) but because it's more profitable (it is). If you enjoy paying a premium on an inferior product, then the state of the industry has never been better and the next few years are going to be awesome.

I didn't consider myself a gamer when I joined this site and that was thanks to the state of the industry. I was still vaguely curious about it and open to becoming one, but the sheer contempt the industry has for its audience and its abusive relationship with gamers is a deterrence that I'm just unwilling to tolerate.

Well, I'm going to speak for myself.

When I played SNES games back then, I loved many of them, but I always wanted more from them. More content and more things to do. That's why I started loving RPGs and simulators, because they were more than just trying to beat the boss 10 times until you do.

After playing SNES games, I couldn't try out NES. NES games were just too old, specially compared to things that I had on PC like Doom 2.

When I saw Doom 2 for the first time, I though, "wow, look at this world, look how I traverse it". Then I couldn't enjoy something like those air plane shooting games on NES/SNES. Even understanding that they were different experiences -- Arcade experiences. That was too deprecated for me already.

Then I saw Mario 64 and then Ocarina of Time. I was playing more PC that time. I thought, "Nintendo got it". This the the kind of worlds I want to explore, again and again. I want more from this. I want games that I can endlessly play and explore for hundreds of hours. While I was excited about Nintendo back then, in recent years I haven't seen much improvement. It was like every new Mario and Zelda was just the same thing. Besides after PS3, Nintendo started to look repetitive and old fashioned to me.

With PS3, the action RPGs, open world games and adventure games just blew my mind. They were the evolution of everything I was looking for since I saw games like Doom 2 and Ocarina of Time. More and more content, big worlds, big quests, better controls.

The same improvement I saw on Sports and Racing.

Today, games like Witcher 3 and Horizon Zero Dawn represents everything I dreamed about 20 years ago.

On the Japanese side of games, like Japanese RPGs, most Nintendo titles and such, I just don't see much difference and for me I don't see much evolution. If gaming was a Japanese thing only, I guess I wouldn't be playing games any more. But when I see things like:

Witcher 3, Horizon Zero Dawn, God of War, Project Cars, Uncharted, MGSV, Uncharted trilogy, Spider-man, Red Dead Redemption 2, Persona 5. Well, I'm sure that those games provide me with much better gaming experience than all those arcade SNES/NES games and most of the best N64/GC/PS1 games.

On the Japanese side, as I was talking about, I see some exceptions like Monster Hunter, Persona, a couple of recent Zelda titles, Mario Galaxy, Xenoblade Chronicles and Chronicles X, Splatoon. However games like Mario Kart Wii, 7 and 8, Mario 3D World, Yoshi's, Mario 2D, most Japanese RPGs, even Zelda BotW to some extent, recent FF titles, recent Fire Emblem titles, they just look like they didn't improve much or just got worse. Nintendo overall got worse in almost every single title. The Japanese kind of just modernise here and there, but every time I play most of those games, it's like I'm playing something old and recooked.

Of course the same can be said about most Western games, like shooters, but at least in my head now I'm trying to compare the best of today with the best of old and the best of Japanese with the best of Western. No way I'd trade Witcher 3, Horizon, MGSV and RDR2 with Zelda BotW, new Mario, MK8, FFXV or any of those best on Switch and Wii U or all those of the best games on SNES/PS1/N64/GC.

So, I'm speaking for myself here: yes, games today, especially those on PS4 and the western ones are truly my childhood dreams coming true. It's like the western industry heard me and gave me all that.

pokoko said:

I just don't buy this "games aren't as fun as they used to be" argument, not as some kind of objective statement of truth. I've been gaming since the Atari 2600 and I would say that, on an individual basis, I probably have more fun with most of the games that I play now then I did with most games from the Atari to the PS2. The stuff I play now generally has a LOT more content, better writing, better mechanics, less frustrating conventions, less loading screens, better save practices, better characters, and more immersive worlds. I'm very happy with the progress gaming has made.

I don't really understand why people do the "I'm going to pick out a great game from back then and compare it to a bad game from now" thing, either. That's kind of silly. You could throw a stick back then and hit at least 5 terrible games because there was so much shovelware.  Big name stuff, too, like Star Wars, had absolute garbage games.

Another point is "lack of innovation."  Well, yeah.  That happens as ANY industry matures.  There is only so much innovation to find relative to technology.  Immature industries have a lot of experimentation, much of it bad, before people find out what works well and what does not.  After that, refinement becomes more prominent.  

Look, I get that some people as they get older fall into that "this is what I like and anything that changes it is bad" mentality.  But that's you, not the media itself.

I couldn't agree more with everything you said.

God bless You.

My Total Sales prediction for PS4 by the end of 2021: 110m+

When PS4 will hit 100m consoles sold: Before Christmas 2019

There were three ravens sat on a tree / They were as blacke as they might be / The one of them said to his mate, Where shall we our breakfast take?

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Somethings are better and some are worse. First Person shooters for example have been dumbed down (don't misunderstand me there still good ones like bioshock and Far Cry) but by and large they have become linear shooting galleries devoid of exploration and problem solving.

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I'll give you one thing, adventure games were definitely better back then.
Space quest, Monkey island, Zork, Phantasmagoria, Grim Fandango, Riven, Syberia.
I can't get into the episodic model, just does not work for me. By the time the game is complete I've lost interest. Plus they used to be the best looking games, nowadays they are the worst looking. I still haven't finished Syberia 3, it's missing something.

SvennoJ said:
I'll give you one thing, adventure games were definitely better back then.
Space quest, Monkey island, Zork, Phantasmagoria, Grim Fandango, Riven, Syberia.
I can't get into the episodic model, just does not work for me. By the time the game is complete I've lost interest. Plus they used to be the best looking games, nowadays they are the worst looking. I still haven't finished Syberia 3, it's missing something.

Yes, point and click could allow for much better graphics and art at the time, nowadays they are basically looking the same as 20 years ago so worse than regular games.

I share your feeling for episodical games, at best I would wait for the end before starting.

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Mr Puggsly: "Hehe, I said good profit. You said big profit. Frankly, not losing money is what I meant by good. Don't get hung up on semantics"

Anyone that can't see that corporations have progressively ruined the average game, especially in the current generation, is too caught up in the hype and recency of games simply for the fact that these games are new to market. Games were more lively and fun in the past. Sure there are a few breakout games nowadays, but those are the exceptions.

John2290 said:

You have gotten older and more jaded, it happens to everyone in less they become first time gamer in the present with no history, I suppose that happens too. Games have gotten better if you look hard enough, AAA games have indeed lost there way but some still hold to a better standard than any games of the past and so does what little AA thst is left and much of the indies.

Exclusives are where things just keep excelling though, time and time again they keep one upping themselves and whe they slip it is usually just to mediocre and very rarely poor or bad. If it wasn't for exclusives, console exclusives particularly, I'd be a two or three game a year gamer with the odd indie and no passion In me. This is why I always push back on PC gamers trying to say console resets and exclusives are bad for the industry, no sir, your over saturated sea of mediocrity is bad for the industry.


PC has it's own exclusives, just like consoles do.