Remember that game you used to play all the time? You know, that one you couldn’t stop playing day or night. The one that encouraged you to have just one more go. The one that holds a special place in your gaming memories.
Well, depending on whether it suffered a brief dip in popularity or seemingly died out completely, there’s a good chance it’s making a comeback thanks to the retro gaming scene, because genuinely great games will never be entirely forgotten. These are a few that are enjoying a triumphant return, which any self-respecting fan of video games will be getting installed on their laptops.
Arguably the simplest of card games has enjoyed a digital boom recently, with online blackjack swiftly becoming one of the most popular casino games. What makes blackjack popular is that it’s easy to understand and play, aiming for 21 or as near as you can get, while trying to beat the dealer’s hand. There’s really no need for any complicated strategies or heavy thinking, which is why blackjack is also one of the most casual and relaxed casino games. Minimal skill and learning is required, making blackjack the kind of game that’s accessible to anyone.
What’s more, there’s a greater variety of ways to enjoy this classic card game, whether it’s in visually stunning 3D or top-down virtual casino locations, or alternatively, playing against real human dealers with video streams from real casino venues around the world. Whichever version or style of gameplay you’re most comfortable with, there’s more choice than ever before, which has inevitably led to a strong recent resurgence in the popularity of blackjack.
In 1998 and almost a decade before being acquired by gaming behemoth Electronic Arts, the first truly commercial success for BioWare was Baldur’s Gate, based around the Forgotten Realms table-top series of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons games. This role-playing game genuinely set a new standard for storytelling in the RPG genre, leading to one of those rare occasions when a sequel is actually even better than the original, when Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn was released in 2000.
Widely considered to be two of the greatest RPG games of all time, Beamdog released an Enhanced Edition for each game, updating the graphics and compatibility for modern Windows based systems. We’ve had to wait two decades for a true sequel to these classic games, although that wait is almost over. Following their own success with the Divinity series, Larian Studios are set to release Baldur’s Gate III, which already has RPG fans drooling in anticipation.
Created by Russian software engineer Alexey Pajitnov in 1984, it’s quite possible that Tetris is one of the most addictive games ever made, requiring the keenest observation skills and swift reactions. Likewise, having been released via so many platforms over the years, it is also one of the biggest selling video games of all time. This created huge legal battles amongst rival software companies, including Nintendo, before Pajitnov successfully reclaimed rights to the brand in 1996, deservedly getting royalties from every game or derivative sold worldwide.
Pretty much every kind of gaming device has featured Tetris, whether it’s gaming consoles or mobile phones. Indeed, when EA Mobile held the rights, their 2006 release of Tetris became the third-highest selling game of all time. However, the greatest variants of the classic game have consistently been offered on the PC, including the 2019 release of Tetris Effect, which has turned this very simple game concept into a stunning visual treat for modern gamers. Boasting 4K graphics and even the option to use virtual reality devices, it’s fair to say that Tetris has never been more immersive than it is right now.
Doom or Quake, Half-Life or Halo, Medal of Honor or Call of Duty. All of these are classic first-person shooters that many of us will undoubtedly have spent countless hours playing. The FPS genre of video games has often been one of the most innovative, especially when it comes to graphical advances or the open-world gaming we enjoy so much today. However, it’s fair to say that all such games owe a great debt of gratitude to Wolfenstein 3D, which took the whole genre of action games in an exciting new direction at the start of the 1990’s.
— Wolfenstein (@wolfenstein) June 30, 2020
At a time when 2D and side-scrolling action games were amongst the most popular, iD Software came up with a little-known title called Catacomb 3D. This opened up an entirely new realm of 3D gaming that directly led to their subsequent release, Wolfenstein 3D. The rest, as they say, is history. The original classic in all its glory is available at GOG and other popular retro gaming platforms, while the violent Nazi-killing adventures of BJ Blazkowicz have continued with further releases, including several new additions to the series in the last few years and more on the way.