No Matter How Old They Get, These 10 Games Will Never Stop Being Popular

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The video game industry is one of the fastest moving industries in existence today. Titles come and go -- rising and falling in popularity faster than many gamers can blink. Most games have their moments in the spotlight, but inevitably end up in the realm of the forgotten. 

But that's not the case for all games.

Some are destined to be popular forever. Despite their age and lack of modern video game development techniques, some games have remained popular after years and years. Today, we are going to take a look at 10 games that don't seem like they'll ever fall out of favor.

Clive Barker's Undying

Released: February 21st, 2001

Clive Barker's Undying is an FPS survival horror game that's set in 1923 on the Covenant Estate off the coast of Ireland. You take on the role of Patrick Galloway as he responds to his friend Jeremiah's letter pleading for help with the paranormal.

Undying, despite being more action-oriented, has a wonderfully chilling atmosphere and a roster of horrifying enemies. Its combat is well ahead of its time -- the player can use both a weapon and magic simultaneously, something that was not seen again until BioShock 2.

It is a great game with an excellent story, a wonderful atmosphere, and interesting weapons and magic. It was critically well-received but sold poorly -- ultimately ending any possibility of a sequel despite the cliffhanger conclusion to the game.

Undying may not have sold well upon release, but it eventually gained a big following and became a sleeper hit. Even today, fifteen years later, the game's popularity among its fans is still as strong as it has always been.

Get Clive Barker's Undying on GOG.com

Eye of the Beholder series

Released: 1991

It would be unfair to say that only the first Eye of the Beholder will never lose it popularity. In truth, the entire series will forever be remembered. Despite the second game being the best, it is the first that everyone really recalls.

For those who may not be familiar with the series, Eye of the Beholder is a dungeon crawler RPG. You control four adventurers who have been hired by the lords of Waterdeep to investigate an evil coming from beneath the city. As they progress in their adventure, they go from the city's sewers to the dwarven territory, and on to fighting through the drow.

The player can choose their adventurers' avatar, race, class, and stats. It is an outstanding game that brought the genre to a whole new level. There are various different areas to explore and navigate, a selection of spells to cast for both the cleric class and mage class, and a large roster of fierce enemies to battle.

It is no doubt the Eye of the Beholder series that was the main inspiration for Legend of Grimrock. As far as dungeon crawlers go, you don't get much better than this.

The entire series was revived after GOG.com found the holder of the rights to the games, allowing them to be distributed on their service. It enabled players to play the games on modern systems without having to manually set them up through DosBox.

Get the Eye of the Beholder series on GOG.com

Alien Shooter 2 Reloaded

Released: March 2009

The Alien Shooter series has long put Russian indie developer Sigma-Team in the spotlight. Alien Shooter 2 Reloaded is their most popular title, as it's a rereleased version of Alien Shooter 2 Vengence with community-requested changes, bug fixes, two new levels, and a survival mode.

You take on the role of a hired mercenary who is sent to a Magma Corporation base to help investigate the loss of contact there. Upon reaching the base, you find it is overrun with thousands of aliens. You must blast your way through, killing everything in your path to put a stop to the extraterrestrials.

Despite it being mostly pure, over-the-top action, Alien Shooter 2 Reloaded does also have RPG elements, such as leveling up and skills. You can also obtain money that is used to buy new weapons, armor, and ammunition. It isn't a game that would appeal to everyone, but for those who love killing thousands of aliens, there isn't much to dislike.

Get Alien Shooter 2 Reloaded on GOG.com.

Pathologic

Released: June 9th, 2005

This one is without a doubt the weirdest, most unique and unappreciated game on this list. Pathologic was well-received in Russia upon release, and later won five major Russian awards. Upon its release in English-speaking countries, it was praised for its atmosphere and concept. It was, however, criticized for its dated graphics, very poor translation to English, and slow gameplay.

Despite this, Pathologic has still become a cult classic with many players. Its gameplay and concept are unique, its mechanics were well ahead of its time, and its atmosphere was phenomenal. You take on the role of one of three characters. Each character changes up the gameplay of the game along with having their own story, background and agenda.

A plague known as the Sand Plague has broken out within the town and it is up to you to find a cure. To do this you must interact and work with the bizarre citizens of the town -- plus survive against the infection of the plague, or avoid enemies like thieves, bandits and marauders. As time progresses, the infection spreads and panic begins to set in within the town. The more desperate people become, the more dangerous and irrational they are. 

Pathologic is an outstanding game for many reasons but its poor English translation made it very difficult to play, since you really needed to understand what characters were saying.

In 2015 however, a Classic HD Remastered version of the game was released, fixing the many issues that the game had, including its English translation. It is a magical game that will give you an experience like nothing you have had before. If you are looking for something unique yet extremely weird, Pathologic is worth checking out.

Get Pathologic on Steam

 

 

An Elder Scrolls Legend: Battlespire

Released: November 30th, 1997

Disclaimer: This game contains NSFW content

During the long wait between Daggerfall and Morrowind, Bethesda released two spin-off games in its Elder Scrolls series -- Battlespire and Redguard. While Redguard still has a small loyal following, it is Battlespire that retains the most popularity of the early TES games. Perhaps because it is a bit of a black sheep when it comes to the franchise.

It takes the combat and dungeon exploration of Arena and Daggerfall, and results in Bethesda's very own dungeon crawler -- not to mention the hardest game they ever made.

You take on the role of an apprentice at a battlespire (a training facility for battlemages). On the day of your final test, it is invaded by the Daedric lord Mehrunes Dagon, who kills almost everyone. You have to travel through seven levels that include the battlespire and the realms of Oblivion to face off against Mehrunes Dagon and return to Tamriel.

There is no rest mechanic, meaning players have to survive on the resources available. Enemies are powerful, and at times the combat can feel more of a case of luck rather than skill. Nevertheless, it's a decent game that still remains popular today, despite its big departure from the other Elder Scrolls games.

Get Battlespire on GOG.com

Minecraft

Released: October 7th, 2011

I don't think this list could be complete without adding the second best-selling game of all time. Minecraft has long been a phenomenon. Its initial popularity may have dwindled slightly over the years, but this game will never die.

If you're a gamer, you would have to be living under a rock (or in the nether world) to not know what this game is. Essentially a virtual game of Lego blocks, Minecraft allows you to create anything that your imagination can muster.

For those looking for a more survivalist gameplay, there is a survival mode. There's also a creation mode for the more artistic players. With a multiplayer mode that allows you to play with your friends and countless amounts of mods, there really is no end to the fun that Minecraft has to offer.

It's a game that has pretty much anything that any gamer would want, so it has wide appeal. It is one of those games that no matter how long you have played it, sooner or later you will always come back to it. So of course, this one won't be losing its popularity any time soon.

Get Minecraft on Minecraft.net

 

The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind

Released: May 1st, 2002

Morrowind is a bit different from a lot of the titles on this list. Most of the games here have their good days and their bad days when it comes to their popularity. Morrowind however, has a small yet constant playerbase, even more so than the later titles Oblivion or Skyrim.

You take on the role of a prisoner who has just been released by the emperor of Tamriel, Uriel Septim VII. You are tasked with joining The Blades and helping uncover the mysterious disappearances and revelations that the citizens of Vvardenfell are experiencing.

The world of Morrowind is alien and absolutely breathtaking, despite its aging graphics. (A lot of fans wanted a Morrowind remaster instead of Skyrim, but no such luck.) It is the last game in the Elder Scrolls series that can be considered a truly pure RPG, as opposed to the action adventure leanings of Oblivion and Skyrim. 

Oblivion and Skyrim are a slight departure from the old games when it comes to those classic RPG mechanics. So my theory is that fans keep coming back to Morrowind instead of the other TES games to scratch that hardcore RPG itch. Not to mention that once you have experienced Morrowind's world, it makes the worlds of the later titles feel a bit generic.

Get The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind GOTY Edition on Steam.

Dungeon Master

Released: 1987

Dungeon Master is by far the oldest game on this list. Much to my surprise, however, it still has a massive following despite being nearly 30 years old. It was a groundbreaking game for its time, and is considered the game that defined the dungeon crawling genre.

In total, the game won over 20 awards. Despite titles like Eye of the Beholder releasing years later, no other game in the genre has stood the test of time like Dungeon Master has. Its gameplay is essentially the same as explained in the Eye of the Beholder entry.

The player creates a party of four adventurers who explore a dungeon and slay monsters. It also uses similar experience points and level up system similar to that of D&D games. It was a revolution at the time. As far as games that have stood the test of time go, no game has done so as gracefully as Dungeon Master.

Sadly, Dungeon Master is not currently available to buy on any distribution service.

Terraria

Released: May 16th, 2011

Despite now being over five years old, Terraria is still an immensely popular game. While it is essentially a 2D Minecraft, Terraria also has adventure and RPG gameplay for those who want more than just building. It has lots of biomes to explore, tonnes of enemies to fight and enormous and often gruesome boss monsters to slay.

In total, Terraria now has over 3,000 items in its database, allowing for near endless opportunities of what can be created. With regular small updates and massive content updates from time to time, Terraria is always evolving and offering players something new.

Just as it seems you have experienced everything the game has, new features are added. Terraria may be one of the younger games on this list, but its popularity is undeniable and likely to last for many years to come.

Get Terraria on Steam.

Heroes of Might and Magic series

Released: 1995

Despite the popularity of the Might and Magic series, it is actually the Heroes series that is by far the most popular. There has been a total of seven titles in the series released to date, not including its expansions and spin-offs.

It is a turn-based strategy game that takes place in the Might and Magic universe. You control the armies of a variety of warring factions, each attempting to gain power and destroy the opposition. Each level gives the player objectives that must be completed in order to gain victory.

As far as strategy games go, Heroes of Might and Magic remains one of my favorites of all time. It is a series with solid gameplay, beautiful visuals, and an outstanding soundtrack. It comes as no surprise that it has remained a popular choice for strategy fans.

Get the Heroes of Might and Magic series on GOG.com.

So, there you have it, my 10 games that will never lose their popularity. From dungeon crawlers to sandbox builders, to over the top alien killing fun...there are games to suit everyone's appeal. 

If you've never checked out some of the games on this list, give them a try and see for yourself what's made them so popular. 

What are your thoughts on the list? What titles do you think will never lose their popularity? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Published Nov. 3rd 2016

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Playing video games for over 23 years, love to write and love everything video game related.


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