I'm ArbitraryWater, and these are my favorite old games on the citadel (2009-2013)

As you might know, I've played quite a few old games since I started doing this blog thing in the summer of 2009 (When I basically said that "You know, despite having aged super poorly, Goldeneye is still ok") Now,\ years later and with quite a repository under my belt, I figure I should catalog my favorites from among these, with a few more that I never got around to blogging about, but still played a decent amount of. For once, I'll give the good stuff it's place in the spotlight rather than the bad stuff, so don't expect those 3 or so games that I always talk about being crappy.

List items

  • An ambitious title that actually manages to mostly achieve what it sets out to do. It's true that the actual bread and butter gameplay of Deus Ex hasn't held up amazingly well, nor has the hilariously earnest conspiracy theory based story, but the way in which you can dynamically approach any given situation is still bafflingly great.

  • While Marvel vs Capcom never really clicked with me beyond a surface level of "This game is sort of insane, Oh geez air combos" Capcom vs SNK 2 is far more of a traditional fighting game, basically being a Capcom developed King of Fighters game where you can pick your super meter type. It's not perfect, but it is awesome.

  • The only one of Rare's N64 era platformers that I never played (because I was like 9 and this game is the opposite of appropriate for 9 year olds). While far more linear and therefore shorter than its contemporaries, it's also a much tighter experience as a result. It doesn't hurt that a lot of the writing is genuinely clever, although your mileage may vary in regards to poop jokes and references to movies that came out 12 years ago.

  • The anti-Icewind Dale, Planescape is a RPG where you spend most of the time talking. And what great talking it is. The actual combat parts are poor, and it's a little short, but if that's the price I have to pay for the best interactive novel ever made, I'll take it.

  • With all the Persona hulabaloo on this website in particular, it's hard to remember that Shin Megami Tensei used to be a lot more hardcore and a lot less anime. It's sometimes unforgivingly hard, and it has its fair share of weird design quirks (the demon negotiation system needs to die from all SMT. Seriously), but the unique aesthetic and great soundtrack help make up the difference.

  • Yes. Somehow I forgot this one too. It's a game clearly meant to crib from the original civilization, but in the process manages to be some sort of weird precursor to games like Heroes of Might and Magic. Worth taking a look at if you like those kinds of games. Of course, it's probably worth a look regardless. Just ask Mento. He knows what I'm talking about.

  • It's dumb. It's REALLY DUMB. But that is what makes it so great. Who knew that patronizing fanservice and a good battle system would actually work (somewhat) well together? Obviously, some irony is required. Actually, scratch that. You basically need to come into this game expecting your brain to melt.

  • Suikoden III succeeds in part because it goes out of its way to avoid a lot of the nonsense that makes me not a huge fan of JRPGs, from both a story and gameplay perspective. While the combat doesn't get difficult until the end, the story is well told and it handles its ensemble cast surprisingly well. I'd like to play the rest of the series, if not for the part where they're all crazy expensive.

  • My best game of 2010 that didn't actually come out in 2010, Wiz 8 is a very well made RPG and perhaps one of the last of its kind. It has it's problems (blatant level scaling, slow pace) It's a pity that I didn't know of the speed hack until after I beat it. That would have made the experience even better.

  • The other major game from 2010 that I really, really, really liked. Like Wizardry, it has it's fair share of problems, but it's still amazing in plenty of ways. Fighting aliens in a tactical, turn-based format was never so good. Mostly because all the sequels and derivatives kinda suck.

  • While not the strongest of the old style Resident Evil games by any means, it's the first one I played after starting this blog series (Code Veronica however, will remain absent from this list), and is still pretty good. The titular Nemesis himself is almost pants crapping terrifying, although some of the puzzles are a little illogical and an increased focus on combat is somewhat poorly chosen from a game design perspective

  • Again, one of the earlier games I blogged about, Thief is the first stealth game where the stealthy parts were actually enjoyable, not to mention a thick layer of atmosphere that permeates the entire game. Some day I'm going to have to finish it.

  • On that note, MGS 2 is probably my favorite of the series. The kojima kraziness (yes, I just did that) is in full force and when you combine it with the idea that it's all some sort of meta commentary on fan expectations about sequels, it's even better. It's a pity that the actual gameplay part is at best tolerable and at worst abjectly frustrating.

  • Aaannnddd... On that note this game deserves a spot too. Even though I've decided that crazy meta-commentary beats out 60s jungle survivalism I still really liked MGS3. If you'll notice, the first game is not on this list. That is intentional.

  • It's not up to the level of it's sequels and offshoots, but Baldur's gate is a game that, in addition to being stupid influential, is still pretty good in this day and age. Just not anywhere as good as Baldur's Gate 2...

  • ...Or Icewind Dale for that matter. Tactical party based combat at its best, paced in such a way that you are never not enjoying yourself. Sure, the roleplaying options are rather slim, but is that such a hard price to pay in the end?

  • Technically an updated version that came out for the PS2 only a few years ago in Japan, but the XBLA version of King of Fighters '98 is no joke. While I can't profess to being good at it the same way as something like Street Fighter IV, I can still tell it's a very solid piece of work.

  • Same as KOF 98. A fighting game that I suck at, and yet still really like.

  • This may be a borderline joke choice. There's a lot of Daggerfall that is super messed up in so many ways, but it's broken in a charming, rather than frustrating way (at least, as long as you aren't falling through the floor). Not a game I'm going to play seriously again though, at least not for a long time.

  • With some exposure to DMC 1 and 4, I've decided that I'm a fan of Devil May Cry 3 and not Devil May Cry as a whole. Well made flashy stylish action that rewards skill. It helps that the version I have is significantly less punishing than the original one.

  • The original Fallout is a classic for a reason. It's also short as hell, 15 hours if you do most things.

  • I like Street Fighter III perhaps more than I thought I would. It's a weird, weird game with a bizarre roster of characters, a jazz/hip-hop based soundtrack, and the parry system, which manages to make projectiles slightly more than useless in most situations. Still, very enjoyable.

  • I had to change my standard from "2005 or earlier" to "5 or more years old" to put this game in. It's occasionally full of missteps, but the story and characters more than make up for it.

  • The sequel to Icewind Dale is, unsurprisingly, more of that hot D&D combat action. I don't think the pacing is as smooth as the first game's rather relentless clip, nor do I think the 3rd edition stuff is necessarily implemented all that well, given the constraints of an engine clearly not made to support it. That being said, it's Black Isle's last game and deserves your respect.

  • While it's Civ IV based remake serves as a better, smoother version of a solid gameplay concept (though apparently it has problems of its own), I happen to think the regular ol' floppy disk version of this game deserves some recognition too. It takes plenty of concepts from the Civ series and makes them a little more focused for something I can enjoy a little bit more.

  • What can I say? I really like this game. Perhaps a bit too much. A title that (somewhat justifiably) didn't do especially well commercially and shipped with plenty of bugs and broken features. Thanks to the aid of fan made projects though, it's become a very good RPG with excellent tactical combat. It's strict adherence to both D&D 3.5 and the module itself may make it unattractive to some, but this game is very much one of a kind.

  • A 4X game that has the benefit of being fairly accessible from a gameplay perspective, despite being released in 1996 and also for having something resembling tone and personality, unlike it's modern successors (See: Galactic Civilizations, not that Gal Civ is bad). With a game as good as this, its sequel clearly has to be the worst thing in the universe.

  • I've never given Disciples II it's due on these forums, mostly because of when I got my hands on it I was occupied with other things (I believe Marvel vs Capcom 2 for XBLA was one of them). It's more RPG than Strategy, but a strong art design and soundtrack help make it probably be a better game than Heroes IV ever was (coming out at the same time). It's a pity that its sequel, Disciples III, is a hot piece of garbage.

  • This game similarly steals from Heroes of Might and Magic (though really, it steals more from 1994's Master of Magic than Heroes proper) but offers it's own personal twist. It's probably a deeper and more demanding game, but the AI, even on the easiest difficulty, is no joke.

  • See above. Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic is basically a standalone expansion to Age of Wonders 2. Knowing this, I've never bothered to buy the second one and see no real reason to.

  • Yeah. That one game that Video Game King is way into. By the standards of the series, it's one of the best, especially when compared to the fairly lukewarm Radiant Dawn on the Wii and Shadow Dragon on the DS.

  • Similarly, this is also a really good Fire Emblem game, despite being a masochist's wet dream. This game is so ridiculously hard at some points that it astounds me that anyone would have the patience to beat it without the aid of savestates.

  • How on earth did I forget this game? Final Fantasy VI isn't perfect by any means, perhaps having a cast that is too big for its own good and a fairly aimless final act, but when compared to the fairly overexposed/overrated Final Fantasy IV and the "We don't actually care about the story, here's a cool job system" of Final Fantasy V, this is probably my favorite of the 3. Still don't care about anything else in the franchise though.

  • A perfectly fine D&D RPG on its own merits, brought down by its straightforwardness and uncooperative camera. Unfortunately, it pales in comparison to...

  • Its expansion, which offers up all of the quality writing you would expect from an Obsidian game. Also it's basically the sequel to Planescape Torment in terms of tone and breadth of text.

  • It's not an especially great Fire Emblem game, but it's still a Fire Emblem game, and even the worst of the series is more interesting than most other Strategy RPGs.

  • I'm not really a big adventure game guy. But this game is alright by me. Maybe it's the addition of RPG elements and deliberately bad puns, but I liked this game more than I probably should have.

  • Code Veronica may be my least-favorite old Resident Evil game, but proving that I have an irrational attachment to the franchise as a whole, I still won't necessarily call it bad.