Brand new PC games are released every week with many gaining quick popularity. From Overwatch to fresh iterations of FIFA, gamers are very quick to nab up the latest titles, eager to play the newest and best the industry has to offer.
However, a small number of classic games have stood the test of time, maintaining a small but loyal community of players. These games tend to have outdated graphics, gameplay mechanics, and may not even run the way they’re supposed to on newer operating systems.
Still, for some reason or another, a few lucky old-school games have maintained long-lasting appeal, with a fair number of players investing thousands upon thousands of hours into them to this day.
Don’t believe me? Well, here are three old PC games from bygone years that are still being actively played today!
1. Age of Empires 2
Released in 1999, Age of Empires 2 was a huge success for Microsoft. The game sold more than 2 million copies within a few months of its release, topping charts all over the world. Other Age of Empires-like games tried to follow suit, though few have touched what many consider to be the magnum opus of the series.
By today’s standards, AoE 2’s graphics look washed out and uninspired. The core gameplay is also simplistic, moving at a far more plodding pace compared to today’s faster real-time strategy titles.
However, a quick search on Facebook reveals dozens of active Age of Empire 2 groups filled with thousands of members from all over the world. The modding community of AoE 2 also remains strong. Even on Steam, the game continues to chalk up decent sales, rolling in new Very Positive reviews all the time.
Not too shabby for a game nearly 17 years old!
2. Ultima Online
A whopping 19 years later and Ultima Online still has its fans! This is a mighty feat considering the sheer number of online multiplayer games that have opened and shut their doors in the last few years alone.
The gameplay in Ultima Online has evolved slightly over the past few decades. However, much of the game’s original fan appeal has been kept intact. The game continues to stay true to original Ultima lore, with basic RPG elements getting refined over the years rather than completely overhauled.
Younger gamers today looking at Ultima Online’s graphics may scoff at its simplicity and lack of polish. However, the game’s base of older players has stayed steadfastly loyal to this multiplayer experience, with player-count numbers that peaked at 0.25 million slightly more than a decade ago.
Again, like Age of Empires 2, Ultima Online proves that some games have what it takes to remain true classics despite stiff competition.
3. Starcraft I
Blizzard has given us many classic franchises over the years, including the Diablo and Warcraft series. However, among their most lasting creations is the original Starcraft, released back in 1998.
To be clear, the hit sequel, Starcraft 2, has been without a doubt a huge commercial success. The game sold millions, becoming a modern e-Sport phenomenon that holds a solid global player base of millions.
However, even today, tens of thousands of online players have remained fiercely loyal to the original Starcraft, with some even going as far as to call it the superior of the two games.
By modern standards, Starcraft’s graphics look pixelated and none-too-impressive. The sound, while not too shabby, can’t quite compare to the sequel in terms of production value.
However, a lot of nuanced strategies and tactics that made the franchise popular in the first place have continued to resonate with players today. In fact, Starcraft I is still the star of many e-Sports competitions around the world, especially South Korea where celebrity SC players persist in taking pride in winning impressive Championship titles.
All in all, firing up a game of Starcraft I today feels just as good today as it did way back near the turn of the millennium. This is a classic game if there ever was one!