games / Columns

The 8 Ball: Top 8 Games That Haven’t Aged Well

June 27, 2017 | Posted by Marc Morrison

Welcome all to another edition of The 8 Ball! This week I’m here to talk about when nostalgia goes wrong. There are plenty of games that we used to play when we were kids, or younger that we loved but trying to go back to them now is kind of a nightmare. Either from poor pacing, to bad gameplay, to nonsensical stories, etc., each can make a game unplayable in today’s world. One note I’ll mention is Goldeneye. I mentioned this column topic to two different friends and both mentioned I should have Goldeneye on this list. I think most of Goldeneye is actually passable though the controls are strange. It’s not a fault of Goldeneye though, more about how unintuitive the N64 controller really was. With that said, let’s begin:

#8: Banjo Kazooie

Unlike a few others on this list, Banjo still almost kind of plays alright by today’s standards. The real hitch comes into play though when you just have to wonder around the various levels and hope you trigger the event to get a puzzle piece. At least with Mario 64 it at least told you a hint about what the hell you were supposed to do. Also, some of the controls in the original Banjo were a tad off in the game, at least compared to Mario, or even Donkey Kong 64.

#7: Crazy Taxi

The first time you sit down in a Crazy Taxi arcade machine, plunk in some quarters, hear Offspring playing, and you pick up the first customer feel great. However, the timer is always counting down, and you can’t win. Even in the home versions of this game, the timer was there and there wasn’t really a way to get rid of it. Aside from that though, the controls are pretty bad and there just wasn’t that much to do in the game.

#6: Half Life 2

Half Life 2 was beloved by a lot of people when it first came out, but even back then I wasn’t impressed. My dissatisfaction has grown over the years, and looking back at it, the game is kind of a mess. It actually does kind of hold up in the graphics and basic gameplay but the pacing is all over the place and there are some downright bizarre sequences in the game. The worst offender, by a mile, is the entire Ravenholm sequences, but also, anytime you have to control a vehicle becomes a nightmare slog. Half Life 2 might have been a landmark PC title, hell it launched Steam, but it’s not a particularly great game now.

#5: Crash Bandicoot

The people who have been clamoring for Crash Bandicoot HD, so much so, they now have the trilogy coming in a few weeks, are in for one rude ass awakening. Crash Bandicoot largely worked, back then, because of the limits of the PS1 specifications. You couldn’t build large 3D worlds, at least initially, when the game came out, so they had to build around it. That Crash retro level in Uncharted 4 was cute, but try going back to any of those old games and you can feel the limits of what they had to work with. There was a reason they stopped making Crash games after 2008, because the basic Crash gameplay doesn’t hold up in today’s market.

#4: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

Ah Twilight Princess, the game that broke Zelda for me. When TP came out, I did pick it up and played through it, but looking back at it now, I can’t remember a damn thing about the story or the latter half of the game. I think it involves putting together a mirror, and you had a spinning top for an item, but that’s about it. I do remember the beginning parts of the game though, with you having to do dull tasks for townspeople and barely competent mini-games, like stopping the rampaging bull and how all of that stuff took an interminable amount of time. When people think about the best Zelda games, Link to the Past, Ocarina, Breath of the Wild, even Minish Cap pop up, but never Twilight Princess. Why? Because it’s a garbage game.

#3: Final Fantasy 7

For a lot of people, myself included, Final Fantasy 7 was their first Final Fantasy game. At the time, you were spellbound by the graphics, sense of scale and production values of the game. However, that’s kind of all the game really had going for it, and even some of those elements are weird. The art style is really awkward, vacillating between a chibi-look (general gameplay) and fairly realistic (battles). The story is almost pure nonsense and Sephiroth is one of the dumbest bad guy’s in history. There are also some really bad mini-games in the game like snowboarding, chobo-racing, the motorbike sequence, the proto-tower defense game, etc. For people around 30 years old, or older, you can get by almost all of this stuff since nostalgia is a powerful thing, but if you’re younger, you likely think everyone who lives it is crazy. And they are correct in this assessment.

#2: Super Mario Sunshine

Almost all Mario games are timeless and can be enjoyed now just as much when they came out years, if not decades ago. The same can’t really be said for Super Mario Sunshine, which feels real awkward when you’re using the FLUDD to attack enemies. Using it to get around is one thing, but attacking foes with it just doesn’t seem right. Add to that, some truly unfortunate camera controls and some deeply frustrating levels, namely the pinball level, and you can see why Super Mario Sunshine might have impressed for its time, but it’s nowhere near the pantheon of all-time Mario games.

#1: Sonic Adventure

Sonic Adventure, arguably, perpetrated the biggest fraud of the gaming world. When you saw that “Sonic running from the whale” stuff in videos or playing the game at a Dreamcast demo station, your mind was blown. The sequence was incredibly quick and action packed but also looked great. Hell, that entire first level was like a bold statement that the next generation is here! And it was…until you realize that those action levels only make up a quarter of the game, only 3 or 4 of them are worth a damn, and most times you’re trying to complete vague tasks and wondering what to do next. That’s if you’re even playing Sonic at all, since Adventure had 6 playable characters, and only one other one (E-102 Gamma) was actually playable at all. If Sega had any decency, they should send a check out to anyone who bought Sonic Adventure 1 at launch as an apology for how garbage the game truly is.


For comments, list which games you think haven’t aged well.

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Top 8 Games Missing from the Mini SNES Classic

article topics :

The 8 Ball (Games), Marc Morrison

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