When talking about video games and the legacies they leave behind, things can get a little muddled when it comes to re-examining them. A fun game is a fun game, even with age. In most cases, a game that was fun in 1999 will still be at least somewhat enjoyable in 2019, as long as the presentation is the only thing that aged poorly (it's only fair to expect that).
With some big-name games, though, many fans just can't let go of that magical childhood feeling of playing back in the day. That’s a valid way to look at it, but so many of these titles just wouldn’t hold up if looked at through a modern, unbiased lens. These ten much-beloved games, for instance.
Released to critical acclaim and seen as one of the best games of its generation, the original Metroid holds a special place in the hearts of many gamers. But while its legacy lives on, the game itself has aged fairly poorly over the years.
Having to stand still in order to aim and shoot is a limitation not many are used to today. It seems like a petty complaint, but it really affects the flow of progression in a way we just aren’t used to anymore.
9 Assassin’s Creed
The first Assassin’s Creed game isn’t the first title that springs to mind when thinking of the series. That’s because it just isn’t a very good game. It wasn’t when it first came out either, but it sort of got swept up in the good reputation created by its successors.
The game was slow and bland with little payoff. Repetitiveness was another glaring issue, as players essentially had to do the same mission over and over until the game’s final boss battle. Ubisoft would show that the series could do so much better shortly after, but this title remains the weakest in the series by far.
8 Donkey Kong 64
As the kids that played these games back in the day have grown up, it seems as though certain older Nintendo titles get way more praise then they should. Donkey Kong 64 may be a game many hold dear, but it has its fair share of issues.
The most notable problems are the controls and bland repetitiveness of the game. There are issues with the game’s camera and level design, and another big complaint some fans have is that there are just too many collectibles. There were a lot of cool ideas here (which would be expanded on later), but none of them were executed as well as they could have been.
7 Mass Effect
Long before Mass Effect: Andromeda, the Mass Effect series had established itself as one of the premier action RPG series on the market. All thanks to the original. As the years have gone on, though, the game’s faults have become more apparent.
It has some technical issues, mainly with its shooting mechanics; they feel clunky and sometimes imprecise. The lauded paragon/renegade system feels way too linear all these years later as well.
6 Pokémon Red & Blue
The original Pokémon games, while being responsible for what would become a huge phenomenon all over the world, haven’t really aged all that well. Compared to later entries in the series, the Gen I titles feel stripped down and simplistic to a fault.
There are a ton of glitches and other technical issues that, with hindsight, really do seem like they affected the game in a negative way. Limited inventory space, the lack of the physical/special split and other quality of life changes from later in the series make it all but impossible to go back.
5 Twisted Metal 2
There aren’t that many games like the Twisted Metal franchise. Cars, weapons, explosions and a ton of mindless fun... it's a relic of a bygone era in gaming. Twisted Metal 2 is a classic, but its aged visuals and mechanics just don’t allow for the same level of enjoyment.
The game looks like it’s been zoomed in on about ten times over. The controls are clunky and it ends up resembling an old arcade game more than an older generation console title.
4 Super Smash Bros.
All you have to do is look at the popularity of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate to see just how big of an impact the first Smash Bros. game made when it came out in 1999. The game used to be a staple of local multiplayer sessions, but its flaws are made more and more apparent with each new entry in the series.
Limitations seem to stand out the most when replaying this game. Limited character selection, stages and some pretty basic gameplay are part for the course here. Things certainly got better as the series progressed, but at the expense of this game’s legacy.
3 Grand Theft Auto III
Grand Theft Auto is one of the biggest gaming franchises out there. The eventual announcement and release of GTA VI will garner a lot of hype and attention. Grand Theft Auto III may be where all this success stems from, but the game can’t hold a candle to its modern counterparts.
While the GTA games have always been lauded for their driving mechanics, it feels oddly stiff and sloppy in III, while the level design and mission structure could definitely be better.
2 Tomb Raider
Tomb Raider was a huge hit at the time of its release. It may not look like it now, but at the time, the game blew people’s minds with both gameplay and presentation. Now it’s one of the worst aged games you can think of.
Everything in this game just didn’t age well over the years. Graphics, gameplay, controls, you name it. It’s all either subpar or just plain awful. Older fans may still get a kick out of it, but it's long since passed its expiration date as far as a lot of us are concerned.
1 Resident Evil
A survival horror icon, many would be quick to defend the first Resident Evil but the game has some serious issues. There's no denying its lasting influence, but Resident Evil is a game that looks worse and worse the more you play it.
The atmosphere is great. The writing is solid – though the voice acting sucks – and it delivers a tense experience. The controls are stiff and terrible, however, while the camera angles – while admittedly providing the player with some challenge – just make things almost unbearable.