Image: Box art for Fallout: New Vegas
Written by: Elijah Moon Blackwell
New decade, new classics.
For me, when a video game has been on the market for at least 10 years I consider it retro. Of course this is a subjective statement. There isn’t a solid rule to the classification.
It also serves as a guideline for what I choose to cover. I like to explore older games so I need some kind of rule-set to keep focused on that central theme. Of course I’ve broken my own rule and covered newer games. But hey, rules are meant to be broken…just not all the time.
The new early access model of game development blurs this rule. Some games have been in beta or unfinished for a long time. Project Zomboid has been on Steam since 2013 and is still in development. So in 2023 is the game retro? Or will it be retro from the day it was finished?
Who knows and honestly no one should really care. The retro classification should just be a fun thing to discuss. It has no impact on the status of a game. It’s not like retro means it disappears off the face of the Earth or anything.
So just for fun and in no particular order these are the games that turn retro in 2020. Time to starting feeling old:
Only video games that had physical releases are on the list.
Red Dead Redemption
Rockstar’s open world cowboy epic is in my top five favorite games of all time. Red Dead Redemption is a masterpiece in gaming. The gun play, the horse back riding and the story kept me obsessed for years.
I loved GUN, a wild west game that released five years prior. Red Dead Redemption for me was a new and improved GUN. Everything I loved about shooting bad guys and hunting wild beasts was perfected in Red Dead Redemption. The multiplayer was also a perfect way to kill time. You could explore the map with friends and pick fights with other players. This was before the age of data mining so I remember me and the gang investigating urban legends. Is the Tumbleweed Mansion haunted? Who knows! Well…we kinda know but I want to believe that a video game has dark secrets that can’t be debunked.
The only problem? It never came to PC. The sequel came to Steam but no sign of the first game.
Unless Rockstar decides to fufill my dreams by bringing a classic to the PC platform don’t expect extensive coverage of the Red Dead Redemption series.
Probably the most underrated game on the list.
The first game blew me away. The graphics stood out at the time and even today are pretty impressive. Water has always been a challenge in gaming. Making water look good or realistic requires a lot of resources. The water is one of the reasons I still talk about that game.
The lore is deep with a lot of social commentary. It reminds me of Thomas More’s Utopia. Don’t worry Bioshock is not nearly as dense as Utopia but there are some similarities.
After the action packed horror experience that was the first game I was super stoked for a sequel. The fact I got to play as a Big Daddy made it even more cool.
Unfortunately Bioshock 2 isn’t talked about often. On Steam, the original game has roughly 16,334 reviews. The 2nd game has 7,414 reviews. This disparity extends to the remastered editions as well. Bioshock Remastered has 12,901 reviews while Bioshock 2 Remastered has 5,389.
You know what’s even more insane? Bioshock Infinite has 63,839 reviews.
Do yourself a favor and check out the 2nd game. It is criminally underrated and underplayed.
If you want to see the reviews yourself check them out here.
I didn’t say all the games were going to be good on this list. It’s important to remember the disappointments and Dark Void one of them.
My mom and I were really hype about this game. Science fiction games were always welcomed.
The story is pretty simple. A WWII pilot flies through the Bermuda Triangle and gets transported to another world.
Flying around the world with a jet pack was the main selling point of Dark Void. The only problem is that the flying was limited and you don’t even get to do it for long.
It’s not a bad game, just a disappointment. Even today it feels unfinished or maybe it was just too ambitious. Who knows what went wrong.
Crime games can be absolutely amazing. The Godfather movie tie-in game has a special place in my heart.
Mafia II is a mobster movie that set the bar high. The bar has yet to be reached by other video games. It is a fantastic single player video game. The story is your stereotypical rags-to-riches type deal. A guy starts doing crime and he becomes a big-wig in the mafia. I’m not complaining that’s the best thing they could have done.
The gunfights are intense and there is a wide range of classic 40’s-50’s weaponry. Also an open world game wouldn’t be complete without some kicking music. If you like 50’s music then you are in luck, there’s plenty of it.
It isn’t all perfect though. The driving is absolutely mind-numbing. There is so much driving from point A to point B that you’d just wish there was a teleportation mechanic. Lots of the driving is unnecessary and I feel was an excuse to make the game feel longer. There isn’t much to do in the open world so driving serves only one purpose. Driving to objective markers is the only reason you drive.
There is a speed limit law which is unique to the Mafia series. If you speed you have to pull over and pay a fine (or try to escape). Your vehicle can also run out of gas.
Great game overall and I may cover this game for the channel since it’s becoming retro.
Metal Gear: Peace Walker
That’s right, I’m mentioning a PlayStation Portable game. I’ll keep it short though.
Peacewalker is my all time favorite Metal Gear game. It feels like a smaller scale Phantom Pain and honestly that is an amazing thing. More time is spent sneaking around and taking care of business. The Mother Base mechanic is quick, concise and to the point. A masterpiece of a game that I wish would receive an official PC port.
Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction
Conviction is very different from the rest of the series. The previous games were all about stealth. Getting noticed means either restarting or hoping that you can fight off the hordes of bad guys. Conviction is more action oriented.
The biggest complaint I have with Conviction is the inability to hide bodies. It makes stealth that much harder to achieve. There is also no hacking or lock picking mechanic. Conviction is the easiest of the series. Ubisoft was trying something new I suppose.
There is a lot of games that released in 2010. This article could go on for ages. So I’m just going to list some game titles to keep this post from turning into a novel.
More games that released in 2010:
I did cover this game. You can read about it here! Another game in my top 10!
Stalker: Call of Pripyat
Napoleon: Total War
Call of Duty Black Ops
Mass Effect 2
Supreme Commander 2
Assassin’s Creed II
Sid Meier’s Civilization V
Kane and Lynch 2
Dead Rising 2
Medal of Honor (reboot)
Fallout: New Vegas
And so many more….
Honestly the list is almost endless. So many games release on PC every year! These are just the highlights, good and bad. These games may get covered on the website because of their age. Don’t hold your breathe though, there’s just so many games.
Did I miss something? What’s your favorite game of 2010? What’s a really bad one? Let us know in the comments or at firstname.lastname@example.org!