GoldenEye N64 is not one of the best games ever (and here's why!)

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#1 Posted by BrainSpecialist (554 posts) -

So I was having a conversation with a couple of my friends, both indie game developers, about what we thought were the best videogames ever made were. Obviously many have attempted to make this list, and like others we had our own criteria: 
 

  1. The game must still be relevant in terms of gameplay.
  2. The game's gameplay must have few to no ways to be improved.
  3. Most importantly: No nostalgia! A game is not good simply because it is old.
 
What this boils down to is that a game's gameplay (both in terms of control and design) must be not still be imitated today but that the original game must still be 'playable' and enjoyable. The second criteria references that the gameplay of the game has not been made significantly better in further iterations or sequels. This does not refer to giving a game better a better online client or online play in general. 
 
For example: The gameplay and controls of the Zelda series has not been radically changed since Ocarina of Time. Similarly, all Mario games echo the gameplay and controls of Mario 64. In a more modern example, the gameplay in the Halo series has remained largely the same since Halo:Combat Evolved, even with online play. These games become more important once you factor in how the gameplay in all three of them has influenced game design since their release. In some cases, it has arguably not been bettered.
 
But could could you make the gameplay in these games better? Is there anything broken? These games offer a fantastic depth in terms of strategy and gameplay. Most importantly, these games are still playable. You could take the skills from Halo Reach and take them back to Halo CE with little trouble, or visa versa. 
 
Which brings me to Goldeneye. Although brilliant fun at the time and the progenitor to the current slew of FPSs, Goldeneye is unplayable now for a very simple reason: It is literally unplayable. 
 
We all have good memories of it: Blasting away with rocket launchers and setting up proximity mines was all fun back in the 90's, but going back to it is nigh-on-impossible. Not in terms of sound or graphics, but in terms of controls. To call them shoddy is an understatement. The controls for the game were shoehorned onto a controller that was not built for moving and shooting in two different directions. This is the same reason that FPS games on the PSP for the large part simply do not work: There is not nearly enough control. For an FPS to arguably function properly you require the ability to move and shoot at the same time. The skills from one FPS can almost always be transferred from one to another, but not into GoldenEye. 
  
--- 

I'm curious to see what the community thinks of GoldenEye. Do you think that it remains relevant or is it an artefact of the past?
#2 Posted by ryanwho (12082 posts) -

k but it is tho 

#3 Edited by BraveToaster (12590 posts) -

I think it's all a matter of opinion. 
 
Change the title to, "Why I think GoldenEye 64 is not one of the best games ever".

#4 Posted by Hero_Swe (1130 posts) -

I am part of the group that know much better PC games at the time and therefore considers it just another console game.  
 
My 2 cents
#5 Posted by BrainSpecialist (554 posts) -
@Axxol: How do I do that? 
 
I'm not suggesting the game is bad, I'm saying that the gameplay is no longer relevant to modern games and has been substantially improved upon.    
#6 Posted by ryanwho (12082 posts) -
@Axxol said:
" I think it's all a matter of opinion. 
 
Change the title to, "Why I think GoldenEye 64 is not one of the best games ever". "
Opinion is implied in everything, he doesn't need to revise his wordage so retarded people don't flip a lid.
#7 Posted by buzz_clik (6967 posts) -

In other news, Space Invaders is shit. 
 
Goldeneye still has its place in gaming history, and I really loved it at the time, but the FPS genre has well and truly moved on. So at the time, it was one of the best games ever, but now for me it merely stands as an important benchmark in the history of gaming. What's going to happen in the far flung future when we plug shit into our skulls? Look back and say that Half-Life is an unplayable mess that isn't deserving of its place in the annals of our favourite pastime?
 
Also, I doubt the validity of the statement that Goldeneye is literally unplayable. It was obviously playable at one point; it's just that our hands and brains have been trained to do something else now.

Moderator
#8 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11618 posts) -

BUT YO BRO I PLAYED IT WITH ALL MY BUDDIES AND THEN ONE GUY PICKED ODDJOB AND WE BEAT HIM UP FOR IT AND THEN WE PLAYED SLAPPERS ONLY ON FACILITY. SPLIT SCREENZ 4 EVA!
 
But, even as someone who owned a N64 when it was still relevant, I don't really like Goldeneye all that much and never really did, being more into the platform's endless bevy of 3D platformers by that time. However, I disagree with your 3 criteria, because using those, no game is one of the best games ever. To some degree, all of the greatest games of all time have issues or parts that are antiquated, with or without nostalgia. It just depends on your tolerance level.

#9 Edited by Sargus (726 posts) -

While I certainly see your point (and will generally agree that Goldeneye hasn't aged as well as other classics), there are still arguments to be made for its greatness. One of those arguments is that it was really the first game that made the FPS experience - especially from a multiplayer point of view - really, really work on a console. And that was a pretty big deal.
 
::EDIT:: Also, I think I disagree with the notion that things can't have improved much (if at all) since the game's release. Things have improved a lot in the movie industry since Citizen Kain, but that film is still hella classic.

#10 Posted by august (3835 posts) -

If you were into pc fps games at the time Goldeneye was pretty painful to play even at release.

#11 Posted by TooWalrus (13159 posts) -

Good thing your criteria doesn't apply to anyone but you, eh? Goldeneye was great to those who were there at the right place and time, and still is.

#12 Posted by yinstarrunner (1185 posts) -

Yes, Goldeneye hasn't aged well, and I would definitely not count it as one of the best games ever.  But it was definitely one of the most important.
 
It's significance should not be understated.  Everybody knows that the gameplay hasn't aged well at all, but it made its mark on the industry in a very big way.

#13 Posted by BrainSpecialist (554 posts) -
@ArbitraryWater: I chose the criteria specifically because of a conversation between Paul Barnett and Jeff and Ryan on one of the GOTY podcasts. He said that until Pac Man Championship Edition came out, it would be difficult to make Pac Man play 'better'. Similarly in Bejewelled 2 to Bejewelled 3, although they added more modes the core Bejewelled gameplay remained unchanged because they could not think of a way to improve upon it. For example, how would you improve upon the gameplay in Super Mario 64? They changed the gameplay slightly in sequels but I would argue that they have not improved upon it. For this reason I would also include Tetris on this list, a game whose gameplay has remained virtually unchanged for over twenty years.
#14 Posted by gamb1t (965 posts) -
@Hero_Swe said:
" I am part of the group that know much better PC games at the time and therefore considers it just another console game.   My 2 cents "
#15 Edited by hidys (1029 posts) -
I remember playing that game back in the day but yeah it hasn't aged particularly well.
 
 @yinstarrunner: That is a very fair point without this game the console FPS would not have been as big as it is today.
#16 Posted by JJWeatherman (14558 posts) -
@buzz_clik:

 Also, I doubt the validity of the statement that Goldeneye is literally unplayable. It was obviously playable at one point; it's just that our hands and brains have been trained to do something else now.    

Yo, I beat that game when I was a fairly small child. It wasn't literally unplayable, even for me at the time. According to the database that game came out in '97. I probably bought it in '98, maybe '99. I was 8-9 years old. 
 
But anyways, choosing greatest games of all time always comes down to what rules you choose to lay down. I don't particularly agree with the rules set up here.
#17 Edited by ryanwho (12082 posts) -
@august said:

" If you were into pc fps games at the time Goldeneye was pretty painful to play even at release. "

Yeah that's what GB said, good work parrot. Except Goldeneye came out about a year before those great PC games came out like Unreal and Half Life. Unless you meant Quake 2, lol. So no. At release, you weren't playing Half Life and Goldeneye wasn't painful. This bullshit revisionist history coming from people who clearly didn't play Goldeneye when it came out is painful. I'd love to see someone come in and say fucking Heretic and fucking Quake 1 and 2 outclass Goldeneye, I'd fucking love to have a laugh. Or Descent. Dear god, someone say Descent is better than Goldeneye, make my night.
#18 Posted by MegaGoat (219 posts) -

This is not one of the best threads ever about a game that came out over a decade ago
Perhaps you could spend the next decade coming up with a better topic?

#19 Posted by Paulrus (244 posts) -

I concur that the game has not aged well. It lacks most of the things that we take for granted in first-person shooters: like a jump button and the ability to move while aiming.

#20 Edited by smitty86 (698 posts) -

I did not even know that GoldenEye 64 was in the running for greatest game ever. Good to great game? Sure. Ever? Meh. Mario 64 is where it's at...................................two turntables and a microphone..........sorry.......

#21 Posted by Bribo (599 posts) -

Troll.

#22 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11618 posts) -
@BrainSpecialist: I get where you are coming on the significance angle (and, I generally agree), but I would much rather play Super Mario Galaxy than SM64. For as great as that game was (and still is), there are parts of it that are kind of bad in this day and age that have been incrementally improved by other 3D platformers. While there is no one game that has represented a significant step up (and really, that's impossible), there have been refinements that I would consider more than a few improvements on the Mario 64 formula.  Of course, there have also been unfortunate sidesteps. I would much rather play Super Mario 64 than Super Mario Sunshine. 
 
Now, if we were talking about how there still hasn't been a 3D Zelda game that has improved on Ocarina of Time in any major way, I'd be inclined to nod my head in agreement.
#23 Posted by Subject2Change (2966 posts) -

It was a changing point for console shooters. Anymore than that now, no not really. It is still an important game and if you say otherwise I feel that you are wrong, as it is not an opinion.Without it, who knows where console shooters would be today.
 
Not every single game has to redefine the genre or be a complete overhaul. Improvements over what is there is great. If you compare and contrast every single game then RE4 and RE5 are nearly identical, going from Tomb Raider to Uncharted was just a step up and every Halo or CoD Reiteration was only a slight step up til the current release. However the progress made with the console market from say Goldeneye to Black Ops or Reach is a far more dramatic increase then say Goldeneye to Perfect Dark to Halo 1

#24 Posted by Claude (16255 posts) -

Doom sucked too and that Wolfenstein 3D crap, man... balls to the wall old. Don't get me started on the lame Half Life. Actually, any first person shooter that is released is dated the day it's dated and gone gold. 
 
I'm kidding of course. You need to look further into your method. How about level design? Multiplayer functionality? Being a template for other developers to learn from? Perfect Dark came after GoldenEye, but without GoldenEye no Perfect Dark. Without Perfect Dark would there be a Halo?
 
First Person Shooters are a strange breed. They need the old to learn for the new.

#25 Edited by ESREVER (2682 posts) -

So does SOCOM 2 meet that criteria? Cause it has yet to be improved on, and is easily the best out of the 3rd person online shooters. 
 
Also, I'm in the "Perfect Dark > Goldeneye" crowd. I understand both game's significance. I just liked Perfect Dark better and thought it was the improved version of Goldeneye. SO MANY MULTIPLAYER OPTIONS!

#26 Posted by Bloodgraiv3 (2712 posts) -

Its all opinion. 
I don't think its one of the greatest games ever, but do I have awesome memories of playing it? Hell yeah. 
#27 Posted by BrainSpecialist (554 posts) -
@ESREVER: If its gameplay has not been improved upon in further iterations and you cannot think of a way to improve it, then yes. 
 
@Claude: I have not played perfect dark, but does it improve upon the gameplay of GoldenEye? I believe that Halo improves upon the gameplay of those games. What Halo also did was show that PC shooters could be done successfully on consoles, with the ability to look around and weapon management successfully mapped to a controller. All things come into gameplay design, but primarily the actual gameplay itself. Many other games have similar controls to the original Mario Bros, A to jump and B to run, but Mario simply controlled better. The way he ran, the way he jumped, the things he could do, it made the game better. In regards to Half-Life, the game is still relevant because of its storytelling through gameplay, which has largely been copied and arguably rarely bettered, bar its sequels. In fact, bar vehicles the gameplay of Half-Life 2 wasn't changed that much from its predecessor.
#28 Posted by Subject2Change (2966 posts) -

Too bad Halo didn't prove that PC Shooters can be done successfully on console, pretty sure you are still get help from the game with a little thing called aim assist. No PC shooter has that, it requires you to accurately aim at the person. Unfortunately I don't foresee console shooters ever meeting the standard that is PC shooters. 
 
You seem to think that every game must be ground breaking for it to be ONE OF THE BEST GAMES EVER. You are so close minded with your opinion that there is really no point in anyway trying to convince you otherwise, you made this thread to just constantly say NO NO NO to other peoples opinions.

#29 Posted by bellmont42 (320 posts) -
@Hero_Swe said:
" I am part of the group that know much better PC games at the time and therefore considers it just another console game.   My 2 cents "
Quake 1 fits all 3 of his criteria... am i right? :)
#30 Posted by bellmont42 (320 posts) -
@ryanwho said:
" @august said:

" If you were into pc fps games at the time Goldeneye was pretty painful to play even at release. "

Yeah that's what GB said, good work parrot. Except Goldeneye came out about a year before those great PC games came out like Unreal and Half Life. Unless you meant Quake 2, lol. So no. At release, you weren't playing Half Life and Goldeneye wasn't painful. This bullshit revisionist history coming from people who clearly didn't play Goldeneye when it came out is painful. I'd love to see someone come in and say fucking Heretic and fucking Quake 1 and 2 outclass Goldeneye, I'd fucking love to have a laugh. Or Descent. Dear god, someone say Descent is better than Goldeneye, make my night. "
glad i could make your night because all of them outclass it with their multiplayer and modding communities... except heretic.
#31 Posted by zityz (2360 posts) -

Fine. Will you settle for just one of the most influential console fps of ALL TIMES? HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM?

#32 Posted by Claude (16255 posts) -
@BrainSpecialist:  Perfect Dark was a much better game than GoldenEye 007 on the N64. But it was championed for being more robust in the single player and the multiplayer absolutely set the next bar for first person shooters in console gaming. But this is more of a console lineage. These other dudes are right about PC first person shooters. As far as gameplay, consoles can't match PCs, but never the less both are fun as hell for a lot of people. 
 
It's more history than nostalgia. 
#33 Posted by bellmont42 (320 posts) -
@Claude said:
" @BrainSpecialist:  Perfect Dark was a much better game than GoldenEye 007 on the N64. But it was championed for being more robust in the single player and the multiplayer absolutely set the next bar for first person shooters in console gaming. But this is more of a console lineage. These other dudes are right about PC first person shooters. As far as gameplay, consoles can't match PCs, but never the less both are fun as hell for a lot of people.   It's more history than nostalgia.  "
Pretty much hit it dead on.
#34 Posted by Vinchenzo (6192 posts) -

GoldenEye has always sucked.

#35 Posted by yinstarrunner (1185 posts) -
@BrainSpecialist:  Perfect Dark was better than Goldeneye with some awesome weapons and level design and shit.  But just like Goldeneye, it couldn't overcome the shitty N64 controller.  That's the main reason I think those games have aged so poorly... that controller just wasn't made for that type of game in mind.  At all.
#36 Posted by dvdhaus (356 posts) -

I agree with most of the others and it's a matter of opinion.  Does Goldeneye still hold significance today...NO, but was it significant back in it's time YES.  Goldeneye proved that first person shooters can be popular on home Consoles.  But when compared to others that have come after nothing significant was carried over from Goldeneye.  Halo took the idea of popular first person shooters and defined controls to play best with the limitations of a home console.  COD took it further by redifining that gameplay and adding incentive to keep playing "perks".   
 
For the other games listed Mario 64 and Zelda, you can still see aspects of those games in the current games of this generation.  And agree that the true test of any games "right" to be considered greatest all time is the playability of said game against the best of the modern era.  If you can honestly say that you enjoy said game now up against the competition then that game is worthy of a conversation.   
 
Goldeneye was a vital piece of the stepping stone, but other games in the genre have simply made it irrelevant in comparison. 

#37 Posted by Skald (4367 posts) -

Every game can be improved. Without exception. Gaming is, after all, a young medium.

#38 Posted by captain_clayman (3320 posts) -
@BrainSpecialist said:
" @Axxol: How do I do that?  I'm not suggesting the game is bad, I'm saying that the gameplay is no longer relevant to modern games and has been substantially improved upon.     "
yeah if you play that game now it's AWFUL.  the best games are the ones that have stood the test of time.
#39 Posted by JazGalaxy (1576 posts) -

the problem with statements like the orginal post is that it for some reason assumes that videogames "evolve". 
  
They don't evolve. WHat they are is trendy.  
 
Many developers will say it as "a purchase of one game one year is a vote for three more of the same game next year". 
 
The brilliant points that made up Goldeneye may not be trendy at the moment, but that doesn't make them any less brilliant or relevant than MMA makes traditional Kung Fu or Karate. 
 
TO judge what made Goldeneye great, you have to ignore a lot of the standards that are currently trendy. But there is plenty that the game did that even today aren't surpassed. 
 
Heck, the collapseable mission stucture which builds more complicated levels for higher difficulty levels instead of just making badguys soak up more rockets deserves to make Goldeneye a classic in and of itself.

#40 Posted by l4wd0g (1933 posts) -

Umm it brought first person shooters to consoles

#41 Posted by TheFreeMan (2712 posts) -

Wasn't Goldeneye the first game to ever have headshots? And limb-specific damage? And that awesome difficulty structure where it added things to the campaign instead of just making you take more damage and enemies take less or whatever?  
 
Man, Goldeneye was sweet. Hard to play now, but damn it was sweet.

#42 Posted by BrainSpecialist (554 posts) -
@dvdhaus: The COD comparison is interesting, I was going to make it in my original post. COD and Halo play completely differently, but I would not say that COD improves upon Halo, similarly to how Team Fortress 2 did not improve upon Counter-Strike - it's an entirely different kind of game. For the record, I personally think that Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is just as important as Halo CE in terms of defining console FPSs.
#43 Posted by PeasantAbuse (5138 posts) -

I just recently replayed Goldeneye. Sure, the controls are awkward, but it's definitely playable.
#44 Posted by Black_Rose (7785 posts) -
@ArbitraryWater said:
"Every game can be improved. Without exception. Gaming is, after all, a young medium. "
 
This rule doesn't apply only to games though. Everything can be improved, period. No matter how good it might seem the first time, with time you realize certain things could be better, and if those are improved then new ones show up, nothing is perfect. 
#45 Posted by cjmabry (485 posts) -
"My Opinion is Fact and Here's Why."
#46 Posted by Gamer_152 (14070 posts) -

You're trying to use objective analysis to reach subjective conclusions and that's never going to work.

Moderator
#47 Posted by Scrawnto (2440 posts) -

He's talking about the best games currently in existence. He isn't talking about how good they were when they came out. That's irrelevant to this particular debate. Basically, if you introduced the game to someone who had only played games for a few years, would GoldenEye rate higher with them than, Call of Duty Black Ops, Halo: Reach, KillZone 2, or whatever your current FPS of choice is? Even if someone completely overhauled the game's graphics so that that wouldn't be a mark against the game, I doubt it could stand up to the modern state of game design. 
 
In contrast, there are many older films that still hold up, and I'm talking about films that came out well before I watched them, and even well before I was born. Game design is still in it's infancy, so it's no wonder that many of the early experiments are just not crafted well enough to stand the test of time.
 
Was GoldenEye an important game? Of course! Extremely important! Is it still one of the best games in existence? I don't think so.

#48 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11618 posts) -
@Black_Rose said:
" @ArbitraryWater said:
"Every game can be improved. Without exception. Gaming is, after all, a young medium. "
 
This rule doesn't apply only to games though. Everything can be improved, period. No matter how good it might seem the first time, with time you realize certain things could be better, and if those are improved then new ones show up, nothing is perfect.  "

Wha? Why is my name up there instead of the guy who actually said that?
#49 Posted by EpicSteve (6479 posts) -

It was cool in its day. But fuuuuuuuck, don't go back and play it now. 

#50 Posted by Mr_Skeleton (5141 posts) -

Am I the only one who thinks the whole "best game ever" is really immature. I mean it's obviously a matter perspective and honostly who gives a fuck what other people think is the best game ever the only purpose in making these discussions is that you don't have enough confidence in your opinions so you need other people to validate them.

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