5. Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind (2002)
Some people will argue that Elder Scrolls III is the best game of the series, and they have a point to a certain degree, but these days, it doesn’t help itself at all.
The story and the mechanics of the game are pretty solid, and hold up fairly well, but that’s about as good as it gets. When it comes to actually playing the game, it needs a lot of work. The combat is unreliable and often requires a degree of precision that makes the game feel like more of a slog than a game should feel. As I’ve already said, the graphics don’t have to be the be-all-end-all, but when it comes to this game, they do make it look very old and outdated.
The degrees to which the graphics can be off putting are things such as the faces looking a bit rubbish and emotionless. The gameplay itself, at its core, makes it difficult to navigate, such were the technological limitations of the time.
This game would do pretty well as a re-master, but before then, the graphics, gameplay and controls have not allowed this game to age with any sort of grace.
4. Mortal Kombat (1992)
Mortal Kombat, first released to arcades way back when in 1992, was an absolute game-changer (maybe pun intended) for the fighting and combat genre.
Though today, Mortal Kombat is a household name, and later releases would prove to be some of the best and most well designed fighting games of all time (Deadly Alliance for example) when one goes back to the roots, it does not make for pretty viewing.
MK1 was the first fighting video game that showcased explicit violence, and though it may look fairly tame by today’s standards, back in 1992 it pretty much started the argument, that still goes on today, that violent video games make kids do violent things.
However, because of its arcade routes, and because of the motion capture used to represent the characters, the move set is extremely basic, and the controls are supremely difficult to master.
Eventually, players would resort to spamming round hose kicks, punches or fire balls to get the better of their opponents. That, coupled with the sever lack of playable characters and an overall lack of quality graphics, means that despite its legendary and influential status, this game has not aged well at all.
3. Hitman 2: Silent Assassin
Silent Assassin is often regarded as one of the best Hitman games, second only to Blood Money, but if you try and pick it up and play it now, you’ll probably find it as trying as I did, because if you want to play it as an actual stealth game, you’re going to have a bad time.
Not only does Agent 47 handle about as well as a truck with square wheels, he’s so slow that he couldn’t even go fast if he had a flux capacitor attached to his jacket. Trying to sneak up on someone was absolute murder because the crouch and sneak mechanics were ridiculously slow, so basically either you had to run up to them and hope they don’t turn around or catch the next Ice Age come and go while you sneak up behind them.
Not only that, if you get spotted, you might as well start again. Because as soon as you’re spotted everybody is on the lookout for you, which makes the game impossible to do in the manner it is intended.
Maintaining that slick, low-key feel is next to impossible sometimes, so usually it’s better just to shoot your way through certain areas. Other problems arise too, such as people recognising you as soon as you stand near them, no matter what disguise you’re wearing, and if you go any faster than a slow amble, they’ll figure you out.
When the level benefits the mechanics, Hitman 2 is a great game, but apart from then, it’s nowhere near as good as we all remember.
2. Tomb Raider (1996)
Tomb Raider may be one of the greatest franchises in video game history, and it may be one of the best platforming games ever, but come on, the first game in the series is just the worst.
Playing the original game these days is one of the most difficult and impenetrable experiences you can have. The controls are puzzling and Lara handles like a dead horse on a manual treadmill. The game also struggles greatly with depth perception and timing, so some of the jumps that you have to negotiate seem like they’re impossible, but once you’ve flung yourself into the air, you found out that it’s actually doable.
That’s not to even mention the ridiculously limited save points and unrelenting difficulty that means you have to have the patience of a monk to get through some levels. It’s understandable that such mechanics are a product of their time, but playing it nowadays is just too difficult to bear.
It will always remain as one of the most important games of all time, but look at it this way, would you feel safe on the first ever aeroplane?
- GoldenEye 64 (1997)
GoldenEye 64 is often regarded as one of the defining games in the first-person-shooter genre, and for the most part, that reputation is deserved. However, make no mistake about it; the game is terrible to play nowadays. The aiming is awful, the hit-boxes can be way off, the rendering distance can mean that enemies outside the viewable draw distance can kill you and, it handles terribly.
The only way you can enjoy it is with a fan-made remaster with a plugin that allows you to use a mouse and a keyboard to make the game anywhere near as great as it once was. Without it, on the Nintendo 64, the game has fallen very far from grace. It’s clear to see that first-person-shooters have come a long way since GoldenEye 64.
There has never been a game more important and well received at the time that has decayed so rapidly over the years. And yes, it may be important, but in terms of engineering and creation, when has the first bash ever been proven the best?
Even if the game holds a dear place in your heart, and through nostalgia, you love it more than any other game, don’t play it. It’s not worth the pain. Never meet your heroes.