24 votes

What are the oldest games you still regularly play?

For the purposes of the question, I want to ignore official remasters/rereleases since those are essentially separate, newer full releases. I'm interested in old, original games. Titles that you can "manually remaster" yourself with mods are fine, since you're still playing the "original" game to some extent.

Also, "regularly" in the title doesn't have to mean daily/weekly and can instead be "once every couple of years".

  • What keeps you coming back to them?
  • Is your love for the games strictly nostalgia-based, or could an unacquainted newcomer still find similar value in them?
  • If there are any modern games that try to scratch the same itch, do they succeed or fail?
  • Would you want an official remaster of the game (if one isn't already available)?

43 comments

  1. [3]
    emnii
    Link
    Doom. Huge surprise, I know. Source ports have kept it modern and the mapping community has kept it endlessly supplied with new stuff to play. And that's when I feel like playing something other...

    Doom. Huge surprise, I know. Source ports have kept it modern and the mapping community has kept it endlessly supplied with new stuff to play. And that's when I feel like playing something other than the original levels. If it gets rereleased for a new platform I own, I buy it and give it a run.

    12 votes
    1. PopeRigby
      Link Parent
      Was going to answer the same thing. Doom has potentially infinite content, because of how easy it is to mod and because John Carmack decided to release the source code. It's amazing that the game...

      Was going to answer the same thing. Doom has potentially infinite content, because of how easy it is to mod and because John Carmack decided to release the source code. It's amazing that the game is over a quarter of a century old and the modding scene is still alive and well.

      I decided to do my own "remasters" for the Ultimate Doom and Doom II. I run it using GZDoom's Vulkan renderer with the settings at max, I add in a voxel mod, Smooth Doom and Nash's gore mod

      I also have the classic versions running in Chocolate Doom if I want the genuine vintage feel.

      8 votes
    2. rmgr
      Link Parent
      I'm currently chipping away at Bastion of Chaos by Bridgeburner. It's a slaughter style map with like >4000 enemies and the most gorgeous architecture you'll ever see in a Doom map.

      I'm currently chipping away at Bastion of Chaos by Bridgeburner. It's a slaughter style map with like >4000 enemies and the most gorgeous architecture you'll ever see in a Doom map.

      4 votes
  2. [2]
    knocklessmonster
    Link
    Tetris. I mostly play the more modern "guideline" variants, unofficial versions like JSTris, Tetr.io, or Nullpomino. Often, I'll use Nullpomino for its classic ruleset, but nothing beats holding a...

    Tetris. I mostly play the more modern "guideline" variants, unofficial versions like JSTris, Tetr.io, or Nullpomino. Often, I'll use Nullpomino for its classic ruleset, but nothing beats holding a controller and playing with the NES graphics and colors, even if I'm emulating. There's something about how the colors change and stuff that gives it that extra something to make it a little more difficult for me.

    Kirby's Dream Land: It's the oldest one I play through, and can do so in about fifteen minutes, I think. I may be wrong, that feels too close to the 9-minute speedrun time. Funnily, enough, I always die at the same two points. It's just a fun game to play, and the RNG in some of the boss fights (lololo and lalala, King Dedede) keep things slightly interesting. I don't really play Kirby games (the only other one I've beaten was Kirby's Adventure, emulated on a DS fifteen years ago), but I've always loved Dream Land.

    9 votes
    1. kfwyre
      Link Parent
      There is something magical about NES Tetris (though this could just be my nostalgia talking). The last flight I took before COVID hit, I actually installed an NES emulator on my phone and snagged...

      There is something magical about NES Tetris (though this could just be my nostalgia talking).

      The last flight I took before COVID hit, I actually installed an NES emulator on my phone and snagged a Tetris ROM so I could enjoy it on the flight. It was wonderful, and surprisingly ok to play with touchscreen controls!

      3 votes
  3. [6]
    grungegun
    Link
    I play Go still, though it's hard to find players, since it requires two. It's a multiplayer game with one bit graphics. Awesome gameplay. I've played more recent editions, with an AI too, and I'm...

    I play Go still, though it's hard to find players, since it requires two. It's a multiplayer game with one bit graphics. Awesome gameplay. I've played more recent editions, with an AI too, and I'm sad to say I get smacked around by the computer. Still it's a lot of fun.

    9 votes
    1. [5]
      ShroudedMouse
      Link Parent
      I love Go. And unless someone out there is playing Ur, I think you've got em beat for 'oldest game'. You can also play online with people with ShinKGS. There are many other Go servers of course...

      I love Go. And unless someone out there is playing Ur, I think you've got em beat for 'oldest game'. You can also play online with people with ShinKGS. There are many other Go servers of course but I find that one the most accessible for English speakers. Hit me up if you want a game! I'm around 1 kyu.

      7 votes
      1. [3]
        wcerfgba
        Link Parent
        Nice to see some other Go players here :) I'm trying to get back in to playing it, I'm still a very weak player. I had a teaching game with someone on KGS last week which was really cool. I had a...

        Nice to see some other Go players here :) I'm trying to get back in to playing it, I'm still a very weak player. I had a teaching game with someone on KGS last week which was really cool. I had a couple of issues with the newer Shin client -- board state was lost and I had to refresh the page a couple of times -- so I'm going to try the older Java client next time. I'll have a look for you some time :)

        3 votes
        1. [2]
          Akir
          Link Parent
          You should know that there are actually a few Go players here on Tildes. @Deimos plays too.

          You should know that there are actually a few Go players here on Tildes. @Deimos plays too.

          4 votes
          1. Deimos
            Link Parent
            Yeah, I play on OGS (https://online-go.com/). I like it because it's just web-based and doesn't need a separate client or anything. I usually only play correspondence games, and my rank waffles...

            Yeah, I play on OGS (https://online-go.com/). I like it because it's just web-based and doesn't need a separate client or anything. I usually only play correspondence games, and my rank waffles around the 10-12k range.

            4 votes
      2. grungegun
        Link Parent
        I might hit msg you sometime. I have a ways to go though before I get to that level.

        I might hit msg you sometime. I have a ways to go though before I get to that level.

        1 vote
  4. [3]
    vord
    Link
    My nerd clique from middle school is still incredibly close two decades later. It's a testament to what can be accomplished with positive internet communication. We meet annually for an in-person...

    My nerd clique from middle school is still incredibly close two decades later. It's a testament to what can be accomplished with positive internet communication. We meet annually for an in-person LAN, the way we did starting in middle school.

    Some of our regular games:

    • Unreal Tournament (1999 and 2004) - We keep returning to these for their tight gameplay, and that they work better on integrated graphics than the modern remake.
    • Dungeon Siege (2002) - Have to apply a some workarounds to get LAN multiplayer functional. Still bugs out periodically and wipes hours of progress. But it's one of the few mutliplayer LAN RPGs that support up to 8 players. I'm the first one to tap out on this one this past year...the time/reward payoff too long anymore since 20+ hour gaming sessions too hard now that we're in our mid-late 30's.
    • Freelancer (2000) - Still one of the best space games to date. CMV.
    • Empire Earth III (2007) - Nostalgia. I'm a convert to the Civ games for the same kind of fix, but the rest of my group never got into turn-based games.

    For solo play, the only older title I'll consistently return to every couple of years is Commander Keen 4 (1991). I like it far better than most other titles of its age, and I think it holds up well even by today's standards. I certainly think it aged better than most console titles of that era.

    7 votes
    1. hamstergeddon
      Link Parent
      I have very fond memories of playing Unreal Tournament 99 on the computer lab network during highschool. Played it so much that our computer teacher got suspicious because I was alt+tabbing when...

      I have very fond memories of playing Unreal Tournament 99 on the computer lab network during highschool. Played it so much that our computer teacher got suspicious because I was alt+tabbing when ever they were around. Apparently they thought I was trying to look at porn or something and called my parents :D But nope! Who needs boobs when you've got Unreal Tournament?

      5 votes
    2. Adys
      Link Parent
      Have you tried independence war 2? If you like freelancer I bet you'll have a blast with this one. It's on GOG.com.

      Have you tried independence war 2? If you like freelancer I bet you'll have a blast with this one. It's on GOG.com.

      1 vote
  5. spctrvl
    (edited )
    Link
    Master of Orion (1993). It's not nostalgia based, as I didn't play it until over a decade and a half after release. It's just the most elegant and non-micromanagey 4X game I've ever played, with...

    Master of Orion (1993). It's not nostalgia based, as I didn't play it until over a decade and a half after release. It's just the most elegant and non-micromanagey 4X game I've ever played, with an AI good enough to keep things interesting. I would be open to a remaster, but I doubt there's interest in doing just a simple interface and graphics modernization and the addition of multiplayer; likely a remaster ends up adding cruft and micro in a way that detracts from the core gameplay, like 2 did. Multiplayer MOO1 would be something else though.

    6 votes
  6. [2]
    asoftbird
    Link
    GameBoy Tetris (1984-ish) and SimCity 4 (2003) The former was already there before l was born, my mom played that a lot. Pretty sure it was my first video game, too. Feels kinda weird how that'll...

    GameBoy Tetris (1984-ish) and SimCity 4 (2003)

    The former was already there before l was born, my mom played that a lot. Pretty sure it was my first video game, too. Feels kinda weird how that'll be 40 years old in a couple of years.

    l still remember driving to the game store with my dad to get the latter. Great game, it's been 17 years and it's still not boring.

    5 votes
    1. rish
      Link Parent
      Yeah. SimCity 4 is great. I play it now and then. And the modding community is still very active. Tons of content.

      Yeah. SimCity 4 is great. I play it now and then. And the modding community is still very active. Tons of content.

      2 votes
  7. [2]
    Toric
    Link
    Age of empires two. I dont like the new graphics on the 'definitive edition' that was actually a complete remake, Ive been playing the 'HD edition' on steam. (its less of a hassle to run on linux...

    Age of empires two. I dont like the new graphics on the 'definitive edition' that was actually a complete remake, Ive been playing the 'HD edition' on steam. (its less of a hassle to run on linux than the cd edition, because steam handles the wine stuff for me.)

    AOE2 was one of my first real video games, and the first one that I still enjoy to this day. I actually grew to love the pre-renderd graphics it has, which is one of the reasons I first gave factorio, another of my favorite games, a try.

    5 votes
    1. Tardigrade
      Link Parent
      I'm in the same boat here and the only reason I switched to DE is my group of friends all did and large group games is the main way I play.

      I'm in the same boat here and the only reason I switched to DE is my group of friends all did and large group games is the main way I play.

      2 votes
  8. [3]
    vegai
    Link
    I sometimes fire up a C64 emulator to play International Karate (1986). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bd7NO-bAUmY Another great one is Master of Magic from 1994. I find it so weird that in this...

    I sometimes fire up a C64 emulator to play International Karate (1986). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bd7NO-bAUmY

    Another great one is Master of Magic from 1994. I find it so weird that in this age of remakes, nobody has done this one. There are plenty of attempts, but they all fail because they think this game needs more things in the game mechanics side and prettier graphics. Nope, it's perfect.

    5 votes
    1. RiveGauche
      Link Parent
      Oh wow! I used to play this game all the time back in the day. It's so good (Karate)

      Oh wow! I used to play this game all the time back in the day. It's so good (Karate)

      2 votes
    2. culturedleftfoot
      Link Parent
      I never got around to posting it in the 'first game you ever played' thread the other day, but Karate Champ was probably mine and IK is suspiciously similar. I'd still play it any chance I get.

      I never got around to posting it in the 'first game you ever played' thread the other day, but Karate Champ was probably mine and IK is suspiciously similar. I'd still play it any chance I get.

      2 votes
  9. herson
    (edited )
    Link
    I think the older game I play from time to time (play it as in full playthrough) is Super Mario World. I don't consider myself a big Mario fan by any means, but that game was the first I ever...

    I think the older game I play from time to time (play it as in full playthrough) is Super Mario World.
    I don't consider myself a big Mario fan by any means, but that game was the first I ever played (or at least that I remember) back in the SNES era, and also was the first I 100%'d when it released for the Gameboy Advance.

    So yeah, I would never be tired of playing it. Shit, I even want to play it right now as I'm writing this.

    5 votes
  10. Erik
    Link
    I still play SWTOR weekly with friends and that came out 2011. But since you allow us to go once every couple of years, I have to say it's probably Dragon Quest IV (1990). I don't know why I pick...

    I still play SWTOR weekly with friends and that came out 2011.

    But since you allow us to go once every couple of years, I have to say it's probably Dragon Quest IV (1990). I don't know why I pick it up regularly, but something about that game just draws me back each time. The individual chapters foreshadowing the main story just blew my mind as a kid when I played it. The Taloon chapter, where you play as a merchant, had so many cool design points that flipped JRPGs on their head a bit. Actually seeing towns change over the course of the story, as time passes, was very cool, rather than just throwing more new towns at dungeon at you in the name of content.

    4 votes
  11. [3]
    aymm
    Link
    I still regularly play Pharaoh (1999) (which is getting a remake lately and I'm super excited!). I recently picked up Age of Empires 2 again, because my bubble is into it and regularly play. (As a...

    I still regularly play Pharaoh (1999) (which is getting a remake lately and I'm super excited!). I recently picked up Age of Empires 2 again, because my bubble is into it and regularly play. (As a kid I was more into Stronghold Cruisader and didn't play AoE that much). Although we usually play the remade Ultimade Edition and only sometimes dig out the original. Sometimes I dig out Cultures: 8th Wonder of the World too, because I never got the hang of modern city builders

    4 votes
    1. jcdl
      Link Parent
      Pharaoh is such a good game. Exciting news to see it getting a remake!

      Pharaoh is such a good game. Exciting news to see it getting a remake!

      1 vote
    2. dysoco
      Link Parent
      Pharaoh is awesome , I had no idea it was getting a remake thanks for the info!

      Pharaoh is awesome , I had no idea it was getting a remake thanks for the info!

      1 vote
  12. Parameter
    Link
    Mount & Blade 2008 is mine, the gameplay is simple but you can play new characters in many different ways. The world feels strangely cozy. It holds up and people who like roleplaying type /...

    Mount & Blade 2008 is mine, the gameplay is simple but you can play new characters in many different ways. The world feels strangely cozy.

    It holds up and people who like roleplaying type / strategy / RPG*ish stuff, would probably enjoy it.

    The fact that I can use it without steam is probably a big factor though.

    4 votes
  13. [2]
    Macha
    Link
    Theme Hospital gets a replay every few years. It's got a charm to it and the "game" part is more present than a lot of newer tycoons. Two Point Hospital made a good attempt at recapturing the...

    Theme Hospital gets a replay every few years. It's got a charm to it and the "game" part is more present than a lot of newer tycoons. Two Point Hospital made a good attempt at recapturing the spirit, and I also play that from time to time, but it hasn't totally surplanted the original for me.

    SimCity 4 was in the list for a long while but that's one of the games which did eventually get pushed out in favour of a modern successor in Cities Skylines.

    Depending on whether you count it or not, OpenTTD is probably the oldest game that I regularly play. The isometric grid based system has a tightness to it that modern prettier titles like Transport Fever can't have, and the way I like to play with big networks with 100s of trains is much better suited to it while newer 3d games end up with 10s of trains being a lot.

    4 votes
    1. Awoo
      Link Parent
      What do you think of Two Point? I've considered it a few times but not pulled the trigger because it doesn't quiiiiite feel like it would capture what I loved about Theme Hospital. I've been...

      What do you think of Two Point? I've considered it a few times but not pulled the trigger because it doesn't quiiiiite feel like it would capture what I loved about Theme Hospital. I've been burned by attempts to recreate Dungeon Keeper 1 which have all basically not at all understood what made that game special too so I'm hesitant. People don't seem to "get" Bullfrog.

      1 vote
  14. jcdl
    Link
    Minecraft. Recently discovered the lovely world of OptiFine shaders and it has totally changed the game for me.

    Minecraft.

    Recently discovered the lovely world of OptiFine shaders and it has totally changed the game for me.

    4 votes
  15. [3]
    Akir
    Link
    I play a lot of old games all the time. But I guess there is a higher propensity to play the Shining series of games. I love the simple strategy of the main Shining Force games, but the other...

    I play a lot of old games all the time. But I guess there is a higher propensity to play the Shining series of games. I love the simple strategy of the main Shining Force games, but the other titles are also pretty great. I'd have to say that the main reason why I keep coming back to the game is because I love the world they are set in.

    If you're looking for a single game, though, I would probably have to say Ranger X. That game will never stop looking impressive, and it's got the gameplay to back it up. Plus the game is relatively short, so it's easy to just pick up and play and then get over it.

    A close second to that is the famous Rocket Knight Adventures, a Konami game that was so good they never really managed to improve upon the formula. It's got bonus points for that magnificent soundtrack.

    3 votes
    1. [2]
      balooga
      Link Parent
      I've only played the original Shining Force but I do really enjoy the mechanics of it (except for party inventory management, which is excruciating). The story is fun and the battles are...

      I've only played the original Shining Force but I do really enjoy the mechanics of it (except for party inventory management, which is excruciating). The story is fun and the battles are enjoyable. I should probably give the sequels a try someday. I was unaware of spinoff games, what are the names of those?

      1. Akir
        Link Parent
        Well, they aren't really spinoff games so much as titles in the metaseries which are not strategy games. Shining in the Darkness and Shining the Holy Ark are both first-person dungeon crawlers and...

        Well, they aren't really spinoff games so much as titles in the metaseries which are not strategy games. Shining in the Darkness and Shining the Holy Ark are both first-person dungeon crawlers and Shining Wisdom is an action RPG.

        The creators got really pissed off with Sega because they were trying to sweep the Saturn under the rug right when they were finishing the third scenario of Shining Force III, so they cut their ties and never made any more games under that name or in that universe past that point. Since then Sega has produced a number of titles under the Shining name that have varying levels of connection to the original games or their shared world, with the more recent having basically none whatsoever. The only ones I would recommend are Shining Force Feather by the late great Flight-Plan (literally the only title to attempt a strategy RPG) and Shining Force Neo/Exa by the late great Neverland (both are action RPGs). While I have not played all of the newer ones (mostly because Sega did not see to localize a good number of them), I would avoid all the ones I did not mention since they simply will never be what you want them to be.

        3 votes
  16. culturedleftfoot
    Link
    I guess the actual answer would be Minesweeper, though I'm not sure if that qualifies as a video game. I don't even have it on my current PC and I've occasionally looked up a website to play it....

    I guess the actual answer would be Minesweeper, though I'm not sure if that qualifies as a video game. I don't even have it on my current PC and I've occasionally looked up a website to play it. It's a lightweight time-waster, and I think I generally prefer inherently 'fair' games that emphasize logic rather than chance or even skill, where I can pit my wits against the clock.

    If I had my usual PC at hand the answer would probably be Samurai Shodown IV, although I did get a hankering to play Super Volley '91 again last week.

    3 votes
  17. hereweare
    Link
    By far and large, the touhou series- specifically the earliest windows games, Embodiment of Scarlet Devil, Perfect Cherry Blossom, and Imperishable Night. Compared to the newer games, and by newer...

    By far and large, the touhou series- specifically the earliest windows games, Embodiment of Scarlet Devil, Perfect Cherry Blossom, and Imperishable Night. Compared to the newer games, and by newer I mean post 2006, they are technical messes, especially ESOD. Despite that, their aesthetic and simplicity is unmatched by any other game series as far as I know. I’m not even good at bullet hell, but I still managed to pull off a one credit continue in all 3 classic games, they were that enthralling. The series is also chiefly responsible for getting me into music, I wouldn’t have dreamt of playing piano if it weren’t for Necro-Fantasy/Necrofantasia. For such fugly, broken little games they are relentlessly charming and fun, and living proof that a game can be ugly as sin and still wildly inspiring to the imagination. If there were ever to be remastering of these games I’d recommend them in a heartbeat, but the amount of patching they need just to be somewhat playable means there’s a 30 meter high barrier to entry for anyone interested. Not to mention there was no legal way to get a copy unless you bought a CD from Zun himself, up until about 2018. The old games are still locked away in dusty cds all over the world, it feels like such a tragedy.

    3 votes
  18. Tardigrade
    Link
    Perimeter 2004 which I've not picked out for a little while now because my pc died but is something I always go back to to reply the story a little or just a single custom match depending on time.

    Perimeter 2004 which I've not picked out for a little while now because my pc died but is something I always go back to to reply the story a little or just a single custom match depending on time.

    2 votes
  19. loto
    Link
    Tetris DX for the gameboy color - I know there's newer versions that are better in just about every way, but I can't really seem to put it down. Also Doom, Quake, Duke Nukem 3D - I'm a sucker for...

    Tetris DX for the gameboy color - I know there's newer versions that are better in just about every way, but I can't really seem to put it down. Also Doom, Quake, Duke Nukem 3D - I'm a sucker for old shooters.

    2 votes
  20. Saigot
    Link
    Nethacks is a blast I play it often. It still surprises me with its depth. The original 3 Mario games I play through fairly often, but I admit to cheating my ass off because otherwise I'd probably...

    Nethacks is a blast I play it often. It still surprises me with its depth.

    The original 3 Mario games I play through fairly often, but I admit to cheating my ass off because otherwise I'd probably never see the later levels. I still don't think I've beat super Mario 2 to be honest, but I just love the early levels so much.

    2 votes
  21. Wolpertinger
    Link
    Every few years, I'll play the following games: X-COM: UFO Defense, Master of Orion 2, DOOM (although I typically play source ports these days, so maybe this doesn't count), and Minecraft. They...

    Every few years, I'll play the following games: X-COM: UFO Defense, Master of Orion 2, DOOM (although I typically play source ports these days, so maybe this doesn't count), and Minecraft. They all scratch different itches. I wouldn't mind playing a version with quality of life enhancements, but by and large, I like the gameplay and graphics as is, and wouldn't want to change a thing.

    2 votes
  22. Pistos
    Link
    I've recently changed from being a Playstation gamer (of many years) to being a PC (Linux) gamer. But, in the past, I played Battlefield 3 all the way until BF4 was released; then BF4 until BF1...

    I've recently changed from being a Playstation gamer (of many years) to being a PC (Linux) gamer. But, in the past, I played Battlefield 3 all the way until BF4 was released; then BF4 until BF1 was released; then played BFV from release until just a few months ago. If invited, I'd happily play BF4 or BFV (though my PS Plus subscription is expiring soon).

    I also have played the MLB The Show franchise for many years. Even today, I played some MLB '19.

    I also recently re-played Skyrim (new character), last year I think it was.

    1 vote
  23. Surira
    Link
    Day of Defeat: Source is pretty high up on my playlist. Still quite a few servers with mostly mature players who have a good time.

    Day of Defeat: Source is pretty high up on my playlist. Still quite a few servers with mostly mature players who have a good time.

    1 vote