New games get released every day, each boasting about how they have better graphics than the ones that went before them. Some gamers even spend thousands of dollars every year trying to build computers to get the most realistic playing experience possible.
Developers of titles like Cyberpunk 2077 and Grand Theft Auto also go out of their way to make the most immersive and engaging worlds ever created. Each time, trying to show that their new release is better than anything made before it.
However, there still remains a huge market for classic games. All three major consoles currently on the market have vast libraries of backwards-compatible titles from several generations ago. And they’re only there because millions of players enjoy these classic and retro titles so much, that they’re willing to pay for titles they already own.
The same goes for PC games, with many classic titles available through emulators, web browsers, or remastered releases.
Of all the classic games on offer, here are some of the biggest hits among players today.
Released back in 1980, Pac-Man was one of the first video games many people played. The simple maze format with the added perils of being chased by the ghosts made it a title that could be enjoyed over and over again and while still being different each time.
The original version was released on arcade machines, but it quickly found its way into our homes through early video game consoles and home PCs. The success of the first game spawned numerous sequels, including several similar maze titles, a 2D platformer, and even a racing game.
Remakes of the original have also appeared on just about every platform, format, and device released over the last 40 years, including a Pac-Man Google Doodle that let you play the game from the search giant’s home page.
Modern versions, including ones for iOS and Android help keep Pac-Man accessible and popular today. As of 2016, Pac-Man games had generated over $14 billion in revenue, and the franchise doesn’t appear to be slowing down.
Casino games are some of the oldest ones played today. Roulette can be traced back several hundred years to early French casinos, while blackjack has a heritage that dates back even further. Playing cards themselves are around 1,000 years old, with the first known versions used in China during the Tang Dynasty.
Today, these centuries-old classics are still played by millions of people today, though many prefer to go online to play casino games. Because of this, the online casino industry is booming, with many brands offering generous bonuses to new players to make themselves more attractive than the competition.
Online casinos have also created new and innovative versions of card and table games, taking advantage of new technologies. One of the most popular options is the “live casino” format where players interact with a real human dealer instead of just computer-generated graphics. This has helped to make casino games appeal to even more players by adding the social element back into playing them.
While availability varies from country to country and even state to state, most people can enjoy casino games from their computer, tablet, or smartphone, either through a web browser or dedicated apps.
The business simulation genre is incredibly popular among gamers. It lets them satisfy their entrepreneurial desires without having to risk their own money or have the stresses that come with running a real company.
One of the earliest games in the genre was Chris Sawyer’s RollerCoaster Tycoon. He had previously developed Transport Tycoon, which became a huge success almost overnight. To celebrate this, Sawyer went travelling across the US, visiting numerous theme parks.
While on this extended vacation, he fell in love with roller coasters and decided to create a game that let players build their own. Soon after, RollerCoaster Tycoon was born. In the early 2000s, millions of players spent countless hours creating intricate designs while managing their parks. The popularity of the game saw several sequels and expansion packs get produced, including RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 and 3, both of which were just as popular as the first.
More recent releases haven’t been as successful, but the first three games have been available to play on PC and mobile devices again. These re-releases have received thousands of positive reviews over the various platforms they’re available on, showing that they’re just as popular today as they were 20 years ago.
Caption: Mario Kart is one of the most popular game franchises of all time
There are thousands of racing games available to download, including many popular titles like Need for Speed, Gran Turismo, and Forza. They typically attract petrol heads who play them mainly because they’re interested in cars. This is especially true for simulators like iRacing where developers have worked tirelessly to make the experience as real as possible.
Some arcade games have a slightly wider appeal. For example, the Need for Speed Underground series coincided with the early Fast and Furious movies, tapping into the interest in illegal street racing.
However, Mario Kart’s appeal goes way beyond car enthusiasts. It’s a racing game that can bring together complete novices, those that don’t like cars, and those that live and breathe motorsports.
It does this by making racing fun, using characters from the Mario universe, racetracks that are a little whacky (like Rainbow Road), and including powerups similar to those found in other games in the franchise.
The powerups make it possible for talented players and those picking up a controller for the first time to race together and the result not be entirely predictable, while still rewarding skill. More valuable powerups are given to players in lower positions in the race, helping them to get closer to the winners.
It’s this feature that makes Mario Kart one of the most popular classic games today. Versions for the Nintendo Wii can cost as much as $65 on sites like Amazon, despite new versions available for the Nintendo Switch and mobile devices.