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7 Classic Video Games That Still Hold up Today

In an age where technological advancements have taken video games to unimaginable heights, it’s easy to overlook the classics that paved the way for modern gaming. However, some of these classics have not only stood the test of time but continue to captivate players with their unique qualities and features. This article will explore some of the most iconic and influential video games that still hold up today, diving into their enduring appeal, gameplay mechanics, and impact on the gaming industry.

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Video Games That Remain Timeless

The video games we will discuss have been selected based on several criteria, such as graphics, gameplay, and storyline. While advancements in technology have certainly surpassed these classics in terms of graphical fidelity, there’s something to be said for the charm and appeal of their visuals. Furthermore, these games boast engaging gameplay mechanics and memorable storylines that still resonate with players today, setting them apart from other titles.

Another factor that contributes to the longevity of these classic video games is their unique qualities and features. From revolutionary game mechanics to genre-defining elements, these games have left a lasting impact on the industry, inspiring countless developers to follow in their footsteps. Many of these games have also been re-released or remastered for modern platforms, allowing new generations of gamers to experience their magic.

Reasons Why Classic Video Games Still Resonate

Nostalgia undoubtedly plays a significant role in the enduring popularity of classic video games. Many gamers have fond memories of playing these titles during childhood or adolescence, and revisiting them can evoke a sense of comfort and familiarity. This emotional connection can be a powerful driving force that keeps players returning to these games repeatedly.

In addition to nostalgia, the simplicity and accessibility of classic video games make them appealing to both old and new players alike. While modern games often feature complex controls, intricate mechanics, and steep learning curves, these classics offer straightforward gameplay experiences that players of all skill levels can enjoy. This accessibility has allowed these games to transcend generational boundaries, ensuring their continued relevance in today’s gaming landscape.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time


The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is a prime example of a classic video game that still holds up today. Released in 1998 for the Nintendo 64, this action-adventure game introduced groundbreaking 3D graphics, an engaging storyline, and a cast of memorable characters that captured the hearts of players worldwide. The game’s protagonist, Link, embarks on a quest to save the kingdom of Hyrule and its princess, Zelda, from the evil clutches of Ganondorf.

Ocarina of Time’s lasting impact on the action-adventure genre is evident in its influence on subsequent Zelda games and other titles within the genre. Its innovative lock-on targeting system, time-travel mechanics, and expansive world set a new standard for action-adventure games, inspiring developers to push the boundaries of what was possible in the medium. Today, Ocarina of Time remains a beloved classic that continues to be enjoyed by gamers of all ages.

Super Mario Bros.


Super Mario Bros., released in 1985 for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), is another classic that has managed to withstand the test of time. The game’s iconic characters, inventive level design, and platforming gameplay created an unforgettable player experience, solidifying Mario as a household name. As players guided Mario (or his brother Luigi in multiplayer mode) through various worlds filled with obstacles and enemies, the game provided an exciting and challenging experience that would set the stage for countless platformers to come.

The influence of Super Mario Bros. on the platformer genre cannot be overstated. It laid the groundwork for what would become one of the most popular and enduring genres in gaming. From its tight controls to its memorable power-ups, Super Mario Bros. has inspired countless developers to create unique platformers, with many of these titles paying homage to the original classic. Even today, new entries in the Mario franchise continue to captivate gamers of all ages, proving that the appeal of this iconic title remains strong.



Tetris, released in 1984, is a classic video game that has stood the test of time due to its simple yet addictive gameplay. In this puzzle game, players must manipulate falling geometric shapes, known as Tetriminos, to create complete lines that disappear from the screen. The game continues until the screen fills up with blocks, making placing more pieces impossible. The simplicity of Tetris, combined with its increasing difficulty as players progress, has made it an enduring favorite among gamers.

The impact of Tetris on the puzzle genre is immense, with its success leading to the development of numerous sequels, spin-offs, and clones. Its timeless appeal has allowed it to thrive on various platforms, from its humble beginnings on the Soviet Union’s Elektronika 60 computer to modern consoles and smartphones. Tetris remains an iconic and beloved game that continues to captivate players worldwide.

Street Fighter II


Street Fighter II, released in 1991 by Capcom, is often credited with popularizing the fighting game genre. With its diverse cast of characters, each boasting unique moves and fighting styles, the game offered a level of depth and strategy that had never been seen before in the genre. Its balanced gameplay mechanics and the competitive nature of its one-on-one battles made it an instant hit in arcades, leading to numerous sequels and spin-offs.

The influence of Street Fighter II on the fighting game genre and the esports scene is undeniable. The game’s iconic characters, such as Ryu, Ken, and Chun-Li, have become synonymous with the genre, and its legacy is a testament to its timeless appeal. It set the stage for other popular fighting franchises, such as Mortal Kombat and Tekken, and it continues to be a favorite among competitive players.

Final Fantasy VII


Final Fantasy VII, released in 1997 for the PlayStation, is a classic role-playing game (RPG) that still holds up today due to its epic storyline, memorable characters, and engaging turn-based combat system. The game follows the story of Cloud Strife, a former member of the elite military unit SOLDIER, who joins an eco-terrorist group called AVALANCHE to fight against the corrupt Shinra corporation. With a diverse cast of characters, each with unique abilities and backstories, players embark on a grand adventure that spans multiple continents and explores complex themes such as identity, love, and sacrifice.

The impact of Final Fantasy VII on the RPG genre is immense, as it brought the series into the realm of 3D graphics and introduced cinematic storytelling elements that would become a franchise staple. The game’s success also solidified the Final Fantasy series as a powerhouse in the gaming industry, leading to numerous sequels, spin-offs, and even a feature film. Its enduring legacy is evident in the highly anticipated Final Fantasy VII Remake, which brought the classic game to a new generation of gamers with updated graphics and gameplay mechanics.

Chrono Trigger


Chrono Trigger, released in 1995 for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), is a beloved classic RPG that still holds up today due to its innovative time-traveling mechanics, captivating story, and unforgettable characters. Developed by a dream team of creators, including Hironobu Sakaguchi, Yuji Horii, and Akira Toriyama, the game follows the story of a young boy named Crono, who embarks on a time-traveling adventure to save the world from a future catastrophic event. Along the way, he encounters a diverse group of characters from different periods, each with unique abilities and story arcs.

Today, Chrono Trigger is considered one of the best RPGs of all time, and its lasting impact on the genre cannot be understated. Chrono Trigger’s influence on subsequent RPGs is evident in its innovative gameplay mechanics, such as the Active Time Battle system and multiple endings based on player choices. Its engaging narrative and the memorable cast of characters have earned it a devoted fanbase and a status as a cult classic.

The Secret of Monkey Island

The Secret of Monkey Island, released in 1990 by Lucasfilm Games (now known as LucasArts), is a classic point-and-click adventure game that still holds up today due to its witty humor, engaging puzzles, and memorable characters. Players take on the role of Guybrush Threepwood, a wannabe pirate who sets out to rescue the kidnapped Governor Elaine Marley from the clutches of the evil ghost pirate, LeChuck.

The Secret of Monkey Island remains a beloved classic that continues to delight players with its timeless charm and engaging gameplay. The game’s unique blend of humor and engaging puzzles set it apart from other adventure games at the time, helping to define the point-and-click genre. Its memorable characters, such as Guybrush and the wise-cracking Voodoo Lady, have become synonymous with the series. Its enduring legacy is evident in the numerous sequels and spin-offs it has inspired.

These Classic Video Games Still Hold Up Great Today!

These classic video games have withstood the test of time, proving that their unique qualities and features remain just as appealing today as when they were first released. From their engaging gameplay mechanics to their memorable characters and stories, these games have left a lasting impact on the gaming industry and continue inspiring developers and captivating players. Whether you’re a longtime fan or a newcomer to the world of gaming, these classic titles offer an opportunity to appreciate the foundations that modern gaming was built. So, dust off that old console or seek out a remastered version and discover the timeless magic of these iconic video games.