“Classic video games” is a term which in itself is probably enough to set alarm bells ringing in the heads of many people. However, video games have been around for over a generation now, and it is about time that people let it go. Classic films have certainly been made in the last thirty-plus years, and classic novels have been penned too, as have classic albums. Therefore it is fair to say that classic video games do exist, even if the concept upsets a few people. What those games are is another debate entirely.
For many people, the ultimate classic video games are ones which were released very early on when gaming was more simple than it is now. In fact, some people will try to convince you that the old, simpler games are more deserving of the “classic” tag than ones developed ten or twenty years later. They’re really just trying to convince themselves, though. Some of the more recent games are undoubtedly genuinely jaw-dropping in their playability and their innovation. If an album recorded in the last five years can be dubbed “an instant classic”, so too can a video game.
Of course, what makes a game deserving of the tag “classic” is another matter. It is probably in the eye of the beholder to a large extent, as playability and enjoyment are totally subjective things. Consensus seems to settle around the real classics, which gain the title through being constantly surprising, addictive (in a good way) and original.