Researchers predict that the international market for video games will grow by almost 13% per year until 2030, when it will be worth about 580 billion dollars. With so much money at stake, game developers are constantly trying to find a game that will capture the public’s imagination and become the next big thing.
The constantly evolving technology makes the games more and more sophisticated. Businesses spend huge sums in pursuit of success. Games appear and disappear quickly without leaving much of a trace. But despite technological advances, some older games persist and become popular again.
We have recently seen board games (Monopoly being an example) increase in popularity. And some of the reasons this is true for board games also apply to old video games. Nostalgia is one reason. People remember playing something years ago and want to watch it again. Often they are interested in something other than the latest version of an old favorite – they want to play the same game they played long ago. Familiarity is comforting.
Another motif linked to nostalgia is that players know what to expect. They remember the game and know how to play it. They don’t need to study a manual or watch videos on YouTube to learn how to play. A third reason is that these games are often simple and straightforward. The task is clear and a player does not get bogged down in complexity.
Our list includes games of various kinds, from challenges to role-playing games. Some have never completely disappeared, and some have made comebacks that seem surprising. Here are ten classic video games making a comeback.
Related: 10 Bizarre Video Games That Actually Exist
10 Pac Man
Pac-Man was first released in 1980 and became the iconic game of that decade. Since video games were a novelty, almost any game would find players. But Pac-Man’s simple but attractive graphics, lovable characters, and simple gameplay turned players into addicts.
It may have been easy to play, but it was hard to master. A player can always try to get a higher score next time. And players spent endless amounts trying to outdo themselves and their friends. You could never win at Pac-Man because there was no end point.
To date, Pac-Man has grossed over $14 billion and sold around 48 million copies. In 2005, Guinness World Records named it the most successful coin-op game of all time.
Its popularity waned as more sophisticated games appeared, but constant tweaks and its wide availability attracted new generations of fans.
9 World of Warcraft
World of Warcraft hit the market in 2004 and was an instant hit. Critics and players loved it, and it quickly became the most successful online multiplayer role-playing game ever, with an astounding 12 million subscribers in 2010.
The developer, Blizzard Entertainment, released World of Warcraft to build on the Warcraft series that began with the release of Warcraft: Orcs & Humans in 1994. This real-time strategy game reached a wide audience, but the public turned away from these types of games in the early The 21st century. World of Warcraft was the answer that reached a new audience and ensured that the world of Azeroth continued to draw people in.
Expansion packs keep the game fresh and ensure that after making a comeback, it doesn’t need another one.
Doom is a phenomenon. Originally released in 1993, it has had its ups and downs but remains popular. When Windows released the Windows 95 operating system, more computers had Doom loaded on them than Windows 95. Over the years, the creators have released new versions of the Doom series. But the original keeps coming back.
Other first-person shooter games hit the market, but Doom was always the one they had to beat.
People still find the original Doom entertaining because it’s easy to navigate and not overly complicated.
7 Dragon Quest
It is said that when a new edition of Dragon Quest hit the market in Japan, people would call in sick to get a copy in front of their friends. True or not, the story shows how popular Dragon Quest was in its home country.
Dragon Quest first came out in 1986 and was very popular in Japan. This popularity did not spread to the United States, where sales were sluggish despite good reviews. In the US, the game was called Dragon Warrior until the release of Dragon Quest VIII in 2005. Then Americans started looking at earlier releases.
The developers claim that its popularity is due to the fact that anyone can play it at the level that suits them best. You don’t have to plow through a manual before you start playing; it’s intuitive and fun.
A game that gives a player little information, no clear reason to play, and no obvious enemies is destined for the scrap heap. But Myst was a surprise hit, with critics calling it one of the best video games ever made.
Players must figure out what to do and explore Myst’s interactive world. There are puzzles that the player must solve, but there is no shooting. Myst is a mind game that players love.
People loved its impressive graphics and the challenge, but other games came and overshadowed Myst. But it keeps coming back. The original version is still a challenge and still fresh. Some people are turning back to Myst for nostalgic reasons, and new generations of gamers are watching it to see what all the fuss was about. But once in, they are solid.
5 Chrono Trigger
Some reviewers have described Chrono Trigger as a masterpiece. Square, the developer, released the original in 1995 and had clearly invested a lot of time and love into creating what was an instant hit. This RPG features a team of adventurers who travel through time to prevent a disaster. The players loved it.
Despite its age, the graphics still look great today. The well-developed characters and soundtrack keep the game fresh, and it still compares well to more modern games.
Chrono Trigger has remained popular over the years, but there are regular increases in new players discovering it for the first time.
Maybe American players didn’t like being parodied in EarthBound. This Japanese RPG was set in Eagleland, a fictional parody of the United States. This 1994 game was a hit in Japan – where it was known as Mother 2 – but had little impact on American gamers. The developers changed the name in the US because Mother 2 was the sequel to a game that never appeared in the US market.
The game was intentionally tainted and was marketed in the US under the slogan “This Game Stinks.” Americans took the creators at their word and didn’t buy it.
Or most Americans didn’t. It developed a small cult following and made its comeback largely through word of mouth. Critics, most of whom had initially panned the game, came to see it as interesting and different. Its popularity soared, and people still play it today.
Sinister and dark, Quake is a first-person shooter game developed by id Software. In the single player mode, the player tries to stop an alien called Quake. Quake has taken over a human-designed teleporter and is using the device to send kamikaze squads to our world to test our ability to fight back.
When it was originally released in 1996, critics praised Quake, which immediately became popular with gamers. Quake was the successor to Doom and did well for many years when new versions came out.
The original game looks outdated, but people have given it a new look even if it is unsophisticated by modern standards. Perhaps people are returning to it precisely because it is dated and quite simple. It’s video games’ answer to comfort food.
2 Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic the Hedgehog has moved from video consoles to appear in books, comics and movies. Add merchandise to these media and you have a cultural icon. First released in 1991 by Sega, Sonic and his battles with the evil Doctor Eggman were for many their introduction to online gaming.
When it came out, Sonic was the obvious competitor to Mario and became just as popular. Later versions of Sonic have yet to be as well received as the original. But Sonic has been a favorite since the beginning.
A recent increase in popularity may be due to the fact that the first Sonic fans now have children of their own and are introducing them to the world of Sonic.
The Tetris website modestly claims:
“Tetris is the addictive puzzle game that started it all, embracing our universal desire to create order out of chaos.”
Originally designed by Soviet software engineer Alexey Pajitnov, Tetris has been frustrating gamers since 1984. Like Pac-Man, Tetris is a game you can’t win; it will always beat you. The best thing a player can do is improve their previous score.
Tetris never went away, but it faded into the background. It was a game that everyone knew about, but few played. This has changed. Its availability on virtually every platform means you can play it anywhere, anytime, whenever you have a few moments to fill.
It’s simple and addictive. And this is why it comes back.
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