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There’s a reason why 20 years later, the announcement of the Final Fantasy VII Remake absolutely dominated that E3 – we’re counting the days until we get to return to Midgar.Galaga is the closest gaming has ever brought me to zen.More than just base-building and micromanagement, Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness spun a gripping story on the escalating war between human and orcs.Regardless of which side you rooted for, Warcraft II’s campaign fell into a perfect groove of pacing that built you up from a know-nothing strategist, and by the end of the campaign I felt like a supreme commander that was able to match wits with the AI.This criteria meant weighing several instances where a sequel successfully iterated and improved upon an original that broke new ground back when it was originally released.As you can imagine, those discussions were a lot of fun.
So with that in mind, we put less emphasis on whether decades-old games can “hold up” against the modern AAA greats, and placed more importance on how incredible that gaming experience felt in its own era.After all, which is a greater achievement — a game that breaks significant new ground and feels a decade ahead of its time, or a game that comes out a generation later and finally manages to make some small improvements to the formula?A few other considerations: Pokémon Go is as relevant for what happens outside of the game as what happens in it.Early games like Space Invaders and Galaxian were inventive but uniformly clunky. The fluid, pixel-perfect control precision and exquisite balance it pioneered is ground deep into the DNA of all the other great shmups that arcade and console fans have since been privileged to enjoy.The greatest trick Blizzard ever pulled was convincing me I was good at real-time strategy games.
Each map was more than just a battlefield – it was a puzzle to be deciphered, and the first to explore the foreboding fog of war and use the environment to their advantage would be victorious.